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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where Our Trash Went...

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We once had a friend who went environ-MENTAL on us all of the sudden--and quite forcefully at it.

Have you had one of those? You know, the kind that monitor your plastic bag usage? The kind that only let you use two squares of toilet paper at a time, and only if it's a number two? The kind that if you stay at his house, shower is limited to a minute and a half?

Well, it was no fun hanging out with someone like that, but reading this LA Times article makes us wonder if he does have a point. The article is about how trash is being disposed after it left our homes.

Some of the main points in the article:

1) The amount of waste we generated is enormous and permanent. More and more landfills are filling up and new spaces are needed.

2) We consume more alcohol and eat less healthy than we are willing to admit.

3) We waste a lot of food. 10% of garbage is edible food, and there is no discernible difference between the rich and the poor.

To read the entire article, click here.

It really makes you think about how much we consume and how much we waste, doesn't it?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Color Story: Black, Gold and White

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We're just in the mood for something cheerful this time of year. Something that's a little unusual, a little daring, a little fun...
w about something in black, white and yellow? It's like, having some permanent sunshine-plus, it's a killer color-combination too. Very dramatic & glamorous.



Source: Armoire by Worlds Away, Rug by Surya, Chairs by Guildmaster,
Mirror by Bungalow 5, Pendant by Worlds Away,Pillow by Bliss Studio.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

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From the LA Times:

"There is quiet beauty in ordinary lives that are well-lived".

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another Magazine Bites the Dust-Metropolitan Home Closing

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The day started off beautifully. It was 75 degree, perfectly sunny, tank-top-and-flip-flop kinda weather.

Yes, if there is anything good you can say about Los Angeles, it's the weather.

So we had our latte, went to the park with our dog, went to the farmers market, and when we got home, the mail box was full of magazines. Really, can the day be any better?

But, nothing lasts forever. Our great day was ruined when we read that Metropolitan Home, one of the best modern decor magazines, is closing down. December would be its last issue.

Seriously, we just want to cry!

We wrote in a previous post about how all the great magazines are closing down-Gourmet, Domino, Blue Print, Southern Accents, InStyle Home, Cottage Living...Declining ad revenues are to blame. So is the Internet.

We don't know about you, but NOTHING on the Internet can substitute the feeling that you get when you open a fresh issue of glossy magazine full of amazing photography. Yes, there are tons of design blogs and all, but nothing can substitute the kind of awesome inspirations that professional designers can provide. Sure, we think it's great that Mary Sue did an awesome kitchen using Ikea, but we much rather see an amazing kitchen redesign on Met Home. Think about it, do you get more inspiration from someone say, Thomas Keller vs Rachel Ray?

Nuff said.

So here is a thought for the magazine/newspaper industry: How about charging for content? Yes, Robert Murdoch got a lot of heat for saying this, but it is a valid argument. The industry has to pay for its cost of business, and as their readers, it is our moral obligation to help sustain them. Instead of paying $15 for a two-year subscription, charge a little more. Have some free content on the web, but charge for premium content.

We are so used to the idea that everything has to be free for us to use it, but at the end, the cost of paying nothing is that we end up having nothing in return.

Like everything else in life.

UPDATE: Looks like the media establishments are starting to charge readers for their content. Check out this NY Times article for more..

Friday, December 18, 2009

Animal-themed Lamps from Barbara Cosgrove

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We've been seeing a lot of animal-themed decor lately. Some are very tastefully done, lots are not...

We've always loved Barbara Cosgrove lamps. They take traditional styles and put a modern twist on them, and the overall effect is quite glamorous. We've seen them displayed in very upscale places like the SLS hotel in Beverly Hills and many five-star hotels in Vegas.

Here are some new animal-theme lamps that were introduced recently. They are not expensive at all (about $200-$400 per pair).



This pair of foo dogs lamps are MARVELOUS in person. It's one of our favorites.

This will be cute in a kid's room...
You can see the rest of the collection at Barbara Cosgrove or visit our modern lamps section.




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Candice Olson Rugs for Surya

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We love Candice Olson's TV show on HGTV. Her style is fresh and modern yet approachable. It's not like Kelly Wearstler's where things look amazing but then you think to yourself-- who has that kind of money and that kind of life?

Anyway, Candice Olson just did a collection of rugs for Surya and it very much reflects her aesthetics. They are not too expensive (about $1000 for a 8 x 10 or so, less, obviously,for smaller sizes...).

Here are some really pretty ones:






You can see the entire collection in our modern rug section or Surya's web site.

Really Cute Bed for Kids

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The other day we were shopping for a gift for a kid's room, and golly, everything is blue or pink or yellow. What's up with these three colors anyway? Did someone decide a long time ago that these are defacto kid colors and the whole industry just follow suit?

Frankly we're a little tired of pink and blue. Here are some alternatives that we think would be really nice for kids or teenagers. They are great focal points and you can build themes around them...






The furniture is from Guildmaster (we would have listed the link here but it's for the trade only so it won't do you any good, sorry). Prices for the headboards run from $800 for a twin to $1200 for a queen. Email us if you need help.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Rugs from Safavieh

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We're always amazed at how the right accessories can just transform a room. It's like taking a plain girl and putting the right makeup, hairdo and fantastic shoes on her. It makes a huge, huge difference.

When we pick out home accessories, we usually look for rugs first. It's because most rugs are instant focal points. There are so much to choose from, and because they are not too expensive (if you pick out the right one)-- you can interchange them easily.

Here are some from Safavieh Rugs that we like. They are fun, bright, well-made, and gently-priced (an 8 x 10 is less than $1000).










To see more, check out our Safavieh Rugs section or visit their web site.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Casting Calls for HGTV's Design Star

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HGTV is looking for contestants to compete in the next season of Design Star.

It has signed up Mark Burnett, the creator of "Survivor", to produce the show. The winner will have the opportunity to produce his/her own show.

To apply, e-mail David Polanzak at dpo.casting@gmail.com with the following information:

Name:
Age:
Hometown:
Phone:
Photo:

Submissions are due by Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Modern Pendants from Lights Up

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If you are a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that we have a soft spot for pretty, colorful things. We love decor that is fun, happy, and bright.

Our sales rep emailed us yesterday about Lights Up, a lighting company based out of New York. We love the line and thought we should share it with you. They make pretty, colorful pendants, which are really inexpensive and really fun. Lightsup's lead time is 10 days. The fabric can be customized.

Here are some of our favorites:








The fabric selection is adorable. Here are a few (you can see the rest on the site).





These pendants, as we mentioned previously, are totally inexpensive. They run between $200-$400.

To see the complete line, check out Lights Up web site. We'll be putting them up on our lighting section soon, so check our site in a few days...

Monday, November 23, 2009

About Us

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The year was 2001. We were working in sales for one of those high-tech software companies in Silicon Valley. This was the year of the dot-com boom. The Internet was taking off and people were making money left and right.

We had a little money to play with and decided to decorate our own house. Mind you, we knew nothing about decorating then. We proceeded to waste a lot of money from overpaying for furniture, hiring worthless interiors designers (note: not all interiors designers are worthless, just ours) and whatever else. It was a complete disaster.

So we proceeded to find our own sources for decorating, and in the process, found some amazing places where you can get good stuff for cheap.

It was in one of those boring ass, trying-to-make-some-sales trips that we decided that maybe we could turn what we learned into a viable business. We quit our jobs.

Little did we know, it's a hard, hard business. Especially if you try to run a retail store. Especially after 9/11. Especially if you don't have any clue on how to run a business.

We started out as an online store only; then had this brilliant idea of opening a retail store, which we had no business doing. It almost undid us. Physically. Mentally. Financially.

So we got back to our core business a few years ago, which is to create an e-commerce site for home furnishing products that are pretty and affordable.

This turns out to be the best business decision we ever made.

We now operate two online stores. Inside Avenue is our main store and carries mostly furniture and accessories. Inside Fabric is our first niche store, carrying only upholstery fabrics and wallpapers. We plan to add more niche stores in the future- time and money permitting.

This blog is born out of our love for decorating. We love finding new things and tell you about it.

We love discovering new vendors, especially the small and emerging ones, and write about them.

As we find new resources that are interesting or useful, we share them with you. They are not all neccessarily about decorating. Sometimes we write about food,travel and fashion too.

We hope you enjoy our blog. Thank you for reading.

