Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1stdibs: Richard Mishaan

House and Garden, August 2004, Photo by Fernando Bengoechea

Rattling around the internet like I do, I stopped in at 1stdibs Introspective Magazine and noticed there is a new article you all might like to see on Richard Mishaan HERE. Mr. Mishaan has been on my design radar for years. I had posted about the Dining Room above HERE back in '07 of a dining room he did in '04. My, how time flies! His designs are still as current as ever.
The article in 1stdibs is full of photos and inside info on the designer-slash-author-slash-furniture designer.
Mr. Mishaan's Modern Luxury is on my list of must haves:

And do stop by Mr. Mishaan's website, Homer Design to see his latest furniture designs.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Exotic from Bonesteel Trout Hall

Bonesteel Trout Hall corner vignette. The colorful rug is balanced with solid fabric on the chair and ottoman. Nail head accents add character. Great curtain details and beautiful plaster walls

I am still flipping through the latest House Beautiful March issue. Are you? I realized that this bathroom is from one of the design firms I like to "watch". There was such a creative use of tile in this spa-like bath. Very beachy and cool. It prompted me to click over to the Bonesteel Trout Hall website to see what they have been up to lately.

House Beautiful, March 2010. Bonesteel Trout Hall Laguna Beach Bathroom. Photo by Victoria Pearson

Some "take me away" images struck me. Known for their fresh and stylish liveable interiors, BTH seems to step outside of their California cool and onto another continent. I like it. Yes, I do.

Bonesteel Trout Hall Moroccan flavor Living Room

Click on over HERE for more.

Beautiful light play in this exotic bathroom. Ceiling tile detailing is brilliant.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sale: Tablescapes

Bali 4-Piece Tablescape - $17.95

Every once in awhile, I stroll over to HSN to see what Nate Berkus is up to. I was over there this morning looking for sheets (and he does have some interesting patterns at the moment. Look HERE). But what really caught my attention was a grouping of "Instant Tablescapes" that were on sale for ridiculous prices.

Normally, I would say put together your own little groupings. But Nate has put together some really handsome combinations, and the prices make it very easy to succumb to the ease of it all!

Ikat Set of Three Photo Frames - $9.00

There are frames in the collections, as well as beautiful boxes, candles and vases. The collections could certainly be broken up and used in any number of ways with your own things.

Westchester 3 Piece Tablescape - $11.97

I know....I am sounding just like the ladies on HSN. No, I do not work for them. I just know a good sale when I see one.

Ahmad 3-Piece Tablescape - $11.97

Even if you don't buy, the combinations from Nate might inspire you to rearrange a few things of your own and get that "Look".

Oh! And this rug! Amazing price! If you remember Joni's post on striped dhurries HERE, you may just be inspired. $59.97 for an 8x10!!!! I will be feeling anxious about buying one the rest of the day, even though I don't have an immediate need...operative word "immediate". I am sure I will think something up by the end of the day.

Woven Striped Rug - $24.90-59.97

Just paying it forward.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Is On Your Dresser?

The dresser in my room

1) An ironstone plate piled wit baubles and earrings, and a Victorian tortoise shell calling card case given to me by my mother to celebrate the opening of my design business. I wake everyday and think of that case and get ready to start my day designing.

2) A wooden box from my father's dresser. Then it was filled with loose change and stray marbles, sewing needles to put buttons back on his Brooks Brothers button down shirts, a thimble, extra buttons, a celluloid tortoise shell shoe horn, extra S and H Green Stamps which he would give to me to fill in my stamp book, rubber bands and extra monopoly pieces.......Now it holds earrings, stray jewelry parts, my daughters' baby teeth and still holds needles, buttons and extra thread to sew on missing buttons.

3) There is an Art Deco Daum vase in aqua and royal blue that takes center stage on top of two cobalt blue lacquer boxes from West Elm. The vase is filled with more jewelry, none very expensive, much of it from Cost Plus where exotic trinkets can be found for pennies.

4) There is a tortoise shell circular box, part of a Victorian dressing table set passed down from my aunt. The hand held mirror has made it's way mysteriously to my daughter's bedroom.

