Friday, July 31, 2009

Pretty and Pink

After just going through my inspiration files, I found so many ideas for postings. I thought I would start with my very favorite photo. It is above. I am so drawn to both Red and Pink and this vignette evokes what I love so much about each color. The red leather clad console with nailheads- bold, chic, masculine. The light pink walls- sensual, soft, feminine. The magenta flowers- excitement, thrill, and passion. I know it may sound dramatic to talk about design this way, but perhaps that is why some of us get into this profession....because it does evoke those emotions. Can you understand why designer's love their job so much?!?!?! :)

I have had the above picture on my wall for a couple years now. I just love it. Well, I came across this image of a silk flower and immediately thought of my dream photo. How perfect would these silk flowers work on that console? Silk flowers are great if you find a stem that actually looks like a real flower. They can be expensive, but thankfully these are not too bad.

Fresh Touch Elizabeth Rose- $12 a stem, Pany Silk Flowers, NY (looks like I found a new posting with this one....definitely want to check out this place in Chelsea.)

This I wanted to include as well, to show that when designing, colors and ideas can come from anything. This was a box of truffles that my friend brought back from Heathrow Airport in London. These are strawberry champagne truffles and the best piece of chocolate I have EVER had....... I beg her to get them every time. That being said, I was so mesmerized by the color of the box, that I took it with me and have kept it for years as well, knowing that one day, I will have a paint color specifically mixed to match. The box is so beat up, even my dog attacked it and their is a lipstick smudge on it too, but I still keep it.

Add the perfect unique red console, the vibrant silk flowers, the paint color to match, and viola, I've got my own version of the picture.

Whenever you find something you love, and it doesn't matter if you don't know what to do with it- keep it, for you may find a use later on. But truthfully, if it speaks to you in a way that brings a positive emotion, why not display it as a reminder of those feelings. Finding art and inspiration in unusual places is what pretty much what occupies my mind all day!

The Designista

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Elephant Stampede

Good Morning Everyone! I was looking through my inspiration file last night for things to blog about this week (if you have been paying attention, I have done one every day!) and came across this restored outdoor/ indoor pavilion.

House and Garden

The thing about ripping things out of magazines for inspiration (which I recommend everyone do,) is that you can't go back in time to find the whole article and get more description on the room or find out where something was purchased. What I do know, is that I love the elephant floor lamp and table combination. The use of elephant in design is so "hot" right now. Though this image is at least a year old, you can see elephants in all aspects of interior design and fashion. I have always wanted to have an elephant side table in my interiors, so I decided to do a little research. If you are like me, and budget conscious, these have really great prices!

My Favorite!- Ceramic and the most expensive, of course- The Well Appointed House- $580

Tracy Porter White Ceramic Elephant- $247.50

Alabaster with a felt bottom planter stand- Spring Garden Shop $29.95

White Wicker elephant- Pier One Imports $99.95

Wicker Elephant in Antique (but also comes in white)- Frans Wicker $45

Let me know which one you like the most.... I would love to know what my audience thinks about my finds! When you introduce the animal element into your interiors, it brings an unexpected roar of excitement, to your space, while still remaining chic! A little piece goes a long way.
The Designista

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Life: Just for fun...

It has been raining so much lately I just had to include this picture of Nadia and I! We are so happy here to be at a roof top party with lightening in the background, but no rain! Oh the little things that make you happy!
The Designista

Shop Stop: Alan Moss

436 Lafayette Street, NY, NY 10003

When I worked in Los Angeles for an interior design firm, our projects were so high-end that I was blessed to be able use some of the finest fabrics and furnishings around. Two of our projects, an Art Deco inspired building in London, a Classic French apartment in Paris, called for the use of authentic antiques. I even got to shop for antiques in Paris! Oh what a day!

The other day I was walking near my house and stumbled across an antique shop that we often would specify products from- Alan Moss. In order to get in, you must ring the door bell. Once inside, it is hard to focus at first because the place is packed so tightly with gorgeous pieces whose origin span the century and, due to their expensive price, have rich pedigrees as well, I am sure. A goal of mine- to one day have my own projects (and hopefully for my own home) that would allow me the opportunity to purchases antiques from dealers such as Alan Moss.

That being said I took a bunch of pictures of some pieces that caught my eye and it was quite fun to see things that I had once admired while working for MJDA. I have a dream to one day have my own projects that would allow me to buy antiques from places such as this.

This is MY FAVORITE combination! I just love how fluid and round this is.... like whipped cream. A close image below. This is plaster.

Faux Bamboo gilt side table with clear resin and gold leaf top. This piece is gorgeous. Look at the image below for a close up of the top.

I wish you could see this in person. This vignette, was my favorite in the showroom. The commode is cream with gold leaf detail on the facade, the mirror is gilt wood, and the lamps are gilt. I couldn't get any closer, because there is furniture from where I am standing all the way to the commode.

