Cleaning Out The Prop Closet…

There comes a time in every designer’s life when you simply have too much stuff.  Actually I used the other “s” word to describe my predicament.  Between keeping a ready supply of goodies for client installs and styling shoots for clients, I found myself with a storage unit full of lamps, accessories and odds-and-ends that simply were not being used.  I am as much a hoarder as the next person, but sitting on these beauties seemed foolish and honestly a tad selfish.

Being the giving person I am, I partnered up with a fab local company called Previously Owned By a Gay Man or as I like to call them POBAGM to sell my little treasures.  While the company has a funny name, it has an awesome concept; work with local designers and taste makers to cull their closets/storage units and curate collections of gently used home decor and accessories to sell to the general public at fair prices.  When the owners approached me for a sale, I initially shuttered at the idea of saying goodbye to any of my pieces.  However, I had to remind myself that it does no good having a beautiful things in boxes on a shelf…..they are meant to be shared, appreciated and make friends jealous of your superior decorating skills (wink).  So I am parting ways with all these great things and more …..

POBAGM Slide 1

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1) Vintage Leather Trunk:  I am second-guessing selling this piece because it’s so beautiful.  The leather is perfectly aged and would make a great coffee table or a piece at a foot of a bed….

2) Thai Sundial:  I love things on a stand or pedestal – they instantly have presence.  I have used this piece repeatedly in shoots to fill console tables or shelving.  It’s the perfect object d’art …..

3) Tortoise Shell Floor Lamp:  This sucker is heavy and crazy beautiful when lit.  Tucked into a corner, it provides the perfect ambient glow for reading or pipe smoking….

4) Mirror w/ Nailhead Trim:  Masculine and oh so cool, I loved this mirror and used it in a shoot in a gentleman’s bedroom.  Hang by your front door to give yourself the once over before heading out……

5) Megaphone Pendants:  I was so bummed the client opted not to use these in their kitchen.  I loved their simplicity and geometric quality.

POBAGM Slide 2

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6) Octagon Mirror:  It’s a big geometric beauty that I wish fit in my home.  Faceted mirror on all sides and angles that reflect light beautifully.  I am tempted to redesign our master bath just to keep this…

7) Persian Rug:  It’s a slightly larger than 5×8 wool antique Persian rug for cheaper than what you can get a synthetic bath mat.  I was smitten with the purples and red in the piece – dark, mood and dramatic….

8) Vintage Boy Portrait:  I like portraits.  Blame Emily Henderson…or thank her.  Regardless, I used his brother as inspiration for Christmas but couldn’t find a home for him.  So don’t let him be an orphan this holiday season.

9) Trio of Brass Cage Pendants:  Sometimes you buy stuff and think about it later.  Well it’s now later.  I bought these on a whim thinking that the right client would emerge.  They never did to my chagrin.  Brass plated with red wire and brass ceiling mount, these would rock on a bathroom or as bedside lighting for the more adventurous.  Can be purchased individually as well.

10) Pair of Silver Lamps:  Art Deco in feel but with a jute/linen shade….it’s like the Beverly Hillbillies!  These were used as desk & bedside table lamps and now they can serve you!

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11) White Shield Mirror:  I love this mirror – it a class shape and the white makes it so fresh.  It wanted to use this in a bedroom but got nixed.  Sadly it never found a home after that…..

12) Brass Urn Lamp:  I call this lamp Earl.  I don’t know why but when I found it at an estate auction, I was instantly smitten with its massive side and grandeur.  This could look “hotel-y” in the wrong room, but i would center it on a console in a hallway and flanked with piles of books, everyone would call you the Earl of Cool….

13) Jonathan Adler Sconce:  Funny story about this sconce….actually not that funny because I bought the wrong thing for a client.  Somehow I bought the sconce when we needed the pendant.  So my stupid mistake is your gain.

14) Tripod Floor Lamp:  So this lived in my home for many years and eventually it found itself in the garage along with numerous other lamp casualties.  It’s a great lamp with a telescoping base but as with all things in life, my style changed and the lamp needs a new home…

15) Seascape Painting:  I initially bought this piece for the frame but the oil painting grew on me.  This would be great as part of a larger gallery wall or simply hung by itself.  The frame gives this piece such presence as I could see it as part of a simple but striking vignette with the brass urn lamp….

16)  Silver Urn:  This has been an umbrella stand, end table and planter in different photo shoots.  Translation – this little guy is versatile!  

I am adding more items as things sell, so check back to see what other goodies I weed out.  I wonder if doing all this sharing can get me off Santa’s naughty list because y’all know I need all the help I can get!  Now quit reading and start shopping!

[photo credit: michele hofherr]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Gift Guide for the Pampered Pooch ….

I am a proud pet owner.  If you follow me on Instagram you will probably know that it is littered with snapshots of my pup, Scruffy….

Scruffy Collage

I love that little mutt like he is member of the family, so it makes sense that as Christmas approaches, I am searching for the perfect little something to stuff into his stocking (and yes he has a stocking).  If I was a betting man, I think that there is a strong possibility that one (ok two..) of these items may find their way into Scruffy’s life come Christmas morn …

pampered pooch gift guideClockwise: Petite Doggie Rope “Cigars” // Ralph Lauren Fair Isle Dog Sweater // Porcelain Geo Bone Dog Bowl // Union Made Hand Dyed Ombre Dog Leash // Jax & Bones, Jerry the Giraffe Dog Toy // TheArtfulPet Custom Pet Portrait // Collapsible Water Bowl

Typically I am against dressing up animals as little humans but I think I may break my rule for that Ralph Lauren doggy sweater.  ACK!  I can justify it by stating that is has been unseasonably cold this year in California.  But honestly, while the sweater may help fight the chill for Scruffy, it 100% warms my heart!

