Setting Plaster

Robert A. M. Stern’s Offices . One Park Avenue . NYC

If you think I am going to provide you with a lesson on how to set plaster – you have another thing coming. While I love a beautifully plastered wall, and believe in the fundamentals of a clean space within which to work, I happily leave the execution of that up to the experts. It’s actually the name of a paint color – a showstopper – a mon avis, but the name leaves a lot to be desired. Farrow and Ball could stand to learn from Essie’s in the naming prowess. There Rallings, Down Pipe, and Stiff Key Blue could go from marbles in the mouth to the amuse bouche (a little happy for your mouth ūüôā ) of a Touch of Sugar, Reign Check, or Tiers of Joy, but that’s neither here nor there. A rose by any other name and all that. I will not be dissuaded from my new found adoration of this hue.

One Park Avenue. NYC is the I’ve arrived of all addresses. Originally designed by York and Sawyer, it is home to Robert A. M. Stern Architects. I announced to the Receptionist, in the most uncouth way, that I needed to be shown to my room, I was moving in. Naturally she looked a bit confused, and was decidedly too polite to point out that the Ritz Carlton was down the street. After clearing up my actual reason for being there, I had a tour of this amazing space. From their lighting collection to their carpeting, hardware, tile, urns, and the recent addition of benches and bike racks for their institutional clients, RAMSA leaves nothing to chance. They are my kind of people, even if they don’t know it.

THE Office.

I joked to my colleague, that you could safely say that you were in the big leagues when you were dealing with folks that laugh at the idea of an 8″ base. This seemed to be to be excessive when I was considering it for my modest condo project two months ago. I would have happily settled for 6″ – ha. RAMSA outfitted their lobby with a base that was conservatively 21″ tall, and let me assure you, not only does it work, but I briefly considered ripping out mine and replacing it, and my paint is barely dry.

Model citizens – getting the scale right.

Ah to be in the vicinity of greatness. As I make my way quickly and efficiently through the city today, making decision after decision to accent my new space, and dare to dream, transform it into something that I like…I am ever hopeful, that some of their magic rubbed off onto me.

Towering Heights.

Shine

As I wondered through the shops in Chatham today, with only a thinly veiled guise in toe, my hunt for thank you notes, I was struck by the number of people that so openly proclaim they can get this, or that, for so much cheaper at Home Goods. While it’s undeniably true, that many wonderful things can be purchased there, show some respect folks. It’s hard being a store owner, and think how genuinely nice it is to stroll local shops in town – any town.

So I bought my cards and picture frames, and a belated birthday gift for my little 3 year old friend who will forgive my tardiness. Isn’t that one of the very best things about being 3? Time is fluid. Forgiveness is given freely, and joy is unabashed. Oh I can’t wait for her to get her fairy garland.

Now that I have supported the local shops, I can tell you with an open conscience that Target has come out with another line of lighting that BEAUTIFUL. It trails behind another HGTV hit hostess and is so crazy affordable, I am tempted to buy far more than I need and squirrel it away for a rainy day. Leanne Ford and her Project 62 line will have those that lust over Serena & Lily, Rejuvenation, or even West Elm’s more economical lines – well lining up to load their shopping cart. And wait you better because Target says it’s a limited edition.

While most the Restored by one Ford Collection is pendants, and floor lamps, if you are in the market for table lamps, head to Home Goods this weekend. They are having an enormous sale on lamps, rugs, and more, and the stores are packed with product. This girl spotted a few John Adler knock-offs, a couple of mid-century modern globe lights, a couple of Ralph Lauren ginger jar blue and white beauties, and many more, you are sure to find a desk top, bedside, or sideboard or console table lamp to brighten your home.

Cinco de Color Selection: No. 5

Getting ahead of things helps keep me from falling behind.¬† That’s why I start planning the color palette long before I have my place on the market.¬† In this case, No. 4 is scheduled to land just after Labor Day.¬† Interested?¬† Very little inventory on the market, and mine is a honey of a property….a good things come in small packages kind of surprise.

