Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Modern by Design 2009 Showhouse II: Going Up!

Next Stop Level One!

When we entered the Modern by Design 2009 Showhouse, we were greeted by a fresh, yet classic, Foyer designed by Greg Stewart and David Oldroyd of the esteemed design firm, Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Associates. The simple concrete spheres and classic Saarinen table contrast beautifully with the dark hardwood floors. And you can do no wrong in my eyes when you use olive branches on an entry table.


Greg and David were also selected to design the Living Room. Greg let me in on the design concept: “ Out idea was to take simple, commonly available materials and transform them into something uncommon, poetic and elegant.” Taking inspiration from the topography of San Francisco, Greg and David created a sort of topographical “map” of the furniture rising up out of the vinyl flooring covering.

The soft grey walls were plastered with a lime and marble aggregate to provide an aged look in contrast to the slicker modern furniture. I love the pop of the pink fabrics and peonies with that hazy grey. Love the Madeline Weinrib Ikat Pillows and vintage zinc architectural drafting forms.


I loved the joyful serenity in this room. Can those two adjectives be found in the same space? Clearly. In this shot you can really see how the furniture rises up out of the floor covering. This space is really an experiment with furniture and their qualities as sculptural forms. Even if this is “not your thing” the playfulness is something you have to appreciate.


This stool’s “ode to John Dickenson” flavor was clever I thought and added some softness. The thought put into how the table, lamp, accessories and the stool work with the window placement is apparent.

LR Designer

Greg Stewart of ODADA

Greg was so nice to talk with me about the space. I was just fascinated about how they constructed the furniture. He and David designed it all and had Plant Architectural Woodwork fabricate it from reclaimed plywood from a former jobsite. They then had Eco Vinyl Flooring from Lonseal laid over it all. So cool!

The Dining Room was our next stop where we had the chance to meet the designer Jiun Ho. Jiun is a well respected designer, as well as a furniture and lighting designer. The JIUN HO Collection includes furniture, lighting by Boyd and area rugs.

The Dining Room boasts Dining Table and Chair designs by Jiun. The insert “fabric” in the backs of the chairs is really a custom cowhide design pieced together by Kyle Bunting Rugs. Just another example of why Jiun is such a creative force.DR2

Jiun Ho also selected light fixtures from the Jonathon Browning Studios, Inc. and placed them in an unexpected way: He put four fixtures in the corners of the room instead of one larger fixture in the center. They seem like modern adaptations of Asian paper lanterns.

Jiun layered cowhides on the floor in alternating black and brown colors creating a larger rounded shape for the room. Juin also applied dark stained sandblasted wood paneling to two opposing sides of the room which added so much depth and warmth. It is all of these details that takes a room from ordinary to extraordinary.

DR Designer

Jiun Ho

The Family Room and Kitchen were the creations of the stellar Steve Miller. When I met Steve, he exuded such an upbeat force. I can see why he is such a success. Steve worked with furniture maker Ted Boerner in the design of the custom sectional and swivel chair. There was much thought put into the sofa and how people would sit in it: whether to watch TV or to look out onto the patio outside. You can see that the chaise portion is made so one can sit either way. Oh! And I love the Vivienne Westwood Pillows from The Rug Company on the sofa!

Steve worked with WoodMode Cabinets in the design of the media and fireplace wall. Modern and functional, warm and stylish, I think it captures the young spirit of an active family that might live here.


I had to show you a close up of the chair just because of the “fabric”….which is actually a leather that has a metallic finish that has been scored and “aged” to look like a vintage leather-slash-velvet fabric. It was made by a company called Moore and Giles….amazing stuff they do….very custom. You should really check out their website.

FR Chair

The kitchen was also done by Steve Miller, and there is alot to love here. The backsplash tile is a mosaic by Walker Zanger, who has just been putting out the most beautiful stuff lately. The counters are Caesarstone, and Cabinets by WoodMode. Steve used traditional styled cabinets around the perimeter and a more contemporary style for the island. An interesting, and successful combination I think. Love the light fixtures by Circa Lighting as well. And the McGuire stools! I would not have thought they were from McGuire….they are freshening up their line!


