Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Online Magazine - Heart Home, and a WINNER!

Open publication - Free publishing

Online Magazine seem to be gaining in popularity, and there certainly are some great ones out there! One of the newest on the scene is from the heart of Britain. Founded by Arianna Trapani of Arianna Interiors, Carole King of Dear Designer's Blog and Daniel Nelson of Atelier Tally, Heart Home is full of Anglophilia and some more exotic stuff as well. 

A quarterly publication, Heart Home is full of interior decor, travel, fashion and all things British. It is bright, happy and creative.

A couple of articles in this debut issue are about two of my favorite bloggers, so I was excited to read all about them! Holly Becker of decor8 and Maryam of My Marrakesh are featured with beautiful photos about their homes and lifestyles.

So, just another way to get your decor fix. No need to thank me. 

In other news....

The winner of the Charles Faudree Details book from Gibbs Smith is (drumrollllllll....)

Ann from Hill Country House blog. If you haven't met Ann, hop on over and say hello! She has a wonderful blog about her adventures in the Texas Hill Country. There is always something fun, creative going on. Lots of American and Folk antiques and great vintage finds.

Congratulations Ann! I know you will love the book. It is beautiful!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GIVE AWAY: Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths

Couldn't you just spend hours here?
Photo by Francois Halard
Michael S. Smith.....the name alone conjures thoughts of design designer lists....high style and designer brands. Michael S. Smith has "It"! Mr. Smith is the subject of previous interior design books bearing his name: Michael S. Smith Elements of Style with Diane Dorrans Saeks and Michael S. Smith Houses with Christine Pittel, both for Rizzoli. Both are in my library.

Photo by Michael Mundy
I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of his latest book: Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths! One of the largest segments of my own design business is the remodeling of Kitchen and Baths. I am always on the lookout for inspiration. Michael provides it in spades with this new book! Page after page of beautiful photography, stylish and functional spaces, and lots of resource information.

Beautifully done kitchen...Pendant lights by Alison Berger, hood, La Cornue Range, and I love the large marble "cutting board" on the island!
Photo by Thomas Loof

The book is organized by house project into chapters based on location rather than style. Because, as Michael says, " turns out that most rooms are rather hard to define in a word or two...just like most people." And so it is. 

There is a section for the Beach, Town, and Country, as well as a section for Resources. It is a great way to see how different styles can take on a sense of place. How a modern kitchen or a traditional one feels "right" at the beach or in the city.

Michael gives really in depth descriptions of the spaces and information about all of the finishes, and why they were chosen. He describes how the layouts were changed and why. The Kitchen and Bath are functional spaces first and foremost, but Michael also believes that they should provide comfort.

Fun, casual kitchen in Hawaii for a young family. Love the turquoise concrete floors, and the glass embedded terrazzo counters. The cabinet hardware is green and right out of the 30's.
Photo by Grey Crawford
Not only are there scads of fabulously designed kitchens and baths in this book, but also breakfast and dining spaces that often times are part of what has become one of the most used entertaining spaces in the home. Kitchens have become a place where people congregate and share in the preparation of meals or share a glass of wine while the hosts set out nibbles for guests and get things ready. 

Michael S. Smith understands this and Kitchens have become one of his most favorite rooms in the house to design.

The combination of Carrara marble, Venetian Glass mirror, mirrored furniture, white flowers and fresh blue pale paint is restful and very glamorous. Lovely! I do wonder who might peek over the stair railing while one is dozing in the tub though!
Photo by Michele Arnaud

And what about Bathrooms? They are a place to relax and rejuvenate. A private space that should be a pleasure. This means it must function properly and also be easy on the eyes. There are loads of beautiful examples here, from stunning Master Bathrooms to jewelry box Powder Rooms.

