Thursday, April 28, 2011

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2011

Every Spring, San Francisco calls to me. The weather is clearing from the Winter doldrums and the fog of Summer has not yet arrived. The city is at its finest, and what better time to showcase the fresh talent of the San Francisco design community?

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase opens this weekend on April 30th and runs through May 30th. There will be a full month of one might consider attending more than once! I never seem to catch all of the creative details the first time around. The house is located in the prestigious Pacific Heights area. A brick Italianate villa estate, the home was built in 1927 and designed by architects of Villa Montalvo in Saratoga.

This year, the designer line up is fantastic. I was able to see a preview of the house yesterday and let me  say, it is fantastic! I will give you a peek little by little during the next month just to whet your design appetite!

First up, 

The Living Room
designed by
Navarra Design, Inc.

Kathleen Navarra, proprietress of Navarra Design created this stunning space. There is a nod to the feminine with the unexpected dollop of fuchsia pink and dressmaker tailoring, but the room is also fit for the King of the house as well. The room is anchored with a simple grey natural woven area rug. It almost looks like the grey flannel of a man's suit. The scaling of the furniture is generous, while also being very elegant.

One of my favorite elements  was the gorgeous cast bronze, Swarovski crystal studded Twig chandelier by Jonathan Browning available through the De Souza Hughes Showroom in San Francisco. Kathleen centered the chandelier in a ceiling stenciled in gold leaf on a copper-y red field.

Kathleen put together a really wonderful mix of things, spanning time and the globe.  A large scale portrait of Marchesa Balbi oversees the room where a modern bronze candelabra sits atop a custom white and steel coffee table. Peeking out from underneath are a pair of imported carved footstools. Details, like the small cigarette table next to the sofa, the shark skin topped accent table next to the fuchsia velvet ottoman trimmed in grosgrain ribbon, and the antique mirrored fireplace screen collectively add layers of inspiration. Everywhere I looked there was another treat for my eyes.  

Across the room was a table surrounded with whimsical carved armchairs covered in a velvet stripe and a settee that charmed me to no end. It was upholstered in a grassy green velvet on the tufted seat, and the back was upholstered in a snakeskin embossed fuchsia velvet.

 And then there were the chests on either side of the window, the bronze lamps, the art!! There was so much to take in and way too little time. I may have to make another visit!
The Lovely Kathleen Navarra

If you are interested in more detail or any item in particular, you can contact Navarra Design, Inc. HERE.

For all of the information you need to attend this year's San Francisco Decorator Showcase please click on over HERE

All proceeds go to benefit the San Francisco University High School financial aid program.


The Dining Room designed by dapper designer and blogging buddy, 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Curtis Park Home Tour: A Kitchen by KDI, a Peek

 Spring means a flurry of house tours, decorator showcase tours and garden tours....all of which I plan to attend this year! First up this season is a home tour in my own neighborhood: The Curtis Park Home Tour. My own home was on the tour a few years ago right after I had finished my kitchen remodel.

This year I have another kitchen on the tour! Katie Denham Interiors designed a new kitchen for a young family here in Curtis Park, and they decided to put the home on the tour. I thought you might like a little peek! I still have some staging to do for the event, which is this Saturday.
I wish I had better "before" pictures for you because we reconfigured the space while staying within the original footprint of the house. There was a doorway and small hall leading to the Laundry room which I closed off to allow a spot for the new refrigerator. I opened up a new doorway through the eating nook with a French Pocket door. There used to be a doorway between the kitchen and nook, which I opened up making the space much more open, and the kitchen larger as well. 

The Curtis Park Home Tour is celebrating its Silver Anniversary this year. It has been an ongoing tradition for 25 years. Tim and I moved to the neighborhood 19 years ago this month, right before the birth of our oldest daughter Hannah. We had a little 3 bedroom house that we fixed up before moving to the house we live in now...which we are still fixing up! We waited a few years before we found another house in Curtis Park to move into. By that time we had aother daughter and one was time to to find a bigger house....but moving away from this wonderful neighborhood with its historic elm trees and huge Sycamores, the parks, the houses built from the 1910's through the 30's and 40's was out of the question. So waited patiently.

