It’s Friday. What more could you want?

My new happy place


Last night, I discovered Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cups. This is probably not a good thing going into spring/summer. I started with just one, but (isn’t there always a but?) I couldn’t resist the urge for more. I made the trip down those three flights of stairs to the kitchen for another one. Okay, it was really three more. But if no one is there to see you eat something, did you really eat it? It would probably be easier to just keep them near me at all times, say in a decorative Gucci bag marked “For Emergency Only,” but I have convinced myself that the trips up and down the stairs to retrieve the chocolate-and-peanut-butter goodness is helping to burn the calories I am consuming. Perhaps it works even better if I eat and climb the stairs at the same time? Alas, I probably need to do lots more flights of those dang stairs to equal things out in the caloric intake department.

In related news, I’ve been taking Oswald for long walks (with a little running thrown in for good measure) after work. I have discovered that once you give him any slack in the leash, it quickly goes from walking the dog to the nine steps of reeling in a large fish. I totally look like I am trying to reel in a marlin instead of walking a medium-sized dog. Here is a helpful hint that works for both dogs and large fish: Allow no slack in the line at any time.

There was no slacking at this week’s opening of Frederick Vaerslev’s new exhibit at the Power Station. It was a packed house. I also happened to run into one of my biggest fans who had a few words to say about last week’s blog post. She said that she hoped that I was over my “V-word phase” because it was spoiling her dinner. Of course, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Did she just say what I think she said?” That was followed by, “This is such a Lena Dunham moment. I may be forced to take my shirt off just because.” But then I remembered that men—be they gay, straight, or otherwise preoccupied—really don’t go around using that word, and I certainly have never written it in a blog post. It just doesn’t come up in the course of daily conversation or like ever.

Then it hit me. She wasn’t talking about THAT “V” word. She was talking about my story about my cat, Big Ray, and his vomit. We both laughed hard when I told her what I thought she meant. Now, finally, my dear readers, I think I may have reached the end of my poop and “V” words (both versions) phase. (I doubt that. —Ed) Thank goodness for small miracles, right? But notice I typed, “may have reached the end.” I want to leave it open ended—much like Cher and her final farewell tours.

But people, I really want you to think of the fern as an object of beauty whether in plant form, printed on a beautiful fabric you can hang in your windows, or embroidered on the shoulder of a Jenny Packham gown worn by a princess, and not so much something associated with Big Ray and his digestive system. Please enjoy this image of Jindal in indigo by Designers Guild. It really showcases just how lovely ferns can be in any form.

Now that we have gotten all that cleared up, here is what you should do this weekend. Get out there and see some art. It is Art Fair week, after all. It’s a great time to espy that piece you’ve been looking for but never knew you needed. Plus you just might learn something new by exploring all the galleries and world-class art the city has to offer. Then you can tell your friends that you learned not one or two but three new things this week—and all from a blog. Ferns are lovely to look at in every form; art is a good thing because it opens our minds and makes us think; and most importantly, allow no slack in that line. You can thank me later. Happy Friday!

Ferns for Friday

Sorry I haven’t blogged for awhile. You can blame that on my day job, which I also blame for all this premature gray hair. I could also be suffering from a dreaded case of writer’s block, especially after hearing these amazing lyrics from MTKO on the drive to work,” …Living in a world gone plastic. Baby, you’re so classic.” I mean, how are you going to compete with that?

It is also almost time to kick off the weekend. And with so much going on in the Big D this weekend, I think we should all start early. Just tell your boss that Jimbo said it was okay for you to head out early. It won’t work, but you can try.

We definitely got the weekend start early—as in 6 a.m. early. This would be the time Max decided to get up so he could start prepping for tonight’s experimental dinner, or as I just call it, “food with friends.” At the crack of dawn he was chopping, seasoning, and searing. He even walked the dog, showered, and took the dog to the groomer. What did I do while all this was going on? I had coffee. We all have our own goals that when completed give us a sense of accomplishment. Mine was coffee. His goals were just slightly more ambitious.

I did look at the sad table setting and think I should really address it, but I have discovered I am sorely lacking in the tabletop department. I can only use the three vases that don’t have cracks in them so many times. I did buy a bunch of beautiful maidenhair ferns that I arranged in a large, low cement vessel with some Spanish moss. It looked great for about an hour, which is about the time it caught the attention of Big Ray and his endless appetite. Here is a helpful hint: Ferns don’t agree with cats. They also don’t agree with linen velvet when the cat decides to yack up said fern.

