Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vintage Scarf Chair

Hi Girlfriends,

Thanksgiving is behind us........but not the leftovers. The flavors just seem to get better and better too.

I was given the Chicago issue of LUXE Magazine, Vol 2 Issue 4 from our Kravet showroom and it shows the following chair done in vintage designer scarves. This chair can be seen at Susan Fellman Showroom, Los Angeles. Very unique concept.

Here is what Luxe has to say about Susan Fellman:

"For as long as she can remember, Los Angeles - based designer Susan Fellman has been collecting vintage desginer scarves. Evolving form a signature accessory to the creation of pllows, the idea has since taken on a life of its own, most recently in the form of her Reserved Seating collection. Each one-of-a-kind chair is engineered to fit three scarves -- which come form such labels as YSL, Channel and Hermes -- and is fitted with tapered Lucite legs."

Susan Fellman says: "In coordinating the scarves, I am playing with patterns, colors, and eras. Putting three scarves together--that's the magic."

It is understandable why Susan's Los Angeles showroom has become a style destination-!!

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kravet Fabrics Blog w/ Barbara Berry

Hi Girlfriends.

Kravet fabrics has a blog, INSPIRED.TALK, by Steve Noble. He is very knowledgeable and I read him all the time. Right now he is featuring our all time creative fabric girl, Barbara Berry. Not only is she creative with her furniture, accessories and fabrics, but she is tall, thin and BEAUTIFUL...........sigh-!

The following is Steve Noble and his interview with Barbara Berry.

INSPIRED.Barbara Barry

Barbara Barry is enchanting. During our recent conversation about all matters design, marketing and philosophy, I was admittedly “Barbara-ized.” Her spell is effortlessly charming – you will understand why, as you read on...

SN: How do you describe the essence of your brand?
BB: The essence of my brand is truly American…free to synthesize all I have learned and to bring that to a way of living with ease and grace. I design around the rituals of daily life – the physical, emotional and sensual – and strive to awaken in my clients the appreciation of these acts which, when supported with good design, can be transformative. My clients then experience the world in a different way and come back for more.

SN: Who is your typical client?
BB: My clients have intense full lives and they want their homes to support and nurture them; even if they are in them for a night or two. They are global. They generally have more than one residence and each residence is designed to serve them in this way wherever they are. They are accustomed to a certain level of comfort and luxury, which is revealed as much in the small details as the large. We provide an intimate service to our clients; one that touches every part of their lives and once they experience this, they want it throughout their lives.

SN: How did you build your brand?
BB: One step at a time… and loving each step. I put all I have into each step. I believe you either are a brand or you are not. It is in everything you do.

SN: What did you do to establish the reputation of your brand and keep it?
BB: 1. Care. Taking care of all relationships; with clients and with companies.
2. Standards. Working from a strong ethical stance.
3. Giving. 110%, whatever the budget.

SN: What business practices support the success of your brand?
BB: Always telling the truth. My opinion as a designer is the most valuable virtue that I have, and I strive to know it and own it. Believing in the essence of my brand – my philosophy – gives authenticity to my voice.

SN: How do you balance professional life with personal life?
BB: I strive to think right and by that I mean always coming from a place of gratitude. No complaining is allowed. I try to see obstacles as opportunities. I take time away. I rest. I eat right. I try to be in nature as nature renews me.

SN: What do you see as you look ahead to '09?
BB: I look forward to going deeper in the relationships that I have built. I am fortunate to have been asked to do a new collection with almost every licensee I have, even the longest standing ones, which, for me, is a great definition of success. So, for me now, it is all about how I do what I do (with care, standards and giving). I would love to author a book to share with others my journey. And there is nothing better than the philosophy of your life to guide your work and therefore your future. Thank you so much for thinking of me for this interview.

