Thursday, May 29, 2008

New: Emma Gardner

New from Emma Gardner: Chinese River

Hand tufted wool, it comes in 6'x9', 8'x10', and 10'x12'

I can imagine this in so many places!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Roy McMakin Follow-up

As a follow-up to the previous post, I'd thought it would be very worthwhile to show you some of Roy McMakin's other wonderful work.



Roy McMakin originally started the company Domestic Furniture in Los Angeles and San Diego. Joining forces with talented craftspeople, his designs are now realized by the company Big Leaf Manufacturing in Seattle, Washington.





These are but a few of his playful creations.

Now that summer is on it's way, these pieces conjure images of beach cottages.



The colors are strong and clear, but the forms are described as "temporally ambiguous".

Architecture has also found it's way into the company's repertoire and goes by the name Domestic Architecture. While utilizing recognizable vernaculars, whether it be Tudor, Spanish, or Cape Cod, Domestic Architecture tweeks things just to keep you on your toes.

A remodel of a Tudor Style house carries it into another realm.

This house reminds me of a family house at Balboa Beach California where I spent every summer growing up. Perhaps this is what draws me to it, especially this time of year.

I can just see this space filled with kids in bright bathing suits and striped beach towels. The perfect backdrop.

Be sure to visit the Domestic Architecture site. The images there are wonderful, but not downloadable.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Clever Chairs

California Home and Design, June 2008, Photo by Ed Ritger

We see alot of various dining chair styles brought together in one room and united through uniform paint color. I love that idea. I thought this was a great new take on a that tried and true method. Roy McMakin of Domestic Furniture in Seattle found vintage American chairs on ebay and accented them with white paint. Just on the top. Clever.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Under the Sea

Summer is almost here, and I am constantly battling my seaside daydreams to try and focus on work. But sometimes a girl just has to get away.

Dreamweaver Barry Dixon put together an underwater fantasy for a couple in Palm Beach modeling the motif after the Italian baroque love of seashell and grotto designs. The details are everywhere: the custom chandelier, Barry likens to an octopus; in the Living Room he used a cornice cast from real shells; there is seaweed-like fabric on the chair; the aqua and green color scheme echoes the colors of the sea.

I have to say I was pleased, yet again, to see that Metropolitan Home was thinking outside the glass box when they included this home in their June issue. While there are many contemporary elements to this Neptune's Palace, such as the bare terrazzo floors, there is also an abundance of traditional and whimsical luxury.

Can you just see Ariel sitting here cooling her flippers while sipping a Blue Hawaiian at the bar?

The Master Bedroom is a bit more subtle, yet still contributes to the overall undersea effect.

The Master Bath has just that right mix of antique and contemporary, high and low, that makes it perfect in my eyes. (The lantern is only $29!)

All photos above by Colleen Duffley

Artisan Cathy Jarman was let loose in the Powder Room and created a true grotto effect.

Oh, BTW, Barry Dixon has a new book scheduled to be released this fall. For Info, click here.

Photo by William Waldron

Elle Decor featured another Palm Beach house in their June issue. Owner Jack Staub just threw this little shell mirror together. Just another little weekend DIY project. Seriously, he has to be one talented guy. When describing the house, partner Renny Reynolds says: "Have you ever seen so many Buddhas? It's not exactly Zen austere." My kind of guy.

Photo from "Tony Duquette" by Wendy Goodman and Hutton Wilkinson

So just who started all of this shell underwater cool craziness anyway? Was it Tony Duquette with his over the top fabulous creations like the chandelier above? You'd have to go back a bit farther back than that. This tradition of creating beautiful objects out of shells dates at least as far back as the Renaissance. Rich merchants and scholars across the European continent were collecting and trading shells in the 1500's. Rooms were encrusted with shells, mirrors and boxes and furniture as well. Some wonderful examples:

A La Ronde, a late 18th century English house, shells were displayed in a fireplace. House and Garden November 1992.

Festoons of Shells at Walton, c. 1748, House and Garden November 1992.

Frederick the Great's grotto hall at Sanssouci, November 1763-70. House and Garden November 1992

Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1932.

A few objects of interest to feed that seaside obsession:


Early 20th century shell table from Linda Horn through 1st dibs.

Seashell sculpture, Late 18th century Italy, JRM International through 1st dibs.



OK....I just included this cuz it is so .....well...crazy bizarre fabulous. Dolce antiques, 1st dibs.

There is alot to choose from in the way of sea shell decor. Here are a few of my favorites:

Oly Studio Neptune Mirror

Oly Studio Jenny Chandelier. Designer Emma Jane Pilkington used this for a home in the latest Elle Decor.


Oly Studio Wellfleet Sconce

Looking for that big clamshell? Oly Studio has one: Lombok Ornament, Caste Resin Clamshell

Sweet shell creamer and sugar available through jettmodern.

OK...enough. I am ready to go back to work now.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Katiedid Pillow at Wisteria

OK....I may have to get this pillow, new from Wisteria. Is it "me" or what? $99



Wisteria just put out their latest and prettiest. The headboards, lamp, pillows, shell frame...yup...all new. But the cute kitty...you may be on your own there.

Here are a few more things among the many that I thought were particularly wonderful:

Driftwood Candelabra, $79

Suzani Pillow, 22x14, $99

Suzani Pillow, 18x18, $89

Botanical Salad Plates, $59....Not bad as wall decor either!

Chinese Teapot Lamp, $299

Architectural Window Mirror, $399

Saturday, May 17, 2008

If your car has to break down and it's 103 degrees outside......

I suppose it's not quite so bad if you break down in front of Vic's Ice Cream in Sacramento. Especially if you have three kids with you, and the tow truck only has room for one.



See... there it is in the backround on the left.




Vic's Ice Cream by artist Paul Guyer


Established in 1947, Vic's produces all of their own ice cream and serves 29 flavors all of the time. Best ice cream in NoCal. Perhaps the country. My personal fave? Cherry Ameretto, with peppermint chip coming in a close second.



I love that it has kept it's old time ice cream parlor style, and that it employs kids from the neighborhood.



Photo Credit: Jessica Larkin


The classic black and white checkered floor and counter seats....isn't it too perfect?




"Vic's for Ice Cream" by Raul Duffy, available through Soloman Dubnick Gallery



Located right in the heart of Land Park, one of the oldest and well established neighborhoods in Sacramento, Vic's has become a fixture in the daily life of many of us. So well known is it that many artists have taken up their brushes to capture it.

Not a bad way to spend a hot and otherwise frustrating afternoon. And "Thanks" Mister Tow Guy from Jack's Tow Service for being so nice. And "Thanks" Mister Apartment Guy for asking if we needed help.


And I hope my hubby had a really good time on his road trip in my borrowed car because his car (above) had just been towed two days prior for the same reason and released by the car dealership (which shall remain nameless)because " they couldn't find anything wrong" and hubby didn't want to break down on the road. I agreed, but I'm just sayin'....

The biggest "Thanks" goes to Vic's for having the best ice cream and right at the best moment possible!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reader Decorating Dilemma: Lighting

What does one do when trying to update a space from an old ceiling fan to a new light fixture, especially when ceilings are not very high? This was a question posed to me by a very kind reader, Becky.


Becky is settling into her home and was asking me if I could help her with her lighting dilemma. We have been corresponding and she was kind enough to send me some pictures of the Living Room and Bedroom in question. I assured her that we would all chip in and give her some creative solutions. So I hope you all give your opinions and help here!

Here is the ceiling fan to be replaced....centered in a coffer in the ceiling. I think we might have a little more height to play around with here than in the bedroom below. The ceilings at the crown molding are 8 feet high. It looks to me like the coffer might go up another 12-18 inches higher.



Becky has gotten a good start with an English Country style in a camel, emerald and cranberry color scheme. She is craving a lantern style fixture, which I think is a great idea. We just need to make sure the height is appropriate. So here are some thoughts for the Living Room:

This lantern is one that Becky had found, and I think it is beautiful and would work very well if it were just a bit smaller.



Niermann Weeks is a company that offers fixtures in more than one size. I love that. This Chinoiserie Tole Lantern picks up on the red colors Becky has in her palette and adds quite a bit of style I think! It comes in a 15x15x25, which would make a nice statement, or a smaller size: 13x13x24.



Another idea besides a lantern style is this Armillary Chandelier, also from Niermann Weeks. It also comes in two sizes: 24d x 16.5h and 38d x 25.5h. Another eye catcher!





This Lantern is from 1st Dibs through Lumiere. Again, I like the idea of the red tole. This fixture measures 19" diam x 30"h. Perhaps a little on the large side. Becky might need to measure for this one!


I love the idea of this fixture perhaps with a red paint . Also from 1st Dibs through Brunelli Designs. 1950's made in Italy, the size is 13" diam x 15"h. It may be a bit too small for the space.


Another 1st Dibs find from Kenny Ball Antiques, this brass lantern is 16" diam x 29" high. Looks about the right size. And the style is really nice.
There are so many great options on 1st Dibs, I think a peek at the lighting section is a must!

This is Becky's Guest Room. The ceiling here are 8 feet high, so options are more limited.

I think a semi-flush mount fixture is what is called for here. But to get the lantern look, I found a couple of options from Circa Lighting:

These work well for the height of the room and bring a little of that English Style to the room as well.

I hope these suggestions have been helpful! And please chime in everyone. I know there are many of you that will have more sources and great ideas.