Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chez Moi: Curtains on the Wall

color texture pattern: curtains for any season
Last weekend I decided try something new: putting curtains up in the corner behind my bed. Some years back I tried this with some diaphanous sheers from Spiegel website. It was okay, but the curtains really only worked with the matching sari coverlet. I sold them off. This time I was longing to put an amethyst sheer up on the wall instead (really wish to paint the whole apartment this color).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

eBay Score: Fresh Fig Apricot

my stash renewed: dreams really do come true
It smells like a woman, just so you know. When I discovered Fresh’s Fig Apricot scent a few years ago, it felt like coming home. There was nothing like it in all my fragrance history. Nothing to match the understated fruitiness, earthiness, subtlety, sweetness…grown up-ness. It’s the perfect expression of my 30s self. Fresh Fig Apricot smells like a grown-assed woman. It never feels overwhelming at work or too light for going out. At all times I feel confident that other people are lucky to catch just a whiff. What more can you ask for? 

Call off the search. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Try This Color Quiz!

thank you xrite for validating my keen peepers!
It's official: I have perfect color vision! So good to finally have it confirmed. A link to this Color Acuity Quiz was posted over on Apartment Therapy. Being a color lover, I couldn't resist having a go at it. (Especially since I really need to start wearing glasses.) Normally I try the odd style quiz, but this was my first color quiz. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Color Texture Pattern: Snooze-Worthy Style

house & home magazine; photo: angus fergusson
And so, autumn has come again. No doubt we're all snuggled under some mix of summer and winter bedding. I tossed a quilt and thermal blanket on top of my mix of sheer blankets and empty duvets. Not ready for dark colors yet, but a little weight is definitely in order. 

The example above has the best of both worlds: layers of light quilts in summery tones. All those lovely patterns, offset by the warm white and metallic blockprint, are icing on the cake!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Retail Odyssey: MELT Candles at Target

bright colors and gorgeous designs carved into the candles
There's a cool new home fragrance line at Target called MELT.  The candles, reed diffusers and candle holders are handsomely packaged and shaped in Moroccan key patterns. Of the decidedly Holiday themed range, my money is on the Pomegranate & Sugared Cranberry followed by Salted Caramel & Buttercream.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rooms on Film: Before Sunset

behind-the-scenes of before sunset
This is in celebration of the upcoming sequel, Before Midnight! All my feelings on the subject of a third chapter in the 'Ballad of Jesse & Celine' are spelled out in this post. Before Sunrise was all dialogue about who these people thought they were and what they thought life is about. Before Sunset was the same with the noted exception that it showed us not only a lovely European city, but also the intimate space of one of the lovers. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fuschia + Aubergine: City Chic Ottoman

The new Shops at Target collection from Patch NYC includes this jewel-toned beauty which encompasses some of autumn's very best aspects. It's rugged, plush, cozy and colorful. (Feels like it has a bean bag filling.) A delightful bit of plum/pink decor!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Retail Odyssey: New Pieces at Pier 1

It was just one of those random evenings when I was heading down Broadway and decided to stop into a couple of stores. First, Anthropologie which has completely remodeled and actual feels smaller somehow. It is beautiful though...  Then into Pier 1 at 15th Street and there was quite a lot to catch the eye. They too have reorganized they layout including this gorgeous display wall full of African and Indian decor.  

Throughout the store some real gems stood out:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Psst... Seasons Change

photo credit:

This is how I'm feeling now: trapped between summer brights and fall jewels. Between light 'n airy and chunky 'n cozy. Guess there'll be no Indian Summer this year. 

Oh, Autumn, I'm not ready for you yet...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guest Post: Magical Moroccan Interiors

This week I'm turning it over to someone else to talk Color + Texture + Pattern:

Hello! I'm Jessica, a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a wonderful online resource for affordable light fixtures. Every day I get to search for beautiful interior design inspirations and then share them on lovely blogs, like Lotus and Fig! I'm delighted to be here today because I'd like to share a particularly magical style of interior design. The rich textures, ornate patterns and brilliant colors of Moroccan interiors create a truly magical atmosphere that is at once electric and tranquil. I hope you enjoy!