We thank Kravet Fabrics, Steve Noble and Barbara Berry for giving us the opportunity to read about their fabrics, and having such notable and gifted guests...........which we will share with you all from time to time.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bay Window Treatments

Hi Girlfriends,
As we are now into November, it is time to begin thinking about what we want to do for window treatments after the Holidays. When doing Bay Window treatments, the secret to success is to look at the window as a whole, and not as a series of seperate windows.

The Curtain Book, A Sourcebook for Distinctive Curtains, Drapes and Shades for Your Home.
Caroline Clifton-Mogg and Melanie Faine
Photography by Fritz von er Schulenburg

This formal treatment works very well for this Bay Window with the apartment grand piano. We love the idea of the caned loveseat in place of a piano bench-!! The swags and tails of this Bay Window composition hang directly from the ceiling moldings. The symmetrical double tails in the center are toped with rosettes, while the longer and broader outer tails have rosettes on the corners. The draperies themselves are each caught by a simple rope secured behind the tails. The mushroom lning and darkers brown trim work well with the cream.

Denise: If the wooden frames are narrow, it might be appropriate to use just a single pair of draperies, one at each side.

Gwen: HOWEVER, a large window with wide, heavy looking wooden bverticals at each division would look better hung with intermediate draperies that would serve to cover the unseemly expanse of wood and corrrect the overall proportions.

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hi Girlfriends, "One of North America's most well-known interior designers, Candice Olson, studied interior design at Ryerson University in Toronto. She worked with some of Canada's top interior design firms before opening her own residential and commercial design practice, Candice Olson Design, 1994. In the Fall 2002, she made her television debut with Divine Design, which is now one of the top-rated shows on cable television."

Imagine the "Before" picture being your own you can see, sparse furnishings make this large combination Living Room and Dining Room unwelcoming.

Candice Olson: "THIS ROOM SHOULD HAVE BEEN PARTY CENTRAL....with generous space for conversation and dining, it easily could accommodate a large crowd. But the sparse furnishings and bland color scheme made it feel cavernous and stark. The goal here is to make this space live up to its potential, to be both grand and intimate.....and personal."

Candice Olson: "To establish intimacy, I started with the shell of the room: Out went the broadloom carpeting, and in its place we installed dark, prefinished hardwood flooring. To shrink the room visually, I chose a metallic-blue striated finish for the walls. Dark floors and dark walls accented by crisp white woodwork successfully evoke a formal look that also feels warm and inviting"

Gwen: I love the color scheme and it introduces a rich mix of chocolate brown, blue, bronze and teal.

Denise: The new fabrics play up the scheme very nicely too-!! From the luxurious bronze draperies at the windows to the two blue upholstered French dining chair with that deep bronze glaze on the wood frames is very refreshing.

Gwen: And, these fabrics repeat themselves on throw pillows in the living room. Plus, the dark oval cocktail table with a stylish pendant fixture hung low over the table draws the eye to the center of the conversational grouping too.

Finished product-!!

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

BOOK: Candice Olson on design
Photographs by Brandon Barre

Friday, October 17, 2008

Updating on Confessions of A CF Husband

Hi Girlfriends, 

Today is not about fabrics or decor, it is about Nate, Tricia and Baby Gwyneth Rose.

From time to time, we have been following one courageous blog and have shared the blogger's incredible brave 'happenings' with you. 

"Confessions of a CF Husband," instantly, draws you into the captivating true life story about a devoted 27 year old husband, Nate, to a beautiful, but, sick, wife, Tricia.  Tricia has serious CF (Cystic Fibrosis).  They live at Nags Head, NC. when Tricia is not at Duke Medical Hospital.  During all what they have been through, and waiting for a new set of lungs for Tricia, a miracle began to grow within the two of them.  A baby.  Tricia disregarded all the doctors concerns and had a premie over the winter. A beautiful baby girl, Gwyneth Rose.  Next came the much awaited "borrowed" lungs for Tricia. Finally, Nate brought his wife and newborn back to Nags Head.  This was after months of calling Duke Medical Hospital and a hotel room, HOME.

