Wherein You Become Convinced of My Insanity

I get so bored with picture after picture of beautifully styled, perfectly inhabitable, regular old rooms. That's why lately I've found myself branching out little by little, creeping at the fringes of bizarre traditional decor. Am I rushing to cover my walls in acres of toile? Not yet... although if I had a paying client you can bet I might try to convince them to do it. Just look how cozy this David Netto room is (my fave part is the tripod and camera in the mirror... is that a Hassy?).

But honestly, I like toile when it gets weirder.

This room swathed in Manuel Canovas fabrics is totally the neotrad version of the nutty Danish modern camouflage room I posted Friday. John Boehner and his orange fauxtan are probably hiding in there somewhere.

Ok, so maybe this is a little too weird, like grandma stopped taking her meds again. But there are some amazing details in here. Hello, swan bed!

Now this is good. For the moment let's gloss over the fact that if I found myself in this room, I might be afraid to touch anything lest I besmirch those very expensive fabrics with my proletarian fingers. Would I change a few details about the decor? Mos def. For starters I'd add this:

Hendrik Kerstens knows it's better to take tradition with a dose of humor.

Pictures of Pictures

Art is an undervalued endeavor -- it does not create algorithms to invest money, invent pharmaceuticals, or generally further business interests in any way. And so, when the young and ambitious set their sights on the humanities, parents get nervous and friends shake their heads, and the young and ambitious learn to eat ramen and wear black. Street cred is a necessity, but so are clothes that hold up to paint, chemicals, and infrequent laundering. It's pretty glamorous, the life of an artist is.

Photograph by Tracey Moffatt, via Emmas Designblogg

I have spent 15+ years slaving over a hot darkroom sink, many more poring over art books, and several years teaching, but I still can't get enough of the photographs that set me on the path to poverty in the first place. Once afflicted, there is no cure for what ails you, save to embrace the disease.

Photograph by Andres Serrano, via NYT

And as much as I enjoy just browsing images on the net, it warms my cold, dirty black heart even more to see some of my favorite artists in the homes of the rich and famous. Thank jeebus somebody can make a living off their work, because who else could inspire the young and ambitious to sacrifice wealth, hygiene, and nutrition, in the name of art?

Vik Muniz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and Christopher Bucklow, via David Netto

Photos by Mark Shaw via Nate Berkus

Images by Rineke Dijkstra via Fox Mahem

Work by Adam Fuss via David Duncan Livingston

Image by Candida Hofer via Richard Powers

Image by William Eggleston in the home of Krysten Ritter

Photos by Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky via Michael Richman

Photo by Thomas Struth (on the right) via Met Home

Photo by Gilbert and George via OWI

Works by John Coplans (left bottom) and Loretta Lux in the home of Vicente Wolf

Photos by Steven Klein in the home of Nacho Figueras

I got a little obsessed while doing, ahem, "research" for this post, so I hope you won't be terribly disappointed if I hit you with a two-fer. Back on Monday with another roundup of not quite so epic proportions. In the meantime, I'm entertaining out of town guests, but Karly will be here to regale you with her always acerbic wit.

Have a great week!

Turn On Your Hot Lights

I have a problem. Yes, I frequently misinterpret Neil Diamond lyrics, but it's worse than that. It's my lighting addiction. Every night when the lights get low and my sleep deprivation has turned itself inside out, transforming me into a frenetic Mrs. Hyde, and there is nothing on tv -- not even a Flipping Out marathon, I start trolling the dark streets of Ebay, looking for a fixture. Or two. Or three. I can't stop myself from adding sconces, table lamps and chandeliers to my watch list. And do I need these things? Well, I could use a new light for over my kitchen sink, but in short: No. Hell no. I have a garage full of crap bought from Craigslist, Round Top, thrift and vintage stores. Anytime I shop for furnishings, I studiously avoid anything that is not, in and of itself, a source of illumination. Lighting is the jewelry of the room, and I like da bling. So, during all my sleepless nights spent trolling, I've noticed two distinct lighting trends: restrained industrial, and architectural glitz. In the restrained camp, there is a plethora of very elegant French lights by 50's designer, Serge Mouille:

serge mouille

House to Home

Mouille lights are classic and spare, but with an edgy vibe. Very French, no? In the glitzy camp, we have scintillating fixtures by Italian designer Gaetano Sciolari:

gaetano sciolari

Via Brown Turtleneck Sweater

Sciolari's lucite and brass chandelier does a lot to glam up an otherwise studiously neutral room, don't you think? So, which do you prefer -- French, spare and edgy, or Italian, shiny and voluptuous?

catherine vs sophia

Catherine Deneuve or Sophia Loren? (And if someone can direct me to their male equivalents, I'd be most appreciative...)

I know. It's cruel asking you to choose between two gorgeous creatures, but can two such strong personalities coexist in a polygamous marriage? I'm talking about the light fixtures, of course. Need more lighting porn to help you decide? Your wish is my command:

david netto

Mouille in David Netto's apartment.


Sciolari via Vintage y Chic

jenna lyons

Mouille in Jenna Lyon's bedroom.


Sciolari via Apartment Therapy

serge mouille

Mouille, forgot source. Je regrete!


Sciolari in Kelly Wearstler's crazy pink and purple guest house

mouille via Met Home

Mouille via Met Home


I ran out of home pics with Sciolari chandeliers in them, so I'm including this sexy number all by its lonesome.

serge mouille

Mouille via Gribouillis Magazine


Sciolari. I think I just had a brassgasm. Orbrassm.

So, lovely readers, what are your thoughts? Shiny or spare? Glittery or sophisticated? Could you decide between one style over the other, or does the very idea of such a Sophie's Choice bring a tear to the eye? Perhaps you think the two could be peaceful bedmates? Tell momma all about it.