Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Marcus Nilsson

I know. Super super pretty.  Marcus Nilsson is the photographer, he's one talented mo-pho-tographer
I met him when I was assisting Cindy, and I don't remember much except that 'i like marcus'.  It was a long time ago, give me a break.

He does food, interiors, portraits, kind of everything.

wish i had more than a minute to blog.  i might tell you funny stories about him.
But the point is, he's awesome and crazy talented.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kate Mathis. I heart your photos.

I know.  I know.  I have cool friends. These were shot by my friend Kate Mathis, and even if she wasn't my friend, in fact even if I despised her because she robbed my house in the middle of the night, or spread the rumor that I got my sofa from jennifer convertibles, I would still post these photos.   I was cruising by her site (if you have a web-site, i bet i've visited it; i'm a total online voyeur) and I noticed some new shots of hers which kinda blew me away.  In case you are wondering not everyone can do this kind of light.  i work with photographers who would sell their pointer finger to be able to create this.  nice job kate.

These were styled by Marcus Hay.  I'm jealous Marcus. You both are crazy talented.  
 I wish I had this in my book.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pendleton Woolen Mills. i'm not shilling, i swear. just hear me out.

Sometimes you dismiss a company because you aren't their demographic and their branding doesn't do much for you.  And sometimes you are super into a company just because you are the demographic and you get sucked in by everything they do, and yet once you get it home you are a bit disappointed (muji? anyone, in the store i love love love it, but once that pretty white binder is home, by itself, without all its japanese companions in the store that help it make sense, then i find it uber boring.  ooh, i feel the same way about jcrew a lot of the time, all those frilly shirts on the models look amazing and modern, but when i get them home they look dowdy and make me look like a 12 year old going to an easter brunch). woah. i digress.

Anyway, Pendleton, who i worked for the last couple weeks is one of the companies that i always knew was a good one (american made, all quality, family owned for 130 years, OREGON!! - all awesome) but not convinced it was 'for me'.  When it is all together in the catalogue or store i think it's 'nice', but it just doesn't seem to fit my style and weather.  They are not unnoticed.  The top shot is of the line that opening ceremony did with pendleton.  They have also collaborated with Hurley, Nike and Comme Des Garcon.  not bad. So, after spending a couple weeks with the product I have found a few things that i'm savin' up fer:
i know.  i know. they are f-ing rad, beautifully made, bad a**, authentic boots.  be warned, they are a pretty penny.  but they are even prettier boots that will last forever.  here s the link.

This mens slim vintage fit shirt is awesome, too. It looks a bit serious for me on the model, but they are cotton, not wool and are more affordable than the wool ones.  picture him just cruising around on a bike in prospect park. 

And the two blankets up top are super, super pretty.  The big grey one with the cross (the san miguel) is amazing, and heavy enough to keep you warm in a snowstorm - which is why everyone in alaska, Aspen, Tahoe, Mount Hood, etc buys Pendleton.  Its more of a bed blanket than a throw, fyi, its heavy thick whool; the graphic is super modern.  The one next to it is super simple, pretty and warm.

Again, please don't think that i'm schilling because i worked for them (and hope to again).  I was just surprised at how much I wanted some of their product, being way younger than their target demographic and being a total city girl.   A lot of their stuff doesn't suit my style and my weather, but these do.  oh, and i'll take a couple of the lambs from their ranch that i showed here too.

Friday, March 19, 2010

just scandinavian

I'm a wishbone chair purist - quite a pretentious thing to say, i know.  First of all this is the wishbone chair, above.  I love them very very very very much.  They have simple curved lines, are comfortable and inviting, they can disappear within the setting, but are each such a pretty sculpture on their own.  I doth covet.  I found some in portland recently at the good mod.  They were selling 6 matching ORIGINALS for $3500 which is a fortune, i know, but i still wanted to buy them or at least break in and steal them.
ANYHOO, they are making them again as we all know (again with the pretentiousness), but now they are making them in colors.  and i have to say, ish don't think so.
They come as a set, all four different tones of the same blue palette. I personally think that it stripped a lot of the sophistication out of them.  They look so much more ikea, and almost kid roomy.  And I feel like nobody is talking about it.  everyone is like 'look at the new chairs' and 'wow, new colors of the wishbone chair' when really shouldn't we be asking 'was this really a good idea?' Would Hans turn over in his assuredly efficiently, yet beautifully designed coffin?