At some point life took on a "normal" life for the three, until Tricia began to not eat and knew she had an infection somewhere in her body.  Tricia has lymphoma.  As Tricia struggles with chemo, ventilators and all the trappings that go with her condition, she needs our prayers too.

The following is taken from Nate's blog and we am sharing it with you:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Latest

Tricia's PET Scan (Monday morning) shows that the chemo has done very little to affect her PTLD, and, in fact, some of the spots in her lungs have grown, and the lymphoma has possibly spread to a lymph node in her chest (outside of her lungs). They are stopping the current R-CHOP treatment, since it is obviously not doing her any good, and performed another biopsy on Tuesday morning.

That is literally all we know at this point. We arrived home late last night. We should hear back from Duke later this week about what the biopsy shows and what they recommend next.

We are very discouraged as we very distinctly recall the cancer doc telling us a few months ago, "If this treatment doesn't work, Tricia is in serious trouble..."


Nate, Tricia and Gwyneth Rose 

Know that we are thinking of you and send our prayers and love.

Talk again,

Denise and Gwen

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Round Tablecloths

Hi Girlfriend,

NO home is ever finally, completely, finished.  The building may be done and the furniture bought, the color schemes set and the draperies hung, but all this is actually background.  The things you search for, discover and collect as long as you live give a home it's heart and its feeling.

What better way to display the pleasures you find in the objects you care for then to display them on a skirted round table. 

Denise: If you want a rich look to your room, remember to add interlining, then a lining.

Gwen:  Keeping this in mind, remember that their is a lot of waste to the fabric upon cutting, but so worth the completed look.

Denise: For a 54" fabric width most round tables will run you 5 to 6 yards.

Gwen: Yes, and if you want a 4" ruffle add extra yardage anywhere from 2 to 3 1/2 yards.

Denise:  Breakdown for  this 4" ruffle added extra yardage:
               Fabric width over 0" to 52" dia. is 2yds
                                               52" to 75" dia. is 2 1/2yds
                                               75" to 90" dia. is 3yds
                                               90" to 105" dia. is 3 1/2yds

Gwen: Now, for corded bottom, it less, but do add: 
               Fabric width over 0" to 52" dia. is 1yd
                                               52" to 90" dia. is 1 1/2yds
                                               90" to 105" dia. is 2yds
"...soft, rich, and luxurious to the touch." 
The Best In English Interior Decoration
pg. 108
A striped round skirted tablecloth w/ square table topper.
A design I repeated have used for many of my clients 

A gathered tablecloth with a glass top makes for an inviting cleaning experience.

After all those legs showing in this room, the round silk tablecloth is pleasing to the eye.

With the right entrance, this quilted material and it's accent of trimming compliments the accented square table topper.

The richness in the interlining and lining is embellished with bottom fringe work so nicely together.

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Are living rooms slowly dying?

Hi Girlfriends,

Have you noticed more and more Interior Design books and upscale magazines are showing mostly dining rooms, family rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, but, not living rooms?  Do we need to begin writing an obituary for American living rooms?  O we hope not.  

Living Rooms can be adjusted to any lifestyle, but, they must not be written off in the future. A woman wearing a jeans paired with a white silk blouse are just as welcomed as one standing next to her wearing a Prada dress and pointy shoes.  Both chatting together by a welcome fire sipping a wine.  Living rooms hold heirlooms of our past......from casegoods, to a fine French loveseat, to decorative lamps, a wonderful accent chair, antique rugs to fine oil paintings..and so much more.  Let's not write off Living Rooms yet.  We seem to recall it was dining rooms about 25 years ago, so we believe designers like Cote De Texas, will still have her job of being a fabulous French designer for all concerns.........right down to Gwen and I who love to do homes in our area too.

Take a look at three living rooms that are all from "SPECTACULAR HOMES of Chicago."  This book is "an exclusive showcase of Chicago's finest designers" from a melding of people, culture and design.

