Tuesday, May 31, 2011

French Twist

CUE Magazine June 2011 - interior decoration by Valorie Hart

I have been writing about one of my projects HERE, and have the great fortune to have it recently published in the June 2011 issue of CUE magazine HERE.

It's been a wonderful project, and it is so nice to see it published. Writer Lee Cutrone did a great job of telling the story; photographer Greg Miles took amazing photos; editor Missy Wilkinson steered the story and layout to an amazing result.

Thanks to perch. for the support and gorgeous fabrics and furnishings. And thanks to Nicole Cohen of Sketch42 for the rock star tray she made for this project.

Some things did not make it on page, like a credit for Jack Mayberry who was commissioned to do the awesome painting in the living room shot.

CUE is the pride of New Orleans, the local lifestyle magazine that could hold its own on the national level with its excellent features on fashion and home decor. And I am always very proud when they include me!

Alas, the dining room ended up on the cutting room floor
It didn't fit in with the layout
But I wanted to show you a picture from my records
A new Louis St. Lewis painting was added...

...and of course that wonderful Mouille chandelier
with the Milo Baughman chairs reupholstered in Kelly Wearstler fabric
I'm sure Greg the photographer has better photos
than I took with my "Barbie" digital camera ha ha

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Rental

Summer Rental in Nags Head

It's the first unofficial week/weekend of Summer! How many of you have a Summer rental?
In New York it is very common to rent a place by the beach (Hamptons or Jersey Shore) for the Summer. The wife and kids go for most of the Summer, and the husband commutes there on weekends.

Cottage Row in Nags Head via

Singles may take a share in a house, and alternate weekends. Or sometimes a family might rent a beach house for a week or two of Summer vacation.

Beach cottage in Nags Head

Rental houses can be funky. When I rented in the Hamptons I would load up the car with Limoges china, silver plate flatware, stacks of sheets for make-do slip covers and curtains, new lampshades, art work, and good beach towels and nice sheets for the beds.

How would you makeover this Summer rental? via

When I finally bought a little house, it was decorated all in white. It was a cottage and so cute.
Now we don't do a Summer rental. Summer mornings in New Orleans are like being at the beach. You can feel the sea air from the Gulf, and the river and humidity keep things feeling tropical.

Nags Head street

The morning light is gentle, and the air is soft. It's the perfect time to enjoy our newly refurbished patio and yard, and take a cup of coffee and book and sit outside and pretend I'm at the beach.

The beach house I once owned in the Springs in East Hampton

Like all of you I love "beach" books for the Summer. You know, the kind that used to be called "light reading", a good story so breezy you can finish the book in two or three sittings.

Visual Vamp back in the day at her beach house in East Hampton

I recommend Mary Kay Andrews "Summer Rental". I read another of her books last Summer called "The Fixer Upper", and just loved it.

"Summer Rental" has all the necessary elements for a good beach read: Woman loses her job, but is locked into a Summer rental with her best girlfriends. Each one has a story to tell. There's sexy romance, and a bit of thriller. And as with the "Fixer Upper" the house and its decor is a central character too.

The beach location in the book is Nags Head, that still has 7 of the original 13 beach cottages built 100 years ago (it's called Cottage Row). I love how people at the beach call these big old sprawling houses "cottages".

I love an old fashion beach house - sea breezes only, screens on the doors and windows, cracks in the floor to sweep sand into, funky yet charming. Nowadays beach houses are so fancy that you hardly feel like you get away from your formal life. What do you think? Funky or fancy?

Buy it HERE

And a prayer of thanks on this Memorial Day to everyone past and present who serves for us in the armed forces.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cute Giveaway at perch.!

Where has the week gone? It seems all I have had time to post are guest bloggers and contests, and now a giveaway!

I am doing a couple of huge projects, and will blog on them soon. I don't have too much time for blogging right now, but I am checking in every once in awhile to keep up with you all!

Go on over to perch. HERE and check out the giveaway to get one of these darling Ikat frames. So far no one has named all of the ladies in the frames above. Can you? If you comment here perch. will count it as a comment for the giveaway.

More later...xo xo

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Name That Blog And Get $250.!

Lamps Plus has a great online store for a zillion kinds of lighting fixtures. And they have a blog. And it's kind of a snooze.

We can do better than this HERE

So they are having a contest to challenge the creativity of the readers of Visual Vamp to come up with a new name for their blog (which is actually a pretty cute blog). If they pick yours you get a $250. gift certificate to the Lamps Plus site.

