Archives for May 2014


Playing Up the Pattern Makes a Big Statement

Who says you can’t have “big” design drama in 800 square feet? According to designer Ashley Whittaker, “the owner was a delight”  — she’s a single girl in her 30s with a great sense of style. The living room is only 300 sq.ft., and her client really wanted somewhere she could entertain and she routinely has 20 people for cocktails.

Almost all of the furniture in the living room is multi-functional ….. and when you are living in 800 sq. ft., it would have to be. The desk doubles as a buffet and a dining table, the settee pulls up to the desk like a banquette, the bar cart can hold anything — liquor, brunch, desserts ……. It just goes to show you, going bold and pretty, makes a big statement in a small space.


To make the sofa in this Manhattan living room appear longer, the designer used a single cushion for the seat of the Century Furniture chesterfield, covered in a Rogers & Goffigon canvas. The designer says “it’s more comfortable than individual cushions — no one falls into the cracks”, and I agree. Another practical piece of furniture is the slipper chair in a David Hicks linen from Lee Jofa which is on a swivel, “so you can turn and talk to people at either end of the room.”  The acrylic coffee table opens up the seating area.


The kitchen was gutted, replacing the dark cabinetry and terra-cotta tiles with white cupboards and Carrara marble. This makes the space feel twice as big. The Rose Cumming Zebrine wallpaper is in the client’s favorite color ~~ navy. The slim white table provides extra counter space and doubles as a breakfast nook and I love the pops of yellow. The barstool with a vivid Schumacher faux snakeskin is whimsical. It makes you smile.


The Osborne & Little’s Maharani wallpaper for the entry definitely adds a strong “WOW” factor. I love the bold and colorful pattern, very dramatic. Billy Baldwin said, “you should start with a dark space and work your way through the apartment, lightening rooms as you go.” The Ballard Designs table allows just enough clearance to open the front door. Bungalow 5 mirror.


The Parson’s table from Katch Design makes a great display surface. When entertaining, the desk is used as a dining table. C. Wonder pillows have been used on the Ballard Design’s Brigitte settee. The Benjamin Moore paint, Silver Dollar mixed with white is “between lavender and gray to complement the upholstery. Stool, West Elm.


In a small living room you have to think about the maximum size of each piece of furniture, therefore it is critical to start a project with a furniture plan.


The designer used a lime-green Quadrille wallpaper in the hallway to offer a break from all the lavenders and blues. In the bedroom beyond, the designer mounted the Roman shades an inch below the crown moulding making the windows appear larger.


Bedside chests are from Ikea and serve as bureaus and nightstands. The savings allowed the designer’s client to splurge on D. Porthault linens.

What a lovely space…..

Hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of this

Bold and Pretty space…..

Small Space and Big Design



CHROME INSPIRATION aka California Chrome

Triple Crown ~~ That’s What We’re Going For……

California Chrome trumped the field and won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, making him the first California-bred horse to win the prestigious race in over 50 years. Looking for a little inspiration??? Because inspiration can come from anywhere….. Whether you’re a racing fanatic or not, here’s how you can bring a little CHROME  into your home……

California Chrome 2

From light fixture, to pedestal table, to stairways, to desk chairs, and coffee tables…..and chrome horse sculptures (like the iconic rearing horse of Ferrari)


My California Chrome Moodboard Creation.

The Belmont Stakes is the last race in the Triple Crown event. Apparently there are some “race issues” to be worked out with regards to “breathing strips” which California Chrome has used in all racing events. I am hoping this venue will allow them. It seems to be in the best interest of the horse as it allows the horse to cool down properly without damaging any internal organs. The decision ultimately remains with the owners of this incredible animal. Being a lover of horses, I am very sensitive to the needs of these animals. I am sure that the owners and trainers will make their decisions based on the best interest of this incredible thoroughbred.

Visions Inspired






An Atlanta Home Boasts Colorful Florida Style ~

Interior Designer Katie Rosenfeld

Being a fan of this bold shade of pink, I immediately became intrigued with Katie Rosenfeld’s client, which she dubbed, “the pink lady”. Her client wanted pink in every single room of her house. No doubt, concessions were made. After all, how many men want a home swathed in pink? The golf-loving dentist struck a deal with his attorney wife. He said, “OK to all the pink in exchange for unlimited golfing privileges”. The one caveat from the husband, the design couldn’t be “sissyish”.

Katie Rosenfeld made sure that wouldn’t be the case by mixing a variety of red, hot pink, peach and orange shades with colors and patterns that pushed the design to upscale Florida rather than ultra-feminine.


