Thursday, May 31, 2012

50 Shades of Hype.....

I have so much more I want to post about our events at Blogfest but the truth is
I have to actually work today and don't have time for a meaty, post so
check back tomorrow for another exciting Blogfest treat.  Today, I am jumping
on the bandwagon of "The Fifty Shades of Grey" hype.  


Are you reading it?
I thought so!  You and everybody I know.  So thoughts people?  Do you love it?
Hate it?  Neutral?  I typically read design books or historical fiction so this really isn't my
genre, but hey, I didn't want to be left out of the "girl chatter" with my friends.  The best recap I have read about the series is by my new friend at The Aestate.  Please go read it!  You will be in stitches!  She nailed exactly how I feel about the book.  If that isn't enough head over to The Design Blahg for her recap.  She pretty much feels the same as The Aestate!  The only post I have read that could redeem posting about smut on a design blog, would be the post from, Hi Sugarplum this morning.  She actually chased down pics of the Escala in Seattle where most of the story takes place in the penthouse.  Here is a pic of a bathroom in the Escala, just so you don't forget this is a blog about interior design....

To view more pics head over to Hi Sugarplum and please let me know what you think about the books?  Tell me who you think will play Edward,  oops, I mean Christian in the movie?

 I am headed out the door for "Fifty Shades" of getting a
 week's worth of work done in a day!  Can't wait to hear your comments!

Happy Thursday!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My "Aha Moment" and Blogfest 2012

On day 2 of  Blogfest 2012 we enjoyed an amazing breakfast on the 44th floor of iconic Hearst Towers, we were introduced to editors from Hearst Publications and met our sponsor, Kravet, Inc.'s President, Cary Kravet.  We had the opportunity of sitting in on a couple of panel discussions as well.  One of most interesting discussion of the day was led by Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful.   Newell's panel consists of HB "New Wave" Designers, Michael HeroldJill Goldberg and Jon Call.   Newell shared his secret for choosing projects to feature in HB magazine by finding "aha moments" in the photographs submitted.  He described "aha moments" as " something that embodies a great design idea or shows a beautiful way of life."   He engaged the audience by asking us to think of our "aha moment".   As I pondered the question, I realized that House Beautiful was responsible in part for my "aha moment.  When I was a child, I would thumb through the magazine on our coffee table and dream about the interiors I saw on the pages.   I would build elaborate play houses based on the designs I saw. I'm not sure why, but somewhere between childhood and college, I forgot about my passion.  The college I chose didn't have an interior design major, so I majored fashion design. After working for years in the fashion industry, I had an "aha moment" in 1993, when I rediscovered  my passion for interior design. It seemed I was happier redecorating my friends and families homes more than working in fashion.  It was not easy to return to school in midlife, as a mother of two small children, but I am glad I did.  I also refused to apologize, when my then 10 yr old my son said, "mom didn't you go to school for eight years?  To which I answered "yes!"  Only to have my son point out that his friend's dad went to school for 8 years and was a brain surgeon. It really didn't matter how long it took or what others thought.   I was following my passion.

Today I work for myself, doing what I love.  Whether it is designing the
 interiors for the oldest house in Chapel Hill, NC 

Or helping a family member or friend with their home...

or simply enjoying my own home...

My "aha moment" has led me back to my passion and for that I will always be grateful.

Are you living your passion?
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Apparatus crush!

While at Blogfest 2012 in NYC last week I attended the ICFF Show at Javits Converence Center.  I can't wait to post about all the cool things I saw while perusing the aisles of Contemporary Design Furniture Fair, but for now I must confess my visit to the show revealed a little design crush I have developed on a couple of guys and their new line.... 

Apparatus Studio

 We have all seen this picture all over Pinterest, right?

When this photo first showed up online, I immediately pinned it to my pinterest board!   The Ikea rug with the faux onyx walls, playful chandelier hanging over the sleek lucite table, surrounded by those gorgeous chairs!  This is one of my all time favorite spaces.  I love everything about it!  In my opinion, it's the perfect dance between high/low design.  It  is interesting and current yet timeless in design.  So who does this dashing dining room belong to, you ask?  The lucky guys are Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson who own Apparatus Studios.  Gabriel is the designer with a well pedigreed background that extends from fashion to interior design.   Can you believe that Gabriel hand painted those faux onyx walls? 
 Yes he did!  Amazing, is all I can say!  