Pair of Bronze table lamps with Bronze shades by Charles et cie. 1960's

These are crystal beaded and bronze with lighting from within- these are about 30" tall. Beautiful.

So Art Deco- Pair of Chandeliers by Prof Fritz Breuheus, Berlin, 1925

Pair of Rare Plaster Serge Roche Torcheiers - I aspire to have one of his pieces one day!
French 1930's

Note: This is not a very friendly showroom as I was in there for 10 minutes without even a hello, but the pieces are worth seeing. Especially if you are a designer and in the market for some heavenly antiques.

The Designista

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Inspiration's Everywhere: Tory Burch

Fashion and interior design go hand in hand. One of my favorite designers, though at this point have had difficulty affording, is Tory Burch. Her designs are so vibrant and graphic, that they just make me feel alive and giddy when admiring them. My sister is one of her biggest shoe fans! She has about every pair known to woman. So it's no wonder that her store in Nolita, and every other one of her stores I've visited, could be an inspiration for design.
In many high-end stores, they won't allow you to take pictures inside, and with the hawk-eye sales person hovering over my shoulder, I wasn't in the mood to be reprimanded. However, I was able to take a picture of the facade, which in regards to this particular store, is my favorite aspect of the design.

TORY BURCH- 257 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

I love the unusual combination of orange, fuscia, and hunter green. I am one who is all about color, but not even I would have put this combo together at first. If you peak inside the door, the carpet is a lime green which makes it seem like you are walking onto grass, or a luxury version of a Palm Spring's 1960's patio covered in astro turf.

This front door is such a bold statement. The exaggerated height, the glossy orange paint, the acrylic and polished brass handles, and brass fittings at the base of both doors give this front door experience one of high class!

If you don't notice architectural details such as this high-relief masonary design, start noticing! There are beautiful details that often blend into the backgroud. At first, I thought this was just a graphic design applied to the structure. Though, after looking more closely, I believe it is a play off of her well-known "T" logo. I could picture a carpet in this design; cut silk pile with wool loop pile as the fore-ground/ field....... the T's slightly raised above the background...... ahhhhh.....that would look lovely.... say in black on white, aqua on orange, or ivory on ivory.... gorgeous and glamorous!
Whether or not you like her clothing line, stop into Tory Burch the next time you pass this store, and marvel at her interior design- it is something to covet!
The Designista

My Life: A New Job!!!!!!

Good Day Everyone! I am so sorry to have been ignoring you all for so long:( My creative energy was drained from focusing on finding a new job and I am proud to announce- I just started as an inside Sales Rep for the gorgeous and sleek Hudson Furniture Inc. in the Meat Packing District. For those of you that live in New York, it is directly above Stella McCartney on 14th Street.

Elle Decor advertisement

I am so blessed to get this job, when there are still so many unemployed highly-educated people in NY. Most of all, I am thrilled with myself for making the call. I actually bought a piece of petrified wood from them when I worked as an interior designer in Los Angeles. I called them, reminded them of their dealings with me, they remembered, and were apparently impressed with my demeanor over the phone in the many laborious conversations we had over two years ago, scheduled an interview the next day, met the owner three days later, and was hired the next day! Can you believe it?!?!?!! I have never had a professional interview process move so rapidly.

Moral of that story: always be polite in your personal and professional dealings, trying never to burn bridges. You never know who you will need or need to know later on. Two women imparted their wisdom on me years ago that I have tried to live by in my adult and professional life: "Kill 'em with kindness. You'll always go further." And, "Walk in a lady, walk out a lady." I think this attitude could be one reason for being hired so quickly..... and let's not forget my charm and intellect!!!! ;)

You must check out the furniture on the website,, as it is simply stunning. It is such a wonderful place to work surrounded by such beautiful pieces of art; fitting that the pieces are displayed in the showroom as if it was an art gallery.

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

Hudson Signature Bed- Long Slab of Claro Walnut as a headboard with drawers, bed platform, and lights afixed to the bed

Atlantis Chandelier- Gloss Nickel and Chain- My FAVORITE!!!!!!!!!

The Rock- Cast Bronze made to look like our organic teak root pieces

Knight Base in Polished Bronze with Scuplted base- English Windsor slab table top

Flower Power Chandelier in Iron with Blown Icicles- We have this in the showroom in Gloss Nickel with clear icicles, but it also comes in powder coated black and white. This piece is 48" in diameter- A real statement piece

Plexi Console- A gorgeous piece. In person, this is quite magnificent. The organic wood paired with the modern elegance of the plexi make it an extremely glamorous piece of furntiure.

Divian Sofa- (above and below image) The upholstery quality is exceptional and the wood frame is simply gorgeous. The wood is French walnut and you provide your own fabric (in designer terms, that is COM, or customer's own material.)

This would be a sofa you would buy if you had a seating arrangement that was "floating," or in the center of the room away from the wall.

Antique Teak Root Coffee Table. These are one-of-a-kind. The teak is hand polished or sanded and then sprayed with an acrylic finish to give it the sheen. Beautiful!

I am so excited about this new opportunity and to finally be back in the design community in New York City.


The Designista

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sorry for the disappearance!

Hey everyone! I am so sorry for disappearing without leaving any word as to where I was going, and when I would be back. A lot things have been going on, but I am now back in full force. Tell you all about it on Monday, where I promise I will do my best to have a post a day- Monday through Friday! Have a great Weekend!!!!! And it's all good news that's been going on!

The Designista

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wish List: Swarovski Crystal Chandelier

I was walking in Soho, as I do nearly everyday, and happened to come across the new Crystallized Swarovski Elements store. I love everything about rhinestones, though, thankfully, I never did join the Ed Hardy bandwagon, and wanted to see what new items were being introduced. One step in the door, and I was mesmerized by the stark white and taupe interiors infused with mirror, glass, and raw cut crystals. I never made it to the merchandise....

This store is not a typical Swarovski retail store. I was actually standing in a lounge called "Crystallized" that doubled as a museum for Swarovski products, though they are still awaiting their beer and liquor licence. A costume Emmy Rosum wore from the movie "Phantom of the Opera," fashion hand bag competition winners, in-house Swarovski visual displays, and a portrait of Mr. Swarovski, were among the exhibits to admire.
Handbag on display encrusted with crystals

The new Elements line with loose crystals scattered on the floor of the display

Mr. Swarovski

The dress Emmy Rosum wore in "Phantom of the Opera."

And then I saw it...... the most beautiful chandelier I have ever seen in my life. The Cascade...... Breathtaking....... It looked like the heavens had opened up and dropped a waterfall of diamonds to the ground. Max Azria of BCBG has this in his glamorously eccentric home in Los Angeles.

Elle Decor: Photograph by Douglas Friedman

According to the sales associate, this piece retails for approximately $130,000. In my opinion, if you have the space, this is like a rare art find or antique piece of furniture. Its worth is in the eye of the beholder, and most likely all could not help but behold this masterpiece!

The Designista

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Girl About Town: Sweetiepie Restaurant

Today was my good friend Nadia's birthday and I decided to treat her to an afternoon of delight at Sweetiepie Restaurant in the West Village. Though she is from New Jersey, she doesn't venture into the city all that often and thought we could both experience something new together. Cocktails and dessert? I'm in and knew she would be too!

I recently heard about this restaurant randomly through a blog reviewing the interior design and immediately became intrigued. Not too long after, I happened to meet the pastry chef in passing. Coincidence, I think not! I was being beckoned by the design and dessert gods to get over there and scope this place out for myself. Let me tell you, the pictures do not do Sweetiepie's interior justice. It's like eating in a grown-up fairy tale; a giant birdcage surrounding the coveted front window table, scrolled chairs and high back pink leather tufted sofas, crystal chandeliers, silver candelabras placed on every table, and mirror covering all wall and ceiling space making the room so bright and airy, you can't help but feel like your a character in a sophisticated and chic version of Alice in Wonderland!

For the cocktail, we got The Sweetiepie; a champagne, St. Germaine, and pomegranate mixture. It was divine! And.... thankfully got me out of my so-called "Grinch" mood. There was a 5 year olds' birthday party with 15 kids running rampant, yelling, and blowing those horn blowers the entire time. Hey, I don't know what to say, in my grown-up fairy tale, I never considered the Chuck E. Cheese element to be included! And I love kids and Chuck E. Cheese!

The birthday girl enjoying her Sweetiepie! Earlier in the day, a waitress at lunch (not here) spilled a bottle of beer on her! She doesn't seem to be bothered, does she? Have another Nadia!

I had to take a picture of the ceiling...... see how the whole place is reflective? Almost like a fun house!
Behind the bar, the built-in niches house alcohol as well as jars of candy. The niches paired with the sofas and mirrored walls, give the decor a Hollywood Regency flair. So glamorous!

Our choice of desert was a good old-fashioned banana split- YUM-MY! Desert is served with a cup of crayolas and a placemat consisting of games reminiscent of the Highlights magazines you find in your doctor's office. Definitely entertaining as well as providing concrete evidence that Sweetiepie is kid friendly! Uh-oh, I am sounding like the Grinch again...... just kidding!

I am really looking forward to going again. I think this place would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower or just a gathering of friends celebrating their connection as women who equally enjoy eating and drinking as well as glamorous interiors!


The Designista