This Thursday will kick off the 4th Annual Thrift Studio hosted by Dwell with Dignity!  Dwell with Dignity, is a Dallas-based non-profit organization founded by interior designers dedicated to creating inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty. This amazing charity provides and installs home interiors for families that include furniture, art, bedding, and kitchen supplies.  They even put food in the pantry!

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This has always been a cause that’s near and dear to my heart!  It really gives people a new chance at living life.  I think that creating a comfortable atmosphere that people feel proud to call their own, is one way to better their lives.  It really is a touching and gratifying experience to be involved with fellow designers in helping out those in need.  This is by far one of my most favorite charities, and also one I find unique.  It’s always so exciting to see what all the designers come up with! You can check out some more info on Dwell with Dignity and Thrift Studio by visiting their website www.dwellwithdignity.org.

I’m also excited to announce that this year, Dwell with Dignity is partnering with One Kings Lane!  One Kings Lane is one of the leading online destination for the home that brings members exceptional value on a spectacular collection of top-brand, vintage and designer items.  One Kings Lane works directly with leading home brands, antique and vintage dealers and designers to bring the very best products at exceptional prices to its members – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  One Kings Lane also partners with top designers, decorators and industry insiders to deliver content that inspires, enlightens and informs.  Be sure to check out www.onekingslane.com for some great sales!

Here are some sneak peek photos from this year’s vignettes!

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Design by: IBB Design Fine Furnishings /Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

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Design by: Square Foot Studio/ Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

From April 19th- May 18th Dwell with Dignity will host their 4th annual Thrift Studio fundraiser. On April 18th there will be a special preview party for offering the public an early peek at Dwell with Dignity’s first Thrift Studio of 2013, the event will be hosted in the Dallas Design District at 1100 Slocum Street , Suite 590. One Kings Lane Co-Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer Susan Feldman will be the special host for the evening  Guests that want the first opportunity to purchase anything can do so at the VIP Champagne Reception from 6pm-7pm on April 18th for $175 a ticket. And Preview Party tickets for guests arriving at 7pm at $125. Anyone wanting to attend can purchase tickets at thriftstudio.com.

But wait! The shopping doesn’t stop after the party! One King’s Lane special Thrift Studio Tastemaker Tag Sale will launch online the following morning- April 19th at 10 am CDT at onekingslane.com. There are items available from the designer vignettes and things from the personal collections of participating designers AND the proceeds go to Dwell with Dignity! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

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Design by: Dwell with Dignity/ Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

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Design by: William-Christopher Design/ Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

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Design by: Horchow/ Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

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Design by: DJ Lucy Wrubel for Peacock Alley/Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

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Design by: One Kings Lane/ Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

2013SpringDWDThriftStudio

Design by: Studio Ten 25/Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

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Photo by: Lance Selgo at Unique Exposure Photography

Featured Designers at Thrift Studio include:

One Kings Lane

Horchow

DJ Lucy Wrubel for Peacock Alley

IBB Design Fine Furnishings

Square Foot Studio

Studio Ten 25

William-Christopher Design

The Thrift Studio Pop-Up Shop will be open to the public on April 19th until May 18th, 2013, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 5:30 pm, and Sundays, noon until 5:30 pm

To see what they are all about come check it out!





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Nine-to-Five-movie-poster

One of my all time favorite movies ever is 9 to 5.  How can you not just love Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin?  I could seriously watch this movie every week!

I’ve been thinking about how these stellar heroines transform their working atmosphere by the end of the film.  They’ve been on my mind a lot lately, as we’ve been workin’ 9 to 5 (and then some), on tons of home offices for clients these past few months.  I’ve always believed that people work more efficiently in an environment that they’re comfortable in, so for me, an office full of  personal touches and some glam elements makes me work that much harder!

Our clients must be thinking the same thing because, they also want colorful inspiring environments to work in and we are having a blast designing them.

So without further ado…. meet our seven most recent office designs (including our own!).  All of these designs rock a different color scheme and have their own unique personality.

NAVY/SLATE/ORANGE/WHITE-

We knew from the start that we wanted deep rich navy walls in this home office and so when we found Oscar de la Renta’s amazing grosgrain ribbon fabric at Lee Jofa, it was love at first sight.  This gorgeous silk fabric comprised of slate blue, navy and white was the perfect fabric to pull everything together.  We added splashes of orange through her vintage butterfly chairs and abstract artwork while incorporating a gorgeous carrarra marble countertop desk and custom metallic snakeskin swivel chairs. The big gold sconces from Global Views and stone lamps from Currey and Company were a no brainer in this room!

