Wading and waddling through the Las Vegas Design Market

At the beginning of August, JB was kind enough to agree to brave the Las Vegas Design Market with me. This is a great plan, I told him. A last hurrah. A babymoon. A chance to find amazing furniture for clients and maybe even something for our nursery.



Oh yeah, that room. I’m often asked, “How is the nursery decor coming along?” It’s not. Or it is if you know we’re still waiting for the new window, closet doors, floors, and paint that will magically (if my prayers are answered) come together in the nick of time. But if you weren’t warned, it would look like a guest bedroom gone wrong. There is one piece of furniture (if you don’t count the ironing board): a totally baby-inappropriate, Queen-sized bed that is currently covered with clothes and sprinkled with a snowy layer of drywall dust since even though the drywall guys used plastic to cover most surfaces, drywall dust found its way EVERYWHERE. (Do you remember this post on surviving a remodel while staying in your home?)




At this point, it’s rather hard to imagine the room ever looking cute, let alone SAFE for an infant to enter.




But back to the Design Market. I attended it last year (you can find that post here) so I knew there would be three buildings, and 42 floors of viewing pleasure to traverse that would, by the third day, make my eyes glaze over with sensory overload and my feet implore me to seek the nearest bench for goodness’ sake before my arches made good on their threat to collapse. And I know Vegas is hot, but it has been hot here in Santa Barbara so I figured my body was somewhat acclimated. I assumed I’d be fine. And that it was a brilliant idea to go.*




*I assumed wrong, but more on that later.




Last year I was posing on interesting chairs.




Circular Chair




This year, I stare at that photo and think, “So that’s what my legs looked like before the swollen calves of pregnancy pounds. Harrumph.” There will be no selfie’s posted because I did not ask JB to capture me sitting or standing or walking. It was enough to be that person with the side to side waddle wearing a sleeveless dress tied at the waist where my market badge hung just over my bulging stomach bouncing and bopping with each step, very professional-like. My pony tail had fallen flat in the heat, even my elbows were sweating–so you can imagine the state of everything else! And what, at the hotel, had seemed like a fine denim ensemble felt Midwestern frumpy the moment I entered the first glamorous showroom. I felt like an impostor until I decided not to care and just embrace my pregnant self.




And then we actually started to enjoy ourselves because we saw this…





Andrew Martin astronaut artCheck out those monogram side tables (“I” and “P” in this case.)





If there is a showroom to cheer you up and remind you that design doesn’t have to be about fuss and formality, it belongs to Andrew Martin. From the black and white Polaroid print wallpaper to the giant, neon-lit double astronaut image, their displays are like a celebration of playfulness and a high five to irreverent decor.




Which can be a breath of fresh air after you’ve just exited a showroom like this…





Christopher Guy pink bedroom Las Vegas MarketThe Christopher Guy Collection.




Entering the showroom of Christopher Guy is an experience. The salespeople are well-groomed (no denim frocks, here) and slick, but if you’re quick enough you can slip into their separately staged rooms covertly snapping photos with your iPhone without suffering a stiff finger poke on the shoulder accompanied by a disarming, “No photos allowed,” glare. Somehow, even with a belly bump, I waddled in and out of these rooms with extreme stealth so I could bring to you the glamour, the nod to Art Deco, the strange world that is…




Christopher Guy…






Christopher Guy bedroom Las Vegas MarketThis is a very dramatic headboard but, sadly, only suitable if you also happen to have soaring ceilings. If you have standard 8′ ceilings, you need not apply.







Christopher Guy chairs Las Vegas MarketIn the market for lacquered furniture? Christopher Guy is your guy.






This wire man sculpture was astoundingly affordable (in the hundreds, not thousands) but JB was the voice of reason convincing me one man in our house is enough.







Wire man sculpture Las Vegas Design Market




I thought this wall art was clever…and so easy to replicate as a DIY project!





White sofa chandelier Four HandsFour Hands Furniture.





Here is a closeup…






Abstract line artIKEA frames + paper + black Sharpie= DIY wall art, right?





