6 Clever Interior Design Ideas Using eBay Finds

As a decorator I get paid to shop. That sounds like a dream job! The downside is that searching for interesting pieces within a set price range can be time consuming. With the price of gas, it can also be expensive to drive all over town. For me, online shopping becomes very appealing as well as practical.

One of my favorite places to shop for interesting and unique items is eBay. I remember the night I first discovered this wonderful site. I spent hours thinking up things to find. Need an Elvis suit? An original Pac Man game? A discontinued fragrance? Someone is probably trying to sell it and eBay will connect you with them.

This is a great site for decorating your home. Make a list of accessories you need to pull your rooms theme together and start shopping. Once you open an account with eBay, you can create a wish list so that you will be alerted when something you want is placed on the market.

Here are some interesting items that I found online:

1. Are you trying to create a vintage bathroom? Hang a glass front cabinet on the wall and fill it with old medicine bottles. A quick eBay search found a variety available for a few dollars. Add to this talcum powder tins and antique razors and you will feel like you are in your great grandmothers bathroom. Nostalgic touches can be very creative decorating.

2. Pottery and glassware are plentiful on eBay. This the fastest way to start a collection that would look great on top of your kitchen cabinets or on your bookshelves. Usually they will draw nice comments from your guests.

3. Cast iron doorstops are another collectible that can easily be bought. Dogs, floral arrangements and even the state of Texas are represented in these decorative pieces. Use them as a door stop or display them along the baseboard of a hallway to create floor art.

4. To add a focal point to a stone floor or wall, check out the marble stone mosaics available. They are hand cut and mesh mounted for easy installation when you are laying tile work. This category also has listings for colorful hand painted pieces that would look wonderful in a backsplash, tabletop or around the edge of a swimming pool.

5. I love the little details in a room. The light pulls that you can buy for less than $5 are a perfect way to add fun to your ceiling fan. I found whales, dragonflies, geckos and billiard balls to buy. I also searched and found great finials that you can also purchase for your lights. These little touches make a big difference.

6. It would be great fun to use the toys you grew up with to decorate a childs playroom? If your beloved items have been given away, you can buy new memories on eBay. Type in vintage toys and see what comes up. It is so much fun to go back in time in this category. I even found a set of 1968 Play-Doh Cans ( empty, thankfully!)

Grab a glass of lemonade and go shopping online this week. You will find things you may have never thought of to buy for your home and it will add to your creative arsenal that will have your guests raving about your decorating abilities.

Get To Know Designer Jan Barboglio

There are some designers who make an entrance into the fashion world and work their way to the top slowly. There are others who seem to make almost an instant splash and continue to be a popular choice among many individuals. Such is the case with Jan Barboglio, a designer that has a well-known name throughout her home territory of Texas and indeed, around the world. If you have followed any of her designs in the past, you might be interested in learning a little bit about her and how she found her love of designing that finds its way into many of our homes.

Jan Barboglio spent her young childhood in the area of northern New Mexico. The rugged landscape in the area likely influenced much of her design ideas. In addition, she spent a lot of her years as a young child on a large ranch in the area and there was, no doubt, a lot of iron work that was used on the ranch which also influenced her designs. Today, she lives in a historic neighborhood in Dallas with her family. She spends much of her time working on her decorations and enjoying being with her family in that area. She has a sister, named Tina that was influential in her design philosophy and helped to start the home decor design business that she is now so famous for doing.

Although most people are familiar with Jan Barboglio because of her home decor designs, that is not actually how she got her start. In the beginning of her career, she had an excellent reputation for designing a line of apparel, for which she really displayed a lot of creativity. She was in apparel design for more than 20 years and ended up taking her creativity to the home decor area. It is in the home design area that she tends to spend the majority of her time.

It is interesting that her popularity has much to do with the fact that she puts a lot of her past into the home decor business. You can see a lot of the influence of her young childhood in New Mexico and as we discussed, with the fact that her work was likely very popular on the ranch where she spent her young childhood. You will also see a lot of the influences of Dallas, which is where she now resides in the work that she does. That unique style has really added a lot to what she brings to the table and it likely adds to her popularity as well.

If you are somebody that enjoys decorating and likes to add some flair to your home, there is no doubt that you will also come to appreciate the different designs that Jan Barboglio offers. Regardless of whether it is a plate, a centerpiece item or any type of design that she does, she really puts a lot into it and there is no doubt that each piece is uniquely her own.

Dallas – Friendly Southern Gaybourhood

Surprisingly, deep in the heart of the world-famous George Bush’s ranch country, amidst ominous dark clouds there’s a ray of sunlight and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow–gay-friendly Dallas, Texas. This vibrant, lively city legitimately boasts the sixth largest gay population in the United States and once you spend a few days enjoying gay Dallas this claim is easy to understand. After all there must be good reasons why openly gay pop singer George Michael now makes Dallas his home.

So what makes Dallas so appealing to the gay traveler? Firstly, there’s good ‘ol southern charm mixed with warm hospitality and colorful culture. Secondly, the GLBT community is comfortably and solidly woven into the fabric of the city. Thirdly, the community groups and gay businesses work together creating a vibrancy to this city’s hospitality, entertainment and retail organizations. Throughout the resident gay community a stranger is almost always recognized immediately and welcomed to the “gaybourhood”.

