31 May 2010

tee hee.

someone at le tarjay has le sense d'humour:


24 May 2010

thank you (and life goes on...)


i want to thank everyone for all the wonderful comments, emails, tweets, and calls; at the risk of TMI, my loss is proving to be harder to cope with than i thought, so every lovely comment recounting how a dog they've never met made them smile, or an email from someone sharing their own strength and sympathy, has made all the difference. the kindness of people whom i've never met, or ever will meet, as well as the support offered by my family and in-the-flesh friends, has been completely amazing and has moved me deeply (a few of my oldest and dearest friends sent the chic bouquet above, along with a note expressing how much they loved and will miss my little girl). one reader even made a donation to a rescue group in mona's memory- one of those random acts of kindness i thought only existed on bumper stickers, and a gesture i found to be especially touching.

but life goes on... and i refuse to let this turn into an icky pet memorial blog, as that would give me (and you) an even bigger case of the sads. actually, i hope the next pet-related post i make will have a bit of happier news, as i've already been stalking petfinder and making the rounds of local shelters (yes, i know i can't replace her- she was one of a kind- but i'm gonna adopt again anyway, so why not give a stray a good home sooner, rather than later?). i've seen lots of little sweethearts in need of permanent homes, but haven't quite found the right fit as yet (or as was the case this weekend, the doggie i've gone to see was adopted before i even got to meet him). the situation is complicated by the fact i'm not just finding a companion for me, but for richard too, so his safety needs to be considered- he may be big, but he's a bit of a pussy (sorry)- otherwise i probably would have brought home the first stray pitbull/shepherd mix who wagged his tail at me (like the one today who brought over his stuffed toy and pressed it to the bars of his cage. so sweet). much as i don't look forward to dookie cleanup (gag) and other horrors of housebreaking, i'm thinking a puppy under a year old might be best solution, one who won't grow too much bigger than richard and someone he won't perceive as a threat. i'll admit, i'm thinking of a puppy for totally selfish reasons too- i don't want to- no, make that i can't- go through this loss again anytime soon, so i want to maximize my companionship years (boy, do i have a new found admiration for those who adopt older dogs- they are stronger, better, people than me! i sure hope medical science is working on a way to extend our little friends' lives- i think they may deserve it more then humans do, anyway).

two of the little ones who got away...

hopefully my next post will be decorating happytalk, soon followed by "introducing xxxxxx". in the meantime, thank you again for all the love. you've made a devastating situation a little less painful.

21 May 2010

the best years of our lives

this is a post i hoped never to write, but as i've invited you into our lives, i also feel the need to share the bittersweet conclusion to our story... sadly, yesterday, my beloved mona passed away while cradled in my arms. the end came fast, a blessing for both of us, and she is now happily chasing squirrels and eating french fries on another plane of existence.

i don't want to turn this into a tearfest- believe me i've shed enough for everyone- but i do want to express my gratitude for the joy mona brought into my life. when i recount the story of our first meeting, it sounds like i did her a favor by rescuing a timid and terrified little dog from the pound, but in truth, it was she who rescued me, and together, we went on a transformative journey resulting in each of us becoming happy, confident, and content beings. for that, as well for 10 years of love, laughter, and constant companionship, i am eternally grateful. it's a cliché to say she made me a better person, but she did. it's also a cliché to say she was my best friend, but she was. she was the best little girl in the whole wide world, the light of my life, and she will live in my heart forever.

mona on 5/16/10, smiling as always...

i want to thank all of you for allowing me to share some of the endless joy, boundless enthusiasm, (and shameless mugging for the camera) that this pretty little lady brought to my world, and also ask you to please not be sad for either of us- i hope everyone experiences as much love and happiness in their lives as we shared, even if only for a decade's blink of an eye. it was a good run, and truly, it was the best years of our lives.

last, in mona's memory, if anyone has the room in their hearts and lives, i hope you'll consider adopting a stray dog or cat- no guarantees, but mona and i are proof it can be a life changing (and life saving) experience, and when i'm ready, you can be sure it will be a path i'll happily travel again. at the very least, go hug your loved ones and tell them how much you love and appreciate them- because everyone can use a little more love and affection. i know that for a fact, as i've been blessed with an overabundance of both for the last ten years.

