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Color Psychology

29 Jan

Color is such a touchy subect as I have discussed here. And here. And here.

So when someone sent me this infographic from Macy’s, I thought it was worth sharing. Makes sense that I prefer green because I need a LOT of balancing and orange because I like a cheery room.  (Or hallway.  Or door.)

Color Psychology: Style Your Room, Design Your Mood


Ninja Turtle Sibling?

22 Jan

Remember this dresser restored by the lovely Brittany as memorialized in this post?  She worried she had turned it into a Ninja turtle dresser!

Well, she’s gone and done it again, this time with nightstands.  She had some leftover veneer and paint and renovated these lovely little beauties too!  I think they look awesome.  What about you?  I especially like the Orla Kiely wallpaper pattern in the back.  Despite all my ranting, I am obviously in a co-dependent relationship with Orla.  Will I never be free?


And voila!



Ikea Maskros

21 Jan

Wow.  Yet again another extended holiday from the blog.  Emphasis on holiday because the holidays did me in this year.  Starting a new job and juggling all the chaos around Christmas and New Year was more than I could handle and the blog suffered.  But things did get done, believe it or not.  The happiest of which are the new fixtures in our bedroom.  We had Brett’s parents over for dinner last night and Ida the Great commented that our new fixtures were a bold choice!  Bold indeed and I love them.

Okay, I know it’s overdone.  And I know that even in a short amount of time, people are sick of it.  There are some really amazing Ikea-hacks done to the Maskros lamps, too.  However, I like it as it is.  I just like it.  I fell in love with it when I first saw it in the post I did on Farralone, where is hangs in the guest room that Marilyn Monroe stayed in.

Frank Sinatra

And yes, when IKEA first showed it at the ICFF it started to multiply all over the world like rabbits.  People began to whine about seeing it everywhere and I am sure I will get a response to this post that makes me seem unoriginal and banal.  (Probably not.  All you people are too nice for that.)

I would like to argue that perhaps what we have on our hands with the Maskros is a classic (or a new classic according to this post on Houzz).  Design-forward, unique, accessbile.  Aren’t these the criteria used by our favorite MCM designers to guide their work?  Why does good design need to be exclusive to the elite?  None of those designers would agree with the design snobs of today and are likely rolling over in their graves in despair of those who ‘just don’t get it’.

Well, we get it.  And we fell in love with it.  To replace these decade-appropriate fixtures with something so fun and bold seemed to me the perfect thing to do.  (And, according to my husband, much easier said than done.)

house 33

Plus, I love the way the Maskros echoes the design on our window panels from West Elm.


First of all the top of the Masksros is a narrow cylinder about six inches in diameter.  The hole cut for these lights is more like 12 inches.  We found some covers at Home Depot for less than $10 each.  Granted, I would have prefered a style without the faux molding around the edge, but we couldn’t find any.


And let’s be honest, putting these fixtures together is quite time consuming!  They come in this little box with the usually unintelligible IKEA directions.



And the pieces look something like this…


Ummm…yikes.  So I got on the handy dandy internet and found this lovely stop-motion video about assembling the lamp.

Mind you, I put on the flowers before hanging the lantern, but either would work.

To show the progression, the room has gone from this… (You can’t see the flower printed wallpaper!)

To this…

To this…

And now with the lovely Maskros…



Almost there, but not quite.  In the nook at the end of the room where the dog beds and random nightstand live, I imagine a lovely gray chaise lounge like this one from West Elm.  (My entire bedroom is becoming an homage to West Elm!)

Lorimer Chaise

And perhaps a hanging floor lamp like this one.

Overarching Floor Lamp - Natural

Thought that might be a bit much with the Maskros lamp.  Not sure, but I want something softer than an overhead light for reading in my perfect little corner.

And of course, we need some area rugs and artwork.  As mentioned in this post, I think a painting by Maeve above the bed would be the perfect finishing touch.  And she is already working on, so stay tuned!

More George…

25 Nov

Because clearly this weekend, I can’t get enough George.

You know how sometimes you want something so badly and for so long that when you finally get it, it can’t possibly measure up to your imagination and expectations?  Well, that’s not what happened.

