18 November 2009

Gucci Print Decor

A great debate was sparked yesterday over at My Little Happy Place blog on whether or not certain designers have jumped the shark. 

Here's what I think: The past few years have brought interior design and decor into the mainstream. Now there are a billion design reality shows and HGTV runs DIY design shows on a 24 hr loop. We are becoming more informed and are literally consuming design. 

Seriously, take a look at your bookmarks. How many blogs do you check on the daily? How many magazines are sitting beside your bed? All decor. 

The question is, how do we avoid emulating our favorite designers or push them to become parodies of themselves? I'm blaming this partly on our rabid consumption of all things design. We are chomping at the bit for our beloved designers to churn out the latest and greatest and constantly top themselves. I mean, shit, magazines hit the blogs before they hit our mailboxes!

Gucci jumped the shark in the late 90s-early 00s when hip hop culture and the mainstream embraced the beloved "G-G" print. It was everywhere and it was disgusting. Now, anyone can get their hands on this via Chinatown or shit, even at higher end department stores. 

My question is, how do we prevent this from happening to our most talented and beloved designers? We consumers are truly in control of this. 

17 November 2009

Um, Hell-oh!

My Design Elvis does it again.

Is it me or does this month's Elle Decor just smell like a million bucks??? 


16 November 2009


I almost died last Thursday when Hutton Wilkinson let one slip during the DCOTA Fall Preview keynote panel and said something about "Tuscaranean" homes. America is OBSESSED with all things "Tuscan" or "Mediterranean" and they erect McMansions in honor of this trend. 

I thought it would be interesting to see what a real Tuscan home looked like and compared it to some of the gems here in the good ol' U.S. of A. 

"Tuscan" Homes, TN 74oo sq ft, $1.6M

Check the back end. Definitely enough room for that H2/Suburban you've got to schlep the kids to WalMart. I think the smaller door is for the tractor?

AND there is ample storage in the kitchen for all of the gallon vats of mustard and cheesy poofs you got this weekend at Costco. 

Parkland, FL Country Club home. 2200 sq ft, a bargain at $500k. It's got multiple driveways so you can have a car show on your front lawn on Saturdays. Get that Bentley out of the garage!

Encinitas, CA. 2324 sq ft, $1.3M. All garage. 

This comes straight from "Southern Utah's Ultimate Kitchen Resource!" 

Here's the real deal. 


Simple. Efficient. Where did we go wrong????

14 November 2009

More is More

What defines luxury living?

Hutton Wilkinson should know. The apprentice to Tony Duquette and author of the book, More is More, led a diverse panel of designers at DCOTA's Fall Preview this past Thursday.

Mr. Wilkinson asked Vladimir Kagan, Ralph Pucci, Miles Redd, and Trina Turk what defines luxury. All panelists agreed that luxury is defined by comfort, customizability, and uniqueness.

Let's talk about luxury in comfort. Trina Turk's collaboration with Schumacher started out after an attempt to upholster her patio furniture using fabric from her collection failed. Extending the same standard of decor to your outdoor spaces (and actually being able to enjoy them in good weather!) is a luxury.


Vladimir Kagan makes comfort a priority in all of his iconic designs. The Keywest Sofa and Sectional seen below cites its versatility and comfort as its primary attributes. 


Luxury is customizability to many of the designers. Miles Redd likened this to couture fashion. If the details in your decor are made to your specifications, that's luxury. The minute he said this, I immediately thought about the ruffle detail in the curtains below.

Hutton Wilkinson told the tale of the desk that put Tony Duquette on the map. Elsie De Wolfe commanded, "I want you to make me a mueble" (that's fancy French for "furniture"), and this is what she got. 


How do you define luxury? What do you do to achieve this on a "normal" budget?

12 November 2009

DCOTA Fall Preview

Met Elvis today.

Look at me cheesing! 

I had a fleeting 30 seconds to talk to one of my design icons, Miles Redd. That was just enough time to choke out that I was a huge admirer of his work and that he was my personal "Design Elvis".  The man Nick Olsen refers to as "Mugatu" was quite the opposite. He was absolutely kind and gracious, thanking us for coming. This is quite possibly the most exciting Thursday I've had a in a while. 

11 November 2009

Project Progress

Kodak came through today and delivered the prints I ordered for the photo wall in my living room. The the "pro-matte" finish is more of a semi-matte, with a great sheen,  and the images printed at 11x14" were not grainy. I probably got killed at the price of $9.99 per print but I was being lazy and was printing a few other smaller 4x6s.

I am thrilled with how the photo I took looking at the Flatiron Building from the Empire State Building printed. The other ones are just "eh" but the fill the space. 

ps- I took this!

Now that I have the three photos up, I can see these photos do not make a strong grouping. Yes, the are places we've been but they do not have the same composition. The photo taken in Manhattan has a dense geometry with a lot of contrasting black and whites. The highway pic and the fence pic follow the same line but lack the density of the city image. 

I am going to take more city shots on my Thanksgiving vacation to Boston. I am not done yet!!

10 November 2009

Meeting Elvis Thurs

OMG. This is bigger than Twilight. Who is in? I'm calling out sick on Thursday, putting on my best house frock, and getting a picture with my personal design Elvis. 

