A Question of Style: you are what you decide to be

I’ve been talking about myself in the negative.  Not negatively mind you.  Just stating what I am not, rather than what I am.  I am not an Interior Designer by trade.  I am not an Architect.  Not a builder.  For the record, I am also not a Paleontologist – in case you were wondering, or a magician, or a Sommelier or any of the dozens of terribly interesting professions that exist-I am not them.  What I am is a writer, and I’ve been thinking how very unimaginative it is of me,  to not just create a title for myself that encapsulates all that I AM.

Left: Sister Parish:  Bolero in Indigo (headboard and roman’s)  Right:  Tillette . T4 Textiles:Burma in Indigo ( window seat cushion)

I am a stylist of sorts.  I am always on the lookout for unusual trinkets, art, and oddities at flea markets, vintage and antique stores, in friends garages, and at garage sales.  Why not, you never know exactly what you will come across that will tell an interesting story.  I’m a story teller.  My friends, I think, would prefer it if my stories were a little a tad shorter.  They appreciate when I use vignettes to tell the tale.   I a picture is worth a thousand words, a vignette tells at least 999.  My ability to pull disparate things together, even before I am able to articulate why they  belong, is a strength.  This artistic eye has served me well.

Top Left and Bottom:  Sister Parish Right:  Tillette T4 . Scattered Dot

I’m a Producer of sorts too, and this perhaps is one of my very strongest skills.  Like a movie producer I am responsible for raising the funds for my construction projects, shaping the vision for the renovation and design, selecting the cast of characters that will allow me to execute the work, procuring all the materials, setting the stage, arranging and directing the photoshoot, providing context and interest to the story, and finally using my contacts to get it published.

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Sister Parish

I live through all of this, which requires me to be incredibly organized, resilient, and tolerant.  As I write this I can picture myself covered in sawdust, digging through boxes to find my winter coat.  An organized girls worst nightmare.  Why do I do it?  The vision  and my competitive nature, supersedes all other talents, and proclivities.  I am tenaciously sticking to my goal, and when I reach ten, and I’ll do it with this title next to my name….Maestro of Curation.

Perfect Picks for People Like You and Like Me

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Zara Home . Golden Sphere Coffee Table $199.

Take three parts obsession, mix with two parts curiosity, and one part spending problem and you’ve found someone – ME –  that finds a lot of things.  Things that I fall for, quickly, like a crush.  I know it’s just as likely to be a passing fancy.  Two primary reasons for that are money, and space.  It’s true that some of those obsessions keep me up at night.  Some find their way into my dreams, and skip along into my waking hours.  These I know will likely not leave me alone until I find a way to make them my own.  Least you think I get whatever I want, I’ve been doggedly hanging onto the idea of the Jean de Merry sea urchin chandelier in wrought iron.  This I spied for the first time in 2007, eleven years ago.  I want it nearly as badly as I wanted it that first time I walked into BG on the 8th Floor of Bergdorf Goodman.

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Zara Home . Rattan Cage Coffee Table. $199.

Sometimes the anticipation is nearly as good as the actual getting of the thing.  Sometimes…but other times I just want it immediately.  This week I came across a few gems I thought I’d share.  First, Zara Home has put out a collection that is really affordable and super cute.  The Golden Sphere Coffee Table, and second the Rattan Cage Coffee Table, both $199.

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Seraphina Velvet Bed . CB2  $1099.

CB2 has a simply angelic, tufted bed called the Seraphina Velvet Bed, in a soft off-white that will send you into pillowy clouds of heavenly sleep.

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Voila Custom Seating . The Wing . NYC.

And last but not least…Voila – a contract design and furniture fabrication shop.  Voila in deed.  If you can imagine it, which I do ALL the time – they can build it for you.  How cool is that.  The Belgian founder, Katrien Van der Schueren first brought her skills procuring and framing prints to the LA in 2008, and later added staging, furniture design, and events to the line-up.  I wonder if she has plans to open on the East Coast?  While I feel entirely worthy of the pieces, the price of shipping these days is a killer.

