Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Invisible People

Alberto made this video and shared it today to commemorate the anniversary of Katrina. Take a few minutes to look at it HERE. Alberto shot all the footage in the first half. We drove to the Ninth Ward just before it was bulldozed. The part where you see a pair of leopard rain boots is of me digging in our back yard after Katrina. The footage in the hotel lobby is of a tango festival we produced and hosted just a couple of weeks before Katrina.

Invisible People by Alberto Paz
xo xo

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Love Where You Live

Do you love where you live? Is it the town or city where you live that you love most? Or is it your house or apartment? Do you love one room over any other? Are you still searching for the place you will live in and love?

This is my favorite image in "Love Where You Live" - The modern mix in a country house is exciting -  Use antiques, Mid Century Modern, and vintage pieces  - Steal this idea of using two cube ottomans with a rustic board on top to create a coffee table - Classic elements like the white slipcover, linen drapes, and white hides give the room a fresh lift

"Love where you live" is the favorite saying of
-->Joan Osofsky of Hammertown Barn, the popular lifestyle stores in New York and Massachusetts. Have you been there?
Shopkeepers are excellent decorators. You can get so many ideas from seeing what they choose to put in their stores, and how they arrange it. A store that sells home furnishings often offers design services too.

From the book "Love Where You Live"

Joan, along with co-author Abby Adams, has new book out, called "Love Where You Live". In it they share in-depth knowledge on modern country living with creative ideas and tips for making a home warm, welcoming and authentic. The book highlights eighteen houses of real-life tastemakers that embody a relaxed, stylish lifestyle. They really really love where they live!!!

Get this book - Love Where You Live

This gorgeous book published by Rizzoli with a forward by Mary Randolph Carter and photography by John Gruen is my gift to one of you!

Mark my words, classic oriental rugs, especially in red, are making a huge comeback - This pretty room is featured in :Love Where You Live"

Just leave a comment, and Cholo and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang will pick one, and I will send you the book. 

You can tell I am loving these red rugs! From "Love Where You Live"

The mix in all the rooms and homes featured in "Love Where You Live" embody and show what we all love to do. Flea market stuff, antiques, and family pieces are mixed in with new things and on trend pieces. Doing this in country homes is exhilarating. There is just something about a house in the country that exemplifies a cozy homey lifestyle. But don't fret city mice, because you can turn any city dwelling into a chic place in the country with home furnishings. "Love Where You Live" is an excellent look book filled with wonderful ideas for you to take away and make your own, whether you have a country house or a city home.

This cozy room is featured in "Love Where You Live"

This grouping of vintage trays embodies a flea market collection - I love how they are displayed on the wall in this room in the book "Love Where You Live"

You know you want this beautiful book! Just leave a comment, and Cholo and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang will pick one, and I will gift "Love Where You Live" to you. You can also buy it HERE

So many great ideas in 'Love Where You Live" - I have often removed cabinet doors and painted the insides a great color

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Heart Eva Zeisel Life, Design, And Beauty

I became aware of Eva Zeisel when I was in art school. She was one of those legendary teachers that taught at Pratt before my time. Then my friends, the ceramists, Philip Maberry and Scott Walker talked about having met her, and showed me some treasured small pieces of hers that they had acquired.

Eva Zeisel designed this set of china - photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Over the years of her long life (she lived and worked until she was 105) I would see her wares. I never owned any of her designs, but always kept my eye out when I'd be in vintage shops. Yes she made things for Crate and Barrel, and many other modern outlets, but I was more attracted to vintage wares.

The sensuous undulating curves of Meito Norleans Midas china designed by Eva Zeisel

A few months ago I came across a set of china designed by Eva Zeisel circa 1949-1950. It was found at one of my favorite shopping haunts, Caravan Finds right here in New Orleans. They had a dazzling set of Meito china.

Caravan Finds - the china is hanging on the wall in the last picture on the right - You can also find Caravan on One Kings Lane

You could get a 101 piece set of Eva Zeisel Meito Norleans Midas for $69.95 in 1954

Meito is a Japanese company that partnered with United China and Glass Company (founded in New Orleans in 1830) to commission sets of affordable dinnerware  exported to the United States in the post WWII years. The result was the Norleans line designed by Eva Zeisel.

