Top Five Guests at My Dream Dinner Party

June 27th, 2014

The people who impress me most have unusual clarity, drive and are the best at what they do . With their unique views on the world, determination and perhaps good fortune, they’ve risen through the ranks, ascending to the top.  Everyone knows finance and politics are taboo topics among guests and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t care about being taboo.  Guest one and two, sitting right in the middle of the table, are dominate power players who impact the world.  I also like a good story, so I’ve invited the best in the biz.  Finally, I’d love my party to have panache, so I’ve called on the dead to invite the most “fabulous” person I know.

Without further ado, please meet my guests.


1.   Lloyd Blankfein - CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs
Lloyd Blankfein Goldman Sacks
An avid Zero Hedge reader, I’m fascinated by how money really works in the global economy.    This NYC boy came from a  middle class home, not elite private schools on the Upper East Side. Through ambition, hard work and unwavering perseverance, he became Valedictorian of his high school and went on to attend Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law.  Since taking on the role of Head at Goldman Sachs – and not without controversy – Blankfein has since been named “2009 Person of the Year” by Financial Times, Forbes Magazine’s “Most Outrageous CEO of 2009″, and #43 on Forbes list of “The World’s Most Powerful People.”
2. Vladimir Putin – President of Russia
Vladimir Putin
I’d love to listen to his story about his journey from his early years living in a communal apartment with other Leningrad families, to becoming one of the wealthiest men in the world.  He restored the glory of a failing nation, steadily grew the economy during his first two terms as President, and continues to receive the love of his people after being re-elected numerous times.  Under his direction and energy policy, Russia has become a clear energy leader in environmental sustainability and energy development.
3. Jenji Kohan – Creator of great shows like Weeds and Orange is the New Black
Jenji Kohan
She’s such a delightful story teller who always seems to know the inner workings of the Vlad and Lloyd.  With many credits under her belt, including 7 Emmy Nominations ( finally winning for Executive Producer for Tracy Takes On)  her point of view and getting to the nitty-gritty is always intriguing.
4. Wes Anderson – Director, Screenwriter of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom 
Wes Anderson
If you’ve seen his movies, you can only imagine what insanely hilarious things he could write about the guests at this dinner party. The, quirky cartoonish details of his storytelling shock and delight.  Every movie is different yet distinctively “Wes Anderson” and the same lines run through my head for each one, “WHERE DID HE COME UP WITH THIS SH*T?”
5. Tony Duquette – Designer in Costume, Jewelry, Set, Furniture and Interiors
Last but not least, the most “divine” person on my list has also risen from modest roots to working for and along-side the elite in film, fashion and all things design.  Elsie de Wolfe picked him up and he was off and running in the design world!  Duquette is the king of recycling – transforming the ordinary into something exquisite.  Also, I know he’d give me great decorating advice for the party and perhaps he would bring some of his beautiful jewelry over for me to borrow for the evening.
Am I forgetting anyone?  Bon appetit!

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Top 5 Faves in Outdoor Furniture

June 2nd, 2014

Things are really heating up around here and I am ridiculously ready for summer!  I’ve got my favorite shades on, a glass of cucumber lemonade and music playing – it’s time to kick back and relax, my friends.

As you know, I’m big on indoor / outdoor living, and I’m seeing some great designs that are exciting this season.

Tommy Bahama Outdoor Furniture, Interior Design Trends, Los Angeles Interior Designer Outdoor Living

Tommy Bahama Outdoor Furniture has taken woven wicker to a whole new level by bringing these typically indoor styles to the outdoors.  This collection feels so fresh – the light and beachy feel, the fluid movement of the table base and these chair styles that I’ve loved so much for living rooms but have never seen for the patio.  Nice job, Tommy!


Lamps Plus (Yes Lamps Plus has furniture!) has a great selection of outdoor pieces in various styles, including this play off the traditional outdoor wicker settee, giving it a more relaxed and modern feel with it’s shape, open weave and grey tones.  I’ll take 2!


