Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thom Filicia Style

It seems that I've been on a design-book kick as of late.  First there was Nate, and then came the Novogratz edition.  Now we have Thom Filica Style.  This book debuted in 2008.  I found it whilst trying to reserve his latest book (American Beauty) via public library.
Divided into two main parts, this book first covers the process of decorating and then moves into case studies.  The process section includes Thom's ten tips in detail (ex. "There's truth in the texture"), ten different moods that rooms can have (like organic or refined), and ways to pull everything together.

The section with case studies is very similar to the other books I mentioned in the sense that each one begins with the clients' wish lists and floor plans.  However, this time there are minimum 'before' photos.  The budget is not really mentioned.  

This is not my favorite design book, but it's definitely worth a read.  Thom has nailed that sometimes-elusive classic American style.  He's a bit self-promotional, showing his own homes and product lines throughout the book, but I never got the sense that he was pimping himself out in an overt way.  As with most other media, this one is a great source of inspiration and offers practical tips.  

One of the best takeaways is Thom's list of can't-miss Benjamin Moore paint colors:
A quote from page 190 gives a great idea of Thom's philosophy:

Design that's authentic and that fits your lifestyle is a gift.  The real luxury is to have an interesting life.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mini Field Trip: Shop(pe)s on Fatherland

On a tip from my Twitter friend/fellow Music City enthusiast (see his blog called Experience Nashville) a few pre-Christmas weeks ago, I headed back over to East Nashville to visit the Shoppes on Fatherland (Street).  These shops (I kind of hate that Old English spelling) are small buildings, all in a row, in a very unassuming part of town.  They sort of come up out of nowhere.
The first stop was a bath and body place called Pretty Pretty Pop Pop, which specializes in eco- and animal-friendly products.  
The store has a very clean but lived-in aesthetic.  If that makes any sense.
Here are some of their house-brand candles (by zodiac).
Lip balms, anyone?  I had to refrain from buying anything.  My pal Kate did not.
The next stop was Moxie, which showcases a mix of new and vintage items for the home and for giving.  They had some great toys, candles, and furniture.  If only I'd had the space to house the awesome mid-century couch and chair set that they had.  *sigh*
We also popped into High Garden Tea.  As you can tell from the picture, they're serious about their tea here.  It was meticulously decanted and stored alphabetically.  

Now, I'll admit that I was not completely bowled over by the whole experience.  Some of the shops seemed a little out of place.  It would be akin to sneaking a Hershey bar into a box of Godivas.  (There was a lack of consistency and quality is what I'm trying to convey.)

Overall, though, the stores that got it right more than made up for the others.  I'll definitely be going back...after my no-spend first quarter.  It's that time again.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Warby Parker Class Trip: Nashville

I'm so far behind on this post that it's not even funny at this point.  But alas--it must be shared.
A few months ago: Imagine my autumnal surprise to learn that Warby Parker, my beloved buy-one-donate-one purveyor of reasonably priced specs, was doing a "class" trip around the country.  And Nashville was one of the destinations.  (In case you haven't heard, we're the newest IT city.  Not like internal technology.  Like the shiz.)
They converted a schoolbus into a rolling optical library and took it on the road.  Locally they stopped at super-buzzworthy custom denim store Imogene + Willie.  See how they turned the front part of the bus into a chalkboard?  Maybe a bit overdone in interior design by now but super cool on a dang schoolbus.

See how they had all the specs lined up, just ripe for the pluckin'?  It was like heaven.  
They even had library cards to keep up with the frames you like the most.  Then there was a photo booth right outside the bus.  My coworker/friend Candice had gone with me, and we definitely cheesed for the camera.
 While I was right there, I decided to go into Imogene's, which now has a permanent Warby Parker try-on boutique.
The main part of the store has excellent style.  They have rolls of denim up near the ceiling, next to dozens of custom paper patterns.  (They make jeans to order.)  It's a bit pricey for me but a fun store nonetheless.

As if I could not have been more in love with WP at that point, I came home a couple of weeks later to find the following on my doorstep.
And inside....
What in the world could be better than a specs-y Santa sugar cookie?  I pretty much lost my mind at that point.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Home By Novogratz

Do you know the Novogratz crew?  It's a husband/wife design team, and they happen to have seven kids.  Yes, seven.  I had always seen listings on HGTV for their show and thought that it was some real estate/staging show that would not hold my interest, so I skipped it for a while.

One day I caught it, and it was like Touched By A Kardashian (in the sense that it sucks you in).  They live in New York and design some super cool spaces.  All this is not to say that their style is my style.  It's not, but I do appreciate it.

In their book Bob and Cortney N. show off some of their proudest design moments, job by job.  It's very similar in layout to the latest Nate Berkus book, but this time the budget and actual expenditures are included.  If you watched the most recent season of their show, then you won't get too many visual surprises from this book because they use spaces from most every episode.  It is nice that they can write where they sourced some of the pieces, though.

Although I will soon return this volume to the library, I'm glad I took the time to read/look through it.  Their style is way more colorful and kooky than mine, but they really do think about things like audience (i.e., kid/pet-friendliness), scale, and budget.  It's a refreshing change.  Sample quote from page 175:

When everything matches perfectly, a room can look as if it was copied straight from a catalog.

I don't see this as a bad thing, but I guess it depends on what catalog you prefer.