Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Full Exposure/Part 3

Rebellious roots (© The Modern House)

Rebellious roots

This London house overlooks the Victorian-era Highgate Cemetery. Philosopher and economist Karl Marx and punk impresario Malcom McLaren are just two of the famous figures buried in the backyard. 
The windows are almost entirely frameless on the cemetery side, while the street side is a curtain wall of honed black granite, steel panels and opaque glass, for privacy. The house is listed for $7.97 million.

See-through courtyard (© The Modern House)

Talk about a skylight!!!!

See-through courtyard

Inside, you'll be dazzled by 4,225 square feet of living space with four bedrooms and bathrooms. The kitchen has a retractable skylight that transforms the space into an open-air courtyard.

Staying cool (© The Modern House)

Staying cool

Designed by architect Eldridge Smerin, the house replaced a 1970s structure by John Winter. The idea was to design a building with significantly lower energy consumption than the original but with a greater floor area. The home has a green sedum roof, and its temperature is moderated by its stone and glass construction.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Full Exposure/Part 2

Cameron's house (© Meladee Hughes/Sudler Sotheby's International Realty — Hancock Office)

I designed one house in the woods like this, it felt like the ultimate tree house! There is something soooo serene about looking into the sites of nature that bring  a true sense of calm and meditation to your life.

Cameron's house

Remember the Highland Park, Ill., house of Ferris Bueller's uptight buddy, Cameron Frye, in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Well, the iconic house is on the market for $1.65 million — crashed Ferrari not included.

The Ben Rose Home (© Meladee Hughes/Sudler Sotheby's International Realty — Hancock Office)

The Ben Rose Home

Cameron's house is known as the Ben Rose Home, after the noted photographer who owned it. It was designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid and built in 1953.

Into the woods (© Meladee Hughes/Sudler Sotheby's International Realty — Hancock Office)

Into the woods

The ultraswank house is dramatically cantilevered over a ravine. It's also set on more than an acre of gorgeous wooded property.

Star-worthy style (© Meladee Hughes/Sudler Sotheby's International Realty — Hancock Office)

Star-worthy style

Here, you'll find 5,400 square feet of living space, thanks to the enormous dining room, bedrooms and living rooms. Surrounded by glass, this exquisite home has Hollywood style to spare.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Full Exposure/Part 1

Full exposure: Ultra-cool glass houses (© x-ray delta one)

Here I go again, if you follow my blog, I love, love, love glass houses!!!!!!
People who live in glass houses …
A modernist statement — the use of industrial materials such as glass and steel for domestic home construction .
These homes blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces and are studies in transparency and reflection.
The saying that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones predates the building of the first glass home, but it certainly is good advice for anyone looking to live in one.
Glass homes continue to make statements in residential design, though it does take a certain kind of person to feel comfortable with all that exposure. Life in a modernist fishbowl requires either a lot of chutzpah or plenty of private acreage — not to mention some tight security to keep those gawkers away.
For now, take a look at the best see-through homes on the market.

The Glass Pavilion (© Suzanne Perkins/Sotheby's International Realty)

This is MY choice, love the white and clean lines, I'm ready to move in!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Glass Pavilion

This Montecito, Calif., home was designed by Phillip Steve Hermann, who also designed homes for singer Christina Aquilera and comedian Lenny Bruce. It's going for a cool $35 million.
The Glass Pavilion is set within a 3.5-acre estate of oak groves in one of the wealthiest communities in the U.S. Inside – if you can call it that – is more than 14,000 square feet of living space.
The foundation (© Suzanne Perkins/Sotheby's International Realty)

WOW, WOW, I LOVE this room!!!!!!!!!!! Takes my breath away!!!!

The foundation

The home is almost entirely constructed of glass, with massive structural steel beams, and took six years to build. The large glass panels are Star Fire Glass, an incredibly clear glass often used for jewelry displays. The multiple fireplaces are made of statuary marble.

