Archive for February, 2011

I want…

So the black upholstered headboard, I had ordered the fabric sample of, didn’t end up working out.  The sample looked a little too close to micro suede. I don’t do micro suede.  Sorry.  So I’m back on the Craigslist hunt for a rad piece to frame out my bed.  Here’s what I want…

(Designed by: James Hunniford)

If you find a 19th century Italian iron bed, come a knock on my door.  Thanks!

Happy Monday!  Did you catch the Oscars?


February 28, 2011 at 9:01 AM 2 comments

New York Times & Sunshine Dreams

Before I get to my regularly scheduled post, I have a big announcement about my brother.  He will be featured in the New York Times, Bay Area edition, this Sunday about a book he is writing!!!  My brother, Joe Imwalle, is hands down the best writer that I know.  He wrote a children’s chapter book and had the opportunity to read each chapter as he wrote it to his third grade students for instant feedback.  Find out more, if you live in San Francisco, by purchasing Sunday’s New York Times or the Bay Citizen.  To say I am a proud sister is an understatement!!!

Now, on to the scheduled post….

While Graham has turned the corner and hit another year of life, his latest sport of choice surely will send him backtracking to youth and leave him young at heart.  He has taken to surfing, a new endevor that I whole heartedly support.  For speaking of young at heart, thinking of having a surfer as a husband makes me giddy and produces squeels of delight from yours truly.  Graham’s gift from me was a surfboard which we picked up a month prior to his birthday.  As seen by this post, the only place for the behemouth to reside is in our dining room.  However, even as a decorator, I will give up precious space, any day of the week, to watch him shred it.

For his birthday dinner, we had his family over and I felt it was only right to create a tablescape in homage to the board.  The weather outside might be frightful, but it is pure sunshine dreams at our place…

For some of the details…I used the same five yards of fabric that I had used for a Christmas dinner that you may recall…

When using the fabric for Christmas, I brought in greens, golds and whites.  This time around, I played up orange, navy and white.  For each setting, I wanted the orange napkins to look like bow ties, as a little manly twist.  The orange napkins are from Anthropologie (about five years old) and the navy linen placemats are Williams Sonoma and our every day china is Williams Sonoma.

For the center of the table, I brought in our white crab that I picked up at a flea market in Chicago and then I went out and bought the two bowls for $6.00 at my local second hand shop – that was my own purchase for the table, everything else I already owned.

For the man of the hour, I placed a crown by the head of the table.  I also put a rock that he found and one that I found at the beach and placed them at each end of the table.

Lastly, I put the wooden shark that I bought in South Africa and I placed it on the console that sits behind the dining table…

And one farther back shot from the I- phone…

If you would like help, decorating your place for a special event and you live in the bay area, I would be so happy to help.  E-mail me at or call me at 650.450.6888.

Happy Friday!  Here’s to the bit of sunshine in all of our lives.

February 25, 2011 at 5:30 AM 13 comments

Be Bold, Go Gold?

While slowly perusing my local favorite second hand shop, I came upon a fabulous, complete set of 12 piece gold flatware.  I took a step forward to peer into the case they lay in as though peering into a looking-glass to see what the future of this silverware would have in store at my humble abode.  I couldn’t quite picture them at home with the rest of my world and so with a tinge of hesitation I walked away from the gleaming gold numbers.

However as all things in life that grab a hold of me, even for just a second, the gold has come creeping into my thoughts.  Flashes of brazen, brash light come to my mind and begin to twirl away into thoughts of a well-groomed table.  Delight!  So do I do it and let my whimsical side take flight?  Or do I stay steadfast loyal to my practical side that remains hasty about the gaudiness of the look?

Image via Lonny – Eddie Ross tablescape

Via Eddie Ross

Eddie Ross

Martha Stewart Weddings

Via CocoKelly

I have a feeling I’ll be bold and go gold.  What is life for, if not to live it up?

February 24, 2011 at 5:30 AM 11 comments

Happy Birthday, Graham!

