Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rooms on Film: Just Wright

leslie's (queen latifah) bedroom - very vintage
It's a story as old as the hills: worthy, confident chick falls for a guy who can only see vapid lookers, until he finally realizes the difference between companionship and lust. Such is the formula of Just Wright, in which two cousins fall for a pro basketball player for different reasons. Consummate physical trainer, Leslie, saves the career of hotshot, Scott, at the behest of his fiancee - her freeloading, golddigging cousin - Morgan, and falls in love herself.

Personally, I find this story baffling. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fuschia + Aubergine: A Ladylike Rug

urban outfitters' vine flourish rug
Put on your dancin' shoes! Here's a rug that fits my brand-new obsession with Emma Stone's custom Lanvin perfectly. I really wish it fit my apartment, but I already have my large rug, and the two just don't mesh. So it's just a crush for me (for now). And who could deny this? It's very easy to care for with that typical woven cotton of Urban Outfitters rugs. The damask is a lively, feminine pattern energized by the two rich colors popping against each other. You could play this one uptown or downtown. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paper Goods: Jot This Down...

world market's spice route pad; awesome palampore lotus flower
Several years ago, I decided that anything I have to own might as well be pretty.  This was during the phase when I was thinking very seriously about decorating my apartment and doing Apartment Therapy 8-Week Cures. My ideas about style and color were finally coming together so that actual decisions could be made. Instead of admiring things and walking away, I began to buy them. Furniture, dishes, bedding... Even little things like notepads.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Musings & Wants: Summer Stripes

urban outfitters' yarn dyed striped tapestry
Despite my recent score, I saw something new that went to the top of my must-have list. This yarn-dyed striped tapestry is exactly right for my place. The product details do say that each one is unique and not exactly like the one pictured. Well, I hope I get the Olsen Twin of the picture: fraternal, but still impossible to tell apart.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

eBay Score: The Spice Must Flow

The past few years I've been working on a project to put together a couple of old bedding collections from '05 and '06 that I let pass by. One of those collections is the Spice Market bedding from Sigrid Olsen HOME. I spied it on display at Macy's back in 2005, but decided to pass on it. (Not least because it was quite expensive. The bedskirt was $129!) But you can't easily forget something so warm and unique: reversible pink/orange patterns of stripe and lotus floral. 

Eventually I started looking it up on eBay, but the prices were still pretty prohibitive. Here and there, I have managed to snag a throw pillow and a bedskirt ($1.99!) for good prices. After seeing the euro shams in a home profile in Better Homes & Gardens, I thought I'd gladly settle for those. Alas, no go. 

Until now. I recently snagged a used duvet and king-size shams for $41.00!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fuschia + Aubergine: Canvas Decor

canvas wall art from target
Emma Stone's fabulous Lanvin gown at the Golden Globes is so inspiring I've been looking all over for that color combo. Word is the colors were much richer in person than they appeared on film (this from Kelly Osborne on E!'s "Fashion Police.) I can believe it! Turns out, I didn't have to look very far for more. Not only do I have the Moroccan patterned wall-hanging above, but also the pink boxes below from IKEA. Sadly, I never got the purple ones. Kept putting it off and they were discontinued. Too bad, the pink is a searing shade, both incredibly bright and incredibly saturated. The deep dark purple was the perfect companion to ground that sophisticated pink.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Nate Berkus Show Cancelled

Thanks to Julia at Hooked on Houses, I heard about the looming end of Nate Berkus' show on ABC network. As I'm not the sort to record daytime shows, I haven't been able to watch more than a couple of episodes over the past year. Unlike The Oprah Winfrey Show, Nate's show was not carried by a local cable show in the evenings allowing me to tune in daily and get a real feel for it. 

However, I did recently catch an episode over the holidays and discover the gem of his 'House Proud' segment. There are videos from these segments on the show's website which provide a look inside some great homes. And one thing New Yorkers love is a look inside apartments. 
Here's hoping The Nate Berkus Show gets to retool and winds up on OWN next fall. And here are a couple of those great home tours he featured:

First, a West Village alcove studio that any work-a-day New Yorker would be thrilled to land. But would also pay dearly for. (I have always wanted to live in the WV, but never lucked into an affordable place for one. :sigh:):

tenant claudia faces the front door from an alcove kitchenette

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Golden Globes

I gave up watching award shows a few years back, but I do like to watch red carpet pre-shows to see all the pageantry. 

