Archive for April, 2011

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!  I’m in a stripey mood today.  Could you wear this outfit?

I don’t think I could pull it off but I love the look.  Via Mimi + Meg

Speaking of stripes, I fell in love with this chair at the design center…

And the back is white lacquer.  I love it.

Divine!  Chair is to the trade.  E-mail me if you have questions.

Happy Tax Day – ugh.

April 15, 2011 at 5:39 AM 6 comments

Artist of the Week: Nathan Oliveira

Nathan Oliveira was a painter, printmaker and sculptor.  In addition to his work as an artist, he was an art professor at Stanford.  He was a local man, born and raised in Oakland, Ca.  His work has shown in close to 100 solo exhibits and he has been in hundreds of group exhibits in many major museums and galleries worldwide, including several Whitney Museum of American Art exhibits.  The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art owns about 30 of his pieces.  I believe that you can see his work permanently displayed on the Stanford campus.

Oliveira passed away last year at 81 from complications of pulmonary fibrosis and diabetes.  Though he retired in 1995, he continued to work as an artist.  Even in the months up to his death, when he needed an oxygen tank for support, he still was working on 30 different paintings.  What an impressive passion for art and life.

His work is breathtaking.

My parents own a few of his pieces.  One of which I have blogged about in the past, the one that I was so embarrassed of as a little girl because it was of a naked lady.  Oh, silly me.

It is stunning.  At the time when my parents bought this painting, my oldest brother was turning 16 and he desperately wanted a new Land Cruiser.  They decided to buy the painting and wait a few months and get my brother a used Land Cruiser instead.  Now that I’m older, I so get it.  Since apparently this blog will stay around forever – dear oldest 16 year old, yes, we are getting a painting and you are getting a used car; dear youngest child, your car will be the oldest of all.  By the time I was 16, in 1996, my parents put me in a 1983 suburban that broke down often (before the time of cell phones).  Once my older brother went off to college, I got the 1987 Land Cruiser, it was as if I had been given the keys to a Porsche.  But I digress…

If you are in the bay area, I encourage you to check out his work at the San Francisco Modern Museum of Art permanent collection.

April 14, 2011 at 5:37 AM 1 comment

Seaside Cottage Renovation Inspiration

Yesterday, while searching for inspiration photos for a project, I came across an awesome renovation by designer Jill Johnson.

I think I was most impressed with how they elevated the street appeal.  Here is the before…

And the exterior after…

The wood shingle siding, brickwork, and reorienting of the front entrance makes all the difference in the world!  Designer and owner, Jill Johnson, is so cute sitting on her front steps.

Now, let’s take a look at the interior renovations..

Bedroom before

And after…

I absolutely love the light, breezy colors that brings that beach feeling home.  The faux bamboo chandelier is perfection!

Another fabulous striped rug and relaxed feel of this gorgeous living room.

Her baby’s room has the perfect amount of sophistication mixed with fun kid’s appeal.

Love this dining room!  It’s tucked away in the inspiration file.

Jill also has a beautiful store, Waterleaf Interiors, located in Manhattan Beach.  If you are ever in the area, you must stop by there!  A friend of mine works there and it sounds like it has to be the cutest store ever; I can’t wait to visit.  Check out my friend’s always inspiring interior design blog: Design Compass.

April 13, 2011 at 5:23 AM 2 comments

The Compromise

Let me guess, your husband likes all things wood, leather, and dark.  You like things linen, tufted and bright.  So perhaps not the exact things that I just described but when it comes down to it you and your husband don’t see eye to eye in decor.  I get it.



Palmer Weiss

One solution is to hire me and to let me figure out the balance.  Shameless self-promotion never hurt a business.  But if you’re more of a do it yourself type of couple, here are my tips.

1. Work in layers

This advice works for all aspects of decorating; in fact, Jenny just did a post on layering. It’s especially important for couples to work layer by layer when decorating in order meet eye to eye.  Don’t run straight to Pottery Barn, try to buy everything at once and have the afternoon end in one huge fight.  Think of layering in what the female likes and also layering in what the male likes.

For instance, you may want coral pillows, well go out and buy those pillows you covet.  Then pair those with a deer antler pillow.

Beautiful Decorative Pillow Cover - 20 x 20 Inch - Designer Fabric - Throw Pillow - Accent Pillow - Wildrose

Available here.

Cross stitch 'Striped Stag' Pillow Cover

Available here

What ends up happening is a more interesting room anyway.  For every feminine piece bring in a masculine piece.

2. Give a little, take a little.

So he really wants a leather sofa.  You can’t stand the look of them.  Well, think of ways to bring in what you love into the look.  Bring in tufting or a lighter color leather or maybe go with a faux ostrich.

Maybe what you can’t stand is this look:

But you could be into leather with more style, like this Baughman sofa…

Or in the Chesterfield style…

3. Finding common ground

Sometimes to find common ground it helps to talk bigger picture.  Spend a bit of time on House Beautiful scrolling through living room photos together as a couple.  Have your hubby grunt at the ones he finds acceptable and you can squeal with delight over the shots that you love.  Compare the two pictures and see if there is any common ground.  There may be a similar color or furniture type that reoccur in both photos.  Also, have your husband point out things that he likes in your inspirational shot and do the same for his.

My Pick:

Graham’s Pick:

We both like light, natural colors, classic pieces, wood frames and no overstuffed upholstery.

Our latest common ground piece:

An antique spring from an old truck.

Make a list of the common themes, items or colors and keep an eye out for those styles.

4. Shhhh…a little trick.

From my years of babysitting and teaching, I’ve learned a thing or two from kids.  Wearing someone down works.  Try mentioning something that you love seven to ten times a day, every day, until your husband gets so sick of hearing about it that he runs out and buys it for you.  But don’t tell anyone I told you that!

