Montauk The End

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I've always admired the design aesthetic of designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams so I was in heaven when I found their Montauk Long Island home in World of Interiors September 2008 issue. It's definitely got a little flea market feel and Robin says that when they go to the Paris flea market, "we split up, but beforehand we agree to pick out three things each. In the end, two out of the three things we find are always the same." I wish I could find a straight man who wants to go to the flea market with me! Any takers?!

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Flea Market Fun with Eddie Ross!

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I would have been happy with receiving just an email from Top Design contestant and Martha Stewart Living Senior Style Editor, Eddie Ross, but to go to the flea markets with him was a both a treat and an honor! Eddie is so amazingly talented and knowledgeable that I joked that I was learning from The Master but it really was the truth! Luckily, we got to take a few photos and enjoy the outdoor flea market at 39th and 9th before the deluge began!

Eddie, not surprisingly, had already done a walk-thru before we arrived and had started making a pile! His partner Jaithan, who also couldn't have been sweeter, joked that when they are driving Eddie can spot a tag sale and be out the door and have things under his arm before anyone else is even out of the car and I believe it! It was amazing watching him find things that the rest of hadn't even seen! You gotta dig!

Not only does he find things that others over look but he thinks outside the box so a ceiling light fixture could become a cake plate if placed on top of a vase! He is a creative genius!

Some of Eddie's purchases included a fabulous bar cart and Christmas ornaments because he's already thinking about his holiday decorations! Somehow this doesn't surprise me!

I saw these great marble lamps on his blog from his visit to the flea market last weekend and to my surprise the dealer still had them this weekend so I scooped them up without hesitation! They were $100 for the pair and had already been rewired so now they just need new harps and shades. One will look perfect on my desk now and the pair will look great flanking a sofa later when I have a larger apartment! We saw a similar pair later for $150 that didn't have anywhere near as nice a patina as mine.

The best part about Eddie is his incredible knowledge. He knows exactly what every utensil is to be used for like the cake fork and sugar spoons we saw today. I like to think I know a lot but being with Eddie made me realize that I need educate myself more about china and flatware! Anyone have any good book recommendations that would help with this task?

I loved all the beautiful wood, ivory and mother of pearl handled flatware on Eddie's blog and unfortunately we came across a treasure trove in the garage flea market on 25th Street after I had already spent well over my budget! Eddie was also great at teaching us how much is fair to pay for certain items at the flea market which was very helpful!

Another good rule of thumb is to think about a price that you are willing to spend on an item before you inquire as to how much they are asking. When I saw this fabulous box of gold Greek key bordered china from Heinrich & Co. of Bavaria Germany in a box on the floor, I was a little nervous as to what the dealer was going to say so when he replied $40 it was a no brainer! (I think I might have gotten an Eddie special though since he's a regular!) There were 10 dinner plates, 11 bread/dessert plates, 8 tea cups, 4 saucers, two different sized bowls and a creamer. More than you could ever get new for $40! The only problem is that I'm obviously missing some pieces and I can't figure out what pattern it is yet on Replacements Limited. If anyone knows or can figure it out, I would be eternally grateful!

The china is so beautiful that I can't stop looking at it! I might have to start drinking tea just so I can use them everyday! There is nothing that sounds as lovely as the tinkling of a tea cup and saucer! I recently bought some gold rimmed champagne and wine glasses at Housing Works that could lean a little too Donald Trump with the gold rimmed china but I think they might actually look nice together. (I also styled this photo as an homage to Eddie and his professional looking photos on his blog!)

I also bought a few other odds and ends including these chic gold cuff links for $10! I might give them to the Bachelor or save them for someone else who might appreciate their elegant simplicity. I also found an old book entitled Furniture and Decoration from 1941 for only $7 and a few accessories for the Bachelor Pad.

All in all, it was a fun and educational day and I want to thank Eddie Ross for being so gracious and sharing all his secrets! I always say that the people I've met are the best part about blogging but it's really true! We have to wait until November to see who wins Top Design but it's clear that Eddie is already a winner in my book!!!

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Why don't you...