Moroccan Entryway Bedroom 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Single-Girl Style: A Place for My Stuff

welcome to my home
So, awhile back I promised a tour of my humble digs. Funny how time gets away from you (and yet this summer seems to have slipped through my fingers like silt). Among other things, it became clear that all of my storage is so full of stuff that stuff is piling up out in the open. Which prompted me to pull out all the stored stuff and start selling it off. That left Chez Moi in a quite a bit of upheaval. But recently I had to squirrel everything away again for company. So here are the (crappy iPhone) pics I managed to take before hauling everything back out. (And, yes, this is what passes for neat in my life.) 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fabric Stash: New Additions

color/pattern combos that are right up my alley
I can't sew much beyond hemming and buttons. My crafty elders taught me young to fix my own clothes and also the joys of knitting and crochet. Sadly, the bug never really caught on with me and none of it evolved into a passion. BUT I do still enjoy buying fabric. I have a large IKEA Strikt box under my bed stuffed tight with fat quarters, yards and multi-yard lengths of fabric. Just sittin' there, waitin' on a someday project... 

And over the summer I happened across a few more irresistible items - on sale, no less - to add to the pile.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My 1st Anniversary

my perfect living room: serena & lily catalog summer 2011
It was one whole year ago today that I launched Lotus & Fig. It's probably obvious by my 111 or so posts that I've learned how time-consuming blogging can be. I've also learned that it takes a while to figure how you want things to be, from design, to format, to voice. These things are all still very much under consideration. But this has certainly been fun. 

A hearty thank you to my followers and commenters for your support and interest. An extra thanks to my first follower, Peggy at Creative Influences, for all your advice. And to Meredith at Making a Dream Home for blog-buddying with me. I'm still working on some of your suggestions, namely, a house tour of my apartment. That was supposed to be my anniversary post, but it has been waaaayyyy too hot to clean the place up and photograph it. Plus write the post, etc. 

So....Belated 1st Anniversary House Tour post to come. Onward!

UPDATED: Just want to add another special thanks to screencappers in general. My posts used to have credits as many of you prefer. But a lot of screencappers closed their sites in the past few months and I decided to remove credits so as not to point fingers directly at any of you. If not for your passion and labor, many many everyday people would not be able to a review and study the detail in set design. If you see your work on my site (or think you do) please accept my thanks a million times over for your excellent work. If it weren't good, I would not have used it. If you want a credit/link added back, just let me know. :smooch:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lotus & Fig: The Shoe

naturalizer espadrilles

It was bound to happen sometime. In my holiday weekend travels I stumbled on a pair of Naturalizer espadrilles in the perfect colors to reflect my blog. A watercolor stripe of pinks, orange, tan and brown. They were even my size. Unfortunately, espadrilles must run small. They were too tight right over the big toe. So, I'm still on the hunt for this apparently discontinued shoe. 

Shout if you spot in a 9 - 9 1/2 - 10 out there!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Color Story: Sparkle & Fade

bandidas starring salma hayek and penelope cruz
I don't know anything about this movie, but it seems to be a comic romp set in the Old West. I stumbled across this screencap a year ago and found the colors striking. I'm guessing these saloon gal/showgirl costumes aren't entirely accurate. The combination of teal, orange/hot pink ombre, and so much hot pink seems a bit out of place. But it also makes for an arresting image. The glitzy masks and skeleton top hats. And behind all the brights you have the earth toned wall painted in traditional patterns on weathered wood. 

It just kind of works. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Song: One Small Treat

marrakech moroccan spoons in aubergine

If you're being cautious with your cash this summer but still want a little summer indulgence these acrylic spoons from LEIF could certainly set the right mood. Marrakech Moroccan Print Teaspoons not only look the part, they sound like a vacation you can hold in your hands. Whether you're trying your hand at exotic ice cream flavors or just getting down your morning yogurt, these ought to add a little spice to your days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Single-Girl Style: Chill in Kuala Lumpur

kuala lumpur home of an van daele [source:]

A wonderful summer room! Cool floors, airy furnishings, bright windows, soothing color scheme. Eclectic, global, casual. I love the rice basket on top of the modern entertainment console. The two pillows are a must for such glossy, cool floors. The table has lots of surface area without being heavy or obtrusive. And the spare wall art is painted in soul-soothing shades that complement the few hits of color in the room. Wonderful mix of textures: shiny, smooth, plush, nubby, worn and rough. 

