Friday, October 29, 2010

A Day in the Life

4:45AM - Faint stirring when I hear Tim get up for his morning exercise routine. Still think he is crazy to get up so early.
6:00AM  Faint stirring when I hear Tim get in the shower.
6:30AM  Our Australian Shepherd jumps on the bed for a morning cuddle. I feel wet dog hair and turn on the light and see muddy paw prints all over the bed. March downstairs to put dog outside. Scold Tim for letting dog in when she is all muddy.

She looks so innocent when she is asleep, doesn't she?
6:45AM Throw on clothes and tell daughter  to hurry up or she will be late for school.
7:00AM Warm up car to take daughter to school.
7:15AM Back home, shower and dress.
7:30AM Eat breakfast and read the paper...."Local Mall Burns Down!" Oh no! Were Crate and Barrel, PB and Restoration affected?
8:15AM Check emails and respond to clients. Yes, we can get marble remnant for Powder Room Counter.
8:45AM Strip bed and put muddy sheets and duvet in the laundry.
9:00AM Take dogs to the groomer for a has been too long anyway.
9:30AM Make plan for the day. Check Voicemail: "You too can benefit from Government Mortgage Bailout", Very excited client message about her kitchen that I designed published in Sacramento magazine!
10:00 AM Blog Post about One King's Lane Tag Sale
10:30 AM Order bed from Serena and Lily for Client's Master Bedroom. Order Kravet Windsor Smith Fabric for Pillows....same client.

Meanwhile, Tim is painting new wall in basement added to make room for Mom moving in.
Disaster....but work is calling
 11:00 AM Put together design for another client's Master Bedroom: furniture additions, lighting, area rug, bedding.
11:30AM SureWest guy comes to put in new TV hook up for Mom's new space. He also moves my computer hook up to "my" side of the basement.
1:00PM Work on tile re-selection for episode of Bath Crashers (DIY Network) that I am designing. What I thought would be a pretty quick process...not so quick.
1:30PM Start putting presentation together for Client Master Bedroom I was working on earlier. Keep researching for more items.
3:30PM Eat "Linner"....grilled cheese and chicken and stars....sometimes comfort food is the only way to go.
4:00PM Check emails
4:30PM Move office furniture, equipment and supplies to other side of basement into my "new" office. This may take awhile!

New Wall with Paint!

Moving Office to This Side of the Wall...still have a lot to do, but getting there! I am back in action.
4:45PM Pick up clean dogs from groomer.
5:15PM Keep on moving office stuff....hours more to go.
8:30PM Pay Per View movie: "Agora" about 4th century Greek woman philosopher Hypatia in Alexandria. Watched it while moving office. Not a bad rent! I had never heard of Hypatia before and never would have known women were revered as teachers in this era.
10:00PM pick up daughter from friends' house.
10:30PM Take a break and finish watching movie.
11:00PM Bed and read a bit of my book: "Velva Jean Learns to Drive". Velva Jean knew who Hypatia I am very glad I saw that movie! Very eerie to have Hypatia show up in two places in one day.
11:30PM Fell asleep and dreamed about little elves wearing togas finishing my office in the middle of the night....sigh...if only....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Armchair Traveling to Chateau Domingue

 Chateau just sounds romantic, doesn't it? I was just in a mood for a little getaway. I am too busy to go anywhere at the moment, but I can travel in my mind with a little help from the loveliness on the Chateau Domingue website.
 A shop and warehouse in Houston TX, Chateau holds a treasure trove of reclaimed and architectural elements and "monumental" antiques. One of the premier importers in the US in fact.
 With a 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse, you can find just about anything here from French limestone flooring, gates and doors, lighting, and furniture, to garden elements, reclaimed architectural elements and art.  
 Owner, Ruth Gay, travels far and wide to bring the treasures home, and we all are the beneficiaries.
 So if you are in the mood for a little mind traveling, I cannot think of a better way to spend some time. Chateau Domingue is only a CLICK away.
Who just may find a souvenir or two you cannot leave without!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

 With all of the Fall displays out there on all of the blogs, we were inspired to get over to a pumpkin patch I had heard about on the levee along the Sacramento River. Dave's Pumpkin Patch is the place to find all of the exotic pumpkin varieties I was looking for: the Fairy Tale pumpkins, ghostly grey pumpkins, white pumpkins, big, small and everywhere in between, Dave has them. 

