Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Marin Designers Showcase 2012 - It Begins

Hello all. I have been absent lately, I know. But I am back with lots to share! As you know, I have been in the midst of installing the room I designed for the Marin Designer Showcase. It is all finished, and zhushed, and photographed. And now....it is time to enjoy!

The Showcase Gala event is tonight, and I am excited to have the chance to meet the other designers and  to clink glasses with vendors who have been so generous in their support of me with my design of Guest Suite I.

One of the other things I have been busy with is taking lots of photos of the Showcase to share with you! But, of course, there is nothing like seeing it in person. After all, my camera cannot catch everything, and the details are often times what inspires someone the most.

The Showcase opens to the public tomorrow, and I will be there as often as I can! Every Thursday night, there are wine tasting events. You can get the full scoop on them HERE. I will be there for those for sure! (The Guest Suite I designed is a hop skip from the wine room....so be sure to stop in and see me!)

So, I will be posting about all of the amazing spaces at the Showcase in the coming weeks. Every Showcase seems to have a distinct flavor, and I have to say this one is a spectacular ode to art and the glorious views. Throughout the house, art is a particular focus. The house acts as a beautiful gallery, as well as a perfect backdrop for amazing design.

Here is but a hint of the art and views I was talking about........

There is so much more to come! 

I hope to see you all here.

For information about the Marin Designers Showcase 2012,
click on over

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Peek at the Marin Designer Showcase

Things are coming together at the Marin Designers Showcase! I am still waiting for a few items of furniture, curtains and some odds and ends, but we are getting there! I thought you might like a little peek.

A few of the other bedrooms are nearing completion, looking fantastic....and the Family Room is coming together as well...beautifully!

I will have more for you soon!

Have a great weekend all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Road Trip...Guess Where This Is?

Can you guess where we are?
Here is a hint....we took a road trip down to San Luis Obispo. It is a good half way point from LA and Northern California and where we were to meet up with some college friends in the town where we went to school, one of whom I have known since high school in Pasadena and who has since moved to Australia. I get to see her perhaps once every couple of years, but it seems like we are able to pick up where we left off....one of those kinds of friends.

Tim and I booked a room at the Inn at Morro Bay (a fishing town close to San Luis Obispo) for the weekend with a beautiful view of Morro Rock.....

The View From Our Room at The Inn at Morro Bay
It is a very nice....(and affordable!) place to stay and in a gorgeous location.

The plan was to meet for dinner in SLO town with the group, reminisce about the "good ole days" and walk around town to see if any of the old hang-puts were still there......they were! The town was full of returning college students standing in line to get into the popular bars and clubs. Sigh....were we ever that young?

The next morning we all met for lunch, and most of us headed up to Paso Robles for a day of wine tasting. A more beautiful day we could not have asked for. Low 80's in January! But I think the wine growers are by now a bit panicky about getting some rain!

Paso Robles Wine Country
One of the many great tasting rooms in Paso Robles 
The day was getting on and we were hungry! We went into the downtown of Paso Robles, which by the way is getting to be the Central Coast version of Healdsburg! Charming town square surrounded by great shops and restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised! I have not been to Paso Robles in years and it has undergone quite a Renaissance...

Downtown Paso Robles

We ate a delicious dinner at Thomas Hill Organics....

I am looking forward to another visit soon! French born chef Julie Simon is amazing with her use of fresh seasonal organic ingredients. For a sample menu click HERE to get your mouth watering!

It was time to part ways....some of the group was heading home to the bay area that night, while Tim and I headed back to Morro Bay. The next morning, we stopped in at the Shell Shop in Morro Bay. This place has been here since the 50's, and I am sure still looks just the same. I NEVER miss an opportunity to shop here. They have an amazing inventory and the prices are crazy good! I picked up a few things for the Marin Designer Showcase here....

It was time to head for home. We decided the day was too beautiful to waste, so we headed up scenic Highway 1. First stop....the charming town of Harmony....Population 18....

If you are ever in the neighborhood, it is well worth a visit to the Harmony Glassworks.....

Harmony Glassworks is a studio, and contemporary glass art gallery. You can even take classes there...

We were lucky to have someone on hand that was at work creating another masterpiece....

