31 October 2010

more halloween cuteness...

more halloween  cuteness from our annual "for the kids" halloween luncheon, hosted by our friends rudy & will (we feel fortunate to be one of the few childless adults to be invited, but r+w also know how much we'd pout if deprived of baby cuteness. love. them. kiddies. especially in costume!)

happy halloween, part 2 (a rerun)

*this is a rerun of richard's halloween greetings from last year.  doggies in costume = easy, kitties in costume = not so much.

30 October 2010

happy halloween!

guess what ted was for halloween?

a tranny!
miss theodora
oh yes i did!

happy halloween, e'rebody!

28 October 2010

appearances can be deceiving...

angry dog baring his fangs in warning?
 or incredibly placid dog, patiently bearing whatever humiliation his human subjects him to...

what have i done to deserve this?
 you be the judge!

27 October 2010

contact @cb2

so we had a quick dash through the new(ish) cb2 store in santa monica today, and came very close to buying a couple of the below "contact" stools even though a) we have absolutely nowhere to put them, and b) they don't go with our current decor one little bit.  this is what happens when you have a shopping addiction!  but luckily, we shop for clients frequently, so while they didn't come home with us today, maybe we'll find a good home for them in the future- so stylish, and at $129.00 each, they are practically free!
a lil industrial + a lil prouvé = lots o' style

we also loved this enameled table trio- again, a big ol' bargain at $129!
pebble tables
we must have been in an industrial mood, because these sconces caught our eye as well.  we even don't mind the cord-  we'd just let it hang, and be all european n stuff.
hinge sconce- $79 dollahs
much more cuteness to be had in the store, but we are out of patience to edit photos, so stop in when you are in the neighborhood, or hit up cb2 online!


25 October 2010

m21's happy place.

so cute!
if there is a happier spot on teh internets then desire to inspire's "monday's pets on furniture", m21 would like to know what it is, so he can visit everyday, rather than just look forward to mondays. thanks to kim & jo for starting off every week on the happiest of notes!

24 October 2010

the wish list: t. h. robsjohn-gibbings chaise

t. h. robsjohn-gibbings chaise for saridis, at LA's warehouse-sized version of the wish list, JF Chen (via 1stdibs)
two of these, a sleek coffee table in-between and some gorgeous modern art, are m21's fantasy recipe for the perfect minimalist living room.

22 October 2010

the wish list: maurice bailey for monteverdi young armchairs

 maurice bailey for monteverdi young armchairs, at darrell dean antiques, via 1stdibs
all we can say about these chairs is yum. witty, idiosyncratic, modern, exuberant, maurice bailey's work for monteverdi young, represents a fanciful side to mid-century modern that maison21 has always had quite the soft spot for.  not as famous or prolific as tommi parzinger or edward wormley, two designers m21 thinks are comparable in feel, mr. bailey's creations represent that sweet spot where art & craft met commerce & function at the middle of the 20th century.

21 October 2010

a rerun (it gets better, m21 style)

m21 meant to run this yesterday in honor of spirit day, a day of remembrance to honor the gay kids who have struggled and committed suicide,  but no matter- the message stays the same regardless of the date.

this was my own "it gets better" story (kinda), posted on 4/07/09  and i thought it apropos to rerun it again, a year and a half later, in light of current events.  on the off chance a teen should wander across my blog, i want you to know that it does get better- way better-  and whatever problems you are experiencing in high school, they will pass, and happier times will come around, i promise.

smashing it up (maison21 gets personal)

it's amazing how an object, a smell, a taste- something you haven't thought about in years- can instantly transport you back decades. for proust, it was a madeleine (didja ever expect such a highbrow literary reference here at m21?), and for maison21 it was a framed poster for a punk rock single (aaaand... bringing it right back down again).
m21's madeleine

last weekend at the m21 yard sale pop-up store, my neighbors brought over the above poster to sell. i gleefully snatched it up, and was instantly transported back almost 30 years, to the year that probably changed my life more than any other. i carried the little framed poster (originally torn from a british magazine) around the rest of the day, grinning at the incredible memories that were instantly conjured by this object's random appearance in my life- amazing how the universe works sometimes.

you see in the summer between junior high and high school, my parents sold the home i grew up in and uprooted me to an entirely new part of town, where i wouldn't know a soul at the new high school i would be attending. all of the friends and neighbors i grew up with would be left behind- only a 40 minute drive away, but for a kid without a driver's license, it might as well have been mars.
baby m21 in europe

to make up for it, i guess, my parents took me to europe that summer, and without knowing, set me on a journey that would change my life forever. maison21 isn't trying to be fancy here- this was no european grand tour where i discovered the love of my life in beautiful venetian palazzo- that would be a merchant-ivory film, not my life. this was a 3 1/2 week bus tour that was literally "europe's greatest hits- 25 cities in 25 days!". nonetheless, however white trashy the trip was, it had a significance in my life that reverberates to this day, particularly the trip's starting and stopping points.

