This iPad Render Shows Why a Bezel-Free Tablet Would Be Incredible

Apple may be about to drastically redesign the iPad. A rendering circulating on Thursday showed how the company’s tablet would look with slimmer bezels, no home button and no notch for a camera. The image was quickly dismissed as a fake photoshopped from an existing case image, but the design shows why a bezel-free iPad wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Evan Blass, a Twitter leaker well-known in smartphone circles, shared an image that showed the iPad without the design elements present since its 2010 launch. It’s not too surprising, as rumors have suggested Apple would bring the Face ID unlock system from the iPhone X to its iPad line, a change that allowed Apple to ditch the home button on its flagship smartphone. Leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer later spotted the image was a fake, but it provides an interesting insight into how the tablet could look with the rumored changes.

iPad rendering.
iPad rendering.

Apple has managed radical changes to its iPad before. When it launched the iPad Mini in October 2012, it used thinner bezels on the sides compared to the previous uniform shape used in the original iPads. This made it easier to hold in one hand, but gripping like a magazine suddenly led to the thumb resting on the touchscreen. Apple modified the iOS software to identify and reject these accidental inputs, a feature touted by the company’s marketing literature as “a great example of how Apple hardware and software work together.”

Removing the unnecessary elements of the iPad’s bezel would help achieve a dream company co-founder Steve Jobs outlined way back in 1983. In a Center for Design Innovation interview, he described “an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes.” This sub-$1,000 book would use radio links to talk to bigger computers. An iPad that devoted as much space to on-screen content as possible would help perfect that dream book.

The company is set to hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where it’s rumored to reveal its changes to the iPad line. Before then, Apple is holding an education-focused conference on March 27, where there’s also a possibility it announces a new iPad.

The iPad may be fake, but the underlying dream of a single, portable slab that displays content without any distractions lives on.

You’ve read that, now watch this: “Supercut Shows 10 Years of Apple Execs Thanking Each Other On Stage”

Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body, Part III: Dreaming and Loving Through Poetry and the Body

THE FOLLOWING IS one of six pieces by former Emerging Poets fellows at Poets House in New York City. Each of the pieces engages with the Poetry Coalition’s 2018 initiative, “Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body.” Poets House invited the fellows to select five items from the House’s 70,000-volume library that address the theme of the body, and to write a paragraph or two on each of these items.


When I think of poetry and the body, I immediately think of the body’s place in memory and what the body echoes and leaves behind. It leaves behind physical objects for an anthropologist to discover and it echoes various life experiences filled with joy, love, and pain. When you add dreams and what the body wishes to obtain, poetry arrives; the body becomes more than the physical, it embodies history, it personifies, it acts with its own agency, and limitations become irrelevant. I’ve picked a poetry collection and four poems where the reader lives through multiple experiences of the body and is better for it.

Body of Life by Elizabeth Alexander

This collection evokes bodies full of action, movement, and dreams. The black body is central, explored through the lives of historical figures and events, and through an autobiographical lens. In the poem “The Josephine Baker Museum,” the figure of Baker projects desire, and wonders if the public would ever want to see her real “nappy” body without the adornments and flash. In “Passage,” the slave Henry Porter ships his own body to freedom in “a box in the jostling heat, nostrils to a board pried to a vent / […] there was nothing to do but sleep and dream and weep.” Here, the author blends lyric and empathy as Henry repeats his wife and child’s name, and his own wishes for the future. This empathy for the body continues in the second half of the book. In the poem “In the Small Rooms,” a 10-year-old female body is abused, and you learn that the knowledge embedded in her silence relates to other little girls’ abuse. But this body grows and continues on to experience joy and love in a relationship with another in “L.A. by Night,” whose couple is “speed and light, flame / and fingers; all night.” The intimacy of these life moments jumps off the page, and by the book’s end you are firmly invested in the journey.

