Monday, September 30, 2013

Still Time To Win House Proud

Three of you can still win a copy of House Proud. Go HERE to do it. Go on now... 

Author Valorie Hart signs books at the reception for "House Proud: Unique Home Design/Louisiana" at the Contemporary Arts Center on Friday, September 27, 2013, in New Orleans. (Erika Goldring Photo for The Times Picayune)

The book launch was fabulous! Thank you Lindsay at the CAC for opening the doors to such a glam swell venue. Thank you Glitterati for all the behind scenes work you do. Thank you Alberto for the terrific slide show. Thank you Sara for organizing the bar and the dinner after.

And thank you to over 150 people who stopped by to get a book, and celebrate. There was heavy traffic with so many events going on, and still you all made it.

Here's a nice video, and an article by Sue Strachan, society page editor for The Times Picayune.

Now go and win your copy of House Proud!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What Do You Think?

"Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory"
- Coco Chanel

What do you think?

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Monday, September 23, 2013

The New Tweens

"I'm too young to be old, and too old to be young." Cher

Cher was on the Today Show this morning, singing live, kicking off her tour for her 26th album.

Cher on the Today Show this morning

As we all know age has been rdefined by the Baby Boom generation. Most of us are in our 60s (or a little more). It's a funny kind of in between age. We still keep current, in the way we dress, in the way we work, in the way we play. But we really don't belong to a younger generation, and we certainly are not ready to be relegated to the ranks of the elderly. We are the new tweens.














 See their tween ages HERE

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Sunday, September 22, 2013


Autumn arrives at 4:44 PM today. Happy First Day of Fall. Hope you have a wonderful Autumn season. From WTF Pinterest

"Debbie loved decorating her home for Autumn. Loved it. LOVED IT!"

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Suzanne Tucker

Suzanne Tucker has been creating interiors of timeless grace for over twenty-five years. The San Francisco- based firm of Tucker & Marks, founded together with managing partner, Timothy Marks, is one of the leading design firms in the country. She is the recipient of numerous awards, repeatedly named to Architectural Digest’s “AD100” list of architects and designers, and recently honored as San Francisco Design Center’s 2013 Designer of Distinction. Her textiles and tabletop line for Suzanne Tucker Home are in luxury showrooms and stores across the country.

Take a peek:

I love the layers of beautiful things, and that table in front of that window with that view is perfect

The perfect mix of antiques, transitional furniture, and modern art

Who doesn't love a spicy color dining room

The room is fantastic, but "I love you Corgi" (sung to the tune "I Love You Porgy" from "Porgy and Bess"
Following the success of her first monograph “Rooms to Remember”, currently in its third printing, Suzanne Tucker is publishing her newest book in the fall of 2013 by The Monacelli Press. Offering unprecedented entrée to some of the country’s most exquisite & elegant residences, from an art-filled contemporary town- house to a massive mountain lodge, from a Normandy-style country estate to Tucker’s own home, an enchanting retreat filled with personal collections and antiques from around the world, this book is a must- read for the design aficionado. Tucker’s style is polished and refined, versatile and distinctive with elegant details and enticing color. She shares with the reader her expertise and creative process involving great attention to architecture, sense of appropriateness, her approach to individuality and how we live today. Richly photographed and visually stunning, she takes us through ravishing rooms layered with art and antiques transitioning between classic and contemporary, casual and formal. Her new book is an utterly inspiring glimpse into her clients’ homes and her creative world.

Pre order it

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Living Room Design Ideas With Susanna Salk for Ballard Designs

In her book, “Be Your Own Decorator,” Susanna Salk emboldens her readers to find inspiration in the masterfully decorated rooms of top designers featured in her book. Her design philosophy is practical: find what you love about these rooms and repeat it in your own home.  But is it easy? We challenged Susanna Salk to recreate the essence of four rooms from her book using key pieces from Ballard Designs.

Living Room Design Ideas with Susanna Salk A Valorie Hart Room - for Ballard Designs

From Ballard Designs:
"Valorie Hart’s living room is an exercise in the art of effortless mixing. The room is filled with personality from top to bottom, with a creative juxtaposition of style, period and price points. Susanna couldn’t wait to replicate the look and feel of one of her favorite rooms from her book."

Susanna says,“The reason why all these different items exist together is because they’ve been placed there with love and confidence,” she says. “There’s a happy feeling to this room that once we put all the pieces together, it definitely mirrors what Valorie did.”

VV here -
Wow! I am thrilled!!!! Go check out the video. It is magical! The best line: "I never met a zebra rug I didn't love."

And if you don't have the book Be Your Own Decorator, get it now. It really is fabulous.

Be Your Own Decorator by Susanna Salk

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Logan Killen

There are a crop of new young things on the interior design and decorating scene here in New Orleans, and one of my favorites is the firm of Logan Killen Interiors.

Love the mix with vintage sideboard, the pair of vintage yellow lamps, and the contemporary mirror

This from their web site:

"Formed in 2012 by Katie Logan and Jensen Killen, Logan Killen Interiors is a New Orleans based interior design company specializing in residential and small commercial projects. We believe in creating environments that make our everyday lives beautiful and easy. Our passion for unique furniture, textiles, color, art, and perfect proportions guide our decisions, as well as the understanding that interiors should be comfortable. How a space is truly used must always be considered, and we approach each project with a fresh perspective to allow for a personal result. We love what we do and of course, we are bundles of fun!"

