Modern, Warm, Livable – Thomas O’Brien

As a lover of architecture, I’m always as interested in the home’s history as I am by the interiors. Today I will have the privilege of meeting  – Thomas O’Brien, designer and founder and President of Aero Studios in New York City. O’Brien’s passion to return to the past in his design process is inspiring. He has an incredible eye for the smallest of details that can guide a design within a project or an entire product collection. I love his focus on rarity, function, balance of modern and the warmth found in tradition…becoming one of my favorites I always look to his collections to add rarity and form in my projects.

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Amazing detail nodding to the past is his Calliope Solitaire – inspired by Donald Deskey’s 1940s set of forged fireplace tools he birthed an entire collection from lighting to furnishings.

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Calliope Solitaire – Inspiration

What bloomed from an idea…

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Here is the first of my two favorite homes O’Brien designed…Litchfield

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The second is The Academy – O’Brien’s personal home on Long Island. It was built in 1833 as a boy’s academy…eventually it was transformed into a residence.

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To learn more about Thomas O’Brien visit www.aerostudios.com or visit one of his stores in New York City – Broome Street or Spring Street

You can also find his products at WaterWorks, Hickory Chair, and Visual Comfort Lighting

(Photo Credits: Thomas O’Brien website)

Let There Be Light!

Please allow me to introduce my friend and colleague, who is just as smart as she is beautiful – Johnna Dobbs, Mastercraft Distribution.  (Photo Credits: Rett Peek and Courtesy of Mastercraft Distribution)

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Johnna and her family make great lamps that are a go-to for major retailers like Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby and T.J. Maxx.  Dear readers, designers and homeowners if want high-end lighting at an affordable price point look to Jonesboro’s Mastercraft Distribution. They are a company that take their lighting very seriously, never compromising on design and quality. If you purchase their lighting I am certain you too will see why they have become a solid go-to source nationwide. Please visit AtHomeArkansas.com to learn more about Johnna and her family’s tradition of lighting that began with her grandfather.

Here are a few of her lamps that would make a great statement piece in your home:

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coral

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Golden Globes – Favorite Looks

Normally; I am not waiting with bated breath to see who wore it best…although I was inspired by a few on the red carpet last night. The Golden Globes is a bit more refreshing since its a little more relaxed than other award shows. So without further due…here are some of the winners in my book: AnnaGunn-Globes20

Anna Gunn – Donna Karan Atelier

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 Lupita Nyong – Ralph Lauren (gorgeous!)

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Margot Robbie – Gucci (love the emerald green!!)

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Michelle Dockery – Oscar de la Renta

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Amy Poehler – Stella McCartney

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Cate Blanchett – Armani

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Kate Beckinsale – Zuhair Murad

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Emma Thompson – Lanvin

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Giuliana Rancic – Lorena Sarbu

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Emma Roberts – Lanvin

The Five

The list of pieces you need in your home with that                      little something extra

01

COLOR MY HIDE soft lilac meets nickel.

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ARTERIORS ~ Kelli Lamp

02

BE DAZZLED unlike any reflection on your wall.

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BUNGALOW 5 ~ Romano Wall Mirror

03

THE GOLD CUFF CHAIR No pillow required.

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CARACOLE ~ Ice Breaker Chair

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THE BRONZE AND WHITE QUATREFOIL TABLE certainly won’t get mistaken for your grandmother’s table.

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GLOBAL VIEWS ~ Quatrefoil Rectangular Table

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THE BLACK FLIRT the look of entitlement, in a day bed.

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KOKET ~ Prive’ Day Bed

Live for Beauty – Barbara Barry

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I also live for beauty, which is why this was perfectly written to me….“Beauty is a positive force.”Image

There are few people that I have come across in my life that make an impact on me and admittedly Barbara Barry is one of them. This month I had the distinct honor to meet Barbara at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles. Amongst her many talents of design, writing in symphonic notes is some of her best work.  She can dance a word unlike I have ever heard; the fluidity is incredible…one can only wish to write so beautifully.

Go with me for a moment prior to our meeting; while she was being introduced you knew the Barbara you had seen on marketing campaigns or the beautiful woman behind the fabrics you loved was more than a glossy page or textile could translate. There in that moment was a genuine adoration for this elegant lady we all admired from afar. During her speech; she read excerpts from her book Around Beauty, you could feel a shift of emotion in the room, as though a glorious calm swept us all away clinging to her every word. She made me want to be a better designer.

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Barbara lives for beauty unabashedly every day; it is her North Star. Her philosophy of finding beauty in the quotidian resonates with me, as in all things whether its the petal of a flower or the ladybug in the grass there is something simple but extraordinary to discover. It is my philosophy: Everyday Glamour. As you read her book, you too will see she craves as we all do for beauty everywhere…even in “the happy roundness of a soup spoon.”

