Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter Sunday morning classics.


































First off, please allow me to wish everyone a very Happy Easter. Secondly,  I would suppose that Easter morning is a fitting time to relaunch this blog. It will stay the same in regards to content and scope, just now it will be under a new name and wrapped in a shiny new package, I do hope everyone likes it.

As this is also a Sunday morning, it is indeed time for the next installment of Sunday Morning Classics. As it is Easter I wanted to share a piece of music written just for the holiday. While there are a few to choose from I have decided on Bach's - Easter Oratorio. While an oratorio, this is actually a cantata in disguise - in fact, Bach cannibalized the music from an earlier cantata written to celebrate a ducal birthday and fitted it out with new texts for the occasion.



Best,
Brion

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Debut: Jayson Home Collection.


The Kennedy Sofa / $3,895.00

Jayson Home & Garden has long been a favourite showroom of many Chicago interior designers and people looking for fabulous and unique furnishings and elements for the home...and garden. Via their online presence they are also a favourite of many around the country as well. It is easily one of my first stops when seeking that one perfect item for many projects.

Today marks the official launch of their first eponymous furniture line, Jayson Home Collection. The new line is designed by Jayson's head buyers Caroline Scheeler and Devin Kirk and is bench made in North Carolina and crafted with eight-way hand-tied springs and down-wrapped cushions. Each future heirloom is built in a green fashion - "sustainable frames, soy-based cushions, recycled metals, recycled fibers and low VOC finishes."

Here are my favourites, from the collection (including the top image of course):

The Sloane Sofa / $3,595.00




The Balmoral Chair / $1,750.00
The Theodore Sofa / $4,195.00
The Sebastion Bench / $1,495.00
The Balmoral Sofa / $3,295.00



The Bellington Chair / $2,195.00



They have a wonderful selection of fabrics and finishes available, as well as a COM (Customer's Own Material) option. Chairs start at $1,180.00 and sofas are from $2,295.00.


American made, handsome traditional silhouettes with quality, green construction...what's not to love?


Cheers,
Brion

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Broadway in Chicago, a new season.


The Auditorium Theatre
Today's mail brought a wonderful surprise, the new brochure for this years line up for Broadway in Chicago. Going to the theatre has always been one of my favourite indulgences and the theatre district in Chicago is much better than I had thought it would be when I moved here a few years ago, with some absolutely beautiful theatre's.

Over the last ten years Broadway in Chicago has brought some amazing shows to the city and this year is no exception. This season is a wonderful mix of new shows and old favourites. Here are a few on the one's I am most excited about.

The Addams Family.  I have been wanting to see this for some time now, it just looks so good.
Memphis. Have heard nothing but good things about this and am so looking forward to seeing it.
La Cage Aux Folles. How could you not want to see this?
Marry Poppins.  What? It's a classic.
Fiddler on the Roof. Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match. Did you know that this takes its name from a Chagall painting called "The Fiddler".
Chicago. We both reached for the gun.


So if you happen to find yourself in Chicago at any time during the year be sure to make it to the theatre, no matter what you choose to see you won't be sorry. And you never know, you may even see me there..I'll more than likely be one of the very few guys there in a bow tie.

Cheers,
Brion


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday morning classics.

The Great Composers
And so we find ourselves at yet another Sunday morning. As it is the middle of April and Chicago has yet to see any real springlike weather, save a few precious days of relative warmth, I wanted to find something for today's selection that was inspirational, powerful and a bit uplifting.

To fill this role I proudly present Strauss's - Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (Part 1). Many of you may be thinking that you have never heard of this piece before but I guarantee that everyone knows at least the initial fanfare of it, entitled "Sunrise" in the composer's program notes, it was made famous by Stanley Kubrick in 1968.



Cheers,
Brion
www.brj-d.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

Antiques & Garden Faire.



One of my favourite events here each year is the Chicago Botanic Garden's Antiques & Garden Faire. The event is  April 15 - 17, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day. There are several amazing vendors at the faire including some of my favourites from the Chicago area including Pagoda Red, Maze Home and Griffins & Gargoyles just to name a few.

Even beyond the faire, the botanic gardens themselves are simply stunning and always worth seeing. So if you plan on being anywhere in Illinois close to Lake Michigan this weekend make your way to Glencoe, where the Chicago Botanic Garden actually is, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Here are a few images of this years faire taken before the crouds.



Best,
Brion

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday morning classics.

The Great Composers

Thank you for joining me once again for Sunday morning classics. I do enjoy being able to share a bit of my Sunday morning routine and my enduring love of classical music with everyone. This week I have selected a wonderful piece, Johann Pachelbel's - Canon in D Major.

There is an interesting history behind Canon in D Major. It is only guessed that it was written in the late 17th century and mostly forgotten about until the early 20th century, the first recording of the piece was not even until 1940. Pachelbel himself, a German Baroque composer, was praised in his lifetime for his serenades and sonatas. Regretfully the majority of his works were lost to time. Canon in D Major is one of the most beloved pieces of classical music in the world, please enjoy Pachalbel's legacy.

P.S. I have decided to share two variations of this piece. The first is the way it was originally meant to be played on original instruments. The second is the variation most people know today.





Cheers,
Brion

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Biblioteca Amore...Part 2.


I have always loved beautiful libraries! There is something about the design aesthetic and the wealth of accumulated knowledge that stirs something in me. I am somehow comforted by them and often inspired by them.

With the first post in this series ( Biblioteca Amore...Part 1. ) I focused on large libraries, primarily private and public collections. With part two I have decided to share some of the more impressive home libraries I have found. Of special interest, they all are the libraries of celebrities.
Christina Ricci. I find this little library to be incredibly charming. Overall it looks as though the whole home is relaxing. I love that the books seem to be loosely arranged by color but it isn't overly obvious.

 Jimmy Stewart. This just looks like the room of someone who loves to read.

 Keith Richards. Honestly, its better than I would have expected. It even looks comfortable in an odd way.

Woody Allen. And speaking of "not what I  would have expected". You would think that someone with a room as mellow as this would be a bit less neurotic.

Gordon Sumner (aka. Sting). I guess when you live in a castle you have a library like this. For the record, I love this space. Perhaps not the most comfortable but a great place to keep your books.

Julia Child. This little home library is so sweet and inviting I fear I might never leave once inside. A fireplace is definitely at the top of my "Must Haves" for a home library (possibly to be seen in a later post).

Mark Badgely + James Mischka (fashion designers). I absolutely adore everything about this library. Adding it to a dining area creates an even more intimate space.

Karl Lagerfeld. This is almost overwhelming yet works amazingly well. The shelves are reinforced steel to hold all the weight as the vast majority of his collection is fashion, art and design books (which I can attest can be quite heavy indeed). I love how all the books are stacked vertically...all 60,000 of them.


Until next time,
Brion

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