In fact they are so much fun that I did a story on one of their projects for the current Fall issue of New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, and Sara Essex Bradley did the fabulous photos. Chase the link and read the story.

Read about Logan Killen in the Fall Issue of New Orleans Homes & Lifestyle

In the meantime, here are a few photos from the project. I think they are going to have a great career, don't you?

A little entry hall was crated in the living room by using two chests - I love the asymmetrical styling of art and objects

Logan Killen suggested that the color for the bookshelves be painted a deep gray to help camouflage the television

A vintage dining set with the  chair seats recovered, a Jonathan Adler chandelier, and a stripe rug are a refreshing mix of old and new in the dining room

I love the styling in this bedroom

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

In The Manner Of Noguchi And David Hicks

Sara and I were doing a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago in my dining room, and we moved the table over to get a better image. Hey! We both thought the table would work better moved "forever" to one side. The shotgun house dining room is small and a pass-through, and I have the bruises on my upper thighs to prove that the table took up valuable walkway room with it being in the center of the room.

Valorie Hart dining room Fall 2013

It meant moving the armoire. So I did a major clean out of the office supplies and crap hidden behind those closed doors, and moved the thing into the kitchen (that's another blog post). I fantasized about having built-in banquettes done, but I don't have that kind of cash. So I started a search for an option by using some storage benches to arrange banquette style along two walls.

The armoire got cleaned out and moved! And the chandelier got retired for now

The chandelier had to move from the center of the room, and sadly the in-line design did not allow for the old swag it from the power source trick. I have long loved the Noguchi over size lantern, and thought this would be a good time and place to use it. Luckily, Alberto is an electrical engineer, so swagging the huge (but lightweight) ball over the new dining table spot was easy-peasy. I got out my clipping file of pictures with this style of lantern to show Alberto what I had in mind.

Nakashima Compound by Brian Ferry - Love that stick the lantern is suspended from

Deborah Needleman used the lantern in in her dining room

Mats Gustafson and Ted Muehling used it in their home

The size I want of the Noguchi lantern is over $500. Oh well. So off I go to get dorm room standard issue ha ha. But at 30" in diameter the copy cat Noguchi lantern looks pretty good. You can buy a lantern and a cord kit for under $40. HERE.

I was also so happy to find the storage trucks with a fabric that reminded me so much of the beloved David Hicks La Fiorentina fabric. I wish I could afford the Hicks fabric, but as you know I am content with the look for less if I can't afford the real thing. And I wanted to buy seating off-the-rack.

The trunks as banquettes
I used two benches on the long side of the table

David Hicks David Hicks David Hicks! How we all love the David Hicks La Fiorentina fabric! One of my favorite rooms done by Brian Patrick Flynn features the fabric.

Bedroom done by Brian Patrick Flynn with David Hicks fabric - photo by Christina Wedge courtesy of  Scripps Networks

Brian Patrick Flynn - photo by Christina Wedge courtesy of Scripps Networks

I LURV Brian Patrick Flynn!!!! - photo by Christina Wedge courtesy of Scripps Networks

The storage benches (or trunks as they are called) came from Overstock.

The Sole Domino trunk from Overstock

I used three of them - two for the long side of the table, and one at the shorter side near the wall. Because of the table size and the stock size of the trunk, I couldn't use a full size trunk to deal with the corner. The trunks would have extended beyond the length of the table if I used more than three. So I found a cube ottoman to tuck in the corner. It didn't come in the same print, so I chose something close. Also it's a tad shorter, so I just put some pieces of wood under the legs to elevate it. It's all about smoke and mirrors.

I used this ottoman from Overstock to deal wit the corner portion of my "banquette"

I think the print looks as good as the David Hicks. It is so popular with designers, bloggers, Etsy sellers, and home decorators.

Melissa Rufty did this settee in David Hicks fabric featured on the cover of Big Easy Style

I found the fabric that my trunks are upholstered in and would love to recover the corner piece. I also am thinking about making mini "headboards" to act as a back to my banquette. I am going to hang black frame closet door mirrors horizontally over the banquette for a French bistro vibe.

You can see a long mirror over the sink in my kitchen - that's a closet door mirror hung sideways - I'll do the same thing with three of this type of mirror over the new dining room banquette

Mirrors over a banquette in a bistro

But not so fast! The fabric is out of stock (M9253 Zig Zag Domino Upholstery Fabric by Barrow), and the mill says to check back in 90 days. There is another Richloom fabric that made the rounds of the blogs, but it seems to have been discontinued (of course). I found a small amount in orange HERE.

Zig Zag Domino Upholstery Fabric by Barrow

 So there you have it. A small change that has made a big difference.

Valorie Hart dining room with Noguchi style lantern and David Hicks style fabric on the banquette

You can see that a generous walkway has been created by moving the dining room table - The credenza has been moved from the kitchen into this new spot and now holds two sets of china

Another view of the new arrangement - The skeletons came back for a minute, but didn't work out

I love this credenza in here

So what projects has the coming of Fall gotten you to do? "Enquiring Minds" want to know.

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