Please Support Your Local Stores

We were driving down the design district in Los Angeles the other day and we were struck with how many "For Lease" signs were out there. It seems like almost every other shop is closed! Then we read in the LA Times that Cook's Library is closing. For those who do not live in LA, Cook's Library is an independent bookstore that specialized in cookbooks. It's one of those places that you can spend hours in--the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. In the LA Times article, the owner was lamenting about how they would spent a considerable amount of time with a customer on a book, only to have that person ask them to write the title/author down so that they can buy it at Amazon.com. That is so wrong!

Which leads to an appeal we would like to make to you today:


Source: New Yorker Magazine

Yes, we know sometimes you can get a better deal on the Internet, but the stores have so much overhead they can not maintain business on the same margin. They HAVE to charge more. You are paying a little bit more to be able to see the products, touch the products; and most of all, have some personal attention.

We especially feel the small businesses need the most help--the mom-and-pop stores that work so hard and put their life saving into a business.

We need businesses like this to make our community more vibrant and intersting. What would life be if there are no small, charming stores to shop in; or if there were nothing but chain stores. Don't you hate it when you go to different cities and all the shops are the same ones you can get at home?

So let's all pledge to do a little bit for our local business community. Times are tough, but if we each do a little that would help so much.

Digging Beauty
Digging Fashion


Modern Home Office

Working from home is such a popular trend nowadays. Most people we know either work from home part time or full time. For us, we practically live in our home office. This is why we think it should be both nice and functional, with an emphasis on functional, as it is so important for getting our work done.

Here are some modern offices that we thought are really cool:

Source: Point Click Home

Here are some cool stuff from DWR for the office

Red Clock

Business Card Holder

Modern File Tray

Modern Desk


Designers to Watch-Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch

Have you ever read about someone's life, and say, man, that is one bitching life! We do. A lot of it is from fashion and design magazines. You know, the ones that are always about some pretty young thing who is, invariably, married to some hedge fund manager; has a pied-a-terre in Paris; a loft in New York; a country house in Connecticut?

Well, aside from reading these for fun, we also love it for inspirations as well. It's kinda like a break from the mundane of our everyday's life, right? Like, five minutes of fantasy before we get back to figuring out how to pay our mortage this month?

Which brings us to the topic of this blog--we were reading in W Magazine today about Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch as an emerging design team which we never heard of. Orignally started out as designers of movie sets, they are now a hot ticket in the design world. We just love their originality! What was interesting about them is that neither was trained in interior design. They just do what they love, and the rest just follows.

That's something to be inspired by, isn't it? Do what you love, and the rest will follow. Repeat that three times, will you?

Here is a picture of the couple from the NY Times. Read the article.

Here is a picture of their kitchen from New York Magazine.

To see more of their work, check out the web site or follow their blog here.

Upholstery from Nathan Anthony

We use a lot of Nathan Anthony products for our home staging projects. They are reasonably-priced; the turn around time is pretty fast; and they come up with new stuff all the time.

Quality-wise it's reasonable. We would say that it's in the mid range... It's not super high end. The prices reflect that. It's the kind of furniture you buy when you want to be stylish and happening while you are waiting for the big bucks. Generally a queen bed goes for $1500 or so, and a sofa between $1500-$1800 depending on what fabric you choose.

Here are some of our favorites:

This bed reminds us of the one Charlotte has in "Sex in the City". Remember how she has this beautiful creamy bed with creamy lamps and white roses? That apartment was so awesome...

Isn't this banquet awesome? It's one of those things that works so well in a round room. We probably would break it up a bit though with some chairs.

This bed is a HUGE seller! It's so pretty in person ...

You can browse for most of the collection on Nathan Anthony's web site. You can use their fabrics which are shown on line, or do COM (customer own materials). A good place to browse for fabrics is our fabric store. There are over 100,000 fabric patterns on the site.

Nathan Anthony only sells to the trade though, so if you need pricing & stuff like that, drop us a line...

Trina Turk Fabrics for F. Schumacher

Designer collaborations are everywhere nowadays. You see Pierre Hardy designing shoes for the Gap, Alex McQueens for Target--all designed to bring high-end designs to the masses. Although we have to say, we're not that impressed. Has anyone seen the Vera Wang collection for Kohl? Cheap looks cheap, no matter what name you put on it.

For Schumacher though, the designer collaborations are quite successful. A good example would be the Kelly Wearstler fabric collection for Schumacher, especially the Imperial Trellis pattern. It sells like hot cakes. Come to think of it, it's the only pattern that seems to do well.

Trina Turk just did a collection of indoor/outdoor fabrics for F Schumacher that we thought is quite pretty. It has her signature of bright, bold colors and retro look.

Here are some samples of it. You can view the rest of the collection here.

This is a clever use of the fabric shown at the Pasadena Showcase House 2009.

Most patterns retail for $78-80/yard. You can get it for considerably less at our fabric store.

Pretty Fabrics from Thomas Paul for Duralee

We love Thomas Paul. Started out as a pillows line, Thomas Paul has now taken off like a rocket with a rug line with Chandra and recently, a licensed fabric collection with Duralee. His stuff is casual, colorful and reasonably-priced--a perfect combination when you want to brighten things up a bit without spending tons of money.

Here are some samples from the lines. You can see the rest of the book here.

Thomas Paul fabrics run about $50/yard retail, but you can get about 30-40% off the retail prices at our fabric store.


Fresh Colors for Spring-Furniture from Bungalow 5

We saw Bungalow 5 at the New York show last February and we just loved it. The colors are so fresh and fun. The prices are reasonable too (under $500 for most pieces). They are just perfect for spring.

Here are some samples from the line. Most come in different color combinations.

You can see the rest at Bungalow 5 web site. If you need help with pricing or availability, please drop us a line.


Love This House

Elle Decor did a feature on Monica Lhuillier's house a while back. It's one of those houses that you'd just said, I wish I live in that!

Here are some pictures from the feature.

When you browse through the pictures think about how neutral colors can be used so elegantly. Notice also the lack of clutters and the well-edited accessories.

Furniture manufacturers that makes this style of furniture are plentiful. From the high-end, ultra expensive range you got Baker, Hickory Chair and Christian Liagre. In the more reasonable range, but still very similiar, there's John Charles Designs (now owned by American Leather), Michael Weiss for Vanguard and Bolier.

Source: Point Click Home


Loft Living Inspirations

We just love the idea of living in a loft. There's something kinda cool, kinda chic about it. Now, to actually live in a loft is a different story. Have you tried it? It's often cold, uncomfortable and hard to decorate.

Still, loft living is a popular concept especially in the cities. So if you are into it, here's are some inspirations from the New York Times to get your creative juice going...

(click here to see more home portfolios from the NY TImes ).

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