Kim Parker Home

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 29, 2008 | 1 Comment | Category: Art, Decor Accessories

I did a post on the fabulous Kim Parker not too long ago and since I adore her art work and home decor so much, I try to keep up with her and all her new products. I wanted to share the most recent exciting news- Kim’s new book, Kim Parker Home, will be hitting the shelves in May!

I know what you are thinking- that’s too long to wait to see the gorgeous photos of some of her newest products- but the good news is that Amazon is taking pre-orders for the book now- click here to reserve your copy today: Kim Parker Home (and get an extra 5% off!)

I had a chance to sit down and chat with Kim- someone whose work I have admired for a long time now- it was truly a joy to hear her life story and get to know the woman behind all those beautiful paintings. Her story is such an interesting one and I know you will be captivated by Kim also and how her creativity, hard work, and persistance is what made her into such an internationally well known and successful artist today.

Tell us a little bit about your background growing up. Were you always so creative and interested in art? When did you know painting was your calling?

KP: Ever since I was very little it was easy for me to spend hours immersed in drawing. I loved to draw flowers and butterflies and birds in vivid colors.

My parents were both gifted classical musicians as well as artists. By the time I was eight years old I joined the family quartet with the flute, and for many years, pursued a serious early career as a classical flutist. I spent memorable summers playing in an orchestra in residence at Tanglewood, and graduated from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a degree in Flute Performance. My musical life was extremely rich. However, during the years I pursued a career in music, I always kept a small box of gouache paints and brushes with me wherever I went, filling books with literally hundreds of small floral and geometric patterns.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid twenties that I realized painting was perhaps my true calling. A family friend who had seen the book of textiles I had created over the years, pointed me in the direction of the fashion industry where she felt I should try and sell my designs. I had no idea there was such an industry. I never imagined I could make a living doing what I loved so much. The very first job I held was working with a freelance design studio that sold my textile designs to various fashion companies. In the years that followed, I held numerous full time positions painting in studios throughout the fashion industry.

All of your art is so vibrant, energetic, and leans more towards the feminine side. Have you ever painted in a different style or have the bright colored flowers and bold geometric patterns always been your signature style?

KP: Painting flowers and bold geometrics in rich color has always been a source of healing for me. I have never been drawn to quiet, minimalist palettes. They kind of put me to sleep. I understand why people opt for them in their homes, but they don’t excite me. Succulent color makes me feel alive and it fills me with good energy.

I grew up looking at art books with my mother, and was drawn to painters like Matisse, Bonnard, Vuillard, Nolde. Their rich color palettes and ability to combine pattern really inspired me. In my teens I used to hide away in my bedroom for hours (instead of doing homework) and paint dozens of bookmarks on white cardboard strips in very dense patterns at my desk. Most of these designs were floral, with a few geometrics and stripes sprinkled in. This has become a major part of my design aesthetic –to layer patterns in rich hues.

I do however also paint non-objective works on canvas, which I call “Color Essays”. I enjoy working in abstraction, and sometimes feel a need to move away from “form”, from representation. A few of these paintings are featured in my new design book. It’s a space where I am face to face with my love for color and color only.

What made you decide to go into designing home decor for Kim Parker Home?

KP: During the years I sold my original hand painted textile designs to the fashion industry on my own, selling them to the top design houses such as DVF, Anna Sui, Donna Karan, Jill Stuart, Calvin Klein etc. I also sold my work to Garnet Hill and Pottery Barn, Anthropologie and Crate and Barrel.

After a few years of seeing the success these interior design companies were having with my prints, I started thinking about the home interior design world. I remember Jill Stuart once telling me in a print appointment, “Kim, you really belong in the D&D Building.” I realized soon after there were so many applications for my textiles in the interior design world. It just felt like a natural direction for me to move in.

