Celebrity homes are often way over the top- each one fighting to have the bigger house…more times than not, the larger they get, the uglier they are. Do you remember Nick and Jessica’s house from Newlyweds? Every wall was painted beige and they did not have anything in there that showed an ounce of their personality- very boring. Or even the Lohan’s house on the new E! Show, Living Lohan- outdated and just plain awful.

Just because they are a celeb and have a large home, it doesn’t guarantee style or character. So we compiled a quiz of some of the best and worst celeb homes out there and want to see if someone out there can guess all 16 right! (no cheating!) By the time I finish typing up this quiz, there is no guarantee that each of these celebs still owns his/her house…they move around like it’s no ones business…and it is of course everyone’s business!

1) This star now has a block of her own…but she was once quoted that she was “from the block”_________________

2) This is the Malibu house of a celebrity whose girlfriend just gave birth to a set of twins in France. _____________________

3) This celeb home is in Georgia; however, this same celeb has a few different homes all over the country. One house was in Austin- she sued its home developer for a nightmare of “broken promises, broken dreams and failure to take responsibility” for her Austin house. _________________

4) This is the beachfront home of the now famous actress who won Miss Ohio USA in 1986. __________________

5) This house in Calabasas belongs to a famous celeb couple who have been together for 11 years and are very close friends of TomKat. _______________________

6) This house in Great Britain belongs to an old rocker who once had a family reality show on MTV _____________________

7) This brunette celeb couple lives in this Beverly Hills mansion. Her first big break was being cast in Bruce Springsteen’s video “Dancing in the Dark” and he is the youngest of five, having all famous celeb siblings. ____________________

#8- This estate in Great Britain is the home of the most talked about woman of the moment rumored to be having an affair with Alex Rodriguez. ____________________

9) This house in Kentwood Louisiana belongs to a pop singer who got her start on the Mickey Mouse Club. _____________________

10) This widowed lady has only recently made up with her estranged daughter. She was wife to one of the most famous tv producers of all time who graduated from SMU Dallas. _________________

11) This famous comedian was one of the voices in the pixar film, Bee Movie. ______________

12) A trained pilot, this actor played the famous role of “Danny” in a movie early in his career. ________________

13) This retreat on Lake Como is a favorite of the actor who got his start on Roseanne. _____________________

14) This house is owned by a celebrity couple who have been together 25 years and still aren’t married (no, it’s no Oprah and Steadman). They were in a movie together in the 80’s where she falls off a ship and gets amnesia. _______________

15) This house is on a show on the E! channel featuring three pretty blondes. __________________

16) This is the home of a woman who came out of jail wearing a poncho she had knitted. ___________________

Will update you with the answers next week! Stay tuned!

The Magic Numbers…

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 15, 2008 | 2 Comments | Category: Home Exteriors

These mod house numbers I saw in The Nest magazine are from DWR and retail at $75 a piece. What’s so special about these numbers you ask? They are based on the lettering that midcentury architect Richard Neutra specified to be on the buildings he designed from 1930’s-1950’s. Love them- now I just need a house!

Fabrics with a punch!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 15, 2008 | 3 Comments | Category: Fabric, Shops and Showrooms

I just received the new Pottery Barn catalog and apparently this fall it is all about the graphic print! Whether it’s on a piece of furniture, rug, bedding, or pillow, their new fabrics are sure to make a very large statement. P Barn’s 50 distinctive fabrics give customers a lot of options. They can also choose from five chair frames (see above) to get upholstered in a PB fabric of their choosing.

I love the neutral graphics- a subtle way to bring a lot of excitement into your Living Room!

I love how PB is not as boring as it used to be- their collections just keep getting more and more lively!

What an honor!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 15, 2008 | 5 Comments | Category: Design Bloggers

I couldn’t have been more excited to open up my email this morning to a blog comment that read, “Hey girls- just wanted to congratulate you two- you are now award winning bloggers!”

