May 29, 2008

NEW from our St. Louis Favorites

More great stuff from a St. Louis favorite: UMA.

I just love their new bamboo screens. These are especially practical if you need to divide a room but don't want to pay for dry wall or don't want a permanent divide. I love the organic feel, the colors and shapes. Starting at $260, they create a lot of drama and interest for the buck.

While they are shown in a contemporary space, I think the screens can complement any style.

From the website:

Roll them, curl them, make them your own shape. These pliable bamboo screens are in many colors; tan, light green, chocolate, turquoise, natural, and black. The undulating top makes them even more fluid and organic. The natural features of the bamboo are accentuated by a light stain. And at only $260 for a 6' x 8' screen, they are amazingly inexpensive for a room divider. We also stock an 8' x 10' version with no scallops and it's priced at only $380!

Visit UMA in downtown St. Louis or on the web at

And here is a shout out to another St. Louis favorite -- Colleen Livingston Mitchell, Photographer and Digital Artist, will show her work at an Art Show opening this Sunday, June 1 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Soulard Coffee Garden, 910 Geyer Ave in St. Louis. I plan to be there with camera in hand and share highlights next week.

May 28, 2008

KJZZ 14 home team's Maria Carr -- a favorite

Friend Maria Carr is launching a new television show -- home team -- where she will be the host on Thursdays. If you are lucky enough to live in Utah or get KJZZ programing, you will catch her exploring anything "homey", as she says.

From the website:

“At Home Thursday”
Someone has said that the most important work a woman does is right inside the home. Maria Carr will show us how it can be fun and rewarding. Maria will coverall things homey, such as cleaning, scrapping, budgeting, decorating, some cooking (for example, Tony Caputo will be a regular guest), shopping, journals, simple car maintenance; basically the whole notion of making a house a home. And don’t forget the kids. Maria will focus on how to manage the greatest of assets in all aspects of home life. She has a cadre of guests who specialize in various aspects of home management.

Read More about Maria -- click here and here. I think we can all look forward to her new cookbook!

As video feeds are available, I will post any related to decorating and especially budget decorating.

Way to go Maria!

May 26, 2008

Wallter Hex Wall Decor

Wallpaper? sculpture? art?

It's all three.

And you are the artist, using hexagon shapes to form a line, random patterns or any pattern you like.

Flexible hexes can be painted any color. Spray paint is recommended.

They are easily adhered to the wall with 3M tape.

For $29 you get 8 shapes in various sizes.

Through Tuesday midnight central they are on sale -- 15% off. Just enter "memorial" on the coupon code. See iloveuma

Cheap, easy and hot...the way we like it.

This gives me an idea using circular shapes. How about cutting 1/2 inch depth shapes from toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls and other cylinder shapes? Or using canning jar lids? Paint and adhere to the wall in random patterns.

What are your ideas?

May 11, 2008

Studies in Color -- Jerry O. Wilkerson

I can't think of a better Mother's Day. I spent it doing what I love with whom I love. My son and I went to the St. Louis University Museum of Art.

Studying color and sharing it with a loved one, how rich and wonderful!

We saw the Jerry O. Wilkerson Retrospective, Discerning Palette. I met the artist's widow, Gail Wilkerson, at the Art of City Living Tour. Gail told me that she has spent this last year managing the estate of her prolific artist husband who sadly passed away last June.

I was excited to see Gail strolling the exhibit today with her mother. Gail said she would be happy to answer my questions and I had tons.
I asked what drew Jerry to express his work in pointillism.

Her answer: "Jerry loved color and light."

Jerry enjoyed seeing what he could do with color, even tiny dots of color, applied to paper, board, canvas, fabric, quilts or sculpture to produce recognizable images of everyday ordinary things, like pears and pizza and reflecting iconic images of popular ure like Fig Newtons.

My son liked all the works, and one of his favorite was of a lemon and Kentucky Fried Chicken in the fridge. Color can be found anywhere, and Jerry O. Wilkerson found it in the refrigerator.

Gail remembers well Jerry's fascination with how fridge light illuminated the colorful items inside. He spent hours viewing the contents, taking photos and observing from different angles.

