Sunday, December 26, 2010

When God Closes a Door….

The presents are opened, the recycling bin is full of wrapping paper, the Christmas dinner, which took hours to prepare, was eaten in minutes.  The wine bottles empty, the children all playing with their new games and the cats doing what they always do…. sleeping through it all.  The year is winding down and what a year it has been.  For my family, it has been one of major change.  Whether or not it will be a good one is yet to be seen, but we are all adjusting to our new roles, the new game, the new rules.  We are all going to bed unsure of the now, but hoping to wake up to a better future.

They say when God closes a door, he opens a window.  For many of us, it’s so hard to see that indeed that window is open.  All we see is that the door has been shut in our faces and we are left there, stunned, not knowing what to do next.

The point, I think, is to just keep moving.  Keep searching.  Keep looking for what you want in life.  And that… putting one foot in front of the next… is the secret to getting through life.  One step at a time.  One moment at a time.  One breath at a time.

In keeping with this blog’s theme….. Harmony and Home…. and in loving (and living in) peaceful serene homes, here is one that I’d like to share with you.

From Boston Magazine.  All photos by Eric Roth.  Interior Design by Gerald Pomeroy.

Sitting Room

A sitting room with built-in glass-fronted cabinets and complimentary artwork pull this room together in a beautiful way.


Hall Accents

Farrow & Ball wallpaper and simple artwork make this entryway seem casual, even though the furniture is formal.



This Gustavian case clock is perfectly showcased against the wall mural.


Dining Room

This beautiful antique Biedermeier wood table and Austrian chairs are from the same period, centered under a gilt lantern chandelier.


Master Bathroom

The beautiful cabinetry and mirror-on-mirror in this master bathroom create a very elegant atmosphere.


Master Bedroom

The master bedroom features a mirrored side table and custom headboard.



In the entry,  a sunburst mirror is positioned on an antiqued mirror and x-frame chairs standout amongst the multi-colored marble tile.


If I have just one aim,
And if that aim is to be myself,
Then I am bound to discover joy,
True joy, eternal joy.

If you can create harmony
In your own life,
This harmony will enter
Into the vast world.

The transformation of life
Begins with a soulful smile
Of the heart.

At the dawn of each day,
Let us make our hopes
And promises
As sincere and powerful
As possible.

~ Sri Chinmoy


Happy New Year Everyone!

Blessings of Good Health, Prosperity and Endless Love!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Design Gift Ideas

With Christmas almost upon us, I thought I would write a post with some last minute Christmas gift ideas that pertain to design… for you afficionados out there.  :)

So without further adieu…

HGTV’s Home Design and Remodeling Suite Software.  I have this program and haven’t had the chance to really get in there and use it, but upon quick perusal and based on the reviews, it looks like a pretty decent software package.  For those of you out there who would like to design, but don’t have the training, this is a fun little tool to work with.  You can remodel your whole home or just change the colors of a room.  The possibilities are endless.

Chenille Heathered Stripe Throw

Restoration Hardware's Heathered  Stripe Throw

At just $59.00, this beautiful throw will keep you warm on the sofa or look good thrown over the corner of your arm chair.  It’s oversized at 50” x 70” and the blankets from Restoration Hardware are just luxurious.  I bought a chenille throw for my father a couple years ago and the weight of it and quality were impeccable. 


Guinevere Bed from Horchow

Heavy gage steel in a beautifully scrolled romantic design, complete with four posts.  Love.  $799.00 for a Queen.


Embossed Faux Leather Journal from Leather  Every good designer needs to record all his/her transactions.  Make sure you have know where you are going with your business!


How to Own and Operate and Financially Successful Redesign,

'>'>How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Redesign, Redecorating, and Home Staging Business: With Companion CD-ROM.  For all of you out there that want to start up a design business, this is a good starting point.  Practical tips and wisdom from those in the industry to help you get started.


