27 February 2010


you know maison21 LOVES stuff that blurs the line between art and furniture, especially when it's witty, so he's crazy for this repurposed persian style rug. high concept? you betcha. but also totally, completely, functional, and would be smashing in the right space (provided you have a traffic flow that won't make the head a tripping hazard ;-)
'barenjager (bear hunter)' by lise lefebvre (2009) @ 360see gallery

via interior design magazine (those of you bemoaning the demise of the decorating magazine, should all be subscribing to interior design magazine- though primarily aimed at the professional and with an emphasis on contract design, it is consistently visually stimulating, and was, is, and hopefully always will be, one of m21's favorite reads).

26 February 2010

houzz makes m21 happy (and a color discussion)

every week, the design resource and inspiration site, houzz, sends out a newsletter of "ideabooks"- selections of images from their readers and editors- and sometimes, an image from one of maison21's projects pops up in one, and that makes us very happy. it's just kinda cool that some random person we've never met, likes our work enough to save and share with others, and then seeing our work unexpectedly in appear our email inbox, is just icing on on the cake.

this past week a houzz user, kathrynv, inspired by a dictum from project runway criticizing orange & blue when used in an outfit together, used the palm springs residence we collaborated on with our bff, rudy calvero, in an ideabook about the use of the combo in interiors. m21 thinks the project runway criticism is just ridiculous, as complimentary colors like orange and blue, are naturally good fits together- it's why they are referred to as complimentary, fer crissakes. in fact, when used well, m21 believes ALL colors work together, and there is no such thing as a bad combo. some are tricky because of their connotations- certain shades of red & green scream christmas when used together, same for orange and black and halloween, and yellow and black can bring to mind bumble bees and taxicabs; but when mixed with other colors, especially with a neutral background (like the white backdrop in our palm springs project), even these tricky color combos can be used with ease. oh, and btw, m21 considers coral, turquoise, citron, eggplant, chocolate, chartreuse and persimmon to all be neutrals... ;-)

of course if you are working with a challenging palette like say eggplant and chartreuse, you have to make sure all your choices in fabrics, furniture, and accessories are exquisite- one misstep, and chic & unique turns to cheap & garish, so the 'rainbow coalition' decorating school is not for the faint of heart!

what are your favorite color combos? send us a picture of them in use- we'd love to see! you might search houzz for your favorites too- we bet there is an ideabook already devoted to that particular combo. if you can't find a ready-made ideabook devoted to your favorite, then why not create your own?

24 February 2010

up to my old tricks (a repeat of a quick n' easy decorating tip)

much as we'd like, not every project has the budget for custom window treatments (sorry about the use of that dreaded phrase, hobac- we know you don't approve ;-), but just because our budget doesn't allow for our preferred option, it doesn't mean we can't fake it a bit, and dress up some off the rack curtains to look as if they were custom made (this way we can free up money to splurge elsewhere in the project too!) we've shared this trick with you once before but we hope you'll forgive us if we share it with you again since we just used it today for a client (one of the last finishing touches for our melrose hill bungalow living room. the curtains themselves went up a while back, but we took our time to find just the right trim- sometimes, it's worth the wait to get the details juuust right). the results look kinda great, we think; also, this really is one of our favorite fast n' easy decortin' tricks, and it's "sew easy", anyone can do it, so why not share it again?
m21 selected some pottery barn "peyton" linen grommet top curtains (on sale + trade discount = bargain). some people seem to have a deep seated hatred of grommet tops, but m21 thinks they are clean, unfussy and modern, and for the choices offered in off the rack styles, to our eye they are the best alternative for transistional to modern decor. to dress the panels, we added some vintage trim (new old-stock purchased off ebay), which we simply attached with iron-on hemming tape (the sew-easy part. no sewing= yay)! the vintage quality of the tape we selected really helps soften the straight outta the package look of the peyton panels, and we purchased enough of the tape to trim some custom pillows as well, which will help tie our ready-made curtains into the custom look of the entire room (and yes, we'll share the pillows with you too, when our workroom finishes them up, so you can see how the entire project all came together).
totally easy, yet totally chic, m21 hopes- what do y'all think?

