Monday, March 31, 2008

Mothology: The Science of Style

If you can't make it to France to search for vintage treasures, you can always visit Mothology for "vintage-inspired decorative objects and furnishings for the well-traveled home." The prices are so reasonable that you might actually be able to afford a trip abroad after you're done shopping! Oh la la!

French Flea Market Finds

I love the flea market hunt as much as the finds which is probably why I love Vintage French Interiors: Inspiration from the Antique Shops and Flea Markets of France by Sebastian Siraudeau. Although, the name is a little bit of a misnomer since the interiors in question are of the shops and markets rather than French homes but no matter. It's a treasure trove of vintage sources and inspiring vingettes that I guarantee you will be drooling over. It's actually so fantastic that it might have you hopping on the next flight to Paris! Bon voyage!

turning the morrum into a toddler bed

morrum bed with storagejess c. from maine takes the morrum bed and makes it kid friendly.

she says, "i was drawn to the morrum beds for my kids (5 & 2) as we live in a tiny house and need any additional storage we can find... particularly in their shared bedroom. however, the high bed wasn't ideal for a toddler... even though his climbing skills are superb, when sleeping i feared my son would roll off. i needed a way to make the beds 'cozier'.

so i built a frame from 10 inch boards and 'L' brackets, left a little wiggle room for adding some foam padding and fabric and cut out a little notch at the end of the frame for climbing aboard. i chose a super fuzzy 'faux muppet fur' fabric (i think they called it 'poodle fleece') from a clearance aisle of a fabric shop used a staple gun to attach it over the padding.

toddler bedtoddler bedtoddler bedwe also left off the cabinet doors on the storage portion of the bed in order to more safely accommodate our kids using them as tunnels (no pinched fingers!), and also to give us a handy cubby for extra mattress storage (for sleep-overs, etc). the kids love the beds, and on those late nights/early mornings when our two-year-old wants us to lie down with him for a bit, we love how the frame keeps the big clunky adults from falling overboard too! this was my first ikea hack... i get the feeling it might be addictive?"

toddler bedtoddler bed

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Working Girl

Just a little update to let you know I'm starting a new position with another top New York City interior designer on Monday. I will do my best to keep up with my posting during my first week but just in case I can't, I hope you'll excuse me. I'm want to wait until I get settled before I announce who I'm working for but I am excited that they know about my blog so down the road, I will be able to write about the projects I'm working on and what really goes on behind the scenes at a design firm!

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work. - Rita Mae Brown

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Fashionable Home

The press team at Gucci must be working over time since creative director Frida Giannini's Italian Villa has just been featured in March InStyle magazine and April Harper's Bazaar. But I don't mind since it looks beautiful. I love sneaking a peak into European homes. They never fail to be sophisticated and elegant. Maybe it's due to the fact that they are filled with family heirlooms and antiques instead of stuff from Pottery Barn and West Elm. Whatever the reason, I think Giannini's home is a wonderfully decorated space and who else could incorporate over 7,000 albums inherited from an uncle looks like art in the sitting room above.

Forgive the terrible scan from InStyle but I couldn't resist including the fabulous 19th-century marble fireplace and the custom bookshelves in the living room.

A 1930's cabinet holds chic art books, blackamoor candle holders and even a Barbie. Nice to see she has a sense of humor.

"This 1968 Arne Jacobsen Egg chair in original leather took five years to track down. The sideboard is 1930s Italian art deco."

A 1940s black Murano-glass chandelier pops against the white walls in the dining room that includes a French art deco dining table and chairs.

A tablescape with coral is temporary composition. "I think a house should always be a work in progress," says the designer.

What would a fashion designer home spread in a magazine be without the requisite product placement, hence the Gucci bag on the fur bedspread in the bedroom with mirrored bed and nightstand.

"In some ways, the master bathroom is the most important room in the house," say Giannini. And with marble walls and a custom Boffi tub, I'd say so too.