We only had Sunday to make it to the Pumpkin we decided to go rain or shine. was rain.
 There was a down side...most of the fun stuff, like the Hay Maze...was a bit flooded.
 And the Hay Pyramid was surrounded by mud.
 But on the upside, we had the place to ourselves! We found all of the pumpkins we could ever want, and we had the full attention and the gratitude of owner Dave and his sweet kids. There was free apple cider, hot chocolate and popcorn for all of us, and I can't be sure, but I think we got a bit of a discount on the pumpkins for weathering the storm (they were awfully well priced!!!).

Perhaps we were a bit, well, low on good sense. Even the livestock knew enough to get out of the rain:
But I prefer to call it a bit of an adventure. One we will more likely remember.

Dave is the best...and there will be sunshine this weekend I hear. So you can expect that the pumpkin cannon will be in operation, there will be carnival games to play, pig races, pony rides and the fields are still full of pick 'em yourself pumpkins. Hop on over!

Have you gotten your pumpkins yet?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Davis in Davis

House Exterior
I have a good friend who is a designer....which is only natural as we have a lot in common. We can talk design, love going to home tours, antique shops, furniture shops. When we go to the movies, we always notice the sets. When we drive we notice the architecture around us. We can ask each other's advice on our own homes. Perhaps you have friends like this? friend Leanne Davis, recently worked with a client in the town of Davis, home of UC Davis, which is about a 20 minute drive from Sacramento. Her client, David Rocke (a Distinguished Professor at UCD), was so happy with the results, he graciously hosted a house warming party for friends and neighbors about week ago. Leanne and I drove over a bit early so I could snap a few pictures.
Living Room
 The house is newly built by Eric Roe of Red Door Building Company ( The style is a contemporary take on a South Western home.

Leanne took this cue from the desert and created a soft desert palette of sand, pale turquoisese, rust and other sunset colors.

Dining Room

 Leanne found some wonderful woven leather topped metal tables by Kolkka for the Family Room which she put together with leather arm chairs creating a warm and cozy space. I love the rusty red color on the walls!

Family Room

Family Room Detail

 Leanne designed a custom bedspread for the Master Bedroom in a rust tinted brown and silver stripe. The mirror also picked up on the silver we typically associate with desert jewelry.
Master Bedroom
 Leanne specializes in color consulting and shopping at retail sources with clients for furniture and accessories. You may even recognize some of those sources here: Crate and Barrel, and West Elm (a couple of my favorites!)
Leanne Davis and David Rocke
      David was a wonderful host and Leanne helped provide a beautiful environment for the house warming party. It was only seconds later that everyone arrived, and we all ate, drank and made merry. And of course everyone toasted the host and designer!

House Warming Party, food...delicious, guests...lovely!
If you are interested in homes in the Davis area, look up Realtor Claire Black Slotten. She was the realtor in this case and knows Davis like the back of her hand.

So, that is my tale of Davis in Davis. I think Leanne will be doing more work here very soon.

(To contact Leanne, you can email her at

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sale-ing Lessons: The Wind is Blowing Me Toward One Kings Lane

The feel of the fresh wind in your face and salt air on your tongue....there is nothing quite like the exhilaration of sailing out on the high seas. Unless we are talking about a One Kings Lane Tag type of sailing....equally as exhilarating, but in a whole different way. This Saturday, One Kings Lane treats us to not one, but two sales that have me ready to untie my boat from the dock and make ready for the starting line. 

Doyenne of design, Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks is opening up her treasure chest of beautiful fabrics, and one of a kind furniture and accessories to all of us tomorrow. You may be familiar with her endless talent, but if you need a refresher, you can click on over HERE, HERE and HERE
Beautiful Living Room by Suzanne Tucker
 Grace, elegance and beauty.... that is what you can expect from Suzanne Tucker in the tag sale tomorrow.

There is another sale starting tomorrow as well! LA based designer, Hillary Thomas will be offering furniture, lighting and accessories from her gorgeous cache. Hillary's style  is self described as retro-chic with a modern eclectic bohemian just describe it a freshly fantastic!

A little info on Hillary:

And a little eye feast:

Designs by Hillary Thomas
So...will I be seeing you in the race tomorrow? I may be yelling "starboard" if the race gets close.

