Sunday, June 7, 2009

Oh How I Love to Shop!! Doesn't Everyone??

I love shopping. I love the thrill of finding something new and fresh and taking it home to make it mine. Ask any shopaholic and they'll tell you the acquisition of something new is exciting. New shoes, new bag, new flatware, new glassware, new sheets, a darling new collar for's all the same, acquiring something new and fabulous, and hopefully needed.

There's a second part of the equation, one that is oh so subliminal, and it is just as important because it totally drives our purchases. It's definitely part of what makes shopping fun--I mean you can shop without buying, it is after all called window shopping-- it's the visual display and the potential thrill of new objects that really pulls us in. Merchandising is an art and it is important.

It's also a talent. Remember Jingle Balls? It was the episode of Will & Grace when Jack somehow got recruited by the snarky Barney’s manager played by Parker Posey to do the holiday display window. With his infinite immodesty Jack thought he could do the window himself and had to be rescued by his Interior Designer friend Grace. Naturally, Grace’s window was perfect, Jack got to take credit, and Will & Grace end up kissing at the end of the show.

As art does imitate life, there are real people out there who live for this kind of work—to inspire us to shop! My friend and colleague Brenda Houston is one of these designers and she specializes in visual merchandising. Brenda has worked around the world, is an award-winning designer, and her specialty is conveying brand identity.

Check out her work at Baby Guess. It’s so cute it makes me want to have a baby! I mean, I’ll take one of everything in that store!
Brenda’s range is broad, she also does the famously beautiful and high-end jewelry retailer Bailey Banks & Biddle. I love the symmetry she’s created with the architectural elements.
These are shots from her work Princess Cruise lines. These spaces just scream exotic locales and luxury!
And, look at the gorgeous taupe she’s chosen for David Yurman. The look is so clean and sleek!
And of course, she does Barneys too (watch out Jack!)!
Study her work, you’ll see the spaces stamped with her signature, but convey the personality of her clients. Learn more about Brenda and her talent at

I might not think about it when I shop, but the whole experience is absolutely sensory overload, and for me, pure escapism!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Suzanne Kasler's New Soicher Marin Collection at Hickory Chair

As promised, here are the images of the second Suzanne Kasler for Soicher Marin collection as seen in the Hickory Chair showroom in High Point, North Carolina. Her space was, as expected, gorgeous! But then that whole showroom is such an inspiration. I don’t know how Ron Fiore gets it all done!

You can see all of the Suzanne Kasler for Soicher Marin collection at

Suzanne’s first Soicher Marin collection featured a series of oversized horse bit prints that we made from two antique prints she had. We took the individual bits, blew them up, and they are striking.

For her spring 2009 launch, we did a few more of the oversized prints and a new composite print with bits and shoes! In the chic, lounge-like set up of this room, they are gorgeous with her Montview Mirror ( for Hickory Chair. All together it’s very chic, very Hermes.

In the same room, she hung the Paris city map over the sofa and put some of the new antique maps we did right on the windows. I love how she uses art so unconventionally.

This little room is so cozy—I could live in here! It could be the most darling studio apartment ever. The tone-on-tone palette is so appealing and the room is just so lovely. These oversized garden plans are new for her collection. I love the strong graphic quality. I also love that she hung this one horizontally, and across the room she propped the other up vertically—more of that unconventional use of art!
Of course these darling little watercolors are also part of her line from the first collection she did with Soicher Marin.
To round out the studio living space is the sleeping area. If I could live in a place this gorgeous I would make the twin-sized bed work! The framed textiles are from Suzanne’s first collection.
The deGournay wall covering really is the art feature in this room, and it’s gorgeous!
Next time, I’ll show you some of Mariette’s collection at the Hickory Chair showroom. Check back soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fantastic Film and Fabulous Art...oh so Indiscreet

Not long ago I saw the tail end of a terribly romantic movie featuring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and a GORGEOUS set. It was pure glamour and I made it my business to find the movie, Indiscreet.
And when I did, I watched it over and over again, pausing to stare at the gorgeous apartment design and Bergman’s couture gowns. The story itself is charming. Anna Kalman, a famous actress (Bergman), tired of an endless stream of lackluster men (sound familiar?), meets the man of her dreams, Philip Adams (Grant), a charming, handsome, debonair, diplomat. Sadly, or so it would seem, he’s married. Throwing caution to the wind, the two engage in a scandalously, passionate affair which does nothing to tarnish their destiny as soul mates. In actuality Grant is NOT married, but only pretending to be so that he can avoid a commitment (I mean really). The story has lots more charm and wit, but what I want to talk about is the set design, which only enhances the folly of the film. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any movie stills, so I took some shots of my television screen.

The majority of the film takes place in Anna’s London apartment, one with a distinctive European flair and Parisian essence. Modest in its proportions, the architectural accents and art make the small space appear larger than life. Central to most scenes in the movie are two collections of black and white sketches, framed with vibrant, candy-colored mattes and simple moldings. The collections flank a beautiful limestone fireplace and an antique landscape painting—that juxtaposition imparts a real sense of confidence in Anna’s style. I sure wish I knew who the set designer was………

That’s not really how the movie ends, but you’ll need to watch it and see!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More love!

Danielle, I hope you're reading my blog (you are a blog watcher aren't you???), because we're putting the Melbourne Collection on your glass porch! Maybe we should do two ottomans with trays and two with cushions? Or we could get four of each and switch them out for entertaining? That Mariette--genious for keeping everything fresh. And, if we did an outdoor fabric, the boys could spill anything on them!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Love, Love, Love

Okay, back to more of Mariette's new collection for Hickory Chair--the Porter Divan is so great! I love the clean lines and hardware detail on the end. Daisy likes it too....Is this amazing Montauk bed part of Hickory Chair's made-to-measure program?? Because my darling dog Daisy wants it for herself! This is total 1940s, Hollywood Glamour--no wonder Daisy loves it!

I may have to call in a favor to Ron Fiore. Daisy looks awfully cute in that dog, I mean, Mariette's gorgeous new upholstered bed!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Love, Love, Love

Spring is in the air and so is LOVE! I love market--everything is new, fresh, fabulous, and exciting--and full of possibility! I love Hickory Chair. I love Ron Fiore, Hickory Chair's creative director. I love their designer collections (Suzanne Kasler as you all know), but Mariette Himes Gomez' collection is another of my favorites. And Mariette has a line of art with Soicher Marin. I just got to see a few of Mariette's new pieces--I LOVE them! Check out the Carrie Chair! It is so sophisticated, completely befitting of my favorite Sex in the City character--Carrie Bradshaw!

I love the blend of upholstery and's very architectural...the view from the back is as interesting as the front! What a great blend of clean lines and graceful curves. Maybe I'll use this in my sister's new Santa Barbara house! I think we'll put them in the breakfast room with these new Soicher Marin additions:

Gotta get back to Soicher Marin--check back for more about my LOVE of all this fabulous design at market.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

As Promised, More Of Soicher Marin's New Collection...

Morning is my favorite time of day, as long as it starts with a latte....

These graphic black and white prints are so glamorous:

These lovely pieces have an old-world charm.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Soicher Marin's New Additions

Of the 400+ new pieces in the spring collection, these are just a few of my favorites. Graphic and color saturated--

I am a huge fan of black and white photography. Breakfast in bed anyone?

I do love market, but not as much as I love the beach! This reminds me of the fabulous 14 days I spent in Palm Springs. Total bliss!

Check back soon for some more previews of the new line! These are all available for purchase and you can always see more at!