Monday, November 23, 2009

My New Friend

Meet my friend, Jonathan Adler Barbie! Check out her awesome accessories, my favorite are the vases on the white lacquer night stand! I think she's been available for a while, but I just found her and I am very very excited.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dear Beige, I don't hate you

I am not the type of designer who will suggest an aubergine colored sofa because "it's so in." Give me beige and oatmeal and I will make you happy I swear. I don't like to commit my clients to such gestures unless I know they are going to love that aubergine sofa forever and ever amen. I prefer to keep a fairly neutral background and add punches of color through artwork, accessories, or very localized spaces where I can make an impact. Don't get me wrong, turquoise accent walls have there place and when applied carefully and with intention they can be very successful. And I am also not saying that I haven't used some serious color on some very permanent pieces of furniture (hello lime green tufted chesterfield sofa.) Finally, I am by no means telling everyone to make every surface in their home some variation of oatmeal. I just know, that in the long run, it is a lot easier to change out hot pink throw pillows when your sofa isn't aubergine. I am not saying that color doesn't have it's place (and if you want that aubergine sofa then you should have it), I do love to bring it in, but in a way that can be meaningful and lasting. Today when we are all watching what we spend this is important, it is important to invest in good basics, like that great black dress or pair of heels, you can put them on with anything--interiors work the same way. Start with a good basic background and you can go in any direction from there.

Neutral doesn't have to be beige, brown works too! Here I brought in color through accessories and artwork, but the big pieces are simple and neutral. I could easily change out those pillows and accessories and pick up another color in the artwork or in the rug and create a completely different look rather inexpensively.

When everything else is oatmeal go for the lime green chesterfield sofa. This is a clubroom, not a private residence, there is a difference. But you will notice everything else is very neutral yet it feels rich in visual texture. Creating implied texture through light and pattern is another way to add depth without committing to color. That sofa could be any color and same with the accessories, because of the light quality and the pattern in the carpet there is plenty of visual interest, regardless of color.

All three of the above images are examples of bringing in color through artwork and accessories. By selecting color from one point of interest (a rug or artwork or whatever it is) makes it easy to create a palette that you enjoy. If you love a color in your rug, start with that and use it to create a color combination that is interesting to you and centered around a color you enjoy.

This is successful for several reasons. 1-It is contained & localized, therefor it creates impact. 2-It is high in visual contrast compared to the other walls, if this photo was in black and white you would barely be able to tell that it is a different color. 3. It is unexpected, it gets its ques from the turquoise in the rug, but everything else in the space is neutral so it really pops.

This is the same situation as the photo above. Localized color, one big gesture in an otherwise neutral palette. High visual contrast makes it exciting and the bar stool seat cushions reinforce the concept.

In conclusion I say, Beige I don't hate you, I embrace you and the blank canvas you allow me to work with.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Christmas House!

What can I say, I can't get enough. This has really been a fantastic experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed! Friday night was the opening party and it was so much fun and really great to connect with all our fellow designers and appreciate each others work. That being said, here are some good (and some not so good because they are from my phone) pictures of things I really love in the Christmas House.

I think these parrot figurines are fantastic. So cute and whimsical! John Oetgen designed the living room and these live on the cocktail table. I might have jumped over the velvet rope (or satin ribbon) to capture these guys, hopefully Mr. Oetgen would forgive me!

One of the guest bedrooms was designed by Barbara Heath who has a lovely store over in Brookhaven called The Mercantile. This piece that is hanging over her mantel is just beautiful. I believe it is a piece by Julie Jone Boulee (not 100% on that but 98% sure.)

On the way to Beth Webb's space you have to pass through what I like to call Hermes Heaven. There you will meet this life size black plastic horse, I am now naming him Jacques (after my favorite nail polish by OPI "You don't know Jacques") He is super friendly and doesn't bite so be sure to say hello to him!

Beth Webb's Artist Atelier is just beautiful. There are so many details I could do an entire post about that space alone. One thing that I know is that as an artist you like to be surrounded by things that inspire you. It's not about a specific object, but more about what that object says to you as an artist, how it inspires you. I love this particular vignette of the space because I love how these elements feel casual and effortless, meanwhile I know that each piece of this puzzle was placed exactly where it is with purpose and intent.