Extra space (© Suzanne Perkins/Sotheby's International Realty)

Extra space

The home has five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, a grand hallway and a large wine room. It also includes an art gallery where the architect, who designed the home for himself, displays his vintage car collection. The space accommodates more than 30 cars within its walnut-lined walls.

The view (© Suzanne Perkins/Sotheby's International Realty)

First of all you will need a lot of acreage for privacy, but I could do about serenity!!!!!

The view

Bathe within full view of the outdoors in an Antonio Lupi free-standing tub. Fortunately, there is plenty of security to keep the peeping toms at bay. The home is in a gated estate at the end of a long driveway and comes equipped with a high-tech security system.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Colorful Patios

Diamond patterns of color on the block wall complement the colorful furniture and accessories.


The porch on a Spanish bungalow gets a color upgrade with tones of turquoise and blue.

patio backyard panels after

Colorful mosaic panels hide the utilities and complement the geometric patterns on the patio flooring.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Instant Room Part 2 of 2

Interview with Designer Joe Nye (Continued)

Babylone in Lin
"I've never been a big fan of embroidered fabrics — many sins have been committed in their name — but this one changed my mind. It has a particular elegance, and the luminous flowers add a note of glamour. They're in various pleasing shades of taupe, so it's not a screaming floral. The billowy quality of the linen background makes it great for curtains

Power's Court in Antique Green
"A dressy taffeta like this would be stunning on a bergère or fauteuil. I'm nuts for them, I use them in every room in every house. They're like jewelry."

Recamier Taffetas Stripe in Bleu Vert
"My favorite silk stripe ever. It adds richness to a room. I'd do two squishy down-filled sofa pillows with an extravagant fringe — this is your frothy moment."

I LOVE how this stripe pulls in all the colors from the floral. Joe really knew how to compliment the floral. This is how I design......great job Joe.

Semis Montrichard in S157
"I'm sitting on this right now in my living room! It has a quiet elegance, and it's great on a pair of slipper chairs pulled up to a coffee table, Billy Haines style."

Eaton Plain in Leaf Green
"It's got a watermarked strié, almost like a subtle moiré, that sort of shimmers. Dress up a club chair with it. The bonus is that it's hardy and easy to maintain."

Colorado in Anis
"To offset the shininess of BABYLONE curtains, upholster walls in this coarse-weave linen. The flat finish brings the dressiness down."

Indochine in Champagne
"I see this on a pretty, tufted round ottoman with lots of silk-covered buttons and a dressmaker's skirt — wide 6-inch pleats — that goes to the floor."

From the eyes of a designer, this is a good example of how it is done from our minds eye to reality!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Instant Room Part 1 0f 2

Interview with Joe Nye
Los Angeles-based designer Joe Nye creates a room inspired by florals from Manuel Canovas's latest collection, and McKinnon and Harris furniture: "Using outdoor pieces inside — in a sunroom or even a living room — is fun and fresh."
Curtain Lining:
"I chose VANESSA'S FOLLY to line the striped curtains. Most people get lazy and just do white lining, but a contrasting color has a more finished, couture effect — like you thought about it."
"BEAUVOIR is the key fabric in the room, the starting-off point. You can pull lots of colors from it. But you have to be careful not to overwhelm the room with it — it's not a timid pattern. I see it on a pair of duVal Club Chairs."
"BRASILIA is a divine color, a wonderful mucky green, and the texture is really cushy. It's comfortable to sit on, even when you're in shorts, so I'd use it in a big way, on a sofa."
"Striped curtains are always a winner, and a turquoise lining would really kick off the bright raspberry. With a bold stripe like ELOI, I wouldn't do much in the way of trim. You want to keep it fresh, not fussy like silk curtains."

Beauvoir in Fuchsia
"These colors are loud and brash — but in a good way!" Nye says. "The pattern is a new take on an old standard, the Jacobean tree of life. It's fun, but it's busy, so it could get dizzying if you used a lot of it. The trick is to use it in a restrained way. On a pair of chairs, it would look special — it would be the focal point of the room."