Stacy's Office

GRAY/BLACK/WHITE/GOLD/PUTTY-

This client wanted a calming color palette that would flow with the rest of her house so gray, putty, white, black and gold immediately came to mind.  She had an existing black and white zebra rug that we were to incorporate over a sisal rug as well as beautiful white built-ins.  We found a scrolly Lee Jofa fabric that screamed perfect (there is that Lee Jofa fabric saving the day once again!) and we decided to do this fabric on the backs of two rounded French Louis desk chairs.  When you walk in, the patterned backs are the first thing you see which makes for a really dramatic entrance. We paired the French chairs with a modern lacquered lucite desk (love the juxtaposition here) as well as custom greek key pillows, mirrored twig tables, and a gray tufted settee. This one will be installed soon- I cannot wait!

Clyde Office

BLACK/WHITE/BROWN/GRAY/BLUE/GREEN-

This office was also a lot of fun to work on because it was for a client’s commercial office.  This was his personal office and as a home builder, we wanted him to have a very aesthetically pleasing space with lots of cool pieces to reflect his taste as a builder.  We used items that had a slightly masculine mid century modern feel to them.  Most pieces were neutral and then we added a pop of color in the large scale artwork.  We made sure all of his neutral pieces had a lot of texture to them- zebra wood, cowhide, rippled leather, etc so it would keep your eye wandering from one piece to the next! How fabulous are those cowhide arm chairs from Palecek?

Peters office

 

CHARCOAL/GOLD/TAUPE/CREAM/PLUM:

This office couldn’t be more of a focal point in this client’s home..it is the first thing you see when you walk up the stairs so of course, it had to be eye catching and fabulous!  We love this office because it’s traditional and classic, but with a contemporary twist!  I’m obsessed with the moroccan drapery fabric at top left and the tufted velvet gray sitting chairs.  Of course no office is complete without a wall mounted set of horns (for those UT longhorn grads)!  We picked up on the deep purple through the abstract landscapes from W King Ambler and were over the moon when we found this gold and black funky sunburst from Cyan. It’s a perfect marriage of masculine and feminine pieces- an office space that works for both hubbie and wife!

Patel Office

DEEP TEAL GREEN/CREAM/CHARTREUSE/CHOCOLATE BROWN/GOLD-

This office was a more of a library/sitting room area (not your typical desk/desk chair set up).  We painted the walls a deep green and incorporated four small cozy wingback chairs for curling up with a good book. I could stare at those Russian landscape art all day- they are some of my favorite prints!  This office was super calming but also really cozy.

Martin Office

 

GRAY/BLACK/CHARCOAL/GOLD/CREAM/BUTTERY YELLOW-

This office was definitely on the more dramatic and glammy side!  We incorporated a dark manly desk with modern artwork behind it.  The mirrored credenza was my favorite piece (actually, it’s a toss up between that and the herringbone patterned cowhide rug) And take a look at those lamps with the black shades from Arteriors- love!! We need those for our own office.  The sea urchin wall art from Global Views completes the look.

Hardaway Office

TEAL/BLACK/WHITE/WARM WOODS/DEEP PINK/GOLD/EMERALD GREEN-

And last but not least…I’ve also been working on my own office!  I bought some new wall art while I was in Roundtop this week and I can’t wait to get it framed and up on the wall!  We also just had wall to wall seagrass put on the stairs, as well as the second floor!  I had the pink terracotta tiles downstairs painted white, (thanks Kelly Wearstler for the inspiration)  Now we’re just waiting for our deep teal morroccan style rug to come in!  We bought the gold Indian “hand” to hold our business cards (thanks Scout!) and will eventually do a gallery wall up the stairs. I randomly found some gorgeous acrylic and glass lamps from Home Goods for $49 each (who would have thought?) and am now just waiting on a black Dorothy Draper chest to magically appear at my local consignment shop so we can snatch it up and have a pretty place to hold our printer paper (who are we kidding?)

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Hope you enjoyed our office design tour. And now off to utilize our own office design some more…with some late night work!





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My Chic Nest

Do you dream about interiors done up in Hollywood Regency?  How about 1920′s style and flare?…. Then find yourself asking how on Earth can I afford to make something like that happen in my own home?….. Well look no further!  My Chic Nest is the answer we’ve all been waiting for!

Jess Loveseat

Abbey Three Seat Sofa

Todd Two Seater

Bella Sofa

Norma Lounge Chair

Jess Lounge Chair

Harper, Clara and Cari Chairs

Roz Headboard

Tuffted Lexi Headboard

Natalie Headboard

Liv Tuffted Ottoman

Elle Ottoman

Diandra Occasional or Vanity Chair

Kimmy Sectional

Jon Sectional

You can choose from Velvets, Faux Leathers, Polyesters, Cotton-Poly Blends, and several different colors so you won’t have to go anywhere else!

This up and coming furniture designer has been mentioned on Apartment TherapyDarling HouseBetsey and Becca, and more. Believing that furniture should not cost an arm and a leg they sell their furniture for prices that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. At My Chic Nest shipping is always free, and as a Material Girls reader you can receive 10% off on your purchase at My Chic Nest now until the end of March. All you have to do is enter the code MATERIALGIRLS321 before you checkout.  So be sure to go check out My Chic Nest!