At one point Friday night there were a bunch of us just hanging out in Susan Ferrier's Master Bedroom. She is one of my favorite people and an amazing designer. Her master bedroom is so elegant and refined, but it feels comfortable. It doesn't make you feel afraid to live in it (probably why we were all lounging around in there!) My favorite thing about that room is the drapery. I couldn't stop petting it, I wanted to just wrap myself in it and stay there.

One space that I haven't seen any other blogger mention yet is Mimi Williams' upstairs hallway. I didn't know Mrs. Williams prior to this Christmas House but Mark has known her for years, and the thing I have learned about Mimi is that she has an incredible eye for art. When Mark and I saw her picking out the pieces she wanted to install I was just in awe of her and her taste. Several of the pieces hanging are from her personal collection, this piece she commissioned from Jeff Jones.

As a designer of a space outside of the main house, I can appreciate the other more remote spaces of this show house that could be easily overlooked. The entire guest house really is lovely and I am not just saying that because that's where our space is. The patio off of Bob Brown's study has some amazing outdoor furniture (which I believe was designed by Lush Life.) The wine cellar designed by Kay Douglas & Dixie Peeples and media room designed by Chip Cheatham downstairs are also really lovely spaces, yes I said downstairs!

This past weekend was the opening weekend and I heard that there was a new record set for attendance, almost 400 people on Saturday alone! Be sure and make your way over there before we all have to go and take it apart! It is a great thing to do on the weekend, and with Cafe Noel downstairs you can also do lunch there too! For more information about tickets and a list of the great special events happening at the house, just click HERE!

Friday, November 13, 2009

"The Funny Uncle" meets Rhoda Morgenstern

I love installations. This show house installation went really smoothly and was pretty much complete and done on the first day--including accessories! There was something about doing this show house that I really like, it's sort of like playing dress up. You can be whatever you want and portray whatever you feel like, this room was like dressing up for me. This time we decided to dress up like Rhoda Morgenstern (meets MWDA)! I have said in the past that I love working with developers, typically you have a lot of creative freedom. Developers just want the project done on time and in budget and they pretty much trust you to execute their objectives in your creative way. I have found that a show house is similar, except you are both the developer and designer. You have to execute your objective on time, on budget and creatively. Mark said that this is the room that the "funny uncle" stays in when he comes to visit, but the further along we got in our design the more we wanted to be the "funny uncle" and we wanted to stay there (in fact, we all agree that we would be beyond content to move into our guest house)! It started to become more Rhoda then Uncle, so we'll stick with that--because let's face it, no one wants to be the "funny" relative but everyone wants to be Rhoda. It really took on this collected and personal feeling, probably because a lot of things came from us personally. I am excited to say that our room is done and lovely, we are so happy with the solution and the feeling. I hope those of you that make it to the Christmas House, please make every effort to walk to the carriage house and check out our room upstairs! The Christmas House opens next week, November 14th and will be open through December 6th. You can get all the details as well as ticket information here!

Installation Day, boxes and bags and lamp shades oh my!

Bubble Wrap is my friend, he keeps things safe!
(like the amazing artwork borrowed from Emily Amy Gallery & accessories borrowed from Stanton Home)

Places places! I actually mapped all of this out on the floor with masking tape to make sure it was going to fit!

Some of my books take from my Library.

Mark and I found this old camera when we were out shopping one day, and my dad brought me this sketchbook of Paris after one of his trips...we like them together.

All sorts of fun things...

My favorite thing, this beautiful Hermes bicycle. I can't believe they let me borrow it!

Another shopping trip find, really cool vintage luggage.

Just a few more finishing touches.

Toasting to the completion of our first show house! Hooray!!!

