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dining or office chair

I came across this chair when posting about the Pratt LED lamp from West Elm and thought it was excellent.  Also designed in collaboration with students from the Pratt Institute, this chair would be a great dining chair.  It's made from eco-friendly materials (FSC-certified eucalyptus wood/ powder-coated steel), and stackable.  


111 Archer Avenue

This print is fantastic.  It is a depiction of the house from the film The Royal Tenenbaums.  The illustrator is named Max Dalton, and this is his website.  The print is 11" x 16", and is $35.  There are only 250 prints made, so it is a limited edition piece.  I love the muted color scheme, and the fact that it's a rendered section drawing.  To buy the print, click here.


task lights

Affordable task lights (for your desk or workspace) are pretty tough to find.  I've noticed that West Elm has recently come out with a few that are attractive and priced affordably.  

Note: this lamp only works if you can clip it onto you desk as shown in the image. 

This lamp was designed in collaboration with students from The Pratt Institude, a design school in Brooklyn, NY.  LED is an excellent option for lighting because it uses significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs.  The LED bulbs also last practically forever. 


California coffee table

I love this coffee table from San Francisco-based designer, Jared Rusten.  It's like having a piece of art in the room that is functional.  That's my favorite kind of furniture.

From his website:
This coffee table, carefully cut into the iconic shape of California is crafted from native, salvaged Claro Walnut for the top, and native, salvaged, White Oak for the base.  Dimensions: 56″ long (tip to tip), 15.5″ tall, approx. 18″ wide.  $2500


PB Teen Throw Pillows

I recently checked out Pottery Barn Teen for the first time and was pleasantly surprised!  I'd never thought to look through their products before because I do not have any teens and am not a teen myself, but found a few items that appealed to my adult self.  The stuff is youthful, fun, and cheery.  While I'd recommend going more neutral with larger pieces, such as sofas, etc. (because you'll get more years out of them), it's totally OK to play around with bright accents like pillows.

 De-Vine Pillow Cover
 Zig-Zag Pillow Cover
 Tulips Toss Pillow


Christmas 2010

Not long after having Thanksgiving at my house, I had a Christmas party.  It wasn't any ordinary party though, it was an ornament-making/tree-decorating party.  I had plenty of crafts set out including papers, felt, fabric, glue, markers, pencils, scissors, needle + thread, etc.  Since many of my friends are designers and creative-types, we had a great time making ornaments for the tree.  I also re-purposed the centerpieces and decorations that I had just used for Thanksgiving into more Christmas-looking decorations.  Here are some photos.

Thanksgiving 2010

This year was the second year that I had Thanksgiving at my house in California.  I had never decorated for the holidays before, and had a blast doing it.  Here are some of the decorations I made.  As you can see, they were very easy to do and inexpensive.  Most of the things were purchased at craft supply stores, such as Joann's and Michael's.  I cut the leaves myself from an outline I found on


extra seating - stackable chair

If you find you need extra seating, but don't like ugly folding chairs, then this West Elm chair is an excellent solution.  These good-looking, modern, bent wood chairs are stackable, so they have a small footprint in a storage closet or the corner of the room.  Their design is somewhat reminiscent of an Eames molded plywood chair, and they come in three attractive colors: birch, white, and walnut.  Better still, they are currently on sale for $84 (normally $99).  

set of 2 $168
set of 4 $336


wall clock

This is a great-looking wall clock, made of plywood and MDF (medium-density fiberboard).  16" diameter.




To me (and I know I might be alone on this) hardly anything is better than Halloween.  I love the creative costumes, its unique color scheme (black + orange = awesome) the sweets, and especially the decorations.  

One great way to turn your house into a home is to decorate it for the holidays.  Pulling out the things that you only use that one time a year makes it feel special.  The extra thought that goes into it is what makes it feel like a true home, and not a rental apartment.  

Case in point: Christmas.  If you take the time to shop for, pick out, erect, decorate, and light a tree in your residence, it will instantly give it that warm, cozy feeling of being home.  So, since it's October I'm dedicating this post to fun Halloween-themed items you can put in your home this month!

this could be used alone as a centerpiece, or as a serving dish.  The orange is bright and festive.  $34.95

for the sophisticated trick-or-treater  $6-$29

you get it, awesome.  $19.95


the do-it-yourself: paper bag luminaries

and of course, the classic, Jack-O-Lantern


Marimekko bedding - Seireeni

I am a big fan of the design house Marimekko.  Since its beginning in 1951, Marimekko has been a powerhouse in textile design.  Their textiles can be seen anywhere from fashion to interior products, such as bedding, window treatments, towels, and table linens.  Often colorful, whimsical, and bold, they have a very distinctive style.  To read more about Marimekko's history, please click here.

When first I saw the Seireeni Bedding available from Crate & Barrel, I  was struck by its boldness and pizazz.  This is for someone wanting to make a (loud) statement.  It was designed in 1964 and is still stunning in 2010.  
Full/Queen Duvet Cover $119
King Duvet Cover $139
Pillow Sham $34.95

Also, those glass lamps are fantastic.  $219


Stephens Lamp

This is a very cool accent piece lamp.  It has a structural feel and is a sizable scale to add some dazzle to a room.  Remember, lighting is like the jewelry of interior decor, and this one really sparkles.

