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In praise of marble.

Ah, yes… the luxurious stone of interior design dreams, marble–which has always been a favorite of decorators–seems to have exploded onto just about every surface of the home in recent years. Let’s take a moment to look at a few examples from spaces all over the house:

This wood vanity with integrated marble sink and counter is so handsome. | japanesetrash.com

The design and tailoring–and, of course, the materials–of this wood vanity with integrated marble sink and counter make for a very sexy and timeless piece. I can imagine this in a modern apartment in Rome during the 1960s just as easily as in a contemporary home.


Exquisite black marble walls create a luxurious bathroom. | japanesetrash.com

Can you imagine having black marble walls in your bathroom? Along with the freestanding tub and teak slat flooring, this is the height of GLAMasculine. The wall sconce adds to the appeal of this look.


Marble surfboards - two of my favorite things together at last. | japanesetrash.com

Completely impractical for anything other than decorative effect, this pair of marble surfboards is pretty damn awesome. Now where would I put these…


Simple and modern marble counter, backsplash, and shelf. | japanesetrash.com

For a very unified look in the kitchen, this counter top, backsplash, and floating shelf is a simple and effective choice. I particularly like the integrated shelf.


Amazing fireplace statement look. I seriously want this. | japanesetrash.com

This fireplace has me weak in the knees. The simplicity of it, the bold and iconic design, and the choice of materials–marble included, naturally–make it a major statement piece. I seriously want to have this.

Okay, so it’s not so much the penthouse that’s preposterous, but the photos of the Axel Vervoordt-designed penthouse at the Greenwich Hotel in NYC that are both gorgeous and a little–okay, in some cases, a lot–ridiculous.

First, the exterior of the building; really love this architecture. Plus, the image is exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to see if you’re told it’s an image of the building:

The very handsome Greenwich Hotel in NYC. | japanesetrash.com

The simple simple simple — but exquisite — main bedroom:

Absolutely exquisite main bedroom of the penthouse at Greenwich Hotel. | japanesetrash.com

Now the damn-near perfect, like I could move in there tomorrow, living room:

This living room at the Greenwich Hotel is perfect. | japanesetrash.com

The bathroom. Really?!? Does Vanity Fair think our sensitivities are too delicate to actually withstand being shown some fixtures? A shower or sink, perhaps? No, just this:

This is what the editors at Vanity Fair think works as a photo of a bathroom. Please. | japanesetrash.com

And here we have a shot of the corridor looking into a guest room. Got to admit, this design is stunning:

A very rich palette is shown in this corridor shot at the Greenwich Hotel's penthouse. | japanesetrash.com

If this kind of design is your thing, I’m with you; it’s visually stunning. But c’mon… the photo that is supposed to show the bathroom? What is that? And there are plenty more images, if you follow the links in this post to Vanity Fair, that seem cut from the same cloth as that of the bathroom–weird vignettes featuring dead looking flowers.

But, again, the design is terrific. And those photos that actually show the design instead of focusing on trying to create atmosphere–and, to my mind, there’s enough atmosphere right there in the design, thank you–are also a treasure.

Ryann Ford is an interiors and architecture photographer who lives right here in Austin. Her work has graced the pages of The New York Times, Better Homes & Gardens, and Texas Monthly–just to name a few. She has a terrific eye and a wide-ranging portfolio. I’ve chosen just two of the projects she has worked on to show you, but there’s so much more to see at her website.

The first set of images come from a New York Times piece on a home designed and built by Austin architect, Burton Baldridge:

I'm digging the thin edge of the hot rolled steel counter against the rawness of the wood in that kitchen island. | japanesetrash.com

These are my favorite materials: concrete floors, steel and wood for the kitchen island, and plenty of glass.

This media loft is simple and just right. Loving all that light--plus the inset window that allows fresh air. | japanesetrash.com

The simplicity of this media loft really works for me. The flood of natural light is soooo nice, plus the added touch of an inset window to allow fresh air into the space.

This all works together so well--and is captured so beautifully by Ryann Ford's photography. | japanesetrash.com

More concrete, steel and wood–plus a nice fire, a bit of driftwood and a graphic print. Love this vibe.

The other project of Ryann Ford’s I’ve chosen are all photos of just one room in the home Roger + Chris used to own in Austin (you can see more of her shots of that house here):

The guest bedroom at Roger + Chris' former home in Austin, shot by Ryann Ford. | japanesetrash.com

Antlers, browns, textures, and a terrific paint job. | japanesetrash.com

Guest room detail-a cabinet of curiosities (with a Tivoli Model One thrown in). | japanesetrash.com

Everything about this room is remarkable–from the striking paint work to the use of textiles and accessories. And this space couldn’t be more different from the house at the start of this post, but both were captured masterfully by Ryann Ford.

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I think I’ve confessed on the blog in the past about my suppressed desire for small space living–a one room home that, in my mind at least, has only the essentials. And those essentials should be just about perfect, since they will be the only items on hand, right?

It’d probably have a main space with a work area and plenty of organization/storage, like this:

My fantasy small space would have a main area for living and work like this. | japanesetrash.com

The adjoining kitchen would need to be no-nonsense and able to double as the laundry room:

This no-nonsense kitchen would be perfect for my fantasy small space living scenario. | japanesetrash.com

Of course there would need to be an outdoor space:

A perfect secluded deck for my small space living plan. | japanesetrash.com

Can’t forget the bedroom and en suite:

Barbara Hill's Marfa masterpiece is the ultimate in small space living. | japanesetrash.com

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