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2018-01-18T07:59:59.150Z
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I’m in Las Vegas for the next couple of days, working on the finishing touches on the flip house. I bought the backsplash tiles for both the kitchen and master bathroom. I shopped what was in stock because all the samples I had ordered online were unsatisfactory.

I visited my top three stops for in-stock backsplash tile: Floor & Décor, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. The tile featured below is the tile I chose for the master bathroom is this one, isn’t it cool? I shared a close up version on my Instagram stories today.

While I was out I spied a bunch more great mosaics I would totally use in a bathroom or kitchen remodel if only I had another dozen projects in the works :) I saw these in person and loved them all, so I had to share because these really need to be installed somewhere, the colors and patterns are so good.

 epoch black triangle $8  / anatolia floral $11 / elidia marble peaks $19

elida volcanic $16  / prismatic blend $12 / abalone herringbone $10

hex gray polished $6 / royal brass & marble $30...

I love the promise that a new year brings! The ability to start fresh with a clean slate and create a list of goals for the upcoming year.

I also love when blogs and websites publish their roundups in late December. Looking back on the year is an opportunity to reflect on accomplishments and it’s a way to catch up on something I may have missed. I appreciate all of your roundups and today I’m sharing mine, here are my top 12 from 2017.

Space Makeovers

master bedroom  / hall bathroom  / powder room  /  galley kitchen

DIY Projects

marble fireplace makeover  /  cheap & easy shiplap  / cyanotype art  / tiered plant stand

Design Articles

renovation mistakes & design “nevers” how to style a mantel with art  / closed cabinets v. open shelving / stack bond tile

When I look back on 2017 I see the spaces I’ve renovated, the DIY projects I completed, and also the design articles I’ve written, I feel honored to be one of...

Hello my friends and Merry Christmas to you! The last 48 hours have been so much fun! Last night a group of us shared a seafood dinner in Sausalito overlooking the San Francisco Bay and city skyline. Christmas morning is always joyful, handing out thoughtful gifts to family members. I’m taking a long walk with my best friend today, then this evening we’re going out to a local restaurant owned by a friend, it’s where we dine every Christmas.

2017 was an amazing year, I faced some hardships with the devastating wildfires, and some friends received difficult diagnoses with their health. However, as I look back on the year I choose to focus on the good times, the laughter, the travels, the memories. I’m taking the week off to relax with friends and recharge for 2018. Wishing you all much happiness in this final week of the year.

Favorite links:

 

This is such a pretty green and gold table setting.

So charming, Christmas in a camper!

Home decor trends of 2017.

I just love these striped oars.

Sweden’s approach to “outdoor parenting”.

Yes! Lessons from the biggest hit of the year.

Giving up everything to travel.

Very cool adventure photos.

Tired of Monopoly? Alternative board games to play.

Facebook acknowledges social media may be...

This is a sponsored post by the maker of Orange Glo cleaning products.  I received compensation and/or a free sample for this review but the opinions are 100% my own.

With so much to consider during the holiday season, one way I like to be prepared for entertaining is by keeping my dining room holiday ready. I find if I can keep just the living room and dining room prepped and ready in advance, it takes a lot of the pressure off of me and gives me extra time to take care of all the extra obligations this time of year.

In autumn and in anticipation of the holidays, I made a few changes to the space, swapping out the old light fixture and curtains with newer pieces. I have two dining hutches, a built in and also a freestanding one, where I I store all the things I use to decorate and entertain throughout the year.

As you know, I love white and bright spaces in my home, but in the dining room I love the cozy feel captured by mixed dark and light wood tones.

 

 

Having recently invested in refinishing the hardwood floors, I’m taking extra care in keeping them clean and preserving their beauty. I was invited by the maker of Orange Glo

Christmas greetings from my house to yours! I’ve teamed up with a handful of bloggers this week, we’re sharing pictures of our homes decorated for the holidays.

Other than the birch trees mentioned here, I didn’t buy any new holiday decor this year. I’ve reached that saturation point where I have enough stuff and don’t want to accumulate anymore so I just reuse what I already have, in new ways. I pulled out old favorites from the bins in storage and scattered them around the house.

I ran into a friend at a holiday gathering last weekend, he’s a florist and I asked him to get several bunches of eucalyptus for me when he went to the flower market in San Francisco. He obliged and a few days later I had so much of it I could layer it everywhere. So in additional to traditional fir and cedar, fresh eucalyptus also makes an appearance in my simple and natural approach to decorating this season.

 

 

Welcome to another holiday tour of my home where I’ve decked the halls with fresh greenery, simple ribbons, and a few sparkly things too.

