Thursday, January 28, 2010

blue bells.

I only wear blue.  You think i'm kidding, but catch me on 6 days out of the week and i'll be wearing blue. Navy blue, blue-ish grey, electric blue, teal, turquoise, no baby blue, you get the idea.  I look good in blue.  White is too easy to mess up, black is boring to me, red can look slutty on me (I have big blonde hair), yellow makes me look nauseous, grey unfortunately makes me look like Powder (too bad, i love me some grey), and orange i'm pretty opposed to in general.  So we are down to hot pink and blue and patterns of both.  And that's what I wear.  The best style advice I ever got was dress your house like you dress yourself.  If you tend to look really put together, perfectly accessorized, hair perfectly done, everything tailored then most likely that is how your house is or should be.  I, am not so.  I wear blues, and lots of patterns, a gold charm chain, and brown leather shoes.  In my fantasy world I would love to look like these pictures; random, patterned, inviting and generally awesome.

but, like I said, in a fantasy world.  i'm not nearly this cool....yet.

credits:  (1) domino, (2) christine rudolph, (3) gourmet (sigh, tear, sob)

art that I want to make sweet love to.

A good piece of original artwork is like porn to me.  I'm not particularly into 'porn', but I would imagine that it makes you really excited to decorate. I get most of mine (art, not porn) at flea markets/antique stores and reframe them. Before the holidays I took three pieces of flea market art to get professionally framed. I knew it would be expensive, but I thought to myself, 'I've worked hard this year, and art you love is always a good investment'.  I spent an hour and a half with they guy and I couldn't get the price under $400 for one of the pieces, let alone getting all three done.  Now, let's be clear, I'm super rich.  I have sooo much money.  A lot. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the bank. But, this isn't a priority right now, and that $400 frame was my least favorite frame and my least favorite matte, what I wanted would've cost over $1000.  So I walked away, feeling frustrated, embarrassed and defeated.

But give up, i did not.  This is what I wanted to frame:

It's an old photo that was adhered to cardboard, and its pretty big - 24x30.  I don't know why I like it - i guess the color palette, the composition and I have a thing for horses.  I realized that I have 2 ceramic horse sculptures, 1 wooden horse sculpture and 1 brass horse lamp in my small apartment.  weird, i know.

Anyway, I wanted it in a modern metal frame, black or brass, with a linen matte.  I found the frame yesterday at my local thrift store for $40, which I thought was actually still a lot for a thrift store.  I'm going to find the matte today and i'll show the finished product when i'm done with it.

I also found a bunch of beautiful botanicals for my shoot last week at the flea market and snuck away with a couple of them (although the art director took most of them, which is a good sign, by the way).  I can't stop staring at the one on the left.  I want to make love to it, i love it so much.  Botanicals are super cheap forms of nearly-original art.  If you have too  many of them, or the wrong ones, they can look super granny, but if you mix one in to art collections like above and below, they can look beautiful and modern.  I love these two for how graphic they are.  Often they are hand drawn or painted, and almost every flea market has a dealer.    Back in the day before we had cameras, the only way they had to identify flower, plants, insects, animals was for artists to draw them and label them.  These two were 10$ each and they are about 8x10.

The top two photos are from Slumber Design, not sure where this one is from. I love them all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

another room for me to not cook in

Dream kitchens.  Don't we all have one?  My only problem with kitchens is that I don't know exactly what to do in them. Yes, it is where we open the wine, pop the popcorn, and store my pretty dishes.  But not being much of a cook I find all these 'free range ovens' a bit unnecessary.  Don't get me wrong, I want to like to cook. I think cooking is awesome.  In fact, if I was on a speed date, under 'hobbies' I might even say that I love to cook and garden because I really want  to love to cook and garden - those people are rad (i'm talking to you, Jeanne Kelley).  So, I found this kitchen, above, and I like it very much, but it might be a bit 'modern loft' for me.  I like a quiet kitchen in theory, but for me, I need a bit more color/energy/mess. I have loved this tile, below, for a long long time  and I thought if I could put this tile in this kitchen with the open shelves and those beautiful wooden drawers, then that could be my dream kitchen.

