Monday, October 31, 2011

I'd turn back if I were you

I just wanted to post a few pictures here today as a reminder of this "holiday", seems like such an inappropriate word for a day that creates anxiety in little kids and reminds us of ghosts of the past. Please don't get me wrong, it's one of my favorite days of the year.
Be careful out there tonight...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where to get the good stuff on Halloween!

I think Halloween is simply amazing. Ringing doorbells at the home of complete strangers and threatening them with a nasty prank unless they hand over a yummy treat is really bold. At the turn of the 20th century and especially later during the depression, people were actually asking for a little morsel on this night, a little pity in extremely tough times. So, it makes sense to hit the biggest and most unique homes. With this in mind, check out some of these incredible historic homes. What the hell would these people be handing out on Halloween?
Happy Halloween Darlings!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bring on the wild

The amazing variety of wallpaper available today is astounding. There is no way a little blog can even scratch the surface of this design element but I can share a few favs.
This "Deer" paper is exquisite. From afar it probably looks like a beigey abstract but upon closer inspection you see the herd in a kaleidoscope of movement.
This one kills me..."Yeah, so I'm looking for something with Iguanas." The diagonal print, the strangling and wrapping of the flora around him and the insects buzzing about. There's even a bird trying to subdue him. It all just makes it even weirder, which I love.
A little more traditional and I really love the black and the peacock green. I bet this wall really pops.
I love the color combo in this but the fish almost look a little prehistoric to me, a little creepy but from afar the design has lots of movement.
Gorgeous, graphic and Asian = First Place! Thanks to Walnut Wallpaper for these incredible finds. Check them out, you will be wowed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'll take the stairs

I always said my last home in life will be a ranch, completely flush with the ground outside. I don't want to have to haul laundry, groceries or anything else over three pounds up or down any more stairs. Retirement is at least 30 years away but I've already had enough of the up and downs. But I know already that I will really miss having a beautiful staircase.
Yeah, in my wildest dreams this is my staircase.
Okay, not my staircase either.
Alright, a far more down to earth staircase that is really cute. A pop of color or pattern that is really fun. I'm guessing this is wallpaper, bet that was fun to install.
I love-love-love this shot. The zebra runner is fab, the "mural" on the landing wall is so clever and you can never go wrong with a creamy and black color scheme.
The floor to (I'm assuming) ceiling gallery combined with the lively pattern of the runner provides so much interest and movement. Not to mention the linear railing, super mod.
This is my favorite. It's like a genuflect on the way up and a curtsey on the way down.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Breaking the're so naughty BLUE

I have always understood that blue is an appetite suppressant. I know it is a calming color and one of my favorites but using it in the kitchen was considered, for years, to be a no-no. To hell with the rules ~one of our mantras here at Zoe~ and bring on the blue in your kitchen.
This is one of my favs so far. The domestic bliss in this shot is stunning. The blue seems to vibrate or hum with a quiet intensity. Maybe that's where she's getting all that energy from.
Blue and cherry are an amazing combo. It's kitchy, country and mid century mod all at the same time. The tulip chairs are the perfect spot for the pop of cherry. This should give you proof that you should not be afraid to mix complimentary colors.
Again, complimentary colors do the trick here. The wall adds a textural interest and the wooden countertop warms it all up. Now, these chairs...Tolix (I believe), a french company has been making them for years. Beautifully industrial and will outlast you and your family. Worth every dime.
This wall color is a fabulous navy, which is constantly overlooked on the color wheel. The portrait brings a little seriousness to the room but the white, crisp cabinets tell you this kitchen is all about getting the job done. I really like this room but I think it would bring me down after a while. I'd rather see the navy wall in a living room with a white marble fireplace and a gallery of gloomy portraits there.
This kitchen has that whimsical and goofy feeling that keeps moods light and happy. Who wouldn't want a black crystal chandelier in their Tiffany Blue kitchen? Maybe I would enjoy being in the kitchen more if I had one, too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