I have pined and dreamt of a George Nelson bubble lamp for as long as I can remember.  (Okay, total hyperbole, but roll with me here, people.)  So when my birthday came last month and I got birthday money from family (I heart birthday money!), I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a bubble lamp. 

At first, I didn’t want to pay full price for a new one.  Plus, I had heard other bloggers wax on about how lovely the warm light was from the vintage ones.  However, as I looked at Ebay and other sites, I just didn’t have the confidence in the state of the lamps that I wanted to.  And honestly, the prices weren’t that much better.  (What has happened to Ebay?  It is IMPOSSIBLE to get a good deal there anymore.) And because I seem to have a ‘why pay less’ disorder, I went to Modernica and bought a new one…a 25″ saucer for $329. The good news?  No tax and no shipping, so that made me feel a little better.

What also made me feel better was getting rid of this:

Now to be perfectly honest, I didn’t find this fixture as offensive as some other members of the family. In fact, I kind of liked its very atomic MCM vibe. However, once that big white box appeared on my doorstep, I knew me and the Jetsons light fixture were going our separate ways. (Any thoughts on what I should do with it? Is it worth putting on Craigslist? Think anyone would want it?)

I love Thanksgiving and I love cooking for a crowd, so more than anything I wanted that lamp up for my Thanksgiving dinner.  And you know what I am thankful for?  A husband who not only know how to do things like that, but who also does it willingly on Thanksgiving day so my vision would be complete.  Now the dining room is almost finished.  Just need a rug and to recover the chairs of our wonderful Drexel dining room chairs.

Decor Swap Party

15 Nov

From Apartment Therapy, one of my favorite blogs, comes this amazing idea of a Decor Swap Party. I LOVE this. Anyone game? The best thing about it is that at least you know everything will fit!


If you have ever been to a clothing swap party, you know how great it is to see your once favorite pieces begin their new life with a friend and also get to come home with the feeling that you just went shopping and got a really good bargain. Well, why let clothes have all the fun? Let’s get homes in on the action too!

A decor swap party is a great push to finally get to the things you have been needing to clear out from your space. I know I am always headed to Goodwill or the like to donate the things that I ‘just had to have’ way back when, or the stuff I bought thinking ‘this would make a great (fill in the blank) one day’ and just never got to it. Remember, just because you have outgrown something doesn’t mean someone else will view it in the same way.

You could make it general and bring whatever you want, or have a specific theme like ‘things that make you go hmmm’, ‘shabby chic’, ‘organize this’, ‘things that light up’, ‘everything chartreuse’, ‘have a seat’, ‘vessels’ or even ‘funky furniture’. If you want to swap larger furniture items, just bring pictures of all side of the piece along with the dimensions.

So now all you have to do is shuffle through your stuff, toss out an invite, throw together some wine and appetizers and start shopping. Whatever doesn’t get chosen can be brought to the thrift store the next day. Have fun!

(Image: from Pop of Sunshine: 10 Yellow Accessories For Under $50)

Brad Pitt: Furniture Designer?

14 Nov

Let’s be clear here:  I have never really been a Brad Pitt fan.  Not a fan of his acting and seemingly immune to his looks.  He’s a little too pretty for my taste.  My husband on the other hand has a horrible man crush on him.  He can watch the Oceans 11, 12, 13, infinity movies over and over again.

I may be developing a slight crush on him now too.  Or at least his furniture line.  Below is an article from the New York Times on the new line.  Let me know what you think and if you’d want one of these to grace your home!

Product design can be a thankless job. Many designers don’t get to claim authorship of their work, and much of what they make, from sleds to spatulas, is assumed to be conceived on the factory floor without a jot of human intervention.

So it may encourage designers to know that Brad Pitt not only respects what they do but takes pains to be one of them.

Four Academy Award nominations? Bah! Twice named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive? Phooey! Mr. Pitt has spent a good deal of his off-screen time establishing his credibility in architecture and the applied arts. He designed the wedding bands for his marriage to Jennifer Aniston (and sued the jeweler for copying and distributing them). He was spotted at the 2008 Design Miami show buying artfully lumpy bronze chairs by the British designer Max Lamb. He apprenticed with the architect Frank Gehry. And, most impressively, his Make It Right foundation brought serious money and talent to the project of rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

If all the world’s a stage, Mr. Pitt appears to have a special feeling for its sets and props. Now he has escalated his involvement by designing furniture.

