East End Family Compound

by John Ike

The medical injunction “first do no harm” can be as useful to architects as it is to doctors. In the case of this renovation and extension of a 1980s shingled Dutch gambrel residence on eastern Long Island, I believe it helped get us the job, as we were the first architects who didn’t recommend tearing the place down.... Read More

01/26/17

A House in the Catskills

by John Ike

I like limitations. When an old house sets the tone and you're forced to respond, magic can happen.  Such was the case with this Catskills renovation, but really much more addition.  Where do the old and new meet? See if you can figure it out. Massive stacked bluestone piers support the roof of the porch... Read More

10/11/16

Have a Seat

by John Ike

There is no shortage of chairs in which to sit down in our office.  Robed Buddhist, meditating in yoga position, thinks of a chair. New Yorker Cartoon by Larry HatWhile the office standard is the Knoll Aeron chair, Tom, Joel and I all have Eames.  That is sort of the beginning.Our large conference room has Brno ch... Read More

09/21/16

Yawn: Getting into bed with Italian Modern Design

by John Ike

 Although Italians are well known for their ability to live stylish lives, drive stylish cars and wear stylish clothes, they are no slackers when it comes to sleep.  Find below a few of our favorite Italian Designers and the beds they've designed:Luciano Frigerio Frigerio was born in 1928 in Desio, Italy. &nb... Read More

07/07/16

Stopover in Helsinki

by John Ike

I bookended my trip to Japan with stopovers in Helsinki. Helsinki feels like everybody is on Ecstasy - between the midnight sun and the idyllic weather the entire city is transformed - you can't help but bask in it. Here are some of the architectural highlights from masters such as Eliel Saarinen and Alvar Aalto, ... Read More

06/09/16

Living in a Lautner

by John Ike

It’s not often that you get to really test drive a piece of architecture by one of the masters.  Such was the case a few weeks ago as I caught the tail end of the Palm Springs Modernism show.  Darren Bradley, a friend and architectural photographer from San Diego was speaking at the show, and he recommended ... Read More

03/03/16

Latest Find: Chihuly Pendletons

by John Ike

I was lucky enough to be invited to dinner at my San Diego friends Marie Tartar and Steve Eilenberg. Steve and Marie are accomplished radiologists, but their true passion is travel which they document as strikingly gifted photographers (which you can see on their website Aperture Photo Arts).  This renaissanc... Read More

01/28/16

Modern Paradise: Honolulu's Mid-century Architecture

by John Ike

While in San Diego earlier this month, I dropped by Tiki Oasis, a weekend-long celebration of Tiki culture - which was kind of like a Comic Con for the over fifty set. My friend, the talented architectural photographer Darren Bradley, was speaking on Honolulu’s modern architecture.His talk was one of an oddball assortm... Read More

08/26/15

Smooth Move: Tadelakt Plaster for Today

by John Ike

In our practice at Ike Kligerman Barkley, we reference historical traditions while incorporating them into modern designs. This is at the heart of what I love about architecture and design, the ability to call on the past in a way that feels fresh and contemporary. I’ve recently become intrigued by the possibilities of... Read More

07/24/15

Love is in the Air

by John Ike

In the ongoing saga of my San Diego house I’m finally in the fun stage. I’m working with Dave Hampton, a native San Diegan, who is incredibly knowledgeable about twentieth century San Diego artists and craftspeople, and is helping me acquire things that were created during that period.   Completely ... Read More

07/09/15

The Big Picture

by John Ike

My daughter Sally recently sent me a photo she took with her GoPro, captured while snorkeling with a friend in Hawaii, where she goes to school. The shot was striking. I was again amazed by how much incredible photography is produced by rank photographers on a daily basis. It’s truly a revolution in photography ... Read More

