Article Line Long1

Eclectic Artsy Odyssey: a breakdown with another mini breakdown.

Louis and Jenny were awesome.  He’s this super passionate kinda nuts photographer/techie guy and she is a super adorable anthropologie loving teacher.  They each sent me a moodboard before i got started.


Super MOD.  Super High tech.  I kinda think it was more ‘Antonio’ than me, as i’m not exactly about the latest innovative materials.  I don’t do anything LED, or glass coated flux capacitors…I don’t know anything about polypropolene tables, dieselized garden stools or rubber plated difibulators. So i was worried. (don’t google that sh*t, i done made it up)

….but then Jenny showed me HERS:

Phew. Yeah, obviously more my style, which is why Louis seemed slightly contrary during the diagnostic – he was super worried that he was going to go through this and not really be heard because he knew that i was so much closer to Jenny’s style than his.  Which is a fair fear.  She loved eclectic, totally ‘Domino’ style, mixing mid-century and antiques with a granny-chic bent.  She is super crafty and overall just adorable. She even made these two pieces:

She’s into the modern craft movement which i am too, but Louis thinks it can be really granny.  So the plan was to mix his love of super sleek modern with her mid-century vintage craft.  And thus they were dubbed:


The one thing they really did have in common is that they wanted their home to be totally original and to have a lot of unique pieces that no one else would have. They both love art/design so i knew i could push it a little bit and not exactly shop at Pottery Barn.  Not that anything is wrong with Pottery Barn but these are not Pottery Barn people.  AND by the way ALL of these photos were taken by Louis, the homeowner. Made my job really really easy, so thank you so much Louis. 

Alright.  Man, there are a lot of resources here.   Lets start with the amazing grey linen chair. I bought it from 45 three modern vintage for Joy’s episode 20 episodes ago.  It was crushed gold velvet, which was kinda awesome, but after her ‘first look’ it went into storage.  I fostered it for a while in my house, but then when i met Louis and jenny i thought it would be perfect for them, reupholstered in this super chic grey woven linen.  Its a total piece.  It’s a show-stopper.  It’s incredible and comfortable and covetable.  Yes, i have emotional connections to inanimate objects but this chair was a hard one to give up.  It loved me back, it did.

Those two cup chairs actually came from the Rose Bowl for $300 for both, but i planted them at Amsterdam Modern (that big wharehousey store that i shopped in on camera).  Its an incredible source and she has soooo much at good (but NOT cheap, totally reasonable) prices – but you have to make an appointment, FYI.  I got the sofa there, too for $700 but it was too purple so we took it to a leather guy to make it browner and to add buttons to the tufting (I hate tufting without buttons). I love the shape of it, the arms, its 70’s and indestructable.  The rug is the denim jute rug from West Elm  It’s $279 for an 8×10 which is pretty unbeatable.


I can’t believe that i haven’t talked about the wallpaper yet.  Its from Kremelife.  Its under the ‘Muse collection’ and its called ‘Geoball’.  It’s new, its crazy awesome and it comes in any color you want.  Yup.  I thought it was perfect for ‘Odyssey’ while still being sophisticated and not too masculine. It has a soft watercolor treatment to it so it feels vintage and feminine at the same time.  Check out their stuff here  They are an LA based company, and have really really amazing patterns that you don’t see everywhere. And again, you can custom color anything. I used their paper for my HGTV’d episode which i have still yet to blog about, too.  One of my favorites.

So here’s the truth about wallpapering the ceiling.  Don’t do it unless you are rich.  We have an incredible wallpaperer, Ricky, (email me for her info i’m happy to give it out) but the ceiing took hours and hours and hours and set us back one whole day – which also put us over budget.

It looked rad, but ultimately it caused a lot of problems in budget and time, so unless you are rich i don’t know if i would do it. I think it cost an extra $1200 in labor and i’m sure a lot in wallpaper, too.

Now if you are astute you might notice that their media unit is different then the one on the show.  That was the other issue – I had NOOOO idea how many components he had NOR did i know the restrictions of each of them- some needed breathing room, some had to be by others but not by others, some needed pills three times a day and to be walked twice, some were allergic to nuts i mean, it was way beyond my skill set.  Yes, we hired an expert but even he didn’t know what half of them were.

So we replaced it TWICE (once at midnight) trying to find one that fit the needs that didn’t look like crap and dumb down the whole room. So after the show was over and we found out that the one we got them that i thought finally worked, didn’t work, so we replaced it with this one. I felt terrible.

Also here’s a little story about how i tried to cover up the TV but failed.  So one of their requests was ‘innovative TV situation’.  Not exactly my game, and i shoulda just said ‘sorry, its a decorating show’.  But Louis really really really wanted it, so i researched and researched and here were the options:

Sorry, i just threw up in my mouth.  $4500

These flipped down and could have been an option, but they were a. out of stock and b. $5000.  Then there are the mirrors that cover them up, which we could have done but we hear that they don’t have a very clear picture, they are normally ugly and ‘contemporary’ and finding one big enough really fast proved impossible.

So then we thought what about doing a barn door  with art situation:

YES! but instead of wood it would be a piece of art – but it would have to be HUGE art.  So heres’ what we did. We ordered the track and rails and all the hardware, then Orlando had the idea of taking a photo of their kids and rasterbating it (I know, its super fun to say….’don’t come in mom, i’m rasterbating’).  This is super easy to do, you take a picture, dowload the rasterbating file and it comes out in 8×10 sheets from your simple printer that you put together as a puzzle. It’s all pixelated and awesome.

I loved the idea.  We were going to split them in half, mount them on two pieces of wood and attach plexi on top so it looked high end.  It would open in the middle, but since its a grid you wouldn’t really see the seam.  Perfect idea.  Affordable (around $1000) and far cooler than the above options.

And then all this happened:

1. the track arrived only 6′ instead of the 8′ we ordered.  We tried to overnight the right one, but not happening.  We were pissed and it was expensive so we called a welder. He came to the house within an hour.  Problem solved, he added two feet.

2. We mount the pages – except not like i had asked.  It was hot and humid and they bubbled because glue was used instead of spray mount.  I was pissed.  I was a professional decoupagerer whilst younger, and let me tell you if you want it to be perfect just use spray mount. I was unhappy with how my art piece came out last week due to glue/mod podge so I really didn’t want to make the same mistakes. But I was on camera and stuff happened behind my back.

3. The plexi warped all over the place because it was so big and we didn’t get it thick enough. We tried nailing it with brads, it would split. It looked like crap.

4. the plywood was cut with slightly off 90 degree corners, which once framed created big gaps and huge problems.


So I make the decision that we’ll come back at 6am  and finish, meanwhile the carpenter will put up the new track and cut new plywood.

WELL, the new track was warped, the ‘i’ll come to you’ welder totally blew,  so it never closed properly – the top was closed but the bottom always had a huge gap.  It looked terrible.

I arrive the next morning to everything looking very DIY gone bad.  It would have been fine in a photo but not in person.  And i vowed to myself once that i would never endure a ‘reveal’ with the homeowners where i was embarassed and wanted it over with really fast, again.  It’s the most fun part of the job so if that moment gets ruined, its a massive bummer and ruins the episode for me.

I would rather it look simple and tasteful, than really bad DIY that would really embarass me.

Soooo…. i cried….out of frustration. It was week four (we shoot four weeks in a row, working everyday then a week off…week four is always rough) – i was sooooo tired, and i had just wasted soooo many hours of labor and money on this thing.  The track itself was $800.  Then all the supplies, plexi, printing, etc.  Its one of those things that could have turned out to be amazing, but it failed miserably.

So, Louis, i wanted to give you an innovative tv system, but with our budget and with my skill set, it just didn’t happen.

That’s my sob story.  I took a couple hours (we had to repair the wallpaper) and got my hair did in Woodland Hills, where it was cut way too layered and my french hair cutter in New York is still pissed, but it felt relaxing.

Back to pretty pictures:

The dining table (ikea) and the credenza (vintage) were both theirs. The chairs i got on Amazon for $70 each, but i can’t for the life of me find where.  The drapery is just ikea.  And that pendant we made from three vintage lampshades. I actually kinda like it, its playful and weird and since we blew the budget with the TV thing we couldn’t buy anything too expensive and this ended up being super cheap ($5 each for the wire shades, then we bought the bulbs at West Elm and chordage from Home Depot).

