Let's Talk About Money

While in Hawaii, my mom twisted my rubber arm into touring the furniture megacomplex that is Inspiration Interiors. I think she said something to the effect of, "There's a giant life sized horse with a lamp on its head!" Oh, you mean this horse? The horse that Karly has been obsessed with for years?

Dudes, I kid you not: I walked around with my jaw dragging the ground like a neanderthal for entire time I cruised the showroom. And I felt like little more than an uncivilized cretin when I looked at the price tags, because every piece seemed more expensive, more rarefied than the next. Inspiration houses wares by Mooi, Front Design, B&B Italia, Fendi Casa,and de Sede, among other more mid range brands like Bo Concept and Natuzzi. It's like a who's who for the uber rich decor set.

Do you have any idea how much a new de Sede Endless sofa costs? Now, I have been in love with this sofa from way back -- check my credentials here -- but I'm just going to put it out of my mind because it costs FIFTY THOUSAND dollars. Yep. $50,0000. My youngest brother was totally nonplussed by this information, and already has plans to buy up the entire showroom once he makes his first billion.

Meanwhile, my other brother was utterly appalled by the prices. Coming at it from a woodworker/craftsman's perspective, he just couldn't reconcile $16,000 for a Fendi chandelier or $20,000 for a Fendi crocodile embossed dining table with the cost of the materials or the time and effort that went into producing the pieces.

He probably wouldn't be into paying $1200 for a sparkly Fendi pillow, either, and I can't say I disagree with him on that point.

And then there's this $26,000 sofa that my mom is obsessed with. The back moves around the perimeter to form different seating configurations, which is cool, but the piece really isn't that big. I can't imagine paying $26,000 for such a wee little guy. Ok, if I had $26,000 to spend. Because I would probably buy a car instead. Scratch that -- I wouldn't even spend that much on a car.

Now I know I'm cheap and I get a thrill from scoring big off craigslist, and maybe it's just impoverished sour grapes on my part, but does this B&B Italia chair really have to cost $8,000? Because I kind of like it. But I doubt I would pay even $800 for a chair that you can't sit in on the showroom floor. I guess she's a delicate flower.

There were some "bargains," though. Maarten Baas' iconic, singed works were surprisingly affordable, as in the chandelier has less than four numbers in the price.

It was kind of an incredible experience to view all these ridiculously expensive pieces in the same location, because I don't think you could see a single thing I've written about in person in Austin. It was also rather depressing to realize that these lust worthy things -- things that Karly and I have written about and obsessed over for years -- are utterly unattainable for us regular folk.

If not us, then who buys this stuff? Well, not this thing -- I don't want to know who has $5000 to blow on a boxing glove chaise. Whoever buys that deserves to be punched in the ass.

Nice though it may be, who can afford to buy this?

Or this?

You know, who besides the (admittedly scrumptious) restaurant housed in the same complex that is furnished entirely by Mooi? (Aside: Wow! Butts!)

In response to my brother's perplexity, my sister in law remarked that what you're paying for is not necessarily the materials, but the design. I couldn't agree more, but I also have to wonder at the sanity of charging $50,000 for a couch in the midst of a huge recession. I mean, man I love that couch -- I want to marry it and have endless de Sede babies. Or, at least I did until I saw the price, but I have to say the sheer nerve of it kind of killed my boner. Which is not to say that I wouldn't snatch that puppy up if I found it on Craigslist.

Or, as Karly would say, if only it were a tenth of the price.

Take a Memo: Mama's Got a New Job

As you may remember, last week I mentioned that I started a new gig. The new job I landed isn't actually that new at all, one of my very favorite clients who I have been doing graphic design for over the last 2 years is expanding (business is actually booming!) and has hired me on as their marketing manager, I will also be working with the owners to open new locations, read:  use my finely tuned haggling skills to get them the best deals on vintage furnishings and contracting services.  Perks of the job include:  awesome bosses and the ability to continue working from home.  Not to mention that we're about to move offices, which I do visit once a week and have big, unbeknownst to them, plans to decorate the hell out of. Seeing as how the only piece of office furniture we have so far is one of these:

I think I'm off to a pretty good start.  (and yes, the skee ball machine is for real and it is vintage).

 Hopefully my new bosses will agree with me when I say that I would like to walk through these doors every time I show up to work:

Chandelier Creative via This aint no disco

Perhaps a close-up will hammer home the deal:

It makes my head hurt and my heart melt to think about what had to be done to create this grand entrance but I am willing to climb every mountain and ford every stream in order to get these mama-jammas into my working life.

