New Beginnings; VARV the blog

For those of you who have been following our design blog, GEORGE, you've become quite familiar with our star blogger Saara. Saara has entertained and informed us for the past year with her witty postings on furniture to fingernails and everything in between. But alas, it is on to greener pastures and Saara has started her own lifestyle blog which is adeptly written, "through the eyes of an interior designer." Thankfully for us, she will still remain a special contributor, and you can continue to come here to read her Sunday postings.

You won't want to miss this beautiful new blog she's calling VARV, so check it out! Wishing you all the best Saara!!

Au Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, India

I wanted to share this magazine spread from my Winter 2011 French Elle Decor of Au Falaknuma Palace turned hotel in Hyderabad, India. The palace was built in 1884 by the Prime Minister of Hyderabad and was intended to represent "heaven on earth." The design was a hybrid of 19th-Century popular European style. The palace was occupied by India's 7th nizam (prince) who at the time was the wealthiest man in the world. After his death, the palace fell into disrepair until it was restored (14 years and US$35 mil!) and reopened last year by Taj Hotels and Resorts as a luxury hotel. As if I didn't already want to visit India... now I really have a reason to go! Without going into great detail, I will let the beauty of these opulent rooms speak for themselves:

GEORGE Projects, Little Bear

Just to keep things interesting, I decided to show Little Bear this week, my own house in the mountains. (I promise I'll reveal more Westwind Residence next Thursday for those of you who have commented and e-mailed!!)

Also, congratulations to my SISTER & B-I-L on the birth of their 2nd child, Charlotte Elizabeth!!!!

This is our decidedly moody blue stairwell gallery...

A far cry from where it began a few months ago before the wood paneling was painted white, carpeting replaced, walls lacquered blue and gallery of art finds mounted!!

And after seeing these pictures, I have decided to go ahead and mount the mirror (in addition to 1 or 2 more mirrors of varying sizes), in the same fashion on that back wall.

For more on Little Bear progress, click here:

Tuesday Terms

Running Bond. Name for pattern in which the row of brick (or Subway tile) alternate instead of being right on top of each other as seen here in this February House Beautiful "Kitchen of the Month."

Kitchen Design by Michael Del Piero and Joseph Decker.

Nocturnal Trend Spotting

While pregnant, I developed quite the nightlife! Watching television that is... in the wee hours of the morning... and now for baby Selby's 3am feeding! While some people complain about losing the sleep, I've always sort of felt like I actually found an hour of "me" time and have come to enjoy it! (I particularly love Hulu and Netflix if I'm up at an hour when nothing good is on regular TV).

While tuning in for these quality television shows, I've spotted a trend that I love (oops, I just missed Christmas). I think I saw one of the lovely ladies of Married to Rock wearing it or maybe a Kardashian... anyways I'm loving this "thumb hole" concept...

I found these sweaters with thumb holes on Shop Style's website (such a GREAT website)! (1) Juicy Couture House of Juicy with Thumbholes (2) Enza Costa Cotton with Sweater with Thumbholes and (3) Enza Costa Cashmere Shawl Cardigan with Thumbholes.

Happy Shopping!

GEORGE Projects, Westwind Residence

As promised, today I'm posting a few photos of the Westwind Residence Living Room as it took shape. The clients, a very hip, young couple with a shared Indian heritage, desired a "world" vibe running throughout their 3 level townhouse. While they understood the need for a sense of design continuity between the rooms, they wanted each of the 4 spaces we touched to be uniquely different. The living room was to be the most formal. Some of the knock-out pieces we used were as follows:

(1) Moroccan poufs, Serena and Lily; (2) the RAND cocktail table in metal and glass, Room & Board; (3) an Italian Leather Sofa in Cream; Rapport in LA; (4) Thomas Marquetry Chest, HD Buttercup; (5) Ellipse Side Table, HD Buttercup; (6) Indonesian teak carving, Clients; (7) LARS Freestanding Bar, HD Buttercup; (8) 8' x 10', 100% Wool, Hand-knotted, vegetable dyed Rug, Designer Resource in LA

But before the furniture can even be sourced, a space plan must be considered (& approved by the client)...

We know you like to see the room take shape... here was an early morning shot with draperies and the stunning entry chandelier being installed...

And at last, the completed room (a very beautiful transformation we think!):

Next Thursday... the Family Room Reveal!

MEANINGful Monday

Inverted Box Pleat Draperies on Rings. A more tailored looking alternative to a pinch pleated drape. A box pleat is a flat double pleat that is formed by evenly folding under the fabric on either side of the pleat. This forms a loop on the face of the fabric that is then flattened against the face of the fabric, making a “box” shape, and sewn into place.

Photo Credit: February 2011 House Beautiful, Interior Design by Erin Martin.

Westwind Residence Reveal!

Just before the holidays, Saara and I braved our way through LA traffic (Saara) and potentially going into labor (Emily), to meet at the Westwind Residence in Marina del Rey for a very ambitious 4 room installation. It was a remarkably orchestrated event considering the art hangers, drapery installers, electricians, movers, designers and clients all sharing the same space and all equally important to the projects' overall success! ENJOY this montage of photos of the nearly completed living room. We are still awaiting our lounge chairs but feast your eyes on that INCREDIBLE chandelier... wow...

If you like what you see... stay tuned because I'll post some of the individual items from the living room next week. And of course there are 3 more rooms yet to show you!!!

MEANINGful Monday

Hepplewhite. Name for an 18th Century English design style made popular by cabinetmaker George Hepplewhite. The Hepplewhite Style is most easily identified by the elegant "Shield" chair back. Another popular version of a Hepplewhite chair is this beautiful "Heart" back chair featured here:

Photo Credit: February 2011 House Beautiful, Interior Design by Gideon Mendelson
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