It’s always a great experience to head north and work in Exeter / New Hampshire where Garnet Hill is based. Portsmouth, is the most local largest town and full of great places to eat, shop and take in the sights.
For the Fall Season, Marcus was asked to take into account the Fashion section of the Garnet Hill Catalog that was shot in Scotland, weaving in the faintest influence of this in the Home and Linen side of the company. If you look closely you can see this influence especially through the windows of each of the sets.
Working with set builder extraordinaire Matt Carstens and his team, Marcus and the crew worked with beautiful sets that changed for every scheme. Amazing Prop Stylist Carin Scheve and Soft Stylist Eduardo Vinueza sealed the deal for an amazing team.
For Fall this year for Williams Sonoma, Marcus both Art Directed for some spreads and styled for others, crossing over from both Williams Sonoma Cooks to Williams Sonoma Home. Having the opportunity with working with regular and very talented Photographers Anders Schonnemann, Anna Williams, Sharyn Cairns and Anson Smart and with amazing Prop Stylist’s Amy Wilson and Holly Smith and ever wonderful Food Stylist's Nathan Carrabba, George Dolese and Alison Attenborough. Always such a pleasure to work with so many talented folks, many of whom we at SMH, Inc have had great working relationships with for many years.
Fall is the time of year to embrace familiar themes such as Thanksgiving and the impending Holidays and thus these spreads reflect the season that is approaching, We hope you all have an amazing Fall and enjoy this special time of year.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m at home, which is not that often as I am usually on the road working on many exciting projects is to draw inspiration from my own space in which I live and document and photograph the stuff that surrounds me. Often on my travels I pick up items that end up finding a home with me in New York and as they do not always stick around forever, I like to catch them while I can.
Many would say after working all day on photo shoots, don’t you get tired of styling vignettes and my answer to that is never! I get great joy out of photographing these items as my home is an ever revolving evolution of different decorating styles, I get bored quick so I have to shoot it before I change it. Some items also migrate to the black hole of storage or end up on consignment in prop houses in New York.
I encourage you all to try it at home, Until I finally get around to a serious camera, All these images are simply shot on my I Phone, I do admit I have a few floating surfaces I use to be the backdrop for my compositions but what Stylist wouldn’t? You can use any surface really, a coffee table, your floor, A large tray. Documenting your belongings and space is really fun and so interesting when you look back at the progression of a space over the years, It really is amazing how over time a space shifts in it’s look and feel.
Coming up with 3 different flavors around the world, 1. Moroccan 2. Costa Rican 3. Nepalese, Marcus and his Assistant Aja Boon found a variety of props that matched the look and feel of these regions. Here at SMH, Inc we thought it would be fun to highlight elements of these props with the type that inspired us.
For the Moroccan tiles, Marcus used some tiles from his own collection fusing it with great ceramics from Elephant Ceramics Gold flatware played a big part. For Costa Rica, A shutter seemed like a great way to create a resort bar like feel using contemporary silhouettes in glassware and some fun paper straws with tropical foliage. For Nepalese we used gold bowls from Tom Dixon and hand made pottery with Mud Cloth fabric in earthy tones.
It was fun prop wise to visit these 3 places in one shoot, we hope you enjoy the results.
Many people would say there is nothing more therapeutic than a day at the beach, for land lovers, it seems we almost love the sea more, Humans were not born in the sea and yet we are mystified and engaged by it’s magical pull. Often the sea is nostalgic of our childhoods and the smells and taste of the ocean we would all agree is like no other.
As with many of us fortunate enough to live by a coastline, the sea has spoken to me my whole life. It started with my Grandmother Kit in who lived in Mentone, Melbourne, Australia near the beach and every summer as a small child we would go with her on the weekend and the best bit for me was she would shout us an Eskimo Pie on the way home. For those who did not grow up in Australia, An Eskimo Pie was a very cold Ice cream covered in Chocolate with mint flavoring. An Australian classic from another era.
As I grew older, My Parents moved from Melbourne to the Northern Beaches of Sydney where my younger sisters took to the beach like bees to honey but I didn’t have the same reaction. Maybe it was because it seemed like beach overload in overly sunny Sydney, I was used to short spurts and a quick dip now and then but in Sydney it was full time beach all the time. While others toyed with lemon juice in the hair and sunflower oil on the skin to create the ultimate surfie look, I could never keep up with my burnt to a crisp beach loving schoolmates.
Still, Sea life is a favorite theme at SMH, Inc, We love Art Directing and styling a sea themed story, it’s reflected in our Pinterest board called The Sea. See highlights from this board above and check us out on Pinterest.
For all Photographic credits, check the images on Pinterest for links.
For Carters, Marcus and the team including Assistants Mykl Cummins and Zarah Riley loved working on the latest Little Baby Basics campaign, Zarah in particular was excited as she was actually pregnant on this shoot and has since welcomed into the world a baby girl Noa Raye Riley, Congrats to Zarah and her husband Matt!