Kaori Prints & Embroideries from Designers Guild

I think from now on I am just going to get my fern fix from Designers Guild via Trisha’s new collection called Kaori Prints & Embroideries. Just look at the beautiful Mokuren pattern hanging on the windows in this image. It is lovely printed cotton with echoes of floral arranging and precise Eastern printmaking. It comes in two glorious colors—indigo and graphite. Sadly Ray’s favorite color—cat vomit green with hints of yellow—didn’t make the cut. But I am sure one of these colors will work great for you. And best of all, no watering or clean-up required. And as far as I know, Big Ray can’t eat it, although I am sure he will try.

That wraps another week. Enjoy the weekend. With so much to see and do in Dallas this weekend, if you are bored you have no one to blame but yourself.

The Sunday Edition

I have not had a spring break, and if I build up any more stress, I could break. I have been so wound up and under so many deadlines; I think if you touched me, I could break like a porcelain cup dropped on a concrete floor. I am so stressed people ask if I am visiting from New York.

But my spring break will come soon enough, and it also happens to coincide with the third anniversary of the first time I met my mate. If you ask my mate how we met, he will most likely say, “He just happened to walk into my living room one day. And I’ve been trying to get him to leave ever since.” Indeed that first part is true but it wasn’t like I was just randomly walking into the living rooms of attractive men I had never met. (With the right outfit, that idea could work.) We also celebrate our first actual date, the second date, the third date, and the anniversary of our engagement. We pretty much just like celebrating. Typically, we would hop on a flight to Malibu, but since the Malibu house is no more (Please wait while I wipe my watering eyes so that I can see the keyboard and erase the urge for a fried clam sandwich.), we will be joining our Malibu family in Lugano, Switzerland, which is the location of their new home. I’ve been to Switzerland but not Lugano. I hear it is lovely. Can’t wait. Then we will travel to other points along the way including Lake Como, and even spend a few days in Venice. Don’t worry, you will read all about it—and then some.

Spring has also inspired me to address the daunting piles of memo samples, finish samples, and schemes that need my attention and final approval. We actually knocked out a few things yesterday—one of which was a selection of some crazy new wallcovering for the office. Let’s see if I can describe it. It either looks like a close-up of the ripples in a water lily pond at Giverny, exotic book-matched stone from some faraway land (I’m thinking Jupiter), the shroud of Turin, or a high-end retirement home from 1982. I’m going for the ripples or a stone look. And no, I did not type “nipples” or a “stoned” look. That is for my other blog.

I have also been branching out in the color department by actually doing color on large pieces of furniture instead of just pillows. It all looks super chic on the design board, let’s hope what we are seeing in our head translates in real life. As you well know, when I type these blogs and read them a zillion times, my head perceives them as grammatically perfect. We know how that turns out.

 

Belles Rives collection by Maison Christian Lacroix

Here is someone that really knows how to turn out a look, Sacha Walckhoff, creative director at Maison Christian Lacroix. We have shown our love for Sacha in seasons past, and this season he doesn’t disappoint. His inspiration for his new collection is the French Riviera, which explains the name of the collections, Belles Rives. I love those beautiful shores, too, having spent a summer there with friends. I even tried to recreate a scene from To Catch a Thief, but unfortunately, it was more like the scene with them eating a chicken leg and a warm beer and not the iconic scene of Grace Kelly in the black-and-white swimsuit. But now thanks to Sacha, you don’t have to go to the Riviera for inspiration because he has plenty for you with the Belle Rives collection. From the dense graphic forest of palm leaves on the Eden Roc wallpaper (way on-trend) to the digitally printed velvets soaked in color, you can mix it, blend it, or frappe it. Pretty much anything goes. And I love the black with this blue-and-white combination. It makes it super chic and edgy.

Speaking of edgy isn’t about time for happy hour? I hope this weekend you can take the edge off, too.

Time for some spring flinging

I hope everyone has adjusted to the time change. I’m not quite there yet. Forget rise and shine. It has been more like duck and roll back under the covers for me. I do love the extra sunshine, and so does the dog. He gets to have extra playtime at Fair Park. The multitude of blisters on my sockless feet may not have loved it quite as much as the dog, but this, too, shall pass along with a few extra pounds, I hope.

