Pretty Rugs from Safavieh

Spring is in the air! Can you just smell it? In Los Angeles where we live, it was the perfect 75 -degree, clear blue sky, sunny day. The hills are green and the wild flowers are blooming. It's so pretty we can hardly stand it. Despite what people say about LA, parts of it are quite stunning.

Spring also makes us want to clean up the house, wash the windows and spiff things up a bit. We find the best way to spiff things up is to add some colors to the house. Switch out the lamp shades (yes, you can buy different lamp shades and voila, it's like a brand new lamp), get some fresh flowers, and buy a couple of new rugs.

We like the Soho collection of rug from Safavieh quite a bit. It's totally fresh, modern and fun. It's also not too expensive either (about $1200-1500 for a 8 x 10)

Here are some samples from the Soho line:

To see the rest of the line, click here. If you need help with pricing/availability any of Safavieh rugs. please drop us a line.


Five Good Things About A Bad Economy

Can you not open a newspaper or turn on the TV without hearing more bad news? You'd think the world is coming to an end or something. We just see it all over now, don't we? In our conversations with friends and family, not one passed without comments on the economy and how terrible things are.

But you know what, comes with every hardship there are things to be learned and treasured. Our lives are changing, but it is changing for the better.

Here are five reasons why:

1) We waste less. Seriously, we've been spending too much, wasting too much, eating too much. Cutting back is not a bad thing.

2) We learn to buy less and buy better. It's so much better to buy one good thing than ten junky things anyway.

3) We value more important things than money. This is the time when we appreciate our health, our friends and our family more than ever.

4) We start to recognize than there are others in the world beside ourselves; that we are all inter-connected and our actions affect us all.

5) We simplify our lives--and isn't that a better way to live?


Great Source for Home Decorating Pictures

We have to confess, we are a home decorating magazine addict. We subscribe to every single one there is, but the truth is, we never read the text. We just look at the pictures. What's the point of reading if the pictures are enough, no?

If you are looking for inspirational home decorating pictures, we have a great source for you. Check out RedCover.com. This site is actually a seller of images, much like Corbis or Getty Images, but they specialize in interior, garden and food images only. What we love best is that it has the best of European home design ideas, which we don't have easy access to here in the US. It's a lot of fun to browse through the beautiful pictures on the site.

Here are some sample pictures. There are thousands more...

Notes: The pictures on the site will have watermark on them to prevent piracy, but for browsing purpose they are not too bad. We recommend the feature search as it lays out everything very nicely for you.

Z-Gallerie to close 25 stores

Z Gallerie announced it will close 25 stores across the country today, citing deteriorating business conditions. The company will still have 52 stores and its web site.

We love Z Gallerie. It has affordable, stylish merchandise at very reasonable prices. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this tough economy will pass and all of our favorite stores will survive.

Love This Loft!

The New York Times recently featured a wonderful loft in New York City that we just love. Loft decorating is tough. It is usually just a blank, open space and most people find it a challenge to make it cozy, warm and inviting at the same time. There is also the issue of spacing--you have to divide and conquer creatively.

Here are some pictures from the article which shows how it can be done. To see the rest of of the pictures and read the full article, click here.


Comfortable Chairs & Lounges from Jessica Charles

We like furniture that is made in the US. We just do. There are two reasons for it: 1) we are patriotic and 2)they are just made better.

Jessica Charles, a division of Hancock and Moore, is one of those. They specialize in only one thing, chairs (which include dining chairs, lounge chairs and occasional chairs) and oh they do it so well...

Here are some pretty things from Jessica Charles:

As always, email us if you need help with any of these items.

Dining Chairs We Love-Jessica Charles

We love these chairs from Jessica Charles. They are so well-made! We have chairs that are 15 years old and they are still in super good shape.

Here are some new styles that are totally adorable. The chairs are expensive (ranging $600-800 per chair depending on fabrics), but we think they are worth it.

You can see the rest of the collection at the Jessica Charles web site. In addition to chairs, they make fabulous chaise lounges and occasional chairs as well.

If you need help with any of the products shown, drop us a line...


Hollywood Regency Style Defined

Most people don't know this, but the persons most responsible for the Hollywood Regency architectural style were John Woolf (died in 1980) and Robert Woof (died in 2001 at the age of 81).

The definition of Hollywood Regency, according to the New York Times, is as follows:

"synthesized 19th-century French, Greek Revival and Modernist touches into a heady mixture that has since been christened Hollywood Regency, which foreshadowed aspects of postmodernism"

Here is a great link on Flicker which has tons of pictures on Hollywood Regency architecture:

Hollywood Regency Architecture Images

Vanity Fair March 2009 issue has a great article on John Woolf by Matt Tyrnauer. It's a great read, as John Woolf is not only a super-talented architect, he also had a very unusual , unorthodox life as well.

