People in Glass Houses...

Urban Glass House by Philip Johnson from Business Week. Brick chevron pattern. 

You're probably wondering what chevron patterned flooring has to do with glass houses. I admit, it's a stretch, but coming up with witty titles for blogs day in and day out isn't easy. Turns out, Philip Johnson, famed architect used only chevron pattern floors in the Urban Glass House located in New York. Pretty cool to think that Philip and I have something in common: love of the sophisticated, simple chevron. I seem to be finding it everywhere lately. The makings of a trend perhaps? Either way, if you're looking for flooring with a bit more je ne sais quoi, try the chevron.

Chevron flooring in a light washed finish is extra chic.

A detail of the Bovary Dining Table by Oly. Chevron pattern in hand pieced limestone.

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HF Weekly Obsession: Go Organic

Organic Coffee Table by Global Views $879

A combination of two things I love: nature and gold. This table looks like someone grabbed some twigs and dipped them in burnished gold. Then they snapped on a mirrored top and called it a day. Not only is this table versatile (you can't put a label on this one), it's easy to clean (just wipe and go) and while your date's in the bathroom, you can easily lean over and make sure there's no spinach in your teeth. Lovely!

A closeup of the beautiful natural texture

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What's in a Name?

Traditional. Transitional. Contemporary. These words no longer apply to the new paradigm of furniture design. "Boutique Traditional", "Clean Transitional", "Modern Contemporary", New Eclecticism", and "Warm Modernisim" is how people are describing all the latest furniture designs that don't quite fit the old model. Every designer from Jonathan Adler to Thomas O'Brien has coined a new term to express their unique designs.

And if you ever wondered how retailers and furniture manufacturers come up with names for a sofa, it can be a very random process at times according to this article from the New York Times.

We came up with a lot of our names using a top 100 names for baby's list.

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What Time Is It?

Time for you to get... this clock! Does your home lack a personal touch? Do you need to get in touch with your inner artist? The Photoart Clock (by Umbra) is a great place to start. I challenge you to find one person that doesn't look back fondly on painting by number and admiring the finished product hung on the fridge. And for those of us who can't paint a convincing flower to save our lives- this will give you a little ego boost. I especially like the clock when it's half finished so that you can still see some of the lines and numbers. So much style, and it keeps time for you!

Metropolitan Home featured the Photoart Clock in their January/February issue


Holiday Gift Guide: For the Art Lover

1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die 

I know. It's a little late to be buying Holiday gifts. Even if you can't find this book at your local Borders or Barnes & Noble in time for Tuesday, just think of this as THE present to get for your friend who you didn't think would get you a gift. But they ended up getting you gift for Christmas.

I saw this book walking through Anthropologie, and I thought immediately that any art lover would appreciate this book. Pick this up for that special someone to celebrate the new year.


HF Weekly Obsession: Starry Night

Just in time for Christmas I noticed this angelic light fixture on the second floor. I can only imagine how lovely it would look grouped against a dark wall like a starry night sky. And I can only imagine because each one is over $1000. Well, a girl can dream, right? Cost aside, it's perfect for Christmas because such a sparkly time of year deserves a very sparkly light fixture. By the way... the picture doesn't do it justice to how lovely it is!

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Celebrity Style

Normally when I pick up a magazine featuring the home of a celebrity I like, I end up disappointed. Most of the ones I see just lack personality, looking like the star had nothing to do with the decor inside. I just found the exception to the rule. Domino Magazine's December/January 2008 issue features the home of the lovely Amanda Peet. Not only does her house look like someone actually lives in it, it has style in every corner. She blends a variety of colors without making it look matchy-matchy. 

Every room has a burst of color surrounded by airy whites and neutrals. The look is organic, clean, and California cool.

My favorite room has to be the room she created for her baby girl. While it's definitely girly, it still has an air of sophistication by resisting the pastels and going for the gusto with hot fuschia.

Grouping photos and art as she's done above is so easy to do and has a great effect. It doesn't require large paintings- just simply framed photos of family with a few pieces of eclectic art thrown in.

If you haven't picked up this issue of Domino yet, drop everything and get it now. The house is packed with ideas to inspire. And that's precisely what I'm here to do- point you in the direction of inspiration.

Fun Fact: I met Amanda Peet while working at Club Monaco in New York City and she's very nice.

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How To: Give Your Furniture A Facelift

Let's face it- furniture is expensive. I'm sure we would all redecorate annually if we had the time and money, but who really does? With that in mind, when your armoire gets a bit stale, don't toss it- give it a facelift (without the nasty recovery). A few tweaks and a couple of weekends will take your formerly blah piece to Ooh la la!

Don't give up on it just yet! Even this can be saved!

Step One: The easiest way to change the look of wood furniture is to either paint or stain it. Paint is the simpler of the two, but staining is best when the wood has great texture that you want to show off. Resist the urge to match the paint to something else in the room and pick a completely different color. High-gloss black or white adds punch to a piece. Any paint store can hook you up with the paint you need. Give the piece two coats and let it dry for about a week before you put anything in or on it. Otherwise, you will have some very sticky knick knacks.