But with spring training also comes spring maintenance and spring cleaning. Even my Mom was into some spring flinging when I spoke with her the other day to wish her a happy birthday. (Happy birthday again, Mrs. Marilyn! And thanks to my brother for the reminder.) While we were on the phone, she asked if there was anything of mine at our childhood home that I wanted. I couldn’t think of anything except for that baritone I played for so many years—even in college. But then I remembered how many miles and years I had to lug that sucker around, which, by the way, led to a discernable bodily tilt because of the weight and size. Plus I could not see myself trying to recreate one of my award-winning musical solos for Max. Can you imagine if I invited people over and made them listen to me play “The Liberty Bell” on my baritone? It might be worth it if only to see the expressions on people’s faces. But in the end, Mrs. Marilyn came up with the brilliant plan to donate it to the school’s music program.

Here is something else I thought was a good idea: keeping both my house and Max’s house. But guess what? More homes equal more maintenance. And for some reason if something stops working in one house then something will stop working in the other. Those frantic 6:30 a.m. calls alerting me that something isn’t working are not the best way to start the day. It helps to have a “Brad.” A Brad is any man or woman (but in this instance, it is a man) who can fix all kinds of stuff. Everyone needs a Brad and lots of credit cards that end with the word “Depot.” I sometimes think all I do is work to pay all the Depot cards.


Moving on to something that doesn’t require much work: the new Patio Pacific Collection from JAB. These great looking fabrics are sure to brighten up that patio, deck, or pool cabana for all those beautiful spring and summer days ahead. I like the combination of the floral, stripe, and a little geometric thrown in. And if these look great outdoors, imagine how great they are in the living spaces indoors.

I almost forgot to wish you a Happy St. Patty’s day! And since this is St. Patty’s day weekend, we may just let you skip the spring cleaning until next weekend. Happy Friday!

Hauntingly Beautiful Design

They say spring is almost here, but try telling that to my ivy, which really took a beating with this last freeze. My rooftop garden now looks like a young pop star released some toxins on it. See how I worked in current and trending topics and added a dose of bathroom humor? Yes, my inner 12-year-old never leaves me.

In design-related news, word has it—and I would take those words with a grain of salt found on the cold rim of a margarita glass, which I will be enjoying before seeing Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Did you know that it’s one of only three surviving theaters designed by Frank Lloyd Wright? And it is right here in Dallas. It is a great building but those theater seats aren’t exactly what I call comfortable.

Anyway, the story is that Oscar host, tweeter crasher, and famous million-dollar property flipper, Ellen DeGeneres, supposedly has a ghost in her new manse. The $40-million property, located in the exclusive Holmby Hills area of LA, is apparently haunted. Despite renovations aplenty, the sounds of doors opening and closing, footsteps, and even a woman’s sigh can be heard, and Ellen hasn’t had a good night sleep since moving in.

Those sighs could be that of the former owner, Francis Brody, who died in the house in 2009. Maybe she is displeased with some of the renovations. But if you have seen any of Ellen’s updates, I think it would be a sigh of, “Damn it this is so fine. Why didn’t I think of that?” Who knows? I don’t believe in ghosts, but if stars can die and leave behind traces of past lives for us to see billions of years later, who’s to say we don’t leave a trace behind? We are all made of the same ingredients, just combined differently, right?

I did have a strange experience once while house hunting in Houston. It started out like any house hunting experience—not too terribly exciting. I think I was on my lunch break, and I met my then-partner and the real estate agent at the house. It was cute enough—kind of a split-level, Colonial vibe. Is that a thing? At the time, it was in our price range and made for an easy commute, so that made it all the more appealing.

We knocked on the door and the agent greeted us, “Hey y’all. Come on in.” (He actually looked like Dom from Looking, in case you’re wondering.) As I was about to put one foot in the door, I had a weird feeling. Let’s just call it a “Dunham Moment.” I didn’t know what I was feeling or why, I just knew I didn’t like it. And no, it wasn’t the interior decor. I still can’t explain it, but my gut just said, “You aren’t going into that house, Mister.” I politely excused myself. A few minutes later, my friend asked what was going on. “ I don’t know,” I replied. “But I just felt like something bad was going to happen.” He sighed and called me Haley Joel Osment. We ended up getting a cool loft where we had many great parties. Things worked out.

