Friday, October 22, 2010

The Table is Set...McHenry Mansion Fundraisier

Growing up in Modesto, the McHenry Mansion was always a part of the downtown tradition.  Built in 1883 by Robert McHenry, it is a beautiful example of Victorian Italianate architecture.  In highschool, McHenry Avenue was the street we cruised and George Lucas made the movie American Grafitti based on his highschool days of cruising downtown.  The McHenry Mansion is on the National Register of Historic places and has been beautifully restored.  Throughout the year, they host a Dickens Christmas and Victorian Tea
in December as well as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day Teas.  Both of my daughters have attended events there when they were young.

As with most things worth saving and no money to do it,  they hold fundraisers throughout the year and my partner in crime Linda Porhat of Linda's Party Designs and I participated in the Tablesetting Fundraiser Wednesday and Thursday.  We narrowed our theme down to Morroccan and have haunted the thriftstores and all the Pier Ones, TJ Maxx's and Ross' to find items to create our vision.  We made chair ties, sewed tablecloths and bejeweled plates (you know Linda has to have her sparkle).  It all came together  for the public viewing starting at 11:00 am and yesterday was the catered luncheon. This being our first year to participate, we weren't sure what to expect but "WOW" it was 42 tables of high energy people supporting a great cause and the creativity of the tablesetters.  So, want to see our table....

Starting with a round table...

Tablecloth to the floor and beaded trim added to the topper...oooh shimmery

Reds, terracotta and purple pulled from our fabric inspired our color palette.

The placesetting up close and personal with the jeweled chargers.  A huge "Thank You" to
Diana Pleitez of Pleitez Lavender for providing the yummy lavender truffles in our favors.
The ladies loved them!

Elephants On Parade!

                                      Chair ties with elephant tassels...a great Tuesday Morning find!

It was dark in the hall, so not the best lighting for pictures but here is the finished table.  Elephant candleholders and the peacock feathers and flowers in the urn on top of the gilded small table for drama and height.

Here are our ladies who lunch...who were so kind and complimentary and who didn't want to use their napkins and mess up the placesettings! Thank you ladies and thanks to Anne Hathaway who chaired this event and hopefully is laying on the couch and resting today because she deserves it!

In true fashion, we were already planning next years table as we finished our lunch...

To Your Interior View,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Give Me My Space...Tween/Teen Bedroom Design Tips

Have you seen the commercial where the mom, daughter and sales associate are standing in the paint department at Lowe's trying to agree on paint color for the teenage daughters room?  I recently had that moment with my daughter Hallie.  We have spent the last few weeks coming up with and implementing some changes to her bedroom.  She has chosen a color scheme of black, white, gray and turquoise for her new look.  I am patiently trying to explain (ok, maybe not exactly patiently) why certain grays will work and others won't and thinking that she could be my toughest client yet!  I'm having a hard time disengaging the designer hat and wearing just the mom hat. 

Choosing colors and laying it all out!

Hallie's Color Samples

As our kids become tweens and teens, they are outgrowing the ruffles, dinosuars and more childish themes we so thoughtfully chose for them.  They are ready for a more sophisticated functional room.  Many teens actually have a good eye for design and an idea of how they want to live in this space.  Via TV and movies like Gossip Girl, Twilight and all the Disney Channel shows they are exposed to what's new and trendy and the trick is to interpret this into everyday living.  Teenagers spend hours hibernating in their rooms and with the advent of technology they are texting, video chatting or gaming, listening to ipods, watching TV or contemplating that cute boy/girl in history class, there may actually be a little homework going on too. 


So a good place to start is with what your child's interests are and some possible themes: sports they play or teams they love, dance, music, theatre (Hollywood Glam is really hot right now), surfing, skateboarding, animal prints, an ethnic theme like moroccan, african, french or italian; outdoor adventures, camoflage, etc. Maybe an industrial or Tye Dye Hippie look is what they're into.  

