Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Doll House Christmas

Like all potential interior decorators, one needs to begin with a home. This "Mrs. Santa Claus" has been busy painting a dollhouse for one dreamy little girl. As I added ladybugs, turtles, frogs, fireflies, butterflies and ants, I, also, added one special effect. Glow paint.

The fun part is going to be, for one possibly future Interior Decorator, to begin picking out furniture, selecting wallpaper, making draperies, finding rugs and having the perfect family move in.

I am in love with this home and the many hours of creativity it will bring for my darling Olivia.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Winnetka, Illinois

Monday, December 14, 2009

Face Lift.......Then and Now

Hi Everyone, The lesson today is how to not throw any wood furniture out. If you are dismantling a home of your parents/grandparents/relatives or helping a friend, don't just "pitch" any old wood furniture. Even if you have no immediate use for it .........later you will thank me. Keep the wood items. As decor fashions change, there is "someone" with vision and can create a totally different look to a wood item. This post is proof................

My fabric arrived for my 1950-ish "A Decorator's Chair" and it's wonderful-! The fabric came last Monday and I took it to my workroom on Tuesday morn. At 5:45P Thursday night, the chair was delivered. Now how is that for "instant gratification?"


This chair was in the entrance of my g.f. Nancy's mother home forever. Mahogany wood with gold velvet fabric. The cushion and back was of foam and it was hard as a rock. Like petrified. ICK.

What luck though, Nancy's mother was an meticulous caregiver of everything she owned. Nothing in her home was broken or cracked. And everything that had a key to it, the mother still had. A wonderful woman who knew how to maintain her possessions. So it was lucky for me that on the back of this wonderful little gem was still the name plate, "A decorator's chair." It is believed that good decorators gave this chair as a house gift upon completion of a project.


I had my workroom paint it lacquer black, and then I went outside- the- box to make this chair noteworthy of popping. Nancy doesn't know yet, but when she comes for my Pheasant dinner party, she will have the honor of being assigned to this chair. I really can't wait for her reaction...........................

Kravet Couture : 28929 - 81 (Zebra)
Kravet: Ultra Suede - Lime

A la prochaine,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"A Decorator's Chair" Tag, 1950's?

Hi Everyone, I have this charming and adorable accent chair given to me by a g.f.Nancy, out of her mother's home. Nancy can't recall never seeing this chair in her family home and her mother died at age 92. So I am guessing it is around 1950ish and given by Mrs. Riley's interior decorator, upon completion of a project. I have had this chair for about 5 years and never knowing what fabrics to do with it.

This week I began with earnest to look for fabric. Thanks to Karen from Alkemie, I stayed with her many of her suggestions. Mostly, all , but I failed her when my husband got into the picture on one suggestion. I won't be using vinyl. In my household, we did come to an amicable agreement though.

First thing today, I popped in on my upholstery workroom, and Ernie (80 years) had never seen the brass tag on the back of the chair in all of his years of doing upholstry since 1930. From Alkemie's first suggestion, I watched carefully as all the upholstery guys cringed when I asked Ernie if he wouldn't mine painting the chair a black lacquer. Why they cringed? The chair is mahogany. OUCH-! Well, I couldn't disappoint Alkemie or myself. So, yes, they are going to paint the chair. And, no, I am not going to tell my husband what the wood truly is. '-'

Next, I am doing something Alkemie didn't suggest......................I HATE they will go. Although I do want buttons going around the bottom like they do right now. And, I will keep the original shape of the seat. Then, in the back, I will do one large button, because Ernie will be padded the back more. Thanks to another one of Alkemie's suggestions, I will be doing silver nailheads.

I will post photos when chair is completed. But, for the moment, you will have to guess what fabrics I would dare to do "outside the box".

I figure, I won't be having this chair in my house for long, once my soon-to-be 12 year old granddaughter, Victoria, eye's it. The fabric and colors are her thing.

Photos my Moi, Denise, in a spare bedroom.

A la prochaine,

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Home Cooking" THE COSTCO WAY #8

Hi, I look forward to "Black Friday" for one reason only. After finding a parking spot, I only hope there is 1 much anticipated Costco cookbook showcasing their products still available for me........... "Home Cooking" THE COSTCO WAY. I was not disappointed. This beautiful gift from Costco, printed for 8 years with new recipes, is a fabulous Costco Way of saying "thank you" to me and all of their members for shopping Costco all year long. AND, this household sure did visit Costco too-!!

