Monday, August 29, 2011

Do you want to be a Design Star?

Have you been watching season 6 of Design Star? Do you still follow past winners like Emily, Antonio and David? Do you think, “Hey, that looks like fun! I could totally see myself creating amazing designs, entertaining a mass audience, enjoying hair/makeup/wardrobe, and getting paid for it!” Well if you live in the Boston area, then you are that much closer to achieving this entertaining-others-with-design dream!

I recently found out through the social media grapevine that
HGTV will be casting for Design Star Season 7 in Boston at the Lenox Hotel on September 24th! While this is not a position I would consider for myself (although I would certainly enjoy the hair/makeup/wardrobe part) I do know a lot of fabulous designers with larger than life personalities around the Boston area who could pull this off. Are you one of them??

And while we are on the subject, who do you think will win this season’s Design Star? I like to watch the show to see how fast these designers can come up with unique design plans and how well they execute them. Because if you can’t “make it work” then you’re out (or is that another one of my favorite design/reality shows?) Either way, good design is always entertaining : )

I love that the Design Show judges require the contestants to sell their design concepts on camera after each challenge. Being able to sell your work with confidence and enthusiasm is so important, even if you aren’t taping a segment for a design show.

So if you think you have what it takes, then what do you have to do to apply? First of all show up! I think it would be fun to go to the casting call just to see who thinks a network design show could be in their future.

But before you go, there are some required items that you will have to bring along with your designer smile:

1. A COMPLETED application (click here)
2. Two recent photos labeled with your name on the back
3. Portfolio of your work
4. Resume

If you don’t live in the Boston area, they are still casting in other major cities (Austin, Charlotte, Miami, and New York City) so click here to get the open casting call information. And if you can’t make it in person to a casting call, you can submit a video of yourself ... check out this link for more information.

If you have ever wanted to see your name in lights, now is the time to act! How often does an opportunity like this knock in your neighborhood?!

And for research purposes, be sure to watch tonight’s episode at 9pm on HGTV. Nate Berkus is the guest host and they will be showing segments that the remaining four designers taped on his show which just aired this morning. They were challenged to come up with a quick and easy do-it-yourself project and one walked away the winner (I won’t tell you which one – tune in to find out!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Labor of love ...

This has been a very busy summer with
little time for rest and relaxation.

I have been wearing a lot of different hats.
Magazine editor, photo stylist, graphic designer, writer
, decorator ...

Oh yeah, and mom of four growing boys
(do you have any idea how much laundry that entails?)

Good thing I love what I do,
because my work feels like play.

Truth be told, I have had the chance to attend some really
fun events lately, too, which I promise to post about soon!
In the meantime, please visit my guest post on
Decorating a Nursery on

– All photos taken at La Bella Baby Boutique

Friday, August 19, 2011

How to choose fashions for your home

When picking out accessories for your interiors, are you sometimes uncertain which direction to go in? There are so many choices out there! My advice is to take a look at your favorite wardrobe pieces and pick items that reflect your fashion sense. Or if you are not very daring when it comes to dressing, pick items based on the outfits of your favorite celebrities or that girlfriend whose style you admire most.

To read my entire post on fashion inspired design, visit the design blog of the fabulous company Alluminare, an online design resource that is setting trends by offering custom designed lighting and home decor options for the most stylish homes. Jeff Lewis, of Bravo TV’s Flipping Out, has his own line at Alluminare and I happen to have a custom-designed fabric of my own on the site, too. Now if I could just get my fabric made into a dress, I would know just what to wear to all these interior design events that I am scheduled to attend!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time for the NYIGF

Dunes and Duchess International Life Saving Orange 4-arm Candelabra
paired with Diane James Home Fall Rose & Gardenia Bouquet
photo credit: Elizabeth Wertz Photography

If you are attending the New York International Gift Fair this week, be sure to stop by and say hello to my friends at Dunes and Duchess and Diane James Home. I hear they are side by side again, at Pier 94 in booths 41059 (DandD) and 42059 (DJH). Read more about them in the summer issue of New England Finery on pages 29 through 31.

Curious about the NYIGF? Check out my related post from when I attended in January and see some of my favorite items from the show in the first issue of New England Finery.

UPDATE: And here is a post on the Hamptontoes design blog with photos from both the Dunes and Duchess and Diane James Home booths this year. Thanks for the visual tour, Lisa!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last day of the show ...

Today is the last day to take in the Old York Decorator Show House in York, Maine and I highly recommend it! This has always been one of my favorite shows for its coastal design combined with New England charm.

Two designers who participated in the Wenham Museum North Shore Design Show last May also have spaces in this show. Patricia Finn of Finn-Martens Design composed a graceful foyer and stairway with an Asian flair (see the luxurious spa retreat she designed for Wenham in New England Finery Magazine). Mary O’Neill created a serene home office in the colors of the ocean for the York show (get a glimpse of her North Shore Design Show afternoon tea vignette also in the summer issue of New England Finery Magazine).

There’s lots of other great spaces with inspired design including a black-and-tan study by Boehm Graham Interiors in honor of this historical properties former life as a local tavern, a stunning library by Boston designer Frank Hodge that elegantly combines antiques with modern cabinetry, and not one – but two kitchens – with some unique custom treatments. That is what I love about design shows – there are always some new ideas to take home as a souvenir : )

Let me know if you get a chance to make it to the show and what your favorite space was!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A dozen+ digital design magazines

Looking for summer reading of the eye candy variety? Below is what you’ll find in my digital library. Most of these were released over the summer and a few are from late spring. I am already working on the fall issue of New England Finery and I love to look at what other editors of digital magazines like to present in their feature stories and of course, on their covers! Maybe some of these are already your favorites? The local issues like Perspective and Surroundings are always a treat for me because I get to see what some of my design friends (and photographers) have been up to lately. Let me know what you like about digital magazines – their covers, their stories – and please share what you’d like to see improved upon by visiting New England Finery on facebook and leaving a comment or two. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Click on each of the covers below and enjoy ...

Cover photo: Grey Crawford

POST UPDATE: On August 11th, Paloma Contreras, the editor of High Gloss Magazine, posted online that they will no longer be publishing this digital magazine. The team no doubt has new creative ventures on the horizon and I wish them much success in whatever they tackle next!

Cover photo of Mayme Baker Interiors

Cover photo: Patrick Cline

Cover photo: Patrick Cline

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Not tending the garden ...

Did you know that if you leave weeds alone long enough they will flower? This is my side yard next to our barn. While most of our yard is mowed weekly, this area is allowed to grow wild. The result is a pretty swath of tall grasses, Queen Anne’s Lace, Goldenrod, Thistle, and a delicate purple flower that I can’t identify. I have been extra busy this summer on work related projects and this image says it all “I’m in the weeds!” (if you have ever worked in the restaurant industry, you may have heard this saying before : )
I particularly like how these easy going flowers have formed a bright and cheerful border along our rambling fence.

Even with the lazy-days-of-summer appeal of low maintenance backyard gardening, it is still nice to present a pretty face to people passing by the front side of the house. My mom knows I have been too distracted lately to tend to my gardening, so she surprised me the other day by decorating our
farmer’s porch with a little container gardening.

Thanks, Mum, for picking up where Mother Nature left off! Now when I am coming and going, I will at least have something pretty to greet me upon my return home : )