The Celebrity Apprentice Decor!

The Apprentice has been a mixed bag the last few seasons. But this season, they've added the "Celebrity" component with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Gene Simmons, Piers Morgan, Stephen Baldwin, Marilu Henner, Trace Adkins, and Carol Alt. And another nice twist is that the winning project manager receives a donation to their favorite charity. The charm and chemistry of the celebrities have made for one of the most entertaining seasons yet.

Over the years, the one main constant on the show has been the impeccably furnished suites in the Trump Tower. Here are some photos
from the decidedly mid-century theme this season:

Charmed circle tables from Global Views; Zig Zag console table and deco eucalyptus wall panels from Global Views; stackable bookcase from Global Views; carpet from Carpet One Floor and Home; widescreen LCD television from Samsung.



French lounge chairs and deco chevet cabinet from Global Views; Pirouette window shadings from Hunter Douglas; carpet from Carpet One Floor and Home.



Charmed circle tables from Global Views; spool stools from House Eclectic; French lounge chairs and deco chevet cabinet from Global Views; Pirouette window shadings from Hunter Douglas; carpet from Carpet One Floor and Home.



Charmed circle tables from Global Views; spool stools from House Eclectic; Clifton loveseat, Brayden console table and Brayden side tables from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; eclipse planter from Smith and Hawken; French lounge chairs, chiseled bird's egg vases and blue tube vases from Global Views; Carpet One Floor and Home; widescreen LCD television from Samsung.

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Brilliant Book of the Week:

posted by *The Eclectorator* at 0 Comments
I'm sure everyone has either heard of or dealt with the "green" movement; whether it be buying energy efficient appliances to recycling or even gutting a home and replacing as many items as possible with green products. The following book will help all those eco-friendly, do-gooders do a good job creating an environmentally friendly home.


Check it out!

"The Healthy Home: Workbork" by Kimberly Rider. (Click the title and link to Amazon!)













I can't tell you how much great information this little 190 page book has! From huge renovations such as changing your bedroom carpet to hardwood, or small projects, like making your own pillows, and quick fixes, adding house plants for air purification, you can convert your whole household into a place that is clean, safe, and friendly to the earth. So shoo away those meanies who'd call you a greenie--they're not the ones with "The Healthy Home!"


Happy Reading!!

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It's In The Details

Nailheads make the Carmen caliente! By Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

A mark of great craftsmanship is all about attention to detail. It's easy to make a sofa and just call it a day. It's another thing to make a sofa and then make it fabulous. That's where little details make all the difference. Try some of these to punch up your next upholstery challenge.

Nailheads: These little babies offer a bit of sparkle to an otherwise basic sofa. Plus they outline a sofa nicely to show off the shape. Another good point? Nailheads will "macho" up an otherwise feminine sofa creating a nice balance between Mars and Venus.


Theo is regal in red tufted velvet. By Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

Tufting: Looking for a Victorian sitting room kind of look? Button tufted is your go to detail. Craving something a bit more 21st century? Grid tufting is a subtle detail that looks sleek and modern. (Need a visual? Check out the Gabriel...)



Contrast welt makes Perry perfect! By Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Contrast Welt: Who says you're limited to one fabric? Accent the silhouette of your sofa with contrast welt. It's especially great for beachy furniture. Nothing beats a slipcover in soft blue with white welt! Personally, I think the Reese Sofa, below, would look fantastic with contrast welt on just the base. (Hint, hint Mitchell & Bob!)



The carved wood trim makes Hanna heavenly! At High Fashion Home. 

Carved Wood Trim: Talk about impact! Carved wood with an antiqued painted finish gives a super elegant look to just about any piece. Pair it with a fabric with drama like velvet or silk brocade. Nobody will know you didn't just ship it over from Paris.

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HF Weekly Obsession: All Buttoned Up

Buttery arteries? Bad. Buttery leather? Mmmmmm... Gustav Chair by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.