Gwen:  From traditional decor, to clean lines of contemporary design, or a mixture of styles, these designers are dedicated to designing spaces that echo their clients and taste.

Denise: True, true, true.  We who live here know that there is a profusion of creativity and this book shows the "beautiful work of the designers" and through breathtaking photography.

Photograph by Jesse Walker

Two matching settees covered in taupe silk with wood accents invite conversation , while bamboo iron mirrors flank the fireplace to add light and depth to the room.

Photograph by Casey Sills

Molly McGinness infused this room's sunlight, with rich colors, and  custom draperies to accentuate the casually elegant living room's architecture.  The window seat, adorned with luxurious pillows, serves as a focal point while the "beautiful Oriental rug unites the space."

I gush
 every time I see this designer's work.  
Tracy Hickman. 
Her layering techniques and exquisite application of texture 
reflects her ability
 to meet
 the unique needs of 
her clients.
Photograph by Nathan Kirkman

"An antique Aubusson rug was the springboard for this living room.  The buttercream paneled walls highlight the massive chinoisserie secretary.  Silk striped goblet pleated draperies frame views to a parterre garden beyond."

Guess we can all rooms aren't dead after all..........they are just going through an adjustment phase.

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah Palin & Her Alaskan Office Decor

How refreshing-!!
Decor etc. predicts.......Sarah Palin is going turn Washington into a bunch of animals.
We love the giant crab.  

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bedding for Little Girls


Isn't this a "sweet sophistication" for a bedding ensemble? It's all mixed with white, pink and chocolate.  We love it all-!!  What pops the eye is the soft pink Duvet Cover.........but oooooh those chocolate dots for sheets and pillow cases are the finishing touch to any little girl wanting to go to bed. Did anyone notice the astonishing chandelier?

Gwen:  I love the fact the headboard matches the Duvet Cover.
Denise:  I think adding wainscoting is a great concept to plain walls too.
Gwen:  Except for the sheets and pillow cases, anyone can have custom made Duvet Cover, Dust              Skirt, and Shams from their own choice of fabrics.
Denise:  Hmmmmmmmm, and, of courses, we can do that for anyone who visits our website.

Denise and Gwen

Monday, September 15, 2008

Think Shades for Window Treatments

Hi Girlfriends,

Before introducing you to the rest of the window treatments of shades, WE love this treatment and we can't wait to suggest this to a client this week.  As we all know, "Less is best" and this treatment truly proves it.  Both in looks and budget.  If you study the treatment, look in the mirror to see how graceful the folds fall.  Isn't it amazing how light helps neutrals speak in clear tones too?

Elegant Homes Fall/Winter 2008
Jann Jaffe, Interior Designer
Light.    It can reflect your mood......................or change it.

Whether your new home or current home is a blank canvas or reflects the tastes of previous owners, you can give it your personal decorating touch with Hunter Douglas, Conrad Shades, or custom fabric made.  Window coverings make an enormous difference in the enjoyment of your home.  They add beauty, enhance light quality and provide privacy.  They can even reduce utility bills.  Blinds, shades, sheers and shutters are classic treatments that bring style into a room without overpowering it.  They'll last and be valued as long as you own your home!

Denise:  It can energize or calm.
Gwen:  It can be soothing..........glowing.........penisive.......or mysterious.
Denise:  The secret is in light control.
Hunter Douglas:  "Ask any decorator, any photographer, or, for that matter, any real estate agent what makes a room beautiful and desirable and they'll say it's all a matter of light."

