COTE DE TEXAS: Instead of the Superbowl……

Instead of the Superbowl……

 

If you are like me and are about to pull your hair out if you hear the word football again, here’s some fun for today to keep you busy for awhile – hopefully during the entire game!

I’m sure you have been seeing all the trailers for the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” – coming out on Valentine’s Day – February 14th.   The movie is rated R, but I have a feeling it’s not going to be nearly as racy as the books are (this movie is based only on the first book – two more movies are still to be filmed.)    When the books were first published – over a 100,000,000 were sold (think about that number!) – I wrote a story HERE telling about how my love for the Young Adult book series “Twilight” had led me down the path to Fifty Shades.

If you have been reading this for a while, you know that I was helplessly addicted to Stephenie Meyer’s series Twilight – having seen the movies more times than I could ever count (mostly as background noise late in the night) – and having read the books over and over.

 

 

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My guiltiest pleasure:  Twilight – the books and movies starring then real-life lovers Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

 

After you have seen the movies and read the books too many times  – what is next?  Enter fan-fiction. 

Fan-fiction is stories written by fans that take up where the original books ended.  SO:  let’s say you are a fan of Twilight, you might sit down one month and write a book of your own, loosely based on Twilight.  Your characters would have the same names – Bella and Edward Cullen – but the plot could be about anything you wanted, such as an older married couple who aren’t vampires.  The plot is your own, but the characters’ names are the same.  After you write your fanfiction – you upload it to the internet where thousands of fans will read it.   For free.

And so – over the years, hundreds of thousands of fanfics about Twilight were written by fans and would-be authors.  I read my own fair share of these stories.  Many were horribly written and were actually unreadable.  Some fanfics, though, were good, even wonderful.  A few were better than the original Twilight novels. 

Enter the publishers. 

Realizing how popular fanfic was, publishing houses came calling.   Those well-written fanfic stories were eventually turned into real books, after the author had first changed the Twilight character’s names.  Amazon’s Kindle store is filled with what were once fanfic books.

One fanfic author, Snowqueens Icedragon or Icy, wrote a hugely popular story called “Masters of the Universe,” about Edward Cullen, a billionaire, and his naïve girlfriend Bella Swan.  Icy’s fanfiction was considered one of the best of all Twilight fanfiction  – and when she published it under the name “Fifty Shades of Grey” – none of her fans doubted it would do well.  After all, they had all read it as “Masters of the Universe” and liked it – surely others would also like her characters       Edward – now called Christian Grey and Bella – now forever known as Anastasia Steele. 

 

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The original header of Icy’s fanfiction – Masters of the Universe – that became Fifty Shades of Grey.  She uploaded it to the internet chapter by chapter as she wrote it – a process that took several years.  Looking at the header shows how far that lowly fanfic has really come.  Amazing.

 

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The fanfic writer Icy, now revealed to be E.L. or Erika James has made a small fortune on the 100 million books she sold. 

The original fans of the original fanfic have been waiting years to see this story brought to the big screen.  EL James is a producer – so hopefully the movie will be faithful to the book – keeping in all the snappy, funny dialogue and making sure the love story is emphasized, rather than tawdriness.

 

 

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Tango Charlie comes alive!

 

Loyal fans are also eager to see the billionaire come to life – with his helicopter Tango Charlie and his Audis and his huge penthouse apartment.  After all, let’s face it - if Christian Grey was a penniless slob -  there would be no movie or book! 

 

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Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson won the starring roles when Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart declined to audition for them.

 

Since the fans are so into Christian’s charmed life, the studio has produced an interactive reproduction of Christian’s apartment.  What?  

An interactive replica of his penthouse apartment?   Has there ever been such a thing?  Maybe, but I can’t remember any movie studio doing that before. 

The website of the penthouse apartment was released this Superbowl weekend – I suppose for the wives to have something to occupy themselves with during the game.  I spent about a hour exploring the website and thought you might enjoy seeing it too.

 

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A glimpse of Christian Grey’s penthouse office in his building - Grey House. 

 

The first glimpse of Christian’s penthouse apartment has come from the endless trailers  –  which gives us an idea of the layout.  His office and apartment were both described as contemporary and stark – with a lot of modern art work about.

 

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Christian and Anastasia at the opening interview in his art filled office.    Set decoration by Sandy Reynolds-Wasco and Sandy Walke.

 

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The view from Christian’s office is of Seattle and its waterfront.  His office appears to look out towards his apartment, which is behind the Space Needle at the very left.

 

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And the night view from Christian’s penthouse apartment.  There is the Space Needle – his office is out past the ferris wheel.

This photograph comes from the Interactive Christian Grey website.

