Saturday, February 19, 2011

Showhouses and Succulents - inspiration from Brooke Giannetti and Lauren Liess

{soon I'll find some new pretty pots for them}
I'm trying something new in houseplants. Meet my two new little charmers - succulents! When I saw them for sale I was smitten, because there are two amazing designer showhouses, one finished and one in the works, where I've seen beautiful examples of succulents in the home.

The first is the "studio" room in the Gilt Home Showhouse by Steve and Brooke Giannetti (Brooke writes Velvet and Linen), and the second is the in-the-works DC Design House, with a guest room by Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home.

{in Laurel Canyon, not far from Mulholland Drive}
Here's the before of the bedroom-turned studio in the Los Angeles Gilt Home Ashton Kutcher Showhouse. A portion of the proceeds from the showhouse will be donated to DNA, a charity started by Ashton Kutcher and his wife Demi Moore to combat human trafficking.

...and here is the after! See the beautiful succulents nested in the soaring space? They are as just as sculptural and fascinating as the other wonderful objects carefully placed in the room. Steve Giannetti's glowing original paintings and giclee prints were the starting point for the vibrant palette used.

{I could move right in}
Many pieces of furniture in the space are Giannetti Home Designs, including this breathtaking tufted "Lulu" Side Chair, the "Clive" Wing Chair and the "Nick" Sofa. Antiques and objects from their Los Angeles shop filled out the space. Brooke and Steve had a Facebook chat this month where they fielded questions on the room, including way too many questions from me! 

{blues and greens}
 One last look at a beautiful succulent in the Gilt Home Showhouse. The layering of objects in the space is just perfection!

{glowing! photo:Lauren Liess}
Here's the other succulent that's caught my fancy. What a giant, fleshy, delightfully hued plant! This beauty is in the garden room of the now under-construction DC Design House, and provided inspiration to Lauren Liess as she was planning her submission.
{will be rescued soon...}
Under construction right now, The DC Design House in Washington, D.C. benefits the Children's National Medical Center. Here's the "before" of the guest room Lauren will be transforming. 

{in progress}
Lauren has been updating us on the progress of the space on her blog Pure Style Home. In her last post, she told how she had to rework her original concept for a whole new room. So, here's her design board ripped apart to make changes. 

She's told us not to fall in love with anything on the board except for the Peter Dunham "Fig Leaf" fabric in the upper left corner.
Lauren's been working on her new line of furniture, to debut this Spring. Could we dream of her Mad Hatter Chair covered in "Fig Leaf" as seen in the sketch on the design board?  Or has she changed it up since?

{source:, Elle Decor}
Here's some examples of "Fig Leaf" in other spaces. Doesn't the fabric capture the freshness and colors of the succulent shown earlier? This guest room was designed by Peter Dunham himself.

Here's another Peter Dunham project with the walls done up as well. Beautiful!

{design by Ruthie Sommers, photo by Victoria Pearson, House Beautiful March 2011}
...and yet another example of "Fig Leaf" on the upholstered chair from the latest issue of House Beautiful magazine.

{the first fabric strike-off of the dynamic "Happikat" in linen}
Lauren will be including some of the first runs from her new fabric line, Lauren Liess Fabrics, in her space. New line of fabrics, new line of furniture! I just can't wait to see the "after" of this room!

Saturday February 26, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm the DC Design House will have a special "Bare Bones" tour where you can see the rooms in progress, and Lauren has promised her new design board will be up and ready for viewing. If you are in the Washington D.C. area, stop by and see what she is up to!


p.s. I'll find some time to be at the similar "Sneak Peak" of the Vanguard Designer Showhouse in Loudonville, New York this weekend, February 19 & 20. Hours are 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


  1. Loretta,

    Love love love both places and the way you tied them together with the plants! i'm tempted to buy some new plants, too if I could have a room like the first one!


  2. Succulents are my absolute favourite, they are so cool and then they start sprouting flowers this way and that. They are even holding up in torrential rain and cold we are having...Love the interiors too, so restful. Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Jody- I am really loving my two little plants. They have such personalities and I hope I can keep them alive! I have to read up on succulents and how to take care of them.

    And I'd love to learn how to propagate them, too. Anyone done that? Can I just cut off a piece and put it in water?


  4. Loretta, Great post!

  5. I believe the succulents you have are Jade plants. I have had mine for years and it truly requires little maintenance, but I will say it does not like the cold. Enjoy! And sweet post! xx Danielle

  6. Love your succulents Loretta! Thank you so much for featuring our showcase room on your blog.
    Like you, I can't wait to see Lauren's completed room. I know it's going to be gorgeous!


  7. Brooke- Thank YOU! Your room is just stunning, and was my favorite by far of all the rooms in the Gilt showhouse!

    And I can't wait to see Lauren's finished room, too!


  8. how lovely !! the green is so fresh and fab - love the sofa at the end of the bed - make me just want to move in :) best le xox

  9. The room by Giannetti Home Designs is one my favorites of the year! Grouping the blue abstract artwork by Steve is a fantastic look. I'm looking forward to Lauren Leiss' room too. The fig leaf fabric is beautiful and I hope she still uses it in the bedroom. I'm so getting spring fever and wanting to fill my home with plants because the bulbs just aren't coming up quick enough in Maryland!

  10. thank-you so much for your very nice comment...
    and I love what both Lauren and Brooke are dreaming up for their respective show houses...
    excellent post on their progress...

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Dear Loretta, I adore the way you are pulling the succulents into the design. Aren't those fabrics amazing?

    My new post will have a nice shout out for you!! Thank you again for my beautigul gift!

    Art by Karena

  13. Loretta- GREAT post! I could so move into that first room...all that art! Oh my!... Next time I am at the garden store I will not walk past the succulents. Are they fighters? I do not have the best track record with plants... -Ann

  14. What a nice post! I am in love with Laura's plans and she had me with the beautiful fabric. You are right that they are similar to the succulents. Need to try those as well.


  15. Loretta- thank you so much for mentioning me in this sweet post of yours!! You're so thoughtful and this made my day.

    I too loooooove Brooke's room and her succulents. Can't wait to see what you do with yours & know it will be beautiful!!

    huge hug and thank you again,

  16. Lauren- Thank YOU! I am so eagerly awaiting what you (super-talented-one) are going to do with your room. Wish I could be there for the "Bare Bones" tour this weekend!



A comment? I'm so happy to hear from YOU!