All Hallows Eve

I love-love-love Halloween! But I'm very particular about my decor. Nothing with blood, nothing that screams, nothing cutesy and nothing gory. I need the Victorian era decorations. They were so caught up in it all, that's why it's so charming. I also like the realistic... skeletons, ravens, pumpkins and tombstones. One of my prized possessions is a paper weight with a black and white photo of a tombstone of the Fox Sisters in Salem, Massachusetts. Amazing. But I want to take the opportunity to share my love of (creepy) taxidermy. OOOH, look at Royal Tennenbaum in the picture below, now that's taxidermy! If you can stomach it, I suggest you get some in your home. It brings nature in and is a daily reminder of our own mortality.
This is an amazing room and I love the shot. A little Goth, a little traditional and a lot of unique crammed into one room. The charcoal wall is a fantastic backdrop to all the animals and antique pieces. The tufted leather sofa also cinches it for me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tenenbaum Musings

I was inspired this morning by a piece on about the interior stylings of the movie The Royal Tenenbaums. It's been described as preppy chic, old school traditional, Victorian bohemian and top drawer mess. I love it. I even devoted a column here called "Movies to watch for the set design" and Tenenbaums is right there.
One of my favorite rooms in the home is the game closet where many family meetings are held. You can almost smell the cardboard. The house is such a predominate player in this movie, standing up to it's brilliant all star -and I mean all star- cast.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thoughts on purple?

How does purple make you feel? Wealthy? Sexy? Secure? Or is it a little off to you (like it is to me)? Does it make you feel immature? Uneasy? Antsy?
However... I love this room! Taxidermy and the settee...delish. I also love the large scale wallpaper, so top drawer.
Okay, this is way more pink but there are lavender hues. I adore this for a girl and nothing's better than a pretty powder room. Now I really want a high gloss pink door! Plus my life's mantra is on the wall... Thanks to Elle Decor for the fab pics!

Distracting Office!

How's this for an amazing office space?! I love all of it, especially that light fixture. Extremely creative and functional. The bookshelves are slightly askew and that would drive me out of my mind but besides that, I think it's very impressive. I love the repetition of objects in the room, almost rhythmic. The brushes, the lamps on the ceiling, the books and the "circles" on the wall. Over and Over and Over. Also, pay mind to the mirror in the center as it expands the space and gives you even more repetition with the image of that amazing light fixture. Thanks to the peeps at for the pic!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mid Century Modern Horcrux

Yesterday was the BRI (Bloomington Restoration Inc) Eastside Modern house walk in my very own neighborhood. five homes, each of them with so many similarities yet so different in those intangible ways. Magnificent, MidCentury Modern homes, some completely and dramatically renovated, others literally untouched from the day the owners had finally settled in. I am a sentimental sucker in historical areas. Family pictures, old furniture, forty year old books and old family sedans are a few things that bring a smile to my face. These objects are almost like a Horcrux (if you're unfamiliar with this term, I refer you to Harry Potter and feel sorry for you at the same time) and hold all human interaction with it. I know, a little flaky but it's how I feel. That's what these homes were yesterday. The well worn path on the cork floor through the hallways, the slightly mildewy aroma of childhood books still on their shelves and the original medicine cabinet that holds God-only-knows-what kind of secrets over the years. These are all the amazing experiences I had. One room in particular that made me really smile upon entering was the bathroom of a wonderful A Frame home (just a few hundred feet from my own home), nothing spectacular really...original fixtures, sink, tub and toilet but covering the walls were framed -of all different sizes- family pictures. Old black and whites of great grandparents, grandchildren, adult children, wedding photos, family reunions, hell there was even a picture of President Obama. This room was uber personal, not only because (of the obvious) it's a bathroom but because of all the very intimate photos that covered the walls. I think I spent the most time in there, floating from frame to frame, trying to tie family member to family member. The docents in the other room were probably wondering what the hell I was actually doing in there. The afternoon felt like a privilege, thanks to BRI and all the homeowners -my neighbors- for allowing us to peer into your homes and your lives for an afternoon. If you ever have the opportunity to go on a house walk, whether it's a million dollar a home house walk or a Queen Anne restoration house walk, go. Try to feel the energy of the house and it's inhabitants, it's an amazing feeling. Plus, when do you ever get the chance to stroll through someone's home ala Gladys Kravitz. (Again, for the pop culture inept I refer you to Bewitched and feel sorry for you again). A quick note...Bewitched is a wonderful show to watch for the interiors and decor. I'm going to add that to my side list.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

