29 December, 2008

"Let's start at the very beginning . . . "

Greetings and salutations for the new year,

The week separating Christmas and New Year's is always a good time to re-consider one's home. Depending upon one's rituals, the holiday decorations start coming down anywhere between the day after Christmas (on December 26th) to the first day of Epiphany (on January 6th.) Personally, my holidays go up early and come down right after Christmas . . . but what is next . . .

Often, my home seems to breathe a sigh of relief once the holiday decorations are swept away and I have a chance to see my home in its "natural habitat" once again. It's a new beginning for me and opportunity to start with a clean slate as January approaches. I always seem to crave simplicity. less 'stuff.' better meals. a more intentional way of living.

I found the images whilst sorting through some old copies of House Beautiful. The article featured a house by the Italian designer Paolo Moschino and explored the fresh start that the new year brings and how that new beginning can express itself in design. I love the cozy warmth and clean, simple colour story.

Best wishes for an amazing 2009,

27 December, 2008

"At Home . . . . "

I'm so please to have my residence featured in the San Francisco Examiner's "At Home" series by Karen Palmer. It was a fun day of exploring through my home and discussing design and gracious living.

click here for the complete article.

25 December, 2008

Happy Christmas !

I hope the season finds you surrounded by great friends, and that the new year is filled with joy and possibilities.

Season's Greetings,

24 December, 2008

"oh, to be in England . . ."

Greetings faithful reader,

For the last few years, I've been lucky to spend my holiday season in London reveling in the joys of antique shopping, live theatre, and my favourite Christmas music. This year I'm going to be staying in San Francisco, but wanted to share a most special moment.

The clip is from King's College Cambridge . . . and is the traditional opening to the "Lessens and Carols" service on Christmas Eve with a single boy soprano singing the opening line of the carol and the choir and congregation joining on successive verses. For me, the sound resonates my love of singing, my love of architecture, and my love of the holidays.

I hope you have a happy Christmas,

21 December, 2008

Toiling madly . . . .

Greetings faithful reader,

Just working from home this evening trying to get the website updated with my recently completed projects from 2008. It never ceases to amaze me that I can fret and worry over each image and scrap of text, only to find a misspelled word or grammatical error only seconds after completing an update. After several days (and various proof-readers), I think I'm safe to post some new interior project and parties.

The other exciting news is that there should be some great press coverage my own home in next weekend's newspaper. It's part of an ongoing series examining how designers live and design in their own homes. I'm post the link once it's up. I've also been booked to appear in mid-January on a local television program to discuss my recent participation in the 2008 Dining by Design project.

Best wishes for an amazing holiday season
and Happy Christmas,


09 December, 2008

Musings on the holidays . . .


I've always been a huge fan of decorating for the holiday season . . . but oddly, not for reasons that have to do with the desire to re-live some obscure childhood memory. My early upbringing was a succession of 2 to 4 year postings with my military family (there's wasn't much of the traditional holiday in Southern California, and even less so in South Korea....lol). I've often wondered about the genesis of my almost giddy reaction to a masses of cut greenery or my delight at simple white tree lights. Luckily, the design business is always slower for me in the month of December and I can busy myself (and my business) with decorating for clients (and myself).

I was working on a holiday installation this afternoon, and was amazed at how 'content' I was just designing and assembling garlands and wreathes for 5 hours. There is just something 'magical' (a word I often like to use when describing any of my holiday installations) seeing a simple domestic space transformed into the place where new holiday memories are begun . . . seeing the rooms where people will gather to celebrate their friendship . . . knowing that families will en-circle a beautifully designed table and share a holiday feast . . . .

Just some thoughts on a quiet Tuesday night, whilst there are still pine needles in my hair and tree sap under my nails . . . . ahhhhhhhhhhh.

always searching for joy,

04 December, 2008

"It's beginning to look . . . . " part 1.

Holiday greetings,

Just wanted to share some 'in-progress' images from a flurry of holiday installations from the past few days. I'm going to attack the decorating of my own place in earnest this evening.

Covered in pine needles,

28 November, 2008

A new favourite . . .

I found this image in the December edition of Elle Decor magazine and fell in love with this library from a beautiful apartment in Paris. I love the drama of the space, the dark colours, and the spectacular textile used for the seating. Just the perfect place to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.

Well done,

ps. I start decorating my house for holiday this week.
I'll keep you posted with some progress shots.
Yay! You know how I love Christmas!

25 November, 2008

"and warm woolen mittens ... "

With Thanksgiving practically upon us, it brings one's mind to those things for which we are most grateful for in our day to day lives. This isn't about celebrating one's good health or family (both of which I'm sincerely grateful for) . . but, instead, I'm thinking of those items that bring me a quiet, simple joy. The everyday objects, memories, and experiences that make my everyday life sublime.

Here are some of my favourites things . . . . .

1. Tartan in any form. Period.
2. Velvet Slippers from Crockett & Jones. There's a wonderful little shop on Jermyn Street in London that makes the most amazing shoes. It's one of the ways that I treat myself.
3. Dirty Jeep Wranglers
4. Fresh scones from Sarabeth’s in NY. A good friend introduced me to this marvelous little place on Madison Ave. on the upper East side. Yummy.
5. Singing in harmony.
6. Avalache Roses. They are the most amazing shade of white-green-celedon-ivory.
7. Scottish Breakfast Tea.
8. The Portobello Antique Market. My favourite place to spend a sunny Saturday morning when I'm visiting in England. And if you shop your way through, there's a great little place for lunch on the far end.
9. Flickering candlelight. It is the first element whenever I design for any event.
10. An evening of conversation with good friends.
11. Cashmere sweaters
12. My antique china collection. Just in case a hundred people drop by for afternoon tea. lol.

What makes you happy ?

Happy Thanksgiving,
from tartanscot

20 November, 2008

and tartanscot said . . . "It was good."

Another greeting from another slightly wee hour.

Today has been amazing. I've had nothing but great feedback on my Dining by Design installation, and may even have a few nibbles on some extended press and print . . . I'll keep you informed.

I'm always so inspired by seeing other creative minds at work. Just walking through the "D by D" event this evening makes me so proud to be in the design trade. I love seeing how one can take such a simple charge . . . "Go forth and create a dining room" . . . and see the unending variations on that one idea.

Some of my favourites; Ken Fulk's whimsical (and theatrical) take on the Sleeping Beauty myth, Candace Barnes' Chinoiserie garden, and Jo Malone's simple elegance . . .

A big (and unending) 'thank you' to Leslie and the whole staff from Wroolie & co., Cathy Post from Ralph Lauren, and Stacy (*kisses*) for helping me survive the hell-that-was-yesterday.

I'm moments from crashing in the bed for a gentle night's slumber.


19 November, 2008

If it weren't for the last minute . . . .

Greetings from the wee hours,

Yesterday was one of those days when you have to laugh, because laughing was the only option. As I've been writing about, the 2008 Dining by Design installation project has been going on this week. Monday was set aside for the "national sponsor tables" to install . . . and Tuesday morning is when the "rank and file" local designers get access to our spaces. The good news was . . . the contractor was arriving at 9:30 am to install the marvelous set that I'd designed, the wallpaper installer was scheduled for 2:00 pm, lighting tech was on for 3:30, and furniture was moving in at 4:00 pm. Sounds like a good plan, huh?

Well, the contractor was delayed and wouldn't be in until around noon. (Not what I'd hoped for, but clearly, I could work around it.) So headed to lunch and to run a few other errands.

12:30 pm, no contractor. 1:00 pm, no contractor. 1:45, no contractor and his cell phone went straight to voice mail. 2:00, I called and delayed wallpaper install, and still no contractor.

Well, around 3:00pm, the panic began to set in. What if the contractor wasn't coming? What if there had been some sort of accident? What was the grand, elegant space going to look like without the grand, elegant set to surround it? What the "f" was I going to do?

So, I started planning another version of the design that DIDN'T have a set around it. I could always go and buy ten or fifteen trees to make some kinda "enchanted forest" for the space. So, we started moving furniture in. I let the lighting tech guys install the huge light fixture. I canceled the wallpaper (since, clearly, there were no walls to install it on . . . lol)

THEN, my contractor arrive. (He explained the he had been delayed and forgot to turn his phone on. This was followed by several moment of swearing) But, now we were able to work around the placed furniture. We were able to work around the installed lighting fixtures. We were able to re-schedule the wallpaper install for 8:00 am the following morning. We were able to keep my heart from exploding from the stress of the day.

So today was a full, dead sprint to the finish line. Instead to the 12 to 15 hours, over two days, the I had planned to install this huge project . . . we had 5.5 hours to whip together before the photographer arrived to shoot for a national magazine. Luckily, I had great friends to help out. Luckily, there were few if any problems to overcome as the project evolved before my eyes.

More later . . . . first there must be sleep.


10 November, 2008

Dining . . . but, only by design.

Greetings and salutations,

One of my favourite projects each year is the "Dining by Design" event. Every year, 50 designers are asked to imagine a spectacular dining environment hosting 10 people for dinner in a shockingly *tiny* space (approximately 11 by 11 feet.) The other significant challenge is the set-up constrains. Basically, the project must be installed in 36 hours, is on display for two events, and then ALL comes down in one morning. whew. it's a bit exhausting just thinking about.

This year I wanted to try something extraordinary. After flipping through an artbook about the great baronial dinning rooms of 18th century Europe, I wanted to see if I could capture that grandeur an elegance, though clearly, on a 'slightly' smaller scale.

The installation goes in next Tuesday/Wednesday and things seem to be coming together quite well. The antique china was delivered this morning. The stemware is ready to be picked up. The perfect handmade carpet is awaiting pick-up next week. The contractor has all the blueprints for the structure. I've spoken with the lighting tech-guys regarding the spectacular lighting fixture for the event (wait 'til you see this!) Still waiting for the textile "fire-code paperwork" for the city, but that should be in the office tomorrow morning. I'll have my camera with me, so I can shoot some 'in-progress' shots as the project goes in.


05 November, 2008

and then there was "the blog"

good evening,

let's see how many times I write, then delete, then re-write before clicking the elusive "publish" button. Thus far, we're on version number 3. Let's see if this quiet missive makes it into the world of blogspot in anything resembling it's original form.

what to write about first? plans for the house for the holidays? my feelings about the passing of Prop #8? how much I love my new car . . . lol?

well, I think tonight's going to be about exploring good choices and my need to look with hope into the future. kinda excited about being in the office tomorrow. hang on to your socks . . . I'm updating the website in the next few weeks. yay.

I'll start updating images once I've got some final shots from my photographer.

stay tuned,
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