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Welcome Aboard!

Posted By Nathan-Dallas | Feb 27, 2013 | No Comments | Category: Celebs, Commercial Spaces, Small Spaces

Hello Tomorrow!

Traveling internationally used to be so glamorous.  I loved ABC’s TV show Pan Am, even though it only aired for a short while.  It depicted what traveling in style used to be.  I’ve always enjoyed travel, and the thoughts and possibilities of adventures and fabulous things that await in far off lands.  A few years ago I went to the movies with one of my best girlfriends, Katelin, and watched Sex and the City 2.  I was mesmerized by their flight to Abu Dhabi, and the airline they flew on….. Emirates!  I immediately had to find out all about it!  As it turns out, Emirates (I believe anyways) is the most fabulous airline in the world.  It’s reminiscent of Pan Am in it’s glory days, and they definitely bring back all the glitz and glam to international travel!

My Partner Tim flew to India two weeks ago, to start our journey into fatherhood.  He was there to meet with doctors, our egg donor, and surrogate.  Back in November, we were looking at flights for him.  I was shocked to find out that for just a little bit more than other airlines, he could fly Emirates!  Boy, was I jealous….big time!  The cabin design and amenities are incredible, and seem to be limitless!

Flight Crew

This is the flight crew.  They dress in this uniform for every flight.  When I went to pick Tim up from the airport on his arrival back to Dallas, I got to see them get off the plane and exit the gate.  They all walked in perfect unison, and looked immaculate after working a 16 hour flight!  Not a wrinkle to be found on their uniforms and not a hair out of place, or a stitch of makeup smudged!  They even carried their matching purses all on the same shoulder!

First Class Cabin

Just take a look at the first class cabins!  Everything is trimmed in gold, and there’s burled walnut everywhere!  Each cabin encloses with sliding doors for privacy.  Check out the built in mini fridge!

First Class Cabins

The design of the first class cabin is really extraordinary.  It makes you feel like you have your own little hotel room in the sky.  Check out the cute little lamps they all have!

Sleep In Flight

Each seat is designed to pull out into a small bed for sleeping.  Just ask one of the ladies of the flight crew, and they’ll bring out your sheets and make your bed up for you when you’re ready to call it a night!

Kim's First Class Cabin

Of course Kim flies Emirates!  She looks comfy and ready for her flight to Dubai!

Sex and The City Fly Emirates

Here’s Carrie and Samantha having a little chat and admiring their luxurious surroundings.

In Flight Cosmopolitans!

Need to relax?  Enjoy a cosmo at the in-flight bar and lounge!  All drinks are complimentary!

Bar and Lounge

Mimosa Time!

The in-flight bar and lounge appears to be super swanky considering it’s on an airplane!  It’s sleek design and attention to detail make it a beautiful place to relax and visit with fellow travelers while your flying to your destination.

Spa

Great Bathroom Lighting!

Fabulous Amenities!

And yes, you guessed it… There’s even a spa on the plane! A far cry from the tiny bathrooms that we’re used to on most aircrafts.  I don’t even think my bathroom at home has lighting this good!  It really is just like a flying hotel!

Business Class

Tea Time in Business Class

Business class isn’t too shabby either!  You can still fully lounge back in a large comfy seat and watch TV all the way to your final destination.  There’s plenty of storage built in for your carry on and other personals, as well as a large pull out desk area to catch up on any work while you’re in the air, need to email or chat via the web?  It’s no problem with complementary WiFi!

 It amazes me how they can get so much on something that flies 43,000 feet up in the sky!





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I’m not a big TV watcher, so it’s rare that I’m ever camped out in front of the TV for hours mesmerized by a certain show.  There is only one night a year when this happens and it is…the Oscars! I just love watching my favorite celebs dress up in the most beautiful (or most heinous :) ) gowns and seeing which movies take home the big awards.  The fashion is so much fun to watch…but as an interiors nut, I also wait in anticipation to see the design of the Green Room every year.  This cozy lil room is where the stars wait to present their awards and is located just steps from the stage, and from host Seth MacFarlane’s dressing room.  This year’s Green Room was designed by acclaimed interior designer Madeline Stuart and had a very cozy lounge vibe to it.

Official AD 2013 Oscar Greenroom

 Photograph by Roger Davies

Madeline wanted to give the room the feeling of Old Hollywood while also incorporating design elements of the 21 century. She said “My goal was to design a space where contemporary stars wouldn’t be surprised to bump into Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn.”

Green Room2

Designed with mostly Baker furnishings, black lacquer finished wood flooring, and Emerald paint (Pantone’s 2013 color of the year), the room was modeled after Academy Award winner, Cedric Gibbs.

