New Blogs on the Block

This month has been insane in the membrane:  In addition to starting my new gig, I'm also preparing for the onslaught that is SXSW.  Not only am I helping a client plan the free booze and music party of the century (more info to come on that), but I've also been asked to speak on a panel during the interactive festival.  The gold all-access pass I receive in exchange for 55 minutes of discussion almost makes the anxiety worth while.  Needless to say, between working, planning, and biting my nails, I've not had much time to do the thing I love most:  catch up with all you dudes.  Luckily, I was able to set aside some time this weekend to sift through everyone's design blog posts and to discover some new ones. 

Our good friend, the Nerdy Fashionista, aka NerF, has set fire to her previous blog of the same name, and from the ashes Designers Brew has risen.  NerF (sorry, you're not shaking it) has separated the wheat from the chaff and is now zeroing in on interiors and decor.  Every post to date has left me drooling, especially the one above, which featured a CRYSTAL HORSE in a restaurant restroom.

P.S. How cute is that little pot with all the designy stuff a-brewin in her header?

Another DC favorite blogger, Raina, of If the Lamp Shade Fits has managed to find a bit of time between dishing out snark, chasing around a 2 year old and keeping the peace down-under in order to start up a SECOND blog:  The Daily Bed.  Raina has made a promise, disputed by me, to keep her mouth shut and only post pretty pictures on her bedy-by blog. It's sad, but I tell ya, the pictures she's been posting are more than good enough to make up for the lack of verbage.

Cassie's blog, Roseland Green has only been around for a couple of months, but in that time she's managed to post some of the loveliest rooms online.  Pictured above is my vacation home.

The curated blog,, has much to do with fashion, music, art, and, oddly enough, lots of nudity and very little to do with interiors but I am almost always guarenteed to adore the things they post.  Very rarely do I see goods sourced from other blogs on this site, their content is always totally fresh and cohesive.  Bonus:  unlike Erin and I, they actually send out a really good newsletter.  We'll send ours out... someday.

The new-to-me blog Les Carnets Du Design is filled with lovely interiors and art posts, and, as a bonus, each post is written in both French and English.  Seriously, I have enough trouble crankin this stuff out in one language, I think I'd jump off my roof if someone told me I had to type up each post twice.  I do enjoy pretending to brush up on my French, however:  Ou est la biblioteque?  J'mappelle Karly!  Ouvrez la fenetre!  That's really all I've got.

Speaking of blogs across the pond, Swedish artist, Sandra, posts daily images of her life and work on her blog, Smosch.  Following the photo essays of trips to New York and Berlin makes me want to uproot myself to stow-away in her suitcase.  Not only does her life imitate art, it exceeds it.

I suspect that Pink Wallpaper has been around for a while (hello, Washington Post and New York Times mention), but I've only recently discovered it.  I spent an embarrassing portion of my weekend trying to track down the swan pictured above.  If anyone has a clue where to find it, pretty please let me know... I really don't want to have to make my own.  But I will.

How Not To Spend Your Lottery Money

Today's post isn't as much about decor porn as it is about excessiveness, design abominations and the frivolity of tasteless wealth.  I'm talking, of course, about the Millionaire Fair.  In the spirit of overindulgence, I have invited one of our favorite bloggers, Raina, of If the Lampshade Fits, to join in the debauchery.  After all, we all want more, more, MORE!  Right?

 Since 2002, the Millionaire Fair has presented "a fairytale for the affluent, a cornucopia for culinary fans and a feast of superlatives."  (their words).  I asked Raina what she thought of this and of the future of the fair:   "Sadly, this fairy tale may end with a Grimm (ahem) case of affluenza, the symptoms being a shaky world economy, freezing credit, and painful portfolio shrinkage."   Probably, Raina, probably.  But we can still remember the good ole days, right?  And it's hard to imagine that I might not be able to pack a bevy of basketball player's wives into my converted Porsche-Winnebago for a road trip to visit this little gem myself.  The Lights!  The Fashion! The Enter-tain-ment!  I can't bear the thought of missing such sights:

Raina agrees:  "Doesn't it all sound delicious?!? Like an unfettered fantasy romp through a Disney-fied "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."  The reality of which may come closer to "The Real Housewives of Orange County," replete with fake tans, fake boobs and fake personal pedigrees, than to any dreamy vision of privilege and grandure. (When your Mistress of Ceremonies is Elizabeth Hurley, who would show up to the opening of an envelope for the right price, you're off to a roaring start.) 

