Archive for July, 2012

Shhhh…It’s a Surprise!

I’ve got a little surprise up my sleeve for my mom and I thought I’d share it with all of you.  She’s up in the mountains and she doesn’t have any access to internet so she won’t be finding out a thing.

You see about a year and a half ago, my mom came to me saying that she needed to replace the rug in her lanai.  It was old, ratted, dirty and had seen better days…

For about a year she would ask me to replace it with something else and I would respond, “Oh yeah, I’ll think about it mom.  But I just don’t have time.”  What a sweet daughter. 🙂

Finally, my mom was already coming up to the city so I told her to meet me at one of my favorite stores Lotus Bleu.  They are the only store in SF that carries Madeline Weinrib.  I had brought a pillow from her sofa and chairs and within 10 minutes I had picked out three options.  My mom arrived and I showed her them.  Within thirty seconds, she picked out the one.  And we were done.  So the entire selection process took 10 minutes and 30 seconds. To replace this worn out guy…

However, we had to get the rug custom made.  To get a Madeline Weinrib custom made of this size, or really of any size is a six to eight month wait.  They told me it would be ready in September, eight months after we had picked it out.  But, then I received a call that it was ready.  Over the weekend, Graham and I changed out the rug…

So even though Mom is patiently waiting for September, a full year and nine months after she started asking for a replacement.  It’s all ready and sitting pretty at her home now.

What a huge change it made in the room!  From this…

To this…

No wonder she was begging for the change for so long. 🙂  While in the room, I also spent some time checking out our gallery wall that I always just sort of walk right on by…

Check out how drop dead gorgeous my mom was on her wedding day…

The photo below always makes me laugh.  In like the late 80’s, early 90’s, we had professional shots taken of the family.  I even got to get a new dress for it.  I remember the photographer telling me to tuck my feet under my legs.  Well, with the dress over it, I really look like I don’t have any legs.  My brothers all made fun of me.  You can so tell that photo was from the 80’s with all the awesome haircuts.

Good times!!  By the way, you can barely see the rug in this shot but that’s the room that is next door to the lanai.  And the blues in each of the rug really compliment each other.

PS – If you’re wondering why the walls of the lanai are so textured that’s because the house is adobe, as in made from mud and straw…adobe.

July 30, 2012 at 8:48 AM 6 comments

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you all have great plans for the weekend.  I’m gearing up for a little vacation with my family, which I’m very excited about.  We’re going to this place called Mountain Meadow in the trinity mountains in northern california.  Have you ever been there?

We used to go here as little kids and we’re finally making a return trip.  It’s going to be beautiful and I can’t wait to get out there to go hiking and fishing.  Graham and I aren’t headed out until Tuesday because of some work meetings but the rest of the family heads up tomorrow.  Can’t wait!

July 27, 2012 at 5:31 AM 1 comment

Vintage Shopping

On Monday, I finally got to get out and do some scouting for a client.  I was on the hunt for vintage lighting, which I will be showing to her tomorrow.  While my eyes were usually looking up at lighting, I did occasionally have to look down so I wasn’t a complete bull in a china shop.  Here are some pretties I saw while looking…

Okay, so the lime green vinyl may not work for everyone’s taste.  But those legs are iron and so you could reupholster the tops in cute indoor/outdoor fabric (thinking Trina Turk) and keep those bad boys outside as extra seating or a coffee table grouping.

These are great to place on top of a stack of books on a coffee table.

I can imagine this as a side chair in a girly glam apartment.  Perhaps such girly glam dweller also has a pink sofa to go with the chair.

Speaking of pink, you could not tear me away from these pink sconce shades.  I would buy the sconce just for the shades alone.

For said, girly glam apartment, a chintz ice bucket is obviously necessary.For the love of Ralph Lauren, there were a pair of these chairs and they were gorgeous.  Worn in just the perfect amount.

And call me crazy but I really, really wanted to snatch up one of these drum shades, put on a diffuser and make it into a drum pendant.  The color was better in person and that scallop shape was down right fabulous!

Well, those were my vintage finds while out scouting.  Is there anything you would have brought home?

