Enough Already

February 24th, 2011

A long while ago I mentioned that I was working with fancy set decorator and all around super star Laure Joliet on a TV makeover show. Well, it’s finally started airing on that new Oprah network and is called Enough Already with Peter Walsh. Laure already wrote a pretty awesome post explaining the whole shindig and the great folks involved like art director Mike, Heather, Barry and the whole crew. Laure also so kindly let me use her images below (did I mention she is also a killer photographer? I know, she is annoyingly good at everything) since with the madness of the schedule I never did get a decent shot.

When I say madness, I mean utter and complete madness.

Did I also mention that the show was about organizing and designing spaces for people with “extreme clutter” issues? Not quite hoarding, but teetering on the edge of the bell curve. Above is the “before” image of the dining room that Laure grabbed with her iPhone while they scouted the home.

How it worked was that in four days we had to remove everything, sort through it all, shop for essentials, install flooring and wall treatments and then makeover two to three rooms. During that time they are also filming things as well, so logistically it was nuts.

They were long – very very very long – and exhausting days but also incredibly exciting and fun. It seriously takes a huge bunch of folks to make these sort of transformations happen that quickly and everyone was surprisingly chipper and helpful and so well organized. It was a great team to be apart of.

Boom. Check out that blue grass cloth.

Look that’s a dining set! It was totally buried in that pile before, but now you can sit down and use it. Whenever possible we tried to reuse the owners original possessions and incorporate them in the new design. I liked that it wasn’t just about gutting everything and starting over, but that we truly did attempt to show how they could use their existing pieces to create a more cohesive and “designed” room.

See where that clock is and that little bit of credenza poking out under that big lamp? That’s this fireplace and this credenza (to the right) after we finished:

We also reused their existing chairs and added a rug and coffee table and lots of fancy pillows.

I’m proud of my fireplace vignetting – totally taking credit for that – but Laure found that really cool driftwood mirror!

With all the art we tried to take family pictures and enlarge them at Kinkos as well as reuse pieces they already had. Did you know that Kinkos can be kind of weird about that? Yeah. Seriously. I may have gotten into a bit of a tussle one late night with a Kinkos manager about enlarging a baby picture. Just be forewarned if you want to try to enlarge some family or personal photos, if the photo looks too “pro” they might freak out.

We got them this great sofa (which was a floor model from Blueprint) and a fancy new bubble lamp. Styling.

The other major room we tackled was their master bedroom. Don’t be fooled, Elmo is terrified.

Here’s the after.

So nice right? We installed hardwood floors and obviously had a major hook-up with a grass cloth company since there’s more nice grass cloth on the walls. I think it came out pretty well. Simple, relaxing and clutter free. Not like a scary pea green dungeon.

Thanks again to Laure for letting me use her images and for letting me join the crew. It was super awesome fun crazy exhausting, but ultimately warmed the cold little modernist cockles of my heart. It was incredible to see how utterly transformed these homes could be in just a few short days.

If you guys want to check it out on the TV – Enough Already airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Mondays at 8pm.

Reader Dilemma

February 23rd, 2011

We’ve tried this reader question thing before and it was a lot of fun, but then I slacked off on keeping up with dilemma requests. No more! I’m a blogger. Look at me blog.

Mia recently wrote in with a rug dilemma. For someone who pretty much only has cowhides covering the floor, I seem to get a lot of rug questions. Also landscaping. Which is strange since there are weeds throughout the entire yard. Who cares! I love to have an opinion and you guys do to.

Without further rambling, here we go.

Mia writes…


I’ve just about saved enough money to buy a Moroccan rug from Moroccan Maryam’s website – but I can’t decide which one to get!  Your taste is awesome so I thought I would ask you for advice! I really love *(#1) – but I think it may be too huge for my tiny living room.

Thanks for your help : )


This is the living room in question:

ooohhh. White floors. Fancy.

This is the Room & Board sofa (in Terra) that Mia is buying to go with the rug:

And here are the four rug candidates she’s chosen:

Here is my take:

My first style choice is rug #1. You are concerned it won’t fit, (and rightly so) but at 63″ it’s only a little over 5′ wide. Now what I would need to know is the width of the room (is it 8′ or 10′?), but what may be a bigger issue is the length of the room. Rug #1 is almost 15′ long. Do you have over 15′ in that room or will you walk right through the front door straight onto the rug? Because front door to rug = hot dirty rug mess.

I know there are a number of rugs available at Maryam’s site, so the first thing to do is to take some painters tape and outline the most appropriately sized rug for the room – in other words, where you want it to go. Obviously you want it to float under the sofa and allow some breathing room in front of the media unit. Measure those dimensions and find a rug that is similar in pattern to #1 and as close to your dream dimensions as possible.

Also, I really like THIS pattern.

I think before you do any buying it would behoove you to do a little bit of measuring work. A bit of pre-planning can save you a bunch of money down the road, since the worst thing to do is invest a bunch of cash in an oversized or undersized rug. Nothing looks weirder in a room than a strangely proportioned rug.

My other question is – where is that sofa going?  Looks like that room is super narrow and awkwardly shaped with lots of broken up architecture. Space planning seems like it would be extremely difficult. Will your current pieces be moved around or moved out? How is the rest of the furniture layout being addressed?

OK, instead of a simple answer to your question I just raised a bunch of issues.

What do you guys think? Which rug should she go for?

House Visit

February 21st, 2011

While I was recently traveling around I stopped by my long time art gallery buddy and old friend Stacy’s place. She and her husband John have been meticulously updating and furnishing their new to them mid century pad and I was psyched to see the tremendous progress they’ve made.

Something I have a deep love for in any home (and is excellent to see in any space) is a big ‘ol incredible art collection. Stacy is heavily involved in the contemporary art world and John has long been an enthusiast and collector. So, as you can imagine, this has equaled a fantastic art filled home. Personally, my favorite kind.

Their new eight month old pupster is a little scruffy muffin butt. She’s incredibly cute and silly, and from what I hear, also an excellent hiker.

Check out that sofa! They grabbed it from Brooks at Specific Merchandise, which is probably one of my favorite retailers around. Specific has these super creative and one of a kind offerings that mix both art and design in all the best ways.

I feel terrible though, they thought I was just stopping by for a friendly visit, but being the design crazy person I am I had to immediately pull out the old camera and take some quick shots. They are so nice for not murdering me for doing so and then going so far as letting me show off their in process digs.

Yes. That chandelier?!

It is insanely insane and amazing. It was custom built by Workstead to fit in the slopping dining space and now I desperately want one.

When I stopped by they were still working on all the exterior bits of the house. They have accomplished a bunch so far, but are still in the planting and finishing touches portion of the landscaping.

While there are still outside areas that are in progress, I was pretty blown away by how things are already shaping up. I can picture how things will finish and fill in and can just tell its such a great comfy space for parties and swimming and music and fire pits. Totally inspiring for our own impending landscaping projects.

Thanks guys for having me over to your place. Can’t wait to come back and see all the progress.