Now here is a lesson we can learn from the artist. If you are struggling to select a color palette or wall color for your room, have you considered studying color even in ordinary surroundings? Many might stop and study a dazzling sunset, but the fridge?

There is beauty to be seen anywhere there is color and light. And anywhere there is color and light, we can learn.

I love how artists present us with a new perspective. They encourage us to think and react to our surroundings in ways we never imagined.

So when I open the fridge this week, you bet I'll be noticing the color and light.

Learn more about the exhibit -- click here And if you live outside of St. Louis stay tuned, I will share Jerry O. Wilkerson exhibits that are heading your way.

May 4, 2008

My Design Board for the 10th Street Lofts

My design board for 10th Street Lofts, 1010 St. Charles St., St. Louis, MO. (Click on images to see larger view.)

It's been a while since I posted. One thing keeping me busy is my project to design the lobby for the 10th Street Lofts, downtown St. Louis -- 33 loft condos.

I created a design board for the 10th Street Lofts' board to review. Though I have been in business for 5 years plus, this is my first design board. I do mostly residential projects that don't require a full-scale design board, only the random rendering and gathered samples.

While my training has been informal -- I shadowed an interior designer in Bangkok, Thailand years ago -- I have benefited from good friends in the business who have mentored me.

Gina Adolphson, my partner for the Haven of Grace project, taught me how to use the prismacolor pens used on velum paper for architectural drawings. She also passed on tips for indicating certain features of the project. At the end of our three hour "training", Gina said: "There, you just got two semesters worth of training in three hours!"

Wow, I owe her.

I know I have much to learn, but I am proud of my first design board. It was tons of work, probably 40 hours total.

Here are the highlights:

My rendering of the corner seating area. The lamp is purposefully drawn over-scale because it is an over-scale lamp, very contemporary, very cool. I rendered this on velum using prismacolor pens that Gina Adolphson lent me. Thanks Gina!

The artwork in the space will be framed in antique (or look-alike) frames painted a high-gloss white. This is a nod to the past with a contemporary twist. The photos or artwork will represent the history of the area buildings when it was the heart of the garment district in St. Louis.

We anticipate partnering with the Missouri History Museum to tell the story using advertisements and photos of the period. We'll colorize these in pop colors for a modern twist. Around the corner will be a display in a more traditional treatment -- museum gallery style -- that will further tell the story.

My rendering of the floor plan was tricky. I wanted to show the amazing floor we are proposing using a new material, a chameleon floor that changes colors with the light and depending where you are standing looks either emerald green or warm steel gray. To my knowledge, this floor has never been introduced in St. Louis. It was proposed to us by Decorative Concrete.

Below photos show the chameleon affect. In the above floor plan I tried to show how the light hitting the floor from the windows brings out the green hue. The overall appearance is a ed look, similar to stained concrete, but more iridescent and changing with the light.

In the upper left-hand corner of the board I presented photos from the early time period, the buildings and people in industry. The Merchandise Mart building is highlighted in orange. The 10th Street Lofts was an annex to the Merchandise Mart, used for various purposes including storage and label making for the garment district.

Most loft buildings in the area have very small lobbies. Ours is nearly 800 square feet, almost two to three times the size of most downtown lobbies. We believe our ample space presents us with a great opportunity to highlight the history of the area. We are grateful for the Missouri History Museum's interest to partner on this project.

Above is an elevation -- one dimensional -- of the mailbox unit wall that will be a focal wall when you enter the lobby. On that wall will be artwork we commission from a graphic designer to highlight items of industry. The table below the artwork will be granite or marble 12 inches deep set on two concrete pillars. We already have the concrete pillars salvaged from the building. The wall will be covered in orange vinyl wall covering. The adjacent elevator surrounds will be a bright, almost lime-green.

The lobby will be industrial in feel. We are leaving the brick and steel walls. Everywhere else we are accenting with lime green and sun-kissed orange. The elevator doors and other doors in the space will be purple, a deep rich plum.

This project has my heart because it is so meaningful and colorful -- telling a story through design gives a space presence beyond its utilitarian purpose. I imagine those who crossed the thresholds of industry long ago to build this great city would be proud that we remember them.

Cross your fingers that our lobby project proceeds as planned!