To see more you are going to have to come check out the Christmas House!!!!!
Open November 14th through December 6th
Details here!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Goodbye Metropolitan Home, Hello

I assume that almost everyone today is writing some sort of post about the devastation of losing another really good shelter magazine. No doubt that Met Home was one of the good ones, the really good ones and I know we as a design community are sad to see it go. As a designer I am not ashamed to say that I am constantly trying to be recognized by any publication, but it was one of my dreams to be in Met Home, and believe me I tried...twice! Regardless, let's not look at this as another "sign of the times" rather as an opportunity for new and innovative ways to highlight trends and creativity. That being said, I was recently introduced to LonnyMag and I like it. This latest issue, Fall 2009 is their premier and it's just what the design starved are looking for. Think Domino Magazine(brought to you by one of their former editors)/Fun Blog/Eco-trip meets the internet. We all know we loved Domino, there's no shame in that. I love it's photography and it had some amazing resources, we'll it's basically be reincarnated on the internet. If my 72 year old father is savvy enough to sign me up for a digital edition of Marie Claire Magazine, then surely we can start reading online magazines. I am thrilled that I found LonnyMag and I am sure I am not the first, but I don't care. I hope you like it too!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Craftsmanship is something that I think is lost on today's society and it really bothers me. So often people are just looking for a quick fix to "make it work" and things end up looking sloppy and messy. This is one instance of fantastic craftsmanship. One of the rooms at the Christmas House has fully upholstered walls. When I looked up and saw the detail and care that the installers put into their work I was thrilled. Take a look at the way the welting hugs the crown moulding. Fabulous! You'll have to come check it out for yourself!

Bedroom by Jim Howard of James Michael Howard Inc. Come see the whole thing at the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Christmas House. This room is fully upholstered and it's just beautiful!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Inspired Interiors

Last night was the book signing for Suzanne Kasler's new book, Inspired Interiors (click here and you can purchase a signed copy!) It was held at Bungalow Classic, hosted by the lovely Courtney & Randy Tilinski. I think Atlanta's entire design community was there, and then some; the store was just full of some of my favorite people. Everyone was there to support Suzanne and it was a really lovely event and a great party. Suzanne is a very accomplished designer from Atlanta and she does really beautiful work. As a young designer in this city she is one of the names that I look up to and I was thrilled to meet her and get my copy of her book (and have it signed!)I had my trusty camera on hand so at least the photos are better then the ones I take with my phone! The book is really fantastic, the photography is great, so far I have only flipped through but I can't wait to actually have time to read it! Go get it!

Dustin from Waterworks and I with our books, I coerced him into purchasing one (wink wink)

Party People.

More Party People (all joking aside, I love that black, red & orange pillow in the foreground!)

Courtney & me (I heart her!)

The book.

Me with Suzanne Kasler! She's really lovely!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I heart paint!

Like I said previously, I had every intention of documenting our design process from start to finish for the Christmas House. Unfortunately it just didn't work out the way I planned, life got in the way. But it's not like I can't tell you about it now! This year's Christmas House is truly lovely, this week I plan on doing another post about some special things in our room and the installation process. Anyway, back to why I heart paint. This was really my first painting experience and I think I might love it! I can't pretend like I was thrilled about painting in the beginning. Let's face it, typically I hire someone to do this for us, but I was low on budget and really low on time. So it was up to MWDA to just work it out. I (and every other designer) have always said, painting is the easiest and quickest way to change a room and it's so true. If you look back at my previous post about the Christmas House you can see we started with just plain white walls, a perfect bare canvas. All I have to say is I love our walls, they remind me of a luxurious cashmere color, something you just want to wrap yourself in. I also must rave about our paint, we used Porter Paints for the first time and it was fantastic. We could have done 1 coat and it would have been sufficient, it covered really well and just worked out beautifully, see for yourself!

At least by the time I got there, Mark had already "cut" around the trim. Supposedly that is a technical term, again, I'm a beginner.

Our paint from porters! We were careful not to get any on our lovely floors. But I got plenty on myself. Did you know that a little hand sanitizer gets paint off of just about anything!

I was excited that when I rolled the top of the paint cans it produced perfect polka-dots.

I was in charge of painting the closet.

I know it looks like Mark is doing the majority of the work, but I painted as far as I could reach, he had to do the rest!

Finished just in time, they were about to lock us in! Isn't the color yummy!?!?