I went to an event tonight at Pierre Frey hosted by none other than Pierre Frey (grandson to the man who founded the company in 1935), Nicole Gibbons (author of So Haute) as well as Joshua Greene and Alex Kale (founders of Shagreene).  The event had a magnificent panel that included the following four extremely talented designers:

Nate Berkus

Not only is Nate Berkus filled with amazing decorating advice, talent and good looks but he’s also one of the better spoken, easy going and funnier (is that a word?) decorators I’ve come across in awhile.  It’s nice to know that there are people out there who can decorate your home with a sense of style yet still have a great sense of humor about life.  I’d work with Nate any day!

Steven Gambrel

Steven Gambrel established his firm in 1995 and has done wonders ever since.  He spoke a lot about texture and surface materials, something he’s “obsessed” with at the moment.  He’s obviously remarkable at what he does and a true artist/designer who’s looking to create amazing homes for great clients.  Another one I’d work with..

Laura Kirar

Laura is the founder and creative director of Laura Kirar TRU Design which creates elegant, innovative interiors and products for the home.  She has a wonderful presence about her that seems somewhat modest.  Something I admire in talented designers.  Laura has been extremely successful in creating high end products for the home such as furniture, tile, carpets, lighting and much more.  Another one to keep your eye on!

Jessie Carrier and wife Mara Miller

Most recently Carrier and Company was named one of the country’s “Top 20 Young Designers” by Traditional Home and if you browse his portfolio you’ll know why.  Jessie was rather soft spoken and felt very small against a larger panel of great designers but with out a doubt deserved the recognition that Trad Home gave him.

Now for the dirt…

Tips for designing and decorating your home:

1. Keep your interests, favorite colors and surroundings in mind when choosing home furnishings

2. Stay consistent with your project, your vision and stay focused until the project is complete

3. Keep quality in mind when purchasing things and don’t just buy something because it’s less expensive – go for the throw or the side table that’s going to make a statement, last a lot longer and make you happier in the end

4. Focus on a combination of colors that you like instead of just choosing one.  If you like greens and blues, make it your palette

5. Be passionate about your choices and select items and finishes that you’re crazy about!

If I had to choose one of these designers to work with or decorate my home I’m not sure who I’d choose.  They all have their own flare and their own style that would make any home great.  Take a look at some of their work below and see if you can decide who you’d want to hire..

Nate Berkus apartment

Nate Berkus Bedroom

Nate Berkus Kitchen

Steven Gambrel Living Room

Steven Gambrel Bedroom

Steven Gambrel Bedroom

Laura Kirar Living Room

Laura Kirar custom designed carpet

Laura Kirar barrel lounge chairs designed for McGuire and used by a good friend of mine who decorated this living room in the hamptons

Jessie Carrier Living Room

Jessie Carrier Bedroom

Jessie Carrier barn conversion

Thank you Pierre, Nicole, Josh and Alex for a great night!





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Architectural Digest published a fantastic article in their August 2010 issue entitled “Inspired by You”.  They asked their readers what they wanted to know specifically about interior design and then had top designers weigh in with their simple advice.  Some of the questions asked were as follows:

Q: What colors tend to work better for large rooms? small rooms?

Q: What items should you splurge on?  Where can you cut corners?

Q: Are there any interior paint colors you feel should be avoided?

To get the answers to these questions and more, go to the article on AD’s website and see what other useful tips they have to offer online.





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It’s Elle Decor’s ignaugural salute to the best and brightest interior designers throughout the country.  Some are old and some are new.  Check out who they think belong on their newly created Top 25 A-List and see if you agree.  Not only do i see a lot that i like here, i’ve gone through each photograph and selected my favorite thing from each room.  Agree?  Disagree?  Have another designer in mind that you think should be added to the list?  Share it with us!

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Favorite part: painted brown back on the bookcases

Muriel Brandolini

Favorite item: leapord print throw pillows

Darryl Carter

Favorite aspect: the white painted beam, ceiling and walls

Eric Cohler

Favorite piece: bright orange coffee table

Robert Corturier

Favorite piece: glass hurricanes

Waldo Fernandez

Favorite part: dark mahogany stained floors

Steven Gambrel

Favorite items: turquoise glasses, white lamp and the trim on the curtains! (i couldn’t decide)

