Tag Archives: glamour

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 BLOG: http://gscharitydesignproject.blogspot.com/


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.  www.gschomeless.org   http://www.gschomeless.org

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.


An Escape to Paris…

26 Jul

Lately I’ve been thinking about getting away, escaping for a bit, to somewhere light and lovely. Somewhere breezy and green with beautiful architecture. Somewhere romantic.  We’ve been so busy at the studio, a blessing yes, but a break from reality is in need.   And Paris has been on my mind… A warm summer day in the Tuileries, the Louvre beckons…

An ivy covered fence quietly announces a Parisian Avenue.

Bright pink flowers line Luxembourg Gardens.

Taking in the sun on a brilliant green lawn…

Innocence in a floral dress…

Or in tiny sandals…A city stroll…

 A little street music…

The incredible architecture of Notre Dame.

A little gothic humor…

The magnificent ceiling at the Orsay, formerly a train station.

and oh my, the chandeliers…

The vibrant colors of St. Chapelle…


 So beautiful… 

And what would a day in Paris be without La Tour Eiffel…

Thank you Paris, I feel better already.

All photos from Zia-Priven.



Zia-Priven Interview with One Sydney Road!

15 Jun

I was fortunate to be invited by the lovely Piper at One Sydney Road to participate in her “Taking The Leap” series and today the post is up!  The series has been so inspirational and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.  And boy, have I taken some leaps.  Some good, some great and some just downright terrible. Hope you enjoy them all…

Oh, and Piper managed to squeeze some photos out of me of my home office, the very place I am typing from right now. But much, much neater…Voyerism is fun, isn’t it?  Here’s a sneak peek…

Piper has the whole story and all the photos, so if you have a few minutes I would love you to drop by One Sydney Road. She’s a real sweetheart! Thank you Piper and hope I can inspire in some way!

The Great Billy Haines

7 Jun

Billy Haines with quote Unlike Billy Haines, I would hands down prefer love and  money to taste. After all, how bad could life be?!  You’d spend it with the one you love, traveling the world, live in a grand palais, without ever a concern about finances? Of course you would also probably be clothed in orange spandex and live amongst plastic foliage and forest green shag carpet, but what the heck? Life is short.   
What I  love about the statement is the outright boldness. Haines’ commitment and love for design. Sure, it’s a tad arrogant, but I love him for just that reason.           

Bel Air SofaWilliam Haines, better known as Billy, was one the great ground breaking Interior Designers of the 1930’s, working until his retirement in the early 70’s.  He is one of my favorites for more than just his design sensibility and sleek furniture. The man had incredible courage and a  grounded sense of who he was. He lived large and by his own rules, ignoring what society dictated to him in an era that could ruin you in a blink of an eye. You gotta love that. AND, his designs are literally timeless; copied, imitated endlessly and for good reason. This was the man who created Hollywood Regency long before it began veering towards kitsch.       


1939 World's Fair

William Haines' The Desert Living Room at The Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco (1939)


Haines was no wallflower and honestly, I was a bit wide-eyed by some of the details I discovered in the 1998 biography Wisecracker by acclaimed author, William J. Mann. Born in 1900 in Virginia, Billy moved to New York City at the age of 19 seeking his fame and fortune. He was for a short period of time a “kept man” by an older woman (no kidding!), a model and then moved to Hollywood after winning a talent contest. He made over 20 films and enjoyed the role of a successful movie star to the fullest: fancy cars, fine clothes and a lavish Beverly Hills home, all with the encouragement of his partner, Jimmie Shields whom he had met a few years after arriving in Hollywood. The pair lived happily together as a committed couple, but Hollywood did not take kindly to the fact that he was openly gay.  
In 1933, Louis B. Mayer, studio head of MGM, insisted Billy enter into a “sham marriage” with a woman but Haines bravely stood his ground maintaining he was already married to his male partner. Mayer refused to accept this, tore up his contract and Haines’ movie career ended abruptly.  Haines and Shields remained together for almost 50 years and as Joan Crawford described them they were “the happiest married couple in Hollywood.”       


