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Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Favorite Gas Stations

It's little wonder that Los Angeles has some of the best looking Gas Stations in the country, we are after all, one of the most car centric cities in the world. So I was reading the other day about this new station by Kanner Architects and it was such a fabulous combination of retro style and modern thinking.

I thought I would post two other images too of two of my favorite stations...get your fill!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lobmeyer Chandeliers and Sconces

Lighting is such an important part of any project, and there are always lots of options, but there are a couple of brands that I keep coming back to. One of them is Lobmeyer, an old company that has created some of the most iconic chandeliers of our time. They are responsible for those amazing pieces at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

I used similar ones in this project in a Dining Room in Los Angeles, I think its a great counterpoint to the rustic stone wall. Check out more of their fixtures on their website.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Have to Admit This is Kind of Hot

I am not sure why, but I was browsing through the Pottery Barn Teen website and came across this wall decal. I think it's very cool, I am doing all that I can to resist getting one.

Check it out at PB Teen

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Week Tips!

Since I am celebrating Earth Day all week, I thought I would pass on my favorite (and most simple) ways to be more GREEN at home... Some of these are so easy, you will wonder why you were not doing them already!
1. BYOB: Bring your own bag! I collect cute ones from my favorite eco-friendly stores. Keep them in your trunk so you will never be caught without them at the market.
2. Go Digital: Do you REALLY need to print that email?? Think twice and then decide. If you need directions or an address; instead of writing it down, email or text it to yourself and save a sheet of paper.
3. Buy Green: This week's Target mailer was full of products that are eco-friendly or made from recycled materials. If you are going to buy a product anyway, why not buy the greener version?
4. Unplug: Unplug those chargers! I know it seems convenient to leave them plugged in all of the time, but they are still using energy. Unplug them to reduce your energy consumption, AND your electric bill.
5. Use the China: It only takes a few minutes to wash a plate or pop it in the dishwasher.Next time, skip the paper plates and use that china. Washing dishes with a full load in the dishwasher is more environmentally sound then tossing out paper plates every day.
6. Bottle it up: Show your style with a to-go water bottle and a water filter. I have a bright pink bottle that I fill up from my Brita every morning. The new bottles are so fun, there is no excuse to use and then toss plastic ones that end up in a landfill.

Monday, April 20, 2009

An Art Happening

I have to admit that a lot of contemporary art leaves me a little cold. It seems that in the rush for intellectualism we have a lost a true sense of beauty, that can be so uplifting. So, it was a sense of skepticism that I attended this art happening. Some friends of mine had commissioned a Dutch artist to create a sculpture for their back yard. The premise is that this piece is delivered, then the air is sucked out, creating the art in front of you, simple enough huh?

I have to say it was an incredible moment as this huge metal box started to collapse, and after about 30 min the process was over, and what was left was this beautiful piece that seemed so organic and soft. Really amazing!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

i-Phone App for Book Lovers

I am famous for being hot onto yesterdays bandwagon, so for those of you who are totally tech savvy, you are probably going to be bored by this post, but for the rest of you, I have something you are going to love.

I am forever shopping, whether it be antique stores, swap meets , whatever, and I am constantly coming across books that I want to add to my library, but by the time I get to a pad and pencil, the title is long forgotten. I have tried lots of things, mental notes, cyber notes, but I think I have finally stumbled across an application that really works for me.

Snap Tell, lets you photograph the cover of the book, then using i-Phone magic, directs you straight to a link where you can buy it, or save the search, no typing in titles etc etc, it does it all from the photograph!!! I have tried it on a few books here at home and it's been perfect every time, so if you are like me and love to collect books, its an ideal application.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's Finally Done!

From That to This!! The Pasadena Showcase House finally opens tomorrow and awe are done!!

It was a lot of work as it always is, but boy was it worth it.The room looks great with some fun, unusual aspects that really make it pop. Here are a few things to look for:
  • Cow hide on the ceiling (for acoustic qualities)
  • Antique rug thrown casually over the sofa for a splash of color
  • Layering two rugs on the floor for added visual depth
  • A simple color palette that allows for seasonal change
There are other elements too but you will have to go and check it out for yourself. The showcase is open for a month starting this Sunday. Here is the link for more information: Pasadena Showcase

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thomasville... really?

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this new (sorta-traditional/sorta-funky) Wessex wingback chair by Darryl Carter for Thomasville! Maybe it is the way it seems to reach out and hug you, or maybe it reminds me of Alice in Wonderland fairy tale furniture... i'm not sure, but either way I LOVE IT!
The rest of the collection isn't half bad either (think filler pieces)... check it out.

Finally A CFL We Can Love!

Finally GE has come out with a CFL which looks like a traditional bulb look. I really hate to see those "old fashioned"CFLs in fixtures where you can see the bulb and this is the perfect solution. Save the Planet, Save your Chic Decor!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

HGTV's Top 10

This is total self congratulations, but I am totally excited to see HGTV's Top 10 today. The episode on Outdoor Rooms has two of my rooms featured, and Margaret Russell called me "CHIC"!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Interview of a Color Maven

Recently I saw Kathryn M Ireland speak at Dan Marty Design during the PDC West Week and was really enthralled by her use of color and "found items". I also loved her room at the Greystone Mansion this past year, images of which you can see in Veranda Magazines dedicated issue from this past winter. Not only is she incredibly personable and very funny, as you can see her personal sense of beauty and design has a signature all her own! Here is an interview that I did recently with her:

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started as a designer?

