31 March 2011

go fer it!

what's going on over here?
this is better than reality tv!
can you see what i'm focused on?
now can you see what's going on?  gopher! gopher! gopher!

i could watch all day! (photo courtesy of PR/social media guru, richard morales of blueprintbrands)
ted's a thinker, he is- when he spotted movement in the brush at runyon, he just had to sit down and observe... and observe, and observe, completely rapt for several minutes as little mister gopher enlarged his home. he didn't lunge like the other doggies, and he didn't try to dig up lil mr. gopher's hole, he just sat, and watched, and contemplated his next move. he might still be sitting there thinking about his options if we didn't remind him that dinner was waiting for him at home.

good boy, ted.

30 March 2011

elle decor & design*sponge on why twitter matters (and how to use it)

there is a reason why social media is the topic du jour- it works, and like it or not, we all have to embrace it-  if you don't, the train is going to pass you by. at our panel last week (oy- again with the panel, m21!) we were all in agreement- you have to use the big three platforms of social media to get your brand out there: blogs, facebook pages, and twitter. you can't just blog any longer, all three need to be used in conjunction. personally, i know lots of design people who have embraced the former two, and ignored the latter (the twitters), and to do so is at your own peril, as twitter is where the conversation amongst your audience is truly happening. so wholeheartedly embracing all three platforms is simply the inarguable fact of doing business in 2011. (tip- there are social media experts who can help you with all this if it seems overwhelming).

today, elle interviewed grace bonney of design*sponge on the how's and why's of twitter, and it was a eye-opening piece. y'all should read it- go here to become enlightened...

seriously, if elle decor and design*sponge think we need to tweet, who are we mere mortals to resist? so, i'll see you on the twitters, right?

29 March 2011

just because all the other kids are doing it, m21, it doesn't mean *you* have to as well...

so when one has problems finding time to post to one's blog, what should one do? why start a second blog of course! *sound of needle scratching across a record*

i know, crazy, nutty right? but after taking part in the avenues' blogging panel last week, the cool kids on the panel (ashlina from the decorista and gregory from apartment therapy unplggd) both said tumblr was a great resource, and good way to keep readers involved in between blog posts, as it is fast and easy to post to, and since m21 doesn't want to be the last old man screaming "get offa my lawn, you damn kids!", he has decided to put his misgivings aside, and get with the in crowd. after all, we hated facebook at first, and we swore we'd never, ever use the twitters under pain of death, and now, of course, they both are as natural (and necessary) as breathing to us.

and speaking of the twitters, for those of you who don't know already,  tumblr is sort of the visual version of twitter, but instead of 140 characters or less, you post in short, one picture (or video, or whatever) bursts to create a sort of visual mood board. don't worry- we'll still be posting here at maison21: decorative but not serious, as our tumblr is definitely an "addition to", rather than an "in place of" (just a place to park some images and links we like- this blog remains our first love) but if you find you can't wait until the next post here, maybe our tumblr will keep you satisfied with an image or two in the meantime. we'd love it if y'all visited (and we'll totally make out with you after class if you subscribe), and should any of my fellow bloggers want to add our tumblr to your blog roll, we'd be ever so appreciative as well (for that, we'll let you get to second base).

so why the picture of boy george at the top of the post? well, we named this blog, after an adam and the ants song, desperate but not serious, so we thought we'd continue the 80's tradition, and invite y'all to visit maison21: i'll tumblr for ya  ;-)

28 March 2011

apocalypse m21

don't worry- nothing bad or remotely apocalyptic has happened, just thought this image we snapped this weekend while ted and i were on our hike, looked a lot like the imagery from apocalypse now:

all of a sudden a police helicopter appeared out of nowhere, buzzing runyon canyon, and at times it seemed so close that i could have grabbed on to the runners and gone for a ride. don't know how in the heck the picture turned out so moody either- it was near sunset but still plenty bright out- nothing like the picture implies.

see why m21 was reminded of apocalypse now?

