This large, older house located in Texas, is the 2nd place winner in the Aidan Gray Catalogue contest!!
They don’t build houses like this anymore – with large foyers that are the size of a room!!  What would you do to have a foyer like this???   The owner placed a center table right in the middle and topped it with blue and white items.  There’s a lovely antique bench, but the focal point is definitely the staircase!   This room is what caught Randal Week’s eye when choosing a winner.
Through columns, to the left, is the living room, and you can see further back into the library.  
And looking the other direction, next to the front door with its beautiful transom with the address (love that detail!) – is an antique iron console with more blue and white porcelains.  The room is so lovely – what a wonderful introduction to a house!
And here is what Randal hopes to photograph in the entry – he wants a skirted table topped with Aidan Gray candlesticks and wire baskets.  He’ll add their own chandelier (and wow – I love this chandy!!) along with their own bench.  It will be interesting to see if the final photograph really looks like this drawing!
The living room has a sisal carpet with a zebra, mixed with a French sofa and arm chairs.   The colors found here are found throughout the house – light blues mixed with creams. 
And looking the other direction – love the fireplace and the clam shell filled with orchids!  The sofa is especially beautiful too.   Next – is the library, seen through the door.
The paneled library continues with the light blue colors – here, mixed with leathers.  Love the curtains and ikat pillows and the monogrammed chair!!  And those maps!  Through the door is the screened in porch that sits at the front of the house, on the left side.
Another view of the library, showing the fabulous bar.  What a great house for entertaining.  The door opens to the front porch.  There are large porches on almost each side of the house.  Not showing is the wall of shelves on the left side of the room.
At the side of the house is the large screened in porch.  It leads into the library and the breakfast room and kitchen through the open doors and to the family room at the left. 
And looking at the other direction – there is a fireplace and a TV out here!  What a great space!  I think I would live out here if this was my home!!!
The screened in porch leads into the breakfast room and keeping room all the way past the kitchen and here – the butler’s pantry.  Great space for storing dishes and for entertaining.  There’s even a farm sink in the pantry.  Past the pantry is a small office.  The door to the left leads back to the entry at the front of the house.
The kitchen over looks the back yard with the large swimming pool.  Along the back of the house is the family room with a pool table.  The keeping room and breakfast room are to the left of the kitchen.
Love this!  And so did Randal!  This room – the keeping room – caught Randal’s eye.  Great fireplace with its Texas limestone mantel.   Great fabric and love the blue and white rug so much.   Love this!!!
And here is what Randal envisions for this space.  He’ll bring in four of his own French chairs, his own sconces and lamps, along with a few of his wire tables.  I love those tables.
And looking towards the other direction at the breakfast room.  A banquette serves the table along one side, while a mix of chairs are used on the other sides.  Beautiful light fixture.   The kitchen is to the left and the screened in porch is to the right. 
The family room overlooks the large backyard with the swimming pool and pool house.  Again, the d├ęcor is all cream with a touch of blue mixed in. 
I wonder if Randal was drawn to the house because they have an Aidan Gray chandelier and sconces???    Just kidding, but I’m beginning to think there aren’t many houses without something from Aidan Gray.   Many of the people who submitted their houses for the contest had something from Randal’s company!!  This is my favorite chandelier of his – the price is reasonable and I’ve used it many times before, including in my own guest room.
A sofa table divides the space between the sitting area and the pool table.  Towards the back is another staircase. 
On the landing upstairs is a small sitting area with slipcovered furniture in creams and blues.  I love all the fabrics the homeowner chose – the muted patterns in blues and creams found throughout the house.  This house is really beautiful – and beautifully furnished. 
And finally, the master bedroom in whites, creams, and blues, caught Randal’s eye!  Love that bench in blue checks!
Across from the bed is a sitting area that overlooks the back yard! 
And here – is Randal’s vision for the master bedroom.  He’ll bring in Aidan Gray’s caned bed, night stands (are those new?!!! Love those!!!  I need two of those for a client Randal!!!) lamps, and benches, along with a caned chair with upholstery nails that is to die for!  I can’t wait to see this room done up in Aidan Gray furniture.
What a wonderful home!!  It is almost like a dream movie home – rambling, with all these wonderful nooks and crannies to read in, and sit around and talk, eat, and just enjoy being together with your spouse and children.  I love that about old homes – large rooms mixed with small rooms, large entry halls, big butler’s pantries, bay windows, front and back and side porches, outdoor fireplaces!!  What a lucky family to have such a beautiful, friendly, warm and cozy house to raise their children in.  Congratulations on being chosen!!
To visit Aidan Gray’s web site, go HERE.
A few years ago when I redecorated Elisabeth’s bedroom, I got so many comments about where to buy the angel in her room.
I had bought mine at Olivine, but mine was the last statue they had.  Recently, Helen, who owns the wonderful shop Olivine, told me she had just gotten some new angels in.   They are not as large as mine, but that might be better for most people – because mine is HUGE!!!
 Helen sent me this picture of the new size.  You can see it looks exactly the same, just a bit smaller.  If you are interested in the angel, contact Helen below. 


