Showing posts with label Elle Decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elle Decor. Show all posts

Friday, September 16, 2011

Current Obsession

Elle Decor has graciously included my current obsession in their Weekly Finds column (a great source for on-line discoveries.)  You can see where I'm clicking here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Unconventional Wisdom

I was giddy to see Elle Decor's new column, Unconventional Wisdom in the April issue. Welcome to wisdom in any dose, this condensed knowledge from Mario Buatta reminded me of the columns of yore from the likes of Mark Hampton and Van Day Truex. Elle Decor Editor-in-Chief, Michael Boodro, says the column was inspired by comments from two great decorators, "In L.A., Madeline Stuart mentioned to me, 'You guys should do a story on J. F. Chen. He has had such an impact on generations of L.A. designers.' A few months later, at the book party for Suzanne Rheinstein's new book at John Rosselli, Bunny Williams said, 'You should do a story on John; he knows so much.' And I realized that Elle Decor didn't have a format to tap into the most experienced people in the design industry."

Boodro notes that in an industry that is constantly on the look out for what is next, this column will focus on people who have shaped the field for decades. Unconventional Wisdom will feature leaders in all aspects of the discipline. Look for Lela and Mossimo Vignelli talking about modern design in the May issue. And, yes, Chen and Rosselli down the line.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Second Chances

"Really, it's not you, it's me."

"Just tell me what I can do."

"Nothing, honestly, we were a perfect fit in the beginning, but I've changed. TVs have changed. It has nothing to do with you, but I think we are through."

"I can change."

"I don't know - can anyone ever really change?"

"Just give me a chance. One chance. I'll do anything. I think you still need me."



"The thing is, my tastes have evolved. I need something a little more sophisticated. More worldly. Maybe...darker."

"Be honest, is there someone else?"

"It's nothing, nothing really. We're just friends, not even, I've just seen him across a room."

"I have a dark and moody side, I've just never felt like I could share it with you before."

"Oh, my. That little touch of bling is so unexpected from you. Darling, quick, hold my stuff."

I painted this piece in the bathroom as it was far too much trouble to lug it to the basement and back up. Three cans of green beans held the trash bags in place and all the while I kept thinking corn would have been a nicer accent. There is no method to painting the piece gray first; I had gray paint handy. The gold leaf is easy-peasey; I put the sizing on before carpool and applied the leaf while I helped with spelling. It's a piece of cake and don't let anyone tell you differently. It is a horrendous mess.

The only image not mine, Elle Decor, design by Dransfield and Ross, photography by Simon Upton.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wandering Minds Want to Know

As I push furniture and measure windows, I am thinking about what I want. What I want, which is something entirely different from what readers want or what is best or what is on-trend. As I think it over, or over think it, my mind's eye is drawn to a couple of things. One, was Thomas Jayne's new year resolution at Elle Decor, "I resolve to listen to my design instincts. At this point in my experience and education, my first reactions are often the best ones."

The second was in Albert Hadley's advice to those who are starting out on Architectural Digest's web page, "The best rooms have history and meaning: photographs that remind you of someone, furniture that has a story. Whatever you put in your house should be interesting. I may not like it, but that doesn’t make any difference. And decorating is not about dollars and cents; it’s an emotional thing, it’s passion."

I don't have Jayne's education and experience, of course, but I think his resolution and Hadley's observation go hand in hand. I'm making my home. Mine.

And all this ruminating led me back to the books, as usual. This Los Angeles home in Hancock Park was built in 1938. Almost '40's, the decade whose aesthetic seems to be wired into my hard drive. The grounds, the patio, the wrought iron awning, all delightful.

But the dining room ceiling, a modification of the owner, is an update that enchanted me. It's dramatic and subtle at the same time, reminiscent of plaster ceilings of the past while being clearly modern.
Further, the collage panels in the powder room contain butterflies, the heads of which are photos of family friends. And what struck me, was that these details are so completely personal. Nine people out of ten, perhaps anyone whose picture was not included, would walk by that wall without a second glance. But for the owners it is a treasure trove of sentiment.

Hadley, again, "Decorating has never been superficial. It has always represented the best of times. Now I’m talking about the rich, who have always furnished their houses elaborately. But even a cottage is a castle to the person who lives in it."

Image, top, from Thomas Jayne; next, a Hadley design via Arch Digest for an on-line interview; the profile in the magazine was by Mitch Owens; all remaining images, Classic Homes of Los Angeles, which I received as a review copy, by Douglas Wells; photography by Melba Levick.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Italian Love Story

Maybe it's the approaching holiday, when everything glittery, sparkly and jingley seems oh-so-smart, but these Chiavari chairs fairly leapt from the pages of Elle Decor and World of Interiors this month. (Next month. What to call it when December comes mid-November?)

Long past are the days I held infants aloft (they spit up, you know, nearly always when you are holding them just over your face) but these chairs are irresistible. So sleek and sexy they make me want to perch just on the edge, looking mysterious with kohl-lined lids, vodka-soda adding nary a notch to my nipped waist, swinging a foot shod in a very high heel with a questionable ankle strap. Black.