 

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And here is the two story penthouse.   Rooms that can be seen are “unlocked.”  The locked rooms aren’t visible on the website.   This includes his bedroom and the Red Room – which he calls his “playroom.”  I think that as the movie comes closer – the other rooms will be “unlocked.”

 

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The apartment takes up the entire floor and the elevator opens right into his apartment.  Here, Ana comes over the first time.  Throughout the apartment there are interesting sconces and lighting fixtures.

 

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The view into the apartment from the foyer.  It is very sparsely furnished.  Long green silk curtains hang in the living room – which gave me a heart attack from my first view – the curtains are TOO SHORT!!!!   A billionaire with too short curtains????? 

 

 

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And from the foyer – the grand piano sits between the living room and the dining room.   There are distinctive lattice room dividers – that really are so tacky.   And don’t get me started on the brown puke colored marble floor.   Note – the green curtains pick up the green top of the bar/console – one of the few nods to interior design.   What a disappointment this penthouse is turning out to be.

 

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Another view of the piano – with a love seat in front of it. 

 

 

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Here is a screencap of the Interactive website.  It’s really cool – where all the blue + signs are – if you click on those, it will tell you something about the item or give you some other information. 

For instance – if you click on the piano – you are given two choices of classical pieces to listen to – pieces that Christian plays in the movie/book. 

NOTE:  you have to go to the actual apartment web site to utilize the blue buttons. 

 

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Also, on the web site – you can make the light from day to nighttime. 

 

 

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This view looks on towards the living area with its horrid love seats.  If you push on the blue button at the console in front of the window:

 

 

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Information about its sculpture will pop up.  This is so fabulous!  I wish all movies would do this!!!!

 

 

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Push the blue arrow above the sofa – and this pops up.  A sort of modern moose horn – which relates to the Seattle region.  I really like this piece.

 

 

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Christian plays his two classical pieces for Anastasia. 

 

 

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On the interactive web site – a view from the living room to the dining room and kitchen – and the grand stairs that are the focal point of the apartment.  The arrows allows you to move within the apartment.

 

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Ann meets Christian’s mother – that painting changes a bit. 

 

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Here the purple painting is totally different – Plan B?

 

 

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And this painting – in the hallway to Christian’s bedroom – it looks like a tree – upside down?

 

 

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The apartment looks almost pretty here – I do like the light fixture and the console table. 

 

 

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In the foyer – if you click the blue button on the table – you learn this!

 

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And you learn this about this art piece in the foyer.

 

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Other buttons lead to things like – videos of the soundtrack.  

 

 

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The kitchen has another fabulous view.

 

 

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The view from the breakfast bar – where most meals are eaten.

 

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The kitchen as shown in the interactive apartment.

 

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Recipes of the meals that they eat in the book/movie – are available in the interactive apartment.  How cool is that?!!

 

 

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And there are screens of Christian’s favorite wines and his bar drinks.

 

 

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Coming down from upstairs.  Ask me how much I loathe those room dividers.  That much.

 

 

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What it looks like while filming.

 

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A screencap from the interactive apartment – of the second floor.

 

 

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Upstairs is more sparseness.  There are interesting sconces around the apartment.

 

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My favorite room in the apartment – is his “girlfriend” bedroom.  It looks like a handpainted Gracie paper behind the bed, with a velvet tufted romantic headboard and Swedish style nightstand.  This is from the interactive apartment.

 

 

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From the movie – in the corner is a vanity.

 

 

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And from the interactive apartment – you can see the crystal chandelier. 

 

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And the other side of Ana’s bedroom.  These blue buttons just show trailers.

 

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Here’s a behind the scene view – with the director.  Yes, the director is female – Sam Taylor-Johnson.  She has a very interesting story herself!  Google her!  haha.

 

 

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Anastasia has two apartments, this one, and the after-college loft.   Both are meant to look completely different than Christian’s penthouse.

 

 

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Her bedroom is sweet and warm, filled with vintage furniture.

 

To visit the Christian Grey interactive apartment – go HERE.  It’s so much fun!  Even if it’s not that pretty!

 

I love how the movie studio provided this online – interactive apartment.  I can’t help wishing that we had websites like this for other movies such as:

 

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How great would it have been to have the Something’s Gotta Give house on an interactive website????

 

 

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Or how about for Nancy Meyers’ other fabulous house movie – The Holiday.  What a great tool that would be!  Maybe she will hear about Fifty Shades of Grey doing this and will create an interactive web site for her newest movie – The Intern – due out this September?

 

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Here is a shot from Nancy’s newest movie starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro.   It is partly filmed in a NY brownstone.  Here – a Moroccan rug and acid green sofa mixed with a black console – it already looks so much more interesting than any set on Fifty Shades!!!

 

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The kitchen in the brownstone?  Love it so far!!  But this is Nancy Meyers after all!