All good things.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rooms on Film: Cracks 2009

rockstar teacher miss g's private room
Sometimes I can't do a simple Rooms on Film post, because there is so much more going on than set design. Cracks is such a production. Starring Eva Green (Dark Shadows, The Dreamers) as a captivating, modern instructor at a 1930s private girls school, Cracks is really one of those treats of costuming and design. Take a beautiful actress, build a gorgeous setting and clothe her in cutting-edge style. Then turn her loose to perform while the audience falls back, mesmerized by the dashing shapes and silhouettes all this amounts to as the story unfolds. SO, this will be the first of two posts: one centering on the sets, the second focusing on the wardrobe.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Viva Print Media: Seen at BEA

So, I saw these two goodies at BookExpo America this past week. I always make a point of swinging through the Chronicle Books booth, because they have such great craft books. Sadly, they know enough to never bring actual books because people would run off with them without a thought. Nope always styrofoam mockups...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Color Story: Sultry Romance

catharine malandrino gown, femina magazine [photo: armit sharma]
This is the feeling of the season as the days sort of tease back and forth between hot and cool. Rich, flowing silk in a deep mango shade wrapped in cool shades of lilac, rose, and fuschia with swipes of teal and black. Imagine the fabric is so fine that cool air can reach your skin all over. 

No need to worry about your crevices sweating furiously all evening. :sigh:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Birthday Bad Pt. 3: The Best Laid Plans

someday, we'll be together
Before my recent birthday, I was considering what to get myself. (Everyone does that, right?) As it happens, I have now acquired all of those items except the mirror. The shower curtain came last. For some reason, I couldn't quite pull the trigger on it. Just kept wishing I could see everything in person first, to be sure about color saturation, fabric scale and pattern. The shower curtain or the table runner? The Indoor Pattern or the Outdoor? 

And then it happened:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Stripe: Lee Jofa's Bittersweet

unspeakably gorgeous upholstery fabric
If there's one thing I love it's a pretty stripe. Especially if it includes both pink and green. This upholstery fabric, Remo in Bittersweet, is pretty much all good things. It reminds me of some Roger La Borde cans I use to hold pens.  Sometimes I go into a mode of trying to acquire every pretty stripe that crosses my path. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Retail Odyssey: Target's Global Shower Curtains

Saw some great shower curtains in Moroccan and Indian patterns recently. From paisley to key lattice to peacock and more modern prints, the range is pretty impressive. And the colors are largely cheerful and refreshing - something I prefer in a bathroom, no matter the size.

I took some photos of the store displays because the website photos are just too small to really appreciate:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Color Story: Mad Men's "The Other Woman"

the widest chasm in the world
I was arrested by this image when it hit the screen last Sunday night: the men in their dark suits on one side and on the other the lone woman in vivid color. We all know what ol' Joan was asked to do for the firm. And worse, we know that none of the partners truly tried to stop Pete Campbell from pressuring her. If any of them were truly her friend - or even a decent man - he would have called her into the meeting and had an open discussion that mostly consisted of confirming who said what and explicitly shutting down Pete's pimp game on the spot. And then they'd have made him look her in the eye and apologize. 

But they didn't.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Good Pitch: Sepia Dreams

this ad is like a waking daydream
Today is just one of those days that feels dipped in sepia. Hazy sunshine and cool humidity carried on strong soft winds. Walking home this evening, the air felt like cool silk on the skin and I was really longing for my customary scarf to wrap up in. On the train ride over the bridge, I was looking down on Pier17 and thinking of all the yuppies at the Happy Hour luau. Good weather, good music, good smells and the heady sense that something even better might come out of it. My ideal world is like a waking dream, functioning something like a breezy '80s song full of longing and anticipation for the possibilities always ahead of you, just within reach.

I wish the whole summer could be like today.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let Me Help You With That

someone forgot the secret signal for special guests
Shoshanna's curtain on Girls (HBO) are from West Elm. I see you searching my blog everyday for the lowdown on her bedding and window coverings. Rest easy. They are attainable.

Now, the white sheers and pink silk (?) I'm not so sure about:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Single-Girl Style: Dynamic Brooklyn

The latest issue of Lonny features a very cool little apartment in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Kelley Carter is an editor at Real Simple who's apartment is loaded with color, texture and pattern. The total effect is a fresh, vibrant, dynamic and glam home.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Color Story: Cool Brights

amazing uniforms at an indian spa
Over the years, I've designed a lot of PowerPoint presentations. When I first started doing them at work I gravitated toward blue backgrounds. Teal, navy, turquoise, lavendar. Always blue-based backgrounds. I could literally feel the relief in my retinas or irises or something. The colors not only enhance and offset the images being displayed, they invite the viewer to keep looking. Once, someone showed me one done in reds and oranges that actually hurt my eyes to look at. That's one thing that's so great about bold color. You can have blazing, eye-searing bolds. Or you can have vibrant, eye-soothing bolds. Neutrals are not the opposite of brights. Brights are the opposite of brights. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Color Texture Pattern: New PJ's

tigerlily pajamas by alfani
The other night I bought these pajama bottoms while at Macy's to pick up some new stockings. (Knee-highs are so great in the summer.) These "tigerlily" pj's have caught my eye a few times. They're by Alfani, a great brand with cute styles at good prices, and they are modal, a super soft and cool fabric. Heaven against the skin, especially in warm weather. But what really drew me was the pattern. They are just so... pretty with the mix of animal print and colors on a warm tan background. 

