Monday, June 30, 2008

LEED Platinum certification for NYC's Queens Botanical Gardens Visitor Center

LEED platinum rating is extremely tough to achieve, but it's absolutely doable. Check out this post from NYC based blog Sustainyc.

Summer Sale at Stansbury Collection in Venice!

One of my favorite vendors in Los Angeles is Stansbury Collection. I consider owner Armand Stansbury to be not only a great vendor but also a great designer and friend as well. Along with the fabulous and bubbly Vanessa Niakian, they take care of both designers and regular folks equally. While you can peruse some of the great pieces ready made (hence, the sale!), you can also have anything custom designed with the help of Armand or Vanessa or your own designer. The best part of the whole operation is the quick lead times. All of their products are produced in Los Angeles, so you can expect a custom sofa in a matter of two weeks!

So come visit Armand and Vanessa at 1344 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291

Nailed it!

There's something about nailhead that really gets me psyched. Personally, my style is fairly informal, but I love the tailored formality of just gives a little more style to an otherwise boring piece. I also love that although it's formal and tailored, it's really just nails...and I love that bit of industrial flavor. You'll see nailhead trim everywhere and on everything, but I'm dedicating this post to my friend Melissa who has been looking specifically for an upholstered headboard. This classically styled one from Ballard Designs is perfect, comes in a variety of fabrics and you can even send your own fabric in! If you're more of a DIYer, then just purchase an upholstered piece or use an existing piece and add your own nailhead. Check out this site for all kinds of decorative nailhead options!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Mariposa means butterfly en espanol....didn't think you'd be learning about design and language today, did you? This snazzy 'Delight' pendant ($85) pleases me, although 'Mariposa' would have been a much cooler name. This fixture is definitely on the girlier side of things, but I can see it flying happily in a baby's room or cocooning in a small space, like an entry hall or vanity area. So fly to or click here to purchase.

Friday, June 27, 2008

You + Me=Forever

Wedding season is upon us, and I, like many of you have at least seven to go to. The wedding gift thing is easy, just point, click and order, but what about all those other wedding events in between? Showers, bachelorette parties, more showers because so many people love you. Rare Device has come up with a great little idea that I think would be perfect for any of the above occasions. The rust design custom birch tree mugs ($45 for 4) allow you to "carve" the couples initials into the mug. I might normally be gagging at the thought of something like this, but the mug is so well designed, I can't help but feel the love.

I guess you know what you're getting in August, Cristina!

Doggie Style.

Okay. That title was borderline inappropriate, but I had to grab your attention. The Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C. is my new hero. I've posted previously about my involvement with animal rescue, and it's really wonderful to know that animals are being considered when it comes to design. I'm not talking about cute little beds or fancy bowls, my dog has both of course, I'm talking about how shelters house their temporary occupants.

Some of the amenities included at WARL include: tempered glass dutch doors on kennels instead of metal bars, glass block walls instead of cinderblock to let in more light, elevated beds-this is extremely important as dogs tend to knock over their water bowls or relieve themselves to close to their bedding, and radiant heat floors!

So check out their site and show your support. I dedicate this post to my foster Avery, whom I've been fostering for six months. She's a survivor that deserved a second chance (her name means courageous) and so do all animals in shelters the world over.
Please consider adopting and start your search at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Walk this way.

Check this out. Rockin' website Cool Hunting (thank you Tyler Fonda for the heads up) posted an article today about the new Tretorn flagship in NYC (the second after D.C.). I remember being obsessed with those shoes in grade school. It didn't get much cooler for me than Tretorns, acid wash and slap bracelets. Incidentally, I love the interior design. It's somehow gritty and preppy at the same time. Loving IT!

Flower Power.

Although I've had a lot of trouble with PB Teen in the past with furniture, I would be willing to try out this new line of organic cotton sheets and duvet covers. I must commend this mass market company for taking an environmental stance and making it look oh so stylish. There may be Teen in the name, but I think these sheets are sassy enough for a single city dweller.

Hard angles.

If you've got one of those oddly angled shower stalls and all you want to do is hide it-this angled shower rod is the perfect solution. While I'm sure there are many angled showers out there that a person would love to show off, if yours is anything like mine-weird textured plastic and rusting tin frame-you just want to throw a shower curtain over it and call it a day. Check out this hardcore shower curtain from Design Public.

Cool post from Apartment Therapy LA

Check out this post from Apartment Therapy LA. They presented it in its original purpose, but I think it could be really fabulous as a centerpiece using some floral foam and some tightly packed flowers.

How would you use it ($65 plus shipping)?

Rock wall.

My younger brother, we'll call him G, just graduated college in May, so he and his friends are starting to move out of the house and into their first apartments. They are totally candidates for my Design Seeds service, but I'll give them this bit of advice free of charge.

Ladies and gents- take down that ratty unframed band poster and step it up with the selection from The Heads of State ($20 each). I particularly love this one with Aberdeen City and Electric Six, two of my fave bands, seeing as the lead singer of Aberdeen City, Brad Parker attended my high school!

And don't forget to frame this one-I highly suggest a funky vintage frame from your local flea market, or, if you're so inclined...go on ebay and fight to the death for one.

I've been working on the railroad.

This table and chair set ($2,098 to shipping and tax) has been on my mind for a long time now. Brought to you by Viva Terra -a designy eco friendly company-it combines reclaimed railroad ties (the ultimate way to be eco-friendly!), teak and pine to create this weathered yet sleek dining set. I can see putting this in one of my client's lofts downtown or it would be easily at home in a casual beach house. Definitely keep the tablescape simple and clutter free to let the weathered wood grain shine through, but if you must have flowers you must use the floral designs of Eve Suter. Okay, so she lives in Japan most of the time, but use

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't blame me, I'm just the client.

I saw this print on the 2Modern blog, and I totally love it! FYI-the conversion to euros is around $45. Buy it here.

Going to the chapel and I'm...going to get registered.

The tradition I love most about weddings is the registry. On a sentimental note, it’s a way of family and friends starting you off on your life together…a support group made up of flatware, champagne flutes and dish towels. On a more realistic note, it’s an awesome excuse to get all the goodies you’ve ever needed or wanted. I’m nowhere near getting hitched, but in honor of the most popular month to get married and my single glory, here is my registry of personal favorites. While Sarah Jessica Parker's character 'Carrie' on "Sex and the City" put one pair of Manolo's on her "registry", I am all about home stuff, of course!
Hand towels- paper towels just aren’t cutting it for me anymore, so I’m turning to the sexy and exotic ‘Sultan’ towel ($12 each on sale!) from Schweitzer Linen Inc. I love the wide bands of neutral flax and white with the understated yet playful fringe. Perfect for my beachy bathroom. No monogram necessary, thank you.

Stemware- my stemware collection is currently a one size fits all giant goblet. Since I’ve moved past the days of a third of a bottle equals one serving, I can move on to a smaller and more refined selection. Tart comes to the rescue again, offering just the style I crave. 'High Society' ($564 for a set of six) is sexy and slim and is part of a collection, which includes water glasses, highballs, etc. You're welcome to get me the whole collection, but I'll settle for the wine glasses. Gorgeous hand blown stemware in a minimalist design. I can’t think of anything more chic to serve me, myself and I.

Napkin rings- I don't need a husband to have a dinner party, but I do need napkin rings. No, not the gaudy ones with all the beading-I'm talking about Joerg Gaetjens designed 'chalkboard' rings found at the Moma Store ($65 for four). These cool little dudes also double as a placecard. Bon appetit!

Mugs- Over the years I've collected quite a collection of mugs, my favorite being my "Woof!" mug, which I'm currently drinking French press out of. Yeah, I know it's lame, but not as lame as the "My grandchild is a dog" mug I gave to the 'rents for Christmas. So it's obviously time to get a little more hip. I've been a devotee of Tart on Melrose ever since they first opened shop, and their Nina aqua coffee mug ($72 for six) would be the perfect addition/replacement to my mug collection.

Dinnerware- Okay, maybe my faux registry should just be everything at Tart, since they have the best selection of ridiculously great things....ever. The 'Black Forest' dishes ($286 for a five-piece setting) I covet are designed by Bodo Sperlein, who I absolutely have a design crush on, and they're so perfectly minimal and intriguing at the same time. They'd match up quite nicely with my 'chalkboard' napkin rings or a perfectly portioned meal of short ribs.

Bowls- my Ikea white everyday bowls go with everything, but let’s face it, there’s not much style there. Enter the ‘Blue Mist’ bowl by Nancy Bauch sold at White Forest Pottery and made especially for Domino magazine. The subtle kiss of blue on these handcrafted ceramic bowls will take my morning cereal to the next level.

That should just about cover my faux newlywed needs....who needs a husband when you have great design!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Birds of a feather...