27 March 2011

cheat sheet

as y'all know, m21 was part of a design blogging panel last week sponsored by the avenues west hollywood (along with the decorista,  apartment therapy unplggd,  my LA lifestyle & multibrain) and one of the things the panel stressed was the importance of blogging every single day, if not multiple times a day. as the lone dissenting voice, i confessed to not being able to blog with that kind of frequency due to the demands of running a busy design business, as well as personally handling my own social media, but i said i tried to make up for it by tweeting or facebooking with my social media friends every day. i also confessed to "cheating" by throwing up a cute picture of my pets when i just too busy to come up with a more time consuming design related post. thankfully, some other members of the panel shared that they had used the same cheat, and that those were some of their most popular posts. whew! glad to know i wasn't the only one resorting to pimping out my pets.

oh- and btw, i'm busy...  ;-)
i call richard the maison21 quality control inspector because every item that comes into the house must be thoroughly sniffed, tasted and if possible, reclined upon, before passing his rigorous quality testing.  i just pulled off the price tag of this canvas belt and threw it on the bed just long enough to pull on my jeans when richard launched himself on it.

"inspection passed! i've claimed it for mine, and will now relax on it for a while!"
hope y'all had a swell weekend! if we can rustle up some photos, we'll share some bits of the events of westweek & the avenues next week (sadly, we were so busy having such a great time, our camera stayed firmly lodged in our pocket so we'll have to see what we can steal  from others ;-).

22 March 2011

the westweek whirlwind (and a reminder to join m21 on friday!)

the westweek whirlwind begins tonight at the PDC, though m21 is sitting out the opening art show/cocktail party to get a bit of work done. tomorrow, however, m21 will be there in full force, starting with the opening keynote panel of Michael Boodro, Editor-in-Chief of Elle Decor, Newell Turner, Editor-in-Chief of House Beautiful, Dara Caponigro, Editor-in-Chief of Veranda Magazine, and Ann Omvig Maine, Editor-in-Chief of Traditional Home. can't wait to hear what they all have to say on the state of the shelter magazine, and the design industry in general.  sidenote: newell, michael, dara, and ann? it seems your assistants somehow screwed up, and forgot to book an intimate lunch or dinner with maison21 while you are in town (imagine all 4 of your assistants making the same silly mistake- what are the odds? go easy when you reprimand them, ok?).  i know you are all DYING to hear m21's opinions about the state of the design industry, as well as get first dibs on our upcoming projects for publication, so although my schedule is busy, i'm sure i can rearrange things and squeeze y'all in. call me, k?
if you see my scruffy mug at the PDC, say hello- we'd love to meet you!
in addition to the editors panel, there are all kinds of exciting panels, talks, showroom openings and of course, parties, over the 3+ days of westweek, including a new brown jordan showroom, a baccarat pop-up showroom and a james perse furniture showroom (curious about the last two).  to decide which events you want to attend, you can visit the PDC's website or read david keep's somewhat tongue-in-cheek review of westweek here in the LA times home section.  m21 is gong to decide on the fly which events he'll hit, but he's going to for sure want to escape the confines of the cave-like PDC on wednesday to visit author (and fellow blogger) cathy whitlock, who will be signing copies of her book "designs on film" in the nearby j. robert scott showroom on nearby melrose avenue, from 11-2.

speaking of the nearby avenues, we hope you'll join m21 on friday from 3 to 4 at the cassina showroom on beverly blvdfor a panel discussion on design blogging: LA style. joining m21 on the panel are ashlina kaposta of the decorista, gregory han of apartment therapy unplggdmegan arquette of beach bungalow 8, and laura pardini of my LA lifestyle, and it's moderated by social media guru, scott kramer of multibrain, so with a line-up like that, it should be tons o' fun!  the panel is part of the avenues west hollywood "a day for the trade", which dovetails nicely with the westweek hoopla- a fabulous day of panel discussions, open houses, and cocktails! to rsvp for the panel, or any of the rest of the day's fab events, click here!

m21 hopes to see you friday!