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Makes sense to me….Homesense furnishings and accessories.

I feel like the halfway point demands a grand gesture, a dramatic statement, a wild moment at the very least.¬† I believe in milestone celebrations.¬† My yoga coach is always talking about living in the moment, enjoying the journey – well if I live until I am 100, I am literally living in the middle of the moment of my life, and my quest.¬† Maybe I should have fireworks.¬† Enormous balloons?¬† A Pony, or perhaps a zebra.¬† I’ve always felt most strongly that graphic prints are the very best statements in a home, so a zebra seems fitting.¬† I doubt my budget will allow for any of that, though I am confident I could come up with all of the aforementioned items and the party would be FABULOUS.

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My favorite color….gray!

Staying focused can be a drag sometimes, but planning the direction of No. 5 is not, so let’s get on with it.¬† I was sitting next to one of my industry colleagues the other day at a board meeting (I’m in the corporate real estate industry and my colleague is in charge of real estate for TJX Companies – they own Home Goods, Homesense, Marshalls and more).¬† I got to chatting with Chris about designing one of my flips using only items I purchased at Home Goods.¬† Such is my obsession with that place.

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I’ll take the screens, the garden stools, that lamp and the pillows!

Could it really be done?¬† Could it really be done by me?¬† I love an outrageous idea like this, that might attract the attention of the media.¬† I like being on camera, and one day, might just have my own show. Who knows, the American appetite for design is insatiable.¬† Lord knows I’ve done other equally outrageous things to get published, not the least of which include spending more money on a yard of fabric than some people pay for summer camp for a kid.¬† That decision isn’t likely to be forgotten, at least until I pay off my credit card.¬† When will I learn?

HS 4

Color coordination makes me happy.

This route could save me thousands upon thousands of dollars.  I can also attest to genuinely loving what they have to offer.  I buy a massive quantity of goods Рwhich make my home decidedly better than good!

My go to list of items include:

  • garden tables
  • lamps
  • bed clothes
  • knock-off accessories
  • rugs
  • pillows

They do one of two things, fade into the background ( I mean that in the best possible way), or they wow on their own.¬† Now it is true that my go-to approach is to mix HG items with pricier brand name pieces.¬† It always feels really good when people comment on the assemblage of items, singling out an HG find, but could I do a whole home?¬† Their furnishings aren’t among their strongest offerings, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bed in any of the stores.

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Ah, but they do have them, and it’s lovely.

Home Sense on the other hand has expanded offerings, and just recently open in Braintree, MA.  I can stop on my way from Boston to the Cape.  More concepts to come.  Please do weigh in.

 

Sail Into Summer: Decorator’s Pop Up Sale

CC Fabrics Sale

Nautical Accents galore!

Having successfully finished the design of The Manse, and completed the photo shoot last weekend – cue empty feeling. ¬†I find myself with some free time – time, by the way, I have been begging for, and now, I’m not at all sure I want it. ¬†As I write this I can hear my sister saying “don’t you go filling up that blank space with another activity”. ¬†I believe she excluded learning Portuguese, buying any more real estate, or ripping the deck off my boyfriend’s house. ¬†What a buzz kill – I mean concerned sister.

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Pillows:  Custom Designer, nautical and every day:  change up your design with a few easy accents.

When I completed the project, I found that I was surrounded by a number of beautiful pieces that either didn’t end up working in the home – think massing, style, placement, and a number that were just plain wrong, even though in another setting they would be nothing but RIGHT.

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who doesn’t need a little end table to place your cocktail on?

That got me thinking. ¬†Here I am, storing and moving, and shuffling, and loaning, all these carefully curated – hold it – not everything is carefully, thoughtfully curated – some things simply steal my heart and scream “take me with you”, and so I do. ¬†While I have loved these things, used many of them (gently) it is time to find them permanent homes, where they will be loved and cherished, for longer than the shutter speed of the flashy camera, that my brilliant photographer wields.