You may not be able to afford a $2,000 Gucci handbag but you can certainly take some free decorating advice from the Gucci designer. "There is really no point in having wonderful things if you don't surround yourself with them all the time. That's what makes a house feel warm and safe. And when you feel comfortable in your home, you feel like you can do anything you want to there." Now that's luxury.

Photos by Anders Overgaard for and Oberto Gili

Friday, March 28, 2008

a living room makeover pt. II

denise sent me some additional pictures after the rave reviews on her boyfriend's pad's makeover.

she adds, "basically, we didn't want to buy furniture since the green way is not to consume more. staining the furniture was not an option since ikea uses laminate. i came up with the idea after looking at my parent's pantry. they used contact paper to line the shelves. i knew they made contact paper in a walnut finish which was the effect we wanted (we both adore walnut finishes).

walnut finish tv benchwalnut finish tv benchwalnut finish tv benchthe contact paper has a low stick backing and we just applied it to the surface. it's a two man job and while one of us held it in place, the other would use a dry marker eraser to smooth out the bubbles as we went. we had to use a very sharp blade to cut around edges and corners. in one of the photos you can see the original finish with the contact paper coming up and over the edge. we didn't do the insides since no one will see it anyways.

it is a great way to give ikea furniture a face lift without doing a lot of damage, mess or hard work!

i also included some 'before' pictures.

living room beforeliving room beforebefore the makeover. the room, not the boyfriend.

total spent on the room was: $1500."

make a cheap bar table

andrew finds a billsta bar table base in the as-is section for $8 and matches it with a lack side table. looks good and costs less than $25.

see more of andrew's billsta-lack bar table.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fashionable Films

My post about the new movie Flawless brought up a great conversation about other films with fabulous fashions, some that are classics and some that might be considered cult classics. Here is a partial list of my favorite fashionable films, the first being Breakfast at Tiffany's of course. But while everyone loves the little black dresses she wears, it is the orange coat and mink hat that is the outfit I love most. I wish women dressed this way today. It's so classic. Oh, and George Peppard also happens to makes a very attractive accessory on her arm too. Especially, since it's very important that the men look good as well.

I don't think there is anyone could have played a better Thomas Crown in the original 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair than Steve McQueen. Rumor has it that it was one of his favorite movies, something I don't doubt since he not only got to play a suave, well dressed bank executive / bank robber but he also insisted on doing his own stunts including racing dune buggies, playing polo and piloting a plane, all which appealed to his thrill seeking side. I also love that he happens to live in an amazing mansion on one of the prettiest street in the Beacon Hill area of Boston. Faye Dunaway doesn't look too shabby either but I can't take my eyes off of Steve McQueen in this movie.

I haven't seen Bonnie and Clyde in years but Faye Dunaway's hairstyle for me will always be iconic. Talk about chic! "Theadora Van Runkle's costumes inspired a 1930s fashion craze" and were nominated for an Academy Award and rightly so. Love them!

I can't imagine any movie starring Cary Grant not being fashionable so it's no surprise that he's starred in some of the most popular. One of my favorites for the costumes and the sets is Indiscreet which also stars Ingrid Bergman who wear the most divine dresses throughout. Another fun Cary Grant film is That Touch of Mink where the clothing plays an integral role in the story. My favorite part is when Doris Day's character gets a shopping spree at Bergdorf Goodman, of course.

Cary Grant also happens to be in everyone's favorite Hitchcock movie To Catch a Thief where he plays second fiddle to Grace Kelly's cool elegance and perfect wardrobe. The same can be said for Jimmy Stewart who stars with the fashionable Grace Kelly in Rear Window. In fact all the women in Hitchcock movies look impeccable...and blonde. Tippi Hedren wears one outfit for most of The Birds and still manages to look amazing throughout even while under attack. I hear she also looks divine in Marnie, which I have yet to see but am going to add to my queue right now!

It's funny how there are barely any good outfit images online of the most stylish movie of all time, Belle du Jour. The costumes for the film were created a 29 year old Yves Saint Laurent and the famous pilgrim shoes were designed by Roger Vivier and have become fashionable once again. I can't see anyone with their hair pinned half up without thinking of Catherine Deneuve. Tres Chic! An updated example of this type of movie would have to be American Gigolo in which Richard Gere wore exclusively Georgio Armani. And Lauren Hutton looked amazing too.