I have to say, Steve Miller was so great to talk to. Enthusiastic and fun! I had been a fan for a long time, so it is always nice to think that someone you admire turns out to be so great in person.

FR Designer

Steve Miller
The First Level was a stunner.

Next up: Level Two!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Modern by Design 2009 Showhouse: Bottoms Up!

Erin Martin

I have been promising to get photos up for the Modern by Design 2009 Showhouse produced by Metropolitan Home Magazine,so let’s get started! There was so much talent here that I had a hard time decided exactly where to start…..so I am starting from the Bottom floor and working may way up to the top. There are Four Floors in all, not uncommon in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco.

The tone of the Lower Level was set by the very talented Erin Martin of Martin Interiors. Erin’s studio and showroom are located in the picturesque town of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. Her aesthetic reflects that casually sophisticated feeling of the California wine country.

I had such a fun time chatting with Erin, and to describe her in a word, she is a KICK! Irreverent and hilarious, Erin’s clients must just have a blast working with her. I took Erin’s picture in an iron swing she designed and had fabricated by Ferrous Studios, Inc. It reminds me of a giant firewood caddy….that impression reinforced by the stack of firewood in the background.

Erin Martin Media Room Daybed Erin travels the world to find unique pieces and inspiration for her spaces, and her creativity really shines here. Note the quote by Plato burned into the reclaimed paneling on the wall above this cozy daybed….art, pure and simple.Erin Martin Media Room, Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009 Wet Bar She used linen slipcovers that look like hopsacking on the custom sofa: casual and comfortable.Erin Martin Media Room , Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009

The coffee table, another work of art, was created by a partnership between Erin, who created the concept, Brian Kennedy of The Freedom of Craft, who created the metal work and Delicate Cutters (m.mcguinness@mac.com) who crafted the leather top. Stunning! The area rug is from Sloan Miyasato

Erin Martin Media Room Detail

This mood-setting ball ottoman and cozy slippers reinforce the fantasy of a cabin in the woods….just the place to get away from a day of dragon slaying in the big city. We really could have hung out here all day.

But ……on to the other rooms we had to go! Erin was also asked to design the hallway which she outfitted with this striking light fixture from Circa Lighting, Venetian Plaster Walls and horse bust available through her own showroom.

Erin Martin Hallway Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009

One of the most jaw-dropping rooms in the showhouse was this Powder Room, also by Erin Martin. It caused quite a stir and a traffic back-up during the Opening Night Gala! But where else can you mount a HUGE water buffalo head above a Powder Room Vanity but a designer showhouse? That is what a showhouse is FOR after all: pushing design envelopes and creating that quintessential “stir”. “Shake it up”, I say!

The croc skin tile on floor walls and ceiling (love!) are by Walker Zanger. Vanity is by Kohler.

Erin Martin Powder Room, Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009

After tearing ourselves away from the Powder Room (and there were several trips back to show the husbands later that night at the Gala….the look of hilarity on there faces…priceless!)….we found the Au Pair’s bedroom.

Erin brought in a beautiful Indonesian four poster and covered it with soft wool blankets and a knit throw with leather tassels. The embroidered Swan pillow is a Martin design and the fabric wall hanging depicts a white peacock.

Erin Martin Bedroom Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009

I loved the unique wing back chair and Moroccan accent table in a little nook in this room. Available through the Martin Showroom.

Erin Martin Bedroom Sitting Area Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009 Erin also designed the Bathroom off of the Au Pair Bedroom using Walker Zanger tile, Circa Lighting and Kohler fixtures.Erin Martin Bathroom for Matropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009 Erin’s attention to detail is truly amazing……….I mean…..just LOOK at that gorgeous floor tile!! (Hehehe).Erin Martin Bathroom Detail, Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse 2009

Erin Martin captures a style that is comfortable, sophisticated, and perhaps most importantly, FUN! Definitely not serious, unless you are talking serious laughter, we had a hard time leaving.