“I Am New York City” by Jayne Cortez

The line “look at my pelvis blushing” immediately draws the eye, and torques the poem on its ear. This follows a female speaker with her “legs apart hand on chin / war on the roof,” almost daring the city skyline. The poem can be found in Cortez’s book Coagulations where the poet personifies New York as a female body, and presents a love letter to the iconic symbols that represent the city, such as pigeons, police, and the “star spangled banner of hot dogs.” But the poem also marries such lore to a female body that is complex, confident, and strong; with tobacco teeth from smoking, plaited ovaries, a “marquee of false nipples” from the sideshows. The poem challenges the reader to approach it “through my widow’s peak / through my split ends my / asthmatic laugh,” its seven stanzas without punctuation giving each line the speed and agency of a city that never sleeps.

“I Am Now My Own Grandmother” by Nikki Giovanni

From the collection Acolytes, where memory of the body is explored and represented by the adornments left behind, Giovanni’s poem operates as an evolving list where the speaker gradually unveils life experiences through handkerchiefs, snuff boxes, white gloves, diamond rings, and “[t]hat Scofield Bible with the leather almost showing the human / oils of the hands that held it.” Through language, a type of anthropology is discovered. The reader can imagine family recipes and tradition with “photographs with faces but no names … friends … lovers / maybe … that one a wedding.” Giovanni’s use of the ellipsis and white space opens the poem to suggest multiple memories and a body well lived. The reader also gets a sense of time passing as we learn of Paris, lipstick, and face powder that gradually turns into medicinal rubs like “Vicks … McGawans Rubbing Lotion” for an aging body. By the end of the poem there’s a realization that the speaker is old and has turned into their own grandmother, but the regret doesn’t feel permanent because the items in the room depict a life that’s varied and present.

“Sixteen Years” by Ruth Ellen Kocher

In Kocher’s poem, time also plays a factor but is represented by a couple and the intimacy of their bodies together. From One Girl Babylon, the poem opens with “the silence in this room is not our sex sighing / but comfort in forgetting it, / losing it between the sheets, / reading the postcards it sends from distant places,” pulling the reader into an immediacy that is both quiet and vibrant, as if that moment contains years of dreams and wishes. As the poem progresses, the physicality of sorrow is expressed with the weight of expectations, what ifs, and the “child that wasn’t,” as if their bodies have betrayed them. But in these expectations their bodies become a solid unit that travels together, shakes off the day-to-day, and loves with papayas and the sun until it’s carefree and innocent, reminding us of Adam and Eve in the lush garden of Eden. The speaker never says the partner’s name and you only know of them in terms of the body’s experiences, but you nevertheless experience the “heavy moment / of return, of twisted limbs / and the largeness of us” as if we’re invited guests to a private bedroom. 

“Anodyne” by Yusef Komunyakaa

From the collection Thieves of Paradise, the poem serves as a love letter to the Self, and connects the body to lore and nature. And with the lines “I love my crooked feet / shaped by vanity & work,” and “I love the lips, / salt & honeycomb on the tongue,” the Black body becomes an object of joy and appreciation. The poem operates as an unfurling, and each body part and organ is praised. The interpretation of how the brain holds plans and secrets and the hair protects the skin from bad weather is literal and functional, but this is balanced with an imaginative and distinct connection to the natural world of “fish & water hyacinth” and an ancestral history to West Africa. Komunyakaa also gives consciousness and aspiration to what the body contains with “the liver’s ten kinds of desire / & the kidney’s lust for sugar,” as if the biologic function is a side product of the organ’s ambition. By the poem’s end, you also commend the body and ardently believe the speaker when he says, “I was born / to wear out at least / one hundred angels.”


What’s Passed Down In The Making

Sometimes I smile just like
my mother,
as if the skin and gums
remember the day I was born,
between thick thighs and
southern jasmine.
I arrived as a red-throated
ant hill, just as busy.
And maybe the moon
was in my half-blind eyes
but I felt what was handed down —
darkling skin luminous
grandmother’s brass comb, its
teeth well-used,
veins of an ancient path
stumbles into prayers to put me
on the side of right,
and the galloping heart
of a jukebox.
But what did my mother dream?
When she knew how much hunger
the dark could contain,
how close we are
to mindsets behind
plantation born juleps.
She saw a girl surrounded
by words and light,
holding the body’s stove
close like girls are taught.
Hands teaching
the art of pepper oil,
feet striding a ground
bursting with fire
lip tulips.


Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, African American Review, Callaloo, Kweli Journal, Muzzle Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

California Pool & Landscape Creates First Backyard Design App

PHOENIX, March 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — California Pools & Landscape, a leader in backyard design, developed and launched a free backyard design app to help homeowners create an ideal outdoor space. This app launch is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. The new mobile app will allow homeowners to select specific features of exceptional outdoor living areas and have them recreated into a homeowner’s backyards.

California Pools & Landscape created this app to simplify the design process and offer resources and information on creating an outdoor living and landscape design. The feature-rich app offers galleries of outdoor spaces and features available. Scroll through several high-resolution images to choose favorited features. Once selections are made, the app compiles them onto a “Dreambooks.” The app allows the customer to create several “Dreambooks.” The app also allows the customer to upload photos of the outdoor space the customer currently has. Once completed, the customer can request a quote directly from the app. The app offers resources for financing the project and selecting a designer. The personal designer will access the customers Dreambooks, sort through the personally saved images, and based on the property’s specs, create a digital 3-D virtual tour of the dream backyard. State-of-the-art software delivers an interactive experience that allows the customer to virtually walk around their property, simulating the completed project. ­­

“We built the dream book to help people build their dream yards and make the ultimate backyard more accessible. We’ve spent an incredible amount of time and resources to create this app and hope people find real value in making the process of building pool and landscape projects easier and more fun,” Jeremy Smith, CEO & President.

About California Pools & Landscape – Arizona
California Pools & Landscape is family owned and operated in Arizona for over 30 years that started as a small home business in 1988 and has expanded to be one to the top pool and landscape builders in the nation. They are the only pool and landscape company to be awarded the Better Business Bureau’s International Torch Award of Ethics. With over 26,000 pools build, they have zero ROC complaints as well as an A+ Accredited rating with the BBB. Being nationally recognized for their outdoor design capabilities is quite an honor but their top award is always a thrilled customer. For more information about California Pools & Landscape please visit our website or call (480) 345-0005.

Media Contact:
Nicole Shoppach
Senior Manager
California Pools & Landscape
[email protected]

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A Beijing Bookstore Where George Washington Is on the Shelves

A large image of Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher and freethinker, stands out among a galaxy of literary posters lining the wall of the entry staircase, a taste of what’s to come.

“China is not a liberal society, it’s not a free country,” Mr. Liu said, sitting in a quiet corner of the Thinkers Cafe, a mellow hangout within the store that meanders along a side corridor to a small back room furnished with antique Chinese furniture.

“But the bookstore is a way to express our longing for freedom and our hope for the establishment of a free society,” he said.


The Thinkers Cafe, a mellow hangout within the store.

Bryan Denton for The New York Times

A new patron would be forgiven for believing the owner had a lively sense of irony. One of the first books to catch the eye on the front table is an 11th edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order.”

The book is a recent hot seller. That is not because members of the Communist Party want to introduce parliamentary procedures written by a 19th-century American Army major to their gatherings. Chinese executives and entrepreneurs buy the volume for business reasons: to learn how to conduct a product conference, or manage a sales convention, Mr. Liu said.

A guide to running a democratic legislature, “How Parliament Works,” by an early 20th-century Canadian politician, Robert Rogers, is also on the front table.

“This is more politically sensitive,” Mr. Liu said. “Unfortunately, it is not as popular as Roberts.”

All Sages has the feel of a well-ordered, smaller version of the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan, though judging from the photos on the walls, Mr. Liu prefers comparisons with the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco and Shakespeare & Company in Paris. Three cats — sometimes tiptoeing over the books on the tables — add some charm.

A People’s Liberation Army veteran is in charge of the floor; he keeps displays in meticulous order and the wood floor noticeably clean. A few canvas bags and T-shirts with snappy slogans are for sale near the front desk, but the focus is on the books. The coffee in the cafe is not for lingering over.

A banner in English under the cash register reads, “I cannot live without books.” A copy of the Declaration of Independence hangs by the front door.

