Thursday, April 29, 2010

Delightful Door

I sometimes need to see articles or photographs like this one as a constant reminder to myself that 1) my ideas are not always "crazy" and 2) to take risks when coming up with a design plan.  Without inspired risk taking, we don't see results like this one. 

Annie Selke's modern ranch reno featured on House Beautiful's website

The Before.  
Dreadful and depressing with a "fake front porch."
(Annie's words, not mine)

A fuschia door?  Never would have thought to do it or convinced someone to try it.  It is Drop Dead Gorgeous.  Literally, that is the name of the Benjamin Moore color.   

Annie's words of wisdom:

HB:  "What's the easiest change you can make?"

ANNIE:  "I painted the front door. It just needed something — I said, 'What the heck. Let's paint it pink'."

SO...the moral of the story is try it.  You may like it. 



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nola art, Nola artist

This sign was snatched out of my shopping cart on One Kings Lane this morning.  I am sad.  I forget how cut throat shopping on Rue La La, Gilt or OKL can be.  (I should have learned from the Spanx sale incident of 2009...)

From Skout.  ($139.00 from $289.00)
**If you need an invite to One Kings Lane, let me know...I will send you one! 

I really try to avoid too much "themey" New Orleans stuff in our home (it is a bit "concert tee to the concert" to me...), but I figured that, if this didn't work in our little hallway, it was too great not to be used for someone's project.  And, a great price for a large canvas piece.  Heck, I could have sold it to a gimleter.  Boo. 

Perhaps to allay my disappointment, I will be forced to buy dream about this photograph Leigh and I spotted (and now collectively yearn for...) at Jazz Fest last weekend. 

Tropicana girl, taken by the artist, Christopher Porche-West, in Cuba two years ago. the particular frame she was living in.   

Some of my other faves from his comprehensive website (check it out!):

Now, the showstoppers are Porche-West's assemblages.  He creates the frames for his art pieces from found objects obtained throughout Nola.  Some of them are simple, but others are highly in and of themselves.

(My absolute dream framed photo/small assemblage is not on his website, but we spied it at the Fest and take my is fabu)

As I have mentioned before, I love to trawl the crafts area at Jazz Fest, even if just for a few minutes.  I have referenced some tiny art work I bought at JF in the past and hope to find a little treat this upcoming weekend...if it isn't rainy!  I hope to share another talented artist with you from my adventures...



Tuesday, April 27, 2010


We talked about refrigerators so much post-K.  How much they reeked, what was in them when "It" came, how to tape them so they wouldn't leak, how much they cost to became exhausting.  When we replaced ours, we were so sick of thinking about and seeing refrigerators, we just ordered whatever one could be delivered the easiest and our insurance would cover.  I remember saying that I never wanted to talk about "ice boxes" again. 

Halloween fridges in Bywater via flickr. 

That is, until I saw the Smeg a couple of years ago and was reminded of it tonight after seeing our new favorite show, 9 by Design.  (Beau and I are both obsessed...)


Compact and simple, the way I like my appliances and all things technical.
(Not sure if I have mentioned that I yearn for a Wagoneer as my dream car and sincerely wish people still used answering scares me)

They are available in a rainbow of fruit flavors and would provide maximum impact for a smaller need for spendy finishes in your kitch, here is your showstopper.  They are small, though.  If you need some serious fridge space in your kitch, maybe the Smeg would be a better option for a pool house or rec room. 

My favorite is the above mint green one, but I really am tickled pink by the well, pink.

Delightful, right?
(...even if you would never actually use it, you must admit that it is delectable eye candy!)



P.S.  The best deal I found on the Smeg was online includes free shipping, which is why it is the most cost-efficient choice. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hot tip

Thanks, Sarah, for tipping me off about the really really great graphic outdoor pillows at the Targe (prounounced like "barge" with a little zhush at the end).  Who would have thunk?