How creative are you? That's what they asked me! About ten other bloggers are also doing this contest. It would be fun if a Vamp reader won! So when you comment or submit your idea, please say Visual Vamp sent you!

Team Vamp! Name That Blog!

From Lamps Plus:

"We really want to make our blog a place for everyone who loves interior design, we decided that our blog should have a piece of our readers in it. We are inviting everyone to partake in giving us a new name with a “Name That Blog!” contest. In fact, whichever reader ends up with the most votes in this contest will get a $250 online shopping spree for partaking.

As a resource for such creative readers, I want to invite you to let your readers know about this.

Readers can submit their name ideas in a few ways:

- As a comment on our blog post about the contest (will be published May 25th) http://www.lampsplus.com/info-center/b/blog/archive/2011/05/25/name-that-blog-contest-win-250-shopping-spree.aspx

- As a comment on our Facebook page

- As a tweet using the hashtag #namethatblog

- By email to community@lampsplus.com

The submission period runs May 25th- 31st. The community will then vote on the top names June 2nd- 9th.

Good luck everyone!

You Won The Enamel House Sign!

Thank you everyone who left a comment for the Ramsign giveaway HERE

The sign pictured above is one Alberto and I had made in 1997 in Buenos Aires. It hung on our front gate in California for a few years. If only I had know about Ramsign back then!

The part of the sign with the number on it is an actual enamel house number sign from Buenos Aires, but the artist had to custom paint our number on it, since the only one we found with our house number on it was still attached to a house in Buenos Aires.

So the winner by random choice is: Sarah from La Maison Boheme!

Sarah, please email Tezz at Ramsign to collect your prize:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eight Great Places For A Chandelier

Hi Everyone! Another great guest post for you from Arcadian Lighting

I think I should ask them to do a giveaway for all of you. What do you think?
Happy Weekend!

Lighting fixtures can become the beautiful focal points of rooms, and a chandelier is one of the best ways to achieve this. While traditionally it has been the lighting fixture of choice for the dining room, there are slews of other great places for a chandelier. They can create ambient lighting in utilitarian spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms, add a touch of class and elegance to an entryway or suspended outdoors, and they are the perfect accessory to a lavish bedroom, living room or home office. Available in an endless range of styles and materials, chandeliers are the most opulent of lighting fixtures.


Once Daily Chic (via)

Perched above a grandiose tub or even a glitzy vanity, a bejewelled chandelier looks stunning when reflecting off of white tiles and gold accents.


Custom Furniture (via)

Chandeliers aren't always dripping with crystals - a more subdued streamlined light fixture, like this three-shade wrought-iron model, provides direct lighting over a kitchen island.


bjoku.com (via)

An antique-style chandelier adds instant glam to a bedroom, either hung over a four-poster bed or in a changing area, as pictured here.

Living room

The Lennoxx (via)

Arrange the furniture in a formal living room around a candelabra-type chandelier for an intimate sitting area where everyone will want to socialize.

Kid's bedroom

honeyandfitz.blogspot.com (via)

Give the little princess of the house a sparkly addition to brighten up her bedroom - there is a wide selection of mini chandeliers to choose from.

Home office

Country Living (via)

Make going to the office a little more chic with floral-patterned wallpaper, dashes of bright fuchsia and a hanging light fixture overhead.


Indy Star (via)

Nothing says welcome like the inviting ambiance of an entryway†chandelier - look for something that complements the decor as well as proportionately occupies the space.


sucasase.blogspot.com (via)

One of the more unlikely spots for a chandelier and yet one of the most striking, chandeliers playfully dangling from an arbour, tree or tent ceiling brings the extravagance of the inside out.

VV here:
Jennifer is a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in top quality lighting fixtures at extremely affordable prices. Go visit them HERE today!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Last Hampton On Sale

The shopping site ideeli is having a travel sale. There are several great destinations, but my favorite is in Montauk on Long Island in New York, the "last" Hampton so to speak.

It's at a sweet resort called Sole East, and it looks like just the perfect place to spend the first days of Sumner at.

  • Nightly rate for a Standard King Room - $169.
  • Travel May 22 - July 28, 2011
  • Midweek (Sunday-Thursday) nights only
  • Taxes of 11.63% are NOT included
  • Availability guaranteed on advertised dates or you'll receive a full refund. See blackout dates and restrictions at bottom of the page.

