HOME IS WHERE THE CHAIR IS

Pink Chair Home

In my four years working at Colony, I’ve moved four times – which means I’ve become quite familiar with my material objects and their respective dimensions as I’ve fit them into the back of various moving vans, up countless sets of stairs, and around tight corners. Each packing period has become an exercise in self-editing and assessing my things for how often and how well I use them. I’ve let enough pieces go curbside to feel protective over those that have stuck with me and adversely towards the idea of further thoughtless consumption.

 

My surviving pieces have been, for the most part, a largely sentimental mix of family heirlooms and cherished thrift store finds. That is with the exception of my prized possession – my half moon chair from Vonnegut/Kraft lacquered in a sunset peach, which I’ve ubiquitously dubbed “pink”.

The chair was a generous gift from Jean following my first holiday season at Colony, tempered by her early December question, “If I buy you that chair, will you stop gushing about it already??” Thinking this a joke, I said yes only to find myself bringing the chair home come Christmas.

 

Having had this piece four times as long as any home in the last decade has made me rethink the concept of what home is to me. As a transplant from New England, I’ve had this query before but never landed upon the concept that my experiences with personal objects have become greater than the sum of those in each transitory home.

 

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“This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. To-day we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.”
– Daphne Du Maurier
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The chair is a living memory of all the actions and reactions it has participated in since we’ve come to know each other so intimately. I’ve written poems in this chair, paid bills in this chair, drunk boundless cups of coffee with my legs crossed and draped in my Nana’s silk robe – a mix of minty green and bright oranges that dance against the pink finish. I’ve set my Christmas “tree” atop the seat and strung the whole thing with fairy lights.

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Most often serving steadfastly as a desk chair, the piece has also functioned as an entry “bench” and bedside “table” when tight spaces have demanded versatility. The poppy pink joinery currently brightens up my living room while providing an extra seat; whereas, I’ve relegated stacks of books and windowsills to act in the less honorable stead of side table.

 

Of all these memories, what I’ve truly lost track of is the amount of times I’ve woken up to find my cat, Loofah, perched on the chair sunning himself. It’s his favorite seat in the house.

 

All the houses.

 

-Madeleine Parsons

A LOVE STORY | GIRL MEETS GALLERY

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It was 2016. New to the design industry, I stepped into the unassuming second-floor loft space occupied by Colony. With my then-colleague, we passed through this ethereal landscape.

 

Rosy pink cascaded from the white brick onto the floor, an orbed color block of paint trailing its bright color between surfaces. A sea of stark white platforms and plinths held aloft some of the finest furniture: things round and plush, with airs of buoyancy; others trim and angular, comfortably spartan. Textiles dripped from the ceilings, hanging lethargic and beautiful, softening the light that flooded through a trio of huge windows.

 

A small pixie with a blooming head of platinum blonde hair threw her arms up, star-shaped, in welcome.

 

Jean Lin, Colony founder and pixie, spread massive, tufted pillows out on the floor for our Tribeca Design District meeting. I took note of the set-up: this was no conference room, no mahogany table. And for that, it felt like home.

Jean and I continued to cross paths through the design industry over the years while I worked at a neighboring design studio: to collaborate on social media campaigns, to coordinate neighborhood-wide events, to revel in the work and in the play of design week.

 

Later, when I left that job, floundering and unsure, she took me under her wing. She grew me and gave me space to grow myself. She has become more than just a pixie woman, to me; she has become more than just her recognizable name, her hair, her business.

 

She has become an employer, a mentor, and, perhaps most importantly, a close friend. She still throws her arms up, star-shaped, for me and for other guests of Colony. She still spreads the massive, tufted showroom pillows out on the floor for our meetings.

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The integrity of the space and the business she’s grown trickles into the integrity of the relationships she builds from it and out of it. I serve as evidence of this. Built from devotion to the design industry, devotion to the designers themselves; built from a love for this gallery and its orbit of industry peers and those mammoth, cozy Colony pillows…

 

Colony felt like home from the start, and it has manifested as a true professional homestead. I plan on staying put; under Jean’s wing, in her home of design, and comfortably on her floor pillows.

 

-Emily R. Pellerin

The Art of the Nap

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Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.

Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown’s Little Book of Wisdom
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She did not want to move, or to speak. She wanted to rest, to lean, to dream. She felt very tired.

Virginia Woolf, The Years
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Coast to Coast | Austin

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Austin is my hometown. It’s where my heart is — in its captive bends of the Colorado river, its modern-southwest architecture, the straw-colored waves of its undulating hillsides. The Austin design scene, though, is new to me. Visiting from NYC (my adoptive home) earlier this month for Coast to Coast, I discovered a design rootedness on the East Side, some old-school mastery out to the west, and some migrated talent beyond the city limits.