A more masculine Guest Bath with "pinstripe" Turkish Marble, "Asher" from Ann Sacks. As Michael Smith describes it..." you feel as if you're in a Napoleonic campaign tent made of marble instead of cloth." I love that description!
Photo by Michael Mundy
There is huge variety in Michael S. Smith designs which is what I like to see in any design book. Many designers are masters in a particular style, but Michael S. Smith shows us here, he has mastered them all. What runs through his work is design excellence through his unique use of materials and details, and an adherence to timeless beauty rather than trends. I think his work will be just as appealing and fresh 20 years from now as they are today. 

This will be a book that I will be referencing for years to come.

GIVE AWAY ALERT! of YOU will get to have

Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Baths

  for your very own!

The publisher, Rizzoli has generously offered a copy to one lucky winner.

Here is the scoop:
1) Hop on over to the Rizzoli and take a moment to look around. See the facebook link? Go ahead and "friend" them.
2) Become a follower on the katiedid blog by clicking the google friend connect button on the right.
3) Click on the "comment" link at the bottom of this post and leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts about Kitchens and Baths, this book and what you would do if you could have any kitchen or bath you wanted!
4) Make sure I can contact you by including an email address, or make sure your username has a link to a contact email.
5) The Cut Off date to enter is October 2nd, this Sunday at 5:00PM PST. I will announce the winner the next day, October 3rd!

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marin Designers' Showcase on You Tube!

I am so excited....the Marin Designer Showcase is on YouTube. You can catch a glimpse of what is to come. I feel honored to be a part of it!

Hop on over to the Marin Designer Showcase website for the latest!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Set Staging for Lumens Elle Decor Ad

As a designer, there is nothing more fun, and thrilling, than to put all of the finishing touches together in a room for its grand debut for a client. You work for months, sometimes years for a large project to be completed. Oftentimes, a project may never get to that final stage where art and accessories are all in place.

So....I feel very lucky to be able to be able to work with Lumens Light and Living where I get to design and stage the sets for their print ads which have been appearing in Elle Decor and Dwell magazines for about a year now. Talk a bout instant gratification! I get to choose from all of the products that Lumens offers through their online shop, including designer brands like Missoni, Tom Dixon, Dwell Studios, Jonathan Adler, Ralph Lauren, Artek, Kartell, Blu Dot and Moooi. That just names a few of the furnishings vendors (who also provide amazing lighting design as well!). Don't get me started on the Lighting vendors! Better that you hop on over to their website for the full list. 

After the design is finalized on paper, the items for the shoot are pulled together and we shoot a few weeks later. Then it appears in print about a month after that! While a timeline like this can have it challenges, it is so much fun to see results this quickly! It is just one more reason I anxiously wait for the thud of Elle Decor or Dwell as they drop through my mail slot each month. 

In this latest ad placed in Elle Decor, the focus was on a new light fixture by Kichler. I pulled together elements to create a vignette that is somewhat industrial casual, and a little bit Shaker in feeling. I pulled the Tom Dixon Screw Table with a white marble top and caste metal base. I love that the top can be raised or lowered by screwing the table to up or down. Next, I chose the Mademoiselle Lounge Chair by Artek. Designed by Ilmari Tapivaara in 1956, this chair still looks modern and fresh.... a sign of a true classic. To accessorize, I picked the Eames House Bird by Vitra. No one knows the exact origin, but this black bird is in many Eames house photos. Alessi's La Stanza Dello Scirocco Cachepot by Italian designer Mario Trimarchi is perfect for holding orchids. Raw pine paneling and simple linen curtains create the perfect backdrop.

To get the scoop on each item, you can scan the lamp at the bottom right corner of the Lumens Light and Living ad with your smart phone, or hop on over HERE.

Happy Shopping!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Already?

Couldn't I just stay here a little longer?'s time to get cracking! Lots to do this week.

To start off, don't forget to enter

Charles Faudree's new book is so beautiful, you will want it for your own library!

You will find that Charles Faudree is a designer that is totally OK with mixing man's best friend and  pillows.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Personal Archaeology: John Dickinson

ar·che·ol·o·gy (är'kē-ŏl'ə-jē)n.The systematic study of past human life and culture by the recovery and examination of remaining material evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, and pottery.

.......and "vintage" magazine articles....