The movie that is not only beautiful but is probably responsible for every woman's obsession with Africa has got to be Out of Africa. The outfits, the landscape, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep...what's not to love. My second runner up for travel infused period films would have to be The English Patient. No one could be more beautiful than Kristen Scott Thomas.

Speaking of Kristen Scott Thomas, she also looks amazing in Gosford Park. The evening gowns are to die for but it's the hunting clothes that I would kill to wear. I also love the upstairs, downstairs protocol. Makes me wish I lived in that era.

Completely different is The Last Days of Disco by writer/director Whit Stillman, who also wrote and directed the cult classic Metropolitan. Both movies deal with the world of preppies and class and I love watching The Last Days of Disco for the outfits. It's funny that some of the most stylish girls starred in this film including Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, and Tara Subkoff, the founder of the fashion line Imitation of Christ.

Is it possible for Gwyneth Paltrow to not star is a fashionable film? Well, I guess Shallow Hal wasn't that stylish but I try to block that one from my memory as I'm sure Ms. Paltrow has tried to do as well. The Talented Mr. Ripley may be creepy but it's worth it for the outfits worn by all the characters and the scenes of Italy.

In the comments for my Flawless post, many described Great Expectations as being one of their favorite stylish films. It's been noted that the costumes are by Donna Karen and that most of them are green, as is most of the film. Theories are that it represents envy and wealth, in addition to being director Alfonso CuarĂ³n's favorite color. Who knows if any them are correct. It's still fun to watch. Oh, and the art was created by Francesco Clemente.

Most of my favorite movies are set in New York, which could I guess be considered a fashionable part of the films, including A Perfect Murder, starring Ms. Paltrow again and Michael Douglas. The sets are amazing and I would kill for her wardrobe. She always looks perfect and polished. And Viggo Mortensen makes for some nice eye candy too. He also created his own art for the movie so he's as talented as he is handsome.

The last Gwyneth Paltrow movie I have to mention is The Royal Tenenbaums. She gets to wear fab furs and an Hermes Birkin bag but I love Luke Wilson's Bjorn Borg style tennis outfits the best. Quirky doesn't even begin to describe this movie but it's fun.

The original Thomas Crown Affair is a classic but the remake starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo is pretty darn stylish as well. How can it not be with Ms. Russo wearing Celine throughout the whole darn thing. Apparently the costume designer had less than two months to pull the outfits together so she shopped the 1997 Celine collection created by fashion designer Michael Kors and threw in a few pieces from Halston while Pierce Brosnan was decked out in custom suits. But then again, what would you expect for Mr. Crown?!

A new fashion classic has got to be The Devil Wear Prada. I love watching it for Anne Hathaway's transformation alone. My only complaint is the tie wearing fashion designer and his creations that seemed a bit off but now that's it's on DVD, I just fast forward those unfashionable bits.

I want to be Cameron Diaz and most specifically Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. From the moment we see her in the cute pajamas, you just know you are going to want to steal her entire wardrobe including her cashmere sweaters and hats. The eyemask and stack of books for the plane is so something I would do too. Love her!

I couldn't find a photo of the great dress that Kirsten Dunst wears in Wimbledon the movie, but she looks so cute throughout that it's on my favorite list. Well, that and I just like looking at and listening to Paul Bettany, especially when he's driving his cute little sports car. Sigh.

It's a bit of a silly movie but I love the outfits that Eva Mendes gets to wear throughout Hitch. It's the quintessential New York creative professional woman's wardrobe that is easily translatable to real life. Although, I would never go to work with my shirt unbuttoned that far. Another example of this genre are the cute outfits that Drew Barrymore wears in Fever Pitch. I love her suits and all the chunky necklaces. So my style.

I know I've probably left off dozens of fashionable films but this is my list so let me know some of your favorites. It seems like Atonement and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day are already destined to be classic fashionable films of the future and quite possible Flawless as well, the movie that started this all in the first place.