Taylor Swift

November 29, 2014

Taylor 7I’m not going to lie, I used to hate Taylor Swift (sorry Taylor).  Her first few songs while catchy seemed out of tune to me and I thought she was all flash and no talent.  I was wrong.  She has proven herself to be first and foremost, a good singer as well as a good song writer and the package is tasteful, pretty and she someone I wouldn’t mind my daughter (if I had one) looking up to.  She’s the real deal.

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I know 48 year old men (yes, I’m 48… get over it I have) like myself are not the target audience for Taylor, but thats the genius of Taylor Swift.  Her tunes are so catchy and good we ALL like them, even those who still resist, find them selves humming one of here tunes after hearing it in the grocery store, the elevator or the DMV.  I’m not asking you to love her if it’s just not your cup of tea but do me a small favor and read the bio below, and then tell me she isn’t pretty amazing.

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24 year-old Taylor Swift is a seven-time GRAMMY winner, and is the youngest winner in history of the music industry’s highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. She is the only female artist in music history (and just the fourth artist ever) to twice have an album (2012’s RED and 2010’s Speak Now) hit the 1 million first-week sales figure.

With RED, Taylor became the first artist since the Beatles (and the only female artist in history) to log six or more weeks at #1 with three consecutive studio albums. RED has topped the Billboard 200 Albums Chart for seven weeks, following Fearless (11 weeks), and Speak Now (six weeks).

With more than 1.2 million copies sold in the U.S. in its first week, RED scored the highest first-week sales debut of any album in over a decade, had the 8th largest first-week debut in chart history, and marked the 2nd biggest week ever for a female artist. Taylor’s lead single from RED, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” set a new record for the biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman, and for the second-largest sales week overall.

With RED, Taylor also set a new worldwide iTunes record for highest ever first-week album sales, and RED reached #1 on iTunes and national sales charts in 50 countries, including the UK, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Ireland, Argentina, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia. The RED Tour heads to Europe in 2014.

In early 2012, Taylor’s Speak Now album was lauded on Rolling Stone’s prestigious The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time (by women) list, and Time magazine has named Taylor one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She is Billboard’s youngest-ever Woman of the Year, and her more than 100 industry award wins have included the American Music Awards’ Artist of the Year (twice), the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year (both also twice), and three European Music Awards. Taylor is also the most awarded star in the history of the Teen Choice Awards, taking home honors for both music and movies.

Taylor, who writes all of her own songs, has career record sales in excess of 26 million albums and 75 million song downloads worldwide, and her two most recent albums are two of only 18 albums in the entire history of music to sell more than 1 million copies in a single week. She has had singles top both the country and pop radio charts around the globe, and has thus far scored 13 #1 singles across multiple radio formats. She is one of the top 5-selling digital music artists worldwide, and is the top-selling digital artist in country music history.

Taylor is Billboard’s reigning Artist of the Year and holds the Billboard records for the Most Top 10 Debuts in the History of the Hot 100 Chart, the Most Charting Songs from One Album in a Single Week, and the Longest Charting Album on the Top 200 Chart.

This year, the North American portion of Taylor’s RED Tour played to more than 1.36 million fans over 66 shows (including 13 stadium stops) in 47 cities in 29 states and 3 provinces spanning 6 months. And, starting in late November, Taylor will take her RED Tour, which Rolling Stone dubbed “a massively excellent show,” Down Under, performing stadium shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as arena dates in Auckland. Swift will be the first solo female artist in twenty years to undertake a national stadium concert tour of Australia.

Her SPEAK NOW World Tour played 111 shows to more than 1.5 million fans in sold-out stadiums and arenas in 19 countries spanning four continents in 2011 and 2012. Her 107-date FEARLESS 2009/2010 Tour sold out arenas and stadiums in 88 cities in five countries.

Taylor voiced the character of Audrey in the 2012 hit movie “Dr. Seuss’s The LORAX,” and has written the end credit song “Sweeter Than Fiction” for the movie “One Chance,” a bio pic of Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts. She also contributed two songs to the soundtrack of the movie “The Hunger Games,” winning a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media, and earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. She has hosted Saturday Night Live, appeared in the Garry Marshall film “Valentine’s Day,” and guest-starred on the Emmy-winning TV drama CSI.

