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!