Collaborating with the luxury furniture maker Frank Pollaro in Union, N.J., Mr. Pitt has sketched and overseen the production of about a dozen limited-edition pieces. The group, Mr. Pollaro said, includes a bed, club chairs, dining tables, side tables, a bar stool and bathtub, and will be presented along with items created exclusively by Pollaro Custom Furniture at a gallery show in New York next week.

Mr. Pollaro met Mr. Pitt in 2008, when he was asked to build an Art Deco-style desk based on an Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann design as a birthday gift for Angelina Jolie. While installing the desk at the Pitt-Jolie residence in France, he saw a sketchbook filled with drawings the actor had made of furniture over a decade. Mr. Pollaro offered to produce some of the items.

“This is not a licensing situation,” Mr. Pollaro said about the partnership. “This is not Pollaro pays Pitt for his name. This is Brad Pitt controlling every single line. I gave him assistance with engineering and materials selection, but the reality is, the man is a great designer.” (Mr. Pitt was not available for comment.)

How great was a question we submitted to four experts: Murray Moss, founder of the design consultancy and gallery Moss Bureau and a former actor; Sheila Bridges, the New York-based interior designer who kitted out Bill Clinton’s Harlem office; Kurt Andersen, the novelist, public radio host and former architecture and design critic of Time magazine; and Giulio Cappellini, artistic director of the Italian furniture company Cappellini, and a noted booster of emerging design talent.

The group reviewed the designs and returned their comments by e-mail. On the whole, they avoided the lure of snark and made thoughtful and surprisingly supportive observations. This was all the more impressive considering that Mr. Pollaro released only a few computerized renderings of the collection, all of which left something to the imagination: It was not clear, for instance, that the bathtub was produced in a high-quality white Italian marble, or what the price would be. “At this point, we haven’t even set the prices,” Mr. Pollaro said.


Murray Moss: “Stifled.” Designing, like acting, requires that one take an action. One enters on stage with a clear purpose. Brad Pitt is a great actor; he knows that he needs to speak through his work in his own voice, and he can do that fiercely better than anyone. These pieces are too nice; I do not hear Mr. Pitt’s voice unleashed with full authority.

Sheila Bridges: “Modern.” The furniture looks as though it is very well made and seems consistent with the exceptional quality and workmanship Frank Pollaro has built his reputation on.

Kurt Andersen: “Swanky.” Which is the word I’ve used for many years to describe expensive, curvy, shiny modern things meant to look stylish.

Giulio Cappellini: “Timeless.” It’s hard to give a timing for these products that may have been designed several decades ago or today. The articles, however, are elegant.


Ms. Bridges: I’m always a bit wary when supermodels and bona fide Hollywood celebrities become furniture designers. I’m not sure what I expected, but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Because of Frank Pollaro’s expertise with rare woods, I guess I expected to see a collection that felt heavier. It is refreshing to see him veer from the materials he’s most accustomed to working with.

Mr. Andersen: The shiny metal surprised me specifically; the mod Trumpian swankiness, in general. Heretofore, Mr. Pitt’s design sensibility — as embodied by Frank Gehry and other designers of the Make It Right houses in New Orleans — has seemed very different than that. Also, I was surprised to discover that the bathtub was a bathtub; I thought it was an ashtray.

Mr. Cappellini: The work looks very strongly influenced by the Bauhaus and Art Deco, which may seem contradictory. In one case, the style is sinuous and rounded; in the other, the forms are rigid and square. This, however, is part of freedom of the designer, which does not surprise me in a negative way.

Mr. Moss: These pieces address “line”: they are formal studies of movement and growth; they are projectiles generated by nature and/or mathematics. They surprise me, coming from a person whose work I know to be so famously “reactive” and seemingly less conscious about formal aesthetics.


