Monday, July 30, 2012

Reclaim your room!

I hope to inspire with this blog and sometimes we have a room in our homes that needs a little inspiration and attention. Some of us aren't fortunate enough to have one of these rooms, others have contorted it into an office, playroom, studio or extra family room. Some of them are "a part" of another room (like mine), a run-on by lazy architects on a budget or builders who try to convince us that an open concept is best for all of us. Sorry architects and builders but I am talking about the formal Dining Room. A room unto it's self, separated from the kitchen, living and family rooms. Our insane and overly scheduled lives have left the dining room to a mere pass through or left waiting for the Big Three (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter) to open it's arms to us again, welcoming us back like the Grandmother you don't visit enough but she's always happy to see you without a lecture.

I spent many years working (and drinking )in restaurants and bars. The sense of community and comfort are the core of the concept...being with other human beings, communicating and sharing food, drink and ideas is a basic need in our lives. So why would you allow that same need to go unfilled in your own home? Home is the last safe place on earth, it needs to be as comfortable and inviting as possible. Sharing ideas, communicating with the ones you love and providing that safe haven for your family is essential to a happy life. I can refer you to all kinds of studies that tell us that eating dinner together as a family brings us all closer, helps our kids get better grades, raises their self esteem and in general makes you a tighter clan. But we all know these benefits of dining together and eating in front of the TV as a family does not count!

Let's get some inspiration from a teeny handful of cafes, pubs and restaurants from around the world...

I usually have to comment on all my pictures that I post but I will let them speak for themselves this time.

I know you can't see the interior here but I had to include at least one outdoor cafe shot and I can't help myself when it comes to Cafe du Monde. It is one of my favorite spots in New Orleans. Yes, I know it's tourist Hell but just look at this picture, it makes me smile. Gorging yourself on a pastry with an astonishingly high calorie count, drinking cup after cup of coffee till you're shaking, chain smoking till you've filled the ashtray and watching the freak show of tourists, junkies, musicians and locals shuffle by was one of my favorite and most memorable experiences (besides the bars and graveyards - which we will cover another time) in New Orleans.

Go on now...go clean out your dining room or carve out a space in your home for one and bond with your family or better yet, host a dinner party!

Friday, July 20, 2012

In the Navy!

I'm pretty sure I am now mature enough to fully embrace the color Navy. I think there are some colors in the spectrum that you grow in and out of and some you have to have enough wisdom to fully appreciate. It is a quiet color with lots of muscle, the strong silent type, it has as much tradition as it's military namesake and it makes me feel (just a teeny tiny bit) like a Kennedy back in the early sixties.

Powder rooms are the best rooms in your home to experiment with the dark, the intense and the glossy, three of my favorite things. This beautiful sink looks like a starlet under the spotlights. Gorgeous!

Here we go...Mary McDonald is one of my favorite designers. Her punches of graphic patterns and colors, especially on floors, is always the room maker. It's her signature style and it once again proves that the floor (and ceiling) are just as important as the walls. This pattern is so over-scaled it's almost comedic, that's why it's so amazing. I'm forgetting how beautiful the rest of the room is but that's a no brainer.

This flame patterned wallpaper is another wonderful graphic punch that makes the room. The white and orange jump out and give just the right amount of contrast to make this room really pop. The navy, white and green color combo also totally remind me of the early eighties at Catholic know, Izods, Sperrys and cardigans.

This room is so freaking fantastic that I posted it on my Facebook page this week. Chartreuse is my favorite color and the contrast it provides in this room breathes a little modernity into an otherwise stuffy room, although it is saved from that fate by the sexy high gloss walls.

I think I'll paint our powder room this weekend...high gloss navy I think.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Men...why so apathetic?

I love men. I especially love my husband of seventeen years. I also love gay men. Here is where I'm going with this..are (hetero) men really interested in interior design? Of course the answer is yes but what percentage? And why is the percentage so high with gay men? What is it about interiors that repels the average man? Is it some crazy chemical imbalance? It's not an uber girly genre. These are spaces that we all spend time in. Do you not care if your living room sofa is leather or mohair? Are you that lackadaisical to the palette of the Turkish rug? If you don't care then I guess I'll just go ahead and recover your Dad's wing back in a modern floral. I have your attention, sir.

I wish men were not so apathetic about such an important part of their lives. A while back I did an entry about pairing up smoking hot men with equally handsome rooms, one of my favorite entries. I definitely have more of a masculine lean when it comes to design so I'm on your side dudes! Next time your wife/girlfriend/partner asks your opinion about your interior space, give an opinion. You may not get your way but at least you've contributed. Take pride in your home, you spend a lot of time there and it's one of the last safe places out there.

Sooo butch! See, isn't this fun?

See, not all pictures and wall hangings have to consist of flowers.

So next time you've been drug out to a furniture store or (gasp) an antique store by your better half, please try to at least act like you're interested and answer her questions with more than grunts and shoulder shrugs. It will make her so happy if you at least just point to one of the pillows she's holding up for your approval. I guarantee she won't choose the one you pointed to but at least you're engaged in the outing. If you are on good behavior most of the day you may even get lucky that night.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Saddle shoes and no seat belts

My husband and I saw Moonrise Kingdom last night and once again Mr. Anderson, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Wes Anderson is the director of one of my all time favs (#3 on my top ten list, The Royal Tenenbaums. I even recommend watching it without the sound.) The scenes, sets and wardrobes are an emotional journey for me and I'm sure most of my least those of you over the age of 37ish. The knee socks, the record players, the oriental rugs, the board-game closets, the chain smoking, the metal can of Wilson tennis balls (you can still smell them as you take the lid off can't you?) and the absence of seat belts in cars. His movies allow me to relive a period of my life that I cherish and yet makes me sad that my own children will never feel and experience all of the amazing, dangerous and naive opportunities that I had.

My children are at camp this week in Michigan, hopefully gaining as much worldly experience as all the children in Moonrise Kingdom did in their camp adventures. One of the first things we're going to do when they get back is to go see this film. Hopefully, it will give them a little insight into my mumbled words of "the old days".

I loved and adored my saddle shoes.

Again...styling is genius and so spot on.