Saturday, December 22, 2012

We're opening a shop!

quick iphone pic

Big news!  My biz partner, Wendy and I are finalizing the details to open a real storefront in a great little area called Temescal Alley in Oakland.  We'll continue to sell our refurbished and upcycled goods for the home there and on etsy. 

We had been dreamily talking of opening shop sometime in the next few years, but when we found out about this amazing vacancy two weeks ago, we took a leap of faith and went for it.  

At the turn of the century, our little (emphasis on little) shop was originally a stable.  Later the horse stalls were turned into carriage houses and most recently into tiny shops.

Here's what the inside looks like.

quick iphone pic
We love the exposed brick, the built-in rustic pipe shelving, and the concrete floors. And of course, we plan to do some work to make it our own.

via San Francisco Chronicle

We couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of this thriving community of small shops full of artisans and other creatives. 

Here are what some of the other shops in Temescal Alley look like:

Esqueleto via The San Francisco Chronicle

Crimson Horticultural Rarities via The San Francisco Chronicle

Doughnut Dolly -- image via Refinery 29

You can see we have our work cut out for us! 

To read more about Temescal Alley, see The San Francisco Chronicle's recent article "Oakland's Hip and Vibrant Temescal Alley Takes Off."

One last thing, since our business is no longer located in the Claremont area of Oakland, we've decided to change our name.

Henceforth it will be "Walrus."

We have changed the blog title, and are working on changing our blog address to match.  And we'll probably have a new website up and running soon.

Details to come!  We are uber excited!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Love this table!

I was just perusing the World Market website and found this little beauty on sale for $150.  Not a bad price.  If I didn't already have three dining tables in my teensy-tiny place, I'd snap it up.  

Oh, and they've even named it after me.  ;)

Camille Kitchen Dining Table from World Market.

Nope, they didn't pay me to say this.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Round Dining as Side Table

It all started with this photo of designer Kelly McGuill's home, which was recently published Yankee Magazine. When I saw this photo for the first time, I had just finished reading some interior design rules about side table and lamp height.  Kelly ignored and/or broke those rules when she put this pedestal dining-sized table and overscale lamp next to her sofa.
(I am ga-ga for this neutral living room and feel the same way about her entire house.  Click photo to see more on her blog O so D.)

And then I started to notice dining-sized round tables being used as side tables in all kinds of interiors. 

Source:  Cottage Style Fall/Winter 2012

Source:  Cottage Style Fall/Winter 2012

They are a great way to fill space in a large room or corner, and look especially nice next to a sofa.

I had never considered using a round dining table as a side table until I saw that first photo.  Had you?

**Click photos for sources, unless otherwise noted.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Laura's House Tour Part II

If you missed part 1 of Laura's house tour, you can click here.

Today we're starting in the dining room again.  The beautiful, ornate hall tree belonged to Laura's dad.  A perfect place for a terrarium filled with air plants.  To the right is a peek into her office.  

And here is Laura's office, where she stores columns and large urns for wedding work.  The yellow bunting is made from dyed cheese cloth strips attached to rope -- a technique she sometimes uses for wedding decoration. 

Another of Laura's beautiful displays.

Rope, an old pair of scissors, and a straw hat.  What more do you need?

Laura recently hung this old wooden tool box on the wall to house little collections of things.  What a great idea!

Another globe in her collection. 

As you come out of the office, you head into the kitchen with its painted white and black checkered floors.  That sink in the back is part of the butler's pantry, which I will show in a minute. 

Laura had open shelves long before they became popular.  The back splash is stainless steel and the counter tops are butcher block.

She is the only person I know, besides my mom, who can get their orchids to re-bloom.

I love how Laura took advantage of that bit of wall space to use a stainless steel cart for eat-in-the-kitchen meals.  It also makes a great place for guests to hang out while Laura cooks.  (Note the wall clock with hanging cord I mentioned in part 1.)  To the left, you have another peek into the butler's pantry.

The name "butler's pantry" cracks Laura up.  She says that in a 1000 square foot house, who needs (or can afford) a butler?   Still, it is full of vintage charm with the wall faucet and built-in cabinets.  The skirted under sink space also makes for a nice place to tuck the kitty litter box. 

The tile on the counter tops is original, and you can see more of Laura's pottery and glass collection on the open shelves.

And finally, Laura's bedroom. 

Laura is a studio floral designer, meaning that she works in a studio rather than a shop.  Here she is in the door of her garden shed which acts as her studio.  I wanted to get more photos of her garden and of the inside of her studio, but ran out of time! 

Thanks, Laura, for allowing me to take pictures of your adorable home!

Hope you all enjoyed the tour. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Laura's House Tour Part I

So excited today to share a tour of a house oozing with vintage charm and character in Oakland, California.  Homeowner, Laura, is a studio floral designer, friend, and sometimes my boss when she hires me to help during wedding season. 

Come on in!

As you walk into the 1922 Craftsman style house, you enter the dining room, complete with built-in window seat, leaded glass china cupboard, and fireplace. 

Laura says it felt immediately like home, even before she saw the inside. 

Most of the original features are intact.  Laura says that she has done minimal work to the place -- only updating it with a bit of paint. 

An avid collector, Laura has been visiting flea markets since she was 19.   Many pieces of her collection are used for floral design, and a lot of what she has was once in the flower shop she owned in L.A. before moving to the Bay Area.

This bookshelf once resided in her flower shop, but now holds most of her photos.  Laura says that because her house is small, she prefers to keep them all in one place and mix them up with other things that have special meaning, like sand and beach glass from Hawaii, and special treasures given to her by her nephew.

She has also been a long-time collector of globes and vintage cameras.  

Just off the dining room is the living room. 

The painting is a flea market find and most of the colors in Laura's house are intuitively pulled from this single piece.  

Here is another amazing collection of yellow and green pottery housed in an old lawyer's bookcase from Laura's dad.  The coffee table/chest is from her grandmother. 

Laura is a master at creating vignettes.  This is a little grouping full of bits and baubles she liked with a spur from her horse-riding days.

Laura tells me that she doesn't know where her obsession for vintage clocks came from.  She has them all over the house, including wall clocks with dangling cords.  People often ask her why they aren't plugged in, which amuses her as much as people's reaction to her doll parts, like the legs you see in the bird cage. 
The kitties have found a sunny spot in the living room. 

And here we are looking back into the dining room again.

On Friday, I'll show pictures of the rest of Laura's house.  Hope you've enjoyed part 1 of the tour, and be sure to check out Laura's website to see photos of the stunning floral work she creates for weddings.