 

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Too cute – blue and white striped dhurri, bricklayers coffee table, and Ikat pillows – what more could you want?    This shows you the difference between great set design and not so great set design. 

Wow.  What a difference.

 

 

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Writing this made me think how they could have made Christian’s penthouse so much better.  Contemporary can be fabulous,  especially when you mix contemporary with a few antiques – it doesn’t all have to be new.  This book – by Diane Dorrans Saeks – on Jean-Louis Deniot is beautiful.  He is the tops, the father of all the Elle Décor and domino wannabes.   Deniot is the one that all the younger designers are emulating while most don’t even realize who they are emulating. 

If only they used him as the set decorator or advisor – or even just opened this book and took a lesson or two or three!!!

 

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For instance – this entrance – totally contemporary, but the floor is classic, the doors are gorgeous – the chairs!  Compare this entry with Christian’s entry.  Try not to laugh!

 

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Or this entry – a mix of old and mid century.  It’s the mix of old and new – that looks so wonderful.  You don’t know where to look first.

 

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A mid century living room – mixed with ultra contemporary pieces with a few classical items.

 

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Wow.  This house is in New York and is for sale HERE.  How fabulous would this be in the movie?   So much better!!  This is just gorgeous.  The modern art work mixed with the antique.  That rug!!!

 

 

 

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This living room actually is somewhat reminiscent of Christian Grey’s – but again – a totally contemporary way of decorating, a mix of old and new.  Fabulous.

 

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How about this library – from the NY house?

 

 

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I love this bedroom  - the way he used the oval rug to mimic the ceiling.  The light blue on the extra wide headboard and dustcover.   The light yellow – the gold legs – gray silk on the walls – love!!

Of course – money is no object with Mr. Deniot – and his interiors reflect that.  Still, the design in Fifty Shades is beyond awful and such a disappointment.  I understand, they wanted it to look cold to reflect his personality – but he is also supposed to be an art connoisseur and his penthouse doesn’t really show that.

 

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To buy this book -  click on the image below:

 

And – to visit the Fifty Shades of Grey interactive apartment – go HERE.  It is soooo much fun to visit – it’s totally G-rated!   And it’s NOT football!!!!

28 comments :

  1. Joni, I agree, what a disappointment.
    I was hoping to see a very chic and luxe apartment in Fifty Shades and starting with the curtain panels; just awful!
    I hope that at some point Anastasia has the guts to encourage him to hire a new Interior Designer and go to some art auctions!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  2. Joni...you are right...The set is a little flat looking....you would think with his money they would of decorated the set differently...maybe they didn't have the budget! Great post!

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  3. This was a great idea Joni. I guess I am so out of touch. I wondered how all three books would be in a 2 hour movie ! I can't wait until the movie premiers and then you write your take on it. Your capture today has made me more eager now to see the movie. Love you Kathy

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  4. I had the chance to see Diane Keaton give a talk in Nashville on Friday. She said of all the movies she has made that her favorite set was the one from "Something's Gotta Give." She also said that Jack Nicholson was the best kisser of all her leading men!!!

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  5. Had a fun look before the game...; )
    Thanks, Joni!

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    1. I believe that the starkness and oddity of the apartment is serving to show part of the strange emotional makeup of the character and was not a mistake or an oversight, but purposeful.
      Sheila

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    2. Yes, I agree - these set designers know what they are doing. It is done purposeful, to convey a feeling. Look at the movie - Eye Wide Shut. Kubrick directed it and it has his markers...I remember the colored Christmas lights and weird Christmas decorations - all the places from his office to their apartment, the stores, etc.. It was odd and it was meant to be odd.

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  6. I did not like any of the books or this set... will not be going to the movie either.

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  7. Interactive rooms...what a concept...this is going to "catch on," I think, in a huge way!! Valentine's Day it is!! franki

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  8. I assume the "changing" painting was a chance to include a sponsor - the Plan B "morning after" pill - in the movie in an almost subliminal way. Makes sense given the content of the movie and its audience. Not that it's not creepy and big-brother-y.

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  9. The best thing about these books is that is actually helped my friend who had lost her husband to cancer and then experienced cancer herself, actually be interest in sex again! If a book series like this can do this for someone who has gone through so much, I say bring on Fifty Shades of Grey!!!

    Nancy

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  10. Joni: You are so creative in coming up with new and interesting posts! Didn't read the Grey books and don't plan to see the movie but still loved this post on comparing lousy contemporary design to a top notch one. I get that the movie directors want to the environment to be cold and a bit creepy, like the character but the decor is just plain flat and uninteresting. Think they could've have done more with the decor and still communicated the qualities of the character. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of contemporary design but I do love M. Deniot and others who do it well. How about Houston's own, Sally Wheat, for instance?! Love, love, love her work! Many thanks for providing a wonderful diversion for the ole pig skin…….. Debbie

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  11. Great tip to Google the director. It took a little digging, but I now know that her daughter from her first marriage (age 17) is only 7 years younger than her current husband (who is age 24). Never mind the age gap between her (age 47) and her much-younger husband and the fact that her husband fathered two children with her between the ages of 20 and 24, when many guys are still in college or grad school, it is just odd that her daughter is so much closer in age to her husband than she is!