I have a few of your prints in my home that I purchased at World Market. Where are some other places that our readers can purchase your art and other products?
KP: Dinnerware and Giftware collections (Kim Parker Home for Spode) are sold at such retailers as Macys, Belk, and online at Bed, Bath and Beyond and

Designer rugs are sold at The Rug Company whose two US stores are in Soho, New York, and Los Angeles, and throughout Europe. Their website is:

Fine Art painting reproductions are sold at World Market, Target, and

Decorative pillows are sold through our website,

Children’s book, “Counting in the Garden”, and plush toys, backpacks and puppets are at Barnes and Noble, and

Stationery collections are carried at Anthropologie as well as and

++Visit for all links to retailers

All of your vases, dinnerware, rugs, bedding, and pillows are all so lovely. We can’t wait to see what’s up your sleeve next! What might we see in the future of Kim Parker Home?

KP: My first book on Art & Design is coming out (Harry N Abrams) this Spring 08, which I am really excited about. We have the Kim Parker Home brand that focuses on my home interior products, and the Kim Parker Kids label, which is represented by Scholastic Media. Both brands are growing strong, and it’s really exciting. Spode is launching my third collection of tableware called “Buttercup Faire.” There will be an art calendar, art cards, paintings, and a stationery and gift wrap program for my children’s label, Kim Parker Kids launching this Spring as well. I am currently researching companies for fabrics and wallpapers as well as fashion accessories.

I am literally counting down until your exciting new design book, Kim Parker Home: A Life in Design, comes out on the shelves May ’08. We hear that it is part memoir and part design book. What inspired you to write your first home decor book (after publishing a children’s book) and what will be featured in your new book?

KP: I actually spend as much time writing as I do painting. It has been a passion of mine since I was young. I have been an avid journal keeper my whole life. I didn’t want my first book on design to simply be another “How to Decorate” book. I felt that my journey in design, which was extremely challenging and unique was worth sharing. I knew I had more to offer readers
than to tell them how to hang a curtain. I really think it’s inspiring to read about someone’s creative process and the difficult path that led to their success. I read a lot of biographies, and am always moved and fascinated by the hardships and triumphs that artists endured in pursuit of their dreams. This is what inspired me to tell my story.

It took two years to write and assemble the book. I had a wonderful time running around Manhattan with my digital camera snapping pictures of urban gardens, flower markets and flea market inspirations and then coming home to the computer to write the text. Many publishers wanted to publish my book as a “How to Decorate” book, featuring my collections photographed amid interiors- the way they had done for many of my designer colleagues in the industry. I held out though until the right publisher appeared who understood my vision for the book. After some time, I met up with a wonderful editor at Harry N. Abrams who said, “Kim, I love your work. I have been waiting for a book like this to come along. Your story and your work will inspire other women to follow their dreams.”

The book features my collections of home furnishings which include my designer rugs, dinnerware and giftware, decorative pillows, fabrics and bedding, photographed in rich interiors, as well as my paintings, original textiles, and the creative inspirations I find living in New York City. Kim’s third collection of tableware for Spode- Buttercup Faire- it alludes to one of Kim’s favorite flowers

I love this photograph. It’s featured in her new design book and depicts her Manhattan Rug from The Rug Company

Prints Charming

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 27, 2008 | 2 Comments | Category: Fabric, Fashion

I saw an ad for the new Spring collection at Banana and there was one dress in particular that I would die to have the fabric for to put on a pillow. With a little more researching on their website, I found a ton of their new Spring prints that I wish I could use somehow in home decor. Don’t you just hate when you find great geometric prints but they just so happen to be on a dress! So I am using these photos as inspiration- as I always say, what’s in style now in fashion will soon follow in home decor!

About nine months ago, I acquired the above chair from my family. It’s a very old chair that has been passed between a few relatives, been upholstered a few different times and then was passed onto me when I moved from one apartment to another. The chair was just too dark, dreary, and traditional for my taste. I wanted something more young, fun, bright, and trendy to match my existing pink and green scheme I had going on. I found some really nice pink, green, and cream floral fabric for both sides of its back. The seat and arms I wanted to do in a different but correlating fabric. I chose a soft green and cream print (almost looks like some kind of animal print) for the seat and arms to mix it up a bit. The chair ended up turning out a lot more like “me” and although I was happy to have my family’s donation, the chair needed to reflect my personal style. I was very pleased with the outcome.

