Monday, November 2, 2015

Color Story: Copper's Moment to Shine

moroccan trellis patterned pillar candle holder in from h&m
As decorative metals go, hammered bronze is my favorite. It's darker, earthier and mixes well with browns. Brighter metals like gold and silver are less to my taste. But copper is having a nice moment lately. It's turning up on items that are usually dominated by gold and silver. And it's really striking...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Retail Odyssey: The John Robshaw Sample Sale

fergana lotus duvet cover by john robshaw - blanket stitched edges
My intentions were noble. Swing by the hallowed annual John Robshaw sample sale, locate a Primrose decorative pillow sham, buy it at an awesome discount and go home. If there were no Primrose shams on hand, I was to leave empty-handed. No other purchases, since more bedding is the last thing I need. 

That was the plan going in. Unfortunately, there were no Primrose shams to be had... To my credit, I only spent $20 on the duvet above.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Color Texture Pattern: Modern Kuba Prints

bright and beautiful: kuba napkins in persimmon by serena & lily
The first time I learned about Kuba cloth was in the Marche Puces in Paris. My mom and I had a lovely conversation with a vendor who had once lived in Ohio. He tried hard to sell us some wares, among them a rough-hewn fabric in contrasting shades of brown. When the vendor called it "kuba" I was confused, but my mom - who was an endless font - assured him she understood. Since that vacation, I've always considered actual Kuba cloth a little too rough (the raffia palm) for my taste. Wool is fine, but I tend toward softer hand-feels. 

It's a simple pattern from classic tribal cloths, which modern designers have really taken to updating with color, texture and scale. Certainly the pattern is an uncomplicated one that's easy to play with.

And it works really well...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mehrab Motif: Bassett's Emporium Collection

texture + pattern are great, but bring your own color to the seats
This one caught my eye on Pinterest, a chair with a Moroccan trellis pattern as it's back. Were Chez Moi a house (a big one), I'd put this collection on my wish list. The collection offers a full range of furniture from Nursery to Office. It's the dining collection that speaks to me most. The whole thing is inspired by antiques with Old World themes, which is...on the money.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rooms on Film: Doctor WHO (Clara Oswald)

surprise: there's a t.a.r.d.i.s. in her bedroom
It’s the dream we all dream of - rollin’ with The Doctor - and Clara Oswald is living it to the fullest. At first she was reluctant to fall in with his epic brand of whimsy, but now she’s totally on board. So much so, that The Doctor regularly lands the T.A.R.D.I.S. in her postage stamp of a living room. (A couple times he even lands inside her bedroom, which makes no spatial sense.)

…Epic brand of whimsy, right?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lotus & Fig: Palampour by Zara Home

pink + orange: one of the ones that got away at zara home
Of the many Zara Home items I couldn't get before they began shipping to the US, this lively palampour was one of my favorites. The lightness of the paisley allows you to see the complementing background orange so well. The pinks are searingly bright but not over used. The deeper shades of orange (sienna) and browns ground both feature colors, neutralizing their vibrancy. A perfect accent for a calming room. 

And they didn't limit this pattern just to a pillow, oh no...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cozy Under Foot: Orissa Kilim at World Market

orissa kilim at world market
It's always fun to see wares in person, particularly things you've seen online. Sometimes the brightness doesn't come through in a photo, other times the act of photographing itself draws certain colors out making them seem far more vibrant than they really are. So, I was glad when the new mini Cost Plus World Market store - finally - opened in the Chelsea Bed Bath & Beyond. After all these years of shopping their fantastic wares online, I can finally see them firsthand. Well, some of them. It is a mini store, after all, with a very limited selection of goods. 

But this rug in particular was even more impressive in person. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Color Story: Celiosa in Bloom

a closeup of celiosa plants with burgundy leaves
For about a dozen years now, I've been enjoying the cerise variety of this flower in pots and plots along my street. Downtown Brooklyn is pretty competitive about gardening and it's hard not to appreciate the efforts every summer. Of all the varieties on display, I get the biggest thrill from the Celiosa. It's eye-searing shade of deepest, deepest cerise is transfixing! One year I thought they'd been skipped, but the plants only came up late. Whew! 