A very bold use of color and pattern in the living room.


Vibrant wallpaper punctuated with bright pops of white, helps break up the large patterned wallpaper by giving the eye a place to rest.

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Painting traditional, chinoisserie-styled chairs brings a modern, fresh feel and contrasts nicely with the stained finish on the dining table. Don’t be afraid of painting stained wood finishes, it can always be stripped and stained again. I think it reinvigorates traditional pieces and creates a welcome contrast.


I love the use of a bar cart off to one side of the dining area and this gold-leaf cart from World’s Away showcases glassware, china and other bar necessities quite nicely.

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Certainly not afraid of color in this Butler Pantry space. Lots of wonderful storage space for silverware, serving pieces, linens, china and glassware.


The Family Room takes a more mellow approach to the vibrant hues used throughout this home. Love the mix of modern with traditional as well as the use of Asian-inspired pieces seen in the upholstered coffee table and the console/sideboard piece.

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Modern mixes with traditional. Love the Saarinen classic tulip table with the chinoisserie influenced chairs.



Absolutely love the steel doors.

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The Mudroom. How fun is this wallpaper. Being a dog lover/animal lover, I am totally loving it. We don’t have mudrooms here in Orange County, CA, but this could be so fun in a laundry room.

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Love this chandelier. The green crystals so perfectly reference the green used in the artwork. Perfect.

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The Master. Lot’s of white with pink, red, orange and green and the black and white animal print rug is the perfect “neutral” among all the color.


A very unique lighting fixture in the Master Bedroom.

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The Master Bath. More of that Happy Green, it’s from Benjamin Moore  and a very fun wallpaper. Makes me happy. I think if you went to bed grumpy, you would surely feel differently once you entered the bathroom.






Monday Moodboard Concept ~~~

Well, here it is another week, and, thankfully, we have cooled down from our 3-digit temperatures. We have, literally, been on fire here in Southern California. Brutal temperatures and brutal fires have been blazing away in San Diego county and, we are in one of the worst drought situations ever on record. Our firefighters are true heroes, literally risking their lives to protect and serve. Anyhow, it is a total welcome relief. I hope it lasts for more than a few days.

With that being said, I have to add that I have been sooooo busy with many personal family matters after my mother’s passing in April, along with my full-time design job, that I haven’t had much time to focus on blog posts. I am hoping  to get better with this, but, in the end, life happens. As life happens, we simply carry on, doing the best we can, juggling priorities, shifting gears and reassessing priorities. Soooooo, in a perfect world, I would like to think that I could balance it all, but the reality is, that I can’t……and, that is OKAY!!!!

I leave you with one of my Moody Monday Moodboard’s ~~~


A few modern mixes with traditional classics = sophisticated, classic style with gilded glam.





It’s Hotter Than H. E. Double Toothpicks ~ 

Grace Bay Club


Well, I don’t know what is going on with our weather out here in Southern California, but it has been ridiculously, insanely, H O T!!!!!! We have had 90 degree-plus temperatures just about every other week and there hasn’t even been a reprieve at the beach. In fact, we hit 90 degrees back in January. The rest of the nation was enduring some of the most brutal winters on record. In fact, on Mother’s Day weekend, I got a call from my step-mother-in-law who lives in Wyoming and she shared with me that they had a snow storm…..OMG, this is just crazy!

I’m thinking of destinations and places that I would rather be right now and having never been to Turks and Caicos, I am thinking that this could be the place to escape to.


Simply breathtaking. The water is jaw-dropping gorgeous and I can’t think of a more stress-relieving destination. Please oh please take me away!!!


Grace Bay Club


Grace Bay Resort has worked with Thom Filicia who has provided a comprehensive redesign for the Grace Bay Club with the completion of the 20-year old resort’s lobby. The refreshed space presents shades of coral and sand that complement the Caribbean views, while lush potted palms, capiz-shell chandeliers and wood furniture harmonize similarly with their island surroundings. The renovations are expected to continue into 2015.







fo_gallery_1_mpoutside (1)On my “Mother’s Day Inspiration” post, I shared that I would be enjoying this very special day at the eponymous FIG & OLIVE restaurant in Newport Beach. It was a fabulous day and I couldn’t have been happier to be with family. It was another picture perfect day in So. Cal. Warm and breezy……well it was more like gusting. I think it’s our infamous Santa Ana winds kicking in as we are headed into the high 90s this upcoming week. Uggggggh!!! We’ve had our fair share of  HOT days lately. I, personally, prefer to ease into summer weather.