This campaign was all about embracing textures, We loved working with Photographer Tim Marsella on creating a graphic approach to shooting babies, often multiple at a time using the textures of linens and knits to create a soft comfortable world.
Working with Creative Director, The wonderful Amy Deering, with whom SMH, Inc has had a long working relationship with we spent one week in New York shooting in a home studio and a week in Montauk in a wonderful mid century inspired home.
Working with babies is so much fun but does require a lot of patience and understanding, we were happy to work with such a professional team on this project!
Here at SMH, Inc we have more images to share from our recent project with West Elm. Shot in their new Brooklyn Studio, we converted an empty space into a multi room brownstone complete with high ceilings, prewar moldings and giant window's.
With pre productions meetings in place, Lead Art Director, Michelle Meick and Marcus carefully chose the palette and it was really great to work with so many interesting color options, from a dusty lilac bedroom to an dusty emerald dining room, with a nod to modern Italian design we created the space that looks like it was straight out of a European publication.
On the side Marcus was asked to create moodboards that complemented the rooms using paint chips, fabric swatches and materials from West Elm fused with botanicals and fashion forward props sourced by Marcus and his team. It was a great way to work as Marcus himself uses this method when working on Interior schemes for his clients and to tie in with West Elm's Style and Service Program.
It was a great project to work on and we hope you like seeing more of what was involved.
You can also watch the video here to get a behind the scenes look at the project, Click here
For the July issue of Better Homes & Gardens, Marcus was asked to pair up once again with the wonderful Photographer Kat Teutsch to work on a series of color trend related stories. You can see more to follow in the comings months. This time the subject matter was Golden Yellows.
Being a big fan of vintage Bennington Pottery from Vermont, When asked to work on a potting themed golden yellow theme, Bennington Potters was the first to spring to mind. Bennington Pottery was founded more than a half century ago by the young potter named David Gil. A graduate of Alfred University, which was renowned even then for its ceramics program, Gil relocated from New York City to Vermont beginning his life work there in 1948. Starting out in small barn with the business originally named Cooperative Design, In 1961 David Gil moved the business into a larger premises in Vermont where it still lives today and he re named it simply Bennington Potters.
During his career, David distinguished himself as a designer with an ability to fuse contemporary forms with historic references, Although he valued handcraft and high aesthetic standards, he also embraced mechanization, Although largely an artist some forms were directly aimed at the commercial market.
David and Bennington focused heavily on cooperative designs and while the company was steered by David Gil’s vision, Yusuke Aida, A Japanese potter designed many of the classic Bennington silhouettes (As featured above) in conjunction with David Gil from the period of 1961-1964. You can see this collaboration and Japanese influence in the designs that still look strikingly modern over 48 years later.
For Williams Sonoma, Marcus was excited to join the team to work with Michael Mina, Michael Mina is an award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author whose name has been synonymous with bold food and memorable dining for more than two decades. He is the creator of Michael Mina, his signature restaurant in San Francisco, CA. In 2002, along with partner Andre Agassi, he founded Mina Group, which today includes nearly 30 dining concepts, including Bardot Brasserie in Las Vegas, Stonehill Tavern in Southern California and the forthcoming Margeaux Brasserie in Chicago. His new collection of seasonings and relishes are inspired by the creations he serves at Bourbon Pub in Santa Clara, CA, a gathering place where he puts his spin on classic pub fare.
Also that week we photographed some amazing cocktail and outdoor kitchen spreads, really getting into the spirit of Summer.
Marcus got to work once again with the amazing Photographer Paul Raeside on these exciting new pages for West Elm in their brand new studio at Industry City in Brooklyn. Working with a massive set of a townhouse with many rooms, Marcus helped create the look of these sets and choose all the colors for this series of shots and more coming up with a very sophisticated color palette that spoke to a European esthetic.
Wanting to embrace a feeling of Modern Italian, It's a genre that Marcus feels right at home with. Marcus brought to the shoot a lot of his sculptural pieces and art that helped complement the wide range of new accessories, art and furniture available at West Elm.
Look out for more shots in the coming months.
For the June issue of Better Homes & Gardens, Marcus was asked to pair up once again with the wonderful Photographer Kat Teutsch to work on a series of color trend related stories. You can see more to follow in the comings months. This time the subject matter was Sea Shades.
Having grown up near the beach most of my childhood and being very lucky to do so, This months Color Story was close to my heart reminding me of my earlier life in Sydney, Australia. Here at SMH, Inc we just love shades of blues and greens and nautical themes. Coral fans are just so magical and when paired with glass and driftwood, a still life comes alive, you can almost smell the ocean breeze.
For a recent promotion, Design Within Reach worked with Marcus and his team on creating these fun "moving-in" images that ended up being used in a brochure sent out to DWR customers with helpful info on all their services available when you have moved into a new home like Complimentary Design Consultation, In home visit's to discuss the space and 3D renderings of your room.
