Recent Posts

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Alkemie: Romantic French Style Bedrooms

Alkemie: Romantic French Style Bedrooms

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I was an Unexpected guest on today!

I'm so excited!!!! Victoria from sfgirlbybay included me and my home in her Unexpected Guest Series this morning. I've so enjoyed emailing back and forth with Victoria - she's a lovely woman and quite talented as most of you know. If you aren't familiar you can see her Etsy store here and her blog here. She and her endeavors are a daily source of inspiration for me! I thank you so much for the profile Victoria - and I profess my admiration for your wonderful style.

sfgirlbybay: Unexpected Guests: The Vintage Laundress.

sfgirlbybay: Unexpected Guests: The Vintage Laundress.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Design heroes: Kenzo Takada

Kenzo Takaka
Kenzo Takaka - by thevintagelaundry on

In 2006 Japanese fashion genius and founder of Kenzo designed a collection of crystal for Baccarat as well as a housewares line of luxe tableware, bedding, pillows and even playing cards. Kenzo also launched a unisex fragrance in June of 2008 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fashion label. It is called Vintage and was created with the idea of capturing some of the spirit of the seventies, the decade that saw Kenzo Takada enter the couture scene in Paris...... The purple bottle decorated ... with a hippie peace-and-love sign can be bought in four differently designed outer packages - and I love it all!

Born: Kyoto, Japan, 1940

Studied: Takada was one of seven children and developed an interest in fashion through reading the magazines of his sisters. He quit Kobe University to try to become one of the first male students at Tokyo's Bunka Fashion College (Bunkafukuso Gakuin). His parents did not approve of his career ambitions and he had to work part-time in Tokyo to support himself while he did evening prep courses in design. After some six months, he was finally accepted to the prestigious college and the kind of determination that got him there was to serve him well in the future.

Kenzo Spring 1999Takada's first work borrowed heavily from traditional Japanese styles but it was his 'big silhouette' designs which drew worldwide attention. His designs made him something of a trend setter for young fashion. In Japan, he is highly regarded as a pioneer who introduced Japanese fashion design to a world audience. Always very selective of his fabric, Takada in recent years has moved into the design of furniture coverings and household items. In September 1999, he announced that he was handing over the reins of his fashion house to his assistants.

Each week I plan on making installments on this series called Design Heroes. My goal is to profile iconic designers who have made waves in the design world and have personally contributed to my style sense - I hope you enjoy!

Victoire de Castellane

Victoire de Castellane is crazy fun watch this video and fall in love!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Adolie Day

...clearly, I’m a Print and Pattern slut - I flitter around that blog and bookmark and bookmark and bookmark . . . well, you get the picture - I can’t help myself from developing crushes on almost all of the artists profiled
So . . . I tell you that story to tell you this one . . .

Adolie Day is a French Illustrator whose work I came to know through the Print and pattern blog and now I’m completely enamored with all her illustrations & paintings. In addition to all that work, she’s also a textile designer for children’s fashion, which clearly influences her choice of color and texture. She has a website, and you can enjoy her blog and an Etsy store as well. This is the part of this post where I struggle with putting on airs and pretending to speak French - well, I can’t and unfortunately her website and blog are produced in her native tongue - so, Goggle translation comes in very handy. She seems to have a lovely spirit and in addition to drawing beautifully, she is adorable - don’cha think?!

Photos at her book signing are from here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pray for Our Nation and Our New Leader

Congratulations and may God bless you and your lovely family as you and our nation begin this long journey!

In 2002 my family and I were given the opportunity to visit Chicago for ten days. Included in our souvenirs we brought back with us was a full body infatuation with Chicago and it’s history, culture and citizens. During our stay I gained an appreciation for the work of Langston Hughes. And today as I watched all of the inaugural festivities and listened to our 44th President’s speech one of his poems came to mind.

I, Too, Sing America
by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

More of Langston Hughes work can be seen on The foundation works to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in American culture.

The photo above of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama waving to the cheering crowd while walking part of the inaugural parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue was taken by Rob Carr for AP.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nothing Up My "Candle Sleeve"

Apparently these have been blogged to death but I couldn't resist. The candle sleeves on your chandelier are white or cream - right? But now we don’t have to rely solely upon prisms to bring a little bling or funk to a ho-hum, ordinary chandelier. Recently while I was flipping through the February edition of House Beautiful I spied a really groovy product by KaarsKoker, a company that produces, among other things, candle sleeves. What a great way of adding a punch of color to otherwise ordinary chandelier or sconce. So, I went to check out the site and I must admit they charmed me - and my fifteen year old was quite taken with pink skull motif. They are made of laminated art paper and cardboard, the tubes are available in a rainbow of solid colors and patterns, including clover, and crossbones, polka dots, hounds tooth, basket weave

The sleeves have a standard candelabra-size inside diameter of 13/16 inch, and come in 4- or 6-inch lengths that can be trimmed to size with a serrated knife. Cost is $12 to $23 per pair. Oh, and kaarsKoker, translates to "candle sleeve" in Dutch.

Below are a few of my favorites:

Friday, January 9, 2009

“Good Morning M'am, Could You Get Out of My Way?

