Friday, March 28, 2014


Yesterday was one of my former bosses (and best design clients) birthdays, so a big Happy Birthday to you!  While many days I loathed racing in the hot southern California heat to buy her a  Venti, half-caff, soy vanilla latte, what I loved most was when the cameras were off and she invited me into her lovely home in the Hollywood Hills to "fluff things up a bit."  She was constantly evolving the look and feel of her home and, in most cases, achieved that by only adding splashes of color.  In fact, her walls were painted so often I'd tease that she was decreasing the square footage of her 12,000 square foot mansion.  Back on set she would make me sweat for my paycheck (literally), but when working on design projects together, I loved the thought and care she put into everything she did.  Some of the design principals I incorporate into my work today came from those hard days climbing a ladder in the Hollywood Hills.  Sure, one minute might find us shopping in swanky Beverly Hills stores for throw pillows that cost more than my rent, but then we'd stop (at her request) at Pier 1 or Home Goods to buy knick-knacks and goodies.  Always, no matter what room we were working in, she would ask, "how will this look with our paint colors?" As I pulled down the winding driveway of her sprawling estate and into the cramped carport of my West Hollywood apartment, while in the shadows of her home, I always felt proud to walk through the door of my reality and into a warm, comfortable space…thanks to lovely paint colors.

I once laughed (and have shared here in the past) when said starlet wrote in a card to me on my birthday, "I love the way you paint your life."  So, how do you paint yours?  Last week I had two different design projects in two very different homes both with the same budget: little to zero.  What was the one accessory I used in both homes to help transform them? PAINT!  While the client in the bottom photos was hesitant to use color of any kind, I teased her a few months ago by painting the tray ceiling above her bed (to accentuate the chandelier I purchased).  She loved it so much I came back to paint the wall behind her bed, making the bed, linens and mirrored side tables can't really tell as it was a dark, gross day here in the northeast.  The other client in the top photos had not painted this room in over thirty years.  One can of paint and one afternoon took care of that proving, once again, that paint is almost as transformative as a Venti Latte on a hot summer day!