01 January 2008

2008 is going to kick ass. for real.

the holidays often leave maison21 more than a little worn out. so much preparation, so much anticipation, so much WORK (and so much fun, too), and of course, so much money spent! by the time new year's finally rolls around, m21 is pretty much burnt out, and this year was no exception.

m21 had planned to spend new years in palm springs with a group of his nearest and dearest. even had plans for more palm springs blog posts while there. but when it came time to load up the car and hit the road, m21 just couldn't muster up the energy. so instead of indulging in frolic and frivolity as planned on new years eve, maison21 instead spent the evening reflecting on the year that was, and planning for the year to come. those palm springs posts will have to wait...

now don't go feeling sorry for maison21- he spent the evening with his 2 most favorite people (that aren't people), mona and richard, and he ordered in the best chinese food in los angeles, from the delicious mandarette.

while m21 enjoyed the yummy food and the furry companionship in front of a roaring fire, he thought about the year that had just passed: 2007 got off to supremely rotten start (we're not going to go into it- it's both boring and a downer), yet somehow the year finished with a positive vibe. yeah, maison21 is a little worn out from the build up to the holidays (it is the busiest time of the year for us business-wise) but outside of that, 2007 ended on a high note and 2008 is looking pretty exciting as well!

this blog, though started very late in 2007, certainly turned into one of the bright spots of the year. the amount of satisfaction i've received from it, and the speed at which it's readership has grown, have been real surprises. the fact that the blogging world has so quickly embraced me and made me feel at home, has truly touched me, and the regular comments that i receive, as well as the mentions i've received on blogs i admire (habitually chic, desire to inspire, all things bright and beautiful and things that inspire), are things i couldn't have anticipated, nor could i have predicted how good they've made me feel. even when i post an embarrassing picture from my past, you guys go and compliment me on it- all this blog love is going to give maison21 a swell head!

2007 didn't set any records for maison21 (the business), but with the housing market tanking, the u.s. economy as whole being not so hot, and the ripples from the writers strike affecting almost all businesses here in los angeles (my local sales are waayyy down), things certainly could have been worse, so i'm very grateful for just an average year. and once again, the year ended on a surprising up-note, as there are some exciting professional prospects on the horizon for 2008 (one, a direct result of this blog). i don't want to invest too much in these prospects just yet, as nothing may ever come of them, but they are fun to think about, and believe me, if they come to fruition, you'll definitely be hearing of them on these pages!

on the personal side, i was thrilled to reestablish a couple of friendships during the last few months of the year. the love and support of my friends, family and pets are the most important things to me, so to have these people back in my life means a lot.

i also spent a portion of new years eve reading a book recommended by a fellow design blogger, the talented patricia gray, called "write it down, make it happen". i figure based on the picture of patricia's own recent lovely kitchen renovation alone (below), that the book must work, so maison21 is definitely going to give it a shot!

in the spirit of "write it down, make it happen" and honoring new year's tradition, maison21 is posting his 2008 resolutions for all to see- let's see if writing them out for you (and the universe) will strengthen my resolve and "make them happen"!

maison21's 2008 resolutions:
1. maison21 vows to be a little more social in 2008. just a little bit, though- don't want to go overboard with this resolution and end up in rehab or anything, but i have to admit, i did get a little reclusive in 2007, so that trend must stop.

2. i will use my passport! i dream of spending my next birthday in paris, but if the dollar keeps sliding, that may become too expensive (it really already is), but i will go somewhere that results in a stamp added!

3. maison21 will finish painting his kitchen in 2008! preparations to paint started two years ago, but after painting most of the rest of the house, m21 was way over it by the time he reached the kitchen, so he's been living with color test patches on the wall and windows with partially stripped trim. hiring out the job is not an option- maison21 can be a bit perfectionist when it comes to the work of others- every time he looks at a sloppily painted edge, or opens a stuck cupboard, m21 would resent having written that check and curse the poor painter something serious, but if he does the job himself, m21 is a very forgiving boss, i.e. "damn, i worked sooooo hard- f*ck it if that line ain't straight"! m21 already has the paint- the same perfect, happy blue-green as his adjacent dining room, pratt & lambert's "angelic blue" (above) with their blinding "designer white" for the trim and cabinets, so no excuses on this one!