Some day – until then, I’ll dream a little dream.

Pretty in Pink

 

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The Company Store . Heart Felt . $24.00

I was ridiculed for considering writing about love, and for relating it to one of my very favorite palette’s – PINK.  Ridiculed until I erased all reference to it.  How inconsiderate of me to write about a subject, a feeling that other’s might not have …. but while the aggrieved party isn’t paying any attention, I am in fact going to write about it.  Who doesn’t love the innocent hue that is pale pink, a simple heart, a cheerful pouf, a garland that hangs from an otherwise dull cabinet or lonely hearth.  Who could possibly object to loving things that are lovely?

Left:  CB2 Simone Blush Chair $499.  Right:  Quince Branch

Sometimes I even love things that are not lovely.  I call them “good ugly”, but today’s post is about the truly pretty.  It’s about hearts and flowers in the form of furnishings and fabrics that make me happy, and if love is worth its salt – it will make you happy.

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Cole and Sons . Magnolia Lavender – Lee Jofa

It often starts by shopping in the baby section, it sometimes makes it way into kids.  By Preteen it’s too cool to be represented.  It makes an appearance now and again in the world of adult decor, but is often relegated to a single small space – a powder room, a guest bed, a walk in closet where one dresses.  Why when the color makes me so happy should it be delivered in such small doses?

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The Rug Company . Harrington . From $3740.

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day – almost – so I am going to celebrate this warm in the cheeks hue as if I were a kid again.  Here are some of my happiest petal pink, and blushy brights for you to view.

C2 it!: Stepping out on Ben

I haven’t really entertained trying another paint since – well I think since I was allowed to paint my own place.  That would be March of 2008, and since then I have gone steady with Ben Moore, with whom I carry on about, as if we were young lovers.  Whether I want to see the world through rose colored glasses, or prefer to mimic that particular shade of bordeaux that swirls around in my long stem, on the walls of a cozy study, Ben – ever so loyally has delivered.  He is two coats of perfection.

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Lucious.

So what would make me even consider another?  Well, I love artisans, and Thomas Hill III –C2 Paint Founder and Paint Chemist certainly can be considered one.  As a Marketer and Writer I really lean toward clever written banter, and the use of three’s.  They caught my attention when they penned these lines:

  • Artistry over Automation
  • Quality over Quantity
  • Creativity over Corporate Structure

Isn’t that beautiful?

As much as I like the romance of the written word, if the colors were pasty, flat and uninspiring – that would have been the end of my wandering eye – but they aren’t.  They are beautiful, and while I admit that I enjoy the process of testing paint, my inability to select the right hue first time around, gets rather expensive.  Think of the doe rae me I could save if I availed myself to the 17″ x 24″ samples C2 provides.  Now that’s a chip!

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Inspiring minds want to know…

While durability isn’t top on my list of reasons to buy a paint, of late, I am thinking it should be.  Even if I am handing my beauties over to another, I have been drinking the durability Kool Aid – don’t go looking for a wall or a closet on one of my projects making a splash in Fruit Punch.  That’s NOT going to happen, but I have bared witness to homes that house ruffians.  They are seriously tough on painted surfaces, which made me wonder if C2 could hold its own with a houseful of boys that think they are on the field, the court, the ice, or hunting in the woods, locked and loaded to go.  Yes, there could be something to this durability thing.

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Red is for roses.  Love is all around.

So while I haven’t tried it, I think I just might.  If you’ve branched out, and C2 was a suitor that suited you, or not.  Please do kiss and tell.

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Birds of a feather….gray matter.

Gaining “Clare-ity”: Clare V. and the Collaboration Chain

Yesterday, I posted about Clare V. and her collaboration with The Inside.  Today I want to talk about her collaboration with Wallshoppe, an LA Based on-line wallpaper company.  I’m excited, fascinated, and daunted by all that these young ambitious designers do.  I wonder if they struggle, but eventually reach a tipping point where the opportunities flow, and one need only respond – YES – more than one says no?  Whatever their secret – they are leveraging the heck out of it, and borrowing – or associating – themselves with other like minded designers, to cross promote.