Victoria Hagen

Favorite thing: blue and white striped rug

Suzanne Kasler

Favorite item:  turquoise box and bright orange tray

Charlotte Moss

Favorite item: full white crisp roman shades

Joe Nahem

Favorite piece: glass and metal chandelier

Thomas O’Brien

Favorite thing: desk chair

Alex Papachristidis

Favorite item: Suzani table cloth

Miles Redd

Favorite item(s): rod iron and leather? x-benches

Katie Ridder

Favorite piece: white hour glass ceramic garden stool

Stephen Sills

Favorite item: mirrored and gilted coffee table

Michael S. Smith

Favorite piece: box pleated canopy

Matthew Patrick Smith

Favorite item: orange mottled wall

William Sofield

Favorite aspect: arched and decoritive ceiling

Robert Stilin

Favorite piece: “Too Good To Be True” artwork

Madeline Stuart

Favorite item(s): pair of mirrors on the back wall

Steven Volpe

Favorite thing: the way the tv is mounted to the silver pole

Kelly Wearstler

Favorite thing: lucite scrolled headboard

Bunny Williams

Favorite piece: white tufted english rolled arm chair

Vincente Wolfe

Favorite piece: antiqued wooden and glass bookcase





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Coffee with Bunny and Bill!

Posted By MaterialGirls | Jan 11, 2010 | 1 Comment | Category: Designers, Events

Attention New Yorkers!

Tomorrow, 1/12, at 9:30 am, Bill Stubbs, host of the tv series Moment of Luxury, will partake in a dynamic discussion with Mrs. Bunny Williams at NY’s Decoration and Design Building.  (Breakfast reception to follow at the Schumacher showroom- Suite 832)

Call 212-759-2969 to make your reservation.  Click here for further info!

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If you miss this event, do not despair because Bunny is also making an appearance on Thursday, 2/11 at 8:15 pm at Buttenwieser Hall, where she will be chatting with Bill Stubbs yet again! This time the topic will be “luxury on any budget”.  Tickets are $27.  More info on this event here!

**Both events are open to the public**





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Since my post a couple of months ago on masculine decor got such a great response, I have decided to write a ”Part Deux” on the subject, and also feature a great store in New York City called “Mantiques”. Ingenious name!

Here is some of the macho-classic decor they sell…

19th century lions head

19th Century bronze lion’s head

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Animal motifs are very man-chic.  It’s a way for them to say that if they lived in the early 19th century, they could have been an adventurer back when Hemingway epitomized the classic macho man.

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This vignette puts the theory into context. This room by Robert Passal is very masculine-sexy with the animal motifs used in contrast with the romaticized nudes on the wall. It definitely gives you the sense that this man has interests beyond football and beer, and that is a beautiful thing!

English telescope

Another Mantiques treasure and archetypal “manccesory” is the telescope.  It again goes back to wanting to be that free spirited adventurer, rather than just “Bob in accounting”.

Revolver Trade sign

Ah, the gun.  A perfect expression to the world that there is nothing emasculate about its owner, and I so prefer it as a mounted piece of art rather than tucked inside your nightstand.

STEEL AND STUDS:

Giant hobnail safe

Antique steel studded safe. SO SEXY!

Michelle Boyer Table

Steel Michelle Boyer table, also sexy!

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Thinking YOU are a stud, NOT SEXY!

Sexy Masculine Interiors:

eric piasecki

Comfortable, sophisticated, and clean strong lines. A perfect specimen.

David Hicks House beautiful, coca cola brown walls

David Hick’s apartment. Sexy! The neutrals make a masculine interior timeless!

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This interior has some feminine touches like the French Baroque chair, but the neutrals and the black and white detailing on the walls accentuating the architecture is definitely a masculine aesthetic.

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A sexy man loves to read and books make a great accessory! Miles Redd exemplified this here in his master bedroom. I like how they are just sort of unkempt, like he was browsing through them and didn’t put them back yet.  It shows he actually does read them!

hudson hotel

The very Man-Chic library at the Hudson Hotel in NYC.

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Notice the HUGE metal light fixture (another example of their love affair with steel).  This is what I wish most men defined as a “mancave”. However, their definition looks more like this…

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All hail the flatscreen! The funny thing is, that if you show these guys what a masculine, sexy room could look like, they DO like it!  They just can’t do it themselves.

(Thank god we are here to help! )

Getting them to read something other than Sports Illustrated, or to wear something that actually fits like it’s suppose to, or even to take the trash out without being asked…well, that’s another story, just try to remember, it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes YEARS!  My husband still has about five years left on his (my) plan, but we are making GREAT progress! Ten years in and he can now pick up after himself (no heavy cleaning though), he puts the toilet seat down about 80% of the time now, and he can even put his clothes away by himself  (even if it takes a few days), but the point is, we ARE making progress!

