#JKID Project | Avec Nightclub

This time last year, I celebrated the first of many milestones that was in store for JKID in 2010.
My baby, Avec Nightclub was born out of the solemn ashes that would remain after having been laid off from my dream job and feeling completely deflated, but not undetermined to reach the first of many lifetime goals before the impending 30-year mark. As an aspiring, ambitious, and often delusional design student at the Art Institute of CA, I swore that one day I would conceptualize and create a dance club space that would rival any of the ones that I grew up around, having partied in Orange County since '94 (ogeez I'm old) and feeling like none were up to particular par. 

Set Design | Gossip Girl

Since I've got the reno on the mind and barely a buck to get this puppy started, what better way than to start in lala land and get my inspirational fix from Gossip Girl on hiatus? Trying to channel my inner upper-east-sider and fix the pad up with modern art against muted walls and saturated jewel tones to anchor every vignette. Hmmm...from double-story studio to posh penthouse status? Might as well seduce a single Penn Badgley while we're at it no?...*sighs*...a girl can only dream....

Trend Spotting | Industrial Heaven

Stuck in stucco should be SoCal's resident theme song as we (as in "I") yearn for the day when one can one day, call a Brick House (or Brownstone, I'm not picky) our own. No one tells you this, but where the East Coast builds homes clad in bricks and the Colonial States in sticks and stones, Orange County is home to the suburban stucco capital of the world! (Ok, more likely just of the U.S., but that's still pretty compelling evidence in my eyes). 

Barcelona Photo Diary | Architecture and Food Porn

Lazy Sundays sure seem lazier once you're on vacation. Europeans take their day of the Lord quite seriously as the entire town slums around and nary a shop is open for business. Which usually means one of two things: a) They're at mass b) They're home recovering from a wild Saturday night. 

Barcelona Photo Diary | Antoni Gaudi

As neurotic as it may sound, I refuse to let the bf use any vocabulary in his vernacular that he cannot spell {I know, I know, psycho-gf alert...Turn ons: Scintillating syntax (rawr baby rawr!)...Turn offs: Erroneous spelling and grammar (too cool for school?..booo)} So on the flip side, I've assumed the same responsibility and am not to utter a single phrase I have not faced firsthand. Gives wayyyy new meaning to shouting: "Omg, that's soooo Gaudy!" Although the term dates back to the 16th century way before the Catalan architect was even born, I'd like to believe present-day exploit implies a slightly garish, ornately over-the-top, showy display of anything design. Coincidence? I think not. 

Barcelona Photo Diary | Vintage Shopping

While the bf OD'ed on Zara and Mango, I made my way through the Gothic Quarter sniffing out second hand goodies like a government canine in Columbia. My drug of choice? Shoes, what else? Thank god for my heightened sense of smell (and of course Google maps), I was able to track down the best in vintage shopping, a bomb.com bakery, and a cafe/chocolatier all within a few blocks from one another and our last dinner stop for the evening.

Barcelona Photo Diary | Park Güell

I used to think traveling abroad meant hitting up as many countries in as few days as possible. Now 10 cities in 10 days hardly sounds like a vacation, so when the bf and I started scouting potential hotspots, we narrowed it down to my TWO favorite loves: fashion (Paris) and architecture (Barcelona). 

Paris Photo Diary | Versailles

I've had visions of Versailles since missing it during my first trip to Paris a decade ago. Sis and I opted to go to Disneyland Paris that day instead and boy do I ever regret such an asinine (and totally American tourist) decision. Not only did we board the wrong train and was fined $80 upon exiting, my Aunt came home with stories of opulent grandeur having spent the entire day shooting the Chateau, oohing and aahing over every gilded fixture and golden finish. Not to mention her squeals of delight as if she was the first to ever photograph Versaille's famous Hall of Mirrors, to which I have to admit was the inspiration behind Avec's entry corridor (seen here).

Paris Photo Diary | To Louvre, with Love

I could never tire of the Louvre. My perfect Parisian day would consist of the Etruscan collection with my morning coffee, followed by a light lunch in the Garden of Tuileries, midday snacking with Mona Lisa, and watching the sun set with the Renaissance. I could literally spend the entire day here, wander around aimlessly as I wait to be struck by another, and yet another source of stirring stimulation. Something about art that puts me in such a meditative trance...Ohmmmm...Ohmmmm...Ohmmm...Divine inspiration indeed.

Paris Photo Diary | Le Bistrot Paul Bert

I had every intention of following Anthony Bourdain's foodie guide to the ultimate dining experiences in Paris, save for the fact that due to the program's Oprah-like Midas' touch, every single one of 'em had been booked for months, some even dating back to half a year in advance! Sheesh Francophiles sure don't mess around with their food man. Which made me even more anxious to somehow, someway work the back alley and perhaps do a little Americano dance and maybe get some love in this mutha'...apparently, that didn't work either. But it's not for a lack of trying peeps, so here's the lowdown on what went down instead. Bon appétit!

Paris Photo Diary | Les Puces Flea Market

If you know me (as I'm sure most of you do), I NEVER, NEVER joke about two central situations: 1) Food on an empty stomach and 2) Shopping on a mission. Which sucks for the bf because he's ALWAYS, ALWAYS on the receiving end of either the former or the latter on any given day. Poor thing had no idea what he got himself into as I literally dragged him (on foot mind you) through as many as 6 different arrondissements in one full day of hunting down thingamabobs and whatchamacallits. Tough thing is I almost never look for anything specific, but always run around the city searching for that one specific thing.

Paris Photo Diary | Montmarte and Sacre Coeur

I'm back baby...ready to blog, ready to put Paree on blast. I've been feeling très guilty having neglected Haute Khuuture for almost two weeks, so in my most humble efforts to make it up to y'all (and myself), I'm committing to TWICE daily posts! Yes, be still your heart, you read that right...Not one, but TWO entire digital diary pages per day of the most exhilarating, most intoxicatingly stimulating 10-day vacay I've planned to date. 

Gothic Splendor | Spirito-Martini Nightclub & Lounge

I'm such a p*ssy when it comes to Halloween. And no, not of the black cat crossing your path furry feline type of All Hallows. The superstitions I can deal with, it's more of the ghosts and goblins and spirits that psyche me out. I can't even sit through a Paranormal Activity trailer without getting all scurred and perturbed that some partially wet, raven-haired poltergeist is skulking right behind me. And I really don't care how Disneyland dresses up their Haunted Mansion during the holidays, it's even more disturbing when scary Santa's beckoning you from the graveyard, in lieu of swirling overhead sheets. OooOooh I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

Styling Your Vanity

In an effort to feng-shui my workspace, I spent the latter half of yesterday evening cleaning out my double-stacked bookshelf which included all of my old design school artwork and tons of back-copied House and Garden Mags...aww tear. Even though everyone and their mamas yearns for the Domino of yesteryear like it's their discontinued signature scent, I don't quite share the same sentiment. You can literally find scores of suspended Domino images all over the web, but H&G? A little more elusive, a lot more valuable in my eyes.

Trend Spotting | The Dome Chair

I have been ogling these chairs for the past 5 years now after discovering them plastered all over Kelly Wearstler's former studio on Kings Road. Every day upon arriving for my internship, I'd waltz right past her private office (swoon!), past the oh-so-glam kitchenette (bling!), and right upstairs to the all-white conference room where rows upon rows of current mood boards hid wall-to-wall shelving and mountains of sumptuous fabric swatches. Symmetrically positioned on opposite sides of the room were the inspirational images behind Viceroy Anguilla and the Tides South Beach, both gleaming with glamorous possibilities and the Queen Midas' golden touch. 

Trend Spotting | Think Pink

Since October is officially National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I'm dedicating today's post to empowering women through thinking PINK and feeling proud. Raising awareness means getting yourself (and all your peeps) to your local physician for an annual checkup and educating others with insight and support. For more information on NBCAM, please visit their website HERE. Knowledge is power!!!

Trend Spotting | Greige

If greige is the new beige then OC's abundance of track homes is in dire need of a major upgrade. I have never met one SoCal abode that wasn't completely saturated in every tint of tan and tone of taupe. It's time to *live a little* peeps and what better way to channel Fall's minimalism-chic than to outfit yourself {and your interiors} in a creamy, calming grey-on-grey-on-grey.

Trend Spotting | Living Walls

After having huffed and puffed my way through running 3.5 miles in 100 degree weather, I realized no amount of cardiovascular urban exercise is worth the damage to my heaving lungs. The dry heat alone sucked up all the juicy goodness from the atmosphere causing my average 7min/mi to slip down a few hundred seconds. That's a lot considering it was getting darker by the minute and with a bunch of crazies running around (present company excluded- thx Riks!), I was trying to get the hell outta there...pronto!

Trend Spotting | Retro Glamour

Since Mad Men's superlative success spawned a 60's fashion revival this Fall, I've been totally feeling a wardrobe transition into snug sweaters, circle skirts, and ladylike accessories. You'd think all 5'-1" {1.5" on a good day mind you, 5'-6" if you count the platties} of this petite frame would get swallowed up whole in layers of tulle and barely there kitten heels, but au contraire.

