It’s About Time! Love, Inspiration

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 I decided to start expanding what I like to do on my down time with activities more enriching to my life. In the last two weeks I attended a fashion show , saw a play at the Art Center , and went to a regional cheerleading competition.   
    Sometimes in the hub bub of everyday life I forget to make time to be inspired.  We have all felt the feeling, the “aha moment” you want to tell all your friends about because you can’t believe you came up with it. You could argue that inspiration can hit you at any moment and I agree, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about setting aside specific seconds to dwell on something beautiful, watch a crowd of people move through a public area, brush your teeth with the opposite hand,  or to listen to something other than top forty on the radio (this one is especially difficult for me.) Make it a priority to be inspired by breaking out of routine.
    When I was at the play at the Art Center I was of course listening to the performers as best as my attention span would allow, but I was also surveying the audience. Picking out individual laughs in the crowd when the performers said something funny, and noticing small details about the man’s suit on stage. My phone was on silent and put away in my jacket pocket. I was unplugged.  At first this made me feel a little stir crazy and unnatural, but as the lights got dim I felt myself slip away from the thoughts of the day and I began to concentrate.  I was letting myself be absorbed into the environment as an observer.
    I walked out of that play more inspired than I had been in weeks. The idea flood gates burst wide open. Not having a purse big enough to fit a pen so I could write some things down, was my biggest problem that night.
    As a former cheerleader I felt her pain. I was sitting in the front row watching two little girls perform a dance routine they had been practicing for months. During their routine, they climbed up and on a barstool and jumped off. One of the girls didn’t quite jump correctly and did a face plant. Everyone held their breath.  I saw this little girl wipe the tears of embarrassment away and start her performance over again. She didn’t give up. She was there to win. Her willpower that day reminded those of us that saw her, we too have the courage to hold fast. We were inspired.
    The fashion show was not so easy. Nothing obvious happened to make me want to search for a pen. Sure, the clothes and the models were great and I was with some fabulous company, but I was restless. There wasn’t enough champagne in the world to keep me from checking my phone every two minutes. I had anticipated inspiration, yet my expectations sabotaged my opportunity to gain. Sometimes, inspiration isn’t the pursuing lover you want it to be; sometimes it is the coy one. 

Big Daddy Deco is Coming Home.

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Recently I was out with a couple of close friends for dinner, and the conversation shifted to furniture. I told them about how when I was in college there were a few of pieces of furniture that single handedly made me want to be a designer.  The simple design of the Eames recliner, the clever curves of the Panton chair and one haunting masterpiece, Ghost chair changed my life. Eventually, the conversation turned into a rally for Art Deco and its long awaited return to the spotlight.

Bringing Back the D
I predict that soon people will be buying vintage art deco furniture in place of the currently popular Mid Century Modern.  I’m not saying people will abandon the Eames; all I’m saying is that the days of deco being underestimated, will soon be over. The style itself is funky with curves, lines, and geometric shapes.  Its good quality made of solid wood and the detail and decorative elements make it an excellent investment. Whereas most style movements were created with religious or political references Art Deco was created to be purely decorative.

My Grandma told me this last Christmas that when her and my “Pop” were newly married the thing to do was to go to the furniture store and buy an entire house worth of furniture that matched. All the wood furniture in your home was the same color. The curtains and the upholstery were the same. Eclectic was considered tacky. She told me about her matching set that was a lovely shade of blonde wood, everything she said, was the same. What I wouldn’t do for that furniture now! She then told me that having lived through a variety of styles she felt that now was the best time to design a home. “Now-a-days you can decorate your home with anything!” She is right, in time when it is acceptable to approach your home as a well-coordinated tossed salad why would we make pea soup? Embracing various styles in your home, whether they are new or old, is the modern approach to interior design.

Will Art Deco match the rest of the stuff in my house?
Absolutely! This style was based on eclecticism, a collection of the best in cultural influence. Much of the style combines African, Aztec, Egyptian, and French design. With the perfect blend of masculine and feminine elements, Art Deco can be a nice balance to anchor a room as a focal point, or as an enhancement to the current look of your home.

Who’s down with the Deco?
This style is for anyone that appreciates good quality furniture and that enjoys having some flare in their home. I would also recommend it for the smart person that reads my blog.


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We all have them, they are irresistible. When I am walking the aisles of TJMaxx or scouring the local thrift store for vintage gems they call to me like little kittens that just want a home. I want them all! Personally I have a “small” obsession with animal tchotchkes. It’s almost getting ridiculous how many of them I have committed to dusting (which let’s be honest, I don’t do.) The newest addition to the family is a bright pink deer covered in pink velvet. I spent $24 on this, that’s like twelve iced coffees from Starbucks! For me to give up iced coffee ever is pretty remarkable. This spectacular deer has transformed I believe, the look of my living room. I placed it with care on a dresser downstairs and watched how a boring surface became interesting and a source of conversation.
 Not all tchotchkes are so lucky. I have a cabinet full of animal ones, random rocks I thought were pretty, origami, pots, vases, figurines, and decorative non-functional plates. It eventually turns into an issue when u feel guilty to throw it out, but it takes up space, and you really do like it, but what good does that do if you have nowhere to put It, because you bought a new one last time you went to Pier One.  Once I had a yard sale and discovered I had seven lava lamps hiding in closets. I guess at some point I will need a bigger house to hold all my “sitty aroundy things.” So the point of this post is to say A. I have a problem, and B. here are some tips for avoiding the trap of the tchotchke and how to repurpose the ones you already have.

Categorize the ones you have now.  Even if you have the most random collection on the planet you should still be able to find some theme that ties them together. You could start with height, shape, or if you’re like me, animals. Use this as a guide in placing them around the home. Keep similar ones together. Or if you chose to categorize by color, keep the same colored ones together.  If it’s scale keep small with small and large with large.

Relocate = repurpose. I am a big fan of changing accents in the home seasonally. In the spring I like to put out accent pillows in lighter colors and put out bolder ones in the fall. Do this with your tchotchkes, don’t leave the same ones out all the time every year. That is like wearing the same earrings every day for the rest of your life, and unless they are canary diamond earrings you should change it up. By placing tchotchkes in different locations it can change the look of them. Be sure to pick locations where they will not be in the way of everyday life. It’s no good to put it on the bathroom counter if you’re going to knock it over every day.

Give yourself a limit. Ways to limit yourself would be to pick one surface per room to tchotchke up, or limit yourself by how many you will put out. A rule I tell clients is five per room unless it is a set. Too many means too much to look at. When there is too much to look at you will not notice the individual awesomeness of the ones you have, you will not notice why you bought them in the first place. The bright pink deer that I have in my livingroom is the only tchotchske in that space.  My reason for that is because it is bright pink! Also the scale is about the same as my Pomeranian. If I put anything else next to it you would never notice it because the deer commands so much attention. Keep this in mind when deciding where to put your decorative items. Sometimes one is enough. Avoid the temptation of covering every surface. 

Transform the tchotchke. For this I like to go with scale as the determining category. Buy a can of black matte spray paint or white high gloss and spray them.  Then place them in an organized way on your fireplace mantel. They will take on the look of a set because you have made them all the same color and kept them the same size. Cover them in red or gold glitter and suddenly they are a holiday decoration. This can also be a way of making dollar store figurines look more expansive if you are on a budget. My aunt Lori has a collection of antique tea cups that is amazing. She doesn’t clutter every surface with them. As tempting as it is to show them off year round, she has repurposed them by hanging them on her Christmas tree as ornaments.  

Finally, how to avoid the trap of the tchotchke you haven’t bought yet. My Mom always told me that if you could not think of a place you were going to put it before you bought it you probably will not find a place after you bought it. So true! Trust me, I have tried to find a way around this for years! Unless it is your great grandmother’s antiques that you inherited, you should probably say no if you have no idea where you are going to put it.  Some of us are not as visual as others so if that is the case try to think of the function it will serve. What is it you are going for? Will it be in the way? If you have kids will you be ok with them playing with it, which they eventually will do even if you tell them no.