May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
~Author Unknown




Saturday, November 27, 2010

Peaceful Holidays

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I did.  I spent the day with my children and reflected on what is really important in life.  The love you give and the love you receive.  I am thankful for so many friends and of course, my family and especially my children.  I’m thankful to be moving on in life in baby steps and experiencing new things, making new goals, meeting new people (including some of you!), and ridding my life of the negative.  As the year comes to a close, I am reflecting on the last year and what lessons I should learn from it.  I am looking to the future and holding my dreams and hopes in front of me.  This past year has been life-changing for me and I have struggled greatly (as has my blog…lol…), but I am looking forward to closing this year with grace and dignity and starting 2011 with hope and wonder.  I wish you all blessings for a wonderful holiday season and may you be sharing it with the ones you love.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~  Maria Robinson

Better Homes and Gardens
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
~Sam Keen
Some people come into our lives,
Leave footprints in our hearts,
And we are never ever the same.

- Unknown
Dream Kitchen Sink and Backsplash Architectural Digest
“The most important things in life aren’t things.”
~Anthony J. DeAngelo
“Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in awhile, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.”  

“Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.”
~Ashleigh Brilliant
“Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.”
~Albert Einstein
“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.”
~Keri Russell
Suzanne Kasler
Suzanne Kasler kitchen
“Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.”
~Albert Einstein
Apple Matting rug LR
“I don’t want to live.  I want to love first, and live incidentally.”

Chair by the Window
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“This is my wish for you;  Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Farmhouse Sink Love

Everyone knows what they are and many people have pined for one when they first came back into popularity on the design front.  Farmhouse sinks are gorgeous to look at, create a definite style in the kitchen and are oftentimes a statement piece.
Farmhouse sinks, also called apron-front, offer wide basins and exposed aprons.  They are offered in lots of different materials and can be pricey.  They require either a tile-in or undermount installation, which doesn’t work with some countertop materials, such as laminate.  A lot of farmhouse sinks are also single-basin, which some customers don’t like.
I’ve gathered some interesting farmhouse sinks for your viewing enjoyment.
Stain Steel Mosaic Kitchen Sink from Linkasink .  A gorgeous sink, don’t you think?
This weathered copper beauty also from Linkasink  is also available in dark bronze here.
Farmhouse & Prep Sinks: Natural Front Farmhouse sink
Natural Front Farmhouse Sink from Stone Forest.  This would look great in a log cabin.
Some things to consider when purchasing a sink;
  • How many bowls do you need?
  • Is the sink deep enough for your pots?
  • Do you need a prep sink?
  • What is the care and maintenance of the material?
  • Size, Shape, Material.. does it go with your decor/cabinets/appliances?
  • Does it work with your faucets?
  • Cost

Shaws Original Casement Edge Front 1 1/2 Bowl Fireclay Apron Kitchen Sink here.  Farmhouse sinks are usually single basin, so this double basin sink might be a good option for some.

The MHX710-36 from Franke Sinks.  Stainless Steel beauty.  Stainless steel can be high-maintenance though.

For Town by Michael S. Smith for Kallista can be found here.  Made of solid marble, this is one of my favorites.  Timeless and beautiful in any setting.
Have a great week everyone!
Life is a flow. It cannot stop, speed up, slow down or reverse.  Things constantly move on.  Because that is evolution.  It is only by the leaving of one room that we can enter the next.  And if we do not progress, we cannot grow.  And if we do not grow we have no purpose.  So we must accept, and make the best.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show

It’s here again!  The fabulous, oldest continuously operating international antiques show on the West Coast.  Taking place this weekend at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, the show is featuring Chinoiserie this year!



2010 Preview Party Benefit Gala
Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 7 to 9 p.m.
2010 Show

October 28 to October 31, 2010
Thursday - Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.


Take a look at the who is going to be showing this year;

2010 Exhibitors


Wallpaper on canvas, handpainted with chinoiserie ornaments, from the museum Geelvinck-Hinlopen Huis.



Gracie Handpainted Wallpaper

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m a big fan of hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper.  Gracie is one of the premiere companies manufacturing these beautiful pieces of art.   Michael Smith, my favorite designer, uses Gracie in many of his designs.