I particularly love the chevron chairs if I do say so myself!

greenroom3

The room may have been inspired by Old Hollywood, but there is nothing “Old Hollywood” about it when it comes to the decked out electronics in the room. Inside there are ten, yes ten 55″ Samsung Smart TVs. I’m sure the stars backstage didn’t miss any of the Oscar action!

Well done MS…can’t wait to see which designer is slated for next year’s Green Room!





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News alert: Barbie is “selling” her infamous Malibu Beach house!

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It is now on Trulia going for an imaginary 25 million dollars which started last week, February 7th. Josh Altman is an agent in Malibu that works with all the celebrities in the area and is going to help Barbie sell what was once her “dreamhouse.”  Don’t worry though, Barbie is set to move into a whole new house which will be unveiled this Fall!

Barbie- EJ Interiors would be more than happy to help you decorate your new pad and we PROMISE that not all of your furniture will be made out of plastic.  Wink ;)

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Barbie’s former uber pink living room.  The furniture seems kind of cold and stiff- especially that diamond tufting on her sofa…who was her upholsterer?

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And that dining room Barbie….we have to get you some new pieces! We know you tried so hard to “mismatch” your table and chairs so it didn’t look like it came as a set, but it still looks very Pottery Barn. Please let us modernize this space! Is your chandelier colored murano glass? Looks like it and if so, bravo Barbie! The architecture is nice in here- let’s accentuate that!

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Barbie’s kitchen is what you’d expect- pink, pink, pink but after all, this is 2012 and pink cabinets are just not the fad anymore (trust me Barbie, I just painted over mine!) I know the truth is harsh sometimes, but you really need to paint your cabinets white and install carrarra marble countertops.  No, the veining is not pink, it’s gray but I think you could live with that right? Ok, ok we get it- you only want polished pink Tenessee marble.

b3

And now for Barbie’s bedroom! Barbie is just not as young as she once was (sigh). Though her old bedroom is cute, it is also juvenile and screams “I’m still living with my parents”. Barbie, we would give you something mature and feminine, but also stylish. Do you really think Ken will ever pop the question if he knows this will be his future bedroom?

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Well, maybe he would if he sees this fantabulous blue hot tub/bath combo complete with a partial pergola, overlooking the beaches of Malibu- (and not to mention, it’s about the only “manly” thing in this house!)

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Ok Babs- we will hand it to you- your bathroom isn’t too shabby.  It looks like you did some pink barbie subway tile with white beadboard above. We like this in theory, but I think you could switch this to 48″ high white beadboard below and wallpaper above.  There are so many great wallpapers out there, what’s stopping you? The heart towel holders though have got to go- that’s where we draw the line!

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Barbie, let’s cut to the chase.  You need a decorator and we’ve long admired your style and have been wanting to work with you forever.  It will be a win-win for everyone if we decorate your new house!  To win you over, we’ve put together a presentation for you that you can show Ken, Skipper, Todd, Tutti, (and your parents Margaret and George Roberts) so you can get everyone’s seal of approval before committing.

Here it is Barbie- please call us! xoxo

Your new fabulous sofa/chaise with carved white lacquer detail only fit for a barbie queen-

sofa

Luxe, tufted pink Side Chairs.  Would go so well with orange, green, turquoise, or black and white if you wanted to bring in other colors (doubtful)

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Of course you have to have something that’s chevron! So how about this pink chevron rug?

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Your living room wouldn’t be complete without a sunburst mirror..and not any sunburst mirror…but a vintage one made especially for you by Shay Geyer herself!

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We know you like glitz and glam (you are holiday barbie after all), so how about this- Sputnik Chandelier for your living room?

chandelier2

Barbie, we need to get you out of your comfort zone…so I think you should go with a white  Tulip Table.  Not everything can be pink…we have to add in some neutrals somewhere!

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Ok we know you are dying with all this white, so we will give you some pink velvet Louis dining chairs- custom made of course!

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This Currey & Co chandelier would look amazing in your dining room!

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If you need a new paint color, try Razzle Dazzle by Benjamin Moore- (and remember, blue and white porcelain looks great with pink- hint hint)

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What about drapes? Here’s some ikat fabric by the yard- 

drapes

I know, abstract art is probably totally out of your comfort zone..but what about it in fuschia?

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We know you are all about luxury, so how about some faux fur pillows? Make sure you machine wash and fluff dry!

faur f

And one ribbon trim lamp shade to go on top of a brassy gold lamp-

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So Barbie, if you are liking what you see, call us! We would enjoy doing a house for the world’s most fashionable doll!





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Dapper, Dashing, and Deliciously Debonair

Posted By Nathan-Dallas | Feb 08, 2013 | 3 Comments | Category: Color, Decorating, Design Inspiration, Fashion

Over the past month or so, I’ve developed a few new obsessions.  Having always been captivated by the world of fashion, I’ve recently taken on a new style.  The source of my inspiration has been derived from historical time periods, fashion, as well as my favorite TV show at the moment, Downton Abbey!