Jaipur offers up plenty of bright and colorful graphic indoor/outdoor rugs, pillows and poufs that I love to use in my projects.  You can keep a neutral backdrop and change these out for a fresh look each season!   It’s a great way to create a new look without breaking the bank.


Much to our delight, last fall we discovered that Made Goods now has outdoor furniture!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Their pieces are so much fun and really make a space feel special.


If you want something straight out of a resort, Zuo Mod has the hot stuff you’re looking for.  This Martinique daybed is regal, relaxing and a little exotic.  Just my summer style!

I’m constantly impressed by how many new and exciting things come to market each season and am really looking forward to the next few months.  Whether you come home inspired by your summer vacation or you want to create your own oasis at home, there are so many options out there.  Let loose, have fun and let the summer fiestas begin!

Posted in Furniture, Interior Design Trends, Outdoor Living, Outdoor Living Rooms, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Bernhardt, I love what you’ve done with yourself!

May 12th, 2014

When I walked into the High Point Bernhardt Interiorsshowroom, I almost didn’t know where I was.  There was low mood lighting, down-tempo music and furniture I wouldn’t necessarily associate with the Bernhardt I’ve known in the past.  It was sexy, contemporary and on trend, resulting in an absolutely stunning curation.  Ron Fiore, Stylist and Creative Director, is to thank for the showroom experience whose eye for ambiance in each collection totally transported me to another place and time….say the chicest hotel in London!

This large scale brass Greek Key cocktail table is awesome!

After 125 years, this family owned operation, now lead by 4th generation Alex Bernhardt Jr., has reinvented themselves in Bernhardt Interiors and I am blown away! What impressed me even more, was the price point and wide variety of customizable options.  You name it, they can do it.  If you love that cabinet but it’s just a couple inches too wide, they’ll adjust it for you.   Their pieces are well made and pricing is extremely competitive with other major manufacturers which makes me a very happy designer.

So in love with this brass chair!


The New Look: Classic and Contemporary Bernhardt

Walking through the 75,000 sq. ft. showroom with us, Alex Bernhardt, Jr. talked about his inspiration for bringing in designs that he personally loves – which were coincidentally the pieces that we were especially drawn to (the brass table and chair in the above images and this jaw-dropping bed). Talk about going with your gut and moving in a clear direction – Bernhardt has nailed it!

Oh, yes please!

Always close to my heart is not only the beautiful end result of items that come from a favorite manufacturer, but how they treat their employees and the environment.  Bernhardt employs about 1,250 people and they have implemented a comprehensive set of Environmental Policy Objectives, ranging from energy and water use, emissions and air quality control, waste reduction and the use of renewable materials, and how they package their products.  As designers, we want to make sure we source our products in a conscious manner so it’s beneficial for everyone involved, from design concept to building to installation.

Sara Plaisted and I with the ever so humble and charming Bernhardt Creative Director Ron Fiore. We were very lucky to catch this shot because he's one shy guy!

Interior Designer Lori Dennis on Bernhardt Furniture

One of my favs...the Lance chair with the white leather and brass cantilever base.

A major talking point was the notice of hardware being the jewelry of the furniture.  Such attention to detail was much appreciated!

Notice the hardware "jewelry" on the back of the chair and on the cabinet

The theme of this collection and space in the showroom was “A special woman who is a world traveler.  It’s sophisticated, luxurious and elegant.”   Such a sweet detail of the chair hardware

Refined Elegance

Bernhardt has tapped into the horn trend and introduced these cool chairs and table.

Elka Chair with Ombre Horn Legs


Horn Console Table

Ribbon Wood Table Base

This table is so interesting.  They’ve created the look of a light, ribbon-like wood base that is strong enough to support the glass top.  The trick is having a metal interior and wood veneer.  Genius!

Silver Leaf Metal Applique Dresser


Cool and Affordable Acrylic Side Table

This is perfect example of an awesome price point – this acrylic side table is 1/3 the cost of similar tables I’ve seen.  Very impressive!

Sure to be taken seriously behind this faux Snake Skin Desk

I have a new passion love for Bernhardt,  I’m so excited to share my “discovery” with my clients and design friends.  I’m sure you’ll be just as impressed as I am!

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