If you’d like to be inspired by Chinoiserie design, check out the lecture series;

Chinoiserie and Japonisme in European Ceramics
Christina Prescott Walker
Thursday, October 28, 11:00 a.m.

China and World Fashion Today
John S. Major
Thursday, October 28, 2:30 p.m

Chinoiserie at Court

Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent
Friday, October 29, 11:00 a.m.

Chinoiserie in Britain, 1650-1820

David Beevers
Friday, October 29, 2:30 p.m.

Billy Baldwin: America's King Cotton Decorator
Adam Lewis
Saturday, October 30, 11:00 a.m.

Bringing the Past to Present and Beyond
Bunny Williams
Saturday, October 30, 2:30 p.m.


For a more comprehensive, wonderful post on the Antiques Show, check out Diane Dorrans Saeks blog, The Style Saloniste.

Hope to see you there!


If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself,
not other people. It is easier to protect your
feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.
- Anthony de Mello

Monday, October 25, 2010

Diane von Furstenberg does Claridge’s of London

Style maven Diane von Furstenberg has collaborated with Claridge’s of London to design a series of room and suites for the London hotel.  Her goal for the room designs was “to respect the architecture and formality of the grand hotel room, but at the same time make it relevant to today’s life.”  Of course, Diane’s “relevant to today’s life”, might be a bit different to our “relevancy”… but what I like about her, is that she is not afraid of color or pattern.  Much like Kelly Wearstler, Diane is not inhibited by either.  And, she has an eye for putting together these designs.

While they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, her room designs are at the very least fun.  Enjoy!

Here are a few snaps of the common areas…


Claridge’s Front Hall


Claridge’s Foyer


Gordon Ramsey’s Restaurant at Claridge’s.  I love the light fixtures.  Coupled with those purple chairs, it creates a warmth in the dining room.


Claridge’s Foyer


Claridge’s Entrance


Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic Ikat pattern in raspberry and chocolate dominates the dual aspect sitting-room, on a beautiful rug inset into a herring-bone patterned hardwood floor and on the 2 back-to-back sofas.  The artwork in this suite is from von Furstenberg’s own private collection, from her travels around Europe, Africa and Asia.


The master bedroom has a soft color scheme, a pop-up 37 inch plasma TV at the foot of the bed and a beautiful canopied bed.


This bedroom takes its cue from the fashion world with attractive China Club curtains, bold patterns – including an armchair in von Furstenberg’s China Club design.



A more organic pattern, but just as effective.  Bring on the DVF!!!


The design living room in this suite uses black and white as a base and then pops the room with that delicious deep purple and dark lime green.


  Striking marble floors are the highlight in this master suite bathroom.


Classic elegance.


The d├ęcor is complemented by striking lighting in Murano glass.


Lalique glass sculptures throughout.


Mayfair Suite.  More subdued, but nonetheless classic.


Linley Couture Suite.  Art deco touches are an interesting choice compared to the other suites.  Complete with mirror above the headboard. :)


Linley Classic Suite.  I love the clean, classic look of this suite.


Linley Couture Suite.  More art deco design.


Linley Suite. 


Traditional Linley Couture Suite


Art Deco Linley Couture Suite


Piano Suite.  The marble vanities are striking, but probably not an installation that a current designer would use.


Piano Suite Living Room.  Feels presidential, no?



Royal Suite



Royal Suite



Davies Penthouse.  Beautiful doors.



The Davies Penthouse.  Yes, please.


The Davies Penthouse


The Brook Penthouse


  The Brook Penthouse.  Wish I could see the view!  I’m sure it’s striking.


The Brook Penthouse

  And now, for their “regular” rooms :)….


Superior Queen Bedded Room


Superior King Bedded Room


Deluxe King Bedded Room


DVF Studio

Check it out for yourself at  Claridges of London.  And if you go… take me! :)


Hope guides me.   It is what gets me through the day and especially the night.

(Quote from “A Knight’s Tale)