Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

As a designer I'm pretty sure I was suppose to come up with some fabulous tablescape for my family's Thanksgiving dinner. But, I didn't. Along with catching up on some much needed paper work and bookkeeping, here are some other things I've been doing instead.

*Yesterday I was emailed a one day only 50% off coupon for Borders. I headed over to put it to good use and picked up Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design. I decided on that book over some others because it's just as much about the inspiration behind her designs as it is about the actual designs. What inspires artists and designers fascinates me, not to mention the photos in the book are completely stunning.

*I also started a book club with my best friends from high school. There are about 6 of us that still keep in touch and see each other on a fairly regular basis. I feel really fortunate to have such life long friends and we thought a book club would be another fun way to stay connected (and cultured). Since we don't all live by each other, we're going viral and book clubbing through a blog. We're starting with Jane Eyre. So far so good. Anyone is welcome to join and read along, go here.

*Before we ate mom's amazing Turkey dinner, my sister Melissa headed up fall cookie decorating. She's really mastered the art of professional looking frosted cookies and it was a fun family bonding activity.

*Between my sisters and me there is always a lot of online shopping that goes on during holidays at my parent's house. We found these adorable bags by Rachel Novak.

*And this New Zealand company, Ruby Boutique.

*And I also came across Need Supply Co. I love so many things about their clothes.

*I had not one, not two, but three pieces of my mom's apple pie. My brother and I both decided that it was her best pie to date.

*I caught parts of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the National Dog Show, and the Punkin' Chunkin' competition on TV.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kim Rugg

Very cool.

Video by Cool Hunting.

Post-Impressionist Exhibit @ The de Young

Still-life with onions, 1896-98

I knew I would already be in Northern California for Thanksgiving with my family, so I decided to come a weekend early to get in the Elle Decor Showhouse and the Post-Impressionist exhibit at the de Young. The Post-Impressionist masterpieces come from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the de Young is the only museum in North America to host the exhibition. Posting photos of my favorite works really doesn't do them justice, so if you have the chance to visit the exhibit from now until January 18, 2011, I would highly recommend it.

My biggest tip for visiting would be to buy your tickets in advance here, and if at all possible, book the first tour of the day, so that there are less people in the gallery when you are trying to view. It was crowded on Saturday (and the worker in the gift shop said it was slow day), so it took a little while to get up to the paintings, and then when we did, we felt a little rushed because you don't want to keep everyone behind you waiting for too long. I really wished I had more time because I really would have liked to look at some of these pieces a little bit longer. Even still, it was a great exhibit. Here were some of my favorites:

Maurice DENIS
Panel for girl's bedroom: October evening, 1891

The clown Cha-I-Kao, 1895

Redhead (Bathing), 1889

Vincent VAN GOGH
Portrait of the artist, 1887

The poet, 1888

Portrait of my sister, 1888

Breton women with umbrellas, 1892

I snagged these photos from National Gallery of Australia website which hosted the exhibit earlier this year. The site lists every piece in the collection and is a great place to read more information on each of the paintings.

Elle Decor Showhouse Virtual Tour

Any weekend I spend in San Francisco is a good weekend. Even when my car window got shattered after sitting out on the street Saturday night, we just swept the glass off my seat and enjoyed a very brisk drive over to the Elle Decor Showhouse.

I didn't bother taking photos because I knew Elle Decor already posted a 360 degree virtual tour online. It's not quite as good as being there in person, but if you weren't able to make it, it's definitely the next best thing. If you click on the pink dots in each room, it will tell you the specs for the item. Learning the resources that certain designers use is one of the best parts of visiting a showhouse for me. I love knowing whether it's a $30,000 antique chandelier, or a bargain from Pottery Barn.

The St. Francis Wood neighborhood where the house was located is beautiful, and I really liked that Elle Decor mostly chose designers who haven't been overly published, but still have amazing style. I was like a giddy school girl the whole tour and loved every minute.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Art History Thursday - Performance Art

Because of the increased and affordable access to photography, film, and sound; and the ease in which an artist could transport these mediums (records, film, etc.), there was an emergence in Performance Art in the mid-60's. It's a little difficult to properly portray it fully in one brief blog post, but I was pretty fascinated with the concept of Performance Art in which the artist, in a sense, becomes the canvas. Performance art is an exploration of the body; how it relates to space, how the body moves, and our emotions, reactions, and limitations as human beings. Some of it is comical, some is uncomfortable, some shocking, and some is just plain bizarre; which is exactly why I love to call it art.

