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Monday, January 31, 2011

This Week’s Quote


I’ve blogged about this quote from The Loveshop before, but it has never been more fitting in my life than it is today. What started as a dream and has taken months of planning and hard work to come to fruition is finally ready for the world to see. Tomorrow marks the official premier of High Gloss! I am incredibly excited as I am heading to New York this morning to celebrate our launch. However, I have to admit that I am a little nervous. I truly hope that you all love the magazine as much as we do! In the meantime, be sure to check out an exclusive sneak peek from High Gloss on Shelter Pop later today. Also, I am curating a sale for High Gloss on Gilt Home tomorrow and I hope you’ll tune in to see our picks.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fabulous Room Friday 01.28.11

Today, I’m loving this glamorous living room by London-based designer, Charlotte Crossland. The subtle color palette, rich textures and interesting shapes and styles of furniture make for such a rich space. Some of my favorite items are the various side tables, the screen and chandelier.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaways leading up to the official launch of High Gloss! Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be spending the next couple of days preparing for a whirlwind week in New York.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

High Gloss Sneak Peek!

We just leaked a couple of sneak peek images from the first issue of High Gloss on Casa Sugar! Click here to see both images and to get the scoop on how and why High Gloss was started as well as what makes us different from other online publications. Let me know what you think!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter all of our fabulous launch countdown giveaways!


{Image Credit: Dustin Peck for High Gloss Magazine}

La Dolce Vita + High Gloss + Gilt Home

So many wonderful things have happened over the past few years as a result of my blog and more recently as a result of the digital magazine I founded, High Gloss. One of the most exciting things to date has been a partnership with Gilt Home! Today at 12:30 pm Central Standard Time, Gilt will be conducting a Q&A session with me on their Facebook page. Be sure to check it out! I will be answering all of your questions about La Dolce Vita and High Gloss. And if that weren’t enough, I’ve been asked to curate a sale on Gilt Home that will coincide with the launch of High Gloss on February 1st! Somebody pinch me!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tavern and Jeffrey Alan Marks Design

I wish that I could say that my trip to L.A. was filled with shopping and celebrity sightings, but in fact it was a High Gloss work trip. I worked side by side with our incredibly talented art director, Ashley (you will be blown away by her layouts in High Gloss) and editor, Shannon at her fabulous home. I am planning to eventually do a blog post on her home because I really think you would all love it. Anyhow, the weekend was filled with 15 + hour work days, perpetually shrinking to-do lists, lots of laughs and tons of excitement as we put the finishing touches on High Gloss.

The day that I arrived, we did have a late lunch at Tavern in Brentwood. I really didn’t take any photos on this trip, except for a few with my iPhone, but this place is too gorgeous not to share, even if you’ve seen it in the past, so I am sharing the images from the designer. The food and service are pretty great, too! Designed by Jeffrey Alan Marks, Tavern feels like it would be right at home in London. The look is quite handsome, veering towards the masculine with a subdued palette in grey-green hues, cognac-colored tufted banquettes, and lots of aged brass fixtures. It is absolutely gorgeous and definitely a place to visit if you’re in Los Angeles.


{Image Source: Jeffrey Alan Marks}

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The wait is almost over!

High Gloss Magazine officially launches one week from today! Our premier issue will be available online on February 1st. We have several exciting things going on that day in celebration of our launch, but in the meantime, help us to countdown to our big day by entering our daily giveaways. Visit the High Gloss Happenings page for your chance to win today’s gift of stylish personalized GADABOUT stationery. Thanks to all of you for your enthusiasm and support over the past few months. We cannot wait to share our first issue with you!

Dream Home: Carolina Eclectic

Today’s “Dream Home” belongs to my friend, Carolina Saunders, who writes the blog, Carolina Eclectic here in Houston. I love Carolina because she always stays true to her tastes and isn’t afraid to think outside the box. I think you’ll see those things reflected in her dream home.
Carolina Eclectic banner[1]
Hello, La Dolce Vita readers! I'm Carolina Saunders and I want to give you a tour of my dream home. This house has a personality of its own. Its kind of precocious and doesn't like too many rules. Instead, it thrives in being a free-spirit. It fits my family like a glove:)
For years I have fantasized of converting an old building into a house. Perhaps I watched Ghost, too many times as a kid. Mostly, I love all the possibilities a space like this allows. I mean, this building could be almost anything on the inside! My biggest wish for a home, is that its spaces not be too defined. I like having the option to change things up and to use a room in an unexpected way.
First, visitors would be welcomed by a view to a unique and multipurpose staircase. Not only does it get you where you need to go, but it also serves as an art gallery. The built in shelving allows for rotating artwork and solves the question of what to do with that large wall going up the stairs.
Ahhh, the living room. I have written about this room before, but it is just so perfect! Open and airy, with wonderful sunlight streaming in. It has beautiful texture everywhere you look and has plenty of space for my large collection of vintage furniture.
The dining room is open and continues the theme of wonderful texture. Also, it can be turned into a great race track for toy cars; in a split second. At my house, that is an important thing.
The kitchen is what I like to call a "non-kitchen". I really dislike cooking and the busyness of most kitchens. So, I love this room that looks more like an extension of the living room. It just happens to house pots, and pans, and discreet appliances.
Lately, this is the room I most dream of having. Its a study/art studio with big bright windows. Also, don't forget the daybed for afternoon naps.
The Master bedroom is romantic, cool, and peaceful. I love this quirky bed with its shot of color
The Master bath continues the theme of cool peacefulness. My favorite details are the skylights. I adore a bathroom with natural light streaming in from above. There is no better light for applying make-up!
Now, it so happens that I live with a very silly and fun-loving boy named Liam. He is almost 6 years old, and loves building things and drawing (sometimes in places he shouldn't). I think this room would be just right for him. It has plenty of storage for the thousands of toy cars he loves and a great big chalkboard wall for self-expression.
Diana Vreeland said, "Paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys' nursery so they won't grow up with a provincial point of view". I couldn't agree more.  Boys love adventure, I believe in nurturing that. 
The guest room is a bit moody but quiet. I want visitors to relax and unwind in my house. No stress allowed! Put your feet up and read a good book. Mi casa es su casa.
The guest bath is still a bit moody but lighter. I am crazy about this wallpaper.
Finally, since I can do whatever I want with my dream house, I would add the most wickedly awesome tree house ever!! Wow, this was so much fun. I wish it didn't have to end so soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fabulous Room Friday 01.21.11

