Monday, April 29, 2013

BLOG ENVY: Brown Dress with White Dots


All images found on Brown Dress with White Dots
I am supposed to be writing a blog for a client right now, but i just found Brown Dress with White Dots  and am experiencing total blog envy. Every image makes me feel like I am in an old section of Europe peering in on some fine relic of the culture and I xoxo feeling that way.

There are compelling time worn interiors.

There are pretty dresses to covet.

This is not a site to visit when you are hungry, because the grainy breads, drippy jam, and luscious cakes will send you right to the fridge in search of something satisfying.

Also, if you are on the fence about getting a dog, you will probably go out and get one after seeing all the cute ones on this site.

And for those times when you may be doubting your self-worth, here's a rock's worth of wisdom that I found here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

BLOG ENVY: mr and mrs charlie


All images, here and below, from mr and mrs charlie
I confess that the tiny swimming sperm on the landing page of mr and mrs charlie did engage my curiosity, but what captured my heart were the photos that I since discovered.

Photo after photo shows weathered, used and useful, earthy, found, broken, collected objects 

 in naturally lit, textured, layered spaces

As every yin needs its yang, my penchant for bold happy colors and spunky patterns cedes to tamer neutrals and worn surfaces every once in a while. There amongst the mellow-dramatic surroundings I gain access to a different mental place where I enjoy lingering sometimes.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

GIMME SHELTER PART 3: The "Pinch Me" Reveal


(The big reveal show just aired, so now I can post my perspective thru my pictures.)

It was on Valentine's Day when Joy Stewart went back to live in her four bedroom home. The Designing Spaces Dream Team had been working diligently on a remodel that included light structural repairs, a new paint job inside and out, a renovated kitchen, a household of new furniture and decorative accessories, and a couple of televisions. Up to a half hour before the dramatic reveal, the house was still being tweaked. Last minute adjustments included hanging art and mirrors, and putting the TVs together.
The living room furnished with new leather seating from Standard Furniture is pretty much done.
Tuesday Morning Ladies: Wendy Moses-Mearls, Florida district manager, and Cindy Kahn, director of merchandising at home base in Dallas are still accessorizing the kitchen.
o2's Media Director Amanda Duggan is on TV assembling duty
Joe Campbell puts the finishing touches on the front entrance.
Meanwhile a crowd assembled outdoors. There were teachers and cops. There were executives and volunteers from participating non-profits. There were city officials. There were reporters and camera crews and representatives from the Miami Dolphins organization.
Wayne Roustan reported on the story for the Sun Sentinel. Here he interviews head Dream Team carpenter Joe Campbell.
Host Debi and David with Rebuilding Together Broward's Executive Director Sandra Einhorn and President Allan Weiss

Ed Greeley (center) of Sleep Pro with his wife and biz partner
 Local commissioners Gary Frankel and David Hilton
Neighborhood friends hanging out with Michael the amazing volunteer

Former Dolphins player Troy Drayton came along to share in the spirit of giving.

Joy finally arrives at the scene
All teary eyes on Joy.

KC did not bring the sunshine but he did give Joy her new keys.
Going in the new house for the first time.
 Joy, her kids, and manufacturers alike were all speaking words of praise and gratitude. The benefits of both giving and receiving were apparent. Joy's oldest son Michael, age 24, called the event "truly life changing."

Now that she has a trundle bed in her  pink and princessy room, 7-year old Keneaka can have sleepovers 
 Standard Furniture's armoire features beaded trim and floral mounts

Kids from the neighborhood peek through the window. After the taping, they were invited in.
The eat-in kitchen, with a new bar height gathering spot, is now a cheerful space for meals, homework, and passing time.
Tuesday morning supplied accessories such as cookware, art, and bedding.
"I get to sleep in my own bed, have my own space and covers."
"We never had a surprise like this before in our life!"
Checking out the goody bags from the Dolphins organization.
And in Joy's words...
"Pinch me I want to see if it's real!"

Joy (with Deputy Ragauskas) placed the experience "somewhere between 9th cloud and infinity."
When I left, Joy was happily testing out her new Sleep Zero Gravity bed -- the first one of its kind in Florida. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GIMME SHELTER, PART 2 - "The Writer Gets the Story"

want need xoxo

Designing Spaces Head Writer Trent Meeks, in blue shirt, at the reveal show.
Trent Meeks loves his job. For over 10 years, the college lit major has been head writer at Designing Spaces TV. While Trent scripts a ton of individual 6 minute segments about products or services that offer solutions to common household problems, these multi-part emotionally compelling "Spaces of Hope" series give him an opportunity to string his words for a cause. Creating a storyline that pairs willing and generous partners with grateful recipients feels especially rewarding.

