I know I have not written in a while but it has been a long, busy and arduous emotional year. Thankfully, things are finally winding down and feeling almost back to normal or should I say my ‘new normal’. Writing has proven to be great therapy as it helps me quiet the voices in my head giving my thoughts instant life and relieving me of the continuous banter swirling in my head […]read more »
This has been one of the most challenging years of my life with so much personal and professional struggle. Ups and downs and highs and lows were just a consistent road I found myself on swiftly moving from mountaintop to valley with a blinking of my eyes. Change was the surrounding message I heard as I forged through the dark days – major changes that would change the trajectory of my life and remind me that I am a risk-taker, fearless and tenacious soul and that God has already given me everything I need to return to “HAPPY”. Throughout this new kind of journey, I know that I have been blessed. God has kept me and continued to show me favor in all areas of my life. Although I welcomed the end of 2013, I cannot move forward without acknowledging the victories of this past year so I’m sharing them with you with hopes that you will know like never before that we are all on the same journey, experiencing the same struggles as we strive to leave our mark on the world so that when someone reads our obituary – all of the people we have impacted will say ‘She Was Here’!read more »
The air is brisk, the malls are packed, Christmas carols are ringing throughout every business I seem to visit and aromas of cinnamon and Pumpkin spice fill the air affirming that the holiday season is here. Since assisting Just Extensions with the interior design of their commercial space, the DVLW team continues to return and work on other creative projects for them so this weekend we designed and installed their holiday décor.read more »
With Halloween a fond memory with a lingering tummy ache in our lives, it finally feels like fall. I love the holidays because it gives me an excuse to play with some new home décor and party ideas. While everyone naturally assumes that all of my entertaining at home is a major production, I actually look for simple affordable ways to roll in the holidays and entertain in style. I will admit that I get bored with design elements really quickly. Therefore, I always design my house for the holidays in phases so I can switch out items and live with certain items for only a week or two and not feel bad when I retire them. So I’m going to let you in on a few of the items I’m looking at this holiday season to get me and my loved ones in a festive mood!read more »
I spend a great deal of my life traveling – both professionally and personally. While exploring the world, I intentionally engulf myself in these foreign cultures by developing friendships with locals, indulging in authentic cuisine and most importantly embracing the authentic design of a country so that I can somehow learn, extrapolate and find my own inspiration for the many design projects I am working on. My current trip to the continent of Asia has been no different. My first stop in Bangkok was extremely culturally relevant. With many Americans settling in Bangkok Post-Vietnam War after realizing they were not as exuberantly welcomed back to America, Thailand embraces Westerners in a manner that is both genuinely accepting and graciously hospitable. With tremendous British influence, English is widely spoken making it very easy to maneuver throughout the city.
Aside from shopping – Bangkok is one of the few cities where the value of the dollar is very strong – I was anxious to soak up the knowledge from some of the biggest attractions in the city. The Grand Palace and home of the Emerald Buddha is by far the most popular attraction in Bangkok and delivers sensory overload dripping with opulence, gold, ethereal energy and spiritual nuances that makes this the highlight of my visit.
I have always admired how musical vocalists operate. Everyday they wake up with a God-given gift that allows them to express their feelings, excitement, heartache and gamut of emotions with their voices – a tool that most people do not possess. However, I was contemplating this idea today and started to ponder my gifts and how I employ them to communicate to the world what I need to get off my chest. When designing an interior space, wedding or party, I bring my heart and soul into the atmosphere. My inability to disconnect emotionally from a project makes me a bad businessman but a decent designer. I’m no Tom Ford but I am carving out my own space in the creative realm. I am extremely passionate about everything I invest my mind space, energy and intellect in and my mental state is always reflected in my art – one way or another. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes it’s ground breaking and other times it’s life changing but it’s always a reflection of me…my voice that resonates out to my clients and then to the world.read more »
Happy Holidays from Diann Valentine Living Well!read more »
With each new meeting with a woman who is inclined to trust me with her most precious love story or a home owner that is willing to rely on my vision for their living space – I find myself compelled to explore, probe and expand my imagination to discover a revitalized approach to the project at hand. I currently find myself in the middle of one of these quandaries. Lighting fixtures in event design are begging for resurgence – a re-discovery and a fresh perspective. Walter Hubert helped me to look at crystals in new imaginative ways when he suggested hanging strands of crystals in Toni Braxton’s reception tent, which transformed her wedding reception into a sea of diamonds. Raymond Thompson helped me to look at the transformative qualities of lighting when applied to architectural elements as he did for Gary and DeLeon Sheffield’s wedding.read more »
Most of my clients live in homes and estates with expansive square footage and more bedrooms than they have purposes to fulfill. Subsequently, these unoccupied rooms rapidly become a catch-all for the diverse objects in their lives. In this gorgeous Mediterranean home just outside of Los Angeles, two empty bedrooms and a jack and jill bathroom stood out like sore thumbs amongst a multitude of wares and accomplishments. My client trusted me explicitly to decode the foregone conclusions of these spaces with the only direction being to apply a color pallet of lavender. Needless to say, these opportunities do not come often but when they do I expediently rise to the occasion. Herein lies, my best use of interior space and the birth of a relaxation room…Valentine Style!read more »
One of my favorite interior projects was the re-design of a small condo that was screaming for a transformation. My client and I shared a love of vivacious color and she allowed my imagination to scurry about as I re-interpreted the next phase of her residential life. She communicated that her Living Room/Dining Room was where she spent most of her time so the first task at hand was to […]read more »