 We have been sorting through old papers with my Mom. .....just doing our part as a family to stave off becoming another victim of the Hoarders TV show. It is tough to stay ahead of the curve sometimes when one loves to collect.

Mom came across a keeper in the piles of paper that seem to reproduce like bunnies, especially when the mail arrives everyday with another pile of catalogs and pre-approved credit card offers. An article she had torn out of the June 1967 issue of House and Garden (oh how i miss thee!) features "a young San Franciscan designer of furniture and interiors and an accomplished draftsman" who " lives with his three cats in an old firehouse".....that would be the iconic John Dickinson.

 Many of you are quite familiar with John Dickinson and his famous furniture designs, some of which you can see on Diane Dorrans Saeks' The Style Saloniste blog about Dickinson HERE.  It is a wonderful article about Diane Dorrans Saeks friendship with Mr. Dickinson, well worth a visit! (BTW, if you have not visited The Style Saloniste, there is no other blog I have read that has more beautifully informative articles on the iconic persons in the world of design! A "must read!")

Some of you might have become familiar after seeing the three legged table designed by John Dickinson being purchased at the San Francisco Fall Antique Show by Million Dollar Decorator, Jeffrey Alan Marks. 

 Looking back at this article, it is plain to see that John Dickinson was ahead of his time, truly an original thinker. His ideas have become classics....white slipcovers, a collection ironstone platters as wall decor, antique mixed with modern, important pieces mixed with the everyday....and always his own designs adding character. It is hard to think that these ideas are original to us now because they have been used so much since then, but if you think the average person would never have thought to break up a matching set of furniture in the 60's (aside from the emerging designers of the era) his ideas were progressive.

I am still waiting for a book about John Dickinson to come out. Diane Dorrans Saeks would be the perfect author.

In the mean time, I will be collecting more articles I see about him and putting them in a safe place. Hoarding them you might say. 

You never know what future archaeologists might dig up when we are all long gone. John Dickinson would be a a person well worth discovering all over again.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flowers for a Friend, and Music....

 One of my very good friends turned 50 a couple of weeks ago, and for her gift, I put together flowers for her party. My friend, Dorsey, always has wonderful parties. Her beautiful garden is the perfect setting. There is always delicious food, usually contributed by her numerous friends, as well as many a beverage. And there is music. Her family is one of those where music has always been important. She has a daughter who sings old jazz, a son who channels Roy Orbinson, and many friends who chip in....(more on that in a bit). 

And there are friends that have accumulated over a lifetime.....many of them.

 These friends got together to plan her party and as I said,  I did flowers. I plucked from my garden....lavender, rosemary, hydrangea foliage, and coleus. I went to the Farmers Market for Sunflowers, and the Wholesale Floral Market for berries, Peruvian Lilies, Safflowers and Kale. There is something about arranging flowers that is so satisfying. It is like decorating on a fast track....planned in one's head....elements purchased in a day...and finished in a couple of hours.

The car was full of beautiful color by the time I was done. I was ready to take it all to the party....

 I added little pots of crayons and put butcher paper on the tables for guests to leave birthday wishes....

Home again to get ready. By the time I returned....the music had begun....

 Young men playing French Gypsy Jazz....think Chocolat and you have it.... 

 They call themselves The World's Finest Apples....hop on over HERE to hear what they do...

The evening fell into night. Dorsey's daughter Molly sang with the young gents in accompaniment.....We filled ourselves with custom concocted salads....spinach, arugula, romaine, beets, mushrooms, gorgonzola, sunflower seeds, fresh corn, kalamata olives, pine nuts, grilled vegetables and so many other choices it was hard to decide.....then topped with grilled chicken, tri-tip or shrimp...and all served to our specifications....mmmmmmmm....

And there were cupcakes to celebrate..... and ice cream cones.....
Later....there was dancing.....

Such a wonderful celebration for a wonderful friend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Give Away: Charles Faudree Details

 Tablescape - "The sophistication of crystal lamps, silver frames and orchids is a pleasing contrast to the antique French farm table...."

