All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm on the hunt, I'm after you...

Thanks to all the thoughts and wishes after my post two weeks ago. I took last week off because my great aunt did pass away and then I got a pretty bad cold.

This weekend I'm on the hunt for Ye Olde Dayjobbe as well as doing some Retrograde paperwork.

For two dayjob residential projects, I'm looking for: kitchen pendants, side tables, and large single lamps. Here are some things I spied at Monument, one of my favorite shops on Valencia Street:

If you ever visit Monument, you'll see what kinds of budgets I get to work with at Ye Olde Dayjobbe. For Retrograde, I've been trying to explain to a friend why a custom sofa can cost upwards of $10,000.

There can be a little sticker shock when it comes to the higher-end stuff. I end up coaching my Retrograde peeps through the process, explaining the pros and cons of going custom or sticking to retail. It all depends on your budget and priorities.

I'm working on a more dramatic post next weekend, promise!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

When someone great is gone...

This week I wanted to reiterate an important point: You can't take it with you.

I went to visit my great aunt in the hospital (hospice) yesterday to find that she's slipping away and will mostly likely pass on in the next few days. She's been the closest thing to a grandmother to me as an adult since all of my real grandparents died when I was a child. She offered support, encouragement, and unconditional love when I really needed it over the past 12 or 13 years. So it was heartbreaking to see this tall, strong, intelligent woman looking so tiny and fragile in a hospital bed.

It reminded me of how, years before he died, my father was more than ready to let go of his possessions. It started with the vintage clothing he gave me when I was in high school and college. Later, he gave me his old car, a badass Buick. Do I still have any of those things? No, because they’re possessions that I loved, used up, and eventually had to discard as I moved on.

We often brag about that cool piece of furniture or accessories or antiques that we “scored” from a family member. Just remember that piece might be a reminder of a loved one, but it shouldn’t take the place of the memories you have. For example, I’ll always have the memories of the things I got from my father, the way he used them and how I gave them a second life. Now that the items are gone, have my memories or feelings changed? Of course not! (I mean, what would the point be of keeping an old car that doesn’t work anymore?)

Use it up and, when the time comes, pass it on or give it away. My mother (something of a hoarder herself) just gave me an old pot that was just sitting in her garage yesterday after I told her about an orchid I needed to re-pot. Looks like she’s learning, too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key...

Following up on stuff I'm loving this spring and summer, I've got to let you all know about my obsession with Greek keys.

Sometimes it can also be found in Asian designs in fretwork borders or screens, but we most often associate the keys with neoclassical interiors and various revivals.

Check out this rad hand-painted key border by Jean Cocteau. I would love the chance to draw or graffiti something like this in an interior space with a big fat marker:

(Check out the rest of this French home that Cocteau designed in this article.)

I'm totally going to get these Euro shams from West Elm and use them as a summery headboard:

I love these because they take that classic geometric pattern and, like Cocteau, give it an organic, handmade feel. It's relaxed and easy and fun--just what you want for the warmer days ahead.

Go ahead and go Greek this year--get yourself a brand new key!