Sunday, 18 August 2013

Elle Decor July / August 2013

Before I start, I have some blogging issues.  
The irony is that those affected may not be reading this because my Feedburner hasn't been working and emails haven't been sent 
and I didn't realize.
I am trying to rectify this but it is taking me some time...
I might also have to start splitting these posts bc I think 
Feedburner rejects them due to the amount of pics.
Please bear with me and I apologize to the email subscribers.
Here is another issue that I thought I should share with you or as I sometimes personally refer to it as a filler.

I wasn't going to get this issue but then I ran out of magazines in Austria and the local magazines didn't hit the spot or rather 
Ich spreche kein Deutsch so I downloaded this.

The cover had a lot to do with me getting this over 
Architectural Digest.
That disco ball-esque light juxtaposed between those windows against that view beckoned me.

Some design is so theoretical that it doesn't really fit into most of our lives but I still admire this designer, Shiro Kuramata.  This design principle is usually diffused and translated eventually by IKEA years later. The way couture is diluted eventually to Zara.

Now not all of you will be that acquainted with Bobby Flay unless you sneak in Food Network or a few Bravo food shows.
His kitchen was of particular interest but I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a better photo of his barbecue area.  It looked like any other very nice outdoor eating area.

Nice enough kitchen.
Maybe it's an occupational hazard of running restaurants but do you really need two tables spaced like at a Parisian cafe at home?

Don't you love how the new posh veers towards recycled rural and peasant bath furniture up-cycled but simply with better plumbing?

I really don't understand what the editor was thinking of using this far away vantage shot when peering into the home of the man known as the BBQ King.

Isn't it funny how Indigo is really entering the general stream of consciousness?
I was only just googling for indigo weeks ago and looking at the latest Hermes indigo scarf collection thinking how neglected the poor dye is.
All of a sudden, indigo is getting the spotlight.
Love all of this.

Sorry, this is for those reading this on the iPad so you can zoom in and have a read.  But this lady used to cook and be the editor for Martha Stewart Living so she passed the pastry equivalent of a white glove test.

I love cantilevered chairs.  
If I could I would collect chairs in general.
But what I love about them is that the negative space underneath opens up the space and enlarge a room.

I'll take 1, 2, and 4 please.

And 6 and 10.

I adore those wall light fittings.  
They almost looks like gemstones lit from behind.
Only fault is the wire.
I also love the modern twist to the sunburst mirror in rattan.

This table proves the axiom that some people say that beauty is useless.  It is a work of art. 
But what the heck are you going to do with thing but look at it?  
You can't put anything on it, there are holes on it, 
and the surface isn't flat.
Could you imagine being at a cocktail party at someone's house who had this? Guests putting their wine glasses on it...
Broken glass everywhere folks and I am no Mystic Meg.

Don Draper alert - where are you?
Charles P. Rogers still needs you.
This ad is so sad.  
But perhaps a tad better than last month's ad?

What cool gay guys did in the countryside before they went to the local city and opened up a design firm.
This will hit a nerve with a huge section of their demographic.
Love this ad too much.

Now I know not all my readers live in a country where there is a Restoration Hardware.  But there has been a shift in the last several years in this store.  They seem to have restructured at every level.
That's their choice entirely but when I go in there now, I always leave with nothing.  The item is either too big, or too expensive for what it is.  I personally miss the old merchandising where there were so many little nick-knacks I wanted and ended up buying.  

Finding the little trays and vide-poches below rather charming.
But I won't buy anymore of these as I have so many tchotchkes that I have banned myself from further purchases.

I adore the houses in America from the Federal era. 
Nothing to fault and could move in tomorrow.

There are not too many Canadian houses featured so it was a nice locale to visit.  I have a particular weakness for lake houses.
Don't you just adore the firewood as decor, quasi insulation, 
and  fuel for the fireplace?

Below is one of those houses that are almost monuments rather than a home.  This abode belongs to Kelly Behun who was a protege of Philippe Starck who I am ambivalent about.
This isn't even her main home, it's her weekender in Southampton!
To see pictures of her Manhattan home, I found some here.

It's terrible but when things are so extreme, it's hard to reserve judgement.  Some of you know me a bit by now, and I try to be honest and if I can't, I try to be diplomatic.

In this case, I am going to cut her some slack because she does run a business and this will serve double duty as part of her portfolio.
That saved her otherwise I must be frank and 
say I would have been a lot tougher than this.

