Blogs I follow

Thursday, December 19, 2013

So Inspiring from the very get go...

The first time I visited HEDGE in Palm Springs California, was in 2006 (68929 Perez Rd # F, Cathedral City, CA 92234 Phone:(760) 770-0090).  Having lived in Palm Desert for many years, I loved searching the various shops for that “it” piece.  I was in awe of the ambiance in HEDGE the second I walked in the door.  The collection of vintage and eclectic furnishings and accessories was crisp, styled and creatively displayed.  I didn't know where to focus first!  Soon, one of the owners; Thomas Sharkey, came to make his introduction.  He was just as special as everything I was viewing.  He wasn't pushy, slick or overly charming, just damn cool!  After we chatted a bit, he offered me a cappuccino to sip as I shopped.  The further I looked, the more things I found, I could hardly wait to nab my husband to come back and shop with me.  Knowing that I had found a treasure, I encouraged my husband to join me the next day to make selections for our new groovy new pad in Bend Oregon.

I couldn't get Thomas and his partner Charles Pearson out of my mind.  They had developed a business model that I found totally inspiring.  Their way of merchandising, along with their impressive, casual and natural customer service template made me think that this was what I wanted to do.  After my husband visited and we made our purchases, he could see why it was right up my alley!  From that moment on, I asked the guys if I could counsel with them on how I could get started.  Instead of shying away from my questions, they offered generously their savvy business sense that would make any Wharton Business School graduate swoon. I felt so fortunate to have met these two incredible people and they gave me the courage to start the595project.

Since they opened 8 years ago this past July, they have been published in several national magazines.  Mostly, they have been acknowledged as one of the best places to shop for vintage furniture in the desert.  This high praise is critical and clearly HEDGE meets the criteria for these fine publications to give them this well-deserved nod.  For all of you that visit the Palm Springs area during Winter break, Spring break or for that matter, any break, please make a visit and mention that you heard about them from the595project!  You will have a ball and you will find the most straight up cool selection of furnishings you could ever imagine.

I have put together a few pictures to give you a tease!  Enjoy...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Juxtaposition of Opposites

I was reading about JF Chen, the wildly successful antiques dealer from Los Angeles.  He is considered an expert of old- world décor, 20th century modernism, contemporary furniture as well as other sought after rarities.  He said in the article; Decorating is all about the juxtaposition of opposites-mixing antiques with vintage and contemporary items.  “Matching” no longer exists.  A bedroom with matching dressers or a coordinating dining room is, thank goodness, over.

This statement is the very foundation for the595project and it is why I love what I do.  To be able to bring the mix to those who have a passion for design is my mission.  After seeing a photo shoot for New York Magazine I thought the very same point is in today’s fashion.  This collection of photographs was titled “The Clash”.  It is very cool and I can’t wait to try my own version as fall sets in!  It’s really all about good design whether it’s for the home or what you wear.  Enjoy the photos!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Frick Collection

I love New York!  There are so many stunning museums to tour but it is forever burned in my memory, my first trip to see The Frick Collection.  It is truly such a beautiful place.

I remember thinking, what would it be like to live in such an extraordinary place?   The art work is displayed in breathtaking rooms adorned with mahogany walls.  It feels so lush and rich and makes the works of art much more personal and romantic.  The museum is the former home of Henry Clay Frick, one of America’s most successful industrialists. Built in 1913-14, the house is set back from Fifth Avenue and it is quite unique for a mansion to house French eighteenth century furniture, Italian Renaissance bronzes, and Chinese porcelains in concert with such an incredible art collection.  You will see masterpieces by Vermeer, Velázquez, Goya, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and El Greco.  I remember being amazed at the size of the four panels by Fragonard and being deeply moved by the Gainsborough’s.  Mr. Frick always had an eye for beauty and the collection he amassed speaks to his talent as a world class collector.

The building has been expanded to make room for additional aspects of the collection; however, it did not impact the beauty of this regal structure in any way.  I am forever changed by having seen this deeply rich mansion with such large and impressive works. The staff continues to delight us with an ever changing annual exhibit so I hope that you can fit it in on your next visit.  It is a superb experience and it will take your breath away.