 Do I ever turn down an opportunity to review a new design book? Absolutely NOT!  Especially when the book is the newest by one of America's top 100 designers, Charles Faudree. Mr. Faudree's work has been published in Veranda, House Beautiful, Southern Accents (how we miss you!), Traditional Home to name but a few. 

This is not Mr. Faudree's first time around the book publishing block. His other books include the most recent Charles Faudree Interiors, Charles Faudree's Country French Florals and Interiors, Charles Faudree's Country French Living, and Charles Faudree's French Country Signature. For any of you that are French Country design lovers and even those of you who just like great design, click on over. He is a master. 

Charles Faudree has been creating beautiful interiors for 4 decades throughout the United States and Europe. He is even now in the process of designing a residence in Abu Dhabi. He also has created a line of fabrics for Vervain (which you can find on the Vervain website HERE) and maintains a retail location for antiques and interior design in Tulsa Oklahoma.

So on with the new book's "Details"........

This newest book by Mr. Faudree is all about those details:

  Charles Faudree Details , by Charles Faudree with Francesanne Tucker

As he says, " Details may seem like a small subject, but these finishing accessories are by far the most important part of decorating. People's lives are expressed by the little details. They give a room its soul." Amen! The rooms I see in magazines that are the most successful in my opinion, are the rooms that above all else, show the character, interests and loves of the inhabitant. 

".....the details of a room create its identity. The accessories we display, their color and texture, abundance or restraint, similarity or variety, combine to establish a unique personality for each room. The way we put them together is art. It's what it's all about." Hitting the nail on the head, I say.

Wall Decorations - "A wonderful collection of green majolica complements the antique Black Forest mirror..."
Charles Faudree Details is not only a beautifully turned out book with gorgeous full bleed photos by Jenifer Jordan, it is organized in a way that makes it a wonderful reference. Each chapter takes on another area where details can be arranged to make a room sing: Tablescapes, Wall Decorations, Mantels, Fabrics and Lighting.

Wall Decorations - I think this wall shelving display of white everyday dishes is just beautiful...charming and useful. And I did notice the very small depth of the base cabinet...perfect for a small space!
In each section, Mr. Faudreee takes us by the hand and shows us why each item is chosen and placed the way it is. For Tablescapes scale, contrast, color and balance all play a part. But even then there is no particular formula. Experimentation is the key. Mr Faidree does place an emphasis on adding flowers to any tablescape. Even one bud will add a bit of life to a room. Wall Decorations include not only art and mirrors, but shelving and accessory display on the shelves. The one thing Mr. Faudree emphasizes is that pedigree is not important, but "the emotional response it creates". 

Fabrics - The serene blues of the color palette and the cheerful animals on the pillows.... and on the sofa, ahem..... are the perfect reflection of this lakeside cabin
 Fabrics are as important as furniture for Mr. Faudree. "You can buy fabulous antiques, but without the magic of the right fabrics to compliment them, you've compromised their impact." Whether it is a mix of patterns or a cleaner look like the one above, Mr. Faudree creates magic. 

Mr. Faudree also gives us hints about how to light any room. From candle and firelight to the proper use of can lighting....he expresses his thoughts. Sconces, Chandeliers, table lamps and task lighting can all be functional as well as an enhancement to the decoration of a room. It is always a pleasure to learn why a designer makes the choices they do.

Mantels are also a place where character can show itself. The fireplace is always a focal point, and what's above can make or break a room. Mr. Faudree leads us through an array of beautiful rooms and explains why each mantel has been successfully composed.

Lighting - A wonderful Lantern paired with crystal candelabras are perfect for this entry table
I think you will enjoy this newest in the Charles Faudree collection of books as much as I do. To make sure you have a chance to own it for yourselves, the publisher, Gibbs Smith has kindly offered a copy for one lucky winner!

To enter this 

 Charles Faudree Details

Simply follow directions:
1) Hop on over to the Gibbs Smith website and take a moment to look around. See the facebook link? Go ahead and "friend" them.
2) Click on the "comment" link at the bottom of this post and leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts about the the snippet you have seen so far!
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 September 25th at 5:00PM PST. I will announce the winner the next day, September 26th!