 

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A little bar, a side table, a book shelf – use your imagination – it’s beautiful.

So, together with my best friend – who has a penchant for collecting (with France being a favorite spot), and an incredibly talented, and dear friend that is an Interior Designer on Cape Cod, ¬†we have mined the depths of our closets, storage units, barns, back offices, and shops and are bringing together an incredibly eclectic, carefully curated (this time it’s true, I promise) collection of furniture, art, pillows, lighting, accents, nautical knick knacks and more, that are bound to delight, and shine light on your interiors.

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Mid-Century Nautical – look at that in-lay detail….summer breeze.

Saturday:  8:30am Р3pm

Sunday:  9am Рnoon

Cape Cod Fabrics/Helen Baker Design. 94 Rt. 28 West Harwich, MA

We’ll have Ros√© – so there’s really no way you shouldn’t be there. ¬†Cash or Venmo.

 

Setting the Table

Red 2

Turkish Oushak . RH Home . Woodstock . VT.

I have looked at so many chairs they are all starting to look alike. ¬†I fell in love with two tables – a very reasonably priced Ballard Design Trestle table, and a mid-range Dovetail Campbell table, which I was surprised wasn’t more expensive. ¬†Why you ask? ¬†The answer is simple – I was born with silver spoon taste. ¬†It’s legs are turned, and have a beautiful curve, it’s finish rustic. ¬†The combination is refined without being prissy, coastal without being kitsch.

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Ballard Design . Tatum Trestle Table . $1099.

That’s the trick. ¬†Being suggestive without being overt. ¬†That’s why I have spent so much time looking, looking again, second guessing, and finally making my selections. ¬†Trust me when I tell you – mistakes will still be made. ¬†It’s the nature of the process. ¬†Some will be easy fixes, some will cost a disgusting amount of money to fix. ¬†Ouch. ¬†Those, however, are the ones I will never make again.

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Dovetail . Campbell Dining Table . $1362.50

After all that searching, I landed on chairs from the most unlikely of places. ¬†Will I consider them a mistake. ¬†Time will tell. ¬†I chose a version of the Windsor Chair in a dirty blue. ¬†High backed – arm chairs that will sit at the head of the table. ¬†Side chairs are going to be a simple Parsons curved back chair from IKEA. ¬†Yup. ¬† In the end, frame plus slip cover is just $129. a piece. ¬†The will be used most frequently. ¬†Everyone likes to sit in the “kitchen” – since the dining room is open to that tiny, but incredibly sweet, u-shaped kitchen, I know that is where people will hang out.

Red Ticking

Tick Tock . Perfect accent to play off the gray.

I am going with a Cirque Pendant by Louis Poulsen.  The colors are muted Рnot the bright primaries you would normally think of for a seaside seeing, but the strips scream nautical and French.  What more could I want?

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Cirque . Louis Poulsen . $314.15

I imagine a red and white ticking stripe napkin, with a gray matte, metallic charger, and a rough hune string, tied loosely around the cloth. ¬†Maybe a sprig of thyme or rosemary tucked into it for effect. ¬†At the center of the table I would have one of Jill Rosenwald’s vases or platters. ¬†Her pottery is perfect. ¬†I might even go for one of her leafier patterns. ¬†Dare to go wild.

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Jill Rosenwald Pottery . South End 

Piece by piece.  Bit by bit.  It is beginning to come together.

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Jill Rosenwald Pottery . South End .

Happy weekend.

That Girl: Keeping it from coming undone

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Decisions . Decisions.

