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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

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!

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!