Here's a quick excerpt:

"The Woolfs' own unorthodox living arrangements, known to friends as the "Woolf pack,'' grew out of efforts in the 1970's to give legal standing to gay relationships. John and Robert had grown apart romantically but continued to live together. In the early 1960's, Robert met Gene Oney, who moved in with both men. In 1971, after John Woolf learned he had Parkinson's disease, he adopted both Robert and Gene, who changed their names to Woolf. Later in the decade, Gene and Robert also grew apart, and Robert brought home a new man, William Capp. After John Woolf died in 1980, Robert, Gene and William moved to a large estate designed by Addison Mizner in Montecito, which Robert devoted himself to restoring in his later years.

The three men lived together until Robert's death."

Wow! Why can't we all get along like that?

Check out the NY Times obituary on Robert Woolf and then pick up the Vanity Fair issue if you are interested in reading about it further. It's a great read!

So Chic, So Cool-The Mercer Collection from Safavieh

We just go back from the Las Vegas Furniture show last week. These shows are usually really fun. It's a chance see new things and old friends.

There are a few vendors that we really like this year. We'll be writing about them in the next few days....

The first vendor you might want to check out is the new Mercer Collection from Safavieh. Known for their rugs, Safavieh has expanded rapidly into furniture the last few years. They are doing a pretty good job with it. Here are a few that we really like (and if you are into the Hollywood Regency look, we think you'll love this collection).

If you need help with this line, drop us a line...


Fabulous Stationary

People don't mail anything anymore, do they? But don't you just love getting a hand-written note once in a while instead of email? A real invitation instead of an evite?

Here's this adorable stationary company that makes wonderful, modern stationary. They are not too expensive; and they are so chic, so cool. It's a great line to use for invitations and personal note cards...We particularly love the personal calling cards--they're like business cards, only more glamorous...

Fabulous Stationary.com


Win this Pillow! February Give-Away

We never hear anything from our readers. What's up with that? We know from our web analytics that we have hundreds of you coming to our site a day, but the only comments we ever get is from people who are looking for free links. Now, there ain't nothing wrong with asking, but what we really want for comments are fun, interesting, thought-provoking, life-changing, or just plain silly comments, get it? We really don't want free porn, fake Gucci bags, cash advance from Nigeria..anything like that. Really.

So to motivate you a little, we are giving this pillow to one lucky person in the month of February. The only catch is, in order to enter the contest, you have to leave a comment by answering the question of the month in the comment section of this post.

The question of the month is:

"What are you doing to make your home a better place in this tough economic time?"

Down Pillow 22 X 22 Value $250

We will pick a winner on March 1st.

Thanks in advance for participating!

Sad News-Shabby Chic in Chapter 11

Things have been tough all over, especially in the home furnishing industry.

A few days ago Shabby Chic filed Chapter 11 bankrupcy protection. See the complete posting here...

Shabby Chic was a pioneer in its time twenty years ago. Making slip-covered furniture into a style that is widely-copied, it made girly decorating into a huge trend that is still going strong even today.

Let's hope that the company will come out of this ok.

Photo of Shabby Chic's first store:

November 2009-UPDATE

Shabby Chic has re-invented itself. Read more about it from the NY Times.


Modern Wallpaper from Astek

We've been seeing a lot of Astek lately. From "Top Design" to "Elle Decor", we see their products featured everywhere. No wonder, as the company makes some wonderful wallpapers with a wide range of styles. We particularly like their modern collection. It totally rocks!

Pricing is reasonable too (about $50-60/roll). You can buy them directly at the Astek web site.

Here are some that we thought are really cool:

Luxury Bedding from Legacy Linens

We love beautiful bedding. To us, it's the first thing we look at when we enter a bedroom. It's also one of those things totally worth splurging on. After all, was it a true statistic somewhere that we spend 2/3 of our lives in bed?

We found this bedding line from Legacy Linens that we just love. It's luxury bedding that you can actually sleep on, you know. We can't stand frou-frou bedding that looks great but totally impractical. To us, luxury linens must look good but most importantly, it must be comfortable to sleep in.

Here are some samples of Legacy Luxury Bedding. We don't have it listed on our web site (it's way too complicated to sell bedding on line as there SO many pieces in a bedding ensemble). If you need product or pricing information, please drop us a line.

As pretty as there are, they look even better in person!

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