Is This Dining Room Too Glitzy For Your Tastes?

Our Design Assessment

When we first saw this dining room, designed by Greg Natale for a home in his native Sydney, Australia, we immediately approved. It’s not easy to make those tragically hackneyed Hans Wegner Wishbone Chairs look new, but Mr. Natale has done so by coating them in blue paint, and ranging them around a solid black Restoration Hardware table that’s so imposingly chunky it throws the chairs’ lithe, overfamiliar curves into a lovely contrast. Also playing against the bull of a table: the painterly, cloudlike carpet pattern, a custom-colored version of one of Mr. Natale’s creations for Designer Rugs. Its…

Shots of Adrenaline: The Best Action Cameras for Outdoor Adventurers

ONCE, ONLY TOP-LEVEL sports photographers could snap those epic, snow-spraying, barrel-surfing shots. But with advances in action cameras—small, durable devices designed to capture athletic exploits amid extreme situations—amateurs can record themselves hitting the slopes or riding trails, creating pro-quality footage even if their shooting and sports skills are rather wobbly.

“Is it as easy to use as my smartphone?” asked Michael J. Wolf, co-founder of Activate Inc., a strategy and tech consulting firm. “That’s the standard…

Brandi Carlile Finds Her Voice Again

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash.—Dave Cobb was channel-surfing several years ago when he caught Brandi Carlile on “Austin City Limits” performing “The Story,” a song so triumphant he said it felt like “hearing a classic that you’d never heard before.”

Last year, when he was co-producing Ms. Carlile’s latest studio album, her sixth, he wanted a centerpiece with the same power and emotion as her 2007 single. Two weeks into recording songs in Nashville, he told her he didn’t hear it.

A Ski Resort Where You Must Beware of Missiles

IN MID-JANUARY the week before I arrived at Mount Hermon, Israel’s only ski resort, two storms blanketed the slopes with 6½ feet of fresh, inviting snow. Less inviting: The fact that a missile fired by Iranian soldiers in Syria was shot down over the resort. Located in the Golan Heights, Mount Hermon is part of a lush and rocky landscape that the international community views as occupied Syrian territory. Israel first took control of the land during the 1967 war with its Arab neighbors. By 1971, Israelis had built the first ski lift on Mount Hermon, and today many Israelis regard the territory as an inseparable part…

New Documentaries Spotlight Boundary-Breaking Black Singers

Three new documentaries airing this month explore the lives of black singers who crossed racial barriers on the way to becoming music legends.

Sammy Davis Jr., Sam Cooke and Charley Pride took different approaches to confronting bias and segregation in their respective genres—vaudeville, soul and country music—and had to reconcile their efforts to effect change with their roles as entertainers.

What’s in Those Funny Little Bags NBA Players Carry?

AFTER THE MIAMI Heat drafted Dwyane Wade in 2003, he quickly deduced that the dopp kits his NBA teammates used to cart toiletries into the locker room telegraphed status. “If you had a Louis Vuitton dopp kit you were doing something,” he said. “All the older vets had that.” Then, as now, the French label’s immodest, $700-plus leather wash bags, often splashed with its logo, can rival a children’s shoebox in size. To a rookie guard like Mr. Wade, they practically shouted, “I’ve made it!” Wanting to hold his own in the hierarchy, he soon amassed an arsenal of luxury dopp kits. “You don’t want your toiletry bag to be busted,”…

‘Focus: Dirk Braeckman’ Review: Searching the Darkness for Meaning

Fort Worth, Texas

It turns out that Dirk Braeckman is not my sort of photographer. But the point of the “Focus” series at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is to bring attention to artists who are unknown or under-appreciated, and “Focus: Dirk Braeckman” does that. Although Mr. Braeckman (b. 1958) has had solo exhibitions and participated in group shows in Europe, and represented his native Belgium in the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), this is his first showing in an American museum. It was at the Biennale that Mr. Braeckman…

Intergalactic Blows (and Some Sibling Rivalry) in ‘The Lego Movie 2’

“The Lego Movie” ended with an invasion.

Duplos—the toy maker’s toddler-sized bricks—descend on the animated Lego world created by the boy at the center of the 2014 movie. His sister is the culprit.

Before the film opened, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, its writers and directors, didn’t know if they would have to resolve the conflict. But once…