Anyhow, things were bustling at FIG & OLIVE, which was to be expected. Across the way, at Rick Bayless’ new restaurant, Red O, an equal amount of activity was taking place. We were pleasantly greeted and after a very brief wait, we were taken to our table. Our waiter, Kevin, was courteous and attentive. My son and I decided on the special Prix Fix Mother’s Day Brunch Menu and my daughters ordered a la carte, from the main menu. The food was so delicious……everything. Although it took  F O R E V E R!!  Literally! That being said, I will have to give  them the benefit of the doubt, because, well, it is, after all, MOTHER’S DAY!  Thank goodness for the bread basket, which we had to order because, did I mention, everything is A La Carte!! Not that I needed to have a bread basket… was more for my little 13 month old grandson, who by the way, was a real trooper for hanging in there for as long as we had to. Not an easy thing for the little people.

The Chef

Executive Chef, Pascal Lorange, creates his menu around care ~~ fully selected farmers and ingredients for their genuine taste and seasonality.

The Design


The setting at FIG & OLIVE, Newport Beach is not exactly as depicted by the images shown here, but it does still  have the same feeling. Light woods are used throughout. The walls are chalky white and dressed with crisp white, gauzy sheers all hung from black wrought iron hardware. This being Southern California, where dining al fresco is de rigeur, an outdoor dining area was situated off to side of the entrance to the restaurant. A large, central, open bar area could be seen from the area of the restaurant where we were seated and featured a low planter wall filled with potted rosemary which was then layered with tall Pussy Willow branches….very pretty. Interior walls included glassed in niches for bottles of Veuve Clicquot as well as a variety of olive oils. Of course, the larger dining area was very open and included their iconic potted olive trees… was all very lovely!!





Let’s Take the Tour ~~~

On May 3rd, Serena & Lily, the 10-year old retailer known for its playful prints, modern shapes, and kid-friendly furnishings, opened its first ever design shop in San Francisco. Let’s take a tour……



Two seater rattan hanging chairs are spotlighted in the summer-ready window display.


This sunny space, located on upscale Sacramento Street, lets visitors get hands-on with their gorgeous products from throws and bedding to lighting and storage.


Walk-in customers and decorators alike can browse swatches, consult with in-house design advisors, hold meetings, and get up close and personal with furniture, lighting, bedding, and more.


A design library to dream of.


A very fun way to display paint swatches.


A curated gallery wall filled with a roster of original works.


Colorful fabric swatches provide much inspiration.


Poppy, painterly prints are the brands calling card.


Fresh open shelving displays an array of accessories.


Oh so chic, children’s furniture in restrained hues.

Are You a Fan of Serena & Lily?

Hope you enjoyed the Tour!

Let Me Know Your Thoughts…….Visions of Inspiration!!



It’s 2014, and it seems like each New Year comes and goes faster than the previous year. Here we are at the month of May…….already!  Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, which, as I learned from our friends in Mexico, is really an “American” holiday. I think we are always looking for an “excuse” to celebrate “something”  with our family and friends. Anyhow, as celebrations go, a very, very important event is coming upon us…..and, of course, that day would be MOTHER’S DAY!!!!

Sadly, my husband won’t be here for this “saintly” celebration….. he’s at some business conference (and was absent last year as well, I might point out). How inconsiderate of this company to plan an event on MOTHER’S DAY weekend. I mean, that’s so completely insensitive………………..But, it is what it is, c’st la vie. I don’t hold any grudges. I am still with my “children” and it is a cherished day, because, really, it is more about my oldest daughter and her year old little boy, my adorable grandson. She is a “new” momma, with many cherished years to come. So, I am happy to share this celebration of motherhood with her. It is a beautiful thing.

As it turns out, my daughter’s husband will also be “unavailable” that weekend. Soooooo……..I said, “no worries”, I have plans for us…….Reservations have been made…..Daughter and grandson, 17 year old daughter, Melissa, 23 year old son, Neal and ma-whaa!!! Whu who……Fig & Olive, Newport Beach, is where we will be!!! Have heard such wonderful reviews of this restaurant and I have been wanting to try it for some time now! Sooooo, here it is ………. the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful Mother’s Day Brunch!!

I will definitely share my experiences at Fig & Olive. But, in the meantime, I leave you with some “Mother’s Day” gifting inspirations!!


To learn more about the images shown here, please visit me on Polyvore.

Happy, Happy Mother’s Day

Enjoy the Inspiration



For The Love of A Little Girl…..


A Vision  To  Inspire!

Have a Wonderful Day!!