Sunday, May 31, 2009

Garden chairs before and after

I caught this view on the freeway, driving home from a client. Seems so hopeful, I wanted to share.
I did promise the reveal of the garden furniture,
so here is a glimpse of the old - I painted this garage sale find three years ago in orange

and here is the table now

and the chairs

I love the bright hope and energy of the new colors!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a Question of Pleasure

Dog resting. No matter how hard and unwelcoming the surface, a dog know hows to relax.
This boy is awaiting his owner outside the Tipsy Pig in San Francisco.
we are all celebrating Summer!
Finally the hot weather has arrived, and I am in the mood to recreate some pleasure seating in the garden and enhance the moment of homecoming.
The orange set is fading and cobwebby. The walkway is boring and pitifully flower poor. This past weekend I decided to buy a bunch of pots and plants and create an array of potted plants. Funny thing about words and language. When I first came to America, I used to say pot plants and people thought I meant the type of plant you smoke. Now I carefully remember to say potted plants. Which makes me think of potted shrimp (terribly English & picnic in the garden)
Which makes me think how fun it is to create picnic spots in ones own yard.
On a blanket, a rug or with chairs. Much more civilized dont you think?

and this set above outside Anthropologie in Palo Alto, looks so inviting. I feel ready to sit with friends and have an ice-cream sundae.

this floor would be fab in the yard, to rest a patio set, spied this at a cool coffee shop, in a historic building on Ramona Street, Palo Alto.

Here are some other fun ideas to liven up the back yard living room, and next week I will reveal my "Transformation"

Think about how you can use your existing patio furniture and add some fun accessories,
to set up your perfect picnic hideaway - without leaving home.

A colorful rug can add so much to a concrete floor or hard dirt like this fun rug
from Patio Shoppers
What about an interesting table? like this one below found on Etsy and created by
Timothy Adams Designs

a cool light like this one below

Product Image

some outdoor art
like these Reflect Spheres or Breeze pinwheels - same old stuff with a modern twist

Reflect Spheres available in Small, Medium, Large

and no garden spot would be complete without some plants, like these lush beauties

urban nature3 Modern Planter Box | Urban Nature


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Its a dog's life

Its a dogs life - Goldie is ready to party and play. She is trying to entice us with the lovely appealing tennis ball. Its true what they say man or beast - one woman's treasure is another's trash. And so it is with rooms in one's home.

Now that summer is upon us, it feels like time to refresh and renew.
Time to party in the garden or have friends over to enjoy the moment.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. which puts me in mind of Decor to adore's salute to Mom's and the rebirth of the apron - delightful post - and here below some fabulous vintage aprons from Jessica Steele
Remember when you are dressing your kitchen for success it all depends on what you are planning - Kitchens for show obviously require all the trimmings. And if money is no object you can have what your heart desires :

Like this picture below found on a search for a fabulous kitchen on a BBC show - a fridge filled with champagne. I am sure Robin Leach would be overjoyed! as they say - "Sweeties, its essential to show off the detail - the more expensive the better "

Champagne-filled fridge

If your budget runs to much smaller options then sometimes you have to "make do"
or just do what you have to make- delicious foods.

I have discovered since living with a very talented & accomplished cook - that what counts is not the tools but the skill of the worker. When I cook I use all the pots and dishes, and when lovely hubby works his magic - he hardly uses any pots.
however a big part of being in the kitchen is how it looks.

Recently I had the opportunity to prove my prose.
A friend had a kitchen that she was upgrading only with new stove, dishwasher and microwave.
The rest would be fudged with the lovely illusion of color. Old black and yellow appliances swapped out for silver & white.
below kitchen before

Her last attempt at color, had not been as successful as hoped for.
Choosing color can be traumatic
So she called me in to roll the color dice.
I was delighted to get involved. I am better at color than cooking!

Besides coming up with color for the walls and cabinets, I also told her to save the handles and repaint the dated bronze silver. Since the floor was staying, I took that into account when we decided on the new look. the cabinet doors were removed and the hinges replaced with new silver ones. The lights were replaced with more modern ones from Ikea. Other than that it was paint & elbow grease.
below kitchen before

My last instruction was to paint the ceiling silver.
Well, my client is a brave soul and although she was nervous, she went for it. Bravo!
Now she says the silver ceiling is the icing on the cake. Even lovely hubby noticed the ceiling.
The result is smashing! Inviting warm and very much a reflection of her taste.
The family love the new look.
The food is the same delicious fare, but the surroundings are more palatable.
below kitchen after:

Paint does a body good. and
It does a kitchen wonders.
below another shot of kitchen after:

so my lovelies, its time for me to lay my head down, dream of treasures for my kitchen.
Its all in the details.

La Rochefoucauld


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dogs celebrate life

Dogs driving - seen in San Francisco.
& to honor mums day - more dogs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Romantic endeavors

"Sleep, perchance to dream" as Shakespeare declared - every creature needs a place to lay their head.
Like Goldie, who is curled up head resting on paw pads, to create a soft pillow.

Indulge the Romantic you
The Bedroom is a great place to get away from it all.
Basics include a good bed, excellent lighting and perhaps a chair to curl up in.
here are some ideas mixed up with some Home and Garden photographs from the Conde Nast collection:
Bedroom Forest
Scenic designer William Riva transformed his child's bedroom into an enchanted forest for the holidays. Otto Maya photographed the exquisite area for the December 1955 House & Garden.

Be bold in the bedroom- color is an easy way to create a mood
Use the apricot heart of a rose you love, or a deep inky blue sky that brings peace floating to the surface.
A painted ceiling can be magical.

Items for a Man's Bedroom
Items for a man's bedroom

A series of men's bedroom accessories, including wool blankets, a hanger, a pencil cup holder and an ashtray, were photographed by Geoffrey Baker for the January 1948 House & Garden.

Fabric is sensual
Not just color here, but texture, pattern and type of fabric can be used to changing the space dramatically & create mood:
Use behind the bed, to create statement. Cover a headboard or drape from floor to ceiling.

Rochas Bedroom

Rochas bedroom

The September 1950 House & Garden, - the bedroom that couturier Marcel Rochas designed for his wife and himself. André Kertész photographed the room, which features wall murals in the style of the eighteenth century, a high ceiling painted light blue, and a bed draped in icy blue-white satin.

Texture & color add DRAMA!

Bedding that coordinates, ties the space together.
Avoid too many pillows or lots of small items.

Size Counts.
When choosing your bed frame the scale of the piece should be taken into account.
Dont crowd the space. Leave room for walking.

Understand your needs:

eliminate clutter and pare the space down.
Less clutter means more tranquility.

Paint all the pieces of furniture one color to unify. Reduce the clutter to clean lines and simple elements. Make sure the furniture is comfortable.
Organize your essentials with containers like baskets or trays.

Speak to your romantic soul.
Art is an important element in a bedroom. Hang pieces that are joyful and nourishing.

The cover of the May 1935 House & Garden was a vision in violet. Anton Bruehl photographed the still life of pansies.