 

Downton Abbey

I haven’t started showing up to work in three piece suits or attending dinners in “white tie”, but, I’m enamored with the impeccable style and elegance of the well dressed men in this show.  The interiors of Highclere Castle, located in Newbury, West Berkshire UK, where Downton Abbey is filmed, has preserved the interiors of the home in their original states.  Each room shows perfect attention to detail, and is dripping with the finest gold and crystal objects.

 

Downtown Abbey Drawing Room

The main drawing room remains perfectly intact since its last redecorating in 1895.  The walls are upholstered in antique French green silk damask.

 

Second on the  ”current obsessions” list is The Luxe Series.  My good friend Jana introduced me to the series, and now Im hooked!  These novels, set at the turn of the century, are jam packed with page turning drama, as well as lavishly dressed “dandies” and debutantes of New York’s finest families.  Along with all that, you guessed it, descriptions of grand ball rooms and  interiors that scream wealth and high society status.  If you’re looking for a good old fashioned  scandal, pick up a copy!

 

The Luxe Series

 

So, after watching Downton Abbey and reading The Luxe Series, I found myself becoming bewitched with the male characters of these stories, and their luxurious surroundings.  Seeing as how the time period of these epic dramas occur during the turn of the century, I started asking myself how I could bring the same excitement and flare these stories and characters portray, to the present modern day.  The result has been a new found approach to a way of personal style and dress, as well as interior design.

When it comes to design, I love relating and drawing on fashion as a source of inspiration.  I’ve always believed that the only thing better than a well dressed man, is a well designed interior!

 

Primary Color Scheme

Modern Dandy's Home Library

I’m in love with this home library.  It’s clean modern look with brightly colored books is fun and inviting.  The touches of “old world” style with the gilded clock and pair of globes adds just the right amount of a traditional element.

 

Black and White

Black and White Living Area

The stark contrast of black and white will forever be a classic.  It’s the perfect backdrop to add a touch of color to, no matter what your mood calls for.

 

 Yellow and Brown

Check out this great home office space.  The chrome edging on the desk and shelving units really make this built-in unique.  I’m really liking the use of yellow here too, and those fabulous marble obelisks with the gold bases!

Pink and Green

Dandy Home Office

The contrast that the spring chartreuse rug, bamboo chairs, and roman shade create against the dark finish of the book case is stunning here.  I love how the brightly colored books and solitary pink flower give this space a fun feel.  Books and flowers are two of my favorite accessories!

Blue and Brown

Who doesn’t love luscious chocolate brown?  This gorgeous cocoa colored headboard with square tufts and sconces adds  great texture.  The soothing corn flower blue adds a crisp contrast against the deep chocolate tones.

Orange and Tan

The color pallet in this living area is definitely exciting.  The orange mixed with the neutral tones feels so happy, and fun, while maintaining a sense of sophistication.   According to color psychology, orange is optimistic and uplifting, and rejuvenates our spirit.  I think it’s perfect for a family room!

Royal Purple

I love any room that feels “royal”.  Rich velvets in royal hues of purple with accents of gold and red scream majestic drama!  Prince William could come walking around that corner at any minute (or at least we wish!)





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Storage Wars Texas

In the midst of being so busy these days, I’ve somehow managed to develop yet a new reality TV show obsession… Storage Wars Texas!  It’s a regional spin off show from the famous series Storage Wars.  The show features auctioneer Walt Cade, as well as auction hunters Ricky and Bubba Smith, Morris “Moe” Prigoff, and Victor Rjesnjansky.  The newest additions to the show are Dallas’ own Jenny Grumbles and Mary Padian who go from auction to auction in search for that fab find for their stores.  I just adore these two girls, as well as their amazing shops!  They always manage to crack me up on the show whether it’s Jenny finding and getting appraised a “too real for words” baby doll or Mary (and her partner Moe) experimenting with new “bidding calls”. You just have to watch to see what I mean!

I was so thrilled that they could sit down with us and give us the low down on Storage Wars, their fab lives as store owners and all things furniture!

Hope you enjoy getting to know more about Mary and Jenny as I did and also getting a peek into their amazing Dallas stores!

Storage Wars Texas Cast

The cast of Storage Wars Texas

uptown country

Jenny’s Store, Uptown Country-

3419 Milton Avenue, Dallas

Jenny

Jenny Grumbles

How did you end up on Storage Wars and how has your life changed since being on it?

My friend Adam went to an auction and bought a locker full of antique furniture.  He sold the entire unit to me.  After fixing it all up, I sold it at my shop and made a huge profit. The producers got word of it and showed up at Uptown Country Home one day.

uc 1

What types of pieces do you typically search for in the storage units to go in your shop and who is your typical shop clientele?

