26 February 2011

well, since you asked nicely, decorno... (bamboo shades- yes or no?)

lady blogger ms. decorno, recently asked one of her timeless classic "yes or no" questions about bamboo shades- which really means she just wants free advice from her decorator friends, but that's ok- we get so much enjoyment from the hilarious, snarky (and occasionally vicious) comments section on her blog, we don't mind doling out a bit of free advice in exchange! ;-) plus, we're glad she is back- we missed our decorno while she was on hiatus.
woven wood shades, from a m21 project in progress
so yes, lady d, bamboo shades are a timeless decorator classique which we all know and love (see the dark mahogany top-down shades we just installed at a client's in the above photo). woven wood shades (as we call them in the business) are often, but not always, made of bamboo, and can bring an air of casual sophistication to a formal room, or a bit of global chic to more modern decor- but warning, use wisely- pairing them with too much global eclecticism, especially of the chinois variety, can result in your home looking like a pier one or cost plus store. not so chic.

and speaking of pier one or cost plus- do not buy the cheap shades with the little exposed metal hangers up top from either place (unless you are a college student living on top ramen), they look like complete poo-poo, and never go up and down smoothly after you hang them; instead, get proper shades, which fold up or down like a roman shade, with decent hardware up top for the raising/lowering mechanism (usually concealed by a self-valance). my advice is to purchase from a reputable local dealer to save yourself the heartache of measuring incorrectly when ordering online- almost all brick and mortar curtain showrooms sell and install for not much more then an online source. if you are a little DIY savvy and think you can successfully measure and install yourself, try the shade store or smith + noble (both of whom, btw, also will send someone to measure and install for an additional fee, so really in this instance it works out the same as buying local from your mom and pop curtain place).

a way to dress up woven wood shades, as we did in the above photo, is to layer curtain panels over them on either side, and if you *really* want to gussy them up, you can layer them under a fabric valance, similar to what is layered over the pale, custom-colored matchstick (tiny reeds) woven wood shades, in the below photo (from a project m21 worked on with his former employer over a decade ago see? timeless classique!)

now put up your damn shades, already, lady d!  your neighbor chad really doesn't mind looking in, but he'd like it to be an elective exercise, not mandatory!

24 February 2011

savage beauty at the met

we've had the amazing slideshow for the upcoming "savage beauty" alexander mcqueen exhibition open in our browser for several days now, and we keep returning to look at these beautiful images. looks like we'll be visiting NYC this summer!

22 February 2011

free stuff! giveaway of "the irish country house"

a lil bit before xmas, the nice people at vendome press were generous enough to send maison21 a review copy of their fab new release coffee table book, "the irish country house", and instead of reviewing it, m21 did what one does with a coffee table book- put it on his coffee table, where it languished, until today...
so having somewhat shame-facedly having rediscovered the volume in a bit of spring cleaning, we'd like to make up for our lack of a review and host a giveaway of our copy! that's right- absolutely free stuff, from me to you!

here's a taste of what's inside this beautiful book:

to enter the giveaway, just click here to send an email (don't worry- your email will not be shared). please put "book giveaway" in the subject line, so we know it's not one of the dozens of spam emails we get daily, and provide your address so we can mail your copy to you should you be the lucky winner.  also, since we are hosting this giveaway ourselves, we are going to request that entrants live in the US- no offense to our international friends, but we'd like to keep shipping costs down. we'll pick a winner march 5th and send out your book! easy-peasy!

good luck!

20 February 2011


los angeles is at its most beautiful after a winter storm, and ted and i were fortunate enough to spend a hour or two basking in it, before heading home to get a head start on the coming week...

hoping your weekend was glorious too!

16 February 2011

more work in progress (ted, on a hike)

hello, my name is ted. this is me up near the top of runyon canyon:

i do not like to hike, but my dad is insisting. he says he needs to get in shape, and gosh darnit, he ain't hiking alone! this is what i look like when we start our hikes. i just sit, giving him my best "wtf?" stare, but it never works- he keeps walking, so i follow along. eventually.

this is me when we first tried hiking- i've come along way since then. the treats my dad bribes me with really help.

maybe hiking ain't so bad- i just scored chicken treats off total strangers!

or maybe it's the pits. i'm still making up my mind.

my dad says i'll love it by summer. me? i'm not so sure. we'll keep you posted.