Good Luck and Happy reading!

Friday, September 9, 2011

This Weekend: Art, Art and more Art!!

Breakthrough, 48" x 66", by Micah Crandall-Bear

If there is one thing that Sacramento has in abundance, it is a thriving art community. Artists from all over  California and beyond, have found Sacramento a place that is quite supportive of their passion. There are ample opportunities and venues to show what they do to a population that has great appreciation. There are affordable places to find studio space. And there is a large community of like-minded souls who encourage  and promote each other.

I think that an interior is never complete without great art. I encourage my clients to look at art, find out about the artists and see what speaks or appeals to them..... 

New York II, 52" x 56" by Micah Crandall-Bear

This weekend, there is the perfect opportunity to see a huge amount of art in one fell swoop. This Saturday, September 10, 10am-4pm, and Sunday, September 11, 12-4pm  more than 150 artists are opening their studios to the public on the annual 
Capitol Artists Studio Tour
organized by the

Writing in the Sand 5, 22" x 30"  by Sandra Beard

The Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento (CCASAC) is also host to the 2011 Capitol Artists Studio Tour Exhibition, which started August 30 and runs through September 11. So....three things.....

1) CCASAC will have maps you can pick up for the weekend long Capitol Artists Studio Tour 
2) CCASAC will be exhibiting over 100 artists works at the 2011 Capitol Artists Exhibition
 3) CCASAC will be hosting an Artists' Studio Tour Exhibition Reception September 10, 6-9pm

White Lies 2, 66" x 50",  by Sandra Beard

 Got all that? If not, just click on over HERE to get all the scoop, see links to many of the artists' websites, and find out all about CCASAC.

Art acquisition adds beauty to our environments. And we need that.

So grab your bikes, head on over to CCASAC, pick up your maps and have a wonderful day viewing art, meeting the artists....and all!

Below the Surface, 40" x 28" by Cherie Hacker

Hope to see you out and about this weekend! I'll be the one sporting that beautiful head of helmet hair.

Have a gorgeous weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wine and Design...and all for a great cause!

Helwig Pavilion and Winery Building

Some of you know by now that one of my favorite things....after great good food and great wine! Throw in some great music and I am in heaven. I have recently had the great pleasure of visiting the growing Amador Wine Country a few times over the last couple of months, and it has been bustling with activity. There are new wineries popping up and wonderful events luring me back again and again. You may remember this blog post.

The latest "must attend" event is coming up soon....September 17th.... so mark your calendars for Triumph Uncorked Fundraiser! The new Helwig Winery, designed by dynamic husband and wife team, Paul Almond and Pam Whitehead of Sage Architecture is the fabulous location for a very special evening of delicious wine, gourmet picnics and smooth jazz. The event benefits the Triumph Fitness Program for Cancer Survivors and the Livestrong Foundation. My friend Pam Whitehead is not only one of the most talented architects in the region, but she is herself an 11 year cancer survivor...AND...the director of the Triumph Uncorked fundraising event in partnership with Spokes of Hope, an organization that supports cancer-related programs.
Helwig Winery Amphitheater with Picnic Pavilion and Winery Building Above

I thought you might enjoy a little peek at the Helwig Winery with its breathtaking amphitheater views of the Amador Wine Country...... isn't she a beauty?

Just a hop, skip from my front door.....aren't I just the lucky one? See the lady in the crocheted sweater? that could be you...sipping wine....snacking on goodies and listening to .....

Views from the Amphitheater

.......Utopian Dreams.....

Utopian Dreams 
Will I see you there?.  I'll be the one staring off into the distance at the Helwig Three sisters, wine glass in hand......

