New York Bound

In the morning, Melissa and I are heading to the other coast to eat, drink and shop our way through New York City.  We’ll be attending NY NOW to check out the latest in home, lifestyle, and gifts and buy all kinds of cool new stuff for the store.  We’ll also be checking out the latest in the NYC boutique and culinary scenes and revisiting what, after 3 such trips, have become ‘our’ spots.  I can hardly wait!  Follow us on Instagram to get a sneak peek at the latest trends in home decor and to join us on our adventure in the Big Apple.

Image via Claire K Creations
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New Year, New Home

With the New Year comes new beginnings and in 2013 my beginning is in the shape of a house.  I’m still pinching myself that it’s really mine.  On New Year’s Day I took my dog Charlie to see our new digs for the first time and while he gazed out the living room window with eager anticipation to the backyard below, I sat on the floor simply taking it all in.  Who knows where life will lead, but it feels like I’m going to be here for a while and I can’t wait to make it my own.  The exterior will be getting a facelift, the surrounding outdoor space a complete overhaul — but that’s phase II.  For now, I’m starting where the previous owners left off, which means I have two bedrooms and a bathroom to tackle.  But before I get to those, here’s a look at the parts that have already been tackled quite beautifully.

In the entryway, a staircase leads to a lower level apartment, fully equipped with a kitchen and all.  I’m not sure how I’ll want to use that space down the road so I’m going to give myself some time to settle in and see what unfolds.  Until then, it’ll be great for family and friends to enjoy when they come to visit.  And for Charlie when he wants to get away from me.  So back to the upstairs…

I love the new design details that have been thoughtfully added in recent years — the custom built-in, decorative corbels and picture rail lining the walls.

And I love the original heater grates.

I can’t wait to curl up by the fire with a good book, a cozy throw and a big mug of something hot.  And I can’t wait to find the perfect piece of art to hang over the mantle.

When I first saw the kitchen, I was sold.  I’m happiest when I’m entertaining in my home and I can’t wait to cook up all kinds of things on my new range.  I wouldn’t dream of changing anything major here — just swapping out the light over the center island and replacing the sink faucet with something a little more my style.

And now on to what needs tackling.  First up, the bathroom…and this is 1950′s original, folks.  The general layout will remain the same — just about 2 feet wider — and I’m calling the design concept ‘factory meets fancy’.

This is the ‘master bedroom’ and although it appears kinda dark and dingy in this photo, it looks out to the ocean and gets lots of light.  New dark hardwood floors will be installed to match the rest of the upstairs, as well as new windows, but the biggest change is happening on the other side of the room.

The small existing closet presents a bit of a challenge, so this entire wall will be maximized to accommodate my little shopping problem.

The guest bedroom will get the same floor and window treatment as the master, along with a new and improved ceiling.

The closet has to go to accommodate the bathroom expansion but it can always be built back into the room later if I miss it.  For now a free-standing wardrobe will have to do.

I’ll be sure to share progress pics once things are underway…hoping demo will start early next week.  I can hardly wait to begin!

And I think Charlie may be just about as excited as I am for this new beginning.


When the Ball Drops it’s…


Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!

Images via 1.) Pinterest 2.) 3.) The Whiskey Exchange 4.) Pinterest 5.) Polyvore 6.) Refinery 29 7.) Piperlime 8.) Chic Fashion 9.) Makeup for Life 10.)
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John Robshaw is Coming to Town

What could be better than Santa Claus coming to town?  JOHN ROBSHAW!   And he’ll be here TONIGHT signing books and spreading some textile cheer.  We are thrilled to host John for his only San Diego stop during the nationwide tour for his debut book, John Robshaw Prints, so if you live nearby please stop by and say hello!  Oh and also worth mentioning, all John Robshaw textiles will be 15% OFF during the event.  Give yourself the gift of beautiful, cozy bedding this holiday season!

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B & B Anniversary Bash {in photos}

At the start of the month, we toasted to our two year anniversary with the ever-fabulous, ever-fun Mrs. Lilien, who schmoozed long past sundown and signed swatchbooks until her diamond-clad fingers just about fell off.  Thank you to everyone who came to meet THE MRS and raise a glass of Paloma Cocktail or Starlight Bowl in celebration of our milestone.  And for those of you who weren’t able to join in the festivities, here’s a peek at what went down…



Yep, that’s exactly how the evening ended…Melissa and I diving head first into a Starlight Bowl.  Cheers to everyone who has supported us over the last couple of years and all to come in the years ahead!


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Feels Like Fall

Despite our unseasonably warm weather (we’ve been in the lower 80′s this week – YUCK!) I’ve been getting in the Fall mood this week and thought I’d share a few scenes from our house last weekend.

Have you ever noticed the amazing smell that permeates all of the William Sonoma stores?  A little while back, I stumbled upon the recipe for their secret weapon.  It couldn’t be easier and makes your house smell heavenly.