You will also have a lot of fun spending a day at the Modern by Design 2009 Showhouse. The Showhouse runs through July 12 and you can find out all of the details here. I hope you get a chance to see it! The designers really “bring it” with their creativity and truly push the design envelope. They get you thinking. And THAT is what a successful Showhouse is all about!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Dontcha just love that word? Sometimes there are things that are free that you take just because they are free. It may not be something you really want or need. Like the free mini boxes of cereal that come in the mail. Then there are the free things you seek out, like the free food samples at Costco. You know what I mean. You can make a meal out of those enchilada and potroast samples. Sometimes I wait for there to be a free gift with the "purchase of $30 or more" at the make-up counter. (I have more beach bags and make-up pouches than you can imagine).

But there is another catagory. Things that you would love to have, but they are just not in the budget right now. But you keep looking at them in the magazines wondering if you could maybe swing it.

Here's one of those kind of freebies!

Merida Meridian is having a FREE RUG CONTEST . They are giving away a different rug every month! And the more who enter, the longer they can keep doing this. This month they are giving away a 5x8 Malabay Bark Abaca Area Rug like the one pictured in the photo above. (And speaking of the photo...maybe there will be free give-away of this HOUSE! Those newell posts!One can dream....that's free too.)

So I'd thought I'd pass along the goodness. Here is the link to the Contest Page.

Good Luck!!!

(And the Modern by Design Showhouse Pictures are on their way!!!!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

San Francisco: Glamour and the Showhouse

It has been a very busy couple of weeks! And I have lots to tell you all. I was lucky enough to attend the book signing for the new Metropolitan Magazine book, Glamour, Making it Modern last Tuesday night at Gumps. It is always a thrill to meet the Editors of my favorite magazines. Donna Warner was such a nice and lovely person. I guess that sounds a little funny, but it is nice to know that the magazine movers and shakers are so approachable and gracious with their time.

The book is a compilation of the best from Metropolitan Home Magazine catagorized into three main sections: CONCEPTS (Scale, Palette, Luster, Antiques, etc.) OBJECTS (Staircases, Fireplaces, Drapery, Chandeliers, Mirrors, etc.) and ROOMS (Living, Dining...). There are subcatagories within eash of these as well. It is a very helpful way to get ideas for a particular item or idea. I will be posting photos fromt the book in the next few days.

I also attended the Metropolitan Home Modern by Design Showhouse last Wednesday. I was able to talk to all of the designers and pick their creative brains about their designs. The historic, 7,700-square-foot Pacific heights home was completely refurbished by designer Regine Callan of RBR Development and architect Mark English.

The photo above was taken during the day while the last minute details were being perfected. There were workmen rushing around like mad getting it all done!

That night, it had been completely transformed for the Opening night Gala. There were so many people, they wrapped around the block! We got to the head of the line and the security guard said..."OK, that's it! No more people can fit inside!" We just about fainted. Then he talked into his walkie- talkie and said "OK...we can have 25 more people!" Phew!!!

When we got inside for the gala, it was packed! But SO much fun! The food was hors d'oeurves and wine were in abundance, and so were the people. I ran into Scot Meacham Wood of Tartanscot and many of the designers I had met earlier in the day.

I was able to get alot of great photos which I will be posting this week! My favorite shots are of the designers in their "Natural Habitats." The Showhouse benefits the San Francisco Ballet, and heaven knows that the arts can use a boost right about now. The Showhouse will be open for the next 4 weeks, and I highly recommend it! The designs were so much fun and the designer line-up is fantastic! For more info and the designer line-up, click here.

We ate dinner after the Gala at a restaurant I had not been to before called The Salt House....I also have pictures of that for you. Great atmosphere and food!

After this whirlwind week, I welcomed my daughter back from her Switzerland, Vienna trip on Sunday (which she paid for herself, I am very proud to say!!!) and shuttled my husband off on a fishing trip to Alaska with his dad on Monday. I know I am behind....but I'm working on it!