May the wind be in your sails tomorrow morning!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Book: Peter Pennoyer Architects

Come right in! the new book by Vendome Press, Peter Pennoyer Architects. Hidden door in the House on Penobscot Bay, photo by Jonathan Wallen
When asked recently if I would like a copy of the new book Peter Pennoyer Architects to review, I responded in less than a second, "YOU BET!". I am a huge proponent of traditional architecture that responds to local historical vernaculars. Perhaps that is why I find myself living in a home built in 1911. When I learned that Peter Pennoyer and his architectural team which includes co-author Ann Walker had put together a book, I was thrilled. Before the book came, I was anticipating holding this beautiful volume curled up on the sofa with a fire in the fireplace, a cup of chai tea close at hand. The cover of the book sets the scene with a view of Drumlin Hall which sits atop miniature rolling hills (known as "drumlins" formed by glacial deposits!)surrounded by beautiful Fall Color and located in Duchess County in the Hudson Valley.

Book Cover, Drumlin Hall, photo by Jonathan Wallen

When the book arrived, it was everything I had hoped. Before you even get to the title page, there are stunning two page full bleed photographs of graceful interiors, awe inspiring stairwells and shingle style country homes gracing the pages. Next, a forward by Robert Stern, one of my personal architectural heroes. Robert Stern talks about how Peter Pennoyer was a student of his at Columbia University, as well as an intern and designer in Stern's fledgling office later on. You can clearly see Stern's influence in Pennoyer's work.
House on Penobscot Bay, photo by Jonathan Wallen

Peter Pennoyer has been a leader in advocating for the relevance of classical architecture in today's world. He is the chairman of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America, and has  developed his devotion to tradition over a lengthy and notable career.

Just one of the many staircases to be found in this book. The Penobscot Bay House. Photo by Jonathan Wallen

This book features twenty projects ranging from New York Apartments to Townhouses, to Country Homes across the country. You will see a grand Park Avenue apartment, San Francisco and Lenox Hill Townhouses, and homes on the beach, on Penobscot Bay, in the Adirondacks in the Saint Lucia Mountain Range and the Hudson Bay area. You will also find the beautiful architectural renderings of the homes done in a style reminiscent of historical American folk art, as well as architectural plans of the homes. 

Adirondack Camp, photo by Jonathan Wallen
Beaux Arts Town House Staircase, Photo by Jonathen Wallen
The wonderful thing about this book is not only the breadth of work, but the collaborative efforts between architects and designers such as Alexandra Stoddard, Katie Ridder, Victoria Hagan, Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper and Co., Eric Cohler, Paul Wiseman and Thomas Jayne (just to name a few!). There are as many, if not more, beautiful interiors as there are architectural masterpieces to be seen.
There is also a venerable cast of architects working on the projects: Gregory Gillmartin, the Director of Design at Peter Pennoyer Architects, is just one of many. There are renovations of homes originally designed by C.H.P Gilbert, York and Sawyer and more.
Fifth Avenue Triplex View, Photo by Scott Francis
I have only just started to delve into this book (I am still in the midst of the Townhouses section), and it is the companion on my nightstand, but I can tell you the introduction by Robert Stern and the writing style of Anne Walker makes for great reading. The book is in sections titled: Apartments, Townhouses and Country Houses. I must admit, I have been grazing through all of the sections...but am trying to stay focused. It is difficult what with all of the gorgeous photos blazing off every page! 

Park Avenue Apartment, Photo by Chrisopher Mason

Keep in mind, these are but a few of the images awaiting. There are over 200 pages to look forward to. There is also a very handy summary of projects and credits at the back of the book.

So without further ado, I leave you to this feast for the eyes.
San Francisco House, Photo by Scott Francis
East River Apartment, Photo by Scott Francis

Upper East Side Town House Kitchen, Photo by Eric Piasecki
Park Avenue Apartment Kitchen, Photo by Christopher Mason 

East Side Duplex Kitchen, photo by Scott Francis
You can  hop on over to see another review of Peter Pennoyer Architects by Stefan Hurray of Architectdesign Blog HERE. (BTW....Stefan was just named one of Fox News top ten design blogs....Congrats Stefan!!)

Truly a wonderful addition to any library, design or otherwise, I highly recommend Peter Pennoyer Architects. I am off to the fire lit couch to keep reading now....

(Many thanks to Vendome Press for the copy of this book!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changing Things Up for Fall

 Things have been very busy this Fall, in a very good way! I am working hard with clients who are wonderful, and I will have lots to report on that front in weeks to come!

But it was time to take a little break last night, and my daughter and I had some fun arranging some little pumpkins and gourds on our front room table. The light was not the best, but you get the idea. A few wicker bottles, ghostly white pumpkins, and an antler or two, with the best pumpkin taking pride of place under a glass cloche.
I had picked up the pumpkins while grocery shopping, but when I saw Grant Gibson's front stoop display HERE, I realized I have to stop and smell the corn husks.....that is, take a bit of a break from the weekend work hours and head over to one of the many local pumpkin patches with the family to get some bigger pumpkins!

