Monday, January 31, 2011

In and Outs of Wallcoverings

I get really tired of hearing that something is in or out, aesthetically speaking. If something is of value visually, it generally will always be that way. You may have to live with it for a few years until the trend comes back around to suit your look again, but I think everything in design is so cyclical.

I am forever telling clients who are worried about something in their home that "looks tired." Usually, it's just embarrassment over hanging onto a look from ten years ago. I guarantee that if you can make it to 20 years with a look, it's going to hip and up-to-the minute again. I can't think of an example of a particular style that doesn't look good, especially when it's done well.

I usually have one question for the client that wants to change a room's look, but not sure what they want to change it to: Do you like the room as it is? If the answer is yes, don't spend any money on it at all.

One interior design element that seems to be a great polarizer right now is wallcovering. Some say it's a throwback to the 70's, but there really hasn't been a period in time that wallcovering wasn't used. If you can't find a covering that you like, you aren't looking hard enough, or you're holding on to a prejudicial opinion about wallcovering that can usually be traced back to your mother. Working with an interior designer will usually help alleviate this tension, and think of it this way: it's like therapy that you get to enjoy!

Some of my favorite styles for wallcovering are Wallteriors, produced right here in Palm Springs; Cowan & Tout, a traditional favorite; Tony Duquette, a wild throwback to the 30's and 40's; and Trend.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Bright Idea

I'm trying hard to find a replacement light fixture for our showroom (our brancholiere sold). It's not an easy task because I keep getting distracted from my task and am sucked into looking all all sorts of lamps that aren't chandeliers...

Four fun picks:

Recycled demijon jug lamps: Also known as carboys, demijohn jugs were used to brew wine, beer, etc. These jars are made from recycled glass and come in eight fabulous colors with cream or natural burlap oval drum shades. $490

Automotive rotor repurposed as rugged pendant. Perfect for funky island or bar illumination. Designed by Wendy Umanoff $600

A ceramic "Foo Dog" in turquoise sits on a black wooden base below a black pagoda shade. Choose left or right facing, or pair them up $400

The last set, I just liked the look. I have no idea where they came from or how much they were.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1st Dibs Picks

Sometimes when I don't have time to actually window shop, it's fun to browse on Paris Hotel Boutique's website as well as 1st Dibs...This morning, I had a few minutes and saw two things that I'd have to have if I were furnishing my home today:

A really great pair of gilt-framed, raffia-covered chairs circa 1940, Mexico City. These were designed by Arturo Pani for his own residence. They are available at Downtown, La Cienega, Los Angeles- 310-652-7461

The second thing is this carved chestnut breakfront, circa 1970. The color alone is amazing, but the shapes and details are fantastic! This piece is available from Todd Merrill Antiques, New York City- 212-673-0531

Have fun window shopping!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Six Hour Sale February 4

Albert and George will have a SIX HOUR SALE on Friday February 4 from 2pm-8pm. This event coordinates with the February Desert Design Walk.
All accessories will be 25% off!

All candles (Voluspa and Rosy Rings) will be 50% off!

During this event, if you purchase one of William Miller Design's ala carte designer packages (four hours of design consultation, $450), we will offer a $75 discount, making it a fantastic value at $375. For more details about this popular interior designer option, contact us at 760-770-9199.

(Additionally, many furnishings at the Home Collection will be marked down 40% for this amazing event.

We'll be giving items away each hour, and refreshments will be served...stop in and say hi!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mimi London Furniture

Mimi London
creates furniture from logs and tree trunks and the result is amazing. These unique pieces look elegant in contemporary or mid century modern homes in Palm Springs, as well as anywhere in the world. I love the natural feel of the pieces contrasted with the dovetail work holding the raw timbers together. Each piece is hand-made to order in Los Angeles, and they encourage custom requests. Please call William Miller Design for your request.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Michael Berman Fabrics and Furnishings

Michael Berman has had a collection with Kravet for a couple of years now, but I still love using his fabrics in projects that call for dramatic draperies. His designs have fantastic historic references in them without being too over-the-top. If you ever get a chance to hear him present in person, he's also a delightful speaker. I loved how he tied in so much art history along with the functional arts as well as automotive design.