East Side Modern Housewalk

Today there is a house walk -right here in my neighborhood- and I'm super psyched. Five homes on the walk, four of them excellent examples of Mid-Century Modern and the fifth is the original French Chateau style brick farmhouse that was on the original farmstead back in the 40's. When I was a kid, whenever we went anywhere at night I always tried to peek into people's homes to get a glimpse of the interior. As I got older, I would take walks at night through the neighborhood to sneak a peek into people's homes. Today, I can proudly walk into complete stranger's homes, in broad daylight and linger in full view of witnesses. Hell, there will be others there with the same love that I share for others homes. I confessed my night time peeping habits to two area Designers the other day (Pam & Kimberly from Accent on Interiors here in Bloomington) and they too revealed the same compulsion. We all laughed and were speculating that we couldn't possibly be the only three people in the world who had this love. If you're reading this and you're one of us, please confess. Don't misunderstand, no one is encroaching onto property and cupping their hands on the window for a cheap thrill, we simply take a look at the obvious. If you really don't want anyone to catch a glimpse of the inside of your home, draw the curtains tight. If you don't mind a little admiration form afar, keep those sheers open. I will post my adventure from today tomorrow. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Courage my friend...

In this hyper everything world we are living in, there is a very nondescript but essential word in our professional vocabularies...NETWORKING. Don't be afraid, meeting new people and introducing yourself to complete strangers is not as frightening as one may think, on the contrary. It's really quite thrilling, empowering and satisfying. I spent hours doing it yesterday and I promise you, I'm a better person for it today. I've said this over and over to friends and family (and especially my teenage twins) it's "who you know" that will help you succeed in this world. Every cool job I had in college was because I knew somebody that got me in. Any fabulous and exclusive record (complete with rock stars) party I ever attended was because of who I knew. My first client for Zoe was a wonderful woman, Laura Binning (take a bow) and we happened to meet at a job that I hated and she inspired me to get out on my own. Again, it was who I knew. She in turn introduced me to many more new clients, including her husband, Tim (take a bow, too) who is the Broker/Owner of several successful ReMax offices. Well, you know he threw me all kinds of gigs with his real estate contacts. When we recently moved to Bloomington, our friend Jeff Franklin (another amazing realtor with Tucker) personally called the agent for this property and gave my husband and I a glorious recomendation.'s who you know. I don't mean for this to sound like we're using people just so we can obtain the desired results but that's exactly what it is but with a gentler hand. I actually LIKE all the people I network with. It's nothing more than friends doing favors for friends. God, I really sound like I'm living on my own little glitter and rainbow stage but it's how I really feel. Try to take that attitude when you're networking. Don't look at it as a task or a chore or one more thing to cross off your list. Think of it as widening your big ass circle of friends and acquaintances.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back Home Again in Indiana...

I finally have a few minutes to tell you all that we've finally moved! We had been talking about moving to Bloomington, Indiana for years, even before our kids were born, but life sometimes distracts you from your chosen path. We have been here since August and are so anxious to get started on many different projects. My husband Paul is a Chef and he will be at Bloomington's newest (and best) restaurant, TOPO's on Walnut & 8th Streets. We're expecting a late November/December opening. Featuring Mediteranean cuisine from Greece, Spain and Italy. If you're lucky enough to be on the pre-opening party list, we'll see you there, if not, we'll see you shortly thereafter. Keep your eyes open for more info...