Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our New Design Offices

I finally found a new space for our offices. It's close to home, the kids' schools, and most importantly, decent lunch spots. It's much smaller than our current space, but we will have actual walls. Now we can all be on the phones without sounding like we're in a call center.

I haven't been able to focus on much else beside the aesthetic of the new space. Green is always my office accent color. But after years with boring gray walls (my mistake!), I want to bump up the drama and paint the walls a rich emerald green.  My cabinet maker is retrofitting our cabinets, including installing these brass library lights with black shades. Of course, because I'm the client, there'll be lots of Empire and Chinoiserie touches, crystal, and gilt. Mercifully, the landlord agreed to let me replace the current 80's fluorescent lights and bad carpet with these crystal fixtures and white wood floors. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

After Photos – Rustic Bathroom

I just realized tonight that I never posted the after pictures of this Rustic Schoolhouse Bathroom I designed for the Farmhouse. I was so in love with this little space. It seemed so new then, the idea of tile that looked like wood, gray cabinetry...yawn. But I still love the way it turned out. I designed it in 2013, finished up construction in 2014. So at my usual timely pace, I thought I'd share. BTW, Happy 2016!

Remember the board and the sketch:

I was off site when the materials were delivered. The contractors made my supervising designer call me because they were sure there had been a mistake. Actually, many. The very seasoned tile setter got on the phone and tried to talk me out of the "white Caesarstone with that brown tile," especially with the gray cabinets, and "tile up the walls?!" According to my junior designer, the subs had a good laugh about our whole design concept. Mr. Tile Setter later told me it turned out to be his favorite room in the whole 10,000sf house. The only thing I love more than a man who admits he was wrong is a man who admits I was right. And one who can cook.

The final bath with that feel of an old shed.

The rustic (gray and brown!) pebbles in the shower mimic the nearby riverbank. Plus they feel like a great morning foot massage.

This is the kitchen in the Schoolhouse/Guesthouse.

To see more of this whole project check out my site or better yet Houzz

Happy New Year and God bless you in 2016! 

My resolutions are to stop swearing, eat organic and blog again. So far I've managed one out of three.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's coming together

Just taking a five second break before I drown in details and purchase orders. Soon enough the dining porch in Napa will be complete. It's an amazing space surrounded by windows, built to look like a once wrap around porch that has been enclosed. Here are my boards. It's the broad view. Followed by the minutia that no one but a fellow designer can appreciate. Working out little things like this is where the magic really brews.

And the minutia… Putting this document together for my workroom to execute the footstools was arduous but so necessary. The devil is in the details. For anyone who has ever asked their designers, why everything takes so long…

Looking forward to the weekend. 

Happy Easter!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dining Chairs. Mixed, Not Matched

If you hire me, whether your leanings are modern or traditional, you're on board with my love of all things layered. You sign up because you like my taste and style, even if you don't yet know that means a motley mix of furniture pieces, fabrics and finishes. I won't let clients succumb to fear-based matching, even when they call it coordinating. I've said it over and over, "If you just buy what you love, no matter the style, it will always 'go'!" I totally believe this, whether 'it' is a dainty chair, an abstract painting or the fabric for a pillow. I also try my best to mix the finishes on pieces to avoid that showroom feel. Especially when it comes to dining rooms. 

I'm onto finish number three in a current dining room. We are designing the chairs that will surround an 18th Century farm table. The room is actually more of a dining porch, designed to look like an exterior space that was later enclosed with windows. "Original" exterior shingles cover the walls, tongue and groove lines the ceiling, lantern style sconces light the sitting area, and tumbled stone lays across the floors. Classic, casual and super comfortable. 

I envision a barefoot sort of dining room; one that beckons friends and family to a table set with beers and bratwursts, yet knows how to gussy itself up for the occasional holiday dinner. 

chair back styles

We found our long, amazing antique farm table over a year ago. I knew it would ensure that the space stay true to its casual beginning. I'm cozying up the stone floors with sisal. The long bank of windows will be warmed with draperies in a classic blue French check. A pre-electric, brass chandelier has been wired to accommodate our modern penchant for light.