Curtis Park is a neighborhood like no other. There is a sense of community you will find in very few other places. There is a strong tendency toward historical preservation, and this is reflected in the Home Tour. There will be vintage cars parked along the route, and a talk given about the history of the neighborhood. The houses on the tour reflect the architectural history of the neighborhood. The tour is less about decor, and more about "home" and what it means to the generous neighbors who have leant thier houses to the tour this year.

I think the thing I look forward to most about the tour is getting out in the beautiful Spring weather and seeing all of my neighbors and friends.

For a great article about the Curtis Park Home and Garden Tour by the Sacramento Bee, Click HERE.

For More Information and Online Ticket Sales, click HERE

Monday, April 25, 2011

Getting Cubed in Laguna, California

Green Cube Store in Laguna Beach emphasizes re-use and sustainability, all done with creativity and an edgy beauty. 
 As you know, we just got back from a So Cal Spring Break. We stayed in Laguna Beach, one of my favorite places in California....gorgeous beaches, beautiful hills, great shopping and restaurants, home of the Pageant of the Masters (which we may be heading back to see this summer!) is a perfect place to get away.

We fit a lot into this little break, and shopping was high on my list! Tim was very indulgent because he had a day of golf with the guys while my daughter and I went to Disneyland the first day we got to town. The next day we hit Laguna to do a little shopping, since the weather was not as warm for the beach as we had hoped. 

 There are lots of great shops for fashion in Laguna, (and my daughter was happy as a clam to find one boutique where everything was $15 or less.)

 And then I found "my" shop......actually Tim found it while my teen and I were in "her" shop. Tim was wandering a bit while the teen was trying on outfit after outfit. He came in to find us, and said..." I think you are going to like the next one". So of course, I hustle the teen along so I can get on down the street.

Then we stepped into the Green Cube.....Tim knows me so well...

What can I say about the Green Cube? I can't say enough! It is innovative and edgy, creative and beautiful. It has a bit of everything I, lighting, decor....but it also has fashion.....and shoes! Even better, the focus of Green Cube is what you might imagine, given the name....there is an emphasis on sustainability. Everything for the shop is selected by the very beautiful and stylish owner, Sanja Simidzija. I was captivated.

 I ended up in a long conversation with Sanja's husband, who was manning the fort while Sanja was next door in their second gallery, Art Cube.....hold on....there is a SECOND gallery?

 I was already so intrigued with Green Cube and its collection of creative rustic modern decor and distinctive fashion, it was hard to tear myself away to go next door.

But I was told that Sanja could be found in her art gallery, so I had to go meet the creative soul behind both Green Cube and Art Cube....

Art Cube Gallery
 I stepped into the Art Cube Gallery and it was like stepping into a cloud with it's white walls and floors. It was a perfect backdrop for the collection inside. Described as a place to find "breathing room for the spirit", one can certainly breath in the talent in this space.

 Sanja has curated a fantastic group of cutting edge contemporary artists, whom I have already bookmarked into my files for future projects! Be sure to check out the Art Cube website HERE for information on all of the artists

 Finding Green Cube and Art Cube was a lovely way to spend a cool and foggy morning, and having the opportunity to meet the charming and handsome owners was the icing on the cake.

 On you next trip to So Cal, do stop in and say hello to Sanja. Green Cube and Art Cube are located in the heart of town on Forest Ave. 

The lovely Sanja Simidzija, proprietress of Green Cube and Art Cube
You will find them, the galleries and the owners, a breath of fresh air.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

Cookies I just picked up from Freeport Bakery for Easter Tomorrow.
We are back from our Southern California Spring Break and I will have lots of things to show you next week from our trip!

