Through The Looking Glass

I spent a wonderful afternoon last week checking out American glass artist Dale Chihuly. The MFA in Boston is showcasing his work with a new show called Through The Looking Glass. I first saw Chihuly’s amazing talent at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas several years ago.  Over two thousand flowers are lit from above and hang over your head at check in. Although they are called “flowers”, I thought they looked more like a kaleidoscope of colorful jellyfish gliding  over head.

Chihuly Bellagio lobby

It’s a huge draw for tourists and although you can’t see it in the photo all the guests stand in line to check in looking stright up the whole time. It’s quite comical. Here is another closer look at the ceiling.

Ceiling detail at the Bellagio Hotel

 

The Boston show also featured a fabulous glass ceiling. The room was dark and the ceiling was lit from above so it was just like you were underwater.

 

 

How beautiful!

Since I am always curious as to what inspires artists (like in this post) for Chihuly it is Native American textiles.

Here is a photo of his collection which was on display.

 

Chiluly's textile collection at MFA

 

Chihuly’s glass pieces are just a feast for the eyes, beautiful colors and shapes.

 

 

 

The real show stopper for me  however was an entire room filled with Chandeliers. Chihuly says his Chandeliers are his most complex constructions, and I can only imagine how much time and patience go into creating them.

Here are two of my favorites: I love this turquoise snake looking one.

 

and this green one reminds me of filled water balloons.

 

 

 

Here is a close up of the green one…just look at the detail!

 

 

When I got home I did a little additional research on his Chandeliers. It seems you can buy one to put in your own home.  I assume to handle one of Chihuly’s  Chandeliers your home would have to be something like this one in Beverley Hills   (currently on the market for 12.5 Million).

 

Mueller Designs

 

But what about the “average” non multi-multi-million dollar home. It goes without saying you would have to have tall ceilings and a very large lighting budget. Also, don’t even THINK of having, or ever having, children.  Can’t you just imagine an errant ball whizzing by and a little voice saying, “oh, oh…”

 

A little more research and I was able to find a few photos of (more average) homes that do indeed have one of Chihuly’s Chandelier masterpieces.

 

I think the one below looks great in this beach house since the chandelier looks a little like something that washed up on the beach…plus, is the only thing really happening in the room.

 

 

 

 

I am not loving this look below. The dining room looks very traditional and the Chandelier is screaming… WOO HOO… Look at me!

 

 

I think it works better in this tall staircase below, but how do you clean it? or change a bulb?… Maybe Chihuly has a staff that goes around dusting and cleaning.

 

 

One last thought, is it just me or do they look a little dangerous to have inside your home?  They are so pointy and sharpe that I fear I would be constantly looking up, concerned that it might fall.

 

Now those gorgeous glass ceilings?…sign me up!!

 

I would love to hear what you think? Would you hang one in your home?

 

Why Starting a Blog is Like going to Your First Dance

Although I am relatively new to the Blogging world (less than a month) I have come to two conclusions. First, blogging takes up a huge amount of time   (just like everyone said it would) and second, blogging is just like going to your first dance.

For the longest time,  I thought about blogging but I was resistant. There are already millions of decorating, color, and design blogs out there. I was held back by self limiting thoughts that kept popping into my head such as… I’m not a writer, and, what do I have to say that is any different, smarter, more insightful, or better, than everyone else already blogging?  What if no one ever reads my blog? Kind of like….

I want to go to the dance but I am scared.  There are already SO many kids going. I don’t know how to dance and I’m not as pretty, smart, athletic, or popular as everyone else going to the dance. What if no one asks me to dance? What if I stand in the corner all night?

 

You think about your first blog topic for weeks…You write your first post… you hit Publish…you feel a little sick.

You think about what you will wear to the dance for weeks…your Mom gives you a ride…you walk into the school gym…you feel a little sick.

