Hush, Violet Hours and Patience

Hush is the name of the color that cloaks the walls, mixed with metallic silver at the top of it’s arched neck, shimmering as it meets the ceiling. I have been working with this client over the past couple years and the project continues to be a work in progress, all for the love of vintage finds, a violet palate, and sweet patience.

Together, we have carefully restored an Art Deco rosewood and walnut dresser, ebonized a sleek lingerie chest, revived a vintage, Murano, leaf chandelier, and created a master bath, which has become the quiet respite every hardworking woman deserves. One of the adored pieces found for the bathroom is an antique painted armoire from Italy, which has been repurposed to store bath towels and robes, fashioned with lock and key.

Lush velvet textiles were selected for seated stools and beige and lavender pillows by Kevin O’Brien Studio, accessorize the sculptural club chairs upholstered in champagne silk. In the master bedroom metal accents were re-platted in a brushed nickel, adding to the hush cooling effect.

Sometimes it can be best to allow progress in a space to come about slowly. By allowing yourself to feel out where you are, you grant yourself the time and the hours to decide what is truly meaningful.

Here is more of Hush, Violet Hours.

Design Advice: Kids Sharing a Bedroom

In this month’s Time Out Chicago, writer, Martina Sheehan, asked Bedrooms by Brynne for additional design advice on how kids can share a bedroom more fluidly. Here are a few ideas and sources, that I shared with Martina and the readers, on how to share: Time Out Article

My key tip is finding a project that the kids can collaborate on. Such as recreating, in DIY fashion, a beaded chandelier in the style of Marjorie Skouras’s Annabelle chandelier. After all, problem solving with others helps us to create a stronger bond. A project that the kids can tackle with one another is the perfect way to empower them both individually and together, when creating a shared space.

As for the parents, maybe you would want an authentic Marjorie Skouras‘s chandelier for your own private reverie. Be sure to see the gorgeous black onyx and emerald green stone fixture. Now wouldn’t that be lovely to wake up to in the morning.

Ladies and Gentleman, Eyes Up Here Please

Bradley Lincoln wrote a lovely piece on Bedrooms by Brynne and one of my projects in his column, Domestica, this week for Chicago Home and Garden. This image depicts a Morris Lapidus mirror salvaged from the Eden Roc hotel in Miami, a baby daisy, Marbro lamp, and Savvy wall paint from Colori. Thank you Brad for the Bedded Bliss!

Full Domestica article.


Make up your life!

This blushy peach photo from Moschino’s Cheap and Chic, Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, at London’s Fashion Week, makes me smile. A simple yet bold statement that is such a great reminder for living life. A reminder to let go of anything holding you back, trust your intuition and continue to blaze your own damn trail.

How to Seduce a Long-Lost Love

You have to taste it to believe it. Later this month Rick Bayless stars in a new type of role for a Lookingglass Theatre production, entitled, Cascabel. Many people have been seduced by Rick’s passion for Mexican food, either from watching Mexico:One Plate at a Time or from one of his cook books like  Fiesta at Rick’sor have had the privilege of eating at one of his many restaurants, such as Xoco, Frontera GrillTopolobampo or, while at O’hare airport, Tortas Frontera. Because if you have, you would certainly remember the mole.

I had the pleasure of working with Rick, styling his 1940′s wardrobe and set props for Chicago Magazine’s feature on him, covering Cascabel. Listen, I don’t get overly excited about working with celebrities but I do when I work with certain exceptional chefs. Not all celebrities are down for dangling from a chandelier made up of pots and pans. And I have to love the fact that he practices yoga too. That’s right, note to all the men out there, men that do yoga or even try it once–very sexy.

Cascabel is a Mexican boarding house in the 1940′s. Rick plays a chef, called the Cook, who tries to seduce his long-lost-love by preparing food for her. She is a flamenco dancer and actress, only, she has no appetite. During the show, as Rick is cooking for her, the audience is tasting the food right along with her.  Oh yes, and there are acrobats and a tightrope-walking sous-chef.

Rick says in the article, beautifully, on this relationship with food: “It’s the kind of thing that food does so regularly in our lives, yet we don’t think much about it. It can tie us to a culture or a person; it can remind us of a place. Those are all memory centered. But food can also center us in the present and even open us up to the future. It can make us live in the moment and dream of what is next.”

Now, I’m seduced…. and quite hungry.