The wicker stool below is from IKEA.  
No she isn't dyslexic and thought it was some new up and coming designer.  I had to double check the credits below.
She says she mixes high and low which I think most of us do or try to do.  But for me this just rang as pure PC decor tokenism.  It's like when New Yorkers go on about how quaint Brooklyn is, the fact is no one who can live in Manhattan lives in Brooklyn.
( 98% of the time)  

Her statement in the article that Ikea does the best wicker just rang inauthentic to me. They do good wicker but not the best.  I think that sums up what doesn't sit well with me about this house.
I wonder which sales assistant saw her coming with the sale of these moundy, swirly, decorated rope stools?

If I didn't know better this house looks like a mini Getty Museum in Malibu or that drug dealer's house in Scarface.
Kelly herself is very pretty and poised,
although a smile wouldn't hurt.
I think she stays thin because she plays a lot of musical chairs.
Do you think that chair in the distance is installation art or the Hampton elevated chair is where people do the terra firma version of  "I'm king of the world!" ?

Do you see my point about it being institutional because this art is not very warm but usually seen in an office atrium.

Hey Mom, did the chef cook dinner yet?  
We're getting hungry swimming in this empty aquarium.

I don't know how they overlooked the measurements of 
the library step ladder or why they put the desk chair on a corner.

This takes the biscuit, you know how I feel about FLTS otherwise known as faux lazy throw syndrome. It looks like someone threw a wet throw on the wall and just let it stick there.
But let's end on a positive note...

I would love to bathe in this bathroom during the winter and lounge by that fireplace. Maximizes and enhances the local environment.
I think this is the best bit of the house.

There was another beach house but on the west coast and 
reflected its more relaxed vibe.
I really love the wooden walls and the clean lines. 
I would always put my house keys there and save myself twenty minutes a day but not having to look for them.
This house has such a clean colour palette that it feels so meditative simply looking at it.
It must be wondrous to actually live in it!

The rooms are not decorated in any design innovative way but I like that the decor is helping you relax and calm down which most homes should achieve.  It isn't always about making a statement.

The only critique of this house is that before a magazine photo shoot they could have mopped the floor perhaps?
Cameras pick up on everything.

I do like these molded rounded and repeated bushes. So effective in place of colorful foliage that some visual interest is still maintained. I am sure that the wind off the Pacific Ocean does limit the plants that can be planted.
Well there you have it - I was going to wait to post this but September is out already!
Hope you've had a lovely weekend so far x


  1. Not a fan of Kelly's house - just as you said, it's like a sort of museum, quite institutional in feel, and a bit too much of the try hard design pieces, like those hand kitchen stools, which frankly I couldn't bring myself to sit in.
    I got the Architectural Digest, and you didn't miss out. One of the Worst ever. Honestly, it was full of bad, bland design that would cost an absolute bomb and when it had quotes from the owners like "we needed a Dining room that would seat more than 30 people" and talking about their need for a ballroom for their entertaining needs as they like to fundraise... well, it all kind of lost me. Most boring houses, full of stuff from designers, rather than actual possessions. Anyway, enough of my AD rant - the Elle design looks a bit lacklustre too - maybe it's the August issues that are the problem? xx

    1. The new AD is very hit and miss lately I find as well. I love a grand house but I feel a little blank when nothing gets filtered down as useful for everybody to learn from. I don't know why they do a double issue anyway - I think that people could take holidays at different times and come out with a strong issue every month - with circulation numbers down this is a strange move for sure. xx

    2. I keep wanting to cancel AD, but they do that automatic subscription renewal, which means I've not got around to actually cancelling it due to business/ laziness/ too hard (as I have to ring the US!!). The houses are almost always impersonal, bland and faddish. I can't help but think that in around another 5 years time, the owners will throw over the entire interior design scheme and start from scratch again. A lot of the houses are so excessive, it just leaves me cold. Great examples in every issue at the moment that money does not buy taste. xx

    3. Too true...Funny I have a few issues of AD from the 90's ( i am a bit of a hoarder but i threw them out this cull - but compared to UK house and garden, they just don't stand the test of time) I think Margaret Russell the editor seems to use her connections of past coterie of people she is comfortable with rather than taking chances. I wouldn't mind if they started a master class feature or a spotlight on a technique so we might learn something as well. but then again i guess that is why blogs have their secure position now! x

  2. I just had to share...if you put a break link near the top of your post, it will load way faster and google feed burner will love you. I'll look for your email and send you a picture of where it is. I just found this brilliant little button myself. I stopped reading AD years ago.

    1. Thanks for the tip - I didn't realize it made such a difference!

    2. So you two know what a break link is? Smarty pants x 2!

    3. well she does but she kindly has shown me so i can pretend!

  3. Elle Decor is my favourite American mag, my corner shop gets one in for me- just me, one day I hit the roof when I found out they had sold it to someone else, it was my diva moment in the burbs. There was flouncing.

    1. my newsagent wont stock at all bc apparently there is a limit and it costs nearly 7 quid so he says there is no profit so i get on the ipad although i feel bad bc i want to give the local business some patronage.

  4. those stairs are amazing!

    1. They are and if I had the room I would have a sweeping staircase too!

  5. Loved this. These beach houses are so soothing and fun to dream about. Loving those boxwood balls! I agree about phony statements like the IKEA wicker thing. Give me a break! As much as I love IKEA it's not the best. She loses credibility.

    I am glad you commented about Restoration. We have one in my town and seriously a friend and I were saying we never buy anything there anymore. They have a very salon like experience now and any little things to purchase are, "in the back." I think this deters the customer from buying. They have changed course quite a bit and sadly closed the original store in Eureka, where my hubs is from. It was a gorgeous Victorian in an old Redwood mining town. They used to deal in strictly hardware to restore the old Victorians and lots of cute accessories. Anyway, I digress, but I hate to see them all slick now and like any other bland upscale store. Kind of like the Banana Republic story.

    Love these posts!!


  6. Idea is great but forced token gestures are inauthentic aren't they? But I feel that people always think portfolio instead of home so ego shows thru but I have nothing against modern architecture on a grand scale perse so I hope others don't misconstrue my point...but RH just isn't a pleasure to browse thru anymore at all and in fact their repros are more expensive than the genuine articles found in France. Maybe they are hoping those same people who might buy are saving on airfare and jetlag? I wish William Sonoma homes would come back and rejig a little I miss that store as well! Xx

  7. You know Naomi,
    I've never bought an interiors or home mag.
    And now thanks to you, I won't have to.
    Xx c

    1. Yay! That's partly the point as I was always the one who passed mags around to be shared and I get to do that on a bigger scale now! X

  8. I LOVE that Federal house so much. Everything about it is fabulous!
    If only our house could get an injection of steroids and magically triple in size....

    I can't look at too much interior porn. It makes me feel dizzy.
    That Starck protégée's house is very show-offy. And I agree wi you about the Ikea wicker. Sounds like a load of bollocks to me....!

    1. Funny bc I can never get enough decor porn! But I am getting older and trying to have justifiable shopping habits! You're hilarious bc basically that's what I wanted to say about it! ;p

  9. I always love your decoration choices! Thanks for all these nice pics!

    1. i wish they were mine! But I just choose the cream of the crop :) xx

  10. I'm with you, I love a disco ball and indigo. All of these pictures remind me that I am either a) missing the decorating gene (possible) or b) so deep in the mommy trenches, with Legos and toys everywhere, that I've just given up for now (likely). And the irony is I'm married to an architect, ha ha! XO, Jill

    1. It's always the way - you must be saturated with litle details like that all the time! You might not have the decorating gene but you have the fashion gene so it all evens out in the end right? ;) xx

  11. Once again, thank you for the many pictures. This is an American magazine, right?
    Everything is SO big, in a big way, so much of everything, yet offering me - nothing. There is not a single page, room, view I might even covet.
    Just wondering, who actually lives in these surroundings..
    IKEA. Ugh. The only decent thing from IKEA is their " Lack " shelf.
    Yes, mixing expensive and inexpensive furniture, is like mixing expensive and inexpensive clothing. So common, that it just bores me.
    Please, please, don´t take this critic about the magazine personally. You were not the editor ; ).
    You have done a swell job sharing all this with us. But there is, as I said, SO much packed in one magazine.
    Where oh where is THE sensible magazine, which has something new in it for us ? / m, x

    1. Yes it is the US edition - it is rather different than the french or the uk edition for sure. Yes it is big and there is lots of choice for sure but sometimes I think we need the extreme under which we filter and dilute the design. If it's too simple then how do we edit? That is why sometimes unless it is ikeahacker i funny enough can't extract many ideas from it. But I do know what you mean that it can fall a little flat..! xx

  12. ugh where are the poor pillows on that Charles Rogers bed? Such bad styling. Hope you had a great weekend!

    1. I think you need to help them bc they really need it! It's so bad that I noticed the ad but maybe that was the point?!


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