Thursday, June 11, 2015

Eek! The Internet Stole My Creativity!

I can't tell you how often I loose an entire afternoon looking at images online to help illustrate an idea that I have.
It's a huge problem.
How do we stay original when really we are just riffing on something that has been done?

Partial map of the Internet based on the Jan. 15, 2005, data found on Each line is drawn between two nodes, representing two IP addresses. The length of the lines are indicative of the delay between those two nodes.

I looked up best interior design and this image came up.  ACK.  What is that about?

I'll tell you, it's not easy to be original.  When I can't perfectly illustrate what I mean to create,  I pull a disparate amount of images together with a messy sketch on my recycled stack of printer paper.
Then, I have a revelation of sorts.
This is what it means to design, right?

John Saladino's Entry Alcove.  Symmetry, nature and patina all make for beautiful design

If you want to make a cake, you don't start from literal scratch.  You find the best flour and sugar
and ingredients that predecessors have created, adopted, perfected.  That is in the same vein as design.  You are building on ideas and concepts and materials that exist and assembling them together to create an environment that is unique or at least has satisfying flavor.

Yum.  Now I want coconut cake.

Jean-Louis Denoit.  Good fancy French design.  Also very yummy.

A Stephen Volpe designed dining room with Zaha Hadid's Dune Table, vintage chairs by Tobia Scarpa and a Jeff Zimmerman chandelier.  Dem is some real designers.

A Jacques Granges living room in Portugal.  Did I mention it was a LIVING room?

OK, so the internet hasn't stolen my ability to be creative, but it can hinder me as much as help me.  Sometimes I need to literally gather and assemble.  For all it's seeming endlessness of resources at my fingertips, the world wide web is often a time suck and a frustrating rabbit hole that I need to pull my head out of.  My head, eyes and heart need to be out in the world to really see what is going on, what is new and what is beautiful.

Like Mother Nature's palettes...

Or that beautiful might just be a neon sign of the sun.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


We are headed on a Scandinavian adventure and I couldn't be more excited.

Scandinavian design was, in many ways, my introduction into the world of interiors and decoration. The minimalist, functional and affordable design movement that emerged out of 1950s Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden isn't only Ikea, but countless iconic furniture shapes and pieces.  The style that was created more than sixty years ago retains a modernist appeal and continues to be in high demand.

Arne Jacobsen's Egg Chair

Ole Wanscher, Arm chair, 1958

Finn Juhl, Chieftan chair, 1949 
Nanna Ditzel, Egg, 1959

I can't wait to delve in deeper into the nuances in the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish sensibilities and the fashion and culture.  Not to mention a seat at Noma's table!

But first, here is a taste of the amazing landscape.  We will be riding steep trains and taking overnight ferries, and a highlight, sailing through the fjords.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

On Gardening

Landscape designer Piet Oudolf. Via Gardenista

I've never been much of a gardener.

In fact, I gave myself the moniker 'black thumb' years ago.

And yet, I feel a season change, if you will.

The  Silent Garden by Piet Ouldolf.  Via Gardenista

Now I am living in a house with a garden and a patio and a yard and the outdoor areas are lovely.  They are truly extensions of the home.  What is happening outside is relevant to interiors as it is framed by windows and doors.  The light changes, the colors change and it all can be magical.

Via Habitually Chic

It is entirely frustrating that I can imagine an interior, yet envisioning the various shapes, heights, colors and textures as applied outside eludes me.

Via Gardenista

Olive trees at sundown from our trip to Napa & Sonoma last fall. Via my iPhone.

Solage in Calistoga.  Great spot! Via my Instagram.

Great winery in Napa. Via my iPhone.

I have strong opinions about nearly everything, but when it comes to gardening, I'm less sure footed.  To not like a plant or flower feels similar to not liking a puppy or a baby.  But let's be frank: some puppies are jerks and some babies are ugly.

Raised beds at a winery near Calistoga. Via my iPhone.

Via Desire to Inspire

via Habitually Chic

My goal is to take on this meditative and natural design challenge with abandon.  After hearing Bunny Williams at the design center last month, my main take away was that one should spend more time outside and more time being.  That, at least, I can do.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why I've gone dark

I wish I could report on an incredible sabbatical that kept me from blogging for about a year, but I can't.  I wish that the great hiatus gave me time to be inspired and begin again with fresh eyes, but I can't really do that either.

I just miss writing a little blurb now and again.  Keeping a blog up helps to organize my inspiration and without that inspiration, how good can I be at my job?  I love what I do for a living, so I am going to attempt to re-start maison de lise.  While renovations keep a better narrative for a blog (hello: before and afters!), I think there are great things happing in the world of design, fashion, food and travel that get me excited and will keep me motivated.  Blogging for me is like going to the gym.  Except it doesn't help me fit into my summer skinny jeans.  Hard to maintain, but worth it.

Why I like monotone interiors:  They are the cool girl of interiors.  The Parisian of interiors.

Uber moody and chic

Venetian plaster walls add a richness to this airy room

Linen, leather and wood are natural.  Nature is the best composer.

Feminine and soothing.  Various textures keep this serene environ from being boring.

A traditional and inviting bedroom

This must be French.  I need to go and read Proust on that daybed right now.

Very groovy Moroccan vibe.  Missing Marrakech

Daryl Carter can do no wrong in my book.  It's about great pieces and pared down spaces.

This has more contrast than the rest, but the natural wood and amazing Apparatus light fixture just kill.

Tonal rooms are a palette cleanser.  They are all timeless to me.  I like.