interiors | art | gardens | style | travel

Tee hee! Don't you love it?

Ok, I know it's mean, but it just cracks me up.

I heard there were near riots when people tried to get their hands on the "I am not a plastic bag" version by AH. I actually think her bag is witty and fun, but the lemming-like mobbing for it and editorial face-licking was a little much, no?

Rick Owens. The designer for girls who aren't sweet.

I am getting really tired of being asked to pay $98 for a knit top at Anthropologie that I could have stitched together from Old Navy cast offs. Withering, shapeless cotton. Seriously? I would gladly pay $200 and up for pieces that are thoughtful, fit well, and will work season to season, but the "t-shirt dressing" phenomenon that we can blame labels like C&C california has spawned a generation of girls who look sloppy and shapeless. I like the volume trend, but it's hard to do. And then you see people wearing the empire-waist trend who shouldn't. I shouldn't and so I don't. I have breasts. This means that anything in this construction will just make me look pregnant. And I am not the only one.

I think all the girls out there need to collectively hold hands and say, "Nope. Thanks Nordstrom/Anthro/Urban/etc etc for your dumpy & cheaply made t-shirt-y tops and dresses. No thanks. I could buy four of those and look retarded in them, or I could buy one Rick Owens piece and rock my world every day that I happen to shimmy into it."

You can see Rick Owens at

Tag - I'm it!

Alrighty then... looks like I have been recruited for a game of blog tag. (I know... I didn't know what it was either...).

Fabulous Robyn of tagged me and now she says I get to tell 8 random things about myself and then list 8 blogs I love... I then need to go tell those bloggers that tag, they're it. Simple. Fun. And a cool way to find other blogs about things we love (or should).

Here goes:

1) I drank gasoline when I was 3 and lived to tell. My fiance likes to think this is the root of all my weirdness.

2) I am probably the only person on the west coast who does not like sushi.

3) I never went anywhere until I was 30... realizing I was feeling awefully provincial, I applied for an emergency passport and booked a trip to Paris last April. I arrived on my birthday and I must say, if you want to deal with a tough milestone like 30 (or 40 or 50) just decide to wake up in a city of your dreams and all your fears of wrinkles and aging just disappear like magic.

4) I actually like my fiance's ex-wife. She's very cool. I am even thinking we should all go on a group vacation. Shocking, huh?

5) I met my best friend on craigslist. And my fiance. I fully believe that you should just post for friends like a help-wanted ad. You truly get what you want.

6) My Ipod is mostly set to The Twilight Singers, Mindy Smith, and Liz Phair.

7) The most beautiful places I have been to are Paris, San Juan Island (in Washington State) and Colonia, Uruguay.

8) I think Marc Jacobs was hotter when he was all shlubby and wore the nerdy glasses. But I would still take the new Marc any day of the week. Too bad he is NOT interested. Sigh.

Here are the 8 blogs I love:

At Home At Home
Beach Bungalow 8
Belle Vivre
Girl Meets Glamour
Kaite Did
Style Court
The Blackberrie - Fashion & Commentary
Oh Happy Day

Leftovers.... random cool things, rooms, dresses, etc

Vanessa Bruno's Parisian Apartment

This ties back to my recent post about how people do Ikea in the US vs Europe. I don't think much in this apartment is from Ikea but my point is there is this cool/spare look you see so much in certain European design magazines that just rocks. Paris has so much romantic architecture, yet people know how to toughen up the look at home and make it chic and young. I love it. Somehow a traditional bench under that mirror is really hip in this fresh and unassuming interior.

Note the shoes in the second photo. Meow.

Manhattan Country via Canadian House & Home

Love, love, love. It's just really relaxed and cool.

Obsolete - LA store specializing in the weird and wonderful

I think there are a few store in the country doing pretty amazing things for retail (namely offering amazing product in wonderful environments and fearlessly promoting their singular vision in an artful way). I include in this list ABC Carpet & Home & John Derian in NYC, Trove in Laguna Beach, CA, and also Obsolete in LA.

