Monday, March 30, 2015


Lots can be said about curb appeal.  That's the preface.

Opening the door.  First chapter.

Loretta Young knew how to do it: the doors, the dress, the twirl. You wondered what was in store.


Opening your front door, people see into your life, your mind, your heart.  What impression do you want to make? That's what your home is all about.  Keeping the architecture in mind, throw in a dose of personal style, then add the perfect amount of personality.  It all has to fit.  Size of space has nothing to do with it.  Be narcissistic, in an inviting way.  

Unless you're a total narcissist, then put a sign on the door: "No Trespassing."  Or leave it totally empty except for mirrors. Then it's all about you, as the door swings open, YOU. Then there is this option– don't invite people over, they probably don't want to come anyway.

Take one - lights, action.
There's a knock at the door.

You answer, wearing ?
House coat? Unexpected knock.
Towel? 911 knock.
Jeans? A casual encounter.
All gussied up? A special evening of entertaining!

The entrance is the main artery of the house.  Every room should connect in some way.  Lots to be considered.  Don't give the whole look away. A hint. A glimpse.  

Think about lighting, placement of art and furniture.  Think about movement, flow.

Color is important!
Bold: fasten your seat belt.
Pastels: where is little Bo Peep?
Black: drama.
White: speak a little softer.

Don't make it a yawn fest, no matter how small.  Opening your door should be exciting for a guest.  Your foyer should be a 3D reflection of yourself. Don't make it awkward for anyone, even frenemies. Especially frenemies! Stun them! How'd that BITCH pull this off!

Warm and fuzzy? 
A stuck-up bitch? 

All of these can fit into the walls of the entry foyer, just don't make your guests need a xanax as soon as the door opens.  

An entrance like this says a great deal about the host, and what you are about to experience.  White, serene - black, drama - contemporary art, edgy - 18th century brown wood French chest, usually a yawn fest but not in this foyer - warms it up, contrasts against the spectacular terrazzo floor and iron rails.  The antique French military officers hat and epaulets - personal touches. Circle staircase - action!

"Whats up? This is going to be an experience".

Good food, interesting conversation.  The mix suggests surprise.  Trust me, the hosts are going to be decked out.  Though it's stark, formal, and sophisticated, there is a factor that puts you at ease. Makes you want a complete tour. You know it's going to be exciting, fun, stimulating.

Then, the evening  is over.

Your Exit.

How do you express your gratitude?  Keep it simple and sincere.  If there is a hug, make it real.  Fake hugs and awkward kiss kiss makes people want to puke – they can detect them a 100 miles away.  

Example of a BAD Exit!

Your mother should have taught you better!

 Unless it's "The Walk of Shame" and then there would be a different kind of Entrance – I smell another blog.

Loretta Lynn still got it going on!
"You Ain't Woman Enough" 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Daily Wonders: One

This title will get "Worn out."

Worn Out:
  1. Tired, exhausted.
  2. To use something to the point it becomes ragged/shoddy.
  3. A whippin'.
All of these definitions have applied to me.  Number one, daily.  Number two, many items I've owned (definitely vehicles when I'm fixin' to get rid of 'em).  Number three, occasionally by my mama, when I was bad.  Hard to believe that I could have ever been bad. Some of you probably think I need a whippin' pretty often. I don't disagree. I've often said I don't need an assistant. I need a mean but loving nanny. She could do the whippins' as needed!

Get it! "Wrong Way." No definition necessary.  I wish these words would appear inside my head in sign form when needed. Which is often! Maybe I would pay more attention.  I hear the voices, they just don't always resonate. I'm a visual dude. Could keep me out of a lot of trouble. Save a lot of time. 

US 69 is a noteworthy victim of sign theft because of the sexual connotation of its route number.  Wonder how much money is wasted because of this.  Length: 1,136 mi, from Texas to Minnesota.  That's a lotta sign-stealin' miles.  If I had a chance to buy one I would. What would I do with it?  Layin' money the perfect occasion would present itself for a great laugh. I actually travel this highway from time to time.  It just cracks me up that there is a chain of truck stops (sign pictured above) with this name along highway 69.  Wonder how many signs they lose a year? 

Gospel: something accepted or promoted as infallible truth or as a guiding principle or doctrine, ex. "took her words as gospel."  

FULL GOSPEL! I take it as "they left NOTHING out." Bet they think they're the only ones going to heaven.  Holier than thou? Makes me wonder just what goes on inside those walls?

This church is in north Texas. Church is serious in the bible belt. I moved from the bible belt. The belt didn't match my shoes.

There's a file system in my head.  Trust me, you don't want to know how it works.  I see things every day that make me laugh and give me inspiration. In the design world, the most unexpected thing can spark an idea that leads to a solution.

Five Man Electrical Band
"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind"

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wood, Woody, Would He?

Cocky Little Dude

Today we're gonna talk about the application of wood in your home.  Perhaps even different uses in different rooms.  Give me a chance here, we'll get down to business. 

How wood grows: At the very center is the pith, which is much softer and possibly a different color than the surrounding heartwood. Heartwood is made up of dead cells that no longer serve any purpose except to support the tree. Next is the sapwood, which carries water, minerals, and plant sugars between the roots and the leaves. Outside the sapwood, close to the surface, is the cambium, a thin layer of living cells. These cells manufacture the wood as they grow. The cambium is covered by a protective layer of bark. The cambium grows rapidly at the beginning of each growing season, creating light colored springwood. As the climate warms, it slows down and produces darker summerwood. This later growth is somewhat denser and harder. As the weather turns cold, the cambium becomes dormant until the next spring. This cycle produces distinctive growth rings.

Walnut is one of the most versatile and popular cabinet making woods. It grows in Europe, America and Asia. Walnut is strong, hard and durable, without being excessively heavy. The wood is light to dark chocolate brown in color with a straight grain in the trunk. Walnut stumps are often dug out and used as a source of highly figured veneer. Walnut shows a wide range of figures, including burls, mottles, crotches, and butts.

Mahogany, also known as Honduras mahogany is a tropical hardwood indigenous to South America, Central America and Africa. Mahogany which comes from the Caribbean is thought to be the hardest, strongest and best quality. Logs from Africa, though highly figured, are of slightly lesser quality.
Mahogany is strong, with a uniform pore structure and poorly defined annual rings. It has a reddish-brown color and may display stripe, ribbon, ripple, or mottle figures. Crotch mahogany figures are widely used and greatly valued. Mahogany is an excellent carving wood and finishes well.

 Oak is the most widely used hardwood. There are more than 60 species of oak grown in the U.S., which can be separated into two basic varieties; white and red. The red variety is also known as black oak (a reference to its bark). Oak is a heavy, strong, light colored hardwood. Prominent rings and large pores give oak a coarse texture and prominent grain. Oak also has conspicuous medullary rays which can be seen as "flakes" in quarter sawed oak lumber.

Wood from a tree crotch is characterized by a swirling, irregular figure and used for furniture and veneers. This particular grain pattern is sometimes called “feather crotch.” Men grab at their crotch and often check out the crotches of others they are attracted to. Just a curious observation of terms, which will continue.

Wood grain of different types are beautiful. Incredible woodworking has been done for hundreds of years. Many times when restoring old homes layers of paint must be stripped away to reveal  architectural details.  Men love wood grains, they also love strippers. Just another observation.


Often when designing a home the woodwork is not up to snuff. Painting is the solution, making ugly fade away. Just mention this to the husband and he strokes out. I let the wife fight this battle, afraid of a black eye. Pictured above is a good example of how painting ugly removes an eye sore. Not my work so I didn't suffer a black eye, flawing my handsome face.

Now to the nitty gritty. We all known the implication of the word woody.  Woodies can also be used in different rooms of the house, just like woodwork.

Percy Sledge
"When a Man Loves a Woman"

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bird Watching

Totally not what this blog is about.

I've never been a designer that cares much for designer print fabrics.  I feel they have a tendency to date rooms and overpower the ambiance. They dictate color schemes, which I HATE.  I'm fearless with color and enjoy using it to set the mood and complement your art or pieces from your personal collection.  I much prefer using fabrics that settle into the environment and harmonize rather than dominate. Wools, silks, linens, flax, velvets, textured cottons, fabrics that are soothing and inviting.  Love plaids, tweeds and strips! Mohair makes me GOOSE-PIMPLY!

Probably the most hated of all: printed fabrics with birds. Throw in a bow and I'll have a coronary.  The two images shown below I find offensive.  Sweet. Floral. Old lady. 

LOVE Mrs. Doubtfire! Losing Robin was DEVASTATING! This gesture is meant for the fabrics above.

My favorite bird. 

Shooting the bird: To present your middle finger to someone as an act of defiance. (Flip off, fuck you, the finger, flipping the bird)

I really didn't need to give the definition.  We all know what it means.  Especially in the act of bad driving and road rage.  It's the only gesture we have to get our point across in that situation.

No one can shoot the bird like a Redneck.  Especially a mad Redneck chick!  We own it.  I believe we invented it.  We have been gracious, generous, and we have shared.  It is a world-known gesture.

Mr. Cash was serious. Well done Johnny!

I'm not flippin you off, but I sure do it.  A person must use restraint or it loses its meaning. I have this photograph in my phone.  There are times it MUST be texted.  There's also the version with no smile.

Johnny Cash - Walk The Line
"I keep my eyes wide open all the time
 I keep the ends out for the tie that binds."

Monday, March 2, 2015


I LOVE books. I LOVE to read. Unfortunately My brain will not always allow me to. One of the crosses I must bear. I suffer (an inside family joke, I'll explain someday, a story). My favorites are biographies and autobiographies. The more decadent the person's life, the more I dig it. Heiresses and divas at the top of the list. Love how they spread their $$$$ and use their men or as in most cases how they were used. I hate that many had unhappy lives.

I love bookcases and decorating with books. I HATE it when clients have large bookcases and NO BOOKS. I have on several occasions bought books by the foot to fill them up. A pity!

Above two photos I found of my home library (probably 10 years ago). Anyone who has looked at my Facebook page knows I'm in process of a house war. Can't wait for my den to be finished and have the time to play with my books and all sorts of collected loot in my new bookcases. Will be showing them off.

This is a den in a house I'm working on. Client has a nice collection of leather books and grand tour items.  

I do all sorts of things with books. This French sofa is supported by books because the center leg is broken.  Great example of " The Right Amount Of Shitty".

The two photographs above are displays in my shop. Can you believe I have worked busts and books together. There are no photos of busts in the books.  So G rated. I usually have an interesting selection of antique books and busts.

Large books can do some pretty cool work.  These are huge.  Stack and let them work over time as a table or use as a  platform for decorative items that you want to spotlight  or need height. The books above are on the sideboard at Bar Les Freres.


Why the HELL would you do this?

What the HELL do you read that you are so ashamed of ?

They sell these fucking covers!


Books you what to hide? Put them under the mattress! This is silly, sweet shit! I just see no reason for it EVER! Well maybe if you're dating and need a copy of "Sex for Dummies" on your nightstand.

David Bowie
"Nineteen Eighty Four"