I was looking at this person in the mirror this morning and I said to her, “Good morning M'am, could you get out of my way so that I can see how I look this morning!”’ And of course, much to my dismay - that was “how I looked” this morning. Apparently, I misplaced my style in 1993 when I became “preggers” with my baby girl. And if matters weren’t dismal enough in 1995 my style was pronounced dead on arrival with the birth of my little boy. So, to roll with the new me I decided that just because my body couldn’t fit into all the fun, young, “fetus-sized” fashion that I used admire and on occasion wear didn’t mean that my feet had to suffer - they were the same size - I could still indulge in my shoe fetish! Which leads me to today post . . .

This morning, after my mirror siting, I was sitting in front of my computer slurping on my 32 oz. carbonated beverage and munching on my breakfast - and there it was - one of my favorite blogs written by Megan at beachbungalow8 - it was a post about this young woman living in a Dallas town home with her obviously stylish and generous mom and sister. Yikes! this little girl is only like fifteen or sixteen years old and has already procured an amazingly expansive and expensive collection of shoes and well . . . crazy fun style! She has a blog called Sea of Shoes and often puts pictures of her outfits up - I love this because my daughter and son often post photos of outfits on their Flickr and blog accounts.

So, with egg and cheese biscuit still embedded in the corners of my mouth, accentuating my Viking, dog breath, I decided to not judge or question she or her mother. But to relish the days when I have had the means to indulge my children’s interests and encourage them to seek out what turns them on be it fashion, art, music, etc. Self expression is, after all, another form of art. And as Megan said in her post, “Because of her thorough knowledge, and exposure, this girl is already well on her way to being a true force in the fashion industry.”

And like Megan I applaud her mother.

Designer Mary McDonald . . . she's my favorite!

Who graced the first cover of Domino Magazine and designs the most amazing interiors? You know her you love her, it's LA based interior designer Mary McDonald. So, yesterday I decided I would look through my Deco File on and browsed through some new gallery photos as well and there she was looking all "glamy" in front of her Hollywood guest house. The photos are marvelous! As I said before her first spread in Domino blew me away and since have been enamored with her style and work. Everything from her "Tom Jones rock 'n' roll breakfast nook" to her "audaciously preppy den" just captivates me - does that sound creepy and "stalker-ish"? - hope not!

I think it's really groovy how McDonald will design a basically monochromatic room and then give it shot of contrast - like for instance my personal "fav" pink. In the bedroom, the swanky canopy bed has a "shock-o-morocco-pink" painted ceiling, and in other rooms she has accented the sea of navy with dashes of deep rose and an abstract looking pink canvas hung above the fireplace mantel. Another nifty trick she has incorporated is to add fluidity to a particularly long room that is divided into two separate areas with pops of pink throw pillows.

You can find the full gallery of photos here. The February 2009 photos above are by Miguel Flores-Vianna and you can find more about his work here. And the Domino, January/February 2006
photograph is by Melanie Acevedo and more of her work can be found here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Designer Barry Williams' Turtle Creek Apartment

Barry Williams
is a childhood friend who was featured in the December issue of D Home Magazine. It was wonderful to see Barry be recognized for his talents - way to go! His fabulous Turtle Creek Boulevard apartment, pictured above is heavily detailed, classic, lush, layered, and rich. Barry muses in the article about how he got swept away by it’s legendary reputation in Dallas.

We have not seen each other since our college days but even then his classic style shown through. He’s always had a knack for making all that he touched fabulously elegant. Barry is six feet six inches tall and I am six feet 1 inch tall - we used to proclaim that our children would be quite tall! In the article Barry speaks of renovating his bathroom's 32 inch vanity to match his six feet six inch frame. I feel your pain! I have such fond memories of Barry and our summers spent playing in my cousins front yard in Wichita Falls and college memories of quick hugs and catch up at the local dance spots. It is a wonderful thing when wonderful people have wonderful lives!

Barry has a wonderful interior design firm in Dallas, Texas and you can get info here. You can read the entire article about his apartment here and find more of photographer Stephen Karlisch work here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Carrie Leber from Bloomacious included The Vintage Laundry in a collection of pink interiors, appliances, objects, etc - Thanks Carrie! I've just found Bloomacious - and I must admit I have a huge crush!

Bloomacious was inspired by a love of all things beautiful and full of promise. This site overflows with optimism, fashion, interiors, flowers, food. Carrie says it was their goal to create a magazine rich in images and ideas where our readers could turn when they needed a lift and some inspiration. They have been working hard since their launch a few months ago, to create a catalog of images and information and other good stuff for readers to indulge in. I'm going to be reading on a regular basis as they add more interviews, images and articles - go check it out here and see what you think.

Here's to 2009!

I realize I'm about 6 days late for a Happy New year post, but I couldn't resist this one. This is a wonderful post I saw on Design Crush.

Neil Gaiman is the author of one of my daughter's favorite books, Coraline published in 2002 by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. It was awarded the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, the 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, and the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers. It has been compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland because of its surrealism and plot based in an alternate-reality. Gaiman is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. Other notable works include The Sandman comic series, Stardust, and American Gods. The extreme enthusiasm of his fans has led some to call him a "rock star" of the literary world. He lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, in an "Addams Family house". He is married to Mary T. McGrath and has three children, Michael, Holly and Madeleine. He also writes a journal you can view here.