Friday, January 30, 2009

Requiescat in pace - my cute Daddy

My dear - and oh so cute - Daddy, Bob Merrill, passed away yesterday at 83. He fought back from a debilitating stroke several years ago, walking when they said he may never again, and from a heart attack last year, when they said he might not make it through that night. But time, and that bastard cancer, took its toll and he was done with it all. His parents died in their 60's and siblings both in their 70's. We knew we were blessed to have him so long. I wrote this post last Father's Day which says a bit more about him. Now is for family time. Will be back to blogging next week, which is what he would want, and expect.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blingy Bling Bling

Talk about Breakfast at Tiffany's! From the Diamond Head Upholstery interchangeable tacks.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Michael Smith had competion for the WH gig!

Guess which Top Design contestant was asked to submit their portfolio to the office of Michelle Obama? Click here to find out!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Meet the Designer: Phillip Miller of America Dural

Here's a nifty little video of a Boston condo project by local designer Phillip Miller of America Dural. On of the things I particularly like about the work of this firm is that they tend to apply traditional style patterns on contemporary forms and vice versa, such as this pink painted pedestal table below. The result is fresh, clean and still classic!
Am so thinking of painting my dining room table a color like this! I've already destroyed the finish doing crafts projects on it!

PS - Music Hall Monday will return in a week or so, when we will be traveling to La Scala! I have a busy week working on a special event for the South Shore Conservatory and will be blogging shortly about some pretty cook lights we've created for the event!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekend Scavenger: MCM I can get behind...

1st Dibs is running a new Saturday Sale - kind of a high end, virtual, barn sale. This week they feature this completely fantasy worthy French 1950's Rosewood & Glass Cabinet that I could almost be willing to cash in my retirement account for. (well, you know, if there was anything left of it, that is...).

Now, I'm not a big Mid-Century Modern person, but oh... the wood graining, with alternate inlaid woods, the subtle scalloping and the tapered legs make this piece a beautiful and highly feminine work of art.

Here are a few other little lovies, also from Craig Van Den Brulle:

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Design Event and a Model Home

I attended a lovely Boston design industry event last night - the celebration of Design New England magazine's second anniversary. In this day and age of shelter magazines in peril - it's always nice to celebrate success! The party took place at the new Fairmont Battery Wharf hotel right on the Boston Harbor.

We were treated to tours of two of the condo units available for purchase. I took a bunch of photos and am still going through them, but wanted to share a few here with more to come!

The interiors of these two model units were designed by Gauthier ~ Stacy.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Virtual Decorating: Uganda Calling

I've been meaning to share a design project that I worked on a couple of months ago, and finally!, I am getting around to it! I've mentioned before that I offer a "Virtual" decorating service. I offer consulting services via phone consultations or email and the power of Photoshop!

I recently did an inspiration board plan for a lovely woman who lives in Uganda! She had seen a write up about my services in a magazine there and contacted me via email to see if I could offer some inspiration for her family room. While the weather is normally quite warm in her country, she still wanted a warm, "Autumn" palette for the space. In addition to asking questions about her lifestyle and family, I also asked her to send me images of art or photography that said "Autumn" to her. She sent along the two beautiful images above - I just loved the colors!. I put together a color story with paint chips (in this case Sherwin Williams). One thing I noticed about the art was the strong purple influence in both works and I wanted to bring that range of the spectrum out.

I sent the paint chips via snail mail to the client so she could see them in person and to help better with color matching. I then put together a detailed report on my suggestions for warming up her space.

First, I included images of the current space and her inspiration art:

I next put together a sample board of products and furnishings that I recommended. Because she doesn't have access to the same stores as we do here in the US and many of their items need to be made custom, we agreed that I would pull together my ideas without having to worry about local sourcing - and she would figure out procurement.

One thing missing in her space was the warmth of natural woods. She had a lot of shiny metals and hard ceramic flooring, but the more natural elements were missing. I recommended a bamboo floor in a dark cherry stain to replace the existing ceramic tile, and I did find a local source for the bamboo. The rest: additional lighting in different materials from glass to metal to paper; occasional tables and a selection of rugs and fabrics to add punches of color.

Each item was documented below with links to their sources. While the client wasn't going to be purchasing from these sources, I felt the links provided her with as much information as possible. You can click on the images for larger views if you'd like.

I also included a detailed "description" of how I saw this space and addressed some issues which are personal and I've not included here. And lastly, I provided pages for note taking and measurements. The goal was to provide an easily emailed product that the client can print and take with. I hope you enjoyed my "Virtual" decorating project. If I get any "after" images from her - I'll be sure to post them!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Upgrade. We can't afford not to.

Contributed by Lori Dolnick

I was visiting with a client the other day who asked me to write a headline. The gist of the headline was that we need quality products. We can’t afford to buy and re-buy products that are cheap. It’s bad for the environment and it’s just a waste of our money. I couldn’t agree more. While I don’t have the perfect line for this client yet… I did have a couple of distinct experiences that prove the point.

I purchased a lamp for $8.00. It actually looked cool on the box. But after assembling the lamp – it leaned to one side. And the plastic globe didn’t even cover the light bulb. Ok. Lesson learned. I went back and paid $60 for the real deal. $60 is still cheap for a lamp – but it might actually last a little bit. The not-so-funny part is that the cheap lamp I was replacing had endured since college. And that was over 20 years ago. I paid under $20 for that lamp. But, as the saying goes: they don’t make them like they used to.

Pillow time. I’m replacing pillows at an alarming rate. These
“lifetime” memory foam pillows are lasting me about a year. So I thought – gee – I’ll just buy a cheap one and who cares if it doesn’t last. Well say goodbye to sleep. And hello stiff neck. I had to run out and buy the expensive version once again.

So now that times are tight. Instead of paying less for lesser products… I’m of the strong opinion we just need to be more selective. I’d rather do without – than live with cheap versions of what I really need and want. I only end up replacing them or being unhappy with them. I’d rather have less – and in the end – have something more.

Contributed by Lori Dolnick.

Click here to read all of Lori's posts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Travel Tuesday: Washington, DC

Our trip to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts yesterday brought us to Washington DC. I can't imagine there was a room to be had this weekend, but if you could squeeze yourself into our nation's capitol this weekend, here is a sampling of some beautiful places you might consider visiting:

Hotel George

The Hotel Helix

The Hay Adams

Willard Intercontinental Hotel

The Watergate Hotel - arguably Washington, D.C.'s most famous hotel is currently undergoing extensive renovations and sweeping for the odd listening device and will not be accepting guests until some time in 2009.

Blair House - the worlds most exclusive hotel. The invitation must come from the worlds most exclusive home. The White House's guest house for past and future US Presidents, world leaders and other dignitaries.

C-Span hosted a one hour special this past weekend on Blair house, which you can view here.

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