Cotton Club II in Framboise
"It looks like a coarse sailcloth, but it's so soft you want to put your head on it. I would make two 22-inch-square pillows with tiny French pleats, one for each end of a sofa."

"I'm crazy for animal prints, so chic! They never seem to go out of style. I'd use this for a skirted table. It's a stylish way to add punch to a room

Eloi in Fraise
"Because it's all cotton, Eloi looks informal and canvasy, like a tenting stripe. For curtains in a sunroom, it's exactly the right look

Vanessa's Folly in Turquoise
"I use this all the time to line curtains — it comes in so many colors. I'd do pillows with it, too. Repetition is good — it ties a room together

Friday, March 18, 2011

Escape to Nature's Serenity

Picture-perfect Phi Phi Leh island. (Ian Trower/JAI/Corbis)

We are all awaiting Spring after the rough winter, my mind is taking me here today!!!

Cinematic Beaches: Phi Phi Leh, Thailand, The Beach (2000)

Ten landmark films, 10 ridiculously beautiful beaches. We found Hollywood's most vaunted locations and are giving you the keys to get there. Text by Sean O'Neill, Budget Travel.

The flick: The movie that gave voice to a generation of backpackers, "The Beach," based on Alex Garland's novel of the same name, centers on the quest for the Thailand's last pure beach, one untainted by tourism.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the islands on which "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" was set. (Stefano Amantini/Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis)
I can only imagine stepping into these beautiful clear water!!!!

Cinematic Beaches: Petit Tabac, Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

The flick: With number four in the works, the films chronicling the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow have brought moviegoers to a number of tropical hideaways, but few can top the deserted beach in "The Curse of the Black Pearl."

The scene: When villains dump Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley on a strip of bone-white sand to wither, Knightley uses a stash of rum to create a rescue bonfire, only to have the ever-hedonic Depp moan, "Why is the rum gone?"
A beautiful view of the dramatic monolith on Kastani. Nearby is the hilltop monastery of Agios Ioannis sto Kastri, where Mamma Mia's wedding scene took place. (Slow Images/Getty Images)
Ahhhh, nature, what bliss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cinematic Beaches: Kastani Beach, Skopelos Island, Greece, Mamma Mia! (2008)

The flick: This silver screen version of the Abba-infused, chart-busting musical, "Mamma Mia!" shines a spotlight on Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), who wants to find out who her real father is before she gets married.

The scene: Tanya (Christine Baranski) gives a sultry rendition of Abba's "Does Your Mother Know" on a small, sandy beach with a makeshift bar, framed by a cerulean-colored sea.
Lumahai Beach on Kauai, pictured here, stood in for Vanuatu in the film "South Pacific." (Courtesy Steve Doll)
I am planning on this being my next vacation!!!!! Then Australia here I come!!!
Beach, Kauai, Hawaii, South Pacific (1958)

The flick: After winning a Pulitzer and multiple Tonys on Broadway, "South Pacific" hit Hollywood in 1958, and became an immediate hit. Though James Michener set the story in Vanuatu (where he was stationed in World War II), most of the movie was shot on Kauai.

The scene: Mitzi Gaynor prances around the broad, blond swath of Lumahai Beach, as she washes that man right out of her hair.

Our favorite scene from "Casino Royale": when 007 intercepts the lover (Caterina Murino) of one of Le Chiffre's henchman after one of her horseback rides on the beach. (Courtesy One&Only Ocean Club)

Cinematic Beaches: One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas, Casino Royale (2006)

The flick: After a long bout of anemia, the James Bond franchise received a jolt in 2006 when actor Daniel Craig took over the superspy's role to foil Le Chiffre, a financier of international terrorists.

The scene: 007 intercepts the lover (Caterina Murino) of one of Le Chiffre's henchman after one of her horseback rides on the beach.

Stephenie Meyer's wildly popular "Twilight" series is set in cloudy Washington, but some of the best beach scenes in the films are shot 200 miles south on Indian Beach in Oregon. (Jim Lundgren/age fotostock)

Cinematic Beaches: Indian Beach, Ecola State Park, Ore., Twilight (2008)

The flick: The movie that started a movement — teen angst meets good old-fashioned vampire blood lust — Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series is set in the appropriately cloudy Washington state but some of the best beach scenes in the film are shot 200 miles south in Oregon.