I am absolutely delighted by them!  Um, $ were they not snatched?
I bought one for each adirondack on our front porch.  It was hard to derail from my natural inclination to buy the orangey and red ones, but I think they will perfectly complement my imaginary new bird feeder. 

**they are also online in sets for two for $17.49, but shipping isn't free.  Be warned...the oldest Targe trick in the book!

Remember I posted about the CB2 tweeting bird feeder here?
Now I really want it!

So, what is my real life recent acquisition?

I know.  Stunning, right?
Please note hint of sarcasm.

Hear me out.  I purchased this dingy basket super cool vintage planter/stool/side table at an estate sale Leigh and I happened upon en route back from the coffee shop.  Because it was next door, we figured "why not?"  The house also recently sold after being on the market for quite some time, and I had to check it out, of course...for market research aka nosy nosiness. 

Leigh bought some nifty silver trays for soaps and I bought this guy for $10.00.  Once freshened up with a coat of paint, it will likely house the plant I want to place next to our front door.  I think my millions of cans of various shades of orange paint will work perfectly! 

Now, I am super tempted to turn the basket over and make a wee tuffet out of it....a round double welt piped cushion would be so cutie.  OR, I think it would be rockin' with a round glass or even mirrored top.  Such a fun little cocktail table.  OR, it could be a great umbrella aqua goodness.  It really is the right size for a variety of fun yet practical uses. 

The choices are endless and, therefore, I am posting this dirty and unloved basket to hold me accountable for making it into something great.  Fast. 



P.S.  So, if you are in Nola and love you some tacos and/or food trucks, I must recommend the Taceaux Loceaux truck to you.  We were at Dos Jeffes and up it pulled.  Naturally, we (ugh...using the royal "we" here...) had to have a second dinner and tried the vegetarian tacos.  The ingredients were so fresh and the flavoring was perfection.  Just sayin' YUM. 
The truck is also super awesome.  Their graphic (you can see it to the right of the window) is really clever.  A Katrina "X" with a cow, chicken, veggies, and pig.  In love with Taceaux Loceaux! 

P.P.S.   Jazz Fest was the ultimate dichotomy. Friday was the wettest, swampiest, deluge of all time (possibly worse than Billy Joel 2 years ago) and Sunday was the most gorgeous, beautifulest, perfectest fest day I can remember.  Either way, we had a wonderful time with our guests, and I think we have a new lifelong fester in J.G.!

Beau ready for Fess at Fair Grinds (we got there so early we had to have a little coffee pre-gates!).  I am posting this picture b/c 1) I think it is cute and 2) I think if you have Beau's email or phone number, you should contact him and ask him about how he acquired his kick a new Tipitina's shirt. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fab (ric) Source

A quick post just to let you know I am alive and surviving the good times of a very wet Jazziest.  I am compelled to share a fab fabric source (and search term) with you.  While looking for some fabrics for Jen's kitchen refresher, I searched for "modern fabrics" under "supplies" on etsy. 

Take a looky loo at some of the goods:

I am obsessed with this precious elephant print by Umbrella Prints...a shop I just found on etsy.  Printed fabric that is so unique!

Love all of the colorways!

If you have a specific question about one of the fabrics shown above, let me know.  I must say...etsy fabrics are a great source for small amounts of yardage and hard to find popular fabrics.  The choices are unlimited and the prices cannot be beat (I saw a ton of typically $$ fabric there for much cheaper!)
Enjoy and let me know what you find.


Friday, April 23, 2010

(Not) Sick of these Sticks

Recall that I declared I was sick of sticks to much of your collective chagrin.  You people are passionate about sticks and nearly crucified me for declaring that this decorating "technique" should be banished.   Forever. 

Still not acceptable! 

I presented you lots of alternatives for sticks and even discussed the beauty of forcing natural branches (for those of you who simply can never part with some form of sticks).  Here is proof that I am not entirely sick of sticks...particularly if they look like these. 

iphone snap of my very own branches (which are quite different than dusty sticks!) on buffet.

