Category Archives: Uncategorized

We’re moving!

Guess what peeps?

We’ve moved!  The D.Coop Bloggie can now be found over at our new home www.DCoopMedia.com

Come check out our new home and make sure you change over your bookmarks.

Much Love!

B

Clients with Big Houses #FirstWorldProblems – Very Mary Kate

I have clients with big houses.

In fact I have one client with whom I joke that I can fit my entire bungalow in her living room.  She thinks I’m joking.  I’ve actually measured. It’s true.

Ok maybe not but it still makes for a funny conversation.

Anyway…. considering that tomorrow is the Fourth of July (Happy Independence Day!…. Independence from everything but cleaning my house for a BBQ later….) I thought I’ve give you a little light humor about someone with a much bigger house….

Confession: I’m in love with Very Mary Kate….. So follow her.  Well not literally but her blog.  Literally is just a little too stalkerish.  And we don’t advocate being a stalker.  Unless, that is, you’re stalking any of the characters from Magic Mike.

Chair Porn – Lowenstein’s Bringing Sexy Back

Don’t worry….. this kinda porn is safe for work.

Unless work for you involves an overbearing “can’t handle a strong sexy curve no matter what is attached to” type of guy.  Or girl.

Trust me, I know a few of those.  They don’t work in the furniture industry.

So this past week.  let’s just say it was a chair-a-palooza and the manufacturers did not fail to bring it.

Want to see one? 

Ok…. but just one.

That’s a hot back isn’t it? Sleek, sexy, swooping from end to end with delicate wooden curves.  It evokes a bit of mid-century love.  A little make love not war.  A little hug when you sit in it. Elegant.  Organic.  Shapely.  Are you thinking the legs of a lanky model in Louboutins?  Paint the legs of this chair red and you might be right there.

I think I’m in love.

I told you Lowenstein brought it.  And without the use teenage looking cheerleaders too.

Lowenstein’s Bistro – Available in Oak, Beech and Walnut. 

www.lowensteininc.com

Photos courtesy Lowenstein & D.Coop.

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Though a pair of these would look hot in front of my desk.

The Windy City …. Once again. Neocon 2012

Hello dear readers!

I figured I’d leave you a little note just in case you’re stopping by to see if there is anything new on the bloggie.  Well…. at about 6:45 this morning I’m on a plane to the World’s Trade Fair, otherwise known as Neocon! 

Yes yes, I’m off to the Windy City once again to bring back the best and worst of the industry.  I’m hoping for more orchids than onions but no guarantees. 

So if you notice it’s a little quiet round these parts for a few days, send out the search party because I may be stuck in the elevator between Floors 7 and 8 with 30,000 of my brethren.

Have a great weekend and look for our live tweets!

Brandon

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Weekend Warrior – Since I’m Getting Nothing Done – A Giveaway!

So if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ve gotten just shy of nothing done around the house. 

Yeah yeah, I know I told you all that I was going to go all nut-ballz and take a few notches off the old task list. You know, make my home a designer showhouse. Well maybe not so much a designer showhouse as much as a “finally stop living with patio furniture in my living room” type of house.  It’s true…. I’m that kinda guy.

So whatevs.  It’s Memorial Day weekend round these parts and I’m taking Monday off.  And maybe Tuesday if you people aren’t nice to me.  That’s right, I said it.

Just because I’m not getting anything done around my house doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be.  So it is with my distinct pleasure (and with many thanks to the great people over at Kohler) that I’ve got a little bone to throw your way. 

As you know, I’m all about sustainability and water efficiency and making bathrooms look better than they are.  Except my own obviously since that would be too easy.  And I want you to be as well.

Up for grabs (this sounds like the beginning of my Craigslist personal ad….) is a Kohler Bancroft 2.0 GPM showerhead with a catalyst spray.  What?!  A catalyst spray?  You don’t say?!  Kohler says something about infusing water into the water flow to make for larger droplets.  I say PRETTY!

And it’s all yours. Well… if you enter my little contest.  I know – work. 

Four ways to enter -

- Follow the D.Coop Bloggie.  You probably already do this anyway.

- Follow D.Coop on Twitter

- Tweet out the contest to all your Twitter fans (this is my really evil plan!).

- And a bonus entry if you leave me a comment telling you just how much you love me :D

Of course, make sure you leave me a comment telling me you did each one so that I can make sure I get all your entries.  Remember, I’m lazy and I’m probably not paying much attention to anything besides the drink in my hand.  On Thursday, May 31st at 9pm PST I’ll draw the winner and hopefully by the next week you’ll be all clean again!

Note, my international friends are most certainly welcome to enter but it’s up to you to make sure this particular fitting fits your plumbing type.  I’m no plumber ….

