Archive for May, 2011

Monogram Me

I have always wished that I could be a Southerner.  It’s always come across to me as a very friendly and polite culture and their accents are the best ever.  Okay, so perhaps, a lot of the fascination comes down to the accent.  While, I can’t perfect the accent, as much as I try, I can take their lead and monogram everything.  Monogramming feels southern preppy to me and I love it.

Via Life of Style

                                                                                   Via Little Green Notebook

Via Pink Wallpaper

                                                                                                          Via Rue

                                                                                                   Via Lonny

A monogram gives your bed a great custom look and it’s really inexpensive to do on pillows.  I bought a pair of large pillows from Home Goods and I’m getting them monogrammed for $15 per pillow, which I’ve found to be the average cost around here.  It will give my bedding a nice personal touch and it might fool people into thinking I am a Southerner.

May 16, 2011 at 7:59 AM 7 comments

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday!  You know what would make my day even happier?  If someone bought these twin bed frames and then put together the following room and took pictures of it and sent it my way.

The headboards are unique, fun 60’s and they would be truly killer in a room.  Statement piece!  They are available in Los Gatos if you are local.  I have no need for twin beds; I don’t have two kids or a king size bed but I am SERIOUSLY considering handing the seller cash in exchange for the pleasure of storing the headboards in my mom’s garage for my “one day home.”  Alas, hoarding is not encouraged over at Storage de Casa Imwalle so I must put it out there on the Internets.  Available here.

Little girls room….

Take those headboards and then cover the entire room and ceiling in this wallpaper:

It’s Katie Ridder; it’s fabulous – so are you.  Join forever.

Put in some sweet lavender Laura Ashley bedding (because this is a girls room) but mix up the bedding with whites, monograms and perhaps a textured indigo tie-dyed throw for interest.

How about a classic seagrass for the floor and maybe a little sheep skin to keep those tosies from getting hurt.

And lets do a rattan pendant.  (Sadly, this one is no longer available, was from Z Gallerie for like pennies)…

Happy Friday!  Now get on out there and design this little room for me in my head.  Or hire me and I’ll do it for you. 🙂  OR take a look at a room that inspires the little bejeezers out of my kiddie room…

I pulled off the first correct somersault of my life when I saw this room.  It inspires.  Angie Hranowsky can do no wrong.  No wrong!  And she’s my cousin’s close friend.  Julia…did you shoot this?  I mean, weekly, I think about hopping on a plane to Charleston to go shopping with them.  Hopefully sometime I can finaggle a “business” trip out there.

May 13, 2011 at 5:10 AM 4 comments

Artist of the Week: Natasha Law

I’m a huge fan of pop art and Natasha Law is up there as a favorite.  Her glossy, large scale, bright figurines steal the show in rooms.  Natasha is the sister of Jude Law – what a family!  She is most famous for her female figures but also does some fashion and even some scene detailed drawings.  You can see more of her work through Breed, here.

I also love the scale of her artwork.  It helps to see the work in a room….

                                                                        Design by Sarah Gilbane Sullivan

What do you think of it? Path

May 12, 2011 at 5:30 AM 1 comment

Inspiration: Redmond Aldrich Design

The latest issue of Martha Stewart Living reminded me what an inspiring interior designer Chloe Redmond Warner of Redmond Aldrich Design is.  Take a look at her talent…

I love her bold mix of pattern and colors and modern and vintage pieces.  Everything works seamlessly and it’s all so interesting to look at.  Her projects look like they are rooms that were collected and put together over time – not overly styled.  What do you think of her work?  To check out more of her portfolio, go here.

May 11, 2011 at 5:13 AM Leave a comment

What’s a Girl to Do?

So about two months ago, I bought a vintage Gumps 100% Thai silk outfit for a song at a local resale shop.

I didn’t buy it for wearing. But, I did have to try it on because I’m weird. Or, let’s just call it quirky. Is that any better? No, that’s worse. People strive to keep Austin weird. Nobody wants to keep anything quirky.

