Monthly Archives: June 2012

Birthday Cake…Not for you, Rihanna

By Contributing Food Editor Jared Levan

To All the Cake Lovers,

Yes–that was a Kylie reference.

It’s been quite a long time since my last post, but in honor of an upcoming Hommemaker birthday (July 5th), I decided Orlando needed a post dedicated entire to cake. There are probably some of you who would prefer something on pie, pastry or pudding…but we’ll get to you and yours another time.

For the big 3-0, Orlando has decided on a “rustic/woodland” themed extravaganza. Now you may be asking yourself, what does a rustic/woodland cake look like? That’s a good question. I had to do a little bit of digging, but I managed to find some awesome examples of manly, rough-around-the-edges (yet still delicious and fun to look at) cakes that would be perfect for the occasion.

Apple Lumberjack Cake by Manna From Heaven (Sydney, Australia)

It should come as no surprise that the words “rustic” and “woodland” invoke thoughts of lumberjacks, chopping down trees all day long. Now there’s a mental image–all your guests in flannel and real or marker-drawn beards. This cake may look anything but special for an event like a 30th birthday, but it looks (and sounds) delicious, doesn’t it?

Woodland Cake Pops by Cristy Cross

I mean, could a cake pop look any more woodland? Maybe. The fact that these guys look like edible (and far less hallucinogenic) “Fly agaric” mushrooms that grow near pine trees makes them even cooler. The bed of moss in which they are mounted is just icing on the cake pop.

Forest Faux Cake by Brookelynn Morris

This one’s not edible, I just thought it was really cool. Tablescape for the party maybe?

In closing, I’d like to with Orlando a happy 30th birthday party! Cheers!


Jared Levan


Filed under Style, Uncategorized

Cover Thine Naked Walls In Stickers.

Dear Empty Walls,

Are you ever sitting there all like “Oh my god I’m naked I wish someone would put a sticker on me”? And then you look around and all the wall decals out there are, like, totally gross? Well, I have found a solution to your nakedness. There a few wall stickers out there that will cover you in beauty and glamour. For the most part wall stickers are cheesy and gross and look like they belong in college dorms. But don’t lose hope! A few sophisticated options do exist…

Keith Haring Wall Sticker from Blik. $50.

I love me some Keith Haring, so naturally I want to put these large-scale wall decals all over my body. And my apartment.

Fishwall Stickers from Blik. $45.

For a kookie splash of color, these fish-scale inspired tiles do the trick. I don’t think I’d do a whole gigantic room in them, but a small room, a door, or another architectural detail could be cool.

Keith Haring Wall Stickers from Blik. $35.

Who doesn’t want little Keith Haring dudes dancing all over his house? Fun!

Chalkboard Calendar from Ferm Living. $100.

This is really practical and pretty for an office, but would probably be totally weird anywhere else.

Branch Wallsticker from Ferm Living. $110.

We used this one on the show (shown below) and it looked totally amazing. They no longer make it in that metallic gold color which is a shame but the black is beautiful too.

One note about wall stickers is that they are often dependent on a cool space. Just sticking one in the middle of the wall might be weird, but if you have a cool alcove or moulding that separates a space, it can be a great opportunity for a beautiful moment on the wall.

Custom Wall Sticker from Murals Your Way. Starting at $240.

Martha Stewart featured this idea a while back. I’m actually kind of surprised at how cool it looks because a lot of full-color decals look cheesy. But if you have a great source image you can make a beautiful wall decal.

Damien Hirst-Inspired Wall Dots from Blik. $40.

One way to make sure your wall stickers don’t look low-brow is to have them reference a famous work of art like these Hirst-inspired wall dots. They are playful, yet somehow still sophisticated.

Also playful and sophisticated are the original Hirst paintings.

Ten Pattern Wall Tiles by Threadless for Blick. $45.

For renters who can’t do wallpaper, these luxurious wall tiles provide pattern and excitement.

Psychedelic Garden Wall Tiles from Blik. $45.

I’m loving these floral wall tiles for a ladybedroom.

In The Belly Of The Beast Wall Sticker from Blik. $40.

This dying whale is kind of depressing, but I’m still attracted to it. Seems like it would be perfect for a kids room. Perfect for the goth kid who hates everyone.

Pine Tree Wall Sticker from Ferm Living. $55. 

The simplicity and elegance of the pine branch is what makes this one nice. Sometimes wall decals get a little bit too complicated/literal which makes them lame.

So there you go, walls. You no longer have sit naked, waiting for uber-expensive art to cover you up. Go out there and get some wall decals to cover your indecent self!



Filed under Art, Decor

All I Want For My Birthday Is Everything.

