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This Is Reality TV…Part 1 of 2

Have you ever wanted to be on TV? Or in the Movies? Or in your very own reality show?

Well guess what, I’m in Season Two of the Highly Successful, highly rated HGTV show, House Hunters Renovation!!!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be on TV. I love what I do, and to be able to reach an audience, which would not normally be exposed to my kind of work, is exhilarating!!

Let me tell you a little bit about how this actually works. I want to be clear, that I did not set out to be a TV personality. That said, I really like the process.

The introduction to the process begins with a casting call, in which you are put on tape by the Design Producers.

Then it’s a wait and see game, and by that I mean, the Design Producers show the tape to the executives at the Production Company. You then get introduced to the Network executives. They have the final decision on whether or not you get on TV. Luckily for me, I made it passed all the ‘stop signs’.

Once you have been cast, on the show, the next step was for the Producing Team to find me ‘clients’ to work with on the show, and become the other part of the ‘story’. The ‘story’ is a very important portion of the show. This is something I am not used to at all, actually trying to renovate and design a home around the production schedule of a TV show, can be very challenging, yet so rewarding.

With that said, after almost 6 months of castings, production meetings, and the like, we make it to our first day of filming, YAHOO!!

We begin filming towards the end of one of the hottest months in LA, in the San Fernando Valley.

The premise of the show is to find a couple that have recently purchased a home, and are in need of a renovation. The best part is that the NETWORK pays for the renovation. Not a dime comes out of the pockets of the homeowner, unless they go over the budget allotted to them by the network. This is doable folks, it can be done within the budget given!!

6am- 75 Degrees

This day it was close to 95 by noon, and only getting hotter as the day progressed. We begin filming the intro piece to the episode and this is where I meet the clients and review what their inspirations are for the vision of the renovation, what their expectations are, and how they see it all come together…. at this time its also my responsibility to manage expectations, coordinate with the contractor of record, and keep the peace during this production.

We moved forward filming through the sunny and blistering heat of the day, with incredible shots created by the talent and the amazing vision of the Director of Photography (aka Camera Man). The purpose of this day’s shoot was to begin to tell the story of the conceptual design and the foundation by which we were going to bring it to LIFE!!

As the shooting continued, I was able to work my design magic and seemed to impress the clients and the producing team, directors, and all the crew…the clients were thrilled with the conceptual design, the fabrics, colors, and materials to be used in their new home..

We finally finished this day of filing after about 10 hours on set, it was by far one of the most challenging days in my design professional life, and by far one of the MOST REWARDING!!

To be continued, as the show continues to tape, I will be blogging about it right here in typennington.com.




Who Doesn’t Like to Dine Under the Stars at Twilight?

Who doesn’t like to dine under the stars at twilight? One of my favorite things to do in this world is to entertain my friends and family as often as possible. With that in mind, I decided to host an impromptu dinner party, al fresco, for 16 of my nearest and dearest.

Being that I live in a multi-unit residential building in Beverly Hills, CA, I am limited as to what can be done outside, and therefore, I have to comply with the rules and regulations of communal living.

That said, I took a space of about forty (40) square feet, within which I was able to work. (REMEMBER: you can always wear Summer White after Easter). Once I was able to get approval from the other renters in the building, I set out to create a summer white fairy tale.

My first stop was Home Depot; I had decided that in creating this Summer White Fairy Tale, I wanted to use Multi-colored pea gravel as ground cover, to eliminate the dirt in the back alley.

At that point I was able to remove all of the potted succulents, hydrangeas, cacti, and other desert scape plants that would be replaced with two large round White Dining Tables from Ikea and to coordinate with the tables, I found these amazing white padded folding chairs from Town and Country Rentals.

I also enlisted the help of Bread and Water, a small “ boutique” catering service owned by two sisters, Faye and Meave. They are amazing, and Meave used to be the Pastry chef at Gjelina in Venice, CA. I can’t say enough good things about the service, food and all around attitude of their company.

The next challenge to conquer was dressing the tables. I love WHITE! Period. I use it in everything I do, Architecture + Design, I’m also a former chef, and I use white ingredients whenever possible. That said, I used white roses, hycin, and for a dash, and I mean dash of color I used orange/red rose petals in single bud vases to float around the tables organically. I used all white table linens, and dishes to compliment my flower collection.