*This biography taken from MTV.com

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So, a friend and fellow designer John De Bastiani posted an image of this sweet little house on his Facebook page the other day and I immediately recognized the bunkroom picture from a shelter magazine… I have loved and coveted this room for a long time.  And now, I glad to know who created this beautiful and respectful tiny house, Jessica Helgerson.   09

With more than 15 years of experience designing residential and commercial interiors Jessica creates interiors that are typically clean and uncluttered.  Adept at many styles, she is happy to be guided by her clients’ individual needs and tastes as any good decorator is.  Jessica likes to start by considering what the best design for the client might be while considering the best design for the building or space.  Her goal is to ensure that the fundamental design and the materials are classic, long lasting, and appropriate to the building and its period. She likes to layer on fresh, contemporary elements—such as lighting, furniture, and art—that feel just right for the clients and for the moment. I’m a fan, and if I wasn’t a control freak.. I’d hire her to do my next house.  Just look at this tiny house she designed!

01This little house is where Jessica and her family have been living for the last several years. It sits on a five-acre property on Sauvie Island, an agricultural island on the Columbia River 15 minutes north of Portland.

The house is an interesting experiment in reduction and reuse not only because it is only 540 square feet or because it was remodeled using nearly exclusively reclaimed materials, but because the building itself is now being recycled for the fourth time. It was first built in the early 1940s as part of Vanport Village; a quickly erected development built to house shipyard workers. When Vanport Village flooded in 1948 this particular little house was floated down the river to Sauvie Island, where it became the goose-check station. Years later it was remodeled to become a rental house.


When Jessica and Yianni bought the property in late 2008, they decided to remodel it without adding to the existing footprint. Their first step was to redesign the interior for maximum space efficiency. A ‘great room’ houses the kitchen, dining room and living room with large, comfortable, built in sofas that double as twin beds for guests. Drawers under the sofas hold children’s toys and a wall of shelves houses books and more. The ceiling was opened up in the main space, but the bathroom and bedroom have lower ceilings to accommodate the parent’s sleeping loft above, accessible by a walnut ladder. The children’s room has two bunk beds as well as a full bed for guests. A pull-out closet makes maximum use of the narrow space near the bunk beds.

New high-efficiency windows come right down to the sofas and offer a fun way for kids and cats to enter and exit the house. The walls were insulated, then faced in reclaimed wood siding, most of which was found on site in one of the barns. The

new floors are local Oregon white oak, and the dining table was made from locally salvaged walnut. The range is a vintage Craigslist find, and the tub was a salvaged from a friend’s demolition site. A wood-burning stove easily and efficiently heats the small house.


As part of the remodel, the worn out roof was replaced with a green roof, planted with moss and ferns gathered along the Columbia River Gorge. The green roof offers insulation as well as a playful visual counterpoint to the traditional white cottage.

Despite its size, the house is welcoming and comfortable and nearly every weekend it is full of family and friends coming from Portland to enjoy a day in the countryside. In addition to living in a small footprint, Yianni and Jessica have been working towards food self-sufficiency. Their first year on the property they built a 1200-square-foot green house, planted vegetable gardens, rows of berries, and fruit trees. They are also raising chickens for meat and eggs, keeping bees, and making cheese from the milk of a neighbor’s goats and cows.



*Much of this text was taken directly from Jessica’s website, with the intention of “getting it right” and sending the intended “message” out of respect for Jessica, her brand and her work.  

I’m all about paying respect, honoring craft and celebrating others in my field.  Please click on the web address above to see Jessica’s full website.

And now for something completely different.  I shop everywhere, the gift show in NYC, local antique stores, the showroom I work for as well as Ebay, 1st Dibs and ETSY.  Well I was scanning ESTY for cool things the other day and came across the amazing work of Mary Malley.  um, Hello! I am crazy for these beautiful pieces.  Mary is a ceramic artist creating out of a barn on the south shore of Long Island. Her ESTY store is a dedicated to the ceramic functional wares she loves to make!  Please click over and see more of her work www.etsy.com and for additional information you can visit her website at www.maryomalleyceramics.com. Mary makes custom cremation urns, I might have to get one for myself… Not that I’ll need it anytime soon!  For more information please visit http://www.youveurnedit.com  If you have any questions or are looking for something in particular feel free to contact her at: mary@maryomalleyceramics.com