Then it happens. You get an email that you have a  comment on your post….your heart races… who is it?… what did they say?… It’s your friend…the one who has been encouraging you to blog for months. You’re  happy for the comment even though you know it is a “good for you” kind of comment. It’s okay though, you feel good, at least one person has read your blog. Kind of like…

Then it happens. You get asked to dance… by your cousin. You’re  happy for the dance even though you know your aunt bribed him to ask you. It’s okay though, you’re on the dance floor and the other kids see you dancing. You have made it out of the corner onto the floor.

Then…A few more blog posts and another Designer/Blogger comments on your post…OMG!! You are SO excited. Someone who you follow and have been following for years actually took the time to read your blog. All day long you feel great! Kind of  like that Sally Field acceptance speech…you like me..you really like me!

 

A few more dances with your cousin and then the really cute boy on the hockey team asks you to dance…OMG!! You are SO excited. Someone who you have had a crush on for years asks you to dance. All night long you feel great…he likes me…he really likes me!

 

 

Then reality hits….

What am I going to write about for my next blog?… How am I ever going to continue coming up with fresh ideas, photos, text? What do I have to say that is smarter, more insightful, better, than everyone else already blogging?

 

What am I going to wear to the next dance?… how am I going to come up with new dance moves?  I’m not as pretty, smart, athletic, popular,  as everyone else going to the next dance.

 

Yup…starting a blog is just like going to your first dance.

Now if you are STILL interested in starting a blog I urge you to read this blog post by  Maria Killam of Color Me Happy.

 

Oh..and by the way…Just know that if you leave a comment I’ll be dancing all day long!

 

 

 

10 Things Buyers Don’t Care about (Part Two)

In my last post I highlighted items one through five of the 10 things buyers don’t care about when they are looking to buy a house.  Here is the eagerly awaited  part two of my list (6-10) of things Buyer’s Don’t Care About.

 

6. Your family living situation. How you live in your home and how you market your home for sale are TOTALLY different. I understand why the bunk beds are in the dining room ( the in laws are visiting for the Summer) and why a pool table is in the living room ( you never use the room anyway) but buyers don’t care. Buyers are not that imaginative and rooms  must be staged as to their intended purpose or else Buyers just get confused.

 

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7.Your wonderful memories. Your children were raised there, the family gathered there for every holiday, your husband built the awesome tree house. Sad to say but buyers don’t care. Buyers are looking at sq. footage, number of bedrooms and baths, school district, and a number of other things, none of which involve your good memories of the house. You MUST detach yourself from all those house memories  if you truly want to move on and make the sale. Remember, the day you decide to list your home, it no longer “your home”… it is now a” future buyers home”.

 

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8. Your favorite place in the world. Okay, you adore the beach (who doesn’t)  but shells, mini lighthouses,  lobster pillows and hanging wood signs that point “This Way to the Beach” in a home located in say, Utah, is not appealing to buyers. Themed rooms or homes  decorated based on your favorite vacation spot is just going to limit your pool of buyers. Remember, just because you love Provence doesn’t mean buyers do.

 

Which leads me to…

 

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9. Your decorating style (or non style). Buyers don’t care about the fabulous wallpaper that you spent 6 months looking for or the stenciled boarder you so  painstakingly put up in the nursery. Buyers don’t care that you think the dated brass ceiling fan is  ”just fine” or that the blue wall to wall carpet from 1985 is “still in great shape”. Buyers want to see updated and current light fixtures ( no brass) , neutral painted walls ( if you have wallpaper, take my word for it…take it down), neutral flooring, and nothing taste specific ( refer back to #8) like dated flowery home furnishings.

 

And Last but certainly not least…

 

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10. Descriptive Adjectives. If your friends and family use words like “Unique”, “Funky”, “Out of the Box” or  ”Wow” (and not in a good way) to describe any part of your home..assume there is a problem. Buyers are NEVER looking for these things in a home. Think of your home as if it was the dessert at a huge dinner party. Let’s say you decide to serve ice cream. Your first inclination is to mix together  Rum Raisin with Pistachio with Rocky Road. Not a whole lot of people are going to find that appetizing. Same goes for your home. Much better to appeal to everyone and serve something maybe a little boring like vanilla ice cream with colorful sprinkles. Pretty much everyone likes vanilla and the colorful sprinkles add just enough color and pop to keep it interesting.