More than meets the eye with Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams pieces.

Step Two: I love when there's more to a piece of furniture than meets the eye. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is great at putting in cool little touches like contrasting paint or wallpaper in drawers of their casegoods. Take a page from their book (and they literally do have a book), and add some hidden extras.

Belle Fleur Knob $8, Diamond Gal Knob $6, and Zinnia Large Knob $8- all from Anthropologie

Step Three: Don't forget the hardware! My favorite place to get hooks and knobs is Anthropologie. They have a terrific selection of knobs in every color imaginable. And, feel free to go nuts- knobs are inexpensive and easy to change! Also, if you are revamping a piece that will be used for media equipment, it is always handy to have a hole in the back for cords and ventilation. Hunt down a friend with a drill and cut out a circular hole.

There you have it. Just three easy steps and your furniture is getting a new lease on life. Not to mention your wallet hasn't suffered one bit! Fantastic!

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HF Weekly Obsession: Welcome to Denmark

Thank you, Denmark. You've given us such wonderful things, such as Helena Christensen, the danish (I'm not even sure if that's true, but it makes sense), and now, the Copenhagen coffee table. Okay, so technically, you did not give us the Copenhagen coffee table. Blue Fish did. But it's named after your capital city, and a wonderful name it is. About as wonderful as this table. One part rustic, one part industrial. It will mingle nicely with the shabby chics and the ultra moderns. And at about $600, you won't have to give up your daily latte to make it your own. Enjoy!

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Holiday Gift Ideas: New York Times 2007 Holiday Gift Guide

If you are like me, you are still waiting to buy your first gift this Holiday season. Well, I saw this inspirational list via the NY Times: 2007 Holiday Gift Guide. Here are some of my favorites from the list.

Anthropologie's Curator nightstand resembles a stack of frames; $698 from Great look. It's a subtle, statement piece that I think will add some punch to any room setting.

The Cat L.E.D. flashlight is $10 from Everyone has a friend that's a cat-lover for life.

Wall O Photos holds 28 4-by-6-inch pictures. Everyone is always looking to add an element with some height in a room. The Wall O Photos accomplishes that and adds a very personal touch, with great interest. It's only $15.

The Magnet Note Clock is $25 from This is for everyone that does not own a Palm Pilot and forgets to pick up loved ones at the airport.

The Coyote Fur Hammock is $8,225 at CITE, 131 Greene Street, (866) 764-0888. This hammock probably works better in Hamptons. But if anyone is looking to get on the good side of PETA, this is a decadent way to lounge around on a cool Sunday afternoon.

Inside Out liqueur glasses come in a set of two for $55 from Unique look with a classic edge.

The Minnen rocking horse bench is $39.98 at I've got a new nephew, so I'm definitely feeling this affordable/cute piece for the little one.

The Rise and Fall peacock pillow is $30 from Peacocks are actually very aggressive birds. But the pillow, much like their real life counterpart, is a gorgeous piece.

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Flora & Fauna

I'm seeing a theme lately and it has nothing to do with Christmas. Plants and birds are everywhere lately and all set to brighten up and Spring-ify your home.

For an easy change, start with the Chinoiserie bedding from Dwell Studio (left). The look reminds me of old botanical prints. It's feminine, but not so precious that a guy couldn't live with it. Pair it with simple grey sheets and a couple throw pillows to break it all up.

Option Two: Go all out and install a lovely, simple floral wallpaper. Anna Dove's "Rose Garden at Night" (right)would make an excellent accent wall. However, she has many more options to fit your taste.

Take a peek in your favorite stores and see what you find. It seems that even with the cold winter upon us, everything is coming up roses (and blue jays, and peonies, and robins....) It feels like Spring just thinking about it.


Brilliant Book of the Week:

posted by *The Eclectorator* at 0 Comments
Are you tired of your husband bumping you into your oven while taking out the roast for dinner? How about having your dishwasher five feet away from the sink? Of course, no one really thinks about functionality until after they have battled their kitchen only to discover that the builder had no idea what he was doing when he was constructing it. Now, don't blame the builder. Instead, take on a new perception towards your kitchen. You can make it the dream kitchen you've always wanted, the only question is how.

Check it out!
"The Kitchen Planner: Hundreds of Great Ideas for your New Kitchen" by Suzanne Ardley.

This is a spiral-bound, 112 paged book. From assessing your space and usage, kitchen style and planning, surfaces and finishes, to equipment, and quick fixes--you will have a plethora of choices. It even has static cling kitchen templates to build your kitchen in plan view on the inside of the front cover. How awesome is that? I do have to warn you though; you're going to need a lot of post-it notes to remember all the cool ideas you'll want to use for your new kitchen!

Happy reading!!

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Trick Out Your Tree 2: Your Ornament Wish List

Sifting through the mounds of ornaments that descend upon your favorite stores during the Christmas season is, at the very least, a challenge. At worst, motive for homicide. Huge proponent of online shopping that I am (Christmas shopping in pajamas!), I've compiled a list of my favorite ornaments this year- all available online. Drumroll please...

