Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Unusual ways to store dishes.

The above photo inspired our latest project at Walrus

 When we found an old, wobbly bookcase, we nailed scrap wood boards to the front to shore it up and simultaneously provide some space for labels.  After white-washing the entire piece, we added the burlap skirt and burlap covered backing.  The burlap is from old coffee bags that we get locally.

The chalkboard labels are simply our old business cards which we paint.  (We use this method to make re-usable tags too.)  We love recycling!  The only thing new in this project are the label holders and believe me, we tried to find the vintage variety locally, but struck out. 

This piece is meant to sit on a counter top, sideboard, or table and to be used as a kind of pantry or for dish storage.  I kind of want it for myself.  :)

<click on photos for sources>

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Cozy Guest Room

To follow-up on my previous post about guest bedrooms, I thought I'd post this handy-dandy visual I found sometime ago on Pinterest.  

If I were to give myself a grade for the quality of our guest bedroom (aka my girls' room) based on this chart, it would be a big, fat F. I've got numbers 2,3,5, and 9, so that's four out of thirteen.  There's definitely room for improvement!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Twin Beds for the Guest Room?

We had guests this weekend.

My girls' room
In our two bedroom place, we put guests in our twin girls' room with the twin beds.  (The girls sleep in sleeping bags on our floor of our room and love it.)

Twin beds are kind of ideal for a guest bedroom because it's easy to accommodate a non-couple.

And it's certainly possible to remove the "little kid" feel of twin beds if you want something more sophisticated.

This room feels a tad girly, but it's still grown up and I love how the headboard wraps the corner to make the bed seem like a chaise.

Regardless, there's something so pleasing about the symmetry of two matching beds.  How great are the benches at the end?  The perfect spot to put a suitcase.

I like the ledges built-in ledges behind each bed here.

An L-shaped arrangement is perfect for a sleeping porch, but takes up very little visual space in any room.

I adore this rustic twin bedroom.

This one is a favorite too.

The one down-fall to twin vs. a double or queen bed is that there are two sets of sheets and blankets to change and wash rather than one. 

And I do have a lingering question:  If you were staying as a couple in a guest bedroom with twin beds, would it bother you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Eclectic House Tour

I recently went to the home of one of our clients to take photos of a few projects (like the refurbished rocker you see on the porch) we've recently completed. I was so blown away by her house, I asked and was granted permission to take photos for a house tour.

This coyote howling at the oval mirror moon is what greets you as you walk in the front door.  It's just a taste of this colorful, personality-filled Craftsman era house in Oakland, California.

From the entry hall you are led directly into the dining room:

 The eyeglasses on the wall are from an old optometry shop.  I covet them.  I think every formal dining room needs a pig on the table too.

You may have seen this photo in a previous post, but our client ordered this custom ladder for her quilt collection.  Is that not the best wallpaper you've ever seen?

From the dining room, you enter the eat-in kitchen with this little seating area at the end of it. 

And here we are looking in the opposite direction.

A peek from the eating area into the kitchen.  Yes, that's a huge glass of milk you see on the wall.

Ding! Order's up.

As you exit the kitchen from this doorway, you are led back into the entry hall.  I opened that little door on the left to show you that they have a dumbwaiter.

And just a little further down the hall is the elevator.   The sign above it says "lift."

On the other side of the entry hall is the living room.  This is the view you get as you walk in.

If I had to pick a shelter magazine to match the style of this house, it would be Elle Decor.

I love this turquoise painted sunroom at the end.  Our client painted the ceiling gold. Which echos the huge gold coffee table in the living room.  We're not in prime bouganvillea blooming season here in the Bay Area, but you can probably imagine that vine you see through the windows bursting with hot pink blossoms (called bracts) in the summer. 

Let's head back to the entry hall and go upstairs.

Here we are in the upstairs hall with some of our client's gorgeous collection of rugs and more huge art.

I've said it before, but I adore bathrooms with vintage tile.  I'm so glad they haven't redone this bathroom.  It's perfect.  How cool as that mirror on the floor?

A beautiful display of jewelry in the bathroom, which is big enough to put a piece of furniture in.  You don't find that much these days...

The master bedroom.

My favorite shot of the bunch.  Her textile collection is unbelievable. 

And finally a shot of the powder room back downstairs.  I do love a teensy corner sink.

Here's the pretty scene just above the sink in front of the window.

There are a number of other rooms in this house, but I didn't include pictures of them all, though they were just as creative and collected.

I love seeing an historic house filled with treasures and fearless decorating.

I hope you are inspired to put a huge glass of milk on your wall. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013


This last photo is a sneak peek of an upcoming house tour from the home of one of our clients.  That's one of the custom built quilt ladders we just completed.

Can't wait to show you the rest of the crazy-good, eclectic house next week.  

P.S.  To see some photos of the inside of our new shop, click here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

When it works, repeat.

When I spotted this photo on Pinterest the other day, I knew immediately who had designed the space, even before I read February's issue of House Beautiful.

Peter Dunham, of course.

Not only am I a big fan, he also designed one of my favorite dining rooms ever:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this second picture is from Dunham's own house.  If I remember, he picked up those chairs at an estate sale.  They are slightly different than the those in the first photo, and as I know Peter Dunham has his own line of furniture, I'm wondering if they are not reproductions?

Anyway, note also the use of the tufted, olive banquette.  In the HB article, which I pored over, Dunham says he used outdoor fabric to upholster it.  He added that when you tuft any kind of fabric, it automatically elevates the look.  Hmmm.  Food for thought.

If you have the newest issue of HB, get it out.  You'll see other little repeats from his own dining room in the new article.  

So yeah, when it works, repeat. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Soft" opening on Friday!

Newly made sign ready to hang over our shop door -- being sent home with my husband on the airplane today in time to hang for the opening! (Thanks for donating the old cabinet shelf for the sign, Mom)

We have been hard at work getting our new shop ready for its "soft opening" this Friday.  Although I've been doing small bits of work from New Mexico, while Wendy has done the bulk of the work in Oakland.

You might remember that I've gone to my home state to be with family during Christmas.  This was especially important because of two recent terminal cancer diagnoses in my family.  We lost one family member the week before Christmas and spent a very bittersweet last Christmas with the other.

In my stead, my friends have jumped in to donate their time and talents in helping Wendy get the shop ready for the Temescal neighborhood's First Friday  (I literally signed and overnighted the lease two days after we arrived in New Mexico!)

Want to see what they've been hard at work doing?  (I can hardly wait to see in person myself!)

Our shop doors and trim got a fresh coat of bold yellow paint.

Away went the pale blue paint in the interior.  One wall got a fresh coat of white.  And the vintage brass chandelier I posted about ages ago got rewired and hung.

The opposite wall got covered in chalkboard paint and I can hardly wait to get my hands on some chalk to decorate it.  The green ladder is one of our hand-made quilt ladders.

These vintage drawers got a new home attached to the wall to hold our merchandise.

And this pegboard got hung and arranged with vintage tools until we can replace them with the artisan tools we plan to carry.

The window boxes got planted with easy-to-care-for succulents.  (It never freezes in the Bay Area, so these will winter well outside.)

I owe a huge thank you to my sweet friends for being there for me when I can't.  I am so grateful to:


Thank you too, to Shems who drove up from L.A. for a few days and to the folks at Hacker Moms for donating their time and expertise.

I also want to mention graphic designer Mitzi of the etsy shop Fancy Schmanzy.  She came through with a business card design for us less than 24 hours after we contacted her.  This after not hearing back from five other graphic designers we contacted in the last two weeks.  (We understand, it's a busy time of year!)

We bought this customizable business card template:

Business Card Template

It's pretty cute, huh?  And an amazing deal at $20.  We'll definitely be using her to design a custom logo and new cards for Walrus.  Check out her other work here.

And how can I forget to thank Wendy who has been working herself to the bone, even when she's been sick, to get the shop ready and keep producing inventory so that we have something to sell.  Wendy, I couldn't ask for a better business partner.  You have my eternal gratitude and deserve a big vacation when I get back.  
And last, for those of you who are local, Wendy would love to meet you on Friday night.  Come see the shop before I do!

Temescal First Friday Art Hop with featured artist Kevan Jenson.
Friday, January 4th from 6-9pm
470G 49th Street, Oakland