John Derian
ABC Carpet & Home

I have a thing for the old and discarded that was once useful. I like purpose in design and there is something about keeping artifacts alive in your home that makes you remember that you're just taking care of the things your grandchildren will inherit (so buy well, my friends! Invest in what you love!).

Obsolete is just so dreamy, so weird. It's like America's Deyrolle. Enjoy.

The gritty cousin of "Hollywood Regency"

I don't really go for the cutesy pink & green version of Hollywood Regency where everyone has really over-the-top graphic fabrics and blanc de chine white dogs or those monstrous porcelain elephants.

I do, however, like Paul McCobb and a kind of retro vibe. You know, like back when your grandparents' chic swinging friends vacationed in Tahiti (when it was new to Americans) and discovered fondue? Yeah. That's the gritty cousin of "hollywood regency" that I like.

I think this is a perfect execution of that idea.

More white rooms...

Clean and lovely.

Charlotte Moss, design doyenne, shops Paris

From Town & Country (I think). I tore these out a while ago as inspiration for my trip to Paris in '06. Moss is kind of old school traditional... and I love it. She probably drinks Tab from cut crystal. Fucking fabulous.

How to do Ikea

There's a big difference between the style you'll see in American decorno mags and UK decorno mags and I think in a weird way the test is how they do Ikea.

In the US, people try to up-market Ikea and that gets weird. I think Ikea for certain basics is great. I swear by the white dishes and the glasses since they are cheap and you can go ahead and break them. I think you can also get a good lamp here and there and even good rugs, especially sisal (very good deals there... why bother with Pottery Barn's sisal at their price?).

But some people will buy, like, an old country hutch and it just looks weird. Too new to be country-ish and it's just off.

In UK design mags, there can be that cheap look. Living, etc. is one example. (I'm not a fan.) However, Elle Decor UK shows this perfect low-brow, but high-minded aesthetic with elements of Ikea punching it up, or laying the foundation.

Vanessa Seward of Azzaro is chicer than we'll ever be.

Like Sofia Coppola, Vanessa Seward is really too cool. She's got the dream job (designing for fashion label Azzaro) and she's got the weird/cool Euro-hipster boyfriend who looks like the kind of guy your divorced mother fucked (semi)secretly back in the 70s. He's like 31 going on 48, in terms of style aesthetic, yet he drives the vintage fab car and he's just awesome.

Oh, as an added bonus, Ms. Seward is 36, which makes me so, so, so happy because I am going through that whole I am 31 and my youth is over phase. If this is what 36 can look like, I am set.

If you click the images, they will enlarge (magic, I tell you) and I *think* you can read the text.

Thanks Bazaar mag for the images. These are intended solely for commentary purposes. Everyone go out and buy a subscription to Bazaar. It's always worth it.

White hot room...

Ok, the first of many. I am now officially tagging posts like this as "White Hot Rooms" because white is always right.
This one belongs to one of the owners of FACE Stockholm and I am sorry to post a Domino pic. I will try to keep it to a minimum and focus more on original content or under-the-radar pics not published in mass magazines.

Although, I do heart Domino. Who doesn't?

Look at this hot mess! I love Miles Redd.

Fucking fabulous. How could you not be happy holed up here, reading your book about Nancy Cunard, lording over this old-dowager-chic hot mess of a room???

I love rooms like this that straight guys don't get. It's like wearing Jil Sander perfume. It's something you do for yourself and to hell with anyone who doesn't get it.

Just because you like old & rustic doesn't mean it has to be Grandma-chic...

The room to the left is a great example of mixing old elements (fireplace), rustic ones (the humble wooden stool) and a new traditional chair and having the result be really fresh.

