Right now, I’m in San Francisco, a city which I’ve never been to before but have been dreaming of visiting. After a few hours here, my best friend texted me two images she found of our apartment back in the day. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect; it was she and I who’d planned to save up all of our money from waiting tables to come here and check out all the city has to offer. Well, there is something else I would like to offer: advice to my current self to the me that existed in 1997. My design skills back then S-U-C-K-E-D.
Even when I was in college with absolutely zero design experience, I was the go-to person in my social world for all things interior design and or do-it-yourself. Sure, things are different now, especially with 14 years of trial and error under my belt; however, I truly had one of those, “What the hell was I thinking?” moments when I got these two images.
One thing I like: The color blocking and simple dressing up of found-on-the-side-of-the-road-furnishings. A few things I am horrified by: Everything else. Above all, the one thing I took away from this trip down Bad Design Memory Lane is that being a designer or decorator is kinda like having vocal or acting talent; it’s always there, you just need experience and a little bit of training to fine tune it.
Anyone else have any old pictures of their first attempt at decorating and design that, although hysterical now, was something for which to be proud back then?
So my production company is in Park City, Utah, shooting the online videos for the 2012 HGTV Dream Home. Um? Oh. My. Gawd. For any of you who’ve yet to experience this magical state, which is easily the most gorgeous place in the world, you are missin’ out, y’all! Everywhere you look, there’s picturesque scenery packed with to-die-for colors.
Inspiring Kitchens from HGTV Dream Homes Past
And although Utah itself is incredible, the 2012 HGTV Dream Home is just as spectacular. Designer Linda Woodrum has done it again. This time, the house is right smack in the center of a rustic piece of property, which looks out over the Provo River and onto gorgeous Utah mountains. The interiors are transitional and neutral, spotlighting the blue tones from the Utah sky, which Linda used in a subtle, sophisticated manner.
Dream Home 2012: Furniture Load-In Day
And although I’m stoked to be here working on it, I can’t help but think to myself, “It really sucks that I’m disqualified from winning it.”
All y’all who are eligible to win better plan to get crackin’ when the sweepstakes starts on Dec. 29, 2011, at 9am ET. (You’ll be able to tour the house starting Dec. 1 — until then, stay up-to-date at Dream Home Central.) A life in Utah would be the closest thing to heaven on earth there is. Stay tuned!
Aside from lying, cheating, being unkind, violence, excess noise and the color of egg yolks, there’s nothing I detest more than those bought-on-sale-out-in-front-of-the-supermarket, made-to-look-old-but-really-brand-new, matchy-matchy patio sets. In fact, I’ll tailgate on plastic coolers before I’ll pop a squat on those posers. NOTE: I don’t do sports. Where the hell am I going with this, and why all the ranting? Well, a few weeks ago, my team and I gave a summery makeover to a lackluster patio deckspace in Atlanta. The patio and deck were quite beautiful; the patio furniture was another story. Our mission? To de-matchy-matchy the run-of-the-mill patio set, then set it up for summer entertaining… all in a single afternoon.
In order to make this happen, we stuck with three locations: BJ’s Membership Club, a discount fabric store and a flea market. This unexpected combination works quite well, and let me tell you why: one-stop-shopping and bang-for-your-buck. Membership and wholesale clubs have just about every brand new, buy-it-in-bulk thing you could need under one roof times twenty; flea markets have uber-affordable, that’s-so-cool-where-did-you-find-it type stuff with a one-of-a-kind designer touch. By hitting up discount fabric stores, you’re certain to find excellent outdoor fabric on clearance. Wanna put a new, affordable spin on your own matchy-matchy patio set without an entire weekend of laborious do-it-yourselfing? Then check out my ideas. Perhaps some of them are right up your deck or patio’s alley. Wait, decks and patios can’t have alleys, can they? Oh well, you get the point.
Here’s what the deck looked like after my team whipped it into shape:
Congratulations to HGTV featured blogger Brian Patrick Flynn for his High Gloss Magazine feature in the just released July/August issue! Catch up on his inspiring (and often rambunctious) design tips and ideas every Thursday here on Design Happens.
What’s your favorite Brian post? We’d love to hear!
Let us know in the comment area below.
I cannot tell you how many clients open my initial consultation with this line: “We want the look and feel of the W Hotel in our home.” Since when did hotels become the leading source of inspiration for residential interiors? Whenever it was, I like that time; I like it a lot. I’ve stayed at or visited three W Hotels. While I appreciated the efficiency and locale of the Times Square location, the buffalo-ish stampede of tourists charging the sidewalks just outside the front doors made me wanna pop a Xanax (and I detest pills). As for the West Hollywood location, the perfect weather and genetically blessed guests soaking up the sun by the pool were uber-dreamy; however, it made me feel horrible for being pale and wanting to scarf down a cheeseburger.
And then there’s superdecorator Thom Filicia‘s designs at the W Hotel Atlanta Buckhead, located in the city’s premiere shopping district. Uh-may-zing. The hotel’s milieu for both for service and aesthetics has been referred to as having (a) urban style merged with the city’s deep history and culture and (b) traditions of Southern hospitality. Taking a stroll through one of Thom’s masterful spaces while on your way to enjoying a cocktail in the lounge or checking into the Wonderful Room for a night or two is a perfect way to experience his work up-close-and-personal, plus walk away with some ideas. Here’s a gander at some of Thom’s clean and classic work in the down-and-dirty South.