How are they going to use the space?  Are you trying to make it more functional for them as homework demands grow?  Do they need a desk area and technology hookups?  Is it going to be a place where friends will come and hangout?  Measure your area and determine the best layout for how everything will fit to accomplish your goals.  Next,  what's staying and what's going?  Can furniture be repurposed with a coat of paint and new hardware.  Now might be the time to step up to a bigger bed or a new dresser.  Depending on the age of your teenager, plan ahead for what they might be able to take with them to college.  Storage is key for teenagers and shelving units with baskets to hold all those flash drives, ticket stubs, etc. that accumulate will keep them a little more tidy looking (what? I know I said tidy and teenager in the same sentence). 
Roxy @ Bed Bath & Beyond

Now...the fun part.  What colors to use?  Citrusy colors, black, white, pink, turquoise, brown and blue or , yellow and gray?  Go shopping with your teen and see what's out there.  Target, JC Penneys, Sears, Pottery Barn Teen and Bed Bath and Beyond all have the current popular colors in sets or you can make up your own combinations.  Kids have just gone back to school or off to college so there are lots of choices out there right now.  Choose a rug and pillows to accent these colors.  Curtain Panels and accessories finish it off but beware of making it look too matchey matchey.  You want a cohesive look that says, "hey I've moved on from Hannah Montana and these are my interests now!"  This is a great opportunity to give them a budget and let them research the cost of new items before actually hitting the stores.  You can work together on painting walls and/or furniture. In Hallie's case, she wanted to do the painting all herself and I wasn't going to say no.  Quite frankly, she did a great job, got a great appreciation of how much work it is and even did her own touchups!  She is away this week as a counselor for 6th Grade Science Camp so I'm trying to pull it all together while she's gone.  I will share pictures when it's done.

Her weapon of choice...of course she had to paint a heart on the wall first!

If your tween should want to paint their room a dark color like black, don't freak but compromise with painting one wall, the ceiling or use chalkboard paint so they can create their own masterpieces as inspiration strikes.

PB Teen

PB Teen

Below are pictures of Alek's room that I did earlier this year.  He was moving into a different bedroom and his mom Nancy wanted a place for him and his friends to hangout.

                                                                  Before with red and gold 

New paint and laminate floors by handywoman extradonaire, Wendy Malone from A Woman's Touch


                                          With new bedding, nite stands, rug and headboard
he got a new room in beige, browns and blue. 

New media console and flatscreen...sweet!  You
can't see from my pictures the blue rug on the floor but it
looks great on the new laminate floor.  This room functions
for Alek and his buddies to hang out and play video games
or watch a movie with his family.

And once your teenager has flown the nest as my nephew Cody did this past Spring, my sister converted his room into a craft/hangout/bonus guestroom.  Check out how cute it is...

Using Cody's bed, she added new bedding she bought and pillows she made...

Love the vinyl stick chandelier on the newly painted walls.

Ooohh...scrapbooking heaven all organized.

Kids at the tween/teen age are going to hang out in their rooms A LOT!!! Work together to give them a space that helps them define who they are and maybe they'll invite you in once in awhile!

To Your Interior View,


Friday, August 13, 2010

The Eat Pray Love in Style

Today the movie Eat Pray Love comes out starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardiem and maybe if you lived under a rock you wouldn't know that.  I for one was excited and a little apprehensive when it was announced that they were making a movie of the book.  How would they convey in a movie all the thoughts and life changes that occurred in the author Elizabeth Gilberts' year long journey?  There is a whole lot of history of movies not living up to the book.  However, there is no denying the huge marketing campaign that has been leading up to todays movie premiere. 

Whether you agree with the author's choice to chuck it all for a year of self exploration (indulgence?) or not, it has created some style influences in both fashion and home decor.  I for one loved the book (read it twice).  First, who hasn't thought about just leaving everything behind, just for a little while, to find ourselves, rejuvenate, explore someplace new and eat lots of good food?  Sign me up!  Italy for sure...India, I would probably pick somplace else but Bali, oh yeah.

Secondly, I love that she was honest about the questions she has about life, God and love. Thirdly, I learned something from reading this book.  Her descriptions of her time in Italy, where she lived, the food she ate and the origin of the italian language took me there.  Her time in the ashram, the principals behind yoga and meditation, "the Yogis believe a human life is a very special opportunity, because only in human form and only with a human mind can God-realization ever occur.  The turnips, the bedbugs, the coral--they never get a chance to find out who they really are.  But we do have that chance."  In Bali, we learn that it was once not always paradise and that it has a history of slave trading and wasn't until the 1960's that the government decided to reinvent it for tourism.

If you haven't read the book or won't see the movie, you can still see evidence of it's influence on style for our homes and fashion being marketed at places like World Market, HSN, Target and others.

 Journal for your own book...

Yoga Mat with Carrying Bag

Yum Pasta!

Some beautiful candleholders to set an exotic mood. These could be used in many decor styles.


Your own little budha

Add a touch of exotic with pillows
Baskets are always perfect!

Love this rustic bench for an enclosed patio or entryway...