Dear Friends, Family, and Internet Strangers,

In about a week, I am going to turn 30 years old. I’ve been freaking out about a little bit. Not because I am scared of getting older. I’ve always liked older people more than younger people (Young people are idiots, am I right? I’ve always hated them). The main reason for my freak out is that when I was little I thought being 30 meant being a total grown up and I still feel like I have the maturity level of Raven Simone’s beloved namesake on That’s So Raven (unfortunately for me, however, I can’t see into the future). To make myself feel better about having the maturity of a toddler at age 30, I decided to compile the most ridiculous birthday wish list ever. Because if I have learned anything from Extreme Makeover Home Edition, it’s that materialism solves all of life’s problems. Yay!

Here we go!

1. iPhone case from Exovault. $185.

Remember when phones used to cost, like, $99? Well now just the case costs twice that. But honestly, once you see how pretty this brass/wood case is how could you not want it? The only bummer is that when they replace the new iPhone with a new one this summer, your ridiculously pricey case will be obsolete. Perhaps a good reason to keep your current iPhone forever…

2. Birds of North America t-shirt from Etsy. $15.

You know I would totally wear this without irony. And everyone would be happy.

3. New Shoes from Toms. $69.

It’s important to be comfortable in your own shoes, especially if you’re uncomfortable about turning 30.

4. Leather Holdall from Mulberry. $1850.

Because everyone should put their sweaty disgusting gym clothes in a $2000 bag.

5. Converse Jack Purcell. $80.

These cute shoes make me want to dance on a boat.

6. Boots from H By Hudson. $199.

I need these because my other H by Hudson boots have gotten so much use that they now look like hobo boots, exposed toes and all.

7. Anthology of a Decade by Hedi Slimane. $550.

I love Hedi. Thus, I deserve this $550 collection of his photographic anthologies. Not really.

8. Art by Carl Van de Roer. $Expensive.

I want these amazing photographs so that I can stare at them every day and think about my future.

9. Wool Cable Knit Rug from Rugs USA. $878.

Doesn’t this look luxurious? Wouldn’t you want to wiggle your toes in it every morning? Or rub your face all over it? Or phrase all of you statements as questions?

10. Bicycle from Bianchi. $1900.

I have wanted this bike forever, but I never noticed it came in my signature color. Until now. Need.

11. White Lacquer Bookshelves from CB2. $499.

This shelf is begging to live in my dining room. Please, don’t make it beg anymore…

12. A New Car from Volvo. $33,000.

Because every man should receive a MotherMobile for his 30th.

13. Tank Watch from Cartier. $5500.

I’ve wanted this watch since I was 16. I’m told it looks ladylike but I don’t care, I think it’s classic. Like my rugged American features.

14. Swim Trunks from Warriors of Radness. $68.

Palm Trees + Aqua = My Ideal Swimsuit

15. Custom-Fit Solid Oxford from Polo Ralph Lauren. $98.

I love these. I bought a pink one about 9 years ago and it still looks great. A staple for any preppy wardrobe.

16. Photograph by David Benjamin Sherry. $20,000.

A. I love color. B. This picture of my hometown. C. Why didn’t I think of this?

17. Vintage Interview Magazine from Ebay. $29.

I have a thing for vintage Interview Magazines. Especially ones that were released when Warhol was still alive (sidenote: did you know he started that magazine?). Totally amazing cover art and ridiculous 80s celebrity interviews and editorials.

18. Multicolored Mixing Bowl Set from the Moma Store. $34.95.

I need mixing bowls that secretly advocate the Homosexual Agenda by referencing the rainbow flag.

19. Down Sweater from Patagonia. $200.

Because the only thing better than staying warm is knowing that everyone else knows your jacket was expensive.

20. Giants Cap from 59Fifty. $21.

I want this. Mainly to appease my Giants-oriented family, who is outraged at my LA Dodgers cap accessorizing. Also, that gold is pretty delightful.

21. Japanese Inspired Wall Sculpture from Monument. $2800.

I saw this in San Francisco at Monument’s incredible store and fell in love. Totally weird and 60s, but hey, in 30 more years I’ll be totally weird and 60s, too.

22. Circular Mirror from Organic Modernism. $275.

Round mirrors make you happy. It’s a scientific fact.

23. Zip Up Leather Jacket from Vince. $975.

I don’t own a leather jacket. Which really is a travesty. I have an imitation leather jacket from Zara that my mom likes to call “that plastic jacket.” My life is so hard. Help me, please!

24. Pencils from Paper Pastries. $11.

I want to go back to writing everything by hand. With these pencils. That celebrate California, our great Golden State.

