Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Party for a Friend

 Milestone birthdays....we all have them. There are some who would like to hide under a blanket and just let them slip by. But I say, why not celebrate who you have become every time a milestone roles around? You have reached a new level of accomplishment, and hopefully, wisdom...reason enough to celebrate, no?

Last weekend, we had my friend Leanne and her beau, John over for a special birthday dinner. Instead of going out, we decided that since we all love to cook, we would share our talents and make a meal together. Leanne and  John participate in a Farm Fresh to You program and they were expecting a delivery of asparagus, beets, and chard. We happen to live two blocks from a wonderful butcher who specializes in locally grown free range meats. Because of Spring's awakening, we all had Lamb on our minds.

Perhaps a book I have been reading lately has been influencing my food choices, so the theme seemed to be going in a "locally grown" direction. Barbara Kingsolver's newest book, Animal Vegetable, Miracle has been on my nightstand, and I cannot help but tell everyone about the stockpile of information I have found in this book! There are recipes and ideas for every taste....and easy too. But perhaps most interesting is all of the information about the affects corporate farming has had on the lives of everyone in our country. (IOW....I recommend the book!)

Anyway....back to the party! Spring is heating up around here, I harvested some blooming Bridal Veil from the garden along with some new fern shoots to create individual arrangements that I put into hand blown glasses I found at Anthropologie a few years ago.

 I set the table with a tablecloth of natural burlap topped with a white tablecloth. A few green glass votive holders, grass green napkins, and my Mexican glass candelabra...simple and Spring fresh!

 Back to the menu......we made a salad of arugula, roasted beets, goat cheese and pine nuts with a blood orange vinaigrette. Grilled lamb with rosemary and garlic was next, accompanied by a mushroom risotto, sauteed Swiss chard with apples and fresh asparagus.........

Lucky for me, my college student was home for Spring Break and threw together her homemade German Chocolate Cake for dessert.....

The wonderful thing about cooking with friends....everyone gets to contribute, we all get to learn new tricks and  techniques from each other, and the conversation is always flowing,  right along with the wine.

Never pass up an opportunity to celebrate with with friends.

Happy Birthday John!

P.S......Don't miss your own opportunity to celebrate by winning a copy of Rizzoli's latest
 design book by designer Kelly Hoppen! 


Get all the scoop HERE!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kelly Hoppen Interiors - A Give Away !

 I must admit, I have an addiction. I am easily led astray from other duties when a new design book crosses my path. I have no will power. I have to sit and open the book. And that is not all. I am moody and uncommunicative until I have had a chance to flip every page. Even then, it takes a huge effort not to flip through again and again.

Any of you out there have this same addiction? I am sorry to say, I am not the one who can help you overcome it. In fact, you may consider me an enabler. I am even going to take it one step further ..... I have a new fix for you right here....and trust me when I say, it is really good.

Rizzoli is just about to release the newest of designer Kelly Hoppen's books:

Kelly Hoppen Interiors, Inspiration and Design Solutions for Stylish, Comfortable Interiors.

The best part?....

Rizzoli and I are partnering again for another

Give Away

to one of you lucky design addicts!

There is a section on kitchens, and Kelly's approach is practical and beautiful....and perfect for entertaining.
 Just a few comments to get those hearts racing.....

Kelly Hoppen is a designer who's aesthetic is luxurious, yet comfortable, simple, and very uniquely beautiful. Kelly has a modern vibe, that seems to work in any environment, rustic country to New York penthouse.

This book is beautifully done....text written by Sarah Stewart-Smith and lots of gorgeous photos by the estimable Mel Yates just to start. The book begins with how to plan your space, then on to advice for all of the finishes for the floors, walls and ceilings and on to lighting.  The organization of the book takes one through a section for each room of a home....Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom.... offering ideas and tips for the design of each space, from lighting and drapes to bedding and tile. The photos illuminate all of the concepts brilliantly. It is, after all, the photos that I look for in a design book, and really.... they do not disappoint.
I love the comfort of this Dining Room, cozy but still airy with a view out the gracious windows.

One of the things I really like about this book is that it speaks to the end user with very practical advise. Here is a little excerpt that, as a designer, I have great appreciation to Kelly for including:

  • You are your own designer, and a "little black book of ideas" will be your safety net for ensuring that you create an environment that best suited your style of living.
  • Study you list of needs against your budget, and accept that you will have to compromise. Each and every one of us has to do so.
  • You cannot run away from the cost. The cost is the cost.
  • Make informed decisions on the basis of your priorities, to find less expensive options and solutions

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is all of the delicious photos. I know that showing just a few of the images from the book is just about the cruelest thing I could do to a true design addict. But one lucky winner will get their hands on a copy soon enough. 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the beauty!

