Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Packing It In

Spring Break. It is fast approaching, and it does cross my mind in between the day to day whirl of client projects, replacing printers and washing machines, Surewest techies fixing the frozen TV screens, dog walking and dinner cooking....that I do have to pack for a college tour getaway to Central California. We will be fitting in some kayaking, shopping, eating, wine tasting into the mix as well!
So....the packing! It is always nice to have a bag that does double or triple duty! Something to pack all of the my camera, iPad, hats, beach towels, and anything else that doesn't quite make it into the suitcase. 

But once you get to your destination, that bag can also double as a beach bag.....or a "bring the wine home from the tasting room" bag..... 

Or a Farmer's Market shopping bag......or a "bring home a new pair of sandals" bag.....

OR....more to the purpose of this particular trip......a place to keep all of the college information we will be collecting for the next chickadee who is leaving the nest.

Sister Parish Design has provided just the thing, but then they would, wouldn't they? ...and there is even a little chickadee (cockatoo)) inside every bag!

Check out all of the options HERE. Very hard decision...narrowing down the choices.

Which is your favorite?

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Fabric of our Lives....and a Question!

Chocolate prints on a sofa I could lounge on for days 
....... it is going to be the fabric of MY life one way or another! Katherine Rally has just updated their website in commemoration of their second year anniversary, and it is inspiring me to do some freshening up around the old homestead.

A couple of pillows? A few yards of fabric for a table cloth? Something is going to happen, and soon! As I was strolling through the new website,  saw so many possibilities.....a bedspread perhaps? A bit of fabric to lay over the top of an upholstered headboard? The wheels are turning!

 In case you are not yet familiar, Katherine Rally is the brainchild of Katherine and Rally Dupps. Adventurers at heart, they picked up and moved to Bali and started a fabric company when the recession hit the States. Rally is an architect originally from Nashville, and Kathy is a designer from Arizona, so creativity is natural to them both, as is the travel bug. 

When I read things like this, it makes me think I need to take a few more risks in my life! Sort of Eat, Pray, Love for awhile before I am too old to enjoy it all!

You can catch more of their story on the website, and loads more photos of their beautiful line of fabrics guessed it.....the website.

You might remember the blog post about them HERE when they were first starting out. I had a chance to interview them, and have been a huge fan ever since. It seems like just a short time ago! Which makes me think that time it just whizzing by way too fast.

 Which brings me to "the Question"......

...Which is.....if you have a fixed amount of cash on hand, as most of us do, what would you do with it.....feather your nest and make your home the place you always want to be......or use the cash to spread your wings and fly to exotic places and experience things you have never had a chance to see before? If it could only be one or the other, which would be your natural inclination?

The Dupps have found a way to have it all.....

I think a "how to" book is in order! It would be my very next purchase!

Looking quite happy in a new hot pink sarong!
Congratulations to Katherine and Rally on a beautiful endeavor. 
May they live well and prosper!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Time for a Swim

The weather around here has turned rainy. And it is about time! We need the rain after a very dry winter. The down side might be that all of the new blossoms on the trees might get washed right off! During the Marin Designers Showcase, the timing for dry beautiful weather could not have timed out better. February showed off her blue skies for almost the whole month, which made poolside at the Showcase a very pleasant affair. The garden and landscape was designed by Stephen Suzman, and most elegant man, and it was just beautiful. You might want to hop on over to his website to see the amazing work he does.

There was a chic little cabana next to the pool that charmed me to no end. Katherine Hill designed the interior, and also staged the garden with McGuire lounge furniture. Kathy used a Thibaut coral wallpaper in the little hallway in the cabana, as well as a coral colored grass wall covering. She used capeze shell light fixtures, and Oly Studio chairs and mirrors. The whole effect was a charming beachy setting which made one want to don a bathing suit and jump right in.

The art was supplied by Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts, and was perfect for the space. Game of Beach Ball Anyone?

I am ready for a beach day in a warm location. 
Are you done with winter yet?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sneak Peeks

 With all of the excitement of the Marin Designer Showcase, one might think that is all that has been going on around here! Not so, not so. I have been quite busy with client projects, some of which will be published soon! 