It was time to get moving, so we headed through town.....

And said our farewells....

And headed up the Highway. We have covered these same miles so many times, but the scenery never fails to inspire and surprise. We passed a huge crowd of people and cars pointing out at the beach, so we had to stop and investigate....

Apparently it is time for a bit of Sea Lion love......

And relaxation.......

There were many besides us enjoying the day.....

Hitting the road again, we made it through what I had forgotten was one of the most hair raising, palm sweating, bone chilling, heart palpitating drives in the state of California....the ever shifting cliff-side road to Big Sur. Had I remembered, sort of like childbirth, I might have given it a second thought. But it is worth every seat clutching moment when one gets to see the glories of Big Sur....

Often we will stop at famous and funky Nepenthe, founded in 1949, for a bite to eat and a look around the Phoenix gift shop (it is a MUST SEE when in the area!)....but this time we stopped at Ventana Inn for a late lunch.... 

Roasted Beet and Asparagus Salad at Ventana Inn. Beautiful view of the Pacific
Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries at Ventana Inn
Honestly....we could have sat here for the rest of the day and into the night....but we had to push on. We were able to catch up with my high school friend, Allison and friend Kevin from Australia in Carmel where they had gone the previous day. We shared a glass of wine and caught the sunset before the final leg home.....

Sunset in Carmel
Road trips always seem to end a little too soon.....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beautiful Beginnings

 Last Friday (the 13th!!!!) I and my partners in crime decided that Friday the 13th was a good day to begin the installation at the Marin Designers Showcase. And indeed the day was so beautiful, everything that came after seemed like paltry little challenges. 

Just keep in mind that this is what the view is just outside the window of the Guest Suite I am entrusted to design. Things probably took a little longer than necessary because we all kept looking out the window!

 I mean really....can you blame us? The winter sun skimmed the water of the bay, and the San Francisco skyline was breathtaking. I feel lucky to be working in a house where every view is this spectacular.

Things were starting off well! The wall paper in the small foyer to the Guest Suite looks perfect. I chose a natural grass cloth wallpaper for texture and it will always be one of my favorite colors. The ceiling is painted  Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue. My flash is making it look a little brighter than it does in person. So far so good! I will be adding flat 1" molding to all of the corners, and the top and bottom of the walls to frame out each wall to add a little crispness.

 On to the main room.....you can see the bridge though the windows here. If I was invited to stay in this room, you might have to pry me out with a crowbar. I will be decking out this space in my interpretation of a modern ship's stateroom. I am lucky that before I even start, the floors are gorgeous mahogany planks, as are the door and window frames.

 Next thing to go in, a floor to ceiling mirror. We all had butterflies in our stomachs as Greg from 306 Glass carried the glass from the front of the house through all of the trades people on the site through the hallways and into the room. A little glitch since the room was measured for the mirror....there was an extra wall plate added for a telephone next to the electrical outlet. No worries, Greg cut a new hole on site, and up the mirror went. All of the superstitious fears that a mirror might be broken on Friday the 13th were over. 

Unfortunately, the rest of the day didn't go quite as smoothly. The draperies were not quite perfect, so are back in the workroom, the glass panels for the Water Closet wall were somehow a bit off, and most disappointing of all, a light fixture I had selected (fantastic by the way!!!!) cannot be used. But all of the challenges are being remedied, the day was filled with lots of laughter and helpful solutions, and Friday the 13th is past us. Even the traffic delay of one hour getting home gave me time for singing to Florence and the Machine.......

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah!!!

Monday, all of the furniture and most of everything else will be installed. A week later the art goes up. I can hardly wait to show you!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting Down to the Wire...Marin Designer Showcase and Serena and Lily

I am using the Fisherman's Cable Throw on the bench at the end of the bed at the Marin Designer Showcase 
It is down to the wire this week. I am getting ready for the Marin Designer Showcase installation! I am frantically collecting all of the last little bits...... you know.....all of the special details that add personality to a space. I am gathering sailing trophies and vintage sailing magazines, odd sorts of coral and painted Manzanita branches, industrial glass beakers and vintage fishing rods. I am covering books with fabric, and looking for light bulbs for all of the lamps. I am buying fabric steamers and collecting everything in my toolbox....picture hangers, Swiffer dusters, double stick foam tape, hammers and screw drivers. I just know I will forget something even though I have lists upon lists.

