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The Best Things We Saw Last Month

A fuzzy, ski town-inspired armchair, a tiny California dream home, and an exhibition that amplifies unheard voices.

Ebony G. Patterson; they grow up...). 2016, Collection of Dr. Anita Blanchard and Marty Nesbit, Chicago. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

The Henry Art Gallery’s recently opened show, In Plain Sight, (above) is the first large-scale exhibition curated by the organization’s newly appointed Senior Curator Shamim M. Momin. Featuring fourteen international artists working in a mix of mediums, the museum-wide offerings dive into themes and ideas surrounding individual histories that have been excluded from the larger social fabric due to race, ethnicity, gender, and class. From Ebony G. Patterson’s chaotic, colorful wall tapestries and coffin-inspired installation (celebrations of rituals surrounding death in Jamaican culture, as well as a commemoration of the victims of violent deaths that are often overlooked) to Oscar Tuazon’s architectural work investigating current approaches to water management, each piece delves into untold stories—many of them tragic, all of them important—that make us question who we are, how we relate to one another, and what we can do to help make sure that unheard voices get their chance to speak.

—Rachel Gallaher, senior editor

Photographed by Jonathan Hokklo

In November, New York-based design studio Cold Picnic debuted the Polly Pocket-sized dream house I didn’t know I wanted. Designed to showcase the brand’s new rug collection, Life at the Bottom of the World, Cold Picnic’s cofounders Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer situated miniature versions of their color-splotched rugs in diorama scenes around their Queens apartment. Tucked inside a kitchen cabinet, perched on a bookshelf, and hidden under the bathroom sink, the California dream rooms (fabricated with the help of designer Danya Li) were equipped with tiny dining room tables, bathtubs, and even a makeshift living room sofa reimagined from a velvet glasses case.

—Claire Butwinick, assistant editor

Last month, Corte Madera, California-based luxury home furnishings and accessories retailer RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) unveiled its incredibly chic and curated Ski House concept. The snowy scene-filled Source Book brims with pieces inspired by iconic ski spots around the world, including Aspen, Colorado, Taos, New Mexico, Courchevel, France, and—my favorite—Sun Valley, Idaho. My husband and I just returned from our annual trek to the storied mountain town, in which we tend to hole up for days reading in front of the fire, drinking wine (and attempting to not look at real estate). If we ever did splurge on a vacation home, I’d want to fill it with everything from RH’s Sun Valley-influenced line, including this Yeti Sheepskin Armchair. The fuzzy, low-slung seat is covered in supersoft, long-haired New Zealand sheepskin with a curving solid oak silhouette that’s reminiscent of 1940s Parisian designs. I’ll take two in black, please.

Lauren Mang, digital editor

Image courtesy RH


The Best Things We Saw is a monthly roundup of places, spaces, and things that stopped GRAY staffers in their tracks. Herewith, our picks for the best of the best in November.


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