P.S. Your thoughtful comments are always appreciated (note we said "thoughtful"-read into that as it was intended).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Three Very Glamorous Chandeliers

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You probably think that we are being lazy when there are only "three" items on our list instead of ten. What is it about lists that always have to have ten items in it anyway?

So we are going to buck the trend by only have three items in our list. Mainly because right now there are only three chandeliers that we think are worth mentioning, and the other reason is, well, we really are lazy today. It's been a long week.

We promise to bring it to ten eventually.

Here are our three favorite chandeliers this week. We like them because they make such a statement without being too expensive (they run about $1500-$1800).

This one is from Oly Studio. It's called Flower Fall Chandelier.


This one is from a small designer in Los Angeles called Marjorie Skouras. We saw this in High Point and it is lovely indeed.


This one is from Made Goods, one of our new favorite vendors.

Colorful Upholstery Furniture from CR Laine

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One of our biggest complaints about American furniture manufacturers is how BORING their furniture can be. Year after year you see this same old stuff--they call it classic but we think they are just unimaginative. We're talking about brown, dark wood furniture, heavy upholstery in taupe and cream, plain styling. The sad thing is, 80% of households have this stuff. Why? Because we don't have lots of choices.

So we were really happy to see some colors this seasons from some of the old-school uphoslterers. They are finally getting it! Who wants to be surrounded by drab all the time! Give us some vibrancy and happiness! Give us colors!

Here are some from CR Laine that we kinda like. This company makes great upholstery furniture. Most of their stuff is fairly standard (as you will see from the web site), but here are some jewels:




To see the complete product line, visit to CR Laine web site.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Six Great Decorating Web Sites

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We love decorating web sites as much as some people love chocolate, perhaps even more so. It's an addiction, actually. A harmless one, but an addiction nonetheless.

Here are some fantastic decorating web sites we'd like to share with you. They serve as inspiration boards, ideas and sometimes, just decorating porn...

1) Light Locations

The web site itself is a photography agency for home & garden magazines, but you can get ideas from their beautiful images.

2) Remodelista

This is great blog for resources, product ideas and the like. Easy reading, pretty pictures.

3) Design Sponge

Founded by Grace Bonney, this blog has several postings per week with topics ranging from decorating, DYI project, before & after, book reviews. Very thoughfully written.

4) Point Click Home

This is the official web site for Metropolitan Home and Elle Decor. It is well-categorized and have all the back issues covered. A great site to browse through past & current issues without having to store tons of old magazines.

5) My Home Ideas

This is the official web site for Sunset Magazine, Southern Accents, Southern Living, Cottage Living and Real Simple. It has tons of pictures (and tons of ads as well), but it is a wonderful site to browse through for tips and inspirations.

6) Redcover

We love this web site for its wide range of home decorating pictures, mostly international. Beautiful photography.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Unique Pendants from DK Living

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We think lighting is one of those things that's really hard to shop for. You either get the generic, boring stuff at Home Depot or Lowes or you get the really high-end stuff at specialty stores.

So we were a little excited when we saw these at DK Living. This company sells furniture and accessories that are simple but very unique. The prices are very reasonable too. They run between $200-800 for the fixtures.

Here are some pendants that are quite lovely...
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This one is a mesh-wire in silver. It 's only $200.
We love this glass pendant. It's so simple and clean-lined.
This picture is terrible, but the pendant looks adorable in person. The bubbles are being tied together by very thin wires. It runs about $700 or so.
We just like the simplicity of this pendant.
This one is very glamorous. It's about $800.
The pictures are not so great, sorry. They look much in person though.

Pretty Chinoiserie Furniture from Guild Master

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Going to trade show requires tons of stamina, let us tell you. You usually walk floor after floor of showrooms, and because you don't want to miss everything, you try to stop at almost every single one of them.

Until your eyes glaze over and everything starts to look the same...

At any rate, we saw this line toward the end of our trip at High Point. Although we were dead tired, it caught our eyes and we thought we show it to you. It's Asian and rattan, two things that we normally don't like, but these are done very well.

Here are some examples from the line.





The items run between $1200/per pair for chair to $1800/per pair for barstools. Not too bad for very high quality stuff!

For more information on the line, visit the GuildMaster web site. The site is for the trade only, but it has contact information so that you can be directed to a dealer nearby.

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