Happy Birthday America!

If you are not already familiar with the history or the reason behind the celebration of July 4th, you can read all about it here.

Regardless of whether you celebrate with a patriotic concert in the park, a family backyard barbecue or enjoying a small town parade, the day is certainly set aside to allow us all to reflect for a moment and then celebrate in an all-American manner.

Enjoy!

American flag and fireworks

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware, you can visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90016

323 939 5929

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A surface bolt and matching doorbell complete the Willow door hardware collection

Cremone bolt from our Willow collection of architectural hardware at Martin Pierce Hardware  Los Angeles, CA  90015 photo by Doug Hill

Cremone bolt from our Willow collection of architectural hardware at Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles, CA 90015
photo by Doug Hill

Exterior doors are designed to allow you and your guests access to a building and make it possible to enter and exit said building.  And since every building obviously has a door, if not several,  people do not give them much thought.  During the design of the building you make decisions on door and hardware style, location and the finishes such as paint color and whether you want bronze or steel hardware.  But it is also necessary to consider security and ease of operation when it comes time to select your door hardware.

Door knobs, levers, backplates and locks are all part of a door’s hardware and, like every successful team, they work together.  However, some door configurations require additional items.  For example, double doors for styles that include french doors, interior cabinet doors and dutch doors will also need a surface or Cremone bolt that is designed to keep one door in place when the adjoining door is open.  We have added a cremone bolt to our Willow collection, making it possible for you to fully coordinate the hardware in any space.  We recently paired this collection with magnificent Hedgerow Heroic Trees entry door pulls for a spectacular look.

Hospitality and residential designers alike know that attention to detail is the key to a well-designed space and the coordinating Willow door bell seen in the center of the photo above will add that all important detail to any project.

To view each of these collections, along with our entire collection of architectural hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90016

323 939 5929

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Summer has arrived and we have vacation plans

The Summer solstice was celebrated at Stonehenge where the rock formations line up with the sun's solstice rays  via wikipedia.org

The Summer solstice was celebrated at Stonehenge where the rock formations line up with the sun’s solstice rays
via wikipedia.org

The summer solstice arrived at exactly  9:39 a.m. on June 21, 2015 marking the official beginning of summer for those of us who reside in the Northern Hemisphere.  Both the summer and winter solstice have historically been celebrated by ancient civilizations, including one of the oldest celebrations that took place in Stonehenge located in our native England.  But for many people, including ourselves, it is a signal that it is time for a vacation!

While our travel dates are not exactly a summer vacation, we will be traveling to Istanbul for one week in late September and can hardly wait!  I am trying my best not to think about it too much so I can stay focused on work.

This trip is, in part, inspired by our visit to Granada last year and the exposure to Moorish architecture along with the incredible work of famed architect Antoni Gaudi; all of which whetted our appetite to discover other architectural treasures. Needless to say we will be taking in the phenomenal architecture Istanbul has to offer and, like every good traveller, sampling the food.

Where are your summer vacation plans taking you?

To view the entire collection of architectural hardware at Martin Pierce, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

323 939 5929

Closer to home we will be going up to Point Reyes in July.

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Drought gardening update

Our dream of a lush green lawn and garden like the verdant gardens at the Simpson House Inn seen here:

martin pierce serene gardens at the simpson house innhave been dashed by the severe drought that California has been suffering for several years now.  Instead, we recently shared with you the process of turning our once green backyard into a drought tolerant “oasis” by allowing the grass to slowly turn a lovely shade of brown

Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

and we are now the proud owner of a well-groomed patch of dirt

Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

This brings us to the planning stage of the new drought tolerant garden.  To begin, we are mapping out the area to decide which areas will be pathways and which areas will be plant areas.  We find the most difficult part of this task is deciding on the “look” we want for each area.  What colors do we want to use, how tall should the plants be and which plants we want in the foreground and which ones do we want to place in the background are all topics earnestly debated.  We seem to be going in circles so it is back to the drawing board as we carefully re-draw our map and compare it to the dirt patch that is our current reality. We must then establish the location of the plants and lay down the drip lines of the drip system that we will be using to deliver water. Once the lines are installed it will be necessary to stabilize the dirt with a layer of decomposed granite.  The pathways will be created with pavers and somewhat compacted sand and the planting areas will receive a top layer of pea gravel.  We are searching for a pea gravel that doesn’t look as if it just arrived from a building site.   As you can see in the photo, we have made good progress on the grading of the back garden and Martin has dug down and removed a section of soil so that we have a seating area that looks into the garden.  We both agree that we would like to replace our archaic ceramic bird bath with a modest water fountain but since we want the water to be running and recycled we now have to think about getting power to that area of the yard.  The planning continues…….

To view the entire collection of architctural hardware at Martin Pierce, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90016

323 939 5929

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Biophilia and biomorphism in interior design

We were so interested in the concept of biophilia design that we were introduced to at this years HD Expo and we shared our newfound knowledge and our new dragon egg wall sconce with a design that echoes this idea in a post here.

