Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Kristin from Discover Interior Design did a great series about design resolutions. She invited several bloggers to participate. I love them all, and it was fun to see how each blogger took on the assignment. One of my favorites is by new blogger Lynda who has new the blog Focal Point (please check out Focal Point and add it to your blog list).

I'm not big on making New Years resolutions, are you? But I took a stab at it, and approached mine in the vein of a dating advice column....

reprint from Discover Interior Design:

Top Nine New Years Decorating Resolutions

Resolution #1: Define what you want in a decor relationship
Before you can find what you want, you first must inventory what you need, so start the New Year off by making a dream list of stuff you want in a potential room and don’t just file it away when you’re done. Keep the list in mind whenever you see a room with potential, instead of solely relying on physical attraction. It doesn’t matter if a room looks like Domino if it doesn’t treat you well.

I have an ongoing master bathroom project for five years now – will I finish it in 2010?

Resolution #2: Assess your baggage
Be honest with yourself; if you have any residual feelings or anger leftover from your last decor project, don’t take it with you into the New Year. See a decor shrink, vent on your blog, whatever you need to do – just get rid of it!

I love big clocks and cow hide rugs – can I live without this baggage in 2010?!

Resolution #3: Get your booty off the couch
The likelihood of decorating the perfect room while you’re parked in front of your TV watching HGTV is miniscule (unless, of course, your mailman or local pizza delivery boy just happens to be a dead ringer for Candice Olson.)

Resolution #4: Get out of your decorating comfort zone
If you are the type of person who has had the same sea grass rug for the past eight years, it’s likely that you’ve been doing the same type of decor for just as long. If your past interior designs haven’t panned out the way you hoped, it may be time to shake some things up in your family room. In 2010, make it your goal to rethink the kind of slipcover you are keeping around and be more open to pursuing new kinds of furniture. For example, if you are a serial online decor blogger, try getting offline. (And vice-versa).

Just do a fabulous 2005 design mash up – It’s so five years ago so who will know in 2010 that you’re off trend.

Resolution #5: Decorate more than one room at a time
Decorating more than one room at a time helps takes that this-has-to-work-out-or-else pressure off of you that can doom many a fledgling project. So while I certainly don’t advocate written-in-stone-projects, until you get serious, try to see at least three different design styles simultaneously in one room. For those of you who are thinking “But it’s so hard to just think of one!” my advice is to stop being so picky.

Open your eyes and design more than one room at a time.

Resolution #6: Stop trying to make lemonade out of bad lemons
You can’t whip your bad furniture into tip-top shape without dumping any lingering baggage, whether it be river rocks, foo dogs, Buddha heads, or any other zen knick-knacks that you can never quite shake. If these so-called decor schemes don’t have the ability to go anywhere, than it’s not worth exerting your creative energy to maintain them. Refrain from dwelling on, or hooking up with yesterday’s bad news and instead re-channel that momentum into getting something new.

Lemonade from lemons – Yes or No?! Discuss!

Resolution #7: Ditch the deadline
Milestone birthdays have the ability to send even the most rational of decorators into a frenzy, so stop comparing yourself to your friends, sisters, and/or bitchy bloggers, and realize, with as much Zen-Chinoiserie-like tranquility as you can muster, that everyone is sitting on their own unique Ghost Chair. When it comes to credenzas, there is no right time for it to happen.

Tick-tock it’s February and you still haven’t taken down the Christmas stuff –
Forget deadlines and relax, recycle, reuse. And reinvent it for Spring.

Resolution #8: Decorate yourself
Remember that the longest relationship you will ever have is with yourself, so be your own interior designer and don’t wait until you’re room is finished to post it on your blog. Give yourself permission to exaggerate on something that’s totally not your idea and reinvent it as your own.

Why wait for fame? Make your own magazine cover HERE

Resolution #9: Enjoy the journey
Decorating is a process, not unlike applying to colleges as a high school senior. Sometimes it can be exciting (OMG, they like me even if that tacky lamp looks bad!) and sometimes disappointing (How could I have picked that fake Ikat pillow from Wal Mart!) but no matter what happens this year, remember that it is only the end-result that matters. Whatever your decor resolutions are, be the boss of them. Go public with them, if need be. You won’t regret it when you are mentioned in a defunct magazine, or get a book deal, or get on a radio show like The Skirted Roundtable, or on everyone’s blog list in 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Clipping File Roundup

I'm sure you have a pile of images you collect over time. You like them, or you make a mental note to use them in a future post you have in mind. Or sometimes the image itself generates an idea for writing something.

Once or twice a year, I clean off the desk top, and get rid of the images I haven't used.

Since my blog is now under threat of being deleted by those who don't care for my big mouth, or mean girl antics, I felt rather in a hurry to use these images.

What makes you choose an image? I think I chose the giant cup cake to use in a what's out post, but gee I really like cupcakes, big or small, so there the image sat on my desk.

I chose this one to send to Erin at House of Turquoise, or maybe to use for a post for another blog I write at work.

I liked this sultry chic chick for a possible Fourth of July post.

I collect open shelving in funky kitchen images to validate my own funky bordello kitchen. It makes me feel better when I see a glossy magazine shot that kind of looks like my crappy kitchen. At least in my minds eye ha ha.

Here's another kitchen image. I have a trash can like this.

And I love and prefer old fashion bathrooms instead of the huge (and IMO ha ha) ugly spa bathrooms that are routinely placed in new home construction, or used in a renovation of an old house.

This is Melissa's pug. She sent me this photo. I know she has a blog, but I can't remember it right now. I am an old woman with no memory. But I will find it later, and give her proper linkage.