It seems as though there is always something happening in the Dallas GLBT community so whatever time of year one visits this city there are plenty of gay activities to entertain and fulfill your vacation needs. The diverse local resident community is integrated throughout Dallas and the gay scene is identifiable in several different areas. The heart of gay life can be found in the Oaklawn/Uptown district on Cedar Springs Road and the surrounding area. But there are also several smaller enclaves like the Bishop Arts District and local neighbourhoods such as Oakcliff. With approximately thirty gay and lesbian bars, pubs and clubs plus an equal number of gay or gay-friendly restaurants this city for sure knows how to entertain gay holiday-makers.

Local community groups include the Dallas Tavern Guild whose twenty-plus nightclub proprietor members strive to make your “night on the town” a positive, friendly experience. The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce promotes and supports the economic development of the community. Dallas is home to the largest gay mens chorus in the country-The Turtle Creek Chorale-and the largest gay and lesbian church in the world-the Cathedral of Hope. Each spring the Texas Gay Rodeo Association organises the Big D Rodeo in Dallas and since 1984 throughout Texas they have raised an estimated two million dollars and donated this mostly to AIDS-related charities. The annual Pride celebrations take place in mid-September including the Texas Freedom Parade, Festival in Lee Park and the Voice Of Pride talent contest.

Undoubtedly these strong organizations are the very pulse and heartbeat of this vibrant GLBT population for which Dallas is becoming widely renowned.

If you’re interested in some arts and culture then the Dallas Arts District is the place to call home. Comprised of a nineteen block, sixty-eight acre downtown locale it’s the largest urban arts district in the country. The area residents include thirteen facilities and organizations dedicated to the arts. It is also the future site of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. Here you will find the Nasher Sculpture Center and Garden next door to the Dallas Museum of Art. A look and see here will reveal exhibitions similar to the recent Matisse: Painter as Sculptor-a combination of the artists paintings, drawings and sculptures-showcased between the two galleries.

Completed in October 2003 the 70 million dollar structure for the Nasher Sculpture Center and Garden houses the Nasher Collection of over 300 sculptures plus touring exhibitions. The unique building is enclosed by a glass ceiling with glass facades which allow the galleries to virtually extend into the garden and for the artworks to be viewed in natural light. The indoor and outdoor exhibition space totals 72,000 square feet on a 1.4 acre site which is probably the largest facility of its kind in the world. Strolling in the garden is akin to a tranquil sanctuary in the middle of the city where you are surrounded by unique, contemporary works of art. Art lover or novitiate this is a must visit during your stay in this cosmopolitan city.

History buff,or not, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza houses a not-to-be-missed important tribute to the life and times of the late President John F. Kennedy, his legacy and the era in American history often referred to as Camelot. Located on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository this is a fascinating, educational audio-visual journey back in time to an important part of history from the ’60s. Even if this particular historic time is unknown to you it’s an interesting, eye-opening lesson which will be well worth approximately an hour of your time to experience the Kennedy family impact on society yesterday, today and perhaps tomorrow. Be sure to rent the audio headsets which provide an uncanny reality to this presidential era and the period following.

As you would expect in any large city the available accommodations in Dallas are many and varied in style, location and budgetary considerations.

Major hotel chains include the Westin City Center Hotel and the nearby Adam’s Mark Hotel each of which proved to be extremely gay positive. Both are located in the heart of downtown a convenient distance to all the attractions and nightlife.

Newer boutique hotels are to be found all over Dallas and they also offer a wide range of choice in every way. The Hotel Belmont overlooks downtown with a spectacular skyline view providing garden, loft or bungalow rooms and suites reinventing 1940s cool with a mix of modern luxury. In the Uptown Art District Hotel Zaza is a stylish property reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa outside and dramatically eclectic inside. The recently renovated-perhaps more accurately rebuilt-Hotel Palomar is a structure infused with a spirit of renewal and is a true urban resort. In this luxury lifestyle boutique hotel you will discover that art is an integral part of the decor.

The restored historic Grande-Dame of Dallas hotels is the Warwick Melrose located right by the Cedar Springs gay village where entertainment can be found within a few short minutes walk from the hotel lobby.

For a home-away-from-home Bed & Breakfast experience The Daisy Polk Inn is also located a block form Cedar Springs Road and offers fully restored antique furnishings with comfy bedrooms and common areas. Gay owned and operated you can be sure this will make for a perfect holiday home.

Whatever your choice for a place to stay be ready for some southern hospitality with a gay flair and a genuinely warm welcome.

When it comes to nightlife the Dallas gay scene is probably the envy of residents from most North America cities for this is a true smörgåsbord of selection and choices to suit absolutely every gay desire for a night on the town. It would be impossible to describe everything in one short story but the Dallas Tavern Guild website provides extensive listings along with brief descriptions of what to expect from each restaurant or bar venue.

However, worthy of mention–in random sequence–are some of the highlights of my nightlife tour: Kaliente Dance and Show Bar with a young and vibrant crowd of the community’s hottest Latinos and Latinas keep this place smoldering with great salsa and Tejano music; Buddies II Womens Nightclub, a really popular spot, especially on weekends with good dance music, regular karaoke nights, pool tables and in the summer, a swimming pool and sand volleyball courts; Illusions where a friendly, welcoming staff make this bar a regular hangout for locals who enjoy darts, karaoke and female impersonator shows; Alexandres for live jazz and blues musicians on a nightly basis; Barbara’s Pavilion near the popular and trendy Bishop Arts district in Oak Cliff is known for a friendly atmosphere, great neighborhood crowd and a tropical patio; Phases for karaoke in a neighbourhood pub atmosphere.

Dining out in Dallas offers an international flair but also includes traditional barbecue steak and ribs with famous Texas beef. Dining variety in downtown might include the trendy new Stephan Pyles Restaurant with his famous culinary style or traditional Texan fashion at Sonny Bryan’s Bar-B-Que for ribs or steak. For a real culinary delight Uncle Julio’s Restaurant will satisfy the most discerning gourmet palate. Breakfast choices might include the non heart-healthy feast at Lucky’s Diner or a light start to the day at Buli Café. Whatever your favorite food might be you can be sure you will find it somewhere in this sophisticated city.

As you can see variety is the spice of life during a night on this town.

A good source of local information is the weekly newspaper the Dallas Voice published each Friday and available at practically every gay establishment. The 150 page Dallas/Fort Worth Lambda Pages is also a great reference guide to everything gay or gay-friendly in the community. To help find your way around this big city be sure to pick up the comprehensive Columbia FunMap which is loaded with helpful tips and local maps. For a broader look at the state of Texas the Red Nightlife or This Week In Texas magazines cover statewide GLBT activities.

If you were a fan of the hit 80’s television series Dallas then a short thirty-five minute drive to tour the home of the Ewings-Southfork Mansion and Ranch Museum-might be the highlight of your trip. If this is the case you probably won’t want to tell the locals you’ve recently befriended the next time you see them. They will politely tell you that on Cedar Springs Road JR’s Bar and Grill for cowboys or Sue Ellen’s Women’s Club for cowgirls would have been more fun. Instead of a TV land fantasy these clubs will make you feel like you know the real Dallas!

When making your travel plans it’s important to note that the extremely gay-friendly carrier American Airlines is headquartered here. The Dallas/Fort Worth international airport is a major hub making it easy to think of them as your airline of choice. They provide a great deal of sponsorship support to the Dallas GLBT community and deserve a consideration in return. They even have a special rainbow website for you to visit.

The City of Dallas motto is “Live Large. Think Big” and you have probably guessed by the end of this story that everything is larger in Texas which leaves a really big impression on every gay visitor to the misnomer Bush Country

Julian Schnabel – The Bad Boy of the Art World

Julian Schnabel, one of the most recognized faces of Abstract Art in the modern era, was born on October 26, 1951 in the New York City, to Esta and Jack Schnabel. This multi-faceted American personality is a painter, a filmmaker, a sculptor, a furniture designer, and a property developer. Schnabel grew up in a Russian-Jewish neighborhood near Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn; he though spent most of his formative years in Brownsville, Texas. He was inclined towards art from childhood and went on to study B.F.A. from the University of Houston in 1973. He went back to New York the same year to attend the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study program for young artists. He married twice and has three children from his first wife, Jacqueline Beaurang, who is a clothing designer. Julian Schnabel has twin sons from his second wife, Spanish Basque actor and model, Olatz López Garmendia.

In the beginning, the artist lived a bohemian lifestyle and traveled extensively across the globe, funding his jaunts by working as a cook and a cab driver. Julian’s maverick lifestyle earned him the reputation of ‘the bad boy of the art world.’ He was a regular visitor to the Max’s Kansas City, a restaurant-nightclub in the New York City, where he practiced his art. This modern age neo-expressionist however, became a force to reckon with, after he exhibited his work at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1979. The following year, Julian participated in Venice Biennale and was an immediate success. Schnabel’s ability to market his skills quickly propelled him into the public eye as is evident from the fact that his artworks can be found in the museums all over world. Soon he was recognized among the geniuses of the 20th century art. His paintings consist of vivacious colors and adventurous brush strokes. Julian’s unusual painting styles are generally filled with great raw power and emotional energy such as in “The Walk Home (1985).”

Throughout his life, Schnabel has often been surrounded by controversies, most of them cropping up due to his outspoken and brash behavior. Several critics blamed him for commercializing his art and derided his work. To the admirers however, who love his eccentric personality, Julian Schnabel is a modern day hero who is credited for reviving ‘painting’ as a noble art form. In the year 1987, Schnabel published his autobiography, “CVJ: Nicknames of Maitre D’s & Other Excerpts from Life.”

Schnabel has also written and directed three movies, which were artistic biographies, including “Basquiat” in 1996, a biopic on the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, and “Before Night Falls,” based on the memoir of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas in the year 2000. He was also the producer of these movies. In addition, Schnabel won the award for best director at 2007 Cannes Film Festival for his third movie, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” which was an adaptation of a French memoir.