Blue bells

 

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I only wear blue.  You think i’m kidding, but catch me on 6 days out of the week and I’ll be wearing blue. Navy blue, blue-ish grey, electric blue, teal, turquoise, no baby blue, you get the idea.  I look good in blue.  White is too easy to mess up, black is boring to me, red can look slutty on me (I have big blonde hair), yellow makes me look nauseous, grey unfortunately makes me look like Powder (too bad, I love me some grey), and orange i’m pretty opposed to, in general.  So we are down to hot pink and blue and patterns of both.  And that’s what I wear.  The best style advice I ever got was dress your house like you dress yourself.  If you tend to look really put together, perfectly accessorized, hair perfectly done, everything tailored then most likely that is how your house is or should be.  I, am not so.  I wear blues, and lots of patterns, a gold charm chain, and brown leather shoes.  In my fantasy world I would love to look like these pictures; random, patterned, inviting and generally awesome.

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but, like I said, in a fantasy world.  i’m not nearly this cool….yet.
credits:  (1) domino, (2) christine rudolph, (3) gourmet (sigh, tear, sob)

 

art that I want to make sweet love to

 

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A good piece of original artwork is like porn to me.  I’m not particularly into ‘porn’, but I would imagine that it makes you really excited to decorate. I get most of mine (art, not porn) at flea markets/antique stores and reframe them. Before the holidays I took three pieces of flea market art to get professionally framed. I knew it would be expensive, but I thought to myself, ‘I’ve worked hard this year, and art you love is always a good investment’.  I spent an hour and a half with they guy and I couldn’t get the price under $400 for one of the pieces, let alone getting all three done.  Now, let’s be clear, I’m super rich.  I have sooo much money.  A lot. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the bank. But, this isn’t a priority right now, and that $400 frame was my least favorite frame and my least favorite matte, what I wanted would’ve cost over $1000.  So I walked away, feeling frustrated, embarrassed and defeated.

 

But give up, i did not.  This is what I wanted to frame:

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It’s an old photo that was adhered to cardboard, and its pretty big – 24×30.  I don’t know why I like it – i guess the color palette, the composition and I have a thing for horses.  I realized that I have 2 ceramic horse sculptures, 1 wooden horse sculpture and 1 brass horse lamp in my small apartment.  weird, i know.

 

Anyway, I wanted it in a modern metal frame, black or brass, with a linen matte.  I found the frame yesterday at my local thrift store for $40, which I thought was actually still a lot for a thrift store.  I’m going to find the matte today and i’ll show the finished product when i’m done with it.

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I also found a bunch of beautiful botanicals for my shoot last week at the flea market and snuck away with a couple of them (although the art director took most of them, which is a good sign, by the way).  I can’t stop staring at the one on the left.  I want to make love to it, i love it so much.  Botanicals are super cheap forms of nearly-original art.  If you have too  many of them, or the wrong ones, they can look super granny, but if you mix one in to art collections like above and below, they can look beautiful and modern.  I love these two for how graphic they are.  Often they are hand drawn or painted, and almost every flea market has a dealer.    Back in the day before we had cameras, the only way they had to identify flower, plants, insects, animals was for artists to draw them and label them.  These two were 10$ each and they are about 8×10.

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The top two photos are from Slumber Design, not sure where this one is from. I love them all.

 

Another room for me to not cook in

 

Dream kitchens.  Don’t we all have one?  My only problem with kitchens is that I don’t know exactly what to do in them. Yes, it is where we open the wine, pop the popcorn, and store my pretty dishes.  But not being much of a cook, I find all these ‘free range ovens’ a bit unnecessary.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to like to cook. I think cooking is awesome.  In fact, if I was on a speed date, under ‘hobbies’ I might even say that I love to cook and garden because I really want  to love to cook and garden – those people are rad (i’m talking to you, Jeanne Kelley).  So, I found this kitchen, above, and I like it very much, but it might be a bit ‘modern loft’ for me.  I like a quiet kitchen in theory, but for me, I need a bit more color/energy/mess. I have loved this tile, below, for a long long time  and I thought if I could put this tile in this kitchen with the open shelves and those beautiful wooden drawers, then that could be my dream kitchen.

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Maybe add a Maiden Hair fern in a footed brass pot and all my pretty wooden bread boards stacked vertically against the backsplash and my crazy don’t-touch-they-are-handmade dish collection haphazardly shoved in the shelves.  Ooh and the vintage ’60’s wine rack that my friend Cindy bought me that I love, love, love sitting on the counter.

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Isn’t the saying, ‘If you build it, then you’ll start to like to cook sometimes’?
It worked for Kevin Costner, no?