Maybe add a maiden hair fern in a footed brass pot and all my pretty wooden bread boards stacked vertically against the backsplash and my crazy don't-touch-they-are-handmade dish collection haphazardly shoved in the shelves.  Ooh and the vintage '60's wine rack that my friend Cindy bought me that I love, love, love sitting on the counter.

Isn't the saying, 'If you build it, then you'll start to like to cook sometimes'?
It worked for Kevin Costner, no?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hindsight is, woah, like 1000/1000

dios mio. We are in for a treat, fore I, Emily Henderson, came upon some self-righteous stylist gold today.  It was your average rainy day in LA,  at the thrift stores, when I found not one but TWO 1960-1970's home decorating books.  Let's begin with the better homes and Garden book.  I had this book when I was a kid, I used to stare and stare and dream about my room and my future home.  I can't believe I turned out so normal...or did i...

So let's begin, shall we.  The first thing about these pictures is that the photography sucks. Now, now we shan't blame our lifestyle photography forefathers, they were probably using -insert archaic camera name here.  But after seeing past the bad lighting, etc, then we notice the extreme decorating, it's the x-games of home style, and the 70's kicked our proverbial arses.  But, after we make fun of that (which could take a while, gosh we are so much more evolved aren't we - (cut to 20 years from now when tastemakers are laughing at how natural and loose we all are in the early 2000's, and pish poshing our use of natural light)), then we can get into what is awesome about the 60's and 70's, which is a lot.  First of all I was born in the 70's - stop counting your fingers, it was '79, but i've always felt like a 70's girl.  I like brass (hello), floral patterns (don't be a hater), beaded curtains, animal sculptures, peace signs, and, uh..running out of things, but REGARDLESS I like the 70's.

The first picture, this one:
is crazy, of course. I get a headache just looking at it.  But I like the pendant lamp, lacquer console, and brass lamp. I don't hate the chairs (they could work for a shoot, but not my home, sista), the flokati rug is fine for some, and that zebra is, well we've all seen that zebra around lately.

Oh dear, look what I found. In case you think this is so passe, mira at this:

Both pictures above are courtesy (not really courtesy) of Jonathan Adler - CURRENT designer, bt-dubs.  Funny, right.  In fact, I think this might be a weekly column where I post pictures from the 1970's and then show how Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler stole borrowed from them.  Sure, we are all 'influenced' by past designers and styles but i'm not sure if this is loose reinterpreting.  whatever.  I have my two new books to keep me happy.

And to get you excited about the second book, "Successful Entertaining", i'll give you a little excerpt:
"Successful entertaining is a highly creative exercise in pleasing other people. It is an art worth mastering, and it is fun. A hostess must choose her guest list as she'd choose pearls of great price. Her food must be perfectly prepared, whether it's a snack or a banquet.  And the whole affair must be given an atmosphere of 'stage setting' that the delights the guests' senses and keeps conversation going."

So that's why our collective moms are on anti-depressants.  I particularly like the 'and it is fun' part.  Being perfect is such a blast; and that doesn't exactly 'delight my senses', if you know what I mean.

Here are a couple photos of properly reinterpreting 70's looks.  From Domino, sigh, tear, sob...

Monday, January 25, 2010

home sweet home...

Many of you haven't seen my home in L.A. yet so I thought I would give you a little sneak peek. Nope. kidding, not my house.  Amy Nuensinger's house to be exact....for now at least..(sinister laugh).  So we shot there all last week and it truly is one of the most beautiful houses I've ever been in, filled with the most beautiful furniture, accessories, and people if I do say so myself. Amy and her family are in what we like to call the 'lifestyle mafia'.  This is a compliment, by the way, it basically means there life seems so perfect and beautiful that they must be paying someone off.

I knew a lot of these kinds of people in New York, all photographers or stylists, beautiful kids that attend non-snobby private schools, they own a brownstone in brooklyn, a house upstate, there houses are decorated great, but not fussy, and here's the kicker - they are awesome, friendly, down to earth people.  I'm dying to name names right now,  you know who you are.

