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Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Our Top Five Favorite Mad Men Design Moments


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Now that Don Draper finally nailed the ultimate account and Mad Men has disappeared into 1970 forever, I’ve been binge watching the whole thing all over again on Netflix. There were so many fantastic moments of graphic design, fashion design, even hair design (and some not-so-good ones, those ’70s staches and sideburns were not doing the characters any favors). But most of all, I loved to watch Mad Men for the spot-on 1960s set design.

There are too many to count; with all that Eames, Saarinen and other mid-century icons lurking everywhere. Here are some of the highlights:

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What does this guy need an office for? No actual business ever happened here, except for a fake phone call to Lee Gardner over at Lucky Strike weeks after Roger had lost the account.

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1) The best moment to me was when Jane Sterling hired a decorator to redecorate Roger’s office, the spot where he dictated that not-so-bestselling Sterling’s Gold. A tulip table, a CJ Corona chair, op art and more iconic items in a black and white palette. I mean, check out that phone!


“A modern Chinoiserie breakfront, a Dunbar Japanese-influenced sofa, silk Dupioni drapes, Murano vases, and a classic Drexel end table.” — Betty Draper’s decorator


2) Betty redecorates the living room. Betty hires a decorator that gives her sharp Hollywood Regency style for her living room. Don walks in and moves a lamp around to make it perfect. Then Betty buys a very symbolic fainting couch that messes the whole look up. It’s so appropriate because the poor woman is trapped in an era that squeezes her like a Victorian corset.


3) Betty goes to get analyzed. Has there ever been a sadder woman on a Barcelona daybed? And did analysts really call husbands to give them the rundown after the wife’s appointment? That was crazy. Anyway, this image is fun to compare and contrast with the fainting couch one above it.


4) Don flies to sunny L.A. and winds up hanging out with a bunch of European tax evaders in “The Jet Set” episode. According to Curbed, this house is The Fox House, an abode Sinatra rented for 10 years. If that’s not a ringing endorsement that it’s classic California modern, I don’t know what is. The set designers and art director captured that clean white, glass and that unique California cool.


Bert Cooper’s Japanese-inspired office. No shoes allowed in here. The arrival of new art was always exciting and gave us insight into Bert’s character and tastes. A new Rothko had everyone in the office a tizzy, a Pollack was behind his head during the moon landing, but the best was the sex octopus:

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But the best sex octopus moment was this vision of Peggy Olson, completely transformed, strolling into McCann-Erickson unrecognizable from the young secretary we’d met a decade earlier.


What was your favorite Mad Men design moment? Please share it with us!


Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Don’t Miss This Fatboy Deal!

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Whether you’re craving a colorful hammock to swing in or big fat comfy seats to replace those rickety old lawn chairs, there has never been a better time to stock up on Fatboy’s clever and colorful outdoor furniture offerings.  Now through June 15 2015, spend $600 on Fatboy Outdoor Furniture and save $100.




This is not your 1970s bean bag. The Fatboy Original Outdoor comes in way cooler colors, is much more comfortable as a real seat and its jacket is moisture repellent Sunbrella™ fabric.



You know it’s the best time of year to lounge and swing from side to side. The colorful nylon on the Fatboy Headdemock Hammock is easy to wipe down, and there’s no need to find two perfectly placed trees — it comes with a tubular base.


The Fatboy Buggle-Up Lounge Bag is a very versatile piece. You can prop it up to sit up straight, punch it around for a lounge or lay it flat as a relaxing mattress at naptime. The outdoor version has straps that make it easier to lug around and prop up. After you try a Buggle-Up, you’ll never want to sit on wrought iron outdoor furniture again.

Once you start planning out your colorful new outdoor color scheme with Fatboy, you’ll be scooping up the deal before you know it. So get shopping; you only have until June 15, 2015.






Friday, May 29th, 2015

Brand Spotlight: Kahler Design

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If you don’t know Kähler, you’re going to want to get to know them. The iconic Danish ceramics company has been making museum-worthy pieces since 1839. Don’t let the pedigree scare you though; the Kahler pieces you’ll treasure forever are still handmade by artisans yet are reasonably priced.



Hand-painted stripes mark the classic Omaggio line by Kähler. A variety of shapes and sizes in a range of colors, the vase collection is made for all sorts of leaves, branches and blooms.



Omaggio will dress your table with style as well. A favorite is the crisp contrast of black and white with lovely wooden details like the butter dish’s top.


As an interesting side note, Kähler more recently expanded from making serveware to serving regional Danish specialties in their restaurants in Denmark.


The Botanica vases have beautiful colored glazes that reflect the light.

Watch Kähler being made:



Kähler’s Urbania lantern’s windows glow on the table.




