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Cool. Blue. Glam.

Freshen up your neutrals with light blue walls

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I am in a constant battle with myself; the warzone: our living room. At this point the husband just tries to stay out of the crossfire of countless pillows, artwork and accessories that I’ve thrown around and tossed out. I’ve been slowly coming to the realization that neutrals work best for me, but because we have a lot of warm hues (walnut floors, wood furniture, tan and brown walls) it has all felt…BLAH. But, I have recently discovered that the barrage of light blue/gray walls I’ve been seeing lately have worked really well when mixed with all the black, white, gray, gold and chrome that I have amassed. I may not be able to repaint my walls, but the thought of brightening up the scheme with this airy tone has gotten me all riled up again and ready for another campaign.

[ Kelly Wearstler ]

[ Pereira Associates ]

[ Michelle Adams ]

[ Michelle Adams ]

[ Michele Bonan ]

What do you think? I feel as if to be successful, it has to be very light, and very gray, to work.  I’ve got a few ideas on how to incorporate the color without painting the walls…I’m excited to go full speed ahead again on this one, even though the husband already considers it a victory that the current pillows have survived as long as they have. LOL.


Images via
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To Mac or Not To Mac

Hello, my name is Erika and I’m still a PC user…

I’ve been having computer problems the past few weeks — well, OK the past year. It’s gotten to the point where I really need to get a new computer.

So here’s my dilemma: I have a PC. In my industry this is considered sacrilege, but I do have good reason: only one of my previous jobs used Macs, and most of my clients since going out on my own have been on PC, so now all of my fonts and programs are PC. Even my husband has to run Windows on his Mac laptop because all of his architecture software is Windows-based! So you can see, I bring a lot of PC baggage with me to the table.

There’s another issue: I love my CRT monitor. I’ve had it for 10 years, I’ve never had a problem, it’s even moved to New York and back with me. I’ve tried many flat screen monitors but none have had the color accuracy that my trusty CRT has had. But…it’s kind of a giant eye-sore.

Here’s what I have:

my "vintage" CRT monitor

[ my "vintage" monitor ]

Here’s what I might want:

Katie Ermilo via RUE

[ Katie Ermilo via RUE ]

Brent Leonard & Sean Webb via Elle Decor

[ Brent Leonard & Sean Webb via Elle Decor ]

Lulu Powers office via Lonny

[ Lulu Powers via Lonny ]

Khloe Kardashian office via The Decorista

[ Khloe Kardashian's office via The Decorista ]

Frank Muytjens via Lonny

[ Frank Muytjens via Lonny ]

made by girl desk

[ Made by Girl ]

Sally Wheat python desk via High Gloss

[ Sally Wheat via High Gloss ]

tamara kaye honey office

House of Honey ]

Victoria Smith via RUE

[ Victoria Smith via RUE ]

So my question is two-fold,
1) Are you on Mac or PC? and
2) Is there really a difference anymore (for business, not personal use)?

Ok and maybe 3) Is it bad that I want to toss my perfectly functioning monitor for purely aesthetic reasons?

Help me out here people. The time has come.


p.s. A laptop won’t cut it for me…
p.p.s. I won’t put an apple sticker on my car… ;o)

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Busy Bee


I’m M.I.A. today because our best friends had their baby last night! After 7 hours at the hospital I was too pooped to compose a post last night (but nothing compared to the 21 hours of labor my poor friend endured!). Today I’m headed back down to hold that little guy as much as possible. Welcome to the world, Jackson!

And I’m off to Desert Hot Springs tomorrow…I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet I’m a member of the Junior League of Orange County, CA – an amazing group of outgoing, professional, go-getter women volunteering their time, energy and great ideas for worthy causes. I’m off to a retreat with my committee, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know the gals better. Who couldn’t use a little good girl time now and then?

So for the weekend, I leave you with this photo from the recent issue of Lonny, which I keep staring at (so you’ll see it again for sure) and is definitely my favorite project from the issue. Which was yours?

Martine Chaisson's living room via Lonny

Have a great weekend!


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Great Gallery Walls

Angie Hranowsky

THIS is how you do it…

Have you noticed that design mags have been littered (literally) with gallery walls lately? After seeing a lot of not-so-successful examples, I was starting to feel like “cluttered must equal good” – until I saw Elizabeth Sullivan of Modern 24/7′s post yesterday of her client’s bubblegum pink bedroom, complete with an enviable floor-to-ceiling art display. It reminded me that I HAVE seen great examples, so I decided to gather them up for review. In my humble opinion, I think these work really well. You?

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Gray Matters (To Me, If It’s A Big Couch)

The great pillow debate

Steven Volpe Paris pied a terre

[ Steven Volpe ]

When we bought our house–and knowing we’d want to start a family at some point–we bought a comfy Room & Board sectional sofa in charcoal gray.  Smart buy, right?  Well I soon found that I was struggling with something that still confounds me to this day: PILLOWS!  Specifically, how many?  What pattern(s)?  What arrangement – symmetrical, loosely casual, equally spaced across the back, or maybe just two long bolsters on either side? I can’t even count the number of combinations I’ve tried and pillows I’ve returned.  I’ve been going crazy and definitely driving the husband crazy. So you can understand why I might feel a small victorious thrill when I see dark gray sofas in magazines and on blogs.  It helps me figure out what works, what I like, what I can realistically afford to tackle for my next attempt.  Take these examples….which do you think work well?