Prepare to be Thom Filicia’d, Contemporary Southern-Style
When I was 23, I spent the night in a horrible, it-rubs-the-lotion-on-its-skin-or-else-it-gets-the-hose-again type motel after visiting a college friend. From the sandpaper-ish sheets and sinister guests to the foil-wrapped-TV and smell of mold, everything about it left me scared to sleep anywhere besides an actual home. But Silence of the Lambs flashbacks vanished when, in my late twenties, I encountered the glorious joy known as business travel — the kind that involves gorgeous hotels paid for by the same nice people who issue paychecks. From stunning, big-money chains in Los Angeles to ultra-modern boutiques in Manhattan, I’ve luxuriated in the best of hotel design. However, since I dig fun over fancy, I recently found the mothership of let’s-just-have-a-darn-good-time lodging…Disney’s Pop Century Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL. As a huge fan of all things retro, this Disney resort is a dream come true, one packed with gigantic, colorful nostalgia and shiny, happy people everywhere. A larger than life time warp journeying from the 1950′s through the 1990′s that will have you saying phrases like ‘remember when’ and explaining to your children the concept of cassettes and mixed tapes.
So, what happens if you fall in love with the overall idea of something over the top but want to adapt it into your own home in a less-is-more manner? How do you take away big ideas from hotels, retail stores or theme parks, then make them liveable? I’m glad you asked! Take a look at some of these jaw-dropping inspiration images, then check out toned-down Aha! ideas certain to add artistic nostalgia without swallowing spaces entirely. Hey, if your significant other won’t let you have a nine-foot Sony Walkman to workout to in the backyard, maybe there’s a next best thing that makes for a better use of space…and won’t scare away the neighbors.
Click Here for the Big Idea
My internship at HGTV.com is wrapping up, and in mere days, I will be graduating college. While I’m thrilled to be done with school, (term papers, final exams, etc.) I’m also nervous/excited about what lays ahead. As I’m determined to make my parents proud, (and start paying off my student loans) it’s time to launch my career. I couldn’t have asked for better job hunting advice than I received from Erinn Valencich, Brian Patrick Flynn and Michelle Wiebe.
Erinn Valencich :: Brian Patrick Flynn :: Michelle Wiebe
These talented and busy interior designers took time out of their schedules so I could interview them about becoming an interior designer. Huge thank you to them! And I’m sure, like me, you’ll find their advice to be incredibly valuable, whether you’re a recent grad or making a career change to pursue the job of your dreams in this awesome industry.
Portfolios, Resumes + More
When I initially meet with new clients, I request they bring tear sheets of their favorite shelter magazine rooms with them. Nine times out of ten, either the spaces are celebrities in their own rights, or the interiors belong to actual celebrities. The usual suspects? Jenna Lyons’ black, white and yellow Brooklyn home from Domino, Thom Filicia’s lake house, or Sarah Jessica Parker’s house in The Hamptons. Over the past year, a whole new batch of famous — or famous people’s — homes have made their way into the mix. Albeit uber-feminine, gender-neutral or bachelor-chic, here’s four different celebrity homes certain to always be ready for their closeups.
Which Rocker Calls This Home?
Okay, so I’m totally not into all this royal wedding mumbo jumbo—like, at all. In fact, I change the channel immediately when I see graphics sporting the words “Kate”, “William” and/or “April 29th”. When asked to write an article about The Royal Wedding and decorating, I struggled to find an angle until I thought about getting inside the oh-so-proper digs and shaking things up a bit by going unconventional. After a few hours googling terms like “modern royal”, “contemporary English” and “cheeseburger sombrero” (hey, why not?), I came across some great spaces and items that, when used correctly, could reinvent royal interiors in a not-so-safe, less expected manner. Or should I say “manor”? Oh bloody play-on-words hell, let’s get to it already.
Ah, the classic handsome English library—overall a sophisticated man’s world. The graphic lines of the wood paneling are just about the only thing in this space that could even remotely have an iota of modern appeal. Hmmm, what would a totally modern, manly-yet-Victorian-inspired library have? Glad you asked, hit “more” please.
So I have this friend who has a titanic design crush on a particular superdesigner on HGTV, Sarah Richardson. This super smart, super tall friend (whose name I shall not mention) has a lot in common with Ms. Richardson: both started behind the scenes as set decorators before transitioning on to the small screen as hosts, they both run production companies and produce their own content, and they both seem adamant about tailored draperies and upholstery in just about every space. Of all the interiors featured on the network, everything Sarah touches — whether it’s client’s homes on Design Inc. or her own properties on Sarah’s House — looks as though it’s an ElleDECOR cover shot come to life. If you’re unfamiliar with the stunning spaces of Sarah Richardson, allow my friend to serve you up a bowl of eye candy via Ms. Richardson’s HGTV portfolio. Although I’d like to also reveal the identity of my friend, I simply cannot; however, I will give you a hint: I am him.
Sarah’s mixing of prints is often like a master class in both pattern and scale.
More Crushworthy Designs