I told you. Ind-a-effing-vidual challenges folks. ‘sbout time. and I was ready. I was sick as a dog and had no voice, but i didn’t care. i wanted to win. And at this point I started to realize that I had a good chance of doing just that. It was three, now down to two, folks. TWO!!
Ok, so here’s how it went down. After we got the challenge and measured our houses, I started developing my concept. I knew I wanted a feature wall with fabric as wallpaper, as I love wallpaper. I love vintage-inspired patterns and I remember seeing this one at Zarin’s a few challenges ago and while its kinda nuts and has grapes on it for god sakes, it has a youthfulness about it that I love.
I knew that i wanted to mix my love of victorian with my love of modern. WHAT???!!! ARE YOU NUTS? calm down, no. its not crazy. I’m of the camp that if you keep some consistency through colors, you can mix any styles together. ya heard me.
I knew I wanted to bring in some natural elements, because i’m a little forest girl at heart. And if the room looks slightly ’70’s, its cause it is, its my favorite decade, where people started doing extra weird things with their decor and it was way less uptight than the ’60’s (don’t get me wrong, i love the 60’s).
Off we go to Housing Works (a high end thrift store chain in Manhattan) I grabbed that brass coffee table base, the mirror above the sofa, both lamps, and a ton of books and pretty things for eh shelves. (later i wrapped linen around wood that I cut and made that the top of the coffee table – i loved it)
Then up to DWR
where I snagged that awesome green vintage sofa (if its still there, somebody better grab it, i think it was only $1200). I remember thinking, huh, green against that fabric… oh, crazy emily. but it was the risk i needed – and now I can’t imagine not having it. The large area rug, cowhide, the string chandelier – which is hard to see, but always beautiful, and the mid-century danish chair and ottoman were all from DWR as well. Casey and Michael were there at the exact same time and there were a few things that we quibbled over, but ultimately i think we have different enough aesthetics that i got what i wanted. step off, ladies.
Then to one of my favorite stores in the world, Penine Hart Antiques.
Your welcome, in advance. She has an amazing eye and is perfectly priced. She sells her own art which is beautiful and affordable (I bought my first real piece from her when I was 25, for like $300 and I still love it). So at Penine’s I picked up the mirrored side table (gorgeous), the white Victorian chair (beautiful) and the big frames that I leaned against the glass. They were all the perfect Victorian antiquey things i needed to mix with the DWR stuff.
In this pic, above, the room looks really spread out, but it wasn’t – its just the lens. It was the perfect little seating area, if I do say so myself.
Finally we went to Andrianna Shamaris, an AWESOME store in Soho (and Malibu) that has a lot of imported crazy beautiful natural and organic pieces, many that she designs herself. From her I got the two petrified stumps that completed the coffee/cocktail tables, the side table next to the sofa that has inlaid mother of pearl shells, and the throw pillows.
I loved everything and i knew i could make them work in a room. My goal was to make a room that felt like me in every way (or how I fancy myself, anyway) – colorful, casual, exciting, a little weird, but well-balanced and somewhere that you can have fun. Would I do it for every client, of course not. But the point was to show our style and i’m kinda a maximalist, and so is this room. so sue me. although i wouldn’t recommend it as I have very little money.
My favorite part? ooh, dunno. I love a lot about it. I love the combination of the white victorian chair with the white mid-century chair. I love that brass coffee tabe with the linen wrapped top. I love the bold pattern on the walls and how the cowhide balances it out on the floor. I love that it feels feminine but not overly girly. you guys know i can be super self-critical, overly so at times, but not this time. I still love this room.
Regrets? i’m not psyched about the ‘shelving system’. But I couldn’t find one whilst shopping and being a fan of open backed display shelving, i needed one. It was fine.
Oh and you can’t tell how beautiful the drapery is, but it is. It’s just linen, but the way its woven is fairly loose with a 70’s vibe. it was a nightmare to cut and sew (I had four 100″ panels layed out on the sidewalk of new york) but once I had them up I was happy – they created much needed intimacy. I wish the fabric/wallpaper went all the way up to the same level as the drapery, but it was 90 degrees in the glass house and that was my only source of fresh air.
Ooh, can we talk about my friend Scotty? When I saw him i was first kinda confused. i recognized him, but it had been so long since i had seen or talked to anyone on the outside, that it was just bizarre. I mean, all my friends in New York were within blocks of me this whole time, and now i get to hug one all of a sudden? You can’t imagine how happy i was. Everyone should have a Scotty.
He told me later that he was actually booked that day on a job and had to get Cindy (my old boss and friend) to fill in for him on set (he’s a prop stylist too), which is a very weird thing to do. it would be like an actor telling the director, ‘yo, listen, i’m gonna go ahead and take today off, but i got a friend that looks just like me, he’s great, you’ll love him’. It just doesn’t happen.
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Luckily the client had worked with Cindy
before, so it was ok. But point is that I owe Scott and Cindy a HUGE thank you. You have no idea how much I appreciated it, and Scott truly was the perfect person.
He works hard and fast, and he has a great eye. When my brain was tired of deciding if the lamp should be on the left or on the right, he would be like ‘right!’ and i could trust him. and he made me laugh and gave me lots of much needed hugs. I felt so bad that I could hardly talk to him because of my voice.
**I wish they could have taken these pics during the day, the light looked so beautiful in the room.
Elimination. My hosting kinda sucked. i can do so much better than that. but i felt like I was shouting just to get the words out and it HURT. i was super bummed. It would be like a pianist coming down with a 24 hour case of arthritis – it doesn’t make it impossible, but extremely challenging.
But regardless of the hoarseness, this is the first time I didn’t think i was going home (well not the first time). I loved my room and if I was the judges I would want to see more from me. Candace said it was her favorite room all year, in fact I think the quote was, ‘Each year, one room really flutters my knickers, and this is the room’. not sure what that means, but i’m sure its the equivalent of ‘knocking her socks off’. and being a Candace fan, that made this little blondie feel good. Genevieve loved it, too. Vern said that he liked it, but it was 2 whiskers away from being the crazy cat lady house, but Vern and I have pretty different styles so i wasn’t offended. and i like cats, by the way,
Michael was safe, and It was down to Casey and I. Casey was my best friend on the show. I wasn’t sad to see her go, necessarily, but I knew I would miss her a lot. She’s rad.
And you should hire her. (www.avenuelosangeles.com)
Final Two. INSANE!
This week will be a good fashion to room week. I’ll post some of my favorites from Domino, as well as some that I have put together. I actually didn’t know about the Tom Felicia show, oops.
Thank you guys sooooooo much for all the support. You have no idea how much it means to me that people actually want me to win. thank you thank you thank you.