Master Bedroom Reveal: One Room Challenge

Another One Room Challenge is in the books and I’m excited to share my final pictures with you.  I’m feeling proud of our Master bedroom;  I wanted something quiet, pretty and different from when this was my parent’s room.


It’s a big change from before we moved in


The biggest impact pieces came with new lampshades, bedding and stylizing the bookshelves.


I had the lampshades custom made by Lisa of Cruel Mountain, using a silk ikat fabric I found off of ETSY.  Lisa was a dream to work with and I’m so happy with the final product.


To the side of each lamp, I hung paintings of ancestors of mine from the 1700’s.



The duvet and euros are custom made from the Colefax and Fowler Bowood pattern.  That fabric has been a longtime favorite of mine and Im so happy to see it every single day.


I paired the bowood with Matouk scalloped lanai coverlet and two standard shams.  I love that the pink edging ties in the lampshades and brings in another element of softness with the scallops.  I die for scallops! Then, I went with one lumbar in Sister Parish Burmese pink fabric that I had left over from this ORC.  I mixed cream and white throughout the room.


I have to be honest that I almost just asked my photographer to photoshop out the bookshelves and left them the disheveled mess that they were.  The extra week of the challenge gave me the boost to actually get them styled.  It’s nice waking up to organized shelves instead of piles of mess.


The basket holds diapers and wipes for Rowan but the rest is just there for me to look at.  I have my favorite decor books, framed photos of the kids, portraits by Paul Ferney, and well loved books from childhood.


The side of the room that is opposite the bed has my bone inlay dresser.  I changed out the hardware and added a little tassel.



On top of the dress is a small, delicate lamp I found at an antique store in San Mateo just after I had moved out of San Francisco and I was missing the antique shops of the city.  That little giraffe print was a gift from my mom when I was pregnant with Josie.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude to finally be pregnant.  I love looking at it now to remember what a struggle it was to get Josie and how incredibly lucky I am to have three children.  The little gold mirror was an antique shop find.


Next to the dresser is a favorite painting of mine that reminds me of my dad.  I really loved the artist Sally Robertson and my dad surprised me one Christmas with a painting by her.  My dad was a huge art collector and I like to think he passed that passion down to all of us kids.  I think he’d love to have art trigger his memory.


As you walk through the vestibule, it sets the tone for the bedroom with the Sister Parish Burmese wallpaper.  I’m so happy with how it plays with the bowood.  And I love Angela Chrusiaki Blehm’s stunning art work and how the modern juxtaposes the traditional. (Check out Angela’s amazing One Room Challenge, here) With the ceiling papered in the vestibule, it feels like a jewel box.

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Guess what?  I have a secret extra look for you!  I’ve been holding out on you.  In the summer, this room gets crazy, miserable hot.  So, naturally, I saw it as an excuse to buy more bedding.  I found a vintage suzani at vegas market and I fell in love with this deep fuschia color in it.


So, I present to you the summer master bedroom look….



Completing this room has been a labor of love for myself.  For the past almost five years, I’ve put my family first, which is not meant to be a complaint but rather a fact.  I know that’s the stage of life I’m in with young children and I chose to be here.  But, it does mean that I feel accomplished if I brush my teeth AND my hair.  Therefor, it was so nice to work on a room just for my husband and me.  Something quiet, personal and totally unkid friendly.  It feels like a much needed gift to myself and I’m really happy with it.


I have been thinking this will be my last One Room Challenge as I evolve and let things run their course.  But, never say never.  The challenge holds a very special place in my heart and Josie very sweetly has said to me, daily, “Mom, can my bedroom be the next One Room Challenge? I want it to be pink”  When a four year old utters the complete phrase “one room challenge,” it’s pretty irresistible.


So, you never know, I may just be back in the spring.  Plus, how could I possibly turn down another pink room?


Until then, the talent abounds over at Linda’s hompage, Calling It Home, check out the other participants here.  And thank you so much for reading!!


And a huge thank you to Tiffany Zabala for the beautiful photos!


November 15, 2017 at 11:23 PM 18 comments

Highs and Lows: ORC Week 5

This past Sunday morning, I handed Graham the key to my clunky mom car in exchange for his black sporty car.  Before he could protest, I whisked down our driveway without a single kid in tow.  I let his Audi drive as it was meant to be driven as the empty 280 freeway transformed into the autobahn on my way up to the city.  I had the only classic Silicon Valley staple, KFOG, rock me back to my youth while Rosalie lead me through one great rock ballad after another and I belted out my best Tom Petty.  Before I knew it, I was zipping through the still sleepy streets of the city and landing at the doorstep of my seamstress to pick up my custom duvet and shams for the One Room Challenge.  With a smile and a wave, I was back on the road again, completely free.   Those precious two hours will have me signing up for the ORC for as long as Linda will have me.  It truly was exhilarating and the mom break I was clearly in desperate need of.