It's no secret if you've read this blog that I'm obsessed with lighting. But I'm even more obsessed with attainable aka inexpensive lighting. Tord Boontje's work is ridiculously cool, and his 'Icarus' fixture is no exception (only $84!). You've got to have pretty high ceilings for this fixture to have full impact. Unfortunately for me, I would probably spend my days getting caught in it with my low ceilings....okay, I would totally just stand under it, cooing "what a nice little bird" all day, but anyway.....

Definitely put this creature in a space for maximum appreciation, and if you don't attend church regularly, paint the walls pale'll feel just like heaven.

Light my fire.

There is nothing more sexy than candlelight, except perhaps candlelight outdoors…with wine, chocolate, well, you get the picture. To get you started on a romantic night, I highly recommend the ‘Candle Sphere’. It’s a modern take on a traditional lantern and the molded stainless steel wires will throw a sexy abstract light pattern over your patio or balcony. From $95-$350 depending on size.

Just add chocolate and wine.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A cool cocktail for a hot day.

It hit 110 degrees in my car today on my ride back from the Valley (LA)...this reminded me why I don't live in the Valley, but it also got me thinking about sexy little cocktails. Perfect for an evening like this. Brenda Langton is the owner of badass Mineapolis restaurant, Spoonriver. Besides her use of seasonal farmer's market ingredients, which I totally dig, she also created a ridiculously cool and delicious cocktail-the Honey-Lavender Spritz. This recipe was so inspiring to me, in fact, that I went right out and purchased my very own lavender plant, so I will always have this liquid gold available to me!

Here's the recipe.

1.5 oz honey-lavender-infused vodka (see below)

3 oz soda water

dash of honey

1/4 t Ames bee pollen, *plus extra for the rim of the glass

Honey-lavender vodka

1 bottle vodka, the very best of course (You're worth it)

1 T dried lavender flowers

2 T honey

1. To make the honey-lavender vodka, combine vodka, dried lavender flowers and honey, and let steep for 4 days.

2. Pour vodka in a glass with soda, honey and bee pollen; stir. Rim the edge of the glass with extra pollen.

3. Drink and repeat.

4. Repeat step 3.

5. Once more if your marriage is stale or you're recently unemployed.

Ames bee pollen is available at
This cocktail belongs in a sexy vintage tall glass...scour your local flea market and pick up an eclectic mix to serve at your next party.

More Horchow...the fun continues!

I'm a big fan of silver leafing...always have been. I made this fantastic art piece out of the stuff and a huge plywood sheet while in school at Parsons in NYC. When it couldn't fit in the rented van for my cross country trek to Los Angeles, I was devastated! Which brings me to this fabulous 'Entertainment Cabinet' in Horchow, which is about a million times cooler than anything I could ever create. It's not just the silver leafing, but the well proportioned "feet", the square draw pulls and the overall mega glamour of the piece. This piece can totally stand alone in all it's glam glory or it can play the supporting role beneath a sexy Robert Motherwell abstract. And stick a little succulent on there in a cobalt blue planter while you're at it!

I heart Horchow...this month at least.

I must say, I've never been particularly drawn to Horchow's line of home furnishings, but one of my clients is a big fan. This month I was really stoked to find that I actually liked quite a few pieces! One fantastic item is the 'Caramel Giraffe Rug'. The color combo is fabulous. It's a reasonable price. The pattern is graphic yet organic (that's a complete oxymoron, but it makes sense to me!). And, the edge finish is fantastic-none of that crappy surged garbage. I would absolutely pair this rug with some really hot 'Tequila Lime' (Benjamin Moore paint color) accents or even rockin' a whole couch in the shade. You could even throw a small 2'x3' in your bathroom for a little summer safari look.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Design Seeds on the Tyra Show Website!

Design Seeds is covered today on the Tyra Show website...check out "Designing a la carte" for the full scoop!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Run, Recycle, Repeat

When fashion and interior design collide-it's fantastic. When fashion, interior design, community involvement and eco-friendliness collide-it's perfection! You've gotta hand it to Nike-they've been coming out with fabulous shoes, apparel and everything else for years and now they've introduced Nike Grind. Their solution to the question, "what do you do with your old shoes?" It just so happens that in conjunction with the Reuse-a-shoe initiative those stinky old sneaks can metamorphosize into rubber mats and flooring-for Nike stores and sports facilities across the globe. We're all winners in this race!


You've used your hairbrush, a beer bottle, and maybe even a spatula to aide your amateur vocal stylings. You sound great, you really least that's what your dog thinks. So now you're ready for the real deal. Enter the "Solo" pendant, a rock worthy new light fixture from Re-Surface. You'll be stage ready and the spotlight is all on you!