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!
One longing gaze at a display in an Anthropologie home store, and I want to run home, gut my pad, and start over again using *only* their swank stuff. Ever get that feeling? Or am I the only one that simply loves Anthropologie clothing and homewares? It’s just so lush. Whether it be the small things (cute iron hooks), or the big ticket items (everything else), I can’t get enough. For those of you not fortunate enough to live near an actual store (aka day spa for shoppers), you can drool online. They just posted their Spring ’06 line of housewares, so grab a tissue to wipe your chin. My current pick: the Silhouette 2D Cuckoo Clock in icy blue for $298.00, made in Italy.