However, with every high comes a low.  My custom lampshades that were in the mail last week hit a snafu.  Fed Ex dropped them off and had them signed for at the wrong house by a total stranger.  FedEx then discovered the mistake and picked them back up and brought them back to their warehouse.  Thank God.  However, online the package was marked as delivered so it was no longer trackable.

It took them three days to put the package back on the delivery truck and this was a package you have to sign for in person.  I needed to know when it was going on the truck so I could live my life instead of sitting around waiting to give a signature.  So I called many, many FedEx representatives where I received the most helpful information, such as, “we will let you know tomorrow, if you package is arriving at your home today or tomorrow” and another gem, “we will call you and let you know where your package is once it has arrived at your home”  Thank you, FedEx, thank you!!!  By a small miracle, it eventually made it here, which happened to be when I was on the phone with a representative, who was telling me, “the package didn’t make it on the truck today, it’ll go out tomorrow.”  Awesome tracking, guys.


Back to the good news, the lampshades are to die for.  I could just lay in bed and watch them all day if I could.   They are simply exquisite.  And my seamstress, as always, worked her magic and the bedding is gorgeous!  I can’t wait to show you but it’ll give away the entire room if I do.  For now, a sneak peek.

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For the most part everything is in place.  I just need to style, which I’ve got to be honest is my least favorite thing to do.  But we’re almost to the finish line and I’m so happy with how it’s all coming together.

Please check out other participants great work, here.




November 1, 2017 at 9:41 PM 4 comments

One Room Challenge Week 4

I wish I could hug Linda of Calling It Home because for the first time ever she gave us an extension – we now have seven weeks to complete the challenge.  Even though I’ve been low stress this time around, I could really use the week to up the ante a little.  And more time to obsess over the details, like a 20″ square pillow.

I left you last week with this as my final mood board.

Bedroom Final

I actually don’t have much to show because my seamstress is still working on the custom bowood duvet and shams and the custom ikat lampshades are currently on a FedEx truck somewhere in the middle of america.  And that pink pillow has apparently not left Turkey yet.  With the pink pillow possibly not making it on time, I got to thinking, perhaps, I should switch it up – so here are the other possibilities I came up with and you can feel free to put in a vote if you’d like.

Option A – Brunschwig and Fils Les Touches pillow

Les Touches

Option B – Alex Conroy Irish Tile Pillow

Alex Conroy

Option C – Seemakrish Glitterati Bandra Pillow


Until I have the actual lampshade and duvet in hand, I don’t think I can make a final decision.  As of now, I’m leaning option C.

In dream land, I’d go option C and then get a small slipper chair covered in Les Touches for the corner of the room, like this…

Les Touches slipper

Damn, that looks so good.  That’s the piece I need to finish it off!!  But, unless the ebay Gods want to rain fabric down on me for a fraction of the price, I don’t see it happening.  Just another day in the life of me adulting so hard.

Next week, I should have more than just a mood board to show you!  Until then, lets start scheming ways to get me that slipper chair.  Go Fund Me? Pull my kids out of preschool and spend the tuition money on fabric instead?  Beg Oomph to give me that exact chair for free in exchange for an Instagram photo?  What would a millennial do?

While you come up with a brilliant answer for me, go check out the other participants here.