Just baroque enough to muck up your mod, just mod enough to perk up your provenance. They are a fantasy for me, but could be reality for you. Still at Joanna's. 750 for the pair. (You can give her a ring at 816-753-7606. Nothing in it for me; I just think all great chairs need a good home.) Glamourous and bargain aren't usually drinking buddies, but sometimes the holidays provide a magical mix.

Image, top, Elle Decor, December 2010/January 2011 (a stunningly good issue), photography by William Waldron. Next, World of Interiors, December 2010, photography by Eric Boman.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

GT on ED

Elle Decor is putting a lot of great original content on their site, not the least of which is the "What We Love" feature. Editors and contributors from all of the country are weighing in on intriguing places and product nationwide. Today they did a nice piece on my buddy George.

Monday, July 19, 2010

White on White

You probably already know this. It's like someone telling you that sugary snacks are not good for you. But if you read the text from the Elle Decor piece on John Dransfield's and Geoffrey Ross's home, above, you know that Parish-Hadley originally decorated the house.

Which you can see hither and yon. My image comes from Influential Interiors by Suzanne Trocme, but the house also appears in Parish Hadley, Sixty Years of American Design. Which I don't own, but yearn for. I thought this was the case (that this was the same house, not that I yearned for the book) when local dealer, Barbara Farmer called to tell me she had the magazine and the book open on her desk.

The previous owner of the home moved here, a spot also decorated by Albert Hadley. All beautifully crafted with white walls. White walls may be the theme for the rest of July.

Images from top, Dransfield and Ross in Elle Decor, July/August 2010, photography by Simon Upton; Albert Hadley from Influential Interiors by Suzanne Trocme, photography Michael Mundy, I think; Albert Hadley from House Beautiful, photography by Simon Watson.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White and Yellow

In the spirit of the holiday make sure to read about the process for updating the paint color in Thomas Jefferson's dining room at Monticello in this month's Elle Decor. The change from Wedgwood-blue to chrome-yellow is startling. Equally enlightening is the magazine's revamped site which has loads of original content. Accompanying this piece is Mitch Owen's round up of striking paint colors in historic homes across the country. Doubly helpful are the suggestions of modern day colors straight from the can that are a close match.

Image via by Pieter Estersohn.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Grand Masters

Click on over to see who Elle Decor has named to their Grand Masters list. I can't argue with a single pick. Indeed, many are long-time favorites. Oh, and two of the nine are Kansas City natives, including the dashing Tom Britt, whose work appears above. Here.

Image courtesy of Elle Decor by Peter Vitale.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Thought

I just noticed today that Elle Decor editor, Margaret Russell's, portion of the West Week panel is on the Pacific Design Center's site. There is great information here about the effect of technology on design and some pointers on getting published.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I will not subject you to my vacation slides, but I feel I must offer up a summary of a very lovely trip. I was enchanted by Los Angeles. Sunny and warm. Up until now any visit to somewhere sunny and warm has meant sunny, warm and humid. I was delighted to find that this is not the case in Southern California.

I was delighted not just because it was a relief to dodge the energy sapping oppression, but also because I was worried about my hair. I have bad hair. Maybe you think that as a Midwestern housewife heading to LA to rub shoulders with the design glitterati, I should have other things on my mind. But mostly, I was worried about my hair being either limp or frizzy.

Wardrobe caused no distress as I had wisely invested in three pairs of soccer shoes, a very chic black lacrosse stick and three sleek racing swim suits just before I left.

The best part of blogging, for me, has been connecting with like-minded folks. It was such a treat to meet friends whom I have only known on-line. I was incredibly lucky to spend a leisurely afternoon with Scot Meacham Wood and long time friend Megan Arquette, who ran us around to the most reknowned shops and showrooms.

Cocktails that evening affirmed everything I knew about warm and lovely Katie Denham, who jumped into the blog pool about the same time I did. Katie was the first person who told me that Elle Decor's editor, Margaret Russell, had mentioned Mrs. Blandings at a book signing for So Chic. I still have Katie's email and receiving it was as surreal as the phone call from Margaret asking me to sit on Elle Decor's panel at West Week.

Before I left, Mr. Blandings asked me if I was nervous. I am not nervous to speak in front of people and certainly not to talk about blogging as we are all making this up anyway. But this panel was something else altogether. Mayer Rus. Michael Bruno. Vicente Wolf. I was clearly playing up.

I had met Vicente before and was thoroughly charmed. I had stalked Michael Bruno when I first started blogging. I had sent email after email trying to lure him to visit Kansas City. He was lovely about it. He was still lovely about it when I brought it up again last week.

Mayer Rus. Mayer Rus, for heaven's sake, whose back page was my first stop in House & Garden. Rus, the originator of design snark that no one else has yet again to capture without delving into the personal and petty. Rus, whom I could only compare to Keith Richards to give Mr. B perspective, would be sitting just to my right. And I, a girl whose taste tends to run more toward James Taylor, was giddy. And a little nervous. I have always had a thing for bad boys. Meeting Mayer gave me the jitters. I'm sure I flushed when he walked into the room. Nonsense, of course, as he was terrifically nice. The marijuana motif on his socks also took the edge off. Now knowing that writing those columns caused agony equivalent to the drug-free delivery of twins makes me treasure them all the more in their lucite temple on my shelves.

