Shopping the City of Angels

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While we’re not quite Thelma and Louise, put two designers on a mission to scout out the hottest design shops and galleries in Los Angeles and you have a recipe for a different kind of trouble.

A few weeks ago senior designer Ericka Catanzaro and I laced up our power sneaks and shopped L.A.  We scoured Consort Design  and  JF Chen (a-mazing!).   We made ourselves at home at Richard Shapiro’s Studio, Lucca Antiques and Lawson Fenning.  Then we capped it all off with a tour around the Broad.   I need to pause here to say that the gift shop at the Broad is perhaps the coolest museum gift shop that I have ever seen.  I left with a super fun Jeff Koons plastic tote bag that will be perfect for fabric swatches or a day at the beach.

What’s crystal clear is that the design and art scene in L.A. now rivals NYC and that’s a big statement coming from a former New Yorker.


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Horsing Around For A Good Cause

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Last weekend the Sonoma Horse Park hosted The Giant Steps Charity Classic.  Our resident equestrian, Katie, attended the over-the-top fabulous show and shared a few snapshots from the day.  French luxury purveyor Hermès displayed its trademark equestrian chic aesthetic.  The truth is that through this fad and that one, classic good taste will never go out of style.


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Tech @ Home

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It might be a function of our techy hometown but smart technology has become a part of my vernacular. Long gone are the days of working around ugly speakers and cascading wires.  Sonos, iDor Mobile, DS Cam and Home+ make their way alongside the Yves Klein tables and Arbre de Matisse papered walls.

Our design director, Katie even spotted the Laundry Bot at CES. No more folding, pairing or ironing required. That’s progress I can embrace.


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The Beat Goes On


Can you imagine a day without music?

It feeds my soul, fuels my creative spirit and keeps me centered.  It’s that simple auditory pleasure that can instantly transport you to funky town or to some quiet crevice of your brain. Pick your pleasure.

Our office hums along to many tunes throughout the day.  Will it be Django Reinhardt?  Perhaps, the band Air? Or it might be my personal favorite, Sirius XM Chill.

Per Bono, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” People let’s turn up the volume and rock on!


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Vive La France


A bright light from across the pond joined our clan for the summer.  Eden will soon return to Bordeaux to continue her studies at Ecole de Conde.  We asked her what struck her most about her time in the US of A and here’s what she had to say:

*People take the time to say “hello, how are you?”

*Wow, there is so much tech and uber is everywhere.  We are about five years behind in France.

*The food is both amazing and diverse (Chinese, Thai, Mexican and the list goes on and on.)

*People’s personal and interior style is much more laid back.

With that I am going to go get a croissant and my all-American Diet Coke.


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You Had Me at Hello!

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Our design director, Katie, recently purchased a charming Petaluma farmhouse that she and her hubby are lovingly restoring.  First on her “to do” list was updating the front door from a tired brown to a sophisticated shade of blue.  She landed on a rather sublime one aptly named Twilight (Benjamin Moore #2058-10).  Perhaps the best accessory of all is her ferocious guard dog. Look for future posts about Katie’s farmhouse remodel.
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Popham Tiles

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I paid a visit to Popham Design on my most recent visit to Morocco.  I was already smitten after my first stateside encounter.  Being surrounded by vibrant cement tiles in every color of the rainbow sealed the deal.  These tiles are what I call a room maker.  They can absolutely transform or carry a room.

Every tile is handmade by Moroccan artisans and takes two to four minutes to make. The tiles are produced using hydraulic presses and then dried and cured.  They’re just as durable as they are beautiful meaning that they can be used in even more places – yeah!

Take a look at some of my favorite designs.  Be still my beating heart.


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The Cocktail Hour

THe Cocktail Hour

One of the best parts of my job is getting to know inspiring people. Our clients are movers and shakers, and in one case, cocktail makers. If you haven’t already met, I am pleased to introduce you to Austin Cocktails. No need to mix, macerate or squeeze, these gorgeous bottles of pre-made craft cocktails taste as if you had your own private bartender at your service. Banish the bland with fresh flavors like Cucumber Vodka Mojito, Paradise Found and Fred’s Ruby Red. Run, don’t walk, to stock up for summer.


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A Modern French Master

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Comme j’adore French artist François Morellet who recently passed away at a vibrant ninety.  Throughout his life, he embodied the youthful exuberance that comes with following your passion. Morellet was a painter, sculptor and light artist known for his exploration of geometry and intricate pattern.  Using a range of mediums from paint and canvas to neon tubing and fluorescence, this modern master conveyed geometry as art and played with the exchange between rules and spontaneity.

How I would love to design a room around one of his masterpieces!


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Do What You Love

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While sadly I couldn’t be there in person, I followed last month’s epic Armory Art Show with great interest from afar.  One artist who is represented by San Francisco’s own  Haines Gallery  caught my eye in a profound way.  Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian hails from Tehran, Iran after having spent several extended periods living in the West, a fact that profoundly influences her work.  She’s best recognized for her mirrored mosaic sculptures that blend traditional Iranian technique with a decisive nod to geometric Abstraction.  In addition to having commissioned pieces around the globe, Monir had her first U.S. solo show at the Guggenheim last year.  Another fact that shouldn’t be overlooked is her age.  She a vibrant ninety-something.  Clearly, there is something to be said for doing what you love.  

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