Wednesday, April 27, 2011


My lovely client really wanted to open up her living room and create a fresh light space.  She was very drawn to the warmth and brightness of option 3, and ultimately we went with mostly 3, with some touches of 2 to keep it fresh.



Now before we do the 'before and after' shots, I must say there are still finishing touches to be had.  Artwork on the wall is still in progress, but will utlimately be a wonderfully unique gallery wall.  But I think the transformation even without artwork is so impressive, that I had to share now. 

So here we go...

As you can see the living area before had all dark leather and a dark metal coffee table.  Despite the light wall color and one huge window wall, the room felt dark and small. 

The coffee table did not really suit the furniture layout, and the rug was too small for the space (a very common mistake) and did not add much color-wise. 

Arrangement of the bookcases and wiring were not helping the space much either, feeling more cluttered than clean.

But these were all easy things to fix.  However, the client had grand ambitions; she sent me these inspiration images:

However, I think we were able to transform the space, bring in light and color and just plain cheer. 

We added a bright rug, switched out all throw pillows on the dark sofas and added a more suitably sized ottoman/coffee table with a white-on-white pattern:

The ottoman as a bit tricky, we really wanted this to be a light, bright element since it was so large.  Of course with a baby-soon-to-be-toddler in the house, the white ottoman was a bit of a scary thought.  We could not have leather, becuase all other furniture was leather.  Too much.  But crypton came to the rescue, and my amazing clients decided to actually make the ottoman themselves!  I must say I am so impressed, and it is virtually stain resistent due to the crypton.  And the subtle white pattern on the bolder yellow and white on the rug is so fun together:

Although the place was feeling really light and bright, we felt another accent color was required to create some more intest, and a turquois was chosen.  Touches were added to the bookcases when they were rearranged and better organized to add some more color and accent:

And we did what we could with the black wires from the TV- a simple but HUGE improvement!

And finally, we needed that great focal piece for the room, that one wow element.... so we switched out the matching dark leather chair...

And just a hint of turquois again...

So, the client tells me her life in this cute period bungalow has been greatly enhanced by these simple straight-forward changes.  The space is light, airy and fun.  It even functions with a little one in the house due to easy cleaning surfaces!  I am happy I could help and make a bit of a difference in the enjoyment of everyday life.

So final drumroll please-  here is the money shot:



Thanks again, client, for the opportunity to work on such a fun project!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


One of my favorite phases in any design project is coming up with concept boards which give the overall look and feel of my design vision without having to worry too much about specifics of size, material, and practicality.  I guess I have a bit of a graphic designer's soul.  I love putting colors and forms together on a 2D surface.  Of course it is even more satisfying to see the whole thing manifest in a real 3D space.

Below is a really great small-scale project I have been working on, and I hope to show you some photos of the end result in the next few weeks.

I would love to know which of the 3 schemes you would pick for a living/dining space of a cute 50-60 year old home in Sugarhouse in Utah, and I will reveal what the client picked next week.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I knew I was on to something. I just knew it. An interior design degree and a master's in antiques. Well what do you know, Sotheby's Institute is now offering a program in New York that gets you a joint Master's in Decorative Art History as well as a certificate in interior design.

Of course the certificate is a certificate and not a bachelors, and is not from Parsons. So I still have a bit of an edge over all those new graduates that might soon be pumped out of Sotheby's. (My class was only about 15 people, so there should not be too many pumped out).

In addition to my great foresight, I have seen so many cross-overs between the 2 worlds, with the likes of the Keno brothers devling into contemporary furniture design (see past blog), as well as giving decorating advise on 1st dibs (got to check out this site if you have not).  People are looking for a connection to their past along with their fresh new design, and I know antiques and things old are really making a comeback in a bit way.

So Sotheby's, hats off to you for this new program, I am sure it will be a smashing hit.  Just don't think you thought of it first :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I must apologize to all my loyal followers for being out of touch for a little while.  But you see, blogging is near the bottom of the 'to do' list when visiting the pleasant isles of Hawaii.  However, I did manage to get off the beach for a few minutes to take photos of one of my favorite hotels in Waikiki.  Alas, Waikiki is a bit slim in the great designer hotel catagory, something that the likes of Donald Trump and Ian Schrager is trying to fix (although there is still quite a ways to go to compete with the likes of South Beach or other beach hot spots).  Check out the Trump here and the Marriott Edition (with which Schrager has something to do, however I am still not sure about specifics) here

While I would not be opposed to staying at either, my heart will always reside at the Moana Surfrider for a truely Old-World Colonial Hawaiian experience. 

Isn't it just like being in any number of tropical British Colonies in the early 20th century?  I know I was born in the wrong era. I just LOVE the architectural detailing on the exterior:

Despite the fact it is set in the heart of Waikiki:

it is completely serene and secluded (with a nice mix of contemporary and classic- something I always appreciate as you all know) once you step inside.

And the deck out back (where they serve traditional English high tea) leaves little to be desired.  I just love the overscaled lanterns next to the small scale fans.

But alas, all vacations must end, and I am now back to the real world with regularly scheduled blogs back as well.  Thanks for sticking around!