5) Two well used urn vases sit on top of white blocks from West Elm that were meant for wall mounting. The vases were a gift from Mom. They are chipped and cracked, one missing an "ear". But the color is like summer at the beach. They please me to no end.

6) There is a carved ivory colored box that I have had since college. I cannot remember where I got it. But it is a reminder that a person grows and changes. There are nicks and chips, but the box is still here and fills up with little bits and pieces of things collected over the years. A lone earring missing it's mate, pearls that have spilled off of broken strings waiting to be restrung, Indian head coins and 20's era broaches, and Girl Scout patches still waiting to be sewn on my girls' sashes.

7) The mirror is from a garage sale. The gilding is darkened. Some days I think it needs to be freshened up, and some days I like that it is a bit moody and dark. It is hung too high and the glass is too aged to really use it for reflections of I use it to hold pictures. There is one of my grandmother on my Mom's side, and a family picture of my Dad and his siblings. There is a picture of a house in Martha's Vineyard that belongs to the family of my husband's best friend, and a photo of my oldest daughter at the beach when she was just knee high. The mirror is strewn with shell necklaces from Hawaii and one very special necklace given to me by an Aunt who was a very big part of my life. She passed away from breast cancer. Tim and I visited her the day before she passed, and the last thing she had said to us was not to waste time. Life is too short, so hurry up and get married. We did. That was over 20 years ago. She was only 54. The necklace is made from carved ivory beads and has a shell pendant held by tooled silver that hangs right over my heart.

Do you have memories on your dresser? I would love to hear about them, and see a photo! If you send them to me, I would love to post it and tell your stories.

Add some memories to your weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cool: Matthew Studios

Robert Table Lamp by Matthew Studios in Amethyst. Annie Floor Lamp in Natural Python.

We have been avidly watching the Olympics this week, as I am sure many of you have. there is something about the Winter Olympics that I find mesmerizing. It has to do with the snow and the mountains. The scenery is just as seductive as the adrenalin rush of the events themselves.

We were inspired enough to make a couple of trips to the Tahoe basin to ski over the long weekend. The weather was perfect: lots of fresh snow and clear azure skies.

This time of year, the low sun casts it's light across the snow making it glimmer and sparkle. And there are icicles hanging from roof lines refracting rays of light like diamonds.

Frank Albert Table Lamp

When I received a notice this morning with these beautifully icy images of light fixtures from Matthew Studios, they immediately reminded me of the same icicles and crusty snow drifts lit by the afternoon sun we had seen just yesterday.

Frank Albert Table Lamp

Matthew Studios is the brain child of Katherine Wildt O'Brien, product designer and lighting specialist, world traveler, artist, and jewelry aficionado. Her experience spans work with places like Knoll, LucePlan NY, and Baldinger (where she launched collection by such notables as Michael Graves, Alvar Alto and Andre Putman) before she was instrumental in the establishment of Oxygen Lighting.

Curious? To learn more about Katherine and her brilliant background, click on over HERE.

Veronica Table Lamp

Katherine started Matthew Studios in 2008 to provide an outlet for her creative talents, love of nature and extensive experience with lighting. So glad she did!Her beautiful pieces are available to the trade through A. Rudin in NYC, San Francisco and LA, or through retail sources, Vivre and Rare Culture.

Alvey Sconce, and Estelle Sconce

Gavin Table

Katherine Wildt O'Brien with her house bunny, Matthew (the Matthew Studios mascot!) Notice Katherine's very cool malachite dress!

Spring is at the door here in Sacramento, but I just cannot let go of the cold winter beauty just yet. So it is back to the Winter Olympics for me tonight. And I can always catch that icy glimmer over at Matthew Studios.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Have a Beautiful and Heartfelt Valentine's Day!

Beautiful arrangement from Flora Grubb Gardens

Wishing you all a Wonderful Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pretty: Camilla David Textiles

With all of the wild weather out there right now, I think a little glimpse of Spring would be nice! Camilla David has just come out with a line of fabrics, aptly named "Belle Fleur", which is fresh and flowery, perfect for getting my thoughts on warmer weather and Spring blooms.

The fabrics are all natural 100% linen or cotton and perfect for city, country, beach or mountain.

