Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kathleen Clements Rugs

Kathleen Clements is an interior designer on the west coast, with a long established firm that turns out top rate work. Her son Tommy Clements works with his mother Kathleen, and he is featured in the July/August issue of Elle Decor HERE

Love these horses - it reminds me of a polo pony's saddle blanket

At Kathleen Clements Design you can get a wonderful alternative to the usual suspects of rugs we all love to use: sea grass, hides, stripe flat weaves. Really, wouldn't you secretly like to try something different?


The line is called Gypsy/Maturin, a collection of rugs created from all natural materials. Whether made of vintage Turkish kilim and adorned with spare and elegant hand embroidery, or loomed out of plush mohair and textured hemp, the organic variations and rich details that are marks of the collection truly make each rug a unique work of art.

This interpretation of the Union Jack looks so fresh

I love these rugs for their spare graphic design and quality materials.

I haven't loved a USA flag graphic this much since Jasper Johns!

For further inquiry into the Gypsy/Maturin collection, including sizes, pricing and bespoke creations, please contact:

Kathleen Clements Design, (p)310.247.9350 (e)kathleen.kcd@gmail.com

Wonderful bird design

Okay with words like bespoke, I doubt I can afford one of these beauties. If you could afford one of these, which would you choose?

This shield design would look great underfoot in a study

But I sure would like to get a vicarious thrill and place one in a client's home.

Reverse coloration of the shield design

Love this one big bird!

This incredible peacock wall hanging is made of pieces of linen and canvas
hand stitched on a vintage Turkish Kilm - How fabulous is this!

Check out the portfolio at Katleen Clements Design - I am sure you will enjoy the work of the firm that bears her name. HERE

Kathleen Clements Design

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Sure Thing In New Orleans

I am always thrilled to see New Orleans featured in a major magazine! The July/August issue of Elle Decor features a beautiful New Orleans home decorated by Tommy Clements.

The family room: Victoria Hagen wing chair and antique Chinese table
Where have I seen this before Joni? Love the white slips and a lantern on the coffee table!

Another family room in the same vein by Joni Webb -
Hello Elle! Call Joni!!

Louis XIV armchairs in the family room upholstered in De Le Cuona linen

Tommy kept the palette neutral and the window treatments spare, using simple bronze rods hung with off-white linen.

Linen drapes on bronze rods

The owner is a New Orleans native, but wanted to stay away from a typical New Orleans look, which she thinks can be heavy on period French antiques, major chandeliers, family portraits, and gilt. Tommy agreed that "New Orleans can feel a little one note".

No family portraits, but rather a beautiful tortoise shell over an antique desk

Still there remains a sense of the city's heritage with a handful of French pieces.

In the living room, the bench in front of the window is actually lime green
The animal print on the stool is Ralph Lauren Home

To mix it up in the monochromatic palette, bursts of color are used in the living room via fabrics and art work.

Holly Hunt coffee table

The dining area is open to the kitchen, and there are three modern glass lamps over the table, a playful alternative to a formal chandelier.

Above: Three modern glass lamps instead of a formal French chandelier

Below: Dining room chairs upholstered in Ralph Lauren Home fabric
The bed in the master bedroom has the typical Uptown girl Leontine Linens

The master bedroom is huge and has a deep balcony that puts you eye level with the trees. The house backs up to Audubon Park, which is essentially the back yard.

Below: 17th century Italian bench in the master bath
and a Turkish Oushak carpet, part of a new collection the owner has acquired
The kitchen has marble counter tops and copper pots, and a striking yellow painting
Unfortunately the artist is not named in the article
The chrome stools are Knoll

Go out and get your copy of Elle Decor today. Blogs do not replace magazines! Especially with small scanned images like these! Blogs only entice you, and enhance what magazines tirelessly offer to us month after month. Nothing can replace the pleasure of holding a magazine or a book in your hands.

"A Sure Thing" is written by Julia Reed a fabulous writer and resident of New Orleans who knows a thing or two about doing up an old house here. So get the July/August issue of Elle Decor so you can read the entire article.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Have You Ever Had Anything Custom Made?

