Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do You Decorate Fearlessly?

From the book by Susanna Salk (Rizzoli) Decorate Fearlessly, interior design by Valorie Hart, photo by Sara Essex Bradley
As you can see I am trying a new look for the blog. I hope you like it because I cannot figure out to go back to the old one. I thought I would try something new to refresh my spirits and get me blogging again.

Many nice things are happening for me. Alberto was so loved, and it turns out I am loved too, and so many of you have been helping me along. One of the many things I miss about Alberto is that he was my number one fan. He was so proud of my accomplishments.

From Decorate Fearlessly by Susanna Salk, interior design Valorie Hart, photo by Sara Essex Bradley

I have really been doing interior decoration/design for less than five years. Yes, I had a design business in New York for event design, and yes I am art school trained, but I started another chapter with interiors. I keep trying to convince Traditional Home Magazine that I am a young designer to be considered for their annual showcase, but so far they aren't buying it.

I have been blessed to have caught the imagination of authors, editors, and publishers in my budding career, and have been blessed to have gotten my work published. Alberto was so very proud that other people recognized my talent.

So now, the uber talented author and editor-at-large has included me in another one of her books:  Susanna Salk's Decorate Fearlessly (I was included in her Be Your Own Decorator a couple of years ago). It fits me to a T. And I am thrilled in the most geeky star struck way as possible. Alberto would have loved it.

Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart - This was my book launch party last September and someone said we never looked happier - Alberto was so proud of me and I love him so very much - photo by Jessica Hack

You will love Decorate Fearlessly by Susanna Salk

From Decorate Fearlessly - I am over the moon to be on the same page with so many talented people!

Susanna has the knack for gathering images of dozens of designers across the board, compiling a  delicious compendium of images that cannot help but inspire and make you think. Decorate Fearlessly has large scale photos (which I love), divided into to handy chapters organized by rooms (Living Rooms, Entryways, Dining Rooms, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms). There is a short quote by each designer.

OMG on the same page as Nick Olsen!

Decorate Fearlessly interior design by Nick Olsen

Decorate Fearlessly interior design by Miles Redd

I am proud to say New Orleans was well represented. Besides myself, New Orleans designers Karina Gentinetta and Melissa Rufty are included, and New Orleans photographer Sara Essex Bradley has her images in the book as well.

Interior design by Karina Gentinneta, photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Decorate Fearlessly, interior design by Melissa Rufty, photo by Ron Royals

So what do you do that is fearless in decorating?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pour Yourself A Drink

Ups and downs. Busy spinning my wheels. Lots of love and support coming my way. The hole in my heart is gaping. I just miss him. Simple as that. Hang in here with me.

Selfie with my tango daughter Eli

Pouring myself a Jameson and putting on some lipstick.

What's our favorite shade of lipstick? Your favorite cocktail?

BTW I see lots of ladies of my age with purple hair these days. I did mine last September. Alberto loved it. And I still love it. It's a new take on the blue hair-lavender hair grandmothers who used put a rinse on their gray hair in the 1960s. And younger women are rockin' it too.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ten Hideous Things

Houzz had a funny and cute post, 10 Things People Really Don't Want in Their Homes.

Of course, I took I look around my home and found a few of the dreaded ten things. Sometimes these things cannot be avoided. You buy a house that has something you cannot afford to change. Or you rent a place where you are not allowed to make a change.

The dreaded recliner - photo from Houzz

I believe you can always work with what you have through the super powers of the decorator and the magical use of smoke and mirrors, the offensive can be made tolerable and sometimes even beautiful.

Guilty guilty guilty! Laminate floors came with the house - I actually don't hate them -They are the easiest thing to keep clean - Fabric on wall is meant to look like wallpaper - Fake flower cherry blossoms are mixed with real ones for the photo shoot  - photo by Sara Essex Bradley

I also believe that one woman's/man's ugly is another ones beauty. It's your home and it should be the way it makes you happy.

Now when it comes to clients, they may love fake plants or something that doesn't jibe with a designers vision or aesthetic. Our talent is to make it work, because we don't live there. Just stash the plant for the photo shoot.

Guilty, guilty, guilty! Fake flowers on nightstands, walls painted to look like wallpaper (by Mitchell Settoon), laminate floor, and does this rug qualify for carpet? What about the padded fabric covered wall behind the bed? Photo by Sara Essex Bradley which appears in Susana Salk's New book Decorate Fearlessly published by Rizzoli - Get that book!

Decorate Fearlessly by Susanna Salk - From Rizoli: "Featuring inspiring interiors from today’s top designers, Decorate Fearlessly shows us how to be bold and personal with our design choices, creating spaces that we love to live in. Decorate Fearlessly is both a photographic trove of fabulously designed homes—by such renowned designers as Mary McDonald, Ashley Hicks, Alex Papachristidis, and Jonathan Adler, among many others—and an inspirational how-to-decorate volume with spirit and verve."  I am one of the "many others" - There are two photos of my work in this book!

I went through some of my pictures to show you the offending things I have that Houzz says that people really don't want in their homes.

Guilty! My walls are not perfect enough to install wallpaper, and I can't afford the wallpaper I love, so I faked wallpaper in my office - photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Here's the real wallpaper done by designer Eric Cohler that appeared in House Beautiful

Guilty! My office, where I faked a Tricia Guild wallpaper - actually Mitchell Settoon painted the ombre wall for me - photo by Sara Essex Bradley

Tricia Guild wallpaper

Here's the list:
1. Carpet (I don't have it, I have area rugs on the dreaded laminate)
2. Laminate flooring (guilty!)
3. Taxidermy (don't have it now, but I have had it)
4. Vertical blinds (don't have them)
5. Fake flowers (guilty)
6. Wallpaper (guilty kind of) 
7. Too many knick-knacks (Duh. Define too many)
8. Fluorescent lighting (don't have it)
9. Recliners (don't have one but I have wrestled with having them in the past, trying to find a cute one)
10. Clowns (now that depends on whose coming over) 

Send in the clown - or is it an undercover decor police officer

Before the decor police come and fine me or take me off to rehab, fess up and tell us: Which of the 10 things people really don't want in their homes do you have?