Friday, February 25, 2011

Quick! Hop over to Swift Street.

 We had such fun during our long weekend in Santa Cruz, I wanted to show you everything! As we were driving to the beach to catch one more sunset, we passed by a newly gentrified warehouse area in Santa Cruz's West Side that has been turned into a gem of a shopping and food experience! Swift Street Courtyard made it's transformation in '07 with new shops being added just this last month. Tim and I are always interested in how industrial areas can be transformed, so we had to stop in and take a look around.

It seems I have Bakery Radar, because Kelly's French Bakery immediately caught my eye. Everything looked scrumptious! They serve breakfast and lunch, but when we happened upon it, it was almost dinner time. We are looking forward to spending more time here next time we are in Santa Cruz!

It seems that Kelly and Mark Sanchez, owners of Kelly's French Bakery were instrumental in the transformation at Swift Street setting the whole thing in motion when they purchased property in 2000. For more info about their start here, click HERE.

 The newest addition to the Swift Street Family is a Charcuterie which opened in February, el Salchichero. There is nothing quite like a local butcher for foodies like us. For all of the scoop be sure to check out their website! Fantastic find, this. 

Next up.....Illuminee, Lighting, Design and Decor  was the perfect little lighting resource for the designer in me. Fun and modern: 
Cameron Marks Boutique was a fun and quirky women's wear and gift boutique. We were there on a Sunday afternoon, so could not open the door. Believe me, I tried. It is on my list for the next trip! It looks like my kind of shopping spree. For more photos of the goodies within, click HERE.

There were plenty of things open for us to explore on a Sunday afternoon however!
 Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Tap Room for one. More than friendly, and what a great way to spend the afternoon! And I love their mantra: Think Organic, Drink Organic.

 Right across the way was the Bonny Doon Wine Tasting Room:

The Harry Potter floating wine bottles throughout the space were just the start of the imaginative interiors. The Magnum bottles used as a window screen were brilliant!
 Wine keg staves were used everywhere, from the water feature to the privacy screening on the booths.
 It looked like a bit of wine was left at the bottom of the bottles that made up this chandelier...nice touch!
 The Cellar Cafe shares the space with the tasting room and is owned and operated by the Bonney Doon team led by "president for life" Randall Grahm and restaurateur David Kinch. For more on the story, hop on over HERE. Loved the space and the casual fun design. Seasonal menus are our favorite kind....so we will be back soon!
For more about the shops at Swift Street Courtyard check out THIS ARTICLE. Somehow we missed the Gin Distillery! Next time.....

 After our long day, it was time to follow the sunset and dream about our next visit to Santa Cruz.
Have a very happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Katie Denham Interiors on Bath Crashers

My plate has been very full of late, and I do apologize for not posting sooner! Last Monday night was the airing of  a Bath Crashers episode which featured a Master Bath I designed for the show. As I mentioned, it was a very interesting learning experience to see how a show like this is put together.

As a designer, I typically have a client who has a budget, a wish list and a particular style in mind. In the case of the Bath Crashers show, the client was not the home owner. I did get the home owner's input, but really the show producers and the host of the show, Matt Muenster, were my clients. And there is no budget. That's right...no money. All materials had to be procured from vendors who were kind enough to donate their products. Another challenge was that, since Bath Crashers is all about the DIY, I was charged with thinking about projects that could be done by the home owners.

So, how does one approach a design when all of the materials and fixtures are to be donated? Well....the design began with the layout of the space, which is par for the course. But when it came time to specify materials, it got a bit more tricky. I would give my ultimate "wish list" to the producers, and they would in turn approach the vendors to see if they would be interested in working with the show. If not, it was on to the next vendor.....and a new tile design for floors, shower walls and counters, and new plumbing fixtures as well. Luckily, I had Toto at the top of my list for providing the toilet (they have excellent products!).....and lo and behold, they had just come out with a new line for the other plumbing fixtures that they were anxious to promote. Hello cool faucets and shower trim! And I have to say, the sinks are gorgeous! Caesarstone was also on my list as a counter top material that is maintenance free (the home owners loved that!), and they came through with the counters. We were almost home! The hardest thing to procure was the flooring and the shower tile. It took several designs until a wonderful company by the name of Jeffrey Court stepped up and provided beautiful marble tile for the floors and a Moroccan patterned glazed mosaic wall tile for the shower. 