October 25, 2017 at 10:23 PM 4 comments

Closet Conversations: ORC Week Three

Let’s begin week 3 with a story.  About six months ago, I tried out this little unheard of “online marketplace” called eBay for the first time.  You know you can always rely on me for cutting edge technology.
I started searching for favorite fabrics on the site and I came across 13 yards of Colefax and Fowler’s Bowood for pennies on the dollar.
I went ahead and hit purchase on this mysterious site and before I knew it a mound of gorgeous fabric showed up on my doorstep from across the pond.
Well, I wanted to recover one of our dirt infested, stained up, depressed sofas in the fabric.  But then, Graham, my husband, caught wind of all of this.  He saw the flowery fabric and was skeptical at best.  He thought I should just use the 13 yards for a few pillows.
Crestfallen, I put the fabric away in a closet that was located in a vestibule just outside our master bedroom and I would visit the fabric from time to time – you know just to chat.
And then…yes, the riveting story is continuing, the vestibule (where the closet holding the bowood is located) was covered in Sister Parish Burma wallpaper as a part of our master bedroom plan.  I absolutely love the this little vestibule Burma haven so much – even the ceiling is papered.
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With the new paper in, when I opened the door to the vestibule closet and saw my fabric peaking out, I kept wishing I could have this bowood and burma together.  They are a perfect pairing!  Too bad the fabric was going on a sofa far away in a plan that my husband hates.
With all that in the back of my mind, I worked away on my master bedroom plan for the ORC and I showed you all of it last week.
Bedroom Final
Then, last Friday, I sat down to order everything when it hit me like a way people.
I literally ran (yes, literally) to the vestibule closet and pulled out the bowood fabric and unravelled all 13 yards all over my bedroom in a hot creative mess.
New plan people – custom bowood duvet and euro pillows.  Husband is happy with it in bedroom vs. living room, Sister Parish is happy to have a suitable friend and I’m happy that I don’t have to talk to fabric in a closet anymore.
Bedroom Final
Bowood is at my seamstress in San Francisco as I type, this silk Ikat has made it’s way from Uzbekistan to Atlanta where Lisa of Cruel Mountain is whipping up pleated shades for me.  And next week, I’ll show you the art that I have coming in.  This is by far and away the lest stressed I’ve been for the ORC week 3 and I’m into it.
I really have to thank Linda of Calling it Home for the One Room Challenge for pushing me to get things done.  I keep thinking in just a few weeks, I’ll have a finished master bedroom and that makes me all kinds of giddy.
Now go see what all the other wonderful people are doing here.  And if you’d like to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.  You can also always hear more of me over on Instagram here.




October 18, 2017 at 11:40 PM 4 comments

From DeGournay to Cost Plus: ORC

Thank you for the comments and encouragement last week; it reminded me why this One Room Challenge is so fun!  You can see the other people linking up here.
Last week, I explained that I’ll be redoing our master bedroom.  When it came down to planning, I tried to evaluate the bedrooms that I love.  They all seem to be layered, soft, pretty bedrooms.
Jessica Buckley
Rita Konig
House Beautiful
Basically, I like the type of bedroom with silk pleated lampshades, d Porthault scalloped pillows and hand painted deGournay wallpaper.
Moving right along from deGournay to reality, here is my plan, complete with a five year old Cost Plus World Market bed…

Bedroom Final

I put this moodboard together and I immediately thought it looked like a teenagers room.  I’m hoping it all looks older when I put it all together.  I don’t think my crappy powerpoint skills are really showing off the scheme.  Here is the general materials concept (although some parts of this had to change)…


There.  That’s not so 16 year old anymore, right?  That’s what I’m telling myself.

The first major thing that I did was to get rid of the carpet that was already there.  I put in wall to wall sisal.  I love the natural look that sisal gives to the room and it’s beautiful paired with the adobe walls.  The only problem is that it hurts like hell on barefeet.  When they were installing the sisal, the carpet guy said to me, “you probably should not have young kids in here because the carpet will hurt them.”  Hahahaha.  You mean not like a one year old, three year old and four year old?  Oh. Right.  We’re just going to toughen up our feet around here.  That and layer on top a rug that I had from our previous home.


That’s all for now, check in next week for bed linens.  Until then, check out the others.


October 11, 2017 at 10:13 PM 3 comments

Bedroom Overhaul ORC

For those of you who are new to my blog for the One Room Challenge, welcome and thanks for stopping by.  This is my fifth time participating and I am strangely addicted to this pony show.

Here are my past challenges –

Poolhouse Nip and Tuck  


Gone Country Bedroom


Poodle Paradise Closet


Make That a Double” Patio

icp_1217 (1)

This time, I’m determined to finish up my master bedroom.  In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve already begun working on the room but I want it finished.  I’m a classic 90%.  Actually, in just writing that sentence, I realized that I forgot to put laundry detergent in with my latest clothes cycle.  I stain treated the million kids stains, threw it all in the washer, turned the dang thing on and walked away without any detergent.  See? 90 percenter.  Let’s get this bedroom to 100%, shall we?

A little back story, I bought my parents house, as in the one I grew up in.  The history is an amazing gift to have and treasure EXCEPT when it comes to the master bedroom.  Moving into your parent’s room – it’s just plain awkward.  So, the bedroom needed a complete overhaul but without painting or moving walls.

Here is the bedroom before we moved in.



That painting is awesome and the lamps are cool and the mirror is gorgeous.  But mark my words, absolutely nothing in here stays.  And we all get why.

Come back next week for the plan.