For the current "Spaces of Hope" show, Trent jump-started the creative process in Joy Stewart's backyard where he and Joy spent the better part of an afternoon chatting. Trent did not bring a recording device, nor did he sit opposite Joy scribbling down notes. He listened intently with the primary goal of making Joy feel relaxed and comfortable enough to share her personal story. "There are things I learned that are not in the show. Joy is reliving things that are quite painful." he says. Later, he would return to the office and start outlining the main points.

Trent works closely with director Carl Smith (center) who keeps the action moving along.
While each Designing Spaces Dream Team member has a specific role, these two and three-part shows are huge collaborations. Trent, along with the director and executive producer, organize the storyline.   they must give air time to the show's partners while and making sure to capture the emotional angle too. In this particular series, an abbreviated list of players includes non-profits such as Rebuilding Together and Kids in Distress, the Broward County Sheriffs Office, plus national manufacturers such as Standard Furniture, Dow Chemical, and Sleep Pro Bedding, and local retailers such as Tuesday Morning and Budget Blinds.

Joe Campbell is Designing Spaces chief construction guy.
Furniture will soon be unpacked

Volunteers keep the progress moving along.
Trent and his colleagues set the pace so that the story unfolds proportionally between all 3 episodes. They set the stage, explain the problem, and then work on a solution. Since this is a renovation project, the first show tackles some of the structural issues with latter episodes focused more on decorating. Trent acknowledges that the biggest challenge is maintaining a balance between all show components so they work in conjunction and don't feel forced, canned, or gratuitous. He's got to get the commercial messages of the show's partners across, while entertaining and enlightening the audience
Trent provides the show's hosts with a basic script which they can personalize.
Basically, Trent's got to keep everyone talking  -- including the show's hosts Debi Marie and David Jones with whom he has worked for a long time. Trent knows their best points. He provides parameters for setting the scene but never makes them "slaves to my verbiage." Trent says, "They take it and make it ther own."
Trent Meeks has a pretty cool career and he's done a really fine job with this show.

Part 2 airs Thursday a.m. at 76:30 AM on Lifetime.
To see Part 1 featuring Joy Stewart, click here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blog Envy: Batixa

Screen shots of my newest favorite tumblr.
Batixa is a Tumblr that I could scroll through forever. One pretty photo after another. Casual lived in interiors with occasional fashion interspersed. Lots of  objects basking in natural light. Pure yum.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NEED: Gimme Shelter

Pre-makeover: Joy Stewart's House "as was".

On February 14th, on a modest street in the Kimberly Village section of North Lauderdale, FL I attended my very first LIVE reality TV home makeover reveal. Just like when I watch it on TV, I cried. But unlike when I watch it at home, I joined by many teary-eyed folk including police officers, neighbors, teachers, executives, local politicians, TV producers,  and reporters as we anticipated the Designing Spaces's Dream Team welcoming Joy Stewart and her four grandchildren into their newly renovated home.
There was a police escort on Welcome Home Day
News crews waited to capture unrehearsed emotion.
Joy and her family join hosts Debi Marie and David Jones and KC from KC and the Sunshine Band for a moment before going inside their newly refurbished digs.
The transformation was a community effort that began in December, after a detective and a deputy from the Broward County Sheriff's office discovered Joy Stewart and the ill-equipped, unhealthy, and unsafe house where she was raising her grandchildren. Joy stepped up to the plate when the kids were abandoned by their mother. The officers raised money within the department and solicited donations from stores so that Joy and her family could have food, hot water, new clothes, and toys over the holiday. Officer Doug Lashbrook  told me, "We see it all and are numb to a lot of things, but this hit a soft spot."
The kitchen had no "hearth of the home" personality nor working fridge
Flooring had taken a beating over the years.
As the holiday spirit evaporated, the officers urged Joy to apply for assistance at Rebuilding Together Broward, a non-profit that assists needy home owners -- especially those who are elderly, disabled and veterans -- with home repairs so that their primary shelter can be safe, secure, and manageable. RTB reached out to Designing Spaces TV who put their Dream Team on the case immediately. The two entities rallied support from Kids in Distress, The Miami Dolphins, Tuesday Morning, Standard Furniture and others.

stay tuned for transformation.
I cannot show you anymore of the "after" part. I am sworn to reality TV secrecy.

The story unfolds in 3 parts on Lifetime. The first episode airs tomorrow, April 4th, 7:30 a.m. The 2nd and 3rd parts will air on Designing Spaces on April 11th and 18th respectively.