22 February 2010

my guy can totally beat up your guy...

or at least compose circles around him!

spotted this in the disney hall gift shop, and couldn't decide if the idea of a little boy being given a wolfgang amadeus mozart action figure, breaks my heart or fills it with joy. maybe a little of both.

20 February 2010

a visit to the pasadena antique center (pt. 2- m21's favorite vendors)

two weeks ago, we did a post on the pasadena antique center and m21 promised he'd be back to fill you in on his favorite dealers. so today, we take you inside the spaces of our "must stop at" dealers in the mall. each dealer brings their own specifically curated viewpoint to their space, so these booths are more like individual stores within the store, and m21 is crazy for each and everyone of them...

our first stop is always mjh design arts (first floor, in the middle near the back), operated by ever friendly and knowledgeable mary tindaruski (the pasadena antique mall requires their vendors to work in their spaces one day a week, so if you go on weekends, especially on a rosebowl sunday like m21 did, you are likely to bump into the individual vendors- a great way to build relationships and maybe even get first dibs on the good stuff!). speaking of 1stdibs, mjh design arts offers a 1stdibs quality selection- everything from 17th century venetian mirrors to the top names in 20th century design, like maison jansen and t.h. robsjohn-gibbings. when working with particularly discerning clients, mary's space is a fab resource!
so chic vintage baker parson's stools- m21 really wanted these to come home with him to live happily ever after inside the atelier...


steer horns on a t.h. robsjohn-gibbings table- i told you mary had the chicness!

these lovely neo-classic chairs were offered as a pair, and mary always uses top of the line fabrics when she restores...

next stop is upstairs at modern zoo, an eclectic mix of 20th century designs that m21 can really get into- lots of milo baughman and 70's goodness, and an extensive selection of works by gerald mccabe (mccabe was a local southern california artisan, specializing in kind of an organic hippie chic woodworking vibe).

a pair of milo baughman/thayer-coggin credenzas- one is designed to wall mount over the other. hot.

love this lacquered parchment credenza- the cabinet portion is joined to the bottom by thick lucite so it appears to float. chic. why doesn't more furniture light up?

onyx and brass global eclecticism goodness.

when do you ever see a matched set of three massive lucite "ice" crystal chandeliers? m21 knows he'll have a project one day needing three, and these will be long gone... we actually had one of these chandeliers a while back here at the atelier, but thought the top band of gold-tone metal was a little cheesy looking, so m21 snipped it off with bolt cutters! our rehab must have worked to class it up a bit, as the chandelier ended up in the home of an architectural digest cover-published decorator!

way in the back of the 2nd floor of the antique center, we discovered a new-to-us space, bonita interiors, operated by angela dickerson-lee, and fell in love with virtually everything in her space. again, like the other two spaces we love, angela curates her space with a unique eye, so her space has the point of view of a retail store, not a jumble of bric-a-brac often found in an antique mall setting. plus, angela recovers all her upholstered pieces in great contemporary fabrics and offers a fab selection of chic (and inexpensive) accent pillows to go with, so it's one stop shopping!

love the mud cloth pillows, and the vintage lamps are stunning...

sheepskin wing chairs, tie-dye pillows and moroccan poufs? how awesome is this vignette?

angela is a talented painter too- loved this piece!

this abstract print should have come home with us- m21 is still kicking hisstupidself for not buying it.

this black linen sofa, with it's brightly colored ikat pillows, again, could have come right home with us, and it was a bargain too! love angela's eye!

now get out to the pasadena antique center to support these hard-working and talented dealers- they all have websites too (and are on the m21 marketplace blogroll) so those of you in other areas of the US can shop from them too!