October 4, 2017 at 10:47 PM 15 comments

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

My little love bug, Rowan, turned one this past Saturday.


Such a momentous occasion called for a party to celebrate.  We invited over family for swimming and a bar b que.  And the party gave me a chance to tablescape which is my favorite thing to do.


I ended up going with the theme “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” for our sweet Row Row and then I got to planning.


I find it easiest to pick a theme for a tablescape and then set out layering.  I knew I wanted preppy so seersucker was the obvious choice for the tablecloth.  I got seven yards of upholstery weight seersucker to cover the very long table.  Always go with upholstery weight because of the 54″ width so it’ll fall down either side of the table.  I then added on this cute runner on clearance from Cost Plus; these napkins; this bamboo flatware set and then these cute little sailboats.  The silver chalaces were my grandmothers.  The wooden shark in the center came from South Africa years ago on a vacation there.  The flower vases are Target but from a couple of years ago.



There you have it,  a nautical table for 18



With a special spot for the birthday boy



We love our sweet birthday boy so much!


He completes our family.  He has the sweetest nature and he will often burrow his little face into my shoulder and snuggle up.  He’s also a cheeky monkey.  Sometimes he’ll crawl out of my sight and I’ll call out, “Rowan, come back here;” when I’ve found him, he’ll sit up, look at me, giggle and then say “bye bye” and crawl away.  And he clearly loves attention.  When the entire table sang him “Happy Birthday,” he smiled with absolute delight.  We are so very blessed to have our Rowan.



September 11, 2017 at 6:14 AM 5 comments

Breakfast Room Updates

Long time, no blog.  I think I only know how to write in Instagram captions now.  My brain has been pure fuzz as I look head on at Rowan’s first birthday.  It’s surprising that I’m coming up on a year with three little ones.  It has taken me this long to find my bearings but I do believe I’m finally getting there.  Throwing in a move, a puppy and Graham’s career change didn’t help with the rockiness.

The girls begin school next week and I’m determined to slip some self care into those three hours when they are away.  I’m looking at you, haircut….and you, running shoes (a bit reluctantly) and you, blog.  That’s right, I’m thinking of blogging more, if you’ll have me.  I’m even thinking of another One Room Challenge in October to motivate me to get things into shape around here.  Big plans.  But perhaps those well laid plans will just turn to smaller achievables, like washing my hair more often or drinking more water.

For now, I wanted to update you on our breakfast room, where we eat most of our meals, because progress has been made and I’m in love.  As you may recall from this post, I had plans to wallpaper.   Since I last blogged, I changed overall design plans and then, lo and behold, I began to execute.

Here is the final plan:

breakfast room final

I decided to take a bit of a leap of faith and go with a mural from Anthropologie; it’s bolder than I usually go but I wanted to work beyond my comfort zone.  The white table is from Ballard and I loved the lines on it as well as the fact that it has a leaf.  Do you know how hard it is to find a good dining table with a leaf?  Then Bistro chairs that we snagged from our pool house.  Roman shades and chandelier are yet to be executed but all in good time.

And here is the room that we were starting with


The art by Reid Winfrey is gorgeous but not ours.  The table is great but a little too big for the space.  While I thought it would be nice to have extra seating, we soon discovered it’s best to have a table that fit just us as extra seating just gets knocked around.

Here we are today:


I absolutely love it!  The paper looks hand painted.  It’s bright and fresh and fun…exactly how we want it to feel around here.  Also, the green in the mural matches perfectly with the green in our cabinets.  You can see the paper with cabinets from this shot taken from the dining room.


We still have to install a chandelier and roman shades and get a window seat pillow made. I’m using Les Touches in red for the seat –


But, I love where we’re at right now and this is the perfect update until we remodel the entire kitchen into our dream one.  Inspiration pics are already being saved away for that day.  But, for now, let’s just make it to the first day of school, shall we?

August 31, 2017 at 5:17 AM 2 comments

A Story to Tell

I haven’t been designing for clients for the past nine months as I’ve taken time off from my business to schlep after my three littles. However, I’ve felt desperate lately to keep that joy that decorating brought me alive and so I’ve been listening to James Swan’s podcasts, where he interviews many of my design heros, while I clean.