The clientele seems to be as varied as the books. The store is strategically located, within walking distance of China’s premier university campus, but people from all over the country drop by.

On a recent weekend, a manager of a chemical company in the southern city of Shenzhen pushed a trolley full of books to the cashier for dispatch home by air courier. High-ranking military officers, party officials, rich society figures and celebrity entrepreneurs are all customers.


The books in All Sages are all in Chinese. That makes the selection dependent not only on the owner’s broad-ranging tastes, but on the Chinese publishing houses.

Bryan Denton for The New York Times

“It’s a secret what they buy,” Mr. Liu said. “But take a look at the books, and you will see.”

The books in All Sages are all in Chinese. That makes the selection dependent not only on Mr. Liu’s broad-ranging tastes, but on the Chinese publishing houses.

They, in turn, are subject to the Communist Party censors who control what is published by Chinese authors and foreign writers translated into Chinese.

The censorship is not a precise art, but it is a constant presence. Internal party guidelines on what is prohibited are passed from the propaganda apparatus to the bosses of the publishing houses, sometimes on a daily basis. They are never made public. Nor is any list of banned books.

Some basic rules prevail, Mr. Liu said. The first motivation of the censors is protection of the Communist Party. “Anything that explains the Communist Party as a threat is a red line,” he said.

This leads to some striking choices. Books about the Soviet Union’s labor camps are banned, but accounts of the Nazi concentration camps are tolerated. Histories of Castro’s rule in Cuba are not translated much; Cuba’s medical system compared too favorably with China’s overcrowded hospitals.

With about 600 large, state-run publishing houses and 3,000 smaller publishers attached to government agencies, some titles that annoy the government sometimes slip through the net. Publishers tend to be liberals and lovers of literature, and some of them want to publish good books. Some push the parameters.

So in an exception to the rule against maligning a Communist Party, one of Mr. Liu’s favorites, Arthur Koestler’s novel “Darkness at Noon,” about the Soviet gulag, was available in China for many years.

It was last published in 2006, however, and now appears to be banned. Secondhand editions of Koestler’s classic are available online for $50. The original price: $1.50.


A copy of the Declaration of Independence hangs by the front door.

Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Among the steady sellers at All Sages are books on American history and biographies of the early presidents — Washington and Jefferson in particular — and of Benjamin Franklin. The interest in America’s founding fathers is tied up with a thirst to know how America became a democratic and global power, Mr. Liu said.

Recent political books about presidential election campaigns do not appeal much to his clientele, Mr. Liu said. He said he would read Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” due out in Chinese soon, before stocking it.

Two standbys for Western liberals — Hannah Arendt’s “The Origins of Totalitarianism” and George Washington’s Farewell Address, which outlines his argument for term limits — have always sold well.

In the last several two weeks, both works circulated on the Chinese internet, in a quiet protest against Mr. Xi’s decision to scrap the Chinese Constitution’s two-term limit for presidents. Most likely, the censors never read what Washington had to say, Mr. Liu said.

Weekends are the busiest time at the store, and on a recent Saturday the narrow aisles were packed, especially around the nonfiction shelves. Fiction is not the store’s strength.

There is plenty of Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro but no Joan Didion. Books on feminism merit only two shelves, a function of slow demand.

In the philosophy section, Sue Ping, 29, a Tsinghua University M.B.A. student dressed in a white sweater, jeans and a black beret, was searching for Plato’s “The Republic.” “For me, it’s paradise,” Ms. Ping said of the store. “I buy online but I come because I like the atmosphere. It’s very open, you feel welcome.”

A few shelves away, Daisy Fu, 45, a primary school science teacher, who came with her husband on their motorbike, was deciding whether to buy a book about North Korea. “A bookstore is a symbol of culture, we need it,” she said. “Even though I don’t come often, it’s important to know I can come and walk among the books.”

One book that Mr. Liu knows he will never be able to stock stands out. Works critical of Mao Zedong are automatically banned, and a sensational memoir, “A Life of Chairman Mao” by Li Zhisui, Mao’s personal doctor of many years, is considered a particular abomination. The book describes Mao as a tyrannical personality with a fiendish sexual appetite and appalling personal hygiene who suffered from a motor neuron disease in his last years.

