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Design TV

Monday, December 17th, 2012

XOXO To Gossip Girl and Your Fabulous Sets

Becky

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Well I am way too old to be watching Gossip Girl, but that never stops me. The show is full of ridiculous scheming, fun fashion and fantastic sets and I’m going to miss the fashion (in particular, Chuck Bass’s sartorial picks) and the sets. They informed us so much about the characters, who they were, how they lived, and what part of town they lived in (mostly the Upper East side).

First we have Lily van der Woodsen’s posh penthouse, full of her amazing art collection and well-curated mix of antiques and contemporary pieces. Richard Phillip’s Spectrum played a major part in a recent ridiculous plot. Never auction off a piece with incriminating microfilm taped to the back of it, OK folks?

Upstairs is “It Girl” Serena van der Woodsen’s posh bedroom, complete with upholstered headboard and floral accent wall.

Next we have the foyer in Blair Waldorf’s family home. Surprise guests seem to make their way up the private elevator all the time, and Blair has made many a dramatic entrance from the grand curved staircase. She likes to keep her suitors waiting down here.

Grown-up Blair has a new grown-up office full of bold color.

Next we have Chuck Bass’s apartment at his Empire Hotel. The home has a cooler downtown vibe, complete with Wegner Shell Chairs, Tom Dixon Drum Pendant Lights, exposed brick and a pool table with blue felt. Lots of disgusting things have happened here; it’s the perfect smarmy bachelor pad.

Finally, we take a trip over to Brooklyn. It’s a trip all of Manhattan’s Elite complains about making and disparages every time they get. Lonely Boy and Lonely Dad spent many angst-filled hours here, pining over the van der Woodsen women. While it reminds me of any typical “funky loft” set (a lot like Monica’s apartment on Friends, actually), there’s something rather chamring about it. I always wondered why someone didn’t break in via the glass on those front doors on a daily basis.

For those of you who watched GG faithfully and are willing to admit it, what was your favorite set? Let me know in the comments section!

Images from all over, including Hooked On Houses, Apartment Therapy and Huff Post

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Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Million Dollar Decorators Premieres Tonight

Becky

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I am so excited about the return of Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo tonight. Returning are Mary McDonald, Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Jeffrey Alan Marks. This is mostly because I am most amused by Martyn, Kathryn and Mary. Last year none of them really had any big current projects to actually share on the show but it didn’t even matter because the personalities are such a blast.  They also did little bits for previous clients so we were able to see their completed work, like Tamara Mellon’s NYC home:

During season one, the show had to get by on Martyn teaching Joe Frances’s staff in Mexico how to fluff pillows and making lucite boxes for Tamra Mellon to display artistic shoes and bags in, Jeffrey redoing a depressing tiny bathroom at his gym (I mean, minutes of the show were dedicated to a shower drain choice) and Mary designing a small office.

Why didn’t we care we didn’t see a whole lot of design in action? Number one, because these are AD-cover worthy designers, not the same old stagers and DIYers making their own room screen and painting over ugly cabinet veneers. More importantly, number two, because these people are hilarious and as you watch, you wish you could hang out with them. I want to swill a margarita while hanging out with Kathryn and her housekeeper Jacqueline, catching up on the latest about her client from hell in Malibu.

I want to observe Mary and her somewhat snobbish and hilarious ways all day, picking up inspiration for how to look super-polished all day long. I would listen to Martyn read the phonebook, because it’s all about his unique voice, accent and grandiose way of speaking. As for Jeffrey, he doesn’t stand out as much as the aforementioned trio, as he’s usually bickering with his boyfriend (yawn). If you haven’t checked out the show, I highly recommend giving it a try. It premieres tonight on Bravo; if you’re not sure, try a little 10 minute preview over at bravotv.com right now.

All photos from bravotv.com

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Friday, September 7th, 2012

Around the Web This Week

Becky

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Hey All! Where have you been whiling away your break time on the web this week? I can’t stop with the Street Art Utopia. Each one delights more than the last. However this week, this leaning tower of a concrete post made me smile the most:

I love it when a public works building gets turned into some sort of kick-butt residence, and water towers always seem to be the coolest ones; maybe because of their big old curves, uncommon in most residential architecture. This tour over at FreshHome takes us through a Belgian water tower converted by BAHM Design Studio.

