Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Image Eaters

You are an image eater.
Pretty pictures feed your soul.
A room aglow with the poetic remnants of a winter sun can sustain you for days.
(Photograph by Sandra Lane from World of Interiors.)

You are an image eater.
You troll the internet like a restless shark, devouring inspiration for nourishment.
An ancient room with a dimpled stone wall, a primitive painting and a curvy red piece of confidence is nothing less than visual protein.
(Photograph by Sandra Lane from World of Interiors.)

You are an image eater.
Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are weightless repositories for your passions. 

You collect.
You gather.
You sort.
You assemble.
You pare.
You save.
You keep.

And it's not just you.
Bit by bit, we are all piecing together our lives.

We are image eaters.
(Collage made with Picasa.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Improve Your Color Coordination Instantly

I thought up a visual exercise for anyone who thinks they have no talent for figuring out how patterns and colors work together.

If you've ever said to yourself...

"Can a big pattern go with a small one?"
"Do these colors look good with those colors?"
"Help! This is giving me a migraine! How can I tell what goes with what??!"

...then this exercise is for you.
Because it's fun.
It's fast.
And it works.

What to Do:
Scroll through the following photos and follow my directions. That's pretty much it.

Keep your eyes relaxed.
Don't worry about absorbing every detail of every photo.
It's okay if it doesn't make sense at first.
It's okay if you feel a little dizzy. It means your brain is working hard.

The main thing is, just keep your eyes relaxed and keep scrolling.


1. Take the colors in this photo and turn them into a wallpaper.

2. Now take the colors in this wallpaper and turn them into an abstract.

3. Now take the colors in this abstract and turn them into an illustration.

4. Now take the colors in this illustration and turn them into a really dense painting.

5. Now take the colors in this really dense painting and turn them into a room.

6. Now take the colors in this room and turn them into a picture.

7. Now take the colors in this picture and turn them into a fabric.

8. Now take the colors in this fabric and turn them into a map.

 9. Now take the colors in this map and turn them into a room.

10. Now take the colors in this room and turn them into an abstract pattern.

Congratulations, you did it!!

If this exercise worked for you, I'm about to explain why.

(But if it didn't, don't worry! It usually takes a few tries, so take a minute and then scroll through the photos again. I 99.9% promise you'll soon start to notice a wealth of new relationships between the pictures.)

I'm No Scientist But I Have A Theory Why It Works:

Usually when we try to match patterns and colors, we notice every little detail and wind up getting super-obsessive and OCD about everything. 

I don't think we need to be so literal.

By allowing our eyes to "graze" over the details in an image instead of dissecting them, we can train our brains to see things in a totally new way. Instead of categorizing an image as a room/painting/textile/whatever, we start to process it as a pattern.

And you know, that's all the visual world is, is patterns.
Lots and lots and lots of patterns.

So when we start to look at every image as a pattern, then suddenly we can see that there's a visual relationship between this...

...and this...

...and this.

* * * * * 

Don't forget, my first-ever One Kings Lane Designer Tag Sale starts TONIGHT at 6pm Pacific Standard Time. Be sure to check it out!


(Editors Note: I am sadly credit-less for these photos. If they are yours, please email me and I'll attribute them asap.)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Very First One Kings Lane Sale

I can finally tell you that I was asked by One Kings Lane to take part in their latest Design Blogger Tag Sale, and to say that I am excited is an understatement.

On Monday, March 18th at 6pm PST, some of my favorite possessions will be looking to find nice new homes. Who knows? Maybe even yours!

And I'm not the only one parting with their treasures. I feel very honored to be in such influential company:

(Yikes, I'm the only one in sunglasses, but that's the only photo I had that was high-res enough and with a clean background. That's what happens when you're the photographer in the family! Need to work on this asap.)

I'll remind you again on Monday -- just wanted to give you a heads up.

Have a great weekend,


Monday, March 11, 2013

A Plant By Any Other Name

Last week, I went to the fabulous Sunset Nursery for an ivy plant and got completely sidetracked in the ground cover section. Just looking at all that springy moss and young clover made me so happy that I was compelled to bring some grassiness home, not for planting in my yard but for enjoying indoors.

I call this arrangement "Tom Branson" (a la "Downton Abbey") because it's a hunk of Irish moss transplanted into an heirloom silver bowl.  After some initial resistance, it's settling in quite nicely.

This one's the "The Williamsburger" because it's artistically unkempt, upwardly mobile and living in an ultra modern pad built by an international designer.

This arrangement is still looking for a name. It's working some big hair and some major bling. Any ideas? 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life = Style

Some of the fundamentals for living a happy life are just as relevant when it comes to adding a little style to your home. Here are a few I especially believe in.

Our homes shouldn't be trophies, they should be places for freedom of expression. Nothing is more intimidating than a perfect space because entering it feels like an intrusion -- there's no room for you in it. I find that I gravitate to spaces that are a little untidy but are warm and comfortable and filled with energy and ideas.
(Photo by Ivan Terestchenko)

(Photo by Ivan Terestchenko)

* * * * *

Forget about what your neighbors will think. A house filled with eccentricity and passion is much more interesting than one that looks like a real estate brochure with all traces of personality hidden away.  If something makes your heart skip a beat, buy it.
(Photo by Simon Watson)

(Photo by Simon Watson)

Depth can also apply to what lies beneath the surface, as in layers of history that are revealed over time. There is a poeticism and a profundity to old things. We don't always have to reseal, repaint and restore them. 
(Photo by Simon Brown)

(Photo by Simon Brown)

* * * * *

Your house is where you go to be yourself. If you need a quiet refuge where you can soothe your senses and recharge your emotional battery, then create one. 

(Photo by Ivan Terestchenko)

If, on the other hand, you desire a space that's a backdrop for high-spirited exuberance, then by all means do that. Mark your territory. Tap into whatever makes you feel most alive.

(Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna)

* * * * *

Where have I been the last two weeks?
On Part One of a great adventure, that's what.
It has to do with the design book I'm writing that has been consuming my life and my heart and my every waking moment these last six months...and will be for months to come.

Everything is top-secret still, but what I can tell you is that top French photographer Ivan Terestchenko has been in Los Angeles and we have been very busy.*
(Ivan on location)


* * * * *

*A shout-out to my personal on-call barista (aka my husband) and to my son who has eaten cold cereal for dinner lately more than I care to admit. 


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