Oh the luxury of having something made especially for you. Before the machine age everybody wore custom made clothes and shoes, and had custom made houses with custom made furniture. With mass production custom made goods assumed a place for the privileged minority who could afford the cost and time.

Custom made shoes HERE

As a dancer I have had custom style shoes made, but never real custom made shoes that require having a last made. The process begins by making a plaster mold of the customers feet. Then a shoe last is modified to accommodate any irregularity in the foot.

Lasts stored at the shoe makers shop

This pair of lasts are stored and can be used to make future shoes. The uppers are hand made with detailed input from the customer. Style, color, type of material are all customized. Details like the type of sole, heel, lace are also part of the custom made process. Finally an insole is made that makes the shoe comfortable.

I have had a purse made for me in Spain and in Argentina, but not just a custom style for me, because they sell the same "custom" model to anyone with the tourist dollars to pay.

Grace Kelly with the Hermes bag made and named for her

It's not like Grace Kelly or Jane Birkin having Hermes design and name a bag for them, but it still was wonderful to see my bag in pieces at the workbench, and then put together just for me.

There is a cute little contest going on at the blog over at CustomMade.com, the most visited website for artisans to feature their custom made goods. They are currently running a contest starting this Friday 6/25 asking anyone to present us with reasons why handmade and custom goods are a better idea than the lacking quality of mass production goods.

They are offering a $100 gift card for the best response to the question "Why Custom?". You could win $100 for taking 30 seconds to enter a one sentence response, and please mention Visual Vamp.

Getting measured for custom made gloves

I also have had leather gloves made for me in Spain. I felt so pampered!

Feragamo the famous Italian shoe maker fits Audrey Hepburn

Who is more beloved for her glamour then Audrey Hepburn? She certainly had many beautiful custom made things made for her: Clothes, shoes, bags, etc.

Givenchy fitting a dress on Audrey Hepburn

Hubert de Givenchy was her personal designer and life long friend, and custom made her clothes for her movies and for her real life.

Audrey Hepburn in the little black dress Givenchy made for her

Who wouldn't love to have a life long relationship like this?

Many of us experience the feeling of having something custom made and fitted when we get a wedding dress. For that one moment in time we allow ourselves to indulge in luxury. And men often have custom suits and shirts done for them if they have the budget for it.

It's even a small thrill to have a label with our name or initials sewn into a garment made especially for us.

Home decoration affords more opportunities for custom made goods. Built-in book cases and kitchen cabinets are accessible custom projects.

Custom made furniture is not out our of reach either. If you buy a good quality sofa or chair, it is often made just for you. And custom drapes and upholstery is something attainable.

Audrey on a custom couch

If you are lucky enough to have a dressmaker, or even more lucky to be able to sew and make your own clothes, you can have a custom made dress form. One size certainly does not fit all in the world of custom made goods.

Custom made dress forms

Now go enter the contest HERE, and tell the Vamp sent you!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Best Wedding Decor Ideas I've Seen In Awhile

I was an event designer for many years, and I designed (and did the flowers) for hundreds of weddings. I continue to look at wedding decor, and keep up with old friends still in business.

Bowls of rose petals line the aisle for people to gather up and toss~
This is the best aisle decor I have seen in a long while, simple, natural, romantic~

It is the wedding of Jane Fonda's daughter in the south of France

Like everything else, the wedding and event design business has gotten uber, thanks to the internet. So much information is revealed, and many more talented people are accessible.

Weddings have become productions, and sometimes something sweet is lost in all the hoopla.
Every now and then I come across some images of weddings that make me want to get back in the business. They are by and large classic in their decor approach, no themes per se. And if big money is spent, it isn't screaming it.

Here are the petals being tossed!
What could be more perfect than a shower of rose petals after the ceremony

The next images come form a photographers's web site, and I am not sure if they are of an actual wedding or they were staged. No matter, because the look of the wedding reception is what made me catch my breath. This is what I mean by money being spent without screaming it.
The photogrpaher is Manny Rodriquez.