Happy birthday to my sometimes silly, sometimes serious, always caring husband.  Another year has gone by in a flash and not a single gray hair in sight.  Thank you for singing songs with me, even though you feel embarrassed; for picking up the screw driver and finishing off a project, even though I swear I will do everything by myself; for coming with me to the flea market when I’ve twisted my ankle, even though your duty was to act like Vanna White; for holding a stiff upper lip during scary times for me, even though you were just as scared;  for waking up early and working hard every day with enthusiasm, even though I start my work morning in pajamas; for watching a mind-boggling sunset and pointing out every little feature of the highlighted horizon, even though it’s cold outside; for learning to bite your tongue the few times I do drive, even though I have horrific driving skills; for always offering to share at a restaurant, even though we usually end up not sharing at all; for continuing to smile and look at the positives in life, even though life can beat us up at times.  You an inspiration to me every day, even though I don’t always show it.  Happy birthday, bunks!!

(Picture of birthday boy taken this morning)

“In spite of ourselves, we’re going to end up a sitting on a rainbow, cause honey, you’re the big door prize!”

February 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM 9 comments

Brass Bedside Tables…

I have a client that has been searching for the perfect bedside tables for her bedroom.  Her bedroom is already totally fab but she just needed bedside tables to finish off the look.   She requested something Hollywood glam and not too clunky.  Oh and cheap.  Her request is my demand.

These are the bad boys I found for her on Craigslist…

They are nothing short of killer.  Damn, I’m jealous!  I wish I could keep everything…but that would mean no more clients and the life of a hoarder.  The pictures are from the Craigslist seller, I’m hoping my client will send over pics of them in her bedroom.  There seems to be a red tint to them so one little coat of gold spray paint will bring these babies to the next level.

By the way, brass is back.  Lets see brass taking stage…

Krista Ewart’s brass floor lamp is the type of find that I would squeal over.  Literally squeal.

Kelly Wearstler is a brass girl and I like it.

Those side tables that Nicole Gibbons of So Haute are very similar to my clients new bedside tables.  Would you rock the brass?

If there is a special nook or cranny in your home that you just don’t know what to do with, I can help.  E-mail me your problem area and I’ll do my best to solve the puzzle.  You can reach me at or call at 650.450.6888

Happy Tuesday!  Aren’t you thrilled your Monday is a Tuesday this week?!


February 22, 2011 at 5:30 AM 4 comments

Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone!!  It has been a great week for my family. My cousin, Brie, got engaged and we are all so thrilled for her.  Congrats Brie and Brian!

How cute are they?!  I can’t wait for the wedding!

What are you up to this weekend?  Graham and I will be hanging with friends tonight and then will be headed over to the beach for the rest of the weekend.  I’m hoping for a big storm.  The beach is alive during a storm: waves angrily crashing, wind rip-roaring, rocks drenched in salt water; while I cuddle up to my favorite worn knit sea foam blue blanket, sip a soothing cup of comforting roibois tea, listen to the fire popping and crackling from damp logs and watch the action unfold.  I will also be relishing the final morsels of my book: “Lunch in Paris” by Elizabeth Bard.

“Lunch in Paris” is a must read.  It’s even inspired me to cook – which has my mother and husband writing Elizabeth Bard fan letters like no other.

February 18, 2011 at 8:58 AM 6 comments

Featured Artist: Martin Machado

I have been wanting to do a featured artist series for a while now.  While, I’m not going to claim to know everything there is to know about art, I will say that since childhood, I’ve been taught to have a discerning eye with pieces.  My father was an AVID art collector and he could spend HOURS speaking about each art piece and each one of his favorite artists.  I thought I’d start a weekly post on some of my favorite artists.

I felt I should start the series with an artist who is near and dear to my heart, Martin Machado.  Marty and I go way back to when we were little ones; our parents and grandparents were also friends.  But Marty is much more than just a friend, he is an incredibly talented artist.