For the guests favor, I chose to give away a beautifully wrapped candle, from my line of candles ‘#David Brian Sanders Private Collection’, which by the way, I also used for seating assignments. Each persons name was tagged to their individually wrapped candle.

So I guess the, real question here is, who likes to dine at twilight? Which I will now answer, we all like to have the opportunity to be outside and take advantage of the beautiful southern California weather at twilight. ENJOY!!

How to Choose a Color Scheme…

Follow this simple how-to to help you choose a color scheme for your home. Learn to mix colors and fabrics and how to repeat color throughout the room. Read some of the principles of decorating and learn how to use coordinating fabrics and dressmaker details.

  1. First, choose a style (formal or casual) and a theme for your room (such as American country, English garden, techno modern).
  2. With the style and theme in mind, decide on an ‘anchor’ fabric that has 3 or more colors.
  3. Use the background color from the fabric as a wall color.
  4. Pick a mid-toned color from the fabric for flooring and large furniture pieces, which could be a solid or patterned design. Upholstery can also be done in your anchor fabric or coordinating fabric.
  5. Use the brightest colors from the fabric for accessories and accents like welting, and decorative pillows.
  6. Place your anchor fabric in at least three places in the room (upholstery, pillows, curtains, etc.)
  7. Use coordinating fabrics in other scales (larger or smaller) as accent fabrics on chairs, pillows, cording, and tablecloths and artwork too!

For example, to use an ‘anchor’ fabric with an American flag design: use white (the background color) for walls, navy (a mid-toned color) on floor, blue and white ticking on the sofa, and red (the brightest color) for accessories and accents.

  1. To continue this example, the coordinated prints could be the blue and white ticking stripe, a navy star print fabric, and a red and white mini-check used on chairs, curtains, and pillows.


  1. Repeat colors evenly throughout the room, and in at least 3 places. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!
  2. Adding dressmaker details in cording and trims is one way to disperse color and add interest.. and adds great punch to an otherwise neutral scheme.
  3. Divide color use to approximately 60% of the room in the background (lightest) color, 30% in the mid-tone color, and 10% in the brightest, accent colors.

An Art Installation is Much More Than Knocking a Few Nails In the Wall

An art installation is much more than knocking a few nails in the wall. The best practice guide to ensure your fine art is positioned safely, with the best possible aesthetic effect.

Phase One:

Select a wall space where your fine art will be safe from direct sunlight. Ultra Violet light rays can damage artwork and also cause glaring reflections that disrupt the visual appearance of the work.

Phase Two:

Allow sufficient space between large-scale artworks to ensure they do not compete for attention. Fine art should be positioned to complement both one another and the overall mood of the room.

Phase Three:

Consider the color scheme of your space carefully before selecting which room to hang your artwork in. This is of the utmost importance!! Art and colors in your art and framing can have a dramatic impact upon an interior design. Are you looking to create harmony or stark contrast?

Phase Four:

Consider the layout of a group of artworks carefully before hanging. When hanging a series of artworks of the same size, a grid formation looks fantastic. Ensure the gaps between the artwork are all equal.

Phase Five:

Position your artwork so that it is not in direct line with doorframes and furniture in the room. This may sound like a logical idea, but the result often appears awkward and unnatural.

Phase Six:

Protect your fine art by installing it at a safe distance from direct heat sources such as radiators and electric heaters. Fluctuations in heat can cause long-term damage to an artwork that can lead to costly restorative treatments.

Phase Seven:

Conserve your fine art by hanging it at a safe distance from damp areas such as bathrooms, spaces with poor ventilation and steamy kitchen areas. Moisture and humidity can damage artwork significantly over time, potentially ruining pieces of financial, cultural or personal value.

Have You Ever Been to Houston, Texas?

Have you ever been to Houston, Texas? Well I’m about to tell you about one of the most incredible food scenes in the United States. I recently had the fortunate opportunity to travel to Houston, Texas for work. We all know that everything in Texas is big, that includes the food. Being a former Chef, and trained in NYC, I was anxious to get the taste of the BIG H!!

