Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ideas To Transform A Yard In The Hood

I will be using large scale art in the patio area of the garden

The weather is fine. Mighty fine. Spring has sprung in New Orleans, and everyone is cleaning up the yard and gardening.

My yard has been a mess since Katrina did some serious pruning. Trees down, fences down, rubble and trash and ruin.

Finally the fence is up, the trees hauled away, and my gradual planting and clean up work is paying off.

I am using lots of rock and gravel
And a grouping of four comfy chairs

I have been looking at pictures of gardens and yards, and started a clipping file.
Three elements that have inspired me are: Art in the garden, rocks and gravel, and repetition.

The houses in New Orleans are close together
We have a 120 year old brick path between our house and the neighbor's
I love the use of repetition down a narrow walkway

Coming soon the new and improved Visual Vamp yard! The rebirth garden! Don't get too excited. It's still a yard in the hood. And I love it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Visual Vamp Hearts CSN Stores!

Naked Decor Live Like A Queen Pillow $50. at CSN

I am an avid online shopper, for myself and for design clients. Sometimes I need just that one thing none of the vendors I use have available, and I don't want to open new accounts, so I shop retail. Online retail is just great, because you can find any and everything in the marketplace.

Jump on the 2011 pink bandwagon - pink storage bench $119. at CSN

I started using CSN stores a couple of years ago. It is a huge well organized user friendly site, that offers thousands of merchandise choices for every possible thing you can use in a home or office.

Dwell Studio Sparrow pillow - $34. at CSN

Based in Boston, CSN Stores began in 2002 and has grown rapidly into a top online U.S. retailer of home and office furniture with 700+ employees.

CSN Stores began with just two employees, Niraj and Steve, and one online shop.
In year two, CSN added three more Web-based stores. In year three, CSN added nine more stores. From that point onward, CSN Stores went into hyper drive to become what is now one of the Top 3 home and office goods "e-tailers" in the country

Set of 6 French Wine glasses $40. at CSN

Leading brands on CSN Stores' sites include: Herman Miller, iittala, Kartell, LG, Rachael Ray, Thomas Paul, Dwell Studio and many, many others. The variety of products is staggering, with some one million products available.

CSN's product categories cover everything from cookware, ultra modern furniture, lighting, office and fitness equipment, to kitchen appliances, grills, greenhouses and much much more.

If it's a piece of furniture or an appliance that you need for your home or office, you should check for it at CSN ( first, as there's a good chance they carry it, and at a competitive price.

So cute! Bliss Living silver elephant candle - $11. at CSN

I am sharing images of some of my favorite little things that for the most part cost under $50. that you can find on the CSN site. And guess what? CSN offered the readers of Visual Vamp a sweet little giveaway!

Paragon black ornate mirror - $142. at CSN

You get $60. from CSN to buy anything your little heart desires!
CSN says, "The giveaway winner gets a 60 dollar gift certificate (and can use it on ANY product from ANY one of our sites)".

Wade Ceramics ceramic mortar and pestle - $47. at CSN

You know what to do! You must be a follower of my blog to get the swag, leave a comment, and then I'll let the old Google Random Number thingee do it's work and give one of you lucky ducks 60 bucks courtesy of CSN.

Let's make this a short one - The winner will be be chosen on Monday, so enter often until then, and check out CSN!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Question For You Stylists

You know a styling trend has arrived when it trickles down to New Orleans. Lately editors have been asking about styling that messy bed look for home decor stories and photo shoots.

The bohemian messy bed

It really is tricky to making an un-made bed bed look appealing and glamorous.

The modern messy bed

Do you start with the bed made up and then mess it up? Do you spray the sheets with water and crumple them by hand?

The romantic messy bed

Maybe you can get in the bed and kind off kick the covers around to achieve a natural look. You know if you fuss too much it will look stiff and fake, which is pretty funny when you think of it.

What does the messy bed say to the reader? Does it say something romantic?

The implied lifestyle messy bed

Does a messy bed imply a languid relaxed lifestyle that most of us crave?

All in the mix messy bed

Is there a devil-may-care off-hand attitude somewhere there in all the beautiful bed linens?

The boudoir messy bed

How would you style the messy bed look? Add some clothing? I think shots with a fancy pair of designer shoes and a Kelly bag/designer purse in it are so overused.

The Selby messy bed - Kate & Andy Spade at home

The Selby is a master of the messy look. He usually puts people in the messy beds.

The Selby - the reality of hip messy bed

There's kind of a swagger to it all. Some people hate it as being hipster and smug. Some people love it as being fresh and exciting, the antidote to all those perfectly made beds that have been in shelter magazines for years.