“There is literally no way to get this book in China,” Mr. Liu said. “Just imagine if I put two copies on the shelves. The minimum punishment would be a fine of $3,000. The medium-level punishment would be shutting down the bookstore. And the most extreme would be the bookstore owner jailed for three to five years.”

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You can buy your American Dream from someone else

The American Dream has many components, but to me, the big three are: liberty, business ownership, and home ownership. The order is intentional.

1.      Liberty is prime because it makes the other two possible. Freedom is from God, but liberty is a contract we give to each other.

2.      Business ownership in America has produced more self-determination than any other force in history, including from all of the associated jobs.

3.      Homeownership is available to all Americans who’ve claimed one of those jobs. 

As much as the latter two are part of our liberty, business ownership is the most challenging.  Blasingame’s 1st Law of Small Business states: “It’s easy to start a small business, but it’s not easy to operate and grow one.”

That paradox manifests in full measure when the entrepreneurial sap starts rising in the bark of a prospective business owner who decides to start from scratch. It’s a natural process to envision your new business and then set about creating it out of whole cloth. But that natural urge must be tempered with this rude truth: Someone else has probably already created something that looks a whole lot like what you’re thinking about creating. Consider these points before you become a startup.

Think of your local marketplace as a Honda Civic that you want to ride in. But unfortunately, it turns out that there are five really big guys already crammed in there. If you’ve ever ridden on the console, that’s what it feels like to add a new business to a marketplace. I’m not saying it can’t be done—I did it. But it’s a rough and dangerous ride, because the console doesn’t have a seat belt or an airbag.

Now let’s say instead of squeezing yourself into that rough ride, you convince one of those five big guys to sell his seat. In the marketplace, that seat represents an existing location, a known brand, phone numbers, website, vendor relationships, experienced staff, and most importantly, customers and cash flow. Those last two represent your seat belt and air bags. With this plan, your first day as a business owner won’t be the first one for your business.

The biggest lament for every small business dreamer is, “How do I get the capital to fund my new company?”Indeed, most startups begin with precious little capital and a plan to bootstrap their way to success. But if you’re willing to buy your dream “off the shelf” instead of starting it from whole cloth, here’s some really good news: Almost all small business sales involve some seller financing. The acquisition is made by combining new owner capital, some level of seller financing, and likely some bank debt.

So when you’re talking to that big guy about selling his seat, be prepared to discuss how the two of you can be creative in developing a multi-year payment plan. You’ll get terms you can afford and the seller can maximize his/her price. If real estate is involved, don’t buy it at first – lease it to reduce the upfront capital commitment. And before you convince yourself that the price tag of an existing business is too high, calculate the cost of failure of the one you tried to squeeze into your marketplace. 

Finally, here’s a website I recommend to start your business buying – or selling – education:

Write this on a rock … 

Part of your American Dream might be the next version of someone else’s.

Jim Blasingame is the author of the award-winning book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance, and host of the Small Business Advocate Show. [email protected].

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The Universe Is Basically a Hippie’s Pipe Dream

Vandana Singh knows the universe is strange—she’s a physics professor. She’s also a science fiction author who uses the knowledge gleaned from her day job to write stories as bizarre as the universe itself.

“I have a one-line ad for a modern physics course I teach which is that ‘The universe is much more like a hippie’s pipe dream than it is like an accountant’s ledger,’” Singh says in Episode 299 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And that’s really true, I think. It’s just so incredibly strange.”

Fourteen of her stories are collected in the new book Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories, including “Peripeteia,” in which a young woman becomes convinced that the universe is a constantly-shifting ad hoc illusion created by aliens.

“She’s thinking about this idea that perhaps the world is not finished, the universe is not finished,” Singh says. “So the more you observe, and the more consistent your theory is, the more reality will mold or mutate to be that way. Which is, of course, a crazy idea, but I wanted to explore this crazy idea in the story.”

Another mind-warping story is “Lifepod,” in which aliens worship a sentient being they call “The Hidden One,” which may be the galaxy itself. “We tend to imagine alien beings that are about our scale, and yet alien beings can be very small or much larger,” Singh says. “And I wanted to go to the other end, I wanted to imagine an alien being who was galaxy-sized.”