I will be sharing a more comprehensive post on the show in the next few days, but before we wrap up, check out these outdoor lights. The bulb is a battery-operated light that fits into an outdoor-compliant base with an acrylic drum shade. I love quirkiness of having indoor looking table lamps outside, but I didn’t love the price: $500 retail.






Solar table lamps




I can’t recall where I snapped this photo (below), but it was on the way from one casino to another. (Yeah, I know, very specific.) JB and I are still toying with the idea of doing something similar, but in black and white, on our one bare living room wall, yet we haven’t found an image that either of us likes enough to see as a permanent feature and blown up to life-size scale. However, this one gives the feeling I’m aiming for where it is just so charming I don’t even care that I don’t know who these people are. Maybe we need to stop searching for images online and start looking through old boxes of family photos. Or maybe we’ll decide this is a terrible idea and cover the wall (it is currently a chalkboard wall) in grasscloth wallpaper.





Sepai photo feature wall





The Magritte-esque horse sculpture and fun faux flower “clouds” at the Aria Casino…





Aria hotel blue horse and hat





So why was going on this trip a crazy idea? Certainly it was worthwhile as a business trip, but it somehow slipped my mind that to enter or exit our hotel one must cross the floor of a casino with air thick with fetus-threatening exhaled smoke that made me panic every single time (stress = not so great for the fetus, either) until I decided the best I could do, since holding my breath seemed like a problematic, if not unrealistic, option, was to hold a wad of paper towels to my nose and use it as an filter. JB would walk ahead, in a, “Not associated with the crazy chick behind me,” manner and and I would walk as quickly as I could shuffle, trying to own my paper-towel-clutched-to-nose pollution filter like I was wearing a chic Asian surgical mask.





And that was just the walk through the casinos. The halls to the rooms were kept so chilly I got goosebumps and just when my body had adjusted to the Arctic chill, bam, I’d be hit with the wall of heat outside.  Heat like I had forgotten existed. Heat that was so much worse than our Santa Barbara heatwave. Heat that made me seek benches in the shade so I could sip my water bottle, sometimes pour it on my head, douse my paper napkin air filter with water and wipe my neck while questioning my sanity for bringing us to this place.






Suite at Venetian Las VegasOur “living room/office” at the Venetian.





Why? Because Vegas is a crazy-loud place filled with talking billboards and loud music and throngs of people who are competing to be even louder.






Our room became a sort of respite from the chaos. Even if it was freezing before I figured out how to turn the air conditioning down.







The Venetian hotel bathroom vanityThis vanity was a nice touch so that one person could use the separate toilet room while another person could agonize over how to get her pony tail to lie flat on top.








Lotus wallpaper Venetian HotelThe cute wallpaper inside said powder room.





More fun wallpaper in the marble-themed bathroom. Can you imagine if you slipped? Ouch!







Venetian Hotel shower






And just when things were seeming fancy, we were brought back down by the view outside our window (because I didn’t spring for the additional $45 per night for a view of The Strip).







Room out view Venetian HotelKinda takes your breath away (in a…gasping for fresh air…and green trees kind of way)!





I don’t think I have ever been so happy to come home from a “vacation”. Avoiding the smoke, volume and heat was kind of like being stuck in a video game dodging bad guys. For the finale? In the airport, on the way home, I opted for the pat down and the TSA agent commented, “Last flight for you for a while, huh?” Yep, small talk, small talk, (pat, pat). She asked me when I was due (this is not so bad, kind of like a full-body massage). I told her (patting ceases). She says, “Huh, you really shouldn’t be flying,” and divulges that her sister went into early labor while flying, due to the change in altitude, and the plane had to make an emergency landing. “Oh, really, how far along was she?” (weak smile). “The same as you,” (knowing look). “Uhhh…” (gasp, look of horror, more gasping).





I tottered over to JB who was waiting at the end of the conveyor belt with my carry-on luggage and repeated the story. And burst into tears. I questioned our pre-parental prudence, “Should we be driving instead?! I cannot go into labor on the plane or the baby might not survive!” He calmed me down. We both cursed the TSA agent. And flew home. Without incident.






To the safety of our drywall-dust-covered-house. 🙂







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