Archive for February, 2012

Barn Light Electric

First of all, I feel so incredibly honored that someone nominated me for the Apartment Therapy Homies.  WOW!!!  I’m giddy, really.  It truly did make my day.

From yesterday’s hardwood floor bathroom post, comes another bathroom post, this time on lighting.  Remember when I said I would slowly but surely, when time allows, give a facelift to my mom’s guest bathroom?  Well, I finally found the time to order her a sconce for the vanity lighting.  I have chosen the Radial Wave sconce from Barn Light Electric in weathered brass.

Barn Light Electric is a great source for industrial or country sort of lighting.  Although, the lights come in so many finishes that you can also go quite modern with the lighting as well.  Here are some examples where people used Barn Light Electric in their homes or shops…

Skychief Pendant

Homestead Pendant

In one of my “I dream to visit one day” shops – Bixby and Ball 

Bermuda Pendants

Exterior Shot – Original Barn Light

This winery must be amazing in person and the Indie Industrial Pendants add so much drama to the space

Indie Industrial Pendant

One of my favorite restaurants, Jane, in San Francisco appears to have Barn Light Electric lighting.  This restaurant was designed by Ken Fulk (who I worked for in staging).  He is sheer genius!!

From residential to commercial projects, Barn Light Electric is the way to go!

February 29, 2012 at 5:56 AM 4 comments

Hardwood Floor In the Bathroom

One of the projects I’m currently working on with a client is a bathroom renovation.  The home has beautiful hardwood floors throughout and so I suggested to the clients that we go with hardwood floors in the master bathroom.  If you are going to go for this look, make sure to have the floors specially treated to withstand the water from every day bathroom use.  I wouldn’t suggest this look for a children’s bathroom where there will be lots of splashing in the bathtub; however, it will hold up perfectly in a master bath.  I do love the warmth a hardwood floor can bring to a room that can go a bit cold rather quickly.

Design by Velvet and Linen

Via Country Living

February 28, 2012 at 5:34 AM 4 comments

Before and After: X Base Stools

I stumbled across these X Base Stools at Home Goods….

When I saw these two X Base stools, I literally ran to put them in my cart.  I just didn’t want anybody else snatching up my steal of a deal.  The upholstery, however, was all wrong – very granny, which is not exactly the look I was going for.  I used them in a client project.  Take a look at the stools after a little reupholstery job…

We went with a links pattern and a pop of fuchsia for the piping and the button tufts.  I love the combo of the pattern and the pop of pink!!  These stools are so cute and they look awesome in my client’s living room next to their fireplace.  I can’t wait to show you more details of that very fun project!

February 27, 2012 at 5:50 AM 5 comments

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday everyone!!  Thanks for reading about Graham this week and for your sweet comments; he loved them!  And thank you to the family members for their awesome, loving contributions.

Next week, we’re back on track with design and I’ll be hitting it off with a fun “before and after.”

Following an absolutely delicious birthday dinner at Gary Danko (thank you Brian and Glynnis), we are off to Mendocino for the weekend.  We will actually be staying in the same hotel room where Graham proposed to me at the Elk Cove Inn and Spa.

I’m thinking we’ll also need to sign up for the couple’s massage that we had when we were there.  Graham fell asleep in the massage last time and then a half hour after the massage, he proposed!!  Who falls asleep a half hour before proposing?!!

While in Mendocino, I have big plans to visit the shop, Erin Keller, which I learned about on the blog: KatieDid.

You know I could go crazy in that store!!

Happy Friday everyone!  Have a fabulous weekend.

February 24, 2012 at 5:22 AM 3 comments

Happy Birthday, Graham!!

I’m very grateful for Block B dances.  If it weren’t for your high school freshman year dance, where we probably slow danced within feet of each other, completely oblivious of one another, we never would have met.  From one freshman dance, fast forward ten years later, to my roommate (your dance date) introducing the two of us.  Little did I know, at the crowded Mona Loa bar, what a journey I was about to embark on.  I knew that you went to Bellarmine (huge points in my eyes and massive points in my father’s) and that was good enough for you to be in my good graces, but not enough for you to run away with my heart.   It was the conversations we had on our first date at the windy San Francisco beach that knocked my socks off.  And it was the huge question you asked at the rugged Mendocino beach, two years later, that stole my heart forever.

I’d say that the universe has thrown a lot of curve balls our way since we’ve been married.  But we are stronger today then we were 3.5 years ago when we said our I Do’s.  Even though the years have been challenging, they haven’t been tough because I always have you by my side.  You are one optimistic son of a gun.  You exude positivity.  And you know what, I absolutely fricken love that about you!!  I’ve started seeing through those rose colored glasses as well and they are awesome.  Thanks for forcing me to put those on!