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Clare V. X Wallshoppe . Stipes Onyx . 27″ x 54″ Removable Lengths at $58.

I feel a little like Alice in Wonderland after having fallen down the rabbit hole.  The Everygirl took me to The Inside, the Inside took me to Clare V., Clare V. took me to Wallshoppe, Wallshoppe took me to Laurel + Wolf an Interior Design firm founded by Leura Fine, who is the brainchild behind Wallshoppe.  First she set out to democratize interior design, with her on-line consultancy – need help with a single room?  Multiple rooms, a whole house, and know that you want options – there are three different pricing packages to meet your needs, and designers that match with your style (they help you figure out exactly what that is – by the way), create a floor plan, interact with you about the selections, and they purchase the items you want and have them shipped to your home.  Floor plan in hand, and styling assistance a live chat away, you can be sitting pretty in your professionally designed living room in less than a month.  (Merchandise availability and lead time dependent). No wonder the venture capitalists went gaga for this gig.

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Nate Berkus  X Wallshoppe . Malibu Blue and White

Wallshoppe has done something really smart, a mon avis, as it relates to those more timid souls, afraid of making a mistake, and staring for the next 40 years at a pattern that makes them ask themselves – “what the hell was I thinking”? – They made it in both traditional rolls, and in removable, easy to install, coordinating patterns and colors.  If Farrow and Ball and Schumacher are boardroom and stilettos, Wallshoppe’s collaborations with Nate Berkus and Clare V. are flip flops and a day at the beach, or a walk barefoot in the grass.  They are easy, and cheery, playful, and whimsical, and they make me smile.

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Wallshoppe . Y Not – Pushpop

I do hope that Clare V. will not be offended that I plan to augment her design.  After all, it is inspired by HER design, that is making me want to change the paper.  Let me explain.  She has designed in collaboration – of course – this pale pink on white wallpaper – Liberez Les Sardines.  That’s French for “free the sardines”.  Maybe some of you are catching on to why I like her so much.  While she hails from Minnesota, she worked in France for a TV Station, married a Frenchmen, and her designs – with their signature stripes – are quintessentially – French!

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Clare V. X Wallshoppe . Sardines in Pink.  Just imagine it with that hot pink stripe, gold and green!

So I asked myself – where are those stripes when I want them?  Need them?  They are missing from the Liberez Les Sardines!  And I simply cannot have that, so I will be introducing them to the removable wall covering.  What’s the worst that could happen?  It wrinkles up?  So what – even without my neon pink stripe, my mossy or kelly green ( I haven’t decided yet), and metallic gold, it’s going to look fabulous inside the closet of the pink bedroom on the Cape.  Oh happy day.

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Nathan Turner X WS . Splattered in Watermelon

 

The Inside Scoop: furnishings at swoon worthy prices

It’s not often you swoon over something you can absolutely have, it’s usually things that are, well out of my reach, that make me fall all over myself.  That 12 carat diamond ring that I attempt to convince myself I wouldn’t want for fear of being held at gunpoint, or the shear weight of lugging it around (I’d risk both).  The yacht that sails around the Caribbean with my own personal chef capable of supporting whatever dietary whim strikes my fancy with delectable meals that make me forget there’s any dietary restriction at all.  I could go on and on about the things that make me swoon, but the point of this fainting episode awaits.

The Insider CL Headboard

Camelback Headboard . Blue Buffalo Gingham. Queen $559.

The Inside is the brainchild of  Christiane Lemieux.  I didn’t know of her before I stumbled across her site via The Everygirl who I follow on Instagram.  Instagram is my primary source for new design information, inspiration, and products – not magazines, not the real life designers that I work with and around everyday – Instagram.  Get on it, and start following it.

The Inside . Claire V Settee

Clare V. Sardine Settee. $999.