I also love his furniture line, especially his case goods and upholstered benches. Have some fun looking at his household eye candy on his website.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paul Schick: Fine Art Twig and Stick Sculpture

Schick's twig constructions began in 1987, after five mind-expanding years at Otis College of Art and Design. Inspired by such artists as Charles Arnoldi, Deborah Butterfield and Andy Goldsworthy, Schick has evolved and advanced his style through natural media. His creations have been featured in some of the finest hotels, spas and designer homes across North America. Paul will take pride in fashioning the perfect piece to meet your specific design needs. Paul has works in the homes of Cuba Gooding Jr and the late Farrah Fawcett, as well as installed at the Four Seasons, Scottsdale; The Pacific Athletic Club in San Diego; and Chadwick Restaurant in Beverly Hills.

We have one of Paul's pieces hanging in Albert and George, which has sold. We're looking forward to his next piece to hang in our store!

Designer Birthday

I sincerely meant to post this yesterday, which was my birthday, but I totally forgot to push the publish button on the 19th!

Today is my birthday. Everyone wants to know what to get me. A designer. An Interior Designer in Palm Springs. I know, I'm hard to shop for because I go out and get what I want before you have a chance to buy it.

Here's a quick list of things that I want.

1. An Airstream Bambi Trailer. An icon of American Design. This little 19-foot baby is just what I want to tow with my vintage woody station wagon for weekends in Malibu or at Lake Arrowhead. As my cousin says: "You really just want a big silver suitcase to drag your outfits around in."

2. Speaking of suitcases, I still am waiting for a full set of Goyard Luggage. In orange, please.

3. A luxury African Safari. Again. I just want to wear fancy outfits in inappropriate places. Arent' those tents fabulous, though?

4. McDonald's Gift Cards. Yes, I do love a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder. Once a week. You knew there'd be something in here that you could get me, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1980s Interior Design

had a call over the weekend to come and look at a client's home that they were considering purchasing (in Palm Springs). The interesting thing about this project is that they want to remodel the interior in an 80's style, carefully replicating the black-laminate-and-brass built-ins with curved edges, just like those that were the rage in the early 80's. It is going to be a fun project- the owners are very much into the vibe of the period, and really want to do it right- not a campy, tired rehashing of the set of Remington Steele.

The home that we toured was completely done by Palm Springs interior designer Steve Chase- and it still looked like a fun place. Lots of grey walls, but no mauve (not a fan a mauve here, even in the 80's). So many things come to mind when I think of the 1980's- the white and chromed apartment of Alexis Morell-Carrington-Colby-Dexter-Colby; the fabulous conservative subtle butter yellow rooms of Mario Buatta, smoked gold mirrored surfaces; the Nancy Reagan White House; and Nagel Prints.

Is there anything from the 1980's that you hope never comes to haunt the interior of your home?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wildcat Territory Bedding

of my favorite sources for bedding is Wildcat Territory Bedding. They have one of the most sophisticated lines available- and they look great in all sorts of homes. I'd call these semi-custom because they are made to order, and with their new "Cake" program, interior designers can reverse patterns within a specific type as well as order yardage for draperies or additional custom pillows. The lead time on these is generally a few short weeks, and the ultimate product retails for around $1200 for a complete Cal King set (but has the look of a $5000 set)! They are a fantastic value.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rue Magazine New Issue

case you haven't heard of it or checked it out...have a look at Rue, an online magazine that debuted in September. It has a fantastic look, and amazing photo editorial spreads, and so many cool looks! The new one will be out any day now- the coolest thing is that as long as you've got internet access, you can browse through the new issue as well as the past ones.