We planned the shot by using the Arena sofa on the cover as it had just appeared in a new space, surrounded by boxes and other move in items like take out coffees and lunch, just like it is when you move into a new home which can often mean eating on the run and dealing with the often overwhelming task of unpacking, something us prop stylists and photo teams are actually used to dealing with every week, we thrive in chaos and we did feel familiar and "at home" styling this shoot but for most others it's great to know there is help available. Fergus, the Creative Director, Michael Sainato's very cute Corgi made a guest appearance and finished the shot off very nicely for us. We then "unpacked" everything and created the room as it would be finished in the same space which can be seen in the other shots.
It was a really fun shoot to work on and great to work with the team again including Photographer, Jim Bastardo.
For the May issue of Better Homes & Gardens, Marcus was asked to pair up once again with the wonderful Photographer Kat Teutsch to work on a series of color trend related stories. You can see more to follow in the comings months. This time the subject matter was Peony Pinks.
Peonies are native to Asia, Europe and Western North America. Scientists differ on the number of species that can be distinguished ranging from 25 to 40, They have compound deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant flowers, in colors ranging from purple red, pink to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer. The peony is among the longest-used flowers in Eastern culture, In 1903, the Qing dynasty declared the peony as the national flower.
We don't know anyone who does not love this flower and they are always such a pleasure to work with although they can be unpredictable, they can go from tightly bunched like small balls to overflowing and petals dropping within a few hours, Actually in this shoot it was the lighter Peonies that decided to open earlier than the darker ones as you ca see in the picture.
For the Spring Catalog for Garnet Hill, Marcus ventured up to Exeter, New Hampshire to Garnet Hill's new location to Art Direct. It was great to meet all the new team players and work in their brand new studio.
Working with some wonderful new product including a new range by Judy Ross, Marcus and the team embraced just the tiniest bit of Costa Rica where the fashion team shot the fashion portion which is also featured in the Spring Catalog out now.
This month Marcus and the team at SMH, Inc was asked to conceptualize and style four distinct office spaces in the Design Within Reach flagship store, on 57th & 3rd Avenue, New York. In order to showcase some of DWR's beautiful pieces, Marcus came up with four spaces inspired loosley by late fashion editor and design connoisseur, Diane Vreeland, a contemporary Eco Designer, the late American Architect, Philip Johnson and an eclectic diarist and photographer - choosing paint colors, artwork and props that would reflect each personality. Visit the store to view the spaces, we'd love know what you think!
Blossom Dearie’s dreamy and delicate voice first captured my attention as a child, It might have been my mother who introduced me as she had a taste for jazz and with access as a child to the jazz section at the local library where you could also borrow music, I also from a young age developed this same desire to bury deep into the libraries jazz collection. Blossom Dearie first struck me with her actual birth name, which is just so beautiful and really captured the spirit of her voice, which I have to say is like no other. There is a very simple but sensual, honest and jazzy spring like sound to her voice, some may say it’s girly and shrill but it was way cleverer than that.
On all the album covers I saw as a child, Blossom was sporting a pair of 1950’s cats eye glasses and she was dressed in that 1950’s style which looked very prim and proper but also kinda chic in a school mistress way, My other obsession was watching old movies on a Sunday afternoon so I’d seen lot’s of evidence in this style of fashion from old Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield (except maybe they showed a bit more cleavage?) As a child I was obsessed with 1950’s America, A friend of my parents had given me a pile of 1950’s Life Magazines and I poured over every page. I’d wear converse sneakers, stove pipe my trousers and wear my hair in a quiff, like an extra out of Happy Days. I think my Dad thought I was slightly mad, I was almost mimicking his own childhood when it authentically happened the first time around.
Based in New York almost entirely her whole life with some time spent in Paris in the 1950’s, She was a regular at the New York supper clubs in the 1960’s and settling down in an apartment in Greenwich Village till she died in 2009 at age 84. She performed almost right up until her passing largely at the now closed Danny’s Skylight Room.
It is in this apartment I believe a shot was photographed for her Daffodil Records 1977 double album “Winchester in Apple Blossom Time” The 1970’s had changed her look quite radically and she almost looked younger with her flowing blond hair in those days then she did early in her career, maybe it’s because she had lost the signature glasses but she evoked the spirit if that time in her interior which has always fascinated me. In the 1970’s a more Bohemian look was the rage and Blossom had decorated the space with global nods, rattan baskets filled with ostrich eggs on a entirely glass coffee table, potted plants, galleries of Indian and tribal art, Raw blocks of wood as side tables. It’s decorated in an understated simple way but rich with character, not unlike her amazing voice itself.
Bruce Weber shot the classic shot of Blossom at the piano with an oversized poodle and it could have been one of her last shots. It’s actually quite difficult to find shots or a lot of information about Blossom, She was by nature extremely independent person who zealously guarded her privacy. New Yorks Times writer, Stephan Holden said it best “An interpretive minimalist with caviar taste in songs and musicians, she was a genre unto herself. Rarely raising her sly, kittenish voice, Ms. Dearie confided song lyrics in a playful style below whose surface layers of insinuation lurked”
Please check out Blossom's work. This article is designed for this blog only. All images are credited where possible, Please advise if any images need further credits or details.