Ice Crystals Sconces 
This unfortunate incident led Billy Haines to start the career of a lifetime. Isn’t it peculiar how life leads us sometimes? Just when you think you know what you’re doing…  Haines and Shields began successful careers as self-taught interior designers and antique dealers. The Hollywood crowd instantly flocked to them, recognizing their new fresh take on design a stark contrast to the heavy, dark interiors popular in the day.     

Studio Haines

Haines' Beverly Hills Studio had a relaxed yet glamorous sense of style. I love that the walls were made of cork to display drawings and brass pulls were used to drape fabric for presentations.


Iron Firegrate      

Haines interiors

A sample of Haines interiors, the last being for the Annenberg billionaires.


Swing top bedside tables
Amidst the success and glamour of this new-found career, a tragic and shocking event took place. One evening in 1936, the two men were dragged from their home by members of the Ku Klux Klan and beaten. It was homophobia at its worst and the couple was outraged to think  their union could create such hatred. Reading about this event really shocked me and the thought of the KKK running around loose in Beverly Hills was just too much! I know it was 1936, but Beverly Hills?! Was the KKK still considered acceptable enough to co-exist in a modern, thriving city? Racist, homophobic degenerates.
The Hollywood community embraced the couple and urged them to report the incident to the police. Sadly, Haines and Shields did not report the attack, most likely out of fear of another occurrence.
The couple chose to relocate to the private and sleepy community of Malibu and their business prospered more than ever. In 1949 there was a definitive shift in Haines style from Neo-Classicism to Modernism, now referred to as Hollywood Regency. Many pieces of the furniture designed after this transition are now lovingly reproduced by William Haines Designs, located in Los Angeles, CA. and available in Design Showrooms across the country.     

Chair designs 


Contemporary residences

Contemporary interiors created with William Haines Designs. Top: Interior by designer Antonia Hutt. Center and Bottom: Lobby at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.


 William Haines never returned to films even after an invitation from friend, Gloria Swanson to appear with her in “Sunset Boulevard”. Instead the couple continued their design work until their retirement in the 1970’s.
At the age of 73, Billy Haines passed away after a long and fulfilling life-one he chose himself, ignoring the conventions and bigotry of the period. Soon afterwards, Jimmie Shields, his partner for over 50 years, took his own life. They were interred side by side in Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery. I thank them both for not only the beautiful designs they created but for their courage and inspiration.  

Class Act I highly recommend the book,  CLASS ACT William Haines: Legendary Hollywood Decorator by Peter Schifando and Jean Mathison. It’s filled with beautiful photos, fabulous interiors and tons of design inspiration, including Haines’ classic furniture designs.  

{Photos via williamhaines.com}

It’s Gloria Swanson’s Fault…

27 May

The first time I saw her face, I knew I felt some sort of magic. I guess it was that dazzling “faux” movie magic but to this shy little girl who had never seen anything like it before, it was fantastic, almost overwhelming. The glamour, the sets, the costumes; I was a goner. When Miss Swanson slinked across the screen, long before she demanded her close-up from Mr. De Mille, she showed me that something special was out there and boy did I want some of it for myself.           



Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow's fabulous all white bedroom in Dinner at Eight.


The outrageously fringed dressing table...



Carole Lombard sits beside an Art Deco, scalloped and gilded grand piano.


 I just knew design had to be part of my life in some way and it was the sets that drew me in time and time again. Years later, I would be fortunate to work on the very stages in Hollywood that these greats had filmed on.        

Cedric Gibbons with wife Delores Del Rio in their Santa Monica home.


Cedric Gibbons, originally an architect, became Hollywood’s most prolific Production Designer being nominated for 37 Academy Awards in his career and having won 11. In addition, he is credited with designing the original Oscar statuette. I always wondered who designed it! His incredible Art Deco Santa Monica home, built in 1930, was co-designed by him and his movie siren wife, Delores Del Rio. It is fabulous!    


Stunningly modern exterior gate




Deco inspired entry with a modern, industrial stainless steel front door.


Thanks to the elaborate sets, those gorgeous film stars and the talented Production Designers in the past, I found my introduction into the many facets of the design world…and let’s not forget about Ms. Swanson…after all I do blame her.       

{Images via fanpix.net}