Health is Wealth

Do you read House Beautiful?  Have you noticed they are deep into the wellness conversation, particularly how awareness around a holistic home is good for our overall wellbeing?  It's a feature they call the whole home project.  Every time I pick up the magazine now, I am so charged!  I can't help tweeting to Sophie Donelson, the editor in chief.  Their theory (and mine) is that investing in your home is an investment in yourself.  Months of magazine articles with talking points about how health is wealth is culminating into a custom built concept house in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.  The primary focus will be on the importance of a calm and healthy environment!

“The Whole Home Project Concept House will show readers how strategic design choices can deliver more than a pretty space—they can help you live a smarter, happier and healthier life,” says Donelson. “It’s our core belief at House Beautiful that happiness begins at home—and with this project, that the well-being of your whole self, from health to energy to your outlook, are informed by our homes.”

What began in this past March's issue with talking points around the idea of calm and each month thereafter focusing on a different "chapter" really gives the reader a comprehensive look at the idea and execution of a holistic home.

Chapter 1  Calm

Chapter 2  Health

Chapter 3 Unplugging

Chapter 4 Revive and Recharge

Innovations in technology along with the idea that we must create calm spaces for living our best lives from a place of more joy, better health, and less toxicity improves all our lives and helps us thrive!
It's true what they say ~ If you don't have your health...

I am so excited to see the house and all it entails!!

Lasting LOVE

While all eyes were on the royal wedding and feeling the LOVE, ironically, the man who made the iconic words art quietly passed away.  Robert Indiana, who's real name was Robert Clark, left this world on Saturday, but left behind a legacy of highly recognizable art works.

Unfortunately, his LOVE series became so commercially successful, it overshadowed almost everything else he did.  His number series was also highly praised.

Robert liked words, words and numbers, that usually came from signs.  He lived in 19 different houses over a 21 year period.  He was always looking at houses with this mother, so it became house #1, house #2.... Signage captivated his attention because they referenced messages.  He and his art is very much about Friendship, Love and Truth.

Fallen wood outside his front door inspired his totem sculptures.  "How could I not pick it up?" Robert remarked.  The assemblages were inspired by his love of graphic text, primary color, Greek and Roman classical antiquity.

When Alfred Barr (the director of MOMA) came calling, it was 1965 and MOMA wanted Indiana to reproduce the LOVE design for a holiday card.  The rest, as they say, is history.

The stacking of the letters and with its "jaunty O" has a rhythm, a musicality, that really resonated with people as much for its graphic image as for its message.  This was completely original, nobody had seen a tipped "O" or a word in block before.

 LOVE was turned into AHAVA in Jerusalem, and AMOR in France.  

What does love mean to you?
"It has been a central focus of my life, starting very early with my mother.  Many of my paintings, in fact most of my paintings, are autobiographical.  My friends, my lovers, all kinds of people—dealers, healers, everyone."

His works are an interplay between the verbal and the visual.

Interestingly, when the interviewer asked Robert what his colleagues thought, he said artists are insecure by nature, they were terribly jealous and walked away from him.  Robert, disillusioned, eventually became reclusive.

Indiana never trademarked his LOVE art.  Therefore, he was never able to capitalize off of all the reproductions!  A retrospective in 2013 at the Whitney titled "Beyond LOVE" sought to keep Indiana relevant.  There was fear his reclusiveness made him an easy target to be taken advantage of. Lawsuits were filed days before his death, so unfortunately his death is mired in controversy.

Robert created his most iconic art during a period of turmoil in the country.

We can always HOPE for the best this country has to offer and let LOVE win!

RIP Robert Indiana

Cultivating a new Normal

When I was more active on social media ~ doing FB lives and posting frequently, I got a lot of comments and compliments. People pointed out that they appreciated my authenticity.  I think it is easier to relate to someone when you see their struggles as well as their successes.

A  few months ago I stated that I haven't been feeling well. You can catch it here .  I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.  That means for some unknown reason, my immune system is attacking my healthy joints thinking it is diseased.  PsA  (as I will refer to it) is causing me a great deal of joint pain and tremendous inflammation.  I get extremely tired and honestly, a little (more than) blue.  Everything feels like such an effort right now, until my meds kick in.  However, I think the same medicine that is suppose to make me feel better is causing me to gain weight!  Nothing reeks havoc on my psyche more than unexplained weight gain.

It is interesting that I became a life coach in an effort to heal something within myself and that need keeps showing up and showing up.  Life is fluid, there are ebbs and flows to everything.  I am a little lost, but that is just for now.  Without struggle we don't have growth.  I believe this is part of a grand plan ~ albeit one I don't understand or care for!

You have heard of the saying, "It's not the struggle that defines you but rather how you respond."  I am trying to figure this out but it is taking all my energy, so please be patient with my lapses.  I have been writing this blog for 8 years, I can hardly believe it!  I am not ready to throw in the towel. in fact, I think my path may be angling towards an overall wellness arc.  If I have to change the energy around  me, in my home and in my heart, I am taking you on that journey with me if you care to walk beside me.

I certainly do not understand any of this, maybe I never will, maybe there is nothing to understand, there is only acceptance.  I know my natural inclination is to fight everything.  I fight and try to fix.  Then, I at least feel like I have control, but I think there is nothing to be done but lean in, accept and find a holistic path to healing.  You can't have yin without yang.  There's a new balance to be found.  Who would I be if I didn't practice what I preach?

There's medicine in the message.

There is a difference between struggling and suffering.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't suffering, but it is possible to turn your thoughts around in an effort to ease suffering.  That's all it is:thoughts. We subscribe meaning to them that may be entirely untrue.  I'll talk more about that at a later date, but that is a large part of my coaching practice.  I help clients turn thoughts of struggling into something much more productive.  Having said that, there is a time and place to fall apart, just not for too long.

Getting out of your own head is always helpful.  If you are dealing with something bigger than yourself try this ~

1. Practice gratitude, jot down 3 things you are grateful for. It could be anything!
2. Be of service to others
3. Keep stress at bay
4. Surround yourself with positivity
5. Be kind to yourself,  give yourself what ever you need. Self love is critical right now!

I only want to thrive, to blossom, to have purpose and meaning in my life, to feel good and look good (yea, I said it)!   So think of this as an experiment, a fork in the road ~ destination unknown.

Are you struggling but would prefer to blossom?  Reach out!

Kips Bay Show house 2018, part 2


Philip Mitchell designed The Drawing Room.  Celebrating love of family and collecting, much of what Philip collects, or his mother collected, are on display in this heavily layered room.  Philip's rooms are realistic renditions of how people actually live.  Rich velvets, tapestry's, patterns and tones mix well together.  Art is always an intregal part of the look as well.

Alexa Hampton's "Olympia Folly" was born out of her love of her Greek husband's heritage, and the Neo classical period she is so fond of.  It's as if you have stepped into a Roman Greco tent!  Alexa's love of the period  is on full display.  Regal colors and accountraments complete the story.  She collaborated with De Gournay on the custom tented wallpaper, and painter Chuck Fischer tied in the ceiling for a seamless transition.  I loved the look of the opposite wall.  The mural depicts the curtain being pulled back on the ancient scene outside.  Brilliant!


I was intrigued by Stefan Steilish's "Room with a view."  This transitional space was a nod to the classic Merchant - Ivory film of the same name.  This difficult space was unified by the Arteriors sconces as well as creating multiple focal points that drew you in.  The wallpaper, hand ripped (you heard me) and painstakingly applied to the walls piece by piece so as to appear to look like a stone facade was phenomenal.  The polymer cloud like fixture overhead, with branches extending outward, made for an indoor/outdoor moment.


This oversized photograph of the Cathedral di Santa Maria Assunta in Siena, which functions as the window or view, was 10 years in the making.  Markus Brunetti took thousands of photographs and complied them into one composite for a hyper-realized look.  The room's color palette was informed by this work of art.

Bunny Williams Inc. simply states, "Imagine that you have a very comfortable living room in a tree house, where you can look at the sky through gilded leaves and watch a spider make a giant cobweb."
Spider woven art by Art Groove



We're not done yet!  I wrap it up next time.

* photos Nickolas Sargent

Kips Bay 2018, part 1


Sorry for the radio silence.  I'll talk about the whats and the whys in a future blog post, but for now ~ on with the show.  It's spring, and that means the always fabulous, aways exciting Kips Bay Showhouse.  There is a reason why this is the "grand dame" of showhouses.  This year was bigger and better than ever!  Six floors of eclectic, luxurious, creative design!

Sasha Bikoff's crazy kaleidoscope of a grand staircase is all over social media.  Her inspiration was wild, wacky 1980's look of Memphis Milano style, mixing patterns and colors that have a fun, playful look that the kids of Kips Bay could relate to.  She even incorporated some of the kids club artwork.  I've never been to Memphis, but note to self... I must check it out.  The Rug Company customized the rug (obviously) using several different patterns and colorways.  The wallpaper is by Voutsa.  Pee Wee Herman like accessories looked right at home.  It is definitely a talking point.

Everything Juan Montoya does is exquisite.  He was charged with an awkward stairwell and great room in the (dare I say) basement, but oh what he did with it!  The Moonlight Room as Juan refers to it because it came to him in a vision, it is all about cosmic forces.  The ever changing celestial orbit pulls you through this space.  The carefully curated classic details, geometry, soft circle and layers create a scared retreat, but that paneling is EVERYTHING!

Back on the 1st floor Dan Fink made the most out of the main hallway creating a quiet glamour that very much exemplifies the home's history.  Taking cues from the classic stair rail, Dan layered Gracie Studio shimmering wallpaper with a mix of old and new furnishings to accentuate the strength and romance of a bygone era.

The Baccarat fixtures, a somewhat unusual look for this iconic company had me at hello.  A perfect choice for the bespoke Clive Christian kitchen with its Metro Deco cabinetry in walnut, marquetry wood veneer inlays and leather backed open cabinets.  The company teamed up with Dacor for a fully integrated system of appliances with advanced technology.

The kitchen on one side opened to a David Netto "red room."  The color holds significance in design and color psychology because it is after all, part of the kitchen.  The juxtaposition of chunky, modernist furniture is all about looking forward, and dreaming ~ hence the books as a metaphor.

so much more design goodness to cover ~ part 2 next time

* photo Nickols Sargent