Monday, February 25, 2013

Copy Cat and Oscars Monday

Sometimes you see a room that stops you in your tracks.  You say out loud to no one "whoa whoa whoa".  I love it when this happens!
Saw this Jeff McNamara image on Pinterest the other day and did the whoa whoa whoa thing.  Then started to break it down.  It's so simple.  I can do this.  My basic bedding is all white.  I have been called a dog with a bone...when I want something I will


How cool is Lamps Plus new Color Plus line of lamps in a bazillion colors?

Or here is the actual lamp in the photo, it's this one from Circa Lighting:

Circa Lighting Lauren lamp

For the art above the bed, I already have some great black and white prints that would be perfect.
And here is where my plan hits a road block.

How gorgeous is this lacquered nightstand?  It's kind of important in the overall feel of the inspiration room right?  But's it's $1075!  And obvi you need two.  Yikes.
Herein lies the challenge.  What are some suitable (and by suitable I mean "normal" price range) substitutes?  I'm taking me photos please.
In other news...
Woohoo!!!  How did you enjoy the show?  I thought:
 Seth was adorable and very funny. 
Barbra made me bawl! #memories #hubbell
Jennifer Lawrence charming and deserving.
Ben Affleck was ridiculously sweet.
Daniel Day Lewis..Brits can really make a good speech.
Jane Fonda #bestdressed
I'm out...Have a great Monday.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Backbeat and Oscar Sunday

Proud of my beautiful City of Angels and all that she has to offer. 
Pretty day today!

(all photos via my iphone)

I'm old enough to remember when it was said that one thing LA lacked over NYC was culture.  Those days are long gone friends.
Culture?  We got that.

 Oh yes, this is totes happening.
Today I made a quick trip downtown
to pick up our theater tickets for next week.  Taking my crew of 6 to see Backbeat at the beautiful Ahmanson Theatre
With two musicians, one actor, two former actors, and one former stage manager in my crew, we love us some theater...especially musicals.
We have a lovely Music Center downtown that is made up of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre.
And later as I was traveling across town, I was rudely reminded that it's Oscar weekend...ran into this roadblock smack dab in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard:
I gotta tell you it was a tad cray cray out there. three favorite films this year:

Who are you rooting for?  It doesn't really only matters that you get out and see the amazing films being made for our viewing pleasure. 
It just makes you feel good!
And for some pre Oscars fashion fun,
please follow my favorite costume designer, Luke Reichle on Twitter @RedCarpetLuke.  He is the fabulous costume designer for Castle...beautiful amazing costumes....and he really KNOWS his red carpet fashions!  Luke will be live-tweeting the Red Carpet...his tweets are always a hoot :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

E-Design and Why It's Awesome

About a year ago I was really struggling to get my dining and living rooms together.  I had been reading design blogs for a couple of years and thought I had absorbed some design skills.  Haha!  Doesn't work like that.  I was so frustrated because those talented gals (and guys) make it look so easy that I was sure I could achieve the look I wanted.  Wrong!  You non-designer types know exactly what I'm talking about, right?
I realized I needed help and e-design was the perfect solution.  I highly recommend it!  It's totally afordable and can really save you from making costly mistakes, not to mention help you get the rooms you really want.

My dining room below...
not possible without e-design.

Before this great invention, ordinary people like myself could never have afforded to hire a professional designer.  Along with their higher fees, they sometimes add 20%-40% to the price of everything they buy for your rooms.  No offense to are totally worth it, but that can add a lot to the price of a design.  So if you're on a budget, like most of us, connecting with a talented designer through the internet is a fantastic alternative.
How does e-design work?
1. Start checking out design blogs and find a designer whose style you like.  I looked for one whose home I also liked, not just their client projects.  Somewhere on their blog it will say if they do online or e-design consulting.  You will contact them via that link on their blog.  
2.  The designer will contact you with the details of what their services and fees are.  Typically you will pay a set fee for a room design that will include a couple of phone conversations with the designer, a design plan and sources for everything you need to purchase to implement the plan. 
3.  You will then email the designer pictures of your room along with dimensions, your budget, what colors and styles you like, how you intend to use the room...stuff like that.
4.  This is where you usually have the first phone conversation with the designer to further discuss your likes and dislikes, and what you want to accomplish in the room.
5.  Once the designer has completed your room plan, you will be sent an invoice to pay for the service either through Paypal or via check through the mail.
6.  Once the designer has received your payment, they will email you the plan and sources.
7.  At this point there is usually a second phone conversation wherein you discuss the plan, the sources and your general giddiness at how much you love your designer for giving you this fabulous plan for your room.
Happiness ensues.
 For my living & dining rooms, I worked with Lauren of The Cottage Mix.  Lauren's style is light, neutral, a bit coastal & traditional with texture and great woodwork.  I was instantly drawn to Lauren's style when I first laid eyes on her foyer (below) which I think is absolute perfection.  It was love at first sight for me.