04/24/15

Documenting Architecture for People: Julius Shulman

by John Ike

I recently had my house in San Diego photographed – I’m hoping to rent it out on VRBO (or Behomm, which I just heard about recently) and needed some groovy pictures to show for it. I found a local photographer named Darren Bradley to document it. He’s an architectural photography buff, but does his photo work as a... Read More

02/27/15

Weaving Palmas de Iraka in Colombia

by John Ike

A short while ago, Joe Hakimian, of rug purveyor FJ Hakimian, was traveling in Colombia with a friend. While checking out a Bogota crafts fair, he stumbled across a series of beautiful baskets. They were woven out of Palmas de Iraka, which grow naturally along the banks of the Amazon and other tropical rivers in South ... Read More

01/08/15

No Reservations, Hawaiian Style

by John Ike

Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations may have ended a couple years back, but I like to think I continue the legacy, without the camera crew, limitless budget and group of chef friends. We are similarly passionate about our dining: the man had as much gusto for fine restaurants as he did for the best hole-in-the-wall joint.B... Read More

11/06/14

Fluff N' Stuff

by John Ike

As temperatures start to drop, some minds wander to the sweater season, warm drinks, fires in the hearth. But my mind wanders to cozy furniture. And there’s none cozier than the cuddly, droll designs of sheepskin, fur and fluff that came out in the mid-20th century. In the current Bruun Rasmussen auction there a... Read More

09/25/14

Gone to Seed

by John Ike

As I tune up my San Diego house, the property has gone to seed. In spite of - or perhaps because of - my neglect, many of the existing hardy plants insist on prospering.  Joel's harvestUnlike Joel’s garden out here, which he cares for and chronicles dutifully, mine is at the moment living by its own rules. I took som... Read More

08/21/14

A Hot Tub for the Harbor

by John Ike

Work on my San Diego house is underway. It’s currently in an en plein air state, with all of its framing exposed, but I’m looking forward to the days I can relax, cook, and enjoy the Southern California breeze with a roof above my head. I recently chose the hot tub for the back porch. It will have its own small dec... Read More

07/24/14

A Favorite Folly

by John Ike

Folly architecture is derived from the French word for ‘foolish.’ Follies aim to do what the fool was supposed to in royal courts – delight. Follies vary greatly in site, location, form, and décor, but they all value their decorative value a little more than their functional value. They’re fun. Multiple follie... Read More

06/18/14

International Orange

by John Ike

Last weekend, I bought a gallon of paint the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. (Sherwin Williams makes it - they’re the bridge’s official paint supplier.)It’s known as “International Orange,” and it’s a great shade: iconic and attention-grabbing. It falls somewhere between Safety Orange and Fire Engine Red.When p... Read More

04/22/14

Another from the Shoe Box

by John Ike

In the spirit of Joel’s shoe box archive, we blew the dust off a project from twenty years ago, the interior decoration of a grand old house in New Jersey.A ceramic display by Mongiardino.At the time I was enamored with Henri Samuel and Renzo Mongiardino, two icons of the past century. They both were experts at mixing gen... Read More

03/07/14

Art for the Masses

by John Ike

Over the years, Keith York, who runs Modern San Diego, has introduced me to some of his mid-century buds in the region. The community is tight knit, and includes all sorts of artists, artisans, and owners of small companies native to California. It’s a group of people who live "mid-century," surrounded by works from the m... Read More

02/13/14

Nice Bike

by John Ike

I was in San Diego last weekend, preparing for another polar vortex in New York by getting sun while I could.  On Monday, I went to the beach in the morning to see the big surf generated from some distant storm.At Sunset Cliffs, I met a guy named Eric who was riding a moped he built. The design was simple and clea... Read More

01/24/14

The Swedish way: Vackrare vardagsvaror

by John Ike

Several years ago, I was turned on to Swedish furniture from the 1920s by my friend Paul Jackson. He is the owner of Jacksons, a historical design gallery that opened thirty years ago in Stockholm, and three years ago in Berlin.I’ve made several trips to Sweden, and always include a stop in Stockholm, sometimes just to se... Read More

