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Your home is a TEMPLE, and we want to be the high priests.

Posts Tagged ‘Lowes’

Refreshing Your Kitchen at Lowe’s!

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012


Merry Christmas!

John and I are happily ensconced in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s a wonderfully snowy holiday…

As you start to think about your 2013 resolutions, why not consider giving some oomph to your kitchen. The fabulous folks at Kohler asked me and John to visit our local big box store to offer up some cheap and chic ideas to take your kitchen from tired to tip, top terrific.

Refresh, refresh, refresh!

Click on the image, below, to read about our kitchen transformation…


Big Box Brilliance!

Click on the image, above, to read about our adventures in kitchen design at our local Lowe's in Oneonta, New York.


House Number Shopping in Amsterdam!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011



A charming-canal side view of Amsterdam. John and I are just crazy for this wonderful Dutch city, just watch out for the hundreds of crazy bikers who pay little attention to pedestrians! I almost got taken out a time or two, but, happily, I know how to curse in Dutch. Vieze dikke pad!


Who do you know that would visit Amsterdam and go shopping for house numbers? Why, your madcap and marvelous friends at John Loecke, Inc., naturally!

And what do we mean by “house numbers?” Is this a code word for the marijuana for which Amsterdam is so well known? Is it shorthand for the city’s Red Light district where women of the evening display their wares behind glass windows? i.e. How much for a little “house numbers?”

No, house numbers are far more mundane and less kinky: I am talking about the numbers you put on the front of your home to mark the address… So, again, WHY would John and I spend a few hours looking for house numbers in the Netherlands?

Frankly, the selection of house numbers in the U.S. stinks. Sure, you can find varieties at Home Depot and Lowe’s, and there’s always Restoration Hardware but most house numbers are not very exciting. The font is dull, the bronze is, well, “bronze,” and there is usually very little verve and flair to what can be found off-the-rack.

So as John and I wandered about Amsterdam, we noticed the wonderful assortment of house numbers that accessorize the doors. There were enamel versions, painted versions, and house numbers crafted in stone. And since Madcap Cottage in upstate New York needs a house number with more presence, we went shopping…

And, lo and behold, we discovered a fabulous shop called Alfons de Letter, and the emporium practically overflows with amazing house numbers in every shape and size. The shop didn’t have number “286″ in stock, so John and I ordered a custom green-and-white enamel version that the store is sending to us.

“No worries, we send all over the world,” the very kind Dutch gentleman who rules at the roost at Alfons de Letter told us. So if you are looking for a more exciting number for your home, look them over online.

A jaunty house number adds instant curb appeal to your home, so get shopping…

We’ll show you the number when we return home to the States next week and install the beauty at our little cottage.


Alfons de Letter!

And while I like Amsterdam for its anything-goes attitude, the Alfons de Letter house numbers shop really sent me reeling. Could you imagine a shop devoted only to house numbers in the United States? Absolutely not... Sigh.

Nifty Numbers!

A few of the dozens of house number models available at the Alfons de Letter shop, conveniently situated upon the Singel Canal in the heart of Amsterdam.


John shops for a new house number while dressed like a Smurf. Interior Designer Smurf!



Tip, Top, Terrific Tastemaker: Alison Brod!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Alison Brod!

Tall, tan, and terrific! Manhattan style-maker and uber-publicist Alison Brod of Alison Brod Public Relations.

New York City is surprisingly small, and once you break into a certain circle you’ll find that you soon know everyone at a cocktail party or charity event. It can be kind of fun and wonderful that in this town of millions, you can create your own smaller social set.

And while there are sets and sub-sets in Manhattan society, there are also the “pied pipers:” I call them pied pipers because these are the folk who lead the pack–the “alphas,” the “tastemakers,” call them what you will. There are a handful of these folks who seem to know everyone and can connect dots and make the right connections and are always in the right place at the right time.

And since this blog is not just about interior design (our goal is to expand your horizons across the lifestyle platform), I wanted to introduce you to one of New York’s chicest “alphas,” my good friend and the wildly talented PR maven Alison Brod who heads up Alison Brod Public Relations. Her firm has repped everyone from L’Oreal to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Omega watches, and she has a staff of some 50 in her sprawling, pink-clad offices on lower Park Avenue. Whether it’s a star-studded event, a product launch, or the debut of a new restaurant, Alison handles it all with gobs of grace under pressure.

Says Alison, “We help engage consumers. Our campaigns help drive sales.”

Or as former US Weekly editor Janice Min puts it, “Alison knows who has heat at the moment and understands what it takes to get something in the magazine. She has a healthy respect for the media landscape, she hustles, and she seems to know everyone.”

In my book, Alison makes rain, and plenty of it.

Plus, she has great taste in interior design. Maybe she’ll invite us over for a tour… Nudge, nudge.

So what does this lifestyle superstar have to say when I ask her ten short-but-telling questions with a certain Proustiant bent:

1. Wallpaper or paint?


2. Lowe’s or Home Depot?

Home Depot.

3. Manolo or Jimmy Choo?

YSL Tributes.


YSL Tribute sandals, Alison's go-to shoe.

4. Modern or traditional?

Art Deco, it is in-between.

5. Four Seasons Restaurant or Four Seasons Hotel?

Four Season Hotel.

6. Snooki or Olivia?



Olivia gives good shade.

7. Robyn or Florence and the Machine?

Florence and the Machine. Or Chaka Khan.

8. Curtains or blinds?

I’m a publicist who lives in a glass house: I hit one button, and the shades come down.

9. Balthazar or Pastis?

Neither. The Mark or Le Charlot. I don’t aspire to be downtown cool so uptown it is.

10. Red wine or white?

Rose, of course.

Domaines Ott!

All hail Domaines Ott rose wine, a summer staple.

P.S. John and I are off to High Point, North Carolina bright and early tomorrow morning for the twice-annual furniture shows, so expect LOADS of Tweets and Facebook updates as we tour the showrooms and drink Pinot Grigio at the numerous parties. J’adore High Point!