26 February, 2010

"Raising the Roof . . . "


There are several things that should be noted in short order here. Firstly, 'yay!' - it's finally the weekend. Secondly, the I'm-going-to-completely-redesign-my-house project is humming away at full speed. Tons of decisions made this week - very excited.

Most recently, I had kind of a tumble this morning (at 7:24am) while at bootcamp and kinda messed up my left shoulder. It was all quite humiliating. I was doing pull-ups. Then, ever so suddenly, I was holding my shoulder - and swearing like a sailor. Big thanks to all of our trainers for taking care of me . . . and for their quick response.

Rustic. Modern. and clearly comfortable.

Well, what you might ask does any of this have to do with my little design blog? Well - I promised myself that I would finish blogging before I took my next pain pill - and, well - I would really like to take one right now . . .

So . . . before I drift off to blissful, numb slumber . . . something comforting. something warm and welcoming. And maybe something with some exposed rafters . . .

Seriously, HOW fantastic are these barn conversions from the New York design firm Carrier and Company? I love the mass of the space . . . and the perfect colours.


Some detail images.

Love. Love. Love. The exact place to spend a relaxing weekend.

And - speaking of curled up in the bed . . . I'm going to do just that very thing.
Tomorrow morning is an early wake-up for a rehearsal for my next chamber concert.

Already blogging from bed,

23 February, 2010

"Home Plus Scotland . . . "

Good morning,

I just found out that my interview in Home Plus Scotland Magazine came out today in the UK.

(Click on image to enlarge)
(Click on image to enlarge)

Off to another busy day at the office,

19 February, 2010

"Teal, and Turquoise, and Gold-Oh, My . . ."

Greetings all,

Inspiration can come from almost anywhere. And rarely comes when one demands that it appear. It's best to just keep one's eyes open. Just after the beginning of the year, I had the overwhelming urge to move into a new place. It was almost overwhelming. The need for a new challenge. A new space to create.

But then, I had an even better idea - because I love my little flat out by the beach. So instead of packing and moving across the city - I want to take the next few months and re-create my existing space that I already love so much.

But first, on a tangentially related topic . . . Isaac Mizrahi for Fall 2010. This week was the Fall 2010 Fashion Week in New York - with each of the major designers presenting their personal vision for the coming season - yes, I know it's February and the 'coming season' is next fall - but, it's the fashion industry. They need some lead-time. lol.

Isaac Mizrahi. Fall 2010.
(Click here to see the entire show)

Breathtaking. The evening wear portion of the show actually took place in an on-stage snowfall. Beautiful metallics, lush cashmeres, and wonderful hand-beading. It was magical.
And I love this specific image. The cool, reserved blue lighting. The great contrast of textures.
Glamorous. Theatrical. Luxurious.
(all words I really love.)

This gown actually closed the show. I love the architecture of the bodice, and that enormous frothy skirt . . . the unabashed romance of the dress just appeals to me.
And the burnished gold against the blue is marvelous.

There's been a great deal of 'chatter' about the great coming of 'turquoise' for 2010.
And I'm thinking I might end up being a part of it.
That being said, I've never been a huge fan of following specific design trends. I put more faith in my own internal compass. And the investments we make in our homes so often outlive the time frame of any trend- But, with the same reasoning that I wouldn't slavishly follow a trend, I'm also not going to ignore something that truly appeals to me - just because it's the new 'hot' colour.

And because I found this - Tea Party from Jim Thompson.
And I'm totally in love. 100% linen. I was a little concerned about the 'hand' of the fabric - but, I tossed the memo-sample in with my wash the other day - and it popped out of the dryer feeling amazing. So I'm going to pre-wash all the yardage before sending it to my workroom.

" Yay! "

(not my chair.
and not really my style.
but, damn, I'm really loving this fabric!)

And a little more colour inspiration.
A new set of antique plates that I bought last weekend here in San Francisco.

I'm beginning to play with ideas.
And I think I might be onto something.
I'll keep you informed of the progress.

Plotting madly,

17 February, 2010

"Julia and Julia . . . "

Greetings all,

I'm just kinda feeling the need for something 'spiritual' this evening. It's been a tough day - and two more long days before the weekend sets in. So when in doubt - and in need of one of those elusive 'ahhhhhh's' that get you through the day - I'm turning to the sublime Julia Morgan.

But, not the exalted spaces of Hearst Castle. Tonight, I need something more grounded.

Something more intimate.

More organic.

More personal . . . .

Merrill Hall. the interior.

This is a lesser known Morgan project - The Asilomar Conference Center - just outside of Monterey on the California coastline. Building began in 1913 on a space for the YWCA to hold their annual conference - and the California coastline was chosen for its breathtaking beauty. And even better - Julia Morgan was chosen as the architect - to create these breathtaking Arts and Crafts structures.

Merrill Hall. from the exterior.

"in 1913, the YWCA® held a contest to name their new property on the Monterey Peninsula. They received hundreds of entries.

The winning name came from a Stanford University student, Helen Salisbury, who made up the word Asilomar, derived from the Spanish words "asilo" meaning retreat or refuge, and "mar," meaning sea, hence "refuge-by-the-sea."

Ahhhhhh. I know these steps so well. They lead down to the ocean. The perfect place to take a deep breath. to press 're-set.' And prepare to start fresh with the new day.


15 February, 2010

"Gotta get shopping . . . "

Fall 2010

Good morning all,

Just a quick update on the "I-have-got-to-get-some-sleep" project for this weekend - this morning my eyes awoke to see that it was 10am. 10am! I haven't slept this late in ages. But, even in my sleep-addled state I had to see if the shots from Michael Bastian's men's show had been posted yet.

During the show Sunday night, I was reading post by Brad Goreski on twitter - and he shared a few fuzzy action shots from the collection. And as soon as I saw those fuchsia corduroys, I knew I HAD to see the whole show. Besides, I have always loved Michael's line.

I first met Michael when he worked for Ralph Lauren years and years ago - before becoming Director of Men's Fashion at Bergdorf Goodman - before starting his own label in 2006. Michael always had such great style! And his clothing line reflects a strong sense of clean-cut, American fashion - mixed with a desire for modern cuts and beautiful textiles.

"We were always talking about things we couldn't find. Chinos,
the perfect skinny button down, the perfect V-neck.
All those classic American things that
you feel are out there - but really aren't."

great trim-cut flannels, classic camel blazer, and tartan footwear. yay.

For the Fall 2010 show from Sunday night - he seems to have gone a bit edgier - and, for me, it gives the collection that same creative energy that residential designers Eric Cohler and Jamie Drake spoke about last week. Letting the contrasts between preppy American and edgier urban style work with each other. And creating something that feels fresh - but still wearable.


Really love.

And seriously, I have to send Michael a present for this one. Not many menswear
designers can send a kilt down the runway.

If Michael's name sound familiar to you - I might be because I featured his apartment several months ago. Have a look.

Well, since the "sleep-in" project went SO well this morning - I'm going to take a stab at the "let's-do-laundry!" project. lol.


all images from GQ.com

14 February, 2010

"Happy Valentine's Day . . . "

Greetings and Happy Valentine's Day,

Yes, I'm still kinda curled up in the bed here at the house - but, I couldn't let today pass by without sending you good wishes.

And here's a little something for all of us hopeless romantics . . .

Kiss someone you love today,

13 February, 2010

"Must. Get. Sleep . . . "

Greetings all,

It's been a very long, and very productive week. And another busy week awaits me on Tuesday with a photoshoot on one of my favourite projects. And a large furniture delivery on Wednesday. And clients returning from vacation on Thursday. (And I still need to find an antique console for that wall in the entry . . . lol . . . )

So this long holiday weekend, after a quick hearty workout this morning - is going to be ALL about being curled up in the bed and re-charging the ol' creative batteries.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . . . .

10 February, 2010

"Just pleased as punch . . . "

click image to enlarge

Greetings . . . and 'yay.'

I can't tell you how excited I am to be recognized by the ever gracious Ronda Carman, of All the Best, in the latest issue of C Magazine. Ronda was asked to share her latest California design favourites for an article called "Fresh Finds" - and listed yours truly amongst her top five. Ronda, clearly I owe you a big, wet kiss next time I see you!

kinda blushing,

08 February, 2010

"It's In the Mix . . . "

Greetings all,

I was delighted to attend an insightful lecture from Eric Cohler at the Lee Jofa showroom during "Design San Francisco" last week. It was an hour packed with inspiration - but one particular quote of his seemed to resonate with me - "We all need a past in order to find the here and now." It was an expression of that 'duality' in design that many of the week's speakers all seemed to touch on. Mixing periods. Mixing styles. Mixing colours. Mixing patterns. And creating energy from that tension. Finding great style in that contrast.

Here are some perfect examples from Cohler's own portfolio. Such a great talent. No wonder he's referred to as "The Mix Master."

Classic oil paintings, but hung on grasscloth wallpaper.
European bombe chest paired with contemporary upholstery and lighting.

Love, love, love.

Classic space. Classic furnishings. But, paired with horizontally
striped wallpaper for some contrast and energy.

This might be one of my favourite images from Cohler's portfolio.
I love this collection of vintage photography and prints, but displayed with
just a clean modern eye. And pairing them with the geometric floor covering
is just genius.

Simply lovely. But the use of the photography over the mantle
gives it much more edge. and interest.

And this is just storage porn from Cohler's own home.
(oh, if I could only convert a bedroom into a closet!)
And a bit of shirting envy as well.
(with a great use of wallpaper on the ceiling!)

Keep mixing,

here's a bit more information on Cohler's collection for Lee Jofa Textiles.

05 February, 2010

"Meanwhile, Back in San Francisco . . . "

Jamie Drake, as inspired by Grace Kelly

Greetings All,

Well, it was the best of plans. This week - during the "Design San Francisco" events - my plan was to post jaunty updates each day of the lectures and presentations I was attending during the week. And, if you are a regular reader - well, you'll know that THAT just never quite came to pass.

So here - on a late Friday evening - I'm going to attempt to re-cap the highlights of this week's activities.

I thought I'd start working in reverse order . . .

Friday morning started fast and bright - right out of the gates (without nearly enough sleep and/or coffee in my system) with the glamorous Jamie Drake. Stylish. Witty. And a devilish sense of humour. The perfect beginning to my day. (and the perfect antidote to my slow moving morning!)

He had collected a series of images of his new book (with great stories of his own home and several show house projects) and each image was highlighted with memories of the specific projects - as well as some insights into his design process.

An shot from Drake's own home.

He admitted that he was not a huge fan of this bright yellow, but it gave the
space an amazing presence.

"Surprise and movement - that's what I like. Colors both ground and animate the space."
- Jamie Drake

Kip's Bay Showhouse, 2007.
Photographer Nick Johnson.

"I premiered my fabric line with Shumaker at the 2007 Kip's Bay Showhouse. Literally wrapped in the collection, I upholstered the walls in silk moire, covered the bed in cut-silk velvets, and draped the windows in snappy silk stripe."
- Jamie Drake

One of Thursday's highlight was a mid-day talk by Bunny Williams. She, as well, brought a collection of images - and delighted everyone her stories of design - and even better, her perspective on life and living in beautiful spaces.

Bunny Williams, from Elle Decor

"In her Manhattan apartment, designer Bunny Williams heightens the drama of a 1930s mirrored bed by embellishing it with an extraordinary embroidered Indian silk panel. The bed is dressed with a simple coverlet and linens by Léron."

After Bunny finished speaking - I sprinted upstairs to Shears & Window to hear Suzanne Tucker preview her new fabric collection. Yay. Beautiful.

Wednesday started out strong with the keynote speech brought by Margaret Russell, editor of Elle Decor, highlighting the images chosen from her new book "Style and Substance."

Followed by the great pleasure of hearing Eric Cohler speak at Lee Jofa - and I'm getting a post together from that lecture.

And Tuesday night - Margaret Russell was the special guest at an event at Gumps - that seemed to be absolutely packed to the gills with people. Here's a quick shot with Katie Denham (l) and myself.

And here's Margaret - charming as ever -
with Marta Benson (l) and Gene Ogden (r) of Gumps.

It's been a great week. And I'm practically packed with inspiration. And I'm practically pooped beyond exhaustion. The next few days I'll be curled up in bed - with Margaret's, Bunny's, and Jamie's books. freshly autographed. and packed with great ideas.


01 February, 2010

"Introducing . . . "


For any of you who know me, you'll already understand my great and abiding love of amazing textiles. Most every design project starts with a space plan - and a pile of fabrics. It's just part of my design process.

And speaking of wonderful fabrics - Suzanne Tucker is launching a new collection of textiles- and its San Francisco debut is this week during "Design San Francisco" - our annual design event here in the city.

I had a chance to preview the collection a few weeks ago - and was in the Shears and Window showroom last Friday when the sample wings were being placed - under the watchful and discerning eye of Suzanne herself. And the fabrics are amazing.

A beautiful palette of colours -
amethyst, mocha, sable, fig, nutmeg, fawn, and buttercream.

Here's a quick look at some of my immediate favourites:

Kiku - Aubergine
100% Linen
"Reinterpreted from a 19th century Japanese futon cover, Kiku
is an intricate pattern of staggered chrysanthemum and
lotus roundels and interlocking arabesques on a
heavy linen ground."

"As a reinterpretation of an early 20th century document, Fleur de Plume
is a woven multi-textured brocade displaying a majestic fantasy
of peacock feathers and robust leaves amidst
an intertwining floral motif."

Aurora - Olive
28% Silk, 72% Cotton
"Reinterpreted from an 18th century cut silk velvet, Aurora
is a boldly scaled woven silk and cotton damask displaying an
enchanting pattern of climbing vines, quince and
seed pods all joined by meandering lace ribbons."

Dolce - Amethyst
15% Alpaca, 85% Cotton

Okay - this might be my true favourite. It feels like a cashmere velvet. Yummy. Really yummy.

Suzanne will be speaking at the Shears & Window
showroom in San Francisco this Thursday afternoon (February 4th) -

"Suzanne Tucker launches her first fabric collection, a panoply
of silks, jacquards, cottons, and linens prints, cashmere and
cotton velvets, a matelasses. Please join Suzanne as she
illustrates how she has carefully reinterpreted classic
designs from 18th and 19th century documentary textiles
to give them a contemporary look and make
them easy to use in today's interiors"

If you're in the area - please stop by and have a look.

cashmere . . . Mmmmmmm . . .

The collection is available in showrooms across the US and Paris. Click HERE for the complete list.
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