My brother-in-law refers to me as “The Girl”. ¬†You know, the help that’s hired to make things happen, the one in the background, who has no name. ¬†That’s me. ¬†I know I am someone that can get things done. I’ve always been a doer, a producer. ¬†Nonetheless I prefer to be thought of more as “That Girl”, rather than “The Girl”. ¬†Marlo Thomas was so quirky and cute and like Mary Tyler Moore, she was making it on her own. ¬†True one lived in NYC and the other in Minneapolis, and I live in Boston, but still….I’m going to make this thing happen on my own.

Cut 2

Laying it all out helps to pick a balance of high and low.

This thing of course is The Manse, and like the middle of any good TV show it looks more like disaster is about to strike than it’s ready for the flash bulbs to start popping, but I’m confident. ¬†Sort of…Oh I have a million decisions to make still. ¬†Bed sets to buy. ¬†Dining chairs, lounge chairs, desk chairs, occasional, and every day. ¬†I’ve got furniture to paint, miles to go before I sleep.

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“Chair”ish this time because once you’ve bought it, there’s no going back.

If money were no object. ¬†I wonder if I would have no creativity at all. ¬†It’s a possibility. ¬†Not to worry, right now, I am being forced to get seriously creative, because I have spent WAY too much, and here I thought I was doing well. ¬†By that I mean, maintaining a budget that I never wrote down, but had a rough idea in my mind I was willing to spend. No – that ship has sailed, so now my living room looks like a grade school art project. ¬†All the surfaces are covered with cut outs of furniture, lighting, linens, and all the items I need to complete this place before 28 April.

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Struggling with the right mix of coastal and comfortable.

That Girl will pull it together, and she’ll do it in style. ¬†You just keep the faith.

Hedging Your Bet: Versatile bedding that travels

In the summertime I basically live out of a suitcase. ¬†Granted, it’s a very pretty suitcase with it’s silky, poppy bow tie interior, a la a Kate Spade and Steamline collaboration, but it’s still a suitcase that sits in the doorway of my second bedroom awaiting its next destination. ¬†For me, it’s no problem. ¬†My life in sawdust has me living out of suitcases even when it’s not summer. ¬†I am acclimated to the versatility that is required to make oneself at home, whether it’s your home or not.

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Hedgehogs Portable Mattresses . $375.

I wish I could say that I adapt to my varied sleeping conditions with as much nonchalance as I do the traveling part of my existence, but never having been a great sleeper, I like my bed, its pillows, my sheets, the blankets, and all the other accoutrements that lend themselves to a restful sleep, or at the very least give you something beautiful to look at as you lie awake.

TBed1

Lyford Seersucker Throwbed . green

Cue French obsession. ¬†I have long admired the French’s interesting custom of placing what appears to be a version of a featherbed, on top of the fitted sheet, and calling it done. ¬†Very practical when making the bed in the morning, but not quite enough for me. ¬†Since I love a coverlet, with all it’s smooth sleekness, I want that, and a top sheet so I can stick my toe in the corner when it wants to shake all the energy that’s still hopping around inside of me – out. ¬†There is something so relaxed and elegant all at the same time about this floating cozy cloud that sits atop all the other bedding that I fell hard for.

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Metallic Throwbed in Mt Blanc

Low and behold, didn’t I just spy these beauties in one of my favorite South End stores – Willey Boston. ¬†Now they are not French – they are produced here in the US – LA specifically, and I love the fact that Beatta Henrichs Lieb started making them out of her garage – Hedgehouse was born….and later having her very good friend and ex-MTV Executive join the company to support its growth. ¬†Though they don’t say it, I have a sneaking suspicion that they are in fact influenced by this French custom.

TBED2

Toulouse Throbbed in Red.

The concept of a portable mattress that you can take anywhere, and lay your head down in comfort and style is brilliant. ¬†I don’t just want one, I want a half dozen. ¬†They will be perfect in The Manse. ¬†Jo-Jo will make me buy them myself, but it’ll be worth it. ¬†Sometimes knowing what your heart desires is more than half the battle.

Sleep tight this Sunday night.