After all, Fall is my favorite is time to enjoy it!

 Are you decorating for Fall?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crocker Museum's New Gwathmey Siegel Addition


The Original Crocker Art Museum
Last Sunday, my mom and I, along with thousands of other art enthusiasts, decided we had to be a part of the opening day of the Crocker Art Museum's new addition. We have always known the Crocker in it's beautifully historic Victorian incarnation, having been donated to the City of Sacramento and the California Museum Association by Margaret Crocker in 1885.

Original Crocker Art Museum Entrance
  On 10.10.10, the new and very modern addition designed by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates was officially opened to the public. And what an opening! As we approached the building (I had been following progress for months prior to seeing it finished) there was a definite air of celebration. Parked on the street and in the park in front of the museum was a huge collection of cars on display. Not just any cars. These were from the Art Cars Fest 2010.These are cars decorated by artists who use them in their daily lives. I will have more on them later!

The Marriage of Original Craocker and the new Expansion by Gwathmey Siegel
The new building is very modern and creates a beautiful counterpoint to the Victorian tradition. For much more information about the design and process, click HERE.

New Expansion by Gwathmey Siegal
As soon as we entered, we were sold. The spaces soared, as did our spirits. I cannot tell you how we felt. A feeling of civic pride, sure, but also a feeling of excitement and anticipation that we were going to be able to have access to this fantastic new facility.

New Entry look out to the Original Crocker
We noticed how many volunteers were on hand to answer questions and direct traffic flow. Everyone was knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic to be a part of something grand. Their enthusiasm is quite catching. Both my mom and I are planning to become much more involved with the museum.

Kamehameha by Deborah Butterfield, with a very helpful docent
So let me show you around a little... This is the main entry level. Already we are seeing monumental art....

Pacific Ocean, by Jennifer Bartlett, "84
 And the space is awesome (to quote a teenager that happened to be standing near us). I discovered that the cafe in the Museum is under the direction of one of my favorite Sacramento restaurateurs, Patrick Mulvaney, owner of Mulvaney's Building and Loan. More info about the cafe HERE. I will be back.....often.

Crocker Art Museum Hall and Cafe Seating

We were advised to head up to the third floor, the main exhibit halls, before they became too up we went....

....and in the stair well discovered this ethereal computer animated projection entitled Rapunzel by Jennifer Steinkamp

Rapunzel#10 by Jennifer Steinkam

Rapunzel just got us in the mood for more. The third floor is where the main exhibition galleries are located. We were lucky to see a couple of the galleries full of art that has been promised to the museum by generous donors. I was not able to take pictures here, but there was plenty more to see in the may other gallery spaces....

Cold and Cloudy Today, Tonight and Tomorrow Sam Richardson
This is an example of the spaces allotted to contemporary art....The skylights you see are the sawtooth design on the building exterior. They are reminiscent of the old factories in the Sacramento area....

New Gallery Space

 I have included just some of the pieces that stopped me in my tracks. There is so much to see that we are going to be coming back throughout the year.

Portrait of My Father by Stephen J. Kaltenback

Untitled (Disasters of War 10) by Gettfried Helnwein
Large spaces for large art

Birth of Cain by Troy Dalton
There are also new gallery spaces dedicated to historical California art...

New California Art Gallery Space
 They were buzzing with happy art enthusiasts....

More Gallery Space

California Gallery, Yosemite
This photo is where the new is married to the old. It was not intentional in my photo, but the white walls of the new wing looks almost heavenly as it leads a patron into the gracious tradition of the original building.....
Entering the Original Crocker
Not only did the Crocker treat us to an uplifting new addition to the Sacramento Cultural scene with the museum opening, they also reminded us there is a wealth of culture in the arts that are just as important. The Grand Opening had dancers from Mexico..... 
And India.....

And there was inspiring music...
Sacramento Youth Symphony
 I wish that I could have stayed longer, but other commitments were calling....and we promised ourselves we would be back often.

On the way out, I stopped into the Museum gift shop and saw a couple of things to add to my Holiday wish list....

The Crocker Art Museum Collection, Unveiled

The Vase Unveiled, The Sidney Swidler Collection of the Contemporary Vessel (This is one of the exhibits we did not have time to see...we are making it back to the Museum next week!)
I hope you had a memorable 10.10.10!