14 February 2011

pretty in pink (more work in progress)

what with today's obsessively pink holiday, the recent "power of pink" issue of house beautiful, and  pantone's honeysuckle pink being named color of the year, we thought we'd share another sneak peek of a work in progress (even though the photo quality is a bit grainy and the unfinished styling, a bit impromptu; normally, m21 would advise any designer who asked, to NOT show anything 'in progress' as waiting until a project is perfectly styled is your best opportunity to present your designs exactly how you'd like them seen- but what the heck, we previously shared this on facebook and twitter, so half of you have seen it anyway, and really, with all the pink in the air lately, we thought, why not?)
we shared the elements of the room here- now you can see how they all fit together; just waiting on a pair of modern planters for next to the banquette, to put the finishing touches on the room!
see why it was on our mind? kinda eclectic- a bit traditional, a bit modern- and powerfully pink! hoping your valentine's day was deliciously pink as well!


sending you much valentine's day love from all of us here at the atelier.

11 February 2011

work in progress...

above is one of a chic pair of custom 'ashbury' chairs from the fabulous folks at plantation, delivered to a client's home this afternoon, to be used as extra seating in an intimate, family-friendly media room off a kitchen. the chairs are a great size for our needs- somewhere between a lounge chair and a side chair, and we covered them in a hard-wearing white vinyl, so they'll still match the sophisticated look, and black & white color palette of the adjacent kitchen, yet can stand up to whatever abuse the resident toddler may accidentally inflict- no reason why kid-friendly can't be stylish too! we are very pleased with the finished look of the chairs...

as you can see from the floorplan, the chairs will be sitting on what we think is an incredibly stylish b&w geometric dash and albert indoor/outdoor rug, (available here in LA @ hd buttercup). again, completely kid proof, and looks like a million bucks, though it didn't cost anywhere near that! and if a pb&j is accidentally squished into the rug, it can simply be hauled out on the adjoining patio and hosed off- how's that for easy care?

last, here's an installation photo of the gorgeous polished nickel hicks pendants we shared with you on an earlier posting, which hang above the island in the adjacent kitchen (the good folks at circa provided stellar customer service when one of the glass globes arrived with a minor flaw, btw). we've cropped the above photo to a) preserve a little mystery as to the look of the finished project, and b) not lessen the prettiness of the fixtures, as the room was covered in dropcloths and construction debris when the photo was snapped. plus, we're really hoping you'll finally get to see all these elements pulled together in their finished glory when the home graces the pages of a future issue of house beautiful! (hey, a decorator can dream can't he?)

enjoy your weekend!

09 February 2011

a wasted opportunity (wherein we rant about football & architecture)

since the superbowl, los angeles has been inundated with press about the possibility of a new stadium to house a new NFL team, to which m21 responds *YAWN*.

let me preface by first stating m21 could care less about football (a shocking confession, right?) honestly, we would prefer to watch paint dry then to watch a football game- the rules are arcane, there are two brief seconds of action, followed by a whole lot of waiting around and boring commentary; the halftime shows are always lame and dated; and finally- and perhaps most importantly, what's the point of watching hot young guys in great physical shape if they are completely obscured by tons of padding and helmets? ;-)

still, we are adult enough to understand that just because we don't get it, there are millions of people who live for it, and we don't begrudge them their enjoyment, so if LA needs a team, by all means, bring one here. we are a world class city, after all, and thus should have the things that world class cities need to maintain their status as such: 1st class museums, cultural institutions like the symphony and opera, and i guess, major sports franchises, too.