Moselle Vegetale Weaves Collection

So here is something that is definitely not scary: these soft and easily-to-live-with fabrics from Designers Guild. From the Moselle Vegetale weaves collection, these beautiful linens and linen weaves have a weight that ensures great body for your drapery, and it looks great on upholstery too. It has the word “vegetale” in the design description but no vegetables were harmed in the creation of these fabrics. However, the tones of the fabric are inspired by vegetables. That being said, I just noticed that the actual colors on the sofa are called “zinc” and “aqua.” So you have that. But if you know anything about Designers Guild, and by now you should, then you know they know how to do color right. This is right on target for what is happening now.

So there you have it. Now that wasn’t so scary, was it? Have a great weekend!

You know you want it

It’s Friday, and it’s time for some good cheer. I would have some really awesome good cheer if I were playing hooky on this beautiful day. But somebody has to help make the world a more beautiful place, if only one fabric at a time.

In pop culture news, the world cried big puppy tears when word spread (via strategically placed press releases) that Robin Thicke and Paula Patton are divorcing. I tried to shed a tear, but I have one tear left, and I’m saving it for a special occasion. Rumor has it that the infamous Miley performance was the kill switch. Don’t believe it. I have word from some Hollywood insiders that if anything killed it, it was that awning stripe suit he wore not Miley. Or perhaps it could be that the marriage was supposedly like 7 Eleven— open 24 hours. I’m not judging. I’m just saying it is probably the world’s worst kept secret.

But now on to more important things: Me. I know you are just dying to hear what has been going on. How about a road trip to Houston that lasted fewer than 24 hours? I decided to drive Houston (for many this could be my first mistake) with one of our reps who also happens to be a good friend. I’ve mentioned her before. She is lovely, and we share the exact same birthdate and have traveled many places together. We get along so well that people often mistake us for a couple, despite my lisp. We had not seen each other in a while, so I thought a road trip to Houston would be a good way to catch up. I guess I may have also been trying to recreate a road trip we took a few years back along the PCH. But the ocean breeze, beautiful weather, and rolling hills were missing here. My rep commented that the drive looked just like Iowa, and I don’t think she meant that in a good way. But we had fun anyway thanks in no small part to the 1980s playlist on Pandora. Then we hit Conroe and wished we had some Bartle & Jaymes wine coolers to go with our 1980s tunes because the drive from Conroe to Houston took longer than the drive from Dallas to Conroe.

When we finally arrived, it was almost 8 p.m. We left Dallas at 2:30 p.m., folks. We headed straight to dinner with a client, also an old friend, instead of checking into the hotel. It was fun despite the hour-long wait for a table. We finally checked into our respective hotel rooms after midnight. I was up four short hours later due to the world’s loudest thermostat, which sounded like a canon going off every time the AC kicked on. (In Houston, the AC kicks on a lot. Can you say humid?) Since I was awake, I called room service and asked for a large pot of coffee, preferably one that holds four cups. When room service arrived, they did so with four individual cups of coffee.

Later, I headed to the showroom, where we moved at least 35 pieces of furniture until around 2 p.m., when lunch arrived. After inhaling lunch, which thankfully was my favorite chicken salad (French House, you never let me down), I drove back to Dallas because I had an appointment scheduled the next day, and I couldn’t risk being stuck in traffic the next morning. So while it wasn’t exactly a Jack Bauer 24, I definitely left with a sense of accomplishment.

Butterfly Garden by Osborne & Little.

Here is something that you can accomplish in 24 hours. Ask your designer to select some new fabrics and furniture for that much needed update or new home you have just purchased. And you should definitely start with some gorgeous Osborne & Little fabrics. I feel like they definitely got their groovy back with these new collections. There is a lot of great patterns, textures, and color. You can go mild or you can go wild. I say go wild with the new collection Verdanta and this beautiful new pattern, Butterfly Garden. I like this because you can pick just about any color you like from one of the butterflies and just make it your own. Want to pull out that fuschia color? Go for it. Are you more of a turquoise or primrose person? Just pick an accent color and suddenly it becomes your own.

And with that, it is time for this butterfly to spread his wings and get some decorating work done. I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you should find yourself stuck in traffic, try putting on some 99 Luftballoons.” I promise you will feel better. You definitely won’t feel worse.