Turns out Maison21 of the famed Maison 21 blog gave us the “Brillante weblog premio 2008” award…I won’t bore you with our acceptance speech but it felt a little bit like when Katie married Mr. Cruise (something you dreamt about as a little girl but never thought would happen)- a dream come true! So we thank you Maison for such a prestigous honor- the last thing I won was a fendi spy bag when I was a temp at Neiman’s and that was just luck of the draw so this is truly an honor!

Well we are passing the torch onto seven other bloggers whose blogs we feel we couldn’t live without on a daily basis…

Drum roll please…(in no particular order)
1) Cote de Texas
2) Coco Kelley
3) Maison21 of course!
4) Girls Meets Glamour
5) Things That Inspire
6) Alkemie
7) Habitually Chic

There are tons of others that I LOVE but I don’t want to list my entire blog roll on here…Lauren- any more you would like to add to the list?

Being an art history minor, I have always loved art and really admire those who can make a painting come to life…something I have never been able to do. It’s really exciting to find those artists who have a specific “style” that they are known for and even more interesting when their style is incredibly distinctive. One perfect example of this is Kristine Baerlin. I came upon her portraits and they are fabulous. She has worked in NYC as a painter for nearly a decade and has developed a signature on her paintings- that which is utilizing a circular pattern on each portrait creating a contemporary pop art effect.

Her company, Figment, is based in Brooklyn. She works closely with her clients to develop their desired color combination and specific size for each project.

Kristine’s work has been featured on HGTV and there’s no wonder that she is so successful- hardworking, imaginative and talented, we can’t wait to commission Kristine to do a portrait of our future kids…whenever that may be!

Kristine Baerlin

Kristine’s “Circle” style

Kristine’s “Dots” Style

If you’d like to get in touch with Kristine, you can email her at portraits@figmentstudio.com

It’s funny how small of a world it is…do you remember this house in Hollywood Heights that I posted about a week ago? Well it turns out, the lady who designed its interior is an avid Material Girls reader and emailed to tell me that she was so excited to have randomly seen a house that she designed on our site…I love a good coincidence! Her name is Maria Beck, an Interior Designer in Dallas who owns M.E. Beck Design, Inc. She was kind enough to let us into the house and show us a few photos of her work (and you know I have been dying to peek into one of these historic homes!) so I was more than happy to share these photos…Enjoy!

This is the gorgeous Dining Room Ms. Maria designed. I love all of the contrast she chose to use…rustic table coupled with elegant silk chairs…dark painted walls paired with light cream drapes…so incredibly striking! The chandelier is Schonbek and the four mirrors on the wall are Crate & Barrel’s Dubois Mirrors. I knew I recognized those from somewhere!

The Family Room…what a unique fireplace! I love the architecture in this house. Beautiful arches and curved walls makes this home very irreplaceable. The chandelier in here is original to the home that was built in the 20’s. Maria tried to preserve as much of the home’s original features as possible.

Pretty detail of the original stain glass windows…

My favorite room in the house is the Master Bedroom- so nice and calming. I love all of its neutral tones and attractive furniture. The two pictures stacked vertically over the bed is a nice touch.

I love the arches and ceiling in the Master Bath. A nice luxurious place to soak in the tub. The beautiful chandelier overhead makes this room one of the house’s hidden gems!

The stainless steel appliances and hardware on the cabinets is a nice updated touch to this historic home. White cabinets paired with white marble countertops is a very popular kitchen
choice these days.

Cute and cheerful breakfast area with another original light fixture

I love how Maria kept the house looking historic but also designed it to look stylish and up to date for today’s homeowner. She did a wonderful job. If you would like to contact her, you can email her at maria@mebeck.com

Thanks so much for sharing Maria! I hope to randomly post another one of your houses in the future!

Vanity 1

Vanity 2

Are you more of a vanity 1 person or a vanity 2?

Vanity 1 is a freestanding piece of furniture that sits in a quaint bedroom and is filled with charming accessories and memorabilia. I love the family photos tucked into the mirror frame. More traditional but still glam, this piece is a very personal dressing table (featured in Southern Accents and designed by Mimi Williams).

