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Legit Fear


 
I have a legitimate fear. I swear to God, I have a legitimate fear about what would I do if my ALS decided to rob me of my voice… And I couldn’t decorate my apartment. I put a lot of time and effort into this fear. Sometimes I will pass by my living room on my way to the bathroom and out of the corner of my eye I will notice if something has been moved or worse, added. There is a standing rule at my house that no one shall take the liberty of decorating, contributing, juzhing or rearranging anything in my apartment… Except me. Not a pillow, not a painting, not a coffee-table book, not a flower vase and especially not anything on my fireplaces.

Before you think in your head, “What a total bitch she is…” Let me explain: 24 hours a day I am surrounded by straight men… My husband, my male caregiver Joel, and my male caregiver Victor. I love them but these are not the people that I’m going to count on to decorate my apartment if I am unable to do so. Before you think in your head, “If she’s totally paralyzed and cannot speak why does she need to decorate her apartment?” The answer? Because I still have eyes!

When I am not watching The Kardashians, telling my daughter to mind her manners, worrying if my feeding tube is going to explode, explaining to my French husband that only girls are allowed to use the word “undies”, talking to my bestie Yolanda about her stem cell treatments, laughing with my other bestie Jenny about my husband’s 1980s modeling portfolio, teaching my caregiver how to make fucking croutons, thinking that my “deal with God” might be coming to fruition with a new treatment called Haelen 951, explaining to my sister that I would literally kill for a Chick-fil-A sandwich, and having dreams about my deceased brother eating all of the green beans and cranberry sauce before I had any at Thanksgiving… When I am not thinking about all of this, I am thinking, “Who would I trust to decorate my apartment if I were no longer able to.”

There are decorators that I completely admire… But I would worry about if I gave them 100% control. I could see myself (if I had a billion dollars) forming a decorating coalition for my apartment with Kelly Wearstler, Alex Papachristidis, Timothy Corrigan, Mary McDonnell, Martin Lawrence Bullard, Daniel Romualdez, Chahan Minassian, Jean-Louis Denoit, Gilles & Boissier, Ko Studio and Juan Pablo Molyneaux. But, if I had to choose one person to give 100% control to… On every level, in every room, with every detail without ne’er a worry would be Mark D. Sikes.

His style is exactly what I like… A little bourgeois with an air of California casual, big chunky sisal rugs, blue and white galore, ivories, Carolina Irving fabrics, dogs on sofas, Gracie wallpaper, chinoiserie, lil’ bit of leopard, Le Grand Genois Tree of Life fabric, seashells, stripes and checks, linen and flowers flowers flowers. He is also a master of vignettes, layering, scale and the flow of a room. I can tell this is the type of decorator who would lose sleep if something wasn’t just right… Like the wrong color of tulip in the dining room (this can happen!). Let’s take a look, shall we?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Mark D. Sikes doesn’t just stop at decorating… He has now curated his own clothing line… M.D.S. Stripes!

 
 
 
 
 
 


And we can’t forget his blog! Chic People, Glamorous Places, Stylish Things. Need I say more?


 
 
 
 
 


So if you ever find yourself in a situation of becoming completely paralyzed and losing your voice and wondering who the fuck is going to decorate for you… My advice is Mark D Sikes.

Who would all of you choose if you had to give free reign of your whole house with one designer? Choose wisely! Leave your choice in the comments so we can all see. :-)


52 comments:

  1. Another fabulous post. Love all the pics. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Thanks Katie! Hope all is well with you. :-) XOXO

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  2. Hi Ellie, I love your blog. The only item my husband chose & bought for our house was the study desk chair. I loathe it. Every time it see it I loathe it more! If I had to pass on the mantle, I'd choose Rita Konig, Suzi.

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    1. Rita is great! Good choice. You could always say that your husband's chair "went missing."

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  3. In total agreement.

    Elle in NYC

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  4. Oh my Heavens! I'm now out of my slump today! This is a riot! That "undies" comment! I have to write that down! So hysterical! "lil' bit of leopard"! Love it! I Love Mark Sikes! Have been reading his blog daily for a year or more now. And don't you think you would be feeling better if you could wake up in that bedroom every morning?? And I love the room he did in the Kip's Show House? recently? Is that what it's called? And from the pictures of her you've shown I think your daughter would look darling in one of those blue kerchiefs or head scarfs and one of his striped tops?

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    1. Yes! I think waking up in the bedroom with the tree of life fabric would cure my ALS. I think I should start a clinical trial. :-) I wish I could convince Gracie to wear one of his blue scarves! :-)

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  5. thank you Ellie for your kind and generous post today....decorating is the love of my life, and yes, i do loose a lot of sleep worrying about every detail, but in the end, probably because of all the worrying, it always turns out right!

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    1. You are so welcome. You are truly talented and your passion and enthusiasm shines through in your work. :-) Can't wait to see your work in Montecito.

