Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So Chic in So. Cal.

A recent trip to L.A. had me visiting places I haven't seen in years, but remember vividly. I grew up around these here parts (Orange County, to be exact, but I spent plenty of time  in L.A!) Things have changed. For the better. We visited the Third Street Promenade and adjoining Santa Monica Place Mall. Now, back in the 80's this mall was just like any other: A big, boxy, poorly lit, two story maze of all the usual retail suspects. Now, however, it's a sleek, open-air, visually appealing, style haven. With the pacific ocean a mere two blocks away, the conversion to an open-air concept was definitely the right choice. One can stroll through the two lower floors and window shop any of the fashion forward retailers, then head on up to the third floor food court for lunch and an ocean breeze! I had a great time people watching and window shopping, aka dreaming. And as if the mall weren't enough, the Third Street Promenade is just a hop, skip and jump away. Head over there to get your fix of Z Gallerie, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, not to mention a whole slew of independently owned, quirky little shops. There was definitely plenty of inspiration on which to draw. So, without further ado, here are some of the things I saw.

 This sculpture was literally hanging off the side of a building about 20 feet up. A glorious cluster of stainless steel spheres forming an undulating wave. I've told ya'll before about my obsession with silver orbs here.

 I could have stood gazing at it all day. I was quite mesmerized.

Ooooooo...pretty shiny things!


Directly across the street from the silver ball sculpture was this beautiful building.




I remember this as having always been there. It looks like some of the buildings in downtown L.A. There are some beautiful buildings downtown, when you remember to look up!

 At the entrance to Third Street Promenade, poppies colorfully greet you!

My daughter took advantage...
One seriously chic Ladies Lounge in Bloomingdales (aka the bathroom!) That's wallpaper made to look like concrete on the walls. 


 This chair had a polished aluminum backrest and back legs, a wood set of front legs and a black patent leather seat cushion. Very funky!


I'd like a few of these planters in my garden, please.


 A cool bench made out of a cool slab of glass. I wonder how much this weighs?!

This bench was also glass....the slats were long pieces of amber glass. I love the movement it has and the polished chrome legs and center bar.

So there you have it...just a FEW of the things that inspired me......

Thanks for stopping by and please consider following me on the sidebar. I love comments, too! Cheers,

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring has Sprung!!

Just a quick post extolling the beauty of spring. Enjoy the season!

Hollyhock

A Garden Gnome!

Agapanthus

Beautiful Purple Cabbage



Kalanchoe

African Daisies

Solanum

There is nothing like a bubbling fountain to quench the spirit.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stylish Stencils

Stenciling has been around literally since the cavemen. But these days stencils have moved beyond the caveman and Grandma's kitchen into the modern day. There are so many great sources for uber cool pattern repeats and just about every style you can imagine. When cost is an issue, I like to cut my own stencils. It's pretty easy to do, you just need a pattern and a good sharp exacto knife, plus the acetate sheet. I usually buy the blanks, they come three 8x10 sheets to a pack and I tape them together to get a nice big surface area to work with. Following, I'll show you examples of some of the stenciling I did around my own home, using stencil patterns I cut myself.
I stenciled this 'runner' on the concrete floor in my bathroom.


I stenciled this floorcloth in my living room.


I stenciled the fabric on the small settee.

I stenciled the pattern on the roman shade and the storage boxes.

And this stenciled pattern in the garden helps bring focus to a back wall. If you look closely, you'll notice the stencil used for the 'runner,' the roman shade and this outdoor wall are one and the same. You can achieve a lot of different looks with just one stencil.

 I'll stop there, but I could go on and on...! As you can see, stenciling lends itself to a wide variety of surfaces and applications. Whether it's floral, architectural, graphic, or whimsical, there is a stencil option for you! I strongly recommend you try it! Here are some great sources for pre-cut stencils:
http://www.stencil-library.com/
http://www.stencilease.com/
http://www.istencils.com/
If you have any questions, shoot me a comment and I'll get back to you.
And here is my latest style file segment which I talk about....what else? Stenciling!



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wild for Wire

When was the last time you considered wire as a design element in your own space?  Wire has long been used to make a wide variety of furnishings. There is of course, the iconic Bertoia wire chair.
I mean, where would Mid Century Modern be without this chair?

And there is a dizzying array of wire lighting in design-land these days.
Available Here
I first saw this in ElleDecor a few years back and fell. in. love. Look at this beauty! It has everything going for it.....size, shape, color...it's just plain effing cool!! There are also simpler options, if the swirls and curliques aren't your thing.
Available Here


Or, for those of you with a 'dangerous' side, there are choices for you, too!
Read more about this Here
Really cool options, right?


But what if you were in the market for something a little different and unexpected? We've got you covered..... 
Availability and Artist Credit Here
It's a wire quilt......a wire quilt. Amazing!




Here are some of my own attempts at designing with wire.



 This was an experiment I did a few years ago....I wanted to see if I could 'write' with wire. I asked my son to give me a word, he said 'great' so I went with it! I'm not a huge fan of the words on the wall trend, but this works for me. I love the industrial quality of it and I think it really is ...great! It pays to experiment.



Here is another wire creation I attempted that turned out (imho) awesome!! I use these wire balls every year at Christmas. See them at my previous post here. But during the rest of the year, I casually place them around the house to light up dark corners as beautifully glowing little sculptures. I will post later with a tutorial on how I made these.





So, what wire accessories do you love? Have you experimented with wire in your own design? Please Share!
I would love to hear what you've done.




Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pretty in Pink Part Two

You may recall I conveyed my passion for Pink a few weeks back with the blog post here. So, imagine my delight as I turned through the pages of the march issue of HouseBeautiful. The entire issue is dedicated to Pink!! And let me tell you, if you haven't picked it up yet, you should. The cover image is what sold me straight away. I am pretty bold with my color choices, but I'm not sure I would ever have considered this color for a living room seating area. Here, it works flawlessly, combined with sunny yellow and touches of blue. And the coffee table...LOVE!
Image HouseBeautiful  Design by Windsor Smith
Image HouseBeautiful

Image HouseBeautiful  Design by Jonathan Berger




Image HouseBeautiful


 The issue is also chock full of fun pink accessories for your home, georgeous pink rooms that run the gamut from palest ballerina pink, to outrageously bright fuschia and even a very entertaining article on the 'Six Degrees of Pink,' in which the writer riffs on the pop culture social game 'The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.' Do yourself a favor and get this magazine! You won't be sorry.

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