I started designing by chance when years ago Steve Martin came to my house, loved it and asked me to help him find and design a house for him. Other people did the same and offered me to help them with their houses.

I am basically untrained except I took a course in college on textile and design, which btw, the only thing I really learned was which way the warp and weft went. I was the only one to sign up for the class and honestly did so because I was sure the teacher wasn’t going to show up… No such luck!

What is the most unique room you’ve ever designed?

I did a project for director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump etc.) He asked me for a ‘screening crypt.’ For it, among other things, I made a coffin coffee table and when you opened it up it had bright pink satin lining. You can just image Dracula popping out… he would have been very comfortable in there!

What is the most popular decorating style you are asked to design?

Comfortable and casual. My style is English manor meets French country meets Malibu beach.

Do you use a sketchbook, idea notebook, or inspiration board to explore new ideas?

Yes all of those, and also endless amount of photographs from my camera.

Have you ever been stuck in a “creativity rut”? How did you break out of it?

Every now and again, and I go to France and chill. Always works.

Where do you find inspiration for your incredible rooms?

All over the world. Also, where I’ve lived. I was lucky enough as a teenager to live in a Palladium Villa in the Veneto region of Italy. In fact, I’ve lived in everything from a Palladium Villa to a fisherman’s cottage to a cow barn; all inspirational.

What are the most popular colors or palettes you’re seeing this year?

I just concentrate on what I’m doing. I see what I want to see and I want to see color. My life is always full of colors.

What styles do you prefer in your own rooms?

Mixture, eclectic; a mixture of items that I love and have to have. It could be something Gustavian, French Rococo, Chippendale…or a piece of driftwood that I’ve picked up on a beach. If something has an innate quality, a beautiful quality, they all work together.

What room is giving you the biggest decorating challenge right now?

I’ve just been working on a project where we had a garage that we converted into a room. It went through many design planning incarnations; a disco, a gift shop—and now its a meditation room. It evolved after many ideas were considered.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Trip to New Orleans

I was in New Orleans last week at a conference for some of the best Architects and Interior Designers in the country. Called the Design Summit, it gave us some great opportunities to talk about doing business in this economy etc etc. One of the most interesting panel discussions though had to do with architectural preservation and what that means in a city like New Orleans. It really struck me that in a place like the French Quarter, it is less about the architecture and more about the place that that architecture creates, so preservation of the whole area is required to save anything at all.

I also did a quick ride over to see the lower 9th ward as well, that was just devastated. Sadly it remains largely that way still, it was interesting to see some hope though. A few of the homes from Brad Pitts "Make it Right" Foundation are going up, and hopefully will be the beginning of another vibrant community.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Must See Design TV

I am thrilled to announce that we are being featured on a great new series on HGTV. It is called HGTV's Top 10, and each episode features 10 rooms of a particular sort, like Bathrooms, or Libraries, Kitchens etc.

There are lots of great people on here, the first episode, Bathrooms, does not have any of my work, but features work by Andrew Skurman, Nicole Sassaman as well as my personal favorite Vincente Wolf.

The producers were kind enough to select 7 different rooms of mine to feature in the series, so stay tune there are a lot to catch. It is a bit unclear what the regular schedule is, but if you set your TIVO, you can't miss it.

On a side note, it is great to see HGTV embrace some more high end design. These rooms mostly are very, very expensive, but they serve as great inspiration for what quality design is all about.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Coordination Game

Everyone, no matter who, struggles at times with fabric and paint color coordination. Whether it is bad lighting, difficulty perceiving the difference between one color white and another color white or for those of you out there who are just overwhelmed with the choices, Sherwin-Williams and the Robert Allen Group have come to the rescue!

In all Robert Allen/Beacon Hill showrooms they now have handy easy to use color cards with suggested palettes of fabrics and paint colors!

I think that this is a great resource and Robert Allen has the track record of 70 years in the business to prove that their fabrics, trim & hardware!

What a great idea!

Where should they go next?

Jessica Rust Designs needs all bloggers to help! Jessica wants help choosing the next city to be featured on her "Skyline" tea mugs. Everyone who suggests a city will be entered to win a set of their very own darling "Skyline" tea mugs. Just click on the link below and send them your suggestion!

Where should we go next?

Mine was Minneapolis... I just went to visit a friend this year, and loved it there! What was yours...?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My New Favorite Book

I recently received from Amazon, that has quickly become my new favorite book on Interior Design. It is Saladino Villa. It is his new book about how he renovated his current home in Montecito, just outside of Santa Barbara, CA.

What makes this book so special, is not only the work amazing, but Mr. Saladino goes out of his way to explain his motives and the process, including lots of before and after shots, as well as a few architectural drawings.

I think this book is a Master Class in Interior Design. He really lifts the veil on the process, making it possible to see into the mind of one of our greatest living Interior Designers.

This book is a must have!!!