30 June 2011

california home + design digital edition

quirky art and refreshed mid-century modern furniture on the cover signals a new look inside...

do y'all remember waaaaay back in 2007 & 2008, when it seemed like the shelter magazine was going the way of the dodo bird, with titles shuttering left and right?  well, who'd imagine just a few short years later that design magazines would be flourishing, with the remaining print titles doing quite well, and a whole crop of new online digital titles expanding our pretty little world?  yay!

even in the dark days of what then seemed like the implosion of design publication industry, one of the bright spots was the thriving regional design magazines from all over the country who continued to publish great homes, issue after issue.  the drawback of course, was the availability of these titles- unless you live in new york or LA and have a kick ass magazine stand down the street, your chances of finding a regional magazine outside of its region served ain't so good- but not any more, thanks to the internets!
eclecticism with an industrial edge.

the latest magazine to go digital, and thus instantly expand it's circulation from regional to national is one of our favorite titles, california home + design, and a title that is getting even better under its young and savvy new editor, erin fehrer (yay for new blood and new ideas!)  the recently launched digital edition is the first under erin's leadership, and by next issue, the magazine should showcase her new vision in it's entirety- can't wait!
loved this kitchen 'refresh' (existing cabinets repainted and freshened with new countertops, appliances and light fixtures, and that bold fabric really updates the look)

we loved the july-august issue's eclectic selection of homes, and can't wait to see what erin has in store for september!  why don't y'all take a spin through the new digital edition (attached below) and let us know what you think?  oh- and pay extra attention to page 34 where you might see a familiar face smiling out at you!

25 June 2011

glassy-eyed (home grown favorites from dwell on design, 2011)

as we mentioned in an earlier post, we had the privilege of spending the day at the dwell on design conference on friday- the largest design event on the west coast (and my aching feets agree- it's pretty big).  all kinds of design goodness is on display, like furniture lighting and home accessories, as well as kitchen, bath and building products- even cars and pre-fab houses!  for those of you lucky enough to live in the LA area, we recommend that you get on down there tomorrow (sunday) for the last day to do some design 'splorin (if you didn't go already- seems like half the people we know already did); and for the those of you who live out of town, plan on being *in town* next june to partake in all the fun...  lastly, for those of you who have design products to push, i would say to FOR SURE book a booth for next year, as we attended on the media/trade day, and it's excellent way to get your product in front of the eyeballs of designers and architects, who might become loyal, repeat customers, as well as bring your product to the attention of media outlets and influencers to maybe score a little publicity- who knows you might even get lucky enough to get your product in front of someone like *me* who's going to not only recommend my clients buy your products, but i'll throw some free publicity into the deal as well! ;-)  of course the final two days is open to the public, so you can actually sell right off the floor direct to consumers- it's win-win-win.

two of my favorite product lines from the show had much in common- both are artisan, hand-made products; both use the same raw material and techniques (yet produce different aesthetic results); and both are made practically in my own back yard- we love that the economic benefits and jobs stay local, a true rarity in this day of chinese made everything...
caleb siemon glass studio
first up is the glass studio of caleb siemon- m21 was blown away by the quality and richness of his hand-blown vessels and in particular, his new line of amazing lighting fixtures. the fixtures have a a great price-point for what are basically hand-made works of art. what surprised us the most about the line is that though it is less than 50 miles from our doorstep, we'd never heard of it or seen it before (and it's not like we don't shop for a living or anything...)
the chaos pendent is much prettier in person.
again, you can't get an idea of how lovely these pieces are via a photo...
we were very happy to have made this discovery at dwell, and we will be using some delicious caleb siemon pieces in a future project to be sure...
joe cariati glasswre
next, we loved the fanciful shapes and colors of the glassware of of joe cariati (retro influenced, but wonderfully modern too).  we were familiar with cariati's work, and even posted it to our tumblr, but had no idea he was locally based as well (el segundo) and we've never seen the enitre line of vases and bottles all grouped together- cariati's booth was like a little jewel box of glassy goodness.
these white pieces are new to the line and blew us away- so sexy.

we'll be posting some more finds from dwell on design in the coming days, but again, if you can make it to downtown LA tomorrow for a visit, m21 highly recommends you check it out for yourself, and if not, we'll see y'all next year, k? start planning now...

