Thursday, January 27, 2011

Your Thoughts Please

Believe it or not, this is a Mom Cave
Your thoughts please...

There's a cute play on words going around to describe a current decorating trend: Mom Cave.
Every woman (and man and child) needs their own space in the home. Some of us have artist studios, or craft rooms, or garden sheds. Some of us hide out in a bathroom. Maybe your bedroom is your private space, or a sun room is your sanctuary. Home offices are big these days too.

The blue morning room at Clarence House

In the old days, grand homes had "morning rooms", usually on the ground floor of the house, a room getting the best morning light. Ladies often received visitors and callers here in the morning hours.

The ladies are receiving visitors in the morning room at Clarence House

I call the place I have my morning coffee, and watch the news, and read the paper or blogs, my morning room. It is actually the living room that gets nice morning light. Alberto usually heads upstairs to his Man Cave, where he has his office, along with a sitting room with a TV and furniture to lounge on for naps and reading.

A modern version of a blue morning room aka Mom Cave

Everybody has a morning ritual, and a place to do it. Where do you take your coffee and prepare for the day? Where is your morning room?

A trendy Mom Cave

Where do you go to have a little alone time, have a glass of wine, and contemplate your bippy? And don't tell me it's in the laundry room doing laundry, because that doesn't count.

The bubble bath - a classic Mom Cave

Many love a bath, and can close the bathroom door and soak there alone in peace and quiet.

The girly office makes a nice Mom Cave

Others may have a little office space to pay bills, write email, read the blogs, and read books and magazines.

Homegoods has a whole bunch of stuff and advice as how to create a Mom Cave in your home HERE. What do think of it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Remembering Audrey

Remembering Audrey HERE

Every year around this time I especially remember Audrey Hepburn. Her birthday is on January 20.

Audrey Hepburn with Bob Willoughby 1958

Bob Willoughby was a photographer to the stars, and he took many wonderful photographs of her.

Audrey Hepburn with Bob Willoughby in 1963

I can never look at too many photos of her. "Audrey 100" is a book that Audrey's family has compiled with 100 stunning images. Paying strict attention to aesthetic beauty, artistic expression, and personal significance, they have lovingly selected these photographs to represent the qualities Hepburn herself stood for throughout her life and career.

Audrey 100 HERE

I collect images over the year, that I hope to use for my annual Audrey birthday post. I always seem to find a couple I haven't seen.

Richard Avedon took this photo of Audrey Hepburn

I especially love to see "at home" photos. There are a few of Audrey Hepburn's homes in the earlier years of her career.

Architectural Digest used one from the 1950's for a cover in 2006. Does anyone have this issue? Are there more photos of her home inside? I didn't find much on the AD web site.

The house photographed is the Beverly Hills home she shared with then husband Mel Ferrer in the 1950's has all the trendy trappings of the day.

Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer at home in the 1950's

Audrey was an animal lover and kept a pet fawn in her home for awhile in the 1950's.

Smoking and a boomerang print on the couch were en vogue in the 1950's

Mel and Audrey also had a Malibu home.

Audrey playing ping pong at home

Malibu home of Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer

Why do so many of us girls love Audrey? As a young girl about town in New York, I of course fancied myself as my own version of Holly Golightly. And of course Audrey was so elegant, so funny, so chic. Later she became a role model for all her charitable work for UNICEF. What girl didn't love her?

One of my treasured possessions is my own personal photo of Audrey. She's posing with my a dearest friend. They are at the Museum of Modern Art. There was a party for Audrey honoring her films that night. I did the flower arrangements for that party.

I was longing to see her, just a glimpse of her. My friend loved her even more than I did. And then there he was with her!

He worked at MOMA and secured an invitation that night. He waved me over, and whispered "get a camera".

This was in the days way before cell phones, much a less cell phone camera, and it was pre-blog days where we have acquired the habit of photo documenting everything to the point of numbness.

I didn't even photograph my own work that night, I didn't even own a camera! But I did as I was told, and found a a man with a camera, and brought him over to my friend, who was still standing next to Audrey!

He said, "Miss Hepburn this is my dearest friend Valorie Hart, and she arranged the bouquets on the tables tonight".

"Lovely," she said, "Everything is so pretty and perfect and my favorite color. How did you know my favorite color?"

I told her she was too kind, and asked if I might have a photo of her with my friend.

They both passed away.
And I am an old lady with a faded photo and great memories.

My photo of Audrey Hepburn with my dearest friend

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Antique Tie Backs - Free For The Asking

Visual Vamp antique curtain tie backs

Tie backs for drapes and curtains have kind of gone out of fashion these days. Except for here in New Orleans, where silk drapes are the norm, and tie backs are incredibly functional as well as decorative.