They've got a great blog going as well. Be sure to check both out!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bon Vivant Palm Springs

love a place to death that's in your backyard, but you somehow forget to stop back? I can't believe it's been about three years since I was in Bon Vivant, in the Galleria in Palm Springs. This fantastic shop, owned by partners Patrick and James, has really wonderful art glass and ceramic. Even if you aren't in the mood to buy anything, it's certainly a wonderful place to pop into and enjoy the colorful lush eye candy glass accessories.

While most of these items will find a new residence in a Mid-Century Modern home in Palm Springs, most would be comfortable in the interior of a desert contemporary home as well. I
am guilty of buying here and placing in the country club communities of Bighorn and The Reserve. Every room needs a little history!

Today I picked up a little ceramic owl figurine- for under $20. The pricing in here is amazing- but you can also find some wonderful higher-priced ceramic or art glass pieces. Bon Vivant is a great treasure for interior designers in the Palm Springs area.

Their address is 457 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.
Open Thursday- Monday 11-5PM

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Green Vases

Green is my favorite color. Or maybe green is tied with orange for my favorite color. Either way, it leaves a lot to choose from in home accessories- right now both colors are hot for home interiors, and look great at home here in the desert.

Some of my favorite green pieces are this pair of green ceramic artichoke vases (about $200 each), the set of six fun-shaped ceramic crackle glazed vases (about $550 for the set of six). and these lush green glass cylinders with a square etched cutout ($ 350 for the set of three).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kravet Blogger Event in May

Mondays are typically a drag, but I really perked up when I read that Kravet/Lee Jofa would be hosting a blogger-oriented whirlwind tour of NYC in May. I spoke to Kravet this morning, and definitely going to attend. Can't wait to see what fun events they have planned and I promise to write about it all and post it for you to read!

Did I mention how excited I am?!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Brick House- Thrifty!

One of my favorite blogs is The Brick House. She always has the greatest photos and love her purchases. She's just over the mountain from us in Hemet. I really enjoy reading her posts, and this morning is no exception. Love that she bought these great ottomans at Spaces in Cathedral City, right next to three of my other favorite haunts: Hedge, Colin Fisher, and HoM. These are centrally located so no matter if you are shopping for interior accessories or furnishings and coming from Palm Springs or Down Valley (Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, or La Quinta) it's fairly easy to get to.

Just this morning, I was recommending to a client who is worried about keeping her interior design budget down to check out these stores as well as The Estate Sale in Palm Springs. Aside from being a lot of fun to see what's available, the owners are fun to chat with and a lot of great interior design ideas are out there. The best part of it is that you get a great new interior design look for a lot less money.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Desert Design Walk this Friday!

The newly formed Desert Design District will hold its first Design Walk on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Its organizer, Steven Love Reed of interior design firm Egg & Dart Ltd., said the event is conceived as “a very grassroots, simplistic movement” to make contractors, interior designers and the homeowners they work for aware of the vendors here.

Many prospective customers go to more established design centers in Los Angeles or Orange County, unaware of the choices they have in the Coachella Valley.

Nearly all of the Design Walk participants are in Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and Indio.

William Miller Design and Albert & George will be participating as well, offering a 25% discount to designers for the evening's event.

For homeowners, William Miller Design will be offering a special price on 4-hour consultations. Normally priced at $450, they will be offered at this Friday's event for $380.

Stop by and visit us this Friday from 4-8 PM!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beach House, St. Bart's

Occasionally I see a beach house which totally makes me miss living near a large body of water. This amazing hilltop villa overlooks the Caribbean. Love its contemporary take on the beach house, and the use of wood on accent walls. How soon can I move in?

Oh, Palm Springs, why weren't you a little further West? We could have amazing homes, mountain views, and a beach view. Still, I think this color palette would work well in the desert, especially in a house designed for daytime entertaining.

To read more about this home, click here.
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