24 June 2011


22 June 2011

get out!, 8 x 10 for $151.99! for that price, who cares what it looks like in person! plus, it's polypropelene, so that means it's impervious to whatever you, your pets and your children throw at it- and they have a slightly pricier version in wool, for you less soilage-inclined folks too...

20 June 2011

the internets is for lovers...

but not like you are thinking,  especially given the weinergate headlines of late!  the 'lovers' i'm referring to in this case is lovers of design and specifically how great it is that the internets gives us lovers of design a place to meet and discuss our obsession amongst people of a similar bent-  and you know what? it's even nicer when those kindred spirits get to meet and discuss their obsessions in person, even if they've only known each other electronically beforehand.

such was the case tonight, when 2 east coast design bloggers, 2 west coast design bloggers, and a gen-u-wine design TV star, all got together to discuss our  design obsession over drinks in the magical environment of the garden of the chateau marmont...

nicole cohen's (sketch42) visit to california was the reason for the gathering, and she contacted moiself, as well as rebecca stringham (rebecca june), and hgtv's emily henderson (secrets of a stylist), to do an in-person meet up, and we were lucky enough to be joined by nicole's NYC friend, erica reitman, (design blahg).  most of us had never met in person before, so it could have been awkward,  but joined by our common internets love interest,  the evening was a total blast-  3 non-stop hours of laughter, covering everything under the sun, from to mickey mouse to kelly wearstler (much love for both) and was all brought together through the magic of the internets...

me and my girls:  emily, erica, rebecca and nicole
now i'm not posting this to tell y'all how fabulous my life is- trust me, after a weekend of cleaning up cat throw up and piles of shed dog hair, as well as the impossible task of trying to find the perfect pair of sconces on a tight budget (ie- basically free), my life ain't glamorous at all, but i *am* posting this because i've said this time and time again, and this evening proved it true: the best thing about blogging is the people, and the opportunities to meet and become friends with people who you'd never meet in the course of your everyday life.  so if y'all are reading this, and maybe thinking of blogging or tweeting, but haven't yet, or perhaps if you are blogging, but doing it anonymously (you know who i'm talking to here, missy), my advice is to get to it, and get out there, and start meeting other lovers!

so cheers to my new friends, nicole, emily, erica, and rebecca- the internets is for lovers, and i loved getting to know each of you a little better!

ps- how could m21 have written this entire post without mentioning the boy superstars of the internets we were also lucky enough to meet during the last week?  last monday, we had the pleasure of having drinks with stefan hurray of architect design, and woody, of the houses of hancock park.  again,  the internets is the place where you meet the nicest peoples!

18 June 2011

ligne roset, los angeles design festival & dwell on design.

friday afternoon we attended a product launch at the ligne roset showroom (part of the los angeles design festival, running from the 15th through the 30th of this month). we were especially excited to check out ligne roset's new ploum sofa by erwan and ronan bouroullec as we've seen pictures floating around online, but hadn't seen it in person yet.  the verdict? it wowed us- much sexier, and sculptural in person than the photos would suggest:

oh- and darn comfy too!  we love furniture that 'sits' as good as it looks...

we caught this family lounging on it, and thought it was a great example to show that modern furniture can be user friendly, as well as beautiful. dad and son were a little perplexed as to why the strange man wanted to take their picture, but gamely went along (we finally succeeded in getting the kid to crack a smile, but sadly, smiley-happy picture was too blurry to use).

we're not quite sure what alchemy keeps the ploum sofa from falling over backwards with it's dramatically canted back, but it's quite solid.

