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Sex and a Hot Shower

This past weekend I flew to Cleveland to drop my kids at my parents house for their winter break. I hadn’t been there in about six months which is awhile for me. It’s important for me to go as often as I can to see my Grandma Fanny who’s 98, still looks great, and, as they say, remains sharp as a tack.

Grandma Fanny is my dad’s mom–she’s Italian, likes to tell jokes, used to cut hair professionally out of her basement, and taught me and my sisters how to make pasta from scratch.

My maternal grandma was Grandma Barbara, who died around 10 years ago. Grandma B. was Jewish, just over five feet tall, ran a produce business for most of her life, and talked about writing a book called “The Two Best Things in Life: Sex and a Hot Shower.”

Both of my grandmas are big influences on me. They’re both warm and fun-loving as well as industrious and go-getting professional women. My grandma Barbara had a very direct impact on my design aesthetic and on Double R Design. She was bold and flashy and, in her later years, she travelled the world and collected furniture. Some of that furniture is in my home, some is in my parents’, and some is in the homes of my siblings. The center table in my studio was my grandma’s–it’s a bronze sculptural French brass dining table featuring a pair of enormous ram’s heads, attributed to Alain Chervet.

My Grandma Barbara’s and Grandpa Marvin’s house had nude portraits and statues that adorned the walls. There was metallic foil wallpaper in the bathroom. Their aesthetic was a mix of low profile modern leather sofas, a carved elephant tusk on the piano, and a bar hidden behind a mirror that opened with a remote control. My grandpa kept a basket of Playboy magazines next to the fireplace. We refinished the two leather MidCentury chairs below that were in his office.

When we would visit their house my mother would tell us to yell that we were coming just in case my grandparents were in the nude. My grandpa would grill hamburgers wearing only his speedo and a shark tooth necklace. Bronze statues and fountains were abundant in the backyard and we would stand next to them pretending they were real people. They had a toy poodle named Coco and used to paint her nails lipstick red. Below I’m wearing one of Grandma B.’s dresses at Field+Supply.

As Double R Design continues to evolve I’m often reflecting on how my Grandma approached her life. She had a desire to break boundaries in a way that was uncommon in the 50’s and even the 80’s. Madonna recently spoke at the Grammy’s when she was presenting an award to Kim Petras and Sam Smith. What she said stuck with me, “If they call you shocking, scandalous, troublesome, problematic, provocative or dangerous, you are defnitely onto something.” Below I’m wearing one of my favorite sweaters of hers with oversized embroidered puff sleeves.

Grandma Barbara was definitely onto something. Writing this post has me thinking of how I can take more risks and have more fun.

© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846


© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846