Some of these Perfomance Art pieces were caught on film and others were performed live in a gallery. Below is a quick sampling of some of the interesting pieces we discussed in class.

I'm too sad to tell you, 1970

Fall II, 1970

Rest Energy (with Ulay), 1978

Aaa-aaa (with Ulay), 1976

Shoot, 1971

Five Day Locker Piece, 1971
There is no online video footage, but for his MFA exhibition at University of California, Irvine, Burden confined himself to a campus locker for five days.

I hope you found these as interesting/weird/humorous as I did.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Newport Beach Kitchen Remodel

The last kitchen that I posted about was also in Newport and this one is in the same neighborhood, actually just around the corner (super convenient). The rest of this client's home has a coastal country feel and we wanted a kitchen that would blend well with her already adorable and comfortable aesthetic, so we completely gutted the old kitchen and started anew.

Kitchen designs are becoming my favorite type of projects. I really love the challenge of designing something completely custom to suite the clients' functional requirements of a kitchen, but also something that's beautiful. Below are some photos of the work in progress along with some of my design drawings. The design process began in August, construction started in late September, and despite a little hiccup with the back splash tile, it looks like we'll be all wrapped up just in time to enjoy a home cooked Thanksgiving feast.

Beautiful marble countertop with what will be the backsplash material; handmade taupey grey brick.

Design Drawings.

Before Photos.

Things left on the to do list:

*install wine racks and TV
*install a couple more cabinet doors
*back splash installation
*range and hood installation
*install hanging fixture over the sink and the rest of the recessed lighting
*finish the bar peninsula with counter top and turned legs

I decided to wait to photograph the other Newport kitchen until this one is done and just do them in the same day. Hopefully some time in December. I can't wait to see the finished product! It's the most fulfilling part of my job.

If you would like to meet or email to discuss your kitchen face-lift or complete remodel, visit my interior design website or give me a call, I'd love to help!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reupholstery w/ Spruce Home

Why am I not in bed? It's 1:30 am and I have a million things to do tomorrow. However, I did come across this little gem tonight while surfing the net and catching up on Modern Family.

I found the video through my friend Nancy's blog and thought it was really interesting. With all of the furniture that I have custom made or reupholstered for clients, you would think that I would know at least a little about the process...but no, I'm completely clueless. This video made me want to learn how to upholster furniture. Not only that, but now I understand the costs associated with upholstery a little bit better, it's a lot of work! Especially to do it correctly. Enjoy!

Visit Spruce Home's Etsy shop here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Eddie Ross and Thanksgiving Decor

I've been getting a lot of hits on my blog from searches for Thanksgiving decorations and table decor, so I figure, why not give the people what they want?

That brings me to Eddie Ross. If you haven't been over to his blog, go now! It's a must read when it comes to flea market/antiques, crafting, and design "how to". He constantly gives his readers the inside scoop on where to shop and how to create, along with behind the scenes details on various projects. Check out his photoshoots for Women's daily below, then head over to his blog to see how to craft these little beauties yourself. The coolest part of the post for me was all of the insider info he shares on the making of the photoshoot. Super interesting.

Also check out Eddie's beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape for Lonny magazine, complete with detailed "how to" info (in true Eddie fashion).

I'm still not sure what to do for this year's Thanksgiving table design, but I'm running out of time so I better figure it out. Click here if you want to check out our last minute table scape from last year's feast.

Also, if you're in the Los Angeles or Orange County area and would like help with any Thanksgiving or Christmas decorations, give me a call!


I'm stressed. Not the, complaining and whining kind of stressed, but more the "I'm really grateful to be so busy with work", kind of stressed. Naturally I have decided to blog instead of checking things off my giant to do list. Blogging really is an amazing stress reliever.

About my freshman year in high school I had to start wearing reading glasses. My eyesight is decreasing with my age, and now I can't really do anything in front of me (read, eat, design, type, shop...) without wearing glasses. For the longest time I have HATED wearing glasses. I tried contacts in several different prescriptions, but for some reason my vision is a little fuzzy. Also, I'm far sided, so as far as I know I am not a candidate for Lasik. This leads me to my recent change in attitude and me embracing my glasses. Every time I get new glasses, they get bigger and I always go with thick dark frames (I'm currently sporting the black Oakley Muffler). I figure if I have to wear glasses I may as well make a statement. But now that I'm embracing wearing glasses all the time, I decided I need a little variety, a second pair to change things up.