Dragon egg wall sconce by Martin Pierce hardware  Los Angeles CA  90016 Photo by Doug Hill

Dragon egg wall sconce by Martin Pierce hardware
Los Angeles CA 90016
Photo by Doug Hill

But the whole idea of furniture and “functional art” created in shapes inspired by nature and organic elements is an interesting one that I discovered has really been around since the mid -twentieth century  in a movement called biomorphism which  Wikipedia defines as:

Biomorphism is an art movement that began in the 20th century. It models artistic design elements on naturally occurring patterns or shapes reminiscent of nature and living organisms

Once you become aware of this artistic endeavor it can be easy to spot examples in the design of furniture, lighting, textiles and even in architecture.  For example:

This unique chair designed by Marc Newson and available through Christie’s  auctions is designed to showcase the beauty of the wood and actually looks very comfortable.

via quintessence post and christies auction

via quintessence blog and Christies 

Biomorphism can be easily translated into fiber and textile art as seen in this organically shaped, woven wall hanging  crafted of natural materials such as pine needles by artist Patti Chamberlin.

fiber art by Patti Chamberlin

fiber art by Patti Chamberlin

Biomorphism finds its place in architecture with the innovative design of the Selfridge’s Department Store in Birmingham, UK, designed by Future Systems in which straight edges normally used in architecture have been replaced with more biomorphic rounded edges.  Also appreciate the juxtaposition of old meets new with this modern building sitting right next door to an old church.

Selfridges Department Store, Birmingham, UK designed by Future Systems

Selfridges Department Store, Birmingham, UK
via Galinsky

Many of our own bespoke furniture and custom hardware designs reflect elements of biomorphism as well.  Martin has long been inspired by the shapes and movements found in nature, particularly in plants, birds, insects and other creatures and this is evident in the designs he creates.  For example, the rectangular dining room table from our Hedgerow collection with table legs and apron featuring the naturally occuring marks and shapes of a tree.

Rectangular dining table from Martin Pierce Los Angeles CA  90016

Rectangular dining table from Martin Pierce
Los Angeles CA 90016

If you are interested in discussing a custom design for your hospitality design project or would like to view our entire collection of architectural hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

323 939 5929

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How to garden during California’s drought

droughtmonitor.unl.edu

droughtmonitor.unl.edu

If you live in California you are painfully aware of the drought we are suffering and all the bad news that word conjures up.  As a result of new California regulations mandating water restrictions it has become necessary for all of us to make some adjustments.

As we are both from a country that is usually  too wet for words it is not surprising that we grew up with a fondness for green grass. Even though we moved to a seemingly arid city we still had an aesthetic dependency on that beautiful green substance.

In hindsight it appears we were not the only people who felt our small bit of Los Angeles could be kept green and, indeed, we buried our heads in the sand and clung to our nostalgic memories and to the hope that this would be the case.

Sadly,that is not the case so, after giving up the sprinklers which resulted in our “lawn” turning brown it seemed the time was right to embrace a deeper meaning of green.  Martin was still in denial hoping that some temporary solution could be found but eventually he conceded the dead lawn had to go.

The result is that we have decided to rip out the ugly brown grass and replace it with an orderly variety of succulents, paving stones and decomposed granite. With that as our goal we have photographed the old garden and will keep you posted as we move forward.

Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

Photo by Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles, Ca  90016

Photo by Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles, Ca 90016

Not exactly the lush green landscape you expect from a home located in southern California.  But we have high hopes that the new plan will be just as beautiful in its own unique way.  Photos to follow.

You can view our entire collection of architectural hardware at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles CA  90016

323 939 5929

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2 newly discovered wineries in Paso Robles California

Iris is not the only one in our family who enjoys visits to Paso Robles. We are fortunate to have close friends in this area but on our most recent trip we decided to play tourist and give our friends a break from our company.

When you travel it can sometimes be difficult to find a really informative website that covers topics like where to stay, the best restaurants, hiking trails and other activities, but PasoRoblesWineries.net is just such a website. It is easy to navigate, is comprehensive and, better still, can be used on your smart phone, allowing you to make those spur of the moment changes.  And, personally speaking, it allows me to deal with a husband who says he does not like to plan holidays but still expects them to be hassle free and fun!  They also have a great blog where I was pleased to discover a recent post about wineries that welcomed dogs, making it possible to visit with Iris.

Here are a few highlights from our long weekend that may help you find places to sample and purchase wine, all the while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings.

  1. A visit to Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden. Not only is ones palate stimulated but so is ones imagination. As you may know Martin is ,in his “spare” time, pursuing his sculpting and is currently casting 2 large stag beetles that we will be sharing with you soon.  Therefore, we were thrilled to discover this artful winery located in the eastern portion of Paso Robles which is an area we are just beginning to appreciate. Some of the bronze sculptures were created by sculptor John Jagger and their scale and movement is quite awe-inspiring.
  1. Lone Madrone is also a great winery to visit and is located in the bucolic landscape on the west Adelaida side of Paso Robles. The winery is run by a fellow ex-patriat Neil Collins who, over the last few years, has  brought his heritage and his fondness for cider to fruition with his  Blackbeard Cider.  True to its roots it is a hard cider with plenty of flavor but also a little buzz to it.

To view our beautifully detailed Grapevine series of bespoke hardware for your next wine cellar or winery project, as well as our entire collection of architectural hardware, visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90016

323 939 5929

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