All images from World Market

So are you a fan of the book?  Will you see the movie?  I'm hoping to see it this weekend.  I won't be traveling the world but just escaping for a couple of hours into someone elses.

To Your Interior View,


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't Forget About The Green

You can be green by using your green...plants that is.  If your yard or cutting flowers are in between blooming times, use your plants that have interesting leaves like these ones from my backyard.  Herbs are another great way to pull in something natural and fresh that can smell great too.

I bought three of these glass bottles at Homegoods after being inspired by a visit to Ferrari Carrano's tasting room in Healdsburg.  They had purchased antique apple cider bottles and created gorgeous light fixures and someday mine will light fixtures when they grow up!
The picture on the left is my inspiration...doesn't it look great?  The tasting room is beautiful with a great boutique as well.

For now, I'll use them as vases until the dream can be fulfilled.

 So save your green by using your green ( i know, i know, couldn't help myself).  How do you use items from your yard to add to your home?

To your interior view,


Friday, July 2, 2010

Summertime Is An Attitude

For Father's Day we had the amazing experience of seeing The Doobie Brothers and Chicago at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, CA.  These two bands contributed so much to the soundtrack of our lives, especially in the 70's.  We've seen them individually over the years but the chance to see them together in a beautiful foothills setting was perfect.  Even Hallie, who is 17, was looking forward to watching the "old people's" concert.  It was one of the best we've been to in a long time, between the setting, the music and our parking lot picnic under the trees, made it a great Fathers Day.

The summer heat has finally arrived (accept for my daughter in Portland).  The July 4th Weekend is here and beyond that picnics, camping and outdoor living are in full swing. 

From Crate and Barrel are all the accessories you need to complete your outdoor picnic...the LaBassa large beach towel, the Avignon picnic basket, an insulated drink tote, the perfect way to eat and drink with a maple tray that also holds a wine glass and some citronella candles to keep the bugs away. 

How about a great book by Denise Gee to help you create an uncomplicated summer get together...if it's not perfect, that's perfect.  It's the season for chilling out, hanging out and spending time on the porch, patio or deck!
You can find it at here

When we were growing up, summer nights meant being outside til we absolutely had to come inside.  Baseball in the street til we couldn't see the ball, hide and seek after it got dark and maybe doorbell ditch a time or two (especially the cranky neighbor who yelled at us if we walked on his grass).  So maybe you don't have to doorbell ditch your neighbors but invite them over for some summertime 'tude', show off your patio decor and get the kids to ring the doorbells!

Have a great holiday weekend,


Monday, June 28, 2010

A Visit to A Favorite Shop Helps Ease the Pain

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine was great until I tweaked my back yesterday afteroon and the sad thing is I wasn't really even doing anything.  It locked up and ice and ibuprofen became my friends.  This morning it was a call to the chiropractor, who after hearing the wimpering in my voice, got me in at 10 a.m.  After an hour of therapy they sent me on my way with an appointment to come back if it's not better in a couple of days.  Now the good thing about this and the whole trying to make lemonade out of lemons attitude is that my chiropractor is in Oakdale, which also happens to be where one of my favorite shops is located.  I Love Paris is a francophiles paradise.  It is loaded with all things french; chandeliers, rugs, pillows, dishware, clothes, jewelry, candles, soaps,  I could go on and on.  There is so much to look at that I usually take at least two trips in and around just to see it all.  The displays are charming, romantic and inspiring.  I took out my phone to snap a few photos and for a few moments while getting my french fix, I forgot about my back for a few truly a case of retail therapy.

photos taken with my camera phone

I Love Paris
325 East F St.
Oakdale, CA  95361

If you need a little retail therapy, this quaint shop should help make you feel a little better!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lilacs and Lavender...Nature as Inspiration

Sometimes all we have to do is look out the window to our exteriors to get inspiration for our interiors.

When I was young and as the oldest, I was the first one to get a room of my own.  It was painted a beautiful shade of lavender.  I think I have loved that color since.  The last two homes we have lived in have had lilac bushes which when they're blooming just reinforces my love fest.  We planted a viburnum right next to the lilac and they both bloom at the same time...simply stunning and allows me armfuls of bouquets for at least two weeks every year. 

With these as inspiration and all hues of purple being so hot right now, I thought I would share some lavender love.  It is a very versatile color that can be elegant when paired with cream and silver, playful when paired with chartruese and coral or warm when paired with browns and turquoise  .

Here pops of black and the light flooring keep it fresh and bright

Added to bring dimension to the all white bedding and furniture, with the perfect pop of orange.