I came across another chair today (I am always on the hunt for abused, dilapidated furniture that I can fix up). I thought to myself- this chair has real potential! It was an old vintage cane chair that no one wanted anymore. But I am not the type to look the other way when someone is giving away furniture! If I hadn’t of taken the chair it would have been thrown in the dumpster- every chair deserves a second chance, don’t ya think? I remember seeing a similar chair on the blog, Jordan Cappella that he fixed up- the end results are fabulous! It just looks so much more up to date and crisp. So I thought- this cane chair does have hope! I could attempt to do it myself but let’s be realistic- with the demands of every day life, and with me taking on more clients by the day, this chair would be sitting in a corner of my Living Room (dusty and unfinished) for months. Trust me, I have a pair of old windows that I’ve been meaning to refinish since early January and they just haven’t happened yet!

Anyways, I digress…What I really need is for someone to take my chair and transform it for me! That is when I stumbled upon Again and Again– a consignment furniture store in Dallas that not only sells furniture on consignment but will also take your old furniture and refinish it! This quaint little white house off of Henderson Avenue, started by Leslie Pritchard, is a shop full of treasures Leslie has merchandised. A team of craftsmen also work there to transform your existing furniture through repainting, reupholstering, and refinishing- to your specifications! I have heard rave reviews about this place and I’m not going to lie, it would be nice to have someone else recreate my chairs for a change!

Hopefully my cane chair will come out as beautiful as these below…

What is your vote on how the cane chair should look after its transformation?

Recently I discovered Layla Grayce, an online boutique with the motto “Love your life, express your style”. Since there are so many websites out there these days, for every good home website, along comes five bad ones! I was ecstatic when I found the charming and unique Layla Grayce on a random home decor google search. I knew I had to contact them right away to find out more about their company and products. I was so excited that now I have a website to go to that has all my favorite finds in one place! That doesn’t happen very often. Here’s a little history on Layla Grayce: Wendy and Tiffany began the company three years ago- it’s a collection of finds from their travels- products for the home, women, and children. Bringing style and quality to their decor, their exquisite finds are on the top of my must haves for 2008! Graceful, feminine, and always chic, Layla Grayce makes any home complete.

High back settee- on sale now!

Sea Oats Aqua Dhurrie Rug- only $52 for an adorable 2×3 rug

I am loving blue and pink together lately, this pillow is a perfect example of my new favorite look!

These silver leaf mirrors look gorgeous in a series as the picture shows here

Maybe this isn’t home decor, but I had to post this cute Jessie Steele hostess apron! I came to find out that this line of aprons was seen on Oprah’s wildest dreams show (the episode that I wait for all year long- as I’m sure most of you do too) I think I am going to need to pick myself up one of these flirty aprons (disregarding the fact that I don’t ever cook) but I still need one of these in case I do decide to whip up something one of these days! One size fits all..would make an adorable gift.

The Harlow 7 drawer chest is a gorgeous addition to any bedroom. It would fit in a small nook in a bedroom or even in a luxurious bathroom! I love how this antiqued mirror piece is outlined in a silver leaf bamboo trim. In my bedroom I don’t even have a standard size dresser- I use one of these narrow and tall chests for all of my smaller items and hang up the rest of my clothes in my closet. It’s always nice to eliminate the clutter and just stick with gorgeous pieces you really love! If you don’t have the need for a large dresser like in my case, might as well pick up one of these chests to make your bedroom feel a bit larger!

The Bergamo lamp is one of my favorites from their collection. The rich brown makes this lamp look so classy and sophisticated. The added geometric gold base only makes it that much more stylish!

This gorgeous Ava Circle Mirrored Buffet in white brings classic Hollywood Regency style to your home!

And how can we forget Shabby Chic? The style is so comforting and homey. Rachel Ashwell has outdone herself again with this plush tufted chair. It’s so versatile and neutral that it could fit into any room’s color scheme. If you want something with a bit more color, there are tons of fabric choices to choose from- how about icy blue? Bring a tinge of color in without going too bold!