It’s Valentine’s Day or as I like to call it Friday

Hello and happy Friday, people. I just returned from LA. I went there to view the new collections from Osborne & Little. They’re really great, but more about those later. Since I am still under a press embargo until the 17th, let’s talk about air travel and then some Valentine’s Day.

So here is how the return trip went down: No upgrade in a beyond packed plane. My luggage was somewhere many rows behind me, which meant exiting the plane was just dreamy. I was seated in what must be the world’s smallest exit-row seat. If I were one inch taller, the exit row would have been behind me. And I am convinced the child throwing a tantrum next to me (which, strangely, sounded exactly like the couple I heard having a meltdown outside of my hotel the night before) has somehow synced his scheduled with mine and books the seat closest to me on every flight. It is during these trying times that I wish I were Nancy Rogers.

Why, you may ask, did I travel to LA to view a collection that is designed and based out of the UK? Have you seen the weather in the UK? Historic flooding and no sun for four months. Even the British want out. But I like LA, so just give me a reason to go. Viewing some great new collections and learning about the romantic inspiration behind each piece is just a bonus.

Less romantic? Shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift for Mr. Honey.
After my meeting, I had a small window of free time so I decided to walk to the strip. As I walked past one shop I saw some really cool t-shirts in the window, so I decided to stop in. In true LA fashion, I was greeted immediately. You will almost certainly not receive the same attention in NYC. Not to say NYC isn’t friendly—I think perhaps the NYC stores do a lot more volume, so maybe saying “hello” that many times is very taxing on New Yorkers. Anyway, I asked about the t-shirts, and the salesperson replied with, “Can I help you with some jeans?”

I thought perhaps my Southern accent had thrown him. I repeated myself. ”So you want to look at some jeans,” he replied again. After some more back and forth about t-shirts and jeans, he walked up a flight of stairs. I heard a brief conversation go down in French. He returned with a friend—possibly the owner. I again asked about the t-shirts, and again I was answered with an offer to try on jeans. Finally, I demanded to know why no one wanted me to talk about the t-shirts. “Oh, those shirts are not available,” the new man told me. I asked if they were sold out, but no. I was told: “I think maybe they will be here in March sometime.” I politely excused myself before he tried to offer me jeans as a consolation.

I visited another store that looked cute and was again warmly greeted, this time by a nice girl. Just as she was telling me about the great sales items she had, a very large shelving display crashed down a few inches from our faces and landed at our feet. We both nervously laughed, and then I quickly said, ” I think that must be a sign that I am not supposed to be here.” She laughed and I left.

When I got to the third store, I cut to the chase: “I need a gift, and I need an extra-large.What can you show me?” The lady was, like, “This is LA. We carry, like, maybe one or two extra-large sizes in the entire store. ” I asked her to find whatever that might actually be, and she came back with a great looking shirt. Unfortunately, it was just a regular large. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I bought it.

When I returned home, I was greeted by Max and a Valentine’s gift from the “children,” which consisted of my favorite chocolate from Chocolate Secrets and some beautiful cookies a co-worker made. So I decided to present Max with his gift. He was very excited to open it, and he loved it! He wanted to try it on immediately. A few minutes later, Max yelled, “Honey, can you come look at this shirt?” Apparently this line of clothing is made for people in LA who are pursuing acting careers and limited to 800 calories a day. All that effort, and it didn’t fit. Curses. Foiled again

So what’s the point of telling you about the Valentine’s gift shopping drama? Just this: Give your guy a break on Valentine’s Day. It’s a totally bogus day that makes single people feel awful, and couples feel pressure to find just the right gift. Obviously, trying to find the perfect gift isn’t easy. So if you receive something today—whatever it may be—remember it is the thought and effort behind the gift that really shows how much someone loves you, not the actual gift. But Max, if you are reading this, the day for us is all about the gift. Just kidding. (Sort of. See how Valentine’s just brings out the worst in us?)

So from one frustrated shopper to another, please have a very happy Valentine’s Day. And remember: It’s Friday!

