Let’s be honest. Most of us have a Love/Hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow. Academy Award winning acting. Life in the spotlight. Bougie children’s names. Incredibly fit in her forties. Signature lifestyle brand with the awful name. That whole “conscious uncoupling” thing. It’s often hard to know whether to Tag for Love or Tag for Hate.
Announcing her new offices, Gwyneth stands in front of sleek, blonde-wood bookcases with leaning, lower shelves prefect for highlighting magazines, art, or favorite books. Showcase bookcases in the face of KonMari? Love! The shelves are sparsely filled, prompting her to request recommendations from followers on books on design, food, and corporate culture. Seeking fan input? Love!
That green jumper she’s wearing? Oh my goddesses. HATE!
Round and round it goes. Love? Hate? Love to Hate? Hate to Love? Oh, Gwyneth, you perplex us so. With no end in sight it seems best to just go ahead and employ a Tag for Love/Hate. It’s a mindfully selected compromise focused on equilibrium to reduce stress and help reach optimal wellness. We’re sure it’s What Gwyneth Would Do.
Oops, is that headline misleading? To be clear, we are NOT part of the 2019 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. As if! No, we just want to go–it’s the interior design event of the year. Images from the house pop up in the mags, mood boards and blogs all year long. Hopefully we can go this May.
The list of participating designers was announced today and it’s a mix of A-list designers and newcomers. CBB favorite Corey Damon Jenkins is one of them so congrats Corey!
We’re looking forward to some amazing lewks and over-the-top ideas.
Are you planning on taking it in? (Phrasing, sorry!)
Today’s Tag is inspired by this post on Valetmag.com which makes the case for having a globe as part of your accessories/home decor arsenal.
They’re not only tools of inspiration but starters of conversation—have a few people over and someone will inevitably start spinning the globe.
Of course, since Valet is a men’s fashion/lifestyle site, they tout globes as “handsome, masculine object[s]” perfect for any mancave. We’d say they look good in anyone’s space, regardless of gender. They are right, though, that you can either drop lots of coin on a high-end version, score a vintage one online (or at your local flea market or antique store), or–an option they don’t cover–the school supply section at Target.
Cohost J. here: When I was a teenager, I was invited to my friend Molly’s big sister’s wedding, which was held in the garden of their parent’s amahzing Carpenter Gothic home. The couple eschewed a religious ceremony, and in lieu of an altar, they displayed a hand-painted globe that the groom gave to Jennifer, the bride. The oceans were white, the land masses black–it was striking, and obviously memorable. He used a regular ole globe and regular ole paint, and all it took was some time. So feel free to customize your own globe if you’re crafty (and if you don’t care about political borders).
It makes for a nice hands-on accessory and a reminder of our larger home, spinning as if by invisible hands.
Of course, there are some globes that come with their own hands, and if your decor runs in this direction, well, then…your last name might be Herman, or you fully embrace your whimsical side.
Open floor concept living is not for everyone–either by choice or by architectural design. This recent Boston Globe article sums up a growing dissatisfaction with open concepts and their ubiquity in the real estate marketplace.
Cohost J. here: We can’t give a Tag For Hate to open concepts, because in many spaces they work beautifully. Lots of people love the entertaining possibilities–heck, cohost Rob has an open concept first floor! What I love about this article is that it makes the case for actually thinking about your lifestyle and how your home enhances and supports that lifestyle. Homeowners interviewed by the reporter talk about how they could see themselves entertaining lavishly while whipping up three-course meals in the kitchen, or keeping an eye on the kids while busy doing something else. For most of us, these are fantasies. And while fantasy interior design has its place, you have to be really careful about making those dreams come true.
Sometimes you get what you wish for, and, to quote Sondheim’s Into The Woods: “Wishes come true, not free.” The tradeoffs of open concept? Lack of privacy. Clutter. A nagging sense that there are things still to be done in that other “room” over there that I can see while I’m trying to relax on the couch. Or, as homeowner Asya says in the piece, someone is relaxing and watching her while she’s working.
Friends of ours (frequently referenced in the show) have a 1970’s swinger’s house in Poughkeepsie–no joke. It’s a one bedroom, 3,000+ square foot three-level house. The only interior walls that extend to the ceiling are around the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s a great house for entertaining (and they do, frequently, and largely). But quiet and cozy it is not. It works for them and their lifestyle–it’s just the two of them and a dog–but it would be totally impractical for my family. And most families, which is probably why it sat on the market for four years, waiting for just the right buyers!
So as you’re househunting, fantasy or otherwise, or dreaming up ways to fix up your existing space, be honest with yourself and your family. Perform a lifestyle audit and really think about your tolerance for clutter, mess, cleaning, organizing, noise, and activity. Hash it all out internally before knocking down all those internal walls. Be open with yourself and those you live with before committing to open concept.
