Month: November 2011

Major Blog Renovations

Having a blog is a little like owning a house: It needs constant maintenance and it’s impossible to resist the urge to redecorate.

A couple weeks ago, I blew up my blog trying to install the W3 Cache. I switched to a very basic template while calling in a professional — the lovely Laurie Rauch of WP Divas — to help me rebuild my site. (I also hired a nice W3 Cache tech to sort out the plumbing.)

In the process, I became very fond of my basic blog template, called Dear Diary.
So Laurie and I decided to do a mashup of the notebook theme
with the slideshow features on the main page of my original template.

I hope you like the changes!!

As always, it’s a work in progress.

(If you’re reading this on RSS, click over!)

(Photo by Selina Lake and Debi Treloar from their book “Romantic Style.”)

I ditched my desk…

I spend so much time on the computer, I figured why not just curl up with my laptop in a cozy chair? With a few adjustments, I was able to ditch my desk for good. Here’s how:

First off,  I added a couple accent tables and lamps
alongside an oversized chair in our living room….

I found a few colorful accessories to add a little cheer to the many hours I spend blogging and writing — and reading other people who blog and write.

I pulled together every cent I could find for an awesome laptop —
it was the best money I’ve ever spent on myself:

Now I’m both farsighted and nearsighted. BIG reading glasses are the best for looking at computer screens, I think.  Arm warmers are essential for late nights (like now) typing near a drafty window in late-fall/winter…

Best part of working in an oversized chair: There’s also room for both cat and little dog!!!

Must-Have Vintage Holiday Decorations

We’re back from our Thanksgiving trip to Northern California to visit my husband’s family. Now I’m starting to think about Xmas. My vintage ornaments are my favorites, always…

Last week I put together a post for Lamps Plus on ten vintage Christmas essentials. Here’s the first half of the list. The other five are over here…

What’s your favorite vintage holiday decoration?

Photo Credits:  Heather Bullard, Kracken Crafts, Moxie-Girl, Georgia Peachez, Raining Rita.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Prada Pastiche

At the start of every season, I try to make a point of going to the Rem Koolhaas-designed Prada store in Beverly Hills to look at the new arrivals — displayed like fine art — and pick up a (FREE!) copy of the latest Prada Lookbook.

This fall, the fashion house chose a “fantasy” collage theme for its oversized pulp book.
Imagine Margot Tenenbaum with photoshop and a glue gun and you’ve got the Fall 2011 Prada Lookbook, an amazing pastiche of fashion and retro wonderfulness.
(I would say it’s “lovely” but I’m trying to use that word less.)

Anyway, have a look:


GAH, I wish I were rich. I would only wear Prada, with occasional breaks for Chanel. Alas.

Living with (Millions) of Books


Too often people treat their treasured collection of favorite books as a decorating nuisance, but with the right spirit and eye they can become an asset to any room — one that lends individuality and personality. I’m constantly searching for new and creative ways to display and store my books. Here are a few tips for living stylishly with (millions) of books:

Small spaces, particularly in urban settings, often have to do double duty. Take a lesson from the English and stylish Manhattan apartment dwellers who often turn their dining rooms into libraries. Deep wall colors and a complimentary painted ceiling are the perfect foil for a glittery chandelier and vintage mix-and-match dining seating. Even is you have to eat alone, what could be better than pulling down a favorite book for company?

Don’t be reluctant to mix  your books up with other decorative home decor objects. At first glance, the wall console (above) has a kind of undergraduate informality. But the combination with modern ceramic pieces and comic decorative items gives it all a light-hearted style. The whole effect is amplified by a very 21st century ceiling fixture, a modernist sofa, and the funky table lamp on the very adult rattan bar cart. It’s a room for the young at heart, whatever their age.

Your personal library becomes a visual focal point of a room. These modern shelves with the books stacked rather than stored on end has all the character of a conceptual art piece and plays beautifully against the two contemporary floor lamps and the vintage Eames lounge chair. The quiet star of the room, though, is the contemporary chandelier, which somehow harmonizes with the architecture of the bookshelf.

Photos via Architectural Digest,  Nuevo Estilo, Alvhem, Desire to Inspire, Living Agency, Mires Paris and Penguin By Design.

(Portions of this post are from a design piece I wrote recently for Lamps Plus.)

Tips for Creating the Perfect Guest Room

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