This is how Camilla describes her collection:

"These lush textiles are extremely versatile and durable - they can be the inspirational starting point to help a design scheme blossom, or like a gorgeous bowl of roses, the perfect finishing touch for existing decor. Like a garden full of varied and verdant blooms, this collection offers options for one and all."

Maybe it's the anticipation of Valentine's Day, but I am thinking of flowers and romance today. These pretty prints and embroidered linens are fitting the bill!

Camilla David Textiles are available to the trade through showrooms nationwide such as John Rosselli and Associates in New York and Chicago, J. Lambeth in Washington D.C., Travis and Company in Atlanta, Dean-Warren in Scottsdale, ID Collection in Dallas and Houston and Blake House Associates in Laguna Niguel, CA.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stop Copying Me!

I am having a bit of a dilemma here, and I'd like to ask for your input.
I experienced a bit of a traffic spike the last couple of days, which was a wonderful surprise! Thank you to all of you who come to read katiedid!
I was curious to know if there had been a link to my site that was directing a bit more traffic my way so I could thank whoever had been so nice.
Which brings me to a couple of questions. Technorati used to provide the answers, but doesn't seem to give as much information as it used to.
So I put the question out there to Google. Where else might I check who had linked to the katiedid blog? Up came information directing me to Copyscape. This is a handy little site that lets you know if there are any websites out there lifting copy from your blog or website.
My original quest had been to find out if there had been a helpful link to my blog, but I was curious about Copyscape, so I tried it out. Lo and behold, I found a site that is lifting all of my blog posts directly from my site, pictures and all. They do refer everyone back to my site as the original source, so at first I thought, just more exposure, right? But then, I realized, there is a LARGE amount of advertising on this site. So in essence, I am exerting a huge amount of effort to line someone else's pockets! Sooooo not right!!!
But is it considered plagiarism, since they list katiedid as the source?
Has anyone else experienced this? There are other design bloggers who have their hard work posted on this site and they may not know about it. I certainly didn't!( I will be letting these bloggers know, believe me!) The site even lists my blog in their sidebar as a "news source".
So what does one do? Copyscape does provide quite a bit of advice, but the website in question is owned by someone who has 288 other not likely to respond to my letter to "quit it".
It just occurred to me that since it appears this site automatically uploads all of my blog posts, THIS one will show up too.
So Mr. know who you are....STOP COPYING ME!
Anyone who has any information about this sort of thing, I would love to hear it!! Thanks all!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sweet Hearts

Gumps has so many beautiful Valentine's Day gift ideas! What better than flowers, chocolates and champagne? But there are so many other ideas as well. The bedside clock with pretty red crocodile case, and notice all of the jewelry in the background? I certainly did!

It's almost here, that most sentimental of holidays. And there are plans to make, however big or small, to show those sweethearts in your life that you love them. "Sweetheart". It is one of my favorite words. Especially when it is broken down into it's parts:


  • amiable, kind or gracious, as a person, action, etc.
  • dear, beloved, precious
  • fragrant, perfumed
  • pleasing to the ear, making delicate, pleasant or agreeable sound, musical


  • The center of total personality, esp. with reference to intuition, feeling or emotion
  • The center of emotion
  • Capacity for sympathy, feeling, affection
  • Spirit, courage or enthusiasm

Gumps has beautiful Victorian inspired Valentine's Day cards, sweet little heart shaped chocolate boxes, and lots of goodies behind the candy counter.

I have a few sweethearts in my life: my husband (of course!) and my daughters (naturally), my Mom (always remember your mother!) and my sweet dogs (maybe a little strange, but many of us do love our dogs to distraction!). There is always someone who needs a hug, or some small show of appreciation. This day gives us an opportunity to express it.

So many sweet hearts!

I was in San Francisco last week at Gumps for a book signing for Margaret Russell's wonderful book: Style and Substance. While wandering about, I got so many Valentine's Day ideas!!! Really, there were so many sweet hearts, I was all smiles.

Loved these heart cookies! Perfect for any sweetheart.

What is so nice about Gumps is that they truly think of everything. I found something for everyone on my sweetheart list!

Beautiful heart shaped soaps wrapped in black and white toile paper, or red,or white, from Gianna Rose Atelier.

Rose real!!

