Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Hi Girlfriends, We cannot imagine how long it must have taken to paint this chair............and we still do not know where you would put it.

Gwen: To the curb?

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Power of Color

Hi Girlfriends, I have been reading a fabulous blog by blogger Maria Killam, Colour me Happy, all summer and I am in love with her. Maria is a Colour Consultant as well as an Interior Designer out of Canada. She has inspired me to look at beige in a whole different way. Even in fabrics-!!! You MUST visit her blog and learn about the 3 shades of beige from her. She describes beige so well and with photos that it would be difficult to duplicate what she says so well. One thing is very clear what she says, "Hire" a professional to assist you in selecting colour for your walls. The power of colour can transform a room. Take it a step further and finish it off with a decorative design can add a whole new dimension to a room.

Isn't this a stunning bedroom? The focal point is the bed and it is the heart of the room. I love everything about it. Even the price is right................DIY. A crisp graphic wall treatment is simplicity itself. Look how the wall is painted black then two white lines are added for the headboard. This is where white bedding with just the right touches of black accent give this room an "architectual" interest where there was none.

Photo taken from Paint Style by Benjamin Moore Paints.
Wall Color: Black 2132 - 10
Stripes: White

Talk again,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Hi Girlfriends, This camper had to have been "Beam me down, Scotty" for this photo shoot............

YOU'RE INVITED: Join me in my new blog, "," and read the letters and postal cards written in 1910 by Mary "Minnie" Whalen (my grandmother) from her bed as she was recovering from tuberculosis.

A la prochaine,

Friday, August 21, 2009


Hi Girlfriends, What a clever idea Costco has created to rid you of your trashed sofa-!! I love Costco's The Connection magazine they send to every member. Something for this Sad Sofa Contest they are now promoting. Do you think you have a sofa that is worst than this photo? If you do, submit it and win the Costco Sad Sofa Contest? Get your digital out, photo it (be creative tuck little Meow somewhere and have her peeking out). But hurry, this contest is over September 1, 2009. Send it to Costco. Here is all you have to do:

Send your photo to : (with "sad sofa" in the subject line)


Mail photo to: Sad Sofa Contest, PO Box 34088, Seattle, WA 98124 - 1088

Please include your contact information (moi) and membership number.

First prize winner will receive a $500 Costco Cash card. Other prizes will be awarded at judges' discretion. Photos of the saddest sofas will run in a future issue of Costco's The Connection.
Let me know if you win too-!!

Let me know if you win too-!!!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brunschwig & Fils Glamorous Fabrics

Hi Girlfriends, If you venture over to Brunschwig & Fils website you will find just what we have been posting of late. Glamorous gowns made from "to the trade" designer fabrics. We are merely expressing how stunning these fabrics have been executed in the Golden Era of Hollywood and, yet, they many of these fabrics can look incredible on you or your windows, upholstery and bedding. But, first, one begins the concept of design on paper, selection of fabrics, workrooms and, finally, installation. Magnifique-!! Elegance-!!

These Brunschwig and Fils gowns were part of a traveling exhibition (2007) designed by 8 award - winning costume designers using Brunschwig and Fils luxurious fabrics. The gowns traveled a multi city and European tour before ending up in New York where they were auctioned off to benefit The Actors Fund.

If you know which Brunschwig and Fils fabrics you want, please visit our website to obtain them at our prices.

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Hi Girlfriends, If you look long enough, we think you will find a kitchen in this photo.

GWEN: IF I ever had to make anything in this kitchen, everything but 'the kitchen sink' would land in it by mistake.

DENISE: Eh, me too.................only, it might be li'l kitty I would be looking for later.


photo from

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Fabrics is about a lot of things: style, beauty, durability, compatibility with your decor and, of course, your individual taste. Every designer leaves their "trademark" and like Dorothy Drapper, Elsie de Wolfe, and Edith Wharton, and, in turn, the "To-the-trade" fabrics they selected for upholstery to window treatments became timeless. Our subject, Travis Banton, wasn't into decorating homes, but, aesthetically, had few rivals for what he did do with designer fabrics. He produced what all decorators seek to achieve in remarkable cut, exquisite fabrics and understated elegance. Banton decorated the figures from The Ziegfeld Follies to leading ladies in Hollywood; Paramount, Universal and Fox. His purchases included fabrics and accessories. At Hermes he ordered dozens of pairs of exquisite kid gloves and handbags, at fabric houses he bought lames, silks chiffons, velvets, silk crepes, sheer wool crepes and tweeds of all kinds. To highlight the intricate shapes of his designs, Banton usually chose fabrics of medium tones
Marlene Dietrich, flanked by Herbert Marshall(RT) and Melvyn Douglas(LT), is wearing a Faberge-inspired creation d Paramount 1937 "Angel>" The stole of the same beaded chiffon edged with thick bands of Russian sable added the final touch of luxe to this superb and costly garment.

Sketch by Travis Banton for Marlene Dietrich.

Marlene Dietrich in "The Devil is a Woman" Paramount, 1935.

Among Banton's trademarks: polka dots. 1936 gown worn by Frances Drake (He also used men's clothes for women......especially Dietrich).

A design for Claudette Colbert in The Gilded Lily, 1935.

Finally, from this sensational and extraordinary fashion designer, here is a "peek" into Travis Banton's French drawing room which the likes of Cote de Texas would love to put these items in your home.........and in exquisite taste too-!

The drawing room of Travis Banton's Hollywood home reflected his personality and preferences for rare antiques, exquisite lamps and paintings. As it was photographed in black and white, we have to suspect the walls are either black or very very dark grey.....and glossy. The French trips did pay off in fabrics and accessories for us movie goers, but so did he profit from the wonder French furniture, sconces, chandeliers, window treatment (very understated) and paintings.