Cohost J. here. Set off by our recent #TagForLove for fresh flowers, I went in search of a little taste of springtime on a March day that began with 12-degree temperatures.
Luckily, Adams Fairacre Farms, a local high-end grocery store/garden center is having its annual Garden Show, and I had the chance to step inside after a lunch meeting. It warmed my heart, and my body, being in their huge greenhouse!
The best part? All those tulips (though it was all nice to see). Yep, my love for tulips endures (I got your back, PrettyPinkTulips, even if I don’t go for pink).
We do what we can to make it through the winter. Those orange tulips are literally giving me LIFE.
Over the ground lies a mantle of white…though it’s March, the snow keeps falling in the Hudson Valley. Spring is whispering its promise to return, but scads of greenery and color are still weeks away. The solution to the end-of-winter doldrums? Fresh flowers, of course.
Cohost J. here. I picked up a bouquet of tulips at the supermarket on Sunday afternoon just because I could not go another day without seeing a flower. Our #houseplants have been around for a while now and are super boring, and the paperwhite bulbs I bought at Thanksgiving time (see: December episode) never bloomed.
Will they fade soon? Yes. Are they an indulgence? Yes. Are they a waste of money? No. Do they hold off the winter blues? A little bit. And I’ll take it.
Even without the pressing need to see something beautiful on my dining room table (aside from a brilliant tablescape and the smiling faces of family and guests), I’d have fresh flowers in the house all the time, if I could. Here’s another reason I not-so-secretly want to be Edie Monsoon from AbFab. We know she indulges in lots of fresh flowers on constant refill from the “Poor” episode, when her auditor suggests she cut her fresh flower budget.
If I ever had a fresh flower budget, and then had to nix it, I’d fall on the floor too.
Brace yourselves, people! Rob here and I’m about to through down a Tag for Love for Walmart. You heard me right, a Tag for Love for Walmart. And if this post gets past J’s editing you’ll learn why.
Walmart, my least favorite retailer (for too many reasons to list here, plus this is about love not hate) launched a new video series called “Love is in the Aisle.” The series features couples on a blind date at Walmart . I know what your thinking: “Shitty first date!” and I agree. But the Episode 2 in the series features two gay men on a blind date. Pat and Andy are super cute as they wonder the aisles discussing scented candles, roasting veggies, and body wash. They also cream over Crème Pies. Need I say more?
This episode of “Love is in the Aisles” is so adorable, it almost makes me want to shop at Walmart. Well. Almost. Maybe. At the very least it has made me think a little more openly about Walmart. Respecting the LGBTQ community has never been the retailer’s strong suit. Featuring a gay couple so prominently is a welcome step forward. The video is getting a lot of attention! LGBTQ news site Towleroad reports the spot has bigots’ panties in a great big knot! Tag for Love!
Inspired by us*, Better Homes & Gardens recently launched a new DAILY podcast called At Home Daily. Though they put out a few episodes since January, they just announced it on their website.
It’s daily, but only two to three minutes long, and apparently meant to be played as part of your daily smart speaker flash briefing. Topics thus far seem to be on their brand but not exactly ours–grandparents, houseplant care, etc.
Part of the reason we started this podcast was to help build a sense of community around home decor, gardening and entertaining using a digital platform. A year ago, they were behind the times (we think) with a definite lack of media projects–a few videos, some slideshow-based web content, etc. We wanted more than that, so we created it. In the past few months, their website has begun posting a LOT more content (regrettably, lots of content recycled from other brands and sites) and now this. So, visible improvements! Obviously they’re making attempts to win the magazine/platform survival war (watch out, Good Housekeeping).
We’ll be tuning in, of course. We wish them well! Though At Home Daily is a also a podcast, our show is entirely different. We’re the outsiders looking in…the readers. And we’re going to keep on keepin’ it real…but on a monthly basis. Speaking of which, did you check out our latest episode?
*totally unproven statement invented by us.
UPDATE: We’ve listened to a few episodes. Not gonna lie…it’s not good. It’s about as dry and void of color and warmth as Rob’s martinis but 1000% less fun. Actually I take that back that comparison because that’s an insult to martinis.
Cohost J. here. As you know I’m a sucker for print so I get all excited when a new catalog arrives in the mail. And a Crate and Barrel catalog makes me a little excited in ways I can’t really get into here. So it was extra-special to have this one arrive earlier this week, with its spotlight on female Crate and Barrel employees in advance of International Women’s Day.
Not only was it great to see women highlighted in this way, we got to learn more about their styling and photo shoots–YES it’s on a totally designed set! –and the company–their co-founder was a woman!
To top it off (back it up?) the back cover spotlights their charitable work with VOW. They’ve also done work with Humble Design, an organization that provides home makeovers for low-income families–which would be my dream job, BTW.
So, bravo, C&B. I didn’t think I could love you more.