when worlds collide

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good morning! it’s been a pretty busy few days around here with the maison et objet in town for the first time in miami beach. it was like having paris descend on our shores and throw a design party!IMG_0343a

of course i was thrilled that we were hosting the world renowned home show and went as both journalist and buyer, not sure what would be so much different from the show in paris…

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it was much smaller and more managable than the one in france which is about 10 times the size, but there was still a lot to process as far as the sheer amount of innovation, crossover and creativity.

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there were companies from all over the world including ‘natural curisosites’ from la, and their name sort of summed up the show for me.

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making my way through the aisles, booths, lectures and halls, it seemed that was the running theme.

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i noticed a lot of organic and modern trends being able to mix seamlessly, giving the show a fresh modern feel while still keeping its traditional roots.

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the baroque and rococo curls and swirls were co-mingling alongside natural booths,  just as in the 1700s era when designers admired and brought in shells, ornament and spirals and created what’s now classic french louis xv design. it was a time when doors were thrown open and interiors and exteriors began to merge.

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at the show there were green walls with fibonacci spirals

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planter sacks for balconies

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and the magnificent traditional importers, ‘authentic provence’, who are bringing it to us right here in west palm beach

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we were invited to factories in the south of france where pots like these have been made for centuries

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and discovered companies who are salvaging and restoring old french floors that are being discarded in paris and bringing them back to life right here in miami.

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i loved seeing the beach and le mer come together

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nature playfully mixed with convention

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vibrant colors from turkey and istanbul brought up images of the south of france

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cashmere, cottons, textures…

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metals like these below were vibrant and organic, showing how a juxtaposition between modern and organic can happen seamlessly

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when shaped into free organic fleurs

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sea shapes and impressions were cast in porcelain as lights and vases

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paper was manipulated as lights and objects of beauty

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mixes of stone, feathers, metallics and pearls were everywhere

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allowing design to flourish with nature as back splashes, additions to chandeliers, and on furniture.

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i guess i’m a bit of a tech nerd at heart but the final frontier was the beautiful modern devices that truly sync our worlds…

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as i was leaving i couldn’t resist shooting this twist on a classic…i think the design and ingenuity speaks for itself. hope you enjoyed le show!

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May 15, 2015. Decorating, Design, Florida, France, Maison et Objet, Miami. 10 comments.

girls i love

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bonjour, toute la monde, ça va? hope you’re having a good weekend. it’s been chilly here so it was a good reason to play online this afternoon. after the last couple posts looking on back on how some of our favorite icons lived, i thought it was time to check in on how the girls of our time are living. each of the following ladies has opened her home shared the most intimate spaces, from her dressing room, bath, salon and of course, boudior. i won’t go into the accolades of who’s who but rather let the shots speak for themeselves. one thing the girls all have in common is their passion for creating a refuge to live, love, create and play. they’re my muses for today and a bunch who’ve inspired me to step it up. hope you enjoy a look into their pretty worlds:

Daria Werbowys

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Linda Rodin

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greychic.com/linda-rodin

Erin Featherston

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Lauren Conrad

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Alison Rubke

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Jessica Stam

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stylecaster.com/jessica-stam-home-vogue

and that’s a wrap on the  eye candy inspiration although i do admit it could go on and on but as scarlett o’hara says tomorrow is another day…at any rate i think it’s time to freshen up my own chateau. think i’ll start with some fresh flowers at the farmer’s market tomorrow. but for now, bonne nuit!

February 8, 2015. Decorating, Design, Designers, Feminine Apartments. 8 comments.

fantasy vs reality

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I believe that in previous lives I’ve been a princess, a kidnapped maiden, a peg-legged pirate and a court jester of Louis XVI. -Shirley Maclaine

allo all, how’s everything going? it’s been hectic getting ready for the holidays and i’ve also been busy working on the new book, Boudoir Moderne. part of the fun has been doing research and digging into the women and men who inspired so many dreams and fantasies with both their films as well as their real lives. there are so many who’ve influenced our culture that it’s hard to pare it down. i got caught up looking through shots of our all american girl, marilyn monroe and decided to start with her. needless to say she’s sort of an enigma that could never be pigeon-holed. the shot above is her in full regalia posing as theda barr (below) in either salome or cleopatra.