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen

"In a Glamous Fashion" by W. Robert Lavine
Special Assistant and Photo Consultant, Allen Florio.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Funnies

What little girl wouldn't love celebrating Barbie's 50th Birthday in her magnifique Dream House?!!

A la prochaine,

Denise et Gwen

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Drapery for Marlene Dietrich

Bonjour mes amis,

Like any window treatment, a costume designing concept first begins on paper, then selection of fabric, then workroom and finally execution. The designer is involved in every step of the way. The end result being a happy client. Today, renting "Desire", we can "see" and appreciate all the effort that went into creating the "drapery" for Marlene Dietrich.

The development of costume design departments in the Hollywood studios was the result of two major factors: There were few fashion sources to draw on in Calilfornia, and special costumes were needed for the epics, period stories, musicals, and Westerns that became staples of the industry. Interior Designers of that time were just as limited. Three Interior Designers come to mind whom we are forever grateful; Edith Wharton, Elsie de Wolfe and Dorothy Drapper. And rightly so, for they are still the arbiters of taste and correct usage in the making of domestic interior rooms of the first rank. Did you know that Elsie de Wolfe was the first to woman to use a business card and invented the term "Interior Designer" under her name?

Travis Banton designed for Paramount beginning in 1925, "The Dressmaker from Paris." He creations were understated and deceptively simple designs elevated motion pictures costumes to the status of high fashion. He had a great sense of exquistie balance in a garment perfectly captured the new sophistication that arrived with the thirties. A Banton gown, with a softness and sultriness that followed a woman's body, was Hollywood design at its most sublime.
Banton's sketch for the gown from "Desire" is itself an expression of the serene, sensuous classicism that dominated fashion llustration during the 1930's.

Marlene Dietrich, here gowned superbly by Travis Banton for Paramount's 1935 "Desire". Swathed, draped, enveloped in chiffon that flowed about her like the rippling waters about a fashion goddess, Dietrich captured the imagination and heart of audiences with an allure that has never been equaled.

Like the drapery for Marlene Dietrich, window treatments adds a new sense of fashion and beauty to a room. They also give full credit to your taste and thanks to your interior designer.

Credits: "IN A GLAMOUS FASHION" BY ROBERT LAVINE and Special Assistant and Photo Consultant, ALLEN FLORIO

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen

Monday, August 3, 2009

Soft Window Treatment

Hi Girlfriends, The role of fabric at the window has long been an important feature of interior design and decoration. The term "soft window treatments" includes draperies, curtains, shades and top treatments.......all of which are made of fabric.

Denise: Choices are broad and diverse because of the unlimited spectrum of fabrics.
Gwen: A plus tard, one can find decorative functional fabric in an overwhelming array of colors, patterns, texture, weights, and constructions.
Denise: After all is said and done, c'est a one-of-a-kind treatment that is not only right but pleasing to the homeowner.

Gwen: I want to say something about clothes too. Like when I think of velvet, I think of the movie, Gone With The Wind.
Denise: Gwen, I swear, you always go for glamorous and romantic Hollywood.
Gwen: That's because everything was larger than life in the beginning. Diamonds were bigger, the furs were thicker and more. The silks, velvets, satins and chiffons spoke to one-!
Denise: And miles of ostrich feathers.
Gwen: I loved it all "back when" movies were exaggeration of history, fiction and the whole wide extraordinary world.
Denise: Yea, you're right...........remember how the basic was perfect designing and incredible workmanship.........the cut of decolletage, the embroidery, the mounting of a skirt, and miles and miles of bugle beads?
Gwen. (sigh!) If you think about it, costumes made back then (20's, 30's, 40's & 50's) are not much different today for window treatments when it comes to designing, measuring, selecting fabrics, workmanship and the final execution.
Denise: So right. The eye travels, the mind travels, in a maze of perfection and imagination.

Coucou, since it is still summer et window treatments n'est-ce pas on many minds, but, to get into a hint of interior design mood, Gwen et I thought our girlfriends would enjoy some of Scarlet's wardrobe. They were masterpieces of sensitive design that underlined her complex character with subtlety and originality. Her wardrobe designer was Walter Plunkett and his re-creation of the period remains an almost perfect example of motion picture period costuming.

Walter Plunkett's costumes for Vivien Leigh as Scarlett in Gone With The Wind perfectly mirrored the changes in the character. We first see her as an innocent and obviously well protected Southern belle, all frills and lightness.

Plunkett famed, "curtain dress" remains a masterpiece of ingenuity and Plunkett's best-remembered costume. Made from the dining room portieres by Scarlett's mammy.I love the short cape and the sash contrived from the curtain's cord and tassels added a touch of dash that suited the spunky Scarlett.

The irresistible Scarlett on a shopping spree after her marriage to Rhett Butler as we find her indulging herself in countless gowns and fancy hats. This charming dress, with its bodice and apron front of heavy striped satin, butterfly sleeves edged with pleated organdy, and underskirt of faille banded with a pleated ruffle of the stripe, is pure delight. The outfit is said to have cost $4,000.

Scarlet in Walter Plunkett's garnet-red velvet gown, trimmed with ostrich feathers and paste rubies, one of the most beautiful costumes in Gone With The Wind. At the star's insistence Plunkett gave her a tulle stole to dispel her fear that the dress made her look too "tarty."

Denise: Gwen, these black and white photos shout of colour. The fabrics are timeless.
Gwen: As is "Gone With The Wind."

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Salut mes ames, Gwen and I are having our doubts this polar bear belongs in the Mid-west.
Gwen: Let's remember this bookcase if Sarah Palin calls us to for design work.
Denise: I was thinking of AZ........if that state hasn't melted away by now.

Girlfriends, "What do you think?"

A la prochaine,
Denise et Gwen