Turns Out Kimye’s Wedding Venue Was a Total Steal

The wedding of one of Hollywood’s biggest power couples is finally in the rearview mirror. While anxiously awaiting dress photos untainted by Instagram filters, let’s turn to that over-the-top venue: the Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. Built around 1590, the star-shaped structure served as a luxurious fortress for Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici, as well as a status symbol for his family’s prestige and power. (How fitting.)

The price tag? A mere $410,000 for booking. According to The Nest, the average couple allots roughly 50% of their wedding budget to the venue. Therefore, I can only conclude that with a budget of about $14 million, the West-Kardashian clan was being rather thrifty. Either that or the Belvedere got swindled.

My money’s on the latter.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

What has you buzzing this morning? Tweet us at @ruelala.

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May 28, 2014

Passport to Style: Get the French, Belgian, or Italian Look at Home

With its centuries-long history of art and craftsmanship, it’s a no-brainer that Europe is one of the world’s most stylish continents. Here, we share tips for incorporating three of its countries’ distinct looks into your home.052714_blog

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May 27, 2014

Fire Up the Grill: Memorial Day Dining Must-Haves

Whether you’re barbecuing for the whole block at home or taking your feast to the beach, here are your can’t-live-without essentials.

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May 23, 2014

What Dad Wants: Gift Picks from Our Men’s Editor

With Father’s Day less than a month away, it’s about time to start corralling together a few gifts for the man who taught you how to be a respectable adult. To help? We enlisted Rue Men’s Editor Cassandra to choose three items from our handpicked Father’s Day gift shop that she knows her dad will love.

Take a look, then feel free to steal her ideas (we won’t tell).

Father's Day

Want to shop these gifts? They’re all yours:

Brookstone Wood Earphones
New York Mets Baseball Hat
Robert Graham Button-Front

Need more ideas? Our Best Father’s Day Ever: The Gifts He Really Wants Boutique is now open.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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May 22, 2014

The Olsen Twins’ Foray Into Furnishings: The Row Opens in L.A.

Recent news that The Row would, ten years after its founding, open its first brick-and-mortar store might be exciting enough for fans of the Olsen twins’ high-end fashion label. But for anyone whose pulse picks up at the thought of home design, it gets even better: In addition to cashmere jackets and black silk evening pieces, patrons can purchase the ultra-sleek furniture and décor found throughout the store, too.

The Row
Image via Domaine

To update and outfit their modern Los Angeles shop, a space that once housed a Sally Hershberger at John Frieda salon, the famously fashion-forward sisters worked with architect David Montalba and designer Courtney Applebaum and sourced furniture and antiques from esteemed local vendors, including Blackman Cruz and Thomas Hayes Gallery. If you get there fast enough, a Jean Prouvé dining table, a Fortuny floor lamp, Poul Kjærholm coffee tables, and Paul McCobb woven leather chairs are a few of the super-chic pieces you could scoop up for your own abode. Now that’s what I call full-service shopping at its finest. 

Read more about the shop on WWD.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

Which furniture pieces would you love from The Row? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

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May 21, 2014

It’s Moving Day: A Trulia Expert Shares 10 Essentials for Your First Truckful

It’s official. The movers are booked and you have mere days to completely uproot your life. The time frame for settling in, however, is up to you. It could take two weeks or two years. To avoid pulling your hair out? Ensure your first truckful is filled with the absolute essentials.

Here to share her must-bring list is Trulia's Home Buying Pro Jena Beaver. From your bed (necessary for reenergizing) to a frying pan (you can only eat takeout so many nights in a row), keep this list on hand. It may not make moving week effortless, but it will help to avoid the late-night dig for your toothbrush.

Trulia Moving Packing List

Click the checklist to download and print.
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May 19, 2014

Before the Open House: Trulia Expert Michael Corbett Talks Home Staging

Selling your place, but not sure where to begin when it comes to showing off for prospective buyers? Don’t panic. We sat down with Michael CorbettTrulia's real estate and lifestyle expert and a best-selling author, to learn everything there is to know about staging your home. From an inviting front stoop to an open floor plan, read on – your place is about to be the most sought-after one on the block.

Michael Corbett on Home Staging

Rue La La: What is the most important thing to remember when staging a home?
Michael Corbett: The key is removing and editing. Create space, organize what you have, declutter, and finally – depersonalize. Remove walls of family photos, your daughter’s cheerleading trophies, and any personal reminders of my house, my family, my space. Think of a five-star hotel. You won’t find pictures of the owner’s dog on the walls. Help the buyers envision their life in your home. Anything that distracts from that is not supporting the mission.

