Monday, July 11, 2011

Lamp Fetish

It's safe to say I'm a little obsessed with lamps. Back when I lived in Chicago, Bloomingdale's on Michigan Avenue had an amazing lamp department with equally amazing sales which I took full advantage of on a regular basis. I got to know the Manager of that Department so well that she would call me letting me know when one of my favorite lamps was going on-sale. I amassed several lamps during that time and still have a couple around from way back when. Lighting is very important in any room and changing a lamp can easily change to feel of a room. 

One of my favorite lamp makers is Robert Abbey... A few of my favorites include:

I loved the oversized height of the Buster floor lamp in 
polished nickel and the oversized shade

The companion to the floor lamp
lends drama to a dining room

This is the perfect accent lamp (Robert Abbey Mini C)
for next to a chair and it comes in several great finishes
This lamp is part of Jonathan Adler's designs 
for Robert Abbey. I love the scale and the 
many colors it comes in

Great accent lamp for an entryway table
I just ordered this swing arm lamp for my guest room

When I was at Dwell Magazines Dwell on Design show here in LA a couple weeks ago I ran across a really cool lamp designer, Lesley Anton who does amazing ceramic lamps -

Here are some of her designs:


There are some cool online sites that allow you to design your lamp... pick your shape, pick your color, pick your base, pick your finial, pick your shade. Check out and play around with the "Design Your Lamp" section of the site. They are pricey at $699 but you get exactly what you want.

Here's a couple I designed:


Ebay is a great source for lamps, I bought a couple very unique mid-century lamps recently for between $50-$75. With a newly painted base, some metal polish, a new 3-way socket, and new shades they look like million bucks and the nice thing about an Ebay lamp is they are more often than not very unique.

Here's my latest purchase:

So, have some fun with lamps, change it up every once in awhile. A new lamp can do wonders to change a room.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wallpaper Obsession...

I love wallpaper, I'm obsessed with it! I have added wallpaper to my bedroom, office, and livingroom. I don't like an entire room of wallpaper but I do like accent walls. It lends texture to any room and keeps a room interesting. In my bedroom I put grasscloth on two walls and it looks amazing with a great blend of navy blue, grays, and straw in the grasscloth. You can get grasscloth in many colors and you can even have it custom printed with a design over the grasscloth. 

Astek Wallcoverings can print a pattern over grasscloth. They used this in a bedroom on HGTV's Design Star. For more information on printable grasscloth visit

I used this in my livingroom in brown and it also comes in a beautiful Robin's egg blue, it's from Graham & Brown - and I bought it through

It's easy to get completely lost in wallpaper sites like: ...It's wallpaper porn!!!

Unfortunately, I just had my first bad experience with wallpaper installation. I searched and searched for a cool wallpaper for my guest room and found another great design from Graham & Brown. The paper had a mustard stripe with a blue gray stripe and a hint of silver metalic throughout with a small silver metallic pin stripe between each color. It was beautiful and I couldn't wait to have it installed.

My plan was to hang horizontally and the wallpaper hanger arrived to do the job but after her first 12 foot strip the wallpaper creased and the color was coming off at the crease. My paper hanger had only ever experienced this problem once in her career. With calls to the manufacturer and calls to the distributor we sadly determined that it just wasn't going to work and the paper was too fragile. It was a brand new pattern and it was batch #1 which might have been the reason no one else had ever had the problem. In the future I will stick to a more durable paper and preferably one that has some vinyl in it. If it says washable, it's durable.  

Grasscloth is a different story... it's not washable but it is durable and most paper hangers know how to handle.Check out Phillip Jefferies line of papers for some truly amazing grasscloths:

I recently stumbled upon some very interesting paintable papers that lend amazing texture to a room. Graham & Brown have a modern version with squares that I really like.

Here are some wallpaper favorites available at


Some of my favorite paper comes from Osborne & Little in England:



Wallpaper takes time to find the right one but the process can be a lot of fun.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Trad Home... A new digital magazine from the creators of

Just released from the creators of Lonnymag and Traditional Home Magazine, Trad Home. A fresher, hipper version of Traditional Home for the digital space which seems to be targeting a younger demographic. I love it!!! It's fresh, fun, and 347 pages of great stuff.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Iris Apfel

OK, so I have a penchant for old ladies, Betty White tops my list but I ran across a video of an amazing women named Iris Apfel a native New Yorker who at 89 is the toast of the town and the fashion world.

Here is a snippet from an interview with Iris for London's Guardian in 2010: 

Apfel is 88, a "geriatric starlet" (her own description) who has suddenly become a staple of hip New York life – photographed by Bruce Weber, admired by designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Duro Olowu, featured in Paper magazine, Vogue and the New York Times, blown up beyond life-size in the window of Barneys department store. In the five years since a show of her clothes at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute was a word-of-mouth sensation, she has taken the world of style by storm. Her looks are now so legendary, so otherworldly, that many who first saw the exhibition assumed she was dead. Her nephew made a habit of taking friends to see it, and she gave him strict instructions: "If you hear anyone say I'm dead, tell them: 'No, she's very much alive and just walking around to save funeral expenses.'"

For the complete interview go to:

Iris has been married to Carl Apfel for 63 years. They started a fabric company together in 1952, Old World Weavers creating beautiful one of a kind fabrics, they sold Old World Weavers to Stark Carpet Company in 1993.

 Carl and Iris Apfel going strong at nearly 90

Iris Apfel is a gem and she might have just displaced Betty as my #1 old lady... sorry Betty!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

LACMA - Los Angles County Museum of Art

I am lucky to work right next door to the LA County Museum of Art otherwise known as LACMA. It's great to pop over there at lunch just to wander an exhibit or check out one of the permanent collections. My favorite art at the museum is modern/contemporary. On a recent visit I took some photos of some of my favorite modern pieces. 