The Three Sisters at Helwig Winery
For all of the information about the event, and tickets (must be purchased by September 14th BTW! Ticket sales close by noon)....... hop on over HERE

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Freshening Up

It is so nice to come in to my office now that I have a new slipcover for this old wingback chair. I have had this chair ever since my kids were little. I found it at a yard sale for $25 probably 15 years ago. Back then, we were just starting our family. We had just bought our first house and the kids were so young. I made a slipcover myself....not knowing what I was doing at all. I used regular thread.... the kind you would use for clothing. I did not know that I needed upholstery thread! The slipcover did not hold up all that well as you can imagine. But we had always made do with the chair....but recently, I just could not look at it another minute! It was threadbare and stained after so many washings I cannot count. It was time.

So here she is....with a plumped up seat cushion and a very simple white denim slip. I am trying to decide whether to paint the legs white or leave them black....and whether to leave on the arm covers, or leave them off. Photo ready and real life are very different after all.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daytripping: Winters in the Summer

 Last weekend, the whole family hopped over to the town of Winters for a visit with family. (We just so happen to be related by marriage to the Mayor....our BIL Mike Martin of the Walnut Ranch Martins!) Tim's sister is lucky enough to have married Mike....or should I say he is lucky enough to have married her? Either way, they are both lucky, and we are lucky to have them as family.  All of Tim's sisters (three) and Mom were in town, and Mike played the perfect host. We have been to Winters many, many times, but Saturday we decided to walk the downtown area so I could show all of you what a charming place this is.

Winters incorporated as a city back in 1898, and is lucky to have many of its historical building intact. It is charming, and is getting more so every time I see it.

 The main street has some great restaurants including the Buckhorn, famous for their steaks, and yes....I can say first hand they are delicious. Lots of outdoor seating on the main street, and some great events take place here as well. their annual Earthquake Festival....oh, those crazy Californians!

I realized on our stroll that Winters has a bit of a European flavor to it. Perhaps it comes from the families that first started the Walnut farms in the area, or the influx of wine growers in more recent years. Whatever it is, it works for the romantic in me.

It did strike me fully when we went to Ficelle for dinner, a Spanish Tapas restaurant. The owners had traveled to Spain to study the cuisine and it was very good! We ordered one of everything...sometimes two. (There were 12 of us...don't judge).

Everything was being devoured so quickly, it was hard to get photos, but here are a few of the delectables:

After dinner, one of Tim's sisters took the kids out to the Walnut Ranch to drive the "gator" around the the orchards while some of us strolled over to taste a little wine and play some bocce ball at Main Street Cellars Wine Tasting Room, the newest of the tasting rooms in Winters......ahem....did we not have enough with dinner? Apparently not.

Great atmosphere,  very nice wine selection, and they serve beer too! 

We worked it off with a very strenuous bocce match...

Next up, a peek at Preserve Public House, a restaurant and bar that specializes in .......preserves....and cheese made right here in Winters. This place has been on my radar ever since I had heard of it a few months ago.  Next time for sure! 

Loved the industrial chic decor...lots of reclaimed woods, metal table tops and very cool one of a kind metal and leather chairs.

A look at the Preserves Room.....

Wine staves create an arch down a corridor...

Woven wine staves front the bar. I have seen these stools before, but not with the leather cushions....

There was a case full of vintage cameras...I was mesmerized...I was almost left behind just gazing....

We continued our tour passing the outdoor pizza oven in front of the Putah Creek Cafe.....always a winner...

....and on to the Turkovich Wine Tasting Room. They are doing well and expanding their tasting room. Good things have a way of flourishing.

We had to look in the window at Arc Guitar. Tim plays a bit and they make their own guitars here. If they had been open, I suspect Tim would have been plucking away still.

But we were full and sleepy from our dinner, our wine and our stroll....happily so.
It was time to collect kids and drive home.....

I had to make one last stop to see the community garden right across the street ....

It is one of those places where one thinks, "I could live here..." a day dreamy sort of way. I will be back this Fall with the change of season when the leaves on the walnut trees turn and the roadside farm stands sell pumpkins and gourds.

 If my little story hasn't tempted you quite yet, hop on over to the Fare to Remember blog for stunning photos of Winters that put mine to shame.