Of course, what lies behind the doors is just as good:

I am loving every piece of this office, except maybe that questionable bowling ball dangerously placed in the middle of the room, and think it is totally reasonable for me to ask new bosses if I can have an exact replica of this space for my one-day-a-week visit.  Don't you?

I think my coworkers will enjoy checking things off their to-do lists surrounded by these chairs and lovely Front Design Horse Lamp.  We will be passing on the DIVA lettering, however.

If new bosses are looking for something more masculine (whatever) I will attempt to sell them on a space similar to this:

Oh!  So stately!  Way to go Household, you know I've always got your back when you start bringing the animal artwork.  Let's tour the rest of their digs.

I think the most important thing to incorporate into a new office, other than a fully functioning skee ball machine, is a place to relax, tufted, please, as well as some handsome deer sketches.

And please believe me when I say I've already been cruising the web trying to decide which wall mural will go best in my new work space.

If new bosses ask me to tone in down a notch (could you imagine?!) I would probably request a humble set up such as this one:

Gunkelman Flesher via Desire to Inspire

Would you all like to help me decide what image I should have commissioned for my custom oil painting?  I'm thinking about having my Laser Cat standing next to a faucet, she loves that.

If the oil painting puts us over our budget, I can probably save money by swapping out the desk and putting all of my old design magazines to use:

But I'm thinking this is a little impractical and I would most certainly give myself several years of bad luck by breaking the mirrored glass I would use for the top over and over again.  yes.  mirrored.

via This Aint No Disco

While I have never advocated the use of chalkboard paint, in this instance I really just love it (bye bye directors chair).  I may even show up more than once a week to visit that bright orange desk.

Won't we all feel so important when we have our creative meetings here?

via This Aint No Disco

Perhaps I could convince New Bosses to knock out the roof so that I may build myself an office in the sky like the one above.  On the condition that we get a little girl holding balloon painting, obv.

I will also be requesting this map and chair combo:

Oh!   And I just noticed those green and gold chickens!  I am so sold on this joint

And you know, I'm not having any problem at all imagining my 3 martini lunch on this couch.

Oh!!  I can't wait for new bosses to see what they've gotten themselves into, they're going to be so happy!

Girl, You Trippin

When it comes to home decor, I have 2 basic rules: 1. Form should follow function and 2. Everything looks better with a couple coats of gold spray paint. I generally shy away from pieces that are quirky for quirky's sake and stick to the basics, items like gold panther cocktail tables (see rule #2). However, every once in a while a clever design crosses my radar that is perfectly simple in it's design yet evokes an element of the surreal that screams please take me home and love me forever.

Pike Bergmans' voluminous bulb would make a perfect reading light for Salvador Dali while Thelermont Hupton's Blown Up lamps are geared up to send any hippy into an acid trip nightmare.  I really wish he'd called them Dog and Lamb On a Stick, though.  

A-hoy hoy, Andre Breton calling!  Le Telephon from Sunday land makes me want to give 1920 a call alerting them that, almost 90 years later, their predominate art movement is still alive and well.  Perhaps I could even award the surrealist forefathers with this Best In Show Mirror by Phil Cuttance?  Or maybe I could extend my ridiculously long list of things to do by adding knock this sucker off somewhere near the top.  Wouldn't it look divine in my new bedroom?

While I do not condone trompe l'oil Tuscan frescos (never, ever!) I would be delighted to spend an evening with friends around Vanessa Su's table.  If we could figure out how it works.

After dining we could retire to the lounge for cocktails and all fight over the Today and Tomorrow sofa by Lila Jang:

I believe Erin showed you this before, but who doesn't want to see it again?  

Twists and turns seem to be all the rage in the surrealist furniture trend:

I love how Pablo Reinoso's Aluminum bench is typical on both sides with a seamlessly woven center creating just enough interest to remain thoughtful without being overwhelming.  On the less practical side is his Melting Thornet chair, which, admittedly, would rock on my porch.

If your littlest family member expresses interest in a drug and art induced lifestyle at an early age, you may want to jump start the revolution with this (ahem, $5,600) Accordian Dresser

Always the purveyors of trippy home furnishings, the ladies of Front Design have a dresser built to satisfy even the most ADD among us

The (cleverly named) Changing Cupboard rotates it's facade at regular intervals to constantly reflect a different pixel pattern.  Don't believe me?  Watch the first ever video posted on Design Crisis:

If your concerned that the cupboard may throw you into convulsions, you can still bring the drama while remaining static:

The Anne table by Gareth Neal cleverly hides a queen anne table inside a basic square structure, perfect for the (am I about to say this?) transitional home.

And now that I've used the term transitional home, I think it's best for me to quit for the day.