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  6. You are a riot! I really hope you do not lose your voice. I have been reading your older posts. With just your mind, heart, and voice you do so much! I truly believe you would have ruled the world, if not for ALS. Or maybe, BECAUSE of the ALS, you might rule the world yet. You amaze me.

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    1. I showed your comment to my husband. Thank you for the affirmation. Would you like to be my campaign manager XOXO

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    2. I won't argue with your nomination of Marci since I couldn't run a campaign to save my life (save for perhaps a field campaign on safari) so may I suggest myself for the post of Cocktail Manager? For your kind consideration...

      And Marci, I agree with you entirely.

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    3. She would be a GREAT PRESIDENT!

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  7. Since I'm dreaming it would be Robert Kime or Bunny Williams.

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    1. Robert and Bunny are fantastic choices. I agree!

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  8. Ellie, I am with you... Mark D Sikes is the man. Love his interiors, love his blog, love his instagram, love his stripe clothing line and love his pinterest. Without doubt he has the best eye and the best attitude. It would just be fabulous have him do his thing in one.s home.... you just know it would be gorgeous without being precious.

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  9. Ellie, for me it would be Gerrie Bremmerman without hesitation. Check her out. Hope you are enjoying the baking powder. I would totally have brought over Chick-fil-A. But it would have just been the thought that counts. Like our beignets they do not travel well. :). Keep your light going. Your eyes will convey that to the world . Take care, Ann

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    1. I just checked out Gerrie's website and I am drooling over the Karl Springer free-form coffee tables. Love! Thanks for the tip. XOXO

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  10. Jean-Louis Denoit.. enough said :)

    Bonnie

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  11. I've been following Mark's blog for years--love him. Yep, I'd choose Mark, as well. Have a super week-end. xoxox Mary

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  12. Yes, his work would be absolutely perfect for you. Beautiful, elegant but very welcoming and homey. The outdoor spaces kind of remind me of the photos of your Mom's SB home.

    Well, I don't own a house but if I did...in the rather serious frame of mind that I am in these days I would say...oh dear, this is going to sound really, really pretentious...Axel Vervoordt? See, I had to include the question mark as I can practically hear you guffawing from here! Stop it, Ellie. That is not very nice at all. ;)

    And today instead of sending Love and Strength, just to mix things up a bit I am going to send you a virtual magnum of Billecart-Salmon Brut. What do you say?
    H.

    PS. I must add...David's modeling portfolio? That could come in mighty handy as a bargaining tool if he ever does something like leave the chicken soup out overnight again...

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    1. How can I leave off Axel! I absolutely adore his work! Good call Heather. David's modeling portfolio… Priceless. XOXO

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    2. I met AXEL in HIS CASTLE........Got a private TOUR with HIS assistant who's NANNY was from SANTA BARBARA!!

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  13. Ellie, have you seen Julia Reed's recent book "One Man's Folly" about the houses of Furlow Gatewood? If not, order it right away! The exceptional layering, the fabulous blue and white, the comfortable southerness of it all ....right up your alley I think.
    PS - I love your smalls shop Nancy B.

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    1. Ordering now. Thank you Nancy! I adore Julia Reed. :-)

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    2. If could fill my home with every thing Ralph Lauren, I would. I love every room I have ever seen of his.

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    3. I would want Axel Vervoord, but truly also adore Mark D. Sikes. If it ever comes to that, and I should have
      Your same unlimited bazillion dollar imagainary budget, I would copy your dream team too.:) For now, I'm happy re arranging my antiques around myself, and making sure no one else does!

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  14. I would choose John Saladino. Just to let you know, Ellie, my baguette basket from your lovely shop of goodies arrived yesterday. I have the perfect spot for it. Thank you so much.
    XO, Victoria

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  15. Ellie, let's go to Chick-fil-A and bring Yolanda! I want to hear about her stem cell treatments, too! I think I'd ask Dan Marty for his help but I adore the California infused, well-traveled designs of Mark as well!
    xoxo
    Jackie

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  16. Dear Ellie,
    You make me appreciate my life each and every day! I pray the new drug regimen will help you!
    Mark is my design hero, though I love the works of a myriad of other world class interior designers as well. ( and have featured many of them and their books on my site) I read Mark's blog and adore his style because I mix it all up like he does with decor. Nancy is right, you will love Furlow Gatewood's book and his design aesthetic.

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  17. Hi Ellie, love Mark Sikes & his stripes, want that blue skirt, ha ha ha...loving your new store finds...and your choices
    I love Brookes place, watched her build it from the ground up.....http://brookegiannetti.typepad.com
    She's got her back posts that are fun to view too

    found this on Carolyn Myss site: http://raphaelkellmanmd.com/specialties/lyme-disease/ (I am sure both you and Yolanda
    have researched too, just passing along, never know) Hope more comes out for so many with diabetes !!!
    New things are always coming out..I look for things for you, Yolanda, and my sweet nurse friend..
    a new miraculous "cure" for my friend the emergency room nurse with hepatitis, it's a complete "cure",
    came early this spring ~ xo