You know that girl who could put together an outfit that was almost too much, but her last minute restraint made the entire outfit genius? Welcome to the chair version of that girl. Meet Gustav. The leather creates supple pleats in the button tufting (five buttons. no more, no less.) that is so exaggerated- almost a caricature of the traditional, sophisticated wingback. The wings meet the rest of the chair with a dramatic swoop. Rolled arms and nailheads add more detail to the piece taking it just to the edge and then... genius. You'd think with so many details it would go too far, but restraint is shown in simple feet and a cozy cushion. It's a bold piece to be sure. But who wants to be timid?

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Stumped!

Stump Table by Ironies, Photo from Elle Decor January/February 2008

I seem to be on a nature streak lately. I'm ready to plant some flowers, soak up the sun, and drag my friends to the park for a picnic. Lately the weather isn't cooperating. Apparently April Showers occur every month of the year. I guess it's time to improvise. Tree stumps are everywhere lately, whether au natural or decked out. These versatile pieces can blend with your style whether hippie chic or uptown elegant. I've added pictures of my favorite pieces, but there are all sorts out there so don't be afraid to shop around (like mama said). Just beware of woodpeckers.

West Elm's Natural Tree Stump Table


Goldberg Short Lamp at High Fashion Home, $329


Resin Tree Pots at High Fashion Home, $39-109

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Name You Should Know: Angela Adams


Oriental rugs don't work for everyone. I long for something a bit more retro, colorful, funky, etc. Any adjective that doesn't mean "traditional" would work here. Luckily, Angela Adams is here to save the day. While her collection of ready made rugs are awesome, the custom made rugs are truly awe-inspiring. Brilliant colors, elaborate scenes worthy of a canvas, and the luxurious fibers won't scratch your feet (or your behind). Now, I know a rug can be a hefty investment (especially for young hipsters like me who are just getting started). That Angela is crafty. She's got stationery, journals, prints and more for cool kids who want to represent without draining their savings. No more excuses for a house full of neutrals!

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Kohler Products for Less!











I'm a big fan of Kohler. They make excellent bathroom and kitchen fixtures with timeless designs. Instead of going to your local Lowe's store to buy your favorite, personality defining Kohler product, try shopping online at PlummerSurplus.com. PlummerSurplus.com is one of Lowe's major suppliers for bathroom and kitchen fixtures. So if you ever special order a Kohler bath tub from Lowe's, you'll be receiving a package with PlummerSurplus.com on it. Do yourself a favor and save 10 - 20% (not including sales tax) by going direct to PlummerSurplus.com!







For more inspirational ideas from Kohler, check out the photo gallery of the 2007 Dwell Harlem House Project.

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Sweets for Your Sweet!

Valentine Heart Pops from marthastewart.com


You either love it or hate it. That one day every year when you are either so in love or borderline homicidal. You're either half of a blissful pair or seeing that blissful pair makes you want to puke. I've been both Pro and Anti-Valentine's Day, and no matter how I feel about the holiday, I always love, love, love the cookies! And nobody knows cookies better than Martha knows cookies. She has 12 delectable, heart-shaped recipes featured on her website ranging from "I set fire to my kitchen while boilig water" to "I have every kitchen gadget at Sur la Table and I use them" skill levels. I think the Choclate Eclair Hearts and the Frosted Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcakes look absolutely delish! So, if you forgot to get that special someone a little something special, bake some cookies- because the way to everyone's heart, man or woman, is through their stomach. Or, just bake them for yourself. At least that way you won't feel bad about eating half of the batter before they make it to the oven (guilty as charged). Throw on a very retro chic apron, pull out your stand mixer, and whip up a couple batches of cookies this year! You may just go Pro-Valentine's Day after all!

Get in my belly!!!!!! Chocolate Eclair Hearts at marthastewart.com.

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Outdoors In

Even if you don't have a radiator, try chunky wooden shelves for a taste of the natural. Picture from dominomag.com.



For those of us in Houston, Spring is quickly approaching (yay!). For me, that means getting in touch with my nature-loving side. Picnics in parks! Planting a garden! Laying by the pool! But, alas, after a week of beautiful weather, here comes the heatwave. Rather than cursing the inevitable humid weather, bring the best parts of the outdoors to you. Natural-ize your living room. Make your bedroom botanical. Have a picnic in your living room (no ants!). Try these outdoor treasures, indoors only.

