Sep 30, 2008

I love lamp...Swank lamps!

Only four weeks left to turn in your design boards for the Swank Lighting/Material Girls contest! We've gotten some great entries so far and know that there are more out there yet to come!!

Just think, if you win the contest, you can finally retire some of your old lamps to the attic...


and you can replace with some of these beauties...

Ahhhhhh....much better

In the words of Brick Tamland...

Who doesn't?!

Good luck everyone! We will be posting all the awesome entries sometime between November 1st and November 15th when we announce the winner!

Evacuation in Style!

Things are finally feeling a little more normal after Hurricane Ike here in Houston. Some traffic lights are still out but electricity has {mostly} been restored to the millions of people who went without for so long. I think almost everyone in Houston knows someone who was drastically affected by Ike, but our city has really rallied together in an impressive way.

My husband and I hopped around from house to house like gypsies (we were without power for over a week) and I wanted to share the LOVELY guest bedroom we stayed in a few nights. Our friends, Katherine and Brett opened their home for over a week to friends, friends-of-friends, pets, you name it. We watched a lot of this....

Had many a laugh about my dog's mad camouflage skills....

We did a little bit of shopping and a lot of eating!

Back to the guest bedroom... I just adore it or as Jonathan Adler would say, it's "j'adorable!" It is a very nice color combination of grey, black, and purple. Here's what I can remember: headboard - Archer by Crate and Barrel; lamps - Neiman Marcus Last Call; Bedding - Chambers by Williams Sonoma; two dark purple throw pillows - Crate & Barrel: prints above bed - Katherine found them in England; nightstands - thrifted, re-painted, & new knobs.

I have a sneakin' suspicion that Hartley wants to go back to Brett and Katherine's and roll around in the flokati.

I also think my husband would go to the zoo once a week if he could! Nothing like a nice "hurrication."

Oh those LACK tables!

So I'm sure many of you have seen those ubiquitous Ikea "LACK" tables. They come in the form of coffee tables, console tables, side tables. They are truly inepensive, have a range of colors, are functional, modern, simple - and they are in my own apartment AND imagine my surprise when I discovered they were in Sarah Jessica Parker's own home! In the book, "So Chic" from Elle Decor they are featured in her house in the Hamptons!

Ikea LACK tables featured in the living room of Sarah Jessica Parker's house in the Hamptons:

Ikea LACK tables featured in the living room, my apartment:

Ikea LACK tables:

Sep 29, 2008

Tableware- "Cruising" along from night!

Often in Us Weekly or People, there will be that article that shows "day" Katie Cruise and "night" Katie Cruise. "Day" Katie will appear with less makeup, large sunglasses, wearing skinny or "boyfriend" jeans, strolling around looking more casual. "Night" Katie has smokey eye makeup, a tight fitting dress or ball gown on, and looking positively stunning- ready for a more formal occasion.

Day Katie
Night Katie

Your tableware should follow this same transformation. It's always good to have two sets- one that's more casual for the daytime and another that is more fancy for when dinner guests come over.
I don't believe in never using your good china either. Something so expensive and special shouldn't just be collecting dust in your cabinets! Break them out when good friends are over- there is never a better time than today!

I love Cielo Home and its tableware collections that are categorized under Formal Table (night) and Everyday Table (day)
Everyday table:

This dessert plate was designed by renowned Italian designer Missoni (known for their colorful and creative patterns) Retails at $58

Missoni dress (looks similar to the plate above)

Katie also in casual floral for day wear

Another "Everyday" table item- this Checks Round plate was designed by Thomas Kellar

Katie in a similar pattern

Formal Table:
This plate, designed by John Derian, was an Elle Decor award winner! At $158 each, this plate is worth every penny- gorgeous! Every piece is hand signed by John himself. The colors he used look perfect together as does the mini "brooch" looking piece in the center of the design.

Katie with a similar brooch looking design on her dress

This coral "Cristobal" dessert plate, was designed by Alberto Pinto (he is hired by royals and also celebs to design their homes and palaces!) What a fun job. I love the vibrant, deep hue in this plate- I can see this table setting being really dramatic at night- especially if it was paired with black, white and gold!

Katie also breaking out her fiery red for night!

As you can see, there is a time and a place for different sets of china (informal and more formal)...take it from Katie, she won't be wearing her boyfriend jeans on the red carpet anytime soon!

Hot for dots

I love finding similar high/low pieces....sometimes it's a given which is the more expensive one and other times, it's not so easy (which makes it great for those of us who find look alike pieces for half the price- especially in today's economy!)

Can you tell which one of these mirrors below is the more high end and which is the less?

Most expensive one is $2,270, the least is $129 and the mid ranged mirror is $199.

We love the circle motif- we see it everywhere these days! These mirrors provide lots of visual interest at every price point.

Can you tell which one is which?

Sep 24, 2008

Royal Mirrors

I came across this source of fabulous glamorous mirrors from Dilettante. The company is a collaboration between two Los Angeles based architects, Elena Coleman and Libby Kountzman.

The mirrors are manufactured locally in Los Angeles. They are water-jet cut and the cursive is laser etched. Priced between $595 and $795, the sizes are:

his majesty
1'-4" x 1'-11"
2'-0" x 2'-10"

her majesty
1'-6" x 1'-8"
2'-3" x 2'-6"

The quotes read:

"who ever loved that loved not at first sight?" (christopher marlowe)
"shall i compare thee to a summer's day?" (william shakespeare)

- they are limited edition with the edition numbers etched in the bottom of the mirror
- they are 1/4" glass mirror - not acrylic
- they are frameless and are mounted on 1/4" masonite with hanging wires attached

Now that's a mirror fit for our Marie Antoinette!

Let them eat cake!


Material Girls is growing up way too fast (tear) ;(
I remember when she was only a twinkle in my eye....or (more specifically) a thought in my head

Did I say my head? Ok, ok...I admit- it was my boyfriend Ben's bright idea to start this design blog one year ago today...I was convinced no one would ever read it (except maybe my mother) but after him trying to coax me into it for a whole eight minutes, I became convinced that with my love for writing and design, this blog had to happen...even if no one read it, it would be a way to document my design finds, express my creativity and sit at the computer more than I already did (which I didn't think was humanly possible).

Weeks went by with just moi as the sole author of "Dear Designer" (our previous name that we've since changed due to its use on other blogs and publications) and I began to think that "Dear Designer" needed another voice- one whom I knew quite well.

Enter: Lauren

Lauren was my friend from design school back in the day (and by back in the day, I mean a little more than three years ago). We had kept up since school and she thought the blog was a great idea- so we decided that it would be a lot of fun for her to contribute to it. So as Lauren started "contributing" more and more, she became a regular and we decided to move forward with a new name. About three months later, the MG name and new blog header finally took effect.

Why Material Girls? We both decided that we love fabrics and materials (that was a given)

{Image via Robert Allen}

and we needed a name that was soo original and one that no one had ever ever heard of before....
ok, maybe not- Enter: Madonna

{Madonna, the original Material Girl, performing as Marie at one of her concerts}

I envisioned our mascot, "Material Girl" to be a Marie Antoinette type figure from 18th century France- a time when decor was luxurious, ornate, full of fabrics, pattern and materials to the nines (at least in the palace it was!)

The authentic palace at Versailles

Months went by and a few more posts later, we had made a ton of great blogging friends on here and realized that the Interior Design blogging world is really small and such a nice, close group of people that we learn a ton from each and every's amazing to "meet" other people halfway across the world who share the same kind of passion as we do for Interiors. Blogging has been such a great experience and has since become an addiction that I hope to never give up!

This month we have added a few other blog-ees to Material Girls and that would be Jill from LA, Susan from NY, and Crystal from Chicago...we are looking forward to some other great posts from these ladies and finding out their "go-to" places for design all over the country!


And now that the sappy part is over, it's party time and you are all invited to MG's virtual birthday celebration!

First, we'd pick a swanky venue to host the party at. We wouldn't want the party to be too Marie Antoinette "themey" so we would go in the opposite, more mod direction (but still using Marie's colors as accents-pinks, golds, turquoise, blues, yellows, greens) to complement the black and white decor

We would need the location big enough to accomodate our closest friends/family/MG readers/fellow bloggers/clients but small enough to keep the party intimate and laid back. The venue would have to be at a home (since that is what Material Girls are all about)

We'd probably see if we could rent out Scott Joyce's home in the Hollywood Hills- it's in a great location and the modern, glamorous decor is a Material Girls favorite.

His entry foyer had us at hello- the metallic cowboy boot on the console table reminds us of Material Girl's birthplace (Texas) and we quickly decide that this has got to be the party's location (after Scott consents to it). Chandeliers, metallic accents, mirrors, graphic prints, and floor to ceiling windows draw us to the space.

But wait! We need decorations before the guests arrive! Again, we don't want to go too French themed on you here, so we will stay stylish and current- to coordinate with the black and white scheme in the house, we will add some accent colors that Marie would like- such as yellow! A really trendy combo right now in fashion and decor, but who cares- there's always next year's party to decorate too and I'm sure we will be so over yellow and black by then anyways.

Of course we will need Sarah of Toast and Tables help- we would want her expert advice on where to go for table settings, invitations, party decor, florals, etc.

Ok we are set- time for guests to arrive- the front courtyard with floor to ceiling windows give guests full view of the party as they get there making it easy to locate

The home has a great open floor plan and various seating groups that would work well with lots of party mingling

Gorgeous furniture wrapped in luxe fabrics throughout the space does not go unnoticed...guests take in and appreciate all of the stunning surroundings (especially our fellow design blogger guests- we know they appreciate a beautiful home just as much as we do!)

Guests can also feel free to go explore the house during the party- some of the more private areas in the home are must sees!
Such as this up-to-date charming bedroom that I think a modern day Marie would have appreciated

A gorgeous view and comfortable lounge seating on the patio cause the guests to start to meander outside.

{Images via Point Click Home}

After the meal (which will not be planned by me, as I am the worst cook/hostess ever- I'm surprised this virtual party has even gotten off the ground!) guests will feast on Sprinkles Cupcakes for dessert (this blog post is really making me hungry!)

As it gets darker outside and the number of guests start to dwindle, we wrap up the party and hope to do it again next year.

Can't believe a year has gone by and close to 300 blog posts later, we are still as interested in design as ever! Here's to another year of blogging, new friendships, design gabbing, and much much more in store for Material Girls! Stay tuned and thanks for always feeling up to chatting design with us!