This tray brings style right to your coffee table. The brown and blue color epidemic is still going strong and with this fanciful and fun girly print, how could you resist this lovely tray- by the Macbeth Collection! $66

Back to black…and white!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 20, 2008 | 3 Comments | Category: Color, Trends

Are you a Mary Kate or more of an Ashley? Can’t decide which color scheme you lean more towards- light and airy white or dark mysterious black? Why can’t you be both?! Black and white is the perfect backdrop for Spring’s bright and colorful accessories. Both black and white are individually such timeless and classic colors. Pairing them together in interesting patterns makes a room even more intriguing than siding with one or the other.

When I design in black and white, my first thought is usually- wow this needs some extra punches of color! I usually opt to pair black and white with either bright pink, red, teal/turquoise, lime green, orange, or yellow. Pretty much any bright color will work well as your accent- just stay far away from chocolate brown (unless you use it in some kind of a wood piece accent) Brown and black have been known to clash. Yellow is the most trendy color to use with black and white right now. Adding cool grays to your black and white scheme will look striking. One of the nicest things about decorating a room in black and white is that you can always switch out your accent colors from time to time to change your room up a bit. Tired of pink? All you have to do is switch out those vases and flowers for another color

and…voila! You have a whole new room.

Black and white room with bright yellow accents featured in Elle Decor

Black and white bedroom with zebra and mustard yellow accents featured in Elle Decor

Black and white Living Room- here they chose to also use cool gray, purple, green, and silver accents. This is the Living Room of fashion designer Monique Lhuillier featured in Elle Decor. Just lovely!

Powder Bath featured in Met Home. Simply stunning!

Another black and white home with lots of fun prints!

This Living Room was featured in Domino. Not everything in your room has to be gray, silver, black, and white. How about adding in some gold? A surprising element but it really warms up the room a bit. Zebra print seems to be the popular choice among b/w rooms! Notice the teal accessories in here. This is probably my favorite color to pair with black and white.

This photo was featured on Point Click Home. Even the dog is black and white! Some people like to match everything in a house…well, whatever suits your fancy! This is a more traditional black and white scheme- very soft and more homey than some of the others. The paint color in the background warms up the scheme.

Where do you get black and white accessories you ask? Well I know of some great places where you can shop on any budget for these!

We love these tailored and whimsical William Sonoma Home bath towels- made for the queen in you!

I saw these on the West Elm website. I am in love with their mirrored tops and baroque style. Placing a few around a room would be spectacular.

I have been infatuated with this chair ever since I saw it on the cover of one of my college coursebooks, 1000 Chairs. This Verner Panton chair is a furniture design classic. Was created back in 1960 and was the very first fully plastic chair made from a single section. The panton chair has such a memorable slinky shape-especially in black- it practically seduces the eye! This chair I must say is truly a 20th century design icon! There are tons of them online, but DWR is your best bet.

On to black glassware…I did a post on these mysterious looking glasses back when I first started blogging. Since then I have been seeing white opaque glasses too! How fun would it be to get a set that you can mix and match of both colors! Available at Horchow– called “Shade drinkware”

This pillow I saw on the CB2 website- mod and abstract- leaf design perhaps? This pillow really struck a chord with me when I saw it. Inexpensive, chic, and trendy!

Another CB2 find, this Morocco rug contains a very unique quatrefoil pattern.