Drapery tie back in New Orleans

I have a lovely pair of vintage/antique tie backs that I am giving away as part of my Visual Vamp Gives Back idea HERE. So many of you have been so good to Alberto and me, that I want to give back in some small way. I have been an avid decorator for many, many years, and have accumulated many lovely things that I really don't use anymore. Perhaps one of you out there might like to have something from me that would look great in your home.

Antique curtain tie backs in the shape of feathers
From the home of Valorie Hart-Visual Vamp, to yours

The tie backs I am offering are gold tone, and in the shape of a large feather. They are lovely. If you want them, just leave a comment, and I will randomly pick one, and then send you the tiebacks. I will even pick up the shipping charges.

In the meantime, enjoy the images of some tie backs ~

via Southern Living

attributed to Michael Smith via Cote de Texas

Antique tie backs from Shawn Stucker

Is he considering, to tie back or not to tie back?

Antique curtain tie backs from Corey Amaro

So what do you think? Do you like tie backs, or are they as over and out as a skirted table?

Visual Vamp is gifting these antique tie backs
Just leave a comment!

PS - Go on over to Nita's Nod Vintage Life HERE and see a lovely post she did about blog friends. BFF Blog Friends Forever!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

King Cake For The Troops

Red, white, and blue King Cake

A New Orleans non-profit is working to bring carnival season to our Armed Forces overseas. Operation We Care hopes to send a thousand king cakes to u-s troops. But it needs your help to do so.

They need $15,000. So far they have raised $3,000. They need to have the cakes baked, boxed and shipped by February 1 to get them to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I know how generous you all are, so maybe you can send a small donation, perhaps the price of a king cake you would buy for yourself to help out.

To read the whole story go HERE

But most important go HERE to donate!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sneak Peak: Planet Tango Dance Studio

Planet Tango dance studio
The home studio of Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart

Alberto is feeling really good these days, and we are officially giving tango classes again. To celebrate, I did a little refurb on our dance studio at home for him. A few little things can really add freshness and energy to a room.

I added lime green silk drapes to replace black and tan check curtains. The same lime green drapes are in the living room, which adjoins the dance room, so the continuity of this luscious color is great.

I painted all the mirrors white, and filled an entire wall with them floor to ceiling. We actually use the ones at mid level to check our steps and posture. I also grouped all the tango art on another wall, floor to ceiling. These are vintage sheet music covers of famous Argentine tangos.

Another burst of color is introduced with the orange chandelier. It was our old dining room chandelier that I spray painted this wonderful color.

A bench for changing shoes is at the upholsterer. It's being covered in white patent leather. You know I'll show it to you when it's done.

We are teaching our first tango workshop of the new year this weekend, and the first after the incident in Canada. Wish you could be here for it!

The view from the living into the Planet Tango dance room

Lime green and orange and white in the living room
These colors are repeated in the dance room

The colors are soooo 2009 ha ha - Will I repaint this year???!!!!

Planet Tango dance studio then...

Planet Tango dance studio now...

Another view from the living room into the dance room

A little vignette in the Visual Vamp living room
I spy an
Anne Harwell painting

Bryan Batt used lime green and an orange chandelier in is old house
He's moved onto the world of greige in a new home

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Trina Turk on Etsy

My yard, garden, and back patio got a complete trashing from Katrina. It's been over five years. I have cleaned it up bit by bit, but finally, we are now doing some larger projects, and it is looking so good.

I am getting to the fun decorative parts. There's some new furniture and I am doing some pillows with indoor/outdoor fabric, a Trina Turk print in shades of pink and orange. They are going on dark brown chairs.

I have found this fabric discounted for around $72. a yard. It retails for around $150.

Trina Turk pillows in Peacock pattern, color Punch
image via Plum Cushion HERE

Etsy is a treasure trove for well priced Trina Turk.

Trina Turk 22 x 22 pillow on Etsy by Elegant Touch HERE

I found a huge 22 x 22 pillow for only $70.

Chair by Spruce Home on Etsy with Trina Turk cushions HERE

There's an entire adorable chair with the cushions for only $300., the price of one pillow at Neiman's!

Trina Turk deck chair by Gallant and Jones HERE

There's also a great looking deck chair.

The Trina Turk web site is also having a pretty good sale HERE.

Cheer yourself up and out of the winter blahs with some Trina fabric for your outdoor space.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Multiple Mirrors Round Up

Visual Vamp paints a collection of mirrors white

I recently painted my collection of mirrors all white, and hung them in grouping. I think it looks kind of fresh.

I have managed to collect quite a few mirrors over the years.

I like grouping them together.

Groups of mirrors can work in any room.

I guess for me, more is more.

The most classic grouping starts with two.

But then you can go on from there.

You can group all the same kind and size, or you can mix up a zillion different sizes together.

It can be tricky, and you might have to play around until the grouping feels right.

If the mirrors have frames you could paint them all one color.

Using the same shape works pretty well, but I prefer the mix.

Large leaning mirrors standing against the wall had their heyday.

Got any mirrors you might want to group together? Or have you already done it? How's it working for you?