Christiane is a Parsons grad, which on its own is to be revered.  She is the founder of Dwell Studio which was sold in 2013 to Wayfair.  She is the author of two books:  Undecorate and The Finer Things.  She is the Founder of Cloth & Company a textiles outfit, and now the Founder and CEO of The Inside, a furniture line – that in her words is: “designed . Created . Made in the USA.  With a mix of colors, patterns, textures, and collaborations – Clare V., Peter Som, and now The EveryGirl – this furnishings line, which is produced using 3D models and digital printing, arrives at your doorstep via UPS in 3 weeks.  It’s custom made for you, and it’s incredibly inexpensive – think dozens of options for under $1000.

The Inside Peter Som Stool

Peter Som . Chinois Bench. $689.

I nearly fell of my sofa and spilled my tea when I saw it.  I’ve come across many inexpensive lines that admittedly held my attention – some old favorites (HomeGoods . Target . West Elm), some new to my resource bandwagon – Urban Outfitters, but The Inside deserves not just a look, but the swipe of a credit card.

The Inside Citrine Stool

The Inside . Citrine Cabana Stripe . $299.

Clare’s cheeky designs will bring a smile to your face.  Peter’s refined and traditional prints will bring sophistication, and the crisp classic neutrals of The Everygirl collaboration, collectively – they leave you with no excuses.  Go ahead.  Add it to your cart.  After all, you don’t need to cart it home.  It will arrive on your doorstep, and your home will thank you.

A final nod to Clare V. because I cannot stand how cute these are.  I simply ADORE them. Left:  Racer Stripe Monogram (put your initials there)  $339.  Right:  Eyes Settee. $1149.

Perfectly on Point: hitting the 2018 trends

I have seen piles of mags broadcasting the likes of … well what I should like this coming year.  That’s basically what a trend is after all, a preordained color, style, material, shape, movement, and/or general mood that the year or season will have.  Who ordains it?  Heck if I know, but I am pleased to report that “statement ceilings”  also known as the “Fifth Wall” made the cut, and am proud to report that I have papered one of mine, and painted another, and not in white either.  A color that will grab your attention.  At least when you look up, which one is bound to do at a point.

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The Fifth Wall . One King’s Lane is like the Diana Vreeland of Interiors.

My Domain says that “Dusty Pink”, aka blush will stay trending, and that textures, curves and swivels – that’s chairs that spin you dizzy, or lull you into a dreamy trancelike state, which allows you to go on a vacation in your mind.  Get one.

dusty pink palette

When I discovered rattan and holiday vibes were also in, I thought…%#@!  I am so on point!  It just so happens that I too, am into rattan.  Who’s copying whom?  It’s hard to say.  Though I suspect that if I don’t get my own list of cutting edge decor for you to follow, I’ll just be in step, instead  of ahead of the curve.  But wait a minute – curves are in too…this is getting complicated.

S & L Fern Bed

Serena and Lily . Avalon Bed . $1798.

With all this trending, and not trending, being clever, and being predictable, staying in step or being so yesterday, I got to wondering when exactly it’s ok to just be you? I’m going to go out on a limb here and admit, unapologetically how much I like the Serena and Lily.  Not just a little bit, they don’t pay me or anything to say I like them, but their designs are so fresh, clean, coastal, and humblingly expensive.  At least for me.  The good news is that so many important designers have used their furnishings that they have gotten a little old – even though they are absolutely new and super cool, and if Serena and Lily were reading this and told me I could furnish my entire house for free with S & L pieces, I would totally say yes, and probably faint.

Urban Outfitters Rattan Bed

Urban Outfitters . Marie Woven Winsor Platform Bed . $898.

I don’t actually think that is likely to happen, so you can imagine my delight when I spotted a rattan bed from Urban Outfitters that’s half the price!  I am so getting it.  They also have a coordinating storage cabinet that made me whisper…”where have you been all my life”.  Even though I know they have been around for a really long time.

Urban Outfitters Amoire

Urban Outfitters . Marte Storage Cabinet. $729.