Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Furniture Finds: Lexington

It is always fun when the emails with the latest from High Point start flowing in. Lexington Furniture recently sent me a new collection called Aquarius, and there were more than a few things that caught my eye.

What could be better than a Hermes orange chest of drawers with very handsome brass hardware? I am putting the Aria Chest in my "Furniture I have to use in a client project" file. It would be great in a room for grown ups (sophisticated) OR a child's room (perfect to grow up with, and such a fun color!)

Whenever I see new furniture, I have a habit of imagining a whole room designed around it. Do you ever do that? I imagine all of the other furnishings, walls, area rugs....everything. I call these rooms my "inspiration rooms". Occasionally I will put a mood board together for that potential client that might come along. And I always have photos of lovely things on my bulletin board in my office.

Couldn't you see it in a room like this.?.....

via Pinterest
And the Electra Chair....what a classic style! Art Deco shape and the leather and wood are such a wonderful combination. So handsome....again that descriptive.....but it is a masculine design I think. Which is NOT to say that a woman would not fall in love with it. I did!

I can see it in a space like this.....

via Pinterest
I also loved the Onyx Coffee Table. Tailored, sleek, classic and very chic, it could work in so many different settings....

I perused a few Living Rooms from the Elle Decor LookBook website to pick a few spaces where I think it would be right at home.....

What do you think? Modern, traditional, I think it works in any kind of setting.

A cool new modern bench called the Ascension comes in white or black leather. I thought it very interesting..... 

It could be great at the end of this bed....

And the white could be perfect.....


These are just a few of the pieces from the new Aquarius Collection from Lexington. You can see the whole collection HERE.

Everything is pretty easy to add into your own inspiration rooms. Have fun!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sneak Peek

I was busy yesterday delivering a cocktail table to a client's home and snapped a few pictures of the progress. Thought you might like to see! Things are not quite finished, we have pillows and art on the way. But I was so excited about the table, I had to share.

My friend George Rosenburger, a fantastic metal craftsman made the support legs from steel he got from an historic bridge in Folsom, California that was disassembled a couple of years ago. It is solid rolled steel, and very heavy! I know, because I helped Dave Puente carry the table into the house. Dave is another great friend who made the solid walnut top and assembled the table for me.

Getting the details right near the end of the project seems to take the most time. It is so important for a project to take on the personality of the home owner, so art and accessories need to reflect that personality.  It takes a little time to gather the items that tell a story about who lives here.

We are in the home stretch (so to speak) and I will take some more photos when things are all done!

If you have a project in mind at your home, or are starting from the ground up, I invite you to contact me about our design services.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gump's Remix

Brilliant Blues
There has been a little rearranging going on in Gump's, one of my very favorite places in San Francisco. Always a go-to destination for beautiful china and glassware, brilliant jewelry and unique accessories for the home, Gump's also has always had a section for stylish interior furnishings.

Not only have they zhushed up their interior furnishings areas....I especially like the beachy blue vignette with the paintings of the Northern California coast.....

Sophisticated Styling
A Gaggle of Garden Stools 
Artful Accessories
 .....but they have also expanded their fashion offerings......

This area used to be much more oriented towards home furnishings, but there is now an amazing array of chic and artful clothes. In short, they have it all.....

And there is nothing nicer than being treated to a beautiful dressing room. Do you agree?

If in the Bay Area, hop on over to Gump's for a Fall remix fix!

All photos courtesy of Andria Lo

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Friday - Pictures from the Edge

When we were in Las Cruces, New Mexico a couple of weeks ago, we skirted the edge of the Organ Mountains which are visible from pretty much everywhere in the region.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did....awestruck at every turn is how I felt.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Had to Have Them

Target has struck again. Last year they had customers arriving in droves to cart off all of the Missoni merchandise that was priced so well that any design savvy buyer was lured in almost against their will to buy pencil cups, pillows and zigzag patterned blouses.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol's iconic 1962 "32 Campbell's Soup Cans", The Andy Warhol Foundation partnered with Campbell's Global Design team to come up with four soup can labels, and they went on sale at Target September 2. A big "thank you" goes to Grant Gibson for spreading the word, otherwise the word would have slipped right past me.

The Andy Warhol Foundation is all set to sell off its collection of Warhol's work through Christie's to raise dollars for its endowment over the next few years. The money raised is to go to the support of the visual arts. To find out all about it, click on over HERE.

As many of you know if you have been reading katiedid for awhile, I have a few Andy's adorning the walls around here. My mother, trend setter that she was back in the 60's, had the foresight to understand that Mr. Warhol was something to watch. She was ensconced in the LA art world back then, picking up things from artists like Frank Stella and Larry Bell. She purchased a number of Warhol's pieces before they became quite so collectible. Some of the pieces she had purchased back then have been sold over the years, but we still have a few things and I am very lucky to be a beneficiary of her art acquisition phase.

Mom somehow got ahold of a shopping bag with the Campbell's Soup Can screened on to it in dayglo orange and fuchsia. It was published on the occasion of the Warhol exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 1966. I was just a tot at the time. It is hanging in my office right now, and it is very happy here.

So you can understand why....when at Target the other day getting toothpaste with my daughter.....we passed by a display of these soup cans....I had to grab them. I was sad to find there were a few of only three of the four colors left. The yellow and white cans were all gone. But my daughter is taller than I am now, and she found the last yellow can on the top shelf knocked on its side behind the last three purple and red cans.