   My first thought after seeing this room was "wish I knew the cool person that lives in this space, so they could invite me over to dinner!"  (Just Kidding) But I did wonder, if the person was really as cool as the space....Well...the answer is yes!!!!!

You can't imagine how excited I was to meet Gabriel and Jeremy last week at the ICFF!!!.  They were bar none the highlight of my ICFF experience.  It's always so nice to meet the designers and find out they are truly as nice as you had hoped.  These guys did not disappoint. (Ok, so don't kill me Gabriel for not getting a photo with your eyes open, but I had to post anyway, just to prove I met you!)  

 The chandy below is called "Cloud"and is the one in their own dining room featured above.  I would be on Cloud Nine if it were hanging in my dining room!  Every single one of their designs is killer, check out their website  here to see for yourself.   

There's my cute friend, Kirsten Nease discussing the line with Jeremy. 
Both Gabriel and Jeremy were so engaging.  They were so enthusiastic and
 willing to discuss the line with us.  See "Compass" over Jeremy's head?

Compass up close...

 Another favorite is the Column Lamp shown below..

They took this table out of their kitchen for display at the show.  I  suggested they
 reproduce this piece and was told it was already in production!

When Gabriel and I were talking, I noticed this tattoo on his arm and asked him about it.  It said he got it to remind him to "take a leap of faith" in life.  I think that is a reminder we all should have?  After all, most of life is about taking a leap isn't it?

  I'm going to take a leap of faith that one day soon that "Cloud" chandy
 will show up in my dining room....

Just saying...

I think we will be seeing a lot more of this duo...

Please go to Gabriel Hendifar to see more of Gabriel's beautiful work
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Friday, May 25, 2012

A Big Thank You to Kravet and A Condensed Recap of Blogfest 2012

Today, I feel a little like Cinderella after the big ball.  The much anticipated Blogfest 2012 is over and I have returned to reality.  Our itinerary while in New York was action packed with amazing events that included  "A List" designers, major magazine editors, beautiful show houses and insider views into the design industry.   We were treated like royalty by the Kravet Inc. family and their team who were sponsors of the event.    As a designer, the pinnacle of the past three days, was meeting The Kravet Family and touring their Studio.   Kravet Inc. is a privately held fourth generation family run business.  At the helm of the ship, is Cary Kravet who is President of the company.  He and his wife, Lisa were so gracious, they made us feel like royalty.  Once inside their studios doors, one quickly realizes Kravet Inc. operates as one big happy family.   It is hard to delineate between who is "actual blood relative" and who is an employee.  Let's just say, that it is obvious everyone loves their job at Kravet Inc and it shows.  Often times throughout the three days, I considered throwing in the towel as a designer and sending my resume to Kravet Inc.!  I can't wait to share more about our fascinating "behind the scenes" tour of their studio with you.  We learned why this company is a global leader in the "to the trade" home furnishing industry.  We were also given a sneak peek of up coming designer collaborations, that will be unveiled in the near future! There is much to be excited about, but for now, mums the word!  A big thank You to The Kravet Family and their amazing team for making this event possible!

 Meeting Cary Kravet, President of Kravet Inc. in the Kravet showroom in NYC. 

The Kravet Inc. Marketing Team who worked so hard to make it all happen.... 
 Beth Greene, Executive Vice President , Jennifer Powell, Social Media Coordinator and Ann Feldstein,
 Kravet's Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.  What can I say?  Awesome, awesome, awesome! 

The amazing Beth Kimless Greene and  energetic Jennifer Powell!

The fabulous Ann Feldstein 
I am sad to say I failed to get a picture with precious Ann!  (Sorry for this old photo Ann!) Not only did she give me dinner suggestions, but also pulled my luggage down the street! Talk about going the extra mile!!!
Thank you Ann!  I hope to return the favor if you ever  come to Charlotte!

Kate Kelly Smith, Vice President, Publisher Chief Revenue Officer of Hearst Corp, with Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful, welcomed us at the opening breakfast on the 44th Floor of Hearst Towers.  Who doesn't love Newell Turner, he is a fabulous speaker and so entertaining!

We had amazing panel discussions with well known designers such as Darryl Carter and Timothy Whealon lead by Dara Caponigro of Veranda.  Editor in Chief of House Beautiful, Newell Turner lead a discussion on "Ah Ha moments" with House Beautiful's next wave designers, Jon Call, Jill Goldberg and Michael Herold.     