There’s a new magazine coming out – Milieu.  It’s an interior design magazine being published in Houston, by a rather popular and ultra talented interior designer.  Though the designer is from Houston, the magazine is definitely NOT local.  It will be international - with houses, gardens, and stories from all over the United States and Europe, as well.   Distribution will be throughout the United States. There will be more information in the near future about where and how to get the magazine when it is published.  
  I’m so excited, I can’t stand the wait!  I’ve known about this for a while and had promised to keep my lips sealed, but the introductory “mini mag” will be coming out this January.   That gray font alone is enough to make me drool.   Care to guess who is behind the new magazine?
Fresh white flowers, limed wood.   Guesses?
Thistle and olive jars.  Oh, this is too easy!!!
Come on, who is the only designer who can mixed it up THIS good????
(all photographs above by Peter Vitale)
Give up? 
I know you know!! 
Yes, the fabulously talented Pamela Pierce is behind Milieu.  Look for more information to be coming out soon!  CAN NOT WAIT!!!!!
Next time:  my new library, finally!

Family Room Updates!



Whenever I show pictures of my family room, I always get the same two comments. The first is – why is that chair blocking the fireplace? You should move it!!

Yeah, I know…it just doesn’t really fit. So, whenever I took pictures of the room, I would try to hide to hide the fact that it was in front of the fireplace.


I would take pictures of the room from a different angle so it didn’t look quite so bad. Also, I would try to push the sofa back a little and the chair too, but, the truth is, the chair is just really too bulky and there is no hiding that fact.


The second comment I always gets it that the room isn’t balanced. The right side of the room feels too light when balanced against the left.

It’s not like I don’t KNOW all this!!! I do, believe me! But what to do? Ben didn’t want his TV blocked by furniture.


You see, there has been some deception here. Whenever I take pictures of this side of the room, I leave out the flatscreen. I mean, who wants to see that ugly thing, especially since it only plays either football or Fox News. Yeah. I know.


See? Football. There was so way I could move the furniture around without blocking the TV. It was really starting to drive me crazy, because I am decorator. I need to be able to solve issues like this!


When I remodeled this family room for a client a few months ago, I bought their dining room chairs from Hien Lam. I’ve used those chairs a few times before in dining rooms, and also in family rooms. I liked the height of the chairs and the width – tall and skinny. And they come in many styles, including mouton bone legs which match my sofa and chairs.

Lightbulb moment!

If I bought two of those chairs, then I could move my wing chairs across the room and solve both issues of the blocked fireplace AND the uneven balance of the furniture.

First, though, there was the issue of the flatscreen being blocked. When Raul made the screen doors for my shelves, I had him raise the TV up about a foot. I don’t like high TVs, but even raising it a foot still left it at eye level.

Next I chose two dining room chairs from Hien Lam. I went for the ones that were tall and slim (just like me!!) and one that had the curved arch on the back – just like my sofa and chairs. Matchy-matchy!

Here are some of their dining room arm chairs:



While I liked the mouton bone chair the best, I went for the Country Scroll because of its measurements. The chairs come unstained and Hong will stain them as dark or as light as you want. I asked for the dark brown stain. Then I asked Ben for a loan!


And here is the change! I added the two tall French dining room armchairs on each side of the sofa. Then, I moved the two wing chairs across from the sofa. I put the wine table between them. And look – you can even see the fireplace!! And you can see my nephew-dog Tucker on the sofa watching me.


Here you can see how the wine table fits under the tv but doesn’t block the view at all. Of course I can’t put much on it! But I did put some books and a tea caddy and a candle. See how much of the fireplace is now exposed by the new chair. It’s so much more in proportion.


Here’s how it looks from the sofa. See, the TV is still eye level, but it’s high enough that I can put a few things on the table. Not sure why I didn’t fluff those cushions, but…


Now, I can just hear you!!! You are thinking - how can we see the TV from those chairs. Well, you really can’t BUT if you turn in the chairs a little you can see it good enough. I know it’s not ideal. BUT, one day, when Ben recovers from the new chairs, I can send these chairs to Hong and she can put them on swivels. Of course, then I would have to have slipcovers that go to the floor to cover the swivel and then I would lose the pretty legs on the chairs. It’s never easy.

If I had a large family, the chairs would HAVE to be put on swivels asap. But for us – my little family of three – it’s not an issue right now. In fact, Elisabeth sat in that wing chair with the ottoman the entire Thanksgiving break. If she wanted to watch something on TV, she would angle the chair a little. Otherwise, she sat on the sofa or the new chairs. I tended to always sit on the small chairs by the wine table, so now I just use the new chairs – and it’s all good.