4. m21 will finally put his book in order, instead of having to sort through a box o' stuff every time he wants to show something! i haven't updated my book since the first project i worked on was published way back in 2005 (above). and when i say "book", i mean "portfolio", not a glossy coffee table compendium of maison21's work, unfortunately. i can't take credit for the overall look of the beautiful room shown- my former employer, the incredibly talented and chic vance burke, was largely responsible for that- but i was directly involved in the design of the major upholstered pieces, as well as the chandelier, bolection mantle and accompanying surround for the dubuffet painting (as you can see from my sketches). btw, i am for reals hoping vance doesn't read my blog- he is far, far, too tastefully refined to be associated with maison21 and his bedazzled zebra statues...

5. i vow to finish my business plan to take maison21 (the business) to the next level. the eventual goal is a brick and mortar store showcasing my vintage finds as well as a complimentary line of maison21 originals, based on a classic 20th century design vocabulary. the store might not happen in calendar 2008, but the business plan WILL! "write it down, make it happen"!

6. and last, since all the other resolutions are "me, me, me", i figure i need to do something to benefit the planet, even if it's a small thing, so i vow to stop using plastic bags completely. i probably use 4-5 a day when i take mona out, so i'm guilty of asking for "plastic" every time i go to any store (yes, she poops a lot- it's her high fiber, low calorie dog food). i vow keep canvas bags in my car, and to actually use them, even if i have to go back outside to my car every freakin' time i'm about to hit the checkout line and realize i've forgotten them (and please, no slams for using the car for trips to the grocery store. much as i would love to take a bus or ride a bike, it's los angeles, so that's just not an option). as for the poo problem, i just ordered biodegradable bags online here, and i pray they are sturdy enough to shield my hands during the actual "pick-up". yuck.

assuming some of you made it to the end of this super-lengthy post before the start of 2009, maison21 would love to know what your new year's resolutions are for 2008?

it's going to be a kick-ass year, i swear!


Patricia Gray said...

Hi M21
So glad you got the book. I say go to Paris this year for your birthday. Life is too short to let a little money intefere with your dreams. As for not using plastic bags, I think that is commendable. I am looking forward to seeing more from your "book". Your 2005 project is fabulous. Thanks for posting my kitchen major goal for 2008 is to get my own home FINISHED!!

All the very best to you for 2008

SwankLighting said...

Happy New Year M21. I'm very thankful for having found your blog in 2007. You always make me smile. And that's a great gift. Our New Years Resolution is to get our new line of American Blown Glass lamps launched. I'll be sending out info on that later in the year but it looks to be very exciting. But what I most hope for in 2008 is that Americans make the best choice in the Presidential election. Happy New Year to everyone out there in blog land!
Ed at Swank

Habitually Chic said...

Happy New Year Maison21! I love your list of resolutions and it seems we're on the same page. I too want to spend my birthday in Paris. That was actually my plan this year but it never happned. When is your birthday? Mine is in April. Maybe we should go together ;-)

And I agree, 2008 is definitely going to be kick-ass!

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

ooo Maison - I if you go with Habitually - I want to hear all about it and we want posts EVERYDAY from Paris!!!

AND theres a BOOK!! - you multi-talented maestro you!! Looking forward to seeing that develop this year

Happy New year and we'll check off this list with you at the end of the year - I know you're telling " the universe" cause you're dying for some accountability!

PS - thank you so much for the mention of the mention:-)

maison21 said...

hey everybody-

happy new year to you all! and thanks for the comments!

patricia- thanks for the recommendation- love the book, and i hope it helps make my life as fabulous as yours. can't wait to see more photos of your beautiful home as it develops.

ed/swank- i hope 2008 is all about good election results too! maison21 the blogger is not political, but christian the man sure is, and he wants some change in this country! i'm glad my blog makes you smile- i smile while i write it!

and i'm looking forward to your new line! if you send me info, i'll SO blog it!

chic- what can i say? this is your year, i feel it in my bones! (hopefully mine too :). and i'm still cracking up that you used patricia and "write it now" in your resolutions- is that synchronicity or what? just like in the book, events in the universe are transpiring to make our dreams come true...

last, all things bright and beautiful- yes, come to paris with chic and i! we'll have a blogger's dream vacation! seriously, you seem like someone i'd love to hang with- happy and positive, 24/7. love your flower-licious blog, too...

ps- book is slang for portfolio of work. i'm going to edit my post, as i'm SO not ready to write a real book, though i'd love for YOU to make one of your flower photos and paintings!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Maison - we are truly so glad you are here. You must have needed a night at home. We will look forward to every new post! Happy New Year.

Topsy Turvy said...

Your blog is such a fun read - I love that you write like you talk!
And who knew about biodegradable poop bags! I will order some today. Just hope they work for kitty litter scooping, as well. Like you, I've been getting plastic bags just to use for that (the paper bags leak litter at the bottom). No more plastic!
Oh and your design work & drawings look pretty terrific!

Pigtown-Design said...

M21... you're always one to check in the mornings, and you always make me smile, chuckle or laugh out loud.

I spent my b-day in Paris a couple of years ago (living in the UK, it was much easier than living in CA) and it was great.

Happy New Year!

The Peak of Chic said...

M21- So thrilled you started blogging- you're funny and insightful, and that's a great combo! Here's to good things in 2008!

Things That Inspire said...

Oh, that chandelier you designed is beautiful. It truly crowns the room, literally and figuratively.

As far as resolutions, I usually do not make resolutions, but I would like to exercise more and paint more. I finally have the time in my life to paint, but have painters block, for some reason.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

M21, i can totally relate to your resolution to be more sociable. Those of us who work at home can tend to become a little hermit like. Thanks for sharing your thoughts for the new year! I feel so much better knowing that I'm not the only one who has slacked off on painting! You've inspired me to think of my own list (can I borrow your dog to help me out though?). I definitely want to start my own blog this year (something that's been on the to-do list since 2002). I too have to finish painting my place (and a bunch of furniture). I know there's a red dining room in my horizon (my LR is a shade of blue similar to yours). But what color to paint the front hall? I vow to decide this year and do it, dammit! There's also the matter of that awesome couch I just bought in Echo Park. It needs to be reupholstered ASAP (any recommendations for the budget minded?) but first a cushion must be ordered at Diamond and a suitable fabric must be found.
Okay, now I'm rambling. I'm off to do my list. Thanks again for the inspiration! I will continue to be a loyal reader in 2008.

Why not visit Buenos Aires instead? It's the Paris of South America. (It's quite affordable and is also supposed to be gay friendly.)

maison21 said...

if i had known that i could get this many compliments, i would have started a blog years ago! all of you are too sweet...

mrs blandings, pig-town, peak, and inspire, you all have such great blogs, so to know that you like my efforts, really makes me HAPPY. and topsy, you were new to me, but no more- i'm going to do a little post regarding your post on line vautrin- that was new info to me- always thought it was a comapny, not an individual! glad you liked my drawings too, and thanks for the compliment on the chandelier, inspire. i thought the finished product turned out very nicely.

btw- inspire, PAINT- even if you have painter's block. i love to paint but it's so time consuming, i just can't get to it, but would love to take it up again someday if i find myself with the time. painting really is something you get better at the more you do it- i think it's 1% creativity and 99% craft and technique. if you really can't start, take a class- they force you to start! i took a class about 5 years ago to learn acrylics- i eventually had to drop it because i became too busy, but the work i did create in class was really fun- not very good, but fun!

when i do acrylics, i like to try to copy an abstract work- since i don't know what the heck i'm doing, the finished product looks NOTHING like what i set out to recreate, so it becomes my original work by default!

maison21 said...

hi regular reader anonymous! thanks for reading!

of course you can borrow mona to help with your painting- she really is SUCH a helper! she is very adept at finding your spilled paint for you and letting you know you've spilled it by then tracking it throughout the house! my favorite was when i was painting the base boards in my bedroom and i was on one side of the room concentrating one keeping an even line going where board met wall, while she decided to get comfy on the other side of the room and take a nap- on her side, with her back against the wall! by the time i noticed and shooed her away, she had a perfect white stripe running close to dead center along her back! it was adorable- she almost looked like some mutant skunk. i just left it until her next bath...

careful with painting red- it's the hardest color to get good even coverage with, so buy the best paint you can afford (you will be doing several coats no matter what the can says). and if you hate it or decide to go lighter later, be prepared to primer until your arm falls off (always bleeds through!)

as far as an upholsterer- try the place i go to on fairfax- east side of the street between olympic and whitworth (you know the block where the traffic gets HIDEOUS). it's between the cake shop and the national council thrift store (i have a feeling you know where THAT is)- sign says "bel aire upholstery" on fairfax and in the alley behind, sign says "rubio's art". i always get confused on his name because of the "rubio" thing (it's not rubio), but he does very nice work, and is quite reasonable- not fast, but reasonable beats fast in my opinion any day!

last, (whew) buenos aires is def on the short list. i'm traveling with a friend who has air france buddy passes so that's one reason paris is #1 (plus, i really, really want to go paris- my last trip there was over 20 years ago!) but it would probably be cheaper to pay airfare and go to argentina! but if i decide i can afford it, paris is what my heart is set on. i just won't do it if i have to cut corners- budget travel is a drag.

SGM said...

m21, you make me laugh. I am the same way with a paint job; hard on others and too easy on myself, which is why the bathroom in the master bedroom has had 4 smeary paint samples on the walls for a year. Best of luck, brave soldier.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Hello, hello. It is my first time on your blog and I am so glad I have visited. Your New Year's resolutions sound most excellent. Mine are to: get organized (sigh), stop procrastinating (sigh), figure out how to run a guest house (eek), decorate it in a way that won't embarrass anyone and generally have more fun. I think those are my resolutions - they might change in 5 minutes. Hmmmm...

jlm725designs said...

I don't see my last comment so if this truly is a repeat of the smae old snore I appologize...but what I said that I don't see is a reminder/introduction to the chico bag which is nylon for 5 smacks that can be hooked to your keys so as never ( unless you forget your keys ) to be forgotten in the car and it holds 20 lbs it's fabulous.. try it

Alkemie said...

I am ordering that book from Amazon and you've inspired me to write down my Resolutions as well. Very much looking forward to how 2008 will unfold for you business and personal goals included. I totally agree with the sentiment about the blogging world having started recently myself. It's so great to meet this wonderful community. Hasn't it been a blast?!

maison21 said...

hey alkemie-

thanks for visiting!

just visited your blog, and your posts on laduree in paris (and london) has strengthened my resolve to go to paris. how over-th-top wonderful!

lets hope all of our dreams come to fruition in 2008! it'll be a fun journey no matter what happens!

i added a link to your blog on mine, btw.



ps- glad you are joining patricia gray, habitually chic and i to "write it down, make it happen" in 2008!

designdna said...

hello! this is my first visit via i can't remember where.... bonne chance with ass kicking and paris splurging this year. your blog is great.

and on the plastic bags, i abandoned them 5 years ago and now even take my own bag for regular shopping at a boutique or the hardware store - wherever! you will not believe what a difference it makes AND it makes an impression on others to do the same. so... i digress.

great blog you have here!

maison21 said...

hi design dna-

thanks for visiting and thanks for your kind words! i hope your 2008 kicks some ass as well!