This week’s room looks rather cozy, especially with the fireplace to keep one warm. A sweet reader sent this beautiful room to me yesterday and I was instantly smitten. Many of the items in the space veer more towards the traditional side, but certain items like the gorgeous marble coffee table, Moroccan end table and Greek key stool add a touch of modernity to the room. I love the assortment of chairs, especially the gorgeous whisky colored leather on the Louis chair. What is your favorite item in the space?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I am heading to Los Angeles to put the finishing touches on High Gloss with our art director, Ashley and fellow editor, Shannon. I’m looking forward to getting a lot of work done, spending some time with my girls, and hopefully, enjoying warmer weather than we’ve been having in Houston lately!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Off and Away


Have you guys heard of Off and Away? It’s sort of like eBay for luxury travel. It’s basically an auction site that takes what Jetsetter and Tablet do a step further by allowing members to bid for stays in suites in hotels that are rated four stars or above.

Here’s How it Works:

  • Every auction starts at $0.00 and begins with 18 hours on the timer.
  • Each bid you cast adds $0.10 to the auction price, making you the top bidder.
  • Now for the fun part. Once the timer reaches 2 minutes, each bid you cast also adds up to 15 seconds to the timer. This lets others respond to your bid.
  • If you are the top bidder when the timer runs out, you win!

As the winner, you'll get to book the amazing suite for the final auction price (which is separate from the cost of any bids you used to win the auction).

Every suite has a wide range of availability dates to choose from - some as much as 8 months.


{Two nights in New York’s Ian Schrager Grammercy Park Hotel just went for $204.)

If you like to travel and have some time and flexibility in planning your next trip, Off and Away is definitely worth checking out. The company was founded by former and Travel executives and has financial backing from same firm that backs Bing and Expedia.The New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler have both endorsed it and who can beat these crazy deals?


{The highest bid on a two-night stay in the Mary McDonald-designed Vista Suite at the Luxe Sunset Blvd Hotel in Los Angeles is currently at $1.70!}


{A two night “foodie experience” at the gorgeous Elysian Hotel in Chicago recently sold for $170.}


{Four nights in a charming bungalow at Le Reve in Playa del Carmen, Mexico recently sold for $414.}


{Two Nights in an Adara King Studio room at the lovely Solage Calistoga in Napa sold for an incredible $85!}


If you love traveling in style as much as you love a good deal, be sure to check out

Off and Away!

Currently Loving…

I was perusing Windsor Smith’s website yesterday and came across this fabulous, over-the-top pink, tufted headboard. I’m in love with the shape and tufting detail. Being married, I would probably go for a more neutral colored fabric, but I do love the unabashed femininity of this honeysuckle pink. I think Lisa Vanderpump from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills would approve.


{Image Source: Windsor Smith}

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do Tell: What is your favorite way to accessorize?

I love getting to know you all and have been thinking it would be fun to have some super-interactive posts, so each week I will pose one question and I hope that you’ll share your personal answers. This week’s question: What is your favorite way to accessorize?

do tell2

living room lesueur interiors

{Are you partial to pillows and rugs? Mirrors, books and flowers? Objets d’art from far off lands? Do tell!}

do tell


{How about fashion accessories? Do you love a great shoe? Do you fancy a fabulous bag? Are you smitten with statement jewelry? Do tell! What are your favorite accessories?}


{Image Sources: LeSueur Interiors and Patterson Maker}

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Meet the High Gloss Team: Kyle Knight

The “Meet the Editors” series continues on the High Gloss Happenings page today with a feature on the lovely and talented, Kyle Knight. Kyle began to pen her fabulous blog, Knight Moves, after moving into her current house in 2009. Since then, she has shared her decorating adventures with her readers. Kyle has an amazing eye that has served her well in many ways. She has a gift for decorating as well as photography and she can spot a great deal like nobody’s business! Kyle and I met through their blogs and instantly hit it off through our love of graphic patterns, classic design motifs and heirloom tomato salads. We’re both Texas girls and share a mutual “lamp tramp” status. Kyle’s classic sensibility and easygoing personality make her incredibly charming. And if that weren’t enough, she’s beautiful and smart as a whip, too! Get to know Kyle a bit better by checking out her “Meet the Editors” post.