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  18. Well, Ellie, ditto to every wonderful, inspiring comment made about you! I'm still laughing at Tom Hahn's "chopped liver" comment! As for me, I love tons of art, tons of books, sculpture, architectural details, and a strong aesthetic, so Ralph Lauren would be my choice. I have yet to be disappointed by any interior he has created. Angela Muller

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  19. #1 Darryl Carter, # 2 Axel Vervoordt. Otherwise, I really enjoy my own current, French industrial lodge, style. My fingers are crossed for Haelen 951. Cheers, Ardith

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  20. JESUS........where to begin. I do not FOLLOW Him but will add him to THE LIST!I adore the idea of the stripes clothing line.......would love a LONG SKIRT.........will probably look like a whale but thats OK!
    NO one would want to touch my HOME..............so once I have no voice or movement it will all GO to the GOODWILL I would imagine..................been thinking about that recently too!The person who gets my home for an ESTATE SALE will either be cursing cause of the STUFF or VERY VERY HAPPY as they will want to KEEP IT ALL!
    What is this about DAVID and a PORTFOLIO??!!!!XOXO

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  21. Dear Ellie,
    You make every day better for all of us.
    Get the new medicine and get well for your sake and because one day I will live in Paris and enjoy you in person.
    I adore almost all the designers you've mentioned and would take a bit from them all in my dream house.
    xo

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  22. I would love to have YOU decorate my house, Ellie!

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  23. Love Mark, another favorite of mine for glamour is Jan Showers.

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  24. Dear Ellie,

    I want to email you about a brilliant idea! When I click on the little envelope it does not work. My email is cszeker123@gmail.com. I hope you see this comment..

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  25. Yes, Axel Vervoordt. And also John Saldino.
    bernadette

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  26. It would have been the late great Dan Carithers. Or John Fowler.

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  27. I could step inside any of Mark's rooms and be totally happy. My personal aesthetic is a sub-tropical, Anglo-Indian, British-colonial look and my accessories would include sisal, coral, seashells, palm trees and orchids. Like Mark, I'm also inspired by the homes of Oscar de la Renta and Bunny Williams in Punta Cana. In the late 70's I toured Oscar's Casa de Campo beach house (pre Punta Cana) and it forever left an imprint on my designer soul. If I had to give free reign to just ONE designer? That's tough because I'm audacious enough to think I could do it myself :) but that aside, I'm moving Mark to the top of my list because it appears he could execute my vision with his eyes closed. P.S. I covet the work of Michael S. Smith too.

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  28. I too do not want anyone rearranging the carefully curated things. I actually have a passive aggressive thing going with hubby who adores CFL's and I like incandescent. We have this one table lamp next to "the" spot on the sofa that with out notice goes back and forth from incandescent to ugly CFL. Neither of us says a word about it. Crazy that he touches it after I've explained how ugly the lighting really is. I am so pleased that LED's are coming into a whole new era (went to a lighting class last week). Anyway, I understand your thoughts on not being able to decorate your way. I would let Mark take over any day for me. I so enjoy your writing, I'm glad you do it!

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    1. CFL=yuck. I too am an incandescent girl, specifically GE Reveal, and am none too pleased with our current administration's plan to phase them out. I've found some good LED alternatives, though, but it's just not the same.
      If you want to rid your home of CFLs (and don't mind being sneaky about it), inform your husband that the rapid flickering of fluorescents (though not always apparent to our eye it's still happening) triggers MIGRAINES and epileptic SEIZURES. However, If you happen to suffer from from migraines like I do (which I really hope you don't) or have epilepsy (which, again, I hope you don't have), then you're not being sneaky at all!
      Good luck with your husband ;)

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  29. Mark Sikes is right up there on the top of my list. I love Grant Gibson too. Wish I could afford either...or a visit from Nicky Haslam.

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  30. Hmmmmm....I love Gerrie Bremmerman -- her over the top look, to be precise --- Pam Pierce is also great --I guess I'm really into the "artfully" cluttered look and all the negative space counts just as much in the arrangement of everything solid.

    Sabrina in Port Townsend

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  31. I totally agree...she said while loading up her m.d.stripes canvas tote for the day. So many decorators, even a few on your list, decorate as if they were making a costume for a one time event.mark sikes creates beautiful homes .Nancy in Texas

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  32. Omg!! This is so brutally honest and 100% accurate. Love you!!

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  33. I would give Dot Draper the keys to my house—and carte blanche—in a heartbeat, for she is solely responsible for my decorating obsession. As a kid, and into adulthood, I was lucky enough to have a dad who traveled to some pretty great places on business, and he brought me along whenever possible. The best trip, however, was to The Greenbrier in West Virginia. When we walked in that place, my jaw dropped, my heart skipped a beat, I started drooling...I must've looked like I was having a seizure! Everything I laid eyes upon—from the classic black and white checkerboard floor to the absurdly over-scaled light fixtures to the bold tropical floral prints—was all brand new to me; It was absolutely THRILLING.

    And this is why I choose Dorothy Draper.

    The End

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