Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from my Wild Things

 This is what my twins wanted to be for Halloween.  How apt.

I don't sew, so I made do with yellow hoodies, a bunch of felt, Christmas ornaments for eyes, yarn, and my good ol' glue gun. 


 Also, if you are in the Bay Area, or plan to visit, I updated, per a reader request, my Bay Area tab at the top of this page with my favorite East Bay resources:  home goods, antique, thrift, and junk shops among others.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Look Alikes III


Source: via Camille on Pinterest


Something about each of these images reminded me of the others.  Is it the grey?  The symmetry.  The large rectangular shape with lantern/sconce on either side?  A general weathered quality?

Sorry I haven't been around much this week.   The kiddos are both sick so no preschool, still no naps, and I'm desperately trying to get those Halloween costumes made before our neighborhood parade this weekend.  Hope to visit you all soon!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Peek at Leah and Stephane's Dining Room

A few weeks ago, I posted about helping my friends Leah and Stephane decorate their dining room.

I recently took them on a tour of my favorite thrift/junk/antique stores in the area.  Look what we found:


Leah just sent me this picture as a surprise.  

We found the above Louis Phillipe mirror at my favorite junk store for $40.  In its original wood state, it was probably part of the matching dresser set and was a bit sad looking.   I suggested that Leah and Stephane buy it and paint it gold.

They wanted to keep looking, so they chose not to buy it, but it looks like they changed their minds! I'm glad it was still there when they returned.

The two have been diligently at work making changes to this space.  This is not the only picture I've gotten from them, and I have to say that one of the things I love about Leah and Stephane's approach is their willingness to try new ideas and change them if they don't work.

For example, they have already tried another mirror and a piece of art in this spot.  Not to mention the red chairs which were purchased and returned.  Currently, they're trying out an persian rug for the space.  They keep going until they find something they love, which is a lesson I can certainly learn from -- no need to commit to something that doesn't work for your space. 

Have you ever bought something and returned it if it didn't work?  What are your thoughts on doing this?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Look Alikes II


You like?  Which is your favorite?

I'd have to go with number three.  Although that little reading nook IS pretty great.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Villa Else

I recently came across the website of Danish designer and stylist Katrine Martenson-Larsen.  What a treat it was to peruse the many homes she has designed and styled.

This family's little vacation retreat caught my fancy.  


I assume this is the "master" bedroom.

Given the choice, I'd I'll take small, quirky, and a tad worn over grandiose, perfect, or new any day of the week. What a great source for small space design.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Art in a Gilded Frame





my living room

My mom recently gave me these oils which she painted and framed.  Aren't they pretty?  I'm having a very hard time deciding where to hang them.  But will be sure to take a picture and post when I do.  Thank you, Mom.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Did you watch Will and Grace?

If so do you remember this fabulous, fabulous set? 

I remembered liking the set, but now that I'm seeing with fresh eyes, I can't help but notice how current it still looks even though the show debuted thirteen years ago. Very warm and fall like with all of the cozy reds, oranges, wood, and leather.  Talk about a layered look.

You should know that it is not my idea to blog about the Will and Grace set. I first read about it on Chic Coles blog, who rediscovered it recently watching old episodes while home sick.   I was so enamored, I had to call your attention to it too!

My favorite is the pedestal table with directors chairs around it.  Two things I've already blogged about.  

Apparently, the set was donated to Emerson College, where you can still visit it in the library to this day.  

Sorry for the grainy photos.  This was the best I could find. 

Do you think it still looks current, or is it old enough that it is beginning to be stylish again? Or, does it just look dated?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rockridge Kitchen Tour 2011: The Whole View

The 2011 Rockridge Kitchen Tour was two Saturdays ago, and it didn't disappoint. 

Before the event, I posted tight shots of clever details through out some of the nine kitchens.   

Now I'm showing the picture with a variety of shots -- all things of which I took note and liked.

