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.

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

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone!

Normally I love having weekends with absolutely nothing planned but this weekend was jam packed and a ton of fun.  Saturday Grace, Amy and I picked up some early morning coffees and headed out to our second annual road trip to the Pasadena Showcase House.

Pasadena Showcase House 2012

The 8 bedroom, Spanish style home was built in 1927.  The home was designed by John Byers and was nicknamed the “House of Doors.”  Each door in the house was different.  Some of the doors were intricately carved, one was leather with a brass border others were more simple but just as breathtaking.

Our hands-down favorite room in the house was the sleeping porch.  It was lined with 3 original murphy beds (yes, you read that right – murphy beds!)

Sleeping Porch with Murphy Beds

The paintings on each of the beds are all original to the house.  **Side note:  Check out the turtle on the bed! : )

I fell in LOVE with this painted floor!

Painted Floor

Taking photos is strictly prohibited but we just can’t help ourselves and have gotten quite good and being sneaky.

Gallery Wall

We loved this spin on the classic gallery wall.  All of the frames were wrapped in a marble paper.

We stopped at Julienne’s in San Marino for lunch and it was absolutely to die for! If you’re ever in the area you MUST stop by.  A friend of Grace’s, mother designed the restaurant.  It’s styled after a french cafe and she told Grace that her mom even traveled to France to ensure that even the smallest detail was accurate.

photo via Julienne's

Today it’s back to the office – but full of inspiration!  Have a great rest of your week!

Raoul Textiles

Betsy and I rolled in last night from a very fun (and exhausting!) weekend in Santa Barbara.  We were there for one of Betsy’s wedding client’s weddings.  I won’t dish on any of the details, however I will say it was stunning!  Since it was a Sunday wedding, we took our time heading home and checked out some of the fabulous shops that Santa Barbara has to offer.


One of the places I have been dying to visit is the Raoul Textiles showroom.  Sally McQuillan is the force behind this beautiful company.  Sally’s stunning prints are all printed by hand here in the US.  In fact, they print an incredible 30,000 yards per year.  Did anyone read the article in this month’s House Beautiful on California-based home products?  Raoul Textiles was one of the featured companies.

Indigo Colorway


via DeSousa Hughes

The tricky part about Raoul is that there is no online catalog and no print catalog.  To see this line you must visit one of their few showrooms.  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tempting to pick up the look books (peeking in the photo on the left hand side) and dash out the door! **Note: For those of you who don’t know me – I’m the biggest rule follower and would NEVER actually do that!

image Bixby & Ball

I took full advantage of our visit and gathered samples for a few projects I’m working on.

image: Bixby & Ball


image: Bixby & Ball


Sally herself actually walked in the showroom during our visit – but I just didn’t have it in me to speak up and say hello.  sigh..oh well!