February 23, 2010

The Modern Bachelor moves in

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Brad just relocated from London to DC.  He was moving  in to his new rental with only his clothes, TV and a Tempurpedic mattress.

What to do?

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His busy new job gave him no time to buy furniture, and it wasn’t in his budget to hire a designer. And even if he did have time, he felt unsure how to go about it.  He had checked out some stuff at Restoration Hardware but wasn’t sure what his style really was.

Brad’s dilemma is a very common one, and of the reasons we’re launching LiveLikeYou. (We’re two weeks away!)  On LiveLikeYou you’ll find designs matched to personality types. You can walk through designed vignettes for every room in your house and buy everything you see. If we don’t have the right product, we’ll send you to someone who does.  Paint color selections are given, budget and green options, as well as design advice along the way. For a small fee you can even get a complete layout for your home in your selected look.

Even though not launched yet we asked Brad to be our first LiveLikeYou test client, with one demand–we would follow him on the blog.  After sifting through a bunch of masculine personality types he was surprised to see where he ended up.  Thinking his style might be French Country he ended up choosing  “The Modern Bachelor”. A stream lined classic modern look in black, tan, silver and espresso brown.


Black and rattan modern chest for bedroom, great design from Bungalow 5.

Roberto$316bb+shade24hx16dx16w Global$699-43wx37hx7.75d

Cut glass lamp with black shade from Worlds-Away and awesome entry console from Global Views can be purchased at LiveLikeYou.

Westelm$159 or$319for2-25hor30hseat l67892210-Ballard-2x3$44

West Elm simple bar stools.  Geometric entry carpet from Outdoorrugsonly.

BlackJacqui3drawer$832bb Rope stool17wx20H$390

Modern black chest from Bungalow 5 and cream Garden Rope stools also will be available at LiveLikeYou.


Silver leaf finish on stacking tables from Worlds-Away, extremely chic and usable at the same time.  The apartment building does not allow for painting, so we had to make it work with neutral walls.

L1050098 L1050100 Danielle fixing lamp

George Marmaras and his great crew from Handle with Care did a first class job as usual delivering and installing the pieces.  If you live on the east coast and opt for “white glove” delivery service from LiveLikeYou, they will do the job.


Rick, Moody, George and Stone from Handle with Care.  And Danielle my fantastic design assistant.

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Left photo:  Brad surveying the apartment while the previous tenants where moving out.

Right photo: The halfway point. Clean symmetric lines make the space more defined.


Brad selected a beautiful painting from one of the talented artists we’ll carry on LiveLikeYou.  This painting is by Josh Rosenthal, “Man in boat in Apartment”.  I personally dislike “decorator art” and I’m always looking for artists whose work I love.  (Know anyone great? E-mail us at: contact@marmaladeinteriors.com)

Below are two gorgeous images he selected from Christine Matthai.


“Trees”   26 x 32″


“Bird in the Sky”

The finished photos of Brad’s apartment I’ll post in the coming weeks!


When I left Brad’s I happened to stop and pet this sweet little dog. He had just been rescued from death row in a South Carolina shelter by the kind people of Lucky Dog Animal rescue.  He needed a home…so he now lives with us.  Lucky timing!   We’ve named him “Bubba”.


February 20, 2010

Summer house

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Okay…don’t you all wish it was summer?

Every June I head over to Sweden to spend a few weeks at our country house by the lake. These photos are from a shoot for a Swedish interior design magazine done last summer.  The house is located in the village of Torp, situated on Lake Torp – a village consisting of only 7 houses from the 1800’s.  Not exactly an action packed town!  But when you get there you just want to kick up your feet, relax and gaze at the amazing view of the lake, and never leave.  The house needs to be finished, but for now it’s a casual, bohemian family place we all love. Can’t wait for June!

All photos: Jennifer Jaunsch


The turquoise chandelier is from the early 1900’s. It was a department store staple back then.  I painted all the floors white when I moved in, after removing plastic flooring the previous owners had put in.


Luke and I in what we call the “View Room”.  Without the backlight you would see an amazing view of the lake.


60’s vintage chair with original mustard green velvet. 1920’s mirror and console.  Hand picked wild flowers for Midsummer night. (My mother is in the photo above in the rowboat. She hates this photo but I love it, so I refuse to let her remove it!)


Painted everything in my bedroom white as well. Bought a shag carpet for ten dollars at a vintage store. But I love it.


This chair has old, original upholstery, Swedish Tenn fabric. ( Fabrics you see a lot of in the movie Mamma Mia). It has a tear in it, but I want to keep it so covered it with a small shag.


Toy cabinet.


Every room in the house has these old tile fireplaces. Very common for houses from this period. In the winter time they really heat the house well.


The small guest cottage right on the lake. Painted everything white here as well. Except the chest-wanted some turquoise!


Vintage pieces and shell curtain.


The funky 60’s bathroom.  Needs to be redone, but for now I’m working with it.