25. Seersucker Placemats from West Elm. $14.

Yeah, I know, boring! But I really love hosting dinner parties and I have no placemats. I thought these were pretty adorable.

26. Blue Swim Trunks from Olasul. $130.

I also want those abs for my 30th birthday but I’m not sure I can pull that off in a week…

27. All-Clad Cookware Set from Williams-Sonoma. $1600.

I want these pots and pans so I can have another thing to obsessively scrub after dinner.

28. A Subscription to Flaunt Magazine. $190.

I have loved this magazine since I was a teenager. But why is the subscription SO expensive? I heard it’s because they use pure gold instead of paper to print it.

29. Brass Bottle Opener from OK. $40.

Because using an ugly bottle opener is for twentysomethings.

30. House/Studio Space/Artist Commune, Offered Up By Sotheby’s. $5,750,000.

I want this giant house so I can start an artist commune where I’d make everyone change their names to Ezekial and they’d have to earn their keep by tilling the organic farm. Then we make paintings together and have activist knitting circles where we’d talk about how to get George Bush out of office (we’d have no TV or internet, so we’d have no way of knowing what was going on in the news). This house would definitely complete my life.

I hope this post has taught you about the importance of conspicuous consumption and how buying me things will make me feel okay about turning 30. I will be writing soon about my uber top secret birthday plans, which include drinking wine whilst sitting on a log and running though the fields of Yosemite staring at the stars. Because that’s what 30 year olds do.



Filed under Style

Californiatimez: Hiking, Cactii, and the Most Amazing Plant Nursery on Earth

Dear Diary,

Last weekend, some gays and I decided to escape the madness that is LA Pride and head to the little town of Fillmore, California to take a hike and discover new things. Naturally, because we are 90z gays, we took a Jeep wrangler, with the top down. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced riding in the back of a Jeep Wrangler, but a word to the wise: don’t ride in the back when it’s cold outside. It’s the coldest you’ll ever be in your whole life. I froze to death and it was really sad. But then I came back to life when the car stopped moving.

Fillmore is an interesting town. And by “interesting” I mean terrifying. It’s the kind of place where you expect to hear dueling banjos play as soon as your gay car enters the town square. I know it sounds like I’m being super judgmental. But that’s just because I am super judgmental (I learned this recently in a personality test). Also, I went to high school in a similarly terrifying town (Mariposa, California) so I know what those places are like and that there is good reason for my overwhelming fears. All this aside, Fillmore has some wonderful sights to see, including this vacant lot:

And lots of pretty (and haunted) abandoned trains. YAY!

And a pretty high school that looks like this:

My high school looked like this:

Coincidence? I think not. I have a lot of fond memories of high school. Mainly of the day I graduated and never went back ever again.

The main reason for our trip to Fillmore was a hike to Tar Creek. The vistas were beautiful, the air fresh, and the hike delightful.

The hike features two main swimming holes, both with ledges for jumping and slides for sliding.

When the opportunity to jump off a 20′ rock into a pool of water arose, the boys got separated from the men. And by that I mean that I was too scared to jump off the rocks because I have a secret fear of heights. So I suppose that makes me a boy and not a man. Which is fine by me.

This is the second, higher, more terrifying waterfall. The guys I was with jumped off it while I ate beef jerkey.

There was even a giardia-laced waterfall to bath in whilst thinking about the meaning of life. It’s a scientific fact that no Gay can resist the urge to frolic in an outdoor waterfall.

The surprise highlight of the trip was the amazing cactus store we discovered on the way home. Cactus Mart sits on the side of the freeway and is the the most amazing cactus nursery in the whole entire world.

The prices were pretty awesome. Definitely worth the drive.

Someday, I want to live in a greenhouse that looks like this.

Our trip to Fillmore was filled with fun and freedom. I’d highly recommend the Tar Creek hike to anyone (just make sure not to go when it’s too hot because there’s, like, no shade anywhere). And for people who love plants, Cactus Mart is kind of a dreamland. Now if only I had a yard for all these cacti…



Filed under Decor, Life

Whut Glamour: Tham & Videgård

Dear Swedish Architecture Firm Tham & Videgård,

I discovered you a few weeks back when I was researching tree houses. You made this awesome treehouse:

Not only do you design glamourous tree houses, you also design modern, exciting homes for lucky, beautiful rich people. Below are a selection of my favorites.

House K

This one is pretty minimal, cold, and scary from the outside, but looks modern and delightful from the inside.


I’ve always dreamed of living in a little box like this one.

Garden House

This house is genius because it takes something kinda depressing (lattice), blows up the scale, and turns it into an unexpected design element.