Waiting to visit with her and sign my book was worth it; she was simply captivating. She spoke to me as if no one existed around us. Her ability to connect on a personal level was uncanny. As you learn about her you will realize her most notable trait is that she is very meticulous; thought her initial exchange to me was cute: “I am so glad you dressed up today, no one dresses up anymore.” Of course, she was speaking my language because if you know me at all, this is just who I am, I value dressing everyday. Although I don’t see it as “dressing up,” its just customary in my life.  Dressing for me is just as beauty is for Barbara, commonplace. There was a wonderful connection I had with her as if I had known her all my life…but the most memorable was before we bid our good-byes, she gently affirming, “I will never forget you” my exchanging with, “I’ll always remember you.” She said, “how very fluid” and without either saying another word there was a quiet connection made.

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(Image Above: photographer Andrea Anthony Brooks – thank you my sweet friend for capturing this special moment XO)

Below is one of my favorite images in her book. She takes you through her Dance of Design, into the homes of her clients and into her personal world showing you her love of beauty in every way throughout her life and home. “When I think about what moves me most in my life, IT IS BEAUTY.”  ImageHere are a few images of Barbara’s work from her book and via Barbara Barry, her signature color palette from growing up in California: pale-blue greys, saturated celadons of agaves, and myriads of greens outside every window – ” I feel my most alive on the edge of an idea.”Image

“Beautiful process equals beautiful product.” (Piedmont California)Image

“There is no substitute for the real thing…in people as well as in products.” (Piedmont, California)Image

“Simplicity is essence with conviction.” (Beverly Hills, California)

I highly recommend you buy her book and then curl up with a blanket to savor every moment. A Manor of Speaking is one of my favorites in the book, her telling the story of the day the beautiful front door arrived, this one spoke to me as so many of us have clients who don’t realize what they truly paid for until they see it, a wonderful moment to witness. Hope you’ve enjoyed this short journey with me presenting the beautiful Barbara Barry. Please read further to see how you can have a piece of Barbara’s coveted designs in your home.Image

Barbara has recently just launched her new outdoor collection here at McGuire Furniture which is worth the browse and buy.

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She also has a lovely textile collection with Kravet – beautifully narrated video below showing her Indochine Collection

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Other Collections

Barbara Barry Lighting Collection http://visualcomfortblog.com/

  Mar Vista Collection by Barbara Barry for Boyd Lighting – Feb 2013

·    Barbara Barry sheeting collections  Bloomingdales

Image Credits: Thank you Barbara Barry for sharing these images with me from your book and your online portfolio of images here.
Please note that all photography from Barbara’s book is credited to:  Photo by David Meredith, from Around Beauty (Rizzoli NY) by Barbara Barry

Spring Is In The Air

Michael Bublé – Come Fly With Me Just somehow starts playing; giving me that extra tap in my step skipping into the sun dreaming of warm evenings, beautiful crisp navy and white color palette, lots of flowers, and lounging by the pool with a glass of Pinot Noir…

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Being the clothes (dare I say) whore that I am…think straight up white is perfect for spring…

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But, what girl doesn’t love pops of color and flowing dresses!!!!

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Besides thinking of a new wardrobe assemble for spring what I crush over is planning my outdoor living space. Are you just itching to play outside like me?!

So let’s get serious…seriously tickled pink over these awesome Riviera chairs from Serena & Lily spring collection??!!

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Can’t you just see these on your back veranda?

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Chairs that great automatically make me think of this beautiful teak Janus et Cie Relais table

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And, of course a proper table must have a perfectly planned table scape…important tip buy flowers lots and lots and lots of flowers

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If you want something more modern and saloresque (is that even a word? LOL) go for stripes of navy, white and a pop of green!

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After the yummy clam bake dining with your favorite peeps retreating to the fire pit and chaise lounge

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don’t forget your Hermes blanket…Image

if Hermes is a bit too much then try on this darling throw from COCOCOZYCOCO

I so enjoy how spring is filled with blissful days, though there is one thing I love the most….the memories that are made with loving family/friends and a breeze that is fresh as a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day…

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HAPPY LONG WALKS WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE

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Currey & Cocktails

Checking my mail recently; lovely sifting through the pile to find a crisp glossy invitation from Currey & Co…there she was the Garbo Settee in a kelly green graphic textile.

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 A sunny invite to enjoy conversation, hors d’oeuvres and libations @DallasMarket and meet local design bloggers (@ElleColesmu @Hadley_Court @DeniseMcGaha @designershay @LuxuryfortheHom @HilaryInspired). A sneak peek event not to be missed!

This is the newly expanded Dallas Showroom in the photo below Après-DMC Sneak Peek where we ended our market day…

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Although Currey & Co is known for its authentic and fabulous lighting; they have recently expanded their line with furnishings which I am certain you will love as much as I do.

 

Feast your eyes on the lines of these beautiful and intimate touches in this collection….ImageCan’t you just imagine this silver harlow Diva Chaise in the dressing room of Ava Gardner all the while lounging in her white fur…

the sexy vivacious curves on this Dufrene table screams Hello Girls!!

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And this Goring Roundelay is truly divine…can so see this in a grand foyer or the gorgeous lobby of J.K. Place Capri… complete  L’Art de VivreImage

Oh Veronica! need I say more??!!

Of course don’t forget to still knock at the door of Currey & Co. for your lighting if you’re feeling a little exotic and want a desert dune love affair….Arabiah Pendant

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And one more thing, please darling don’t keep it a secret if you are granted a date with one of these fabulous gems, sharing with your girlfriends is a must!

XO Currey & Co. you steal my heart!

 

Schumacher collaboration with Mary McDonald…

It’s a Wednesday morning, rather cold and rainy in Arkansas but with the warmth in the car and good company; the frigid weather is a hand on a window distance.  With the tip of the world in my grasp couldn’t resist checking the news and the scrolls of emails amongst the chatter. Typical day of junk & demands, except today when my eyes caught the fresh collection post by Schumacher…Mary McDonald. My heart couldn’t help but patter as an admirer of her work.  Heaven had opened up bringing my two favorite design houses together Schumacher and Mary McDonald…its a marriage that knocks it out of the park!

Join the reception ladies and gents…the smashing party will not disappoint.

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Mary brings together the dramatic scale of motifs with a beautiful reinterpretation of traditional textile design into perfect balance with this collection.

Below is a perfect example of her love for blending Chinoiserie, bold patterns and color… her signature styleImage

Although I love her soft shade of blush pink in this collection; my heart always falls for her use of crisp deep navy in bold unapologetic patterns.

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Now; I know her Chinois Palais is known as her ‘show stopper’ but when I saw the grand scale appliques the Scarlett of Gone with the Wind came rolling out…Great Balls of Fire! Madame Wu has spoken…standing ovation worthy.

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here’s the show stopper…Chinois Palais..doesn’t the dramatic motif just scream look at me against the chinoiserie pattern?!

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Of course I can’t dismiss the Firenze inspired by a Florentine marble paper; modern twist on a classic chevron pattern. Love the bold ruby reds with backdrops of jet black and camel infused patterns. A gorgeous rock and roll glamour that is so tastefully done like the love affair Fortuny envelopes you in with their woven old romance of Venice.

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After all this mouth dropping inspiration I certainly couldn’t forget to introduce the Greta Garbo behind this collection…Mary.

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To view her entire collection visit Mary McDonald Collection.

Decorating with Door Hinges

Lately; I’ve been obsessed with finding beautiful door hinges.  They add a perfect detail that we normally miss; love how a hinge that is meant to be functional can make the plainest of doors become beautiful.  Although we are beyond the Victorian Style early 1800s -1900s where everything was lavish and floral patterns in relief were prominent or the elaborate motifs of the Art Deco style; the history and architecture always romance the seeing eye.

Here are few hinges I’ve come across in my search for these forgotten beauties.

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The one below reminds me of my grandmother’s back screen door I always ran in and out of as a child on hot summer days – you know the one’s that had the spring that you would try to beat before it slammed shut on you. Image

Think this one is so pretty has very clean and delicate lines that could go modern or traditional.

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I hope this gives you a little inspiration to look for the hidden beauty in every day functionality.

Sneak Peek @ Dallas Market Center

Jammed packed fun weekend was definitely delivered by Meredith Hite, VP of Corporate Communications and her brother Chris. I was honored to be a guest blogger at the Home and Gift Show at Dallas Market Center with market’s Sneak Peek program. Our memorable weekend began with Friday night cocktails with HGTV John Gidding of Curb Appeal. John is truly a class act; pure gentleman with a smile that lights up a room.Image

Saturday morning, we were greeted by Visionary Award winners Dwell with Dignity and served a lovely breakfast by Dallas Design Supply before starting our journey through the hottest showrooms.Image

The chest above is from Marshall Clements; they import gorgeous pieces from Europe.ImageNavy is one of my favorite colors; just had to capture these great pillows at the In Detail showroom. This settee was really great, the side has metal detailing with brass grommets.ImageIn the image below is a fabulous Swarovski “Pandora” Chandelier that I renamed ‘Cinderella’; designer Frederikson Stallard created this masterpiece with individually threaded crystals on motorized wire which makes the silhouette turn into abstract art.Image

This is just a glimpse of all the fabulous finds from Marshall Clements, The Mix, In-Detail, Park Hill Collection, Studio A, Lady Primrose, Peacock Alley and Currey & Co. At the end of our fun day Currey & Co. treated us to great hors d’oeuvres and libations. To make the day sweeter DMC gave us a swag bag full of goodies from the showrooms we visited. Thanks Dallas Market Center for such a fabulous weekend!