Interiors Magazine Insider Panel with Editorial Director, Michael Wollaeger, noted Architectural photographer Peter Aaron, former editor and StyleBeat blogger, Marisa Marcantonio, Interior Designer Miles Redd in a discussion about how the most beautiful work in our industry is created on the pages of magazines.

We were given all kinds of fabulous goodies, but one of my favorites was glassybaby.  The founder and owner Lee Rhodes, a cancer survivor, gave a very emotional and inspirational talk stating her reason for creating glassy baby was to help other cancer patients.    Please check out glassybaby and buy lots!!!!  Not only will you get a beautiful item, but you will be helping others.  As Lee says, " glassybaby are gifts of celebration, consolation, joy and healing."  I'm ordering for graduation gifts today!  Look for a full post on glassybaby soon!

Another fun aspect of being at Blogfest 2012, was connecting with so many of my online blogging friends and meeting new blogging friends. Here are some of my friends, be sure to check out their blogs!
 Shelly Van Rozeboom of Van Rozeboom Interiors, Laura Trevey of Bright, Bold and Beautiful
Elizabeth Moyer of Pretty Pink Tulips, Kirsten Nease of Living In Design, Whitney Hoek of Between the Boxwoods, Erin Olson of House of Turquoise, Amy Meier of Amy Meier Design

Danika Herrick of Gorgeous Shiny Things and O'verlays, Daniela Shuffler of Aesthetic Oiseau, Barbara Fransceski, Kathy McGee of My Interior Life, and Cheryle Rhuda  of O'verlays

Aesthetic Oiseau

Maria Killam of Color Me Happy, Erin Olson of House of Turquoise and me.
Maria is a color expert, if you have questions about paint, she is your girl! Erin is editor of
a blog that features my favorite color  turquoise and was one of the first blogs I started following.  

The Charlotte, NC Girls!!!  Amazingly, I had to travel to NYC to meet these women.  
Holly Phillips of The English Room, Rosa Dest from Rosa Dest Interiors
Beth Keim of Lucy and Co., Amy Martineau Vermillion of Martineau Vermillion, Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Design, me, Catherine Austin of Bespoke Banter

We also had the privilege of meeting many fascinating designers.  I can't wait to share more about all of them. Thom Felicia hosted a cocktail party for us the first night. He is as amazing as his work! Of course I had to show a pic of ...Thom Felicia, he is awesome!

Its no surprise we were all plugged into social media while there...twitter, 
Facebook, instagram,etc...after all the point of this event was social media!

As you can see with this little recap, Blogfest 2012 was incredible!  I made so many new friends and was privy to so much insider info about our industry.  We were truly treated like we were special in the "Big Apple" by the entire The Kravet Family.  They went out of their way to make this event one that I will surely not miss again!   I would like to say a special thank you to The Kravet Family for such an incredible experience!

 The History of Kravet

If I haven't lost you and you are still reading this, you will want to stay tuned for more
about the individual events we enjoyed at BlogFest 2012!!!
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Arrival In NYC for Blogfest 2012

Here I am in NYC for Blogfest 2012!  I had a great flight.  Everything went off without a hitch. I am not sure if I will get to post much while I am away, but check out my Lisa Mende Design Facebook page and also keep up with me on Twitter @designLHM, I will try to post pics from time to time.   I am sure there will be lots of interesting things to share!!!  

Here is where I ate lunch today...

Just about anything imaginable is in Eataly. It's a market and a place to eat. Please click on the link and check it out!  It is too involved to explain!  I don't' think we have anything comparable in
Charlotte.  Think Dean and Deluca on steroids!  Very european feeling market.
There are several areas in which to eat.  The one I ate at was for vegetables only.  
Devine!  On the way out of Eataly, I stopped to look at the desserts and almost got
in the gelato line, but an overwhelming little voice said..."you better keep walking"!
I know I am going to have a lot of those types of temptations on this trip!  
However, I might have to go back to Eataly for the pistachio gelato before I leave!  

I am waiting for my roomie to arrive so we can go to dinner. 
Tomorrow the festivities begin!  

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Friday, May 18, 2012

BlogFest 2012 is Almost Here...