Heading to Houston in the middle of the summer may not be the most desirable time to go, but I’m telling you, don’t let that stop you if you are a foodie. Our first stop of the trip for an afternoon lunch, was Café Annie, in the heart of the Houston Design District, decorated with a transitional eye, the restaurant was cozy, comfortable and well appointed with medium walnut woods, creamy linens and lovely satin nickel finishes on most of the furniture. The food was incredible; I had Seared Avocado, BBQ Gulf Crab, on top of a grilled Arugula Salad with strawberries, feta cheese and a lovely sweet balsamic reduction. The waiter paired that with a cool, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, it was the perfect marriage of food and wine. Brilliant!!

For an afternoon of wine tasting we then headed over to Cru Wine Bar (cruwinebar.com) located at 2800 Kirby Drive Houston, TX. A wonderful wine bar, serving the most interesting flights of wine one could possibly imagine. Served with the flights of wine were homemade feta stuffed fried beignet’s, fresh buffalo mozzarella and tomato individual pies, and the most incredible calamari this side of the Mississippi. This was just a teaser to our dinner, keep reading!!!!!!

The evening of eating continued when we had reservations at #Ristorante Cavour, located in the #Hotel Granduca, located at 1080 Upton Park Boulevard Houston, TX 77056. Yet again, another amazing meal of Grilled Romaine Leafs, with Herbed Croutons and dressed with the most brilliant lightly spiced Caesar dressing. Following that I had the petit filet mignon, which I always have cooked at medium. The staff at Cavour could not have been more pleasant and hospitable, even writing the members in our party thank you notes for dining with them.

Day two of the eating festival, began with an amazing breakfast at Tiny Boxwoods, an amazing piece of property that has been transformed from a retail store into the coolest breakfast hotspot in Houston, maintaining its integrity as a retail spot as far as architecture and design are concerned. I had the Eggs Benedict on top of two freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, with apple wood smoked bacon and served with a side of jalapeno cheese grits. To Die For!

Later that afternoon, my clients decided we needed a trip to the famous Chocolate Bar (images attached). They have every kind of chocolate imaginable, with every kind of food dipped in chocolate.

That evening, we had dinner at one of the Hottest Restaurants in the US. In a single word, UNDERBELLY. Lead by national award winning Chef Chris Shepard, Chris is a fusion cook and likes to use the foods that are freshest to the local area, and also trying to represent the Korean influence in the city. I started with the Roasted Beets, Whipped Goat Cheese, Preserved Lemon and Roasted garlic Puree. I then moved onto the Wagyu Satay, served with a delicious Red Curry Tapioca Crushed Peanut on top as garnish. Last but not least I ordered the Korean Braised Goat and Dumplings, listen I know what you are thinking, it was amazing. You would never know it was goat, if the server hadn’t mentioned it.

Again, an incredible meal served with the most amazing Pinot Noir.

Finally I made it to Sunday morning, and that meant Brunch at the world famous Brennan’s. Nationally recognized as of the finest places to dine in Houston, I had the Turtle Soup, yes Turtle. It was and continues to be the specialty dish of the house. Following that, I was able to somehow ingest a wonderful example of Egg’s Benedict, this time with Canadian Bacon and a spiced wilted spinach on top of an English muffin.

The food tour had to come to an end at some point, and this was my last stop on the “bus”….

Hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed eating!!!


Holiday Decorating

Think outside the box when envisioning your holiday decorating. Garland doesn’t have to be the traditional swag. Reimagine your trimmings in a modern way. Collect eucalyptus branches or other greenery fresh from your yard, the silvery green gathered and artfully displayed with a grouping of gold ornaments, candles and pomegranates makes for an unexpected holiday centerpiece.

Switch out your everyday throw pillows for a collection of plaids. Add a thick knit throw and your guests will want to curl up by your fireplace with a spiced cider for the rest of the winter.

Repurpose your existing candles in your favorite winter scents by giving them a holiday make-over. Put plain candles into a glass cylinder and wrap them in an iridescent paper, adorn with raffia or twine wrapped around several times and finished in a simple knot with ends frayed. Try adding a sprig of fresh holly or mistletoe. Group your candles on the fireplace to add mood and sparkle.

Don’t leave your front door exposed to the elements without a bit of holiday cheer. A wreath on your door welcomes guests and adds festivity to the whole neighborhood. If wreaths aren’t your style, hang a vessel on the door and fill it with wrapped homemade peppermint bark or other holiday candies and treats. Your friends and neighbors will delight in this surprising welcome.