Friday, May 28, 2010

Calm, Cool, and Collected

My style preferences swing wildly back and forth every single week. Yesterday I wanted to do an entire house around neon pink art, and today I want a huge, airy house done all in greige. Jon Vaccari embodies this look so completely. He carries some of the most beautiful vintage and antique pieces in New Orleans and the whole world. Then he uses super modern art and glamorous touches to keep it fresh and up to date. The newly renovated house showroom on St. Charles was a two year labor of love and is absolutely stunning! This is a must stop if you love design and happen to be in New Orleans. Ask for Dean when you get there!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Neon Brights

I am so inspired by graphic, neon bright art right now. How cool would it be to have an all white room with one of these fresh paintings from Matt Moore, Malene Landgreen, Kate Long Stevenson, or my all-time fave, Susan Dory? I have tried in vain to replicate Susan's process and can't even come close, but I'm gonna keep saving my pennies so I can own one someday! Go be inspired by Susan's work at Guthrie Contemporary on Magazine Street if you are in New Orleans - it's the kind of art that makes you happy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Deco Love Continued....

Yesterday when I posted about Art Deco I intended to mention my favorite books, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. I read everything Rand wrote when I was seventeen, and they have been my favorite books since then. They are set in the 1930's and 40's and I always imagine uber-glamorous apartments and clothing when I am reading. There was a movie made of The Fountainhead, but the black and white set does not sparkle the way it would in color.
One of my favorite movies of the last decade to watch because of the gorgeous set design was Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day. Francis McDormand and Amy Adams are adorable in it, and the over the top Art Deco apartment in 1940's London is absolutely stunning! I highly recommend this light comedy just for staring at the de Gournay hand painted wallpaper. Talk soon!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Deco Love

When I first started out in design I would make blanket statements like, "I hate things that are Art Deco." Three years later, deco-inspired things, especially French Deco, are my favorite pieces. The point is, don' t shut yourself off to a particular era, style, or price point - the second you do, you are closing yourself off to a world of inspiration. Here are a few of my favorite Art Deco (roughly 1920's - 1940's) pieces. You can see that even in a particular style period, different countries had their own variations. The Chinese Deco rug below would not be a good mix with the black and white Deco chandelier above. Take the time to get acquainted with a style that you think you don't like. I bet you can find something in every period or price point that you like. Even Victorian, which I hate! ;) Just kidding!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Note on Greatness

Simon Cowell was on Oprah yesterday talking about his choices and his past failures. I never knew that he lost it all at the age of 30 and had to move back in with his parents and start over, and also pay back a half million dollar loan! It really made me rethink my idea of success and age. I sometimes feel that at 33 years old, I have not accomplished much, or should be further along in my career. The truth is that I only really knew what I wanted to do at age 30! So in actuality I have really accomplished many career goals in three years, and compared to many people my age I have had an astonishing number of experiences. However, I do not feel that there is a balance in my life as I do not have a family or children.

My sister has taken an opposite path than I have. She has been focused on family for over a decade and has a wonderful husband and two kids who are simply amazing. She also teaches in Birmingham, Alabama, and has recently won Teacher of the Year for the second time! She has many stresses and frustrations that I do not, and she manages to succeed both in her personal and professional life. How many of us will be compared to 3, 30, or 300 of our peers and be voted number one? I only hope to one day touch as many lives and be as appreciated and loved as she is.

I know that not many of us are in the entertainment industry like Simon, but we can certainly relate to my sister, who in my opinion is a harder worker than Mr. Cowell. Take what you have, even if it is nothing but your ideas and spirit, and become great. We are given such a short time to make an impact - surely we were not given this wonderful life to sit around eating pizza and watching t.v.! I know that if we give 100% to what we are passionate about, we can build a legacy and make a difference in this world.

Congratulations, Janie!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

St. Kilda Jewelry

Everyone knows I am not in a rush to get married again, but I have to tell you I might do it tomorrow if a man offered me a ring from St. Kilda. They are all completely original, many of them vintage, and so completely gorgeous. They have many pieces other than rings, but for some reason when I look at the site, I get stuck on the wedding ring pictures. I love them so much I think I will start gifting myself with one of their rings every year to use as a stack together. They are definitely family-heirloom worthy, and it's a great idea to leave the website up on your computer for your loved one to find...maybe you will be "surprised" with a gift from St. Kilda, and you can pretend you had no idea!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mirror, mirror OFF the wall...

I love mirrors of all kinds. But you can't have mirrors on every wall of your house or you start to look like a bit of a narcissist! Here are a few gorgeous ways to get some more mirror in your life...hint: put it everywhere BUT the wall! (all luscious shiny things from my favorite dream source, 1st Dibs.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Are you scared of the dark?

I love black rooms. Many people believe that painting a small room a dark color makes it look smaller, but that is not true. It actually makes the corners of the room recede into shadow, so the space looks larger. Also, it creates an immediate feeling of intimacy and coziness, so it is a great color for a dining room or library. I was so inspired by these rooms from Windsor Smith, Ryan Korban, Kelly Wearstler, Aerin Lauder, and others that I painted the living room wall in the Modern Minimalist apartment black. It looks great behind art! What do you think of black rooms?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fine Dining

I do not have a dining room but I am totally obsessed with dining room tables and chairs. My absolute faves are modern chrome or brass chairs with rustic wood farm tables (as I did for my own client with the white molded Eames chairs and wood table), or slick glossy tables with a mishmash of antique wooden chairs. I also love stone tables with lucite chairs, like Kelly Wearstler's office (see above). The most important thing to me is that the dining chair and tables do not match. It's very cool if the chairs themselves do not match, either!
Here are some of my fave dining room looks and some chairs from Ebay and 1st Dibs that would look great with the West Elm white lacquer dining table or a wood farm table. Extra points if you have vintage chairs recovered in a graphic print or white leather!
Bon Apetít!