Monthly Archives: July 2009

Vertical Volumes


I have seen these terrific stacked bookcases popping up everywhere lately.  They are terrific for small, vertical spaces – like the usually wasted space between two closely spaced windows or doors or the corner of a cramped home office.  And with all of my backed up summer reading, I could certainly use some more storage!

Based on my new crush, you know I love this steel, orange powdercoated Array bookcase from CB2.  These mod shelves are all removable and the base only takes up a 14 inch square of floor space.

vertical1 Design Within Reach carries their Sapien Bookcase in two sizes, both on sale right now, shown below is the taller size, which can hold more than 70 books!

vertical3West Elm also carries a rich, wood version in green, white and dark brown – the Spine Bookcase:


I also like West Elm‘s Spine Wall Shelf, which takes up NO floor space:


Target carries a bargain version of the stacked bookshelves made of wood composite – the Talma Vertical Bookcase ($119):


The vertical bookcase stores and displays books (and any other prized possession worthy of display) in a modern and an unexpected way, all while solving the ever-present small-space dilemmas.  When the bookshelves are full, the contents look like they are floating in mid-air.  Love it!

Now to tackle my summer reading – any good recommendations to help me fill my new bookshelf?

[First image from WebUrbanist]


Happy Weekend


“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”  

–Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

[Image courtesy of Coastal Living]

Favorite Things Friday — An Interior Designer’s Happies

Welcome to another edition of Favorite Things Friday!  This week, I have enlisted an acclaimed and fabulous interior designer – Paul Corrie of Paul Corrie Interiors to share some of his favorite things.  Check out his cool blog!  Paul and I were good friends in high school and recently (and so luckily for me!) reconnected on Facebook.  Paul’s blog was a huge inspiration for spark!

A huge thanks to Paul, and without further ado, enjoy Paul Corrie’s Favorite Things:

It should go without saying that my loving partner, parents and family, and friends are the most favorite things in my life.  In an attempt not to embarrass them, however, I thought that I would focus on favorite things of mine that relate to, influence, and impact my everyday world of interior design.


I almost always grab a small San Pellegrino water before leaving for any design appointment.  I came across the individual plastic bottles a couple of years ago, and it’s definitely my beverage of choice when on the go!  It’s fantastic in flavor, refreshing in taste, and stylistically fabulous for the workday.


I absolutely love white hydrangeas, and they are my first flower of choice…I love to have a tight cluster of them on my dining table and in my office on a regular basis.  They’re so clean and classic, and add just a touch of softness and sophistication to any space.


When I renovated my home a couple of years ago, I was very particular about how to make the best use out of all of the spaces…so selection of pieces was key!  Aesthetics always takes first priority for me as a designer, but functionality took a very close second.  I found this 18th Century Gustavian buffet in Los Angeles, and it has definitely become one of my favorite things.  I use it to store my TV and stereo components versus the typical media cabinet.  I just love its patina, rough finish and texture, and scale.  It’s so wonderfully versatile in that it can be used in so many spaces for so many different purposes.  I definitely think that this was one great find!


When selecting fabrics for a particular project, I’m not only concerned about color, but also texture.  I’m a huge fan of using linens and velvets.  There is something so casual about linen and so elegant about velvet that when paired together in various manners, they can make a dramatic statement and be the perfect balance of texture and weight.


Paris is one of my favorite places in the world…it’s so rich in history and architecture, and full of culture and life.  It’s also home to some of the most fabulous flea markets you could ever imagine.  I visited last year and came across what’s now one of my favorite hotels, the Relais Christine.  Formerly a 16th century mansion and located on the Left Bank, this hotel had the most gorgeous flower-filled cobblestone courtyard and charming rooms that you might ever encounter.


Last but not least, I couldn’t list my favorite things without including our little girl, Cindy.  She’s a 10 lb. shih-poo that’s filled with so much life and love, and she brings so much joy to our lives.  We absolutely adore her!

Orange Crush

My dearest Yellow:

My lust for you is waning.  I have developed an intense crush on your neighbor…Orange.  It’s not you, it’s me.  You really have a great personality and I am hopeful that we can remain friends after our passionately bright, but short-lived, tryst.   

So long, my tawny friend,








[All images from House Beautiful.]


Stunning (Paper!) Curtains

Take a look at these stunningly unique beauties by Tord Boontje for Artenica found on Unica Home.  These curtains are made out of Tyvek, an ultra durable synthetic paper product.  Can you believe it?