Emma Stone looked amazing. Those fluttery panels in deep purple/fuschia, those bling-lined shoulders, and that eagle on the belt? Awesome. Plus, her hair looked great and her eyes looked amazing, as usual. Maybe her fingernails should have been dark like her toes.

Nicole Kidman was stunning! I've liked a lot of her looks over the years, but this was like the best ever. It blew away any memory of her past triumphs. (Except that acid green chinoiserie that time. Still LOVE that one.) She looked like a doll. I wouldn't think a woman that slim would wear a cincher of any sort, but she freely admits to having no waist and that nude, studded gown is definitely showing off a feminine shape. Whatever it is it worked to perfection. She was Oz Barbie tonight.  

Sarah Michelle Gellar made a triumphant return. People are debating this dress like there's even a question of it's beauty. If Maggie Gyllenhall had worn it, they'd be fawning over it. Like Emma Stone, SMG looked individual. Her gown doesn't cater to any trends. No one else had anything like that goin' on. Baby Buffy chose well. 

Kate Winslet looked flawless. You can find no fault with this ensemble. The cut and color recall classic Hollywood. The shape flatters her utterly. Those splits on the shoulders add that 'just so' detail. And nothing was wrinkled. The only thing that could have made this look better: red hair. (Same goes for Evan Rachel Wood: loved the feathers.)

Diane Lane is always so stately. Elegant, individual. She always looks like she's playing up her own assets instead of dressing for approval. She's bringing the best DL she can to the party. And that DL is very fine indeed.

Berenice Bejo from The Artist. Dunno who this French actress is but her gown was inspiring. A beautiful deep blue, those fluttering panels on the bottom half of the skirt, and it just looked comfortable. Perhaps the next Marion Cotillard?

Mireille Enos was also amazing. Between her and Emma Stone, the redheads owned that carpet. I didn't see her on a broadcast, but the still shots are breathtaking. That is the best yellow dress of the event. What eyes, what a smile. Amazing. 

Honorable Mentions: 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Color Story: Sometimes...Gray is the Way

source: pottery barn (alessandra floral)
By-and-large, I'm not too interested in gray. It's aesthetic qualities are undeniable. Gray can set off other colors to perfection. It can set a variety of moods, depending on the shade. But I'm never drawn to it personally. Everything in my home fits together. Not matches, but everything just works. My aunt noted that every color in my apartment could be found in my favorite winter hat. 

But sometimes gray just nails it. It's the perfect thing to allow a lively pattern to play forth without overwhelming the eye. I tend to really like palampour floral prints, and there are some grays out there right now using gray + palampour to make pretty, soothing, cozy bedding:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Today was full of surprises. My morning commute was chased the rainclouds north. So, as my train was going over the bridge to Manhattan I got an unexpected view. Usually it's sunny or overcast or foggy. Yesterday was rainy and the view was of low, grey clouds. Kind of Paris-like. Or like one of those old-fashioned paintings of the city with gaslights and carriages. 

But this morning...this morning I dearly wished for my camera (and a spot by the door). As we rolled over the Manhattan bridge, the view was of open sky and a sun-kissed Manhattan skyline (that's skyscrapers) silhouetted against stormy blue-gray sky. It was still raining in Manhattan proper and those clouds formed a magnificent curtain right behind the all the buildings bathed in clear, yellow light. 

In fact, the contrast was so striking that I wondered if the new Freedom Tower should be made out of such a shiny metal. It was almost blinding. Then it occurred to me that NYC is full of tall, shiny buildings that sear the retinas from time to time.

And then by midday, the temperature had fallen way below the forecast and a brutal wind had rolled in. NO ONE was ready for this. I wore the wrong coat, for sure. And no hat. And simple trouser socks. So I'm only too happy to stay in this weekend and get some reading done in my favorite spot: my soft bed of colorful linens.

