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The Good Shepherd Charity Design Project

20 Jul

 Finally, the day has come!  We are so proud to announce the Open House for the Good Shepherd Charity Design Project will be this weekend and we invite you to join us.  This has been an incredible undertaking – 30 designers took on the challenge of decorating 30 rooms dedicated to transitional housing, rooms that hadn’t been touched for 11 years.  

The project was exciting and so humbling and it felt so good to challenge ourselves while giving back.  Not only have we met some Extraordinary women (we even had the pleasure of meeting our tenant!) but we have also seen some Extraordinary rooms.  It is astounding what this group of talented designers did with the likes of a 10″ x 12″ space, just beautiful… I must admit, I loved flexing the decorating muscle again…it’s been years since decorating film sets and though Paul and I have enjoyed doing friends and family’s homes for years,  this project was very special and close to our hearts. We have never met a group of more inspiring and big-hearted women than the residents at the shelter and the excitement they had for the project had us in tears.

I’ll be posting more on it soon, with before and after photos and the whole nine yards once we get clearance.  But for now, hopefully you will join us and see the rooms in person.  Wait until you see the chandelier! 

 Please come and join us for our Show House in downtown LA as 30 interiors designers transform the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women & Children into a beautiful space to benefit deserving area women and children. All 30 rooms will be open for viewing and each designer will be there to present their room. This is an event you don’t want to miss!

 Saturday and Sunday July 23 and 24th  from 11-3pm


Hawkes Building
1650 Rockwood St.
Los Angeles CA 90026

PH 213 482 1834

Food and refreshments will be served.
Parking available on all side streets.

*No RSVP is necessary we look forward to seeing you!
*Please feel free to pass the invite along.



The mission of Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women & Children is to provide, with dignity and love, a continuum of care from homelessness to self-sufficiency for women and their children, through services offered by professional and volunteer staff. For over 25 years Good Shepherd Center has provided food, clothing, shelter and supportive services for homeless women and children. From mobile outreach to transitional shelter to long-term housing for mothers with disabilities, help is available every step of the way. Good Shepherd continues to serve more than 900 women and children a year through comprehensive programs, providing long-term solutions to poverty and homelessness.

Participating Interior Designers: Ames Ingham, Olivia Williams, Charmean Neithart, Dana Doumani, Erica Islas, Form LA, Heidi Bendetson, Hillary Thomas, Irene Lovett, Jenifer Porter, Jessica Pakzad Bennett, Jordan Cappella, Julie Thigpen, Kelly Edwards, Kelly Schandel, Kirsten Hanson-Press, Kristine Page Kamenstein, Lily Menjivar, Megan Janzen, William Schneider, Marcia Zia & Paul Priven, Laura Clayton Baker, Meg Joannides, Michele Alexandra Kay, Michelle Workman, Mollie Ranize, Nadia Geller, Sasha Emerson, Shirry Dolgin, Lisa Harper, Susie Ho, Tamara Kaye Honey, Typhanie Peterson, Vanessa De Vargas.

Zia-Priven, Inc.’s room was made possible by the generosity of:
Tucker Robbins, Smith+Noble, Atmosphere Interiors, Karastan, Glidden Paint, Against the Stream, Filmore Clark, Bungalow 5, Dwell Studio, Pacific Lighting & Electrical, Inc., Flooring America, Carpet Empire Plus, Alan & Cheryl Priven, Nancy Chavez, Zia-Priven, Inc., Paper Mosaic Studio, Sofa Club, Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker, Modern Chic Home, Mend Etc. and Liz’s Antique Hardware.

 All lighting supplied by Zia-Priven, Inc. Extraordinary Lighting

We look forward to seeing you there and thank you for making this a great success.
Photos of the project will be on our website this fall.


Project UDesign- Sustainable AND Sexy?

25 Sep

Project UDesign.  Simply put, it’s a brilliant concept. BiOH® polyols Project UDesign teamed up  with Century Furniture, and Toray Eco-Design Ultrasuede and challenged 15 Savannah College of Art and Design students to create an upholstered wing chair that would be both sustainable and salable.  The contest with the help of YOU will crowdsource “the next generation sustainable wing chair.”  That’s right, you get to vote on who should win. None of the participating partners have any input in who wins, only you the voting public does.  I love it.

