In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

How To Decide Where Your Lucite and Cherub Lamp Will Go

My friend and former roommate Erin, whom I dearly love, is nearly driving me crazy. She’s actually the inspiration for this blog – I began sending her suites of furniture (This couch, with THIS rug, with THIS coffee table…) to buy off Craigslist, because she has been sitting in an almost empty apartment for two months, and it's nearly impossible to get her to commit to anything because she has a hard time seeing how individual pieces go together.

So I was looking for some pieces for her today (I sent about 20) and came across this awesome bent willow canopy bed. I love willow furniture – it transports me back to my 10-year-old self who dreamed of living in a forest with gnomes (that book was popular then) and blue birds lighting on my shoulder (Snow White made an early impact).

Anyway: it sent me off on a Craigslist tear – how does one decorate around such a statement piece? Such aggressive style – all that movement, busyness and twiggishness? (Full disclosure: I decorated my college dorm room wall with a giant tree branch, so twiggishness in anything, to me, is a plus.)

Obviously let the bed star. Don’t bring in ANY OTHER natural wood tones. And keep everything else solid and simple. Because: look! You'llscratch your eyes out if there is anything else complicated in the room.

And for God's sake, please use solid linens. This bed screams for white or grey, or a greyed out blue.

I tried some mid-century modern dressers for contrast, but they just didn’t work. This simple wood dresser – appears to be painted black – offers the room a solidity to balance the beds craziness.

And put this mirror over the dresser -- maybe resting on it, vertically.

It similarly needs a simple, modern rug. If you went with something country – a rag rug – it would start looking Kountry with a K. (350 or best offer.)

Now: something soft and upholstered. This couch is perfect, if a little expensive.

with this side table

and this table next to the bed. Its important to have both metal and glass in the room.

and then , because every room needs something totally bananas:
Elegant Lucite & Brass Table Lamp... with Cherub.

How can you NOT buy it? It will go on the dresser.

Here's another view!
Snap it up before I do because I need need need it.

The best part: all three lamps have those pleated, cream-colored shades, so they look intentional, and will tie the room together.

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