So I contacted Lauren, sent her my awful before photos (see below...yikes) and she got to work.  


I cannot stress this enough (hence to bold type)...from the moment I contacted Lauren, I felt a tremendous relief of pressure just knowing that help was on the way and I was no longer going to drown in that design black hole of confusion and indecision. 
(Cue the angels singing here.)

Above is part of the design plan that Lauren created for my dining room showing lighting, host chairs and fabric choices. I was keeping my table and had already purchased four wicker chairs.  We also talked about adding four pieces of art around my existing mirror.  Lauren suggested these frames from Pottery Barn which I purchased and used to frame four sea fans that I bought at Wertz Bros in Santa Monica.  That's how my dining room below came to exist...
thanks to e-design.
In my living room I wanted to keep my white sofa and white chairs.  Lauren used a  painting I already had to pull the other and blue.  Here was part of the plan:

I purchased the green striped rug from William Sonoma Home and a new tv cabinet from PB according to Lauren's plan.  We added some new accessories and some custom pillows & some John Robshaw pillows.  I had a 4" navy linen border added to my PB cotton panels (Lauren had done this in her living room and I liked it). all came together thanks to working with a pro.

I cannot even begin to count all the money I've wasted buying pieces of furniture that didn't kids received a lot of free stuff from my mistakes.  The cost of an e-design is more than worth it, not to mention the fact that I was not capable of getting the look I wanted by myself.  Had to just suck it up and admit that.
My sister Linee and I both love the style of Mary Ann at Classic Casual Home.  What's not to love about her gorgeous rooms?

  Linee recently worked with Mary Ann on her living room and she is thrilled with the plan Mary Ann has come up with.  Linee had her basic furniture pieces and fabrics in place but was frustrated at not being able to pull it all together.  Mary Ann came in and took it to the finish line with this gorgeous plan that included lighting, drapes, flooring, rugs and accessories:

I can't wait to see Linee implement this plan and I'm especially excited because this is where our family spends Christmas.  Awesome!  It's gonna be fantastic.
Another of my favorite designers is Rene of the blog Cottage & Vine.  Rene is such a sweet person and I love her design style.  Here is a fun design board Rene created for an e-design client:
I love the way Rene created a room plan that is modern, yet warm...colorful yet calm.  It's called talent's not accidental, it's talent.
Another fun design team is the mother-daughter duo of Powell Brower Home...Nancy & Bethany.  Here is one of their cool design boards for an e-design client:
Nancy & Bethany also offer a service they call "Design in a Box". 
After a telephone consultation, they put together a box containing a plan with paint colors, flooring materials, fabrics, and furniture & lighting sources.  Bethany says this service is great way to save money and complete your room on your own timeframe.
There are so many choices out there for
e-design...literally thousands.  The beauty of this internet thing is that we can connect globally and you can find a designer that you love and is in your budget...regardless of where you live. 
Find one you like and just go for it! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cougar Town Set Design {Epic}

Seems like only yesterday, but it was way back in 2009 when my favorite comedy writer Bill Lawrence debuted his newest show Cougar Town. It started out as a show about a recently divorced woman (Courteney Cox) on the prowl for hot young 'uns.  Gross.

About 6 episodes in, the show hit it's stride and became a funny ensemble about a group of neighbors in fictional Gulftown, Florida (the "cul-de-sac crew") who drink a lot of wine and are quirky, funny & sweet.  It's not about cougars anymore.
The show's greatest asset way back then was it's awesome set design by the amazing Archie D'Amico.

Easy breezy coastal design without being too beachy.  Captivated a nation.  Or at least thousands of crazed bloggers and internet lurkers like myself.  We went nuts trying to source every single detail of the set.  Like the fabric, Thomas Paul's Aviary in Robin on the barstools, Ikea's Henriksdal.  That was a week of my life finding that fabric.
Had slipcovers made for my kitchen chairs.  Still love them.

The darling kitchen table from the set below is custom made.  Wicker chairs from Crate & Barrel.

I came dangerously close to having a coral sofa made.  I'm a white sofa girl...always will be.  So glad I didn't do it, but still love the look.  Lamps filled with shells are the Bacchus Lamp from Pottery Barn.

Custom made coffee table is gorgeous.  Spent a month of my life looking for this table until I finally heard from set designer himself that it was custom.

I was never that crazy about the bedding in the master bedroom...
It has since been changed on the set.  But I did love the bedside lamps from PB...bought 'em.  

Frosted pantry door created quite a buzz.  And the vintage bamboo hat rack is from Wertz Bros. in L.A.  I say that so casually but it took me a month or more to find out where that hat rack came from!  I must have been insane.  Or maybe the challenge of the hunt.

The crazy gorgeous fabric on the two club chairs in the living room...Gran Umbelifera by Gaston y Daniela.  That was SO hard to track down...seriously at least two months of looking.  It's like $500.00 a yard and you have to buy like a million yards. 
But pretty right?

And perhaps best of all...the painting on the far wall in the living room.
Changed. My. Life.
OK, maybe not my actual life, but you know.

Tracked the painting to a prop rental house on Santa Monica Boulevard.  It's an old unsigned painting from the 60's.  Seriously?  I wanted to buy it so badly.  But no deal.

(p.s. see that white etagere from Bungalow 5 hiding behind the French door in the photo above?  Still love that piece.)

I never imagined a set design would have so much impact on my own design tastes, but this set hit me like a bolt of lightening.  And I wasn't alone.  In November 2009, a sweet blogger named Melkorka did a blog post "Does Anyone Else Watch Cougar Town For The Set Design?".  Innocent enough question.  As of today's date there are 138 comments and 20,548 hits on that post with the most recent ones being in September 2012.  That's 3 years!(I'm new to blogging but that seems like a LOT of hits to me!)  Poor girl, we took OVER that post.  It became a chat room for all us crazies trying to source every detail of that set. 
I didn't have a clue what a blog was then...people were asking me to post pictures of my finds and sources.  I couldn't understand why I couldn't post pictures in the comments section of someone else's blog.  Oy vey.

I recently emailed Melkorka to ask her if I could post the link.  She's no longer blogging much (I think we scared her) but she sweetly said absolutely yes. 

You can read the original post and comments here on Our Little Big House.  There are lots more sources named along with a couple of comments by Archie D'Amico, the set designer.  I am the crazy poster going by the name of Hartmom (don't hate me).

Entertainment Weekly did a piece on the sets naming many sources but they had some pretty glaring errors.  Shoddy research ;)

The "EAT" letters...yeah have those in my kitchen too...originally from Anthropologie but since discontinued.

It's always fun when something really gets your creative juices going, and the Cougar Town set did that for me.  In many ways it changed my design outlook forever. 

Gotta love that!

As always, thanks for reading...I appreciate you so much!



P.S.  If you are interested in the new bedding in Jules' bedroom set, click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Star of the Week...Why I Love My Home Sweet Hollywood

Jack Bauer in my hood today people...the extremely talented Emmy award winning actor Kiefer Sutherland shopping for office supplies. 
Excuse me for a minute while I catch my  breath.  Dude is sexy and very very sweet.  Hard to imagine him playing such a badass character as Jack Bauer on the amazing show 24.

Huge fan of his work...told him so right there in the pens & pencils aisle of the office supply store.  He thanked me with all kinds of genuine warmth.  Also told him how much I love his father's work...Ordinary People being one of my all-time favorite movies.  His too!  Kiefer and I have so much in common...who knew?

Woke up today wondering when and if another blog post idea would ever materialze and bam...go to buy a battery and there it is.  Like a gift from heaven...with dreamy blue eyes.

You're welcome. :)