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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Style Files: Grant K. Gibson

Grant K. Gibson headshot[1]

Grant K. Gibson is both a prolific young designer and a successful blogger. Earlier this year, he was named one of “Five Designers to Watch” by Elle Décor, which is quite an extraordinary achievement for someone as young as Grant. I don’t think his being on such a list came as a surprise to anyone who knows Grant. He is extraordinarily talented, creating rooms that are rooted in classic design, but speak to modern tastes. His designs are the type that we will look back on in ten, twenty, thirty years and they will still look fresh because he understands how to mix antiques and vintage items with more modern ones so incredibly well. Grant’s talent isn’t the only thing that has resonated with readers. He is also one of the nicest, most genuine people in blogland.


Name: Grant K. Gibson

Occupation: Interior designer/decorator

Hometown: Los Angeles/New York

Current City: San Francisco


LDV: What inspired you to begin your career in interior design?

GKG: I have always been loved design my whole life. I always was changing things around in my childhood bedroom and would walk into a space and have ideas. I woke up one day and thought- why not turn my passion and love of design into a reality.


LDV: What do you love most about what you do?

GKG: I love working with clients and making their dreams come true. People hire me to take a blank canvas and work my magic. I love it when a client tells me that they don’t want to leave their house. That makes me so happy. I don’t design spaces for me- I design spaces for other people.

LDV: What is the most challenging aspect of your career?

GKG: I like to give people what they like. Regardless of their design style. I am happy with helping people that like color or not much color- traditional or more modern.


LDV: Where do you find inspiration?

GKG: I would say that travel is where I find the most inspiration for my work. I love traveling and taking photos or details. I am always learning something new everyday and just love the finding new ideas and ways to do things.

{Dining Room by John Saladino, Photo by Lucca Trovato}

LDV: Who are some of your personal style icons?

GKG: Picking one is like picking a favorite child! - but I love Albert Hadley, John Saladino, David Hicks.


LDV: How would you describe your own style?

GKG: I would say that my style is classic, timeless and comfortable.

I work in all styles- so it is important for me to give the client what they want and make them happy. Some designers only do a certain “look”- but I love all styles and am happy to work on projects with any style.

LDV: What is the trait you most admire in a person?

GKG: Honestly, loyalty and great humor!

LDV: What is your principal weakness?

GKG: I have to say that I am messy. I wish that I wasn’t. I am organized- but there is always a pile of things on my desk and projects that I am working on. I wish that it could look perfect all of the time- but that is all make believe and we don’t all live like that!

{The Incomparable Rosalind Russell as Auntie Mame}

LDV: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

GKG: Aunite Mame said to: “LIVE! LIVE! LIVE!” and I do it every day!

LDV: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

GKG: I was shocked and honored and amazed to be named as one of the 5 Designers to Watch this year by Elle Décor. It was like a dream come true!

LDV: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

GKG: I think that I actually live “la dolce vita”- I love my life of design, love, travel. I wake up each day and am excited to learn something news.



grant tulips


Bloom: White French tulips, peonies, and white roses

Food: Carbs! I have such a weakness for pasta, bread and potatoes!

Drink: A non fat latte in the morning, lots of iced tea during the day and white wine for the end of the day.

Thing to Wear: I actually don’t like to shop for clothes- so I keep it simple and only wear black and white.

paris chair_fromme-toyou_tumblr8 - Copy

Destination: I love Paris- I would hop on a plane in a second.

Season: I love fall- the colors- the food.

Meal: I cook all of the time- so I would have to say it would be something that I would make at home.

Musician: I love music- too hard to pick!


Artist: Again too hard to pick.

Film: Any thing Hitchcock or with Cary Grant

Television Show: I love Mad Men!

Book: A home at the end of the world- Michael Cunningham

grant hb

Magazines: Elle Décor, House Beautiful, AD, World of Interiors

Blogs: La Dolce Vita (naturally!), The Sartorialist, Habitually Chic, Slow Love Life, Style Court, The Peak of Chic, The Style Saloniste, The Bedlam of Beefy, An Aesthete's Lament, Domicidal Maniac, NICK OLSEN

Texture: Cashmere anything!