The Friday Edition

Hi! It’s Friday. I’m on deadline, so I’m turning things over to my friend, ID Collection’s Jim Williamson. Am I the only person who didn’t like his Facebook video? I felt like mine was kind of meh, which was confirmed—without prompting—when I showed it to a couple of people at a birthday party. “Can you ask for a re-edit? I feel somewhat disappointed,” someone offered. “Can you email that Mark guy. Tell him that you want another one,” another said. Sure, I’ll email that “Mark guy” and tell him.

Now let’s chat about the snow. What a mess it was getting to work yesterday! It was definitely not how many of us imagined the day would start. And my day didn’t even begin well. Having performed all of my morning chores ( I originally typed “morning duties” but for obvious reasons, I changed that), I stepped into the shower. That’s when I heard someone say, “Walk the dog again. He didn’t poop.” That lovely sentiment was followed by a pause and then I heard, “I’ve never looked more beautiful.”

I was not happy. “That is not our deal,” I replied. “You do the dogs. I do the cats. I have to get ready for work, and it is *&^% snowing, and I have a staff meeting.” This was followed by more ranting while I continued to shower. Max, of course, was long gone. It took 20 minutes by the ways—not the shower—for the dog to do his duties. Did you know that they did a study in Europe (maybe the UK) on more than 1,800 dogs and determined that they like to go potty on a north-south axis aligned with the earth’s geomagnetic field? And since this magnetic field is often in flux, that could explain all the circling dogs do to find just that right spot. How does this help you? To be honest, I have no idea.

Now back to the snow. Once I started driving, I navigated turns from Exposition Park through downtown. At one point, I thought I should turn around as cars in front of me began to skid. I tried to stay back and follow safety instructions for driving in such situations. The intersections were the worst. I willed all the lights to turn green with my telepathic powers so that I wouldn’t have to stop but then I remembered I didn’t have any. As I eased up to the intersection of Field and Woodall Rogers, I heard a terrible noise. I flinched and then clinched. Thankfully, it wasn’t me. Some lady hit the guy in the truck next to me. I watched as he got out and made that face we have all made. You know the one. It isn’t pleasant. But he was actually cool about the whole thing. I could tell they were going to be okay and no one was going to try and bite an ear off, so I continued to slip on down to work.

So that was my snow event. In design news, word has it that Holly Hunt has sold her company to Knoll for $95 million cash. Sweet! That is indeed a job very well done for the talented gal from Texas who defluffed the fluff, took a curve and made it a right angle, and made contemporary chic with her refined and subtle color palette of fabrics and wood finishes. So now comes the question? What would you do if you had $95 million? Be honest. And don’t give me, “The first thing I would do is buy my mom a house.” That may be a thing you would do, but your mama probably already has a house. Tell me the very first thing you would do. Please post your comments, so we can all enjoy.

Spring 2014 courtesy of Casamance. This is what is happening now.

In final design news, keep a look out for all the graphic design during the Olympic games. They say the graphic designs at the Olympics usually set the tone for everything we will see in design for the next four years. If that is true, then Radiant Orchid (by the way, did I mention how much I don’t like the words “Radiant Orchid.” Why can’t it just be orchid or purple?) will be around for the next few years. Here is one thing going on in Sochi that will definitely not take off in the next four years: dueling toilets.

So that is it. Have a great weekend. Keep it real and beautiful.

Going Screensaver

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for Jim Williamson’s thoughts on life, love, and pop culture. There has been a lot going on this week. The IT guy just told me my computer at the showroom is fried, and I’ve lost everything stored on the computer. That is only about 15 years of work, years of blog posts (but who reads old blogs anyway?), attempts at a few novels with amazing working titles like Nose Near the Juice; Cupcakes, Cartier, and Condolences; and my personal favorite, Going Screensaver.

In more positive news, designers seem busier, working on new projects near and far. Some are big, some are small, and some are years away from even breaking ground. But there definitely seems to be an upbeat attitude in the design world, and that is a good thing. I have lots of new product to share, but I can’t show you pictures until mid-February because some people take press embargoes quite seriously. So stay tuned! I promise to saturate you with new stuff just as soon as possible.

In pop culture news, we have new information about the portal to hell in Indiana. (So many joke possibilities in that statement, but then Indiana might slap a press embargo on me.) Heidi Klum says she has always felt great about her body. I find this statement shocking. A beautiful supermodel likes her body? That’s earth shattering news, people.