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Habitually Chic Redecorates: Making Progress

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After - September 2008

Before - March 2008

It's been a whirlwind week of painting and redecorating at Casa Chic and serious progress has been achieved. I'm so happy with the wall color, Benjamin Moore Cedar Key (OC-16) and White Dove (OC-17) trim. It better reflects my style now and coincidentally my closet. I repainted the television cabinet in Midnight Dream (2129-10) which pops off the tan walls now. I like how the black television disappears in it so I am debating whether to put the doors back on. I may look for new knobs though.

I also moved my computer to the other side of the room in order to have space for a new bookcase (Ikea Billy $59.99. Gotta love it!). I own a million books and needed more organized storage space. I also now have room for magazines and storage boxes for my tear sheets and work projects. Of course, after I styled the whole thing two new books from Rizzoli arrived today! More about those later. I still have more to do including hanging all my artwork and priming and painting all the trim in the bedroom. But now I think I might take a nap! Decorating is exhausting!

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What's your sign?

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I couldn't post anything last night because my computer was being a bit temperamental which actually wasn't surprising since it was the first day of the current Mercury retrograde cycle. I think a lot of people now know that when Mercury is retrograde, it not only affects communications but computer and technical equipment. So I thought this might be good time to discuss astrology and the stars. I recently had the pleasure of having my personalized charts read my astrologist Aurora Tower.

When I mentioned that I was meeting with an astrologer, reaction was mixed. Some people confessed that they too see someone, like the person who has their chart done every year on their birthday by the same astrologer that Donna Karan sees and others looked at me like I had said I was consulting Dionne Warwick and Psychic Friends Network! On friend announced that only single people read their horoscopes but there is a huge difference between reading your horoscope in the newspaper and having your personalized chart read and there was no better person to consult than Aurora who is young and passionate about astrology. "My goal is really to get more people interested in and educated and excited about it, that it is something that should be fun and people should be less "mystified" by it" she said. She also grew up in Manhattan and now lives part of the year on St. John where she is creating an eco-luxury home that will hopefully be for rent soon! She also has a great blog!

It seems like a lot of creative people are more open to astrology as are people in the East. We had an interesting talk about how the Olympics opening ceremony were planned for an auspicious date and time and that many companies use astrology to conduct business dealings on the best possible days. All in all I loved the charts that Aurora prepared and explained to me. I always wondered why I didn't always feel like an Aries and now I know why! While she didn't give me the exact date I am going to meet my soul mate, she did give me good news about work and traveling and that's good enough for me! By the way, Aurora can be reached at
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Round Robin

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As you may remember, we originally wanted to buy a round dining table for the Bachelor Pad but decided to keep the exisiting dining table to save money. That still doesn't mean that I don't notice every time I see a fabulous round or oblong table. I especially love modern tables paired with antique or vintage chairs and also the reverse of antique tables with modern chairs. It looks so interesting, modern and personal. Enjoy!

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Chic Shopping: 145 Antiques

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The most exciting thing about working near Union Square are all the fabulous shops and showrooms in the area! Last week, I stopped into 145 Antiques on 20th Street and was blown away by their lovely furniture and beautiful Italian lamps which they rewire in the backroom. If you stop by, I guarantee you'll find something for yourself or a client! Just make sure you close the door behind you on your way in so you don't let the dogs out!

145 Antiques
27 West 20th Street (bet. 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011

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Houses in My Heart

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I had no idea that Carleton Varney had a new book about to be published entitled, Houses of My Heart: Carelton Varney, an International Decorator's Colorful Journey! Carleton seems like a pretty colorful character so I can only imagine the stories he has to tell!

Carleton's son, Nicholas Varney, a fabulous jewelry designer, also has a new collection of babbles inspired by fabrics like damask and tweed that are beyond chic, as are the prices. You can check them out at Bergdorf's this fall and then pick yourself up the more reasonably priced book by Carleton! Happy Decorating!
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Happy Autumn!

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"There is a harmony in autumn,
and a lustre in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be, as if it had not been!"

Percy Bysshe Shelley
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