Until then,

 Wishing you all a very Happy Easter Weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Break

 The weather is growing a bit warmer.....and we were hoping warmer still for a trip to the beaches of Southern California where we are spending a Spring Break with teenage daughter  in tow. Last Saturday, we drove down to OC and started our vacation with the annual trip to Balboa Island in Newport Harbor.

I grew up n Southern California and spent summers on the Balboa Peninsula. It was an unspoken rule that Frozen Bananas and Balboa Beach Bars were part of the territory. Every weekend, we would make the trek from the beach house up to the Fun Zone to play in the arcades and bump into our posse of cousins with our bumper cars....pedal to the metal. And every weekend we would anticipate and salivate thinking about the big decision.....chocolate sprinkles, nuts or butter brickle.

Often, my mom or my ant would take my cousin, Jenny and I on the Ferry ride across to Balboa Island to shop. We would stop for lunch at the old Jolly Roger restaurant and eat burgers and then stop at the Original Frozen Banana stand....of which there are two mere steps away from each other. I am not sure it mattered to us at the time which one took our money.

This year, the daughter and I got Balboa Bars with Butter Brickle....Tim got a Frozen Banana. The pleasure is still as strong.  We each took our frozen dessert on a stick and wandered along the beach front to see the lights of the Balboa Fun Zone and the Balboa Pavilion across the Bay....

With our stomachs full...and the moon as well....we strolled back to our car for the final leg down the coast.

Spring Break was just getting started.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary

He still brings me roses
 21 years....where does the time go? Building a life together has been such satisfying labor.....a labor of love....challenging and inspirational.....tough and easy.....a daily comfort of relying on a partner who considers the effects of their actions on the others in the nest.....the little chickadees we are raising who are learning how to fly that nest.....and of course, the nest itself....building it with much care for each other.

Dinner for two at Taylor's Kitchen....the best restaurant in Sacramento....IMHO....I had the Lamb with the white bean ragout, asparagus and roasted tomatoes with Olive Salsa Verde....Heaven on Earth.
 A dinner out together.....

Tim had Pasta Dave's Artichoke and Marscarpone Agnolotti, Fricassee  of Spring Vegetables....four stars.
Dessert? Strawberry Shortcake with Tarragon Ice Cream.....sigh...perfection.
 Just us we started....where we will be soon enough....a reconnection.

We do still look into each other's eyes.....the crow's feet telling the story of our life together.

A Happy Anniversary

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Stitch In Time...

One of the Bedrooms at the new lofts by Stitch Development in Sacramento
 Last Saturday was the second Saturday of the month, which, in Sacramento, means midtown transforms itself into a carnival of events and Art Gallery openings. In short, it is a street party which encompasses about 100 city blocks.

Cool furnishings provided by Fringe, and lots of art throughout. Check out the artist list HERE

Living Room in Stitch Loft. Portraits by Carmen Salazar

This time, Tim and I made a point of visiting the Open House of a new loft development put together by Stitch Development. Heading up Stitch is Jeremy Drucker, whose idea to put loft projects on unused lots along Sacramento's many midtown alleys has struck a chord with many local buyers. Jeremy's mantra has been:
"If an alley is a tear in the urban fabric, we are stitching it back together again with these projects" 

Bedroom at Stitch Lofts
Cool stuff from Fringe brought in for the Spring Opening

 Jeremy enlisted architect Ron Vrilakas, a "go to" architect in midtown Sacramento known for his strong participation in historical preservation and for his ability to weave inspiring and appropriate infill projects into existing urban neighborhoods. Ron dug in and has come up with yet another great project.

One of the bathrooms at Stitch Lofts
This particular location serves as a "model" for the many other loft locations on the books slated to begin construction as they sell. There were three models decked out with accents loaned by Fringe especially for the occasion. You may remember my blog post about Fringe HERE. I have to say...Fringe has more fun stuff than you could shake a Stitch  stick at. 

The units sported clean modern kitchens and bathrooms with Caesarstone or Granite counters and lots of glass tile...there were dark concrete floors and lots of light..... all said and done very livable spaces. There were many options for buyers as well and the prices are right. Make sure to hop on over to Stitch HERE for all of the details and for lots more pictures!