we also said hello to one of our favorite pieces of furniture evah, pierre paulin's iconic 'pumpkin' chair- as fresh today as when introduced over 40 years ago. two of them in our living room would make us verrrrry happy:

the 'lines' sideboard is also a favorite from the ligne roset line. it would be perfect for a client with an architecturally modern home. it just might be a future classic...

ligne roset also introduced these crazily modern outdoor chairs and settee, but frankly, we can't tell you anything about them, even though 5th generation roset family scion, antoine roset, patiently explained to us in-depth about their design and manufacture.

seriously, we were so completely distracted by 6 foot 2 of handsome, blue-eyed frenchman, speaking in a wonderfully thick accent, to concentrate on anything he actually said.   it was like a french ken doll come to life, but with unlimited access to furnish the barbie dream house with chic modern furniture!  m21 got all light headed for a minute there, and in fact, the sound of his voice saying "theenk of the ploum sofa as a mo-dairn chesterfield" is still ringing in our ears... ;-)

ok, back to today's topic... (focus, m21, focus!)

as we mentioned, the ligne roset open house was part of the los angeles design festival, a two-week celebration of all things design-related in southern california. think architecture tours, open houses, receptions and lectures- many of them centered in a far-off foreign land called downtown LA, which we are excited to visit!  got our passport updated and everything!  go here to read the comprehensive list of events of the LADF, as there are too many to list here.

the crowning event of the LADF is the annual dwell on design conference at the los angeles convention center,  june 24th - 26th (once again in that far-off foreign land, downtown LA). we hear this dwell thingy is kind of a big deal, but this is our first visit as we had visa issues the last couple years. now that we've bribed the correct border officials, and all that red tape is cleared up, we can finally visit to see what all the hoopla is about!  it's got to be something big, right? after all it's at the convention center, and that ain't no small potatoes! m21 will be there pretty much all day friday, and back again on saturday, so be sure say hi if you see us! (we'd appreciate seeing a friendly face in this strange new land  ;-)  saturday, we are going in support of a couple of friends, as the pretty and talented erica islas of EMI interior design will be speaking at 3:30 on  the subject of "design for kids", and the same day, molly luetkemeyer (also very pretty and talented), of m designs, and the molly loot blog, will be one of the interior designers at DOD offering free design advice to conference attendees. that's right,  free advice- from one of our favorite LA designers (who isn't me)! take advantage, kids- that's worth the price of admission alone!

so mark your calendars- we hope to see you at dwell on design and the los angeles design festival next week! and for those of you in far-off lands, even more exotic than downtown los angeles, we will update on the events as we attend!

16 June 2011

mar a mar collection @ decorative carpets

we just got back from one of our favorite local vendors, decorative carpets, whose delightful third generation carpet-maker-in-chief, sara sugarman, hosted a party tonight to celebrate the addition of the new mar a mar carpet collection to decorative carpets' already extensive inventory of original carpet designs. the collection is full of saturated colors and exuberant ethnically-inspired patterns, and is completely, 1000% right up maison21's color lovin' alley.  available in both flatweave and tufted, the collection knocked our socks off, and we can't wait to have a client brave enough to let us use one of the patterns in their home. the fact that the collection is very well priced will certainly help our clients get the courage up to go bold with one of the deliciously colorful designs- m21 will make it work, k?

using my big head as scale comparison for the big pattern of the hand-tufted version 'palmerale'- so much prettier in person than the photo suggests (the carpet, not my big head).

ps= for more 'mar a mar' go here!