Here is her artists statement:  After receiving my BFA from The University of the Arts and living In Philadelphia I recently returned to my home near the ocean on Long Island, NY. Using my skills as a potter trained in traditional English and Japanese techniques I began to create a series of formal functional pieces to which I applied small sea creatures. The images are inspired by memories from my childhood and new familiar surroundings. Covering formal ware in crustaceans – which in real life have an unforgiving ferocity – has interested me because it is a reminder that no matter how much we try to control the creation of what we think is beautiful, uncontrollable forces like nature usually end up taking over. What truly excites me (and keeps me needing to make more) is marrying my love of functional porcelain pottery and a whimsical (or ferocious?) underwater world that mars the formality of each piece. The journey I take in deciding how to incorporate and compose these underwater elements with the service ware it is enveloping is what makes each piece completely unique. In the end one type of beauty is made more beautiful by co-existing with its foil, resulting in two completely different aesthetics existing harmoniously as one piece. 

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Not just a pretty face… Neal Beckstedts interiors are as easy on the eyes as he is.  He describes his style as “modest luxury”.  The Manhattanite creates spaces that are modern yet warm, layered but clean and has worked with high profile clients like fashion star Derek Lam. A self-described “farm boy from Ohio,” Beckstedt says that his home state has had a major impact on his mind-set.  Neal worked with S. Russell Groves for almost a decade before opening his own studio in 2010. Authority, functionality, and a Scandinavian-style appreciation of how natural light enriches such honest, straightforward materials as nubby wool, polished wood, stainless steel, and velvety plaster are hallmarks of his work. No matter the location Beckstedt’s style always lends itself to interiors for  living rather than for simply admiring.   Get to know more of Neal on his website: nbeckstedtstudio.com






This year is all about celebrating the people behind the great design we see in clothing, marketing, building, architecture, jewelry, furniture, fine art, cars and yes… Interiors.  Monochromatic Love is a blog post from the Wedding Blog by Melissa Baum.  This woman knows chic and should be consulted for any and all things wedding.  I instantly fell in love with her images, attention to detail and  creative ideas, so I’m sharing it with you… pay it forward.  If you have a wedding coming up or a loved one does… please consult her blog for more good ideas than you have the time or money for, seriously… but you will get some great ideas and confirm others, I promise!  Her Words:

To tell you all the truth, ombre highlights is what really inspired this post!  Why not bring the ever popular hair do to the wedding scene?!  Known as monochromatic in wedding world – it means using only one color.  Now one color does not mean one shade. That is really the beauty of this! You choose one color and go nuts within your palette.  Taking tips from my favorite bride Trista from the Bachelorette, who went monochromatic in pink with chairs and flowers ranging from light to dark shades. (Picture from her wedding shown below) This colour shade trend is anything but shady! 

(the ombre text was my idea, that was me… I did that) lol.

The Pinks.

The Blues.

The Yellows.

The Greens.

The Purples.

Bill Ingram – Architect

January 3, 2013


Facebook is a crazy and great place.  It’s where friends are made, kept, re-made, and where family, friends stay in touch and sometimes friends of friends of friends turn into friends.  Bill Ingram is someone I have never met, but I’m friends with a member of his staff and now we are acquainted via Facebook.  His work is some of the best I’ve seen in a very long time.  Bill’s work can have a whimsy, but it’s not silly,  It says quality and luxe without being unnecessarily extravagant,  it’s updated and fresh but it has the look that it might have been there forever.  Frankly his work is so top-notch, I’m fearful that I won’t do it justice.  Enjoy these images and click over to his website to see more of his beautiful work.  
579836_10152138414965615_1635416157_n five two551040_10151437592060615_1586732844_n 304743_10151983055905615_645750673_n 538993_10151983056595615_918053669_n 385568_10151983057285615_1595166884_n Enjoy more of Bill’s work here: http://billingramarchitect.com


Black & White

January 1, 2013

The white painted brick, white beams, black floor… yes please. The painted ceiling and brick, although painted white offer great texture and depth. Most people think of black and white interiors as pretty last-luster but this pallet is the perfect back drop for and  lets art and furnishings stand out.

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

DHD Architecture modern loft interiors

ALL WORK BY: http://www.davidhowell.net