Lots of pictures tomorrow!!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

To All the Fathers That Hang in There, Especially my Husband

A Father's Day Bouquet collected from my friend's garden for my husband
We wives, and mothers, and kids appreciate all you do for us. Whether it is being there for every concert performance, coaching the soccer team, or squashing the spider above the bed, it matters so much that you are here, and that we can depend on you.
Love you lots!
Have a great one everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Fun

Acapulco Pillows - Summer Chic!

New pillows from Jonathan

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Collections at the Fair

I can't help it. I am an Antique Faire lurker. The Sacramento Antique Faire happens every second Saurday of the month, and it is mere blocks from my house. It would be almost criminal not to attend....wouldn't it?
I am in San Francisco for a couple of days, so I thought I would leave you with a few images of collections from the last Sacramento Antique Faire:

And then there was this wicker bench that was calling my name. I couldn't just ignore it. That would have been rude. So home it came where it is sitting on by back porch.

See you Friday with some great things from San Francisco!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blog Love: The Style Saloniste

In case you haven't already seen this very chic new blog, I wanted to introduce you to The Style Saloniste. Produced by the very gracious and talented author of many of our favorite design books, Diane Dorrans Saeks, this blog will be sure to add more style to your day.

The name "Style Saloniste" brings to mind those Paris Salons where the cultured and creative would gather and exchange provocative ideas and inspiration. I am sure you will add to the exchange!
The blog is full of information about Diane's recent jaunt to Venice, including preperation advice and where to find the perfect Bellini once you arrive.
Be sure to hop on over and give her a warm welcome to blogdom!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Been Working on This:

I have a client who needed a little help pulling an affordable plan together for her little bungalow cottage. She needed things quickly and wanted to be able to buy things herself from retail sources. She did not want to take time to shop at flea markets or antique faires. She just wanted it "done". I think there are alot of people out there who want a pleasing environment, but do not want to spend alot of time putting it together. They have other things that are more important to them. Luckily for us designer types, we LOVE to spend time doing the putting together. And I am all for working within a budget, especially in this economy.

Living Room:
Sofa - Pottery Barn
Chairs - Pottery Barn
Coffee Table - Pottery Barn
Black Chair - Palecek*
Garden Stool - Pottery Barn
Pillows - Crate and Barrel
Side Tables - Crate and Barrel
White Lamp - Crate and Barrel
Green Lamp - Pottery Barn
Mirror - Pottery Barn
Fabric for Drapes: Lulu DK *
Small Cabinet - Owner's

Dining Room:
Large Mirror - Pottery Barn
Dining Table - Ballard Design
Dining Chairs - Palecek*
Sideboard - Bungalow5*
Blue Lamps - Bungalow5*
Pendant Light - Circa Lighting
Art - Oly Studio*
Accessories - Oly Studio*
4 Piece Art - Wisteria

For more information on kd space, click on my website link in the sidebar or just click here.
* These items available through Katie Denham Design

Friday, June 12, 2009

Things Are Coming Along

We have been trying to get the backyard somewhat livable so we can have people over and not be too embarrassed this Summer. For those of you who have been following along with me while we “home improve”, you will remember what our yard looked like just a couple of months ago. If not, you can click here and here to feel my pain. The pain is starting to grow less severe….but we still have a ways to go.

But here are some progress pictures. Above is our Perennial garden. We have mini eco-systems in our yard: some super shady areas and some super sunny areas. This area is perfect for things like Salvia, Mexican Sage, Lamb’s Ear and the like.


We have been planting a few small fruit trees as well. My husband and I are at odds as to whether they will grow very well on the North side of the house. We will see! They are pretty for now! Lots’ of filling in to do.

Tim also finished the railing and filled in the area under the deck with lattice. The “before” is right here:back of house

It really was just a few months ago things looked like this. Oy! We now have a concrete slab that will have to do for now until we have funds to cover it with blue stone. That is the long term plan anyway. We may stain the concrete until that happens.backyard before

We’ve also been filling in the side yard with various ferns like Maiden’s Hair, Monkey Fern, Japanese Fern and Baby Tears. This area is shady almost all day. We could not find stepping stones in the size we wanted, so Tim created a mold from 2x4’s and we made our own. Kids’ hand prints and all. So much better! Again….it is a start. Things need to fill in and we will be adding Creeping Fig to the fence.Side garden This next picture is a “before”. I look out these French Doors everyday while I work…..so it’s nice to see something out there other than dirt!