the simplicity of versailles ;-)

the trip started in london, and ended in paris, and my experience in both places completely changed the course of my life. at the ending, in paris, the pivotal point was taking a trip see the classical splendors of the chateau de versailles one morning, and then taking in the brand spanking new, just opened, post-modern industrialism of the beauborg (pompidou centre), the next. i decided then and there to become an architect (a dream later abandoned in favor of interior design, when i discovered that to be an architect, you had to pass physics- an impossibility for right-brained me). trying to reconcile my love of antiquity, rococo & gilt, with my love of modernism, post-modernism & all things new, has certainly informed the aesthetic of my adult life (and career), and is something that still brings me great joy to this day- like chocolate and peanut butter, m21 simply thinks they are "two great tastes, that taste great together".
the beauborg

at the beginning point of my journey, london, the life changing experience was a bit different, but had perhaps even a stronger impact on forming my adult personality and outlook. in the days before the tour officially started, my parents and i took london's famous taxicabs around the city, and everywhere we went, i saw these little groups of kids with parti-colored hair and strange outfits, laughing and whooping it up- they reminded me of peacocks or parrots in their multi-color exoticism and finally i asked one of the cabbies, what the heck are they about? he replied "they're punkers, into that punk rock. you'll want to stay away from that lot- they're dangerous". well, they didn't look very dangerous to me- they looked carefree, and happy, and cool- like they were having the time of their lives, and could care less what some grumpy old cab driver- or anyone else- thought of them! before we left london, timid little teenaged me made my way to a london record store, where i asked the clerk if i could buy some punk rock (what ever the heck that was). he sold me an album by the damned- "they were the first", in his words, and i carried the record (un-listened to) through the rest of the 24 cities on our tour, and then the 11,000 miles back to san diego, and really didn't give it or the london punk rock kids, another thought for the summer. i was more excited about the preppy and fashionable new clothes i was buying for the school year- in europe, no less- than some record album i couldn't even play in our hotel room...
no, i didn't see dame vivienne westwood in london, but i did glimpse tons of street kids emulating the style she helped create...

back home, i started at my new high school, dressed in the new clothes purchased abroad- candy colored lacoste polos and trendy skinny jeans- thinking i would be hot stuff on my new campus (ironically, tres similar to the uniform i wear today). and i would have ruled the school had i been going to the high school in my old neighborhood where preppy, fashionable and academically inclined were the tickets to popularity. my new school? not so much. being beach adjacent, it was full of surfers and jocks (if you missed a shot on the racquetball courts, it ended up in sea water!). the dress code of the day was flip-flops, board shorts and an old t-shirt. academically inclined? again, not so much, more like "beach & bong" inclined.

i was instantly a fish out of water, and over time, though i tried desperately to adapt and fit in, i was branded a freak, and worse- a fag (true, of course, but it sure wasn't fun to hear at the time). i spent the first semester of my sophomore year wandering the halls during lunch period because i didn't have any friends to sit with, and was too scared to venture into the populated cafeteria or quad for fear of getting food thrown at me (really- food thrown at me- no lie).

after school though, my thoughts returned to the record i bought in london- i would go home and listen to it over and over, and even added more to my punk rock LP collection by laboriously searching out the one record store in town where english imports were available- no small feat in pre-internet suburban san diego. as i listened, i'd think of those brightly colored punk rock kids i saw in london- seemingly so happy and carefree, and so very opposite of the way i was feeling at school everyday. at some point i just said screw it- why bother even trying to fit in if i'm never going to be accepted? if the kids at school think i'm a freak and a fag, then i'll show 'em freaky and faggy! so i went to the salvation army, bought an armful of vintage clothes, and then to the drug store for a box o' hair dye,and never looked back.
People call me weird, oh it's such a shame
Maybe it's my clothes, must be to blame
I don't even care if I look a mess
Don't wanna be a sucker like all the rest
smash it up- the single from my yard sale find at the top of the post, and my teen-aged self's oft repeated mantra.
30 years later this may not sound so radical- we see freakier kids all the time now, right? , but trust me, at the time i was weird. i was officially the only freak at my high school, and you know what? it was the best thing i could have done. the taunts just didn't sting as much, once i had made up my mind not to give a flying you-know-what.

