Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sweet Dreams

I absolutely fell in love with Audrey Hepburn while watching Breakfast at Tiffany's - how can you not? Those Givenchy clothes, her frank talk, her glamorous style, but also her melancholy just beneath the surface.
When I saw this lovely sleep mask on I was thrilled. A little taste of being Holly Golightly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Flashdance is back

So the most interesting thing on Top Design at this point, (other than Matt's room this week- cute!) is checking out Kelly Wearstler's look.
She's so working Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, just as Vanessa Williams did at the Globes. Kelly's playing dress-up and I'm jealous. I love the fro!

Smoky Eyes

As I watched Penelope Cruz in Pedro Almodóvar's Volver, I wanted to be that character. I didn't want all the mess she's been through, but her eye makeup, her sensuality, her wild hair! She's like Audrey Hepburn's wild & fun Latina cousin.

I am obsessed with the perfect smoky eye, and hers are so beautiful in this film. I have small, close-set eyes, so it's always tricky to do it right.

Divalicious Dressing Table

I love the idea of a dressing table. I love to sit & put on makeup, to linger over jewelry & hair. No wonder it's called a vanity.

You really appreciate one when you're in your bathroom stepping over cat litter boxes & your husband.

This is like a little personal place. Isn't it cute? It's all from Brocade Home & it's all so feminine & fun.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ella Moss

I must admit a huge flaw. I cannot wrap myself in cashmere or look uber-cool in chunky wool knits. I am allergic to animal fur.

I am a crazy cat lady who picks up and nuzzles my 3 cats with abandon and then sneezes afterward. But if I wear a cashmere blouse or wrap, I itch, I scratch, and sometimes break out in hives. It's an ugly sight.

So I love clothing designers who make cotton look pretty. I first discovered Ella Moss at Barney's Co-Op, then Intermix, and my latest is from Anthropologie. I can't remember the last top I bought. I'm normally shopping for furnishings, jewelry or leggings anymore. I now get most excited about dresses, jeans and shirts. But isn't that every girl?

I think I'll wear this tomorrow, and pray it doesn't rain or get chilly.

Stairway to heaven

What's going on with these stairs? They make me a bit nervous.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't put them in my house butthey're still kind of fun and I still want to climb them.

I have a wild spiral staircase, so these sing to me in an unusual way.

These stairs remind me of a quote I saw at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in NY.

If you always give people what they want, how can you inspire them?

I have to credit where I saw these crazy stairs.

Girls just wanna have fun

So I have to wake up very early in the morning but here I am anyway. I'm used to late nights, and Idol's on TV so I'm having too much fun.

Let me just say, is there anything better than girl talk? I went on vacation last week with my lovely husband & worked all week with great guys, but I was seriously in need of girl chat. Sometimes guys just don't want to hear what girls have to say.

Tonight, I went to Pace, always yummy with my mommy. My best friend & I went to Pane e Vino Monday night & I swear, all is right in the world right now.

So my BFF & I were both in agreement that Kelly Wearstler's outfits on Top Design are crazy, but so what. She's a talented designer, and wouldn't you rather see something extreme than boring? We blame some outrageously expensive haute couture designer who is giving her free clothes. Wouldn't you work it too?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Let's get some shoes

I have a bracelet that I could wear everyday, it's by CC Skye, and it's black leather and gold. I love that it goes great with jeans and a t-shirt, but also works fabulously with my little black dresses.

I am loving black and gold together right now. I simply have no reason or funds to buy these fabulous Jimmy Choos, so I will just post the picture so I can drool & look at them longingly.

As a girl, I do love my shoes. Do you love them too? Check out this insanely popular youtube video.


Has anyone else seen these cool tumblers? I don't drink milk, but I love the black and white. I'd probably fill these with red wine, go a bit goth. These were in O at Home Magazine. I've googled for hours, and can't find them locally.