 

Hindsight is, woah, like 1000/1000

 

 

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Dios mio. We are in for a treat, for I, Emily Henderson, came upon some self-righteous stylist gold today.  It was your average rainy day in LA, at the thrift stores, when I found not one but TWO 1960-1970’s home decorating books.  Let’s begin with the Better Homes and Garden book.  I had this book when I was a kid, I used to stare and stare and dream about my room and my future home.  I can’t believe I turned out so normal…or did I…

 

 

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So let’s begin, shall we.  The first thing about these pictures is that the photography sucks. Now, now we shan’t blame our lifestyle photography forefathers, they were probably using -insert archaic camera name here.  But after seeing past the bad lighting, etc, we notice the extreme decorating, it’s the X-Games of home style, and the 70’s kicked our proverbial arses.  But, after we make fun of that (which could take a while, gosh we are so much more evolved aren’t we – cut to 20 years from now when tastemakers are laughing at how natural and loose we all are in the early 2000’s, and pish poshing our use of natural light), then we can get into what is awesome about the 60’s and 70’s, which is a lot.  First of all I was born in the 70’s – stop counting your fingers, it was ’79, but i’ve always felt like a 70’s girl.  I like brass (hello), floral patterns (don’t be a hater), beaded curtains, animal sculptures, peace signs, and, uh..running out of things, but REGARDLESS I like the 70’s.

 

 

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The first picture, this one:
is crazy, of course. I get a headache just looking at it.  But I like the pendant lamp, lacquer console, and brass lamp. I don’t hate the chairs (they could work for a shoot, but not my home, sista), the flokati rug is fine for some, and that zebra is, well we’ve all seen that zebra around lately.

Oh dear, look what I found. In case you think this is so passe, mira at this:

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Both pictures above are courtesy (not really courtesy) of Jonathan Adler – CURRENT designer, bt-dubs.  Funny, right.  In fact, I think this might be a weekly column where I post pictures from the 1970’s and then show how Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler stole borrowed from them.  Sure, we are all ‘influenced’ by past designers and styles but i’m not sure if this is loose reinterpreting.  Whatever.  I have my two new books to keep me happy.
And to get you excited about the second book, “Successful Entertaining”, I’ll give you a little excerpt:
“Successful entertaining is a highly creative exercise in pleasing other people. It is an art worth mastering, and it is fun. A hostess must choose her guest list as she’d choose pearls of great price. Her food must be perfectly prepared, whether it’s a snack or a banquet.  And the whole affair must be given an atmosphere of ‘stage setting’ that delights the guests’ senses and keeps conversation going.”
So that’s why our collective moms are on anti-depressants.  I particularly like the ‘and it is fun’ part.  Being perfect is such a blast; and that doesn’t exactly ‘delight my senses’, if you know what I mean.
Here are a couple photos of properly reinterpreting 70’s looks.  From Domino, sigh, tear, sob…dining-room-70s-inspired

 

Home sweet home…

 

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Many of you haven’t seen my home in L.A. yet, so I thought I would give you a little sneak peek. Nope. kidding, not my house.  Amy Nuensinger’s house to be exact….for now at least..(sinister laugh).  So we shot there all last week and it truly is one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever been in, filled with the most beautiful furniture, accessories, and people, if I do say so myself. Amy and her family are in what we like to call the ‘lifestyle mafia’.  This is a compliment, by the way, it basically means their life seems so perfect and beautiful that they must be paying someone off.
I knew a lot of these kinds of people in New York, all photographers or stylists, beautiful kids that attend non-snobby private schools, they own a brownstone in brooklyn, a house upstate, their houses are decorated great, but not fussy, and here’s the kicker – they are awesome, friendly, down to earth people.  I’m dying to name names right now,  you know who you are.

 

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This house was featured in House Beautiful this month.  While I was there I picked up the magazine, not knowing this and the pictures started becoming very familiar, I did a few double takes of the magazine and the house, the magazine and the house.  I might have gotten a little freaked out;  it was a bit meta for me. It would be like watching a movie in a house that the movie is set in, not knowing this in advance.  OR once I watched ‘The Beach’ in southern Thailand while we were backpacking with a bunch of other backpackers, which is about a bunch of backpackers in southern Thailand backpacking.  you get the idea.  So I looked for myself in the pictures, I smiled just in case ‘they’ were taking pictures as I read.
Amy is a crazy good lifestyle photographer, and she did all the interior design in the house.  It’s even prettier in person.  I hope she doesn’t notice all the shit I stole.  Kidding.  Also, I’m not sure what the hazing process is, but I’ll do anything, anything to be a part of this mafia.  Besides kill, sell drugs (to kids at least) or eat black olives… so gross.