12/17/13

AD 100

by John Ike

We're absolutely honored and thrilled to be included in this year's AD100. Check out the January 2014 issue of Architectural Digest for the full list!... Read More

12/01/13

My Little Grass Shack - Well, Almost

by John Ike

Happiness is: A. Checking out chickens grazing on a vast lawn B. Watching the sun sinking slowly into the Pacific C. Sipping Kona Big Waves with my daughter D. Doing all of the above from the front porch of our adorable 19th century oceanfront cottageYou may have guessed it: D, all of the above. I realized it last week... Read More

11/13/13

A Ponti Pilgrimage

by John Ike

Last week I again found myself out of town; but this trip I was much further from home, and I was much more prepared for my accommodations. I was in Naples (which I loved, from its tiny latterie to the huge, fascist post office) on a Sir John Soane’s Museum trip, but found a moment to steal away to pay homage to the exube... Read More

10/17/13

Mastering the Art of Hotel Booking: Julia Morgan

by John Ike

Even when staying in a city I know well, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants traveler. I've gotten to booking hotels on Hotel Tonight, an app that gets you cheap fares when you book late. In theory, it retains some of the serendipity and spontaneity of traveling. Mostly it just gets you a good deal. When visiting San... Read More

09/19/13

When in Doubt - James Turrell

by John Ike

The other day, Joel Barkley and I were talking about the ins and outs of giving a project presentation. We joked that when you’re at a loss for something to say, just invoke the name “James Turrell.”The artist is everywhere these days: his massive installation at the Guggenheim in New York, his major retrospective at ... Read More

07/24/13

Comfort Food in CA

by John Ike

Work on the West Coast has been bringing me to coastal California. Lately, when flying into the SFO, I find myself skipping a stop in San Francisco and driving right over the Bay Bridge into Oakland, arriving at the door of a soul food mecca just east of the 805. Brown Sugar Kitchen is run by Tanya Holland, a Connectic... Read More

06/19/13

California Dreamin'

by John Ike

The warm weather has finally arrived to the East Coast. Privets are filling out in the Hamptons, gardens on several of our projects are starting to bloom, and the NYC humidity is making its glorious debut just in time for Memorial Day.Courtesy of T Magazine. The mass exodus to the outdoors we all do this time of year h... Read More

05/24/13

Lei Day

by John Ike

It’s May 1st, hence “Lei Day” in the state of Hawaii. Last week, while having dinner in San Diego to celebrate the purchase of my new house in Point Loma, I got to telling brother-sister realtor team Suzanne Drace and Keith York (Modern San Diego) about my youngest daughter’s decision to attend the University of Haw... Read More

05/01/13

Newton Bar

by John Ike

We’re not talking about the cakey cookie with fig filling, but rather the ultra chic Berlin bar named after Helmut Newton, the Berlin born photographer, whose erotic fetishistic black and white fashion photos for Vogue perfectly embody what you expect from Berlin.Last week, while visiting Berlin for the Leaders of Design ... Read More

04/10/13

You Know It's a Great Project When...

by John Ike

… you’re fortunate enough to have a client and a team that’s interested in top quality metal work. We’re working on just such a project with the talented San Francisco design team headed by Jay Jeffers.Top quality metal work starts here, in the Historical Arts and Casting foundry. Right away we identified sever... Read More

03/20/13

Kevin Wegner on New York's Best Kept Secret Garden

by John Ike

This week, good friend Kevin Wegner, Senior Associate Principal at Kohn Pederson Fox, guest blogs about a little garden tucked away on an unexpected island. - John IkeI never cease to be amazed by the number of design savvy New Yorkers I encounter who have absolutely no idea that one of the finest Chinese gardens outsi... Read More