Yes, from the clear and tantalizing photos by Iridio Photography, to recipes from famous members such as Semi-homemade Sandra Lee, founder of America's Test Kitchen Christropher Kimball, to, Down Home with The Neeleys (Gina and Pat)............and so many more.

This is where Costco's cookbook comes in very handy for me. My husband likes to pheasant hunt in November. Tis the season to entertain during the holidays and I like to have a Game Dinner with the hunters and their wives. As I will be doing Pheasant with a scrumptious wild rice and a sophisticated turnip souffle, my other guests are given an assignment to bring something too. Costco makes it so easy.........each girlfriend is emailed a photo with the recipe. Since it is pheasant, fruit is so simple and such an available product at Costco.

This year Cricket (Christine) will be asked to bring the appetizer:

Nancy has already volunteered to make the salad. She buys her shrimp already from Costco and her confidence level is very high when she praises Costco for this demanding product:

Sandy is a very busy "Madame President" of her village so I will have her contribute the glazed carrots that go wonderfully with pheasant every time:

Finally, Patty. She has a house full of hungry teens all the time so she will have to make extras for them.........but I know how much fun she will have making this dessert for a Grand Finale.

One last thing I will put in my basket, before checking out at Costco, the day of my party. Flowers.

I promise to post photos once the party is over...............

Bon Appetit,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Perfect Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving. A toast to your health, happiness and prosperity...........up, up Dow Jones.

A la prochaine,

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SundayFunnies: St. Eunice Kennedy Schriver?

In watching the "McLaughlin Group" last night, McLaughlin prophesied: "I predict in one year, Eunice Schriver will be canonized a saint by the Pope."

Startling forecast.

Now, I know she did a wonderful thing by creating "Special Olympics".........but, does that make her a Saint?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interior Designer Michael S. Smith and To-The-Trade Fabrics

Hi Everyone,

Michael Smith is one fantastique California interior designer. This household name first surfaced when First Lady, Michele Obama, hired him for their private living quarters in the White House. A talented designer who knows what looks best with decor. To-the-trade fabrics. The likes of Cowtan & Tout, Brunschwig & Fils, Designer Guild, Colfax & Fowler, Scalamandre, Summer Hill and all the other fine, fine vendors he taps into to make any abode a home.

As I work with clients in person or through my website, everyone knows one thing: Pricing is fabulous. Discounts on all my account vendors. Reason you contacted me in the first place, my word, "Discount." Now, if anyone were to call Michael Smith........well, forget any discounts. Yes, who would dare to bargin with Michael Smith? Therefore, if you have high-end taste, seek the best, know quality over quantity, then, be contented I saved you from 75 - 80% off "to-the-trade" fabrics. I really don't mind you want to save more money, but no vendor is going to lower their prices. And, I have to eat too.

I love designer fabrics and want to share them with you too. I want you to have the right look for your project(s). Why buy from a local discount outlet that sells inferior fabric from a mill when I am here for you with quality? The only reason a mill will sell to Calico Corners is because they are flawed. Sure they are marked "1st Quality" and "2nd Quality" but not by the mill. This is a gimmick sale pitch. Yes, it works too. But, not to your friends who know. By the 3rd year installed in your home, your "1st Quality" fabric begins to look "tired." Your friend who went through us, her installation will look good 15 years later. You see, "you-get-what-you-pay-for" everytime.

Take a look at a few of Michael Smith's interior work and tell me which fabric won't last for years and years? They all will.

I would put this Michael Smith design book on my holiday list:

A la prochaine,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Halloween-!!

Hi Girlfriends, Isn't this great carving? Have fun. Be safe.

Talk to you after Hallowen Night................

A la prochaine,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Irving Penn: A Visionary in Black and White"

Working his camera and artistic vision up until the very end of his amazing career spanning over decades of photography, Irving Penn died yesterday at age 92. He began his career as an assistent art director for Vogue magazine and eventually becam the world renowned master of of the black and white photography.

His mesmerizing portraits from trash, to food to people and, most recently, pottery, will surely be remembered most. Looking over the following you will note one thing: Irving Penn will be extremely missed-!