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  12. Horrible decor. Everything about it says cheap, cheap, cheap.

    Very interesting interactive ideas. Thank you for all of the info, Joni.
    Lauren

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  13. Here's an idea for a possible post: You recently did a great article on trends, and you often mention "Something's Gotta Give" as a favorite interior. (I like it, too.) Given the movie came out 12 years ago, what would you do to freshen up that interior? Or is it so timeless that you wouldn't change a thing?

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  14. I too hope this interactive set becomes a new trend in movie trailers.
    I agree with Sheila...I think this interior was very much purpose driven exuding his cold and sterile lack of warmth character.
    The Contemporary/Modern interiors you mentioned, however, (I love as well) are filled with class and warmth and full of classic character. His character was created to be emotionally void of this. Hence the interior is the same. It's so distasteful, you cant stop watching or looking. Proving, money cant buy class...but sure can create interest for on-lookers.

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  15. OMIGOD!!!

    YUCK! The book; unreadable. This movie; a complete joke.

    Jean Louis; you are correct. He is talented and his interiors are lovely and warm
    I am astonished to learn about the "fanfic" writer ! It explains everything!

    I really don't think the interiors were so hideous on purpose....I just think the set designers were losers. (too-short curtains on purpose and hideous "room dividers"????) I also think the movie will be an enormous flop. A ridiculed flop. But; I may be completely wrong. The comment above this one says it all. Really........???? I guess Anonymous is representative of who is watching what and why.

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    1. Penelope Is My Idol!!!February 5, 2015 at 2:19 PM

      Hi Penelope!!!

      What happened to your "referral only" decorating business?? The "unlisted phone number" because you were so in demand? You seem to post on blogs all day and night now!!!! I almost think you don't have any work at all!!!

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  16. I didn't read the book and I probably won't bother to watch the movie, none of it appeals to me. However, I do find set design fascinating. My husband watches many TV sitcom type shows which I don't care for at all. He was watching the Mike & Molly show (ugh) and I was looking at the set - so incredibly cluttered with a mismatch of all sorts of cheap decor stuff. I then noticed the layout - walk right in to the living room - staircase in background. I remembered seeing this same cluttered look and layout on the Rosanne show (years ago) and many other shows(can't remember the names) since then. Obviously, they have done their research - their target audience must identify with this look...which explains why Dollar General stores and Dollar Tree stores are popping up on every corner. I'm not knocking these stores - but don't get your home decor there! Which brings us back to the matter of simple inherent good taste (which doesn't cost a dime) - I still think a person is of somehow either hardwired with it or not.

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  17. i fell for twilight too (coincided perfectly with a midlife awakening methinks). team edward, baby. you are fabulous, and you crack me up. that is all. peace to you right where you are.

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  18. I totally agree with your vision for Christian's penthouse. I guess the comment above is probably correct too though. The books were horrible but it sure gave us something to talk about. Nancy's comment about her friend, the widow, seems to be a common thread.

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  19. Bette Davis said it best: "What a dump."

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  20. You probably know this but EL Jsmes bought an expensive yet relatively modest home in Ealing which is a semi inner suburb of london. A friend lives a few streets down from her and apparently she's had a lot of work done to it. would be fun to see her house.

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  21. Not so much, if at all on the 50 Shades movie/set. The main character reminds me so much of a 70's Debra Winger. I think I'd much rather spend my time re-watching the other movies or anything else...yard work, walking the dogs, bathing the dogs...you get the idea.

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  22. Hey Joni!
    This is totally off subject…. I am installing seagrass carpet in all of my upstairs and hallways ( I was excited to read your posts about seagrass)! However , the carpet installer said he plans to put a metal strip for the transition of the carpet to the bathroom tile. He says he has to use a transition strip or else the ends of the seagrass will fray. I think this sounds not cute! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for what I could use as a transition/threshold piece for the carpet to tile. I am doing this in Mississippi and apparently no one in the state is familiar with seagrass, so Im kind of on my own here. I have loved your blog! Thanks!

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  23. Joni - This is much more of what I expected for the interiors of 50 shades. Granted it's a house in Bev Hills but... Black leather, grey marble, sleek and cutting edge, it just screams billionaire bachelor. The garage is insane!
    http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hotprop-beverly-hills-contemporary-20150210-story.html

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