10. Dasher, Dancer, and the whole gang (minus a light up red nose) taking a well-deserved break on your tree. Or better yet, hang them from your mantle! Set of four from

9. In general, I just think birds are pretty and this little guy from Anthropologie is one of the cutest I've seen thus far.

8. Like I said, I have a thing for birds. These remind me of my favorite season- Spring. For those of you dealing with blizzards, I'm very sorry, and here is your glimmer of hope. Set of three at

7. Who says ornaments can't be a work of art? This piece is from Jay Strongwater (sold at Neiman Marcus) and it is absolutely exquisite. And at $350, you may not even want to put it on your tree. Just put it beneath a box of bulletproof glass.

6. Raise your hand if you understand the Christmas pickle thing. Congrats, you're one of about two people that get it. Here's the deal for everyone else. The Christmas Pickle is part of an old German tradition where the adults would decorate the tree on Christmas Eve whilst the children slept. In the tree they would hide the pickle. The first child to find it in the morning was deemed the most observant and got an extra present. And now you know. From Sur La Table.

5. Let's face facts. Not every ornament on your tree can be a Strongwater. So, for tree filler, nothing beats these cute pinecones from Crate & Barrel (set of six). What's so great about them? They're pinecones- they belong on a tree!

4. Ornaments don't only have to be made of glass. This tweed owl from Anthropologie was just too adorable to pass up. And he looks very wise.

3. I am declaring Christopher Radko the King of Ornaments. After seeing the Nutcracker at the Houston Ballet again this year, I'm on a nutcracker kick. Radko delivered. His ornaments are handmade with precision and care. Start your collection with this guy!

2. I guess owning this ornament already makes me a bit biased. But, what is Christmas without mistletoe? Real silver-dipped misteltoe? That's what I thought. I ordered mine from Uncommon Goods and have been lurking in doorways ever since.

1. How does the song go? Pear in a Christmas Tree? No? Well, maybe they should change it, because this ornament is perfect. It's got everything I look for in an ornament- sparkle, simplicity, and a price tag under $350. Okay, a price tag under $10. Congrats Pottery Barn, you win! Save one for me- I'm on my way!

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Presenting... The Environment Gallery

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Holiday Gift Ideas: Green Gift Guide: For Her (Inhabit)

Check out Inhabit's timely blog on "Green Gift Guide: For Her".

Solar powered purse that can recharge anything from iPods to cellphones. Sweet!

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How To: Coffee Table-ize Your Ottoman

It is quite true that comfort is absolutely key when it comes to the room you lounge in. You've found your perfect napping sofa, but there are times when you can't take up the entire thing (how dare someone sit on your sofa!). That is when you call in reinforcements: your ottoman. But rather than lugging it around the room every time you feel the need to put your feet up, leave it front and center. Make it pull double duty. Retire your coffee table and bring on the ottoman.

Step One: Dinky ottomans need not apply. Make sure it is large enough for everyone to reach from the sofa. Or, if you're in love with a smaller design, line up two or three. American Leather makes an adorable style called Uno. It has storage space and the top flips over to make a tray for your drinks. How cute!

Step Two: Dress it up. You wouldn't let your coffee table go naked. Same rule applies for your ottoman. Add a tray so that you and your guests have a solid surface for drinks. Include a vase with flowers to give it color. Put out your most artsy cocktail books with an interesting knick-knack on top. Don't get crazy though, or you won't be able to follow the next step.

Step Three: Put your feet up. Make sure there is enough room for the ottoman to do its job- which is helping you relax! Your roomie will thank you for not hogging the sofa.

P.S. Sorry about the poor pictures. They're from my inspiration book which has been with me for eight years, so they're bound to experience some wear and tear! But, hey, you get the gist.

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Brilliant Book of the Week:

posted by *The Eclectorator* at 0 Comments
This next book is for everyone who has trouble with color. Let's face it; we ALL have trouble more often than not. Out of all the books out there telling you what goes with what- I have found your color bible!

Check it out! "Color for Interior Design" By Ethel Rompilla.

So here's the scoop: The book is divided into three sections- the history of color, color theory and meaning, and the application of color in an interior. Each segment is essential in understanding and using color. Now this isn't a picture book! So you have to commit time to read and scribble some notes. After that you will be left with so many ideas and inspirations you'll run to the paint store tomorrow to start working on your fire engine red kitchen!

Happy reading!!

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HF Weekly Obsession: This Bamboo Ain't For Luaus

Don't run and hide when you hear the words "bamboo furniture". This is not the tiki-hut variety you are accustomed to. Maria Yee's Bamboo Timbre pieces feature amazing texture and sleek finishes. The Metro Cone table is no exception. Finished in a lucious Toffee (at left) that looks good enough to top your sundae with, every striation of the bamboo comes out. While the midnight finish shows off the sleek design (which holds its own, by the way), it's the toffee that really makes the piece shine. Ain't that sweet?

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