Monthly Archives: November 2012

Last month I attended Kathryn M. Ireland’s Interior Design Bootcamp in Los Angeles.

That would be Kathryn the internationally known designer, NOT Kathy the former SI cover model.  One Hollywood exec said to me, “I thought you were talking about the model the entire time.  Alas, now our conversation has become less interesting to me.”  Too funny.  Gotta love Hollywood.

It would be hard to describe a packed four day schedule in one short blog post.  Overall, it was fantastic experience.  I was very impressed by Kathryn and her team, Jen, Rebecca, and Francesca.  I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting my fellow bootcampers.

There were only seven of us.  Six were in different stages of our careers. One bootcamper had a new house.  For her it was a good opportunity to see how a designer works.  Some bootcampers had degrees in Interior Design and their own showrooms, while others were self taught and just starting out.  It was a great mix.

If you watch the show MILLION DOLLAR DECORATORS or have read anything about Kathryn you know that along with being a talented textiles and interior designer, she’s a fantastic host.  We met some heavy hitters in the business and it says something about Kathryn that everyone she introduced us to was warm, and down-to-earth.

The workshop was organized (binders, books, baked goods!)  We received excellent nuts and bolts information and advice about the business of design.   There were guest speakers who talked about the state of the industry, branding, product development, publicity, and social media.

We also visited several high profile showrooms with Kathryn, like Lucca, Nathan Turner, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Peter Dunham, Christopher Farr, Jasper, Pat McGann, etc.

Martyn’s was our last showroom stop. He had drinks and quips for us.

There was down time too (and plenty of wine with meals). We went on a hike in Will Rogers State Park with sick views of the Pacific.  It wasn’t mandatory but a nice way to kick off a long day.  That day we visited  Kathryn’s print shop.  She opened it in Los Angeles instead of outsourcing the work.  The time it takes to hand print fabric is no joke and that’s why it’s expensive.

We worked on our mood/presentation boards for our projects with input from Kathryn and her team.  I wanted to pull my hair out as I tried to draw my floor plans by hand. Luckily for me, one of my fellow bootcampers was a kitchen and bath designer.  She talked me down off the ledge.

I can’t really say which highlight (there were many) of the workshop was my favorite.  I can say I returned to Rome feeling excited about the future and inspired.

For more information about future Bootcamps, check out Kathryn’s WEBSITE.

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Jacques Grange is one of my favorite designers.

I adore the work he did on Aerin Lauder’s new office. Lauder recently launched her own home décor and fashion company after years of working for the company her grandmother, Estée, founded.

It’s not easy to create an office that is functional and beautiful.   This one is.

Mood boards in the design studio.

The entrance hall.

The main room.

All photos: Architectural Digest

This office has wonderful personal touches. I think creative spaces need them. One production company I used to work for had a layout/dècor that screamed, “this is where creativity comes to die.”

The entrance hall, pictured above, sets the tone the minute you walk into the office with its art, fresh flowers, and that gorgeous chandelier.

To read the article and see more photos of this fantastic space, click HERE.



Tonight (10/9c) is the premiere of Bravo’s hit decorating show (in the United States).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about the international dates. Last season, it started to air in Italy a few months later on SKY’s Real Time channel.

It better air here this season.  I’m still salty about the E! Channel being dropped.  No more “Fashion Police”, “THS” or those great specials about murderous cheerleaders.

From what I’ve read and heard, there will be a greater focus on decorating/design this season.

Of course this is a reality program and there must be drama as well.  A TV series where everything goes well and everyone gets along all the time would be boring.

I hope they show more of Kathryn M. Ireland’s beautiful home.

I asked Martin Lawrence Bullard if he had a new catchphrase for this season. He does!

For more info about the show and to see clips, check out Bravo’s page HERE.

Those of us outside the United States cannot see the clips. Sigh.

Finally, my jet lag is over.

My trip to Los Angeles was fantastic.  Those who know me or read my former blog know how I feel about the City of Angeles.  However, this trip was different.

Kathryn M. Ireland’s Design Bootcamp had a lot to do with my positive experience.  I will post about that later.

While I was in L.A. I met up with two friend friends/colleagues at Farmshop located in the Brentwood Country Mart.

I was a little early so I stopped by what seemed to be a lovely stationary store.   Once I was inside, I almost lost my mind.  It was Sugar Paper!  I’ve read about this store many times but never had a chance to visit it.

Remembering my luggage restrictions (and my budget), I limited myself to just two items.  It was very difficult.


Stationary from Sugar Paper

Founded in 2003 by graphic designers Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker, Sugar Paper makes beautiful letter-pressed stationary.   I love their stylish designs.

There’s something really special about handwritten notes.   It’s so rare to receive one these these days.  Everything is online.

Check out Sugar Paper’s portfolio HERE.






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