One of my very favorite sources for affordable lighting (and lots of other fun things!) is a company called Direct form Mexico. They provided the star lantern which I just love. The pendant lights at the sink was one of the DIY projects I came up with. I started with hurricane lanterns from Restoration Hardware and had the homeowners turn them into pendant lights by wiring them with lighting kit available through any hardware store. They painted the cord black, and the ceiling plates we got through Direct From Mexico.

So, I started with the "after" shots, but what did it look like "before"? If you got to watch the show, you already know, but for those that didn't, this is the best shot I took of what the room looked like:
There were old oak cabinets, no floor due to a recent flood, brass fixtures, lighting and shower enclosure, and that funny little plant shelf in the corner. Oh....and perhaps it's just me, but in the eighties and nineties, there was this feeling that Master Bathrooms needed to be open to the Master Bedroom. I never understood that. If my husband wants to get up and use the bathroom at 4:30 in the morning, and I want to sleep until 6:30.....please give me a door to the bathroom!!! The home owners were thrilled to be getting a new bathroom, and a new door!
After my design was complete on paper, I did a sketch so the home owners could give final approval. I think the final result looked pretty close to my sketch:

It was my favorite part of the show when the host of Bath Crashers, Matt Muenster, unrolled my drawing and showed it to the owners. (My next favorite part was seeing my name first up in the credits!!! Just a little thrill for the day).

So a little behind the scenes peek:
I came on the last day of shooting after demolition, framing, rough plumbing and electrical had already been completed. Tile had also been done. The Master Bedroom was cleared of all furniture and turned into a staging area for contractors and their supplies, as well as the producers, cameramen and sound technicians. I have to say, everyone was so much fun the 12 hour day flew by.
Matt Muenster, the host of the show is there for the days of filming, and as soon as this shoot is done, he is off to the next shoot. Here he is installing the automated mirror glides that reveal the hidden TV:
Meanwhile, counter tops are being completed outside in the driveway area:
The troop from Holmquist Glass were ready and waiting to install the shower glass:
And here they are hard at work:
The wall cabinets were painted by the home owners the previous day and ready to install:
The whole process was filmed all day long, as well as the previous few days....all to be edited down into a half hour show.

I came in to do the final staging and "fluffing" of towels at the end of the day, which turned out to be about 7 or 8 that night. The crew was getting their final shots and then there was the break down and clean up....we were there til the wee hours....a very long day. But we were very well fed, and it was so much fun, I barely noticed. 

The final product with Matt Muenster:
And the happy new Master Bath owners:

The end result turned out to be very fresh and pretty:

A big THANK YOU to the team at Idea Factory, Bath Crashers and the DIY Network for making the experience so much fun! And to all of the contractors and subs who worked so hard to make it all happen.

For more information about this episode and future repeat episodes (just in case you missed it! Hehe) click on over HERE.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Master Bath Design Debut on Bath Crashers

The Vanity Close-up for Bath Crashers, designed by Katie Denham Interiors
The last year has been a very busy one for me and my design studio. The results are coming to fruition, and it has been very exciting!

I had the opportunity to design a Master Bath for Bath Crashers, a DIY Network TV show all about bathroom remodeling, and it airs for the first time tonight at 9:00.

The methods for designing for a residential client and designing for  television show were quite different. Even though there is a real homeowner who gets to enjoy the final result, my real clients were the producers of the Bath Crashers episode. There was a whole different set of criteria to consider, which made for a very interesting experience for me. I will be blogging all about it tomorrow....before and after photos and all!

I hope you all have a chance to catch the show! It will be my first time seeing it as well, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. (Thank goodness my participation is behind the scenes, or I would be a nervous wreck!!!) 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Daytripping: Mission Ranch, Carmel

 Last Sunday, when we were visiting our daughter at UCSC, we decided to take the girls down to the Mission Ranch in Carmel for Sunday brunch. It could not have been a more beautiful day. We got lucky last weekend...it has been stormy all week this week! And we weren't the only lucky ones! Pebble Beach Golf Course was hosting their yearly Celebrity Golf Tournament last weekend as well. There is nothing sorrier than a passel of soggy celebrity golfers. But we had lovely sun all weekend.

The Mission Ranch is a complex of buildings originally built in the 1800's. It had fallen into disrepair and was in danger of being sold and destroyed for a condo complex by developers when former Carmel mayor, Clint Eastwood, rescued the property. Mr. Eastwood restored the complex and it is now a charming seaside resort right next to the beautiful Carmel Mission with views of Point Lobos and the stunning Pacific coastline.

