Wednesday, May 26, 2010

powder rooms = jewelry boxes

A few months ago - on a very rainy SF day - two of best girlfriends and I ventured off to the Legion of Honor to drool and faint over the Cartier and America exhibit.

While there were many delicious pieces to covet, one in particular rocked my world; a kokoshnik-shaped gemset platinum mounted blackened steel tiara.  The metal band was bordered with calibré-cut rubies, set with a band of old-mine diamonds above and rose-cut diamonds below…the icing on the cake? thirteen pear-shaped diamonds within calibré-cut ruby-set frames alternating with pairs of collet-set circular-cut diamonds.  Really?  Can I just put it on my sad, I’m-not-worthy, head for 2 seconds?!?   Sigh…..

In relation to a home’s interior, jewels always make me think of the Powder Room.  The Powder Room (lets call it the “PR” from here on out, cool?) has TONS of potential.  It is the jewel box of all rooms. when your guests come to your casa, it’s a sure stop for them – here is your place to shine… throw out some tricks (wallpaper, really great lighting, tile, stone, etc.) and not have to worry about being too committed to it.  It’s a small space that can pack quite the punch.

PR Rules:

1.    wall treatments – since you are usually dealing with a pretty modest space why not go for that wall-covering or tile that you DREAM about?  Less material = less expensive. 
2.    lighting – gosh, I love sultry, sexy lighting.  I also love my makeup.  Make sure your guests can really see themselves.  If you’re going to do sconces and an overhead (love) then switch them separately.  That gives your guests the control to go from mood to functional if need be.
3.    mirrors – make it fabulous.  That’s all.
4.    accessories – I’m a fan of NO towel bars if possible in the PR.  A chic tray to house cute paper hand towels is the way to go. 
5.    self-grooming products – DON’T DO IT. 
6.    TP – hide it in something cute if you don’t have a cabinet.
7.    art – put great pieces here…a piece(s) that will start a conversation. A small collection could find the perfect home in the PR.

I don’t have a PR by the way, but if I did, I may just model it after my favorite Cartier piece:

here a a few inspirational PRs:

brown design

david klienberg design - new york

joe serrins

manuel canovas wallpaper....

miles redd

monique lhuillier's los angeles powder room

nancy corzine's powder room (note: leave the lid down)

loving this wallpaper and duravit pillbox toilet

rebecca bradley interior design - country house chic

steven gamble - botanic beauty!

steven volpe's paris PR - simple and perfect.

If the Cartier and America show hits your neck of the woods, i highly recommend checking it out:

gloria swanson

grace kelly


yes, please.

Soundtrack?  Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend, of course.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

one year anniversary + neon signage

My husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary of not living in sin recently.  This year it fell on mother’s day and of course neither one of us made a reservation for brunch like we had meant to until the Friday before. Woops.  After frantically pulling up Open Table and realizing that our options were VERY slim (Buca di Beppo anyone?!) I saw that the Hornblower Cruise Line was hosting their annual all-you-can-eat-buffet/Mother’s Day brunch aboard “The Belle”; a turn-of-the-century 292 foot sternwheeler (secretly what sold me was the bottomless champagne that was promised):

So knowing that it would most likely be pretty cheesy we signed up with our good friends Jason Hallows and Sarah S. for the cruise around the San Francisco Bay.

We started off anniversary morning with a sweet gift exchange:

and then grabbed a bottle of Veuve from our ‘fridge and paper cups from the liquor store across from the BART to meet up with Jason and Sarah.

Not only did we get LIVE entertainment (one lone man in an oversized tan leather vest playing Eric Clapton covers), but we were also encouraged to take photos of the handmade (is there another way?) special watermelon showcasing itself at the end of the buffet line.   So I did.

We actually had a really great time, proving once again that the company you keep makes all the difference.

The boat had some really cool details:

Which made me think of an interior detail I have always ached to do.  I love old signs and the Neon Museum of Las Vegas has some of the best in my opinion:

How great would it be to shove this 1970's leather tufted sofa against a huge brick wall in an industrial space:

throw a 70's Moroccan Beni Ourain rug under the sofa:

over beautiful polished concrete floors like these:

add one of these stunning metal base coffee tables with a Carrara marble top to play off the concrete floors:

Throw a couple of these felt Union Jack pillows by Karen Hilton Designs on the sofa:

with a few mongolian lamb pillows?  These guys are cheap from West Elm:

Maybe the Tom Dixon "Jack" lamp for and extra seat and mood lighting:

and an Arredoluce floor lamp like one of these ones from the 50's and 60's:

To complete the look - the grand finale - throw this on the brick above the sofa – "MODERN Casino", light it up and put on a record:

Soundtrack: The Rat Pack, of course.