Unique, Funky Out Of The Box and Wow...and not in a good way

I want to leave you with one more photo of a kitchen in a home that I was asked to stage where I was honestly left speechless.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you think every kitchen should have a life sized doll next to a shopping bag that says “Born To Shop” and a porcelain shoe?….I love my job!!!

My List of 10 Things Buyers DON’T Care About (Part One)

Along with Color Consulting and Redesign, I do a fair amount of Home Staging. Today I would like to share my list (part one) of the 10 Things that Buyers DO NOT care about when buying a new home. The list is beyond cleaning and de-cluttering as I assume most sellers already know the basics (no family photos, remove the clutter and clean, clean, clean). This list makes up the most common 10 things I continue to see and hear on almost every staging job I go to….so, here it is.

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1. How much you paid for (fill in the blank) back in the day.  Fact is, Buyers don’t care how much it cost you to decorate, remodel, fix, or update your home. If it is not adding to the appeal of the room it needs to go…which brings me to my pet peeve…

 

2. How much it cost you to have those custom window treatments made…this is a big one. I sometimes think half the houses here in the North East have dated window treatments (like Balloon shades) made back in the 1980′s that cost “over a $1,000 a window”. If your window treatments are blocking half the light coming in and are so full of dust mites that they are a bio hazard..get rid of them!

 

3. Trophies. Again, maybe it is just a Northeast thing but almost every kid’s bedroom I go into has shelves or bookcases lined with trophies. Yes, I know how proud you are that your first grader is a Tae Kwon-Do champ and that your high school student is headed to (fill in the blank) on a full athletic scholarship but buyers just don’t care. Trophies are dust magnets, distracting and a turn off for buyers who don’t have children as gifted and wonderful as yours.

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4. Your wonderful, adorable, PET. Yes, I do understand how much (fill in the blank) means to you and your family but nasty chew toys, hairy dog beds, food bowls, cages, giant bags of pet food, and God forbid litter boxes in the bathroom are a turn off to buyers. Just like on Craigslist, sellers of home items will stress “comes from a pet free home”;  buyers want to think they are buying a clean and pure pet free home as well. Now I am a huge animal lover so I understand your pain but you must hide any outward signs of pets.

 

 

5. Collections. Buyers don’t care if your passion is priceless Mayan artifacts,  Star War Figures, World War I memorabilia  or Porcelain Kitty Cats, the point is, they are taste specific, dust gathering distractions. Pack them away for your new home.

 

Part two will be  6-10.  In the meantime, here are a few  photos to give you some clues…what would you put on the list?

 

 

Light Fixtures…Is Bigger Really Better?

I am not sure when the trend of Lights on Steroids actually began but if you are looking for new ( and current)  lighting, you don’t have a lot of choice but to go big or go home.  ”Super Size Me” home lighting has not only undergone a bigger is better design transformation but lighting design has evolved from functional into functional and LOOK AT ME !!

Check out this “Master Sea Light” from the current Restoration Hardware catalog.

Master Sea Light Restoration Hardware

Seriously, do we need a light that looks like it actually could illuminate the Sea just in order to read the newspaper?

 

Or how about these giant Corinthian Floor lamps also from the same catalog.

Yikes!


Seems to me, with all the talk about Downsizing and and less is more movement, the lighting companies are a little too late to the bigger is better party of the early 2000′s. The appeal of the 10,000+ sq. ft.  McMansions (where  these lights would look right at home) is definitely wanning.

Even when the base itself is of moderate size, the shades are super sized, like this one from West Elm.

West Elm woven veneer floor lamp

Or this one from Crate and Barrel

Crate and Barrel Magnum lamp

Having said all this…The one “bigger is better” light trend I do LOVE are the big hanging ceiling lights. They look SO great, don’t take up any floor space and add such personality to a room.

