A Robot Vacuum Cleaner

You need a Roomba--a robot that vacuums for you.

It has changed my life. Truly. I love to walk barefoot. I hate feeling dust under my feet. Living in apartment with dark hardwood floors, every piece of white fur glares at you. Having a dog track in particles from outside is awful for any OCD person. Normally, I'd spend a half hour every couple days vacuuming. Not anymore.

Here are the ways in which the Roomba enhances my life:

  1. It vacuums fine particles of dust that a regular vacuum, including a Dyson, leaves behind.
  2. I can turn it on, leave, and come home to clean floors. It finds its way back to the dock to recharge.
  3. It tells me when I need to empty the bin, which is easy to do.
  4. It picks up all the trace litter from the litter box.
  5. It picks up pet hair. And is good at it.
  6. It picks up dirt particles brought in from outside.
  7. It enables me to not cringe at the thought of company walking around in shoes. When they leave, I just run the Roomba. No effort. 
  8. It makes my home less allergenic; its HEPA filters work very well.
  9. It has a remote control, which makes me feel like a kid playing with toy cars.
  10. It moves seamlessly between wood, Spanish tile, slate, and wool rugs.
  11. And fits under all my furniture--bed, couch, credenza, coffee table, nightstands--things I'd normally not move order to clean with an upright vacuum cleaner.
  12. It forces me to pick things off the floor (shoes, pet toys, fallen blankets), making me a neater person overall.
The Roomba is finding its way under the couch.

The Roomba is finding its way under the couch.

About to dock, under the couch, where it will charge. Nobody has to see a vacuum when it's hidden under furniture. ...And the dog remains un-phased. 

About to dock, under the couch, where it will charge. Nobody has to see a vacuum when it's hidden under furniture. ...And the dog remains un-phased. 

It's expensive. Really expensive. But it'll save you so much time.

Lastly, who wouldn't want this form of entertainment? It was a major motivating factor for me.

Go get yourself a Roomba. You'll thank me.

Local Artists

I believe it is best to support local businesses. Accordingly, it's wonderful, and quite convenient, to support local artists. Mara Devereux, for example, is an 87-year-old abstract painter living in Los Angeles. When in the market for something to put up on that blank wall, consider her work. It's a great deed, and is mutually beneficial.

Mara at work in her studio. You can contact me to put you in touch, or call her directly at 310.569.1115.

Mara at work in her studio. You can contact me to put you in touch, or call her directly at 310.569.1115.

Guy-friendly Kitsch

Sometimes, a little kitsch goes a long way.

Based on my experience, most guys like electronic equipment. And a lot of guys like dogs. So when I found this, I had to share it:

"Woofer" comes as a set of two.

"Woofer" comes as a set of two.

It's a "Woofer." Get it?

Pun intended, the "Woofer" is a co-axial speaker system consisting of two dogs. The custom engineered electronic filters make for great sound.

I don't know what that means...I just think they're cute!

A Multitasking Menorah

Ok so this gorgeous piece from West Elm isn't a menorah. It's marketed as a "candelabra." This "candelabra" happens to hold exactly 9 candles. Funny, because a menorah does, too. Regardless, this is a sculpture worthy of display in anyone's home.

Manzanita Candelabra. West Elm, $99.

Manzanita Candelabra. West Elm, $99.

The branch form is great for bringing in a natural element. The finish makes it glam. The shape makes it modern. The purpose makes it a traditional staple for any home. It can grace anyone's mantle. Need a specific use to justify adding another thing you need to dust?

Perfect for winter.

Perfect for winter.

Do they do Secret Santa at the UN? This candelabra should be the gift for everyone. 

...Or to me.

Adorable Spice Tins

A client of mine is lucky enough to have a little niche in her kitchen, with no purpose other than to display things. The style of this kitchen is very 50s, with black-and-white checkered floors and turquoise cabinetry. What could be cuter, and more useful, than these?

The set of six cost $20.41. I think that's a fair price for the amount of utter cuteness they lend to a space.

The set of six cost $20.41. I think that's a fair price for the amount of utter cuteness they lend to a space.

These are useful for any kitchen, but I wouldn't recommend them unless you can display them. They deserve nothing less.

These are useful for any kitchen, but I wouldn't recommend them unless you can display them. They deserve nothing less.

They ship from the UK, which may be a bummer for those of us across the pond. 

They ship from the UK, which may be a bummer for those of us across the pond. 

Doxies Everywhere

Is it just me, or do you also see Dachsund-themed stuff everywhere? What about those of us who have different breeds?!? I get it; wiener dog owners are crazy in love. And aesthetically, Doxies are hilarious and have a great, recognizable form for tchachkes.

Watching the AKC Dog Show on TV today reminded me of it. The show featured three Dachsunds--short, long, and wire-haired. Doxie lovers probably went nuts. They are cute, after all.

Though I'm partial to King Charles Cavalier Spaniels and Poodles, they aren't represented too often in mod decor. So I shall feature a handful of Doxie accessories. 

Happy Hot Dog Lamp, $349.

Happy Hot Dog Lamp, $349.

$44.95.

$44.95.

Jonathan Adler bookends, $146.95.

Jonathan Adler bookends, $146.95.

Rhinestone pillow, $54.95.

Rhinestone pillow, $54.95.

Set of 3 dish towels, $19.95
Set of 3 dish towels, $19.95
Dachsund wall clock, $49.95.

Dachsund wall clock, $49.95.

Orange and Brown set of two, $49.95.

Orange and Brown set of two, $49.95.