Baby steps, baby steps!  Good luck ladies! ;)





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In case you weren’t aware, Kelly Wearstler is the Queen of Interiors! I happen to worship her, and I’m talking full fledged alter with candles and everything! It’s a little sick really, but anyway, her newest book HUE is coming out in November and I am SO freakin’ excited! Here is a sneak peak!

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She is always on the cover, which is fine, she is a perfect cover girl…beautiful, talented, skinny!  If I didn’t love her so much I’d totally hate her!

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I pretty much LOVE everything in this room! The color palette is amazing, which in my opinion, is her specialty. (Hmmm, maybe that’s why the book is called “Hue”???) I really do love this particular one though. The oranges, purples, reds, and of course black and white and a large dose of GLAM making its presence known in the gold accents. Actually, “accents” is not the right word.  She always uses her metallics in a much more dynamic way than just in accents which I think gives her interiors such an enchanted appeal.  Another thing she is very good at is using ALL of the different “hues” in a color. If she is using orange in her color palette for a space (like here) she uses peach, burnt orange, bright orange-orange, and everything in between…and the same with the purples and reds in this room. It really gives the space depth and character. So many times my clients will say “that’s not the right shade of red, it won’t match”. I want to scream- but instead I try to explain how diversifying the shades make a palette so much more sophisticated and not everthing has to “match”. I much prefer the term “coordinate”.

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Kelly is also a huge fan of her geometric patterns which she uses liberally throughout her interiors.  I love how she uses them in unconventional ways too, like on the back of the sofa and on the paneled walls down the hallway. Too many of us are content to just throw some cool wallpaper on the wall and call it a day (of course that’s also a LOT less expensive I’m sure), but Kelly’s clients never seem to have a budget issue so they get custom Kelly wall panels! Fabulous! And the accent color is gorgeous! Jamie Drake uses that vibrant deep cerise color all the time in his interiors as well. (I was trying to sound fancy with “cerise”, but actually I just looked the name of that color up.  I was going to say “fuschia-purple”. Did you know every single color has an official name? Not just the silly names Benjamin Moore gives them either. You can see the list on Wikpedia.)

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She’s been into a 70′s – 80′s aesthetic lately, which she somehow makes it look AMAZING! I really love pink and yellow together. It reminds me of Betsey Johnson’s apartment…but less pink and more yellow, which I kind of prefer. It makes it more sophisticated.  However, I do love Betsey’s place (see bel0w)

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Ok, back to KELLY!

Here are some more pics you’ll likely see in her new book…

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She does quite a few hotels, like this one here. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that her husband is an uber-successful, zillionaire hotelier. Like I said, if I didn’t love her, I’d hate her!

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I am literally drooling over that pink patent leather chair! Again she goes with the pinks, yellows, and oranges, which she has the ability to make so sexy with the touch of black in the shade and rug,  and so glam with the gold, but yet it still feels laid back.  Very Miami! Notice the geometric paneled wall divider (told you she loves those!)

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She likes to throw in natural elements into her ultra chic interiors which helps to keep the carefree air about it. Notice the tree branch sculpture and the plants in the background. Without them in the scene, the ambiance is too stiff. They break up the monotony of perfection just, well….perfectly! It also adds a surprise element- something “unexpected”, which is always key to creating a truly dynamic space.

So, if you are now as excited as I am for her new book, you won’t have to wait to much longer! It comes out next month and I am going to get a signed edition to go along with her first two books in my collection, because like I said, I’m madly obsessed with the woman!





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I usually write about very feminine interiors because that is what I do, but I also have a love of the more masculine spaces that the male  gender puts together so effortlessly. They have  a way of expressing their masculinity and intellectuality through the use of perfectly straight lines, dark brooding colors, rustic  and earthy accesories, mind easing symmetry, and a sophisticated edge that says “I am Man, hear me DECORATE!”

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Our first subject is the work of Thom Filicia. One of my favorite designers! I love this sleek cottage that he put together for himself.  Notice the super straight lines  in the upholstered chairs as well as the beams on the ceiling which he accentuated by painting the rest of the ceiling white.  Speaking of white, I’ve noticed men prefer an off-white over bright white or a white with a hint of grey. This keeps things a little more muted for them, which they like. I know my husband sometimes wishes I was a little more “muted”!