The curved handles are very much like the curves of the iron work in New Orleans - I used trendy CAKE Chrome Gnome salt and pepper shakers made in 2007 - mine are gold and look great with the Zeisel vintage china

Eva actually spent time in New Orleans, and her Meito Norleans line was very much influenced by what she saw here.  Eva tells us, "A Mr. Stolaroff (side note - he was the vice president of the company)  asked me to design a set for Meito in Japan...He asked me to go to New Orleans...I remember taking a boat to the tip of the Delta...I photographed many wrought iron crosses in graveyards."

Many sets of Mid Century Modern china sported the wheat pattern - but none were as beautiful as the one Eva Zeisel designed for Meito, and none would match the price - The set in this vintage ad  had 53 pieces for $59.90, and the far more beautiful Zeisel Meito Norleans Midas had 101 pieces selling for $69.95 in 1954!

The Norleans line was a hit at the 1950 design shows. In 1954 the American housewife could buy a 101 piece set of this beautiful porcelain for only $69.95! And she also got lagniappe - six extra teacups and a teapot! Even today, in comparison with other vintage china, Norleans is a very affordable collectible.

The plates and bowls feature a wide rim - The napkin is Trina Turk Palm Springs Block

The set I am showing is called Meito Norleans Midas. I love the soft color of the gilding, and of course the curves, both on the handles, and on the undulating rims of the pieces, which are classic Eva Zeisel motifs. The pillow top lid on the sugar bowl is a form that became known as the iconic Eva Zeisel belly button design.

The lid on the sugar bowl is very much like Eva Zeisel's "baby's bottom design" which is in the same vein as her iconic "belly button" design - The candlesticks are by Paul Loebach

The wheat pattern was a very popular motif in Mid Century Modern china made in Japan. I have another set called Eternal Wheat done by Crestwood China and also made in Japan. The Crestwood wheat design is far more delicate. It's pretty, but it cannot compare with the oomph and verve of the Eva Zeisel design.

Eva Zeisel with one of the rugs she designed for The Rug Company - note her iconic belly button design

Eva Zeisel just passed away in 2011. She worked until the end of her life. She not only designed ceramics, but also designed a rug collection for The Rug Company, and furniture for Design Within Reach. One day when I am have some extra cash, I would love to have the coffee table she did for DWR.

One day I will get this Eva Zeisel coffee table

Eva Zeisel with her cut out pattern for the design of the coffee table base she did for Design Within Reach

I was inspired by her cutting out paper patterns for the coffee table she designed,  so I cut out some letters spelling her name and hung them on the chandelier - this photo by Valorie Hart

There is new book about Eva Zeisel due out any moment, called "Eva Zeisel: Life, Design, and Beauty" by Pat Moore (Author) , Pirco Wolfframm (Author) , Pat Kirkham (Editor) , Brent C. Brolin (Photographer), Eva Zeisel (Introduction).

Eva Zeisel: Life, Design, and Beauty

Eva Zeisel was a Hungarian-born American industrial designer known for her work with ceramics, primarily from the period after she immigrated to the United States. Her forms are often abstractions of the natural world and human relationships. Work from throughout her prodigious career is included in important museum collections across the world. Zeisel declared herself a "maker of useful things"

Young Eva Zeisel a maker of useful things

 Go HERE to see this touching video clip of Eva Zeisel

I pre-ordered the book. It not only has her amazing life story, but tons of new photos of her work and snapshots from her amazing life. If you are a fan of Eva Zeisel this is a book you will love, enjoy, and treasure. And I think it's an important volume for every design book library.

Eva Zeisel never stopped working

Loving New Orleans as much as I do, paired with loving Eva Zeisel, and added to that my love for beautiful vintage and antique china, you can just imagine how I am thrilled to have and to hold this extraordinary collection of Meito Norleans Midas china.

Cholo under the table set with Eva Zeisel china - photo by Sara Essex Bradley

All the lovely photos in my dining room were taken by Sara Essex Bradley. I styled a table setting combining Eva's vintage china with current items. I love her designs and think they are timeless and cross all eras gracefully (much like Eva did in her lifetime). What kind of vintage china do you love and collect?

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Monday, August 19, 2013

The New York Apartment Of Betty Halbreich

Betty Halbreich, Bergdorf Goodman’s renowned personal shopper and the breakout star of “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s,”  has lived in her apartment since 1947 on Park Avenue when the rent was $250. a month.

The fabulous mix and match, and mish and a mash living room of Betty Halbreich - I love the pink silk couch!!! All photos by Fred R. Conrad

 There is a terrific article in the Sunday New York Times.