So onto the chairs. From the beginning I saw antique Swedish something or other. I hadn't quite settled on the style. Maybe an upholstered Louis XVI, or a simplified Hepplewhite, but definitely something with the lightness of a painted finish. I always love this contrast with an antique walnut table. 

19th-Century Southern Gothic cottage designed by Furlow Gatewood.
I'm definitely throwing some kind of wicker in the sitting area at the end of the long space. 

Veranda 2012, Jame Moore dining room

Simple & chic LA home designed by @Windsor Smith.
So many directions to go. So many beautiful choices waiting to be chosen. No matter what, I'll be sure the chairs, like the rest of the house, are comfortable, casual and totally inviting.
19th-Century Southern Gothic cottage designed by Furlow Gatewood.19th-Century Southern Gothic cottage designed by Furlow Gatewood.

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!

May much of it be spent at your own tables enjoying friends and family!

Sources: Veranda Magazine

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feeling Yellow

Mary McDonald Interior Design - Yellow Greek Key Accent Pillows
I can't believe the surge in popularity of Yellow this past year; in fashion, interiors and even graphic design. My personal preference is a more intense, lemon yellow over subtle buttery yellows--(remember this?) 

Dallas Shaw Blog: color inspiration

love this!
jamie drake yellow bedroom--zebra rug, curtainsyellow room {Aspen Gold}Akris Spring Summer 2013 Ready To Wear
Whether you "like" the color or not, you'd have to be a total curmudgeon to not feel uplifted by a yellow room .
Vibrant yellow striped walls.

The ubiquitous combo right now is YELLOW + GREY. We are actually working on, not one, but three yellow and grey spaces. I'm currently finishing up a  buttery yellow and gray project for a happy family in Beverly Hills. They wanted a soft yellow with very light, soothing greys.  Here's our sketch and board with some of our initial finds. I'll be sure to share some of the afters photos and our sources, many of which will be available from the shop.

Next up is a 70's citrusy yellow room with great bright yellow wallpaper and deep charcoals. I'm taking inspiration from her vintage yellow cloisonné ginger jar. I know you'll love it!

Hope you have a sunny weekend!

Sources: Collage, Dilly Dallas; Living Room, Mary MacDonald; bathroom, unknown; Bedroom, Jaime Drake; all others here

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Lunch with Aerin Lauder

Okay, so I didn't actually get to have lunch with her. But, as you all know, Aerin Lauder's much anticipated fabric, carpet and furniture lines for Lee Jofa are now available, through the trade. Everyone has been chomping at the bit for their samples. Gratefully, mine came yesterday, via lunch in my office with my dear friend and Lee Jofa Representative Cheryl Anotti-West. 

Aerin Lauder tabletop

We ate, gossiped and went through some of the most beautiful textiles I've ever seen. (One of my favorite things about having my offices in my home is that I have the perfect excuse to cook up yummy treats to share with my favorite colleagues and clients while we peruse the latest lines, source perfect finds or walk through design plans. What more could you ask for: food, friends and shared passion for pretty things. Though the food was certainly not the star yesterday.)

My fresh prosciutto, provolone and arugula sandwiches. (Bristol Farms deli cuts never disappoints!)

The line is every bit as stunning as I'd expected. Actually, twice as stunning as I'd expected. She has such a brilliant point of view and phenomenal taste. What better partner for a talent like Aerin than Lee Jofa.

Chairs and table, Aerin for Lee Jofa

Hither, Aerin Lee Jofa

Watersedge Velvet, Aerin for Lee Jofa

I love this sofa. The velvet in person is fit for royalty. It has an incredible hand and the color variation, almost an ombré, is exquisite. Love the end table here, too. That's a piece from the line as well. 

I am so excited to carry this entire line! These are the types of quality furniture pieces you buy once in a lifetime. Pieces that, like Aerin, are timelessly stylish. 

If you're interested, contact me or your favorite designer. Have a great weekend. And try that simple sandwich. Even kids love it.