This house was featured in House Beautiful this month.  While I was there I picked up the magazine, not knowing this and the pictures started becoming very familiar, I did a few double takes of the magazine and the house, the magazine and the house.  I might have got a little freaked out;  it was a bit meta for me.  It would be like watching a movie in a house that the movie is set in, not knowing this in advance.  OR once I watched 'The Beach' in southern thailand while we were backpacking with a bunch of other backpackers, which is about a bunch of backpackers in southern thailand backpacking.  you get the idea.  So I looked for myself in the pictures, I smiled just in case 'they' were taking pictures as I read.

Amy is a crazy good lifestyle photographer, and she did all the interior design in the house.  It's even prettier in person.  I hope she doesn't notice all the shit I stole.  kidding.  Also, I'm not sure what the hazing process is, but I'll do anything, anything to be a part of this mafia.  Besides kill, sell drugs (to kids at least) or eat black olives... so gross.

Friday, January 22, 2010

maybe some photographers really are God...

So someone said that everyone in L.A. loses 75 i.q. points when it rains.  I didn't really get what that meant.  But, before I asked why, I realized that I had probably just lost 75 i.q. points (or like 500) because it's an f-ing monsoon here, so that's why i didn't get it.  Normally the rain might be kind of charming in L.A.; a novelty, where we could put on our rain gear (that none of us have) and jump in the mud puddles (liquid smog), splash each other and laugh so, so much. Unless, that is you are trying to shoot an ad-job where the outside is supposed to look like spring.  Advertisers and magazines come to LA during the winter to shoot 'spring' and 'summer', and we may as well have been shooting in Forks, Washington. The point of this all is Mark Lund, the photographer.

We basically had no light and he had to emulate spring sunlight flooding through the windows.  And by 'no light' i mean very dark, like 'maybe we should nap?' kind of dark.  But he made it look like we are shooting in bright, sunny, no cares Los angeles, with non-existent sunlight streaming in.  Now there are some shoots where I feel like the prop stylist has the most to do, the most things to keep track of (all the merchandise, rented props, purchased props, borrowed props, personal props, etc) we are often the first to arrive, last to leave and the job doesn't end for days after the shoot.  But we never have to change the weather.

So, Mark, the photographer, made sunlight.  I had to create furnished rooms out of scratch, but he had to play God, which many photographer think they are anyway - BOOM!  (kidding?)  Target was the client and they were so smart or lucky that they hired him because in L.A., specifically, a lot of lifestyle photographer rely on the sun - aka natural light - to shoot, and it might've been a lot more difficult to pull off with someone less talented.

We would look at the set, so dark, and then look at the screen where the photo was and do a double take, because the image on the screen looked like a spring morning in california, and the room looked like a dungeon.

Kudos, Mark.   You take very pretty pictures. Now can you make it 80 degrees here because I would like to sit in the sun and bleach out my hair a little bit?
All these pictures are his work from his site, none from this week, unfortunately.  I'll post those when they come out - look for the target spring catalogue.

And a couple points of business for any and all industry folk out there -
a.  I worked with now my favorite production company out here, Bees and Honey, with producer/partner,  Bianca Cochran.  If anybody is looking to shoot in LA or New York (or anywhere really) consider them.  Great, organized, etc, but also just SUPER pleasant to work with. (and they gave me a full advance, thank you thank you )
b.  I am now agent-less, so all past, present and future clients please contact me directly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

kick it in the walls.

So I don't really 'do bold' in my own apartment.  I used to, oh, boy did I used to.  My apartment in college was basically a burlesque house.  BUT,  I still wear bold, fo shizzle. Sometimes I have to pretend that it's not me in the mirror and I ask myself, "If I saw a person wearing this on the street, would I think she was crazy?"  For instance, the floral mumu's (70's, not African) with ankle socks, ballet flats and a striped cardigan - all vintage, of course.  I often answer 'eh...nope', but Brian normally answers 'yea, but just a little bit crazy', and then I take off the ankle socks, both of them.

Anyway, I had to source a ton of wallpaper last week for a job and I stumbled upon these awesome bold patterns by Osbourne and Little.  The scale is huge, (see below, ignore the inexcusable styling)

I like all the colors, but I would put the bright ones in a hallway or guest bath, and I could do the grey and white one on my headboard wall in my bedroom.  like so:

Here are some more:  perhaps even more awesomer and bolder.

