07 December, 2009

"Mrs. Madrigal, in the Living Room . . . "

Dining by Design - JR Studio, Joel Robare

Greetings all,

I had the great pleasure of attending the "Table Hop and Taste" for Dining by Design a few weeks back with my good friend Mark Newman - and one of our clear favourites of the evening was the delightfully clever work of Joel Robare of JR Studio inspired by Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City." Having worked on Dining by Design the last several years - I'm well aware of the strict limitations of the project. Firstly, one has a tiny space in which to host 10 people for dinner. And one has about a day and a half to get the entire project installed - and ready to be seen. No, wait. Those are really the ONLY limitations. Outside of that - it's amazing to see a festival of creative minds running wild with ideas.

I can still remember the first time I read Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City," when I moved here to San Francisco in the late 80's. It's practically required reading for all new residents. The story revolves around the lives of a small group of San Franciscans in the 1970's and both 'pokes fun' and 'illuminates' life in our fair city during that evocative time. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a good hearty read over the holidays.

Here's some great shots of Joel's table (photography by Stephanie Penn) along with Joel's thoughts about his table and its inspiration . . .

JR Studio's Dining by Design concept for Hartle Media's 7x7 and California Home + Design magazines blended San Francisco legend with a fusion of design styles to create its "High Victorian" vignette. Inspired by Armistead Maupin's classic 'Tales of the City.'

"We created a living room evoking the bohemian chic of Anna Madrigal, the book's main character. Furnishings and decor were a passionate mix of Victorian antiques, courtesy of Coup D'Etat, mixed with decor and color story influenced by the 1970's."

"To further accent the literary theme, a column of books was created by SF based installation artist Wendy Earl. Her book tower was created one piece at a time over the course of 14 hours."

"In lieu of flowers, tea cups from Jacqueline Cambata's Shangri-la collection were filled with "magic" mushrooms and a platter of rolled white chocolate joints filled with marijuana colored sponge cake were created as if they were placed by Anna herself. The "sweet smokes" were created by Cake Works and provided the perfect ending to the gala evening's dinner."

And here's the evening 'in action' with a great interview with Joel by Sarah Lynch of California Home+Design Magazine . . . .



Fabulous Finds Gal said...

How fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

Fabulous Finds Gal

Anonymous said...

PItch perfect for Mrs. Madrigal. The book column is truly inspired... love the printed fabrics, too. Especially the paisley pillows. These photos are worth the click to see them in full detail.

Looks like it was a wonderful night!

Annie said...

The book column is fabulous! What a gorgeous dining space - can't believe it was thrown together that fast!

Joel Robare, JR Studio Design said...

Scot, Thank you so much for this review! We had a great time with the event. We will be posting a new video on the creation of the table on www.jrstudiodesign.com. You will really love seeing how this came together. You know there were many many hands...

A few memorable statistics:

- 3 1/2 months of planning took place to create this singular setting that was assembled in only 1 1/2 days.

- 27 vendors assisted in the final installation, and we could not have done it without them.

- Our sponsors at 7x7.com and chdmag.com were very brave to allow us free reign on this lovely project.

tartanscot said...


So glad you were pleased with the post!

See you soon,

katiedid said...

So fun to see! I was sorry to have missed it, so thanks for the recap! :)

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

Great post! Love Joel's work and adore Tales of the City. I first read it whilst on vacation in Turkey in the late 80s. Made me fall in love with San Francisco and my dream came true - having moved here from London in 1997!

The Blasphemous Fiendess said...

I love it but I can't help thinking that the book column must be hard to dust.

bill said...

I immediately thought THERE SHOULD BE JOINTS AT EACH PLACE SETTING - and I guess there were - kinda - how great! LOVE all those books!

kanishk said...

The book column is truly inspired... love the printed fabrics too.

Wagyu Steaks

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