Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Spirit of Island Living

by Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

Over the summer I was vacationing on Sanibel Island off the coast of Florida and I had a wonderful field trip to a Shell Museum there. Everything was so beautiful to look at. I was impressed by the natural color of the shells.
It was incredibly interesting, I loved being there.
One of the things that I love about Island Living is how relaxed the pace is. At the museum they had these really intricate mosaics that were made by sailors in the 1800's for their girlfriends and wives while they were at sea. They would make a design using shells. Sometimes they would spell out "I love you" or have the couple's initials. It was really special to see how they communicated in a time period where there was no email or instant messages. In the 1900's it was popular to take the mosaics and lay glass over them creating a unique side table or other piece of furniture. It was touching to see the way a family could preserve a love note.
The shells were an inspiration and so was the beach. A friend and I lunched at the impeccably designed South Seas Island Resort. It was lovely, with a fabulous eye to being all inclusive, perfect for families. If you have the chance to go to Sanibel Island you won't want to miss it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Framed Sea Fans

by Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

Even in economically challenging times, it’s possible to create great design elements that add to the enjoyment of your home without spending a fortune. I love these colorful framed sea fans. I know you probably see these around town in various shops all the time, often with a hefty price tag. Rather than exhaust my budget, I make them myself for clients. It is a fairly easy project that you can do at home.

Sea Fans can be purchased at craft stores and on line very inespensively. They are unique and whimsical and look great in even the simplist of frames.

They're also extremely versatile. You can paint them different colors or leave them natural. Sometimes I mount them on linen, or simply sandwich them between two sheets of glass.You can color them bright colors to provide accent, I recently painted one orange for a little girl’s room and put a really neat frame on it.

This is a simple inexpensive project. It creates a lovely piece of art that adds depth to any room’s d├ęcor. I call it cheap and cheerful decorating!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Resin Shell Fossils

by Erin Ferucci
Celebrity Lifestyle Designer

Real shell fossils are a great design element for any beach inspired room. However, they can be expensive and extremely hard to find. I found this one at Berbere Imports.

It is probably thousands of years old. A great use for this would be as an accent piece inside the home or in the garden as a planter for an orchid or other beautiful plant.

Instead of using the expensive and illusive real fossils for planters, I have begun to use resin shells with great results. I found this beautiful resin shell for only $300 at Ruzzetia & Gow. It looks like the real thing but it will never disintegrate and there is no danger of it rotting in the garden. Not a real fossil, but it will last forever!

To find these smaller shell resin planters visit Mecox Gardens. Add a little beach flavor to your home and garden.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Return to Oceana

The December Issue of Food & Wine featured an article on Jeffrey Alan Marks who made over his kitchen on a budget. What I love is the wonderful fish panels that define the entire space. They are strategically placed in this Santa Monica Beach home so it appears as if the fish are swimming back out into the ocean. It’s fun, whimsical and striking all at the same time. And it is inexpensive.

The fish panels are available from Stark Wallcovering, this particular design is titled “Freshwater Fish". Stark offers a wide variety of designs, a direct quote from their website: “From backgrounds that offer large scale decorative motifs to those of exquisite restraint, Stark Wallcovering opens its "wings" to present traditional and historic luxury paired with modern simplicity. From intricate toiles to rich botanicals to the simplicity of natural textures and classic geometrics, Stark Wallcovering presents an infinite source of inspiration and coordination for walls.”

Visit for inspiration and ideas. Stark sells only to the trade, so you need a designer in order to purchase from them.