Fabric or Pattern: I love linen. Roger and Goffigan anything!

Color: Black and white

Scent: Hermes orange verte

Extravagance: Candles- Love them!

Quote: Too much of a good thing can be wonderful- Mae West

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

That’s a Wrap!

I am crazy about the new Clover Wrap Leather Bracelets from Stella and Dot. The look reminds me a bit of some of Tory Burch’s wrap bracelets, but I love the quatrefoil detail and smaller price tag of the Stella and Dot versions. The colors are pretty fabulous, too!



{The wrap bracelets look great on their own, but are even more fabulous when layered with other pieces. The Clover Double Wrap Bracelet is shown in black with some complementary looks.}

{The Clover Double Wrap in brown features silver clover accents and would look fabulous with any of these other bracelets.}

{The Clover Single Wrap bracelets are pretty chic, even on their own. I absolutely love all of the colors, especially the metallic one.}

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

10 Things I Can’t Live Without: Dagny of Scandinavian Chic & Design Refuge


Dagny is the beauty and brains behind one of my favorite European blogs, Scandinavian Chic where she muses about all things pertaining to fabulous design. She recently launched Design Refuge, which is a new site that celebrates bloggers. Design Refuge is a place to shine the spotlight on design bloggers by sharing new discoveries and projects and featuring insightful articles written by bloggers for bloggers.

Hi guys and hi Paloma! I’m SUPER excited and honored to be sharing my list with you today! La Dolce Vita was actually probably the first blog I found that I really really loved, and Paloma has been my mentor for ages without even knowing it. ;) At the time my hands are pretty full with Design Refuge, Scandinavian Chic and Elinno. Lots of fun, lots of action! Anyways, I hope you like what I’ve come up with!
Family is such an important part of my life. My husband, Pål, and my two daughters Indie (2,5 yrs) and Stella (11 months) mean everything to me. Our extended family is also very close and we come in large numbers! :) This photo is from our wedding back in August. We got married in Barcelona, Spain.
The new Scandinavian Maximalism is my biggest hang up these days. Crisp, white walls, interesting artwork combined with chic vintage pieces.. Swoon!
<DESIGN BLOGS> I have to say, blogs are such a huge source of inspiration to me, and Design Refuge definitely makes it easier to follow my old favorites, and find new up and coming ones.
Yeah, I’m one of those girls… I’m completely addicted to tea! I prefer green, white or fruit teas with lots of antioxidants. These teacups are from Elinno. The modern chinoiserie patterns are just amazing! Could you think of anything better to drink tea from?? Lol :D (yes, I’m enthusiastic about the design)
This would be like going to the candy store for me… Fresh flowers does so much to a room!
I’m what you would call a book nerd. I read everything and nothing. When I read the newspaper, I have to read every single page. I read fiction, biographies, novels… Magazines in large quantities… Not to mention design books!
I’m definitely a girly girl and in my opinion, you could never have too many dresses! I own only ONE (guess which one??)  of the dresses above, but I want every single one. And it took me 5 minutes to find them on Polyvore, lol :)
Yup, like most of us, I like cupcakes too. Or I would actually say that I LOVE cupcakes! I even have a regular feature on the blog, The Cupcake Challenge where cupcake bakeries gets challenged to make cupcakes that match my living room. LOTS of fun! :)
No, I don’t do yoga, think it’s ridiculously boring (am always half asleep when after a class), but I’m really into leading a healthy lifestyle. What’s closest to my heart is super food, and I stay away from sugar, wheat and milk products. Love finding new recipes with food that’s both healthy AND yummy (believe me, there’s TONS)
I LOOOVE SUPER MARIO (it’s my inner geek)! On a more serious level, I really need something to stretch after, both personally and professionally. Being satisfied with status quo leads you nowhere.

Monday, September 27, 2010

California, here I come!

hollywood getty

I’m off to California this morning! I’ll be in Los Angeles for the first half of the week working on an exciting new project and meeting up with a few design bloggers. Then, on Wednesday, I’ll head to Orange County to spend time in Newport and Laguna Beach with one of my dear friends and her family. I’m sad to be traveling without my husband and to leave my sweet Tate behind, but am looking forward to what will hopefully be a fun and exciting trip. I will continue to update La Dolce Vita while I am away and promise to give you a full recap of my trip next week! Happy Monday!

This Week’s Quote



{Image Source}

Sunday, September 26, 2010

FLOR Giveaway Winner

{My Favorite Pattern from FLOR’s Fall 2010 Line, Sophistikat}

Thanks to everyone who entered the FLOR Fall 2010 Giveaway! Since Monday, I received 478 entries, which has me completely floored (no pun intended)! I am not  surprised by the enthusiasm shown by all of you for this giveaway because FLOR really does make a great product and the new patterns this season are fabulous! The lucky winner of the giveaway is entry # 137, Rae who has chosen Sophistikat as her favorite pattern. Congratulations, Rae!


When I saw the room that the Sophistikat rug was shot in for the FLOR catalog, I knew it looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. A quick search through my inspiration files led me to this image from designer, Kara Mann’s portfolio. Look familiar? I love that FLOR always uses such fabulous settings for their catalogs. It makes them so exciting to look through!

kara mann

Friday, September 24, 2010

I heart Tim Gunn.

Those Project Runway kids are so lucky to have Tim Gunn as a mentor! I think he has a rare gift in the fact that he can be so frank while remaining so nurturing. I wish he was my life coach!

Fabulous Room Friday 09.24.10

I love this dramatic living room by Eric Cohler that I first saw via my friend, Kyle’s blog. The scale of the room is obviously enormous, but Cohler makes it feel so inviting. I absolutely love the graphic rug and the fact that it ties the room together. The marble fireplace is also lovely. I’ve noticed that a lot of new construction, two-story homes usually feature soaring ceilings in the living/family rooms and a massive amount of space above the fireplace. I really like the way that Cohler handled that challenge, and let’s face it, it is a challenge. The stacked convex mirrors add a modern and refreshing touch to the room and fill the awkward space so well. You’ll also notice floor to ceiling zebra print drapes. Normally, you’d think miles worth of zebra fabric would be a big risk, but it works rather well here and doesn’t seem imposing at all. Perhaps because my eye is drawn to the rug and the mirrors. When you look at this room, what stands out to you the most?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I will be busy packing and preparing for my trip to California. I will be there all of next week, splitting my time between Los Angeles and Newport / Laguna Beach. I’ll be there working (more on this soon, promise!), but I hope to be able to sneak in a little fun while I’m there. I’m crossing my fingers that it will cool down a bit because right now it seems that I am bringing the Texas heat with me!


{Image Source}

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Style Files: Julie Richard

Foundation Show 2009  {Julie and her Sweet Son, Colby}

Julie Richard is an interior designer and she just so happens to be one of my favorite bloggers. There are so many blogs out there now that it has become rather difficult to keep up with them all on a regular basis. However, Julie’s blog, Shelter is one that I make sure to check regular. She has amazing taste and just about everything she posts really resonates with me. I hope that you’ll enjoy learning more about this incredibly talented designer and blogger!


Name: Julie Richard

Occupation: Interior Designer, Design Instructor, Blogger, Mommy

Hometown: Marshfield, Massachusetts

Current City: Salem, Massachusetts

julie shelter4

LDV: What inspired you to begin your career in interior design?

JR: I’m not sure I could pinpoint one pivotal moment but for as long as I can remember I have loved design. I’ve always been a visual person, as I child I would continually rearrange my bedroom and dream of different ways to recreate my space. I think my obsession with magazines began in high school. My Dad was often at his drawing table reworking house plans, so I’m sure his creativity and appreciation for proportions and architecture rubbed off on me. I began my career in fashion but followed my heart and went back to graduate school to study interior design in my late twenties. It’s one of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made.

julie shelter6

LDV:What do you love most about it? What is the most challenging aspect?