 "I have to wonder if the different venues dictate different product mixes.  Istanbul (sheiks and oilmen) would host a different type of swank than say Moscow (Peristoika-fed oligarchs) or Shanghai (Asian mafia).  The video highlights include a runway show featuring Fendi fashions, more appropriate for Munich or Kortrijk, Belgium.  Still photos show a very different and rather questionable mix of ensembles that are decidedly not haute couture (cough, Amsterdam, cough).  Is the height of chic a cheap-looking geisha robe over jeans from the Monica Lewinsky for J Brand collection?  With knee-high hose and payless pumps?  I must have missed that memo.  I'm not even going to comment on what looks like Sarah Palin's idea of Alaskan High Fashion."

After being assaulted by a myriad of poorly shot images from the fair (way to budget for a real photographer, Millionaires).  I can't help but wonder if I'm over analyzing the entire event.  Afterall, this appears to be just like an American auto show with ice sculptures replacing the rebel flags and Prada-and-skin-clad-girls with $400 dye-jobs replacing the spandex-and-skin-clad-girls with home perms.

Noting the dumbed up version of american ephemera, I show Raina a series of photos from the fair and ask for her comments.  Like any aspiring apathetic millionaire, I know when to delegate:

Tiffany, recognizing the need to reach out to a wider customer base, introduces the "Bridge and Tunnel" line of gifts.

Millionaire Fair "hostesses" come with a sanitary sash, discreetly replaced after each use.

The Millionaire Fair-ies welcome international dignitaries and guests

Ravaged by the current economic crisis, the U.S. Space program looks to the Millionaire Fair to secure sponsorship

The Windsor knot tells you this is a Millionaire Fair performance!

After careful surveillance I've absorbed Raina's observations and work up a couple equations, I believe my math holds water:

after all, here is a quick web-roundup of some products you can expect to see at the fair:

Do the very wealthy suffer from congenital sensory deprivation that can only be aided by attaching tactile sparkly bits to every last item they own?  Asks Raina 

I think Raina is on to something, but I think the target group is a bit more specific, and feel the need to pinpoint the demographic.  Get out your diamond-encrusted TI-82s:

By this point, of course, both of our heads are spinning:  The wealth!  The indulgence!  The brazen disregard for taste!  Can't. Go. On.  It is here that we (again, in the spirit of extravagance) ask for your input on this post.  I'll present a series of quick-fire questions.  You fill in the blanks.  Winner receives a gold-plated hunter's duck decoy coated in millions of precious stones courtesy of Harry Winston*

*actual prize and sponsorship are nonexistent.  winner gets love.

1.  Tie-dye is to hippies as _____________ is to attendees of the Millionaire Fair

2.  Myspace is to Social Networking as ___________________ is to the Millionaire Fair

3.  Ego infested socialites are to taste and class as _______________ is to ____________

And real quick like, before anyone leaves comments about wealth and jealousy and how we're a bunch of bitter hos, let me say:  I have no problem with millionaires,  are you kidding?  I wish I were one!  However, if I'm ever so lucky, I will never in a gazillion years sacrifice taste and composure in exchange for a plane ticket and admission to this so-called-luxury event.  Where is the design hidden in these comforts?  Where is the craft?  Where is the empathy for humanity?  I don't have a problem with the wealthy, but as soon as someone buys a $42,000 shirt, I have to raise an eyebrow.