Next up…..PAINT! It’ll be awhile I am afraid.basement_railing Have a great weekend…..and go plant something!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who Was Martha Anyway?

Martha’s Vineyard . The name brings to mind a few differing images: easy summer days of boating and sunning, weathered grey shingle houses, and crisp white churches. Or perhaps you think of celebrity sightings, as it is also known as the “Hollywood of the East”. Or maybe you just picture giant sharks lurking just off shore. Whatever it is, Martha’s Vineyard evokes summertime.

We were lucky to visit a couple of years ago and stayed with a good friend and his family in a beach house that felt like home. In my last post, I described some of my childhood memories at the beach in Balboa, but I have no pictures that I can find of our own beach house. This house in Martha’s Vineyard comes very close to the feeling of what I grew up with.

Wicker Chairs

These wicker barrel chairs were just like those we had at our house. This photo is of a breezeway between the main house and a later addition which housed two bedrooms and a bath, hence the shingles on the “inside”. This is just the sort of thing that is so charming about houses that grow over time.
Living Room

The Living Room couldn't be any closer to how I remember the film: “The Summer of ‘42”. The vintage rattan, the simple wood furniture pieces and the driftwood lamps all have the most nostalgic feeling. Well lived in and loved. The haphazard papers, the book and magazine piles say “relax, plenty of time to get to this stuff later. Let’s go take a nap on the patio.”


The shells on the mantle, the big fireplace, the slightly tilted seascape painting….all things I remember growing up with and loving.

Rattan Chairs

I loved the built-in bookcase and daybed. Such a perfect place to curl up and read….or play backgammon. All of the furniture was covered in a red toile fabric, casual and so pretty with the Dutch blue accent paint.

Patio at house

Can one really get choked up over grey shingles next to crisp white painted trim? The absolute rightness of this place simply made my heart swell.
I am remembering the wonderful dinners out on this patio: fish stew one night, a clambake another, and fresh grilled fish, salad and blueberry cobbler.

Rowboat This was the house next door. Can you imagine a place any more picturesque? I spent more than a few hours just reading on the beach here. Beach


There are three main towns on Martha’s Vineyard. One of them is called Oak Bluffs, known for it’s charming Queen Anne gingerbread cottages and funky character. The main street is full of bohemian boutiques, tourist shops, ice cream stands and mouthwatering hamburgers places. Oak Bluffs is also home to the oldest running carousel in the country. In August, this conclave of summer cottages is host to an amazing event known as the Illumination Festival. All of the houses deck out their porches with vintage paper lanterns, and all are lit simultaneously with great fanfare. There is a huge band pavilion in the midst of the neighborhood which plays traditional band music all evening. Quite a beautiful spectacle.



Edgartown, in high contrast, is the quintessential New England sea town at it’s picturesque best. Church Steeples, American flags and picket fences around pretty gardens. The shopping is upscale and preppy, but there is definitely something for everyone. This is where “Black Dog” is found. We did buy T-shirts and sweatshirts here….did you doubt it? (I was going to link to the town website, but it was pretty dry. But if you are interested you can click here. Edgartown, you are such a beautiful town! It was very hard to find a link to show you off!)


Grey House

white house

Biking, eating ice cream, relaxing, eating pie, clamming, eating fabulous fish stew, watching stunning fireworks displays, eating lobster, shopping, eating clam chowder, swimming, ….OK, there is a theme here. Martha’s Vineyard is all the things summer is supposed to be.

Oh….Martha….. In 1602, English Explorer Bartholomew Gosnold sailed to a smaller island south of Martha’s Vineyard and named it Martha’s Vineyard, perhaps for his second child who died in infancy. The name eventually transferred to the bigger island. For other tidbits you can click here.
Find a time to come here. It's Bucket List worthy.