Here's what O's mag says...
Vintage tumblers by Torre & Tagus, $22 for a set of four
UMA; 314-241-9990

Northern California

I could stay in Southern California for the rest of my life and never see NorCal again, maybe because I used to live in Eureka, which is in a remote part of Northern California. It's rainy or hazy most of the year.
After living in sunny SoCal for 24 years, it was difficult for me to adjust. Most young people have moved away, because the pay stinks, and there isn't a strong sense of community. One way of escape was visiting the plaza in Arcata. Arcata is a hippie town about 5-10 minutes away from blue-collar, hardworking Eureka. There was a tiny independent movie theater, where I watched Amores Perros & Monsoon Wedding after visiting the bakery next door that sold warm flaky apple turnovers.
The one store that made me happy every time I entered was Plaza Design. I loved their vivid happy colors and their environmentally conscious wares. The glassware line called Fire & Light is more than 90% recycled material, and comes in heavy glass colored beautifully.
They also sell Lee Furniture which is gorgeous, is made with high-quality materials and uses no CFC's.
The works of local artists dot the walls of Plaza Design. I love the works of Amy Granfield who paints local wildlife and plants.
Eureka offered a handful of fantastic restaurants, and a store that sold insane cookies. I wish I could remember the name of the cookie and the store that sold them. Those cookies helped me through some tough days.

Bring on the bubbly

Let me tell you about my absolute favorite drink (of the moment). The Francis Coppola Sofia Blanc de Blanc. Not only is it a delicious bubbly champagne and inspired by a talented woman, the packaging is also out of this world.

I discovered the beautiful bottle at Mel & Rose Wine & Spirits on Melrose Ave. If you haven't been there, it's the best place to stock up for a party or buy a hostess gift.
When I went to Mel & Rose, they had the bottle & 4-packs chilling in the case. The manager told me they always hide a few because they're so popular. Plus, they're ridiculously friendly. A big bonus in LA.

Back to the spirit. The bottle is champagne colored, wrapped in clear pink wrap. The presentation is similar to the outrageously priced Cristal, but it's much more wallet-friendly at less than $20.
It also comes in darling little 4-packs of red and pink cans, which you can drink straight from the can - it comes with a tiny straw - or if you pour it into a glass, it fills it to perfection.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Shine on has some of the cutest lamps I've seen, and the shades are darling too.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I'm in love with another wallcovering company. has some of the coolest wallpapers and grasscloth too. Yum

I left my heart in NY

Thankfully, we didn't get grounded by weather, and my New York trip was wonderful! Once we were there, it was a complete whirlwind. Alarm Will Sound's performance was exhilirating, and was (positively) reviewed in the NY Times.
A highlight was David LaChapelle's show called Awakened, at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Chelsea. The subjects are floating in water, but look like they're floating up to heaven. Rapturous!
On our way to the Matthew Marks Gallery, we stumbled upon Comme des Garcon. The store entry, with the egg-shaped glass door that pivots is almost better than the clothes.
The biggest bummer - stealing a line from Jonathan Adler - was visiting the Royalton, designed by Phillipe Starck (who knows when) which desperately needs a facelift. The drab grey paint, the uncomfortable chairs, some had old white slipcovers, some had metal pointed sides waiting to stab you as you sat. The walls had lit horns coming out of the dark wood walls. We kept quoting that SNL skit which involves the European couple whose names are Nuni & Nuni, and they're home is so avant-garde, it's hard to tell what furniture does what.
Last time I was in NY, I stayed at the Hudson, designed by Kelly Wearstler. The main areas are pretty, but the rooms were cramped & lacking luxury. This time, I skipped the hip factor & went for comfort, which I'm glad I did. We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park, which was cozy - just a few hundred rooms, amazing beds - & the staff is ready at any moment to get whatever you want. I needed a heating pad in the middle of the night & they had it. They brought the LA Times every morning, even the room service food was delicious. One night we came back to our room & a CD was playing - Barbra Streisand, haha, but a box of truffles & a bottle of champagne on ice were sitting out for us, with a card congratulating us on celebrating a late anniversary. Nice touch. It wouldn't have happened at the Hudson.

The design was beautiful too. I couldn't get enough of the traditional-print fabric lining the walls, chandeliers running down the hallways, the polished marble floors.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Breathing Space

Oprah has a section in her magazine, I believe it's called Breathing Space, it features a photo of nature unobstructed by buildings or man. I love it.