 The Dining Room at the Ranch is cozy with some of the best views of the California Coast one could ask for.  The sheep were grazing....

 And so were we! The brunch buffet was delicious....I tried a bit of...well...everything...almost. The Salmon was amazing and the Eggs Benedict....mmmmm! And then there was the dessert table....don't even start!
I made a new friend to the utter mortification of my teenage daughters. I have had to learn over the last couple of years that I cannot worry whether they think I am a total embarrassment, or I would never leave the house. Sigh....I miss those days when they thought I was the "cool mom". So anyway...the piano bar is a must if you get to the Ranch!

 So on with the tour....as I mentioned, the Mission Ranch is made up an assortment of charming Victorian Farm style buildings lovingly restored and set in the midst of a grove of windswept Cypress Trees....

There are cozy little cottages for relaxing privacy...

After walking around the extensive grounds for a bit, Tim drew my attention to this old green truck....any guesses as to why it is famous? Leave me a comment if you know! I will fill you in if no one can guess!

After brunch, we walked down to the main Carmel Beach. It is very rare to have a picture of Tim and I together...it is usually one or the other of us behind the camera. My younger daughter took this one and so here we are.....Valentine's Day weekend... 
 And this just happened to be there on the beach....
For all the scoop on a very romantic get away at the Mission Ranch, click on over HERE.
Have a beautiful weekend!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

California Dreamin' at the Dream Inn, Santa Cruz

The view from our room at the Dream Inn
 Last weekend, my older daughter's school had a family day, so we were only too happy to take the jaunt down to Santa Cruz to visit her. Any excuse will do. We were able to get a great deal at the Dream Inn, a hotel overlooking the main Santa Cruz Boardwalk Beach. I would venture to say it is the nicest of the hotels in Santa Cruz proper, and I had been wanting to stay here since we first heard about it a couple of years ago.

Dream Inn is owned and operated by Joie de Vivre Hotels a company that specializes in California boutique hotels. Joie de Vivre owns hotels from the Sonoma Valley wine country to San Francisco, Los Angeles to Orange County, all of them fun and unique. One of their newest is the Citizen Hotel right here in my town, Sacramento.  

View of the Santa Cruz Pier from our Room at the Dream Inn

The Dream Inn has a fun young and beachy Mid-Century vibe that incorporates, what else, surfing and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in it's decor. In our room, we had a photo of the Ferris Wheel above orange Panton chairs. The colors are vibrant and suggests good times ahead.
Fun Furnishings in our room
 The rooms all have fantastic views of the ocean, and the sunsets we saw were beautiful! There were lots of goodies on the bar area...snacks, hot chocolate, tea and coffee, and Izze's! Oh....and I have to say, the beds were perhaps the most comfortable hotel beds I have slept in.

Typical Room at the Dream Inn.
Photo courtesy of the Dream Inn Website
 The Lobby area was modern and funky with the very cool washed wood sculpted front desk and FLOR carpet squares. One of the things I appreciated so much was the courtesy and really friendly attitude we found with everyone who worked here, from the front desk to the valets, to the room staff. Bravo!

Front Lobby

Loved the Front Desk!

I was very fond of the rocking chairs!

Relaxed and Fun!! The Rockers and everything else as well.
 We decided that on our last night there, we would check out Aquarius, the hotel's restaurant. It was just as fun as the rest of the hotel with the surf boards on the ceiling in the bar and more Panton chairs facing the beautiful shoreline and Boardwalk views.
Aquarius Bar

Aquarius Bar
 The drinks were flowing and our meals were great. I had perfectly seared Salmon....one must have seafood at the beach of course!
Cocktails and Private Dining Room at Aquarius.
Photo courtesy of Aquarius website
 One of the traditions at Aquarius is a wink to the Boardwalk. Every guest receives fresh cotton candy flavored with Tangerine with the check at the end of the meal. It's those little touches that keep one coming back.

Aquarius Cotton Candy and Dining Room.
Photo courtesy of Aquarius website

If you are planning a trip to Santa Cruz, or anywhere in California for that matter, I would take a look HERE at the bounty provided by Joie de Vivre.

I am thinking the Ventana Inn in Big Sur may be my anniversary get away!!!!