Ansel Adams, one of the most widely known black and white photographer in the world produced this image. We love this simple and elegant flower print. Ansel was an amazing photographer- you should check out some of his work at his website- Ansel Adams

A sleek wall clock from Lamps Plus

Last but not least (because these are probably our favorite finds) are these Z Gallerie vases. What a way to make a statement! Place them together or separately. Buy them here- Z Gallerie

Pretty Spaces

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 19, 2008 | 1 Comment | Category: Design Inspiration

Room of the week:(ok so this photo really came from an advertisement) but it is one of my all time favorites. The whole room is just pure bliss. I have already had an incredibly busy week (and it’s only Tuesday!) Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a tranquil room like this to come home to and relax in? I’m sure if my Living Room looked like this, I would be afraid to touch anything in it for fear of rumpling the couch pillows…but a girl can always dream! The blue on blue scheme is so calming and we love the added touches of cream. The new trend seems to be to match your drapes with your wall color and they did this beautifully! The lucite coffee table adds to this room’s airy and light quality. Also, I love the symmetry in this room- everything seems to be in its rightful place and looks untouched. This Living Room is my ideal room even if it is perhaps a bit unrealistic for my lifestyle! I must say that everyone needs one room in their house that is “pretty” and solely exists for looks!

Dainty Dish Towels

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 15, 2008 | 4 Comments | Category: Kitchens

As you probably have figured out, the Material Girls love any and all printed fabric…but what about the fabric on your dish towels? Those just like anything else in your home deserve to be stylish and take center stage in your kitchen! We love these vintage looking towels below from Couture Dreams

Each retails for only $22! Enjoy!

Thanks so much to Franki Durbin- the brilliance behind the blog, Life in a Venti Cup for mentioning our blog today on her site. We loved her endearing title for the post- “Material Girls in a Material World”- I couldn’t have phrased it better!

I recently discovered Franki’s clever and stylish blog- full of insightful thoughts for the modern woman on all that is chic and trendy. I love how her blog doesn’t just focus on one subject- she writes about anything from fashion in the home to fashion on the runway!

Her blog description says it all- “Life is too short to think small. So live large. Live with style. Live with adventure. Live venti. Written by Franki Durbin, the blog discusses style, design, modern culture and travel.”

You really need to check out her blog- it’s one of my favorite new finds in the blogging world and I am definitely looking forward to some more great posts to come from Miss Franki!

Desperate for…paint colors?

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 10, 2008 | 5 Comments | Category: Movie/TV Sets, Paint

With all of the drama continually happening on the hit show Desperate Housewives, it is almost impossible to notice anything other than the catfights, marital drama, and murderous plots. Who ever thought to notice paint colors? Well, that person is me- as it seems I don’t have anything better to do since the writer’s strike is STILL going on and all of our shows are on repeats! Blogging has recently become a larger part of my life with my decrease in television watching and what better topic to focus on than the Desperate Housewives’ set!

Tom Walsh is the genius Production Designer involved in choosing the paint colors for Wisteria Lane. All are Benjamin Moore colors- you will be happy to know- as these are widely accessible and very durable. Tom feels that you should tell the character’s stories through their environments and that’s why he carefully chose paint colors to reflect each of their different personalities.

All of the houses incorporate Ben Moore’s Whisper Violet 2070-70 for their trim and picket fences to make the setting “clean, bright and ideal”. They used a hint of violet on all of the conventionally white trim since the show is in fact set on ‘Wisteria’ Lane.

Wisteria flower

Nothing is too detailed in the homes due to the characters’ hectic lives. The producers did not want any distractions from them. Color is used in character association- each of the characters in the show having their own distinctive palette (the majority of which are soft and muted)

Susan Mayer– works from home as an illustrator- they used mostly soft pastel colors for her house to signify her sensitive, creative, and colorful personality.

Lynette Scavo– Busy working mother with a hectic life raising four young boys. She is the only desperate housewife to get deep blue in her scheme- perhaps because of her house full of boys?

Gabrielle Solis– Former model with no kids- living a glamourous but deviant lifestyle. They gave her the warmest color scheme. Signifies her Hispanic Catholic background. The pumpkin shade in her Living Room suggests her fiery personality and unfaithful history with men.

Edie Britt– Couldn’t find a single photo of her house online (could be because it burnt down last season!) but here are the paint colors for Edie’s home. Edie is your girly girl always wearing tiny dresses and trying to seduce the neighbors so I’m sure this is why her color palette stays feminine, sultry, and seductive. This is my favorite palette!