Courtesy: The Frick Collection

Courtesy: The Frick Collection

Courtesy: The Frick Collection

Courtesy: The Frick Collection

Courtesy: The Frick Collection

Courtesy: The Frick Collection

Henry Clay Frick's old rec room & bowling alley - Courtesy: The Frick Collection


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sometimes its nice to be, well...nice

Andrea Stanford - One Kings Lane
There are some things that you just can’t get off your mind.  Habitually Chic’s talented blogger, Heather Clawson wrote about Andrea Stanford of One Kings Lane and described her as not only tremendously talented but generous and kind.  The blog caught my attention because Andrea is the V.P. of Merchandising, Designer and Vintage Sales for One Kings Lane and my showroom and website, the595project, is a vendor for the Vintage and Market Finds section on the website.  It got me thinking about people I’ve worked with during my design career that have been without fail, gracious, generous and kind. Two people come to mind.

Steve Marcum of Pratesi
Steve Marcum opened the Pratesi Linens store in Houston Texas in December of 1994.  He came to Houston for Pratesi by way of Louisville Kentucky where he sold the line in a small boutique.  If you enjoy perfection in bedding, then Pratesi is a must.  Luxury at its finest in my opinion, this family owned business from Italy produces some of the most beautiful linens, bath products and bedding in the world.

I started working with Steve about 1995.  I called the Houston store to place an order for a project I had in Arizona.  I was struck by his calm and engaging demeanor and I soon came to enjoy the most perfect customer service ever!  As the years have gone by, we’ve become friends and his southern charm and witty stories have kept me smiling for years.  He has sent me cookbooks, given me gifts and cards, donated lovely items for auctions, mailed me monthly Paper City issues, ( Houston’s wonderful social and fashion publication) and sent me boxes and boxes of merchandise to use for presentations.  I look forward to laughing with him when we talk and our visits are always too short but so very satisfying.  Service like what Steve brings is a dying art.  He has style and charm without being over the top.  He is one of my most favorite people in the world and I am honored to know him.

I’m sure many designers out there know the feeling of intimidation one experiences when you visit a design center for the first time.  After my career got in to full swing I had to face the daunting exercise of going to the Blue Whale in Los Angeles.  This mammoth structure houses the best showrooms in the country that present fabrics, furniture and the like for all aspects of interior design.  There is a protocol and procedure as to how you do business in the stunning showrooms.  Kind of scary when you really are new in the biz!

Mark Boone of Mimi London
Mark Boone, owner of the Mimi London Showroom in Los Angeles, helped me through this ordeal early on!  He is polished and polite beyond words and he has always demonstrated top notch service to me.  Talented and respected in the industry, he not only has an impressive client list for his own design projects; he represents some gorgeous furniture and fabric lines in his showroom to the trade.
Mark Boones Mimi London Showroom in Los Angeles

He spends time each week at his manufacturing facility (I think its Thursday’s!) working on sketches for new pieces for production.  He has a really cool casual design aesthetic, yet polished and hip.  His work has been featured in Architectural Digest too often to mention as well as other respected design magazines. Recently one of his stylish tables was selected for the new set design of The Ellen DeGeneres Show!   All of you out there must visit his website and showroom.  You will love every second of it!  Mark has become a friend and he has supported me by way of donations for fund raising for breast cancer too. He is so generous with his time and very down to earth.  He is quite a gem!

I love that Habitually Chic prompted me to think about people in my line of work that are just, well, basically nice!  Not just once but always……year after year.  Thank you Steve and Mark!

Monday, July 1, 2013

By Comparison...

What's new!
It’s always exciting to see the design publications “What’s New” page or the latest spread showcasing fantastic and imaginative interiors.  Talented designer’s place vintage and eclectic pieces in their projects all the time.  Visual research is a big part of how all of us find a look we can identify with.  I love to look at magazines and blogs and in doing so I have found that the595project has some wonderful examples of the “WOW” factor!  I’m featuring some great photo’s to show what I’ve found in magazines currently and how it ties to the595project.  Take a look at some of the rooms I found!

 The Power of a Chaise...