Stay cozy!
source: libeco home

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bring Back Domino: As Digital Backlist

my favorite issue of one of the greatest shelter mags of all time
Yesterday I saw yet another random blog comment demanding Conde Nast "bring back domino." The post wasn't two weeks old. People are still saying this when we all know that mag is done, lock, stock and barrel. Strangely, it makes me think of the thread in Gregory Maguire's SON OF A WITCH about someone spray painting "Elphaba Lives" all over Emerald City years after the Wicked Witch (Elphaba) has died. That little notice eventually turns into the war cry of a mass protest against the tyranny of the Emerald City: "ELPHABA LIVES! ELPHABA LIVES! ELPHABA LIVES!" 

So, I get it. All those who appreciated domino (and several other defunct mags) must keep the beacons lit. Here, then, is the question: why isn't domino (and Blue Print, O at Home, InStyle Home, House & Garden and Vogue Living) available on a digital newsstand like Zinio.com? Why haven't the publishers made the digital files available to the consumer? A number of magazines on Zinio are defunct or have posted backlist going back a few years. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Color Texture Pattern: None of the Above

source: lonnymag.com   photo: patrick cline
Remember this fantastic lucite trunk in Lonny? Well, Anthropologie is offering a similar transparent lucite bench. Instead of the metal corner brackets, it has bronze accents on the rope handles. The bench is bottomless, so you can set it down over whatever you want to display 'inside' it. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rooms on Film: The Adjustment Bureau

I don't know what is going on with Matt Damon right now, but he keeps doing movies that make me kinda love him. Not he's-so-hot-infatuated love. No, I'm talking old school Andrew McCarthy-he's-so-sweet-love. To wit, a charming little movie called The Adjustment Bureau which has been all over HBO lately. 
matt damon and emily blunt

Winter's Bone

When Jack Frost is at the gates, I suit up for war. It was one of those weeks when the weather was so brutal I tried to bundle up and then bundle up on top of that. The wind was so fierce vanity surrendered to a good wool hat; a plush scarf went over a warm scarf; a coat went over a jacket that went over three layers of shirts. And my personal favorite: a pair of thick, wool, over-the-knee socks went over a pair of knee-high socks. 
source: mujer hoy  photo credit: torkil gudnason
And after all that bundling, on the inside, I was still screaming. 

Stay warm, my friends.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Color Story: This One Time, In Paris...

When I got back to my office after the holidays, I found some old photos had fallen off the wall. Once I had them taped up again, they took me back to the Christmas Eve in Paris when I first saw the Printemps store buildings all decked out for the season. They change them every year, of course. But man were these gorgeous, full of my favorite colors instead of traditional red-white-and-green. And goodness knows there's plenty of color inside, all year round.

Bonne Annee!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Retail Odyssey: And Another Thing...

I did take that swing by my local Target to check out this collection. Of course, there were a lot more pieces in store than are listed online. Lots of handsome modern pottery, metal trays with a Moroccan trim, and carved candles. 

A couple of pleasant surprises were this lamp base and throw rug:
deep, teal ceramic with a lantern pattern around the midsection

Monday, January 2, 2012

Retail Odyssey: Target's New Modern Morocco

Looks like Target is ringing in the new year with one of those things it does so well: a mini collection of Moroccan-inspired home decor. The 'Modern Morocco' collection combines traditional patterns with modern color schemes for a very crisp looking line. 

Here are some of my favorite pieces:

The navy pillow seems particularly strong between the colors and the nailhead trim. Very chic and gender-neutral. The bone-colored inlay picture frames are very earthy and subdued. The pattern on that lamp shade is a personal favorite. I need a new lampshade like a I need a hole in the head, but if the embroidery was a nice brown... Poufs are always great and this on seems to be a sturdy canvas with embroidered pattern. Expect it to sell out. And really, that table is fantastic! Light profile, shapely, and a good size at 24"h x 18"w.

I might stroll over to my neighborhood store and check this line out in person.