House Karlsson

This is the little barn I’ve always wanted except way smarter. I love the red and all the fun skylights.

Archipelago House

This is their best house by far. It’s a way sleeker version of that Sonoma County House I really want.

Anyway, I’ll take one of each. Thanks so much.



Filed under Decor

Palm Springs Overdose

Dear Reader,

When I was a little boy, obese with braces on my teeth, I used to love whipped cream. We never used the canned kind, my mother always whipped it up the real stuff. I loved it until one day when I went overboard. That day I ate a whole entire bowl of whipped cream by myself. I’ve never been so sick in my life. I’m telling you this story not only to let you know that I was a fat kid, but also to provide a warning to you: too much of a good thing is a bad thing. This is how I’m starting to feel about Palm Springs. I’ve already been four times this year and to be honest, I can’t take it anymore. Its parties are too fun, the heat too hot, and the pools too refreshing. Enough!

That being said I had a wonderful time in Palm Springs over Memorial Day Weekend. A group of friends rented a glamorous house and spent days by the pool, nights by the pool, and late nights at the one horrifying gay bar in Palm Springs, where we danced our lives away like we were characters in the 1990s gay romantic comedy. Did gay romantic comedies exist in the 90s? I hope so.

The drive out to Palm Springs is always beautiful, even when it takes five hours like it did this time (it’s supposed to take two). The light out there is so amazing.

This drink summarizes perfectly the weekend’s activities, which consisted mostly of drinking tropical drinks by the pool whilst talking about our feelings. To make it, add lots of vodka, a splash of soda, muddle with watermelon, and add raspberries, limes, and mint.

This painting was in our mid-century house. I wanted to steal it but I didn’t.

This is the view from the living room. I love that wild tree outside.

How cute is this dog? I tried to pet her but she didn’t like me. Which was a huge blow to my self-esteem.

A friend of mine has these flamingo shorts that I’m obsessed with. Someday I’m going to sneak into his house and steal them while he is sleeping.

The flamingo shorts are from AMBSN. Gimme.

Speaking of swim trunks, these are my favorite right now.

They are from H&M.

This is our pool. Ugly, right?

This is the doorway at a ridiculous pool party we went to for someone’s 40th birthday. It was terribly fun and completely over the top. Me likey.

Another pool party discovery was this moose sculpture. Or is it an elk? Whatever it is it’s cool and I want one for my garden. Even though my garden doesn’t exist because I live in an apartment with no outdoor space. Tears.

I’m not a huge fan of modern, minimal houses but Palm Springs does it best.

A sad, lonely beach ball, perilously close to the cruel spines of the cacti. This must be a metaphor for something but I was too busy talking about gay bodies and the mall to think about it.

Glamourpool with yellow accents. Well played!

The guest house.

The dining room was completely bonkers. And I liked that.

That crazy chandelier. The crazy painting. Those crazy chairs. It’s all awful but in a good way that I want to look at.

This is the spiral staircase every gay boy dreams of walking down on his way to prom with his prom date Ricky Martin.

I like this wallpaper? I think? And the horse head? From Z Gallerie?

The gold piece on the mantle incited a fierce discussion amongst my friends. Them: “It’s ugly.” Me: “It’s prettty.” What do you think?

These cat tapestries were by far the best find of the weekend. They were at another pool party house. Totally genius and I want to wear a coat made from them.

We stopped at the Ace Hotel for lunch on the way home. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to feel like you’re on hipster spring break.

I have a fetish for pretty house numbers, so I snapped this one. Really the only reason to have a house is to have cute numbers on the front.

I think I’ll wait a while before I go to Palm Springs again. It’s lovely and fun, but I don’t want to overdose like I did on whipped cream. That would be terrifying.



Filed under Decor, Life

Orlando’s Obsession: Tiled Fireplaces

Dear Santa,

I know you love to come down the chimney on Christmas. But let’s be honest, when you emerge through the fireplace, sometimes it’s a bit of a let down. I mean, how many orangey-red bricks can you look at before you want to gouge out your eyeballs with a candy cane? I have a solution for you, Santa. It’s called tiling your fireplace and you’re going to love it. I’ve been thinking about tiled fireplaces lately because Emily and I have a client who wants to add a feminine touch to her fireplace. Tile is a good way to do this, so I’ve been running all over town trying to find samples and gathering ideas of what to do.

I kind of love this shot. The blue is totally bonkers but it goes with the crazy donkey and the crazy electric blue chairs. And the crazy lady painting. This home reminds me of the eccentric auntie I never had.


You can barely see the fireplace in this shot, but I’d die to have one in my dining room. Then whenever a dinner party guest made an inappropriate comment I could threaten to toss him in the fireplace.