02/27/13

Vacation planning for 2014

by John Ike

It’s been cold the past couple of weeks and next year I want to make sure that I’m out of here. I want to go to Caracas. Although Havana would probably be a more sensible location if I’m looking for a little Latin Socialism mixed with an ample dose of decaying urbanity, there’s an allure to the lawlessness and isola... Read More

01/30/13

Travel is great for inspiration.

by John Ike

Travel is great for inspiration, but movies and books can do the trick as well.  This recent holiday crop of movies was particularly good.  The most visually stunning was the Life of Pi.  Whether or not the movie lived up to the book is debatable, but there is no denying the visual images set a new standard f... Read More

01/09/13

Roland Terry

by John Ike

My current obsession is Roland Terry, Seattle architect and designer.  He trained in a traditional Beaux Arts curriculum at the University of Washington in the 1930s and came of age in the new wave of Modernism sweeping the Northwest in the Forties. The work really resonates with me because of its stylistic diversity a... Read More

11/28/12

Alys Beach

by John Ike

With the devastation of super storm Sandy fresh on everyone’s mind, I can’t help but appreciate the lessons we’ve learned during the small part we’ve played in the design of Alys Beach, a beautiful, yet virtually hurricane proof community built directly on the Emerald Coast of Florida’s panhandle.  The entire... Read More

11/02/12

Other London House Museums

by John Ike

Pardon me while I milk this recent London trip one more time. House museums played a prominent role in this visit.  Tom, Joel and I attended the opening of the Sir John Soane's Museum Conservation Wing funded largely by IKB friends and clients, John and Cynthia Gunn. With a few hours in between festivities, I took time... Read More

10/17/12

Fall Gardens Outside of London

by John Ike

Joel, Tom and I were all in London last week.  Tom will elaborate in his next entry, but while there Tom, Kristin Kligerman and I rented a car and took the long way to Heathrow via the Kent and Sussex, southeast of London to check out a couple of notable gardens.Sissinghurst CastleThis garden is built on the ruins of a... Read More

09/26/12

Patty's Cakes

by John Ike

As Fall approaches our summer interns will be returning to school.  Patty Cassidy, who's been with us four summers, is incredible.  She'll be a great Interior Designer one day, but one of the talents we'll miss most are her cakes.  They're full of wit, humor and are just plain beautiful! Check them out and re... Read More

09/05/12

Modern San Diego

by John Ike

One of my favorite websites is modernsandiego.com.  The site is the brainchild of, Keith York, a native San Diegan, a former television producer, and a serious architectural buff.  The site focuses on Mid Century architecture, and blends basic information and anecdotal stories with scholarship and great period pho... Read More

08/15/12

Way Uptown

by John Ike

My daughter and her boyfriend are planning to return to New York from the West Coast for graduate school at Columbia in the fall, and have begun to search for an apartment. Things are different from when I moved to New York in 1976 to attend Columbia Architecture School. My girlfriend (now wife) and I walked door to door an... Read More

07/25/12

Both Sides of the Bayou

by John Ike

I was in Houston recently for a party hosted by Luxe magazine at the Memorial Drive home of Larry Hokanson, custom carpet czar, and his partner, gifted interior designer Michael Siller.   Two hundred and fifty chit chatting, cocktailing guests basked in Michael’s sumptuous interiors, which grace the cover of Lux... Read More

07/03/12

Jules Wabbes

by John Ike

If you're in SoHo east of Broadway, before you head to Torrisi Italian Specialties at 250 Mulberry to sample their incomparable eggplant parmigiana, check out E.R. Butler Company, the hardware showroom at 55 Prince Street, just east of Lafayette. In addition to their impressive selection of hardware, their windows are curre... Read More

06/13/12

The Blue Gatto

by John Ike

Is there an automotive equivalent to our houses? I’d like to think so.The Gatto story sure sounds familiar.  A multi-year collaboration between enthusiast / owner Bill Grimsley and designer / builder Moal Coachworks to create a totally unique sports car that “bears the influence of great coach builders, but is deri... Read More

05/21/12