29 May, 2010

"Happy Memorial Weekend . . . "


It's going to a be rock-star beautiful weekend here in San Francisco. Clear skies. Ocean breezes. Warm temperatures. Personally, I've got a few parties, one fierce workout, and a laundry list of projects to accomplish here at the house. Can't wait. And if you're in need of inspiration - enjoy . . .

Don't eat too much,

19 May, 2010

"I'll be right back . . . "


I hope everyone is having a productive week. Personally, I'm in a time crunch with a big project going in next week, a brand new client in the 'budgeting' stage, planning my trip to the east coast, and the ongoing work at my house - and need to step away from blogging for just a bit. Just need to focus my time and creativity on things here in the office.


16 May, 2010

"I Know - Let's Run Across the City . . . "


If your wondering why I'm off the grid today - it's because I'm on the race course. The ING "Bay to Breakers" race course to be more exact. It's a fun day - and an all day party - and a great way to see our wonderful city.

I'll be a little sleep deprived, but I've got the iPod all booked up with a collection of my favourite frantic dance music, sunscreen slathered all over me, my good running shoes, and all my best running peeps.

If you're in SF - come out and cheer! You'll see us in our navy and black team t-shirts - me and 'Varsity,' 'BK-Teri,' 'LuckyJoe,' 'Turtle,' 'J-Go,' 'NinjaBarbie,' 'RedFox,' 'Ms. Jackson,' and 'the DH.' I can't imagine better people to be with - as we run from one side of the city to the other. Yay!

Hoping for good weather,

15 May, 2010

"Pick a Colour, Any Colour . . . "


When I first start working with new clients, after the 'budget talk,' and the 'schedule talk' - we have to get down to the nitty gritty and have the 'colour talk.' I love seeing how people respond to different colours! And on this cool, gray San Francisco morning - I'm yearning for something bright. Something cheerful. Maybe something fuchsia.

Sometimes I find inspiration on the fashion runways . . .

Me at the Stark Showroom in SF

Quite often when we're touring thought the house with a new client, I'll ask to see the master closet - firstly (from a business point of view), we might need to re-design them - but, it's also a great opportunity to see what colours they respond to.

Maybe there's a scene from a favourite film that speaks to your sense of colour . . .

But, how should we use it?

Maybe we could just add the shock of bright pink to the entryway . . .

Or it can be as subtle as using masses of pink flowers in the room . . .

Maybe we could use the impact of artwork -

I've always loved this image. The colour is SO delicious.

Or we could just lavishly use multiple shades of pink to make the room magical . . .

I hope everyone has great plans for the weekend. For myself, I'm participating in the "ING Bay to Breakers Race" in the morning - Can't wait!


13 May, 2010

"By the dawn's early light . . . "


For those of you in the Bay Area - hop in your car (or scooter, or hybrid vehicle, or whatever your preferred method of transportation) and head over to Sacramento Street for the great Sidewalk Sale at Anthem this weekend. Great items for your home at wonderful discounts.

Anthem opened several years back - and always carries the most delicious assortment of home accessories, furniture, lighting, tableware, jewelry, and gifts. They've been one of my go-to resources when we need to start adding accessories to many of our projects.

The Sale started Friday morning and runs through Sunday afternoon. Friday and Saturday until 6pm - and Sunday from 12 to 5.

Beautiful throws and blankets from Rani Arabella . . .

And this wonderful Italian Chest and other furniture . . .
(love this!)

Great home accessories from Archival Decor . . .

And a great selection of jewelry . . .

Anthem is located at 3274 Sacramento Street (@Presidio)
San Francisco, CA
415 440 6500

And if, by chance, you're not one of our locals - there's still great shopping to be had -don't forget about the Tastemaker Tag Sale on Saturday morning at One Kings Lane - this week, the delicious Kathryn Ireland! Yay!

Oh say can you shop,

"SF Decorator Showcase, SagreraBrazil Design . . . "

Cecilia Sagrera-Hill and George Brazil


We're continuing our tour through the San Francisco Decorator Showcase with a very fashionable and very feminine retreat. A classic, timeless style - but, with the punch of modern, stylish accessories. A clever combination of subdued hues with aqueous palettes. With cutting edge modern technology. Wicked-cool custom lamp shades. All expressed through the classic clever minds of Cecilia Sagrera-Hill and George Brazil.

"A modern-day interpretation inspired by the 'little black dress,'
this two-room bathing and dressing suite provides
a private retreat for a young fashionista. Every woman needs a
place from which to plan her day, ready herself for
an evening out, contemplate her wardrobe, and
in 21st century style, shop online "
- SagreraBrazil Design

So without further ado - let me introduce you to . . .

The Dressing Room and Bathroom
(click image to enlarge)

I simple adore this little space. The colours are SO bright and cheery. And the inset mirrors used on all of the closet doors not only provides the perfect place to consider one's reflection - but also multiplies the light to create the most delightful place to dress for the day. The graceful vanity holds a new iPad (with a continuous slideshow of the newest clothing from Barneys New York - not a bad way to find inspiration) and the most charming pair of table lamps. If you click on the image to enlarge it - you can see the custom lamp shades - hand cut with sunburst patterns based on the wallpaper. Such a great detail. So wonderful.

The dressing room adjoins this bright bathroom. And I'm loving the fantastic marble surround of the tub - and the chevron installation is just marvelous. Classic. Clever. And just delicious.
You can see more of their fabulous work at the SagreraBrazil Design website.