My clientele is typically 3-fold; 20-something girls fixing up their apartments, young couples in their first homes, and Dallas moms who like our style.  I am always looking for vintage furniture and accessories that have character, yet need a little pick-me-up.  The key is finding these pieces for a great price so I can sell them for a great price too.  Uptown Country Home is the fun and affordable home decor shop, and I don’t ever want that to change.  I always want to keep our prices as low as possible so customers can buy, buy, buy and be able to fill their homes with pieces they love without spending a fortune.

uc 2

Do you ever keep any of the things you “find” for your own home?

Literally half of the furniture in my house is from storage lockers: an amazing tufted french provincial chair (I reupholstered), a mid-century metal etagere I painted gold, a vintage bed I redid with crazy fabric and nailhead trim, a campaign chest, a greek key coffee table, a lucite vanity stool…so I guess the answer is YES,  i keep a lot of the things I find.

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What would be the one thing you are dying to one day find in a storage locker?

Diamonds.  Big, expensive, profitable diamonds.  Then I could buy a truck and more lockers!  Bubba found diamonds and now he drives this amazing truck.  At an auction the other day, his truck literally emailed him and said it needed air in one of the tires.

uc 5

Do you typically refinish the pieces yourself and what has been your favorite furniture makeover?

I re-do all of the pieces myself with help from my mom, Fran.  She is the main shop-girl at Uptown Country Home when I can’t be there.  She taught me how to do everything. My favorite furniture makeovers on the show were the kids kitchen and the chevron bed.

Kid's Play Kitchens Before and After!

A pair of old night stands transformed into Children’s play kitchens!

Headboard Before and After

It’s amazing how you can turn something broken into a beautiful chic piece of furniture!

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What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while you’ve been on the ‘hunt’ for great pieces for your shop?

Something crazy happens to me every day. I get injured every other day re-furbing and moving furniture.  But the craziest thing is that people notice me and know who I am and want my autograph. I’m like seriously? Me? You want meeee to sign that?  Are you sure because I was just diving in someone’s dumpster!

uc 7

What’s the most rewarding thing about owning your own shop?

Being my own boss and seeing treasures go to people’s homes to make them happy.  Being able to feed my addiction of junking for a living.

How would you describe your decorating style?

My style is a mix.  There are so many styles I love so I use them all mixed together.  I can’t just pick one.  You are supposed to surround yourself with what you love, right?  I like chippy, shabby, tattered white and I like glossy, modern, colorful, clean.  I like Hollywood Regency and then I like beach cottage.  I like preppy monograms and then I like re-purposed junk-chic.  The trick is making it all work.  And it is very tricky. I need to find those diamonds so I can have 8 houses and decorate one in each style.

Moe, Ricky and Bubba are quite the characters! They seem like they are also great mentors since they’ve been in the business for a while. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from Ricky or Bubba while on the show?

The best advice I have ever gotten from Ricky (where I was certain he wasn’t pulling my chain) was bring enough money. Be prepared for the diamonds.  I was at an auction and the unit was full to the ceiling of antique sports memorabilia.  My husband is a sports collector so I knew there was serious money to be made.  The unit was going to go to whoever brought the most cash that day.  It wasn’t me and I have regretted it ever since.

What is your favorite furniture piece of all time?

 Right now, I am obsessed with all of the chairs all over my house and all over the shop (and in my personal storage unit).  I collected 200 chairs (faux bamboo chippendale, windsor, bannister, parlor, etal) for my wedding.  Each guest had their own unique chair. I painted them all pink or white and covered them all with two different pink graphic patterns.  I am starting to sell them all but they are sentimental to me!

 

Mary's Finds

Mary’s store, Mary’s Finds

1616 Market Center Boulevard, Dallas

Mary

Mary Padian

How did you end up on Storage Wars and how has your life changed since being on it?

By chance! One of the producers just came into my store in the Design District, Mary’s Finds. She came in and said, “Do you fix all this stuff up yourself?” I was like, “Yeah.” She was on her break and came in to just shop, but thought they could come back another day and do a how-to with me on their website… And then the rest is history!  I ended up being in two of the last episodes second season, where Moe (down the street from me) brought me some junk from a locker, which I fixed up and then they asked me to be a regular for third season.  So, all of this has especially been so great because it has all happened so naturally —  I wasn’t looking to be on TV - they literally just stumbled upon me and I was at the right place at the right time.  My life hasn’t changed much– the only thing that has is the amount of emails and packages I receive that are sent to me from fans, especially men asking me out!!

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What types of pieces do you typically search for in the storage units to go in your shop and who is your typical shop clientele?