The scene: Taylor Lautner starts to reveal to the truth about vampire Robert Pattinson to the perpetually conflicted Kristen Stewart on a dramatic grey sand beach.

I hope you enjoyed the escape like I did, I am ready for Spring and Summer and that vacation!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Freshen Up on a Budget

dark gray walls

1. Color Your Walls

Completely transform your room with just a few gallons of paint. Try a fresh shade, and watch how it transforms all your existing furniture. Paint costs so little compared to how much you get in return.
A grid of nine colorful paintings pops against a deep gray wall.
Poppy Nine Patch Canvas Set
Available at

white vases on antique chest

Rethink What You Have
It costs nothing to reassess what your room already looks like. Why not move a few pieces around? Sometimes a fresh approach encourages you to get rid of tired pieces that drag your space down. Do you really need everything you see? Does everything have a purpose and a special meaning to you? If not, then give it away. I promise, less is more.
Air Mail print
Available at
Havanita print
Available at

bed flanked by two lamps

Choose Lighting Wisely
Adding dimmers to your space offers dimension and mood at very little cost. Or buy a fresh shade for your lamp. Consider replacing mismatched floor lamps with two, new matching lamps. Place one on either side of your sofa or bed, and see how the room suddenly has cohesive style.

daybed with bright pillows

Update Your Pillows
Can't afford a new sofa? There are dozens of affordable, fabulous pillows that are one of a kind and will zip up your space instantaneously.
Golden Horizon print
Available at
neutral bedroom with black-and-white art

Sleep In Style
Does your bedroom need a lift? Give it an instant update. Try buying just a new headboard with a unique fabric or pattern. Invest in a great set of sheets, complete with shams. Choose a bold pattern that will define your room, and don't be afraid to mix and match.
Calla Lilies framed print
Available at

nine mirrors and mercury glass

Try a Mirror
Can't afford art? You can find unique mirrors at discount stores or vintage shops that, when grouped together, will bring elegance and personality to even the smallest of spaces.

bright green chair

Recover and Renew
Can't afford a new chair? Give your existing one a makeover by recovering it in a new pattern. Get a little daring and see how a simple chair can be completely transformed.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The First Glidehouse

Modern Manse

It could have been the premiere of a summer blockbuster. People waited as long as an hour to tour the first Glidehouse, a modern, prefabricated home recently on display at Sunset . One man went through the line six times. Another person said, "I liked the design so much, I wanted to go home, burn my house down, and start over." Find out what the buzz is about, and how you can get a surprisingly affordable Glidehouse of your own.
Room With A Wall of Glass

Wall-to-Wall Light

The Design: A wall of glass, high windows and hidden fixtures flood the rooms with balanced light. Natural materials and high ceilings add to the feeling of space. Renewable bamboo flooring provides the look and durability of hardwood without the guilt, and the sloped roof is perfect for solar panels.
The Twist: The Glidehouse is named for the way its window walls and storage doors open. Outside, large wood screens slide on barn-door tracks, creating privacy while letting in the breeze.

The Living-Dining Area and Kitchen

Open Plan

The Design: Built for easy entertaining, the living-dining area and kitchen flow together. The table can slip outside for a summer dinner. Three bar stools tuck under the counter. The built-in birch cabinets and slate backsplash match materials used throughout the house.
The Twist: The kitchen's countertops are made of a renewable lightweight composite concrete. A split-level counter hides faucet and dishwasher. An extra mini sink in the upper level is handy for icing drinks and washing vegetables.

Master Bedroom

Sleek Retreat

The Design: Architect Michelle Kaufmann wanted the master bedroom to feel like a personal hideaway with a private garden. The window wall opens to a deck you can outfit with fireplace, hot tub, or container plants. Storage includes individual closets, linen cabinets, and a notch for the bed. The back shelf serves as night stand.
The Twist: Sliding wood screens lock shut so in the right setting, you can sleep in fresh air.