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The Austin design story spoke of unexpected cooperation with the City, from building benches along the lake to recycling fallen and burnt wood. And it spoke to age-old engagement with the natural limestone produced all over and underground, used for the Texas State Capitol downtown, a civic icon and light, bright sunset foregrounder.

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Those light, bright Texas sunsets! They sunk into the crackling air around bonfires hosted by communications designers, where textile artists swap songs with furniture makers who live with artists who woodwork with the man that had asked, please, if you (wearing heels) could help him move some mud?

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Austin is not shy about getting involved. It’s a city whose webs of creativity overlap and invest in each other, whose professionally and personally selfless networks are ambitious, yet boast a dose of the nonchalant. Where work-life balance seems to exist healthily, where beautiful work is made and beautiful community is forged.

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Even when we moved beyond the city limits, studios showed us that, though they may have taken their kiln or their mill out of Austin, you can’t take that Austin spirit out of their process, their projects, their product, their persons.
The city is part of their story. And its design industry, in its laid-back selflessness, makes for a grand, true part of Austin’s own honky tonk tall tale.

-Emily R. Pellerin

THE CARPENTER HOTEL
HOME TOUR WITH JOBE FAB
STUDIO TOUR WITH ERA CERAMICS OF SMITHVILLE, TX
STUDIO TOUR WITH EMILY EISENHART AT BROAD STUDIOS
STUDIO TOUR WITH RACHEL WOLFSON SMITH AT CANOPY
STUDIO AND GROUNDS TOUR WITH HATCH WORKSHOP

FAVORITES | WINTER LEISURE

 

 

I often find myself exhausted by the time late January rolls around. The holiday craze and winter chill has had time to take it’s toll, and I’m ready to spend my weekends reading in bed. The excitement of last Thursday’s launch of The Conception Series with Controlled Landscapes by Molly Haynes may have something to do with my craving for down time as well. By devoting lazy mornings to my reading list this winter, I hope to build up an inspired source of energy for what is sure to be a busy Spring in design.

 

I’ve just finished Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking which has proved to be a tough one to follow up – so, so beautiful. In case you’re looking for inspiration as well, here are the titles sitting at the top of my windowsill to-read stack: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver, Devotion by Patti Smith, and The Final Voicemails: Poems by Max Ritvo.

 

-Madeleine Parsons

Winter Whites

New Year’s Revelations

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Whether you would rather believe in the power of the inaugural New Year’s resolution or scoff at it, ’tis the time of year to focus on a fresh start. While I encourage an introspective search at the start of 2019, there’s also a highly cultivated list of classic resolutions to pick from should you feel so obliged.

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FORM LOVING

Maybe this is the year you’ll pare down to slimmer proportions and slip into the jeans relegated to the back of your closet. Or maybe it’s time to accept a more forgiving silhouette; we love the sleek lines of the High Back Stool but long to sink into Klein Agency’s cozy Sofa Double.

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REGREEN

Adding green to your space not only revitalizes energy but also increases air quality.  Set a recurring alarm on your phone as a watering reminder to keep plants alive through the new year. If just the thought of the commitment is making you rethink a resolution altogether, go a different route and invest in some no-maintenance dried flower arrangements.

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STRIVE FOR DISCOVERY

Without the element of discovery, each day begins to feel redundant. This year we’re pushing ourselves to discover emerging talent from Coast to Coast and share it through The Conception Series, a series of pop-up exhibits and exclusive, limited edition collections. Our first launch in the series will be Conception 01 | Controlled Landscapes by Molly Haynes. We plan to continue exploring developing talent through connections and travel in the year to come.

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Happiest Holidays from Colony

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Thank you so much for your ongoing support, this year and always. We feel privileged to count you as our colleagues, collaborators and friends.

May your holidays be warm and bright! We’ll see you all in the New Year.

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A New Season At Colony

Introducing | At Home by Colony

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A scent that has transformed our second floor Canal Street design gallery into a sensory oasis, the ThreeTwoFour Candle embodies Colony’s pursuit of substantive beauty. Deep notes of leather and fresh tobacco lifted by the warmth of earthen spices have long welcomed us into the airy space we call home. Memorialized by a minimal white pillar, the scent sits atop a tonal terrazzo base.

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ThreeTwoFour marks the first product offering in At Home — a curated collection of goods from our space to yours.

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