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re-arrange your rooms. paint your walls. get flowering plants instead of cut flowers. host a swap event. tag sale your whole house and become a minimalist! more to come!

Thanks Tracy!

Mr. Fabulous! Was just contracted to do the interior of the White House! This of course is the project of a lifetime!!! Take a look at some of Mr. Smith’s interiors.2009-01-13-gasl_michael_smith_daras_022009-01-13-gasl_michael_smith_daras_032009-01-13-gasl_michael_smith_daras_042009-01-13-gasl_michael_smith_daras_09

This chair is an example of colonial style milk painted furniture which had a bit of a style comeback in the 1980’s. Although this style of furniture has been a stylistic trend off and on, It is actually classic country americana and can be mixed with almost any other interior style as it has long been considered a kind of folk art.img_2230

Happy New Year! This is the year for change!! With our new President elect about to get started this is bound to be a time of real growth for our country and for ourselves individually. Heres the thing, in these times where everybody has lost money in the stock market, and real estate values are down lower than anyone thought, layoffs and unemployment are on the rise, people losing their homes, struggling to make ends meet…who cares about style..right? I mean how trivial and absurd when we have real issues and worries and concerns to deal with. Not true! Actually, history has shown us that during great times of stress and trouble individuals need for self expression is tremendous and that self expression can be revolutionary! Well self expression is first realized through our style. Shop in your closet, do clothing or home accessory swaps with a bunch of friends. Someone elses garbage is another persons treasure! Make a game of it, it can become fun. Just because everybody is trying to conserve their resources doesn’t mean our sense of style needs to suffer. Also, I am a big believer in staying positive by focusing on creativity! So change the buttons on that coat, paint that chair a different color and keep making things as beautiful as you can!

entryview2living12I have a wonderful friend , Johnny Machado who is a style maven, man about town, and total fabulouso! Last year he took on the project of turning a 400 square foot apt. in Manhattan into a stylish, chic, little jewel of a space. His trick, keep all surfaces shiny and reflective, with the exception of his upholstered pieces, and WHITE , WHITE, WHITE!!! Look for yourself.

Subtle Tones

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Modern Romance

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As everyone is experiencing the uneasiness of current events, the hope that is out there on the horizon is like a beacon for us to focus on. It is almost impossible to not have some anxiety about what is happening in our economy, even if the impact has not yet been directly felt. The whole world is trying to spend less, re-think it’s priorities and make use of what already exists. New projects are being postponed or pared down––that new addition or luxury kitchen has now given way to the cosmetic renovation which could be simply a repainting of the cabinets in many cases. Many things have been the mother of invention, and a big one right now is having little or no money for a renovation budget. It is time for everyone to roll up there sleeves and get creative.

The good news is that times like these challenge our creativity, which is how we grow. A few weeks ago I wrote about being mindful visually: well this is an expansion on that concept. First of all, everything that before might have been thought of as used, or junk, or old is now green. The new terminology is reclaimed, recycled and sustainable. It is not only vitally important to the health of our World, it can also fashionable, so go through your stuff and make a list!

I like to make lists–so in this case I would make a list with three catagories: 1) what to keep, 2) what can be refurbished and 3) what to get rid of. I talk about taking an inventory in my upcoming book, and the importance of knowing exactly what you have to work with––for example, that tired old lamp you have might be great with just a new shade, and the coffee table you’ve had for years, and are so used to looking at, has great lines, so a new paint job or refinish would update it and give it a whole new lease on life.  Look at your rooms, your desks, your wardrobes and see what you can create from what you already own. I guaranty we all have more to work with than we realize! An example of this is a woman who took all of her family’s old stained and worn cashmere and wool sweaters then cut them up into squares and sewed them together in a quilt like manner. She wound up making the most beautiful and interesting throws and blankets imaginable out of the ruined clothing. It was so successful that she expanded the line by rummaging through goodwill bins and now makes bags as well. The point is is that times like these call for the ingenuity that we are known for, so reclaim, recycle, and create! My dear friend Jocelyn Mason, who designs and creates the most beautiful bags using reclaimed leather, has a saying “if you can’t get out of it, get into it!” Which pretty well sums up where we all are in these trying economic times. So buck up, take stock and get creative.

Simple, clean and elegant

005Featuring a large painting over the fireplace by Christine. Simple textures and hues make up this room.

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