Contest is for one (1) Kohler Brand Bancroft 2.0 GPM showerhead with Catalyst Spray.  Part No. K-14519-CP.  Other fittings including shower arm not included.

The Open Road – Ferraris Make Loud Noises

If there is one thing boys do well it is make car noises.

We start out at an early age though typically those early vrooms are more like showers for anyone standing near them than an actual car noise. And as we get older we only perfect the talent.

That is unless we can find an alternative.

One of the great things about Las Vegas is that there are no shortage of experiences waiting around every corner. When I was born here (yes, I’m a native of Nevada….) some 30 years ago the whole idea that was Vegas then was gambling (with real coins and real slot arms) and maybe a bit of Wayne Newton. I distinctly remember getting pawned off on the arcade at the Circus Circus with a few rolls of quarters while my parents were out trying to out luck Lady Luck.

The Las Vegas of the 80s is no longer the Las Vegas of today. A major town for foodies. A mecca for shopping (a woman at Tiffany today told me there are four T&CO locations on the strip within walking distance of each other). A hotspot for entertainers looking to retire.

And my favorite – experiences. I’m all for a great helicopter ride over the strip. Or an insanely sexy dining experience. But as I mentioned, you never know when you will turn a corner and stumble upon something new.

Like a Ferrari F430 GT.

In which an instructor will take you two laps round the Las Vegas Speedway.

Or let you drive five laps round same said Speedway. It would probably be the most expensive 5.5 miles of your life but who the hell cares when you’re behind the wheel of a seriously ferocious red beast capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in just around 3.5 seconds, pushing you back into those very capable racing seats with G-forces of 1.5. Yes. That’s a one. And a point five.

And for those of you into fashion like I am? They dress you. In a matching speed suit. Shut up right?

You know guys…. I do have a birthday coming up.

The Ferrari F430 GT Dream Racing Experience
Starting at $175.00
www.dreamracing.com
Change of pants not included

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Though if there was one time I would want to be, it would be now.

Images via Dream Racing.

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Like Candy with Strangers – KBIS with Robin Siegerman

Happy Hump Day Gang!

Over the past year, it’s been my pleasure to meet a crap ton of you guys not only virtually but IRL (that is “in real life” for those you that don’t know what an emoticon is).  Now whether this is a good or bad thing has yet to be determined, and I’m still not entirely sure my liver can take all this drinking (who am I kidding), it has been fun none the less.

The Kitchen and Bath Industry Showcase (KBIS in shorthand) was no different.  The show was less about seeing new products and more about meeting members of my stalkeratzi.  Suck it Bieber…. my girls are better.

I could sit here and talk about them all day but I thought I’d hand the reins of the blog over to the infamous Robin Siegerman of Renovation Bootcamp.

Don’t worry,  you don’t need a yoga mat.  She’s not going to make you work out.

And just in case you’re wondering, this —-> :D is an emoticon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Don’t go anywhere with anyone you don’t know!”

How many times have you said that to your kids or remember your parents saying it to you? The only problem is, it was my husband saying it to me before my trip to Chicago for KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show last week, an event I’ve been attending for more years than I care to admit (18). He was referring, however, to the fact that this year, I was traveling there from Toronto to meet up with Twiends—the affectionate moniker we Tweeps use for our regular online Twitter pals.

I rolled my eyes at him and said, “I talk to these people every day!  They’re designers and moms, except for the token guy, and he’s funny.”

“How do you know?” he stormed.

“How do I know he’s funny?” I asked mildly. (edit: I just AM funny, darnit)

“Not him,” he fumed. “The moms! How do you know they’re not axe murderers? How do you know these online Twits are who they say they are? And you’re going to a foreign country to spend time with them?!”

 “Chicago isn’t exactly like going to Katmandu!” I opined, USA and Canada being each other’s largest trading partner. I then reminded him how he was also leery before I met @MaureenCModecor  for lunch in downtown Toronto for the first time last summer, and she turned out to be a perfectly lovely decorator mom from Ottawa, just like she said—we yakked for hours then went shoe shopping! And how when Maureen and I met up with @lynneknowlton, from outside Toronto, for lunch this past winter and he thought I was crazy then too, she turned out to be fun, hilarious and we had a fabulous time. And how @Norbridge, another Torontonian, who he didn’t believe was an online seller of fine antique china, is as gracious a lady as you could ever hope to meet, who I’ve met a couple of times, but sadly wouldn’t be able to be in Chicago with us. Triumphant, I thought that was all the proof I’d require to make my case, and that would be the end of it. But nope…

My 21-year-old son, who hadn’t been paying attention (or so I thought), peered at me over the lid of his Mac and took his father’s side. “So how is this different than when you kept telling me as a kid never to reveal any personal information on MySpace? You thought everyone was a potential stalker.”