These branches were $5.00 for a bunch of four at WINN DIXIE (not Whole Foods!)  I like how they look separated into different types of clear glasses....ranging from the high to the low (Simon Pearce vase, courtesy of Chris and Courtney, paired with St. Germain carafe, courtesy of Emily...see it on the back left?)

Anyway, I think there is something interesting about the grouping at different heights...oh and those little yellow blossoms in front of my ginormous sun mirror!  Let's hope they last for a couple of weeks. 

Now.  For some non-sticky related business.  Jazz Fest is here.  If you are not actively sitting on the track enjoying a mango freeze and crawfish monica, then you need to tune in from wherever you are. 

click here for the live stream

When we are not at the track, eating po-boys at a restaurant, or at Tipitinas, we will be here, enjoying the company of our wild guests, Leigh and Jean-Guillaume.

I could not be more delighted with the way it all turned out.  The Ikea Hallo cushions fit like a glove and are super comfy.  Highest recommendation from me...and the price cannot be beat.

I hope to see some of you at the Fest!



P.S.  For those of you who are not festing 'round the clock and live in Nola, I received a tip from friend and loyal Gimlet commenter, E. Lee.  She does some work for the talented Kathy Slater of Kathy Slater Interiors on Magazine and passed along this flyer.

Antiques and decorative items sale by a grouping of notable antique vendors, some of whom have storefronts on Magazine.  It apparently also looks like the home where the sales are occurring is fabu.  If it is storming tomorrow (which it unfortunately may be), head to Old Metairie to snag some good finds....and tell me about what you see/buy!  Thanks, E.Lee! 

P.P.S. Thanks so much to all of you, but the armoire has sold as well.  Gone to the highest bidder.  I will hopefully be able to post some more stuff soon....continuing to purge!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Inbox Temptation/ Lack thereof

My bestie, Jonathan, sent me an email the other day.  I love when I get personal emails from him, just a quick "hello" to tell me what is going on, you know, what's new in his life.  He really is such a doll to check in with me from time to time.

Dear friend, Mr. Adler.

Let's play show and tell.  Here is what Johnny had to say.  He is offering some new wallpapers. 

Syrie in yellow and gray. 

Syrie in blue and gray.
I see the blue and gray on closet doors much like these...

Closet doors, covered in wallpaper...a great way to funk up a home office.

Courtesy of Melissa Warner.  Her entire home in West Hollywood is STUNNING.  Check it out in HB this month. Scanned image via la dolce trip to Kinko's for me with my HB in hand!

And a new piece of furni. 
New  six drawer Channing match one of my all time faves, the Channing buffet.

A standard, oldie but goodie!

He also encouraged me to "Surrender to Hollywood Glamour!"  What a realistic email message for a lawyer/ working stiff to receive at her desk on an idle Wednesday.  To surrender to said Hollywood glamour, Jonathan recommends these guys, and I couldn't agree more!
The Preston console, ultimate showstopper. 

Preston end table in black.  I love you, and I want two of you in white to put at the foot of my bed.

A little trivia from Jonathan was also included.  The Preston collection was inspired by Doris Day and Rex Harrison's characters, Kit and Anthony Preston in Midnight Lace, 1960.

Oh, Johnny!  You are out of control and I love it.

Now, I also received an email from my other pal, DWR, the most modern of my friends.  I am using his initials to protect his identity.  Paola received one from him too.  I certainly loved his suggestion to "Imagine it's Sunset..." (He is always thinking of super swanky things to email about)  However, not sure if I can get on board with his Walter Lamb Collection of patio furni. 

I appreciate the design and am intrigued by it.  I love me some bronzey/copper and some pearly white, especially together, but I am hesitant about jumping in to this relationship. 

The lounger.

The dining table. 

I will not put this out there for fug or fab.  I am going to place this one in the "context" pile.  In the context of my backyard, it would present as scary 80s.  However, I will completely withhold judgment as there is the right place for DWR's latest love. 