All of the details work so well together here. The window sheers are unexpected with the rustic wood paneling, but the taupe color makes them blend perfectly. The touch of orange on the velvet chair and a half perks up the otherwise tonal color palette.

 So here's the scoop for the Give Away:

1) Hop on over to the Rizzoli website and take a look at all of the design book treasures.
2) Click on the "comment" link at the bottom of this post and leave a comment.
3) Make sure I can contact you by including an email address, or make sure your username has a link to a contact email.
4) The Cut Off date to enter is April 11th at 5:00PM PST. I will announce the winner the next day, April 12th!

Light, bright and fun. I love the green stripe on the bedspread. I would have to wait til kids and dogs are long gone before I could consider the floor draping length of the spread however. But it is dramatic, no?

 And that is it. Easy.

A cozy cocoon of a bedroom. Having the paneled ceiling adds so much to what might have been an otherwise plain room.
 OH! And for the rest of you looking for that design fix, this luscious book will be available in April, so do not do not have to wait for your very own copy!

I like this idea of having different floor finishes here with both the stone and wood. The dark shutters beautifully punctuate the white walls. I could relax in this tub with a glass of wine and a good book for a very long time.
Have a beautiful day and Good Luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

WSJ Getaway

Photo by Simon Upton
It is Friday....the perfect time to think about what I might do this weekend.

It would be grand to get away from all of the rain, take a quick jet across the pond to visit the estate of  Interior Decorator, Nicky Haslam. His estate in the English countryside is a 16th century hunting lodge and is the stuff of dreams and fairy tales.

Rita Konig recently had the pleasure of a grand tour and recounts her adventures in the upcoming April  issue of WSJ magazine HERE

As much as I would like to jet across the globe at a moment's notice, there is reality to consider. It looks like I will  be conjuring a getaway from my armchair where I will be dreaming right alongside this little girl....not such a bad prospect:

I hope you all have your own dreamy weekend planned!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Best of Show! Elaine's Betty
Tim and I took a quick morning trip to the 87th Annual Camellia Show hosted by the Camellia Society of Sacramento a couple of weeks ago. Tim, because Spring has sprung and he is anxious to get the garden in order. Sacramento has a pretty much perfect climate for Camellias and you can find every variety imaginable. Tim was on the hunt for ideas. Me, well.... I will take any opportunity to gaze at the beauty and practice with the camera.

The Show always presents a Best of Show Winner, and the bloom that won was certainly an amazing specimen of floral fabulosity. The winning variety, "Elaine's Betty" was grown by Mr. and Mrs. Don Lesmeister and was presented the Rosalie Lee Memorial Trophy by the Camellia Society of Sacramento. Spectacular.

So....who, you may be wondering, is the next "winner", and what did they win? The beautiful Rizzoli book, Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments was the latest katiedid Give Away....and the winner is Mary! Congratulations Mary! Rizzoli is sending you a copy right away.

But for those of you who didn't win this time, do not despair. I have another great Give Away coming up this week! Rizzoli is graciously giving away another fantastic design book. It is not even on the shelves yet! Designer Kelly Hoppen has just put together another collection of wonderful design ideas in her latest book:

  Kelly Hoppen Interiors, Inspiration and Design Solutions for Stylish, Comfortable Interiors

More winners to look forward to!

Back to the Camellia Show.....I was able to snap some "winning" photos as well....hehe. Here are just a few:

The Camellia Show was held at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium which is listed on the National Historic Register. The National trust for Historic Preservation has named the Memorial Auditorium as one of five winners of "Protecting America's Treasures". So clearly....another winner.

So.....I took a few more pictures. There is nothing quite like playing tourist in your own town on a rainy Sunday morning. It makes what might have been a ho hum day into .........a winner.

All photos copyright by Katie Denham
 (Exception, Walls Book Cover.)

Have a Winner of a day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Charles de Lisle Workshop...the Wonders Never Cease

Villagio Inn + Spa. Yountville, California.
Photo Courtesy CDL Workshop Website
A little while ago, I wrote to you about our stay at the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz. The Dream Inn is a beachy fun boutique hotel owned and operated by the folks of Joie de Vivre Hotels.

What I didn't know at the time of the posting was that one of my favorite San Francisco design teams, the Charles de Lisle Workshop, was responsible for the hip and happy vibe.