Here’s a close of the chair – you can see the pretty curve on the arms. Your arm actually fits right on the curve at the elbow and it’s quite comfortable. The chairs are also very light – so I can turn it closer to the fire if I want to with no effort at all. And notice the arch on the top – it matches the arches on the sofa and chairs – I love that detail.


Here, you can see how the back is tied all the way down and then there are ballerina ties on the legs. Hien Lam makes the prettiest slipcovers.


So that’s that. You spoke and I listened. In fact when I was telling Ben about the changes that were coming, I used you for the excuse. “Every time I show our family room, everyone comments on that chair blocking the fireplace – and how unbalanced our room looks!” I’m sure he wasn’t even listening to me – all he cared about was that I was going to block his TV.


And here is Elisabeth and her puppy Lucy all snuggly on Thanksgiving break!!

Next up, more winners from Aidan Gray and a look at the finished, finally, library!






It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Skirted Roundtable interview, so we wanted to make this one extra special – and it is!  Wow!  Miles Redd!!  Yes!!!



OK, so all day I was nervous as all get out thinking about how I was going to be talking with Mr. Miles Redd, probably the hottest, most in demand interior designer working today.  Moi.  Talking with Miles.  Yep.  In the end, all the nervousness was for naught because it turns out Miles is just Miles, a nice, polite, and ultra sweet southern gentleman.  A real mensch – if only he was Jewish. 


Image 3

Miles doesn’t particularly like to email.  He actually likes to talk on the telephone and call people back – no matter who they are!!!  You want to talk with Miles?  Call him.  He’ll call you back.  He’s THAT nice.  He heads up the chicest design company around, so how many people work for him?   Fifteen?  Twenty?  Try four.  Four people.  And he mentions them all by their names.  As Linda pointed out, that was a first, EVER.

The niceness just goes on and on.  Need a source?  Need a tradesman?  Need to know the color of the paint on his front door?  Just ask him.  He shares it ALL.  But, not the color of his front door paint.  That was a custom mix and he has no idea what color it is.  You know his townhouse - where he lives on a few floors and his married sister lives on the other floors with her family.   But she’s moving out to a bigger space and Miles is taking over the entire townhouse.  He can’t wait either.  He’s scheming and dreaming about it.


Front door

THE townhouse, where design aficionados pay homage to Miles walking by it while visiting NYC.  I’d probably just loiter around it all day, hoping to have him come out and take pity on me and invite me inside for a tour.



The famous Miles Redd skirted table.


Miles has a new book out, and it’s a stunning collection of images.  Pictures that have inspired him are mixed in with photographs of his work.  But sometimes it’s hard to discern what is the inspiration and what is his work - the images are seamless.   Many are new photographs showing  perspectives not seen before. 



For instance, this Houston, Texas house was shown in Veranda.  This angle of the room was the only one we’ve seen, to date.  But in the book – we see another image of the same room:


Houston LR

Here – you can see how the living room sits off the main entry hall.   And who knew that zebra pillow was on the sofa?   And in the book, next to this picture, is the inspiration for the curtains.  Let’s just say – Audrey Hepburn.  Again, who knew?   By the way, Miles lets us know that he is now working on his second house in Houston.  No names mentioned though. He’s not stupid! 

The book is full of visual surprises, one after another.  The cover itself is wonderful, showing his famous zebra and nailheads door:


Big Book of Chich Hardcase 3D Cover HR

Miles claims this zebra door is one of only three original ideas he has ever had.  Yeah, sure Miles – just three?  Originally  he claimed it was just two ideas, but later in the interview he adds a third one.   Yet, he has trouble sleeping – in his dreams he sees fabulous, original rooms that amaze even him when he awakes.



He freely admits this red lacquered and brass library was completely inspired by red library designed by the late, great, Albert Hadley.  Those bookshelves!!!!




There was a lot talk about his mirrored bathroom – where he’s been known to host dinner parties. 



Courtesy of Paul Costello

And how it took the photographer just 15 takes to get this iconic picture, which was Miles’ own idea.  That art-deco, marble and mirrored bathroom – to die for!!!   He bought the vintage room after the museum in Chicago turned it down.  It just happened to fit perfectly in his townhouse.  I’ve always loved the peek at his red socks in this picture that seems almost black and white.

He is such a doll, such a sweet, sweet man, you will fall in love with him and wish you could hire him just to become friends with him! 


Zebra door

Myself, I am just obsessed with the zebra door and keep wishing I had a space worthy of such a fabulous portal. 

To listen, go to the Skirted Roundtable website HERE

Big Book of Chic 3D cover MR

To order Miles’ The Big Book of Chic, click on the picture below:







On yesterday’s Lovefeast contest, I left off the codes for the discounts!!!

Here they are:

15% off all Velvet Pumpkins from 12/1 - 12/31: 



10% off Antlers from 11/19 - 12/12: 


Be sure to use these source codes if you order the pumpkins or antlers in order to get your discount.  If you ordered something yesterday and didn’t use the code, try emailing or calling Lovefeast – I’m sure they will honor the discount regardless!!