The fabulous blue dining room -
For many years, Ms. Halbreich presided over formal dinner parties at a  mahogany table that can be expanded to seat 16. The hutch is full of blue-and-white china

Who doesn't love a butler's pantry? This is a testament to Ms. Halbreich’s knack for setting a table

this chest in the living room holds ironed table linens, and don;t you just love the blue Opaline glass collection!

“This is my favorite spot in the house,” said Ms. Halbreich of the bar in the  den. “I keep my vodka in the refrigerator with spearmint in it, in case you are really interested.”

The master bedroom is draped in fabric

Steal this idea!!!!
“Everybody goes mad for these shoe closets that are built into the back of doors,”  Ms. Halbreich says.

Betty describes her d├ęcor, like the clothes she selects for her clients, is “mix-and-match, a mish and a mash.”

"I think if you are 85 and still working, you become interesting. "

Leah Dunham, who created a huge success with her HBO production of "Girls" is thinking of doing a TV series based on the memoir Betty is writing for Penguin. Betty tells us, "I think if you are 85 and still working, you become interesting. "

Go read the entire article by Dan Shaw. It's fabulous.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

I Was So Raggedy, Folks Used To Call Me, “Patches” - What Do You Think?

Forgive another What Do You Think post coming so soon. I am working on something else, but I want to let you know I'm still here. And this photo is priceless.

What do you think? This look is currently coming down the runway - "I was born and raised down in Alabama,
On a farm way back up in the woods I was so raggedy, folks used to call me, “Patches” - remember that song?

Patchwork comes and goes. My mother used to have a patchwork leather purse, and she loved it because of all the colors. She said it matched any and everything.

Gray patchwork overdyed rug

This room was done by interior designer Peter Dunham

Overdyed patchwork rugs are hot right now

Gloria Vanderbilt was the queen of patchwork in the 1960s and 1970s

Truman Capote rocking patchwork in his New York apartment circa 1960s

So what do you think? Would you wear patchwork, or rock it in your home decor? Or carry a patchwork purse?

My mother would have loved Jessica Simpson's Dolce and Gabbana patchwork purse

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Do You Think (Of The Black Bathroom)?

A black bathroom with a marble counter top, designer wallpaper, and  subway tiles. Sounds like a classic on trend mainstream design, right?

Black walls - check; subway tiles - check; stone counter top -check  - This bathroom checks all the boxes

Jenna Lyons had her beautiful home featured in many magazines, but it was in an issue in 2008 in Domino that launched thousands of swoons and black bathrooms - Black in almost any room has become mainstream

The bathroom that launched black

Jenna Lyons cover girl Domino 2008

Black wallpaper, marble top sink, gold accents - so pretty and on trend

This is a real bathroom in some one's home. It was done by a designer whose client requested it.
What do you think? It has all the elements: Designer wallpaper, subway tile, marble counter top.


Who wore it best?

Some of the same elements are used

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Color Power Two Ways

Just got a batch of the September issues of shelter magazines. House Beautiful wins hands down for the most inspiring features. So if you only buy one magazine this month, this is the one. The issue is called "Power of Color!".

The usual colorful Mary McDonald does a subdued palette of gray in the September 2013 issue of House Beautiful - I love the pattern mix - Stripes both ways and that incredible chevron floor

Color can be powerful in all ways, whether it's a palette of neutrals or a palette of bold saturated hues.
Mary McDonald has a feature called "Palette Cleanser" (a title so borrowed from bloggers).

Mary McDonald flips her switch with with this palette cleanser of a room - You have to get the magazine to see it in all its glory - This is a very refined Restoration Hardware look, don't you think? I love the spattered Klismos chairs
I love these chairs, and crazy me sees a DIY project here

And then she flips the switch back in the same house in the den

On the flip side Christopher Maya has a feature (and got the cover) called "A Bold Hand".

Buy this issue! It's really good! I would kill for that navy blue velvet Bergere chair - Interior design by Christopher Maya

The Power of Color interpreted by Christopher Maya

Christopher Maya in September 2013 House Beautiful - walls are Benjamin Moore Heritage Red

The thing with color, is that there isn't one I haven't met, used, or liked. I equally swoon over Mary's gray chevron floors, and Christopher's navy blue velvet Bergere chairs. What about you? Do you stay in your tried and true wheelhouse of favorite color, or do you change it up from time to time?

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