"The Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach will hosts its “DCOTA 2009 Fall Market: Icons of Design” preview on November 12 and all design enthusiasts – even amateurs – are welcome to attend the lectures as long as they RSVP at (954) 920-7997, ext. 240.

During the showcase the DCOTA showrooms will be filled with special programs and events all day.

Opening the day will be a keynote panel discussion bringing center stage in Atrium C design superstars Vladimir Kagan, Ralph Pucci, Hutton Wilkinson of Tony Duquette, Miles Redd of Oscar de la Renta and Trina Turk."


08 November 2009

Inspired by...The Delano

The Delano, South Beach

Good friends from the dog park recently purchased their first house and are going for a "South Beach Chic" look. In the hotels, this means that furnishings, window treatments, and accessories must not steal the show and the main focus is the ocean outdoors. Let's see how this translates into the average home.

Here's the low-down:

1. Your South Beach home will need white curtains. This is non-negotiable. Fortunately, you've got IKEA on your side. These are cheaply priced, of decent quality, and long enough (118") for you to mount these babies to the ceiling (which is highly suggested). You will need rod-pocket curtains because tab-top curtains make me want to vomit.

IKEA Vivian $14.99 for 2
These are on the sheer side and filter light well. Buy 2 packs because you will want to scrunch up a few together because they are not that wide. 

If you need something sturdier, try the MERETE curtain. It's a bleached cotton duck, washes incredibly well, and the grommets allow the curtains to slide well on the rod. This is best used for the sliding glass doors on your patio where they will be pulled back and forth a lot. 

IKEA MERETE 2 for $49.99

2. Your South Beach home will need modern, understated furniture. 

Normally I do not advocate leather because sitting on it is akin to free (and unsolicited) exfoliation. An exception is made in this case of couch versus dog.  If you own one of these, you're not going anywhere near white cotton upholstery!

3. Your South Beach home will need some personality. Let's face it, nobody lives in a hotel. Here are some accent pieces that will humanize your space and add a nature element that will soften the coldness of all this white. 

As you can see here, I went on a Zgallerie shopping spree, but most of these items can be done on the cheap with good hunting at HomeGoods or Marshalls. The overall emphasis is to play on the blues of the ocean and bring in some warm nature elements like hard wood and capiz shells to neutralize the cold, modern furniture.


What's Up With That?

Last night we had another dinner party. B made homemade pizzas and we drank all but a few of the 50-some beers left over from last weekend's party. As the night went on my ever-so-observant girlfriend was shocked to notice that I've color coded the bookshelves. In fact, I'd even gone so far as keep the black books away from the white books! Courtney, she said, What's up with that??

Obviously I am not a literary segregationist. What I am, however, is an aesthetist. The A#1 motivation for every little tweak in my decor is to please the eye. While this may be wholly impractical when amassing and curating a personal library, what's for damn sure is that it looks good! 

What's your take? I'm sure I am preaching to the choir on this one seeing as most of us banter back and forth like school girls discussing paint chips and couch cushions. I would be curious to see what you think and how you curate your own libraries. Discuss.

07 November 2009

Andddd I'm back!

via Ron Marvin

After three grueling days working in the field and schlepping around managers, I passed out on the couch at 10pm last night and woke up on it today at 12:04pm. I'm refreshed and ready to get poppin on my projects. 

This image from Ron Marvin (of AT's Small Cool Contest fame--a favorite of mine) has been lingering in my brain for a few weeks. Pair that with my obsession for Pellegrino (I swear by this stuff to cure everything from hangnails to hangovers), and my love for green, and we've got one sweet picture!

I love how breezy and clean this kitchen feels. Reinforces my mantra of keeping all dishes white and glassware clear so you can mix and match while maintaining cohesion. Check out the pops of color with the oranges and the bottles of Pellegrino. Now that it how to make every day things decorative and useful! 

03 November 2009

Rough Week

It's gonna be a rough few days on the job so please bear with me. This is going to be me all week long:

from here

On the docket for the weekend: Slipcover either the ottoman or the ugly-manchair in the living room with the lovely GREEN sheets I scored at Marshalls for $10. 

02 November 2009

Higgins on Desire To Inspire!

So I caved and submitted Higgins to DTY's "Monday's Pets on Furniture." Check out the cuteness...


Please ignore the hideously-patterned chair in the background. It's uglier in color...

01 November 2009


The disco stick was made from scratch per the directions from gayrva.com. Supplies were an LED mini flashlight from Home Depot, black tubing from the costume store, and crystals from Michaels. I've got the hot glue gun burns to prove it!

"BILLY MAYS, HERE!" Yes, this is absolutely 100% wrong. 

I really enjoyed being a blonde. And wearing a leotard. 


It was a great night! We had about 10 friends over (thanks so much for stopping by!) for cocktails before we ventured Downtown. Fort Lauderdale was an erie mix of Halloween merriment and Boat Show awkwardness. I couldn't help myself but ask dudes in Ed Hardy t-shirts if there were dressing as douche-bags for Halloween (I've been waiting all YEAR to say that!). I think B stole the show with his Billy Mays costume-back from the dead-and I take full credit for his makeup. 

To the blogosphere, thanks for following this week and putting up with my strained attempts to make this Gaga madness design-related. Now...back to reality...

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