Many designers would scoff at the idea of having such kitschy items adorn a home. If it isn't puffy paint, grandma-style crap, then it's ok! Aim for mod. Ultimately, adorn your home with things that make you happy!

This would be great in a kid's room. $54.95.

This would be great in a kid's room. $54.95.

Dog Breed Pendulum Clocks - Dachshund
$45.00
Pink Cloud Gallery
Set of six napkin rings, $35.00.

Set of six napkin rings, $35.00.

Acrylic bookends, $85.00

Acrylic bookends, $85.00

Adorable lamps, also great for a kids room, or even by the front door. $79 from Design Public.

Adorable lamps, also great for a kids room, or even by the front door. $79 from Design Public.

Dachsund with chevron background print. Etsy, $15.00

Dachsund with chevron background print. Etsy, $15.00

Paint Chip Table Linens

I've loved paint chips ever since I can remember. Walking into Home Depot as a kid, smelling the fresh-cut lumber, and ditching the adults to get lost in the paint section was liberating. At age 17, I "wallpapered" my college dorm room with them. Squares and double sided tape. A lot of squares. A lot of tape.

It's still fun to fumble around with paint squares. So, when I stumbled upon these gems, you can imagine my glee.

Set of 8, $104.

Set of 8, $104.

Visually, they are simple, yet stunning. Modern, but not cold. Playful, but sill respectable. Not too feminine, nor too masculine.  

Set of 6, $84.

Set of 6, $84.

The simplicity of the design makes it easy to coordinate with anyone's existing, plain white dishes. The place mats are beautiful on their own, accompanied by simple white plates and clear glassware. But, even better, they can encourage you to get creative. If you have particular-colored plates, which linens would you pair them with? How about flowers? And what about the food? Which color would make that butternut squash soup pop?

Additionally, the linens serve an interactive purpose. Kids can learn different shades of colors, and the parents can quiz them over dessert. Anyone at the table can feel like a designer by simply engaging in color theory. 

Such cute color names.

Such cute color names.

Napkins, too. Set of 6, $84.

Napkins, too. Set of 6, $84.

The napkins can be mixed or matched with place mats or table runners.

These runners can also be used as wall decor, for any room in the home. Multipurpose. 

These large table runners are $56; but they come in smaller sizes, as well. 

These large table runners are $56; but they come in smaller sizes, as well. 

Source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/avrilloreti?secti...

Cozy Up with a Tea Cup Cozy

With the weather finally cooling down in Los Angeles, what sounds lovelier than a cup of tea, hot cocoa, or cider? Put some socks on and bring out the mugs. But don't burn your hand. 

To prevent it, check this out:

Adorable cable knit cup cozy in white. On Etsy for  $17.50.

Adorable cable knit cup cozy in white. On Etsy for  $17.50.

And how great is this color?

Tea cup cozy in caramel.

Tea cup cozy in caramel.

And in oatmeal. Obsessed.

And in oatmeal. Obsessed.

And to those already gearing up for Christmas, these colors are perfect:

Shown in Cranberry. Good for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and a snuggly Valentine's Day, perhaps?

Shown in Cranberry. Good for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and a snuggly Valentine's Day, perhaps?

Chartreuse. Adore.

Chartreuse. Adore.

They come in just about every color imaginable. And they fit on paper to-go coffee cups, so bring one to Starbucks, Coffee Bean, or your local coffee shop. 

Everyone is Obsessed With My Hand Soap

Just click on the link and buy it. Seriously. I find myself ordering it for other people (guys and girls alike) as gifts. One such person took the hand soap and used it as shower gel. Daily. That's how good it smells. With the holiday season approaching, the scent of pine is everywhere. So embrace it. 

Real quick reasons I love this stuff, despite the underwhelming packaging:

1) It foams.

2) The amazing pine scent lingers.

3) It is non-GMO, cruelty-free, paraben free, all natural, blah blah blah

4) I have become loyal to Pangea Organics products. If this were a blog about skincare, I'd elaborate.

The Best Candle Ever

Scent is often a really personal thing. Being a scent snob myself, I detest most candles. But what I detest more is lighting a candle that doesn't make a dent in the room's existing aroma. Especially the expensive candles that fail to provide any fragrance outside of a few inch diameter. Alas, the cure to both problems: Seda France's French Tulip candle. EVERYONE loves the smell, and it actually lingers, long after the flame is blown out. This is one of the staple products that I get on Amazon, because I can't stomach the disappointment of going to a store where it isn't carried. Which happens a lot. What does this mysterious "French Tulip" smell like? I can't put my finger on it, but imagine a really clean take on floral. Do yourself a favor, and smell it for yourself. Your home, guests, and overall mood will thank you.

Rx: If you're worried about flame safety, grab the room mist. 

Note the adorable pagoda-style packaging.

Note the adorable pagoda-style packaging.

Your local nursery

When looking to bring a little life into your abode, why not think literally? Plants give oxygen. Oxygen keeps us alive.  Instead of grabbing a little potted plant at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, wander over to your local nursery--where plants actually GROW!

It's an amazing feeling to walk around a nursery, especially if you live in a concrete jungle. I wandered over to a place called Boething Treeland Nursery, right next to Hidden Hills (western edge of the San Fernando Valley). To walk between rows upon rows of roses...it is truly enchanting! 

Hybrid Tea Roses are the easiest to grow in the Los Angeles climate, and give off the most scent!
Hybrid Tea Roses are the easiest to grow in the Los Angeles climate, and give off the most scent!
 

Scent Rx: "Mr. Lincoln" roses smell the best. Go grab a few.