19 May 2010

the faster, easier, cheaper way to freshen your decor...


we've said it before, and we'll probably say it again too: flowers are the best way to brighten dull decor. so honor of our birthday today, we dropped a whopping 25 bucks at trader joe's on a brightly colored orchid for our mantle, and a fire-red bromeliad for the opposite side of the room. feels like we completely redecorated!

ok, the "feels like we completely redecorated" part is a lie, but the room does feel fresher and livelier with our bright new additions, and both blooms should last for at least a month (the bromeliad even longer), making this, at under a dollar a day, the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to freshen your decor!

18 May 2010

decorator cheat sheet (house beautiful colors for your home)

maison21 is a bit late to the party on this one, but he just picked up a copy of house beautiful: colors for your home, and can't recommend it enough. for years, our favorite feature of house beautiful has been their paint color recommendations at the front of the magazine- we religiously cut out the pages every month and have a folder reserved just for them, because yes, even we professionals can't know everything, and with thousands of thousands of paint colors to choose from, sometimes it's just nice to hear what has worked for others (its not like we decorators sit around at cocktail parties yakking about paint colors: "have you tried farrow and ball's 'orangery'? you must- it's simply divine!").

we've found this handy dandy little book to be a nice addition to our stable of crib sheets; it's smaller and lighter than our benjamin moore fandecks, so while not as comprehensive, it's still a nice lil' thing to keep in our bag and pull out when talking color with a client. it's certainly nicer then pulling out our folder of house beautiful tear sheets , and it's a great way to get the conversation started, as well as a useful resource for finding some new inspiration! ('cause the same ol' same ol' is sooooooooo boring).

pick it up the next time you are at the bookstore- m21 guarantees you won't regret it!

16 May 2010

let there be light (in a modern mood)

just collecting some images of lighting for a possible future project. (courtesy of 1stdibs)

14 May 2010

do as i say, not as i do (sofa fabric advice- to ignore, in this case)

so, if m21 had a client with a cat who thinks nothing of jumping on the sofa after investigating the inside of the fireplace, and a dog, who in her golden years has developed a slight leak (we know- TMI), and they requested a light or white sofa, we'd probably do as we've done in the past and recommend covering the sofa in an indestructible outdoor fabric, or even a vinyl; we might even recommend a very tailored slipcover in the outdoor fabric (nothing shabby or slouchy, thank you- ick). we'd also recommend to make two sets of cushion covers, so when one set gets filthy and needs to be washed, the other can be put on the sofa.

and if our client wanted a brightly-colored pattern on their sofa, we would probably try to steer them to a solid (though we don't have a problem with the brightly colored part!). we usually recommend avoiding patterns for a sofa- solids have more longevity and patterns can be a bit visually overwhelming on such a large piece; much more practical to bring in brightly colored and patterned pillows as accents as they are so easy to switch out and update.

last, if our client was a gentleman of a certain age, we might try to steer him in a suitably masculine direction- maybe a fairly pet-friendly gray flannel, or chic salt and pepper tweedy number (probably not leather, though- too cliché bachelor pad). we'd also try to push texture, and avoid shiny fabrics at all costs (often, shiny = cheap, when talkin' about fabrics- you know we have no problem with shiny in most other areas!)

but you know what they say, the heart wants what it wants, so m21 is ignoring his decorator's advice and making hisself up a bright n'colorful, totally gurly-gurl sofa & pillows- all in a completely pet inappropriate fabrics! so there.

m21's "much too much muchness"- the yellow stripe chintz & blue and white damask we've already purchased, the orange pillow was added through the magic of photoshop, and is under serious consideration.

we fell in love with the above vintage cotton lee jofa white, yellow and marigold stripe when we saw it on ebay, and much as we tried resist (in favor of a sunbrella solid) we kept returning to look at our stripe. once we discovered via swatch that it was a completely out of fashion glazed cotton chintz, well, we were totally hooked- always the contrarian, we find ourselves attracted over and over again to the very things that others avoid. when the fabric went on sale for $3.50 a yard (that's right- 3 dollah fiddy cent), what could we do but buy it? taking our own advice for once though, we bought all the seller's stock- about 8 more yards then needed, so we can have extra cushion covers made up for the inevitable accident.