We are posting some great looks in shades and study them to see how they all work and come together for each project:

Elegant Homes Fall/Winter 2008

Elegant Homes Fall/Winter 2008
Marc Reusser, Reusser/Bergstrom Associates
Debra Bergstrom, Interior Designer, Reusser / Bergstrom Associates

Architectural Digest
Nancy Collins, Text by
Billy Cunningham, Before Photography
Peter Aaron/Esto, After Photography

Elegant Homes Fall/Winter 2008
Marc Reusser, Reusser/ Bergstrom Associates
Debra Bergstron, Interior Designer, Reussesr/Bergstrom Associates

Nancy Collins, Text by
Billy Cunningham, Before Photography
Peter Asron/Esto, After Photography

Elegant Homes Fall/Winter 2008
Cherie Hassenflu, Savant Design Group, LLC

Talk Again,
Denise & Gwen

Thursday, September 11, 2008

To-the-trade designer fabrics.......only

Elegant Homes Fall/Winter 2008
Vintage Manor
Julie Dodson, designer
Dodson & Daughter Interior Designs

Hi Girlfriends:

 Gwen and I had an unusual experience we wish to share with you....................

Today, Pindler and Pindler called to inform us that a client, called them with an "APPROVAL" for the fabric we had on "RESERVE" for this client and requested the yardage be sent to her.

Here is how WE work.........
 every other 
ProForma client"

Gwen:  That is not how it works.  Clients are supposed to tell us.......only.

Denise:  Yes, FIRST, we take 100% deposit for fabric, tax and shipping from our clients.

Gwen: Upon receiving the money, we send a check to the show room.

Denise: Once a show room recieves  OUR check,  To-the-trade show rooms begins the process of shipping OUR order to OUR client's home or work room.

Gwen: Like all designers, we have built up a reputation of good standards, and any good show room will call us first.  

Denise: NEVER will a To-the-trade take a call from our client and send out.  Never.

Gwen:  That is the reason for "Sidemark".

Denise: What Gwen is saying, "Sidemark" has the client's name........not our name.


Talk again
Denise and Gwen

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Renovation Inspirations from Pros

Hi Girlfriends,

Did you know that both designers and architects seek websites for renovation inspirations for information, specs and shopping?

Cheryl Katz, designer
"I love, which is a great siter classical modern, and I use for lighting.  Generally, I use the Web to order things from lines I have already seen in person, so there's no question about quality."


Eric Cohler, designer
" is the one resource that links us to almost every reputable antiques dealer in the trade.  We can do our research online and see the piece right there, and we can send the link to our clients, so that they can view the piece as well."


John O'Connor, architect
" is about forward-thinking, sustainable design.  It promotes the substance behind the stylistic aspects of modern design."


Darryl Carter, designer
" is a fantastic website.  They carry antique lighting as well as reproductions, and on theor website, you can pick a fixture and move a different globe or shade or hurrican onto it, so you are basically designing your own fixture.  I also rely on  they sell everything under the sun from plumbing fixtures and fittings to door hardware,.  Because a website can show you how something looks but not how it feels.  I often order just one faucet or fixture as a sample when I'm shopping online--especially if there is a reshelving fee on returns."


Jamie Drake, designer
"One of my favorite sites now is, site of Flavor wallpaper company, which has the pop-psychedelic papers we love to use, with custom capability and the whole swinging '70's vibe."


Denise: Eve Robins, designer finds "one-stop shopping" at for bathroom renovation and for amazing hardware and door handles.

Gwen:  If you are planning a kitchen, Jordan Goldstein uses  Just drag and drop the different units into your layouts.  The really great feature is you can see things in 3-D-!!"

Denise: Here's another fabulous site the David Jameson, architect, speaks highly about if you are interested in "how materials that have been designed for one use can be rethought for other uses. shows products that were designed for the space shuttle......that can be used in home building and renovation." 

Gwen:  Finally, I would like to include a site Lisa Piper Gilbert, architect relies on......for all those into the field of green building,

 Information taken from Met Home September 2006

Talk again,
Denise & Gwen

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Updating on Confessions of A CF Husband

Adorable Gwyneth at home.
Nate and Tricia are a timeless lovestory that I have been following for several months.  This is what he has to say on his blog:

"My name is Nathan.  My wife, Tricia has Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and had been preparing for a double lung transplant until we discovered we were pregnant.
Tricia is the most incredible person I've ever met.  She keeps me humble and in love.
Gwyneth is our beautiful, new baby girl, born 15+ weeks early. 
Tricia is now breathing with the help of donated lungs, and Gwyneth is on her way out of th NICU and into our hearts." 