My favorite artist is Amedeo Modigliani and it appear LACMA only has one piece titled "Young Women of the People" painted in 1918, two years before the artists death.

We visited Modigliani's grave at Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris in May of 2010. Next to the grave was a Modigliani style sketch left by a fan, people still leave notes and sketches even 90 years after his death. 

My favorite Sculptor is Albert Giacometti and LACMA has a beautifully displayed collection of his work.
I'm a huge Picasso fan having visited the Picasso museum in Paris on several occasions. LACMA has a fairly extensive collection of Picasso's including this piece painted during his Blue Period (1901-1904) titled "Portrait of Sebastia Juner Vidal" painted in 1903.
This Henri Matisse painting is titled "Tea" and is the largest painting Matisse executed, it was painted after world war one in 1919. 

I find the painting technique almost juvenile in detail when you look closely at the face of the girl on the left who is Matisse's daughter. Her face appears almost smushed with oddly shaped eyes. 

I love the colors in this painting and I was unfamiliar with the artist Hans Hofmann. The painting is titled "Equipoise", painted in 1958.

For more information on LACMA go to:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Color of 2011

Pantone is the worldwide arbiter of color, they describe themselves on their web site as: 

"The world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® Name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer."

Pantone essentially tells the world what color they are supposed to like for that year and retailers, manufacturers, and designers are supposed to follow suit. Have you ever noticed when you go into a store like Banana Republic there seems to be one color theme for a specific year and then the next year it's something completely different? You can thank Pantone for that. For 2011 Pantone has decided that the color of the year is Honeysuckle which really just means pink to me. I have nothing against pink but it's just not for me, and I think a little pink goes a long way. Now, there are many variations of pink, fuschia, salmon, coral, hot pink, soft pink, and now "Honeysuckle" pink, but pink is just not a color I gravitate toward no matter what hue. 

Here are a few fashionable rooms using pink:

A fun and energetic office by Kelly Wearstler

A Southhampton bedroom by Designer Charlotte Moss. I like this room,
because it's not overdone in pink, pink adds a refreshing accent color
with the Toile fabric and I pretty much like Toile anything.

A gorgeous pink foyer from Jonathan Adler as featured in Elle Decor

As I write this post and see these images I'm starting to change my mind about pink. In case you were wondering, last years color was turquoise.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Flea Market Finds...

I have always loved flea markets, garage sales, thrift shops, or any place a bargain might be found. On Sunday I spent the morning at the Grand Daddy of flea markets in Southern California, the famous Rose Bowl flea market. 

On the second Sunday of every month vendors set up inside and outside the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena to sell their wares. Some months are better than others but it's always fun to poke around and it's always interesting to see what people will buy. As they always say, one persons junk is another person's treasure and that is certainly the case at the Rose Bowl flea Market. 

I didn't find anything that I absolutely had to have on this excursion but I did find some great pieces to share. Some items seemed like a bargain while others were a bit outrageously priced for a parking lot sale. Take for instance the beautiful small crystal light fixture in the shape of a crown for $3,000... yes, I passed on this one, but it was pretty sweet.

A better find might be this beautiful set of four faux bamboo black lacquer chairs.  They needed to be recovered but the actual chairs were in pristine condition. Perfect for a small dining area or breakfast room. If I had a place for them or a client that needed them they would be a steal at $375.

Also really beautiful was this set of mid-century dining chairs which were also in pristine condition. Unfortunately they only had five.

I was blown away by the sense of style and presentation from the next photo. It was a place called Big Daddy's Antiques which I was recently told I should visit. I have not been to their store but after seeing what they had at their booth I am anxious to visit. Their store is located at 13100 South Broadway in Los Angeles and open everyday from 9-5 their web site is

Big Daddy's also does custom pieces like this great rolling cart which would make an amazing kitchen island.

I love clocks and spotted this really cool clock for $125, I should have offered $100 and maybe it would have been mine. Hindsight is always 20/20. If you like it buy it because it likely won't be there the next time.

Another great vendor with some great refurbished vintage pieces included this perfect metal desk that has been stripped and powder coated to look like brushed steel. They do everything metal including old desk chairs, file cabinets, bookcases, lamps, and of course desks. The seller is Steel Santos located at 14554 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, their web site is  

Every time I see sets of beautiful cake plates like these I always think how cool it would be to design a bakery and include pieces like this. The color was this beautiful chartreuse green, one of my favorite colors. The set of four different sizes was $275. 

Next up I spotted this great set of Chinese doors at $350 for the pair. They were amazing and in outstanding condition. They would be great as a garden gate or between a kitchen and dining room or simply hung on the wall as a great sculptural piece of art, perfect for a loft with high ceilings. 

I spotted a lot of outdoor metal furniture but this was by far the best. I especially liked the Greek keys around the table. The table and four chairs were well priced at $350, but I know they would have gone lower because the dealer was begging me to make an offer. Powder coated in black with some black and white stripped cushions on the chairs would have made this set sing.

I spotted this guy selling some great lithos of architectural renderings, mostly vintage skyscrapers. They were really cool at only $40 each. I think a 3x3 or 4x4 grouping of these well matted in simple black or silver leaf frames would look amazing and have quite a dramatic impact on any room.

A couple other items worth showing include these two mid-century chairs and the beautiful blue glass chandelier, both at very competitive prices.


If you haven't been to the Rose Bowl flea market put it in your calendar for the 2nd Sunday of every month. You can check their web site for details at:

Happy hunting...