 

Talk about a statement!

Check out this beauty in Kelsey Grammer’s dining room.

Kelsey Grammer's dining room

 

I just adore this simply furnished white bedroom with this fabulous hanging light(s)

 

And just think how cute these plastic Beach Ball lights would look hanging from a Cathedral ceiling of a beach house where the interior was painted all bright white.

 

As you can guess, most of these huge hanging statement lights come with an equally huge statement price tag. I think this one from IKEA though is so much fun and the price is only $49.99. I would definitely consider it…if only I had tall ceilings!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on Super Sized lighting.

 

 

 

Scoring Big At The Yard Sale

Last Saturday, while driving to my friend’s surprise birthday party, I passed a big yard sale. Since  the party was being held an hour from my house, I left 45 minutes earlier than I needed to ( the thought being I would rather be 45 minutes early than one minute late and spoil the surprise). I figured I could stop by ever so quickly and take a quick peak.  Even though  it was rather late in the morning for scoring any  great bargains, the number of cars and people mulling around warranted more than a drive by.

Boy am I glad I stopped! Check out my treasures, the cost and what I did with them once I got them home.

I found these two beautiful green Majolica vases for $3.00 each.

 

Here is one filled with the last of my Peonies that the huge rain storm spared.

 

 

 

I found three hard cover decorating books for $1.00 each.

Fun to look at but also great for adding some height to my ever changing table scape.

 

I also nabbed these gorgeous blue and white Japanese transfer ware plates . The back is stamped “made in Occupied Japan”.. total cost $1.00 a plate.

I am such a sucker for plates with animals on them..esp. dogs (although I thought at first they were pigs)

 

And my most exciting find of the sale??  A bag full of silver numbers and letters. The whole lot was just  .50 cents….yes..only .50 cents!! I am not EXACTLY sure what I want to do with these but I have a few  crafty ideas…..of course  involving paint.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my big score and please let me know if you have any fun ideas for my silver numbers and letters!

For the love of WHITE

Ever since I can remember, I have loved color. I mean I really love color. Show me a sassy RED, a cool TURQUOISE or a happy YELLOW and my heart starts racing. There is just something though about a pure, clean white that makes me stop and take pause.

I think these rooms are both so beautiful….

 

AHH……can’t you just imagine relaxing in this room?  I LOVE IT…….. for about 10 minutes……after that, I would be throwing bright colorful pillows on the sofa, flipping through my color fan deck  and  swapping out that white rug out with something maybe like this.

 

 

Matt Camron rug

Matt Camron Rug

Kristie Barnett AKA  The Decorologist recently blogged about this beauty from West Elm which ironically I had just brought home about 2 weeks ago for my own house but just couldn’t seem to find a spot for it. Wouldn’t this look fabulous in one of these rooms as well?

West Elm Bull's Eye Rug

 

So maybe an all white room isn’t for me but one thing I can never get enough of are bright white accessories. For whatever reason, I am drawn to white accessories like a moth to the light. I absolutely love them and they fit into almost any decor.  Since bright white accessories are SO popular right now I thought I would share a few of my favorites.

For on line shopping, Z Gallerie has a huge selection of fabulous white accessories and Jonathon Adler is my all time favorite designer for white animal pottery.

Ram's head Jonathon Adler

Here are a few other fun items I want to share.

 

Isn’t this umbrella stand from Two’s Company so cute?

 

 

And I think  these would  look great on a mantel against a dark wall.

Kokoware Joss and Main

West Elm also has a nice  selection of white accessories. I have seen this owl lamp used by HGTV’s  David Bromstad at least twice.

West Elm Owl Lamp

West Elm also has a fabulous collection of white vases in lots of different shapes and sizes.

West Elm

And for those of you totally in love with all white everything, this is the room for you!

So to all you color lovers out there…I would love to hear how you feel about white.

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