Living Inside The Pages Of April’s Elle Decor

Lots to parse in this month’s issue. They unveiled their entire showhouse at Paramount Bay in Miami. Ten designers were commissioned to overhaul a penthouse apartment. I had high hopes. I should have known better. Let’s start out with the something good, the Trend Alert.

Graphic Patterns!

I loved this entire spread. Art Deco era prints are exploding all over the designsphere. They are a welcome respite from the tribal patterns that have been dominating for the last 6 or so years. (Thank you Madeline Weinrib) Graphic and geometric prints were shown all over the Spring 2012 runways. Gucci featured them prominently.

Gucci S/S 12 courtesy

Gucci S/S 12 courtesy

Gucci S/S 12 courtesy

Gucci S/S 12 courtesy

Unless you own a Goyard and then you’re already ahead of the times:)

My baby.

I was elated to see a spread on Maryam Montague’s home in Morocco. My grandfather immigrated from Mostaganem, Algeria so I love seeing North African spaces and design and trying to imagine what the places my family lived in looked like. Probably nothing like this.

Montague and her architect husband built the 4,500 square foot, two-story home from the ground up. It took almost 4 years to complete.

The master bedroom

I am always a sucker for a year round outdoor dining space. I think it’s from spending so many years in Minnesota. Even though the weather in Washington is considerably better, my goal in life is to get to somewhere where we can be outside year round. Life is too short to be stuck inside for 6 months.

This mural in the guest room is insanely decadent. Admittedly, the room as a whole would really only work in an African/Middle Eastern locale but you can always steal elements like the graphic rug or using an antique quilt for a bedspread.

I feel bad leading with such a beautiful spread because you know what that means… It can only get worse from here. And oh does it.

Am I the only one over the ridiculously over-priced custom design show homes where they throw in a bunch of designers to design individual rooms? I imagine it like a ghetto version of the Real World where instead of fighting over who is going to clean the dishes, they have knockout drag down fights over how many of them get to use a random placed phallic-looking obelisk or the number of natural tree branches allowed per square foot. Oh look…branches and phallic mushrooms! Shocking.

“Giant sculptural tree? Check. Branches in a vase? Check. Hunk of coral? Check. Hmmm…I don’t think we’ve brought enough of the outside in. Oh here, I’ve got some hideous magic mushrooms to shove in the corner. Nothing says modern coastal living more than those… Wait, is that old bust of Mozart still in my storage unit? ”

“The media room. Oh, do people actually watch a television anymore? I’m much too refined for that. The news is too violent and everything I need to know about the arts I can learn from Terri Gross. Well I guess if I have to include one of those dreadful flat screens I’ll make sure to hide it in an armoire. No one can actually know that this room is specifically for viewing media. Now for seating….lets make it as inconvenient as possible to look at that monstrosity. Yes, a chaise. Because why would people want to actually sit next to each other to view that thing? Oh fine. I’ll throw in some ridiculously uncomfortable chairs you can physically turn if you absolutely have to watch that Downtown Abigail show I keep hearing everyone talk about. Darn…I still have to include something coastal… hand me that antler, please.”

“Well I was really hoping to get that gig designing a room for the Vegas showhouse, but I guess I have to settle for crappy ole’ Miami. Le sigh ya’ll. Instead, let’s just decorate it like it should be in Vegas. Make that Liberace proud! Ya know, in my fabric line, I carry shiny gold taffeta. Let’s tuft it with them there Swarovski crystals ( you know that crystals aren’t tacky if they are Swarovski.) and then we’ll pair it with BRIGHT purple! Purple and gold, because nothing screams coastal living more than a big tribute to the Minnesota Vikings. Oh wait we’re going Vegas here right? You know what that means??? Leopard print! Wait…purple leopard print! No, the rug needs to be circular. Like the shape of the bed I would have chosen if I could have convinced Elle Decor it was beachy. I guess this giant gold box will do. Do you have any of that left over fabric from Joanne’s when I was going to sew myself a pair of Zubas? Yes, slap it on that bench there. Thank yoooou.”

Alright alright, enough snarking, I just had to show you the worst of the spaces before we could get to the best. I absolutely adore this entry. From the console, to the art, to the chair with a touch of Missoni. This space is done perfectly. It has touches of coastal, but not a shell in sight:)

I’m torn about the dining room. I love the rope idea, the chandelier, and the table. But lord do those chairs look out of proportion. Is it just me or does it look like if you sat in those you’d barely be chest height with the table??? The buffet looks too small as well. So, while I love that table, it it way too large for the other pieces in the room. Also, the Charlie Brown tree in the corner just looks… sad.

I adore this kitchen. Talk about mixing metals and colors harmoniously! It’s a perfect example of not being afraid to mix things up in your kitchen. The back splash is onyx, the counters are quartz, and the island is granite. A classic way to make a kitchen look more high-end is to not have everything be matchy matchy. The sitting area in the foreground is divine. Perfectly styled.

What do you all think? Love the showhouse or are you over it?