Thank goodness for the ladies of Serena and Lily! Many of you know about this perfect treasure trove put together by, you guessed it.... Serena and Lily. These entrepreneurial women started their business together in 2003 and have been going strong ever since. You can read all about their serendipitous meeting HERE. In the beginning, they focused on bedding and furnishings for the nursery, but luckily for the grown-ups, they expanded to include all of us! Their bedding, furniture, decor and fabrics are all available online.

The point? Well, I have been very lucky to have the support of Serena and Lily for the room I am putting together for the Showcase! They have been so very generous and so lovely to work with! I put together a wish list hoping they might be able to lend a few things. They have been kind enough to lend everything (even when I add a few more items to the list!) and are even delivering it all to the home! 

So I have to give a round of snaps to the wonderful team at Serena and Lily! (Needless to say, I love selecting things from them for my clients....heavenly beds and charming bedding for children's rooms. AND they have a great Bazaar of one of a kind finds....so hop on over!)

These are but a few of the items you will see in the Guest Suite by Katie Denham Interiors at the Marin Designer Showcase.      
This Brazilian Rug will be in the adjoining Bathroom to cozy up the stone tile floors
A couple of these Bamileke Side Tables will be the perfect place to toss a towel in the Bathroom. 
This campaign style Beckett Chair made out of sheesham wood will be sitting at the desk I designed in the Guest Suite.
The Marin Designer Showcase will hold its Opening Night Gala on January 31st, and will be open to the public through the month of February. I hope you all have a chance to visit! For all of the information on dates, times, events and ticket sales, be sure to hop on over HERE!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Liking Liken

Tim and I and our youngest did some day tripping over the holidays....Napa was on the itinerary. I have an Aunt who lives in Napa, so we visit whenever we can. Sacramento is only a little over an hour away....so there are really no excuse not to go all of the time!

However, it seems that we have been remiss in not visiting the town of Napa itself....we have concentrated our visits to the wineries up the valley (can you really blame us?) So.....I have been meaning for awhile now to visit Napa proper. There has been quite a lot going on there in the last couple of years....it is enjoying quite a Renaissance!

We had lunch at the Kitchen Door (located at the new Oxbow Public Market ), the latest restaurant in the line up by Chef Todd Humphries with partner Richard Miyashiro. I was very relieved when I heard of its opening, since one of my favorite restaurants in the Valley, Martini Grill (a Humphries restaurant) had closed. So the dreamy food lives on! I had a delicious lunch of Pork Roulade with Creamy Polenta and Root Vegetables in a light mustard seed sauce....oh my....soooo good!

The Oxbow Public Market is such a cool addition to Napa. Oxbow Founder, Steve Carlin, is responsible for the San Francisco  Ferry Building Marketplace which I wrote about awhile back. These marketplaces are full to the brim with fantastic food purveyors, and if you are like me and love to taste a bit of this and a bit of that, you love these sorts of places! After lunch we had ice cream.... I had Cardamom ice cream at Three Twins Ice Cream and it was delicious!

After lunch, it was on the the shopping.....which is the point of this blog post. Food does have a way of getting me sidetracked.

Anywaaaaay... I came across a fantastic shop in the new Napa Riverfront that I thought you would all enjoy! 

The Riverfront is a new development built on the Napa River as part of a redevelopment effort that included flood abatement design and include new bridges. The whole effect is very European in appearance as the walkways and shops take full advantage of the river front views.

This is where I found Liken Gallery... 

 Liken Gallery is owned by the amazing Michael Holmes.  Michael is most well known for his design of spectacular weddings and events in the Napa and Bay Area. Click on over HERE for a little peek at Michael's genius. 

If you look at Michael's events in the website, you can see that some of the amazing props used at his events have ended up in his gallery.

On the Street side of the Riverfront, Michael opened another boutique called Ivy, Twig and Twine which was all decked out for the Holidays. It is equally as beautiful but with a little more whimsy ....

Next time you are in the Napa Valley, do take some time to get reacquainted with the town of Napa. There is much to see!