Speaking of forcing, some of the best parties of my life were because you twisted my arm and convinced me to host a party.  You do not feel any year should go by without a party.  You feel life is best when surrounded by family and friends and a bar-b-que.  From sausage parties to double quinceneras, you will do anything to host friends.

Speaking of friends, you have a huge heart.  No wonder so many people love you so.  You really care for the best of others, right down to the reality TV stars.  Not that you spend anytime thinking about reality TV stars; but rather, when I have “Real Housewives of Beverley Hills” on, you tell me to turn it off because it makes you sick seeing people treat each other poorly.  And it really does make you sick.  You believe in kindness, loyalty and support.

Speaking of support, there is no way this blog would exist without you.  Can you remember our walk in the Stanford Hills when I said I would start a blog?  Well, you didn’t let that little comment be put to rest.  And now look at me.  That’s all you.  You read my posts every day.  You listen to all of my design presentations when I practice them.  You even look when I say, “Check out this cute lamp.”  I believe we are making quite the decorator out of you.

Decorator, you are not.  One very successful businessman, you are.  You put in hours that are exhausting just thinking about them.  You put your whole self into your job.  Your clients absolutely love and respect you, as they should.  You are incredibly ambitious and I find that sexy. 🙂

Speaking of sexy, you are one hell of a looker.  Six years in and I still find myself checking you out as though you’re some brand new boy in my life.  It can be as simple as you walking in the door and as soon as I see you, I’ll have the thought, “Man he is soooo good looking.  I hit the jackpot.”

You light up my life every day.  You are my best friend.  And I love the fact that we genuinely miss each other after a day of work.  Now that I’ve sufficiently embarrassed you, I’m thinking it’s onwards and upwards for you.  The sky is the limit.  And I feel incredibly blessed that I get to fly along with you.

All my love,


On this very special day, Happy Happy Birthday!!!

February 23, 2012 at 5:48 AM 7 comments

Dear Graham

B – I – G:  A Tribute from Graham’s older sister Lindsay

You may remember a film from the ‘80s in which a 13-year-old boy turns into Tom Hanks and enjoys the fruits of adulthood while continuing to act like a prepubescent. What you may not have realized is that the film’s hero was in fact based on a real-life person.

My brother, Graham David Belchers, is the ultimate encapsulation of the word ‘BIG.’ Everything about him is larger-than-life and has been so since his early days. His BIGness began with sheer physical heft.

Here he is alongside a little friend only a few weeks’ younger:

This one still renders me speechless, although I empathize with the little travel stroller. I remember trying to hold him…

Here we are, each pictured at 5 months old:

I’m on the right, the smallish-to-normal sized baby whose head barely touches the pale pink stripe. On the left is the burgeoning Graham, bulging out of the poor bouncy chair, head easily clearing the pink stripe. I’d like to add that I am a normal sized human, now 5’7”, and while I was admittedly a preemie and tiny at birth, I don’t think I was particularly minute at this stage of babyhood.

Physical enormity is not Graham’s only BIG attribute. He has an extremely BIG lack of tolerance for anything that doesn’t immediately amuse him.

He’s the “little” kid on the right, playing with what appears to be a spoon. Appropriate.

He has a BIG appreciation of the absurd:

He has a BIG (and fierce) sense of protectiveness towards his loved ones:

Here with his nephew Nico…

Here with his lovely wife Kate.

Graham, my little brother, aka “Tiny,” has a BIG heart; a BIG booming voice and a BIG laugh; BIG height; a BIG appetite; BIG confidence, though without arrogance; a BIG golf swing; an ENORMOUS sense of fun; and an overwhelmingly passionate and joyful appreciation of family and life.

Graham – despite the grown-up job, the wife, the MBA and the yuppie taste in cars, you are entirely still the 13-year-old boy who loves to play, and you always will be. And you don’t look a day over 35.

Postscript from J, Graham’s brother-in-law: You’re a BIG dork.

Second postscript, from Lindsay: This is a SMALL fish…

February 22, 2012 at 5:30 AM 4 comments

Dear Graham

We waited for you for over 5 years. Just when it seemed like you would never arrive, mom was pregnant with you. I don’t think we have ever had to wait for you since then. You arrived 3 weeks early and, although you were placed in an incubator for a few days, the size of your feet and hands as well as your lusty cries indicated that this was one robust baby. For the first few weeks of your life, you were determined to test our love for you: you cried constantly and it was almost by chance that we learned that you were allergic to milk and had a terrible tummy ache each time you were fed. In addition, you didn’t sleep through the night until you were 2 years old so that mom, in particular, was exhausted as you were nonstop motion and action during the day.

