Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Looking for sophisticated and dreamy ideas for your kid's rooms? I absolutely love the eye of designer Tamara Kaye-Honey. Somehow she has perfected dreamscapes for teenagers to hang out in. For more of her interior design work click here.
As I was just working on my computer, designing some wedding invitations for a client and browsing websites (read: procrastinating on Facebook!) a friend of mine uploaded a photo that knocked my socks off. My friend works at 30 Rockefeller (NBC) in New York City and took a photo of what she called The Muppet Pipes.
I was blown away. I needed to know more.
Apparently, in 1964, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Don Sahlin and Jerry Juhl were sitting around their dressing room at The Jack Paar Show, waiting to go on stage. Bored, they opened up a utility closet, saw this bunch of plain pipes and decided to go back to their nearby studio, get some art supplies and come back to decorate the pipes while they passed the time. This was pre-Muppets, pre-Sesame Street.
They finished their "Muppet Pipes", closed the closet door, and went on stage.
In the five decades since they were created, the pipes have been hidden in a closet -- which up until very recently was in Max Weinberg's dressing room! Earlier this week, though, NBC revealed that they knocked down the closet and put the Muppet Pipes on display as part of the NBC tour.
This unbelievable, imaginative, colorful and whimsical 'found art' is so inspiring and makes me want to look at all the mundane, everyday objects in my own home - and take them to the next level.
This would be such a fantastic project for any family - to turn the ordinary into extraordinary and push the limits of your imagination.
I hope this inspires all of you as much as it has me. Click HERE to see Frank Oz, the only surviving member of the foursome, talk about what he calls "affectional anarchy" and explain who did what, and how... nearly 50 years ago!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Looking for a unique and inexpensive (very) table decor idea? This might be it! Giant paper roses combined with smaller ones too, are elegant and artsy, and look modern and vintage all at the same time, so they'll suit just about any style. The key is the right paper! I used some old dress making pattern paper that the art supply store actually gave me for free rather than tossing it in the garbage. It had yellowed with age — perfect! You'll need very large sheets or a roll of heavy weight tissue paper, preferably creme, though drafting vellum might work nicely as well. Experiment and create your own lovely versions!For more info, click here.
Monday, June 28, 2010
My boy doesn't like baby blue. So being a discerning mom myself I decided to give them all away to someone who does. As the pile of clothes sat in my office I had this thought that I could dye some of the ones that I liked the cotton material of. So I did. I used good old Rit dye. I am sure there are more natural dyes but being a working mom with my three month old son. I opted for what I knew I could get quickly. My first batch was a blue that I like to call Indigo....and I dyed everything that I imagined would look good.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Funny how I thought my handbag obsession would be curbed after having a baby. I now get really excited at words like compartment, stain-resistant, insulated and loops...
So this weekend I'm on the lookout for something smaller than an official diaper bag to fit food and bottles... anyone have any stylin' suggestions?
above (and below): Anya Hindmarch
above: Marc by Marc Jacobs
above: le sport sac in houseboat patttern
This summer I've got the kids at home... So we've taken to calling ourselves "Camp Mommakiddo" ... One of our crafts this week was a nature walk where we collected rocks and used our crafty bin extras to make these funny little friends.
**Note from Cat: I want to see all of the fun projects that you are doing with your kids this summer! Please send us photos of your favorites...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Your gorgeous book, "The Well-Dressed Home" is so inspiring in how it bridges one's fashion aesthetic with their decor sense. What's your advice for moms constantly on the go who may have lost touch with their personal style?
As a mom of four, I am constantly dressing myself and my home for whatever is easiest. Sometimes I even get stuck in a "style" rut. To get back in my groove I try to look for inspiration in magazines, on blogs and from friends. I found that as my children get older it is much easier to find my personal style. As my own time has become more available , I begun to update not only in my wardrobe, but my home. Magazines, blogs, and friends are often a great, quick way to "check" in to style trends and ideas. I think that when our children are young we are so busy taking care of little ones that our personal style for ourselves often gets put to the wayside. As time goes by and children get older I find it much easier to pursue my own style interests.
I love that readers can see themselves in each of the categories...from couture bohemian to retro resort. How do you assess your clients' styles when you have your first sit down meeting?
I don't want to stereotype anyone upon the first meeting so I am usually careful to remain open and not judge a book by its cover. I have been pleasantly surprised over and over by clients' choices for home decor that, had I opened their closets and taken a peek into their wardrobe first, I would have seen many other styles they actually were attracted to. I cannot tell you how many times when we were making this book that I explored the closets of the homeowners only to find that their wardrobes often reflected their choices for home decor. Our lifestyles are made up of many layers of styles and I think it is important to remember that each client has his or her own "dress" code already in development. How open a client is to adding more layers is what makes the process fun. Many times I have begun a project with a person who states that there style is one way or another, only to find by the end that they are happy to add another style layer to their home. I think we all buy what we like or love. Our homes should reflect that too regardless of what defines our style.
What are some inexpensive but instant ways to spruce up a kid's room? If there was just one item to splurge on, what would it be?
A quick way to spruce up a child's room is bedding. It is easy to change and usually needs refreshing every now and then. I just today re-dressed my 9 year old Lena's bedding. She choose the pattern "daisy" from the Annette Tatum Collection. When the bed was all made, it made such a statement and instantly updated the room. When it comes to "splurging" on an item for the room I usually invest in something that I consider one- of - kind; wall art, a small decorative chair or an interesting new chandelier. I love finding a treasure that sets the room apart and makes the room feel special. I also like to splurge on framing my child art for the room. It costs a little bit more, but a work of art is worth it.
Were you rearranging furniture and dreaming in colors from the time you were young? How did you become a leading interior designer?
I have asked my mother the same question! I don't think I did. I think I liked "organizing" which in turn lead to moving existing furniture around to give the room a whole new feel. I often still do this in my own home. I try different pieces in new locations. I love moving things around and it often creates surprising results. Once for a photo shoot, I moved the living room into the family room and created an all pink tea party for the day. My girls loved it and wanted it to stay that way forever. Smaller moves have also helped me find homes for pieces of furniture that I thought were never right. The path leading up to interior design has been a winding road. I have studied architecture, product design, fashion and textile design. So I have done a little of everything and lot of somethings. I don't know if "interior" designer is the final phase but the book has inspired me more to be open to the lifestyle aspect of design more that just the product itself. I am loving the fashion angle to home decor because I love how fashion moves through seasons. It is fast paced and exciting. Full of drama and detail. I would love to see more of this in home decor.
You mention you are a family of six with four kids...I'd love to know what a typical day-in-your-life is like! Any personal tips on how you've managed to balance such a busy career and family life?
I am a good juggler!! I don't know how I get through some days and sometimes things fall through the cracks. I always try to take my kids to school and pick up them up - and then I work in between. This is a fairly new routine due to my youngest in now out of kindergarten. I think I often mentally make a list of priorities too. I know that as my oldest just went off to college that time passes so quickly, so I try and find time to slow down. Sometimes I just have to say, "nothing at work is that important." I also have found that in this group of 4 children, they are often able to help each other, which in turn is a great help to me. My children come to my office after school. They have been around my work since they were little so it all seems so natural. They have all been to a trade show!! So, aside from the day to day schedule of school and work I try and create pockets of time for my family. Weekends I try not to work and after school I leave the cell phone in the car..most of the time. And just when I get it all figured out and it seems like there is a routine, it all changes again. Someone starts ballet, another one has baseball and the balancing act begins again.
You've worked with some of the top celebrity moms out there...Minnie Driver, Maria Shriver, Marcia Cross Sara Michelle Gellar, ... How much did their children's styles factor into the design process of their decor? Who was the most fun to work with?
Working with celebrity moms is always fun and many who I have worked with I now call my friends. Working with a new mom can create a bond when you are designing the "nest" for their new baby to come home to. I try to keep the process simple, easy and low key. Many celebrities are often bombarded daily with requests and demands. I try and keep this part of their lives personal and private. It is not like they are sporting the newest handbag. A baby is coming and like any new mom to be this time is special and I try and honor that. Since the baby has not usually arrived yet, the design choices usually reflect the mom's personal style. I loved working with Marcia because creating a room for twins is unique and exciting. Minnie was great as well. She had two separate nurseries to design. One more classic and beachy, the other more bohemian. We have many celebrity moms that visit our shop and know our products. I am always happy to be asked to help create something that is unique and expresses their own special style.
What's your next big venture? Do you have any plans to write another book (if so, any hints on what it might be about)?
Next... a book possibly.. maybe two. Two different subjects so that could keep my plate full. I am still traveling on a book tour for The Well Dressed Home and that has been fun meeting so many people in other towns across the country. I love the small discussions that result from the book and have really got to see first hand how many people love the book. They are actually using the philosophy in their own home designs. I am also launching an online store for www.annettetatum.com finally and working on new patterns and products for Little House as well. Somehow... even if I don't plan my next big venture... it finds me!
Monday, June 21, 2010
But first up, I wanted to do a giveaway of her gorgeous book published by Random House, "The Well-Dressed Home." When I received it in the mail I went nuts over each and every one of the pages...if you are into inspiration boards, patterns, decor and fashion, then this is your book. By tapping in your personal aesthetic and fashion style Annette shows how to decorate your interiors (including kid's rooms!).
To enter for a copy of her book, please leave a comment below and tell me what your personal style is (eco, modern, classic, bohemian etc?)! Tweet or put it on your FB and you can enter a second and third time. This giveaway ends Friday and is open to all Designing Moms and readers.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
above: some of Designing Mom Jenn's favorite photos with her amazing dad
Well, it's this weekend, and you've asked for pics of our dads. I know that the focus here is supposed to be on my children's dad, but I wanted to make sure to honor my own dad this weekend. While my two little girls have a fantastic daddy, I wouldn't be where I am without my own dear ol' dad.
My dad taught me to be creative, to be passionate and to be courageous. My dad taught me that the " gets the oil"! My dad taught me about his art, and let me teach him back about mine. My dad is the only person I know who can go to the art store with me and stay with me in the pen section for an hour, discussing the merits of one pen or another. My dad is my hero, my best friend and a really supreme mentor who I'd be lost without. I love you daddy!