Sunday, February 26, 2012

Last Chance! Marin Designer Showcase

Family Room by David Kensington
Today is the last day that the Marin Designer Showcase will be open to the public for tours! It has been a whirlwind month, and it is a bittersweet ending to a very successful Showcase! I will miss getting to spend time in this amazing house with its spectacular views and gorgeous interiors. It has also been such a wonderful experience getting to meet so many talented designers. But at the same time, I am looking forward to many new and exciting projects!

I wanted to show you another of the beautiful spaces at the Showcase. The Family Room was designed by David Kensington, another Showcase house veteran in the Bay area. David is known for his luxurious interiors with historic leanings which include such distinguished residences as the British Consulate.

I hope you enjoy David's vision as much as I did! I loved the monochromatic palette and rich woods, metals, and stone sculpture. Beautiful!

I wanted to let you know that if any of you are interested in acquiring any of the items you see, please come to the Showcase on Monday, February 27th! The day will be devoted to a huge SALE of most everything in the Showcase! Art, accessories, area rugs, furnishings, name it!

It is an opportunity to own those things one sees and only wishes they had an opportunity to buy.

The sale is open to the public from 11:00AM to 4:00 PM

Please hop over to the Marin Designer Showcase website for more information on directions, etc. 
Kitchen was designed by Beth Laughlin and accessorized by David Kensington
Don't forget to pop back over to katiedid for many more photos of the Showcase in the days to come!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Marin Designers Showcase - Candace Barnes' Private Entry and Dining Room


There is nothing like coming home and being greeted by comfort and beauty. Candace Barnes shows us how it is done with her Private Entry design at the Marin Designers Showcase. The home has a small entrance that would be used by the home owner, and Candice was able to create quite an impact for the smaller space. She started with a Venetian Plaster wall finish, then layered with a gorgeous Syrian mother of pearl inlaid mirror. I don't think she could have picked a more beautiful green for the velvet upholstered bench!

Some of you may have picked up the Veranda magazine issue with the House of Windsor Showcase featuring the Master Bedroom and Bath by Candace Barnes. For a little Tour click on over HERE and HERE. It just goes to show how very talented she is. 

Candace is also well known in Northern California for her Antique Gallery. If you have a moment, hop on over and take a look!

The Dining Room designed by Candace is gorgeous and glamorous with crystal, gold and silver accents. The Klismos chairs are from Candace Barnes and covered in a metallic crocodile inspired fabric. Many of the items in this space are from Candace, including the antique china, the Giltwood mirror, Ming Dynasty Temple Doors, and so many more items.

I hope you enjoy the peek.....

Just another amazing view of the San Francisco Bay and the City.....

There are still more time to take in all of the beauty at the Marin Designer Showcase!

For details, click on over HERE!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Marin Designers Showcase - Tucker & Marks Living Room

One of a pair of chests flanking the fireplace in the Living Room.  
The Marin Designers Showcase this year is on Belvedere Island in the San Francisco Bay. I think the location alone is enough to make it one of the most spectacular Showcase homes I have seen in Northern California. But because the home was such a coup for the organizers to have arranged, it was natural for this year's Showcase to attract some amazing talent. One of my favorite California design teams, Tucker & Marks, used their magic to transform the Living Room into an oasis of comfort and luxury. Suzanne Tucker and Timothy Marks, co-founders of Tucker & Marks, both worked with famed California designer Michael Taylor, taking over the helm when he passed away in 1986. They have been known as one of the "Top 100 designers in the World" according to Architectural Digest, and the title is well deserved!

Tucker and Marks are known for creating spaces that are "European in look, and Californian in scale". A perfect approach for this home on the Bay.  So sit back and enjoy the view!

Living Room designed by Tucker & marks. Luxury does not have to be unapproachable. This space beautiful and comfortable, both. The soft and worm color palette makes the perfect backdrop to strong color accents in the art and accessories. 
I love the elegant, yet casual linen slipcovers on the lounge chairs. The wonderful contrast of textures: leather, linen, stone, metals, wood, give the room an abundance of character. 
The table scape is a balance of scale, form and materials. No mater the budget, these ideas are something everyone can accomplish in their own spaces. 
I love the combination of materials used here: glamorous brass table with earthy studded wood chest, bronze sculptures and bright modern art. 
The Study is right off of the Living Room and had a distinctly cozy and moody feel.
Proud Peacock  
A view from the desk takes in a Shagreen console and the Living Room beyond. 
Beautiful sitting area in the Study, a perfect spot for a cozy read. Love the snake table!

Elegant and welcoming, stately yet approachable, these spaces speak to the style of Tucker and Marks, and to the Marin Designer Showcase.

I home you all have a chance to come see the Showcase in person. It runs through the end of February. For all of the details, click on over HERE!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Mirrors are one of the most useful tools in design. They offer a way to visually expand a small space. They can be used to create another "window" to balance or lighten up a room without enough architectural interest. And then there is the quick primp before rushing out the door....always a must in any home.

At the Marin Designers Showcase, I used mirrors in a couple of ways. In the foyer, I worked with Julie Holland of the Mirror Gallery to create a mirror for the foyer to the Guest Room. It was a very small vestibule and needed a little visual breathing room, so I wanted a very large mirror in front of which I placed a small console. I wanted something simple and classic for this Showcase, and Julie provided the perfect frame in a dark wood veneer.  It has a modern in profile, yet is classic in material. It reminds me of Biedermeier furniture, antiques that are as at home in modern interiors or traditional. A trick of putting up large mirrors with furniture in front I learned by studying designer Vicente Wolf over the years. He uses mirrors in such a grand way in all of his projects, and I realized that a mirror is not just something to put above a piece of furniture. I think they look very interesting when put behind furniture as well. And when they are larger, they create a much better expansion of a space.

Here is an example of Vicente Wolf's  use of mirrors:

In this office, the mirror acts like another window in an office space. Not only does it reflect the view, but it also makes the space appear twice as large.

The other mirror in the Showcase was very simple and used for the purpose of reflecting a wall sculpture by Stuart Allen, provided by Jay Jay Gallery. The wall sculpture is a series of sails, and I think having them reflected in the mirror has even more impact.....

Here is one more mirror for you to see in front of a piece of furniture. This one is in my own Living Room, but was originally designed for a another Designer Showcase. Here I placed a console table in front of the mirror with an antique Spanish trunk underneath. I also put another smaller round mirror with a white frame on top of the larger mirror. I may be recreating something like this soon! The weather has been so crazy here that the Flowering Quince is starting to bloom already.....

Experimenting with furniture, art and accessories is fun and there are no hard and fast rules. I hope you all feel free to switch it up now and again and have fun playing with your own spaces. Mirrors are a great way to start!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Marin Designers Showcase 2012- Let's Start the Show!

The desk I designed especially for the Showcase was built for me by Puente Wood Products and the metal work is by George Rosenburger. The photograph, Intrepid II, is by James Bleecker.  I selected this gorgeous photo because of the powerful image of the aircraft carrier and its relationship to the maritime theme of the space. I loved the sepia tone to the print, which was on watercolor paper, and the industrial quality to the subject. The time exposure to the image gives it a dreamlike quality as well. The lamp I selected reminded me of the Golden Gate Bridge and is by an amazing Canadian artist, Tahir Mahmood. I found the vintage fishing rods at the Sacramento Antique Faire.
Photo by Peter Medilek
I finally have had some time to sit down and go through all of the photos I have taken at the Marin Designer Showcase and get things ready to show to you all! I had professional photographer, Peter Medilek, take shots of the Guest Suite that I designed, so I am excited to start with these. It is so important to have work professionally photographed whenever possible. The lighting alone is worth everything. Many thanks to Peter for his beautiful work!