I can hardly wait!  I leave Sunday for Blogfest 2012 in New York City! There are so many incredible events planned for us!   Our Blogfest 2012 Kickoff party will be at the Kips Bay ShowHouse on Monday hosted by Margaret Russell, editor in chief of Elle Decor, who along with Kravet, Lee Jofa, Brunschwig & Fils, Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Veranda, House Beautiful, Interiors, NewYork Spaces, Benjamin Moore Paints and many other are sponsors  for Blogfest.  Below is one of the room from the show house designed by  Shawn Henderson Interior Design.  There are so many great designers who come together to make this Kips Bay a success.  I can hardly wait to see it all!

I am sorry this is a short post today, but I gotta get a lot done before I leave!  After all, I have to figure out what I am going to wear for my man, Thom Filicia, who is hosting a cocktail party for us at Savant!  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can get everything I want to take in one suitcase.  I was exchanging emails with Traci Zeller yesterday, and she informed me that it is suppose to rain in NYC next week, so that poses another issues.  What to do about shoes?
I know the NYC way is to wear the rain boots and stash a pair of shoes in a bag, but come on folks, my rain boots are big clunky Burberry ones!  Do I wear them on the plane just to get them to NYC?  Oh, well, I guess it will all work out!  Excitement is mounting as I finally will meet so many bloggers that I adore like Erin of House of Turquoise, Elizabeth of Pretty Pink Tulips, Amy Vermillion of Martineau Vermillion Design, Sue from The Zhush, Cristin from Simplified Bee, Naomi from Design Manifest, Danika and Cheryle from O'verlays and so many more!
It's sure to be fun connecting with all of these other bloggers who share the same interest.

If you want to follow me while I am in New York, I will be twitting, posting on my Facebook wall and will even try to get a little blog post done if possible.  I'm sharing a room with Laura Trevey from Bright, Bold and Beautiful and if anyone gets their daily posts done it's her(she told me she hasn't missed a single day since she started!), so I am sure she will motivate me to do mine!  Stay Tuned, I am sure I will have lots to share!  

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mike Lewis- JesusPainter, I'm Obsessed!!!!

Remember when I posted about "The Orchid Lady" aka Pamela Lovett and her incredible paintings?   I had seen the first painting above at our church and when I saw it again at Pamela's I recognized it.  I admire it every time I enter our church but had never questioned who the artist was.  Pamela told me they were  by Mike Lewis of JesusPainter Ministries.  Mike is a performance artist and speaks nationwide.  He is known for the painting "Christ Eyes"?  When he preformed at Pamela's house, she had a full gospel choir singing while Mike painted.  Pamela said the entire experience was amazing.  Pamela's introduction of Mike to me has evolved into a hugh personal obsession.     Pamela has it in her home is such a perfect place.    It is chilling.  The eyes follow you around the room.

Below is a video that my friend Caroline Simas of the blog Designing for the Soul  taped at the recent Carolina Art Soiree that our friend Hannah Blanton organizes every year to raise money for GBS/CIDP.

If you are interested in finding out more about Mike Lewis and his ministry click here!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Instant Slipcovers by Chair Aprons

Why Wait....

Miss Mustard Seed


I have always loved the look of slipcovers on dining chairs.  They add a certain charm and informality to a dining room.  I love the versatility of being able to change the look with the seasons too.  Slipcovers are practical, because they can easily be removed for washing.   The only downside to slipcovers, in my opinion, is expensive if they are custom made.  However, it sometimes beats the alternative of having the chairs reupholstered if you are in a hurry or don't have an upholstery person you like.  When I was in High Point at furniture market in April, I ran across a solution, that I think you will find interesting and affordable, if you like the slipcover look, but don't want to spend custom prices.  They adjust to fit almost any size dining chair. 
Plus, they ship quickly so your instant transformation can happen quickly! 


Here is the display booth at market.  Sorry the photographs aren't better.
 (ok, so it was the end of the day and I was exhausted!)

This was my favorite pattern.  This neutral pattern would work in so many places.

 Here is one of the wall displays.  The little boxes they come in are really cute.  These 
would make great gifts for wedding, mothers or friends.

Here is another display not he opposite wall.
I thought this was a clever way to display the patterns.

These four patterns/colors were popular at the show..

Dove Linx

Indigo Chevron

Swedish Blue

White Linen

If you want to order from me email me at for pricing and options
These will be included in my online shop which will be debuting in the next couple of weeks.  
Stay tuned for more exciting things to come!!!!

If you are talented and want to make your own chair covers you can go 
visit Miss Mustard Seed's tutorial on her blog here

Join me on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter
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