18 February 2010

some enchanted evening...

spent the evening here:

disney hall is simply gorgeous- the exterior and pipe organ alone are worth a visit to the symphony even if you aren't a classical music lover. try to ignore the the carpet and upholstery though, because while disney hall was completed in 2003, the upholstery and carpet look like bad 80's leftovers (you know m21 loves the 80's, but not the really icky bits...)

listening to him:

a visiting orchestra, the leipzig gewandhaus orchestra performed beethoven's piano concerto no. 5 and symphony no.7. the symphony totally rocked, but really, who doesn't like a little ludwig? and again, even if you don't, it's still worth attending a performance as a reminder of human achievement: beethoven composed some of his greatest works- like symphony no. 7- while almost *completely* deaf, so as a good friend likes to remind us, his work is a testament to the power of forging ahead with your passion, because NO obstacle is truly insurmountable...

followed by a chic late night supper here:

bottega louie is one of those restaurants that simply has "it": the food is great, the crowd is chic and the space is completely spectacular- a ginormous soaring white room with touches of marble, brass, gilt and boiserie. it is one of m21's favorite places in LA right now for breakfast, lunch or dinner (and this evening, since we were amongst the last diners to leave, our waiter sent us home with a bag of leftover goodies from their patisserie- how great is that? dinner *and* breakfast to go!)

not bad for a random wednesday evening in the middle of february!

15 February 2010

maison21 in lonny magazine (kinda)

no matter how many times it happens, we still get a kick out of seeing an object purchased from the atelier featured in a magazine or website (or sometimes, even a film), so m21 was pleasantly surprised to find the following image in the latest issue of lonny magazine, featuring the offices of the fabulously talented betsy burnham (image is on page 109 if for some reason you haven't checked out the latest issue). betsy is a longtime friend to the atelier, and purchased the pretty chinois goddess lamp from us many years ago, so we were delighted to see the lamp still enjoying a prominent place in betsy's chic offices:
thanks for remembering us, betsy, and thanks for including the link to the marketplace, lonny! the new issue is terrific, btw!

holiday, schmoliday (animal ennui)

just another totally boring day to us if our dad is working...

13 February 2010


much valentine's love from all of us at the atelier!

12 February 2010

11 February 2010

in memoriam

alexander mcqueen was a visionary artist, whose medium happened to be clothing. i hope you have found peace, mr. mcqueen. your talent will be missed, but not forgotten.

m21 is *hongray* (LA street food fest)

first, m21 wants to thank everyone for all the well wishes! it is heartwarming to know that so many people whom we've only met in cyber-space, were concerned about health and well-being of lil ol' m21! and the prognosis is: we'll live! yay! we are re-embracing life as we speak: flowers smell sweeter, the sun feels like a kiss on our skin, and every stranger on the street is a long lost friend! ;-)

second, m21 is of the opinion flu shots don't work. we got both the regular and the H1N1 this year, and we got the ick anyway. though i guess, it could have been much worse without- we got sick last wednesday night (sore throat, fever, aches, tummy upset) and a week later, we feel like we'll survive, so perhaps the shots lessened the length and severity of the ick- who really knows? on second thought, m21 says don't listen to him about health advice- he's a decorator, not a doctor, dammit!

third, after subsisting on soup for a week, m21 is hongray for some real food! so that why this saturday, he is thinking of checking out the LA street food fest and completely gorging himself on the vast array of treats that the gourmet food trucks of los angeles have to offer. it is all sounding so tasty delish right now: the buttermilk truck, the grilled cheese truck, mama koh’s korean chicken wings, the sweets truck, frysmith, and more... our one complaint would be that the truck that started the craze about two years ago, the kogi korean taco truck, isn't going to be there, but that's cool- we've already gorged ourselves sick on their fare, it's time for some new taste treats! (and m21 guesses he shouldn't say kogi started it all, since LA has such a longstanding tradition of really amazing taco trucks: m21 has many fond, yet slightly blurry, youthful memories of eating the most delicious meals ever, while standing on some street corner with a crowd of other drunken fools at 2:30 in the morning!)
so are you hongray too? will we see you at the LA street food fest? m21 is aiming to arrive at noon, which means we'll for sure be there by 2! nom, nom!