I designed the area rug for the space in partnership with Savnik, and named it "Shorelines". The house is right on San Francisco can even see a bit of the Golden Gate Bridge through the window. The blackened steel bench I designed was made for me by George Rosenburger. The mahogany and polished steel four poster bed is another KDI design, and produced by Dave Puente and George Rodsenburger. Dave also produced and installed the red wall shelves for me.
Photo by Peter Medilek
I had so much generous support from so many vendors, I want to thank them all. I could not have done the space without them. I designed much of the furniture in the space, as well as the area rug, so the project was especially detailed. I was on pins and needles for months waiting to see how all of the pieces were going to turn out! And they are beautiful.
The desk I designed is made of mahogany, like the floors in the space, and added to the stateroom feeling I was going for. I had the stainless steel support made and fitted into the desk top so the surface would be flush. The drawers are like independent boxes stacked on top of each other. The Beckett chair was generously provided by one of my favorite resources, Serena and Lily.
Photo by Peter Medilek
The Bed and the Desk were designs I came up with on paper when I did my initial presentation for the Showcase. It took more than a few meetings to make sure they turned out well. Dave Puente and George Rosenburger worked together to turn the vision into a working reality. Many many thanks to them both!
The wall sculpture of sails, titled "Seven" by Stuart Allen, was provided by Jay Jay Gallery in Sacramento. I thought this piece was perfect for this "modern stateroom." Especially with the America's Cup Race fast approaching. I added the mirror to reflect the sculpture and create the appearance of a fleet of sails ready to race.
Photo by Katie Denham
The Showcase was also an opportunity to show some incredible art. Often times, art can be one of the last pieces completing a design puzzle, but here a designer has an opportunity to showcase art that may take awhile to find its place in a client's home. Art is such an important element in design. It makes a space unique and personal, which is really what a home should be. I was lucky to have galleries that were so very supportive to work with on this project!
I used Indigo dyed batik printed textiles from Africa for the throw on the bed, and Indigo Tye Dye fabric from India for the pillows on the bed and the chairs. It is amazing how the artisans tied so many and such small knots to create the striped and zig zag patterns! For the curtain rod, I got creative and used rope, not only as a nautical nod, but to answer the issue of a curved window wall. The hardware looks quite nautical as well. Many thanks to Visions Window Coverings in Sacramento for their wonderful work!
Photo by Katie Denham
 Then there are also the details of the design. Here the bedding was something I wanted to be original and something one could not find anywhere else. The window treatment was also something I decided to have a bit of fun with. I had a curved wall to contend with, so came up with a creative solution there.

A glass cylinder in the background is filled with vintage fishing rods. Full image of  "Seven" by Stuart Allen.
Photo by Peter Medilek
Often, the details are the most fun things to see at a Showcase. The art, the detail on a pillow, the accessories and the lighting all come together to make a design interesting and unique. I like to gather things that are interesting and have a bit of humor. Adding a smile to one's day is an important thing, and I try to make that happen as often as possible!

I created a nightstand using an industrial glass vat with a blackened steel base. I added a tramp art chain made of bottle caps inside because everyone should have a bit of wackiness. The sphere on the table is a copper float that has a patina that reminds me of Jupiter. The lamps have an Art Deco vibe and were provided by Lumens Light and Living. Thank you Lumens!
Photo by Katie Denham
These photos show a few of those details that I had so much fun with. The foyer to the bedroom was fun little space I got to play with too. It was about 5'x5', and had three walls with doors, but it still became a space with impact. No space is too small to pay attention to....

Guest Suite Foyer with Natural Sisal Grasscloth Wallpaper.  Mitchell Gold console  provided by Ruby Living. Beautiful wall mirror made by the Mirror Gallery. Wall Sculptures by Heather Knight through Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts.
Photo by Peter Medilek
So there you have it! I hope you all stay tuned to see all of the other amazing designs from all of the talented and creative designers who participated in this years Marin Designer Showcase! I have lots more to share.

Please come see everything in person if you can! There is nothing like seeing this beautiful home up close and personal. The views are breathtaking, and I have never seen a home for a Showcase with such presence.

Custom Designed Accent Table by Paul Benson. Flowers by Terri Jaffee Floral Design. Vintage 1920's French Smoking Chairs provided by William's Antiks.
Photo by Peter Medilek
For all of the details on paying a visit, hop on over to the Marin Designer Showcase website HERE.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Took Me a Second.... figure out that the dog is wearing a fur cape of sorts, and not just having a bad hair day. But either way, doesn't he....or she....make you grin?'s really about the wallpaper. I was introduced not long ago to Eskayel. Eskayel is a Brooklyn, NY company founded only a few years ago by designer Shanan Campanro, who artfully imagines unique new patterns for wallpaper, fabrics and area rugs. What I love? Her wit and humor...and of course her style. Her wallpaper makes me the dog.

Pop on over to Eskayel and check out the rest of the design goodness.....the beautiful area rugs, fabric, pillows, scarves, and wrapping paper....

Have a grin.