And here’s the beauty of it—each participant is contributing a very important factor to this wing chair. BiOH® polyols are soy-based ingredients that replace a portion of petroleum chemicals for flexible foam in products you use daily – furniture, mattresses, carpet cushion, and more. For every 1 million pounds of BiOH’s soy polyol ingredient sold to the major foam manufacturers, 84,000 barrels of petroleum are saved.

Toray Ultrasuede (America), Inc. (TUA) is announcing the debut of EcoDesign™, an environmentally responsible line of products that utilize 100% recycled ultra-microfiber that will be used to upholster the chair.

Century Furniture, a leading manufacturer that produces incredible furniture including collections from Oscar De la Renta and Kelly Hoppen will manufacture the winning chair!

And of course, the talented and fortunate student designers from Savannah College of Art and Design will contribute the winning design. You can see videos of students and their designs here.

I find all this incredibly exciting and hope you will take the time to vote.

What does the winning designer receive?

1.$1000 from BiOH immediately
2. Their winning design will be produced and put into Century’s regular line up for intro at the Spring 2011 High Point Market.
3. The winning student will be paid royalties by Century on all sales of their winning chair once it’s produced.
4. A lot of publicity!

How can you vote?

There are currently 6 designs and 5 semi-finalist students. Between now and Oct. 3rd at 11: 59 pm, all can vote for the 3 finalists.   They will be selected only by those who vote online and the 3 finalists will be announced on Monday, Oct. 4th on  

The voting for the three finalists announced on Oct. 4th will end at 11: 59pm , Tuesday, Oct. 19th and that person who has the most votes will win. The winner will be chosen only by online votes. It is completely the public’s choice so don’t forget to put in your 2 cents.

The winner will be announced at High Point Market on Wednesday, Oct. 20th in the Century Courtyard at the start of Withit’s student mentoring day-approx. 9:15 am.

Now, I have to admit, I was quite impressed by all 6 designs, but one really stood out to me:  The Alifair Chair by Ryland Quillen. It is a sensual silhouette, a mixture of modern and traditional lines with an innovative use of cut-outs in the wings.  I find an understated and sophisticated glamour to it, which if you know me, you know I’m sold!  Here’s what Ryland had to say about his design…

Alifair is shown here upholstered in Charcoal Ultrasuede with contrasting Black Onyx piping. The legs on the chair are tapered and shown in dark mahogany. Alifair will utilize Cargill’s environmentally conscious BiOH foam.

“I thought about the concept of a wing chair, the wings providing comfort and a sense of enclosure. I realized, however, that if the wings are too imposing, they can block vision to the right and left when sitting in the chair. To cope with this, I decided to employ cut offs, creating a window large enough to see to either side when sitting. The gently swooping curve on either side suggests the feeling of warmth and comfort without hindering sight.”

I find this incredibly insightful because Wing chairs, which first appeared in English manor homes somewhere around the 17th century, were often called fireside chairs, and for good reason.  Their design was perfect for enjoying the warmth of a fire while your back and sides were protected from chilly drafts.

Wings were a practical design element, especially before we had indoor heating to depend on and didn’t have to rub two sticks together to heat ourselves.  But, nowadays we have the advantage to be more social during the colder months instead of shivering behind the wings of our chair!  The open wing concept acknowledges the warmth and comfort of the original design while embracing modern technology, our need to be social and they also make it easier to see if the killer is coming!  Okay, I jest,  maybe not the killer (I’ve seen a few too many horror movies),  but it IS nice to see the world around you while feeling warm and cozy.  Besides the practicality of the design, let’s be real… I think the sensual curves of the wings are just stunning.

