January 17, 2010

Madly Truly Talented – The Magic from Marjorie

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This completely fearless designer – Marjorie Skouras worked in the film business in Hollywood for 17 years before becoming an interior designer.  I think she really defines what it is to LiveLikeYou.  No one can accuse her of not expressing who she is, and I’m sure her clients are not the fearsome kind.  Her interiors are like art, whether old fashioned or modern, always filled with vivid colors, fantasy and fun.




marjorie skouras design.com





Fake trees as bed posts?  Who would have ever thought of that?


Below are a couple of her beautiful chandelier designs.  Turquoise Empire chandelier and Red Coral chandelier.

TurquoiseEmpireChandelier chandelier 5

January 13, 2010

Thank You Nancy Meyer!

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Saw a great movie this week – “It’s Complicated” by Nancy Meyer. Finally a movie with a woman over 40,  even over 50, actually 60(Yeah!) in a romantic lead role.  It’s about time! A radiant, amazing Meryl Streep in one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year.  You’re not only enjoying the great script, with characters who are extremely funny and believable. For two hours you get to spend time in Meryl’s character’s sunny, charming Santa Barbara home.  I wanted to live in that house, be invited for dinner in the cool kitchen, eat her delicious looking food, then sit on one of those cushy slip covered chairs in front of the fireplace.

In Nancy Meyer’s movies, the home plays almost as big of a part in the movie as the main character.  Who doesn’t remember Diane Keaton’s gorgeous blue and white house in the Hamptons in “Something’s gotta give”, or the two homes you left dreaming about in the house swap movie “The Holiday”?    Meyer says “What the characters wear and how they live and decorate really say something about them”.

Set designer John Hutman and set decorator Beth Rubino, once again successfully collaborated with her. The result is a casually elegant Tuscan style home with Belgian influence, fit for a divorce’.  I found these stills from Traditional Home.






Meryl Streep had them add water damage on the kitchen wall, and had the kitchen made smaller to suit her character better. She got involved early on, and had special ideas who the character was and how she lived.


This is a great casual living room with linen curtains, sisal carpet and slip covered chairs.  John Hutman and Beth Rubino mixed high end furniture with antiques and some items from West Elm. The goal was to capture “the essence of Meryl’s character, a woman who marches to her own drum”.

How many times haven’t you been to a movie, and wished your home looked just like the great movie set?  On LiveLikeYou we’re going to have complete design guide with furniture, paint colors and everything else you need to create a home inspired by your favorite movie.


The color palette was inspired by Santa Barbara’s colors, and selected to suit Meryl’s light complexion. Muted earth tones with splashes of orange.



Really relaxing bedroom. Linen bed skirt, linen lamp shads, linen curtains.



It's Complicated Outside Patio

January 8, 2010

Animal photography

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No home is complete without animals.  If you’re not able to have one in your home – you can at least enjoy one on your wall.  These awesome images are by Christine Matthai – one of the talented artists whose work we’ll be carrying on LiveLikeYou.  She took these pictures while visiting a zoo in Germany.

Here is what Christine says about shooting the images below:

“I wished I could say that all these beauties followed my invitation to be photographed in my studio on seamless background. Instead these photographs were taken in the STRAUBING ZOO/Germany as a “sidekick” to my show in Straubing ” THE ART OF SILHOUETTE”,” running through February 2010. There are many animal photography collectors these days and in my case I was assigned prior to the show to shoot a bison for a potential buyer/collector. Of course I got lost in admiration with all these beautiful creatures, that I spent more time in the Zoo then I had originally intended to do. The rest is history… you see the results.”











January 5, 2010

Growing up with Yellow

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My son has since he was 2 years old been asking me “Mom, what’s your favorite color?” Knowing I needed a concrete answer, and several colors would not be accepted – I’ve always answered yellow.  Growing up in Sweden my mother  insisted on painting the kitchen yellow, no matter where we lived.  Not a soft pale yellow- a BOLD, LOUD yellow matched with orange and yellow curtains. She said in a dark, often rainy country like Sweden it made her feel like the sun was shining all the time.  To my dismay the rest of the house had a endless mix of yellow,orange and brown(!) in true seventies fashion.  My bedroom had a wide yellow and white horizontal striped wallpaper.  I couldn’t understand my mother’s fascination with yellow, and avoided it for many years. Until- I bought my first home, when I for some unexplainable reason, immediately painted the living room yellow, with matching yellow curtains!

I’ve never lived in a home since that did not have yellow somewhere. There is no color that instantly cheers up it’s environment like a great yellow hue.  In my home, my kitchen is golden yellow, my living room a pale Tuscan style yellow, and a few months ago, I painted one wall in my foyer a really bold yellow.


It’s such a cheerful way to come home!


Sweden is not the only country who uses yellow in many of their interiors and exteriors, old and new. English country houses have been known for their yellow drawing rooms, anything to cheer up the dreary weather.  How many of us haven’t been inspired by Nancy Lancaster’s bold yellow living room?


Yellow can be used in so many ways to liven up a space. This room below had only one wall painted in this bold hue.


India  (Farrow & Ball)


Why not just paint the wall of a bookcase yellow?


The Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica has a yellow and black library designed by Kelly Wearstler.


If you don’t want to paint, you can add some sunshine with an amazing wool rug like this one from Madeline Weinrib.


With this yellow curtain who cares if it rains?



I love this bold yellow bathroom designed by David Jiminez.kk

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Just a wall in this house makes it shine.