A great buy.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Color Texture Pattern: A Room with a View

an attic guest room with global furnishings in shades of airy white [source: home beautiful australia]
With the warm seasons creeping up on us, I could really use a clean slate. Just some relief from all the cozy, layered cold weather furnishings and my own burrowing habits. I want to come home to an apartment that smells like fresh air and that is light and uncluttered and welcoming... Join me?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Viva Print Media: Living in a Nutshell

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on a new book on small-space design, LIVING IN A NUTSHELL, by Janet Lee. This happens a lot in the course of web surfing. I'm sure you've been there. Anyway, the author was a new name to me. Apparently she runs this blog, Living in a Nutshell, which has been going for several years.The focus is killer DIY projects you can do to transform small rentals into awesome homes without endangering your security deposit. Looking over her website and Facebook gallery, I gotta admit her taste is fun and flamboyant and the projects are pretty interesting. The cover image is her actual home.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Psst...Summer is Coming

And I want to feel as though I look like this: tall, thin, young, feminine and fluttery. 'Cause goodness knows I don't.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rooms on Film: Girls vs. Reality Bites

gen x's plaid, nubby, thrift store, lawn chair and beers vs. gen millennial's curtains, wall hangings, wine and bistro ambiance
When I was going through images to do a post on the few apartments that have appeared on HBO's new sitcom, Girls, it occurred to my generation never took so much interest in interior decorating. These apartments are pretty together compared to say...Reality Bites. Which of course led me to think of the many obvious similarities between that Gen X classic and this new look Gen Millennial.

Both stories examine groups of four friends, post college, who graduated during a recession and find themselves confronted with the twin realities of being tossed off the parental dole while enduring scut jobs (now known as 'bitch work') they hate, while still dreaming of artistic greatness. Voila! Oh, and there's guy trouble and guys coming out of the closet and a responsible roommie who wants to pay bills on time and...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Good Pitch: Exotic Body Wash

dunno if you can really get a shower like this, but i'd really like one. and that floor pattern is exquisite too.
Apparently, Palmolive makes body washes inspired by India. But they don't sell them here in the U. S. Why the hell not?! I want to smell exotic and delicious. And I only have lotion and body yogurt left from my stash of discontinued Bath & Body Works True Blue Morocco... How am I supposed to leave a cloud of intoxicating fragrance in my wake?  


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rooms on Film: In America

thrifty chic in hell's kitchen, nyc
In keeping with my recent post about the insanity of New York City apartments and the lengths people will take to live here, I'm profiling a marvelous 2002 movie that got a fair amount of recognition for an indie. In America follows an Irish family as they relocate to the U.S. (via Niagara Falls) and set up house in a huge old building in Hell's Kitchen, following the death of the one of the children. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Color Texture Pattern: All in a Seat

an ideal seat for chilling out at home
Sometimes ads and editorial shots have the best interior styling. The room is not the focus of the ad, but it stands out more than the actual product/service. To me anyway, the holder of one B.A. of Advertising Arts... To whit, the awesome Roche Bobois-esque chair featured in this ad for an Italian bridal website. I'd happily throw out my tan sleeper sofa for this bad girl. Nubby acid green, red and pink stripe, spacious size. Color + Texture + Pattern!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Only in New York

the poster says it all: rustic floors, secondhand furnishings and tenants with artistic flair
All afternoon I've been thinking about the particular strangeness of New York City apartments. First, a friend mentioned that she has moved into a new pad that is bigger and better than her old one. Not a tough act to follow, that old apartment, it was a studio that measures about 14' square. This did not include the tiny (but cozy) bathroom or the teensy kitchenette. And there was scant closet space. The only saving graces are the nearly 10' ceiling and the blinding flood of southern light. It's asking a lot to make an adult's home in a room the size of a bedroom. (I had a number of ideas. The space really sparked the creative juices).