The Selby anti shelter magazine messy bed

Do photos of messy beds give us a voyeuristic sneak peek at the reality of the private life taking place in the home photographed?

The Selby

Would you allow your bed to photographed unmade? You've waited a long time to get a photo shoot of your project.

The Selby makes the stylist jump on the bed to get the perfect messy bed look

You've purchased new linens, and ironed them, You've fluffed and primped the pillows for hours to get just the perfect look, and the editor walks in and tells the stylist to mess it up. Could you handle it?

Is it easier on a fashion shoot then a home decor shoot? After all fashion editorial has been way ahead of the shelter magazines in presenting avant garde editorials.

Fashion model messy bed

I started looking at images of messy beds for inspiration. I love the ones with movie stars in messy beds.

Sophia Lauren and Carlo Ponti in their messy bed

Some of them are staged for movies, and publicity shots, and for magazine stories.

Sophia Loren alone in a messy bed
Love the whole styling job of this room

Since the movie stars are actors, they really know how to be comfortable in a messy bed. They know how to work it.

Marilyn - the master works the messy bed

No movie stars here at my photo shoot. Just an uptight home owner with a hurt puzzled look as I tear into her beautifully made up bed.


How do I explain that this is glamorous and au courant?

Catherine Deneuve - French style messy bed
The props inspire me!

Stylists! Tell me your tricks and secrets of how to make the messy bed fabulous!

Brigitte Bardot - French style messy bed 2

I practice every morning, by not making my bed. Alberto and I work all night to get just the right effect!

Audrey Hepburn - messy bed excellence
A sleep mask and a cat are so much better than a Kelly bag

Don't forget to watch stylist and blogger and Design Star winner Emily Henderson's new show Secrets From A Stylist which premiers on HGTV on this Saturday February 26, 9 PM Eastern, 8 PM Central. Maybe she'll show us the secrets of styling the messy bed!

Emily Henderson secretly styles the messy bed

Monday, February 21, 2011

Front Page News ~ Your Blog Is Passed Its Expiration Date

This made the front page of The New York Times today HERE

Basically it reports that young people say blogs are out and pretty much useless. And we all seem to go the way of the younger regarding tech stuff.

Remember when we all felt so hip and happening when we figured out how to blog?

Your thoughts please.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shiny Chic

Rock and roll patent leather

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved patent leather. Of course it started with those first pairs of Mary Jane shoes in white and black and once in red. As I got to be a bigger girl, I loved black patent leather pumps, red lipstick, and navy polka dot dresses. Then I segued into black patent leather rocker style. And now I love patent leather as upholstery.

I first saw a white patent leather chair at perch. nearly three years ago HERE
I was a "civilian" not yet working there. I borrowed a pair for a photo shoot. They were beyond my means, but I never forgot them.

Visual Vamp dance studio with white patent leather bench

I recently covered a bench with white patent leather. It was a bargain bench, Chris Madden HERE and very cute as it was. But I just thought it would be great in white patent in our newly refreshed dance studio. The patent leather is actually vinyl that I got at HERE
I painted the legs white.

French form chairs look great in patent leather

So in honor of patent leather, I give you the ultimate patent leather furniture round up!

Traditional setting with patent leather chairs

Patent leather seems to work in both traditional and modern settings. Really.

Jonathan Adler ottoman in patent leather used as a coffee table

Patent leather is comfortable to sit on, though I wouldn't sit on it with a bare bottom ha ha, or even in shorts or a short skirt (with bare legs). The new vinyl products available today are so soft, and easy to work with.

Clean up is a snap, just wipe it off with a damp cloth. If you have ever dreamed of having white furniture, patent or faux leather is the way to go. I did my vintage camel back couch in a soft faux
white pebble grain leather three years ago, and I am still loving it. It is soft and comfortable, and still looks white and clean, and Cholo and I lay on it all the time! I also did my breakfast room chairs int he same fabric, and again, not a spill has blemished them one little bit.

Cute white parsons chairs at Overstock HERE

Do any of you use patent leather? Other than in a cute purse or pair of shoes?

Patent leather daybed

There are some very cute child size pieces in patent leather, and I would think that patent would be a great fabric choice for kids. What do you say Moms?

Child size pink patent leather chairs at Overstock HERE

So what do you think? Is this patent leather round up getting you in the mood to try it?

LOVE this green patent leather headboard

A classic French style kitchen with patent leather stools

Patent as we often think of it - retro and fun!

A little trashy but fun - Nicky Hilton's bedroom circa 2008

Vintage chairs redone with patent leather seats - Just fabulous!

White patent leather wing chairs - GLAM!

Baroque furniture wears patent leather very well