I’m still diligently begging for this fabric for our headboard…

April 12, 2011 at 5:43 AM 10 comments

Quadrille Darling

What did your apartment look like at 23?  Mine was a mix of Ikea and Bed Bath and Beyond. Alixe Laughlin’s apartment…a bit of a different league.

To die for!  She works for Quadrille.

Would I like to one day grow up and be this 23 year old?  Obviously.

Images via Matchbook

April 11, 2011 at 8:39 AM 2 comments

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, Folks!! How will you be enjoying the weekend?

This morning I’m off to “Grand Friend Day” at my little nephews pre-school. I’m so excited to attend, even though, I’m sure I’ll be the youngest “Grand Friend” there. My mom can’t be in both classrooms at one time and my sister-in-laws parents live in Australia so I get to be there. Then it’s back to work.  Look how sweet these two are…

They are the cutest!!

In news around the house, I bought forget-me-nots and cherry blossom branches. Isn’t spring time the best?

The cherry blossoms are massive and they don’t exactly fit in our place…

But I love them.

The camera timer was on while taking these photos and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. So, what other choice did I have, but to get in a photo?

I know, I’m a dork. Guess what portion of this outfit did not make it to my outing to the design center that day…J. Crew Jacket, Silk blouse or gray sweatpants? Oh yeah – I came straight home and put on sweats, gotta love working from home!

And let’s not forget the Forget Me Nots

Happy Friday, y’all!!

April 8, 2011 at 8:39 AM 2 comments

Bonus Room: Before and After

I offer a consulting service that is the perfect fit for clients who want larger concepts that they can run with on their own.  I recently worked with the most wonderful clients on a space that they had above their garage.  It was a large room that they requested would sleep six and work as a casual place for kids to hang out and watch TV.  It needed to be comfy, kid friendly and not give off the appearance of having beds everywhere.

This is the space they showed me….

This is a room that is only used once a year or so when they have their extended family over.  Since it isn’t used very often, we wanted to transform the space on a budget.

These were my suggestions:

A. I asked if they used the sink and the area intended for an extra kitchen and they said it was never used.  I suggested they turn this into the bedroom nook and close it off with curtains as an easy fix.

Here is how they transformed the kitchen space before, an unused portion of the room…

And after…

Now, they have a comfy full bed that sleeps two and has the necessary privacy of curtains.  I suggested curtains instead of doors because the area would have felt to closed off with doors and it would have added a lot to the cost.

B: When you first walk up the stairs to the room, this is what you used to see…

While the small couches that folded out into single beds were practical, they didn’t have the style factor.

I suggested putting a daybed with a little table and lamp as a sort of reading nook during the day and a sleeping area at night.  They luckily already owned a trundle bed and so they spruced it up with new bedding.  Now what you see when you walk into the room…

I love what they did with the bedding!  I sent them over to trusty Ballard Designs for the bedding and my client found the perfect pillows to match. Since this is a trundle bed, it sleeps two.

C. We still needed the TV/hang out area and so I suggested the main part of the room be turned into just that.  The set up before wasn’t quite meeting their vision…

We took furniture pieces that they already owned from around their home and used it for the living space.  Everything was shuffled around to here for a very cute sitting area…

I love the way how it all turned out!!  And the couch is a pull out queen sized couch so that will sleep another two.  There you have it, sleeping for six and a comfy place to hang out.  I think the clients did an amazing job pulling the room together and I loved helping them out along the way when they had questions or were looking for suggestions on certain pieces. The room looks fabulous!!

April 7, 2011 at 7:39 AM 10 comments

British Rocker

Yesterday, I was out scouting for a client when I came across the most fabulous chair. It won’t work for any of the projects I’m currently working on. So, I’d like to make a shout out there to all the British rockers, can you please let me decorate a room for you? I’ll include this chair…

And look at the fabulous tan leather…

Don’t worry, I know you don’t like to rock solo. You can have another one for your groupie…

I’m thinking you should be famous, fabulous and from the UK but living in San Francisco. Please contact me at Thanks! 🙂

Chairs available at HD Buttercup.

April 6, 2011 at 5:31 AM 6 comments

I’m Baaaack…

Why hello there.  Did ya miss me?  I’m back from Hawaii.  While beach side living was nothing short of paradise and I would love to still be chomping on pineapple sans a care in the world, I’ve got to thank my lucky stars that I got to go on this trip in the first place.  Now as my tan begins to fade and my to do list comes back into focus, I will try to hold on to the island feeling of relaxation.

Graham and I packed our SLR camera hoping to take some nice photography shots that I could share on my blog today.  But we accidentally left the camera on the plane!  By some small miracle it was waiting for us in the Lost and Found for our return flight home.  So, I’ve got glimpses into our vacation via the iPhone…

My sister-in-law and I have a tradition of going shopping in Hawaii while the rest of the family golfs.  I think it’s a fantastic tradition!  Thank goodness for the iPad to keep my little nephew entertained while we shopped.  Our favorite store is Persimmon on the Big Island.  The evening following our shopping extravaganza Graham and I went out to dinner and I got to wear all my new digs…top, jacket, cuff and shoes all new Hawaii purchases.

And yes…I did have my husband take an outfit shot of just me.  Embarrassing – I know.  I also forgot to pack my make up for the trip – that’s what I get for packing at midnight the night before our 6 AM flight.

Anyway, I’m back now and ready to send interior blog posts your way.  I’m finishing up a project and I can’t wait to share pictures – stay tuned…

April 5, 2011 at 5:39 AM 1 comment

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Hi, welcome to my interior design blog. This is my little spot to attempt to express my design style and to show wonderful inspirations for making a home. I hope you enjoy it!

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