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Goodbye Facebook, Hello Inspiration

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Since my last Stylelist Home entry, I've officially broken up with Facebook. Well, you can still be a fan of my company page, Nathan Thomas Studios, on Facebook (please do!) but I have officially ended my "friendships" on Facecrack. Sorry guys, it wasn't you, it was me. We just weren't that compatible in the end, I guess. The truth of the matter is I honestly found myself a bit addicted to checking in to see who had "poked" me or if I got a message, or any other nonsense. Don't get me wrong, devotees to the drug of FB, I think it serves an excellent purpose/platform and succeeds in doing exactly what it is meant to. But I felt a bit too much pressure to acquire more "friends" or post an update that was worthy of caring about by any and all who read. So let's just say that maybe this is my new Facecrack. But please don't post pics of me doing something horrible or wearing a swimsuit that should have never made it on to my body... HAVK!! You all know "exactly" what I am talking about.

This time around, I wanted to talk more about New York and the gems we encounter each and every day. What are the daily "images" that inspire me, you, us? Who is wearing what and why? What music makes me think about design? As a designer, I am often asked that question: "What inspires you?" To be honest, that is often an incredibly difficult question to answer. The truth is, sooo many things inspire me, as I am about 100,000 percent sure is the truth for anyone working in a creative field. Food is inspiring. Sex is inspiring. Changes in the weather are inspiring. A ride on the subway can be inspiring -- usually terrifying, as I am realizing the older I get. I guess what I am trying to get at is I realized last week while standing on the floor at Hammerstein Ballroom listening to the infectious melodies of Portishead with two of my dearest friends (I really do know them, they are not from Facecrack!) that I am constantly inspired by music. Pending my mood in the office or commuting or while home, music COMPLETELY has an effect on my train of thought. Sure -- we all put on sad tunes when we are hurting, or Madonnna when we are baking a cake or getting ready, or Bach when we need some depth... But I often use music as a design inspiration, especially in my office, where there is always music on. If you took a peak at the Madonna video above (as I hope you did), please take note of some rrrrrr'serrrious design decisions -- again, I have a big crush on the '70s and its entire motif and this video obviously gives me a pretty good dose of something I long for.

You may or may not have seen, but my room for last year's fabulous Design On A Dime annual fundraising event by Housing Works was essentially inspired by Kelis' video for Accapella, in some weird way (I guess probably with some insane infusion of a Mad Hatter's party on acid). And this year's room surely had a bit of Hot Chip happening in there (thank my fantastic side kick and right hand, Melissa). What I am getting at here is how important it is to take cues from our everyday habits and surroundings and draw the inspiration from that. Music, to me, is about feeling and interiors are the same, as far as I am concerned.

Back to NYC. I don't have to tell anyone reading this that absolutely incredible design exists in this cowboy town that some of the leading designers in fashion and interiors call home -- Brooklyn, we will talk someday. And I've seen some really good looking spaces lately. One in particular is a fairly new shop in Tribeca called Patron of the New. Those who live here and work in the field (or not) may remember this space as the former home of Intérieurs, the fairly chic French home furnishings store now on the Upper East Side.

I was immediately taken by how absolutely incredible the new tenants, Patron, were at placing their stake in upscale retail on Franklin Street. The owner and creative director Al Abayan designed the store and took in to account every detail from front to back, from the suede cabinet pulls and metal-frame doors to the selection of furniture used in the dressing rooms. The flow in the space works and the items for sale make sense. There's absolute cohesion. But the best part is the inclusion of home goods -- sort of icing on the cake, really -- and the felted wool custom rugs and pillows by l'aviva home are incredible. I would suggest we all go out there and make our own felted wool pillows or headboards, but why do so when it is already done, and done so beautifully? I am all about being "inspired" by others and their work, but sometimes the real deal is exactly that -- leave it to the pros. I also love the vintage glassware by Lalique and Baccarat, but what I truly fell in love with were the dreamy cashmere blankets by The Elder Statesmen. Run now and get some of these bad boys to wrap yourself up in for the coming cold months (seriously!) But all in all, the store is gorgeous and it is well thought out, makes sense and shows a definite personality. Be sure to check out how Al handled the stairwell to the basement. My eyes turned like Twilight Zone... as in "j'adore." Well Done, Patron!

And lastly, I am constantly wowed and amazed by fashion designer Gareth Pugh and the collections that come to fruition. He is fearless, ruthless, encouraging, inspiring, intelligent and controlled. To me, that's what it's all about. I was first introduced to the Gareth when a friend emailed me this video. I was dumbfounded. Completely. Oh, and watch this and be inspired. Fingers crossed that this will somehow make it's way in to a project of mine in the near future.