Speakeasy Style aka Bordello Chic

I am so happy that the LA Times finally coined a name for the dreamy, sultry, moody interiors that I have been calling Speakeasy Style. Bordello Chic – it has been around for years, in bars, hot hotels, underground, gentleman lounges, in membership only clubs and finally it is out in the open. The LA Times says, “the rooms ooze mystery and the promise of scandalous behavior…it can create a seductively cozy atmosphere.” I view the look as the next stage of Hollywood Regency. Marrying glam w/ornate Rococco and a little bit of Victorian Gothic. For me, Bordello Chic is a welcome relief to the stark modernism of the 2000’s. I can’t wait to see how this fantasy plays out in the residential market. (Two way mirrors between bedroom and bathroom? Just kidding).

For an incredible history of the speakeasy craze that still has New Yorkers enamored a must read is William Grimes NYT article.

Take a look at these pics and escape into your own fantasy world:

The Edison Nightclub, LA

The Voyeur Nightclub, LA

The Voyeur Nightclub, LA

The Aurum Lounge, Atlanta Ga

Home & Gardens Belgium

A touch of Bordello Chic in this Living Room?

British Kitchen

Bordello Foyer - Belgium Home & Gardens

The Backroom Speakeasy, NYC

Apoteke the Bar, NYC

St. Tropez Chair



Hooked on Home Goods – Haute House @Horchows & Home Goods

It makes me so excited to actually find an item at Home Goods that is just being sold in the marketplace as new and at full price. At the same time, I feel for catalogs like Horchow where I found the same item that is in Home Goods for triple the price. I used to own a fashion lifestyle business with a colleague and it was so frustrating to see a buy that we just made end up at Loehman’s, Daffy’s or Filenes. I used to spend hours a week checking off price stores to make sure that manufacturers weren’t dumping items before we got our goods. In a way, it is a shame for small retailers, specialty catalogers and boutiques that would like to offer something unique to their customers when the trust between the vendor and the retailer has been broken. On the other hand, yay for us shoppers.

In this instance, WHAT A STEAL these adorable postage stamp ottomans are just spotted at Home Goods near Asbury Park in early Jan. Made by Haute House – what would you prefer to pay? $99 at Home Goods or $469 at Horchow.

Found at Horchow for $469                    Found at Home Goods for $99


Fabric Spotlight: Devore Velvet from Kevin O’Brien Studios

Thank you Kevin O’Brien for reinventing the over marketed, victorian, Devore velvet of the 1990’s. (We all did think it was pretty once).  Devore velvet, also known as burn-out,  is usually a silk-velvet where the nap is ironed for a shimmery effect. You may remember the wildly popular silk burn-out scarves that was a fashion must-have in the mid 90’s? I still have 3 or 4 and just can’t wear them anymore. Like a fortuny silk pattern, Kevin’s hand printed textiles have an intaglio feel w/a washed burn-out look that feels so vintage and fresh at the same time.



Hooked on HomeGoods: Hollywood Regency Has Arrived Big Time!

So, does that mean it’s done? I am huge fan of Kelly Wearstler’s revival and hope it is here to stay. But I wonder when HomeGoods is glutted with this look if the style has seen its day. Either way, if you like the over the top glam look of Hollywood Regency, than try a local HomeGoods for a find. All of these chairs were under $300. I am personally obessesed with the blue Billy Haines look-a-like. Accented in crystal and just waiting for a spot in my living room. (Too bad I am out of room).

Is there an Elephant in Your Room?

Moveover Buddha, monkeys, birds, peacock feathers, paisley, moroccan grillwork, baroque patterns, the butterfly and any design motif that offered a fleeting ray of false faith, hope and happiness in 2009 and make way for the Elephant. No, it’s not taboo, and if you don’t have one yet, now is the time to add this smart design motif to your home decor mix.

A timeless symbol of Buddhist strength and wisdom, the endearing elephant plans on staying for 2010 and with it the weighty promise that maybe this year will really shape up to be a wise one. The fifth of  seven jewels of royal power, the prescious elephant embodies the attributes needed for a King to stay in power, (aspiration, intention, effort and analysis). In other words, what we need to possess to make 2010 count. Certainly not one of the most beautiful motifs in design history, take a look at some ideas on how you can embrace the largeness of this icon in your home.

1. Make a BIG statement:  Can you imagine? HomeGoods on Rte. 22 in Springfield, NJ had this massive sculpture in their store at the highest price I have ever seen anything sell for at HomeGoods ($2000). I came back a week later and it was gone.

2. Enlighten: With Uttermost’s Abayomi elephant lamp designed by Carolyn Kinder. www.uttermost.com

3. Open Doors:  With an original Rosalie Sherman pewter cast elephant cabinet pull. Located at https://www.artfulhome.com/artist/Rosalie-Sherman/8082

4. Simplify: Jonathan Adler’s Peruvian stonefired porcelain elephant is pared down to beuatiful geometric shapes. What a great way to get rid of the bags. If only Joanthan Adler can figure out how to apply his approach to the face.

5.  Tsk Tusk: Not a huge elephant fan? How about a tusk table from Global Views in nickel.

6.  Relax: Luxuriate by your pool house, or add this elegant elephant side table to your living room and put your feet up. By Two’s Company.

7. A Clean Start: Wipe your hands free of any mess w/these exquisitely woven linen elephant napkins by Simrin. Part of the Raj series, you can find them at www.velioctyartanddesign.com

8. Add Angst: I didn’t know it was possible to make an elephant angry but still cute! Loubylou Stiches, a fabric designer and artist on Etsy created this sweet wall hanging in mixed mediums.

9. Bunta Block Your Own Linens: I recently started a collection of my own bunta blocks although I can’t say I have mastered the art of Indian block printing . This elephant bunta block seems to be on the rarer side retailing for over $100 on www.zanzibar-trading.com.

10. Last, Say OHMage to the Elephant: With this fabulous meditation pillow.