These have the same scale- huge- the tulip is a foot tall.  But, be warned these are not for the faint of heart, they are metallic - not the whole pattern, just the background is a shiny silver.   I love them all, but would get sick of them very quickly unless I just put them, again, in a hallway, entryway, bathroom or small accent wall (like that shot in my last post with the pink curtains.)

Love the green/silver, but I would definitely go for the grey.
Or just  frame one, in a huge frame, like 4x6 or 6x8 - just leaning against a wall.  Somehow that intimidates me less; not as much commitment I guess.
These are just my opinions, and I'm a little bit crazy, and completely sleep deprived.  and I wear mumu's with ankle socks.  Ok, I actually never left the house, and perhaps that 's because I look like a pregnant little girl.  Not exactly the look I what to be rockin.

I'm propping a room right now with a LOT of hot pink, which if you are over 30 i like to call 'fuscia', which i'm not sure if that is even the case, nor do i know how to spell it apparently.  But I like pink, second to blue. and no, not baby pink or even light pink, but hot pink.

And i normally don't love such modern chandeliers, but i like how this one practically disappears.
oh, i'm sorry, but I think we have a poet on our hands.
And that art collection is ridic, mismatched chairs, so pretty.
gotta run.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

tune-in tokyo

So, i'm a huge fan of a mattress on the floor; i'm also into the pretty window light, curtains, lamp, and bedside table in this shot.  but... huh... that's interesting. we have a special little drawing on the wall, don't we?...  huh.  i can't quite put my finger on what bothers me about it.  I like the palette, the scale, the haphazard taping of it on the wall.  But, it might just be a tad, um, ahem. nippley?  not exactly what i'd choose and it makes me want to cross my arms, put on a cashmere caftan and sit in a really really warm room,  - not necessarily in a good way.

I found all of these on Emma's blog, which is great, fyi.  all swedish, all the time.
This one (above) also has interesting-ish artwork, but I do LOVE LOVE LOVE those leather/black metal dining chairs, and the iconic mid-century black sculptural lamp.  

And yes, I am pro 'beaten up leather tufted sofa', and both brass 70's side tables are stealable.
Thanks, Emma. i like your blog, and your name...kinda like mine.

Ooh, check me out on one of my favorite blog, The City Sage, which tripled my readers, by the way.  Thanks, Anne, you're the biznom.  (the bomb)

gotta run, i have a Glenn Beck-Sara Palin interview to watch.  My saturday is about to get pretty entertaining.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

we were all kids once, but not like this. oh no. not like this.

I was rummaging through old photos this morning (because it's thursday and thursday is scrapbook day) and I found these of me (above) when i was a kid.  lord, i was cool.  I just threw my glasses on, put a flower in my belt loop and hung out with my friend who loves yoyo's.

Unfortunately these are not of me.  I was the kid that was into 4-h and drew red triangles on the right back pocket of my jeans.  These photos are from crewcuts, the j-crew kids catalogue.
Alright, I'm not the biggest  j crew fan.  I like their stuff in theory, I shop there a lot for work, good silhouettes, pretty colors, good return policy (if ya know what i mean, elbow, elbow) etc.  But for how trendy and cheaply made it is i find it too expensive to buy for myself.  I panicked last year, desperate for a cardigan and bought one for $100 and within 2 weeks it had 3 holes. unhappy was i.

BUT, the point of this, is the art direction.  These kids look so f-ing cool - i want to be them, but impossible! i could never compete.    These kids live in Fort Greene, they tend to their community garden, they have late afternoon lunches at Cafe Gitane or an ironic taxadermied joints.  They listen to kcrw bands, get invited to P.S. 1. openings;  their obsessed charter school teachers beg them for coffee dates, where they're rejected because they are having early cocktails with the 30 rock cast - which they are actually doing only because they've been putting them off for jusyears, and really they'd much rather be at home listening to This American Life and curing their own meats.

And that, folks, is what good fashion styling and photography can do.  and that's why despite the overpriced-ness and cheapness of their clothes, i will probably make my kids (i'll call them Sweetie and George) wear them.

nice job, J crew art direction and styling, you've fooled us all the way to the bank.


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