Bree VandeKamp– Bree is known as a bit of a perfectionist. It’s no surprise that her color scheme is very calming and is nothing too bold. Her simple “pretty” colors echos Bree’s personality to a tee. The wythe blue is a color that would make her fiery red hair pop on the set!

We heart V Day!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Feb 10, 2008 | 5 Comments | Category: Color, Holiday

Valentine’s Day will soon be here and we’ve compiled a few photos of our favorite red and pink rooms!

This decked out closet from Traditional Home (Oct. 2007) is so playful and feminine. Flats and heels are showcased in pink shelves while purses, dresses, and sweaters are neatly arranged in front of a barely there lilac color. The bench adds a bit of whimsy and ties together all of the surrounding colors. If only my closet was a quarter of this size!

Another photo from Traditional Home- I love this antique desk that sits in the Master Bedroom- it serves to separate the bedroom from a sitting area. The added touches of soft pink in the throw and roses really gives this bedroom an added touch of romanticism.

Yet another Traditional Home photo here (Oct. 2007) by Jamie Drake. The magazine describes Jamie as “infusing a ‘wow’ factor into interiors with his fearless use of bold color”. That’s for sure! You have to be pretty fearless to cover an entire bedroom in fuchsia. Adding purple broke up all the pink while still maintaining femininity and luxury. Textiles were designed byJamie also (his collection for Schumacher). Again, he’s another designer who mixes the contemporary (lucite chair- not shown, and luxe geometric velvet headboard) with the traditional (antique desk- not shown, and gilt accessories).

Hello red! This New York apartment with its bold red walls looks extraordinary paired with blacks, golds, and even animal prints to accent. This scheme is very exotic and daring. I love it because it does not look too masculine or feminine in here. It’s a room anyone could get along with!

This boudoir featured in Oprah at Home is incredibly chic. Can’t get enough of those pink houndstooth drapes or that mirrored vanity. This room acts almost as a little retreat for one to go to and relax in- with shoes all over the floor, feminine colors everywhere, and elegant furniture- every girl should have one of these to escape to!

Here is Gwyneth Paltrow’s Dining Room in the Hamptons (featured in last year’s House and Garden). The pink here is almost invisible- but if you look closely you will see small touches of pink sparkle in the stunning chandelier and in the inexpensive, but fabulous plates from CB2. We love how this Dining Room is far from being overdone and its simplicity is what really gets us!

Another celeb home photo for ya. I bet you can guess whose bedroom this is- oh yes, the always flashy and extravagent Paris Hilton’s bedroom (or was her bedroom- those celebs seem to move around a lot!) I actually really adore her bedroom. The powdered pink and mirrored furniture (I have a thing for those mirrored pieces as you can tell) looks very striking but at the same time very serene.

Last celeb bedroom featured in Elle Decor U.K. is that of the designer Betsey Johnson. Her clothing is very unique as is her home design. I am really liking the yellow Dining Chairs paired with the pink walls- very unexpected and unique. Her signature color pink is used everywhere in her home- even pink carpet in the bedroom (not really my style but it wouldn’t be Betsey if it wasn’t a little bit unusual!)

Also, found a few V Day pieces that you could put in your home year round-

These chairs are from Mecox Gardens– definitely a bit more Valentines looking but aren’t they sweet!

This garden seat is also from Mecox- a popular home accessory right now

Tea cup candle from Tracy Porter– would make a great gift for that special someone!

This Swedish farm table from 1st Dibs make a great craft desk in a feminine studio or would look adorable even in a child’s room

Had to feature at least one Anthropologie find- the queen of girliness and charm. Love this little “Inside Out” bowl that you can purchase on their website.

I saw this Blu Dot chair in a magazine a while back and loved how inexpensive and modern looking it was.

This chair from Container Store is another inexpensive desk chair find- comes in a few other bold colors and is only $49!!

This houndstooth print pillow from Heals is only $40- what a bargain!

Ok..not really an inexpensive find but we LOVE this Venetian lamp from Jan Showers. So fabulous!