Singh was inspired to write science fiction by her mentor Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away last month. Like Le Guin, Singh believes that stretching the imagination is vital for building a better future.

“The imagination can be—if we cultivate it—it can be the size of the universe, or maybe larger,” Singh says. “Imagination is probably one of the most—if not the most—precious of human faculties.”

Listen to the complete interview with Vandana Singh in Episode 299 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Vandana Singh on the SPACE Act of 2015:

“None of this—humanity venturing out into space—is happening with any kind of discussion, and debate, and inclusiveness from the other countries of the world—and also people of different classes—it’s not happening in a democratic fashion. We are letting billionaire technocrats who are out of touch with the realities of the world decide humanity’s future. … Perhaps if we can develop other models where we don’t need to mine—or mine as much—maybe we will not need to go to the asteroids or the moon to mine, maybe we can figure out a way to live with the resources we have, and then in that case going out into space becomes much more interesting, because then you’re going for reasons that have to do with wonder, and curiosity, and for scientific reasons, and so on.”

Vandana Singh on her story “A Handful of Rice”:

“There are stories in ancient India of sages who managed to live 5,000 years, or 2,000 years or whatever. So I wanted to imagine, how would that be possible? Well if somebody could control the prana flow, and of course the sages are supposed to do that—the process of doing yoga and meditation and all that controls the prana flow—but what if somebody could control not only the prana flow within their bodies—or the bodies of others, if you’re a healer trying to help them heal—but control and perhaps exploit the mahaprana itself, the cosmic energy flows. So the emperor in the story, who is a friend and a wanderer and a maverick—a somewhat crazy character—is one who reaches that level of being able to control mahaprana, and that was my extension, my magical extension, of the existing ayurvedic theory.”

Vandana Singh on her story “Sailing the Antarsa”:

“As we speak there are uncountable neutrinos passing through our bodies, and through the Earth. So in a similar sense I imagine this conceptual ‘antarsa’ current that flows throughout the universe, and so you have these conveyer belts throughout the universe, and that some forms of matter, like the kind of matter we’re made of—which we know is actually not like most of the matter in the universe, it’s actually a very small fraction of the matter in the universe—that our kind of matter is transparent to the antarsa, so we don’t sense it, it just flows right through us and through ordinary matter on this planet. But what if there was a kind of matter—and I call that ‘altmatter’ in the story—that was opaque to the antarsa current? And that’s the technology of the spacecraft that is used by my protagonist, Mayha, as she embarks on this lonely journey.”

Vandana Singh on Ursula K. Le Guin:

“Ursula Le Guin is the reason why I started writing science fiction for the world instead of just scribbling things for myself, and I also was one of the many writers that she took an interest in, and I think of her as a mentor. I actually spent six days in the Oregon wilderness at a workshop with her, so she’s really been an inspiration both personally and otherwise. She was definitely an inspiration for me to realize that cultures matter, that science fiction isn’t only about thinking about alternate technologies or science concepts and so on, but it’s also about re-fashioning or re-imagining our futures, and the way we live. Imagining, for instance, what if things weren’t this way? And that can be a really revolutionary question.”

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Monique Gibson’s New York City Home Is a Live-Work Dream

Monique Gibson is the queen of creature comforts—who else pours takeout coffee into proper ceramic cups when a visitor comes calling at her historic Italianate townhouse in Manhattan’s East Village? There’s a spread of food on the dining table, and she says in a down-home Virginia twang, “Let me know if you want Champagne; we keep stocks of it.”

Easygoing in effect but exacting in execution, this attention to detail is just a taste of the treatment Gibson, an AD100 interior designer, lavishes on her loyal clients—a list that includes Jon Bon Jovi, Meg Ryan, Elton John, and Jon Stewart—who book meetings at the four-story brownstone building where she lives and works.

Gibson, wearing a Giambattista Valli dress, in the garden doorway.