There's a timeless laid-back beach vibe to Montauk, where the swells call surfers to catch a wave, the harbor calls great fishing boats to its docks, and the historic lighthouse watches over the sand-and-sun lovers on Long Island's very eastern tip. At the Solé East Resort, the chic bungalow-style guest rooms (each unique, with island-modern white-on-white décor) in this landmark American Tudor call you to experience Montauk in hip beach-club style.

ideeli is offering Standard King Rooms at the Solé East Resort at up to 37% off regular rates (taxes are additional). Travel May 22 - July 28, 2011, Sunday - Thursday (with blackout dates of May 27 - 30 & July 1 - 4). Enjoy complimentary Wi-fi, parking, and beach passes.

Laze in an oversized St. Tropez bed by the heated pool, curl up in a hammock in the resort's lush gardens, or take the active route and jump on one of the Solé's rental bikes for a three-minute cruise to the beach. Later, grab a fireside table at the Backyard restaurant for a meal of just-caught seafood, creative takes on farmers' market finds, and a bottle of fine wine. At Solé East, even a brief getaway feels like a gorgeously endless summer.

  • Rates include parking, wifi, and beach parking passes
  • Soak up the sun by the outdoor pool with a cocktail from the Backyard Restaurant
  • Perfect home base for exploring all that Montauk and The Hamptons have to offer

Now where is that phone number for my private jet....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I've Got Your Number!

Enamel house numbers in the flea market in Buenos Aires

In my travels to Spain, France, England, Italy, Holland, Portugal, and Argentina, there is a humble object that I love. It is the enamel house number.

The enamel house number on a door in Buenos Aires

On my first trip there in 1997 with Alberto, I combed the flea markets and junk shops trying to find one with our house number on it. I couldn't find one.

Picture this "I Love Lucy" scenario: One night Alberto and I are walking home after a dancing tango, and I see a house with our house number on it! It's hanging by one screw! I ask Alberto to give me a boost so I can see if it will wiggle off. Of course the number is way too high, and Alberto is far more sensible. So I schemed in a very Lucy to Ricky way how we could come back with a ladder and a screwdriver. Picture Lucy and Ethel getting their souvenir block of cement from in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater when they were in Hollywood...It made perfect sense to me! Needless to say I did not get the enamel house number.

On subsequent trips to Buenos Aires, I always looked for our house number and never found it.
But now I can just buy one from Ramsign.

Ramsign might be known to many of you bloggers, because several of you have done a giveaway sponsored by them. Tezz, from Ramsign recently sent me an email and offered a giveaway for the readers of Visual Vamp.

Enamel house number on a door in Europe

Enamel house number in France

Tezz writes: "We usually let the winner choose one of our house number signs (not name signs or address plaques) to make the award as personal as possible. There are signs available from 1 digit and up to 5 digits and with five different styles. That means you can choose a winner and then send the name and email address to me and I'll get in touch with him or her to find out what sign he or she wants. We'll then make sure that it gets manufactured and delivered to the winner. Regarding the shipping: we do ship worldwide so everyone can participate in the contest."

Martha Stewart inspired by enamel house numbers

So let's make this simple! You can go to Ramsign to see what they have (and they have alot!).
To win one of these wonderful enamel house number signs, just leave me a comment, and one will be chosen at random.

This is a great giveaway - the signs retail from $49. up top $249.

So leave as many comments as you like to enter often!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Effortless Style

See what I do all day at Effortless Style HERE

Something is still messed up with my blog. I don't know what's going on. Yesterday's post just disappeared. I am still not convinced this is just Google's doing, and I suspect someone is messing with me and doing some damage. I can hardly wait to move my blog from this location.

Please stay with me! I will not let this ruin all that we have gone through together, and destroy the friendships and loyalty you have all bestowed on this old vamp...

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I Can Be

I posted this on Thursday May 12, and it disappeared from my blog. I don't know what's going on.

Luckily I had a copy in my email. Sadly all your great comments are gone. If I still have them in my email, I will add them. Please stay with me here, while Alberto and I migrate Visual Vamp anywhere but Google Blogspot.