within no time at all, i had a circle of friends outside of high school (college age kids... who could buy beer!) and at school, i eventually developed a circle of new wave girlfriends to laugh and eat lunch with. the threats would still come- jocks would wanna kick my "faggot punk rock ass" or call my girlfriends "new wave sluts" but i would just respond "is it going to make you a more of a man, to beat up a girl or a fag?" and 9 times out of 10, they would slink away. the tenth time, i'd get punched, but it was worth it to stick up for my friends (and myself too).
moi at 15? 16? this was the evening of my transformation from preppy to punk- my mom chronicled the event with our polaroid.

though i ended up never to going to prom, or any other high school landmarks, i had a blast doing my own thing, and funny thing is in the years after graduation, more often than not, what i heard from the people who knew me then, was: "i really admired you in high school & i wish i could have been more like you- i was just miserable trying to fit in all the time". one dude who tried to make my life particularly miserable ended up crying during his apology! i told him there was nothing to be sorry for- not being part of the in-group was one of the best life lessons i could have received, and literally, made me into the person i am today. i'll never be scared to do something different than the norm, march to my own drummer, or miss an opportunity, solely because "nobody else is doing it". things i might have never learned if things were different!
my 17th birthday, with freshly bleached hair- it must have been my gift to myself...

so what does this have to to with decorating, or design? nothing really. it's just been on my mind, and hey, since it's my blog, i think it's important remind my adult self every so often, of the simple lessons i was lucky enough to learn as a teen:

#1- be true to yourself and stand up for your beliefs,

#2- not to worry so much about what others think of you- they'll come around as long as you follow #1

and last, #3- sometimes, it feels good to take a punch for a friend.

now, if you made it this far, and want to listen to some music that for better or worse, helped shape yours truly, i give you "smash it up" by the damned:

to find out how you can help GLBT teens in crisis, please visit the trevor project.

20 October 2010

hanging around...

nothing to do but frown,

rainy days and mondays always get me down...

the photo looks moody but richard is quite intrigued and amused by the rain outside.

a rainy monday (well, tuesday actually when we took this photo) might get maison21 down, especially knowing he has to brave traffic to meet a client deep behind the orange curtain (translation: drive to orange county- you know, where the original housewives live), but the rain bothers richard not at all.  being an indoor cat, he has NO idea that the substance outside is the same horrible thing he is subjected to in his dreaded monthly baths.  he thinks it's quite fun to try to catch the drips as they run down the window pane, but somehow, he hasn't caught one yet!

19 October 2010

peter pennoyer architects

a book title that should be on every architecture and design enthusiast's xmas list this year is peter pennoyer architects: apartments, townhouses, country houses by anne walker (vendome press).  m21 devoured his copy last night, and now has a new goal in life: to do the interiors of a building designed by peter pennoyer architects!  sure, we'd probably junk it up with lots of bold color, some shiny, shiny brass and chrome (and maybe a giant rubber foot or two), but classical architecture this pretty compliments any decor, so our own rather, ahem, eclectic style shouldn't be a problem... ;-)

as the title says, the book consists of 20 projects spanning mr. pennoyer's career- apartments, townhouses and country houses-  in styles ranging from adirondack to spanish colonial revival, with the most spectacular pieces designed in a traditional, classical architectural style where pennoyer's talent is unsurpassed.  he is a master of proportion and detail, and the king of the dramatic, light-filled stairwell!

while we were reading the volume, we kept marveling that the images of new construction and interior renovations mr. pennoyer orchestrated were all built in the 1990's and 2000's, but the craftsmanship looks to be of another century- simply breathtaking. we are in awe. 
pennoyer also believes in the physical act of sketching with pencil and paper in order to train the mind to visualize, and we couldn't agree more- a sense of proportion is lost when only using a computer, and this kind of old world attention to craft is plainly evident in his work, even the renderings and sections of his buildings have detail and style that seems of another era, not this day of computer generated images.

if you like the images we've shared, m21 says order this book today- it'll knock yer socks off.

want: cocoon fires fireplace

this chicly space-age ethanol burning fireplace from cocoon fires is so damned cool, m21 is tempted to brick up his existing fireplace just so he has an excuse to buy one!  heck, we might just save our sheckels and buy one for our fireplace-less bedroom- you know for those three nights a year when it's freezing cold here in los angeles. a much more romantic way to stay warm then central heat, dontchathink? we love that it can be used anywhere- inside or out, no chimney needed!

side note- it it just me, or does this lil freplace look a little like great gazoo from the jetsons?

coolness found via designalogue