And just a beautiful detail image from the bathroom.

Also, take a look at my friend Katie's blog postings on the Showcase House too.

We'll continue our tour next week,

for more information on the SF Decorator Showcase, click here.
photo credits:
headshot, Emily Paine
Showcase images, David Duncan Livingston

12 May, 2010

"SF Decorator Showcase, Charles de Lisle . . . "


The San Francisco Decorator Showcase is still in full swing - and open through May 31st - and our virtual tour continues with one of my favourites from the second floor - the witty, imaginative room hatched from the witty, imaginative mind of Charles de Lisle. A space cleverly deconstructed. A room that demands a closer look. A space much deeper than its deceptively simple colour story. Black. White. The shock of a brilliant citron.

And if you've ever wondered what 200 yards of black and white gingham might look like - let me introduce you to . . .

The Sitting Room

The space is just madly amazing! I think if the textile were used in a traditional installation on the windows - the gingham would have felt 'retro' - and been a little too 'present' in the room - but, conversely, because it's absolutely everywhere, it provides an amazingly modern, energetic backdrop to the incredible collection of vintage and custom furniture.

And I love these lounge chairs (designed by de Lisle) upholstered in a simple hemp twill - but, custom dyed in the most amazing shade of green. The softness of the vegetable dyed hemp area rug. The angular floor lamp from de Lisle's new collection of lighting.

And an inspired nod to the great history of San Francisco design - a pair of vintage Michael Taylor plaster table lamps rest on the mantel. The two art pieces, by Christopher Badger, flanking the fireplace read - "Wind is blowing down the mountain" and "Wind is blowing the mountain down." Yes. Stop. Read them again. It's a subtle difference. But, it reminds one to examine things more closely. To seek out every detail. Not just glance around and think you've seen everything.

Also, take a look at my friend Katie's blog postings on the Showcase House too.

We'll continue to explore the second floor tomorrow . . .


for more information on the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, click here.

10 May, 2010

"What to do about Harry Potter . . ."


And no, don't worry. This is not a long, laborious missive about our favourite young wizard. What we're dealing with here today is that little extra room in your home. Maybe it's a little off the beaten track. Down at the dead end of the hallway . . . it could be a lot of different things - An extra bedroom? Do we need a home office? Maybe we should create a dressing room? And there's such freedom when you're not confined by any pre-conceived notions about the room.

And we had such a space in a recent project here at the office - a lovely one bedroom cottage. It had a little 'bonus' room that really could have been anything. Cons: A few too many doors. Small - 9 feet by 11 feet. Pros: A good sized closet. And a beautiful window - great for afternoon sun. It was small, and without clear purpose - so we started (in almost a designer/client shorthand) to call it 'Harry Potter.' Like the little cupboard under the stairs that Harry called home for the first part of his life.

So clearly all it needed was a little bit of magic . . .

The drama of a dark, moody paint colour . . .

Several layers of lighting . . .

Comfort with flexibility . . .

Presenting - The Dining Room. And we solved several problems all at once. Firstly, we needed a space for more formal dining and entertaining. Dinner for four or five is simple. But, the table actually folds away - and the chairs are pulled from other parts of the house. So the space can also used as a dressing room - the closet actually holds most all of one of the homeowner's clothes. And the black lacquered sideboard serves as extra storage.

The banquette is great for seating year-round. And since it's at the far end of the house - when the table isn't present - it's a great little retreat. A quiet place to read, snuggled in a nest of down pillows and a cashmere throw. Maybe an afternoon cup of tea.

Or when needed - the perfect place to entertain.


06 May, 2010

"Yo, Calgon. Get over here . . . "


I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.

I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to the anger and frustration of the day.
I will not succumb to . . . . . .

I will not . . . . . .

I will not . . . .

I will . . . .

I will . . . .

I will draw a warm bath . . . .

I will draw a warm bath and relax . . .

I will draw a warm bath and relax . . .

I will curl up in a nest of down feathers and cashmere and sleep . . .

And face tomorrow with a fresh attitude.

Hey Calgon,

05 May, 2010

"Meanwhile, Back at Filoli . . . "

Greetings all,

Frankly, it's been a kinda cranky day here at the office - nothing in particular has actually gone wrong - but, it's just been a long string of frustrations for most of the day.

So before escaping to my wonderful little home out by the beach - I've been looking through the amazing pictures that my dear friend Lisa took at Filoli Gardens yesterday morning. Lisa and I had a date to tour through the San Francisco Decorator Showcase (We'll continue our tour here in a day or two) yesterday afternoon - and decided to spend the morning exploring the gardens at Filoli. The Filoli Estate is about 20 miles south of San Francisco - I've blogged about the gardens before - but, yesterday was just magical - everything was SO beautiful after weeks and weeks of heavy rain accented by warm sunny days.

So with Lisa's permission, I'm sharing a few of my favourites from her images . . . . .

The White Wisteria climbing the walls in the forecourt of the house.

And purple wisteria near the entrance to the gift shop.

The entrance to the Walled Garden.
Classic. Symmetrical. Lovely.

The Herb Knot Garden.

A spectacular Double Delight Rose.
So lovely. The collection of rose specimens in the gardens is extensive.

The Peppermint Camilia.

The beautiful "Chinese Fringe" Tree.
Highlighted by masses of Foxglove.

And the classic beauty of the "Sunken Garden."

Whew. Headed home. Remarkably calm.

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