I have been working with a wonderful family lately on their home, and it is still ongoing. We have finished the Master Bedroom and Family Room. I wanted to share just a peek.  We started with a rug that the young couple already had, and built from there with natural linen covered Bergere, a Chinese garden stool, aqua blue toile fabric for the curtains, Windsor Smith fabric on the pillow, and a charcoal painted dresser. I am on pins and needles to see the photos that were taken for Sacramento Magazine for their April issue. The home will also be on the Curtis Park Home Tour this April!

Another project that has just been finished in a kitchen for another young couple in Curtis Park. they have a wonderful California Bungalow home and it was such a pleasure to work with such  talented pair. The wife is quite and artist and has her wonderful work throughout the house. For this remodel, I was able to take an unused closet from an adjacent room and add the square footage to the small kitchen. We also had existing windows that were kept in place for budget's sake. White Shaker style cabinets, beautiful quartz counters, white subway tile and open shelving give things a fresh new start. The new Bertozzi Range is perhaps my favorite new feature.

We also redid the Laundry Room. Originally, the whole room was covered with beadboard. But it had been patched so many times we replaced it for an original look. I also had bead board installed on the ceiling. More open shelving and butcher block counters help keep things casually fresh. I love the original stained glass window that lets light into the adjacent Dining Room! I just snapped a few shots when I was there the other day. It will be nice to get professional photos taken soon!

So, just a little peek! I will be showing you more projects soon....I have been working on an Eichler cool! And I can hardly wait to share the Sacramento Magazine article as soon as it comes out.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bedrooms, Marin Designers Showcase

Master Bedroom by Gioi Tran
I have here you have it! More from the Marin Designers Showcase....the Bedrooms. The house has a total of 7 bedrooms....enough for anyone, wouldn't you say? Every one of them has beautiful views, so the designers were challenged to come up with ideas that would equal the Golden Gate Bridge and SF skyline.

First up is the Master Bedroom designed by Gioi Tran. Gioi and his team conjured up a custom four poster bed, special area rugs and other luxurious furnishings. But my favorite design idea? ....the artful "bubbles" on the walls next to the fireplace. They remind be of champagne, or sea foam. Playful and creative!

The room was simple and elegant, with just the right amount of edge. Nicely done!

Next up....a chic guest room by Cecilie Starin. Layered and sophisticated, this room brings in lots of textures and finishes like silver leafing on the ceiling, zebra hide on top of sisal on the floors, fur, leather, iron, bamboo, and even ostrich eggs...

Guest Room by Cecilie Starin
A lovely gathering of exotic and classic treasures....

There were some much more modern rooms as well. Robin Barnatto put together an exuberant room I just loved. When I showed it to my teenage daughter, she wanted to move right in. Lots of silver tones on the walls, shag rug and bedding contrasted with the very fashion forward acid yellow lining on the faux fur throw and the fun art work. (I am seeing this yellow color all over the place in the stores right now!)

Guest Room by Robin Barnatto
The desk had a  translucent lavender lucite (?) top on it that we loved. Gonna have to remember that for  some future project! Beautiful striped sheers and happy glass wall art added more zing to the artful space.

Kriste Michelini created the perfect girl's room right next door. You might have thought that some of the designers communicated about colors in this Showcase....these rooms seem to flow one to the other.!  Kriste started with a fabulous wallpaper from Osborne and Little...graphic and fun. Osborne and Little also supplied the fabric for the bedding and pillows, as well as the purple velvet for the ottoman. So pretty and happy in here! And I loved the light fixture from Y Lighting...

Guest Room by Kriste Michelini
One of the things a liked about this room was the combination of high and not so high. Kriste used a West Elm daybed and desk in the space. Just goes to show that good design need not be out of reach for anyone. My teen had a had time deciding between these two rooms....

Next, a peaceful room by Lindy Donnelly. Lindy used pale sea foam and sand colors to create the restful retreat. A couple of my favorite things in this space....the shagreen nightstands from Ironies, and..... 
Guest Room by Lindy Donnelly
....the living art on the walls by Habitat Horticulture. I really recommend hopping over to their website. Amazing stuff on a grand scale.

Lindy also did a beautiful display on the shelves in her space. I specifically liked the seltzer bottles next to the oyster shell spheres....

Last, the Guest Suite next to mine was designed by Alison Wilson and Catherine Coy of Sunrise Home. Again, we did not discuss color palette or design direction, but it was uncanny how they picked indigo blue, an orangey red and white for their nautical vibe room. I loved the desk design (you can just make out the desk supports...fantastic!) 