Kelly Hoppen living room Met Home via the house of sukio

[ Kelly Hoppen ]

Laura Day Park Avenue flat

[ Laura Day ]

Lonny March April 2011 Pereira Associates

[ Pereira Associates in Lonny ]

via RUE

[ Tamara Kaye-Honey via RUE ]

Steven Volpe Pacific Heights

[ Steven Volpe ]

Lonny January February 2011 Hilary Thomas

[ Hilary Thomas in Lonny ]

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

[ Martyn Lawrence-Bullard ]

Monique Lhuillier family room Elle Decor

[ Monique Lhuillier via Elle Decor ]

Monique Lhuillier living room Elle Decor

[ Monique Lhuillier via Elle Decor ]

Kelly Wearstler

[ Kelly Wearstler via Material Girls ]

Lonny October November 2010 Palmer Weiss

[ Palmer Weiss in Lonny ]

RUE Nicole Cohen living room

[ Nicole Cohen in RUE ]

Lonny October November 2010 Ron Marvin

[ Ron Marvin in Lonny ]

Lately I’ve been leaning towards the less contrast/more texture approach, going a little glam. I’ve got a few pillows now that I think are working (knock on wood). We will make a “firm” decision once the beni ourain rug arrives. It could all change again of course!


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Still Loving: Lucite Coffee Tables

It’s one trend that’s not going anywhere (thankfully)

Elizabeth Sullivan's bachelorette pad

[ Modern 24/7's Elizabeth Sullivan's Bachelorette Pad ]

I’ve been spotting this stunning lucite coffee table in magazines and blogs and friends’ houses, and found myself lusting (again) after a lucite coffee table of my own. Browsing around, of course one would be led to The Paris Apartment, and one would be completely enamored by their selection!

The Paris Apartment Moderne Chinoise lucite table

[ Moderne Chinois lucite table ]

The Paris Apartment Mystique lucite table

[ Mystique lucite table ]

The Paris Apartment DuBarry lucite table

[ DuBarry lucite table ]

The Paris Apartment Le Cirque lucite table

 [ Le Cirque lucite table ]

But at $2900+, I was relieved when a friend told me she scored hers at Wisteria for a much more wallet-friendly price. (And even more afforable, score one for $600 at

Wisteria acrylic glass coffee table

[ Wisteria's acrylic & glass coffee table ]

cb2 peekaboo clear table

[ CB2's peekaboo clear coffee table ]

Has this table been around forever or what? Is it time to move on? I’m not totally sure, especially when one sees these pretty pics…

Palmer Weiss

[ Palmer Weiss ]

Michelle Adams living room via Lonny

[ Michelle Adams via Lonny ]

via decorpad

[ via decorpad ]

mdesign plan b office

[ plan b office by m. design ]

Kishani Perera via decorpad

[ Kishani Perera via decorpad ]

These were my thoughts as I stumbled upon this roundup from the September 2005 issue of Domino on Chateau de Lu. Amazing to me that these pieces are still so relevant. (Equally and perhaps more amazing that Domino is not around to make this point. Sigh.)

Domino September 2005 lucite via Chateau de Lu

Want to get a little more spendy? There are so many great vintage options on sites like…

1stdibs craig vandenbrulee lucite mirror top coffee table

[ Craig Van Den Brulle lucite mirror top coffee table ]

1stdibs square lucite table

[ square lucite table on 1stdibs ]

Even though I have Lucite lamps, and candlesticks, and a tray, and a magazine stand, I’m still loving Lucite, how ’bout you?


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Cheap(er) Chandeliers: Big Bang, Little Bucks

Budget-friendly options still big on style

Hey I don’t mind a knock-off here and there.  Sure I’d love to be all uppity and tell you that a designer’s work is genius and should never be copied, but well, the reality…I live on a budget.  I have also accepted the fact that my tastes change/trends come and go, so if I don’t want to spend a fortune on an accent piece that I feel I need right now? I’m going to look at cheaper options.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some fun finds -yay! (Oh and for you designers out there that have seen these a hundred times, I have a few questions for you at the bottom.)

Estee Stanley Claire Forlani's dining room in Domino

Above photo is from one of my all-time favorite projects, Estee Stanley’s design for Claire Forlani’s home that was featured in Domino in 2006.  We’ve all seen the capiz lamp and perhaps it’s overdone, but I do love mine still, and I love the way it’s mixed here with the leather/chrome chairs, that black painted hexagon tiled floor, and antique wood pieces. The real deal by Verner Panton will set you back a good $995, but everyone knows by now you can get one for a great price at West Elm (although it doesn’t look like they are offering the shorter version anymore).