The panel discussion was fine (me), informative (Margaret and Vicente and Michael) and lively (Mayer.) If it is available on-line at some point I will post the link and you can judge for yourself.

Lunch with Eddie and Jaithan brought great news of their new TV pilot and breakfast the next day at the very chic Cecconi's with Lisa Borgnes Giramonti was pure delight. Lisa shared a few photos of her up-coming show. When I first found Lisa's blog, A Bloomsbury Life, I thought, "We have a lot in common, but she is at least 25% better than I am at everything." Once I met her I realized that percentage is likely greater.

A personal tour of Beverly Hills and Dawnridge followed and now I am home again. Cinderella after the ball up to my elbows in laundry and sports schedules and a science test and project due the same day, though, thank heavens, no sign of singing mice.

All images of Peter Dunham's wonderful shop Hollywood at Home. Elle Decor took care of my airfare and two days of my stay to accommodate my participation, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's All Here in Black and White

I was visiting with a friend recently and she mentioned that she'd like to update a traditional room. Make it a little fresher. A little younger. At the same time, she didn't want it to look trendy or trying-too-hard.

I've always like the use of architectural prints.

Clean. Crisp. Graphic.

But I suggested using photographs instead. To give it a little bit of an edge. I wonder if that is what Bruno de Caumont has done above. With the rosette? It could be a drawing, of course.

Local photographer, Keith Davis, has stunning pieces capturing the architecture of many state capitals.

I'm not sure he's photographed them all (and I guess I'm too lazy to find out) but it would be great to choose images from capitals that mean something to you. Or not, because I'm crazy about the first one here and I have absolutely no connection to Arkansas.
Images from top, Michael Smith, Houses, photography uncredited. I'm pretty sure this is right; no photo credit for page 24. Suzanne Kasler, Inspired Interiors, photography Erica George Dines; Albert Hadley, Albert Hadley, the Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer, photography by Mary E. Nichols (Megan says I am a Hadley Head - guilty); Bruno de Caumont, Elle Decor, April 2010, photgraphy by Simon Upton; remaining images via Dolphin Gallery by Keith Davis.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Come One, Come All

A quick reminder that I will be in LA for West Week next week.  All events are at the PDC and are free and open to the public.  I'd love to see you there if you can make it.  The Elle Decor panel, of which I am a part, is at 11 a.m. on Wednesday the 24th and there are lots of terrific presentations both Wednesday and Thursday.  Check out the schedule here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

(Will) I Love LA (?)

Nick Olsen is California dreaming and so am I.  I think I went to Los Angeles when I was a kid.  I think.  It's a little foggy, but I have a vague memory of Disneyland.  Megan Arquette at beachbungalow8 has been saying, "Come to LA!" for three years, but there's always been the kids and their stuff and, well, it never happened.  Then Elle Decor called and said, "Do you want to go to LA?" and I said, "Um.  Sure!"  Not that Elle Decor means more to me than Megan, but, well, you know.

Elle Decor is hosting a keynote panel on Wednesday, March 24th at 11a.m. moderated by editor, Margaret Russell.  Panelist are Michael Bruno, founder of 1st dibs, interior designer, Vicente Wolf, Mayer Rus, Design and Culture Editor of the L.A. Times magazine - and me.  Of, here.  Funny, huh?  The event takes place during WestWeek, which is all kinds of good design fun at the PDC.

I know it's a month away, but it's cold here and it's warm there and I'm pretty darn excited.  I'd love to see you there.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Home Bound

Waylande Gregory keeps coming up to meet me, but we are continually interrupted.  I saw his pieces originally at Hall's over the holidays and noted their appeal, but, well, you know, sometimes I get distracted.

While I like to sprinkle my Kansas City promotions subtly, I fear this week I have been heavy-handed.  Perhaps the cold and snow is keeping me inside and insider.  I will try and look beyond the hedge next week, but for now I need to point out that Gregory was from Baxter Springs, Kansas.

Gregory's mother, a concert pianist, moved her three boys from Baxter Springs to (you're going to love this) Pittsburg, Kansas so they could get a better education.  A wise woman.  Waylande Gregory went on to study at the Kansas City Art Institute and become an influential Art Deco sculptor.  Gregory was responsible for the exterior sculptural decoration of Strong Hall, the main administrative building at KU.  He also designed the Aztec Room at the Hotel President.

Several small vintage pieces are available on line.  This polo pony being particularly enchanting.

The peacocks, Penny, are just for you.

I noticed Bergdorf Goodman had a lovely selection of Gregory's re-issued pieces when I was in New York; Hall's carries them here in town.  Terrific, no, with their graphic shapes and crisp black and white? I seem to never get enough of turquoise and gold together.

I just keep thinking three of these square dishes and one circle placed on a cocktail table would be terrif.

Image, top, Elle Decor, March, 2010, photography by Gentl & Hyers.  Images of Gregory courtesy of Pittsburg State University.