20 March 2011

go will go! (LA marathon)

go, will, go!
brrrrrrrrr is all we have to say! m21 just got back from a freezing cold morning supporting his friend will stewart, who courageously (or crazily) ran the 26 miles of the LA marathon in freakishly not-LA-like icy rain and wind!
will, victorious at mile 15!
will, still smiling after running for hours in the freezing rain! (the hot photographer in the background is our friend jeff, who along with his girlfriend chelsea, also braved the elements to cheer will on)
such an LA moment- will pauses during the race for an on camera  interview with NBC. (crisp, clear, photo by talented photographer, jeff holmes- obvs not taken with our own point n' shoot!)
will's partner rudy and friend robin, cursing the heavens as they cheer on their respective running spouses (robin's partner, madonna, was will's training buddy).  rudy, an incredibly talented graphic artist, made the signs- kinda awesome, right? and miraculously, they survived the crazy downpour! everyone else's signs were soggy messes...
m21 couldn't be prouder of will, as he's trained incredibly hard over the last 5 months in preparation for the marathon as part of the "team to end aids", personally raising almost 12 thousand dollars for aids project los angeles, an organization dedicated to helping those living with HIV and AIDS. go will go!

the group of volunteers behind the "team to end aids" did an amazing job of supporting and training the runners. such a great cause...
dancing in drag on a podium in the freezing rain to cheer the runners on- now that's dedication!
these guys literally froze their butts off while cheering the runners on. i wouldn't have wanted to have volunteered for this job today! especially brave considering the cold weather shrinkage factor! ;-)
congrats to will and the other 25,000 runners who braved the severely messed up weather to run this grueling race! as we type this post in front of a toasty warm fire, will is still running in freezing downpour, so our hat is seriously off to him!

my hands were too frozen to keep the camera steady, but my shoes and jeans were soaked through after standing in the downpour for an hour and a half (i've had drier, warmer, feetsies after a day's skiing!) i can't imagine the ordeal all the runners faced, running for hours in the worst weather LA has seen in a long, long, time!
again, congrats to all the poor freezing runners who survived the los angeles anchorage marathon! (and don't worry- this photo was taken at a food and water station for the runners- there were volunteers to clean up all the discarded cups and bottles!)

15 March 2011

someone to swatch over me...

so here we are, at it again, swatching our little hearts out in the search for the perfect wall color!

it looks like pandemonium from the picture, but it's not- we always tell our clients never to worry about wall color because it is the one thing that can be quickly, easily, and (relatively) inexpensively changed. you've got one shot at picking the right fabric for a sofa, but paint? swatch until your heart's content! also, because paint colors are truly infinite, we pick our carpet and fabrics first, and paint color last. if you can't find a color that works in the thousand options of a fan deck, you can always start custom mixing to come up with the perfect color of your dreams.  and if the color of your dreams turns into an icky nightmare, you can always break out the brushes and start over! not so much with a 10 grand sofa...

we currently have 10 colors up on the walls, and we've applied the swatches to three walls (one not shown) because light hits every wall differently, and in rooms with limited windows, or windows on just one wall, that means some areas on the opposite side of the room, paticularly corners, will always be darker, so we have to make sure the color works everywhere. the first 6 swatches we placed to get our client's reaction, then, when we had a handle on the direction we'd like to go, we added 3 more, and today, because none of those three were quite right, we put up our first custom mix, attempting to hit the sweet spot between benjamin moore bridgewater tan #1096 and oakwood manor #1095 (far left, bottom). this process consumes a bit of time, but very little money, and is totally worth it to find the color we think will make the room sing.

we'll have to return once more to find out how our custom mix looks after it's dried and settled, but we think we are on the right track- we'll keep you posted!  (last note: paint can continue to lighten/and or darken, for up to 48 hours after it is applied, so don't panic if you put it up, and it's not what you expected. wait a day or two, then make up your mind).

now here's some mood music to paint by- the incomparable miss sarah vaughn, singing "someone to swatch over me":

12 March 2011

join me on the avenues! (and thank you, elle decor!)

part une: join me on the avenues!

who's gonna be in LA for westweek? if you are, m21 hopes you'll stay through friday for the avenues west hollywood "a day for the trade", part of their annual art + design walk celebrating the avenues of art, fashion and design in west hollywood. it's going to be a fabulous day of panel discussions, open houses, and cocktails, and all are invited! maison21 is especially pleased to have been asked to participate in a panel discussion on design blogging: LA style, along with ashlina kaposta of the decorista, gregory han of apartment therapy unplggd,  megan arquette of beach bungalow 8, and laura pardini of my LA lifestyle. the panel will be moderated by social media guru, scott kramer of multibrain, so it is sure to be interesting and informative. we hope you'll join our discussion on friday, march 25th from 3 to 4 at the cassina showroom on beverly, and be sure to stick around for the disco-licious "back to retro" afterparty in the cassina showroom at 7!