This Barbie was done for an art exhibit

Barbie has been a doctor, a dentist, a vet and a race car driver,and now the iconic doll that has inspired and entertained little girls for generations takes on the job of architect. With the help of two American Institute of Architects members, Mattel Inc., now has Architect Barbie -- complete with hard hat and blueprints -- to be the latest addition to its ‘’Barbie I Can Be…’’ line of dolls.

This is what Matel produced

I Can Be.

What did you want to be when you were the age to play with dolls? I had dolls, but they were not my favorite toys. My first aspiration came around age 9. I wanted to be a scientist, and bugged my mother to get me a microscope. That was my favorite toy. She also signed me up for some kind of kid's book club, and I got a brand new "All About..." book in the mail every month. Books were my absolute favorite "toys".

My mother's aspiration for me was to become a ballet dancer. I was not so hot about this, though I took classes from age 3 until adulthood, was a "professional" child performer, and continued dancing on stage until my 20's. Everything was not beautiful at the ballet for me, but I marginally stayed in show biz via acting, and ending my career in a 80's pop/rock band in New York, and starting a soft show biz life again in 1995 to the present as a tango dancer.

This is a photo of my mother who was a dancer

The scientist dream segued into wanting to be a doctor. Realities of the cost of med school was the buzz kill my mother interjected into my dreams, so I ratcheted down to wanting to be a nurse. A stint as a Candy Striper at age 15 stifled that dream, I didn't dig the hospital hierarchy then, of nurses being treated like hand maidens to male doctors.

Perhaps my I Can Be ideal was a Gloria Steinem or Dorothy Pitman Hughes doll.

Gloria and Dorothy via

Art school was a logical choice for me. Along with all the dance classes I took as a teenager, I also took Saturday art classes at The Art Students League because I had an affinity for painting and drawing. I applied and was accepted to art school, and that was the leitmotif of my higher education.

I still took my daily dance classes for the sake of physical fitness, and later acting classes and singing lessons because I would occasionally audition for some small thing that caught my interest. Along with the rock band, I was a member of a conceptual performance group headed up by poet Max Blagg and musician/writer Jim Farmer.

My rock and roll days - more HERE - Hair by Danilo my friend at the time

I went to film school for awhile, and took a course in race car driving, and I also dabbled in poetry classes with Edward Field, Erica Jong, Michael Bennet, and Daniel Halpern.

I Can Be a dilettante ha ha. I guess I am a creature of the arts. My collection of I Can Be Barbies would be vast.

I have I had 10,000 jobs and 500 careers.

I would love to hear about your I Can Be stories...How many of us turned out to be what we wanted to be when we were children? How many of us are continually re-inventing ourselves?

Posted By visual vamp to * v i s u a l * v a m p * at 5/12/2011 08:40:00 AM

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lonny Dropped in New Orleans

Valorie Hart, Jack Mayberry, Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline from Lonny,
and Caroline Robert owner of perch., photographed in perch. in New Orleans

It has been hush-hush for months that Lonny was coming to New Orleans! The publishing world is like that. emails flew back and forth, scouting for places to shoot and things to do, and the results are in the May 2011 issue of Lonny.

Two features I really love: Page 53, on overview of New Orleans, and then page 108 a gorgeous feature called Historic Style.

Michelle is a darling young woman, and Patrick is a genius photographer. He still shoots film instead of digital, and his photos are all the more amazing for it.

Check it out HERE

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Historic House Workshop at Preservation Resource Center

Ahem, some PR - just in case you are in New Orleans this evening ~

Valorie Hart is well known for giving Argentine tango workshops with her husband Alberto Paz. Now you can attend an interior design workshop she is giving at the Preservation Resource Center.

Historic House Workshop: "Designing the Interior of Your Historic Home" with Valorie Hart (including a Book Signing with Stephanie Bruno)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

At the PRC
923 Tchoupitoulas St.
(in the Warehouse District)


Learn the tricks of the interior design trade – plus get a signed copy of a new book about local neighborhood architecture!

This workshop is ideal for anyone who is decorating their home for the first time or who is looking to redesign the interior of their home. Learn design tips from Valorie Hart, who is a design consultant at Perch and author of Visual Vamp, a home decorating blog. See images of beautifully decorated rooms, and learn tips and tricks to promote traffic flow through awkward spaces.

Also, Stephanie Bruno will discuss & sign copies of her new book, New Orleans Streets: A Walker's Guide to Neighborhood Architecture.

Cash bar.


Free and open to the public.

For more information, call 504.636.3399 or email sblaum@prcno.org.