I love the colors, and the flower arrangements are classic~
Placing them high and low works very well, placing the high between sight lines~
The Ghost chairs are a nice touch

The smaller rectangular table is a great idea to create intimate scale~
The tablecloth puddles just the right amount

The details of the table setting are layered and make it personal~
Contact Jason Murakawa who rents lovely vintage things ~
His company is Small Masterpiece and he would be the man to consult with

When I was in business many hours were spent producing the perfect table number~
Attention to the smallest details makes the biggest impact

I want to thank Julia from Hooked on Houses for leading me to the Jane Fonda blog.
Ms. Fonda's blog is incredible, and one of the best I have ever read. I spent hours last night reading many of the entries, and I recommend you take a look at it, and perhaps add to your blog list.

And while down the rabbit hole, I found the next image at a blog called Goddamit I'm Mad. This led me to Manny Rodriguez, who took this photo (and the wedding shots above) of another blogger's mother's home in Dallas. The blogger is Sea of Shoes, a pretty young silver spooner. She has a very close relationship with her mother, and they are avid shoppers, which I think is reflected in the photo. I was hoping to find more photos of this fascinating home on Manny's web site, but alas there weren't any. But there was so much more beauty on his site!

The shopper's mash up - Mom of Shoes Dallas living room

On a personal note: Alberto is out of the hospital and doing very well. We are going tango dancing this weekend. Thanks for the many sweet notes via e-mail and Facebook.

Jane Fonda at her tango lesson!
She is learning tango for a movie she is making in France

Happy Weekend!!!

PS Bloggers Tag Sale still going on.
Stop by and buy something! HERE

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Has Anyone Bought Something From homedecorators.com?

We all get catalogs in the mail, and sometimes they are very enticing. I have been getting the Home Decorators catalog for years, and by and large have spent a few minutes looking at the stuff, wondering if any of it is worthwhile, or is it just more junk. Up until now the styles have not been anything I truly like, but lately they have caught up with a few trends .

They carry a line of Martha Stewart Living furniture that looks pretty. The pieces are wood and veneers, and finished well. The prices are moderate, and the style classic.

I picked out some other things on the web site homedecorator.com that have possibilities:

Over size French style clock - 29 inches round - only $79. HERE
This comes via Amazon which carries HD products
If you have the time to search, Amazon has the cheapest price
and often offers free shipping too

Mirror cabinet - $549. Over 100" long, made of MDF and poplar HERE

Aluminum chair - $129. Free Shipping - HERE
Comes in orange, brushed or shiny silver, pink, black, green, blue

Seascape Sea Grass Rugs - from $29. - $549. (for a 12 x 15!) - HERE
Don't be tuned off by the Latex backing - you don't need a rug pad

I have one like this and is wearing very well after two+ years

White turned lamp - Very Jonathan Adler - $119. Free Shipping
28" high and comes with the hardback shade

Mercury Lamp - very Nate Berkus - $69. Free Shipping
24" high - comes with black shade

White gourd shape lamp - $119. Free shipping- HERE
Comes with white fabric shade

Parsons Desk - $199. Wood - HERE
Comes in blue and white

Large piece of Flatware Document wall art $129. - Free Shipping HERE
40" high - Wisteria has something like this, but much more $$$

NYC Subway Sign - $299. Free Shipping
I'm a sucker for this, and so is Nate Berkus
A little pricey, but it's big 39" x 39"

There are a ton of accessories to choose from, and I find it's good to start in the "New" section HERE. You'll find several cute pillows at really great prices.

Like all catalog merchandise, buyer be aware. It isn't the best quality, or the worst, and sometimes one or two inexpensive things can give your room a little lift. We are all shopping high and low these days.

So if anyone has gotten anything from Home Decorators, please leave a comment and tell us about it.

And don't forget The Bloggers Tag Sale goes on for one week! I have some great pieces of Majolica for sale.