Rooms on Film: Covert Affairs

all the comforts of home: a studio apartment with eclectic global decor, and a motherly big sister who remembers your birthday
For some time now I've wanted to do some posts about the home sets of spy chicks. They just do it better.  From the made-over La Femme Nikita to Covert Affairs's earnest Annie, there has been quite a range of cool homes. The various versions of Nikita have had slick pads that correspond to their respective eras (early '90s, late '90s, recent years) and to the amount of actual control each had over life.

The other spy girls, however, have had homes that were more clearly camouflages for their dangerous lives. Alias' Sydney Bristow had a middle-American apartment that she shared with a fiancee and later her best friend. And my current favorite, Annie's on Covert Affairs, is actually a guest house in her sister's family home. But Annie's global style is by far the nearest to my heart. So that's where we'll start. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Birthday Bad Pt. 2

mombasa napkins from serena & lily

So, the tablecloth and napkins arrived last weekend. And they were exactly as expected. Actually the napkins are a thin cotton, much lighter weight. I'm very happy with that. As for the tablecloth, since it is supposed to back a foamcore wall installation, I chose the length to stop above the outlets. Perfect choice. The clearance is about two inches. And, as anticipated, the canvas does closely match my vanilla-colored walls. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Birthday Bad: Table Linens from Serena & Lily

a table set for daydreams
We agree that Serena & Lily catalogs can be somewhat intoxicating, right? This photo makes you long for the full blast of summer now just so you can get to those sultry late summer evenings. I mean this is some amazingly subtle - yet - sophisticated product. How did I not notice it sooner? Probably overwhelmed by that fantastic styling above. But the Mombasa table linens won me over and I took the plunge. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Good Deeds and Thandie Newton

This is not a movie review blog. In the Rooms on Film posts, I add an opinion along with a skim of plot synopsis around the featured sets. But nothing one could truly call a review, criticism or analysis. However, after seeing this film recently I feel compelled to weigh in.

I've seen a few Tyler Perry movies, mostly starring Madea, on television. I did see For Colored Girls in the theater with my mom. That was more of an event. The stage circuit that gave Perry (and Madea) his start is not my cup of tea. What drew me out to Good Deeds was the possibility of a subtle romance. The clincher was Thandie Newton, someone known as a good actress. Someone who sold me some sizzling, breezy romance in Mission: Impossible 2.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Viva Print Media: Domino Quick Fixes Is Out

my other good find was this striped beach bag
It's here! The special edition of domino magazine was on a newsstand in New York City, much to my surprise. Despite my cynicism about paying for info I already own in magazine and book form, I did hand over $10.99 for a smooth and shiny copy. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dreaming of Morocco

I'd like to do all my lazing about in a spot just like this...

I think the model is actress Imogen Poots from Fright Night and Jane Eyre.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rooms on Film: L'Auberge Espagnole/La Poupees Russes

the end of innocence: youth, beauty and casual sex in barcelona
If you've read some of my other Rooms on Film posts, you know that I enjoy the odd foreign flick. IFC Channel is pretty damn great on that score, especially when it comes to French films. It has served up a sort of random and surprising peek beyond Hollywood into some very different notions about storytelling and... other sensibilities. (If you've ever sat through Mon Ange, you know what I'm talking about.) So, two fun flicks that feature cute, casual homes are "L'Auberge Espagnole," 2002 (The Spanish Apartment) and the sequel "Les Poupees Russes," 2006 (Russian Dolls). 

Starring Frenchman Romain Duris, we follow a college grad as he goes to Barcelona to learn Spanish and Finance in a year-long exchange program. Along with his half-dozen roommates from all over the world, Xavier gets up to some hilarious hijinks most involving infidelities of some kind. If you ever get the chance, you really should catch them. There are scenes that will make you lay down laughing no matter how long it's been since you were that age. You just sort of relate fondly to their absurd predicaments and attempts to grow and learn.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Retail Odyssey: Global Designs at Target

Like a good girl, I've been staying out of stores unless I need something. What an aboutface! Five years ago, I went shopping every weekend to make sure I didn't miss something good or to get out of the house and get a little 'exercise.' Wow. Anyway, so I was looking for a good low price on a book and swung through the whole store besides. Some very cute things for good prices (that is Target's specialty, no?).

First, there were these awesome lampshades:

moroccan lattice - floor lamp size shade

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Exotic Beds: Matthew Williamson's Butterfly Home

duvet sets, comforters, throw pillows and lanterns

Why is fate so cruel? Why does it deny me us simple things like access to Zara Home? Is it really fair that Matthew Williamson's decor line, Butterfly Home, is only available at Debenham's in the UK? Are we North Americans not fans? Do we not deserve bright, bold patterned bedding and accessories? 

Revel in the lushness: