Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Faux Real

Creating a focal point in any room is a must and when it comes to the bedroom, the piece de resistance is the bed, of course.  There are many great options for affordable bedding, but what about the bed frame? There are few well-priced, stylish options and while there are some alternatives (i.e. paint or a d.i.y. upholstered headboard),  those projects can be messy and time-consuming.  For a simple, affordable solution, check out these creative and colorful decals from Mina Javid.

Nessa Headboard in Sunflower

Olivia Headboard in Charcoal

Wrought Iron Headboard in Cranberry

Nico Headboard in Raspberry

Choose from a rainbow of colors and, the best part is, choose any of the four designs for only $40.  Order now and you can bring some va-voom to your bedroom by this weekend!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Textile Designer For A Day

Have you always wanted a fuchsia and orange houndstooth rug?  How about a peace sign pillow that coordinates perfectly with your pad?  It can be yours!   Jonathan Adler now offers a customization option for rugs, pillows, and totes.  Choose with or without monogram and between dozens of patterns and colors.  With just a few clicks of my mouse, check out the fun creations I made this morning!

Insert your monogram, a number, or even a question mark

There are many possibilities with this pattern, which allows you
to make six color selections.  Adler is a firm believer that
colors can't clash, so let loose and pick your favorites

Does this look familiar?  Adler used this rug in Liz Lange's Country House featured here

I had the Viceroy Santa Monica in mind when I designed this one

Nautical color palette meets funky concentric square pattern

The red and orange take pink from prissy to perfection

Looking for something really different?  How about a sky blue
and orange houndstooth pattern for a faux-animal hide rug

Classic combo of pink and navy blue

All products are made from Peruvian wool or 100% hand loomed cotton.  Pillows range from $98-$198 and rugs from $720 for a 4'x6' to $3240 for a 9'x12'.  Totes are $125-$137.  It takes 12-14 weeks to receive your order.

Want more ideas?  There's entire gallery of designs created by Adler customers.  Now, get your creative juices flowing, click here and get started on your own design.  When you're done, add it to the gallery to share with the world.  Have fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh Baby!

With so many new parents in my circle of friends, I thought it would be helpful to round up my favorite nurseries.  What do all these inspiration rooms have in common?  Fun patterns and colors, furniture that children can grow with, and they don't go over the top with a theme.  Skip the theme!

Expecting a little girl?  Don't be afraid of pink!  Just use it on more grown-up pieces like the chinoiserie-inspired screen featured in this Serena and Lily room or choose an unexpected shade, such as....

In this example from Domino magazine, pale blue walls are soothing,
while a hot pink rug captures baby's attention at playtime

Hot pink pops up again in this Duc Duc nursery

Want to steer clear of pink and blue?  Green is a great option, that's also gender neutral.  This Domino nursery is the perfect shade of soft green.  Try Perfect Pear (DE5519) from Dunn- Edwards.  Also, notice the storage shelf under the crib.  This Netto Collection design makes the most of usually under-utilized space.  Brilliant!

Is it a crib?  Is it a toddler bed?  It's both!
This is another smart and stylish solution from the Netto Collection

Here's a fresh color combo from Serena and Lily.
I'm loving that green houndstooth crib sheet!

Baby spends a lot of time staring at the ceiling, so paint something inspiring like these yellow stripes.  This is another great nursery from the pages of Domino magazine.  (Oh, how I miss Domino!)

A beautiful focal wall in this room from Duc Duc offers an unexpected pattern for a nursery and the yellow and white color combo steers clear of being dainty, by adding black to the palette (just as in the Domino nursery with the yellow stripes).

This orange Eames rocker is perfectly placed in
 this polka-dotted nursery from Design Sponge

The Apartment delivers a creative space in this nursery.  A stencil was used to achieve the border and what makes this room even more fun is that the lower portion of the wall is chalkboard paint!

Here's another creative space from Style Files 
that allows the little ones to sprout into artists

Hope this inspiration helps you create the perfect nest for your new addition!  Which room was your favorite?  Please, leave your comments and I'll pick one room next week, break down the design, and give you resources to pull the look together!  (Just like I did with this week's post about the rock 'n roll bachelor pad)  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Visual Acoustics

Everyone has a unique answer to that infamous question about who you would invite, dead or alive, to your dream dinner party.  I confess that I am a total design nerd (shocking, right?) and my guest list includes mostly mid-20th century architects and designers.  One of the exceptions is a photographer, Julius Shulman.  He never designed a building or interior, but he did capture wonderful photographs of those that did.  From Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry, Shulman's images introduced the world to the iconic buildings that defined the modernist movement in Southern California. 

Even if you don't recognize his name, you may recognize this image used for the movie poster for Eric Bricker's new documentary film, Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman.  It's Pierre Koenig's Stahl House and is just one of the many, many photographs Julius gifted to the world.

I've been so anxious to see this film, which chronicles Shulman's life and career and is narrated by Dustin Hoffman, and I will get my chance tonight at the OC Museum of Art.  Want to see it, but can't make it tonight?  No worries.  The theatrical opening will be in Los Angeles at the Nuart Theatre on October 16th.  For a full list of screenings in the U.S. (next up SF, NYC, and Pittsburgh) and around the globe, check out the film's website.

Johnie's Is Back!

Milkshakes, classic cars, and googie architecture?  Count me in.  Bob's Big Boy Broiler will open this weekend in the former location of Harvey's Broiler (later known as Johnie's Broiler).    

This iconic 1950's googie drive-in designed by Paul B. Clayton, was illegally demolished in 2007.  No permit was pulled and the electricity and gas weren't even disconnected.  The loss of this important example of roadside architecture devastated those not only in the city of Downey, but all across the country.  A faithful few never gave up the fight to rebuild, however, and a Bob's Big Boy franchisee stepped in to recreate the drive-in as close to the original as possible.  Now, it's ready for you to enjoy a burger and a milkshake!  And what would be without classic cars?  There's a cruise-in which will include some who have traveled from as far as Tennessee.  Other events include a signing for John Eng and Adriene Biondo's new book, Southern California Eats (2-4pm) and special musical guests.

Rendering from The Downey Patriot, via Curbed

Los Angeles has suffered some significant architectural losses over the years, especially when it comes to our recent past and roadside landmarks such as this have quickly been disappearing across the country.  So this success story is definitely cause for celebration!  Join in this free event Saturday, September 26th from 11am to sunset at 7447 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Little Bit Rock 'n Roll

When a music-lovin' friend (a single guy in his mid-20's) came to me asking for help with his new downtown loft, I instantly knew that I wanted a sort of 70's rock 'n roll aesthetic mixed with a few current pieces.  I wanted the space to be masculine, with some hard, clean lines, but decided to add some curvaceous pieces, so it wouldn't be too tough. As with any room, finding the perfect color palette would be oh-so-important.  This inspiration room from New York designer, Miles Redd, became my jumping off point.

What do I admire about this room?  For starters, the ethereal blue walls provide a great backdrop for the lacquered black furniture.  Then, a punch of red, with that piece of artwork, and a graphic pattern like that black and white rug give the room some edge.  So, how can you pull off a similar look and keep your budget in check?  Try these options:

Clockwise from top left: Jimi Hendrix 3'x5' canvas ($795), Farrow & Ball 'Borrowed Light' #235 ($85/gallon), Flor Carpet Tiles in 'El Tigre' ($5.20/sq ft), IKEA 'Ange' chair ($129), West Elm 'Links' Side Table, CB2 Avec Sofa ($1199), West Elm Hideaway Media Bench (Currently $449, Normally $549)

Try mixing in some wood pieces like this Walnut Hexagon Coffee Table from Room Service ($995).  The smoke glass top screams 1970's, but in a good way.

Add a bit of sparkle to this tough space with the Anemone Ceiling Lamp from  Jonathan Adler ($525)

And there are many affordable black lamps to choose from, but this one with its curvy shape fits particularly well into this room, Room Service 'Beverly Hills' Table Lamp ($175)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vintage Maps + Steel Furniture

One trip to Steel Casey (pictured above), nearly a decade ago, and I was hooked on the idea of my very own vintage tanker desk in one of their 24 custom colors.  Fast forward to 2005, and I scored one for free! A little TLC and about $300 to have it professionally powder-coated, and it was just like the ones I had longed for at Steel Casey.