Photo Credit:  Buttrick Wong Architects
Although every kitchen was pretty fabulous, this was my favorite in the tour.  There's so much to love about this design which blends traditional, contemporary, and rustic elements, but my favorite thing is the way the custom zinc hood is centered between to the two windows.  The apothecary cabinets, which sit directly on the counter top, help to balance the scene.  

How about the walnut on the island?  What a great way to introduce warmth while disguising the the counter top from the round breakfast table and formal dining room directly behind where the photographer was standing to take the photo.

Photo Credit:  Buttrick Wong Architects
  Wondering where the fridge is?  In the nearby pantry you see at the back at the photo, along with another sink, another dishwasher, microwave, etc.  An interesting idea --  not only is this aesthetically pleasing, it allows the pantry to function as a utility space while the actual cooking and baking takes place in the public area.

Photo credit: Buttrick Wong Architects

 The extra deep island allowed space for a custom drainboard behind the sink, which is both deep and wide enough for washing huge pots and pans.
Photo Credit:  Buttrick Wong Architects
The entire kitchen and breakfast area open to a patio on the side of the house. 

In fact, an open-to-the-outside kitchen was a common theme in most kitchens on the tour.  Every house was built near the beginning of the 20th century, when kitchens were tucked away in the back of the house.  As such, lots of these remodels involved opening the kitchen to a back patio or deck.

Photo credit:  Contra Costa Times
You may remember this traditional craftsman style kitchen from my original post. 
Photo credit:  Natalie Mehta
The homeowners used Ikea cabinet boxes or "guts" and then had the drawer and cabinet fronts custom made.  Not only did this allow for splurges like the marble counters, but the homeowners could also then buy all of the great Ikea custom inserts for the drawers.

Aren't the colors soothing and serene?  Angelisse Karol, a local color consultant worked on this kitchen.

Photo credit:  Natalie Mehta

If you look to the right of the fridge, you'll that little bit of left-over space for cookbooks which proved to be a pretty popular pin on Pinterest.  The homeowner even had a sliding door put into to a little nook, which she uses as her office/command center.

Photo credit:  Natalie Mehta

 Here's a similar traditional Craftsman style kitchen with white cabinets and glass panes. 

Photo credit: Natalie Mehta
I really like the idea of having the fridge built into the wall so it sits flush.

The seeded(?) glass panes in the cabinets are a nice touch, and look at the bridge faucet over the sink!  Have you even seen one so high off of the counter?

Photo credit:  Natalie Mehta
The kitchen opened up onto a very pretty back deck, but I could stare at those gorgeous windows all day.


There were also a number of kitchens that used warm wood cabinets, which harken to the Arts-and-Crafts style of the homes in the neighborhood.

This kitchen used a Craftsman color palette with simple cherry cabinets.

I love the color of paint on this island.

Adjacent to the kitchen is this family room with a flat screen TV tucked between the cabinets.  Guess what's  inside those deep lower cabinets? If you guessed a washer and dryer, then you are right!  What a smart way to make doing laundry more enjoyable.


In this kitchen, the homeowner cleverly made use of a free standing, narrow island from Pier One with a folding leaf which you can just see in the picture below.  If you don't have a lot of room, but would like an island, this is a good solution.

I loved their little reading nook, whose drawers underneath are used to hold art supplies for their children. They also used glass tile on the back splash which almost mimics the look of brick.  And the wood tones of the cabinets match the original wood trim throughout the house.

I had to show this photo of their entry porch too.  How cute is that little pane in the window that swings open?


This Sunset magazine featured kitchen was pretty amazing too.

It was open and light-filled, much like the first kitchen in this post.

Plus, there were these amazing little vignettes everywhere, which I was very distracted by and which I could not help but take a few pictures of.

Round table behind the bar. 

And they had a fantastic studio space in the back.

Ladder to a sleeping loft?

Eating area in the backyard.