 I am the one on the show who looks for raw materials and stuff that most people would think is trash or wouldn’t look twice at in the storage units.  I refurb quite a number of pieces I find in these units that will be shown throughout the season which I sell in the shop, as well.  It is all based on my shop, what I do and how I can take ordinary things or “trash” and make them into the unexpected or leave things as they are — Great design is everywhere – you just have to have the patience to dig and ability to see possibility.  My typical shop clientele is all over the board. I carry eclectic cool finds and furniture pieces that are refurbished or untouched.  So interior decorators, artists, and middle-aged new home/apt dwellers.

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Do you ever keep any of the things you “find” for your own home?  We’d love to hear about them!

I am obsessed with old books and quirky vintage prints/art.  So, yeah, I’ve come across few books I just had to keep as well as some prints I know I’d regret not keeping later in life. :)

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What would be the one thing you are dying to one day find in a storage locker?

Diamonds, gold, cash…..anything that would make me a millionaire.

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Do you typically refinish the pieces yourself and what has been your favorite furniture makeover?

YES, I do everything myself which is why I am in the process now of hiring someone else to help me refinish pieces….here are some before and after’s:

Before & After- Old Chest of Drawers to Wine Rack!

An old chest of drawers transformed into a wine rack!

Before & After- Foot Board Turned into Table

An old foot board made into a beautiful contemporary table!

Table Design

Table design in progress!

Before & After- Nightstands

Campaign nightstands made changed to a totally modern and different style!

What’s the most rewarding thing about owning your own shop?

I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished.  I have a photojournalism degree and opened this business not knowing a thing about business; I figured I’d learn as I go, which I am finding is one of the best ways you can truly see your potential. Before opening, I had never refurbished anything nor did I know how to paint furniture “properly” I just knew I had a good eye (from Paige Rense, my boss at Arch Digest). It has been the most rewarding experience to me knowing that I can do anything I want to in life with hard work and common sense

How would you describe your decorating style?

It’s a mixing of things…. modern and contemporary things with beautiful old things. Clean, uncluttered spaces with a great mix of art and antiques.  I think the one thing I always try to achieve when decorating my own space is comfort.  I like spaces that are warm and inviting.  As far as style goes, I think modern things are really cool, but they don’t feel safe to come home to.  Period rooms give too much of a sense of living in the past.  So I think finding somewhere in the middle is the way to go.  I like mixing old with new things.  I have an eclectic taste yet I like it simple.

Moe, Ricky and Bubba are quite the characters! They seem like they are also great mentors since they’ve been in the business for a while.  Mary: what’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from Moe?

When the storage locker opens always look for two things right away: Cobwebs and broken locks.  Cobwebs are a good sign that the lockers has been sitting there for a long while and hasn’t been touched. If there are broken locks around the entrance that is a bad sign – means it was tried in previous auction(s) and no one bought it.

What is your favorite furniture piece of all time?

Charles and Ray Eames chair and ottoman.





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Intriguing Indian Interiors

Posted By Nathan-Dallas | Jan 15, 2013 | 4 Comments | Category: Color, Decorating, Design Inspiration

For as long as we can remember, my partner and I have always wanted a family. After many discussions and looking into several options, we decided to go with a surrogacy program located in New Delhi, India. In August of this past year, things started to get serious, and we are now well on our way to fatherhood! We are very excited, and we hope and pray for the best! Along with planning for a baby, we also have to plan for two trips to India. The closer we get to our travel dates, the more I’ve found myself looking at Indian design, cuisine, and culture. It’s so very different from the mainstream western world, and almost immediately identifiable.

How exotic is this?!  The clean, crisp white walls and decorative tiled floor make the perfect backdrop for bold Indian color and pattern.

This room is full of so much life and excitement!  All that pink is enough to make Lisa Vanderpump proud!  Ever since I was little, I’ve always been a fan of bold colors.  Rich hues are in no shortage when it comes to Indian design aesthetic.  It’s almost as if the rule is this: The more color you can put in a room the better!  It’s amazing how these spaces can look so energizing, and yet so calm and restful at the same time. Classic Indian interiors are known for their extremely intricate, ornate, and busy patterns.  Over the past month or so, I’ve ran across a few fabrics that I might use somehow in our new nursery.  We’re working to create a fun space, that has touches of some of our future child’s heritage.  Here are a few of my favorites so far.  The colors and patters are so exciting and playful!

Exotic Travels by Kravet

Kravet Couture

Parade by Lulu DK at Schumacher

Leonora by Pindler & Pindler

One of my favorite ways to design is to incorporate different design aesthetics from different cultures.  I’ve always been a little obsessed with travel, and all the exotic places outside of the U.S. borders.  Here’s a few examples of some “western world” spaces with an Indian twist:

This beautiful room in white tones, forgoes the bold colors typically used in Indian decor.  However, the patterns and shapes of the headboard and canopy are beautiful and distinctly Indian.