Zebra and seagrass are an earthy combination. Picture from dominomag.com.
 

White resin lends sophistication to a tree stump. End table from West Elm.



Plants don't have to be banished to the porch. Bring in a Meyer Lemon Tree and you'll have pretty flowers, good smells, and delicious lemons year round. Try Buchanan's Native Plants in Houston.

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Maison Et Objet: What's In for 2008 and Beyond!


Maison Et Objet took place in Paris a few weeks ago. This super chic, trend-setting home furnishing show happens twice a year and is consider a leading indicator of what will be in fashion for home decor. The New York Times has an article reviewing the show and highlighting some of the main trends for 2008 and beyond.
  • Mass produced items are out. People want unique items, especially in the luxury market. We'll see a continued, growing emphasis using unique metals and woods where every piece will be a little different.
  • Metallics are still hot. Sofas and chairs upholstered in metallic fabrics gives the pieces a touch of "gorgeousness" that plays into all of our inner narcissism.
  • Purple and gray is a strong color combination. Fuchsia and lime green are being used in all categories of home furnishings.

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So Hot Right Now: Lost In Space

The Remsen Collection from West Elm in Chocolate/White


There seems to be a very Jetson's style of decorating coming up lately (and I'm loving it!). Shiny white laquer with wood is everywhere. It's fresh, bright, and so of-the-moment. Fit a neutral white/wood piece in with some colorful accents like bright flowers and books. The tough part: picking out which one will make the cut into my apartment!

The Jacob Table from Nuevo

The Charmed Circle Table from Global Views

The Pure Media Console by Directions

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Sofa Imitates Style (Or Vice Versa?)

Defining your style is a tricky thing. Are you still hung up on Baroque or going gaga on Scandanavian chic? I peruse so many design and fashion mags that my style has become a giant mass of pictures and notes. (Kind of like the Blob... it just keeps growing and may soon attack the greater Houston area!) However, it is essential to pare down. Streamline. Spring clean. It's one thing to have eclectic taste that balances. It's quite another to have a hodge podge of random pieces that have no relation to one another.

So where's a modern person like you to get inspiration for such a large undertaking? Well, I'm taking a bit of inspiration from "Dress My Nest" (Wednesdays at 11pm on Style Network). Pick your favorite outfit out of your closet. Try it on, admire yourself in the mirror, do a little twirl! Now, ask yourself what you like about it. Is it tailored and sophisicated and makes you look like a million bucks? Flowy and romantic? Bold and avant garde? Take those key words and keep them in mind while furniture shopping. Bring along a polaroid of your outfit with your key words Sharpie-d around it. Trust me, it helps to have a visual reminder of what you want when faced with temptation.

Here are a few examples to go by:
Look #1



Black and white is the perfect neutral. It goes with everything (and I do mean everything!). Nailhead and tufted leather dress up and otherwise simple sofa silhouette. A tight back and clean, minimal lines offer structure and polish. Dress by Proenza Schouler, Jacob Sofa by Oly Studio.



Look #2

For a truly original style, you can't get any better than the Matinee Sofa. Not only is it modern and subtley decorated, it is the ultimate in versatility. Take off the back bolster and you have an instant daybed. Perfect for your hippie chic wardrobe and home. Dress by Kate & Kass, Matinee Sofa by American Leather.
Look #3



The Chester sofa embodies poise and class. The tufted is luxurious and emphasizes curve. Perfect for a library or living room (you won't want the kids climbing on this one!), this sofa will be your chic retreat from the insanity of daily life. Skirt and top by Badgley Mischka, Chester Sofa by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

Look #4

Not everybody wants a sofa that shouts. The Gabriel Sofa is streamlined and modern and every detail is whisper quiet from the grid-tufted back to the comfy down cushions. What is lacks in immediate wow-factor, it makes up for in timelessness. Dress by Karta, Gabriel Sofa by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
Look #5

 

For a funky, quirky space, try the Zoe. It's shape is completely exaggerated. Go with a neutral for a quieter look or go all out with a bright, bright color. Either way, it will be voluminous and curvy and completely you. Dress by Vera Wang, Sofa by au.

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