I'm on the hunt for the perfect tortoise frames, even bigger in size than my Oakley's. I really wanted the ones from J. Crew pictured at the top of this post, but they are no longer available, so here is what I've come up with from a little bit of online shopping.

From Eye Bob:

On ebay for just $12:

From Prism London (via Blusey Mood):


And since everything I do somehow cycles back to interiors, below are some really pretty tortoise furnishings that will go perfectly with my new glasses. All via 1st Dibs.

Gorgeous tortoise framed mirror, I would love to own this. From Mary Ann Jones.

Killer commode. From Thomas Jeffrey.

Tortoise bamboo coffee table. From Era Vintage Modern.

Modern tortoise coffee table. From Gracie.

Toirtoise glaze lamps. From Irwinfeld Design.

Beautiful leather tortoise club chairs. From Red.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Art History Thursday - Minimalism

Minimalism (from the late 50's to 70's) is characterized by a few key elements. Minimalism was...

*Anti-illusionism. Minimalism takes this characteristic of modern art further than any other movement thus far. Anti-illusionism was about looking at paint, canvas, and objects for what they really were. It was a focus on flatness and the confines of an art piece and not alluding to what was beyond that.

*Anti-composition. Minimalist didn't worry about achieving an interesting or unexpected balance and tension, instead there was a focus on repetition and displaying things one right after another.

*Embracing of pre-made materials and fabrication. The artist could act as more of a designer only.

*Shifting awareness from the piece of artwork to the context of the art work, the space surrounding it, and the viewer.

*Avoidance of evidence of the artist's hand or touch in the works.

Below is Frank Stella's Die Fahne Hoch!, 1959. Notice the Minimalist characteristics of anti-composition with the geometric layout and repetition of his lines. It is also very anti-illusionist as the lines of the painting accentuate the rectangular shape of the canvas. The idea is to look at the surface only and nothing beyond that; the viewer gets everything that is intended by just focusing on the surface.

Below is Carl Andre's 144 Pieces of Magnesium, 1969. In the minimalist movement art was taken of the "pedestal" and often plunked right down on the floor, into the space of the viewer, causing the viewer to be more aware of the spatial relationship between himself and the art. This piece was meant to be walked on causing the viewer to become aware of the body's visceral knowledge. In this case, Andre helps demonstrate that our bodies can tell the difference when we walk on different surfaces (e.g. wood flooring vs. magnesium). There is also a clear focus on anti-composition, fabrication, and the vibe that the artist's hand and touch are far removed from this work (because of it's stark quality and the precise lines and lay out).

The installation below demonstrates how artist Flavin uses light to emphasize space and spacial relationships, making the art about the space surrounding the work and the space between the work and the viewer more important than the work itself. Also an emphasis on fabrication and anti-composition.

There's so much more I could post on Minimalism, but for the sake of time I wanted to just give a brief introduction. I think it's really fascinating to see the shifts from one movement in Modern art to another and the reasons and feelings behind it all. Every Thursday it's always something new and I love it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Source LA

I was at the LA Mart with some of my clients today and was conveniently able to take a sneak peak at Source LA happening on the 12th floor. Things were still being moved in and moved around and the walls were still being painted, but from what I saw it's going to be pretty cool.

So what is Source LA exactly? It's "a fresh, gallery-inspired collection of custom design furnishings, unique home fashions and accessories, hand-crafted objects, and original works of art from the region’s most progressive interior product designers, artists and craftsmen emerging on the cutting-edge of California design."

Head over to the opening reception happening tomorrow, November 11 from 6-9 pm (RSVP to 213.763.5813 or, or stop by anytime from now until January 11, 2011.

Below are some of my high quality iPhone photos of Source LA in progress.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Joan Mitchell - The Last Decade

I seriously can not wait for this! The Last Decade will feature 14 paintings from the last ten years of Joan Mitchell's life. The opening reception is this Saturday, November 13th, from 3 to 5 pm.

Now go get cultured!

You can find more info on the Gagosian Gallery website, here.
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