For one of Marty’s first shows, he called up my dad and invited him to it.  He told me that he wanted my dad there because he knew my dad had a great eye for art and that he would be honest.  Both accounts were true for my dad.  He loved Marty’s art so much that he bought this piece

Marty’s work is based on his experiences at sea; he has had some very adventurous jobs; his pieces give you authentic glimpses into life at sea.  He has worked as a merchant marine, a commercial fisherman and a sailor.  He has an amazing ability to translate the passing of time onto canvas.  He works with various mediums, some untraditional, such as: epoxy, sea water, fiberglass, as well as more common tools like photography and paint.

The collaboration of his physically grueling and dangerous work out at sea with his keen eye and artistic talent results in breathtaking works of art.

For more information or to purchase one of his pieces, please contact him via his website.

And, since it’s mostly ladies who read this, it doesn’t hurt that the artist looks like this…

I probably embarrassed him with that last little tid bit. 🙂  Please, go check out his work!


February 17, 2011 at 9:11 AM 10 comments

Joan, Melissa & Timothy

Have you caught Joan and Melissa River’s reality show?  Graham was working late last night and so I had the rare opportunity to treat myself to some good, wholesome, reality TV.  Joan Rivers has got to be the most hilarious 77-year-old on the planet.  She cracks me up.  On the episode I watched, she redecorated Melissa’s living room while Melissa was out working.  Joan hired Timothy Corrigan for the job.  I wasn’t able to pull a picture of Melissa’s new room but I did want to show off his impressive talents.

Timothy Corrigan is a design legend; he has designed many a celebrity home, including Sarah Jessica Parker.  I hate to hate, but I must say, some of his work is over designed and others are a bit too traditional for my taste.  Yet there were plenty of rooms in his vast portfolio that stopped me in my tracks, like those in this post.  What do you think?

February 16, 2011 at 8:48 AM 4 comments

Old Dog, New Tricks

Well scootch on over Paula Deen, cause there is a new cook in the kitchen – Katharine Collins Imwalle Belchers. I feel the need to blog about the small miracle that happened over at Chez Belchers last night. I cooked!!  I cooked and it wasn’t Top Ramen. Nope. No Dennisons chili in sight. Not a single bag of cheesy Doritos was used as a side. This was the real deal.

I started out with appetizers. Yes mom, appetizers.  They may have had the nutritional content of the aforementioned processed foods, but it was Valentine’s Day. I began with dates filled with cream cheese, almonds and wrapped in Bacon. Everything is better wrapped in bacon…everything!!

The main course even had sides, MAJOR accomplishment for me. We had lamb chops, mashed potatoes and green beans. Yes mom, vegetables. Paula Deen would be proud of what I slipped into the mashed potatoes…butter (just shy of a pound), cream cheese and half and half.   How do you think that fluffy mound of calories tasted?  Delicious.

As if the bacon and butter wasnt enough, I baked a three layer, dark chocolate, frosted cake.   Actually, that was all for Graham; I don’t like cake. So my thighs will thank me that I didn’t eat much of it…well, minus the taste tests 🙂

My 25 year old self would be astonished that I pulled off a three course meal. It wasn’t perfect and I was definitely in over my head.  In college and beyond, cooking dinner meant a can of black beans and if I was ambitious I would throw in an egg.

 Agh…I’m exhausted!  Graham’s family is coming for dinner for his birthday in a week…does this mean more cooking?  Paula, help!!

February 15, 2011 at 8:43 AM 7 comments

What I Would Give For…

A dramatic, architectural, weathered wood installment, like this:

Design by Juan J. Carretero

Or, like this…

Designed by my personal fav…Julia Edelmann – oh how I miss living close to her.

I actually don’t know what I would give for such an installment, perhaps something significant.  But, I would rather find one in the dusty corner of a well lived in, well-loved antique store on the side of a country road.  Doesn’t that sound romantic?  Speaking of romance, Happy Valentines Day!!  I will be showing Graham my love for him by cooking him dinner.  And Graham will be showing his love for me by pretending it tastes good.  Ahhh married life.

February 14, 2011 at 5:20 AM 6 comments

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