I enjoyed seeing the kitchens that Dwell magazine dubbed their coolest ones from their archives. I love some of the ones like you see below, I imagined Unhappy Hipster captions for others. Either way, it’s a fun slideshow!

This guy, Andrew, the latest addition through the revolving door that is Jeff Lewis’s team  on Flipping Out, cracked  me up. Apparently he has a trust fund that only kicks in when he has a full time job, so he is a nervous wreck he’ll lose the most ridiculous job on earth. Jeff always sheds an employee or three each season, so the poor guy should be nervous.

Finally, I swear, Passive-Aggressive Notes is still one of the most genius sites I’ve read. What better passive-aggressive way is there to get back at a crazy note-leaver than to submit it to the site? This one about the deck blew my mind; it brings up the very serious issue of deck envy. If I received it, I think I’d have to move knowing I lived close to such a nut job.

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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Set Your DVRs: Million Dollar Closets Premieres This Week

Becky

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I’m so excited to announce that Hatch: The Design Public Blog friend and guest poster Lisa Adams will be starring in a new show on HGTV called Million Dollar Closets. Lisa, the owner and designer behind LA Closet Design, will be going to the homes of celebs like Whitney Port, and Kris, Kylie and Kendall Jenner (you know, they are part of that clan that is more known for the name Kardashian).

I first discovered Lisa’s work several years ago and I’ve been dreaming of turning my entire upstairs into one big L.A. Closet Design closet ever since! In fact, I keep a giveaway basket in the closet at Lisa’s suggestion; whenever I realize I’m still keeping a pair of jeans with the shortest rise in history in the closet or realize something just isn’t my color, I toss it in there and thank Lisa. When it’s full, I take it to Goodwill.

Lisa approaches designing, organizing and styling a closet like it’s an exclusive boutique. She works with her clients to see how they live and what their storage and organizational needs are, and then customizes a closet from the big cabinets to lighted clothing rods, from built-in ironing boards to specialized accessory drawers and racks.

The show will air on HGTV on May 18th at 8 p.m. EST. It’s a great way to get re-inspired for organizing (I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost that New Year’s vim and vigor for organizing and cleaning out that I had back in January!). Be sure to set your DVRs!

All images property of LA Closet Design

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Mad Men Takes a HoJo To Go

Becky

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Did any of you feel a wave of nostalgia for a Howard Johnson’s road trip stop while watching Mad Men last night? I kept thinking of my family driving from Ohio to Cape Cod in the family truckster (a tan Ford station wagon with wood paneling and flip up seats in the way-back) and stopping for a hot dog and an ice cream cone. The bright colors, light fixtures and even the waitress uniforms actually looked retro-fresh in last night’s episode.

Somehow, the combination of pot pies and orange sherbet leads to a devastating fight between Don and Megan, and he abandons her in a HoJo’s parking lot. How could he not, with that fabulous honeysuckle dress with matching chevron coat? It was made for a HoJo’s. Girlfriend even had on matching pink sunglasses. Tory Burch has got nothing on Megan’s costume designer.

Only that devilish cad Don Draper could make the iconic Howard Johnson’s roof look sexy.

Anyway, the wave of nostalgia made me want to look into the history of Howard Johnson’s. Because I’m lazy, most of this information was compiled via Wikipedia, so take it for what it’s worth.

Howard Deering Johnson opened drugstore in 1925, but soon realized that the soda fountain was the most profitable part.  He started tinkering with ice cream and the business changed direction toward becoming a restaurant that became known for fried clams.

In 1932 a second restaurant was opened, one of the first franchise deals in the U.S. The first motor lodge was opened in Savannah Georgia in 1954, and it was designed by architects Rufus Nims and Karl Koch. From there, in a nutshell, the business boomed and the motor lodges became known for their ubiquitous roadside advertisements:

In the 1960s and ’70s, there were over 1,000 HoJos across the United States and Canada.

There is a site completely dedicated to posting pictures of former HoJos, called HoJoLand.com

Then, new owners and more new owners and big changes, bland architecture and a new logo that’s no fun. The End.

Oh, P.S. Also, when you Google “Howard Johnson,” this guy is interspersed between all of the motel pictures. He’s a singer:

Images 1,2, 3 via amctv.com

Image 4 via diet.com

Image 5 from Wikimedia Commons

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