From the catalog: "Classic mid-century silhouette lightens up a steel birdcage antiqued to a brass glow.  Putty drum shade in polyester.  Requires 150W bulb. 


wine storage solution

One of my friends recently asked me if I knew of any good solutions for wine bottles in a small space.  I came across this and think it is attractive, compact, and versatile.  It can be mounted on a wall (a great space saver in a small apartment) or stacked on a horizontal surface.  
$29.99 for one
$49.99 for two
Crate + Barrell


paint = trend

What many people might not realize is that paint colors are trends that change from year to year.  Paint manufacturers analyze trends in color in other sectors and develop new colors to introduce each year.  From what I've noticed, the major trends change every 2-3 years.  It's very similar to the fashion industry in that way (just a bit slower to change).  In fact, paint colors are often influenced by what's happening in fashion.  

So, that being said, I'd recommend bold paint colors be reevaluated every several years to be sure they are still current.  I watch HGTV a lot, and see the interiors of many houses all over the country that are for sale (on House Hunters).  I am always shocked by how many houses put VERY bold paint up a decade ago and never updated it.  I see a lot of schemes that were current in the 90s.  Leaving those in your house would be like only wearing fashion that was popular in that decade.  Crazy - no one would do that (hopefully).   The same goes for the colors on walls.  If it's something bright and bold (not neutrals) it should be changed at minimum every 5 years to stay current.

Keep current by checking with major paint manufacturers: Benjamin Moore, Dunn-Edwards, Sherwin Williams, etc.  All of these companies do a yearly trend report and introduce new colors.  You can check their websites for the most current trends.  And give them a try!  It's a great way to freshen up a space, and is an inexpensive way to make a major impact on a room.  Try a trend on an accent wall if you don't want to make a major commitment.  You can always paint it back after a few months if you're through with it.  It's like a new fashion accessory. 

Here are a few links of the most current paint trends:

Here are a couple schemes that I really like (both Dunn Edwards):


design with light

I recently attended a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, a super cool outdoor venue in the Hollywood Hills.  It was very awesome - I saw John Williams and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  The way they lit the canopy over the stage illustrated a great point - the importance and power of lighting.  Lighting can completely transform a space.  See some examples below:

Notice the lightsabers in the audience!


rounded coffee tables

If you have a small living room (because maybe you live in New York City, for example) and furniture is cramped, it's critical to choose wisely so that circulation is still possible.  You want to be able to access all parts of the room comfortably.  One critical factor in selecting furniture is its scale.  Choose pieces that are not over-scale and imposing.  Compact pieces are better.  
Also, in certain areas, rounded pieces may afford more space.  In the case of my friends Wendy + Howie, they are currently using a rectangular coffee table and its sharp corners are blocking comfortable access to their gorgeous Eames lounge chair + ottoman.  I'm recommending a few oval or rounded shaped substitutes.

$1988  41"L  27.5"W  15"H

$699  54"L  20"W  16"H
$799 50"L  23"W  16"H


new table lamp from Jonathan Adler

I really love this new lamp from Jonathan Adler called the Relief Drip Lamp.  Made of porcelain, it has a really warm glow when lit and and fresh white look when not. 



Eva table lamp

This is a great-looking lamp from Room + Board.  It would look especially good in a room with mid-century modern decor.  At 27" high, it is sizable fixture.  Made of hand-blown glass in brown or white, with a silk shade, it is stocked for $299.  


sofa slipcovers

A couple people have recently asked me about sofa slipcovers to achieve a "shabby-chic" look.  The shabby chic style is deliberately distressed, casual, and comfortable with an all-white and/or bleached-out pastel palette.  Vintage pieces that look worn and antiqued (but still in a light or white color) play a role in this aesthetic.

This look can be achieved by applying a white or off-white slipcover to an existing sofa.  Installing a slipcover is very easy.  You simply drape it on and tuck it in.  A trick to keeping it tucked in is to lodge rolled-up newspapers into the crevices.  This will hold the slipcover tighter on the sofa.  Here are a few slipcovers I found.  Some are classics while others are updated modern versions:

This one is a departure from the traditional slipcover, but it still achieves the "shabby-chic" look.  It also seems like it would be more flexible for different styles of sofas underneath.  It requires a less rigid installment and therefore becomes more casual.  Pair this look with an array of colorful (or muted pastel) accent pillows.

This is a more traditional look.  The pleats give it a more structural feel and add a strong design feature.  This one is on sale and available in stark white. 

This is the most typical slipcover of the three. The nice thing about it is that it has a separate cover for the seats, which keeps it fitting tightly and minimizes having to re-tuck-in the slipcover repeatedly.  It's available for sofas with square-shaped or T-shaped back cushions.

Hovas Sofa Cover
This is a great budget-oriented option from Ikea.  It's a pretty straight-forward slip cover, machine washable and white.  With this low price you can really go crazy with pillows.


Dot Coffee + Side Table

The new Dot coffee + side tables from West Elm are really unique and truly minimal.  This very neutral oak finish would work in a room with a warm neutral scheme (beiges), as shown.  In my opinion it doesn't mix well with grays.  If you have a lot of space to work with, you could try clustering a couple of them.  
Coffee table measures 36" in diameter, and 14" high for $399.  Side table is 14" diameter and 18" high for $149.


Kohler Flipside Handshower

The Flipside Handshower, a very clever new showerhead from Kohler, redefines settings on a typical showerhead.  Instead of using controls, rotating the fixture to expose one of four different openings changes the spray type.

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