Shown in Kagan Red Ultrasuede

I chose the Alifair as my favorite for all of these reasons but most importantly it was the chair that I could best envision in our home and in The Century Furniture Collection.  In my inspiration board, I chose to demonstrate this by not only using pieces that I would personally own  (and some I already do),  and mix in some of the beautiful furnishings already existing from the Century line–The Signature Sofa (upper left)  and “The Classics” Drawer Chest (bottom center). The Alifair is an effortless fit,  blending beautifully with the other pieces and even adding a little extra modern flair.   Of course,  I had to throw in a dash of  Zia-Priven lighting to up the glam quotient–The Solano Chandelier and The Omega Table lamp , which are both housed with a choice of energy efficient low voltage LED’s, Halogen or CFL bulbs.

Please click on the photo to enlarge.

The Charcoal grey UltraSuede was the perfect tone for me, especially with the black piping.  I chose to pair it with a deep magenta and dark taupe with accents of gold and white. I find the color combination  smokey and sexy, yet timeless and classic. Moving clockwise, I chose the delicious plum and cream “Feather” rug by Thomas Paul, a shapely Laura Kirar Jolie Mirror for Baker and a vintage Fornasetti plate (it can  also be purchased new here).  The Gold Rorschach painting by Andy Warhol is my new obsession (if you’ve been reading this blog,  you’ll know I plan to do my own for our Living Room… I know, yet another project…).  And to prove that good design can be affordable, the graphic brown wallpaper is by Target (called Mode Illusion) and the Norwall Colored Plains wallpaper is by Lowes.

This was my take on my favorite chair from the competition, what’s yours?  Take a moment and check out all 6 chairs and vote for your favorite–you’ll make one design student very happy and get a chance to take a peek at the exciting new direction in eco-friendly design.  Remember, you can only vote online-

If you have the opportunity, please check out Wanda S. Horton’s Interior Concepts and Maybelline Te’s Frou La La blog entries about Project UDesign and see what chairs they selected.  They have some fab ideas, great input and insightful comments about the competition and green design plus some beautiful inspiration boards!

Designer Tag Sale-July 31!

22 Jul

This is an event NOT to be missed! If you are in L.A., an interior designer, a design enthusiast, a collector, or simply love gorgeous furnishings at spectacular prices you MUST make your way down to the 3rd Interior Designer Tag Sale located in Brentwood, CA  July 31st, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is not your ordinary tag sale- it is presented by the two remarkable women from Vanessa Squared Productions (interior designer Vanessa De Vargas and design editor Vanessa Kogevinas) and  hosted by Fyndes and Little Castle Productions and let me tell you, these people know how to put on an event!  

The Designer Tag Sale is an upscale interior designer yard/tag sale that will feature over thirty of Los Angeles’ top interior designers and stores/vendors selling items including small furniture such as side-tables, lamps, rugs, pillows, art, accessories and more at incredibly low prices—from $5-$200 only!

And even better… Zia-Priven will be participating in it!  As many of you know, Paul and I have a passion for much more than lighting – we love interiors, decorating and collecting beautiful things. And frankly, we may collect just a bit too much! So here is our perfect chance to share some of our great finds with you, enjoy a great event and meet some wonderful people. The past two events have been wildly successful and we are so excited to be part of it. We may even bring some of our lighting pieces as a mini sample sale – a great opportunity to discover a great bargain! Here’s a little taste of our offerings…

A vintage chest, a 1950’s abstract (newly framed), one of a pair of Regency style urns and a rare trio of vintage carved Lucite decorative pieces.

A cushy arm chair and ottoman (brand new), decorative pillows and a fantastic Lucite chair we picked up at ICFF from a London dealer. Many more items will be available!

As I mentioned before this is an incredible event – a few more reasons why…

 A book signing by celebrity chef, caterer and lifestyle expert Lulu Powers of her new top selling book “Lulu Powers from Food to Flowers.”

Mini-consultations and appraisals by designers including Rachel Winokur, Stephanie Visser, Erin Marie Fernandez, Alicia Garey, Elizabeth Bomberger, Charlotte Nielsen and Jessica Brende.

Gift bags are offered to the first thirty attendees including gift certificates, coupons, and other fun items. Any left-over designer inventory will be donated to a local charity.

The designer tag sale also features: A silent auction, a raffle and entertainment including complimentary refreshments, light bites and a DJ.

We hope to see you there, I already have my eye on a few things!
Entry fee is $10. Cash only; designers will not have credit card capabilities.