to rsvp for the panel, and the rest of the day's fab events, click here! m21 hopes to see you on the avenues!

part deux- thank you elle decor!

we'd also like to invite you to hop on over to the fabulous new and improved elle they were nice enough to include m21 in this weeks "design insider's weekly finds", so please click here to find out what caught m21's eye this week in the wide world of the internets! here's a visual hint of my pick (and oddly enough, it doesn't involve my two favorite blogging subjects, me or my kids!)

hoping your weekend is as lovely as the above photo!

10 March 2011

ted, triumphant.

happy trails...
a few posts back, we told y'all about ted's reluctance to join us on our walks up and down the trails at runyon canyon park, our preferred urban hiking terrain in the heart of hollywood. today, we are pleased to update you that with the encouragement of much praise, and countless treats, ted has decided he likes our treks very much, thank you.
that's a good boy!
of course, this is helped by the fact that seemingly every girl on the trail stops to pet him and oooh and ahhhh over his cuteness, so realizing that he's going to get both treats and random affection, he has finally overcome his fears, and embraced our crowded urban hike. (note to self- next time adopt a more macho pet in the hopes that *men* will stop to pet him ;-).
he *is* pretty damn cute- no wonder he's a chick magnet!
just thought y'all would like to updated on the good news- ted and i are off for our sunset stroll now!

08 March 2011

the wish list: fred brouard abstract bronze dining table

m21 had never even heard of french artist, fred brouard, before this incredible abstract gilded bronze dining table base from craig van den brulle popped up on his facebook page yesterday, but now he feels like he might die if he can't own at least ONE of brouard's 1970's limited edition of 8 table bases. two would be better.


06 March 2011

and the winner is...

first, thank you to all who entered our "the irish country house" book giveaway! the last time we had a giveaway on our blog, a couple years ago, we only had a couple dozen entries, so we were positively shocked to get 134 entries for this beautiful book! and we truly wish we had a copy to give to each and every one of you for coming here and to participating in the silliness of our blog! (we also wish we had whole libraries to give to those of you who said the sweetest things along with your entries- you may not have won a book, but you sure won my heart- thank you!)

last time we had a giveaway, we printed out each email address, then cut them into strips and crumpled them into little balls, which we threw in front of richard in the hopes he'd single one out to play with... unfortunately, we just scared the bejesus out of him, so this time we used the random number generator at, which spat out lucky number #3- fellow blogger and dog-lover, nita, from mod vintage life!
congrats nita- your book will be on it's way to you soonish- we love you, truly we do, but we hate the post office, so it will have to wait for a trip in which we can combine mailing a couple of things. ;-)

and again, to the rest of you who played along, and who visit this ridiculous little blog of ours regularly, we sincerely thank you, and invite you to come back for another giveaway soon- this one was so much fun, we've decided we need to do more!

02 March 2011

crack that whip!

my boss is such a slave driver!  he's always spying on me to make sure i'm really working, not goofing off on facebook, playing farmville or sumpthin'.

thanks, jane...

growing up in southern california you learn instinctively at a young age never to gawk at celebrities or ask anyone for an autograph or a picture- after all, they could be your schoolfriend's mom, and your car pool driver, so why bother? celebrities are just like you and me (only sometimes richer), so don't bother them...
miss russell in the eighties
that said, there is only one time in my life have i have ever asked a celebrity for an autograph, and that was miss jane russell...  it was the late eighties and a friend and i spotted her at a restaurant in san francisco. we rudely interrupted her lunch, and asked her to sign our menus, which she graciously did, and then thanked *us* for asking her! "how in the hell do you young kids even know who i am?", she joking asked as we chatted for a few minutes, and gushed over her iconic role in "gentlemen prefer blondes".

RIP jane- you were an underrated musical comedienne, and a lovely woman to take time out of your day to chat with two young starstruck gay boys. you will always be remembered fondly!