In a voice dripping with sarcasm, my husband drawled, “Oh, but this is comPLEEEEETly different. Your mother is making a mature decision as an adult.”

Knowing when I’ve been trumped in an argument, I further displayed my maturity by stamping my stilettoed foot and flouncing out of the room to pack (it’s so important to wear cute shoes when leaving the room in a huff).

But as it turns out, I’ve been completely vindicated and proven right (as I almost always am, and if my husband would just stop fighting it, we’d all save so much time). As I knew they would be, my Twiends were fabulous one and all!  We’ve been plotting and planning for the better part of a year about how and where we would finally all get together in person and KBIS provided the perfect excuse and Chicago was the perfect venue.

Of the many events, adventures and experiences, a stand-out was @Studio41, where we met @NoirBlancDesign, the founder of #intDesignerChat, who organized a Tweet-up IRL (in real life), where a group of us sat for an hour furiously typing on our phones, tablets or laptops to talk with hundreds of others joining in from the Twitterverse, to chat about kitchen and bath trends. The final touch at that venue was Twiends in a tub.

The Merchandise Mart was hopping with design activity, as the three Canucks, Maureen, Lynne and I, along with our new/old Twiends @RMD_Designs and @Remodel_w_Feia cruised from party to party searching for the ultimate hors d’ouevre which we found at @SubZero: cake on a stick!

Although due to the recession #KBIS is a shadow of its former self, there were still enough exhibitors to keep our heads swiveling on our necks like dashboard mascots. But early in the day we were happy to turn out en masse to support our fellow Tweeps as they sat on a panel and publicly ruminated on the ins-and-outs of blogging. Among the experts on the panel was none other than our own @dcoopsd (so much cuter than his Twitter avatar), the founder of this very blog, and we were tickled when he publicly recognized us as his own personal stalkerazzi!  Joining him were @MarilynRussell, @susanSerra, @kbculture (with whom I spoke many times during her tenure as Editor of Woman’s Day Specials Kitchen & Bath Magazine when featuring my work, but met IRL for the first time), and Caitlin Grogan, the editor of the online magazine http://www.Kitchens.com. But the highlight of the show for me (after all, this IS all about me) was posing with my book Renovation Bootcamp™: Kitchen in the #KBIS bookstore!

But you can’t attend #KBIS without wining and dining, and this year was no exception—we were well pickled. From our meet up with @SuzanneCummings floral designer extraordinaire, our group fave and stalwart @Lawyer1mom and her gorgeous DD (dear daughter) @CarolineHoenk,  fashionista @TheDecorGirl at the Gilt Bar across from The Mart, to our flamboyant dinner at the fabulously colorful Latin restaurant @Carnivale312 where we were joined by @RMD_Designs’ adorable DD and @livethefinelife we blew into The Windy City (so named for its verbose politicians not its weather!) and had a blast. At the end of the week, exhausted and percolating with new product and design ideas dancing in our heads, we went home to crow to our respective partners about our IRL Twiends, not a one of whom was seen wielding anything more dangerous than a fork.

Hopefully this will silence any protest that might otherwise have erupted when we all fly off to our reunion next year in New Orleans. Three cheers for Twitter bringing us all together! Party on, eh?

Robin Siegerman is the author of the Amazon best-selling book Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchen – Design and Remodel Your Kitchen Without Losing Your Wallet Your Mind or Your Spouse and Chief Design and Renovation Officer of Sieguzi Kitchen & Home Inc. in Toronto.

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Do You Smell That? An Olfactory Memory Lane

“Did you smell that?”

“What?”

“I’m not sure but it smells familiar.”

“You’re off your rocker.”

“Seriously… where is she?”

About a decade ago I squashed most of my sense of smell.  A long story involving allergies, a soap shop in which I worked and a a six-month supply of Allegra (the original stuff, not this watered down stuff they sell over the counter).  The result is that although it does save me from the onslaught of not so pleasant smells in an afternoon elevator ride, it also means if there is ever a gas leak, I will not be the alerting party.  Truth.

Be that as it may, not having a keen sense of smell hasn’t really affected me in the long run.  It did hurt my chances of becoming a bloodhound, but I’ve still managed to carve out a nice little livelihood.  Luckily, design is a relatively visual field and I don’t have clients requesting for a “new car smell” when designing their homes.  If I were colorblind, however, I might be singing a different tune.

Thank goodness.

Fault in mind, I still have random olfactory moments. You all know what I’m talking about.  Promenading one beautiful sunny/snowy/sleety afternoon, the wisp of a recognizable flavor tickles your nose.  A spark is set and a flash of the past ensues. I have a number of those triggers.