JR: I love the creative process, devising the vision, and the transformation of turning ideas into reality. The most challenging part is managing all the small details. It’s insane how on top of EVERY aspect you need to be! Designers need to anticipate what can go wrong. It can be stressful, but I’m thrilled to have my own design firm!

julie shelter2

LDV: Where do you find inspiration?

JR: Everywhere. At museums, the theatre, films, while traveling, in magazines and on blogs, from past design greats, fashion, my students, and nature. I’m constantly cataloging ideas.

julie yabupushelbergcommercialwork

{Commercial Work by Yabu-Pushelberg}

LDV: Who are some of your personal style icons?

JR: Legendary Icons: Albert Hadley, Frances Elkins, Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Syrie Maugham. Current Icons: Kelly Wearstler – for her drama and use of color, Billy Bilhuber – for his dynamic floor plans, Miles Redd, Ruthie Sommers, Tom Scheerer and Yabu-Pushelberg – Commercial work. Fashion – Jackie O, Babe Paley, Grace Kelly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Phoebe Philo, Tory Burch and Jenna Lyons.

julie Terry Richardson Raquel Zimmerman7

LDV: How would you describe your own style?

JR: For fashion and interiors I love the idea of relaxed luxury. My style is layered, and livable with a mix of classic, modern, and vintage elements. I often can’t resist adding a hint of glamour.

julie shelter5

LDV: What is the trait you most admire in a person?

JR: Honesty.

bar julie shelter

LDV: What is your principal weakness?

JR: Indecision, but only personally, I’m quite the opposite with client ideas and projects.

julie shelter3

LDV: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

JR: Go with your gut, it usually never steers you wrong.

Foundation Show 2009

LDV: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

JR: My beautiful children, and receiving my Master’s Degree in Interior Design, It was an intense four years.

bar julie shelter2

LDV: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

JR: A warm sunny day spent beachside with my family, friends, yummy food, music and frosty drinks!



julie ranunculus

Bloom: Ranunculus

Food: French Bistro

Drink: Sans-alcoholic – super cold Pellegrino with a lemon, Alcoholic - a straight-up margarita made with El Tesoro tequila and a salted rim

Thing to Wear: blazers, jeans and a mix of vintage and new jewelry

julie cafe

Destination: Anywhere in Europe

Season: Summer and Fall

Meal: Relaxed, candle lit dinner with friends and family

Musician: I love music so I could never settle on one artist. Here are a few favorites: Stan Getz/Gilberto, Etta James, Marvin Gaye, Duffy, John Mayer, Shiny Toy Guns.

 julie elisemorris

{A Beautiful Painting by Elise Morris}

Artist: Elise Morris – she just finished up a commission for a client. We are actually installing it tomorrow; her work is amazing in person. Roberto Dutesco’s wild horse exhibit and the color studies of Rothko, Jasper Jones

Film: There are so many great movies. I loved Slum Dog Millionaire

Television Show: Mad Men

Book: Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini

julie design-idea-magazine-stack

Magazines: are my weakness! Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Lonny, Past issues of Domino {I’ve kept every issue}, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Martha Stewart Living – for cooking and entertaining inspiration.

Blogs: La Dolce Vita, Habitually Chic, Coco and Kelley, Elements of Style, Apartment #34, Dust Jacket Attic, and Pink Wallpaper to name a few

julie RachelPapoviaHappyDayBlog1

Color: I don’t seem to tire of rich chocolate, and since I had my daughter last January I’ve loved pretty much all shades of pink.

Texture: Nubby Linen

Fabric or Pattern: I love pattern so this is a tough one! Quadrille’s China Seas and Alan Campbell lines never disappoint me. I also like Lulu Dk’s sense of style and creativity; she is currently introducing a slew of new fabrics to her line!


julie MarcJacobsPear

Scent: The fresh, evolving scents from Marc Jacobs

Extravagance: Right now, with two young children; a peaceful dinner followed by a warm bath and a good night’s sleep would be a welcome change.

Quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. I have this one pinned to my inspiration board.