And then we have the poor twins who are finally set to inherit the Doris Duke fortune, or what could turn out to be the next great read: Flowers in the Basement. Here is some Doris Duke trivia for you: A very good friend of my brother’s was once offered a job as Doris Duke’s chef. I am not sure why he didn’t take the position. It might have been because he was already a chef for another wealthy family who entertained all sorts of celebrities and dignitaries. Who knows? I only met him briefly. I have to admit, the food he prepared was pretty delicious. But the person who ended up filling the position was Bernard Lafferty.

The Super Bowl is this weekend. I’ll have to somehow distract Max so I can down a few chicken wings without him noticing. We also managed to get our names on the list so we could run by and bid a fond adieu to the charming and witty Billy Fong at his farewell party. He is moving to Seattle. We love us some Billy Fong, or as Max fondly calls him, Billy Thong. Don’t ask. We wish him well, and we know our paths will cross again many times.

As for today, I am still working on my schedule of caffeine consumption to get me through. We also have dinner with some new folks who just moved to the Dallas area. We met them through Billy Fong! We are going out in Deep Ellum. It should be an interesting evening because I believe one of them was a writer for Jay Leno. Then it is off to the Disco in the Jungle party (that isn’t the official name. I’ve just decided to add the word “disco” to all party invites) at the home of artists Samantha McCurdy and Alexander DiJulio. They are young artists to watch. The installation will consist in part of wood repurposed from the infamous Chanel show recently held here in Dallas. It should be a fun evening, hanging with the young and beautiful people. I think they make me younger by osmosis.

That’s it. Through our six degrees of Billys (my brother Billy and Mr. Fong), it seems we have connections to interesting people both old and new. Until next week, keep it real and beautiful.

Friday Frivolity

What has been going on lately? Aside from Justin Bieber and his “girlfriend” with the swimsuit she borrowed from Borat. We had friends in for a visit from Buenos Aires. It was fun having them visit—along with their 10 steamer trunks. Now I understand why they had footmen at Downton. In lieu of hired hands, we just decided to convert the entry into a makeshift storage facility.

We did remember to have tangerine juice and cappuccinos ready in the morning to make their stay a little more comfortable. We remembered to get all new bedding, pillows, and even new towels (thanks Peacock Alley sale!), but I forgot the damn flowers. Speaking of flowers, did anyone see Flowers in the Attic, or as I like to call it, “Something in the Attic Stinks, and It’s Not the Kitty Litter”?

But back to our friends. It was fun showing them some of the city. When I asked what they thought of Dallas, one of them responded, “The city is very clean, and no traffic.” It was MLK Day, so they have a skewed version of our traffic. On their final evening, we decided to go to Five Sixty. What better way to see the city, right? The views are pretty sweet and so was the food. Even sweeter, our guests picked up the tab.

Now why don’t we talk about design? What is going on in the design world? Much of the design world is in Paris for the big debut of the Spring 2014 Collections. Lots and lots of beautiful products are making their debut before hitting the States in a few weeks.

Here is a sneak peek of what is going on design-wise courtesy of Casamance, luxury textile editors based in France. Color is still huge. This year, the color is kind of sandblasted to give it a greyed down look. I like it a lot. It is a nice transition from all those super saturated and neon colors of the past few years.

Spring 2014 courtesy of Casamance

As far as local design, you’re probably already seeing lots of movement in the Design District. It is what we call “fruit basket turnover,” where one line leaves a showroom for another showroom in hopes of increasing sales. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. It is just part of the process. This tends to happen roughly every three to five years, so if you can’t find a line at one of your favorite showrooms, try across the parking lot. They may have just “exchanged” lines. “Exchange” sound prettier than another word I might have used.

Speaking of new, I am waiting on some new product for my living room. If you will recall last August, we ordered new chairs for the living room. I was so excited to finally have a place to comfortably sit other than the bedroom. Twenty weeks later, I think they may finally be ready. I’m only telling you this so you know that I, too, know the pain of waiting on custom furniture and why people want things faster. Eight to 12 weeks—we get it. It takes time to build things. Twenty weeks for a chair when the only custom thing I am doing is changing the fabric? Please manufacturers help us help you, and crank this stuff out faster. By the time we receive it, our clients may be on to the next house before they have even had time to enjoy this one.

Thanks for letting me vent. It felt good. Now go out and have a blast this weekend. It looks like it is going to be a nice one—for a minute anyway. Happy Friday!!!