Since I'll probably be offline for a while, I'll leave you with my personal breathing space. These are some photos from my designers' website - Woodson & Rummerfield. These photos were love at first sight for me. I fall in love every time I see these photos, & the designers themselves - Ron & Jaime - are adorable too. They are young & fun, just like their designs.

If you're ever driving down La Cienega in LA, stop by their showroom. It's next door to Koi.

Whenever I feel exhausted & exasperated at the construction mess that is currently my home, I just look at these photos and they make me smile.
They have tons more images on their website. Just click on wandrdesign for more fabulous homes & objects, each more beautiful and different than the next!

NYC here i (hope) come

Will I get to New York?
Jet Blue cancelled ALL flights to NYC today.
I'm flying in the morning. If I hadn't gotten my nails done yesterday, I'd be biting them right this moment.
I have to make it. This is in large part my long-awaited vacay, but the real reason for going is to see my little bro play Carnegie Hall. My whole family will be there.
This is his a group, called Alarm Will Sound. He's fifth from the right, leaning back.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Where the birdies sing & the flowers bloom

Let's all sing like the birdies sing... tweet, tweet tweet... tweet tweet!

Or the more familiar... In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room!

The Enchanted Tiki Room put me under a spell when I was a child. I loved the carved Tiki Gods grunting at me as the rain poured down the walls during the grand finale featuring a thunderstorm. It's a scene that thrilled and vaguely scared me. The best feeling for a kid!

I was mesmerised when the bird chandelier dropped from the ceiling and the birds took cues from the parrot host named Jose. He was like a feathered Ricky Ricardo.

Perhaps that's why today, I love kitchy Tiki things & lots of art which falls under the label "Underground," or "Lowbrow."
On a side note, surely they jest when they call it Lowbrow, because some of the artists command prices that some rich folks would choke at.

Artists like Shag make me smile with memories of the Tiki Room. I learned he has created art for Disneyland. I wonder if he was transfixed by the show as a kid? Did he eat the frosty Dole Pineapple Whip that I can't seem to find anywhere else but at the Tiki Room entrance? Hands-down best dessert ever.

My Tiki obsession spread like a virus into other parts of my life... like music. I love lounge music. I love to listen to the wacky couple at the Dresden, songs by Esquivel. Someone make me a drink with a big umbrella in it. Scratch that. Take me for cocktails at Tiki Ti's, and then the Good Luck Bar. As Esquivel would say... Groovy!

Goodness me, I just found the coolest Shag print.. maybe it's a postcard. It has the flowers that talk, and even an appearance by Jose! Click on the photographs for the official website & song. Click on Shag's print for his website.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Design your own wallpaper

For the longest time, I was so perplexed that my favorite things in magazines were only available "to the trade," because what if you just want one little fabulous thing rather than redesigning your whole room?
So when something is fabulous & it's available to all of us regular folks, I love it even more. Farrow & Ball has a cool tool on its website. You can pick wallpaper designs & preview them in different colors and shades. Bonus: you don't have to download anything. Here's some I created. There are simple designs too, but I love pattern!

Dazzling dining room chairs

My dining room chairs are here! I ordered four chairs like the one you see here and two armchairs. They're from Empiric on Beverly.

It took me months to find chairs that

1. I actually wanted

2. I could afford.

I hunted for the perfect chairs like mothers shop for schools. I started off with Jonathan Adler's chippendale chairs, which I was set to buy, but then he stopped making the armchairs! I'm a leaner. I need armchairs, so I resumed my search.

I happened across a great set of Billy Haines chairs at Downtown (on La Cienega), but they were like $8000 for the set, so I sat in them for a moment - just to enjoy sitting in one of his divine creations - and kept searching.

I was heading to the Grove with my husband one afternoon to catch a film, and we spotted Empiric. We'd never heard of it, but the store rocks! They have vintage & new stuff. When I saw these chairs I about died, because they're the same price as the chairs were at Adler's, plus the awesome staff found out they could make an armchair version.
By the way, here's the original chair below.

Monday, March 12, 2007

don't hide your jewelry

I tend to stash jewelry in boxes and drawers and then come across them after they've gone out of style. I found the perfect solution that also looks pretty. Jewelry hangers, like this one with a tiny bird, to hang bracelets. Urban outfitters sells them for earrings & necklaces too.