I had thought these flowers were brought in fresh for the book signing event. But upon closer inspection realized they were imitation! I was so fooled. I am not fond of faux flowers, but these looked so authentic, I would definitely change my mind. The roses in the pictures above were also faux. Hard to believe!

These peonies, also faux. They really did look so real! Beautiful soap gifts with their own bamboo stands. So pretty.

Love Sonnets, Bronze "key to my heart" paperweight, and more chocolate hearts.

Sweet note cards, and more bronze hearts pierced with Cupid's arrow. In the background, Murano glass hearts and crocodile picture frames (put in a picture of your sweetheart and you!)

Check out the Gumps website HERE for more information and pricing. There are lots more ideas there too!

Many may not think they have a sweetheart for a Valentine. But I say, just show someone, anyone, that you love, or simply like, them. It does not have to be a romantic love. Remember when you were in 1st grade and everyone gave each other those funny little boxed valentine's cards with cartoon characters? My girls decorated shoe boxes to take to school with slots cut out of the top to put in their cards and heart-shaped lollipops. What smiles and goods feelings there were, all kept in a simple shoebox. Everyone smiles when they are given a little something that shows someone cares.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

It's Not All That Black and White

Simple black and white slip covered parsons style chairs mix with colorful oil painting by James Brown, blue and white Chinese porcelains, and a "gold" fish sculpture by Francois-Xavier Lallanne, all atop a beautiful black and white marble top table. Photo by Joel Laiter

"Black and White". A reference to the lack of middle ground, or any shades of grey (or any other color of the rainbow) that might muddle things up....visually, the highest possible contrast. Black and white thinking is referred to as a "false dichotomy", a situation where only two options are offered, when in fact, many more choices are available.

Food for thought in the world of design. Some of the best interior spaces begin with the classic palette of black and white. I was particularly drawn to a few in the recent Veranda (March 2010) and Elle Decor (Jan., Feb. 2010). The Paris apartment of David Gieseman in Veranda is an example of what, at first glance, appears to be black and white. But if one studies this beautiful home, one finds not only splashes of color, but also a definite democracy of style. No black and white thinking here. Here you will find casual canvas slipcovers mixed with lacquer and gilt bombe Regence chests, Jean-Michel Frank stools and lamps, Louis XVI chairs, Hermes throws, African art and fabrics, and Chinese blue and white porcelain, with a few Picasso's thrown in for good measure.

Black and white backdrop to warm wood tones, gilded frames, colorful art and books, and blue and white porcelain. I love the simple slip covered chairs next to the Regence chest and black linen chaise. And, that Jean-Michel Frank stool again! I am quite smitten. Photo by Joel Laiter.

This mixture of a classic backdrop for the collections of life's experiences appeals to me above any other kind of space. One might begin with preconceived notions about how the world should be. One might start a room with white walls, a black chest of drawers, some white chairs,a black and white rug. But what brings richness, interest, character, "personality" is the addition of meaningful color.....those moments that change one's view from simple black and white to an understanding that life is full of nuance.

Black and white Hermes throw, gold vintage swing-arm lamps, Decanter by Van Day Truex for Baccarat, Kangxi porcelain. Photo by Joel Laiter.

Perhaps I am drawn to this particular apartment because it is clear the owner has a point of view, but it is also clear he is open to discussion. He has collected experiences that have led to a colorful life. He has not copied a particular style. He has made his own. And it is beautifully represented.

The black and white kitchen broken is up with the rich woods and the exclamation points of red knobs on the Wolf range. French concrete floor tiles add a hint of Escher. Photo by Eric Piasecki.

By now, you have undoubtedly had the pleasure of seeing the January, February Elle Decor. (And if not, do!!) Elle Decor never disappoints, and this home by Steven Gambrel is no exception to that rule. I loved the basically black and white (with shades of grey) palette of the home, but Steven throws in emerald, malachite, high-gloss forest green, punches of lipstick red along with natural warm tones, livening up spaces with his masterful use of color.

I like everything about this hall...the white bead board walls, the sisal carpet, the shiny black doors with their nickel doorknobs, the black picture lights, and, of course, the red frames! Photo by Eric Piasecki.

