Last night I attended an awesome event that combined four of my favorite things: Apartment Therapy, Martha Stewart, ABC Carpet & Home, and Do-It-Yourself projects. First of all, if you haven’t been to ABC, go. If you don’t live in New York, well come here and go (or check out their other locations). It’s a design experience that’s not to be missed. Apartment Therapy, a design blog, throws frequent events and if you are quick enough to RSVP immediately you will be surrounded by pure creativity for a night.
The evening started with two DIY lighting presentations. The first, from Urban Gardens, was awesome pendant lamps made out of terra cotta pots (photos to come). The second project, from Engineer Your Space, was a DIY Drum Shade Pendant Lamp. This is a great idea for renters especially who have really bad lighting fixtures. As Isabelle showed us, they’re really easy to customize to fit your decor and won’t require dealing with any electrical wiring (see tutorial video here).
Then we had a real treat. An intimate discussion with Pilar Guzman, the editor in chief at Martha Stewart Living (and the founder of Cookie Magazine). I was so impressed by Pilar. She was incredibly well-spoken and cool. She is clearly an inspired, and inspiring, person. She said her goal at Martha Stewart is to elevate the everyday, the little moments.
Here are some of the things she said that resonated with me (paraphrasing here):
She believes everything is an opportunity to sit at a table and be engaged. (My kind of girl, she is also committed to never wasting a meal.) She hates the notion that you have a life and then you have kids and suddenly you are wearing horrible jeans. She encourages a modern approach to family which means doing it your own way. In her former role at Cookie, she wanted to steer away from the paranoia and fear that filled other parenting magazines, and instead focused on a new way to approach a family’s home that did not necessarily include a purple plastic jungle gym in your living room.
Her tips for designing your home: “layering your experiences.” Have collections. Frames, pots, chairs were examples. Use those collections as a color palate and starting point in a house. She also really likes a space to look inhabited in a real way, nothing too orderly or sterile. Here’s a peek at her Brooklyn brownstone as it was recently featured in Martha Stewart Living.