One thing that comes up time and again are how designers are storytellers. Our home has such an interesting and unique story as we are the third generation in my family living in it.  So, I want to be intentional with the decor telling our story.
Take for instance this small vestibule at the top of a few stairs before you enter the hallway to the children’s bedrooms.
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Growing up, this nook held a gorgeous bookcase filled with fantastical chapter books that I would devour. I had planned on keeping the bookcase for this next year until my mom uses it in her future home. However, it occurred to me that this was telling the story of my childhood not my kids.
This past Saturday, while Graham was out golfing and Rowan slept, the girls and I set out to reset the little nook to our own family.
I took an antique side table which I absolutely love that was growing cobwebs in our garage. The chic tortoise table was found on the streets of our Pacific Heights SF neighborhood. I snatched it right off the street (it had a “free” sign on it), knowing some socialites trash was my treasure.
I then took a blue and white cache pot and a very sweet gold mirror that I found at an estate sale. I was going to put a faux shrub in the cache pot and call it a day on the little area. But then I thought again how this wasn’t telling our story and so I wandered around the home to see how I could personalize it and I ended up on this final look.
The lamb has hung over the crib of all three of my babies. I see it as the silent, sweet soft mama lamb who watches over them while I get the most needed sleep of my life!
The blue and white lamp is a lamp I bought years ago because I loved it but I never could find the right spot for it in our old home. The shade was a plain white one and so I recovered it myself with fabric that my sweet in laws brought back to me from India. I have absolutely loved the fabric and how special it is so I’ve waited years before cutting into it and using it.
The staffordshire dogs came from an estate sale in woodside I went to a few months ago. Estate sales are my absolute favorite place to go but it’s extremely rare that I have the time to pop in. I found myself with just Rowan and I treated myself to an estate sale visit and these were the treasures that I came home with.  I also like how the pink in the dog’s nose match the pink in the shade fabric.
The books all have meaning to me. Anna Spiro – my number one design love.  Apartment Therapy – the blog that helped me heal after my dad’s death – I read it for hours as my escape from the pain. And Design Sponge who  rejected me for a house tour years ago and so I put the tour on my own blog and it was then picked up by My Domaine and Pop Sugar and many other huge blogs which taught me to keep at it even after rejection.
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I’m really pleased with the collected, whimsical and storied nook. One that expresses us and let’s you know you are entering the kid zone with the three little wild animals that occupy it.

May 22, 2017 at 4:34 PM 12 comments

Design Update

Before we leave our beloved Hillsborough home, I have big hopes of blogging about each room, what we did do and what we were planning to do and how it looked when we moved in here.

But for now, some design on our new home which is an authentic spanish style home built out of adobe.  Imagine a California Mission (on a smaller scale, of course).   The home has a real deal breakfast room right off the kitchen (photos will come when we move in).  Off of the breakfast room is a formal dining room where I plan to entertain people.  Whereas, the breakfast room is meant for every day family eating, arts and crafts, cups of tea, blogging and generally the hub and bub of every day.  In fact, it will probably become the heart of the home but more strictly for us five than for guests.

There is a bar in the breakfast room (because clearly vodka for breakfast) and the bar cabinets are painted a fabulous green.  So I’ve worked to pick up that green in these two potential breakfast room designs…

Scheme A:


My idea is this fabulous farmhouse table that I found on Chairish and then poppy serena and lily chairs, the Anna Spiro wallpaper in blue and white, a tole lantern and finally Schumacher’s Citrus garden as the roman shades to tie all of the colors together.  The green grass at the base of the trees in the fabric is the exact green of the bar cabinets.

Citrus Garden was my jumping off point and I love how it looks in this kitchen…


So fresh, fun and lively.

I would likely forgo the wallpaper altogether but for now it stays as we play with options.  Here is the paper in a bedroom Anna Spiro designed…


Scheme B:


Scheme B is very different that Scheme A in color and overall mood but I have to say that I like them both equally at this point.  I’m waiting until we live in the space to actually pull any trigger.  The farmhouse table has been purchased but the buck stops there until we move in.

In this scenario that beautiful Raphael wallpaper by Sandberg would be the jumping off point, if it is the correct green – need to see sample in person.  That chandelier is a vintage vine chandelier that we already own that has brown ikat shades.  I love how the shades pair with the paper.  And then navy Serena and Lily chairs with the farmhouse table.  I would then either do cream roman shades or no window treatments at all.

This paper has been a favorite for quite a while so I know it’s one I’d be happy to see every day.  Here it is in a dining room so you get an idea, photo by Amy Bartlam…

Amy Bartlam Photography

As my mom has pointed out, it is an elegant home so I need to treat it as such.  I’ve felt the need to temper my use of color a bit, while staying true to my style.  I keep coming back to the “It’s Complicated” set because nobody can ever beat a Nancy Myer’s movie.


I have loads of time before making any real decisions so for now I play design on my computer.

January 24, 2017 at 5:00 AM 2 comments

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