Gossip Girl | Paris Style

Spotted: S & B...in Paree!!... Pinch me cuz' I must be dreaming! Combine my love for GG + Haute Couture + Fave City in the World + French Pop Soundtrack = the most perfect premiere episode EVER. The fashion, the drama, the cute French boys, the cute GG boys...Wait, Dan has a kid?...With Georgina?? I don't think so buddy.

Trend Spotting | Houndstooth

Menswear classics have been all the rage since designers decided to deconstruct the fabric and reconstruct the pattern for a look that's true and never tired. Traditional houndstooth gets a sleek makeover in everything from stylish home furnishings, to haute hotel branding, to avant-garde apparel. 

Trend Spotting | Leopard Print

I don't care what anyone tells ya: Leopard is ALWAYS in fashion. Every season they (as in the fashion industry) try to spin it like animal print is the new "IN" thing..."Rock spots like THIS and you'll be super stylish with minimal effort" blah blah blah. Truth be told, this Fall season's not about HOW you wear it, but all about HOW MUCH of it you dare to wear. 

Modern Global Glamour

For those of you who have been following along, since Day One, since Design Star, or just since yesterday as you were trying to look for runway worthy Haute Couture, I just wanted to send a HUGE heart-heavy THANK YOU from the inside of my soul for your support. Just 100 posts ago, I never thought anyone would read my baby blog, yet here you are, like little pink tongues and furry wagging tails seeing me through to yet another glorious day. 

Claridge Hotel | Diane Von Furstenberg Suite

The sight of designer DVF robes alone makes me want to book the first flight to London and check into the Piano Suite at Claridge's Hotel. Coupled with cozy cashmere blankets, Asprey toiletries, and a personal butler service...Geezus I am DYING over Diane's digs as we speak.

Trend Spotting | 50's Style by Don Draper

I'm assuming he's a distant cousin, twice removed from the Queen of Decorating Tastemakers, the one and only Dorothy Draper herself. Why else would I become so overly consumed with everything Mad Men that I've almost forgotten that Gossip Girl is on hiatus? Dashing yet tortured leading man (enlivened by Jon Hamm) + 60's sophisticated chic interiors + daringly suggestive plotlines = one happy psych-obsessed interior designer (i.e. moi). 

Trend Spotting | Statement Art Piece

Not sure what to do with that large expanse of wall behind your (insert "X" area here)? Well, look no further than a honkin' huge piece of abstract artwork to take your room from drab to fab with only $500 and a blank white box...Hey wait, wrong show-whoops. Some nights (like last night) I wake up with hot flashes of my DS debut and have nightmares dreams of reliving that first episode...

Set Design | Sex and the City Movie

Since Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day, it's only fitting that I accompany our national holiday with a design tasting of SATC II, as opposed to a completely biased and subjective critique of the best movie ever!!! (next to SATC 1 of course) 

Trend Spotting | Indian Summer

The temperature is rising, the air sticky and sweet, aahhhh it finally feels like summer here in SoCal. It's taken me awhile to get used to these dog days. I've been holding onto our chilly springtime weather for some months now, but alas it's finally time to shed the old skin to summon the new.

Interning for Kelly Wearstler

My first foray into fashionable interiors paved the way for the start of my entire career. 
{Insert mini-bio} I'll make it quick-I promise!...or not, we'll see...I've been known to ramble :D Just have to set up the background before I get down to the meat and potatoes of this thing. 

Las Vegas | Nightclub Design

In less than 24 hours I'll be lying poolside at the Encore cabanas, sippin' on some bubbly and soakin' in the rays. I'll melt into the sun-drenched lounger as my responsibilities get drowned out by the booty shaking beats heard thumping in the distance...My freshly exfoliated skin will be moisturized from the warm fragrance-infused air wafting all around me...Bikini-clad, half-naked Adonises will be serving me frozen seedless grapes while subjecting to my every whim (but only because it's comped ;P)...Viva Las Vegas indeed.

Las Vegas | Restaurant Design

Gosh I don't remember the last time I breaked for meals in Vegas. In between the slot- scouting, cocktail-flagging, sun(less)-tanning, marathon-shopping, camera-snapping, guns-blazing frenzy that makes up all my Vegas trips, I rarely schedule time to pencil in sit-downs.

Trend Spotting | Old World Elegance

Ask any designer what they consider the most singular important element in a space and they'll exclaim proverbial responses of Function! Form! Color! Lighting! Scale! Proportion! Balance! Rhythm!...etc, etc. *yawns*...For me, it's all about the DRAMA baby. 

Shoes to soothe my tired soul

I've often said that I do my best work when I'm under extreme pressure and highly stressed. Now that I've finally committed to this premier entry, I'm feeling pangs of anxiety, nausea, and uncertainty as if I've left behind a gorgeous take me home pair of Donald Pliner Bronzed Platform Gladiators at the Rack for 50% off...

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