75 cents a can. Can't beat that.

Happy Birthday 32 Campbell's Soup Cans!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Affordable" is Getting a Makeover!

Chic new lobby for Hotel Berry!
Over the weekend, Tim and I hopped on our bikes for a bimonthly tour of our fair city to see what's up with the latest and greatest going on in architecture and such. Tim is a "City and Regional Planner", so he is always interested in what is being developed in the city. And I am along to see how it all is being designed inside and out.

Who says "affordable" has to be anything less than fantastic?
This week, we were lucky to see the new renovation of the Berry Hotel, a 1920's era hotel two blocks from the State Capitol. My first impression? What a cool space! And then it hit home just how cool it really is when I was reminded that this is an affordable housing project. The Berry has been used as low income housing since the 60's, and it had seen better days. 

Step in...... Jamboree Housing Corp., along with Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. Jamboree has just completed a 16 month renovation that included seismic retrofitting, electrical and plumbing upgrades along with all of the other nuts and bolts.

Of course all that is important, but really, when you walk into the space, what you notice first is what great style it has! There has been quite a bit of controversy about the funding being spent on this project vs. the city's other needs. Suffice it to say that the dollars marked for affordable housing cannot be transferred to the general fund for use in other areas. The beneficiary of this are the new residents of the Berry Hotel. Residents qualify if they have income 30 to 45% of the area median income, or roughly $15,400 per year. If one is struggling to make ends meet and are trying to stay employed, or are elderly with a fixed income, it is great to see that they will have a place that gives some joy and dignity to their lives. I hope it is successful!

TV anyone? Very nice TV lounge!
The local economy has not been great, as is the case in so many communities, so the opening later this month will be very welcome for those seeking an affordable place to live. The successful renovation does go to show that everyone deserves a beautiful place to live. Bravo to Jamboree Housing and to all those who's dedication has shepherded this project to completion.

For more info click on over HERE.

Just another bike ride full of inspiration!

Monday, September 10, 2012

We Thought it was a Weed..... and Other House Stuff

I am very glad we gave this "weed" an chance to prove its stuff. Not only has it risen way above its station, but it has far exceeded any hope we had for it. It is flowering away and has a wonderful scent, just to remind us that it was always better than its humble beginnings.

As you can see, it is much better dressed than the rather scruffy porch bench, which is in need of a new coat....or two....

But help is on the way. Tim has been slowly working his way around the house with the paint bucket. The back of the house was the testing ground for color, so it was painted first. The process has been painfully slow.....but meticulously well done. And the $$ we are saving having someone else paint will be going toward our Europe trip, so it is all good!

I think the windows on the second floor sun room had not been painted for a veeerrrry long time. They look so nice now!

Tim is on house side number two, the most difficult side, since it is three stairs high what with the stair well to my basement studio. A new ladder was definitely in order! All the prep has been done on this side, so the rest is going quickly! Here you can just make out the old color and the new....

The front of the house is what I am most excited to see all done. I hope we are in time for the Holidays!

Other little things are keeping us busy as well....harvesting tomatoes for one. There are more than we can eat. Anyone in the 'hood need any?

And what exactly does one do with all of the baby fish that keep appearing in a fish pond? I know there must be a fish pond or bowl in need of a few additions? Free to a loving home.....

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Romance in the Southwest

Last week, we were lucky enough to find ourselves in Mesilla, New Mexico. Historic Mesilla was truly a Wild West town. Billy the Kid was a frequent guest, and in fact was tried and hung in the town. In the 1960's, the town became and historic preservation area and as a result has maintained the original buildings on the square and the adobe architectural vernacular which is so specific to New Mexico. It is a beautiful and charming place with shops and restaurants that I wish I had had more time to explore.

We did have time to have a very proper and nostalgic dinner at the Double Eagle right on the plaza. You enter what seems to be a modest adobe building, but the interiors change quickly to a grand Victorian manse. We passed the Imperial Bar with its French Baccarat crystal chandeliers and gold leaf Corinthian columns on our way to the dining room....

The Maximillian Room is where we were seated, named for  Ferdinand Maximillian Joseph, Archduke of Austria who was named Emperor of Mexico in 1864. Poor Max was unfortunately captures and killed by Mexican Leader Benito Juarez. They didn't think they needed an Emperor from Austria. We had a perfect view of the portrait of King George and the stunning Baccarat crystal chandeliers....

We settled in for a meal of Boeuf Bourguignon and the Pecan Pie from this area known for their Pecan orchards. I was charmed by the single dusty mauve roses at every table.....

I felt like I was in a bit of a time machine that night. But then I was always an easy mark for the romance of history.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sands of Time

White Sands, New Mexico
First, I wanted to say a very heart felt THANK YOU to all of you who helped me so much with your very kind words and thoughts over the last few weeks.

I have been on a bit of a journey, and it has led me not only to places I have never seen, but also to places inside myself I had yet to know. The trip brought me even closer to my brother who just passed away.

I wish I had been to this place he lived before he was gone. I wish I had shared it with him and seen his  proud face when presenting this brilliant place to us.....

I wish we had trekked up and down these dunes together to see what was on the other side.....

Grains of gypsum, so white and cool
I wish we had counted the white grains together.....

And touched the clouds....

...and smiled .... knowing what we know about each other.......knowing what a place like this can mean to a heart......

Someone captured my thoughts in the sand before we even arrived
All I can do is add my wishes to the grains of sand and hope they reach you.