But just when I think I’m more of a Vanity 1 person, I see a photo like Vanity 2 and wish it were mine also! This built in vanity set in the corner of a bathroom feels simple and clean. Personal photos adorn the top of it, but it stays minimal with only a few accessories. I love the added ghost chair and the pillow that rests upon it- softening up the chair’s sleek lines.

I have always adored vanities- maybe it was because I used to love playing dress up as a child. I’d wear high heels and my mom’s 80’s dresses around the house and deck myself out in her makeup. I eventually became the girliest girl on the planet and twenty years later, I finally purchased a vanity table of my own to dress up in front of. This little furniture set has become one of my most cherished areas in my home and I hope to always have a little vanity table in my bedroom.

The definition of vanity (according to Wikipedia): is the excessive belief in one’s own abilities or attractiveness to others….I wonder where they got the words “vanity table” from? Coincidence- I think not! Remember Narcissus from Greek mythology who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool giving us the word narcissist? Well, he could have definitely used a nice mirrored vanity table with a ghost chair to sit in- that rock looks very uncomfortable!

Vanity tables have been around for quite a long time and there are countless styles that they have been designed in for the past 200 years or so.

Victorian vanity tables (this mahogany one is from circa 1860) were often very ornate. With dramatic curved front legs as well as turned bun feet, this vanity table is being sold for $3,200 today

Oh Elsie de Wolfe- always seemed to have a skirted dressing table in the rooms she designed. This was featured from her book The House in Good Taste- published in 1913.

I love this article featured in the New York Times (written in 1907)- entitled “Novelties for the Dressing Table”. It claims that silver is out! It reads, “All silver has disappeared and in its place are seen toilet sets of tortoise shell, amber, ivory (which is once again very much in vogue), and wherever possible gold and even silver gilt”

In the early 1900’s during the Arts and Crafts movement, the “mission oak” vanity table was all the rage. These tables consisted of straight lines and were pretty simplistic. This particular one is made of Walnut and includes copper hardware. $875 today

As sound was added to motion pictures in the 1920’s, dressing tables became a focal point in the bedrooms in movies and were often referred to as “Hollywood vanities”. How glamorous- just look at Jean Harlow powdering her nose! (picture taken in 1935)

Even though the Depression era began, vanity tables were still being produced…by the mid 1920’s through the 1940’s, mahogany and walnut (and very intricate veneers) became prevalent on dressing tables.

A design that was big during the 1930’s was the Waterfall Collection. Tables were made with smooth rounded edges as well as large circular mirrors.

Mid Century Modern vanities then came about in the 1950’s with a more simple look to them and were made with selected hardwoods. They often had one drawer in the middle of the table with a few drawers to the side also.

The love for vanity tables then died down for a while and by the year 2000, stylish ones for the most part, didn’t really exist anymore. What used to be a luxurious necessity was now a piece of furniture left unappreciated and unused (have you ever heard of anything so crazy?) Then a couple of years ago, the dressing tables came back with a vengeance. Whether modern or traditional, wood or mirrored, costly or affordable, I see vanity tables everywhere now…

Mirrored vanity from Pier 1 in stores now- stylish but inexpensive, this table is only a few hundred dollars

For those of you who want to invest in something on the higher end…how about Barbara Barry’s ivory piece for Henredon- this one gives me the chills it’s so pretty! $4,281

Domino has deemed vanity pieces as “me stations”- I am loving that name

Also wherever you decide to purchase your vanity from, they are never complete without a few accessories- perfume bottles, vase of fresh roses, antique tray- a few pretty elements will really complete your vanity’s look! What are your favorite things to place on a vanity?

Swank Update!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Jul 06, 2008 | 5 Comments | Category: Lighting

We have previously featured the gorgeous lamps of Swank Lighting back in a November post. Ed and Doug (the owners of Swank) have been extremely busy this year and now we know why! They are getting ready to launch their American blown glass version of Murano lamps as we speak. These beauties are being produced by Joe Cariatito, an LA based glass artist and will be out sometime in late August or early September. Stay tuned…you won’t want to miss the unveiling of their new collection!