I chose to go with a crisp white with dark grey drawer fronts, but you could also opt for a bright pop of color like this orange from Twenty Gauge at H.D. Buttercup.

Or go all white, like this desk from Rehab Vintage (formerly Sonrisa Furniture)

Desks aren't your only option!  Just check out the selection (below) at Twenty Gauge.  Places like Steel Casey and Rehab Vintage also have a variety of choices, including bookcases, drawer units, chairs, tables, file cabinets, even desktop mail sorters and trash cans.

Scared to commit to a specific color?  Try one of these chairs, with a natural steel frame and a splash of colorful fabric that you can change pretty easily when you get bored with the print/color.  For a similar look, use this organic fabric, Wee Jubilee, from Mod Green Pod.  Also available in licorice.

Pieces like this cabinet from Rehab Vintage are perfect for organization in the office, or try one by the front door to sort mail, store keys, change, phone chargers, sunglasses, etc.

These type of places are also a great resource for vintage maps.  Twenty Gauge has a sister company, Style de Vie (also located at H.D. Buttercup) that specializes in this and just brought back a huge shipment of French school maps, the heavy vinyl type used in classrooms.  I love the bold turquoise and yellow combo in this map of Europe:

Choose to frame these maps behind glass or skip the glass and clip between poster rails.

This 1970's world map (below) is from Rehab Vintage

Be creative, don't be afraid of color, and have fun incorporating these vintage maps and steel furniture into your home or office.  If you have any questions or want more ideas, just shoot me an e-mail.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tonight at Hotel Shangri-La

Join the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee for their monthly meeting tonight at Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica.  We'll meet in the penthouse of this 1939 art deco landmark and enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.  Arrive by 6:30pm to mix and mingle.  The meeting will start at 7pm.  Hope to see you there!  Not in Los Angeles?  Follow what's going on with preservation of Los Angeles' historically significant buildings by joining the Mod Com message board.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's a Cliff May Kind of Day!

This week, I came across a great quote from the Chinese poet, Lao-tzu.  "The reality of the building does not consist in the four walls and the roof, but in the space within to be lived in." There is a spirit that certain buildings possess and the architects that are able to make this emotional connection are truly artists.  The legendary mid-century architect, Cliff May, is among them.  Known as the "father of the California ranch home"and for his ability to perfectly blend the indoors with the outdoors, May melded new 20th-century concepts in architecture with inspiration from California's Spanish Mexican ranchos.  Through this combination of ideas and his own unique approach to architecture, he developed a design language that was all his own.

All photographs by Jeremy Samuelson

Located in West Los Angeles, the Skylight house, built in 1949, is a great example of his trailblazing spirit and willingness to push boundaries.  I was excited to see a feature on this home in a recent issue of Metropolitan Home and see how it was recently updated by L.A. design/build firm, Marmol-Radziner.

The home is considered to be May's most experimental house.  The motorized skylight, shown above, was at the center of the home with four posts that supported the roof.  At the time it was built, there were no major interior walls.  Instead, twenty-five, two-by-four-by-six mahogany cabinets were on concealed rubber wheels and could be arranged in whatever combination the owner felt suited his lifestyle.  After two years, Cliff May moved out and the next owner decided to fix the cabinets.  May admitted that the idea of such a flexible space was extreme, but the experiment did contribute to later successful ideas in his architecture.

Marmol-Radziner took on the project, reversed the bad design decisions that had been made over the years, and revived the spirit of Cliff's original concept.  While there are now full-height walls and new stationary cabinetry, it still has a strong connection with the landscape, an open concept, and maintains the unique quality of light throughout the home.   It was this quality of light that inspired the purchase of the home by the current owner, Robert Richardson. An academy award-winning cinematographer, Richardson has experienced much success this year with Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.  He knows a thing or two about good lighting and the home captures a perfect balance between light and dark.  Even on an overcast day, the skylight showers the space with daylight and the wooded landscape casts shadows and creates depth.

Read the full Metropolitan Home article here and if you'd like to move into Richarson's neighborhood into your own Cliff May masterpiece, check out this listing.
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