 

 

 

I decided to make a few changes in my living room right in the middle of the holiday season. :) I swapped the old sconces and chandeliers for more modern brass fixtures. I also painted the walls white and added picture frame molding to the top half of the walls, above where I installed picture frame wainscoting way back in 2010.

 

 

I wanted to highlight some of the art groupings in my living room and also hang some new art as well. To highlight the artwork, I thought I’d paint the walls white so that the art takes the spotlight, and also surround it with the same thin curved trim that sits on the wainscoting down below.

I’ve partnered with Arrow Fastener tools to show you just how easy it is to add architectural detail with simple molding. You can also add trim to ceilings or doors to add dimension or pattern, and it’s easy to do with the Arrow Fastener Electric Brad Nailer.

 

 

To add interest to your walls, ceilings, or doors, arm yourself with the Electric Brad Nailer, then head on down to the home improvement store to select trim. I found my pre-primed wood trim at Lowe’s, they have a...

My stepdaughter lives in San Diego while she’s in nursing school. To soften the terra cotta tile floor in her rental and as a layer under her small navy blue sofa, I shipped her this simple coastal striped rug from Overstock.

Overstock has been a go-to site for me for years for stylish affordable decor, I’ve purchased soooo many things from that site over the years: rugs, light fixtures, faucets, kitchen hardware, furniture, etc.

I was happy to learn about Club O Rewards, the membership based loyalty rewards program offered at Overstock. Customers enrolled in the program receive free shipping on every order, and at least 5 percent in reward dollars for all purchases, and up to 20 percent in reward dollars on hundreds of select products.

Out of curiosity, I totaled up my purchases from Overstock in the last year, and the 5% I could have earned in rewards being a Club O member was way more than the $19.95 annual fee. So I signed up for Club O Rewards to not miss out on future benefits. If the total amount of my rewards for a year is not equal to the cost of the membership, the difference will be automatically added to my account when I renew the next year. But since I shop there so much I have no doubt I’ll get my money’s worth. :)

As a long time customer, today I partnered with Overstock to talk about how...

During the Cyber Monday sales, I booked several trips for the beginning of 2018 because flights were cheap. I can’t help it, travel is my healthy addiction, but I also know it’s beneficial to my design work.

I was asked by a friend who has some fears of traveling, why is it that you love to travel so much? I said to her, it’s not just to sink my toes in the sand on a beautiful beach, everybody loves that. I do take time to relax when I travel, but in truth I book so many trips because I seek to be inspired. It’s why I find I can’t sit still for long wherever I go because I’m curious what lies just around the corner or down the road. I’m a design lover who simply must travel.

That may sound exhausting for many, but for me it’s thrilling. Traveling is not so much about being on vacation, rather it’s about filling my brain with as much stimulation as possible, much of it driven by my passion for design. I always want to see something new. For me, travel and design are intertwined, and I must have both.

 

nimb hotel, copenhagen

Art is the ultimate expression of creativity and immensely inspiring to me. I’m always up for a museum stroll in any new city. It’s incredible witnessing the masterpieces of iconic artists. There is always a...

Hello! Just like you I’m busy with all things holiday this weekend between baking and shopping. Saturday night I met some friends to share a drink and watch a lighted boat parade. Today I’m finishing up some last minute decorating then meeting another group of friends for another holiday party. ‘Tis the season!

I’ll be sharing more images of my holiday home in the coming weeks, meanwhile here are just a few favorite links spied online this week.

 

10 festive holiday front doors.

How cool: a DIY copper pipe reindeer.

Arched doorways are a classic detail, some great examples here.

30 handmade DIY gift ideas to consider.

I love National Geographic’s annual best travel and wildlife photos.

Did you hear? You can officially have Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I discovered this new podcast on women who travel.

An interesting perspective on what self care really means.

I know it’s the holiday season but I can’t help but think ahead because with this next project I get a lot of practicality. Do you remember the old study I designed for the kids five years ago when they were in elementary school? It was a fantastic space for many years but since I’ll soon have one kid in high school and one in junior high, the space needs to grow up just like they have.

I want to install a built-in desk under the window as a place for homework and a shared computer. Here’s the space as it is now, you can see I never bothered to touch up the paint behind that bench I made for them under the window. :)

 

When we refinished the floors we removed all the old furniture and shelving and it’s sat vacant for a few months. This space is the perfect spot to recreate a more sophisticated den for study. Because it’s small and narrow I envision breaking it up into two smaller zones with a desk under the window and a sitting area on the other end of the room (not shown).

My first focus is that desk under the window with storage above and below and these window desks are great inspiration. In my personal home office, my desk is under a window and I find it helpful for my productivity,...

Season’s greetings friends! Yesterday I worked up a little DIY lighted wood bead garland while I watched a movie relaxing in my family room. I like to make garlands at Christmastime while I sit fireside, it’s how I combine creativity with relaxation.

Last year I made a paper leaf garland and the year before a gemstone garland and the year before a sparkle confetti garland. This year I combined copper LED lights with wood beads to create a simple beaded garland.

 

 

 

Copper wire LED string lights are available in a lot of stores that sell holiday decor but I bought my remote control battery operated strand for $10 bucks on Amazon. You can find a lot of varieties of wood beads at craft stores like Michaels but I purchased my 9/16” oval beads online. I bought 3 bags of 100 but ended up with a lot of extras, so I think you could recreate this with just two bags of 100 oval beads. Or mix up bead sizes, that would be interesting too! A light strand and wood beads are the only two supplies you really need.

The beads’ opening are large enough to...

December greetings! Here we are approaching the end of another year. Despite the mad rush of the holidays I’m still feeling the benefit of taking it slow and keeping things simpler this year.

Yesterday I attended a matinee Christmas play then we picked out our tree and sent it into the tent to have it flocked. I’ve been flocking my tree since 2010 and I was talking to the lot attendant who told me it’s been a huge trend in recent years in lots of homes but she blamed “Pinterest”. Ha!

Today I’m finishing up the molding in my living room just in time for the arrival of the tree. I hope you’ve been enjoying your weekend as well!

Favorite links below:

 

I love the bright white, pretty blues, and fresh greenery in this home tour.

One of my favorite things about NYC: Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday windows.

So fresh: the citrus infused palette in Maria’s holiday home.

When in doubt, just add a pop of red.

Ready-to-assemble cabinets that aren’t IKEA (I’m using Lily Ann in a bathroom remodel).

Sweet and simple: mini rosemary wreath garland.

Thanks Diane for this ribbon bow hack.

Funeral styling? It’s a business now.

So great, this parent’s response to his kid drawing on...

I opened up the Christmas closet last week and brought out a few bins of favorite holiday things, the same sets of reindeer and bottle brush trees and ornaments that I love. They are once again layered around the house. My style has settled into a predictable palette: I mix metallic sheens with white ceramics and add fresh evergreens and it always pleases me year after year.

The same for my front door wreath, my plan is to work up a similar version of the copper cowbell wreath I made last year since it was so easy: just a few ornaments and ribbons and copper cowbells tied to a flocked wreath I bought at a local tree lot. It took me maybe 10 minutes to assemble and I loved it all season long. Perhaps this year I’ll add a string of lights.

Keeping it simple has allowed me to spend more time lounging in my pajamas with my kids like last night, or meeting friends at the pub for trivia night like tonight. It’s just not worth it to stress out over decorating the house, it should be a joyful time and not one filled with anxiety. So each year I find I do less and less and that means I have more time to actually enjoy the holidays.

Evergreen wreaths are as traditional as it gets, and a symbol of the season. If you’re feeling what I’m feeling, keep it simple by picking up a basic evergreen wreath at a local...

On impulse I began a living room refresh last week, right in the middle of the holidays! Crazy I know. I started by covering the gray walls with fresh white paint and I bought molding to add additional trim above the existing wainscot to frame my art. I also decided it was time to swap out the light fixtures and I started with a this new brass sconce on the tufted sofa wall.

 

 

When I went searching online for both sconces and mini chandeliers (I need two for the ceiling spots) I found several budget friendly and good looking brass light fixtures under $300.

 

 

 

mod angled / jasper / dauphine

metro / clarke / anglerlayla

feiss conant / opheliamodern gold with shade

mitzi 1 / savoy  / mitzi 2

mod brass geometric / uptown pendant

See also: Favorite Sources for Affordable Lighting

This week I’m adding new molding and art and I’ll share the finished space as we get closer to Christmas. :)

 

.

Hello my friends! Today I’m picking up my turkey and doing the last of the grocery shopping. I’m also putting the final touches on my Thanksgiving table, making sure there are enough plates, napkins, glasses, etc. for the crowd of 12 that will be sitting around my table.

To jump start your holiday shopping, I pulled together a group of gift ideas. Everything here ranges from as low as $10 to no higher than $99. I’ve made it EASY to check the prices, simply hover over the items you’re interested in and the price is revealed. Sometimes shops or sites are having sales so clicking over may reveal further discounts.

For Him:

!function(d,s,id){ var e, p = /^http:/.test(d.location) ? 'http' : 'https'; if(!d.getElementById(id)) { e = d.createElement(s); ...

Weekend hellos! I’m in Thanksgiving prep and gift buying mode this week, the same as many of you! I’m making my grocery shopping list and setting my Thanksgiving table. I also have some gift ideas I’ll be sharing next week.

I wanted to kick it off with 8 things I use every.single.day and absolutely love, these make great gifts for you or someone close to you!

 

I don’t carry a regular wallet, I carry this iphone wallet and keep my bank and credit cards in it. It also has just enough room for a few punch cards or gift cards. The baggallini crossbody is my go to everyday bag with just enough pockets, for cellphone, makeup, etc. The Mira double walled water bottle stays by my side from morning workouts to afternoon carpool. (Also cheaper than Swell).

This fluted contrast mug I picked up in Copenhagen. I love its design and it feels good in my hand filled with my morning coffee. This coffee vac keeps beans fresh and has a clean modern design so it looks great on my counter. I found the best daily SPF 50 sunscreen, it’s soft and super moisturizing and I’ve used it everyday for over a year. Pricey but WORTH IT. Every other morning I use one of these...

I’ve been busy this week preparing for Thanksgiving, cleaning and organizing in anticipation of a house filled with guests. I started to daydream about my amazing trip to France in September and the enchanting hilltop towns.

My trip took me there in early autumn it was still warm. I stayed in Nice for a few days and from there adventured out on a few day trips, two of them being visits to hilltop towns that many of you recommended. Èze was my first stop (on the road to Monaco) and wow what an incredible view you’ll see on the road there. I was on a small group tour and we stopped here just to take it all in.

 

 

Èze as foretold by so many  was absolutely charming. It had a beautiful church and the most magnificent Mediterranean sea views from a botanical garden on top. Everywhere you turn there are vines growing on top of centuries old walls, it’s so charming. I couldn’t help but hum that song from Beauty and the Beast, “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day, like the one before …”.

 

 

My go-to holiday table setting is a basic charger (silver or gold) combined with a white plate, then I like to layer a patterned napkin on top to keep it interesting.

This simple arrangement works every time and makes it easy to use basic plates I already have. Like this inspiration, I add a little greenery to the table along with some candles and call it done.

 

 

 

 

image sources: 1 / 2  / 34

There’s no need to spend money on themed plates and/or lines for your holiday party, ones you use only once a year. I like to invest in linens that are more versatile and not specific to one single holiday. Cloth napkins that can be repurposed anytime appeal to me more.

Last year I bought napkins made with this lumimarja material, a botanical with gold branches. I didn’t get to use the napkins last year so I plan to this year when I host Thanksgiving. Here are a dozen styles of dinner napkins...

It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours but I’ve loved every minute of it. Thursday I was whisked away spontaneously to a concert benefiting wildfire victims taking place in San Francisco. Someone had an extra ticket so I hopped on the ferry to the City and watched the sun set over the City skyline as I arrived at the concert venue, it was magical. Last night I got together with a group of some of my best friends for dinner and we went dancing, such fun! It’s been an enjoyable two days living in the moment surrounded by good music and great friends.

I feel blessed to be picking up more design projects too. When it rains it pours. :) Tomorrow I’m meeting with another client and working together on a full home remodel. I’m excited for what’s shaping up for 2018 and the many spaces where I’m lending my expertise.

During the holidays I’m doing my best to say no to anything that complicates my life or isn’t meaningful. I plan on simple decorations and fresh greenery, and I’ll not be killing myself trying to do it all. I delight in rebelling against the pressure to make everything perfect. The past two days reminded me that the most important things are the connections formed with the people you love. I’m not hosting a holiday party but I have plans to gather in several small groups in people’s homes or at the local bistro, toasting in gratitude to the simple pleasures of life.

Favorite links:

Another new project landed in my lap, it’s a small hall bathroom for a shared commercial office. Rather than something light and bright like I did in my own home with my powder room, I’m headed in the opposite direction. This time I’ll create a moody modern space using a combination of deep hues on the walls (black or charcoal), a wood vanity, and brass accents.

The Inspiration:

images: 1 / 2 / 3 /

Here is the 4×6′ space as it exists now, it’s one of those tiny bathrooms thrown together for utility alone and with no consideration to aesthetic whatsoever. So boring right? I can’t wait to give it a fresh, more attractive look.

The vinyl plank floors are in good shape so those stay. However those walls are crying out for something cool, I’m leaning either dark stained or painted plank walls, or perhaps grasscloth wallpaper in a deep hue as the backdrop, like the walls in the inspiration images above.

The vanity shouldn’t be more than 30″ wide to have the proper proportion, these single sink wood vanities caught my eye: