27 September 2009

only 96 days shopping days left...

yo santa,

contrary to what you might hear from my dad, or my sister mona (she's such a snitch), i have been very, very, very good this year and have hardly destroyed anything, so this* is what i would like you to bring me for xmas this year:
yes, i will only use it once, and thereafter studiously ignore it as if it didn't exist, but hey- i deserve it.


richard the cat
ps- bring two- my daddy forgot my birthday.

pps- NO substitutions please- i will know if my dad draws on a cardboard box with marker, and then someone will pay.

ppps- include the chihuahua, but make it a live one- i need a new playtoy...

*white webb intaglio dog
cat pavillion, available thru hollyhock inc., west hollywood

don't look back (or in a mirror)

"future historians will marvel, that at the end of the fossil fuel era- even as oil was running out- the last few drops of crude were being wasted producing millions of hideous, land-fill clogging, cheap plastic holiday lawn ornaments" he thinks to himself as he stuffs a 100% polyester $9.99 doggy halloween costume into his red shopping cart, blissfully unaware of his own hypocrisy ...

25 September 2009

i'm a mac, i'm a pc.

(i miss the old super-gay mac logo)

this morning, m21 was perusing one of the non-design blogs he frequents (he won't say which blog, as given the current rancorous political climate it might cause heads to explode, and we are a design blog, not a head-exploding blog), and said blog had an interesting post on how mac usage on their blog had exploded almost 50% in the past two 1/2 years, from 20% to 29%

it inspired m21 to do some checking on his own stats, and yup- people are switching over to macs alright. last summer, we had about 29% mac users, and this summer it's up to 36%. we knew we'd skew higher then the average population because we are a design blog, and macs are, well, more designer-y...

admittedly, m21's non-scientific sampling ain't to be taken seriously- with our readership, just one of you making the switch could make the numbers jump! ;-) still, it took us aback a bit- over a third of our readers? we never imagined it would be that high, given the stats of overall computer sales say mac users comprise about 10% of the market. (fyi- our iphone readership was almost zero a year ago and is now a little over 1%).

we love macs, and basically, it's all we've ever known, computer-wise. to our highly refined and sublimly tasteful aesthetic *sniff, sniff* ;-) the windows operating system is just looks kinda clunky, and visually unappealing, so we couldn't ever imagine changing on aesthetics alone (we're taking interface, not machine- there are some groovy looking PC's out there). we've sacrificed learning autoCAD because of our mac addiction- admittedly a bit of a drawback in the interiors field- but other then that, m21 loves his mac. a lot. (though he desperately needs a new, shiny, faster one- but isn't that the case with ALL technology)?

what say y'all? are you mac or a PC? and why, or why not?

ps: autodesk, maker of autoCAD, why the heck are you not cross platform? architect and designers like moi, lurve their macs, and we *are* your market- seems to me, you are missing the boat on this one. big time.

17 September 2009

what's up buttercup? (hd buttercup shopping trip, pt. 2)

boy, how time flies- two weeks ago, we posted pt 1 of our shopping trip to hd buttercup, promising a sequel soon to come! with a three day holiday weekend, followed by another 3 day weekend necessitated by an out of town photoshoot for sunset magazine in between, and with our normal job to do as well- several client meetings, paperwork, floorplans & a bazillion phone calls, m21 finds himself finally getting around to it! (and yes, we can't lie - there is some mindless facebooking and tweeting in the mix too). seriously though- how do other bloggers do it? blogging 7 days a week is a full-time job! how is it possible with careers, family and friends (not to mention twitter & FB too)? 'fess up, folks- m21 wants to know your secret!

anyhoo, back to buttercup- first thing m21 noticed when he walked in the door was this great display of huge orange ceramic planters, vases and pots- great prices for such large and striking pieces. for example, the 4 foot tall urns in the second photo were $595.00- not such a bad price for something that would be *the* showpiece of your patio! or the pair, flanking an entry? yum!
another thing hd buttercup has in abundance is all kinds of reclaimed stump and burl tables, (long term readers know m21 loves 'em burly). all are extremely well priced in comparison to other outlets, some have ridiculously cheap prices (the sculptural pedestal in pic #3 is only $315.00, the end table in pic #2 is only $135.00)!
just because m21 likes to focus on the fabulous and unusual, doesn't mean buttercup is bereft of more traditional decorating items, like these fab tufted velvet barrel back chairs, marked at $1295 each, or the huge sunburst mirror (blurred to protect the innocent shopper caught in reflection).

in our last post we warned that some items were one-time only imports, so buttercup is definitely not for the hesitant shopper. a while back they had dozens of thesechic lacquer pedestals in an array colors; now just a few stragglers remain at $290.00 each.

we would imagine these stripe veneered pieces are a similar story- once they are gone, they are gone. it's not often maison21 sees something he really hasn't been exposed to before, and outside of a few high-end, one-off creations seen in design mags, striped furniture would be one of them. these are inexpensive too, so would be super chic in a girl's or teenager's room (console is $530.00). love the grosgrain fabric lined drawers on the desk, too... (yes, that your decorator's flip-floppy, pasty white foot in the shot- gotta love my working uniform).

last, our favorite item from our visit, were these ginormous 3-4 foot raffia chandeliers- chic and ethnic, with a bit of dr. suess- love on top of love for them. of course you'd need a biiigggggg space- maybe a restaurant? but again, lots of style for the price- $850.00 each if we remember correctly.
thanks for sticking with us for part 2, and would you believe there is still more? haven't got to the starck carpet outlet yet!

14 September 2009

hot and cold

nuthin' better then a cool pool on a hot day!

12 September 2009

little fluffy clouds...

in palm springs for a photo shoot, and it's hot, hot, hot; but the pool is cool, and the skies? they go on forever...

09 September 2009

childhood revisited (but better)

even as a kid, m21 was fascinated with design. he'd spend hours drawing buildings and cities, and of course, he harbored fantasies of being an architect when he grew up (until he discovered that the insides of buildings- where people actually do their living- was where it was at for him, creatively speaking). naturally, his favorite toys were things he could design and build with, and if the toy wasn't made with design in mind, m21 would turn it into one- no war games for maison21 and his g.i. joes, but he sure wishes he had a picture of the platform waterbed he made for joe out of lincoln logs and a ziploc baggie... pure design genius! ;-)

maison21's number one favorite building toy was legos, and he still has a portion of his once vast collection stored in a closet somewhere, in case friends with kids come to visit. loved the legos, and we often still have fantasies about buying a huge quantity of white bricks, and going to town with them (but who has time for that as an adult)?

his second favorite toy was this:
astrolite was too cool- building toy and light sculpture, all in one. released in 1969 at the height of the space race, it was a moon landing fascinated little boy's dream toy, and though we might not have played with it as much as our our legos, it served as a decoration in our bedroom for years and years until teen embarrassment set in, and we got rid of it.
our one complaint with astrolite was that it didn't come with enough pieces, and though our parents were awfully indulgent of our creative toy needs, we just couldn't convince them to by us a second set. maybe we didn't even try very hard- we were lego obsessed after all, so i'd imagine if we had a choice of spending our meager allowance on something, we chose extra bricks...
so when m21 recently came across not one, but two, complete vintage sets of astrolite, he decided to indulge in a long lost childhood fantasy and spend a lazy hour or two of his holiday weekend recreating his childhood, but better...
like all attempts to recreate childhood, it was fun a while, but ultimately just doesn't work as an adult- an astrolite city of the future is a cool sculpture, but it doesn't exactly work with our decor. so we'll separate the sets again, and pack them away or pass them on; but for a minute there, it was pretty cool to be 6 again, but this time a six year old with his own credit card- to make a visit to the past just a little bit better...

04 September 2009

a new addition (room & board, culver city)

we just posted about the fabulous hd buttercup in the helms bakery building in culver city, and we were quite pleased to get a mailer from room & board that very day, announcing a new retail location in that very same ginormous complex, opening october 5th!
we just ordered a room & board sofa for a client, and weren't displeased with it at all- for a thousand bucks, it beat the pants off ikea- plus room & board had it shipped to us in about a week, because we ordered in the stock fabric. really, not such a bad option- much as we wish every client had the budget for completely handmade sofa from the amazing workroom we use here in los angeles (true quality that will last a lifetime), often the budget or time restraints don't allow for it. in this instance we originally wanted to find something vintage and reupholster but we needed a very specific smaller size which proved to be a more difficult task then anticipated- so enter room & board. as we said, it's a great value for the money, and while it's not as well made as one of our custom sofas, it was only a fraction of the price (and the lead time), and frankly, not everyone needs or wants an heirloom quality sofa. plus, we like the fact that room & board actually makes their furniture here in the US, rather than china, so we are a little more comfortable with ordering.

if you visit the new room & board and hd buttercup, be sure to stop into father's office for one of their tasty burgers and a pint. it's the crowded patio next to hd buttercup's entrance, so you can't miss it. warning: the burgers are delish, but father's office is one of those places with a learning curve, so best to read up before you venture in...

(photo via eater LA)

03 September 2009

what's up, buttercup? (m21 shopping trip @ HD Buttercup)

sometimes being a decorator is a pretty fabulous job- we get to be around pretty things everyday, the people we work with are fun and fabulous, and best of all, we get to shop until we drop! don't get m21 wrong here- it is a job, and is often tedious and incredibly stressful (oh the stories m21 can tell! client meltdowns complete with tears and screaming in public places over choosing the right white kitchen tiles, or the client who called on christmas morning letting m21 know that he ruined their xmas because the bed they just received was not put together properly and squeaked; or simply the mind numbing amount of busy work involved in the creation of a custom sofa with a couple of pretty pillows- 3 months of calls, emails and workroom visits; as well as a generated stack of paperwork an inch high- we kid you not!) but by and large, as jobs go, being an interior decorator is a pretty good one- great clients (99%), great boss (me), great uniform (shorts and a polo) and great working conditions (my home)- and did i mention we get to shop? alot? for our clients, for ourselves; for fun, to keep abreast of whats available, sometimes simply out of habit; we shop, and shop, and shop...

one of maison21's favorite places to shop- even if only for inspiration- is HD Buttercup in nearby culver city. why HD buttercup? because it has EVERYTHING under one gigantic roof- upholstery, lighting, accessories, carpets; antiques, vintage, new; rustic, modern, exotic; custom or off the rack- you name it, and they probably have it somewhere inside the ginormous former bread factory. the only place maison21 has shopped that is even similar, is ABC carpet & home in NYC, and buttercup makes ABC look like the corner deli in comparison to costco. the price differential is similar too- like getting one roll of toilet paper for 6.99 or 12 rolls for the same price! ok, maybe not that drastic, but buttercup does have bargains new yorkers can only dream of (and of course, like costco, some of the merchandise is caveat emptor, too).

the schtick at buttercup is they are a 'manutailer'- different manufacturers set up and stock their own 'factory direct' showrooms within the complex, but HD simplifies things by having one stop check out and cohesive customer service. upon entering the building, you wonder through a series of different (and vast) showrooms, each with a unique brand of merchandise- slightly confusing at first, but overall a cornucopia of design goodness. a word to the wise- many of the goods, even though you may see 20 of the same thing, are a one time only buy- go back in a month and that seemingly exhaustible supply will be all bought up!

one of the 'showrooms' inside HD buttercup is andrew martin, and it's kinda fabulous- a great mix of ethnic, vintage and fab modern chromed steel and lucite pieces. massive pair consoles? yes, please. 5 foot chrome obelisk, um- ok!

m21 couldn't believe this chic chrome and leather chaise for $1395.00- he thought they left a zero off the price!

m21 really wanted to bring this chrome chinoiserie coffe table home, but he was scared it would attract the wrong element- all of young hollywood, paris, linsday, et al- would be drawn to it's broad expanse of smooth, mirrored surface like moths to a flame- can't chance that!
and these kilim sofas are just right... for richard! with all that loose yarn waving about, you'd never notice his damage! (sadly, they are itchy in person- even through clothes).

loving these petrified wood tables, both the trunk tops and the tiled top- flinstones modern yumminess!

these mirrored tables are another reason why we love buttercup- lotsa style for little money- the little black legged coffee table is just $479 and the mirror-top end tables are $279. m21 wants to use them in a young career girl's first 'real' apartment, sort of a 'that girl 2009' fantasy (oh, did m21 mention that in addition to real clients, decorators sometimes make up imaginary ones too? well, this decorator does, anyway)...

you have now explored 1/10,000th of what HD Buttercup has to offer- more later! (and, yes, we swear they have things that aren't quite so shiny- we'll get to 'em, promise)!

02 September 2009

while you were out...

so if you are visiting us today from habitually chic, you know that m21 is chic's in case of 'blog emergency' contact- essentially just making sure comments get posted- aka, making sure that you kids play nice in her space while she's gone on a much needed holiday. she was actually a tad nervous about having moi fill even that role- she knows how bossy m21 can be, and she didn't want me "rearranging the furniture" in her absence. well, as a fellow decorator, m21 would never DREAM of telling another designer how to 'dress their nest'- ok, that's a LIE- he'd redecorate another designer's space in a heartbeat if asked, but she didn't and m21 *did* promise her that he'd leave things alone.

but what m21 didn't promise heather is that he wouldn't ask her readers opinions about how her blog should look! so lets do a little informal polling shall we?

backstory: chic asked me to make her a twitter avatar recently, since i have some (very) rudimentary photoshop skilz and i owed her a favor or two. she specified the font, and that she'd like orange type, as it's her favorite color. so i gave her two choices, white on orange and the reverse. today, i'm expanding on that icon for two habitually chic blog headers for you to choose from! keep in mind, these will be on chic's simple white background, not our own tarted up choice of background color...

so join the fun and vote for either header, or just vote for maison21 to keep his grubby little hands off chic's nice things! (poll is in sidebar at right----->>>>)

lordy, she's going to regret leaving town- not even on the plane, and there goes m21, stirrin' up trouble.... if her cyber sitter is this untrustworthy, i hope she hid the keys to the liquor cabinet from her real-life housesitter!

ps- results of this poll are completely non-binding of course- it really is just all in good fun, and i certainly hope heather is a better sport then m21 would be in similar circumstances- i'll CUT the first peep who tries to tell me how to run my blog, ya hear? ;-)

01 September 2009

sending out good thoughts...

to everyone affected by the wildfire in the san gabriel mountains, m21 is sending out positive thoughts, and hoping for the best. the smoke is horrible in my 'hood, and i'm nowhere near the fire, so i can't imagine what it's like for those of you who live closer.

and for those of you who have been evacuated, a little hope: for 3 days last fall we wondered nervously if my brother's home survived the san diego firestorm; news reports spoke of decimation on his block (fully a third of the homes on his long street were burnt to the ground), but fire is a random and capricious thing- for some reason (partly owing to a tile roof) my brothers house was spared. the below picture is of the mailboxes directly in front of his house, left to serve as a reminder of the power of nature, as well as the power of luck:

wishing all of you my brother's luck! be safe!