On the tabletop I used a combo of vintage and anthropologie plates.

Let’s talk red pot.

So i’ve been a huge fan of Adam Silverman (Atwater pottery) for years and years.  My old boss, Cindy, was personal friends with him and she had one of his first amazing pieces before he was all famous – this matte black vase that was super gorgeous (we brought it to soo many shoots that you’ve probably all seen it, it looks similar to some of his below, but they are all one of a kind.)

I know. It’s all insanely beautiful. It’s a total artist.

And i’m a huge fan.  Now, lucky for us, he is the studio director and in-house potter at one of my favorite companies in the world, Heath Ceramics, right here in Los Angeles.  In case you don’t know heath, its an incredible family company based out of the bay area and has extremely classic stoneware that will last you a lifetime.  Plus at the store, they are constantly having art openings and they sell amazing flatware, tea towels, books, cheese boards, etc.  It’s VERY much worth a stop in.

Here’s what the back looks like, where we shot the shopping segment:

So I commissioned Adam to throw me a pot in two days that was bright red and would sit on their dining table. I’m bummed that the segment was so short and so much funny stuff was left out.  It takes 2 hours to shoot shopping segments and 90 seconds make it in, bummer.  Anyway, thanks Adam and Heath for doing this.  And if anyone ever wonders what to splurge on me for a gift, just think Atwater Pottery.

Anyway, back to the episode:

I love that dome lamp.  Like a lot.  Vintage, as is the stool.


Now you can’t really see it, but back there is the paper heart art that i love so much.  Its made by this artist in England, but ships fast to the states.  Their name is Sara and Bendrix and i found them on Etsy.  Here’s the deal with them:  you can buy the art as is, all hand made, like this:

Or you can personalize it like i did, where i had her write in pencil on four of the hearts the names of the people in the family.  It’s super subtle, but totally customized and sentimental.  Here is some of her other work:

ANd i got one similar to this for Louis and Jenny. I wanted to get it in a more masculine color palette since its hearts and i wasn’t sure how he would feel about it, but of course he loves it.

I think its such a good gift and bought one for my parents for their 40th anniversary, and Sarah put their names and the wedding dates (in pencil) on the bottom. But Sarah and Bendrix were not the only Etsy artists featured this week, no siree.  Check out these guys:

Its soooo cute.  From an Etsy designer ‘Plumed‘, and she sent it overnight because i wanted it so bad.  Check it out, here. It’s $36 and adorable.

And then there is that red peacock that i LOVE.  From Dekanimal on Etsy.    I might need to own it. I framed it in an Ikea frame.  The wire balloon (and the wire sculpture on the mantle) were mine – i have a thing for wire sculptures, but they fit in really well here.

OOH. Now i love that ripped fabric art up there. I got it at Reform School and its made by one of the guys that works there, Jimmy Marble. He’ll write anything in any color. I tried to find his web-site but i couldn’t.  I found his card with his email and phone number so if you want just call Reform school and ask them. They sell others of his but you can commission them as well. I think this was around $200. It’s ripped raw linen.

The adorable little print is from Etsy, Blanchuca (Blanca Gomez) and i love it.  I didn’t see that one for sale anymore, but she has others or maybe if you ask she can print that one again.

The coffee table is CB2, it’s the peekaboo clear coffee table, $249.  The stool underneath was flea market, two for $80.

Not to brag, but the two spaces tied together ridiculously well.  It felt totally ‘them’ and Louis afterwards told me that he felt i understood him better than his own mother – which i think he was kidding obviously, but i got the point.

And look at this photo that had someone take of us:

And that folks, is Eclectic Artsy Odyssey.  There were some bumps, but such a fun week and i absolutely love how it turned out.

All photos taken by Louis, that dude up there.  Awesome, right? I know.

Whew.  That post just took me almost four hours to do:  to download pics, upload pics, credit all the etsy artists and stores properly and write, so do me a solid and tweet this thing if you are so inclined.


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.