Anyway, I bought it for the gorgeous fabric.

I thought I’d instantly turn it into pillows. However, I’ve started to think differently now. What about for the seat cushion of this chair and spray paint the frame navy or lilac or white?  I know it’s not upholstery weight but it’s an occasional chair that won’t be used that often.

And if there is any extra make a clutch…like these Ikat clutches that I posted about wanting a year ago…and they are still not out of my mind.

So what do you think? What’s a girl to do with limited gorgeous, vintage fabric?! HMMMM

May 10, 2011 at 5:30 AM 3 comments

Weekend Recap

As I mentioned last week, this past Saturday was the Kentucky Derby and my dear cousin had a Derby themed engagement party. As I promised, I took pictures. Where to begin…the fashion, the party decor, the interior design, the food? When it was all so top notch, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But, since it was Derby attire, we must start with fashion.


The best dressed and most impressive hats has got to go to the bride to be and her mom.  The first one pictured below is the gorgeous bride to be in the most amazing hat, the second is her fiance all dressed up also in a hat (in the white pants), the third is her mom and dad – another fabulous set of hats.  Then keep on scrolling to see what some of us guests came to the party in.  After all of my agony of hat and outfit decisions, I decided to wear a green and white striped skirt, black top and the large black hat (seventh photo down).

Party Decor:

The party decor was fabulous.  It was hard to really capture the entire look.  My mom sewed the seer sucker toppers and put the flower arrangements together, which were put in mint julep cups.  There also were high top tables with faux bamboo bar seats – my absolute favorite.  There was also a photo station complete with a wooden horse that a friend of theirs made for them – it was such a fantastic idea!  The food was delicious and true to the Derby theme with strawberries and shrimp n grits.

Interior Decor:

My Aunt has her degree in Interior Design and she has impeccable taste.  I didn’t take many shots of their fabulous home but I did have to show their powder room which has always been a favorite of me; it is timeless and elegant.  I also took a tiny round up of the faux bamboo chairs in their home to show I’m not the only one in the family with the obsession…

It was such a fun party!!  We all had a blast and I loved that everyone participated in the Derby theme.  What a great day.  What did you do this weekend?  I’d love to know!!

May 9, 2011 at 9:05 AM 16 comments

Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer

When my dad was first getting tests done to figure out why he was feeling so sick, I had no idea what a pancreas was.  I now know all too well.  Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers.  I know this is terribly last minute, but if you happen to be in the area of Santa Clara this weekend, come on down for a Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer that is put together by very good family friends of ours who also lost a loved one to it.  The walk will be held on Santa Clara campus this Saturday

, registration opens at 7:45 AM and the walk will be at 8:30; registration is $40 which will go to Pancreatic research.

It should be a beautiful day so enjoy a nice leisurely walk with friends.  My family will be out of town so we will unfortunately be missing it this year.  But it is an event that we cherish going to.  All proceeds go to UCSF, where my dad was treated.  You can also donate here:

On a completely different note, I want to thank Cardigans and Couture for featuring me today!  Go check out this amazing blog, trust me, it is a mecca for all fashion necessities.  Your credit card may be hurting (only a little they post budget friendly finds) but your wardrobe will be out of this world with these fashionable sisters’ advice.
Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!

May 6, 2011 at 10:00 AM 2 comments

Statement Piece


The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner and you know what that means…it’s time to find a hat!!  I’m thrilled that my cousin is having an engagement party on Derby day.  She has been an equestrian her entire life and so this party is perfect for her.  She will be in the most fabulous hat that her mom found for her in Paris.  I can’t wait to show pictures!  In the meantime, here are some hat inspiration shots…


I, of course, must look to the Royal Wedding for inspiration as well…

A chic hat is the ultimate statement piece.  I raided a vintage store for myself and my mother.  We do have extras if you attending the event and in need of a hat.

I’m debating between wearing the cream, navy or a large black one that I don’t have pictured.  I’m going to pack about 5,000 different options.  We shall see.  I can’t wait!! Pictures to come…

May 5, 2011 at 5:35 AM 4 comments

After a long wait…

It all began in a gorgeous seaside town: Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, October 2009.  My mom and I were brought to an impressive gallery by my in-laws.  So far on the trip, I had already purchased a JuJu Hat, a wooden shark figure and clothes, I thought my shopping was over.  Then I experienced love at first sight…

The painting by Sam Nhlengethurst spoke to me.  I loved the vibrant color blocking and the geometric print on his shirt.  It was also reminiscent to me of Jacob Lawrence, a favorite artist of mine.

We all walked away impressed with the print and then mom suggested it as a Christmas present.  Graham had not seen it as he was slaving away at business school while we vacationed but we all agreed he would love it.  So Christmas present 2009 it was to be.  After much debate, we decided to have it shipped with the frame and without the glass. I wasn’t in love with the frame but I knew framing would be about $1,000 so I decided to live with the one it came with.  Well, here’s how it arrived…

I was crushed, as was the painting.  After countless e-mails with the gallery, we got our money back and they were covered by insurance so it all worked out.  A couple blocks away from our apartment in Chicago was a Japanese print gallery and I asked if they could restore the print.  They thought they could give it a try.  One month later and the print was back to new.  I was in awe of their work.  With a few more months remaining in Chicago before our big move, we decided to ship it unframed to California where it arrived perfectly safe.  The package then sat in our closet for six months.  Why the wait?  Well, I knew we would spend our non-existent child’s college fund on the framing.  But eventually, we couldn’t resist anymore and so to the frame store it went.

Two months later and it arrived home safe and sound and more beautiful than ever….

Merry Christmas 2009 to Graham and I.  Thanks mom for the gorgeous gift – we love it!!  And it’ll forever remind us our fun trip to Africa.

May 4, 2011 at 8:41 AM 6 comments

Family Room Makeover: Before and Almost After

I had the pleasure of working with wonderful clients on a family room makeover.  First of all they came to me saying that they wanted the room to feel nautical, as though they were looking out onto the Atlantic without being overly beachy.  Umm, nautical – music to my ears!!  I was beyond thrilled and honored to be asked to work on this project.

Here is what they had before…

This room is used all the time.  It gets amazing sunlight, it’s comfy and it holds the ever important computer.  The room needed to provide comfortable seating, a desk and a TV but everything else could go.  While they did have a great built in desk already in the room, the clients didn’t use it.  They realized that you would be cut off from conversation when sitting at the built in.  They also said that they did not want the desk facing a wall, as my very social client said, “it would just feel like a prison sentence looking up at a wall.”  Did I mention my clients are the best and social bees?  My favorite kind of client!!  Okay, enough words – what y’all have been waiting for – the after.

For the details…

The most major changes were that my clients put in a fireplace, which is now the focal point of the room.  We also ripped out the brown carpets and put down beautiful flooring along with my all time favorite nautical striped dhurri rug.

Focal wall before was a gallery wall…

But it added to a cluttered feeling in the room.  So in went the fireplace –

Another big change was repositioning the couch to open up the room and a new custom sofa in a fabric I absolutely love.

We had a spool chair custom done to add to the nautical feeling and then we had the pink wing-back chair recovered to navy with white piping.

The window treatments no longer fit with the new look and they were cutting off some of the beautiful sunlight.  We switched them out for beautiful roman drapes with a textured tone on tone color scheme to them.  We raised the drapes up to slightly above the window making them appear larger and letting in more light.

Window treatments before:

And after:

The desk is in a social spot with a swivel chair.

And for one little detail item I found them was an antique bus sign from London with their last name on it.  The clients last name is a town in England and I found them a legitimate bus sign that was actually on the busses in the 1950s.  I can’t promise a find like that for every client, but I was glad it worked for them!

There still is some work to be done, such as accessorizing the back built-in and the office storage unit and having the cushions on the spool chair re-done, and more art work to go up.  But, I just couldn’t resist sharing an almost finished product.

May 3, 2011 at 9:32 AM 19 comments

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