But it did remind me of the store in New York store called 'Just Scandinavian' that I used to go to a lot when i lived there.  Here are some of my faves from the store:

and these guys:

Above are some of their rad wallpapers.  Their fabrics are good too, but unfortunately Ikea has awesome similar fabric from under $10 a yard.   
The jury is still out on these plates below.  I need to see them in person. IF they are handpainted then they could be uh-mazing.  If they are screenprinted (or whatever machine they would use to mass produce) then they could look like you bought them at pottery barn, like 8 years ago - in a very very  bad way.

And then there are these teatowels.  such good gifts btdubs:

And lastly this is another one that needs to be viewed in person.  
There is something so traditional, grand and european about it that i love, but those drawers might be throwing me off.  i can't tell, perhaps because it's 5:30 am. insomnia blows.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pretty bed linens

Pretty pretty pretty. love me some washed linen.  This stuff  is SUPER pretty from Garnet Hill (the Eileen Fisher home line).  The sheets have a raw edge which wins me over every time.  I have the duvet cover (in ice blue, a color they made 3 years ago, they change often, i think) and I LOVE IT.  it's super breathable, soft, textured, keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and the light, oh the light on it is so dreamy.  not so into this peach color for me, but the white and ivory are so beautiful.

If i was at home i would upload pics of my pillows that I made from washed linen, i'm so happy with them.  Heres  the quick tip. Buy a couple yards (only 1 yard if you only want one biggish pillow, technically you could get two 16"throw pillows from 1 yard, but those are kinda small) of linen (upholstery weight that you would want for pillows).  It should be anywhere from $10-20/yard.  If you are in New York, go to Greylines linen co, in the fabric district. They have a billion different colors, patterns and weights and everything is under $12.  I haven't found a very good source in LA, so if anyone knows of one, please dish.  Anyhoo, wash and dry it 2 times at least.  Dry in full heat.  It may shrink, so you want to shrink it down now and not later.  It should become super soft and flowy, if its still a bit stiff, wash it again, unless you accidentally bought the cheap stuff which sometimes never gets soft.   Buy your down cushions (stuffers? whats the word for these?) and take it to your local tailor.  Some won't do it, but most will, and for cheap - like $30 for two.  its just four seams and two zippers. methinks.

Here's another company I found on design sponge. It's called 'Rough Linen'

She does a lot of duvets and pillow covers custom, too.  Any of these patterns in a ton of colors, not these, don't worry.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rugs. they really tie the room together. Dude.

After a rug shopping weekend with my L.A. B.F. a few weeks ago, i knew that a rug post was inevitable.   I could go on and on posting picture after picture of rugs that cost more than i would pay ransom for my cat.  But instead, i'm going to highlight some of my favorites for under $1000 (and in case you are curious, I would go up to $17,000 for bearcat, but not a penny more).  And i know, $1000 is still a bundle of money, but rugs are just spendy (go vintage persian, craigslist, etc and you can get some deals, like mine.)

This one above is i think Madelein Weinrib, and it's over the budget for this post, but here are some below that have the same feel and impact, with less pressure on the old wallet, (or money clip if you are a gentleman, or piggy bank if you are a child in which case you should  probably not be thinking about rug choices so much, go have fun, build a fort, stop reading design blogs)
crate and barrel, ringo rug  $199-$899

left Ikea jorun  right Ikea stockholm

West Elm 'Sweater Rug'

I just saw that their grey and white version of this rug (which I like a lot too,) is being discontinued and is on sale right now, I bought it with my friend Nicole's house and its a big hit.

It's ironic that i just complained about the ubiquitious black and white trend, and look what I did.  
I'm a huge fan of sisal rugs too, or natural jute rugs. like so:

 For me, if you are not going to get a pattern, then its nice to at least add a texture - like in the sweater rug or these jutes.  Although these jutes or sisals aren't exactly the lay around on the floor and watch tv kind of rugs - they are pretty scratchy and have no give - a particular taste, for sure.  But they are pretty durable, stain resistant, etc.