As shown in Elle Décor, the photo on the left shows the power of a chaise.  Elegant and comfortable but it has a strong design element that makes you want to indulge.  the595project chaise, below, is upholstered in fabulous leather and the designer is Adrian Pearsall from the 1960’s.  The walnut base is especially appealing.

  Wall Sculptures...
I love seeing sculpture instead of paintings!  The impact of Curtis Jere is perfectly executed in the photo above as seen in Elle Décor.  The metal really adds a soothing restful component to the bedroom.  The photo below is Jere as well and the title is “Raindrops”.  Another wonderful find from the595project!
 Organic nature...
The organic nature of the root base table softens the crisp white chairs and light fixture shown on the left.  It is a fantastic addition to this dining room.  The root table base and slab top shown below is from the595project.  The base was found in Santa Fe, New Mexico and it’s perfect as an entry piece or a new top can be used for dining.
Grounded Color...

Color, color, color! The room above has it all as featured in Elle Décor.  The black cabinet grounds the explosion of color.  The photo on the left features matching Glen of California chests from the595project.  Very cool indeed.

  What's Hot...

I love looking at the “What’s Hot” page of Elle Décor.  June’s publication shows a low slung chair in leather.  The Fredric Weinberg chair on the left from the 1950’s is wildly comparable in look and style.  This chair is available at the595project.

Vintage Leather...

The photo to the right is a shot featured in Elle Décor of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's horse ranch in California.  The vintage leather sofa brings you in and makes the room inviting yet hip. The Erling Olsen sofa below has perfectly aged original leather and is very comfortable.  Available at the595project!

Leavitt Weaver...

As I think back on experiences that had a tremendous impact on me as a  designer, I must say that working with the wildly talented firm,  Leavitt Weaver was life altering.  I was hired to do a fantastic project at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona and the architecture required a unique and fresh concept for furniture placement.  There was not a straight wall on the entire floor plan, so everything suggested a radius!   As research began, I met with Leavitt Weaver’s principal designer, Stephen Weaver in San Francisco and was forever changed.

Completely charming and approachable (I must admit that I was nervous to meet such a talent), we sat down and reviewed the project and talked about the concept I saw for my clients.  With grace and humor, he led me down an entirely different path and before I knew it, I was hooked!  Stephen taught me so much during the three year process as we navigated having almost every piece custom built for the home.  Many things started with production pieces but then we revised selections in to exacting scale and color for each room.  My clients were thrilled (thank goodness they trusted me) and I was a different designer after the project.

Craig Leavitt, a partner in the firm,  gave me the “Sister Parish” grounding of the traditional element to the project and Stephen gave me the “out of the box” concepts I could have never come up with.  Sounds like a perfect design team to me!

I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with these two brilliant men and they continue to do amazing and impressive work.  I encourage you to check out their website, Leavitt Weaver.

Thank you Stephen and Craig!!!

Fashion and Painting...



The latest fashion… absolutely necessary for a painting. It’s what matters most.

E’douard Manet, 1881

There is an undeniable bond between people in the fashion world and the design world.   Clearly it stems from the appreciation of beautiful things, like the right color and the mixing of certain pieces, just so.  As well as pattern and scale and the application of their affect and the selection of what looks good on someone or what is impactful in a space.  Most importantly, there is always room for the unexpected and quirky surprise in fashion and in design that sets you apart from the rest!

This month (May 2013) for the First Friday event, Hot Box Betty asked me to hang a collection of paintings from the595project.  It proved to be a great canvas for the wide variety of images I have collected and they are nicely highlighted in this fashion forward store.  Mixed with seriously cool clothing, the paintings I selected for the art walk give a different perspective to the art scene.  Since midcentury and vintage is my thing, I sure had a great time incorporating my unique inventory of 1960’s and beyond works of art in to the store.  I’ve always loved mixing periods in art work and I agree that first and foremost with art, you have to buy what you like no matter the cost and mix it up with a wide variety of styles.  Kind of like fashion!!

I think now more than ever, design publications show us all how to successfully do the mix of periods, color and pattern.  It is so inspiring!  So take a risk and reconfigure what you have in your home and try a little vintage in the mix.  Draw insight from fashion by way of boutiques like Hot Box Betty.  They have it so right in the coolest way!