The ingredients are basic and simple with lemon, fresh rosemary, vanilla and water.  I added additional vanilla to make it smell more sweet than savory but either way smells wonderful.  I put the extra ingredients in jars for a quick save for un-expected house guests.

I love any excuse to bake (especially when I can give it away!)  A dear friend moved into her new house a few weeks ago and it gave me the perfect excuse to try out a new recipe.


Chai Spice Bread

The recipe calls for a glaze drizzle – but since I was going to be wrapping it up I left the glaze off.  I actually liked that it wasn’t overly sweet.  It would be perfect with a little afternoon tea!


Prep time: 15 min. Total time: 3 hrs. 55 min (includes cooling time)
Makes 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves (as pictured above)

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup prepared tea (I like to use Pumpkin Chai from David’s Tea)
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3-5 tsp. milk
additional ground cinnamon

1) Heat oven to 350 F. Grease loaf pan with cooking spray.

2) In large bowl, beat sugar & butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs, tea, milk, & vanilla on low speed until ingredients are well combined (will appear curdled) . Stir in remaining bread ingredients just until moistened. Spread in pan.

3) Bake 50-60 minutes for a full loaf (35 minutes for mini loaves) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean & slightly golden (do not under bake). Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool 30 minutes.

4) In small bowl, stir powdered sugar, vanilla, & 3 tsp. of the milk, adding more milk by the teaspoonfuls, until spreadable. Spread glaze over bread. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly & store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.


My Fall weekend wouldn’t be complete unless I had a Linnea’s Lights Pumpkin candle burning.  I feel like Fall has officially arrived the day these arrive at the store.  I am extremely picky when it comes to scents – I can’t stand anything that has a fake, sweet smell.  My husband even loves the scent, and he’s even pickier than I am!

Linnea’s Lights Pumpkin Candle


Happy Fall everyone!





Two years!  Two years?  Has it already been TWO YEARS?!  Why yes it has and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with the Mrs. Lilien — designer, stylist and now author extraordinaire.  For those of you who haven’t yet discovered her Cocktail Swatchbook, it’s genius!  And we have them available at the store by the box load…in fact, I’ve already stashed a box of my own for hostess gifts and stocking stuffers this holiday season.  So swing by on Thursday evening for a signed copy of your own and to partake in our anniversary festivities.  There’s much celebrating to do!

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Where We’ve Been, What We’ve Been Up To

It’s official.  It’s been so long since we’ve blogged that I almost forgot our login and password.  It’s no secret that with new social media outlets, blogging seems to have taken a little bit of a backseat for everyone.

**Speaking of social media, if you aren’t already, you can follow us on both Pinterest and Instagram.  Both have become serious addictions that I may need an intervention for soon.

Just because we haven’t been around this blog, it doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy!  Here’s a little re-cap of what we’ve been up to.

1) In May, we partnered with San Diego Magazine for an article on bookcase styling.  We designed 3 different looks for one bookcase.  We did a complete re-design of Betsy’s abode last year and her new bookcases were the perfect models.

The photographer photographing the Vintage Look


2) At the end of June we tore apart the store and loaded up our front patio for our second annual Summer Yard Sale.  We’re coming into market season where we buy all of our new product and our annual Yard Sale is our way of being able to make room for new product and extend some amazing deals to our fabulous customers!  **Of course the day we were prepping for the sale was the day Diane Keaton walked into the store!  I stood there in my grubby clothes, red pen in hand, store not at it’s cutest, and my jaw on the floor.

The loot!


3) We’ve been busy with interior design clients and this month we started shooting projects for our portfolio (finally!)  This is a much longer process than it sounds.  A shoot usually starts the week before, collecting accessories to stage with.  Accessories that look good in person, don’t always look good through a camera lens.  For example, a pair of lamps that are the perfect size in person, may shrink and get lost in the photograph.

Our photographer in action


My car on photo shoot day *case in point why I will never have a little sports car


4) Betsy and I are prepping to leave for NYC tomorrow at midnight (not really but waking up at 4:00am might as well be midnight) to go to the New York Gift Show.  Even though it’s a work trip – we have a blast every year (sometimes maybe a little too much fun ; )

via Taken By The Wind DF






It’s in the Details

I have a meeting first thing in the morning to begin putting the final touches on a project we’ve been working on for the last couple of months.  There are so many “layers” or steps when designing a home from the point of construction to the very last vase.  In every stage, I always catch myself saying “this is my favorite part!”  A lot of times people think that as soon as the furniture arrives our job as a designer is done when actually the last step is one of the most important.  When we design a space for a client we want them to be able to walk in the door and every last thing is in it’s place.  We don’t want to leave anyone guessing where to place books, picture frames or vases.  Believe it or not – those final details, done incorrectly, can throw the design of a room completely off.

House Beautiful

House Beautiful

Miles Redd

via Full House Design

via Decor Pad


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Weekend Agenda

Images via 1.) J. Crew 2.) Sunglass Hut 3.) Polyvore 4.) Saks Fifth Avenue 5.) Tory Burch 6.) Apothica 7.) Oh The Lovely Things