This beautiful room is so rich in composition.  It’s colonial flair speaks of the European influence sometimes found in Indian design.  The use of gilt crystal electrified candelabras as bedside lamps is so posh!

This space is a great example of how adding a few brightly colored fabrics as upholstery, throw pillows, can transform a room with beige furniture into something a little more special.

Loving this living area with it’s deep jewel toned pillows against the bright robins egg blue walls.

Lounging areas with tons of uniquely decorative throw pillows are a staple in a well dressed Indian inspired space.

The use of the Indian inspired textiles and patterned wall paper make an interesting textural composition.

Check out the bold apple green wall color in this space!  It’s so energizing!  I love the use of the antique rugs with the fresh paint color and clean white trim details.

Loving this bedroom!  It leans a little to the masculine side, but it’s  slate blue and antiqued reds mixed with cream and neutrals is gorgeous!

This gorgeous and ornately detailed tapestry adds to the richness of the room, and creates a fantastic focal point.  Using textiles as art for wall decor is one of my favorites!

Acclaimed interior designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard designed this space for Cher.  This living area looks so cozy and relaxing!  The deep-set sofas with their large over stuffed bolsters would make and maharajah feel right at home.  I adore how the fuchsia orchids bring life to this neutral color pallet.

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard also designed this bedroom for Cher. The performer told Martyn that she wanted a design that was fit for the first wife of a maharajah.  If you ask me, I think she got what she asked for!

I absolutely adore the re-purposing of the large door into a swing.  I would love to have a room like this in my home!  With it’s calm and clean color palette, I could lounge on that swing reading a book all day!  I really like how the most ornate adornments are the moldings, and architectural details.





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Tonight I had another wonderful shopping experience at Target (much less to my husband’s chagrin).  Ben and I have always had opposing views on Tarjay (so much that it’s become a running joke around here) and I always get “the look” when I announce my departure for the red bullseye building of amazingness.

Ben thinks it’s out of the ordinary that I go to Target so often and not to mention, spend hours upon hours there (is it so bad that Target is one of my hobbies?) He doesn’t understand why I can’t go to Walmart (it’s that darn lighting) or The Dollar Store (just not enough options) and price compare every single one of my toiletries…or better yet he wonders- “why do you even need all those toiletries?  You need contact disinfectant AND solution??”

But alas, I admit, Target for me is the experience.  It’s the fact that I can toiletry shop, clothes shop, accessory shop and home shop (while picking up my groceries).  Target is probably one of my top ten favorite places in the world (it’s a close tie with Paris) and it’s become a family outing for my sisters, mom and I to “go to Target” on the weekend.  I mean come on, who doesn’t need stuff that they really don’t need?

So on each Target visit, I manage to discover SOMETHING new that I can take home with me and prove to Ben why Target is so great- whether it’s Nate Berkus’ new home line, a nifty pet lint brush, or disposable hand towels, Target is my place!

Tonight I discovered Threshold.  Maybe it’s an old brand there, maybe it’s brand spanking new, all I know is that this home brand never jumped out at me before like it did tonight.  I LOVED the concept of each one of their items.  They are the perfect pieces for an apartment or a smaller first home. My only complaint would be that I wish I could enlarge their pillows and end tables two or three sizes. They were quite small and really short, but the designs were so fun, I had to share!

I loved the design of the white mirror below.  Also, the navy and white throw pillow with the greek key tape trim pattern was so chic!  Like I said though, I like my pillows BIG and if this pillow was a 22″ or a 24″ square instead, I would have scooped it up in a heartbeat.  But really who am I to complain, custom pillows with tape trim in this design can be a pretty penny in general, so I was really impressed that they offered this design at such a low price (no matter what size it was)!

The colors and patterns that they use are so fun.  I loved the little white bird canisters and chevron storage bins.

I would totally use these mirrored cabinets or tables if they were taller but they were just too short to be level with a regular height mattress or sofa arm.  I could see them being used in a smaller space like an apartment or a stylish kids room.

I thought this coral lamp was really punchy and could bring a lot of energy to a room-

(notice how they also have tape trimmed lamp shades too for all of your naked lamps at home)

 

I thought these metal tables were cute for only $69!  They reminded me a lot of Arteriors’ hammered metal accent tables which are a lot more expensive.

Ok how adorable is this coral x bench (WITH contrast white cord included already)?! Hello faux custom! I wish I had a place for this…

And this geometric painted tray….sorry for the horrible photo with the lovely Armstrong tiles in the background a la Target…but this one was an amazing find because it can be so hard to find a good tray (a square one especially).  I could see this on an upholstered ottoman (posing as a coffee table) with lots of pretty accessories gathered in it….books, bowl, vase….I can see it now!

Hope you enjoyed the new Threshold line!  Collections like these make shopping for contact solution so much more enjoyable! ;)

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