The CDL Workshop has been quite busy creating destination get aways that are now on my list of "have to see this in person" places. One of the latest is the Villagio Inn + Spa located in Yountville, California in the heart of the Napa Valley.

Here is a taste of where you might want to plan your own little getaway:

All photos courtesy CDL Workshop

It never hurts to have a plan. Tim and I have an anniversary fast approaching.

In the meantime, hop on over to CDL Workshop to see the creativity. You will be inspired, I promise you.

Also....don't miss the give away for a copy of Walls, The best of Decorative Treatments!


Get all of the scoop HERE


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fresh Finds at the Sacramento Antique Faire

I had the chance to hit the Sacramento Antique Faire last Sunday ( it takes place on the second Sunday of every month. I was expecting rain, but it held off in the morning long enough for us to scan all of the isles and find some treasures.

The thing about antique faires I love is the hunt for that overlooked may not be in perfect condition, but it might be perfect for me. You may remember this blog post where I found the painting in the photo above for $30!!! This time, I came across the beautiful blue worked out pretty well with the painting I think.

I have also been rearranging a few things in the Living Room to lift my spirits during this rain on, rain off season (right now....rain). Bringing out a few of my shells go a long way to get me thinking about summer. There is something about knotted rope that gets me reminiscing about sailing lazily about Balboa Bay. So when I came upon a large green glass bottle surrounded by knotted ropes, I stopped in my tracks. I assumed it would be a big splurge, since many demi-john bottles this size can be upwards of $300 on ebay. There was a slight bit of damage at the neck, so I thought "why not ask the price?".  Can you guess why it ended up in my Living Room?

$20........ That's why. I think I was a little in shock at first.....I almost walked away thinking the damage had significantly lowered it's value. Value, schmalue!!!! The late great Madeline Castaing was never fastidious about a decorative item being perfect...why should I be? $20 was an absolute steal and I love it! 

Here are just a few of the things I did not walk away with, but I dream of houses where they could find a home:

A few antique vendors from the Antique Trove in Roseville ( a half hour drive from Sacramento) made the trip down to the Faire. I am glad they did! I will be visiting the Trove a little more often in the future. (This booth is where I picked up my blue bottle.)

I loved the grey painted glasses case...just the whole display got me thinking. The books on top were a collection of Dickens greats.

I also had fun at this gardening display...the old concrete bird bath, the glass float in the bucket, the lidded metal containers, it all could have come home...but I must restrain myself or I would make the next episode of Hoarders.

I had to leave myself something to hunt for next time!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

APRIL 2011: ELLE DECOR's Annual International Issue

Looks like a good one....but then again, aren't they all?

Here's a little break down for you:
  1. Home of Brazilian designer Sig Bergamin
  2. Tim and Kit Kemp of Firmdale Hotels show us their London Townhouse
  3. Nabil Nahas Beirut apartment
  4. Party tips from Nathan Turner
  5. A focus on Kitchen Islands

Here is a preview video from Editor in Chief, Michael Boodro:

Sweet anticipation.

Don't forget the GIVE AWAY for Rizzoli's newest book:

Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments

Get all of the info HERE

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Great Walls....A Give Away

This photo is in the front of the book and captured me immediately. Designer Tim Wheaton took a simplified version of flowering vines borrowed  from Chinoiserie wallpaper in Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm and made it modern by  repeating pattern in this Park Avenue apartment.
Photo by Tim Street-Porter

I was recently asked by the gracious souls at Rizzoli if a new book by Florence de Dampierre would be something I might like to review. Would I !?! You may all know Florence de Dampierre from her books, Chairs: A History or French Chic: The Art of Decorating Houses. Not only would I absolutely want to include her newest gorgeous book in my resource library to reference for future design projects, I would just like to flip through page after page for general inspiration. The title you may be asking?

Book Cover Photo by Pieter Estersohn
Florence de Dampierre treats us to a journey around the world from the past to the present to show us how we human beings have decorated the walls in our homes. The book is broken down into sections each describing the various types of wall ornamentation used throughout the centuries. She begins with a section on Tapestries, and then continues with the four main parts titled: Mural, Wood Panel, Stencil, and Wallpaper.   
This room by designer Peter Dunham is in his own sitting room....and in my "favorite rooms" file. The use of a tapestry on the wall has been made fresh when put together with the red painted desk and blue glass lamp. The colors draw out the faded colors in the tapestry.
Photo by Tim Street-Porter 
In the section on Murals, we are brought through the Middle Ages and Renaissance... the Fresco Technique is described, as well as Tempura. Oil painting on walls is introduced in the 15th century, and we are treated to wall murals of the Baroque period. Rococo, Neoclassic, Romantic periods are all discussed and illustrated with gorgeous full page photos.