The diamond paint treatment above the chair rail adds sophistication to this dining room.  The solid color below grounds the room without taking it too seriously.  Love the touches of whimsy with the glass ball on the column and the wavy candlesticks!  Victorian brought into the 21st century.

Charming girls room...

If you want to add just a touch of lavender or purple without committing to a full room, bring in some pillows and accessories.  It is rich and soothing for any room in your home.

Take a moment to enjoy your interior view and be inspired by looking outside to the view nature has provided!

To Your Interior View,


P.S.  I have had these photos for awhile so don't have the credits labeled

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Space to Create

If you are at all creative, you have probably spent time sewing, scrapbooking, creating cards, beading or painting on your dining room or kitchen table.  My family has had to make room for many projects over the years when there were pattern pieces and a sewing machine, or boxes of beads, pictures and cutting mats where dinner was supposed to be.  I now have an office/studio dedicated to my interior design business but it also functions as my sewing and crafting room when necessary.  Not a far stretch when I'm drafting a floorplan, rendering a room concept or creating a design board, everything is in one space.  I had been hanging on to fabric and rubber stamps thinking that I would get to it 'someday'.  Realistically, not gonna happen.  So being brutally honest, I purged and got rid of some things (if anyone wants some yarn and knitting needles, let me know...I am knitting challenged). 

I began looking for inspiration of organized spaces that could work for both of my needs.  All I can say is, "wow".  There are some beautiful, thoughtful and awesome women out there with amazing spaces in which to create.  Some of the best are featured on a website and magazine titled appropriately enough "Where Women Create".  Of course they had me at the title.  Even if you don't make a thing but coffee, you will love looking at these wonderfully photgraphed spaces of some brilliant artists.  Started by Jo Packham and the folks at Stampington, it is only one of many ways that artists and craftspersons are celebrated.  Jo Packam herself is a tour de force in the creative arts; as publisher, stylist, designer and one time proprieter of three shops in partnership with her daughter.

Ready to be inspired...

I love this project board for what looks like a wedding by Coco + Kelly

Something we can all strive for...

Cute way to store ribbon...mine are in clear tubs but look nothing like this.

This lucky person looks like she has a basement to use for her creative space.

As opposed to this space that looks like an attic or a french atelier.  Love her bunting proclaiming her studio space.

This is where Craigslist would come in handy.  These look like store display fixtures.  Brilliant for seeing what fabrics you have on hand!

I have always loved this picture for a design studio.

This is almost too beautiful for words...I don't know the source for this picture but I love it.

Country Living Magazine


Here's one featuring the Color of the Year...turquoise.  Love it with the lime green accents and bold colors.

This island is great for small spaces
                                                 Pottery Barn

The key to these spaces is organization.  My office/studio, especially when I'm working on a project and have sample books all over the floor, can look like a hurricane just went through but what makes it work is that everything has a place to go back to. Baskets and shelving like the pictures you see above are lifesavers and look good too.  Baskets can be woven, wire or cardboard.  Even better is when you label them with what's inside so that when you're working on a project you can go right to that box that says cardstock and not searching through store bags trying to remember where you last saw it (I speak from experience).  Shelving units are available everywhere from Target, Ikea, Home Depot and Lowes in all price ranges.

I used the Billy shelves from Ikea and configured them with doors, filing drawers and open shelving.  The possibilities are endless, depending on how much space you have, whether you want to hide things behind doors or display it all on open shelves.  The right organizational planning can be the difference in letting your creativity sing or squashing it when frustration at not being able to find what you need, when you need it rears its ugly head!
So here are some tips for organizing your creative space:

  1. Decide where the space is going to be, and yes be a little selfish in claiming that space.
  2. Lay it out...this will give you an idea of what will fit where, where outlets are and is there enough light.
  3. Go through all your craft supplies and really inventory what you's probably way more than you think.  Is some of it outdated?  Will you really use those beads?  Get rid of what you won't use.
  4. Kind of like when you clean out your closet (a previous blog post), sort items into boxes.  This will give you a good visual of what you have.
  5. Make a list of the organizational tools you already have and what you need; ie. you might have labels, folders and a bookcase but need a table/desk, baskets and containers for pens, scissors, etc.
  6. The fun part...put it all together.  It might take baby steps but you can do it!
  7. Create an inspiration board for projects you see and want to try.  Hang it where you can look at it as your working.  This will get the creative juices flowing and get you motivated to create.
  8. Last and most important...have FUN! 
Here's to your interior view,