Wunderley is wonderful.

Middle Eastern and Moroccan design is all the rage. This company, Wunderely, has both trends. Their prices are very reasonable and their web page is set up to purchase. I'm not sure if the prices are truly wholesale or not, but I had no trouble setting up an account online. One or two of their products can make a room mysterious and oh, so current. Enjoy!

Wood and bone mirror.

Moroccan rug. Fabulous.

Two great accent tables.

Their lighting line is extensive.



Seeing this picture of a NEW item from the 2007 spring accessories market makes me smile. Sculpted coral (faux, no doubt) holds up a bottle of wine. Gee, why hadn't I thought of that? Is there no end to this coral madness?! No? In this month's Domino Magazine, L.A. interior designer extraordinaire Suzanne Rheinstein admitted she can't stop decorating with branches of coral and Miles Redd volunteered he can't stop his shell addiction. I, too, admit to a love of coral, sadly.

Trendy decorative items seem to be overtaking the world. Due to the proliferation of do-it-yourself decorating stores like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, there is a constant need to fill their shelves with items to sell. And, coral, seems to fit that bill this year. But, honestly, does anyone really need a coral mirror as hideous as this?

Or, these totally over done coral pillows, in red:

Or brown?

Or blue?

Or how about red, spiky coral pillows?

Here's another trend this year, damask. But tell me, does anyone really need damask freezer bags?

Or how about a damask tool kit?

This beautiful bedroom by Jackie Lanham featured antique intaglios, a key element of the room:

Now, to pick up the trend, who doesn't need fake intaglios, in a green shadowbox? What, no takers?

And don't forget the must-have suzani. Most people want an original one on their bed, but for those who don't, how about a faux suzani pattern painted on a faux antique Chinese rice box?

Here, is a medley of three trends all in one: birds, birdcage, and mirror! Beautiful??

Using trends in interior design can be very tricky. If you glance through the book on Frances Elkins, you can how timeless classic design is. Some of Elkins' rooms look like they were designed recently, not 80 years ago. They are a testament to what good design is all about.

If you can't resist trendy decorating, try to limit the trend accessory to just accents here and there, as opposed to wallpaper or upholstery. This way, you can easily change it out without a huge expense. Like this room:

Here are some beautiful living rooms that are so obviously of the 2000s, yet, you won't find any trendy coral or other tacky accessories, just timeless, classic design.

Pink Goes White

Dining Room with pink striped french chairs, pink striped draperies, and pink pillows.

If this room looks vaguely familiar to you, it's no wonder why. First published in Traditional Homes in 2003, this house has been in print each year since in one magazine or another. I'll admit that I was intrigued with this house when I first saw it. The owner hired Suellen Gregory to design the entire place in pink. And as it was explained in detail, the pink is not just any pink, but a very specific blue pink that she had grown up with, as her mother, apparently, loved this shade of pink, too. I had never before (save for Martha Stewart's pink guest house) seen a house decorated all in pink, but it was pretty and obviously other people thought so too, because it has been the most published house ever, probably.

So, yesterday, after reading about the pink house for the umpteenth time, this time in Decor, 2007, I decided to check out Gregory's web site and take a look at her portfolio. Lo and behold, imagine my surprise to find that the pink house is no more. Today it is white, completely redone by Gregory, with the pink totally banished except for small accents here and there. Funny, but the white version of this over-publicized house has never been shown in print. I wonder why?

Living Room with pink pouf, pink French chairs, pink chintz slipper chair.

Another picture of living room with pink pillows, pink skirted table, pink french chairs.

More pink, more french.

Living room today: white fabrics, new chairs, new mirrored glam table.

More glam details: newly mirrored mantel, newly painted french chairs, newly upholstered pouf, new fireplace screen, new curtains, but the same sconces.

Dining Room: new chairs, new Niermann Weeks console, floors still checkered but with more dramatic colors, same table with but newly mirrored top.

Which do you like better, the white house or the pink house?

Viva la Padre!

And so, last Friday, the three of us, Ben, Elisabeth and myself took off in my new Jeep Commander for our annual trip to the southern most tip of Texas, South Padre Island. We'll be here for about three weeks, not doing much of anything except sitting on the beach and eating shrimp and crab.

It's a long car ride as you can see from the map - Houston to South Padre Island (where the red star is!). It takes about six hours with a few stops along the way.

And here is an aerial shot of the little island, in fact, I think it really is considered a sandbar!

This is the view to the right from our condo taken at about 7:00 pm today. Nice house on the right, always empty and boarded up. Hey, we'll take it!

And, the view to the left. Slightly hazy because the lens on my camera kept fogging up. There is no sunset because this is facing east!

The most exciting thing happening on the island visually is the new town called The Shores. As you can see, it is modeled on all those trendy Florida beach towns like Seaside and Rosemary Beach. It may be cheesy to be excited about copying Florida, but the lack of town planning on this little island has left a lot to be desired design wise, so The Shores is a breath of fresh air. It's been slow going for a long time, but this summer Ben and I are pleasantly surprised at the amount of building that happened over the winter. Many, many new homes on both the beach and bay side sprang up since we were last here. This is exactly where we want to live when we don't have to work anymore.

I love the picket fences, it reminds me of Seaside, Florida.

The portal to the beach. This reminds me of Seaside, Florida (see a pattern here?)

Front row viewing of the beach.

Now, this is what I call paradise.

Michael Smith in Malibu


Architectural Digest published an article in 2005 on this Malibu house decorated by Michael Smith. It was my first introduction to the now very famous designer. I loved this house then and I love it still today. I think it was the blue checks that sold me on him, because I love checks and I love blue and white, so there would be no question about me loving Michael. Some of these pictures didn't make his book, so for your viewing pleasure, earlier Michael Smith.

I love this Dutch door.

The infamous blue checked living room with chintz draperies.

Another view. Note the green garden seat with shells.

Bennison fabric on sofa, Chelsea Editions on blinds.

Love the mirror. Note the sofa.

The master bedroom, carrying the red, white and light blue theme throughout the house.

Love the black bed.

Typical Californian outdoor room.

Aw, so cute! And so young looking here! This is pre-debonair Michael, no one styled his hair!!