Talk again,

Friday, August 29, 2008

ELEGANT HOMES Window Treatments #2

Hi Girlfriends,  

This is a test..........for it is my first attempt to try Adobe Elements in scanning a magazine photo, instead of scanning to Printmaster and uploading from there.  I am on a MAC and learning all the time.  

One EXTREMELY  helpful websites for 101 learning to blog, has been All Things Bright And Beautiful.  I highly recommend this website for learning the in's and out's from this A+ mentorship blogging.  If I feel this 'test' is what I am seeking, expect all my photos to be clearer in the future.

Fall/Winter 2008

"Hospitality begins at the entry, where red Italian marble flooring glistens in the sunshine and red, pink, and gold striped silk-and-velvet draperies puddle theatrically a the base of golden pedestals with red antique vases."

Talk again,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ELEGANT HOMES Window Treatments

Hi Girlfriends,

WE're baaaaaaaaack-!!  Vacations are wonderful distractions from day to day life of home, but.......there's no place like home.  Settling back into a routine is even welcoming.  One pleasure is pouring through all the newly arrived decorator magazines.  

This August edition of Elegant Homes,  I am excited about some creative methods on saving cost on rods, brackets and finials, but still have beautiful window treatments.  All three window treatments featured have the same concept from  the prestigious Pink Ribbon show house (built to raises money for breast cancer awareness and research at the Baylor College of Medicine) Houston, TX.  to Lexington, MA.  

If you have difficulty seeing how resourceful these interior designers were, please, pick up Elegant Homes the next time you are at your local Borders

Interior Designer, Tricia Dobson, decided upon "panels hung simply on iron backets.....thus, preventing a heavy look."  Still, it oozes all the charm and elegance of a traditional living room.

Interior Designer, Edwina Alexis, used decorative drapery tacks to hold flowing silk draperies...... which gives a hint of drama to this small intimate library area.  By using ivory fabric for this treatment,  the room remains quiet for reading, sipping wine or a game of chess.

The kitchen curtain, by designer Betsy Speert, was hung with decorative black ceiling hooks which can be purchased at any hardware store like a ma & pa, Home Depot or Lowes.  I really like this idea for its light and airy effect and without the hassle of cumbersome hardware in such a small area.
Talk again,
Denise & Gwen

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Window Treatements

Schumacher Wallpaper Book 1995

Hi Girlfriends,

Now is the time to begin thinking of indoors for window treatments. 
 Right now, the workrooms are slow (many take vacations in August for this very reason ).  
By the time one begins to think of entertaining during the holidays
 you have wisely gotten a most important project completed.

One of our greatest resources of window treatments
comes from o discontinued wallpaper books.  
Most places that sell wallpaper
 have stacks of discontinued books 
in their back.
By asking they are thrilled to get rid of them.

So, don't be shy when asking.........

This particular window treatment we have repeated over and over.  
 you will need a really good workroom to execute this design for it is all in the mechanism of the construction. 
 Once up 
the design compliments any room.  

GWEN: "For us, using this design in dining rooms have been most successful."  

The secret to any attractive Window Treatment is "Trade-only" fabrics.  
 "You get what you pay for."
Denise: "Ooooooooh so true.  
Pick a room
spoil yourself
use Trade Only designer fabrics
in stages
 spoil yourself
again, again and again
 on your remaining rooms.

By the time you have completed
your stages........why
the first room fabrics
are still 

Gwen and Denise: 
"Yes, it's all about quality."

Talk again,
Denise and Gwen

Remember, you can buy designer fabrics at fabulously pricing through us