28 October 2011

cute level rising...

here's a brief moment of cuteness while we prepare our posts on our amazing high point market experience...
i missed my daddy when he was gone.
and oh wait... here's another (slightly more self-indulgent) cute break taken during our amazing high point market experience!
enjoying the heck outta the high point market with some truly awesome peeps (l to r): crystal gentilello of rue magazine, ashlina kaposta of the decorista, marisa marcantonio of stylebeat, and one of our gracious high point hosts, heinz kattenfeld, COO of 220 elm, one of the great buildings housing part the thousands of showrooms in the city of high point.

17 October 2011

in progress...

after a few design tweaks, like adding cabinets to the lower half of our built-ins, and increasing the size of the marble surround to meet code (and changing color from creamy carrera to negro marquina), our client's fireplace remodel is start to look like something...


the inspiration drawing:

an "on the fly" drawing to clear up some design details:

selecting a slab at the marble yard (many slabs at many yards rejected):

marking the cuts:

and marble installed: with rough framing for painted wood mantel (mantel will be white, wall color to be determined):
we love when projects go from drawing board to taking shape in reality!  finished product soon... (not soon enough for our client who is more than ready to have their room converted back to a usable room from a work shop! but you can't have beauty without pain, right?)

08 October 2011

on our nightstand: the business of design by keith granet

m21 has had the "business of design" on our nightstand for about a month now, and we were literally too skurrd to crack it open. it looked just too much like a textbook, you see, and while m21 was always a pretty good student, he hated reading dry and boring textbooks, so sadly the "business of design" remained untouched due to residual school-age antipathy.

but the subtitle of the book kept nagging my subconscious: "'balancing profitability and creativity' is surely an area we could use some outside input about, right?" my sub-conscious implored, "creativity, we gots in spades, but that profitability thingymabob? well, a little practical advice in that area certainly couldn't hurt!" (especially if we want to put some of those increased profits to work by opening up a real, live, brick and mortar store sometime in the near future).  also, the interior design world is a small world, and the los angeles interior design community is an even smaller subset, so author, keith granet's reputation as a design business builder has far preceded him. while maison21 might not be a big enough fish to get a meeting with him at the current time (his client list includes household names like barbra barry, rose tarlow and charlotte moss), we would certainly love to pick his brain for some of practical advice for our small, but hopefully growing business, so our free advance copy of the book suddenly seemed an attractive and "profitable" way to get some of keith's wisdom at a bargain price. in essence, by finally cracking the book for some of that free advice, we're already halfway to that whole "balancing profitability and creativity" thing by not having to pay a granet and associates consulting fee. woo hoo, making money already!

after we finally gathered up our courage to start reading, we were left wondering why the hell didn't we get around to this sooner? (isn't that the way with so much of life?) the book is an easy read, full of practical advice, delivered in a way that you are constantly reminded this book was written by a real person with a wealth of real experience, and not merely a dry, dull, textbook written by a faceless committee. is my business more profitable yet? well, maybe those extra dollar signs aren't raining down just yet, but we also haven't finished the darn thing either, so there is definitely hope for the future!  in the meantime,  the book has certainly already given me some great insights about how to make some improvements to my present business plan (like the ability to say "no" to clients who you know aren't going to be a good fit for your business- always good advice to remember!)

you can get your own copy of "the business of design" at amazon for a really low price- maybe not as low as our free copy, but we guarantee that you'll get more than your money's worth, and then you too will be on the way to balancing your creativity with more of that elusive profitability stuff, just like m21!

05 October 2011


ever since i knew what a personal computer was, there was never any question that i would ever own anything but an apple- a design driven product envisioned by a man who inherently understood that form and function are equally important, and that neither can be divorced from the other, without sacrificing both. from my first desktop the size of a microwave, to my first ipod, seemingly the size of my current laptop (pictured and still working after much abuse, btw), to my brand new(ish) shiny, iphone, i have loved every apple product i've ever purchased, and all have truly enhanced my life in both form and function. i can't think of any other product or brand i can say that about, so thank you, steve- you've cost me a lot of money over the years, but i don't regret spending a penny of it. your legacy lives on

04 October 2011

imma bad blogger (but i'm gonna make up for it with something free real soon)

hello there, if you don't remember me, my name is m21, and i have been a bad, bad, blogger.

it has been two weeks since my last post, and in blog land, that is an eternity (you can practically see the tumbleweeds blowing by my site).  but i'm back- in my usual half-arsed way-  and i even brought a pretty picture to hold you ever 'til my next real post (everything is ok, btw, just busy). first, here's the pretty picture:
how gorgeous is this $14k slab of tiger's eye concetto, by caesar stone. spotted it while in the deepest heart of the san fernando vally at stoneland, while sourcing a decidedly less expensive (yet still entirely glamorous) slab of negro marquina marble with a client this morning.
i also wanted to alert you to stay tuned for my *next* post as it is an incredible giveaway. i mean a seriously fabulous giveaway, better than anything else we've ever hosted, so be sure to check back, k? we promise it won't be two more weeks until we post it! (a 'lil hint- it has something to do with my brizo NYC fashion week trip!)

until next post, kisses, and apologies for my lamedy-lame part-time blogging skilz...