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Posted in uncategorized on September 25, 2008

Top Design: The Weekly Dish

Ready for the weekly dish about Top Design? Here?s Becky from Hatch with the latest… Take it away, Becky… – Holly

Well, just so you know how I sacrifice for y’all, I’m tuning into Top Design before I check out the premiere of the new version of Knight Rider! Just kidding (kind of – I LOVED Michael and K.I.T.T. when I was a kid; can’t you just see a modern-day David Hasselhoff rolling around on the floor of the the car all drunk eating a cheeseburger?). Anyway, I digress.

This week we saw the TD contestants design for three bachelors who had some pitifully sparse apartments. They were James, the 23 year old law student, Obi, the stylish producer, and Eddie, the conservative suit. I held back the gagging feeling in my throat when Obi said the words “zen” and “pop,” but he gave his team some good guidance about what he liked. There was a big budget and there were endless shopping excursions, as well as the complimentary services of wallpaper hangers, painters, a carpenter and a seamstress. It was another team challenge (bummer), but there was some excellent drama. Said drama centered around Shazia, to whom Nathan referred as “Bad Luck Mary” and “Needy von McNeedison” within the first few minutes of the challenge. He wasn’t far off. However, her behavior paled in comparison to the cattiest lady in town, Eddie.

A Pop Design Quiz happened this week! How hard is it to throw some flowers together in 20 minutes? That’s an eternity! However, Theresa and Preston managed to make it look really difficult!

Note to Ondine: Using The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities has been DONE TO DEATH. Someone papered a bathroom in it in Elle Decor (or was it H&G?) YEARS AGO! It’s in magazine spreads more often than the Tom Ford Gucci book. And yes, a 23 year old dude is not going to be impressed with it either. Perhaps you should have decoupaged pages from Maxim, or better yet, the Tom Ford Gucci book, instead.

Note to All: Look through some magazines and pay attention to window treatments. Yours were hideous. Blinds with those partially crinkled up fabric shades; two-tone drapes that made no sense. Nathan, Shazia, and Preston, the cornice boxes were the least of your problems. BTW, you should have had the wallpaper hanger put the coordinating grasscloth over them if you were so pressed for time. Oh, and while I’ve got you, painted horizontal stripes was a clever trick on Trading Spaces circa 2001.

Alright, enough from me – what did you think of this week’s episode? Do you think the right person was sent home? If not, who would you have sent and why? Did you like any of the final apartments, or did it look like a Rooms2Go showroom to you? Were there any design moves you found particularly clever? Do you think any of the teams found a good balance between the client’s needs and showing who they are as designers? Who had the worst bachelor pad you’ve ever seen? How would you have reacted to Eddie if he’d treated you the way he treated the designer who owned the showroom? Can you tell a fresh flower petal from a real one from across the room? Can you tell when you are smearing them across a table like it’s a newlywed suite bed? Do you think Shazia should have been an engineer or a doctor instead of a designer?

Psst: View the rooms here.

Let’s dish! – Becky

(image from top design, all text written for decor8 by Becky Harris)

Posted in guest bloggers, reality tv on September 25, 2008

Paintings by Amy Rice

I had such a wonderful day today! Remember, I’m between 6-9 hours ahead of my friends in the states, so for me the day is just about to end (it’s 11:30 PM here). What did I do? Well first, my IKEA kitchen was delivered and installed — I cooked my first official meal tonight (that wasn’t in a microwave!) in our new space and we had our friend Allie over. He kept telling me how crazy he was about the kitchen, how my light looks like a little dog, and the great walnut counters that he went ‘nuts’ for. Well, not real walnut, they are IKEA laminate, so faux bois… But they look spectacular and I’m thrilled. I also did a ton of errand running with my husband and Allie in the city this afternoon… stocked up on art supplies at this massive 2-floor art supply/craft store called Idee. No Martha Stewart supplies there but honestly, I don’t care and don’t miss MS at all because I’m learning to live without certain products just fine, replacing them with new ones that I’ve never seen before. It’s a nice change for me I think.

Wren & Chickadee

I have been living in Germany now for 6 weeks and keep wondering when the fun will end because every single day has been great and I’m not exaggerating. The best part of the day was when my mother-in-law came over again today with yet another friend of hers to ‘tour’ my apartment. She makes such a big deal out of my place and all of her friends are the cutest — picture 60+ year old ladies who have very ‘old German style’ interiors with lots of orange, blue, and brown touring my modern mostly white, lilac, gray, and pastel-y apartment swooning over my stuff. The best part was when one of them was going nuts over my photography from Wren & Chickadee and a surreal print from Betsy Walton. I was grinning ear to ear. They all told me that I should open a shop here and, “bring this style to us”. I have concluded that it’s not that older Germans do not like light and bright colors and fun motifs, it’s that they aren’t exposed to it in the same way that I am being online all day… One thing I must comment is that I’m going to try harder to bring the art I see on sites like Etsy, DaWanda, Trunkt, etc. to those who I know aren’t online like some of the ladies that have been visiting me via my husband’s mom. I was thinking of placing a big order for postcards and such from all of my favorite shops and keep them in a vintage wire postcard holder in my entryway so that when people come over and see my art and all this stuff they’ve not seen before, I can give them some postcards and small prints to take home with them. Spread a little indie art love. Why not? So now I just need to find a vintage postcard holder that I can mount on the wall or perhaps something that spins for a shelf top… eBay Germany here I come!

Betsy Walton

Okay so back to art… I was shopping yesterday in Jennifer Davis’ etsy shop and while talking to her she told me about this project that she recently worked on with Amy Rice and so I looked at Amy’s blog and website and stopped dead in my boots. Amy is phenomenal! Now I’m wondering is Amy has prints because I’d love to add something to my apartment from her collection too.

Amy Rice

My goodness she is talented. Where has she been all of my life? I cannot believe I’ve not heard of her until today because I’m sure all of you talented design savvy creatures already know… and I’m just light years behind perhaps? If some of you are in the same boat as I am, then let us drool over the paintings of Ms. Rice together, shall we? First let me show you my very favorite piece, “Make a Wish”, from her collection. I heard it’s sold so my heart hurts a bit but oh well, I’m certain someone out there is very happy with it.

Look at the colors, the frame, oh.my.god. I just made a wish that whoever purchased Make a Wish will feel sorry for me and send me this painting. I doubt it will work. :) Making a wish does not guarantee it will be granted but part of the fun in life is hoping and wishing, don’t you think?

And look at this stenciled building with her paintings on it. I really enjoy seeing her work in such a natural setting. I can totally see her work hanging over some lush velvet sofa in an Anthropologie store, can’t you? It would fit into so many different decor styles from bohemian modern to a country farmhouse.

Amy if you’re reading I’m sorry for not blogging about you much sooner as the more I’ve read about you online this afternoon the more I realize how famous you are and how behind I am. Your work is brilliant and has inspired me so much today… Thank you for sharing your vision and lovely work to the world Amy!

Find Amy here: Her blog, Flickr, and website.

(images from wren & chickadee (first), betsy walton (second) and all others from amy rice)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on September 24, 2008

My IKEA Kitchen

My German kitchen is making progress…

Posted in uncategorized on September 24, 2008

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