so that brings us to the point of today's post- if we a are to get a new NFL team, let's ensure that stadium being built for it is as world class as the city it's being built in.  it simply goes with out saying that it should be architecturally stunning, and of immediate landmark status- along the lines of our disney hall and getty center museum, and since we are in the 21st century, it should also lead in technology- perhaps being the greenest stadium ever built. instead, what has been proposed is bland and ordinary, and would be more suited to des moines or milwalkee, than to the city that has, for better or worse, come to epitomize american culture to the world (no offense to the residents of either of those assuredly lovely cities, btw).

beijing built this:

montreal built this:

munich built this:

and we are proposed this:
best of the bunch, but two swoops and a gaint LED sign, do not a masterpiece make. it's still an ugly box wearing a church lady hat.

or this:
boring and ordinary.  maybe it would have been impressive in 1978, but we expect more in the 21st century,

or this:
we can't even speak of how dreadful this ugly box of a design is. it looks like a 2nd rate convention center in a 3rd rate town.

what a wasted opportunity. these banal examples need to be sent back to the drawing board, and we need to start all over again to give the city of angels the world class landmark it deserves, and something even us football-phobics can love.  we live here too, ya know, and hundreds of thousands of citizens of los angeles, whether football fans or no, will be forced to drive by these ugly, boring boxes every day- so please AEG, corporate backers of the stadium, as well as mayor villaraigosa, give us a view that inspires, beautifies and makes us proud of our city.

read more in the breathless press release sent to promote this crap as something significant here.


05 February 2011

everybody needs some buddy, sometimes... (can you help a fella out?)

ok, we've said it before- this is NOT a pet adoption website- does its job far too well for us to compete, but it seems that m21's friends are just a bunch of wonderful, caring, people, so when they do good deeds like rescuing a dog from the mean streets of los angeles, it seems a small thing to make the occasional lil announcement on this (rather limited) public forum in an effort to help...
today's orphan is "buddy", a handsome and sweet 2-3 year old shepherd (?)/pit mix found in elysian park, los angeles, on january 17th- no tags, no chip and a looking a bit thin. buddy followed a facebook friend of ours and his 3 small dogs to their home, desperately looking for somewhere to belong. our friend, being a good samaritan (and father to 3 rescues already) took him in, got him to a vet where he was neutered, given shots, and a good bill of health. buddy is housetrained, so he was undoubtedly someone's pet at one time, and other then being a bit shy of people, buddy seems pretty well adjusted for somebody who was dumped in a park and left to fend for himself (just typing that breaks my heart). buddy needs some training, as you can imagine, but his foster describes him as "very sweet, quite the kisser, and not much of a barker"). because buddy's current foster's dogs are smaller and older, buddy is being kept separate, so he really needs to find a loving, forever home ASAP (though he seems to get along with the other dogs just fine, btw). buddy weighs weighs about 46 pounds and is 18 inches tall at the shoulder and 34 inches from nose to butt, so will be a great companion for someone who wants a dog as a hiking and active sport companion (that rules us out ;-).

if you live in southern california, and think you could could give buddy the love, exercise, and training he deserves, please contact me, and i'll put you in touch with his current foster; and PLEASE forward this post to anyone you think might be able to help find this handsome, sweet boy a home, as well as please post to your FB pages, blogs, twitter etc.- the more people exposed to this lover, the better the odds in our search to find him a forever home!

04 February 2011

me and my arrow

there is a resemblance, dontchathink?

happy weekend!

03 February 2011

mad beauty from boca do lobo

"diamond" sideboard by boca do lobo, available on the west coast through phyllis morris
when m21 first saw this sideboard several months ago while doing a search for credenzas on 1stdibs, we immediately bookmarked it and returned over and over again to marvel at its mad beauty.  of course, something else shiny soon caught our eye, and we forgot about it until we opened the pages of luxe magazine and spied it afresh. still love it, still think it's completely over the top, and still seriously would love to use it in a dream project one day- maybe in a gallery-like home for an international billionaire art collector/spy- it would definitely take a special place and special client to showcase something like "diamond" by boca do lobo!

here's more beautious boca do lobo limited editions from their website: