I spend a good deal of my time fantasizing about beautiful objects, exotic places, and different ways of life. I love my life, and find great joy in the make believe. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy travel so very much. To step into another culture, to talk to other people about their lives and paths – fascinating. It’s healthy to imagine, don’t you think?
This weekend of Sales, Sails (I am on an island after all) and Sales, had me troving the internet for steals, and deals. I ask that you keep in mind the relativity of a deal, based on the items I’ve carefully curated, some of which buyers would conduct months, or even years of research before taking the plunge – I might buy on a whim.
CB2 x GOOP. Boucle Chair. $899. (ready for ship October 2018)
Judge away if you will, life can take you in funny directions, if only you are willing to let it.
Fiat Jolly . 1959.
Amazon – by the way – is taking over the world, and while it makes me nervous, I find it AMAZing that they can ship me a home for free. So I’ve decided to stuff my worry down into my toes, and save it to my favorites list. Later today I may just put it into my shopping cart and click send.
If you ever cruise through the design center, in whatever city you live – you’re familiar with the racks and racks of hanging fabric. If you don’t keep up with it, you might have to spend weeks looking through it all, and that many choices can make a gal insane. While going insane for “A” fabric is recommended – going insane over fabric options is not.
Arabesque Poppy . Lilac
The way to avoid this catastrophic breakdown is to visit often, and keep your eyes peeled for the telltale “new” signs that tag the panel samples that are hot off the presses. While I was innocently strolling from my morning meeting, which was conveniently located in the Innovation and Design Center (Boston’s Version of To the Trade), I spotted a whole slew of those signs in one of my favorite design salons – Studio 534.
Hourglass . Turquoise
My heart skipped a beat, and I beat it into that studio freeing my hands of any encumbrances and reverently slipping the through the 8′ panels like a beloved book. Among the many new Galbraith & Paul fabrics, and the Sister Parish designs – impressed with both, my eye caught a serene and happy collection by Betsy Textiles. Who is Betsy I asked myself? I had never come across her before, and my adoration was instant. She represents the colors I adore in this new color collection beautifully. Sometimes with elegant subtlety, sometimes with a whimsy that has you imagining a tea party in the English Countryside with Alice in Wonderland.
Jardin . Pink
Let me assure you I fell right down that rabbit hole, and I didn’t even have to wonder how I’d gotten there. I worked all weekend, selling, and bargaining, and doing my very best to resist the temptation to buy anything at the Decorator’s Pop Up sale for which it was my mission to unload – not restock, and opps, I simply could not get that collection out of my mind. I had my sites on a pair of board room chairs that made there way across the pond from London, and I thought – it’s meant to be. When they didn’t sell, I simply could not let such a fine pair of chair return to the damp, dark barn – so I grabbed them – telling myself I was doing those chairs a service, finding them a home.
Poppy . Cream
Well, I think you probably know the story. The samples are being ordered. I’ll select the fabric and Betsy Speert will be an accessory to the transaction. Betsy, I am not accusing you – I am thanking you.
View from the Marshside . 28 Bridge Street . East Dennis .
It takes a long time to warm up here on Old Cape Cod. There really is no spring, but as we await the arrival of the Easter Bunny the sun is shining, and I continue my quest to outfit my sister’s nest. Wheee.
Waving the Lauren Flag – “naught” bad.
Of course with the entire gang here, my plans for getting things accomplished have been turned on end. I’ll have to work double time in the final weekend to get it all done. My stomach drops as I think about the unthinkable – that it will never be done in time for the shoot. It will be what it is, when the 28th rolls around, and God willing it will be enough.
Schumacher. Old Cape Cod.
I stumbled across a new store on 6A in Brewster, and as its name: Nautique suggests, its chock a block full of nautical furnishings, fabrics, curiosities, custom signage for your home, and screen doors too. I spend hours pouring through the fabrics, because while I love nautical, I don’t love being knocked over the head by it. A nod here and there is enough to remind me of where I am. I’m no Ralph Lauren after all. Anyone that can reinvent themselves going from Lipshitz to Lauren, and creating a dynasty, can without argument do nautical to the nines.
Stove with scallop motif. Stunning.
How I admire his style. At Nautique he is well represented among other designers. This sailboat fabric from Schumacher really pulled at my heartstrings. It feels like its from the 50’s and even though I said no to the overt, I found myself dreaming of this design as a roman or a wonderful sofa or bed pillow. The wood stove with the scallop motif was to die for and I am trying to figure out if we can incorporate one into The Manse and at what cost – oh everything can be done if one has money….
Je deteste the home that looks like it arrived off the truck via the front window of West Elm. No offense West Elm – I love you and own many pieces from your fine store, but please just demand I turn in my paint swatches if I sink so low on the imagination scale that I can’t even mix and match. The thought gives me the decorator hives. That looks like a coral or rouge color bouclé – very unattractive.
Marianne Evennou. So very perfect in that French way. Cool Retro furnishings and toys, tied together with a fresh coat of red paint. Ca Marche.
I revere those that can imagine an entirely different use for some piece of furniture, broken piece of pottery, by-gone appliance, TV Case, or trunk. Instead of proclaiming it junk, they bring the funk – making you ask yourself – Why didn’t I think of that? So simple, so brilliant. They are the trendsetters. The design visionaries. The believers that aren’t afraid to make believe. As far as I am concerned, all that dreaming results in some pretty wondrous things.
I love the nautical charts as wall covering…but it’s been done. Still – done nicely here.
I’ve been thinking so hard about what I could do that would be A. new, B. inexpensive, C. cool and clever of course. Because you can do some things that are different all right, and you can do some things that are cheap. You may even be able to string the first two together, but you are not close to being a design trendsetter unless you are also cool and clever.
An Artful Ladder.
So I’ve been scouring magazines, and books, blog posts, and open houses to see what I could see, that made me see things in a new way – if you know what I mean. I don’t want to just be a copy cat – though I content that I never mind when somebody copies me. I’m pretty good at closet design, but I want to come out of the closet and see if my talents can stand elsewhere. Only time – and The Manse will tell. I don’t think my efforts will earn me a letter grade, and I am certain there will be no extra credit that will tip me into the honorable mention category. It’s going to be pass or fail, and I suspect the failure rate for a bunch of junk that you try to make look cool is pretty hight.
HGTV Gets creative with a desk turned nightstand.
I’m banking on some high gloss paint, and some beautiful rosewood shelving to turn an old ice chest into a linen closet outside the main bath. I did’t take the heavy doors with their substantial door latches. I thought I might hang pretty curtains in their place instead. If it’s a “fail”, I won’t have invested too much into the piece, and it is just the right size for the nook it needs to snuggle into.
So – Paint and new cushions which soften the patina of age, are going to play a big role in the pieces that populate this space. Here’s to hoping it’s cool.
I would take a sable under the tree, that would most definitely please me. A duplex and checks – I’ll take it with two decks, and with a majority share in Tyvek, because what the heck, I wasn’t born yesterday. Santa Baby, hurry down the chimney to me. Eartha Kitt and Henri René sang this timeless classic for the first time in NYC in the summer, ironically, of 1953. Her timeless crooning in her low sultry voice makes her requests for a platinum mine, a 1954 convertible light blue, and a ring – not on the phone – totally acceptable, and somehow, feasible.
It got me to thinking about what my own outrageous list might include, and decided I should put it out there – just in case Santa was curious. After all, I’ve been an awfully good girl. Santa Baby – slip the deed to a two bedroom condo at the Lucas under my tree.
I’ll take an Areostream for all my “Glamping” adventures. An Eclipse 550 because commercial airline travel is …. disrespectful! I’ll take a Goyard Travel Trunk too – in blue, because you simply can’t land on the tarmac with duffle bag in toe.
Everyone knows I love Wearstler. She uses color combinations and geometric patterns that have me swooning. Add chocolate to the mix and I’m catapulted into a divinely unhealthy infatuation. Comparte – located at 912 S. Barrington Ave. Los Angeles is a jewel box of a chocolate shop.
Oceany greens, petina’ed coppers, marble greys – all accented by the colorful pastel, papered chocolate bars, and brass lighting and shelves. The grey marble, which lines the shelving nooks and spills out onto the floor like an accent carpet takes on an almost violet hue when paired with the green palette. The stores narrow footprint, and high ceilings feel La La Land magical – a tiny anteroom to a Versailles Palace. Instead of tea, prepare yourself for the frozen hot chocolate station.
It’s the prettiest palette I’ve set my peepers on in a while. Wouldn’t I love my next condo to feature this combo. Grey marble always makes me feel grounded. I breathe a little easier when it’s part of my scheme, the other swirls of paint are the watery jewel tones of my seaside dreams.
The display behind the receiving desk is a geometric sculpture inspired by Louise Nevelson. Born Leah Berlawsky in 1899, Louise and her family left Russia to start a new life in Maine. Louise found her way to NYC where she attended high school, and later The Art Students League she became known for her monumental, monochromatic wooden sculptures. Today she is considered one of the most important figures in 20th century American sculpture. Wearstler’s signature geometric patterns are not only a wonderful owed to Nevileson, but showcase her knowledge and appreciation of those that have contributed to our artistic heritage.
The last few weeks of summer always have me out of sorts. I’m still longing for a lazy day on the beach with a good book, a glass of rose in the afternoon on the deck, an outdoor shower before dinner…throw in a yoga class, repeat, replay, it doesn’t get old for me.
Chairish . Closer $1450.
I do love fall, but I am not ready for the traffic, the school buses, and normally I can get very excited about fall fashion, but I am trying to refrain from spending my hard earned dollars on a fantastically outrageous pair of high fashion pants, that I would likely wear twice, have absolutely no room for weight gain or loss, and would be wildly out of style the following year. Can you say $1400. down the drain? I’m trying to, but what I hear is, come get me, you’ll be the envy of the IIDA Fashion Show. Oh lord, sometimes I am too much to handle.
Chairish . Passionate Heart $810.
So I am turning a blind eye to the fabulous fashions that are racked and waiting, and am in need of some inspiration. ART and NATURE. I find that they gently tug me through tough political and economic climates, bad break-ups, low moments in construction when the project seems as if it will never come to an end, and I’ll be covered in dust forever!
Etsy . Carl Thomas Gallery . Beginnings $400.
Of course you can go to a gallery and see some amazing masters, but I like to scroll through the pages on Etsy, and Chairish. There are so many unknown artists that have incredible talent. So much of what Etsy has to offer is incredibly affordable too. Like the names given to nail polish I find it fascinating and illuminating to read the titles of paintings. They open my imagination to so much more than the image alone and allow me to craft a story – make it my own.
Etsy . Make Believe . $150.
One of my favorite paintings I loved before I knew the title, but when I learned it was called: Time After Doubt, I fell in love with it. I have collected a lot of art while on this flipping adventure of mine. My most recent acquisition was the inspiration for the color palette in No. 4, and is prominently displayed in the living room. I adore it, and expect it will make a reappearence before I reach No. 10, but it is Time After Doubt that once published, you will see in every single flip – all ten chapters of My Life in Sawdust.
Etsy . Landscape No. 8 $89.
To finding a little inspiration in this time in-between.
Even though this French expression suggests the sudden striking of emotion – a thunderbolt of love – I struck anew by its power, every time I visit Paris. Wednesday I get to sneak away in the night and awake in the warm embrace of the City of Lights.
Marche aux Puce . Paris
It’s been three years since my last visit. I’ve been warned by my friends and family NOT to visit Marche aux Puce again. For those of you that have just started following, this is the flee market at which I purchased the infamous Italian, Mid-Century-Modern, Chandelier. There were a number of indignities associated with this purchase, not the least of which was the fact that the vendor sent me a chandelier – but not the chandelier that I bought when I was at the market. It was close, but a little worse for the wear. I paid a fortune to have it rewired, have my ceiling reinforced, and hung, not once, but three times. A story for another day.
I submit here in advance my apologies to all – I will be going to Marche aux, and I make no promises that I won’t return with another monumental light fixture. What fun would a trip to Paris be without the dream of a magical find at the market? A trip that I wouldn’t be interested in taking – that’s the kind.
I’ll be staying in the 1st – which I haven’t stayed in before. I’ve stayed in the 3rd, the 6th, 7th and 8th. I love La Belle Juliette in the 8th Arrondissement, on Rue Cherche Midi, but I like to try new things, and the hot, hip boutique style hotels that have been popping up in the 1st caught my attention. Hotel Therese is where I will be for my super fast 3 day trip.
1948 Couture Dior . need I say more?
Here’s what I plan to do because its what I love almost more than anything else…eat, drink, and shop – for clothing and furnishing, fixtures, and materials. Les Arts Decoratifshas an exhibit, that for me, is a must see. The House of Dior opened its doors 70 years ago – that’s 1947, I know because my company, Elaine Construction is also celebrating its 70th anniversary. How cool is that. Over 300 couture dresses are on display, so it goes without saying – I have purchased the tickets to this exhibit already.
Foundation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry is an architectural wonder. It has been on my list, and this trip I will get to see it in person. The texture and the light, pattern, and materials are amazing sources of inspiration and awe for me. I can’t wait to see this building, and by the way, I hear the exhibits aren’t bad either.
I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Happy Saturday.
Design is a high point in my day. I’m inspired by beautiful settings. It’s always a bit surprising to me when people aren’t. And there are people that are NOT inspired by beautiful settings. It’s as if they can’t see it at all. They are foreigners to me. I recently had to take a personality test. It said I liked aesthetically pleasing work environments. This doesn’t shock any that knows me. Though if you were to take a gander at the state that my office is often in, you might wonder. A story for another time.
High Point, South Carolina is a place I’ve never been and were it not for the International Interiors Market that takes place there twice annually, I probably would never have known of it’s existence. More than 100 countries are represented, more than 75,000 people attend to peruse 1.5M Square feet of show space. I get dizzy just thinking about it. It occurred to me that it could be this cold that seems to have lasted 3 months, and has a tenacity that is getting the better of me. Silly right? It’s definitely the idea of having access to so many amazing designers, products and furnishings all in one place. I’d just load up on cough medicine and Red Bull, and be on my way.
Made Good . Area Chair
Though I wasn’t able to attend, and I am currently on a buying hiatus – also a story for another time. I have been watching Instagram blow up with jaw dropping photos of all the new finds, and lines that the showcase had to offer.
Maggie Cruz Home . maggiecruzdesign.com Habanera Console and Cleo Stool
I feel a pang that has nothing to do with the cold, and everything to do with jealousy. I’m consoling myself with the reality that so many of the offerings are never going to be in my budget, and that’s ok. They can still provide inspiration, and that is just what they have done. I hope that you feel the same way.
SHO Modern Verge Pendant Shomodern.com
Take a look. Next showcase is in October in the event High Point is destined to become….well the “high point” of your Fall.
It seems like plastic and luxury couldn’t possibly be synonymous, but I can assure you there is something so gorgeous about well done lucite. I’ve written before about the “clear” advantages – pun intended, of using lucite in small apartment spaces. It creates an expansiveness. To be able to see through a chair or table to the other side of a room, which in reality is just a few short feet away, without question makes one’s nest feel a little grander.
LuxHoldups . Etsy . Swoon Worthy
When well executed it looks like cut Crystal, which always makes me think of diamonds, and fresh cut roses, and tall, dark, and handsome men that adore me. All very Hollywood 50’s glamour. So with that stage set, it should come as no surprise that I have my heart set on lucite rods for my new bedroom.
LuxHoldups . Etsy . Retail Display . I’m sold!
Lucite done elegantly, which means, not by the likes of me in some ill conceived DIY project, know it’s not cheap. If any of you have those skills out there, please do reply to this post. Have I got a project for you. If not, I am treading in dangerously expensive waters, because it’s not just two rods that I want for my fantastically beautiful Galbraith & Paul . Lotus . Dove Grey fabric, but it’s the entire retail set-up, racks, and shelves, and rods, and the whole ridiculously glittery, tres, tres cher, mess for the interior of my very french, but entirely devoid of an interior, closet.
LuxHoldups . Shelving.
This dusty gal is closet obsessed. Not only do I love building them into the units I renovate, I consider it an investment. I don’t want to just shove my Jimmy Choos into some dusty corner in the back of the closet. How undignified. They need their own special shelf. I can just imagine how beloved they will feel on their own little lucite platform. My friends are always inquiring about my belongings and where they all are? In storage? Tucked under the bed? At a friends larger home? No I reply, this is all of them. I don’t own a lot, but I do own beautiful things. It feels right that they should be displayed with ceremony. Don’t you agree?