Guest Suite by Sunrise Home
Here is a closer view of the desk area. Loved the starfish and shell displays in the glass boxes!

There was a little foyer into this suite that has a table that was definitely worth a  photo! It had an iron base that supported a boat propeller....loved it!

So there you have it! Lots of beautiful places to rest one's head and gaze out to sea. There is still more to come in the next few days, so I hope you drop back in to see!

One of the nicest things about being a part of the the Showcase was the chance to meet and get to know the other wonderful designers. Not only does it create a sense of community and camaraderie, but it also provides an opportunity to refresh one's design batteries when seeing different approaches to design.

Thank you to all of the designers who were so generous with sharing their creativity!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Things

Lina Woven Ballet Flats
I admit it. I have a problem with catalogs. I get at least 3 or 4 per day shooting through my mail slot. You would think that You Tube, or Facebook would get more of my attention, but not so much.  I do like holding real pages in my hands so I can flip them, dog ear them, put post-it tags on them. 

However, I usually do not feel a great urge to buy things on sight. I mull things over for awhile. Not so the other day when I got the Spring Nordstrom catalog. I came across these little cuties from Toms. Apparently Toms have come out with a collection of ballet flats, and this pair got to me. I could not wait for snail mail to bring them to me. I hopped in my car that day and zipped on over and bought them. I have yet to actually wear them. This happened just yesterday. But I do keep trying them on and imagine everything I can wear them with. 

Do you do that? 

These may be next.....

Alessandra Burlap Ballet Flats

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ma(i)sonry and Llisa Demetrios

Just a taste of the fabulous collection at Ma(i)sonry
A couple of weekends ago, I hopped in the car and headed to Napa where I picked up my aunt and mom, then headed up to Yountville for a girls' day at Ma(i)sonry. There was a very special event that we all were looking forward to, and Ma(i)sonry was just the place to enjoy it all. For those of you unfamiliar, Ma(i)sonry is the brainchild of Michael Polenske, a man dedicated to the "business of leisure". He has an interest in preserving one of the original stone structures in historic Yountville. He set out to "preserve the historic integrity and modernize a stylized backdrop for 'a life aesthetic' ". Michael has had his hand in high finance, where he realized that investments are best when they involve the things you love. So, he has invested in the wine industry, art and design with great style bringing us Ma(i)sonry, Blackbird Vineyards wine and the I. Wolk Gallery in St. Helena.  

The reason for visiting Ma(i)onry on the day in question was an invitation from Diane Dorrans Saeks, doyenne of design, prolific author, and popular blog editor of The Style Saloniste. Diane invited us to join her in a conversation with Llisa Demetrios, sculptress and granddaughter of Charles and Rae Eames. 

The party was hopping when we arrived.
As soon as we arrived, we hopped upstairs and sampled the delicious wines of Blackbird Vineyards, and took in the sights.  Art and antiques met us at every turn. It was hard to stay focused on any one thing for very long before some new fantastic thing caught my attention. We took our time wandering, finally making our way out to the beautiful garden.

Llisa Demetrios shows her work in the garden at Ma(i)sonry, and we had a chance to see her work throughout the garden.

Llisa Demetrios with one of her sculptures

The garden at Ma(i)sonry
Then we sat down and relaxed while sipping our wine and listening to Diane and Llisa's conversation which was centered around Llisa's beautiful work as well as her involvement with the Eames Foundation and their many upcoming events. 

Llisa Demetrios, Diane Dorrans Saeks and Michael Polenske
Diane led the conversation into the lives of Charles and Rae Eames, and what it was like to follow in such well renowned footsteps.

Some of the attendees....Myra Hoefer was there.
It was a beautiful day filled with creative people, wonderful wine, art and antiques. A better way to spend a day? Can't think of one.

Had to share the stuff of Ma(i)sonry......

Art by Adam Shaw
My favorite photo of the day        

Art by Andreas Reimann
Art by Lizabeth Rossof

Sculpture by Damon Hyldreth

For more information about any of the items at Ma(i)sonry, AND to find out why Ma(i)sonry is spelled the way it is.... click HERE.

For more information about how to get involved or attend upcoming events by the Eames Foundation click HERE.

P.S......I just read HERE that Ma(i)sonry has been selected to do a room at the San Francisco Designer Showcase. Bravo! And if you hop on over, you will see a sketch of the space they have presented for the might see something familiar. ;)