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This is the entry at Thom’s cabin. Again he adds the rustic elements with the stone floors, antique wooden console.  He mixes the old and the new with the contrast of the modern chrome table lamp. Very classy! It says I am down to earth, but still very sophisticated and refined at the same time.  He had said he put the bar in the entry to let people know that this is a place to relax, have a drink, and enjoy yourself, but the way he does it you know he isn’t planning on having a beer pong contest!

o-at-home

This is one of my very favorite spaces by Thom. It is his own living room in NYC! He uses a similar color pallete with the dusty grey-blues, taupes, and tans. He repeats the use of the straight lines in the coffee tables with the lines in the partition wall behind the sofa and behind that in the lines of his four poster bed. He adds the earthy elements in the gorgeous jute rug. What straight guys need to learn is that a home can really say a lot about who you are to your guests. If I walked into a guy’s house and it looked like this, well, let’s not go there, plus I’m married, but WOW! Notice there are no sports posters, leather recliners, or HUGE obnoxious flat screen tvs!

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Another amazing designer whos interiors always ooze in a sexy, sophisticated masculinity is Robert Passal. Notice, again, the straight lines are making a bold presense and not just in the most obvious way.  I love the old architectural drafts that he framed as art on the wall.  The colors scheme is similar to that of Thom’s but Robert’s decor is a little more daring with the bold pattern on the floor and the faux fur upholstery on the armchair. This is definintely a room that could make a girl weak in the knees!

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This is another amazing space by Robert Passal. This was at the Kips Bay Showhouse in 2005 and I was lucky enough to see it in person and it was GORGEOUS! So luxurious, and elegant, but with strong masculine undertones. I love how Robert uses his art collections to express his sophisticated sense of style, and again he uses a graphic funky rug to liven things up and show that he isn’t taking himself too seriously all the time. The colors are AMAZING in this space. Muted!  That’s what gives it the sexy smoldering appeal that gets our hearts racing. This room has the class and sex appeal of the Sean Connery/James Bond era that seems to be fading in men of the 21st century. Sorry guys, the truth hurts!

A few more examples which repeat the ingredients to a sexy, masuline space that we have discussed…

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livingroom

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So Sexy Guys! You know what women want ,so do us a favor and open up a help-line for all those beer bellied, sports worshipping, socks-throwing-on-the-floor, men that we get stuck with.

IE:

beer-belly

**This article in no way represents my wonderful husband who I am no longer allowed to write about. He does not have a beer belly (mainly because he has incredible metabolism) he does not throw his socks on the floor (fingers crossed behind my back) and even though he locks me and the girls out of the room while watching sports so that we don’t “jinx” his teams in no way means he is a crazed sports fanatic. It is not his fault that he doesn’t know the difference between “asking nicely” and “nagging” and it doesn’t make him any less lovable.  It’s just a horrible disease that you were born with as a straight man, but  don’t worry, your loving wife is here to help you overcome it! ;) Love you Sweetie! xoxo

…I am going to get in so much trouble for this! LOL





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Who are Yoo?

Posted By Hilary - New York | May 24, 2009 | 1 Comment | Category: Commercial Spaces, Designers

Yoo is an international  investment property company developing hotels, residential buildings, rental spaces and spa development projects in major towns and cities all over world.  It was founded by none other than Phillipe Starck, the genius behind the infamous “ghost chair”.  Starck is taking his design aesthetic across oceans and turning “Yoo” into a mega mogul of the design world.  Here’s a peek at what the flamboyant minimalist has been up to…

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Yoo Copenhagen: Philipe Starck’s signature look is the marriage of the sleek modern and baroque ornate aesthetics to create something that is totally YOO…and totally ME!!! Wow, the puns just go on and on.

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This is a  building near Wallstreet in NYC with itsy bitsy rentals for $4,000 and up (it’s NY, what do you expect), but WOW, you can’t beat this lobby.  I was actually lucky enough to see it in person a few months ago, and it is just as impressive if not more impressive, in person. Another signature of the Philippe Starck aesthetic is his very minimalist color schemes and one of those colors is usually grey or white.

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Yoo Panama City: If you love this mural try checking out the wall murals on  ALL POSTERS.COM like this black and white one of Clint Eastwood below.  This is very unexpected, nice and bold in black and white, a little kitschy, which of course I love.

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Another Panama City Yoo image. You’ll notice Starck always has amazing chandeliers too! Oh how I love a good chandelier! He picks just a few pieces that really make a huge dramatic statement and then leaves the rest of the space so clean and “stark”… yeah, I went there.