Dream Home: Lauren of Material Girls

header material girls

Today, the sweet and uber-stylish, Lauren from Material Girls is sharing her dream home with us. Lauren is a fellow Houstonian and spends her days designing kitchens and interiors. Although lately, her days have been consumed by her sweet new baby girl, Sadie. Once you’re finished checking out Lauren’s “Dream Home”, be sure to check out the gorgeous nursery she designed for her daughter.


{Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles via Things that Inspire - Betty Burgess, Designer}

My Dream Home. I have to admit this is probably something I think about every single day in one way or another. I might discover a fabric that would be perfect on a future breakfast room banquette or select a paint color for a client that I just adore and file away in the back of my mind for future use. This exercise proved to be both super challenging (how to narrow it down??) and super fun! The floor plan is what would be analyzed and perfected probably to the point of exhaustion for all parties involved! I like rooms. Rooms with four walls. I also really like to throw parties and socialize so the flow between spaces is critical.


For as long as I can remember I've dreamed about having an interior courtyard with a pool. We would still have a large yard behind the courtyard for the kids and dogs to play of course!


Ideally the home would open up to a large foyer...

I love Windsor Smith's entry hall for several reasons. I adore checkerboard floors, and I especially like how she chose a blue/gray limestone in lieu of a black shiny marble or granite (don't get me wrong - I still love a black and white floor too). The soft gray tone of the floor really softens the look, but drama is still maintained with the black case goods and upholstered pieces. I also like that there are several walls for furniture and tablescaping! The simple stair banister balances the dressy with a more "relatable" feel.Nothing too ostentatious, but rather clean and elegant.


{Melanie Turner Davis}

On one side of the entry would be this large Living Area. LOVE this space. Probably my favorite living room, ever. In fact, the whole  house could probably just substitute for my dream home :) I love the softness of the space but also the contrast with light and dark. That  moody painting on above the sofa - genius. I also love the different seating areas - perfect for a large party. Of course one of my favorite tricks of the trade - matching the curtains to the walls provides a very dreamy backdrop. On the other side of the entry hall would be the Dining Room. I love Dining Rooms with four walls (perfect for wallpapering).


This Dining Room designed by Jan Showers, a vision in gray, speaks to both my traditional (table and chairs) and my modern sides (love the pair of chandeliers).


{Melanie Turner}

It's practically impossible for me to narrow down one image that reflects my dream kitchen (I am a kitchen designer after all), but I love that this kitchen has a wall of windows without sacrificing storage space. From a functional standpoint, pot fillers tend to be a waste if you don't have any where to get rid of that big, hot, boiling pot of water, but in this kitchen you could simply turn around and drain in the prep sink located in the island. I also spy a Miele Coffee Maker - one of my top picks for kitchen appliances. I also spy two Sub-Zeros - I would have one dedicated to refrigeration and the second for freezer storage. Hey,bigger is better in Texas :)

{Renea Abbott}

Great Room - I'd add creamy white built-ins on both sides of the fireplace for storage (and let's be honest - a TV).

{Timothy Whealon}

I'm a big believer in a calming Master Retreat. I'll use bold colors in other spaces, but I need a space where I can completely relax - that means no t.v. in the bedroom!


{Eva Jeanbart Lorenzotti}

Of course we would naturally have two closets - a his and hers. Mine would be soft gray with "x" glass mullions. Oh, and it would be HUGE.


{Melanie Turner}

I love the feel of this Master Bathroom. I'd have an amazing steam shower and a freestanding bathtub installed on a marble mosaic tile rug.

Off of the Master Suite would be a fabulous orange lacquered library a la Tory Burch!

{Betsy Burnham}

Also on the first floor would be a guest suite...


{Huntley & Co}

Guest Bathroom - I'd keep it clean and contemporary.


Upstairs we would have what I call a Girls' Game Room. My daughter Sadie and I would sit up here and talk design, fashion, and boys (okay- I can dream).


{Kate McIntyre and Brad Huntzinger}

This would be Sadie's Big Girl Room, a nice transition from her nursery.


{Katie Ridder}

Kids' Playroom - for Sadie and future siblings!


{Kate Spade}

Kids' Bathroom - gotta love the Scalamandre wallpaper!

{Melanie Turner}

Media Room - I don't need anything flashy, just dark walls, leveled seating, and a chaise for everyone!


{Tia Zoldan}


Lastly, what dream home is complete without a pool/guest house?? Ruthie Sommers' late Chapman Radcliff Home would serve as inspiration!


Big Thanks to Paloma for including me in this fun series!!!