West Elm capiz hanging chandelier

[ West Elm's long hanging capiz pendant lamp $259 ]


I was completely obsessed with the Cellula chandelier when I saw it in Claire Forlani’s dining room (top photo, below) until I saw the price – $2600.  And here it is again in a more recent showing in Sally Hershberger’s Manhattan apartment in Elle Decor (love it over the bar!). I’m happy that Z Gallerie has come out with a knock-off since, and I admit it continues to tempt me every so often.

Estee Stanley Claire Forlani's formal dining room in Domino

Sally Hershberger's kitchen in Elle Decor

Z Gallerie linear strand crystal chandelier

 [ Z Gallerie's linear strand crystal chandelier $349 ]


A recent a-ha!: the last time I went to The Parker in Palm Springs I finally noticed the glass links chandelier in the lobby.  Super cool!  But how about smaller/cheaper versions for a cooler price?

Jonathan Adler Parker Palm Springs lobby

Z Gallerie glass links chandelier

[ Z Gallerie's glass links chandelier $299 ]

West Elm glass links chandelier

[ West Elm's glass link chandelier $299 ]


I’m a fan of the Jonathan Adler Meurice pendant lamp as seen in this breakfast nook in Lonny, and yes you can get the smaller size for $375 (not too shabby), but you can also get something similar from Lamps Plus for $99.99.  Doesn’t have quite the same panache, but simple and sophisticated nonetheless.

Eileen Kathryn Boyd nook in Lonny

Lamps Plus white swag chandelier

[ Lamps Plus white swag chandelier $99.99 ]


I’ve been seeing the Cabouche chandelier everywhere lately, haven’t you? But at $1800+, why not just get Z Gallerie’s smaller version for $399? Save that extra $1400+ and buy yourself a non-knock-off, knock-out piece.

shoot factory cabouche chandelier

Z Gallerie jupiter chandelier

[ Z Gallerie's jupiter chandelier $399 ]


This one I thought was pretty cool. Below is an image from a set on the TV show Parenthood with two IKEA lamps!  I’m really liking the treatment here in a living room, paired up. And at $69.99 a piece, it treats your wallet nicely too.

"Parenthood" set

IKEA PS VAVA pendant lamp

[ IKEA PS VAVA pendant lamp $69.99 ]


I was excited when I saw my West Elm pendant in a recent issue of RUE. I had purchased one on clearance a few years ago, and now I wish I had bought two for my dining room, too!

Manny Rodriquez dining room in RUE

my dining room


OK so I’m dying to know if anyone has found a cheaper version of Tom Dixon’s copper pendant lamp, as seen here in a bedroom done by one of my favorite designers ever, Molly Luetkemeyer (and can I tell you how thrilled I am that I get to profile her in an upcoming post?): 

mdesign benedict canyon bedroom


And lastly, I’ve been seeing this or a version of this chandelier a lot lately, and I was wondering if you had any sources? I am digging the way Ryan Korban uses it as a delicate accent in unexpected places (top photo, below) and this recent usage by Flair in Lonny (bottom photo):

Ryan Korban bathroom & bedroom in Lonny

Flair workspace in Lonny

Have you found any other good deals on glam lighting? Hit me up!


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Looney over Lonny

They’ve won my heart (and mind) again

I was soooo pleasantly surprised by this latest issue of Lonny…especially so, since I was soooo confounded by the previous issue – I seriously had to question if we had started to go in different directions, my dear Lonny. Perhaps my love for the hip and eclectic with a touch of mod glam was just too much, too passé for you?? 

But flipping through the pages of the October/November 2010 issue, I started to feel a little better as I was greeted by friendly faces like Cassandra LaValle of Coco+Kelley, and The Neo-Traditionalist’s Katie Armour — who is adorable by the way, and picked equally adorable items to feature (below). I almost fainted over that Kelly Wearstler gold marbled pillow, but it was the way she combined it with these other sweetly sexy items that just about killed me.

But then they had to go and feature not one, not two, but three, oh wait FOUR(!) of my all-time favorite designers: Lulu de Kwiatkowski, Ruthie Sommers, Palmer Weiss and Celerie Kemble (all four are on my to-blog list so you will see more of these talented ladies again). OK, now I’m really feeling this.

And maybe it’s because my daughter has left baby-hood and entered little girl-hood that it’s on my mind lately, but I cannot get enough of the kids’ rooms and how each designer transformed these little ones’ abodes into such with-it little spaces! Dare I say I am hooked again?

…Yes please! The perfect mix of soft traditional + mid-century cool: very Palmer Weiss.

…Grasscloth + Aalto + children’s artwork = my heart is singing

…There’s just too much hipness and cuteness going on in this room, I can’t stand it.

…LOVE how the two beds in this bunk are not identical. Clever girl, that Celerie.

So there you have it, they leave me wanting more once again. I am just hoping we’ll see some consistency in the next few issues, so they don’t break my heart again.


All images taken from the October/November 2010 issue of Lonny

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