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

The Design: Thanks to a well-placed skylight, electrical lighting is not needed until late in the day. (Natural light also happens to be best for looking at yourself in the mirror.) A tankless heater supplies hot water on demand.
The Twist: Sculptural stainless steel bowl sinks free counterspace. Minimal hardware keeps the focus on your art and accessories.
The Entry

Entry Court

The Design: A simple entry heightens the experience of opening the door to the main room and view inside. A secondary door on the left connects to the office/guest room. In some plans, the entry court leads to a detached studio and reflecting pond.
The Twist: Galvanized steel and cement board siding offers a long-lasting, clean finish that needs little maintenance.

The Glidehouse and Land

Just Add Land

While building costs vary by region, quality construction typically starts around $250 per square foot. The Glidehouse -- built to meet local building codes -- costs $120 to $160 per square foot (not including foundation, deck, and major appliances). Once you've secured your lot, you can choose a floorplan and options.

About the Architect

Glidehouse architect Michelle Kaufmann , 35, worked for Frank Gehry in Los Angeles for five years before moving to the Bay Area to open her own office. She created the Glidehouse "in order to live in a well-designed, less expensive home that would allow us to live lightly on the land."
She eventually partnered with a modular design/build company, Construction Resource Group of Redmond, Washington, to develop the Glidehouse.

The Glidehouse

Back to the Future

The concept of prefabricated modern homes showed early promise in Los Angeles in the 1950s, but progress stalled. Eichler tract houses brought contemporary architecture to a mass market between the late 1940s and early 1970s, but they were assembled on-site.
As Sunset wrote in 1978, "The factory-built house has been a dream about to come true every year since the end of World War II." The Glidehouse could be the answer. Now available in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Tennesee, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, British Columbia, Ontario, the Glidehouse is coming soon to Texas, New York, and Hawaii. Kaufmann's goal is to make it available wherever there's an interest in affordable, "green," modern living across the country.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Extended Rooms

side porch

Sheer draperies, a jute area rug, and plush seating lend this outdoor space the elements of an interior room. The interior decorator selected a lively green fabric to complement the woven-wicker furniture. The hand-tumbled, all-masonry brick fireplace....I love this room!!!


A covered porch off the master bedroom provides a comfortable vantage point for watching boats come and go in the harbor. The interior decorator treated the private space as an open-air sitting room, complete with area rug, table lamps, and cozy seating.

wicker furniture on the front porch

On the first-floor porch, synthetic-wicker seating covered in patterned cushions extends the interior's living and dining spaces. OK, I could do this .......

upstairs porch

Oatmeal-colored spa-weave outdoor fabric and a bevy of ourdoor throw pillows cover wicker chairs and chaise longues.

brick veranda with fireplace

This backyard veranda serves as a fireside retreat. With views of lush landscaping and ancient live oaks, the covered terrace evokes the laid-back ambience of the Mississippi River Delta.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Exteriors/How Does Your Garden Grow

A yellow rose

Julia Child

A floribunda that bears buttery blooms with an anise fragrance. Shrub is rounded. An All-America Rose Selections.

A yellow rose

Fourth of July

A climber that blooms along the length of its canes. Big sprays of semidouble blooms come in various combinations of red and white; some are striped, some splotched with red. Pretty against a weathered, split-rail fence. 

A light pink rose

Betty Boop

A floribunda with fruit-scented, semidouble flowers of yellow-ivory edged with red. The rounded shrub reblooms without deadheading.

A peach colored rose

About Face

A grandiflora with bronzy red petals on the outside, light golden orange on the inside. Blooms smell like fresh-cut apples. The plant has an upright growth habit.

A rose garden with pink roses

Rose Border

Pink-flowered 'Baby Blanket' shrub roses combine with pink penstemon, pale lavender society garlic, silvery lamb’s ears, and creeping thyme.

Can you tell, I am getting excited about Spring!!!!