we're adding two big 22" x 22" pillows in the vase print damask from calico corners we showed you a while back, and since they are a bit too blue and not enough white for our vintage sofa fabric, we plan to layer in some 18" x 18" pillows in front. what those pillows would be, we didn't know- until serendipity brought us an email today from katherine rally, about their chic-ly colorful batik print fabrics, pillows, and table accessories. their "field day" print in tangerine might be just the thing the decorator ordered!

there you have it: sheen-y, totally emasculating, pattern-on-pattern, riotous colors- breakin' all our rules! can't wait to share the real life results- it'll be kinda like domino threw up in our living room! (first though, we need to send that chintz out for some serious scotch-guarding!)

so anyway margaret, a priest, a rabbi, and a decorator walk into a bar...

m21, making his new bff, margaret russell, laugh, laugh, laugh.

this photo from the elle decor party and book-signing for style and substance at baker furniture, popped up on our facebook page (posted by the la cienega design quarter), and we thought it was too funny not to share. peggy & m21 really do look like bff's, right? maybe that elle decor cover is in our future!

12 May 2010

there oughtta be a law...


what's the logical course of action when faced with the most hideous domed mini-mall of a building in existence?

dynamite, right?

nope! build its equally ugly domed 'lil sister, right down the street!


oy to the freakin' vey...

09 May 2010

more lovely ladies @ legends of la cienega

you might ask why this lovely lady standing next to maison21 is smiling so broadly? well, that's because she just scored the exclusive rights to publish the next three maison21 projects on the cover of elle decor! what a decorating coup!

of course, that's a big fat fantasy existing only in m21's head, but he was impressed that after three solid days of meeting hundreds of strangers during the legends of la cienega 2010: celebrate hollywood event, that elle decor editor-in-chief, margaret russell, was still poised, gracious and smiling, and also more then willing to chat for a few minutes with some obscure decorator/blogger whom she had met only briefly once before. true professionalism in action!

m21 and the lovely ladies who were his dates for the evening, (l) jill seidner of jill seidner interior design, and LA correspondent for the material girls blog, and (r) lisa borgnes-giramonte, artiste extraodinaire, and author of a bloomsbury life. love both of them! we ran into another lovely lady, brooke giannetti from velvet and linen, earlier in the day, and if only she had been free to join us for the evening, we would have turned the party into a los angeles design blogger super summit!

the pictures in this post were taken saturday evening during an elle decor party and book-signing for elle decor style and substance at baker furniture on la cienega. the party was one of the last events of the legends event, and great way to cap off the two-day celebration of the la cienega design quarter.

elegance and wit in a black and white vignette in the baker showroom.


one of the fun things about parties in furniture showrooms is how people make themselves at home- notice the ladies sprawled on the bed in at rear!
and please be patient, as this post was intended to cap off our own coverage of the legends event as well, but the 2nd half of the post about the panel discussions we attended on saturday, was mysteriously eaten by the google. we've heard other bloggers complain of this, but we didn't didn't quite believe them- "google auto-saves! impossible!" we thought, but now we know it is indeed all too possible, so we'll try to recreate the post later when we have the time. arrrrrrrgh! we are SO not feeling as poised and composed as margaret at the moment!

until then, visit jill's blog here & here for more coverage of the events, as well as cinema style, balustrade & bitters, and elle decor.com for more pictures (and a behind the scenes video) of all the fab window displays.

happy monday! if a little post disappearing is the worst that happens today, we'll consider ourselves fortunate!