Despite these early year tests, you soon won everyone’s love and affection from your older sister Lindsay to your doting grandparents and everyone in between. In your early years, things physical were preferable to things cultural or cerebral. Reading books, although now a strong passion, was not part of the agenda, nor was coloring in. However, singing was a favorite; particularly memorable and repeated often were “My name is Joe, I work in a button factory” and “You are my sunshine”. Wrestling was high on the list of priorities and you repeatedly defeated your grandfather and me. I stopped participating when my pretending to be beaten by you turned into being whipped by you and physical damage to my ageing body was a real possibility. As you grew older, other outdoor interests were added to the repertoire, such as golf and fly fishing. The latter in particular fitted in very well with Kate and her family. It also provided wonderful memories of fishing trips while we floated down the Trinity River near Lewiston, so much so that even mom moved from being spectator to participant.

Despite the early preference for the outdoors, it didn’t prevent high academic achievement and a series of outstanding educational institutions, starting with Bellarmine and moving through Georgetown University and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Somewhere along this path you read a book about investing which turned into a passion and a career. A thread through all of this activity has been the traits that make you: focus, determination, persistence, being an organizer, and a very strong sense of self awareness and comfort with who you are.

But what turns you from being a very successful human being into a wonderful person are your compassion, a sense of fun, laughter, sentiment, a love of children, a powerful grasp of what is right and wrong, and an extraordinarily loving nature.

You make a parent very proud. Happy birthday,

Love, Dad

February 21, 2012 at 5:52 AM 1 comment

Dear Graham

(It’s Graham’s birthday on Thursday so I’m going to take the week off from design and devote this blog to the man I love.  Next week back on to design.  Wouldn’t you like to know more about my better half?)

Graham, you entered the world three weeks early, rested up in an incubator for a couple of days to garner your lung power, and from then onwards proceeded to use them very lustily. I think there must be some India rubber that made its way into your being in that incubator, as you’ve bounced through life with verve and vitality ever since emerging from its confines.

As you can see, a chocolate cupcake on your first birthday received your seal of approval. It’s clearly indicative of a desire to grab life in both hands and savour it.

Over the years, your enjoyment of far-off places grew as you travelled back to your roots in Africa. Annual trips were made to visit your South African family; they were memorable, family times. Remember the year you climbed Kilimanjaro en route there with Dad, Lindsay and Brian? Your focus and determination were evident in the serious training you embarked on beforehand.

You were very physical as a boy and loved wrestling with your father – even with your long-suffering grandfather. Reading was a pleasure acquired much later, when you finally learned to sit still. Then it became a passion. Other loves were/are soccer, basketball, baseball, rugby, football, (tennis somewhat – I sense a lasting grudge about tennis camp one summer), and golf – in fact anything with a ball in it. Sometimes these activities resulted in black eyes and broken bones, bravely borne injuries for the price of pleasure. It’s double the pleasure if played, or discussed, or watched with Dad. I love the Niners victory dance – but oh, the misery of their defeat appears to cause physical pain to both of you that’s not very bravely borne.

You’ve always had a great capacity for fun. I love your sense of humour and ability to make me laugh, with your wonderful knack of seeing silliness in situations. And don’t let’s forget your various accents from around the globe, your specialties being French, Italian, Indian, Pacific Rim – and a Cockney parrot. “Thank you, please come again!”

You are a nurturer with a big heart, looking after those in need and those you love with compassion, kindness and consideration. How many long-drop toilets did you build in the Dominican Republic, and how many games of Scrabble did you play with your grandmother? You make our world a better place because you’re in it.

Dearest Graham,

There’s never a doubt that your glass has always been more than half full; in fact, to mix metaphors, your cup generally overfloweth!

May you always remain the positive, loving, fun person that you are, no matter what life presents you – and may the years ahead bring you much love, joy and success in return.

Growing older is unavoidable,

Growing up is optional.

Always stay young at heart.


Love, Mom

February 20, 2012 at 5:37 AM 5 comments

Fashion Friday

One of my favorite looks to wear this season is shorts and tights.  I just think it’s a very fun combo and it works out perfectly with the mild California weather.  On this Fashion Friday, I thought I’d share some inspiration looks on the shorts/tights combo…

Happy Friday!!  Enjoy the fabulously long weekend!!


February 17, 2012 at 5:22 AM 1 comment

Grandfather Bench

Last Sunday, we had a beautiful family dinner down at my mom’s house –

While there, I was finally able to pick up my bench to put at the foot of our bed.  It has always been called the “Grandfather bench” to me and it used to be in my bedroom when I was a little girl.  My mom now says that she’s not sure if it actually belonged to my grandparents or if she called it the “grandfather bench” so that I wouldn’t jump on it and break it.  Ha ha.  EIther way, I’m positive it is an antique and beautiful.

I love the slim legs on it and the etchings on the sides.  It does have quite a few scratches on it and so it needs to see the furniture restorer.  But for now, I’m just so happy to have it back in my life.  Do you have a furniture piece from your childhood?

February 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM 2 comments

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