Wednesday, September 24, 2008


We were in the city for all of 30 hours last week. A super quick trip- so fast that I didn't get to call anyone to tell them we were there or were coming. We spent one great day tooling around the city trying to pick up things we needed and see some inspiring things. Time was of the essence, so I knew that I could count on a trip to ABC on Broadway for some amazing merchandising and to see what's "new". It's funny, I went shopping for a project back in Columbus a few days later and the difference in merchandise, how it's displayed, and (of course) the price tag were all drastically different. This is why I go to New York....

Note: I'm not the greatest at taking stealth photos with my phone yet. Still a few blurry issues, but you get the idea.

This is an overall shot of the main floor of the store (we didn't have enough time to get to any other floors). You can get a good idea of the combination of natural elements, light, and an overall ethereal feel.

Lots of religious statues of all kinds. Most of them old or with a really cool patina to them. Lots of white and glass.

Blurry, but it has that other worldly feel....

This one is my favorite. This table top was stunning. Those vases in the middle are cast metal vases that look like tree branches. I was this close to buying one... or four. But I didn't. The crystals and rocks were everywhere- and they had them in all shapes and sizes. I might be kicking myself that I didn't buy a few... they're all so different that you really have to hand pick them too.

The above is a really bad photo of the elevator wall covered entirely with paper flowers (at least I think they were paper. I never did get that close to them).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yes. You should.

I recently read a monthly commentary by the editor of a popular shelter magazine that urged consumers to make their homes a priority, even in this uncertain economy. I thought about posting it, but I don't totally agree with it. Yes, your home is your sanctuary and it is important that it provide a safe, comfortable, and ideally, beautiful environment. This particular editor (who happens to put together a great magazine each month) made it sound like you should just "go for it" and deal with the credit card bills later. My approach is a little bit different. Now is the time to explore what you like, hire a professional, and begin to set the groundwork for a great design to take shape.

If you have the budget available, investing in your home can be a very wise choice. If your kitchen or bathrooms need to be updated, that should be number 1 on your list. Not only will you reap the benefits and enjoyment of a newly remodeled room, but those are dollars you will see again when you do decide to sell your home. Kitchens and baths are crucial selling points, so hire a designer and do them right.

While the kitchen and bath are major investments, you can make immediate changes without spending your entire salary. Again, hire a designer and invest in a design plan. If you know what you're working towards you can collaborate with your designer to accomplish the plan in stages. This way you don't pay for expensive mistakes or end up with a room full of things that really don't work together but cost you a pretty penny.

Overall, I do agree with the editor. Your home is your sanctuary and investing in your comfort and truly enjoying your life at home is important, especially when times are tough. Just do it wisely and perhaps with a little help from a pro. You can enjoy the transformation over time. In our overly technical world we expect instant gratification, but I think we appreciate things more when they develop beautifully over time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Italian Garden

I'd love to blog more about gardens, but if you are a regular reader, you know I'm no garden expert. I just know what I like. When I see a picture, I can instantly say: "I want to go there". I've wanted to go to Italy again for a few years, but given the Euro-Dollar exchange rate I'm going to wait a bit. When we do eventually get there, I'd like to find a nice bucolic spot like this for at least a few days. That and a visit to Florence's "I Tredici Gobbi" Trattoria and I might never come home! I'm keeping my eye on the Euro....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kelly Wearstler for Groundworks- Update

I got my fabric samples of the Kelly Wearstler collection for Lee Jofa. Let me just say that the internet and photos don't do them justice. The colors are great, as are the textures. But Wearstler is a genius at mixing textures and knowing just when to give your eye a definitive break and a resting place. The proportions are even different than I expected- in the best way. The photos illustrating the samples were taken at different distances and it was difficult to get a sense of scale.

Needless to say, the collection is great and Lee Jofa is the right company to represent it. Even the tags saying "Kelly Wearstler" on each sample were exquisite. Check them out at Lee Jofa or call your designer.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Exceptional Accessorizing

I sometimes find myself in a pinch when I need something for a client right away and I can't wait the time that an order will take. I usually pick the same few local stores and I'm hard pressed to find anything that will work. I also try to avoid things that everyone has or can "identify" in a minute (as in, "Oh, I saw that at Pottery Barn last week").

Recently I was on one of those shopping trips and after I had exhausted the usual stops I decided to take a few minutes to stop into our local Arhaus store at Polaris. It's been almost a year since I had been in there, and on that visit I was literally followed by a sales person, so I left pretty quickly. I don't remember the place having any impact. This time was different. The merchandising and visual display in this particular store are GREAT. I asked the salesperson (who was close by, but not hovering) if it was a nationally mandated design or if it was done locally. She said they have a local person working on-site 5 days a week and that he designs and creates all of the vignettes. I wish I could have taken some pictures to show you.... This guy knows what he's doing. Overall I think the product seems decent, but I can't really say because I've only purchased a ginger jar. If you're nearby, check it out. I know I'll be going back soon. I might even have to introduce myself to this visual merchandising genius...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

John Derian at Target

In case you haven't heard yet, John Derian's great decoupage pieces are coming to Target on September 7th. The original line is beyond the budget of many people, so this new affordable collection is a welcome addition to the Target line-up. We can all get a little John Derian decoupage. The press releases say that the collection will be available for a "limited time", which is actually a great idea. I would love it if the collection continued to change over time in a "once it's gone it's gone" fashion. An affordable limited-edition by a great designer. Brilliant.... leave it to Target.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Inspiration, for me, comes from many places. When I feel like I'm not quite connecting on a creative level or I lose the energy that comes from an initial creative vision, I have places I go to get myself back in the groove. My library is one of my first stops. I keep books about many creative disciplines, from fashion to dance and everything in between. One of my absolute favorite designers was Yves Saint Laurent who passed away in June. I've gone back to David Teboul's book about him on many occasions when I needed a creative jolt. I thought I'd share a few photos from this book that exhibit only a sliver of this man's creative genius. If you remotely like fashion or consider yourself a creative or visual person- at all- you should own this book. It's a commentary, both visually and with some text, on Saint Laurent's process and his high standards for classic cut and tailoring. This man was a true couturier who elevated and changed the face of fashion forever. I was so sad when I learned of his death last June.

Sketches under the foot of a model in YSL's atelier.

A model poses in this amazing room in the atelier. The dress is pretty great too....

A series of sketches and fabric swatches exhibit just one part of the process of creating a runway collection.

The cover of David Teboul's book. Purchase it at Amazon. All photos shown are from the book.