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Yoo Boston: Starck is also a huge Fornasetti fan (the images on the plates…I don’t know how  I just remembered that name, I can’t even remember my neighbors’ names!  Wow, I’m rather impressed with myself right now!) Anyway, more than likely they have some kind of marketing collaboration, or both, because Fornasetti does totally rock out with it’s porcelain out.  Ok, I’ll stop.

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Yoo Copenhagen: Again with the cool chandeliers, again with the white, again with the mod mix, uber-chic, damn I wish my house always looked that spotless (never gonna happen), Starck look.

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El Porteno Hotel, Argentina: I’m not sure if this is under the “Yoo” name, but Philippe Starck did design this AMAZING hotel, and I don’t want to go overboard with the Philippe Starck posts, so I’ll just throw it in here because it is WAY too good to leave out! This restaurant is SO HOT! Again, my family would stain everything in here, but a girl can dream can’t she!

Love it!

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Speaking of dreaming, I love this bed too! I should have put this in my last post on fabulous beds! This is also from the El Porteno Hotel. So Chic…or, as my fashion industry friends always say, “So Fierce” (they really do say that, it’s not just a lot of Project Runway hype!). That leads me to my next post. What a week in fashion heaven I’ve had here in NYC.  It was all so SATC! (Sex and The City for those of you who don’t know). I went to my friend’s debut fashion show Thursday and it was un-freakin-believable, then today I helped out at a fashion shoot for a magazine that was shot in a loft I designed!  So much fun. I took a ton of pics and will be blogging all about it soon! Till then, Liv CHIC!





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I have noticed that with the whole  recession going on, there is one thing that my clients still can’t go without, and that is a fabulous bed!

A great bed can transform a room from drab to fab, and even though your mattress may be the same, you sleep soooooo much better! It’s all psychological, but hey, whatever works!

Here are some of my favorite beds from luxurious, to over-the-top, to downright sexy!  And as you will see, not all beds were made for sleeping ;)

French Tufted Bed

French Tufted Bed


One of my favorites! This bed just looks so comfortable, doesn’t it! I could sleep for DAYS on that bed! What I would give to just sleep at all these days! (The kids like to wake up early!…like 5am early! ugh…they didn’t get that from my side of the family!)
I really love the color scheme in this room too! It’s like a breathe of fresh air (OMG, did I just say that! So corny, but it’s true!)

Bedroom by Jonathan Adler

Bedroom by Jonathan Adler

The King of OVER-THE-TOP himself, Mr. Jonathan Adler! What a freakin’ bed! I want to see a picture of the people that sleep on this thing! So wild! That headboard is gorgeous and I can see it working beautifully in a million different rooms.

I think I would have some pretty cool dreams in this bed! This is a perfect example of a bed “making the room”. It’s all you need really!

This is my personal idea of heaven! I LOVE this bed! I would throw some crazy wallpaper behind it, but other than that it is PERFECT! Graham and Greene make this bed as well as my furniture company, Liv-Chic.

Horchow makes this Baroque beauty and my furniture company also makes the same one!

Ok, I changed my mind , THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE! Oly Studio has done it again! All hail OLY!  I might never wake up if I fell asleep here!

Total Hollywood Glam! These last two beds remind me of Nicky and Paris Hilton’s homes by Faye Resnick! Can’t you just see those two having a pillow fight in here! (Nicky would kick Paris’ A!)

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…And like I said, some beds weren’t made for sleeping!

Goodnight!





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So, I know I’m suppose to be writing about NY, but I LOVE this LA store Room Service, which looks like it took all of the cool furniture and design inpiration from Kelly Wearstler’s Maison 140 and made it accesible to buy! Hooray! I am a HUGE Kelly Wearstler fan, aren’t we all, but I SWEAR I loved her WAAAAAY before she became so famous! Kelly, I LOVE YOU!!!

Anyway, back to my blog….So, I’m sure you have all seen Maison 140 pics a million times over, but take a look at this montage and compare to the pics from the Room Service store below. They really nailed her look and they seem to be trying to make it somewhat affordable (for now anyway).

Maison 140…been there, done that (and I want to do it again, and again, and again…)

This bedroom vignette is a total take off on Kelly Wearstler’s style, but that’s ok because I LOVE HER!!!…did I say that already?

Aspen Sofa $1995

Black Riviera Chair $1,3595 ea…ok, well these are a little pricey, but soooo HOT!

SOOOOOOOOOOOO Kelly, but they funk it up a little more with the mod pieces. Definitely her colors and patterns though!

So, Room Service, if you’re reading this, PLEASE COME TO NYC!!

Oh, and Kelly, if your reading this, I LOVE YOU!!

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