So a few weeks ago I was strolling around upstate and found these potted in downtown Rochester (State Street, to be exact). There was not only cerise, but also orange, yellow and pink! Too much beauty to ignore...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Windows on the World: Lillian August

the view from west 20th street: why are my pics always slanted?
It's September in New York and global eclectic is on. The signs are all around us including this fabulous window at Lillian August's showroom in the Flatiron District. This staging stopped me in my tracks: it has glamour, exoticism, urban sophistication, rustic texture and many pops of bright color. Inviting, not overwhelming. 

A fabulous vignette. Of course, it's only in keeping with the general quality of their window displays...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rooms on Film: The Strain (Dutch's Loft)

The Strain is having a much improved second season and in honor of that I'd like to profile a Season 1 set that was pretty cool: Dutch Velder's Gowanus, Brooklyn loft. It's no secret that S1 Dutch needed to be offed. Other than creating the internet blackout of NYC, she was beyond useless. She couldn't even call off the hack and restore internet access once she realized she'd abetted a vampire invasion. However, S2 Dutch - mere weeks older than S1 Dutch - has learned to fight and weld and look on the bright side. No more curling up behind a gas station toilet with a bottle of vodka while vampire's tear the roof off the building...

Shall we?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lotus & Fig: Charming Charlie's Moroccan Muse

pattern perfection: moroccan muse jewelry box
A few months ago, I wandered down a quiet wing of a shopping mall and discovered a store called Charming Charlie - and was promptly ensnared by the siren call of their Moroccan Muse collection. It had it all: color + texture + pattern: glorious shades of hot pink, bright orange and gold; airy cotton, gauzy weaves, glossy lacquer, smooth beads, rough straw. Good thing there's a store right on Fifth Avenue, NYC 'cause I didn't have very much time to spend in that mall.

But I did not leave without that gorgeous box...

Retail Odyssey: Earthy & Exotic at Pier 1

the moroccan coffee table base with glass round top
Is Pier 1 killing it, a little, kinda? Some of their summer offerings are shall we say, righteous. Sexy in that understated, clean & natural sort of way. Items that feel rich and stately without being too showy or ornate. 


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mehrab Motif: Morocco on My Mind

megan pflug's diy wall on one kings lane; photo by eric masters
For whatever reason, I have been in love with mehrab arches for several years now. There is no limit on size or detail either. They all appeal to my eye. So finding this Weekend Decorators project on One Kings Lane's blog was right up my alley! Maybe I wouldn't go so bold considering my space, but there are a few walls that are ripe for such a DIY. 

Of course, in my travels I've come across many other examples of mehrab decor lately... 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lotus & Fig: Pink + Orange Accessories

colombian handmade love: san andres tote by guanĂ¡bana
Summer is rolling along - a bit too forcefully it sometimes feels - and the orange and pink union continues to indulge it's relationship out in the open for all to see. What should be a competition of vibrant fellows often plays out like a loving partnership, with real partnership.

Their shared goal? To make much life less ordinary.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Stormborn Chic: Party Like a Khaleesi

keepin' it classy: a chic white dress and silver necklace
Even in the face of her fiercest fire-breathing dragon, or surrounded by enemies, Daenerys Targaryen has managed to keep it regal, rocking some outstanding dragon-themed jewelry. If the long wait till April is too much to bear, consider throwing a Breaker of Chains-themed soiree to ease the pain.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rooms on Film: Saturday Night Fever

let's dance the last dance: john travolta and karen lynn gorney
It seems I'm still in an Empire State of Mind. Specifically, New York in the '70s. This movie has several locations: Tony's family home, the dance studio, stores, the disco hall... And it briefly breezes through the new Manhattan digs of Stephanie, a young woman who is very serious about her ambitions. 