Lupines, they’re everywhere in June.


Luke’s bedroom with two old kid’s birch beds.


Happy weekend!

February 17, 2010

Madly, Truly, Talented – Dorothy Draper does it right

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Recovering from record snowfall in DC, with school and work canceled and being confined to my house for ten days, I’ve decided to rename my house and life to “The Little house on the Prairie”.  Shoveling and digging firewood from underneath snow piles is now a daily routine…Living only ten minutes from the nations capital it’s stunning how isolated and left to the elements you are where I live after several snow storms.  You can’t drive on the icy steep incline, cab’s wont come here, and when you do try to drive, you do it at your own risk, under broken trees hanging on suspicious power lines.

Sitting in my new unflattering wardrobe staple, fleece sweat pants, fearing another snowfall  might be detrimental to my health, one of my coffee table book’s headline grabbed me “IN THE PINK-Dorothy Draper  America’s most fabulous decorator”. Finally having time on my hands, I picked it up and actually read it (the pictures I’ve already studied endlessly).


I was shocked how inspired I felt about this woman. For you who might think I’m talking about Don Draper’s wife on Mad Men I’m not—Dorothy Draper is possibly Americas most wellknown decorator, or as the book says, the most fabulous.


In the 1930’s in Manhattan, when most women weren’t working she designed friend’s homes, started a design firm, then designed several building lobbies (The Carlyle, Hampshire House),  large hotels (Greenbrier, Fairmont), furniture, fabrics, hospitals even airlines.

While World War II was being fought she set out on a crusade to help middle class Americans live more graciously, stylishly and happily. She developed a correspondence course called “Learn to Live” also billed “finishing course in the privacy of your own home”. She promised to change your “dull, weary life into a miracle of charm, glamor and excitement”. She was speaking right to me!  Seems I should take the course!!


Greenbrier Resort

There was nothing timid about her designs. She was known for her bold use of colors and patterns, her work was the opposite of minimalism.   Here is what she said  €œThe drab age is over€¦  Until very recently people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors.  But whatever the reason, browns, grays, and neutrals were the only shades considered safe.  Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness€¦ Modern doctors and psychiatrists are convinced of this!€

Therefore she designed hospital interiors with bold, cheerful colors to make the patients feel good instead of depressed.


She became a household name after writing her first book “Decorating is fun”.

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The lobby in The Hampshire House with one of her often used large plaster designs.


The Greenbrier Resort

Dorothy’s husband asked for a divorce when she was forty.  Wounded by her husband’s rejection she spent several years in therapy and in church.  Her new found point of view gave her artistic freedom, she no longer wanted earth tones, or washed-out colors. She now imagined the world in vivid, clear strong hues. The color blue was the optimistic color of a cloudless sky.


The famous and often copied Dorothy Draper chest. I need one.


Image of Dorothy Draper’s own living room with green striped walls (via Peak of chic ).

“Your home is the backdrop of your life, whether it is a palace or a one-room apartment, it should honestly be your own- an expression of your personality.  So many people stick timidly to often uninspired conventional ideas, or follow some expert€™s methods slavishly.  Either way they are more or less living in someone else€™s house.€

-Dorothy Draper. 1939

Yes, you need to Live Like You. Or, as Carleton Varney, who runs her company, says in true Dorothy Draper fashion  “Live Vividly”!

February 14, 2010

Touches of Red

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Margharete, my boyfriend’s mother wisely said her favorite interiors are rooms with “touches of red”.  I thought it would be a perfect post for Valentine’s day.


The red chandelier makes this room come alive.


Domicile Interior design


Interior design: Kelley Proxmire



Woodson & Rummerfield’s




twin red beds blog




Ines de la Fressange office

February 9, 2010

From Superbowl to Snowmageddon

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Being one of the fortunate few who made it down to Miami leaving the snowstorm of the century in the dust, I felt a little guilty sipping black berry margaritas at Kelly Wearstler’s new masterpiece, the Viceroy.  As my fun Superbowl weekend progressed a dim situation evolved at home. The power went out at 8am Saturday leaving my dog sitter Emilia with no heat, electricity, water and telephone, stuck behind a long driveway with 30 inches of snow on it.  By Sunday morning my entire road had closed down due to fallen power lines and trees.

After watching the first Superbowl without my face buried in a design book (it was fun!) I’m back in the crazy snow land of Virginia. We’ve dug out from underneath the storm, the power is back on, the drive has been plowed.  Diverse snow trucks, backhoes and even a police car answering a 911 call on my road, got stuck in my driveway last night after skidding down the icy, hilly road.  And what do I find out? That another monster storm is arriving!!   I wish I had not felt guilty and stayed at the beautiful Viceroy.


This is the beautiful entry to Club 50 at the Viceroy.



The avant garde spa.


Love the emerald green with black and white!


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The ultra chic lobby.



This is Club 50 were we went to a Superbowl party. The restaurant is on the 50th floor with a cool pool area.