I *love* old stuff with some utility (past or present, anyway). For example, I found old branding irons at a flea market and just loved them but I had no idea how I would use them. On their own they can seem way to cowboy, but on a spare and empty creme wall mounted in 3s or 5s, it could really graphic and tough and cool.

It really does go back to buying what you love. I am glad everyone is having so much fun with hollywood regency, but as a look it's going to get so dated so fast. Luckily, some of those elements can be broken up and moved around your house one everyone realizes their homes have become bad imitations of good Kelly Wearstler or Ruthie Sommers. It just proves out that you have to love all your pieces and trust a look of your own to come through as a result.

Remember when Madonna was AWESOME? circa "Vogue" years...

Courtesy of Alan Light via flickr.

Latest ebay score: French Bottle Drying Rack

I've been wanting one for years and they are usually $500 and up. Finally scored for under $200. I biz-argain and straight from France. Yee haw.

I have a few plans for it. When host future big backyard bash in my future-fabulous backyard, I can store a jillion little glasses on it and have everyone self-serve from the outside bar (see Hungarian bath post below). Also have some other plans in mind involving gussying (sp?) the house up for the holidays. Stay tuned.

And send me ideas if you've got any!

Deborah Bowness Wallpaper

Sofia Coppola: Chic-er than all of us put together.

These images were featured a few months ago in the NY Times Magazine, but I have kept the issue because I keep meaning to show it to my young niece as an example of what's really cool.

Let it also be a lesson for me.

Tia Zoldan's home courtesy of Cottage Living

Ok, the photo is tiny, I wil try to post a larger version later, but dear god look how happy and chic and bright this room is. This is every couple's answer to the modern vs traditional debate because it's totally fresh and has different enough elements that could evolve in any design direction. You could also see different pieces migrating to other rooms in the house over time.

Perfection. And really livable, too.

I know everyone is high on Florence Broadhurst...

...but let me join the club by adding how much I love this wallpaper.

I would have no place to put it in my home, so I may just have to stare at it on my blog instead. Sigh.

I do want to find an old Eastlake-style sofa and stain is glossy black and use a fabric in a similar print to recover the seat. That would be hot.

Flea market finds in Buenos Aires

The photo above can only be described as inducing the biggest flea market hard-on ever.
Go ahead, click to enlarge to see all these tasty flea market finds in their supersized glory.

At the San Telmo Flea Market in Buenos Aires I found amazing salvaged brass handles, nameplates, and feet (for furniture). I scored a "CARTES" mail slot like the one you see here and also picked up a number of brass plates salvaged from a boat. One said "TORPEDO ROOM." Another said "FIRST CLASS ONLY."

It just DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THAT. If you are a flea market addict like I am, these are the things wet dreams are made of.

I also scored 4 great vintage photos (why I didn't buy the whole box is beyond me since in Argentina one dollar could practically buy you a new suit. Or something. Anyway...).

People in nearby Uruguay are seriously addicted to drinking yerba mate, so finding a vintage photo of a dad drinking it with his retro-sleek hair was a big victory.

I also LOVE that I found the photo (posting it soon...for some reason it wants to upload sideways.. I think using a computer is at times like bending spoons with your mind. Argh... but I digress.) of a family where you can clearly see the shadow of the photographer in the frame. I have a collection now of 5 vintage photos with this error in it. I just love it. Welcome to amateur hour. This is one of many reasons why vintage photos make my heart sing.

Buenos Aires, Argentina and Colonia, Uruguay are freaking fantastic places. Go now while it's still a bargain.

The shopping in neighborhoods Palermo Viejo, Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho are definitely all they are cracked up to be.

La Mersa, below, was really a great find. It wasn't in my trusty wallpaper guide. It should be. The photo doesn't seem to convey the real flavor of the merchandise, which was a lot of mid-century and beyond, but not in a starchy cold way like Paul McCobb, but in a warn and fabulous way. Everything in the store was amazing.

This store, below, went up in likee 3 days while I was there. Pink. Pink. Pink. I love it.

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig