Modern Luxury Interiors Texas: Artfully Avant

Anniversaries are important milestones and I am happy to congratulate Modern Luxury on a successful first year of Interiors Texas. The company publishes over 40 titles, in 13 markets, with a more than 5 million readers within the luxury market! I have been fortunate to work with the talented team, here in Dallas, and am very proud of this amazing, local magazine.

This summer’s issue features an up-and-comer that you need to know about. I call Mike Mousel a friend- he is a man of great taste, of course, and happens to be a lot of fun to boot. He recently retained my services to consult him on the business of design and to create his website biography. As I learned more about Mike’s unique story, I was certain that I had to write about him… he has overcome some seriously daunting challenges and finds great happiness in his new-found career. I am very pleased to have authored this article!

Mike has a natural way with remixing forgotten treasures into bold vignettes. Take the photo above: A graphic zebra rug anchors an organic glass table-top…a vintage brass ornament, echoing the warmth of the wood flooring, pairs with a shot of violet flowers. Simple, yet brilliant. The best make it look quite easy!

This photo is a favorite of mine- the scene is elegant, yet edgy. It just looks like a sexy taste-maker lives here, doesn’t it? The mutual friend, Shari (Shari Stout Enterprises), who introduced Mike and me, constructed the mirrored shelf and I was there when they hung the piece. In person, the vibe of the room was even more impressive than what you sense in the picture. See more of Mike’s work in my article here: Artfully Avant by Shelly Rosenberg. And remember to subscribe to Modern Luxury Interiors Texas asap!

 

Modern Luxury Interiors Texas: Mergers and Acquisitions

The honor is all mine! Publisher Modern Luxury has a glossy new magazine- Interiors Texas- and they chose to feature my design work (LURA Studio) in the Spring 2013 issue. The publication is quickly becoming a favorite design go-to and I am so proud to have earned their recognition. The home in the article happens to be my former residence- truly a labor of love. The author and Editor in Chief, Rebecca Sherman’s, focus is the art of MIXING numerous styles into a seamless design. I happen to be very sentimental, so when I fall in love with a piece, I have a really hard time giving it up. (My husband calls me a “high-end hoarder” but I refuse to be labeled!) Anyway, this is how I came to be a mix master- I have to make everything work so I can keep it all!

The layered composition, above, is full of treasures I have been given, purchased from showrooms or scouted at antique malls and estate sales. I always re-work and re-use a piece if I can. Most of my furniture has worn several skins! My husband contributed the chocolate mohair sofa…I flanked it with vintage chairs, replacing their former white cotton slip covers with camel leather. The cocktail table is Hickory White. Behind that arrangement, new chain link vases sit next to 19th century, carved Italian lamps with black parchment shades. The foreground bench went from blue stripe to decadent velvet leopard.

And for accessories? Anything, that you love, goes! This is my assembly of Lucite lighters and ash trays. Although smoking is out of fashion, I still find the idea of glowing embers somewhat romantic. The solid icy-chic of this material glitters like crystal and adds that glam quotient that I always include. Display your collections- no matter how bizarre- they add necessary personal character to your rooms! [photos by Dan Piassick]

Find out the secret of the style remix here: Mergers and Acquisitions by Rebecca Sherman

Dallas Child Magazine: Shelly Rosenberg’s Beauty Essentials

My favorite thing about going to the grocery store is at the very end of the trip- perusing the magazine racks while in the checkout line! I have a magazine addiction (can I have an a-men!?) and love flipping through them as I wait- and, of course, several come home with me. An easy choice is Dallas Child. In its pages, I find great articles, new ideas and profiles on other moms. I really must know how chic women juggle their cool lives and their kiddos! So, imagine my surprise when I was asked to share with readers like me! Author, and friend, Courtney Sinelli, writes a fun blurb on my beauty must-haves…

You will see a list of the products I use in the article here: Shelly Rosenberg’s Beauty Essentials. I was blessed to meet celebrities’ choice, and Dallas local, Renee Rouleau, years ago and her amazing line is the basis for my great skin (that, and no gluten or dairy). Discover your unique skin type, on her website, and find the perfect essential for your own regimen. Thank you Dallas Child!

The Art of Choosing China

Discover your personality in porcelain! Do you think you are a Glamour Girl or a Purist? A Chic Fashionista or a Savy Southern Belle? Read my latest article, pg 34-36, in 360 West Weddings, a fabulous guide, for the finest of Texas brides, in the Fort Worth area.

The have-to-know content is orchestrated by the very talented Editorial Director, Nancy Myers. I had the pleasure of working with Nancy, years ago, for the premier, fashion E-zine, Pink Memo. Nancy and I had not met…she was a freelance editor and we worked together via email. I was instantly impressed with her talent to refine my work. I learned a lot from her and suggested we meet live! My grandfather always told me, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” And I know that’s true. Taking the time to get to know the face-behind-the-email led to this wonderful opportunity!