Typically, it's one of those places that gives the impression that elevators had not yet been invented. Or at least, no one had thought to install them anywhere in the five boroughs...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Single-Girl Style: Moody Modern Luxury

home of di botha and athol moult featured in house & leisure south africa
This house near Cape Town, SA is nothing short of striking with its dramatic combination of dark walls and opulent colors. The interplay of modern lines and luxurious textures adds up to a riveting home. It's not so much welcoming as demanding. You feel required to be there right now, reveling in it's cozy, relaxing atmosphere for as long as possible before the owners kick you out. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Musings & Wants: The King of Bookcases

the maharaja bookcase from wisteria - $1500 of exquisite decor
It's the Auntie Mame of bookcases. One of those things I'm not even pretending might ever be mine. There are just too many other things to do with the money. But, if wishes were horses and money no object... This bookcase would be a central part of my very own, super-sacred reading nook. Stacked top to bottom with only the most re-readable books - and magazines - I own. All within arm's reach of a wonderful sloping chair-and-a-half draped in saris and kilims...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lotus & Fig: Shades of Summer Sunset

the fergana ikat beach towel by john robshaw
They're at it again. Those eternal lovers, pink & orange, are running wild in decorland. Nothing calls out the brights like summertime. From earthy to neon, modern to eclectic, you're sure to find a version that suits your style.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rooms on Film: Annie Hall

annie hall, 1977: janet margolin and woody allen
This one's short and sweet. I'm not familiar with the movie, although surely I saw it as a kid. Lately I've been viewing a lot of studio apartments via Pinterest and Apartment Therapy tours. As a studio dweller, the topic is pretty much ever present. Between that and abrupt arrival of full-on SUMMER IN NEW YORK, this image came to mind.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lotus Tableware by Michael Aram Designs

madhouse by michael aram's lotus platter (melamine)
This doesn't count as an impulse buy. It as good as called my name! I held out for a week before hitting the buy button. Look at it! It's a LOTUS FLOWER! Carved down to the last petal vein and seed pod. I mean- have you ever?! Of course I bought one! It's by Michael Aram. You know how gorgeous his tableware is. It was the right thing to do. I know because they accidentally sent an extra - and let me keep it...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Single-Girl Style: Antique Comforts

soft and spacious, with a view to build a dream on
If you're going to have a country home, it's probably best to make sure it's as restful inside as outside. And also, centered in the midst of some magnificent natural scenery. I've never been to New Zealand, but clearly that little country has some wide open spaces of note.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Windows on the World: ABC Home

As always, the windows on Broadway are an inspiration. It has been my luck of many years to work in the area and regular observe the gorgeous, worldly window displays. Of course, ABC Home and ABC Carpet, across the street, remain the gold standard of the neighborhood. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Colorfully Eclectic: Yet Another Style Quiz

haven't changed a bit, so comforting to know
Have to admit that they are pretty correct though. I'd want to temper that white quite a bit. But otherwise, I feel well represented by this assessment. I've certainly been thinking a lot about inspiration rooms, with an eye toward polishing my own space a bit. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Retail Odyssey: David Bromstad Home

medina laser cut pillow in magenta/pumpkin

Known King of Color, David Bromstad has a home collection at Grandin Road, inspired by the vibrance of his native Miami. Loads of shag, shine and color color color! Despite my own love of color, I'm not particularly flashy. That said, some of these pieces are pretty fabulous. Perhaps I can set up a corner with my four mirrorballs to listen to Donna Summer in the wee hours, with the lights down low...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer Song: Light & Airy Inspiration

simply styled textiles from
While Spring has toyed with us these past few months, I've been trying to get ready for Summer. Along with purging magazines, there is a lengthy deep-clean underway. A few inspiration photos really help keep me focused on the end goal. They also help me recognize and appreciate my own progress. 

Light, bright and airy. That's the goal!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rooms on Film: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

star-crossed: dodge and penny meet mere days before the apocalypse
This is one of those movies I watch whenever I find it playing on cable. A quiet little story about two people who meet as the world is counting down the end of days. As society literally breaks down around them, giving way to despair and chaos on every level, neighbors Dodge and Penny meet and join forces to return to their loved ones before an oncoming asteriod extincts mankind.