Speaking of glowing,Kähler has a variety of playfully shaped candleholders.


Kähler’s Ora Table Clock adds sweet charm to any table or bureau top. It comes in white, black, pigeon blue and rose.

Shop all Kähler



Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Some Easy Swaps and Props for Summer Decor


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If you’re not going anywhere this weekend, it’s a great time to summer-fy your place. Or for those of you lucky enough to have a cottage or a summer share it’s the prime weekend to open it up and give it a zshush. Here are 10 favorite products that will help you get ready for summer.



1. Lobstahs! Go for that overt sea creature theme, because now is the time. A favorite lobster accessory of mine is the Thomas Paul Lobster Sketch Pillow.


2. Candlelight.  Get ready for some outdoor candlelight. The usual tealight holders won’t keep the breeze from blowing out your flames. Add color and cute little perforated designs to your moody candlelight with notNeutral Hurricanes (set of 2).


3. Be picnic-ready. The Fatboy Picnic Lounge has plenty of room for your entire picnic party and comes with four pins to keep it grounded and a brush to keep it sand-free.


4. Embrace the BBQ, and take it wherever you go. The RS Barcelona Mon Oncle BBQ is portable, has retro style and you tote it down to the beach  in a cool little briefcase. This makes it a cool little accessory when it’s stashed in the house, not in use. you won’t want to hide it in a garage like those other grills.


5. Add some summery art. I love to switch up my color scheme in the summer. One key work of art can inspire all of your choices. The pastels and bright greens in this oil painting by Ginger Marshall will make the room feel instantly airier.


6. Accessorize your mojito. Hot days call for cool cocktails. Jazz them up with these playful patterns from See Design.


7. Have the lemonade or sweet tea chillin’. Also, you must have a pitcher of iced tea at the ready at all times. Them’s the rules. The ittala Aino Aalto Pitcher is a mid-century classic, and seeing it every time you open up the refrigerator will make you happy.


9. Swap in cotton for wool. Lighter brighter rugs will remind your bare feet it’s summer. This is the Blu Dot Bravo Rug in Orange.


10. Hang a summery shower curtain. This is the easiest and least expensive way to give your bathroom what will feel like a total makeover. Thomas Paul has everything from the squid to the whale on his sea-inspired shower curtains, but I find this pair of seahorses too cute to resist.

What’s your favorite summer design move? Please share it with us in the comments section.





Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

5 Must-Have Elements for The Perfect Outdoor Space


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For many of us, the pollen is finally clearing, and it’s time to get that outdoor space spiffed up so that we can spend the maximum amount of time outdoors. What makes a great outdoor space? Here are my personal top five:



Even the tiniest of spaces needs plants to enliven it. Surely there is room even on the smallest of balconies for at least a potted plant or two. Consider a trellis, hanging pots or boxes that hang over the railings if you’re short on floor space.


Modernica’s mid-century modern pots with stands are one of the chicest modern ways to add life to your outdoor space.


Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin Texas

Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin Texas

Sometimes, the moon is not enough (or it’s a sliver). Enhance your lighting scheme however you can — tiki torches, lanterns, even inexpensive outdoor holiday lights can be just the right way to set the mood.


I’m also crazy about these pots from Offi, because they double as mood lighting. A compact fluorescent bulb is all it takes for them to light up your outdoor space with magical ambiance. Shop more outdoor lighting options —we’ve got everything from perforated candleholders to outdoor lamps with indoor style.


Photo by Dave Lauridsen for Dwell

Photo by Dave Lauridsen for Dwell

Yes, lots of people have fancy fire pits and full chimneys start at about tens thousand dollars. But it is easy to bring in a small fire pit that will keep you more than toasty on a cool night and toast a smorgasbord of s’mores to perfection.



Loll’s Fire Ring Set comes with an array of different colored tops so that it can serve double-duty as a coffee table when it’s not smoldering. But I like charcoal gray because it’s modern and it goes well with fire.


You cannot very well host that al fresco dinner party you’ve been thinking about without a proper table and chairs. Whether you buy new or set up some sawhorses, an old door for a tabletop and a mix of chairs from indoors, start envisioning your outdoor tablescape.


By Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture

By Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture 

While I’d like to think it’s my scintillating personality that keeps my friends coming back to my screened-in porch for wine night, I know it’s really the cushy sofa where everyone can get comfy on big pillows and put their feet up.

The Blu Dot Jibe Collection is my favorite new outdoor line. It has all the comfort of indoor furniture without getting overwhelmed by overstuffed cushions.

What are your personal top five outdoor elements? Can’t live without the bubble of a fountain or the tunes from Pandora? Let us know in the comments section.