And no, i don't work for ikea or west elm or  C and B, they are just the best companies that still make affordable rugs.  There is a reason chains are successful, because they can mass manufacture for cheap.  If someone knows of a smaller company that makes ready to buy rugs for under $1000, let me know I would love to promote them more.  Until then, i'm ikeas, west elms and crate and barrels little lackey.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Collect yourself, for gosh sake

Collections are tricky.  Are you going to be the creepy chick who collects anything 'cat' or weird neighbor that has every first edition of Danielle Steel books, autographed of course (I know a chick), or are you going to have an impressive collection of beautiful shells collected from 30 years of travelling beaches around the world? (i'm talking to you, Pam Basich, such a pretty collection).  Don't be the former, be the latter.  There are rules to collecting. (i'm making this up, you will find no documentation, fyi).  and here they are:

1. Every piece in the collection beautiful by itself ( or cool, or wierd, whatever you are going for).  don't just buy or pick up that shell because its there,  really ask yourself if its worthy to be displayed in your house with the rest of the rare obscure shells that look like incredlble little sculptures.  Adding in less pretty pieces will dumb the whole collection and will make it look junky.

 2.  You must display them together.  This is an old design concept that a lot of small similar things displayed together can have as much impact if not more as one amazing big thing.  But if you disperse your collection around the house, then all the impact is lost and you just have a lot of crap for people to feel like they will knock off shelves.  Designate a wall, or a shelf or a credenza for the collection.  It can add such a point of interest, and it says 'collection', not just 'stuff everywhere'. (woah, don't i sound official, "point of interest", somebody has been watching too much HGTV...)

3.  Collections don't have to be expensive (although someday I will have a collection of rustic deep sea chinese pottery, they are crazy beautiful; all pieces found on the bottom of the ocean, normally all white, black, or grey with sooo much age that you can practically hear the chinese dynasty rulings if you put your ear up to them  - they are crazy expensive, even when we were in vietnam they were still like $150 for a small bowl, but someday... someday).  I DIGRESS.  A collection could be beautiful river rocks, leaves or flowers that you have dried,  it could be small beautiful antique salt spoons (i heart you Scott Horne) or vintage watercolor paintings of forests (keep it up Corbs).  Whatever it is, make sure its pretty or weird or says something really important to you, but don't think it needs to be something fancy or expensive. 

 This room is pretty great. except for those things hanging down from the ceiling which are reminding me a little too much of....ahem....rhymes with mesticles...(please this is a family blog, for feck sake).  

4. rule .  A collection must contain contrast no matter what the collection is.  The contrast could be size - if you collect everything the same size its very un-dynamic, and won't look very collected, will look more like you bought them all at once at the same place - which is an anti-collection.  Collect different sizes, shapes and colors (perhaps stick within a palette), as all of these three collections have.  And base the display around the biggest one (a hero, perhaps), and style around it.

5.  don't collect everything.  it becomes more of hoarding (not in the A&E sense, but in the 'this person has a house full of shit that you can't move around and he/she obsesses over' kind of way).  There gets to be a point where you can stop the collection.   I once shot at Martha's house in the Hamptons (yes, we are on first name basis, she calls me Ems most of the time, or Emmy, or 'my dearest', or just 'beautiful') and she collected all of this green pottery ( i don't remember what its called, if anybody knows, tell me), it's light green, vintage (30's-50's?) simple and super pretty. But she had sooooo much of it, all of her dinnerware, everywhere in her living room, dining room, bathroom and all the pots in her landscaped garden were of the same brand/color too.  I remember an insider telling me that it really was more like hoarding than collecting - she pretty much had every piece that existed.  And yes, it had big impact, but it was a one trick pony and you stopped noticing after a while - you lost interest.  As a side note she used that color green as her exact color palette for the whole house.  All the walls were a shade of it, her upholstery worked perfectly with it, all the plants indoor and outdoor were the perfect pantone chip color green to work with the pots, and get this:  she had her cruiser bike custom painted the exact same color.  We get it Marth.  you like green.

Anyway, to wrap it up:  collect only pretty, awesome things that you want to make a statement, display them together, don't be a snob - collect anything that you find beautiful and organic, make sure there is contrast within the display and know when to stop.

not sure why  I think i'm the expert.  i'm definitely not.   Perhaps as a former collector of way too much i feel self-rightious about chastising others.  that's kinda crappy of me, eh?


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