The best thing about being a modern bride is that there are no rules! Of course, you don’t even have to be a bride to discover the passion of collecting and combining china patterns in a new way. I adore traditional patterns, such as Herend, but also go mad for more contemporary designs like the L’Object and Vera Wang examples above. I especially love to pair old-school pieces with funky new ones for a classic-with-a-twist approach.

This unique, Asian-inspired combination is a favorite I created for a dinner party in my own home. The pinstriped charger, a thrift-store find, is the foundation for a traditional Spode “Blue Colonel” dinner plate, trimmed in yellow gold. The trio’s topper features a wildly fun, hand-painted dragon motif (I am crazy for Foo Dogs, dragons and serpents!) that I could not resist, by Fitz and Floyd.

DO try this at home! No matter what dinner service you currently have, dine with it! Mix and match with confidence. And by all means, use the good stuff more often- what are we saving it for? To get started, read pages 34-36,  “Perfect Settings” by Shelly Rosenberg.

Kelly Wearstler Rocks Dallas’ Forty Five Ten

The latest design icon, Kelly Wearstler, has been on my radar for almost a decade. I remember hearing about the Playboy bunny-turned-decorator and feeling quite smug…not just anyone can be a designer, right?  I am sure I am not the only one that underestimated this woman- her beauty, sensational style, successful husband and darling sons make it a little hard to like her! Well, my quick assumptions about Kelly’s talent was incorrect. This woman has proven herself…she has become a power player in not only interiors, but in the tough world of fashion as well. And with two brave seasons on Bravo’s reality show, Top Design, Kelly Wearstler [Interior Design (KWID)] is becoming a household name. However, I was still not completely sold. So, when the decadent boutique, Forty Five Ten, announced a collaboration and a personal visit, I was thrilled. The opportunity to meet Kelly, on my own turf, would be the true test.

Dallas welcomed Kelly with an amazing cocktail party. We can always count on FFT’s owner, Brian Bolke, and his team to create a true event out of what could be an ordinary occasion. (You can read about the cool guests and other details on one of my favorite blogs, PinkMemo) With libation in hand, I quickly took in the KWID delights and air-kissed my way to the line forming near Kelly. There she was…as tiny as she is mighty. I eavesdropped on her conversations with guests and could hear, right away, that this native South Carolina girl was open and easy going. Eventually, it was my turn. Kelly was simply delightful- the real deal. My skepticism diminished and my devotion remains!

PinkMemo founder, Max Trowbridge, Kelly Wearstler and Shelly Rosenberg

I am intrigued with all of the “cross-over artists” these days. You know, the country singers that go into pop music and fragrance or fashion houses, like Gucci and Fendi, designing everything from cars to sofas. Kelly is a wonderful example of the resurgence of the renaissance persona- where ambitious people are applauded for trying out different facets of their personalities and talents. Being that very type of woman, I am thrilled at the prospect of being considered well-rounded (even visionary!) versus flaky or unable to commit to just one thing. Let’s think out of the box, shall we? The following photo exemplifies this innovative way of looking at the world. This wallpaper, of Kelly’s design, is daring in composition, color and scale and is one of the clever products that has put her on the map. A favorite pattern of mine, I was impressed to see it replicated on the CD cover for the evening’s set list, composed by the vivacious DJ Lucy Wruebel. Each guest nabbed a custom sound track, on the way, home as a parting gift.

Brass is back in a big way and Kelly uses this warm metal in most of her home accessories and fashion pieces. I love the spiny Kaleidoscope  sculptures, the smooth and weighty metal links and the sleek clutches (one of them is on my Mothers’ Day wish list)! There are so many other fabulous things to see, that you simply must take some time to research her wares: fabrics and wallcovering for Schumacher & Co., bedding through Sferra, rugs via the Rug Company, china for Pickard, and home accessories or clothing with Bergdorf Goodman, Forty Five Ten and Neiman Marcus.

You must not forget her design bibles! Each book is absolute eye candy, full of inspiration for us Kelly Wearstlers-in-training! Find Modern Glamour, Domocilium Decoratus and Hue at Amazon!

ModernNYC.com Launches Architect John Berg

A part of my career that I love is writing interesting articles for various publications, online and in print. A favorite client of mine is ModMedia.net, who showcases modern real estate, currently for sale, in several cities. The listings are serious eye candy for those of us who love architecture and design- it’s so fun to dream and fantasize about living in these fun and unique properties. Please visit and subscribe to the city of your choice- or all of them! Included, in the weekly posts, are new products and resources, art events and profiles on some of the hottest talent out there- all MODERN!

Modern NYC just launched and I was thrilled to write up its first profile on John Berg of John Berg Design. This native-islander-turned-New Yorker has an incredible talent, working wonders with great volume in a natural way. His spaces command attention, yet feel serene and inviting. Find out how Berg went from Bermuda shorts to the Big Apple here: PROFILE John Berg Design.

 

NEON FOR THE HOME: Novelty or New Classic?

This spring has launched a technicolor season- first in fashion, and now in home design. The look is playful, electric and so intriguing! However, it’s one thing to splurge on the latest candy-colored shoes or sassy sunglasses. It is quite another to invest in items for your living room. A daring few (whom I admire!) may be bold enough to embrace unusual trends with gusto, but how many of us can easily throw neon into the mix without it looking juvenile or silly? Well, a little goes a long way, so use a hot hue with care. Just one sophisticated piece can inject your living space with tremendous energy. I say, brave it with a few of my favorites…

Brilliant Console Table

Alexandra Von Furstenberg (former daughter-in-law of fashion mogul, Diane) has boldly ventured into interior design, resulting in a retro-sexy collection of acrylic furnishings and accessories that has cornered the market on sleek and chic! Each element—from modern consoles to eye-catching accessories —is comprised of simple lines and classic forms, and the allure here is the designer’s cutting-edge use of materials. Her unique layering of clear and brightly colored acrylic gives each piece the illusion of being lit from within. The pieces glow like elements from a Warhol fantasy. The concept is audacious and captivating fun! Alexandra’s nod to ‘70s plastics will have us yearning to add a little Studio 54 style to our abodes.

 

Soulmate, Cocktail & Soiree Trays

While we are on the topic of that crazy genius, Andy Warhol, let’s talk art. Most designers agree that art selections should resonate with you- not match your furniture or color scheme. With that said, well chosen artwork is the perfect way to introduce an avant garde element into your home. A subtle and neutral setting really pops with a riot of color, safely contained within a frame on the wall. Go bold with your art; it can really make a room sing. Visit local art fairs and peruse galleries often- especially while you travel. I try to bring home a special piece from each city I visit. Here, in Dallas, I really love the variety of both old masters and contemporary artists works in the Martin Lawrence Galleries.

 

Kachina Dolls, Andy Warhol

Attention is often focused on our walls or the space within them. But, what about our floors? Although this surface is often overlooked, the floor is prime real estate and can anchor an entire setting on its own. For a foundation to become a true focal point, use a vibrant area rug like those in the Kyle Bunting collection. This visionary has taken the silky texture of cow hide and taken it to another dimension. His custom dyes cover every shade in the rainbow and then some! You simply must see his collections- many inspired by famous interior designers. I could take this shocking blue number, below, and build an entire room around it- delish!

Unchained by Kyle Bunting

Neon can be novel, yes. But if used with style, it can not only take its rightful place in interior design, but add timeless character- and zing- to a regal room. With proper balance, any eccentric touch will successfully add your unique personality…and that is what living a life well-lived is all about. Have I convinced you? Even if a flash of neon is still a stretch for your formals, at least try a little pizazz on your person- it will make you smile. I just got the courage to purchase for these darling Azalea oxfords from Cole Hawn and have an entirely new spring in my step!

How to Decorate & Live Well: The Perfectly Imperfect Home

Finally, a behind-the-scenes directive to achieve the perfection we crave!  Deborah Needleman, founding editor of the dearly missed Domino Magazine, has written a charming how-to, illuminating ways to add soul to our home…without pressure. We don’t need to strive for rock-star status! Needleman explains, “The point of decorating, as far as I can tell, is to create the back-ground for the best life you can have.”

 This new definition of perfection is not all about the glam- it’s about personal comfort.  She says,  “Luxury cannot be defined by expense or by grandeur,” and believes that “style is luxury, and luxury is simply what makes you happy.” The author conveys that the out-dated concept of ‘perfection’ often equals conformity.  Her permission to follow our individual bliss is a refreshing message.

Most interior designers will agree that injecting your own personality into furnishings and décor makes for the most interesting rooms. However, Needleman notes, “Embracing imperfection in a home does not mean that any-thing goes.” She urges us to “aim for beauty, tempered by reality.” Structured steps, to achieve the right foundation, are included in every chapter.

The most important element to a successful interior is how one experiences it. How does it feel? This easy-read guide also includes tips to engage each of our senses with comfortable furnishings and fabrics, appropriate lighting, curious accessories and fragrant flowers. She understands too that “life can be messy,” and even when every decision has been carefully made, she encourages us to leave room for the surprising or unexpected.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home delightfully reminds us that it’s okay for our homes to be all about us. Create an environment that is life enhancing- “every decision should comfort and uplift.” Secure a copy before you begin your Spring preparations. Not only will you wow the in-laws, but you’ll have a true haven for the lazy days of summer! Purchase is easy on Amazon.com.