August 09, 2012:

Scenes from a Designer Doing Design Things

I really think that there are more hours needed in a day.  Hours evaporate like water in the desert. I mean seriously. SERIOUSLY. I will say that it is all worth it when you get in progress pics of major transformations or when you finishing setting up a space just so. You want to hit pause and just soak all of your hard work in to melt away the stress/worry/angst that probably accompanied it as it happened.

Here are a few little snippets of work in progress that has kept the jaunt in my step this week. I'm dragging as I type this, not gonna lie, today was long and tomorrow will be longer. We are having one of our favourite projects photographed by one of our favourite magazines for an upcoming issue tomorrow. Not gonna lie, beyond jazzed it was a labour of love and it turned out OH SO FREAKING GREAT! You will be shocked by this one though - not a huge pattern explosion nor is there a huge colour explosion. It's moody & refined - sexy with a Vintage Film Noir flair. We are also especially proud of this project because it was done on an extreme budget. There was a lot of angst. There was a lot of number crunching.  But seeing it as it is tonight, almost ready for it's close up is really gratifying.

SHUT THE FRONT FREAKING DOOR THESE ARE PERFECTION. The shoot has a New Year's Theme to it so I added a little fur. Fortunately, the weather cooperated with me today and was cooler because had it been a few days ago, I would have been less thrilled touching the fur.

Ombre. Never. Gets. Old. Silk Velvet is a particular favourite of mine too. These chairs - club chairs that they are, are also recliners. You'd never know it. I may have saved a marriage with this solution.

I've long had a love affair with two chairs. BOTH are in this space.

The other one. Sigh. Isn't it just the best. Suzanne Kasler you done good. In case you are wondering, we as the designers go in ahead of the stylists and zhush. We prop - not gonna lie. The next day the magazine stylists come in and work utter magic and take your amazing work and just elevate it to a surreal level. I've seen some of the pieces they've pulled which arrived today. I died.

#Boston  - here's the painting in progress in the Family Room. A ton of millwork and we went with Excalibur Gray from Benjamin Moore for the walls. This is the room we are putting grey/navy/magenta/silver/gold in. The fireplace is also getting the morrocan mosaic marble for the surround. 

The room is lined with bookcases and even has a secret room off of it that you access thru the bookcase. So much future potential with that space.

We're painting the kitchen cabinets. The island is going to get a different colour. These are Cloud White.

This is the island. Client called because she was stressed that it was too light - Stonington Gray. I told her that we needed to take off the plastic and see the island as it should be seen. She called today and is now in love and thinking we should ditch the white on the other cabinets in favour of this everywhere.... 

August 08, 2012:

Luke’s Bedroom - Beds

Any time a parent to be brings up the idea of a convertible crib, I shut them down like a ton of bricks. I simply hate convertible cribs. Specifically, I hate the way the toddler beds look. The proportions are all wrong and they don't exactly encourage you to pass them down to generations to come. In short, they look disposable, they look like crap.

We opted for a Jenny Lind crib for Luke. It was beyond reasonable price wise and I love the spool frame. It has a timeless classicism to it. I've been debating about getting Luke a spool bed for his next bed because of it - in black of course. My first thought was to do a custom upholstered bed given that I adore fabric and it would be a terrific way to make a great statement in such a small room. I'm not sold though, so I'm doing what I do and second guessing myself. Third guessing on occasion.

Here are some of my musings. Yes, they are all over the place.

These are some of the wood frame/wood-upholstery options from our frame maker. I'm not really thinking of the curved tufted french bed in #2 but he could totally rock it being the Little Lord Fauntelroy Mini Napolean he currently is channeling.

When I'm torn between options, I often revert back to the feeling I'm trying to evoke in a space. I want the room to evolve and grow with Luke which is why I stay completely away from his interests at the moment. I do however, focus on how he will use the space and make choices that optimize this both currently and in years to come. This is why there is a Mercedes in his mood board. It's a classic sports car vs shiny and new.  We have the height for a 4 poster. These are great fun. Pictures via

So back to my dilemma. The bed on the left was my inital idea but then I changed the design of it just a smidge. Still love. The bed on the right, I think would be amazing in a plaid/tweed. I can't find the frame as shown though. I have only just begun and will not be deterred!

August 07, 2012:

Holiday Influences

If you've lurked in and around the world of design or are deeply immersed in it, you will know that seasoned pros when asked, will always say that traveling is the best way to grow as a designer. I absolutely subscribe to this belief and as such, am suddenly finding myself seriously contemplating/planning a trip to Italy this October.

I'm terrified of going to Italy though - for fear of never wanting to return home. With trepidation we plan, because I know that this is going to be the beginnings of a torrid affair with Italy, and I'm already pretty much smitten.

Italy in the 40's-60's with buffers into the 30's and 70's is always a favourite furniture period for me without question. I love the chicness. Of course this means I imagine myself  in pumps, pencil skirt with a scarf in my hair in a chic convertible driving up the Amalfi Coast... and then the reality of chasing after a 3 year old on cobblestones comes crashing in. I'm ignoring that for now.