04 February 2010

sick day (rhymes with ebay)

part 2 of m21's visit to the pasadena antique center will have to wait a bit, as we are feeling a bit too skankedy to compose a real post today. (being sick sucks, btw- we tried to tried to get mona to make us soup but she keeps whining that it's too hard without opposable thumbs, and richard won't even wake up from his nap to go to the store and get m21 ice cream. children can be so ungrateful, can't they?)

so until we are feeling a bit healthier, we invite you to visit the auctions we have currently running on ebay. yes, ebay. we know we said we were done with it forever, but never say never, ya know? our bff asked us to help him sell a pair of rare 1970's italian modern settees by cini boeri, and there is no better (and easier) place to attempt to find a buyer for something of their rarity then ebay. as long as we were listing for him, we threw up a couple items of our own too (le garage is le full with the two settees and a milo baughman sofa we recently picked up).

we'll be back soon with some real postings and in the meantime, please send soup, ice cream and magazines... ;-)

02 February 2010

a visit to the pasadena antique center (pt. 1)

y'all know how maison21 loves the old pretty things- can't ever get enough, actually- so it follows that we've never met an antique mall we didn't like. ok, that's not entirely true- we've been to plenty of antique malls that are so full of gramma's musty ol' doilies and entirely shabby & completely un-chic antiques, that we've never felt compelled to return. one antique mall we DO feel compelled to revisit again and again, is the pasadena antique center in duh, pasadena. in fact, on our last visit several weeks ago, we took something like 178,952,843 photos of things we loved and wanted to buy, and have spent every moment since our visit, editing them down into a more reasonable number for a post or two... ;-)

how can m21 find that many things he loves and wants to buy, you ask? well, every time we shop, we are shopping for three distinct entities: group one is real clients (sadly, always the smallest number of things needed- on this trip, we were really only looking for a small ottoman, some art and a few accessories); group two is imaginary clients- 'ohhhh, wouldn't it be fun to do an english inspired gentleman's library, or a chic art deco apartment for a woman of a certain age?"; and of course group three would be moi-self, maison21 (the largest number of items found by far): "omg, omg, that is the coolest ______ i've ever seen, i NEED it for the atelier! NEEEEED!"

so here are the 10 coolest things we spotted for moi-self's personal use, as well as for our clients, both real and imagined (part two of our visit will be a peek into the spaces of our 3 favorite vendors at the mall):

loving this rocker- recovered in a black kid leather, it would be very maison jansen-esque.

we were VERY tempted by the great price on these massive art glass bookends. the "tail" of the one on the right has broken off, but a visit to brookes restoration could remove the tail from the other to have a matched set...

this leather topped occasional table was absurdly cheap, and was the piece that sparked the "english gentleman's library fantasy.

and this concrete ram would look fabulous in his garden, all overgrown with ivy. you know how m21 loves the animals, both real and decorative!

m21 was crazy for this pair of portraits- so modigliani on a budget.

lacquered parchment waterfall table goodness, and we also dig the blackamoor inspired tables- totally kitsch, but could be groovy in the right setting.

this tiny porcelain monkey table was hot, and no, we aren't over monkeys. singerie is a classic decorative theme, and if it was good enough for marie antionette, it's good enough pour moi. "let them eat bananas!"

this giant clamshell planter on a wrought iron stand would be stunning full of orchids- m21 sees it on a travertine floor in a modern bath or entry..

loved this terra cotta roman bust- the bright white glazing against the area left raw makes it super-chic; and the dorothy draper-esque side tables would be fab in our imaginary lady client's art deco inspired pied á tierre .

this pair of vintage barrel backed chairs was the item m21 most longed to bring home for himself. so. damn. chic.

so which is *your* favorite? stayed tuned for the next installment of our visit where we'll take you to the spaces of our three must-stop vendors at the pasadena antique center!