Washer & Dryer in one

One of my favorite sections of home catalogs is the laundry room. There are countless ways of organizing your clothes into separate sections, to be wheeled around the room, tables on which to fold your clothes, boxes and drawers to store detergents, shout wipes and tide bleach pens.

Too bad my laundry area is nothing but a nook in the hallway. The washer and dryer both stick out into the hall, bottles are stashed on top of the stackables, and that's it.

For those of us who have small spaces, I found the ultimate appliance that I crave more than jewelry. LG electronics makes a washer-dryer in one! The only negative is that it costs about $1500, so I won't be buying one anytime soon, if ever, but wouldn't one be great?

Bisazza Tile

Tile is wonderful. I love it shiny and sparkly. I'm blessed with a husband who knows how to lay tile. He started learning several years ago & has saved us tons of $$$. He started off simple, with big off-white squares laid straight... then diagonal... then a kitchen backsplash... and once he laid a rug pattern tricked out with borders for our patio... he graduated to tile genius. We aren't installing tile nearly as grand as these photos - it's just too darned expensive - so I'll just enjoy these Bisazza tiles from afar.

dynamic eco-friendly dishes

Stealing a quote from Colin Cowie: I am to tabletop what Imelda Marcos was to shoes. I'm obsessed with dishes. Sarah Cihat has some of the coolest dishware because she picks them up at thrift stores, garage sales, ebay, who knows where... and then paints them with cool graphics. My favorite style is the one with birds, but she does everything from the girls you see on trucker mudflaps to spiders & skulls.

She also has a cool line of vases and bowls called Dirt. I love the chains draped round this one. So pretty. You can find her dishes at a darling store in LA... Zelen on Beverly Blvd.

I also love to go to Barneys & Tiffany to look at all the beautiful dishes. You can handle & admire them without actually having to buy them. I do the same thing with expensive jewelry & watches. It's a strange hobby, but it doesn't cost anything. I wonder if anyone else has this hobby?

Beautiful People with Beautiful Feelings

I love Donny Miller. He's the best. He sometimes looks like a latino Dali with his twisted little mustache, but here he looks pretty cool. This is from his myspace.

To me, he's like the Jonathan Adler of art. Inspirational & cheeky, he doesn't seem to take himself or the world too seriously... at least in my humble opinion.

He creates social commentary without shoving it down your throat... we have enough curmudgeons in the world, don't we? doesn't a spoonful of sugar help the medicine go down? it sure does here in LA

I have his book Beautiful People with Beautiful Feelings. it's the perfect coffee table book that makes me laugh & think a bit. . i also bought a little horse painting he made with an a-bomb blowing up in the background. Isn't that ridiculous? don't i look like a hypocrite now after acting so high & mighty about my perfume? yes i do.

Maison 140

I live in LA, and I'm sure it's not far from home, but I've never been to Maison 140... designed by one of my idols, Kelly Wearstler. She loves red, black & white too! I love the patterned wallpaper, the bold colors that make sense under her direction, and would be an absolute catastrope if I ever attemped to pull it off. I'm crazy for the wallpaper.

cupcake crazy

I am currently obsessed with sweets. It started with Sprinkles Cupcakes... which by the way... there's one opening on La Cienega, so I can window shop at my favorite design shops & have a strawberry cupcake as well. Is there anything better? Actually, there might be. I discovered the vanilla cupcakes at Starbucks. I'm sure they're temporary, following the cupcake trend, but I think they are more delicious than Sprinkles. If this trend goes away, I always have my beloved Winchell's.

These St. Patty's day cupcakes are reminding me of my upcoming trip. NYC here I come! We're landing on St. Patty's day afternoon. I better remember to wear my bit o' green. I hear they get pretty snarky if you're not wearing the color. I hate being pinched.

Carbs are your friends

What further proof do you need that carbs are great, than these cheerful little donuts, sweet little stacks of ice cream sandwiches, a cheerful slice of toast & yummy butter? Three cheers for tasty treats. These are handmade with love at, but Heidi Kenney. Click the treats for her website.


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