P.S.  Fair warning...posting is going to be light!  The guests have arrived and Festing has essentially begun at Casa Haynes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Guest Post from Birthday Girl: Hosting Monograms and Mimosas

Hello Gimleters! Jessie asked me to do a follow up on her sister's recent Monograms & Mimosas bridal shower and offer a few tips on how to throw one for your own special occasion. Given how much I happen to love monograms (and mimosas... but I'm pregnant at the moment, so let's not tempt me further), I was only too happy to oblige. Here's a little inspiration board for y'all and my suggestions on how to bring this theme to life...

1. Coordinate with color: For the purposes of this board I went with a yellow & orange citrus palette to play off the mimosas. Honestly, any color combo will work with the theme, but these colors happen to make decorating simple. Accent basic white tablecloths with centerpieces of fresh fruit and highlight with bright seasonal flowers or fruit trees.

2. Create a consistent monogram and add it everywhere you can think of... from the invites to the napkins. Oh, and the menus... and stir sticks... and coasters... the list is basically as endless as your budget. A site like Before your Party allows you to create your own custom monogram and apply it to all the elements of your choosing.

3. This theme obviously lends itself to a brunch, so plan for a traditional mix of sweets and savories, and consider one signature dish... like this recipe for baked orange pecan french toast.

4. A mimosa bar feels like a must, doesn't it? In addition to champagne and OJ, offer a few surprising additions like fresh orange slices, strawberries, mint leaves, or peach nectar.

5. Send your guests home with a sweet favor as a thank you for attending... like these monogrammed cookies from the Gumdrop Cookie Shop packaged in ribbon-tied cello bags.

By the way... if you should happen to host a party like this yourself in the coming months, I'd love to see the outcome. Feel free to submit your party pics to me at: birthdaygirlblog{at} You just might get featured! Additionally (and please forgive the shameless self-promotion) if you like what you see, I also offer custom inspiration boards for birthdays, showers and other events as a service through my blog. Check it all out here.
Photo Credits

Row 1: invite via minted; paper decorations via silly bees chickadees; lemon centerpiece & mimosas via martha stewart

Row 2: cookie via gumdrop cookie shop; mimosa display via eddie ross

Row 3: citrus table setting n/a; centerpiece via the knot; champagne bar via todd events; coasters via wedding bee pro

Row 4: napkins via wedding bee pro; french toast via florida’s natural; orange table via hwtm
**EDITOR'S NOTE:  Thanks, Becca!  I highly encourage the Gimleters to head to Birthday Girl for more succulent eye candy and fun ideas. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Easy (urban) Herb Garden

I have a black thumb so the thought of planting and tending to anything plant-related freaks me out.   I have been known to kill cacti and other household "easy" succulents.  Our window boxes at Lil Harms were the bane of  my existence and had to be replaced about five times a year because, despite my ongoing best efforts, I would walk outside one morning only to discover that they were brown and dead. 

I am not a horrible cook though, and, therefore, think I need a little herb garden.   I realized I am spending a small fortune buying individual packs of herbs for multiple recipes.  Lucky for me, my mom has tended to herbs for as long as I can remember, and she is the ultimate green thumb, gardener extraordinaire. 

With a little guidance and coaching from her (as well as reading up a tiny bit), I made this:

Went "shopping" in aforementioned storage unit for this corrogated steel tub...I love how they look outside as planters (or as bathtubs for dogs/kids or as holders for iced down drinks...the Southern uses of these tubs are endless)!

Now, I realize that you fancy gardening gimleters are probably laughing at your computers right now thinking that it is very lame that I am sharing a corrogated steel tub with some herbs placed in it as a full blog-worthy project.  There is a method to my madness.  First, I am kind of proud of it, albeit a minute/ridiculous accomplishment.  Second, if I can plant and use my own herbs, you can too!  (And, you do not need a big space for your little garden).

Here are the tips, culled from my gardening mama as well as from an old Domino (RIP) article:

 1.   Drill a couple of holes in the bottom of your planter.  (This is a task that could be easier said than done, but I promise is not too hard...)

 2.   Fill with potting soil, leaving about three-four inches at the top.

 3.   Place herbs into the soil after you have dug a small hole for them.  Be sure to place the bigger herbs in the middle. 

4.   Place the herb pot in partial sunlight and water daily.  We don't want our herbs to be water logged out in the rain or fried by the sun.   

Now, onto the important thing in all of this (and much of life).  Accessories.

For your new herb garden, you will need herb markers.  I found some very affordable options on etsy to suit a wide range of styles. 

I wonder how these would hold up outdoors.  I think they would perfectly accessorize my steel tub.

Perfect for a Craftsman-style herb there such a thing?

Recycled silverware, for a more traditional look.


I hope that you are inspired to create your own mini herb garden.  I will keep y'all updated on the progress...I may not take pictures, though.  (Trying to be optimistic, but don't want to document the dead herbs that I may wake up to tomorrow!) 


P.S.  BIG DRUMROLL.  Tomorrow we have a guest post from the fabulous Birthday Girl blog writer, Becca.  I really try not to make promises that I don't keep.  Remember I told you that she would be making an appearance with an inspiration board for Monograms and Mimosas?  Well, the day has come.  Superwoman blogger Becca has exceeded all high expectations and put together an amazing guest post for us, sharing some great ways to host your own Monos and Mims bash.   (I also must point out that creating this board for us is very generous of Becca as she normally charges $25.00 dollars for this service.  Thank you, Becca!)  I cannot wait, and I hope you tune into Gimlet tomorrow. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mid-century New Orleans

New Orleans' hallmarked architecture, rightfully so, consists of the Garden District's famed Greek Revivals and historic Creole cottages in the French Quarter.  Architecture buffs and design lovers flock from all over the world to photograph and tour the raised centerhall villas and shotguns that dot the landscape of the city.  There are literally volumes upon volumes of tomes written about the architectural gems that can only be found in New Orleans. 

We are spoiled, indeed. 

Greek Revival home in the Garden District. 

Creole Cottage in the FQ

Garden District rowhouse

French Quarter

Now, something you may not know is that New Orleans has some delightful enclaves filled with mid-century wonders.  I often stop and snap pics of the VERY few mid-century homes Uptown because, as you may know based upon prior posts (and constant posts about Palm Springs), I have a deep love and appreciation of mid-century architecture. 

Why am I talking about this today?  We were invited to a crawfish boil yesterday in Lake Vista, the land of my childhood years.  Our friends just bought a mid-century gem and are in the process of restoring it.  It spurred my thinking about the very rarely discussed mid-century architecture that is alive and present in Nola.  A large part of the Lakefront in New Orleans (Lakeshore, Lake Vista and Lake Terrace) was built starting in the late late 1940s and early 1950s and, let me tell you, there are some SWINGIN' Rat Packy pads out there.  Party houses (some of which are well-preserved and could easily be used on a set of Mad Men)!   Unfortunately, many were bastardized by the 70s and 80s or have been torn down completely to make room for McMansions. 

I found a wonderful flickr stream called New Orleans Mid-Century and I felt the need to share some of it with you today.  The funny part is that, in viewing it, I knew most of the houses!  (some are incorrectly labeled as "Lakeview."  In actuality, they should be marked as Lakeshore, Lake Vista, or Lake Terrace)

Behold something that, to me, is like finding a hidden treasure:

I know I have seen this one, but seriously cannot put my finger on where it is...anyone?

Merry Christmas.

Residence in Lake Terrace?

Methodist Church located right off of Spanish Fort in Lake Vista.

Interior of St. Pius X Church. Is it wrong to call a church swingin' (it really is, though...)?

This Lake Terrace home was listed on sell modern....It was designed by John Lawrence and is perfectly preserved.  Click here if you are interested in investing in your very own MCM gem. 

Now, kiddies.  Don't think it stops here.  I would be the worst design blogger ever if I did not discuss the seminal architects behind New Orleans' most famous (mid-century) buildings.  Curtis and Davis are responsible for the likes of the Superdome, the Rivergate, Angola State Prison, and countless other municipal schools and buildings throughout our city.  I have come to realize that they are the architects behind a substantial portion of the modern city buildings.    In addition, they are often the duo behind the notably unique mid-century homes in the Uptown  (and sometimes Old Metairie/Lakefront) area. 

The team began designing modern buildings in New Orleans in 1948 after graduating from Tulane's Architecture School...quite a challenge in a city steeped in architectural traditions rooted in the early nineteenth (and even eighteenth) centuries.   

Behold, Part 2:

Curtis Residence.   Photo in Life Magazine.
6161 Marquette Place.  I used to run past this home in college.  I still like to "visit" it while passing by.  (It is less than a mile from our house)

Another shot for Life Magazine. 
Built in 1962.
Curtis Residence on Marquette.

More from Life.
"I die."

The Davis Guest House.  Located on Bamboo Road (area right near Metairie Country Club on the border of New Orleans and Jefferson Parishes)

7424 Hampson Street (Uptown New Orleans)

Moses Residence via this entry from the great Regional Modernism blog.  Their flickr set is also incredible. 
171 Audubon Boulevard (Uptown New Orleans)

Steinberg Residence via regional modernism
Located on Conery Street (Garden District), it was on the market, um, last year.  Yes, right before we were able to start looking...
(Perhaps if Lil Harms sold faster, I would have convinced Beau to renovate the entirety of this home to its original grandeur....wishful thinking!)

Steinberg courtyard roof. 
More shots on regional modernism's flickr set

Davis Residence, 1951
25 Finch Street, Lake Vista
(I am telling you...these are everywhere throughout Lake Vista)

Behold, Part 3.  The municipal contributions of Curtis and Davis.

Giraffe House at the Audubon Zoo (who knew!?)


New Orleans' public library (located downtown).

The Rivergate.  Downtown New Orleans, 1968.
Demolished 1995.

I remember those great terrazo floors (and I swear those chairs MAY have been in the UC when I started Tulane)!


St. Francis Cabrini Church, 1962.  (Controversially torn down after it was ravaged by Katrina)
via regional modernism's fab flickr stream

Recognize this?  via Regional Modernism

There is so so so much more to say.  The rich contributions of not only Curtis and Davis but other New Orleans architects to mid-century modern architecture is incredibly prolific, and I recognize that this post is simply a thumbnail sketch.    Even if you are not particularly interested in or admiring of mid-century modern architecture, I hope you found this post at least somewhat eye opening....New Orleans has a rich architectural history that includes some buildings that you may not have considered to be "typical" Nola.  Keep your eyes peeled....these artifacts are literally EVERYWHERE around us. 

Interesting resources (be can get sucked in!):

Some other quick notes...sorry, this is the never ending post.  I just can't stop, though.

Dr. Simon (my pediatrician!) Residence, 1961. 
922 Octavia.  I pass this home all of the time and wrongly assumed it was Curtis and Davis.  It was actually designed by Charles Colbert.  Courtesy of regional modernism flickr.

Original snap in all of its glory.  

Must have been a sight to see.

Recent shot of Irving Roth residence.  4116 Vincennes.
This home was designed by Albert Ledner. 
To be honest, I did not include this one for the actual residence, but rather, to point out another "Who knew?"   After graduating from Tulane, Ledner studied under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesen.  Lucky ducks who get to own a Ledner property! 

If you enjoy mid-century modern architecture and have some other recommendations of great buildings (and residences) in New Orleans, let me know!  As you can see, I am a buff.  I hope you are (or at least contemplate becoming) one too.   



P.S.  Thanks for your interest, but the Crate and Barrel beaut has been sold to a gimleter!