When I first stepped into the Thomas O’Brien aisle at my local Target store, I heard the angels sing. With heavenly lights cascading from above (aka flourescence), I was guided to touch and feel everything I could from the Vintage Modern line. Groping the lamps, frames, and pillows, I had to purchase some for my very own. With so much chocolate and robin’s egg blue, how could I ever turn away? Of course, one shopping trip leads to another, so I’ve frequented the Vintage Modern aisle many times over the past few months. But, nothing quite made my new year happy until this past weekend, when the floodgates of the heavens were opened. Vintage Modern was 75%! If you haven’t heard about this sale, consider yourself lucky that I just told you because it’s not one to miss. After reading this, please report to your nearest Target for the ultimate retail fix. For some reason, the line isn’t on sale on their website, so an in-store appearance on your part is mandatory. I’ve attached a few “finds” from the sale, ones that I acquired with great gushing and celebratory phone calls to friends from the actual aisle. Yeah, I know, geek. The pearly gates are only opened until 9:30 p.m. in most locations, so you’d better run quick! (top photo: Vintage Modern faux white leather matte frame, selected fabrics as “photos” from the Laurie Smith collection at Hancock Fabrics. Frame on sale for $6.)
I need to come clean. I haven’t watched a single episode of, “Trading Spaces”, since January 2002, or anything else design related, for that matter. Yes, I am an Interior Design consultant, so you’d think I’d be all about the cable line-up of back to back Queer Eye and Designing for the Sexes. But, surprise, I’m not. I actually remember the last time I watched Trading Spaces on cable. It was on a snowy day in January 2002, when we lived in a huge restored barn loft in Massachusetts near the New Hampshire state line. The episode featured my then favorite designer, Laurie Smith, decorating a bedroom in her colorful 50s-70s signature style. Over the years, I’ve googled Laurie, admiring her design work featured on various websites, but it was only recently when she published her first book (only $15 on Amazon!), that I started to take an interest to her again. Her whimsical color palette of green, chocolate, orange, violet, and yellow, inspired by 50’s-70’s design, really pop. With the release of her inspiring book, she’s launched the Laurie Smith fabric line sold exclusively at Hancock Fabrics. Of course, after seeing them, I immediately started planning the future of my living room. The photo shown was taken today of my living room. The panels and pillows are all from the Laurie Smith collection, handmade by me (which you can tell if you flip over the panels and see my drunken seams.) The fabric is very inexpensively $18-25 per yard, and excellent quality from what I can tell so far. The fabric was also very easy to work with. If you have any questions about the fabrics I selected, please comment below.
Born in 1943 in the Canary Islands to a Spanish mother and Czech father, raised on a banana plantation, Manolo certainly wasn’t born into the life of a fashion designer. Now, however, the story has changed. This shoe designer is truly a living legend, not to mention one of the most commonly referred to designers in the entire “Sex and the City” series. Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw, Manolo quickly became a household name to ladies from coast to coast that were bored stiff with the suburbia department store brands, craving the big city shopping experiences that Carrie indulged in. True, most households can’t afford Manolo’s, but one can either dream, or max out their AmEx, which feels perfectly justified the first time you slip your foot into a ‘Costa Samba’ pump. The next best thing to owning a pair of Manolo’s? Owning his beautifully illustrated coffee table book, “Drawings”. Divided by decade (1970s-current), it gives you an overview of the evolution of his amazing line. With limited text, and the focus on bold illustrations, It will definitely appeal to design aficionados everywhere (like you!). This sexy book would also look smashing lounging gracefully as a featured piece on your coffee table. As you flip through each page, you’ll be in jaw-dropping awe at the large, full-color illustrations of shoes that Manolo is so famous for. I’ve entertained the thought of purchasing a 2nd book so I can frame some of my personal favorites for my walk-in closet (Yes, I decorate my closet. Currently, I have a collection of vintage hats on display). Manolo Blahnik Drawings is 11.7 x 9.2 x 0.9 inches and only available in paperback. The list price is $39.95, but I’ve seen it brand new on eBay and Amazon in the mid 20’s. Search under ISBN: 050028413X. Enjoy!
Today was a good mail day. Grabbing the Spring ’06 West Elm catalog, flipping through every page with eager enthusiasm for some sexy new products, I spotted one that I fancy very much. Well, okay, I found several, but the one that really sucked me in is the Overlapping Squares chair in Stem (shown). Also available in chocolate, the sidechair is only $159 and the arm chair is $189. Funny, I’ve seen it a gadzillion times in chocolate, but after seeing it in stem, I knew I had a crush. The geometric pattern reminds me of the Chinese Chippendale fretwork so popular in the 18th century and then revived again in the 1950’s. More and more mid century design is popping up, and I just love it. Other than stem, the only color I’d really like to see in this style would be a high-gloss white. But, I’ll take the stem. This is a fresh find!