While Dodge is the main character, mired in a tidy regret, this post is about flighty Penny's apartment. She's the life of this party...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Viva Print Media: Just Not Here

new specialty one-off: bohemian home
It was a landmark day! Friday I made my monthly trip to B&N to checkout the new magazines. As the dazzling global, eclectic home tours and editorials were flashing before my eyes, an idea occurred to me: don’t buy these, go home and buy digital copies from Zinio. And, save for one title, that is what I did. And, for once, it’s a relief to forego the physical magazine in favor of digital. Reason being, I’m currently digging my way out from under a massive stockpile of magazines. That’s right. I’m that lady who brings ‘em in every month, but rarely takes any back out. Just politely stacks them in corners and under furniture until there’s no more out-of-sight space to conceal them.

That’s what finally gave me the will to start putting my old magazines to the curb…where they belong.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Retail Odyssey: Madura Opens in NYC

909 Broadway - you can't miss 'em
On a street filled with the likes of ABC Carpet & Home, Safavieh, Design Within Reach, and Domain, a certain modern French flair has joined the mix. Madura has opened it's U. S. flagship store on Broadway in the Flatiron district: stripes, bold colors, jaunty patterns and luxurious textures.  

Now your stroll from Madison Square Park to Union Square just got that much dreamier.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lotus & Fig: Moroccan Tile Goods

moroccan tile in pink by micklyn at
Recently, while pinning away, I came across this beautiful print by Micklyn at Society 6. Obviously the combined color + pattern are exactly my jam:  varieties of pink, orange, lavender combined with a crisp Moroccan trellis lined in shiny gold. What puts this pattern over the top are the stencilled illustrations within each quatrefoil: wings, flowers, birds and lotus! 

Is it not the ultimate?!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Retail Odyssey: Patchwork Patterns at Vivaterra

vivaterra's kantha loveseat is a real showpiece
Thankfully this foxy little number is well out of my price range, 'cause that's all that stands between me and an epic impulse buy. Obviously it's best feature is the gorgeous patchwork Indian kantha in bright hues and energetic patterns. But it's secondary asset is the shape: those slimmed English roll arms, those carved legs (with casters!) and the tufted back. It's quite a stately little piece. I'd probably like it just as much in a solid color.

But it isn't solid. Not at all...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Single-Girl Style: Sunny in South Africa

stylist tara sloggett at home in south africa
This little cottage has stuck with me ever since I first read about it a few years ago. The light-filled rooms and feminine furnishings feel very restful and refreshing. I could definitely vacation in a b&b (or home-swap) done in this style. The floral stencils on the dresser and mirror are particularly impressive. They feel more personal and distinctive than the average furnishings. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Color Story: Mad About Amethyst

john robshaw's lodhi shower curtain
If you know like I know, the deep midwinter can be a real bummer. Short days and low daylight are as a cloud descending, plunging me into a long stretch of hibernation and neglect. Hard to get anything done when you're bundled up in bed. Not this year! I resolved to fight it, fight it, fight it! Certain colors are particularly helpful in this effort, colors like Amethyst (or Lavendar, or Orchid...).

And this season, everybody's got some...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rooms on Film: How to Make it in America 2

rachel (lake bell) in her one bedroom palace eclectic
Okay, so it has been a year since my first post on this cancelled HBO series, but as promised, here is the second installment featuring my favorite of the show’s many homes! In season two of How to Make it in America, Rachel (Lake Bell) moves into an eclectic 1BR apartment. Designed by Kelly McGehee, the set has a typical prewar breadbox layout. The never-seen bathroom is just off the front door, the simple kitchen flows into the vibrant living room, followed by the sunny bedroom. The apartment also has lovely prewar bones, including French doors and a bay window…

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dazzleships: Ringin' in the New Year!

muteen magazine, february 2011
Happy New Year!!! I wish you and yours the very best in 2015!