Interiors

     
     

Mad for Plaid.

October 8th, 2013

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Kitchen Confidential

August 13th, 2013

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We moved from Los Angeles to Nashville in 1982 where my parents had purchased a log house outside of town. We had two contractors who did all the work on and around the house, from building dog pens to rewiring electrical sockets. In addition, these two gentleman bore an uncanny resemblance to Daryl Hall and John Oates. So much so, I truly believed they were Hall and Oates and in turn, convinced my first grade class that the two pop stars were indeed under my parents employ as handy men. This proved to ease the typically rough transition every new kid in class endures and in fact seemed to elevate my popularity significantly. My mother then hired the doppelganging duo to renovate our kitchen at a moment in interior design when islands equipped with prep sinks were just becoming en vogue. The fact that they put the prep sink facing into the island, rendering it completely unusable, leads me to think in hindsight that they were not legitimate contractors but rather just two guys with some tools getting by on their collective good looks and the mesmerizing yin yang of their respective hair styles. Watching this process take place (albeit more than a little wonky) is where, I believe, my love of kitchens and their renovations began. I have “Hall and Oates” to thank for that. Not long after this renovation, my mother became obsessed with sponging and pickling and subsequently, we lived in a world of pink, sea foam green and lavender sponge-painted floors, walls, cabinetry and furniture for a number of years hence. It was both insane and amazing though something akin to psychological interior design warfare. My kitchen aesthetic has since progressed from (or directly shaped in opposition to) said pickled and sponged cabinetry of my childhood in the cruel decade that was the 80’s (my mother’s as well, thank god!) and is forever changing and evolving. Throughout my professional career as a designer, I’ve kept an ongoing, ever-growing file on dream kitchens. Here are a few of the ones I’m coveting at the moment.

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GREAT ESCAPE : Camp Wandawega

August 8th, 2013

This summer’s getaways have been comprised of trips to Rosemary Beach in Florida and San Diego. Dollywood and Disneyland. Add in the art camps, gymnastic camps and princess camps and I am so DONE. Not to mention broke. And as I sit and wipe the tears from my eyes trying to ignore the fact I have essentially traded the vintage cartier I dream of so that my children could live the high life while I work, I am reminded of what my mother once said to me. “Honey, motherhood is not for sissies”. (Um, yeah.) It’s during a bout of my habitual day dreaming that I remembered this little lake-side camp/paradise I’d read about. Located in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Wandawega was named one of the world’s greatest hotels by Travel + Leisure (if they bless it, I believe it) and I now cannot wait for next summer when we’ll ALL go to camp!
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DESIGNING WOMEN : DEBORAH BERKE

July 19th, 2013

I will admit that while I had heard of Deborah Berke, as most who work in interiors design have, I wasn’t fully aware of the breadth, scope and what her firm refers to as the “knowing simplicity” that is intrinsic to her work. Whether the Irwin union bank in Columbus, Indiana or the Yale University School of Art, Deborah Berke’s projects are studies in spare, clean line while retaining a sense of warmth, approachability/accessibilty and, as is their goal, the idea that each project is bespoke to the needs of each client.

A graduate of RISD, Deborah has been Professor Adjunct of Architectural Design at Yale University since 1987. She founded her firm in 1982 and has been hard at work all around the world ever since, from hotels to work with educational institutions to private residences.

It was on recent trips to the 21C hotels in both Louisville and the more recently completed Cincinnati location where I really gained a deep appreciation for her work. And once I realized she was the design mastermind behind my much beloved vacation destination, Seaside, Florida, I became a bit obsessed. I have spent almost every spring and summer since I was eight years old vacationing on 30A and I find it to be just about the most idyllic place on earth for me. “The Truman Show” was filmed there for this very reason. Modica Market is the heart of Seaside and perhaps my favorite market on earth. Deborah Berke designs Park Avenue residences and I am most attracted to her little market on the Florida panhandle. What does that say about me?!?
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48 HOURS IN…. Louisville

May 21st, 2013

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While I am a native Nashvillian, my family roots are deeply tied to Kentucky. My great, great Grandfather was the bourbon distiller JW Dant, who actually made some pretty decent bourbons. My grandmother and great grandmother (who I only ever knew as “Mud”) were both raised in Louisville, are now interred there, and maybe because of that I have always been enamored with Louisville. While it is not far from Nashville (about a 3 hour drive) it is markedly different. Louisville has that flourish that defines so many river cities. While I love a big hat and an excuse to buy a new dress, the bourbon soaked crowds of the Kentucky Derby are more than I can handle, thus ruling out the first Saturday of May for a weekend excursion, but I do love the weeks leading up to the Derby and right after. When I do go, here is how I like to spend my 48 hours in Louisville….

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LITTLE PEOPLE

May 3rd, 2013

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A couple of years ago, I spent a few weeks in England and Ireland and I was inspired by their frequent use of wallpaper, much more so than here in the States. While it certainly costs more to wallpaper a room than to paint a wall, the effect far out weighs the money saved. I often wallpaper just the wall behind the bed or chose a small powder room so as I am not having to use roll upon roll of wallpaper and go over budget. I especially love using bold patterns in children’s rooms to create a magical, whimsical space. Here are some of my favorite wallpapers in little people’s rooms.

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