Jeremy Drucker of Stitch Development. 
The Spring Opening Party was a hit with lots to see.....(the lofts, art, Tatoo Artists).....and hear.... (Live Music by the Midnight Moonshiners and the Pinestreet Ramblers)....and eat.....(Vegan sweets by  Sugar Plum, BBQ by Downtown's Kitchen, and Mama Kim's Gourmet Food Truck).... we had the tri-tip tacos....they were OMG Good!!!
Stitch Lofts and the Pinestreet Ramblers
Mama Kim's Gourmet Food Truck was on hand at the Stitch Lofts in the refurbished alley right across from Old Soul Coffee House
In the loft garages was a very cool fashion boutique put together by the gals of MobShop. MobShop is a sort of Fashion Rave started by Lauren Bingham of SF and Romy Itzigsohn of LA. These fashionista gypsies specialize in vintage finds as well as the latest styles all at very affordable price points. They search for temporary digs all over California....but only the coolest spots will do. It was so much fun perusing the treasures before I had to catch up with an impatient crew who had already departed for the next Sacramento hot spot......sigh....I could have stayed much longer.

MobShop Window Display at Stitch Lofts

More MobShop
But it was time to go...... good times all around...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And the Winner is.........

First, let me say 


 to everyone who participated in this latest 


Now....down to brass tacks......

Congratulations to the winner:


I will be having another Give Away soon, so keep an eye out!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Visual Acoustics

The film was presented at the Sacramento Crocker Art Museum
Last week, I had the great pleasure of viewing Visual Acoustics, a film which commemorates the life and works of the world's greatest architectural photographer, Julius Schulman. The event took place at the new Crocker Art Museum, just another treat in the whole evening, and was organized by AIA Central Valley and SacMod.

 Here is a sampling of what you can expect from the film:

 Perhaps the best part of evening (other than the brilliant film itself)  was that the director of the award winning documentary, Eric Bricker,  was in attendance to introduce the film and answer questions.  Very hard to believe this was his first film. Very hard.

Director of Visual Acoustics, Eric Bricker, signing DVD's of the film for all of us fans
For those of you who may not have had a chance to see the film, I highly encourage you not to wait any longer! Not only is it full of the amazing architectural images shot by Julius Schulman, you will find the story of his life fascinating. Mr. Schulman had an exuberant zest for life and a very fetching sense of humor. Perhaps it was this humor that accelerated his connection to so many creative people, all of whom loved and respected him so much. Even if Modern architecture is not your "thing", you will be captivated by this film, and by the larger than life persona of Julius Schulman.

The construction of the film was also so very well done. Mr. Bricker utilized fantastic animation as a  segue between parts of the film in such a creative way...loved it.

For all of the information about upcoming screenings and everything else about the film, you can find it all on the Visual Acoustics website HERE.

If you would like to have a timeless publication of the amazing life of Julius Schulman, you may want to check out Taschen's 2007 publication: Julius Schulman, Modernism Rediscovered, 3 Vol.

And for more about the event at the Crocker hosted by AIA Central Valley and SacMod, check out SacMod's blog post HERE! (You may even find an urge to join SacMod!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

4 Ladies and a Chair

Let's say a dear departed Aunt Sophie has left you this beautiful Louis XVI style slipper chair in her will (or perhaps it was six of them!)....what would you do with it/them? 

Cristin Priest from the Simplified Bee blog posed a similar question to four designer/bloggers and the results are as varied as the bloggers. Cristan asked the designers to create room design using this chair and whatever else took our fancy. I was one of the participants and had so much fun letting my imagination run wild. I put together a moody blue room with white accents and a fantasy of accents. The other designs are creative and so pretty.

To take a peek at all of the "what if" designs, hop on over HERE

And on another note...don't forget to enter the Give Away for Kelly Hoppen's latest book:

Get all of the information HERE!