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when i googled marilyn monroe bedrooms all sorts of looks came up, many of them over the top images of what were interpreted or considered glamorous boudoirs, but the shots of her in her actual habitat revealed something completely different.

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i admit to having a slightly voyueristic love for candid shots of people at home and it’s no wonder that whoever was in the presence of this woman would want to photograph her any chance they could get. what i was suprised to find was that her home was humble and comfy, a place she could probably really retreat to and enjoy some sacred solitude and not the vampy boudoir of our imaginations.

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the backdrop of her home was as intriguing as the woman herself.

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of course she had her and vanity and dressing table which was de rigeur for all femme fatales 

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and just doing the simplest things took on a whole new meaning when she was shot.

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and she did have glamorous furniture covered in velvet or silk where any pose she struck made her the star of the show.

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i adore the shots of her in bed with plain white sheets, simplicity itself, and of course there is that satin comforter…

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what i loved discovering was that marilyn treasured her book collection and was a voracious reader whether it was scripts, industry mags or ways to learn to improve herself.

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the living room was part bedroom part entertainment area

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which was decorated with bold colors, midcentury furniture and accessories and full of art and mementos.

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a real refuge from the stress of the studios and the public.

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i adore these shots of her enjoying her music even if some of them are posed and not candids

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it still shows the spirit of her place and how she spent her time alone

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i guess we’ll never know what her place truly looked like

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but for sure it was a reflection of her life, passions and dreams

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bottom line is she was just like us. she loved having things around that inspired her, with places to kick back, honor her daily rituals and feel safe which is crucial to well being.

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i’m sure when marilyn closed that door at night she dimmed the lights and enjoyed time just truly being herself. maybe her dream was to have a simple uncomplicated life and this was just the place to indulge in that.

below is an excerpt from Boudoir Moderne:

I’ve never considered myself a decorator. I simply take people’s outrageous dreams and translate them into eveyday life. My translations can sometimes go over the top because, I admit it, I live somewhere between fantasy and reality.

I belive in miracles, fairy tales and dream travel, astral projection, past lives and mental telepathy because every day the universe reveals something even more magical than the day before. When you look at ‘real life” you’ll find tented safaris in the desert, decorated elephants, enchanted forest and wishes made on stars that come true. the fact is that imagination is real and perception is reality. Your take on life makes your home a personal creation. The excitement lies in knowing you can have that be whatever your heart desires.

Life isn’t always a fairy take, we all know that. But beauty and perfection do exist. Think about what is perfect in the world, places you know to be magical, transformational or otherworldly. When you see a castle or garden that’s a maze, those are dreams that have been brought to life. It was imagination that made them real. Just because we live in an era of computers and wires and reallity doesn’t mean we have to live without that magic. Look around your home. What’s your reality? What would you like it to be?

We’ve come to an age when we realize that less is really more. It’s not about the amount of things you have but more about making sure everything you have is important to you and has a function. Living minimally doesn’t mean living witout opulence, it celebrates it. Your home is a playground where you can live out your dreams and have conveniences to serve your every need. When you clear clutter and live with only objects that are useful and loved, your decorating vision will develop. If you live with others, commit to having a room or space that reflects your personality and make it your haven. Just like you, your home is utterly unique and more importantly it’s a reflection of you. Focus on what matters most and create space for the daily rituals you enjoy. Think of it as a work in progress, just like you are. It doesn’t have to be a one shot overhaul. Make small improvements each day and let it be your sculpture, your work of art. Be prepared to discover a new style, one that is perfectly custom made for you, by You!

ok, well i better run. just wanted to announce the winners of the giveaway are Rié and Suzanne based on the random number generator. i have more books and promise to do another giveaway after the holidays. have a great week!

December 17, 2014. Decorating. 17 comments.

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