07 May 2010

the lovely ladies of la cienega (elle decor 'legends' kick-off party)

one of the perks of this blogging thing is getting invited to fancy-shmancy events like the kick-off party for the legends of la cienega event, hosted by elle decor at therien & co. therien is beyond chic- museum quality antiques, as well as their sublime studio workshops line of original furnishings- all housed in a series of stunning showrooms surrounding a green courtyard; but of course, chic as the surroundings were, it's the people who make a party great, and m21 was surrounded by beautiful ladies all evening long! and it wasn't just m21 who was charmed by our companions- one of the waiters made it his mission to make sure our ladies were well taken care of, at one point even giving us our our own bottle of wine, so they wouldn't have to brave the crowds at the bar! (since we were the lone boy in the harem, we got the benefits too- another unexpected perk of blogging, i guess!)
moi, avec two of the evenings' lovelies: annie crowninsheild, owner (along with her husband) of one of our favorite LA stores, empiric, and cassandra lavalle, of a blog most of are familiar with, coco & kelly- great to meet her in person, after knowing her through the blogosphere for the past few years.

moi, flanked by the lovely ladies of m design interiors, kate schintzius and molly luetkemeyer, and our charming date for the evening, jill seidner of jill seidner interior design, and also the los angeles correspondent for another blog y'all are familiar with, the material girls...

the drop dead interiors of therien & co...
thanks to elle decor, lcdq, therien & co, and of course, mah gurls, for a chic evening!

06 May 2010

legends of la cienega event- be there or be square!

if you have any spare time tomorrow and saturday, we can't recommend highly enough attending the legends of la cienega: celebrate hollywood- a tribute to design in film and television event, presented by the la cienega design quarter (LCDQ) & elle decor magazine.

to our mind, if you are able to attend only one event in the los angeles design world's seemingly endless array of annual options, it should be this one- the best of los angeles's design galleries on la cienega blvd, throw open their doors for two days to the public, and host a series of panel discussions on design, this year focusing on a hollywood theme. the event is intensely los angeles flavored- the hosting galleries are local of course, and in edition to national media sponsor elle decor, events are sponsored by our great californian design magazines, c magazine, angeleno interiors, california homes & luxe interiors+design. the chic window vignettes in every store are dressed exclusively by local design luminaries, and the panels, unlike similar events, are similarly populated by mostly local names- a fab opportunity to get a peek inside the mindset of southern california's biggest design stars. there are literally dozens of panels to choose from, so there is a topic sure to interest everyone- m21 has even has had a few of his non-design friends express interest in attending some of them! check the list here, as there are simply too many options for us to do justice here, nor do we want to play favorites!

and if like maison21, you are simply too busy to attend more then a panel or two, be sure to at least stroll down la cienega to take in the breathtaking window displays- they are simply not be missed! here's a selection, courtesy of elle decor and savage winn photography:


display at Bausman by Oliver Furth honoring The Fountainhead.

display at Baker by Woodson & Rummerfield honoring Auntie Mame

display at Dragonette by Melissa Levander honoring Romantic/Musical Comedies of the 50's & 60's

display at Gray Morell by Sheldon Harte honoring Pillow Talk (we intensely love that stacked pillow side chair, btw).

display at Therien by David Phoenix honoring To Catch A Thief


03 May 2010

who knew? (inexpensive, colorful fabrics @ calico corners)

maison21 had no idea...

when our friend, habitually chic, mentioned she found a fabric she loved at calico corners of all places, we put aside our skepticism of their unfortunate name with it's country bumpkin connotations, and headed on over the hill to studio city to check things out- and yup, she was right- inexpensive and colorful fabrics galore, and helpful sales people too! now they just need to change their name, or at least open a location on this side o' town, please (the border checkpoints trying to get back in to LA can be so vexing, you know). sorry valley friends, i couldn't resist!

the blue diamond fabric at top center is trés chic, no? at $39.99 the most expensive of our selections, but still an awfully good deal!

we would have purchased this ikat print to make some pillows for our living room, if the background had been white instead of beige- so cheap n'chic!

so instead we bought some of this damask print- the central vase motif reminds us of a budget version of david hicks 'the vase' fabric from clarence house. kinda. sorta. well, they both have vases on them, anyway... ;-)

02 May 2010

i heart the internets (cabinet hardware search)

maison21 needed some hardware to switch out on a client's existing built-in office cabinetry, so he typed in "brass chinese cabinet pull" and lo and behold, there is a website devoted just to that very thing! LOVE the internets...

selections from chinesebrasshardware.com: