Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

via Martha Stewart online

I wouldn't mind having dinner at this table and then curling up on the sofa in front of this fireplace waiting to pass out candy to trick or treaters.  Here's to celebrating in style!

Friday, October 29, 2010

California Love

Plump Jack

When I plan a trip, I usually opt for the faraway and exotic and overlook all of the fabulous spots we have here in my native California.   This month I finally made it to Napa right in the midst of harvest season.


Castello di Amorosa

Silver Oak


 It was definitely worth the wait...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thom Filicia & Me!

It is an absolute delight when you get to meet one of your design idols.  Thom Filicia was at the Laguna Design Center last month showcasing his new fabrics for Kravet, talking about some of his design projects, and giving out some design advice.  While his television role on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy catapulted him into the public eye, he was already an established designer well before his tv days working for the likes of  Parish Hadley, Robert Metzger, and Jeffrey Bilhuber before opening up his own interior design firm.  

Thom Filicia for Kravet

I personally love his show Dress My Nest, where Thom (yes we are now on a first name basis in my eyes) asks his clients to pick out their favorite outfit and designs a room according to their style, which airs on the Style Network.  Currently, Thom's show on the Style Network is Tacky House and apparently the network is going to go forward with whatever show gets better ratings.

Thom also highlighted his work for House Beautiful Design Showcase (2009) where he designed an apartment inspired by the movie The Big Chill...

I spot Carrara Marble

All pictures via House Beautiful
He couldn't have been nicer or more personable.

My Mom, Thom, & I

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away...

I know fall just began and I'm very spoiled here in Southern California, but there is nothing like a few days of rain to make me start longing to go back on a sunny vacation to Palm Springs.

I have been visiting Palm Springs for as long as I can remember.  It's an easy get-away from the Southern California coast, and there is something calming about the desert air when you just need a break.

A visit is never complete without a trip to the Tina Turk boutique with the added plus of the adjoining residential store.  Her fabrics, to me, feel quintessential Palm Springs, with their bright and bold patterns, capturing the Southern California resort style.  Not to mention that her stores are designed by Kelly Wearstler, making it a go-to destination for the fashion and design obsessed.  

My last visit was in August, and I spotted this rug...
I had been searching for something affordable for my small entryway and this rug had a fun pattern and encompassed all the muted color of my house with a little more pop.  I walked out of the store without it....

But I just couldn't stop looking at my naked entryway and knew the rug would be the perfect addition, so I found it here a few weeks ago .  I knew that Amazon had products other than books but never expected to find Trina Turk rugs for 20% off the listed price (plus the added bonus of free shipping).  They even had more to choose from, styles both old and new...

Arriving at my house to find the box on my front door step felt just like my birthday.  I think it found its perfect home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Girl who Bought Lack Tables

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy has been out for some time, and  I was a little late to jump on the bandwagon and start reading.  I had been to the bookstore and picked up the book several times and just couldn’t seem to get past the first five pages.  On a friend’s insistence that it takes 50 pages to get in to more or less I finally took the plunge.  I was basically out of commission once I reached that 50-page-can’t-tear-myself-from-reading-this-mark and finished it in one sitting.  

I immediately began to devour book 2, The Girl Who Played with Fire.  I was on a roll until I got to the part where the main character, Lisbeth Salander, buys a swanky new apartment in Stockholm and furnishes it entirely with Ikea furniture (fitting as they are in Sweden).  The page details each and every item that she purchases leading me to immediately pull out my laptop and see if we have similar tastes (we don’t).  Yet, it was clear Salander knew sometimes there is nothing better and more cost efficient than items from Ikea.  

After clicking through the Ikea website and googling for discontinued items all the while feeling a little nerdy that I actually did so, I discovered that Apartment Therapy had already done the work for me.  

Glad I am not the only one who thought the reading was incomplete without being able to accurately envision Lisbeth Salander’s furniture and espresso maker (the Jura Impressa X7).

Monday, October 25, 2010

To Carrara or not to Carrara?

When we finally purchased our home five months ago after a year and a half of looking and waiting (dreaded short sale), the house needed a complete design overhaul.  The kitchen was an eyesore, with its drab, sad cabinets, green slate floors, and beige tiles.  I had always dreamt of an all white kitchen with carrara marble countertops.

The only problem is every slab yard/store strongly suggested I not use carrara marble for kitchen countertops--they insisted it was for bathroom use only.  In fact, they looked at me like I was downright crazy for even contemplating the idea.  It was astonishing that not one person they worked with had ever installed it in a kitchen yet every design/shelter magazine that exists has featured it in their magazines for years and repeatedly.

(Although don't get me wrong, I do love me a carrara marble bathroom.  Can never have enough in my mind.)

All of the warnings almost got to me.  I searched out every alternative, but kept returning to carrara marble.  There is just no substitute.

I am so happy that I didn't listen to all of the naysayers.  I absolutely love the honed carrara marble (bianco) that I did get installed (and sealed.)  I welcome the patina that will come with age and wear and tear.  It wouldn't be so bad to feel that every time I walked in to my kitchen I am transported to Old World Europe.  That day seems pretty far away as it still looks just as good as the day it was installed.

Kitchen pictures to come...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bali Bound

Since the age of 15 it has been a goal and tradition of mine to visit at least one foreign country/city per year.  When I was younger it was much easier to cover more ground, but it is a tradition that my husband and I have managed to keep up despite life often getting in the way:

Last year we were here...

Any guesses?

How about now?

Alright, I made it really easy with the last one.  

We took a 10 day trip to Egypt through Friendly Planet.  I usually prefer to not go with a tour group, (being ushered in and out of buses with a group full of tourists isn't exactly the best way to see and experience a country as a local) but based on the amount of time we had with the ground we wanted to cover, I stumbled upon this tour company.  I was very pleasantly surprised with the luxury we were provided on budget prices.

This year we are going on our own adventure without a tour group and an Egyptologist (although I wouldn't mind having a guide that was as knowledgeable and passionate about the place tagging along).  

Our next stop is:



In case you were wondering, this little known book has absolutely nothing to do with our decision to go to Bali.)

Hello Blog World!

Excited to enter the wide world of blogging.

As a design, fashion, and travel lover it is the inevitable next step that I join in and embark upon this blogging adventure...