RLL: How important is curb appeal?
MC: Think of it this way: If the outside of the house is an eyesore, potential buyers are thinking no even before they step inside. Make the front of the home as inviting as possible. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. Upgrade your mailbox and house number; add architectural lighting and beautiful potted plants on either side of the doorway. Create a scene on the front porch with a rocking chair or welcoming seating arrangement.
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May 18, 2014

Designer Genes: Meet Orlando Soria

To fans of HGTV, Orlando Soria is best known as Emily Henderson's assistant on the home-makeover series Secrets from a Stylist. But Soria’s design portfolio and talent don’t stop there. The Los Angeles–based interior designer and visual artist is also founder and author of the lighthearted design and lifestyle blog Hommemaker, as well as the West Coast creative director for Homepolish, a website that connects homeowners with professional interior designers in their region. The lucky winner of our sweepstakes with Trulia will welcome Soria into their home for a personal design consultation (and, we’re betting, lots of laughs). Here, Soria chats with Rue Living about clients, consultations, and having fun with it all.

Interview with Interior Designer Orlando Soria
Images courtesy of Orlando Soria

Rue La La: What are some of the most common hang-ups you encounter when consulting or working with clients for the first time?
Orlando Soria: Most often it’s that people don’t know what things are going to cost. For example, rugs and drapery tend to be very expensive, as is quality art. Most clients experience sticker shock with those items because they are pricey investment pieces you’re meant to buy and keep for years, and their prices reflect that.

RLL: Where do clients often go wrong on their own with their interior design?
OS: An issue I see a lot is people choosing items they love without thinking about how they work together. So they’ll paint a wall bright red and then buy maroon chairs and bring in some chrome accents and while all those things might be fine on their own, together they look garbled and chaotic. When designing a space it’s important to think about what story you want to tell, how you want the room to make you feel, and to use furnishings, wall treatments, et cetera, as a means to producing that feeling/story.

RLL: You must see a wide variety of homes and tastes between all of your clients. How do you pull together a unique vision for each?
OS: I don’t like to do anything too themey or fake, so I can find things to love about all styles. The trick is to mix it up enough that it looks unique and natural, tailored to the people who live there. You do this by making sure you’re incorporating the client’s art, books, and other items they’ve collected over the years. What inspires me ultimately is to create a space that the client will be happy in, where they see colors, objects, and furnishings that have positive connotations for them. This is why design is so pyschological. You have to really dig deep to find out which furnishings are really going to make people happy, and which things they’re going to hate because they remind them of their grandma or something dated.

RLL: At its core, what are the key elements of successful interior design?
OS: Composition. I come from an art background so I think about everything in terms of color, light, and balance. It’s important to balance a room with color, finishes, and textures. For example, if you have a large, dark sofa on one side of the room, it helps to add something dark/heavy across from it so it doesn’t feel like the room is being sucked into a black hole.

RLL: What do you typically discuss with a new client in your first consultation or meeting?
OS: I like to get a sense of who they are and what their style is by asking them about their job, movies they like, their favorite kinds of clothes, where they have lived, and where they like to vacation.  There are a lot of other indicators besides interior-design tastes that can tell you what people like. Being able to make connections between personal interests, fashion, and everyday activities and home furnishings is what makes a good designer.

RLL: What are your favorite interior design aesthetics?
OS: I’m a big fan of things that are modern and earthy at the same time. My design hero is a New York designer named Robert Stilin. His designs are simple and clean, yet still so warm and welcoming. They feel fresh and new without being hard, cold, and sterile. That’s the line I like to walk. Just modern and fresh enough, yet still comfortable, visually interesting, and inviting.

RLL: Describe your role as creative director for Homepolish L.A.
OS: My job is essentially the combination of everything I love to do: interior design, writing, marketing, team leading, making design more accessible, and promoting young, innovative designers. I do a lot of exciting design collaborations with wonderful brands and media outlets like goop and HelloGiggles, and fun collaborators like writer Kelly Oxford and fashion blogger Rumi Neely. It’s a great job and somehow everything I did before – from being on a TV show to doing graphic design and publicity – prepared me for it.

RLL: Tell us about a project you did for a client that you’re particularly proud of.
OS: I love a project I did with a wonderful family in La Habra Heights, which is a lovely little city about 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Their home is a beautiful Spanish Revival and I had so much fun decorating it with furnishings that both complemented the architecture and reflected the young, hip styles of the homeowners.

RLL: Do you have any signature “moves” when it comes to interior design?
OS: I tend to make my own art and use it to fill spaces I don’t know what to do with. Or put benches in random places that feel empty or weird. Normally, if a space feels empty or awkward, a bench with a great art piece above it can solve the problem.

RLL: What’s your favorite room in a house to design and decorate?
OS: I love decorating guest bedrooms because you can be a little more adventurous with your design. Since no one has to sleep in there every night you can be bolder with color and art, which makes them a really fun opportunity to showcase your design perspective.

RLL: Have you ever done any staging? What are the biggest differences between staging and designing a home that someone intends to live in?
OS: I have not done any staging, but I have advised on it a lot. Basically, the idea with staging is both to give people ideas and inspiration and to show them how they might possibly lay out the space. They need to be aspirational, in a sense, because you want people to want the space, to buy the house. So in a way it’s not that much different than a regular design job. Ultimately, you’re just trying to make the space look as natural and inviting as possible.

RLL: What’s Hommemaker all about? 
OS: Hommemaker is a space for me to be creative just for me. No clients, no company, just share ideas about things I’m making, spaces I’m designing, what I’m thinking about and seeing it. I love doing it and it’s so satisfying to get feedback from readers. I kind of just treat it like a big art project and do whatever I want with it. That people read it is amazing and humbling.

RLL: Your writing style on Hommemaker is very playful. Do you try to work a sense of humor into your relationships with clients?
OS: I tend to joke around with clients and am naturally a playful person. It’s just my personality. I think it’s because I was shy my whole life, so I learned to joke as a way of making myself and others feel comfortable. Thus far all of my clients have been fun and great, so I can joke and laugh with them while also making sure we get everything done and that their home looks how they want it to look.

Want Orlando Soria to come to your home? Enter the sweepstakes in our New Home Know-How: Essentials for Staging & Decorating Boutique, opening Saturday, May 17, at 3PM ET.

Discover selling strategies, search neighborhoods, or contact a real estate professional at Trulia.com.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

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Continue reading “Designer Genes: Meet Orlando Soria” »


May 17, 2014

Dream Weavers: What Makes a Rug One of a Kind

What sets a truly unique rug apart from your everyday flatweave? The intricate process of hand-knotted construction. Here’s how to tell if it’s one of a kind:

One-of-a-Kind Rugs

Labor-Intensive: For a skilled weaver to complete a 9′ x 12′ piece, it may take more than one year to tie every individual knot.

Natural Materials: Wool, silk, and cotton are the main textiles used. If a rug price looks too good to be true, it’s likely woven with synthetics.

Durability: On high-traffic floors, hand-knotted rugs will not begin to show wear for about two decades.

Our Art Underfoot: One-of-a-Kind Rugs Boutique opens Friday, May 16, at 11AM ET.

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May 16, 2014

Wild at Heart: Décor Artist Lynn Chase Talks Table Design

Philanthropist and wildlife painter Lynn Chase has been in the home décor business for close to thirty years. As a child, she began painting. As an adult, painting turned to plate design, and her message and passion for nature conservation grew. With no formal training, Chase’s original designs graced countless tabletops, each with an inscription dedicated to a population in need. Today, her works are award-winning, she serves on the board of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, and she donates a portion of all proceeds to the Lynn Chase Wildlife Foundation. Here, from her home outside New York City, Chase talks business and inspiration.

Lynn Chase with Her Jack Russell Terrier, BanditLynn Chase with her Jack Russell terrier, Bandit

Rue La La: So, first things first. Why animals?
Lynn Chase: I grew up on Long Island surrounded my animals. My mother raised golden retrievers and my grandmother was an ornithologist. I started drawing at an early age – leopards, for some reason, even though I’d never seen one as a child.

RLL: How did you get your business off the ground?
LC: After the October 19 crash of 1987, I drafted a business plan with my then-partner who had worked at Cartier. We went to friends and family for investors, since we couldn’t rely on venture capitalists at the time. A marketing research firm told me it would never sell, claiming no one would eat off of animals. But then, Jaguar Jungle won the Best Design and Impact Award from the National Tabletop Association.
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May 15, 2014