Don’t miss our other gift guides:  Stylish Finds for the Stylish Lass and the Non-Girly Gift Guide for Guys…..

Now if you excuse me, it’s time for Scruffy’s walk and I don’t want to be late!

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Talking Out Loud with BEAM …..

There has been an explosion of young entrepreneurs that are not in dot-com or finance.  These new waves of young business owners are embracing more traditional job paths that forgo IPOs and embracing alternative careers.  They are artisans, crafts persons, shop owners and skilled collectors who are keeping time-honored traditions alive.  ”Talking Out Loud” is a chronicle of the conversations with these people about their work, life and inspirations……

You just never know.  My clients-turned-dear-friends invited The Partner and myself to go to Palm Springs with them a  few months ago along with a few of their other friends.  One of the other people on the trip happened to be my client’s best friend from college, Ali.  What struck me immediately about Ali was his almost encyclopedic knowledge about furniture.  While law may be Ali’s profession, design is his passion, so much so that last month he took a leap of faith. teamed up with a business partner and opened up a fantastic retail store in Brooklyn called BEAM.  As Ali puts it, the store’s style” is a bit mid-century, and a bit rock and roll with a healthy dose of humor.”

Sounds like a place I could quickly fall in love with.  It’s also why I cornered Ali and forced him to this interview……

BEAM INTERIOR

Finish this sentence…. “A lawyer and an antiques dealer open a home décor store and…..”

… both Elle Woods and Hanna Horvath shop there and love it!
 
The trend over the last few years has been to open an online store, so why did you decide to open up a physical storefront?
 
Personally I love the experience of shopping in a physical store — all of your senses are engaged, you can touch and feel the product, there’s a social aspect if you are shopping with a friend or interacting with the store’s staff, there’s the thrill of discovering something really special that you fall in love with.  Online stores are convenient, but I don’t think they will ever be able to re-create that experience.  That said, we are planning to launch an online store soon, to complement our physical location.  You almost have to have an e-commerce presence these days, because even if people love and visit your brick-and-mortar store, they want the option of being able to shop from home as well.
 
The store has an emphasis on nurturing emerging talent.  Who are some of the new designers and their products in the store?
 
We are lucky to have so many talented artists and designers in our backyard!  Right now, we’re showcasing Deborah Shavlik’s wool and cashmere pillows and bags with pills, lips, and starburst designs on them, which Deborah makes using a felting technique not unlike tattooing; byAMT’s leather strap baskets, which make handsome storage for your magazines; and Colin Adrian’s stained glass feathers, which create a great visual when hung up in a window and the light reflects off the different colored glass.

Deborah CollagebyAMT
 
What are the hot sellers in the store right now?  Are you noticing a trend in what people are buying for Fall?
 
Anything in a warm metallic, like copper or brass, has been big.  Japanese shibori tie-dyed textiles have been popular.  People also love this very unique Seletti dinnerware set we found, which melds traditional Eastern patterns with Western designs to create “hybrid” pieces.

Brick_Mortar_-_Interior3_1_grande
 
As Christmas draws, what 2-3 things do you think would make a perfect holiday present that you currently have in the store?
 
Everyone on my holiday list is getting a “Brooklynese” coffee set, which comes packed with two “Cawfee” cups, a “Shuguh” bowl, and a “Creamah” pitcher – great for anyone with a special place in their heart for New York.  Alexandra Ferguson’s bold typography pillows have fun sayings on them like “Let’s Make Out,” “Be Nice or Leave,” “Go to the Gym,” “Call Your Mother,” and so on.  There’s a saying for everyone, so you can get through you holiday shopping list pretty quickly.  Jon McCoy’s crystal votive holders are really special and make great gifts.  They are handmade using crystals like amethyst and quartz, and when you light them up, they literally glow from the inside.

Brick_Mortar_-_Interior4_1_grande  
Having spent time on both coasts, have you noticed any major differences in how people decorate their homes in NYC versus Los Angeles? 
 
One of the things I love about LA is that the weather allows you to create these great indoor-outdoor living spaces, which isn’t as easy in New York.  Folks in LA aren’t afraid of color, and the style is more casual.  New Yorkers like things a bit more polished, architectural, with clean lines.  Most New Yorkers also have space issues, so finding furniture and accessories that serve multiple purposes is more important.
 
Being in the home décor business you are exposed to a multitude of “lust worthy” items.  What are 3 things that make your heart go “pitter patter” that you would love to own?
 
It’s hard to pick just three, but right now I’m lusting after Tom Dixon’s black velvet mohair highback chair, Bocci’s globe pendant chandeliers, and Brian Gennett’s line of trays and side tables made from vintage leather book covers and antique brass (which we will be carrying in the store soon!).

Ali Collage

As a small business owner, what two pieces of advice would you give to someone planning on opening his or her own store?

First, have a concept.  The most successful small retailers have a unique perspective or point of view, and their customers return to them again and again because of that.  Second, do your research.  The technical details can be boring, but you have to know the demographics of your market, who your competitors are, where you are going to source your product, how much it is going to cost, how long it takes to make.  As a small business owner, every decision counts, so you have to arm yourself with as much information as possible to make informed decisions.
 
If you had to describe the ingredients that went into making Beam the strong brand it is today, what would you say they were?

Seeking out good design for our customers is at the core, because we strongly believe that good design makes your life better.  A sense of humor is also important, because these days people lead such stressful lives, it’s nice to see someone come into the store, pick something up, and smile.

Thank you Ali and I am so excited to spread the BEAM gospel of good design mixed with a healthy dose of humor.  That my friends is a recipe for success in my book!

[pictures courtesy of BEAM, Deborah Shavlik, byAMT, BEAM, Brian Gennett, Tom Dixon & Bocci Lighting]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.