Ms. Bridges: My favorite piece, by far, is the dining table. This piece in particular seems a bit reminiscent of the Eameses’ iconic laminate tables with wire-rod bases. Pitt’s bases are less rectilinear, more fluid and luxurious, so there seems to be a nod to both Art Nouveau and Art Deco in his collection. It would be great if the dining table base came in a variety of finishes to choose from (which I assume it does). I don’t specify a lot of glass and metal tables (most of my clients prefer wood), but I would specify this dining table (depending on the price) and pair it with antique wood side chairs or ones that are more classic, like a set of upholstered Brno chairs by Mies van der Rohe.


Mr. Andersen: Possibly the oval table — in the guest room of a second home, if I owned a second home.


Mr. Moss: I would say, “Mr. Pitt, you are a great actor. Stay that person, with all of his confidence and drive and risk-taking, when designing. These first pieces are audition monologues; you already have the part. If you’re going to draw a line in space, do it as Brad Pitt.”


Mr. Cappellini: Surely, it is very positive that Mr. Pitt supports and promotes design. I recently saw one of his houses published in a magazine and I found it very nice, with the presence of some iconic products that have made the history of design. I think his passion for design should absolutely be encouraged, not so much because of his famous name but because of his attitude.

Mr. Andersen: I think his design enthusiasms are wonderful, and I’m a big believer in the amateur spirit. Enthusiasm, however, is necessary but not sufficient for making great design. I think he should be emphatically encouraged to continue his activities as a design activist, collector, impresario and client.

Mr. Moss: Konstantin Stanislavsky, the great innovator in the teaching of acting, understood and conceded that “every person who is really an artist desires to create inside of himself another, deeper, more interesting life than the one that actually surrounds him.” How can we not encourage this?

Ms. Bridges: I’m not convinced after seeing three table designs (and a bathtub that reminds me of an ashtray) that Brad Pitt should quit his day job to be in the furniture or product design game. Unless that means I can be an actor for a day and get paid $7 million to star in a Chanel No. 5 perfume ad.

Responding to the comments, Mr. Pollaro reiterated his admiration for Mr. Pitt. “Having worked side by side with Brad for hundreds of hours on the Pitt-Pollaro collection,” he wrote in an e-mail, “I am impressed by his commitment to express his own artistic vision.” He also clarified that “the metal pieces will be available in gold, silver, nickel, titanium and patinated bronze, all in both polished and satin finishes.” The one-off pieces can be seen Nov. 13 to 15 at a show in Chelsea. Information: (908) 206-1888 or

Master Bedroom Redux Part 2

6 Nov

I’ll get to the punchline and save you any more suspense after yesterday’s post:  It worked.  Oh yeah, it really worked.  If you didn’t read yesterday, what worked was painting over the bedroom wallpaper.  We followed m all the steps:  gluing down loose seams, mudding over them and sanding down the mud when dried.  To be honest, the wallpaper walls look better than the one with the wallpaper removed.

Maeve and I headed to Home Depot to find the right gray for the painting.  You all know what challenges I have with picking gray paint.  And Maeve, my artist extraordinaire, has an eye for color and I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong.  I needed a gray that was more tan than blue.  After much debate and her convincing me that this was the right color, we landed on Silver Tinsel by Behr.  The premium Behr paint has primer in it and I was hoping this would help with the pattern of the wallpaper.

And it did.  Only took one coat.  Seriously.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen Brett so happy about a paint as he was about this one.  Got painted in just a few hours and then I could hang my art work and really move in.

We started here:

And currently are landing here:

What is still outstanding…

light fixtures…maybe these?  I think they’d look nice with the patter on the curtains.

MASKROS Pendant lamp IKEA Projects decorative patterns onto the ceiling and on the wall.

Also, art is needed above the bed.  The pop art piece is too square.  I think it needs something long and rectangular.  If I were a bazillionaire, I would buy this piece from one of my favorite artists Barbra Kruger.

Unfortunately, there aren’t even reproductions of this available.  (That I could find anyway.  If you know where to get one, please please tell me!)  I started looking on Etsy because I love supporting small production artists.  I found this by Jestsetretrodesign:

Mid Century Modern Art Painting Eames Era Tiki 60's Retro danish modern Modernist 60s

I think it would look great above the bed.  And while the price isn’t too precious ($250), it’s still more than I want to spend on something that isn’t Barbara Kruger.  I wonder if I could get Maeve to paint something similar.  Bet I could.  What do you think?

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