I am always on the lookout for really great ways to display family photos. It is not always easy. I have taken so many photos as my girls have grown, displaying them in nooks and crannies. But the "designer" in me had a hard time finding a good way to display the larger black and white portraits in an artful way. I have many young clients that are looking for places to display their children's photos, and it can definitely be a challenge. I think Steven Gambrel did a brilliant job here. The photos are united with simple red frames that demand your attention in the otherwise classic black and white hall.

Hallways are places where one gets from "here" to "there". And these photos chronicle our "here" to "there" lives. It is nice to be able to stop along the way and remember where we have been. This hallway might not have been quite so extraordinary without them. Another example of how color, and the personal, can punctuate.

In the same issue of Elle Decor is the home of Photo Stylist, Juan Carlos Garcia-Lavin. Self described as a die-hard minimalist, Juan Carlos has mellowed to a softer style that is not quite so strict....not quite so "black and white". This home is another example of a black and white base that has "lived" itself into not only additions of color, but also accumulated styles.

Living Room of Juan Carlos Garcia-Lavin...modern black and white, but not sterile. It is fun, warm and diverse. Photo by Simon Upton.

The serious modernism is tempered by the warm, organic wood tones and touches of green....not to mention the plethora of colorful art throughout the spaces (check out the full article!!)

Simple and modern does not have to mean cold and boring. The addition of the wood tones of the floors and the organic sculpture, the softer "black" Benjamin Moore Twilight Zone wall, art and books "warmify" the space. Photo by Simon Upton.

Texture and color combine here to add life to this apartment. But it is not just any color and texture. It is not color from your local design chain store. It is added through collection of things that have meaning for the owner. The objects are interesting because they tell a story of a life. They are not generic. They are quite thoughtful, from a simple glass vessel filled with driftwood and found river rocks, to the large collection of diverse art.

The Master Bedroom is a masterful mix of black and white with art adding color. Such a great mix of objects and textures. Photo by Simon Upton.

The point remains, life is not black and white. It is an accumulation of experiences, different for everyone. The best interior spaces reflect that. They should evolve, grow and change, as we do. They should reveal who we are and what we care about. That means a diversity of styles, punctuations of color, and collections of memories.

So bring in the artful branch from your front yard and the souvenirs of your travels. Keep the books and the photos and the art collected through the years. Say "yes" when a family member passes down a beautiful antique. But don't be afraid to shed "things" that have lost their meaning for you or are simply not a good fit. You get to decide. That's the beauty of it.

The options are endless.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Local Color: Fleuri

Linen covered chair, garden statue and flowers make for a very pretty arrangement.

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and visions of cherubs, hearts and flowers are dancing in the heads of romantics everywhere.

There is a shop in Sacramento (technically, Carmichael) called Fleuri that embodies the idea of romantic living. Antiques, and new things, furniture and gifts, vintage linen and burlap ribbons, beautiful accessories and whimsical table settings...they all are put together with a European flair.

I was shopping there last week, and thought you might like a glimpse.

Wicker may be making a big comeback! Lovely wicker and glass vase.

Trophies and Tartan Plaid, and a very nice armoire!

Such a handsome collection. Old silver, leather bound books...

White on White, always pretty and fresh!

Lots of flour sack pillows. Lovely tea table with mirrored top.

Such a romantic bed!

Tea....or sherry?

Custom made table with reclaimed lumber and Galvanized top. I may have to do this for my patio table!

More pillows and accessories, pretty linen lamp shade "slip".

Beautiful settee.

(A side note....the floors look like real wood, but were in fact some sort of sheet goods! I didn't even notice until I walked on it and it was sort of spongy! Interesting idea for a retail space floor!)

Wonderful vintage linens.

More nice Linen covered chairs and small treasures.

Garden Party Table. I loved the marble table! And the old ironstone mixed with new pieces.

Hotel Silver....who can resist?

A garden vignette with wicker and antlers.

Old work table topped with tole lamps with linen shades.

Burlap ribbon ....wonderful!

Showstopping Victorian styled birdcage.

Velvet tufted settee.

Anyone looking for a little romance just might want to stop into Fleuri.

Ask to be put on their mailing list for upcoming Flea Market sales in the parking lot with many other vendors as well!


7301 Fair Oaks Blvd.

Carmichael, CA