Seventeenth century frescoes adorn the loggia of the Villa Torrigiani outside Lucca. One could wile away the hours here sipping wine and gazing up at the glory.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn 
While we are on the topic of photos, Tim Street-Porter and Pieter Estersohn were instrumental in providing the principal photography. Need I say more? Just in case .... these photographers are regular contributors to numerous shelter magazines such as Elle Decor and AD. Tim Street-Porter has authored and provided the photos for multiple design and architecture books including the Rooms to Inspire series from Rizzoli. 

Le Corbusier painted this modern mural in a friend's Long Island farmhouse.The value of this house must have shot through the roof.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn
Back to the murals....not only are we shown the gorgeous classics from antiquity, but there is modern artistry as well. Twentieth century murals became popular not only in homes but in public spaces as well. Many are represented in Walls.

The next section is titled "Wood Panels". And again we travel though history seeing how paneled walls have evolved through time. In this section you find elaborate paneled libraries, simple American Colonial wood paneling, brilliantly painted fireplace mantels, and subtle wall moldings.

Painted landscapes on wood paneling at Sandemar Manor in Sweden. c. 1680. The colors! Pearl grey and that blue with a touch of green...wonderful.
Photo by Ingalill Snitt
Florence covers faux marble painting, Boiseries and the specific Blanc de Roi: white painted Boiseries. She takes us through rooms of lacquer panels from Chinoiserie to Art Deco. There are gilt leather panels first introduced in the 17th century Islamic world. There is Fretwork, Cutwork and Lattice. There is Wainscoting, Tongue-and-Groove, and Beadboard. But perhaps one of my favorite examples of paneling is this mirrored room with bamboo molding by Howard Brodsky:
Photo by Pieter Estersohn
I had to show you a bit of whimsical faux paneling as well:

This "room" is actually a backdrop for Suzanne Rheinstein's  store Hollyhock and was painted by French painter Paulin Paris.
Photo byTim Street-Porter

The next section of the book is all about stencils. We are not talking about the stencils from the eighties, all flowers and bunnies. We are talking about Egyptian stencils, stencils in La Villa Kerylos in France, stencils by Robert Adams at Osterley Park, from Neoclassic to American Colonial, stencils by Tiffany and Frederic Edwin Church in the Persian style....the list goes on. Her are but a few examples:
The design shop, Mitu, has taken advantage of the existing 1800's mural in this residence in San Miguel, Mexico. I am always captivated when I see such a successful contrast of old and new.
Photo by Tim Street-Porter
Mary McFadden's NYC apartment....gorgeous stenciling by Joseph Shoskovitch.
Photo by Pieter Estersohn
Perhaps my favorite photo in the book....although how can I really pin it down? Martyn Lawrence-Bullard decorated this room with a Moroccan stencil pattern inspired by a fabric.
Photo by Tim Street-Porter
The last section is all about wallpaper. Apparently, wallpaper dates back to the times of the Egyptians, papyrus lining the tombs as far back as 2500 B.C.  But the Chinese are to be credited with what we typically know as wallpaper (200 B.C.). Florence takes us through the ages and through the geography of different papers, from floral to flocked, from Chinese to European, botanicals and is  here in all it's glory.

Botanical Illustrations make an early form of wallpaper at the Carolus Linnacus's Swedish estate. We have seen this imitated often over the years for good reason.
Photo by Ingalill Snitt 

Lat but not least, I want to mention that at the end of each section in the book, there is a page (pages) of helpful hints and tips for the application of all of these wall treatments. A big thank you to Florence for that. I think many of us like to experiment ourselves or at least know a thing or two when discussing a desired application with craftspeople

I am in the process of having a dining room mural painted for a client, and I can tall you this book is an immeasurably helpful source of ideas. If you are interested in the decorative arts, history, or just need a little inspiration, I can say this book will keep you intrigued for ages.

And the best part?

I am so happy to be partnering once again with Rizzoli to let one of you lucky readers in on the adventure of 

Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments
Florence de Dampierre 

Rizzoli will be giving away this beautiful book to one lucky winner. Here are the rules:

1) If you are not already, become a follower of katiedid 
2) Hop on over to the Rizzoli website and let me know what other design books are catching your eye...I always like to hear about a new design book!!
3) Provide your email. That means an email where we can correspond so I can get your mailing address. Without this, we don't know where to send the book...and that would be a complete shame.

The give away will run until Monday, March 21st at 5:00 PM California time. I will pick a winner at random
and announce on the next day.