Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Cheap(er) Chic Item o’ the Week

February 28th, 2011

I feel like I shouldn’t mar this post with sarcasm because I am talking about Charles and Ray Eames.  *bowing down*  But who am I kidding?  A post without sarcasm?  That’s like a day without sun (Note to my Seattle readers: this comment doesn’t apply to you).

The famous molded plastic DAR chair, currently sold at DWR for $349 big ones:

And, since we can pretty much guarantee that they won’t be missing the royalties TOO much, here’s a good knock off from  $201.99 for TWO.  Yee haw:

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Cheap(er) Chic Item o’ the Week

October 1st, 2010

Not the biggest savings I’ve ever found but it still saves you enough to go get your Day Glo nails done.  WITH rhinestones.  I love me some clear acrylic tables but I haven’t managed to take the plunge yet (myself) because I’ve put them in clients homes and seen how they have magic powers.  Oh yes they do.  They attract any molecule of dust within a 12 foot radius PLUS the added bonus of getting scratched to tarnation by Hot Wheels.

However, acrylic tables are a great option especially when space is limited or a room seems crowded.  They provide surfaces without taking up visual area…which means be careful when 95 year old Great Aunt Glenda comes over.  With her failing eyesight, it’s only a matter of time before she trips over them.  (Which may be funny or not, depending on your relationship with her.)

CB2′s Peekaboo nesting set at $199:

Overstock’s set for $139:

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House = WIN, Furnishings = FAIL

September 2nd, 2010

Lots to love about this house. I would live there if you asked me. However, I can’t help but feel that the owners forked over a ton of dough to get this amazing piece of property so they could have that view….and then ran out of money and had to use Aunt Verna’s sofa / chair set thing circa 1979 and Uncle Kanye’s coffee table circa 1985.

The dining table and chairs are great and I love ‘em but the incongruency is killing me. The sofa / big chair / whatever-it-is looks like it should be sitting on orange shag carpeting  and reeking of da herb and, by the looks of the cushions, it hosted many a hippie. The mobile coffee table looks like it should be sitting across from a plastic covered sofa “leased” from Rent-To-Own and across from a bookshelf made of shiny peach laminate. I like to think that, at one time, it had legs but they morphed slowly over time into wheels because they are trying to get away from that sofa.

And the vases (that’s “vah-zyz” when you have this much money) full of cut flowers? I assume that their local hospital had to get rid of some extra arrangements that patients left behind. I only hope the part of the dining table not pictured doesn’t have yet two more. Perhaps they just never want dinner guests and completely covering the expanse of wood is their passive aggressive way of suggesting you don’t hint at a dinner invitation.

Deep thoughts by Jessica Thompson

(photo credit: Humberto Hermeto)

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Cheap(er) Chic Item o’ Da Week

July 30th, 2010

Scowl slightly through the haze of your cigarette smoke while leaning on one elbow. Perhaps sip a scotch ever so slowly while your rakish eyes scan the room, pretending you don’t see that lovely lady in her shirtwaist and pearls watching you hopefully.  Close your eyes and savor the feeling of being Don Draper.

That is until your kids snap you back to reality by screaming that their iPhones have awful signal and Netflix isn’t working.

Momentarily indulge your mid-century fantasy with this classic chair.

(Betty Draper not included.)

Room and Board’s Anson Chair for $1,199:

Overstock’s aptly named Jetson Chair at $262.99:

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My Backyard (In My Dreams)

April 23rd, 2010

Behold, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Waz that? The name turns you off? WHO CARES. Just look at this amazing marriage of horticulture, science and math. Charles Jencks, along with his late wife Maggie Keswick, designed this garden starting in 1989. Where else can you explore the Fibonacci sequence of numbers and fractals while gazing at the DNA helix come to life as a cool sculpture?

And it’s in Scotland and only open one day a year to the public.

I’m going to speculate how long it would take me to hitchhike to Scotland…

(Photo Credit:  Paulus Maximus )

(Photo Credit:  Paulus Maximus)

(Photo Credit: Paulus Maximus)

(Photo Credit : wikimedia)

(Photo Credit: wikimedia commons)

(Photo Credit: wikimedia commons)

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April 9th, 2010

Alright, I am momentarily stepping away from my love of all things modern and clean and showing you that I am a well-rounded lover of design. The juxtaposition of the voluminous drapes around this bed against the stark, industrialized look of the exposed brick and beams makes me swoon. Swoon, I say!  This is a perfect example of the secret to designing unique, yet, cohesive interiors: carefully combining different styles with an eye to proportion, balance and color. In other words, I encourage you to not open the JCPenney catalog and buy drapes that match your bedspread and furniture pieces that come in a “suite”. (Oh snap! Kidding, Mom. Love you and your matching drapes!)

Although the practical part of me (yes, there is one buried deep, deep down) can only think how dirty those lovely cream drapes will be. I had an apartment in NYC that had exposed brick and that bad boy was so dusty I could write on any exposed smooth surfaces with just my finger. Saved alot of trees, but it was bothersome.

(Photo: Ochs Design)

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Cheap(er) Chic

April 6th, 2010

Blog?  Waz dat?  From the lack of posts, it seems I have forgotten I even had one.  But never fear, my legions of fans (all 10 of you) for I am back!  Here is my cheap(er) chic item o’ the week:

Here’s the pricier version at $1299, courtesy of Room & Board:

Less expensive $818 version from

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Groovy Bathroom

February 26th, 2010

I love this bathroom and it’s ALMOST perfect…for me. Couple of changes I would do however: If I had my druthers, I would cut off a foot or less of the vanity on the bottom.  (Just whack it off right where that first or second line up from the bottom is.) Personally, I think the vanity looks a little clunky as it is, but granted I can’t see the rest of the room for a sense of balance. I would also paint the wall and ceiling a different color to warm the space up a bit.

I love how the roundness of the light fixture softens the many horizontal and vertical lines of the room. I also love the interplay of warm and cool materials (wood, marble, glass) because, when that is done right, I find my happy place. What I really, really love since I am all about natural light (Why don’t more people use it to its full advantage? Oh right, vampires.) is the frosted glass windows with the mirrors mounted in front. It’s an awesome amount of natural light for when people like me are putting on their pancake makeup, fake eyelashes and Lee Press On Nails.

(Photo Credit: Mike Sinclair for Bent & Sliced Residence)

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Cheap(er) Chic Item o’ the Week

February 19th, 2010

Pottery Barn’s bestselling sofa line is their PB Basic.  (Well, it was 10 years ago when I was a furniture buyer for them.)  Personally, it’s not my favorite style but there’s a reason it’s a big seller so, as my good deed of the day, I am going to post a cheaper version.  You are welcome.

So here’s Pottery Barn’s PB Basic Loveseat which retails for around $1300:

JCPenney’s Olivia loveseat is only $500.  Squint and you can see the teeny picture:

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Inspiration Board

February 2nd, 2010

I will be posting “boards” (or collages) of things that I’m currently inspired by. Or another way to say it is “Collages of Rooms I Want to Live in…After I Win the Lotto”. I actually will be posting boards of cheaper chic items as well because creating a peaceful space does not have to be expensive. However, today’s is. Insanely so. Like price-of-a-car expensive. Which is why it’s inspiration and not photos of my actual home.

The item that inspired me for this board is the live-edge dining table by Hudson Furniture. I love the play of the thick slab of wood juxtaposed with the sleek, antiqued brass base. (I especially love the base because this finish is not common right now.) I chose a modern leather-wrapped dining chair in the perfect shade of greige (a mix of gray and beige) to counteract the bulk and finish of the table.

The capiz chandelier is one I actually installed in a client’s home and, since then, it’s been one of my all-time favorites. Because of the use of natural materials and clean lines, this fixture is versatile and can be used in traditional as well as more modern interiors. Or just hang it in a barn. Or a kitchen. Or a kid’s playroom. Or just take the chains off and use it as a giant fruit bowl. (Can you tell I love it?)

And that rug? COME ON. It’s just unreal. The pattern brought visual interest without being distracting and the colors brought out the tones of the wood, the color of the chairs and the antiqued brass. Besides, it’s made of a hefty wool pile so if you eat too much while sitting at this table, you can just shove your chair away and comfortably lay down until your food coma passes.

No jarring colors, no patterns that give you a headache, the colors interplay to create harmony, the textures create interest without being confusing. These all add up to a calm environment which we all want in our homes.  Well, until the kids use this room for a giant Play-Doh space.  Then the calm may be interrupted by some shrieks.

(Photo Credits: dining table by Hudson Furniture , capiz chandelier by Oly Studio, rug by Calvin Klein Home,  Antler candelabra by Esque, Astrid mirror by Oly Studio )

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