by Louis Postel for Showboats International May 2016 click here for the published version http://issuu.com/postelhartz/docs/interiors_may16/2
Relaxing can be really hard work. No matter how relaxed a person is, there’s something else your body needs right away, some critical adjustment required in transforming nice into perfect.
How about an extra pillow when picking up a book, an open umbrella when the sun goes from bake to broil, a blanket for when the breeze leaves goose bumps, a less blocking sunblock for at least a little color to show before the inevitable return. Life’s indeed a beach.
And yet, despite it all, we read Caroline White’s piece in this February’s issue about the centrality of the spa-like beach club on Lady Luck. Relaxing can be really hard work, but given the right furnishings and accessories, the payoff is like nothing else.
Here are a few ideas, then, to lighten relaxation’s heavy load.
Ban rays. A double-decker umbrella ($4,350.00) in watermelon hues with a frosty aluminum base sure beats AC. “Santa Barbara umbrellas have this incredible feeling of quality. The hand-stitching, the drapery-like feel of the panels, the brass and stainless hardware, and underside linings,” says David Gesmundo, whose specialty lies in refinishing high-end umbrellas to withstand the high winds of New England. “The key to stability is in the bases we make.” Other lines available from Chatham include Bambrella, Tuuci, and Fiberbuilt. http://www.chathamrefinishing.com/Showroom/UmbrellasShade.aspx
Don’t forget. Interior Designer Anthony Catalfano has made a reputation for breathing life into shore-hugging spaces from Palm Beach to Nantucket. Now Anthony’s put together his own home goods store, where we found this cushiony memo reminding us to breathe in bold nautical navy script. With sea-worthy economy one short word does the work of many: Inhale the good and exhale the bad, get in sync with the expansions and contractions of the universe while doing nothing. http://www.anthonycatalfanohome.com/
Hide inside. You may have seen some kids cocooning and cavorting on the sundeck of an M/Y in one of these things. Their mother, furnishings designer Bea Henrichs, had created the un-zippable, thoroughly washable throw-beds in her garage in a moment of inspiration several years ago. Soon the New York Times, Vogue and Architectural Digest got wind of them and Henrichs’ new furnishings company Hedgehouse set sail for the Straits of Success. Coastal designer Robin Pelissier immediately fell in love with the throw-beds’ “vintage St. Tropez look” giving them the royal treatment with monograms and custom fabrics. From $375 in linen to $1600 in cashmere. http://www.robinpelissier.com/robins-nest/blog/www-robinpelissier-comblog/
Toss in the tender. Just as there are comfort foods to take on a picnic excursion – a Reuben on Rye from Mishkin’s flown in from London, for example, or a Croque Monsieur from Le Petit Cler in Paris – there are also profoundly comforting textures. Leather, wicker, bone china and stainless steel combine themselves in this picnic hamper from Amberley in such a way that never fails to evoke gentle sighs of reminiscence and smiles for what’s coming next.
£430.00 for the Goodwood model shown here.
Cheep for joy. Ornithologists have shown that baby birds attach themselves to their nests as much as to their mothers. This three-piece, stackable nest is considerably larger, more durable and heavier than the real thing. All it lacks is a mother. Bring your picnic hamper, your throw-bed, your breath pillow, and your umbrella along and you’re likely to forget all about her. Made of all-weather polyethylene wicker and stainless hardware, it does well on land or fixed to the deck. The Shade daybed: 99” x 85” x 76” – cushions included. $10,630.00 http://www.skylinedesign.com/