12 June 2011

retail therapy (a before and after)

every design project is a bit different- sometimes the budget is huge, everything is custom, and the client simply nods yes or no, and signs the checks; and sometimes the project is bare bones and bare budget, involving some advice and planning, and then the client goes off on their own to finish the project- for better or for worse.   today's project falls somewhere in between that spectrum-  the client is a successful entertainment creative, who loves to relax by indulging in a bit of retail therapy in her down time (don't we all?), so after the initial strategizing (space planning and an over-all design scheme determined), the project turned into sort of a collaboration of two online shopping mavens, seeing who could find the best solution at the most realistic price, and m21's role developed into more of a shopping buddy and editor, than a design dictator.

of course, the project wasn't all fun and games-  there were parameters and constraints to work within, in this case most significantly the fact that the residence is a rental, and the client knows she won't be there for any significant length of time, as she plans on returning to the real estate market when she finds the right property.  still, she wanted to be comfortable for the time she rents, however short or long that may be, and have a home that reflects her personal style,  and hopefully acquire possessions that will smoothly transition to the next residence.  not so difficult a task, really. the real challenge was working with the existing "features" of the rental which we couldn't remove or alter in any way- like ugly beige wall to wall shag, cheap plastic wood blinds, etc... so we did what i'd advise any renter to do- worked magic with paint, knowing that we will have to repaint before she leaves; changed out the ugly contractor-grade light fixtures for much chic-er lights, carefully storing the originals for eventual replacement; and lastly, selecting apartment sized furnishings that were smaller in scale, yet with big impact- dramatic and colorful enough to draw attention *away* from the carpet/bland interior architecture we don't want you to notice. a challenge, but a fun one.

the furnishings were from every practically every online retailer and discounter you can think of (we told you, our client likes to shop- and so do we); but everything was all mixed up so it didn't look like everything was bought from one source (hate that "recreate the ballard catalog" look). we also hope the end result doesn't betray that anything was even purchased from a discounter at all! (*shudder*)  this was helped by our client's desire to mix her existing traditional with a healthy dose of modern, and to go for a feminine, yet not too girly, overall look. sources included pottery barn (curtains), wisteria (lantern), a faux zebra rug, ethan allen (settee), west elm (side table), z gallerie (accessories), ballard (dining bench and carved side tables), and even the dreaded ikea (chrome lamps), and craigslist (dining chairs);  we also used some local resources like empiric (for my fave convex mirror, used so frequently it's almost an m21 trademark) and blueprint furniture (dining area pedestals) and room service (saarinen-style marble top dining table).

so without further ado, here's the reveal of the living area:

and if that doesn't look so special to you, maybe the before picture will change your mind:
and no, the awkwardly  placed windows weren't enlarged in photoshop, or the picture stretched to make the ceilings higher- it's all curtain and paint trickery!
here's the finished dining area (already showed this one to you in its not-quite-completed form):
yes- much drama, but necessary to make the dining area of the open plan space feel special.
and again, the before picture:
what a difference removing the hideous rental track lighting fixture, made, as well as slapping some bright paint on the wall to define the shallow alcove of the dining area (the existing mirror divided the wall in two, so we moved it to hang vertically in the entry, where it echoes the front door).
hope that you enjoyed this before n' after of a m21 project, and we also hope that our "retail therapy" project will inspire other renters to upgrade their spaces.  just because one rents is no reason to cheat yourself, and not have a stylish space that feels like a permanent home.   it really is possible to create a home with a uniquely personal look by utilizing resources democratically available to everyone no matter where you are- on a realistic budget too! (even if as in this case, you have to bring in a lil help to make it happen...)

10 June 2011

yet another plea for help! (brotha, can you spare 100 million dimes?)

i only need to borrow $10.9 million for this one. i'm good for it, swear.

The Staller House, 1955, designed by Richard Neutra. Located in Bel Air, the home includes 4 bedrooms, 7 baths, a 4,200 bottle refrigerated wine room, city & ocean views, gorgeous pool, and an acre lot. Listed at $10.9M.
( via Take Sunset)

07 June 2011

anybody got $19,000 i can borrow?

because i think i want this 4 ft. acrylic paint screenprint on canvas by russel young, of jane fonda's infamous 1970 mugshot, more than i've ever wanted anything in my whole entire life (well, today at least).

buy it for me here on 1stdibs.

06 June 2011

symmetry, perfected.

david hicks goodness via the blue remembered hills

(originally posted to maison21: i'll tumblr for ya)