To read the full Chicago Magazine Article that I worked on and behind the scenes photos: check it out.

Baileys’ Range is Homemade Goodness

Baileys’ Range, one of my latest design project collaborations, opened recently on the corner of 10th and Olive in downtown St. Louis. During the same week, only a 10 minute walk away, the Cardinals played historically memorable games to win The World Series. Baileys’ Range continues to be a casual dining destination and offers a fun and unique menu including grass-fed local burgers, homemade ice cream shakes (spiked if your old enough), soda pop, boozy lemonades, and local craft beer exclusively.

The design decor includes old windows hung, separating the kitchen from the rest of the two level restaurant. A beautiful fifty foot long bar and a mirroring fifty foot long communal dining table was built by Tyson Rinderknecht, perhaps the longest bar in St. Louis and the first communal dining table for the city. The lighting consists of freezer locker fixtures throughout and large, vintage milk jugs repurposed into hanging pendents. Commissioned photographs by Ricardo Martinez adorn the walls depicting rural and range landscape.

The result is a warm and inviting place to meet up for a beer and try out some of life’s simply paired pleasure: burgers and shakes.

Peonies and Emerald Spirits


The painted lady’s emerald earring dangles and acts as an upholstered inspiration for my client’s dining room seating, a gathering of the minds– and spirits.  Keyhole shaped, Italian Empire sofa and chairs radiate chartreuse, Kelly, and emerald greens. All similar colors of intoxicating libations, but most importantly the color of growth and balance.

Peonies are seasonally scattered about the property, yet in the dining room they are illustrated, lasting all year round. In order to quiet the mirrored wall, we added a continuation of the peony vines and flowers from the wallpaper across the mirror. The vines appear, slowly disappear and then appear again. Much like a good spirit.

For the full gallery….

Purrrops for Vanity Fair

In the August issue of Vanity Fair there is a story that I worked on featuring the founder of Groupon, Andrew Mason, photographed by Martin Schoeller.  We brought in too many cats to count or even wrangle and some killer accordions to amuse. Needless to say, there were cat fights, a clawing on flesh, and Michael’s Room will never again be the same.

“Summerizing” A Home for O Magazine and Peter Walsh

In this month’s June issue of O Magazine Oprah celebrates the 25th anniversary of her show and on page 64-67 is a story that I styled for Peter Walsh, the Aussie organizing guru and star of his OWN show Enough Already! Photographs are shot by Saverio Truglia and the story is written by Meredith Bryan. Here is the after shot, which shows how editing your mess, adding simple colorful pillows and pops of white, soft lighting, and fresh flowers can “summerize” your home. Summer on my darlings.

photo by Saverio Truglia

Grant Achatz for Time Magazine’s Top 100

This week’s Time magazine covers The World’s Most Influential People and Chef Grant Achatz is one of them. When my agency asked if I would like to prop-style and work with Grant Achatz and photographer Martin Schoeller, I was thrilled to be a part of the mix.

The 28 + chefs working in the Alinea kitchen moved fluidly like silent stage hands, all knowing their individual role, task, and how to preform around one another seamlessly. Watching them all with their quiet focus and orchestration was fascinating.

Let’s make it clear here,  I’m not a foodie.  But I appreciate good food and anyone who dares to be a modern, if not a postmodern, forward thinker. This chef is testing how we think of food, cocktails, and experience dining. Grant Achatz’s new restaurant, Next, takes you to Paris 1906 with the current menu and then down the road to another time and place in the world for their Next menu. That is, if you can get your hands on tickets.

For the headshot with Grant we used liquid nitrogen to harden up the prawn in order to fix them onto his chef’s jacket, further styling it’s tentacles. For the chalkboard shot I copied on the board some scientific diagrams and we then propped Grant with a live pheasant and then later a dead pheasant, as if he were opening up it’s wings like a book. The pheasant here exemplifying nature is indeed by design, which brings me to mention Achatz’s other new spot, The Aviary.

Regardless of when I will have an opportunity to experience Paris 1906 or the avant-guard not-so-cocktails, these projects and Grant Achatz certainly have a following.

Dive here to read the full article written by Grant’s mentor, Thomas Keller of the French Laundry, in Time Magazine.

Check out the globe-trotting and imaginative Martin Schoeller talk about shooting three of the top 100 behind the scenes here.