At $58 per panel, these panels are accessible and affordable.  I think these curtains would look great by themselves in a smaller window where privacy isn’t necessary, and natural light is welcome, like a home office, hallway nook or laundry room.  Or, wouldn’t they make a fabulous room divider floating on clear fishing wire?


These panels would also look so whimsical in a child’s playroom or bedroom, and you could layer them on top of a white or solid colored curtain to give light control and privacy, but also to make their gorgeous design stand out.


Look at the precise and intricate pattern full of flowers, foliage and animals.


I love this amazingly artful, jaw-dropping and unexpected medium for window treatments!

Buy This, Not That

If you know me, you know I love a good-lookin’ bargain.  This awesome blog post yesterday by one of my fave blogs, My Little Happy Place, inspired me to start thinking about updating my almost-two-year-old daughter’s nursery and bathroom for the transition to her “big girl room”.  As you will see, I was mostly drawn to gilded and ruffled accessories!

Unfortunately, I do not have an infinite budget and I would like to invest any available decorating capital elsewhere in the house (hello new leather couches!).  So, check out some of these amazing finds – and many of them can be used in places other than a little girl’s room!

Love This?


[Deco Side TableHorchow, $1,199]

Buy This!


[Hayworth Table, Pier 1 Imports, $199]

Love This?


[Madeline Bookcase, Pottery Barn Kids, $299 + $20 extra shipping]

Buy This!

buythis8[Cottage Bookcase, Target, $129 & 15% off]

Love This?


[Serena and Lily Decorative Pillow, Layla Grace, $88]

Buy This!


[Ruffle Pillow, Pier 1 Imports, $39]

Love This?


[Gilt Bevel Mirror, Pottery Barn, $249]

Buy This!


[Imagination Mirror, Pier 1 Imports, $169]

Love This?

lovethis8[Snow Field Shower Curtain, Anthropologie, $98]

Buy This!

buythis9[Ruffles Shower Curtain, Target, $29]

Love This?


[Porcelain Pearl Lamp, Williams Sonoma Home, $495]

Buy This!

buythis11[Ceramic Ball Lamp, Target, $24]

Happy Bargain Hunting!

Pillow Talk

Stacked pillows are everywhere!  The no-muss-no-fuss stacked pillows used to be reserved for the floating, low-sitting, Asian-inspired platform bed or other modern bedrooms, but these days pillow towers are in bedrooms of all styles.  Bonuses – great way to show off gorgeous sheets, and no ironing and starching the edges of pillow shams to make them stand up to the forces of gravity (who does that anyway?)!

I love the mix of styles in the picture below – modern canopy bed, crisp white sheets, traditional crystal lamps, small rose bouquets.


The picture below may look familiar – it is from the Avia Hotel in Savannah (I posted on Avia last month).  I like the mix of the stacked pillows and the slanted accent pillows.  Check out the unexpected shape created by folding the throw blanket into a vertical rectangle.


Here is another picture of the stacked pillows with slanted accent pillows sitting in front.  Personally, I think there are too many pillows on this bed – I think it would look great with either the slanted Euro shams behind the stacked pillows, or the stacked pillows behind the slanted accent pillows, but not all three together.

Another similar look (notice the great end table too!):


I like the simplicity and femininity of the stacked pillows here that coordinate with the upholstered headboard and ribboned duvet.


Here is a similar look.  The edges of the Euro shams on the bottom of the stack fall beautifully on the bed – no ironing and starching required.


Below is a simple, traditional look with flat pillow and a slanted accent pillow.  I like the placement of candlestick lamp, retro fan and sparkly picture frame on the nightstand too.


Stacked pillows look right at home in a modern, contemporary bedroom.  I like the configuration of the monochromatic long bolster pillow with flat pillows in front, and pillows on a slant – looks comfortable and inviting, and not overdone.


The flat pillows really complement this spartan and simple room:


Check out these stacked pillows – oh my!  This is an image from the Blakes Hotel in London decorated by the famous Anouska Hempel.  Over the top?  Yes.  Visually interesting?  You betcha!


Give the stack a try every now and then.  Play around with the placement of the shams, pillows and any accent pillows.  It’s a nice, no fuss, no cost update to your bedroom!

[Images courtesy of: 1. Southern Accents; 2.  Avia Hotels; 3. Coastal Living; 4.  Cottage Living; 5.; 6. House Beautiful; 7. Coastal Living; 8. Veranda; 9. Veranda; 10. Blakes Hotel]