Of course, traveling there will make me want to redo my entire home. AGAIN. I'm in the throws of looking at bed options for Luke, trying to make my vision in my head a reality. Of course, this had me looking at frames from one of my suppliers and voila THIS happened.

HOT DAMN this is sexy. Can you imagine this with a sexy grasscloth in a natural straw colour or even a lavender? If you feel the need to own this bed, we'd be happy to make it happen for you but I will warn you, this is not going to be cheap, reasonable or close to affordable. But still.... divine and entirely worth it. You spend more than half your life sleeping right?

Here's a more Missoni-esque version. I'm really not a huge fan of Suzani in the way that I feel that eclectic is either a cop out or contrived to the nth but it works here. I'd use it as upholstered poufs under the mod desk turned side table. I love the floral flourish on the lamps too. Great juxtaposition here between mid century modern and italianite/rococco. We've seen a lot of B&Bs in Italy which are decorated in this manner. Still, I'm going to be giving them my business card. I NEED a design project in Italy. Oh My Word YES!!

August 06, 2012:

#Boston - Accenting the Fabulous

Starting off with a Side Note: Blogging is made all the harder while watching the Olympics. Even MORE so when they are showing diving accidents. I'm currently typing while trying not to watch divers hit the boards. Tricky business.

So let's focus on the pretty. Our budget is quickly being spent in Boston - it's a huge house. We are trying to pick and choose our way through what we need, what we want and what we need to defer. It's a delicate balance because if you only make purchases based on what you need, the house will take a long time to feel finished. If you only go with what you love and want, you run the risk of not having what you need let alone a place to display or put the darn things. Coffee table books are rather useless unless you have said coffee table. We also don't want to waste money on placeholders that are nice enough to not really upgrade and well we don't want to make side tables out of moving boxes either right?

Beginning with the end in mind, I think it is important to establish what the finished look we are striving for will be. It's hard when you are creating an entirely new room in a new home from scratch. Those finishing touches often need to be decided once the big players are in. I'm thinking ahead on this one. We have a furniture layout in mind that I shared with you last week but that won't be right away. We'll have babies learning to walk so we are okay with less furniture as our short term solution. I'm obsessed with this chair and variations thereof...

We have niches on either side of what will be the piano nook in the living room. Three per side. I want to find one large item that we can repeat in each. Simple. Graphic. We may find the right shape and then spray paint or refinish. Think oversized Jasperware. The chair is from my fave Thibaut. It's perfect as shown. Art work is Meredtih Pardue who is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts - one of our advertisers - just click on the link on our advertisers button. I think the room needs some geometry and of course some bone. Client doesn't love birds so I hope she is okay with bone. 

Here is the shop drawing for the fireplace mantel and overmantel design. ARE YOU DYING YET??? #Approved #happening. OH SWEET JESUS YES!

The foyer is really in two parts. The first part when you enter immediately is only 9ft and has a lot of windows. We need to adorn these. These are some of the fabrics we are suggesting that are new vs. ones we are using elsewhere which we will of course consider. I'm also suggesting the magenta tussah silk we are using as pillows elsewhere but banded with a greek key trim in navy & white. Fromans of course. The walls in this area are a deep glossy navy. Then as you walk in further the foyer opens up into a two storey space with the most amazing wainscoting/paneling and a double curved staircase - very Scarlett O'Hara and her twin sister. We are accenting in this area with black gloss custom parson table consoles, magenta X-based stools and the most spectacular of blue chandeliers. But what to do on the windows...

Artwork is Jeri Eisenberg sold through Kathryn Markel Fine Arts - clicky clicky. I love it. I may need to own it myself. I have a lot of I'm turning 40 birthday gift ideas if you are passing the hat. Ahem.

August 03, 2012:

#Boston Project Updates & Quandaries

Our Boston project is coming along amazingly well. We are over the moon excited about it. I've spent much of the day trying to tie together those items that we just haven't quite nailed yet. I have hand cramps from over-mousing and a neck kink to match. There may be something to be said for my husband's insistence that I get up and move around a bit each hour. I'm not conceding defeat mind you, I'm trying to squeeze this blog post in before I have to dash out, pick up Luke from his school, rush home in time to meet my stepdaughter who is sitting while we go and get our Emo all on at Florence and the Machine tonight.

Are you exhausted and suffering from sympathy neck crooks yet?

Good thing I am rocking out to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts reliving my ten year old self right now as I type. 

God I really need to start doing vlogs. Your lives would be entirely complete.

So what do you want to see more another Coffee Table-gate? Dining Chair-a-palooza or The great Breakfast Room score but Lighting Quandary?

I think I'm going to go with the scores first... maybe leave you hanging on the rest.


Family Room. The fabric scheme is a done deal. That toile is drapery. A whole lotta drapery too. I've narrowed down rug choices to these bad boys from Weaver and Loom. Whatcha think?


Breakfast Room. Rich turquoise walls. Crazy curved dining banquette in an equally wild turquoise and lime ikat fabric. White round dining table - pedestal base but not a Saarinen. We scored these vintage chippendale chairs. Thinking a fabulous green vinyl for them but we're still figuring out the light for over the table. Table is 60" round by the way. It's a huge round room.

Love to hear your thoughts.... lawd knows our office is filled with opinions on the matter.