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Chinoiserie Chic • Mid Century Modern • Palm Beach Regency Vintage Sales & Rentals


Design Heroes

LeAnn Stephenson

This morning my head is full of a lot of different thoughts, like "what if someone made a romantic comedy starring Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street" . . . don't kid yourself, you would TOTALLY go see it!

Then, I ruminated quite awhile on the fear that I think I’m slowly becoming Liza Minnelli. I’m fairly sure that I’m going for the “All That Jazz” period, except without the bowler hat, fewer sequins, and an outfit that covers more of my girly bits - Oh, and a long cigarette holder might be involved as well.

Stay with me, I’m getting there, HONESTLY!

That thought made me think "diva," which made me think of old Hollywood glamour-puss style, which is what I like to call my decorating style . . . glamour-puss diva. Aaaaah, FINALLY! the topic for today’s post - I would like to show a few glimpses of my home and highlight some of the designers that inspired my interior decor choices.

So here goes . . .

I'm a big fan of Philippe Starck. He creates glittery fantasy lands in his interior design. A few years ago I saw a photo of a restaurant he designed for Baccarat, called the Cristal Room. It is sumptuously appointed, what I like to call "Empire-chic," with a tufted ceiling and a black Baccarat chandelier hanging above a table that is surrounded by a gorgeous mixture of chairs. Baccarat’s slogan is “La beauté n’est pas raisonable” or "beauty is not reasonable!" I think he created a place to fit that slogan perfectly. So, to make a long story even longer, he and his Baccarat creation was the primary source of information for my home. In addition, Nanette Lepore's feminine flair that she exhibits in her retail boutiques is reflected in my home, too. Her pink wood floors, vintage chandeliers, and tufted banquettes really made me giggle. As a consequence, most of furniture in my home is tufted within an inch of it's life! She has been a long-time favorite of mine. She
uses a lot of tailoring touches - and I dig that. Then of course, there is Mr. Jonathan Adler and Ms. "Trina Turk. They appeal to me on so many levels, but, mostly because of their "make your own style" attitudes. They encourage having a home that’s
filled with stuff that has meaning to you - things that inspire you, things that make you happy - and I figured happy is always chic!

My sources . . .

Most of my furnishings and lighting are vintage finds that have been re-worked. Owning a vintage boutique kinda helps, because you can rationalize purchasing multiples of things like chandeliers or droves of chairs (I have a bit of chair fetish, I must admit ). I find things at flea markets, estate sales, thrift shops - I've even been known to take things from the curb (which used to be the bane of my children's existence, and now they can spot things before I can!) I love Craigslist and the CityWide Garage Sale here in Austin and Antiques Weekend that happens twice a year in the Warrenton - Round Top area of Texas. It is just an "antique freak's" Mecca. There are fields and fields and dealer after dealer offering vintage treasures. It's my little slice of Prozac!

Many things in my house are from my family. When my husband and I were first dating, he used to admire these three large European lounges that my Aunt and Uncle had in their den. So, when Scott would praise their comfort my Aunt would say, "When you ask LeAnn to marry you - I'll give them to you as a wedding present." At the time it kind of embarrassed me, but the prospect of owning those chairs eased the pain significantly. My Aunt was true to her word, of course, and they are now slip-covered in white twill and are in our den.

So, in conclusion ..... actually I have no closing thoughts, except to make a mental note to myself . . .stop mixing my multi-vitamins with my NyQuil. . . and I have decided to start saying my name is LeAnn with an "E."