Interior designer: David Jiminez

These next two items from SHO are really fun. The lamps are my next purchase for my living room!



Yellow can have a calming feeling as well with more muted classical tones. Designer Kelly Wearstler used a tan yellow in this elegant dining room.


Even a slightly yellow/tan wall brings warmth to this living room designed by Amanda Nisbet.

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HC-4 Hawthorne yellow traditional yellow 170

Hawthorne Yellow HC-4 Traditional yellow-170

Send me pictures of your yellow rooms! Or, do you have an interesting story about yellow? Would love to hear.

December 31, 2009

New Year's Ideas with Libby Langdon

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I want to start the New Year out right by sharing my talented and incredibly busy interior design friend Libby Langdon’s New Year’s trends and design advice!  You might know her from the HGTV hit show Small Space, Big Style or FOX, Design Invasion. She’s the go to designer on the The Rachael Ray show, and often pops in to do makeovers on shows like The View, The Early Show and many more.   And…that’s just on top of designing  homes around the world for some lucky families.

If you haven’t picked up her first book , Libby Langdon’s Small Space Solutions, do it, it’s a really helpful guide filled with inexpensive design ideas to help small space dwellers live large. http://www.amazon.com/Libby-Langdons-Small-Solutions-Room/dp/1599214245


Here is the article she sent me.  All the rooms below are her designs. Chic, modern and very livable. Enjoy!

Libby Langdon’s Design Ideas:

Incorporating Hot New Trends to Update Your Home for the New Year

1) Rich colors are the buzz for 2010 and Peacock blue is leading the pack, not navy and not turquoise but that rich, warm shade in between.  This is great as fabric on an occasional chair, wall color, drapery fabric or even used just as a small accent color in accessories.   Also, orange as an accent is still very chic, whatever the shade, orange adds a feeling of warmth and a great pop of color. Mauve, lavender and dark eggplant are also very in and look great paired with navy blue, a silvery gray and white. Having the newest hue somewhere in your home can instantly revive a space that is looking tired and drab.  If you’re afraid to paint an entire room just paint just one accent wall, maybe just a wall your sofa is on or your bed is on. You can also incorporate these great colors in a smaller way , get some throw pillows or add accessories in your favorite shade of a new color and wake up your space!


2) “Hotel Chic” is a trend inspired by the sleek interiors, sophisticated colors and clean accessories of the world’s top hotels.  This look can be recreated in your home by using streamlined pieces in glossy dark veneer, chrome, suede and leather in a palette of coffee, chocolate, cream and black. Slate gray may sound like a cold color but it can make a very, luxurious soft feel to a space and this color is very hot right now.  To keep it feeling warm and cozy finish the look with soft lighting and fabrics that feel good to the touch.


3) We are seeing lots of big, bold graphic patterns in muted shades and soft color combinations; think seashells, pale robins egg blue, caramel, cream, soft sage, mocha and gray.  Mix smaller, subtler stripes or textured woven fabrics in with the large print for a very modern look.  This is a great option for someone who leans towards neutral colors because you can ease into some soft color and hang on to a simple, calm sensibility.

The ethnic Ikat print has been hot for a while but it’s not going anywhere, this is great if you want to recover an older piece of furniture to give it a fresh facelift!   It comes in a million different color ways from soft to bold but used in a small way it can have a big impact!

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4) Nailheads and other small custom details are everywhere and can really add a little spice to any upholstered item you may have.   They look great on everything from a bed in a master bedroom to smaller items like ottomans.   Great design is in the details and this is a fun way to showcase them!



6) Wallpaper is back in a big way.  Many young designers are taking classic patterns and re-coloring them in a fresh new palette.   The new formulas for easier application and removal are making the prospect of wallpaper less scary to homeowners.  The days of steaming, scraping and peeling are over.  The patterns are still as diverse as they’ve ever been and they come in every color combination and style you could possibly hope for.  If you are not interested in committing to wallpapering all the walls in an entire room you could wallpaper one wall and paint the other three walls a soft pale hue, it will still give you that update to your space without being too overwhelming!


7) A timeless winter project is to unclutter and reorganize.  This one never goes out of style as some good spring cleaning can completely transform the feel of your space without ever picking up a paint brush. Act as if you were moving, what would you get rid of?  Lose the piles of paper, donate old books, have a yard sale to get rid of outdated “chatchkis” and clear out closets and shelving to create space for new storage.  Buy new bins and baskets and label what goes where.  Make a commitment to keep a clear space and you’ll also keep a clear head.  This is also a great idea if you’re planning to redecorate, it lets you look at your space and decide what you’re missing and what direction you might want to move in.

8) Lately there has been a real movement towards what I call “Spa Style.” In this hectic world so many of us strive for balance and calm and this thinking has naturally found its way into our interiors.  Serenity can be simply achieved in your home by using a palette of blues and greens.  The combination is refreshing no matter what the shade and it always matches.  The trendy blends for this spring are soft tan and pale icy blue.  The goal is to create a peaceful room where you can rejuvenate and no better way to invite calm than with a soothing blue on your walls.


9) Chocolate Brown is still very chic right now, it became a new neutral and some thought it would phase out but it’s not going anywhere.  In general it’s a tricky color to incorporate into your home in a big way but hits of it here and there are the perfect way to achieve an updated look.  It also looks very fresh when combined with limed washed wood, black and white pictures, white accessories and chrome lamps or tables.  If you want to use it on your walls, painting one accent wall that a bed, sofa, or fireplace is on is your best bet.