“I started with rock stars,” Gibson explains, curled up in a 1920s Erik Gunnar Asplund easy chair. It was John, after all, who gave the fledgling Atlanta-based designer (and her then-partner Fred Dilger) his home in the South of France as their very first project. “I started with unconventional schedules,” she continues. “I’ve been on a lot of tours. A client will say, ‘I’ll pick you up on a plane and we’ll do the presentation in flight.’ ”

Accommodating those jet-setting agendas, in many ways, is what led her to the Manhattan property several years back. As her growing team searched for a larger workplace, her office manager pointed out one of those unbelievable truths of New York City real estate: “We could have a whole house for what an office costs.” Gibson was already practically living at work—her insane travel schedule having reduced her beloved apartment in the nearby Police Building to a veritable luggage check—so she decided to try something new: combine the two. She’d live on the top two floors and work (alongside her team of five) on the lower levels.

“Next weekend there’s a client who can only meet on Sunday at 8 p.m.,” Gibson explains. “So I’ll bring in a chef, set everything up, and do the meeting right here. Clients love it because they can sit on a sofa and say, ‘This isn’t deep enough.’ They can have their own chairs brought in.” Pointing to a lava-stone side table by Stéphane Parmentier, she adds, “This table isn’t mine. It’s going out to a client in a few days.”

Like so many New York City residents, Gibson hails from parts beyond. Raised in the Appalachian coal-mining town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, she grew up as “the daughter of a coal miner, the granddaughter of a coal miner, and the great-great-granddaughter of a moonshiner who happened to be a woman!” And if that wasn’t memoir fodder enough, the designer’s mother was a dance teacher, and a great-grandmother was Native American.

The garden of Monique Gibson’s Manhattan townhouse.

Gibson remembers playing in the woods as a kid with a snakebite kit strapped to her leg. “When I got tired, I would put my back against a tree because my grandmother told me it would give me energy.” These days, you might spot the designer leaning on the giant sycamore outside her house while she waits for an Uber. “The neighbors must think I’m crazy,” she whispers dramatically.

Her lucky break with Elton John was just that. “Gianni Versace was sending fabric for cushions and drapery, Julian Schnabel made a dining table and a bed, Scott Frances photographed it, and AD published it,” the designer remembers of the whirlwind commission. “Not all projects are like that.”

But the referrals that followed (and the ones after that and after that) were proof of what she could do. Elton John referred Gibson to Jon Bon Jovi as well as his own manager, John Reid, who referred her to musician John Mellencamp, who spread the word to Meg Ryan. She’s done five houses for Mellencamp—including one in South Carolina (AD, March 2014)— and she’s become so close with Bon Jovi after six homes that she spends Thanksgivings with him and his family.

“My life is about having relationships with people who trust me to tell their story,” Gibson says. Her own home proves it, being a sunny, breezy laboratory for the ideas she will present or has presented to her clients. A flock of birds—a study for a mural in an upstate New York house—whips up the stairwell.

At the foot of those stairs, a daring wheat-paste image of a woman covers one wall. “This is for a client in France,” Gibson explains. “He has a chapel on the property but is not particularly religious. I thought street art would be interesting, so I commissioned the artist Swoon to create what I call modern Madonnas.” After seeing the wheat-paste example at Gibson’s place, the client was sold.

It’s a living canvas,” she says of her home. “Sometimes things come in and go out very quickly.

There are a few things Gibson has held on to through the years, however. Among them is the living room’s pair of Hiroshi Asada paintings, given to her by Elton John and cleverly mounted so they slide open to reveal a television. The room’s Asplund chair is the first piece of furniture she ever bought for herself at auction, and a petite Louis XVI antique once served as her first desk chair. She’s also quite fond of a table by Israeli furnituremaker Gal Gaon. “Sometimes it’s my desk, sometimes it’s my meeting room, sometimes it’s my kitchen table,” she says, though she concludes, “I’m not attached to much; I believe we’re just the temporary keepers of things.”

Gibson doesn’t talk too much about her house or her taste. Rather, she explains, “it’s about wanting you to be comfortable here. I want anyone who comes here to be comfortable.” And welcome. Which explains why, moments later, she asks, “Why don’t you just stay for dinner?”