Photos and story line from Kate Smith's blog

A la prochaine,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Hi Girlfriends,

Hunter Douglas is extremely pleased to announce that certain Duette Architella honeycomb shades may qualify for a Federal Tax Credit of up to $15000 for energy efficient products as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009-!

This federal offer is good from January 1, 2009 thru December 31, 2010. For additional information on qualifying products and restritions, visit credit or contact

Hunter Douglas will be generating exposure and excitement about this new opportunity, by launching a comprehensive communication program which will include:

+ TV commericials airing beginnng on October 12
+ Magazine in November and December issues of selected National consumer magazines

Duette Architella is already a best seller, thanks to its superior energy efficiency, design and striking good looks. With it 180 color and design choices, it's the perfect product to enhance the beauty of any room. the addition of the federal tax credit opportunity introduces another great reason for more comsumers to buy.

Please contact this Hunter Douglas dealer if you should have any questions

A la prochaine,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SUNDAY FUNNIES: Hermes Fashion Show, Paris, 2009


C'est grace and elegance classique for tennis amour 40 today?
Photo "borrowed" from "Do It In Paris"

A la prochaine,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do It In


I love spending quality time studying other fashion blogs and here is one I look so forward to each visit: Do It In Paris. I find myself spending over an hour each time, just studying all her own adorable drawings (like at the left) and all what she has to say about "elegant fashion style of the Parisian woman." First, it is her own sketches............notice how she does a whimsical drawing of a model (her?) wearing the lastest Parisan trends, then the rest of the details of the fashions, reminds me of my own paperdoll cut-out days. But, don't stop a simple click, I am shopping at the best Parisian boutiques for shoes, spas, romantic (and $$$) hotels, bistros, "hot" pasteries for macarons, night bars, interviews with equally talented women, and before I know it, I find myself reading a recipe for whipping up a batch of Chocolate Kisses cookies. Believe me, this is one blog you will want to visit over and over.

I love these two ads which appear on Do It In Paris showing off pink to sell their product. Isn't it all exceptionally creative...........and captivating?

Miss Dior. This is one entertaining "Pop - up" book Ad you won't want to miss. You might think ads couldn't get any better than this.................but, it will, because it is Paris-!!

A la prochaine,

Thursday, October 1, 2009



In support of all of our sisters, tell ME why you should win this Estee Lauder Pink Ribbon Compact 2004. I have purchased this lovely compact so many times, IN THE PAST OCTOBERS, for my sisters who have fought and won their battle. Now, it is your turn to become a winner too-!! The winner will be posted on November 1, 2009. In the meantime, wear lots of PINK, PINK, PINK all through OCTOBER.

A la prochaine,
Denise Snakard

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Funnies: ELLE DECO International Design Awards

Hi Girlfriends,

For this Sunday Funnies........... Milan 2008

GWEN: What is it???

HINT: It will make you "appreciate how some of the simplest furniture pieces can be re-interpreted in any number of ways."

DENISE: Did anyONE guess???

GWEN: A chair-!!

The Designer of the Year, Tokujin Yoshioka, has applied fabric squares to appear like petals, to allow the chair's user (that's us) to feel embraced, evoking a similar feeling to that of receiving a bouquet of flowers.

The "petals" of the chair are designed to return to their original form once a person stands up. Yoshioka explains that "the new chair Bouquet uplifts the sitter as well as a flowr bouquet does it to the receiver. The vibrant colors would evoke one's remembrance."

Remembrance, indeed-! This bouquet will be hard to forget.........especially on Valentine's Day.

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Maison21 is my favorite blog for the real take on "What's-selling-in-California" ............. 3 years later, what has happened in CA. "then" makes it's way to the midwest "later." Chicago's moi tramping grounds-! So I do always pay close attention to what Maison21 posts, where it's unique or just picking up on his wild fantastic spelling of words or his creative style of phrasing an item. I just love him. As for his shopping excursions, I know he gets to have all the fun seeking out the best of new places in his neighborhood.....and I do envy him for this too. He also has a great sense of humor........Like, look what he found at hd buttercup? 3 by 4 foot raffia chandeliers that come in 2 colors for a mere $850.00 each. Only, if this item makes it to Chicago's NorthShore, I see this Sunday Funnies hanging in a huge broom closet in 3 years.

Do visit Maison21 and enjoy his blogging. He's a great insight for what is to come.

A la prochaine,