The floral twists of Chanel No. 5 always makes me think of my Aunt Sharon who wasn’t really my aunt but was responsible for my first word.  And scaring my mother with stories of hanging me from the ceiling fan as a baby.

The indelible grotesque scent of Abercrombie’s fragrance for men brings me to a world of tanned, toned, preppy…. shirts.  Preppy shirts I tell you and I’m sticking with that story dammit!

But my favorite.  The one scent that brings me back.  A scent I’ve tried to replicate for years with little success.  My grandmother’s spice cabinet.  Growing up, I knew my maternal grandparents for their abilities in the kitchen.  Certainly neither could play off the part of Julia Child, but both knew their way around a pressure cooker.  And a de-humidifier.  And a smoker.  Their downstairs pantry (there were two pantries….) was always an abundance of homemade treats.  Dill and Sweet Pickles.  Butter Pickles. Duck and Beef and Turkey jerkies. Saurkraut. Mason jars of mushrooms and tomatoes and….

Where was I?  Let me wipe up the drool.

My grandparents’ house is laid out so that the kitchen is a mere twelve feet from the front door. The transition from the hall to the kitchen is a two-foot tunnel of sorts – pantry on the right, spice cabinet on the left. Most children would head straight for the hard candy on the coffee table.  My mother to an embrace with her parents.  But me. I would stop short of the kitchen, open the door to the spice cabinet and inhale with a vengeance.  The scent was ever changing over the years as my grandparents introduced other home grown scents – garlic salt, jalapeno pepper… – but in a way it remained the same.

My own spice cabinet is a mix of my spice loves. Full cloves. Dried lavender. Various salts from chardonnay smoked salt to hickory salt to truffle salt. Bay leaves. Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (hey…. the can’t all be gourmet!).  But no matter the new ground bits of heaven that I introduce to my own collection, I can never replicate the grassroots smells encased in my grandparents spice cabinet.

Even now.  No longer the lanky blonde geek of my past (I’m not lanky anymore).  Acknowledging the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. The weakening of my aging grandfather. I still stop in that mini-tunnel and thrust my nose into shallow cabinet straining to catch even the tiniest pouf of spicy goodness.  The magical scent appears and I’m taken back if for just a moment, to simpler times.

For all my loyal followers, perhaps you can find those smells that bring you back to innocence and peace at a discounted price here at Target.

And by the way…. Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

This blog post is just one of the dozens of super-excellent blogs participating in this week’s theme “What Smell Takes You Back”.  To see the other great blogger’s take, click here to take you to the Let’s Blog Off page.

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Think You’re a Winner? Do ya?

TGIF everyone.  Seriously.

This has been one of those crazy-ass weeks where I swear I didn’t stop moving.  And Friday is no different. Can someone in LA please order me a cocktail before I arrive?  I know I’m going to need one and I’m not even in the car yet.  Hell, I’m writing this at 1am and I’m not even in bed yet.

Anyway… I wanted to start off this post by sending out one REALLY BIG THANK YOU to all of my readers.  As it would turn out, January was the absolute best month we’ve had here at the D.Coop Bloggie. Seriously.  January saw views that were equal to nearly HALF of the views for the entirety of 2011.

Yeah.  You heard me.  Guess you must like me.

And let’s talk about this little giveaway I hosted over at Writerobinson.  You remember.  That’s the whole reason you’re here. I can’t tell you how much I loved the compliments and amazing comments that were left with regards to my photography.  I guess it means that I have to keep shooting right?

Wait.  What was that?  Shut up and tell us who won already you say? Geez.  You guys can be a pain.

Drumroll Please.

You call that a drumroll?  You can do sooooooo much better than that!  Seriously.  Put down the coffee and give me a real drumroll already.

 

So the fabulous recipient of my original, all nicely signed and framed….. is…..

April Elizabeth of AE Interior Design. 

Here on the blog she’s known as the “Crazy Blonde Lady” but in the Twitter universe she’s known as @alovelydesigner.

Again, thank you ALL for your insanely kind words.  If money were no object I’d send one out to each and every one of you that entered.

Happy Friday and congrats to Ms. April!

Going Dark – SOPA

Hi Gang,

There aren’t many things that I fight against but as a blogger, a designer, and a writer I’m going dark on January 18th in protest. You’ve probably seen it elsewhere…. Craigslist, Wikipedia, and other major sites are going black in protest of SOPA, the Internet Blacklist Bill.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back on Thursday with more ORIGINAL content, but for today, help us fight the battle.

Thanks!

Brandon

 

For more information about SOPA – check out www.americancensorship.org

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