This is from Martha Stewart's blog The Daily Wag. For some reason I love this blog the best of anything Martha does.

This is what some of you would like to do - send my blog packing.

I love this closet, so I kept this image on my desk for months.

I meant to send this to Fifi Flowers, but forgot. I'm sure she already has it, being the great Paris-ophile that she is.

Christmas clippings got out of hand! I have a pile of card display images that I never posted. They were generated when Alberto asked me to display the Christmas cards we got. Christmas cards by snail mail are getting rarer and rarer, and we wanted to savor looking at them. This was my favorite display. Maybe I'll use the two dozen other images I clipped for next year.

Here's another one for Erin of House of Turquoise, or maybe for another rehash about the color trend for 2010 - turquoise! Or maybe for the shop - we sell alot of pretty glass like this.

This one I stole from Jenny at My Favorite and My Best, because I like artful bugs as decor. I really like many forms of specimen charts and art. Musty be the creepy crawly side of me.

I love the gray color wash on the walls, and this witty Mora clock is from Ikea for around $100., and for some reason that makes me laugh when you think of all the expensive Mora clocks all the nice (and rich) girls are using in their decorating projects. The red bed is right up my bordello alley too.

Here's another one for Erin. Don't think I'm stalking her. How can you not save an image for a person who blogs about this one particular color?

A Murphy bed for dogs! I think I was going to do a pet gift roundup, but was boring myself to tears with the thought of another gift guide. Plus the image is so old that the site link to buy it doesn't have it in stock any longer.

Another beautiful funky kitchen! Man I must be very insecure about my kitchen to keep pulling images like this!

You want to know where I got these? Well if I can remember...
apartment 34 (who gets them from everywhere else)
Melissa via e-mail
and Google Images.
If you see something I used that you need credit for, you know where I live.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Do You The Day After Christmas?

It's the day after. Are you pooped? Happy? Out shopping? Relaxing?
I'm at work, and I am pooped.
We had a great time yesterday. We went to friends for Christmas dinner, a pot luck, each of us bringing something. The roses in the image above are from their garden - aren't they spectacular? It may be winter chilly here in New Orleans, but the flowers are still blooming.
An idea for my contribution for Christmas dinner started with this:

My new favorite blog, Trouvais, threw out a challenge to perhaps make this fabulous White Chocolate Tiramisu Trifle with Spiced Pears HERE. I am not a dessert maker at all, but something about this intrigued me, and so I went for it.

Luckily the present I gave to Alberto, a Kitchenaid miixer, came in handy. This mixer is one of those things he always looks at with longing when we're out shopping, and then we both say, what are we going to use it for, we're not dessert people, and we have no space to store it, blah, blah, blah. But this year I just thought what the hell, it's not about always about being practical, and Alberto loves to cook, and loves getting a kitchen gadget. (The Martha Stewart spice rack was a gift to him from friends, and he loves it!).

This is how mine turned out (above)! It's not as picture perfect. I never made white chocolate curls before, ot white chocolate marscapone mouuse, or scraped a vanilla bean. The whole recipe took hours to do , and I really enjoyed the process, but I really loved the eating of this confection!

Jessica was our hostess, and her table was so pretty. She protested that she's no designer, and that all my blog buddies would probably think it was not worthy. How wrong is she! Don't you love the menu card tucked under the napkin? Jessica's husband Jon made them, and he honored us with a holiday tango motif!

I love the trailing branch with kumquats from her garden, and the centerpiece of pomegranates.

Here's the entire table. I think she did a wonderful job, don't you?
Being true New Orleanians, dinner conversation is all about food - abut the meal we are enjoying, great meals of the past, and dinners planned for the near future.
Our next dinner plans are for New Years.

I prefer house parties for New Years. And I really love a dinner party. It's fun to decorate for New Years Eve. This garland is different. It's actually made out of fabric, a sewing project, but I would use paper and twine and staples and hot glue to make this.

Balloons can be pretty. Really!

Just use them in abundance, and try white, silver, and gold. Long Mylar and ribbon streamers make them look glam.

New Years Eve in Rockefeller Center - My company Valorie Hart Designs did this decor

Or perhaps you can choose to do a classic French inspired dinner party table.

Which means, your best china, beautiful bouquets, mirror and reflective objects, your nicest linens and silverware, and candlelight.

Serve a simple, yet elegant meal.
The formula for a French-inspired meal is straightforward: Always start with champagne as an aperitif, since champagne elevates any occasion to make it special. For the main course, create an elegant or rustic dish and pair it with seasonal vegetables. Here, you can show off your cooking skills or buy prepared foods at the gourmet store. Serve a green salad after the meal a la francaise, followed by a cheese course and a simple dessert of fruit and mille feuille pastry. Add fun and lively guests, a bottle of wine, and Voila! You'll have perfect La Grande (or Petite) Bouffe in the French style.

A "champagne" Alberto and I enjoyed for our traditional Christmas breakfast of bagels and lox, is Sofia. We found it at World Market a few months ago on sale for $9.99. I was attracted to the label. It's really tasty, and would be lovely for New Years celebrating.

Save your champagne corks, and the little wire cage that covers the cork.
Look what you can do with them! You can make mini chairs! These images come from a contest Design With in In Reach had last year.

The rules stated that you had to use the cork and the wire cage. I love the French inspired settee!

This lounge chair is pretty amazing.
I'm sure you will be sending me photos of your creations pronto!

On another subject, I am no longer a red head! I went back to being blonde a couple of months ago, in preperation for letting my silver hair sparkle for the coming new year!