Oh wait, even more glamourous than a fireplace in your dining room is a fireplace in your kitchen. I’m scared about what’s happening in this photograph though. Please, Scary Lady, don’t eat the dog!

This isn’t tiled, but I couldn’t resist this mirror. Hay, Mirror!

Okay, there’s no tile here either but how much do you love that horsey painting? Super simple, cute and it totally gives this otherwise boring room some character. Also, Pier 1 called and they want their candles back.

I’m not a huge fan of this shot but I do love this emerald green tile. Also, what’s going on with all that wood in the fireplace? If you started that on fire it would burn down the house and kill everyone. Overzealous styling.

Again, please calm down with the logs.

This pale green is pretty and totally goes with the bright, airy look of the room.

This room is totally for ladies but I love everything. The gold, the chandelier, the patterned fireplace tiles. All gorgeous. Just like each and every one of you. Except you, Donald Trump!

I’m digging this. Tile is such a good opportunity to bring some character, color, and life into a room.

I love this a lot. Pretty colors, insane mirror, flowers in the fire. Totally crazy granny but lovely.

This grey slate is pretty quiet but perfectly styled. Also, somewhere out there a turtle is looking for his house.

Pretty, gleaming, bright white. Just like my skin after a two-week beach vacation.

I’m pretty sure the fireplace imploded right after this shot was taken but this is a beautiful shot. If you never light fires, white is a great option. So clean and bright.

These are a few of my favorite tiles. I’m loving these Moroccan-inspired mosaic tiles. These are from

Here is a shot of a similar tile installed:

Classic subway tiles in a smaller scale. Kinda adorable. Also from

Pretty pattern, pretty color, pretty please. From

Chevron, I wish I could quit you. From Ann Sacks.

I found these at the PDC. They’re hand glazed terra cotta and totally gorgeous. Each one is unique. Available from Hagan Flynn.

I’m obsessed with that blue color. So pretty.

In short, I’d like to tile my fireplace immediately. But first I have to get a fireplace. Which is where you come in, Santa. My birthday is in less than a month!



Filed under Decor

D.I.Why? Secret Painting Bulletin Board

Dear You,

See this painting? I hope so, it’s right in front of your face.

But guess what? It’s not a painting. It’s a bulletin board. Would you like to know how I made it? Me neither. But I’ll tell you anyway. First, I went to the art supply store where scary artist sales associate helped me find canvas. It costs about $7 a yard. I got mine from Dick Blick.

I used acrylic paint I had leftover from a previous project. It’s a very pretty color of navy blue.

I watered the paint down to give it a tie-dye look. This caused a beautiful watercolor effect, which made me happy.

Now, a word to the wise. Never, under any circumstances, attempt to use this item:

It’s a miter box for a saw that I was trying to use to make a frame. And it’s the hardest thing in the world to use. I tried to use this one, sweating and crying for 45 minutes before I gave up and went over to my friend’s house to have him cut the stupid wood on his chop saw. For the frame of the bulletin board, I used 3/4″ x 3″ pine. And so should you. After cutting the frame I glued the canvas painting onto the bulletin board (which I’d painted blue before in a failed attempt to make it look pretty). I used school glue. Which you can pretty much use for anything.

I mixed the glue with water to thin it down and make an even coat on the bulletin board.

I used wood glue on the back to secure the canvas around the bulletin board.

When everything was dry, I glued the bulletin board into the frame I’d made (I don’t really want to talk about how I made the frame because it’s boring. Basically just screw four pieces of wood together). To attach the frame to the bulletin board I used wood glue, which is incredibly strong even though it smells just like white glue.

Then, I painted the frame white. With flat house paint. I wanted the look to be more matte, so I didn’t use semi-gloss or gloss like I normally would have. Flat paint scuffs up more though, so be ready to maniacally clean if you, too, choose flat paint.

This is what the final product looks like. It’s like a painting, but you can pin things to it. If you’ve ever fantasized about stabbing pins into pieces of art (and who hasn’t?), this is the bulletin board for you. My problem with most bulletin boards is that they are ugly and the cork is a gross color. This bulletin board solves all those problems and then some. So are you sold? Are you making yours yet? Hurry!

Here is the bulletin board with a few things on it. The one I made is actually for a client so the things on it aren’t mine. It still needs much more stuff on it but I thought it would be weird to fill someone else’s bulletin board for them so I left some blank space.

Up close, you can really see how pretty an watery the paint is. Glamour.

And here it is in the office it now calls home.

I hope you all go out and make a bulletin board disguised as a painting now. It’s much more interesting than one that just looks like an ugly old bulletin board.



Filed under Decor