July 26, 2012 at 5:55 AM 2 comments

Office Progress Update

It’s been a while since I’ve given you an update on my client whose office I am working on; if you’d like to see the other updates, check them out here and here.  We took a little break while my client made some final decisions on fabrics for her roman shades.  I had presented her with three options and she wanted to live with them for a bit before taking the plunge.  She’s now made the final decision and I couldn’t be happier with the fabric…it was my personal first choice.

Anyway, if you have been following along, here is the progress shot of where we last were…

Not a lot has changed from this angle but other parts of the room have been transforming.  You can see in the left hand corner of the photo a bookshelf under a window.  My client had requested a cozy spot for her girls to watch a movie on their computers.  This is what it looked like the day that I arrived underneath the window…

Toys are always a toughy because they are bulky.  But my client went through and found there were some toys that the kids no longer use.  We also found space within the closet in the room to store others.  This really freed up space for a lounge area.  So above was the before and here is what it looks like now…

Aren’t her pink hydrangeas to die for?!  The settee was custom made to fit under the window and to have enough space for the desk chair to be able to pull all the way out.  The lucite coffee table is the peekaboo from CB2.  This is now a spot where my client’s girls can put their laptop on the coffee table to watch a movie or they can do their homework at the space.  Keep in mind this little area isn’t totally finished, we still have to make the lumbar pillow (fabric on sofa),  fill up the Pottery Barn beach comber basket, and add in this West Elm side table to the left of the settee (in front of the standing lamp).

Now, you may be asking, where is that bookshelf with all of the books.  Well, we moved it to the opposite side of the room and that’s where my oh so coveted art piece will reside above it.

Sorry for the blurry I phone picture.  Clearly the piece needs to be hung and I will be styling the bookshelf.  But this is an in progress shot.  We are getting there…

I’m thinking the next update will be the finished project.  But, it’ll be about another month before the custom roman shades are installed.  Can’t wait to show you the finished result!

July 25, 2012 at 5:13 AM 1 comment


Last night, I caught up on an episode of Dear Genevieve.  I don’t want that much HGTV but I really like Genevieve’s style so I try to catch it from time to time.  I believe this was a rerun but she did a great bathroom remodel.  In the episode she mentioned how she was getting “mad” because she wanted this bathroom to be her own.  She was particularly smitten with the Anne Sachs chevron/diamond tile.

I loved her bathroom design.  Although, I do think it’s in danger of dating quickly.  Her desire to keep the items she’s putting in other’s home struck a chord for me.  This job can be torture sometimes as you drop off beauties with others.  But, it is always wonderful to see them in their correct space and to see the client happy.  Today, I drop off an art piece that I adore for the striped wall office I’ve been working on…

It’s truly the perfect fit for my client and I can’t wait to see it in the room.  But, man do I covet.  It actually reminds me of my own dog silhouette piece…

I’ll be putting together an update piece on how the striped wall office is coming along…complete with it’s new art.

July 24, 2012 at 5:17 AM Leave a comment

Decorating a Fireplace Mantel

Sorry for the sporadic posting.  I’ve got quite a few projects that are finishing up and so life gets really busy at the tail end of a project.  I can’t wait to take photos and share away.  There will be a plethora of blog posts to come from them, which makes posting a lot easier. 🙂

One of the things that I am working on is accessorizing a fireplace mantel.  To be honest, I find this to be challenging to do so I’ve hit up pinterest for inspiration.

In this example three is an easy triangle that is created that allows movement for the eye.  Your eye is first attracted to the leaning painting and then from one side to the other.  I like the idea of using a succulent vs. cut flowers because they last so, so, so much longer.  When going for the layered look on a mantel, or anywhere, it’s best to work in odd numbers so either three or five objects.

If you are a collector, why not put the items on display for all to see on the mantel.  The collection of white pottery is beautiful against the three charcoal pieces.  All of the white also allows for the sconces to really stand out.

I love the look of a large reflective space in a room.  Many times you can let the mirror take center stage and keep the mantel to a minimum or bare.

When it comes to keeping the mantel completely bare, I like to go that route when a large art piece is placed above a fireplace.  I think it can speak for itself and it doesn’t need any extra accessories.

What about you?  Do you have any special tricks when accessorizing a mantel?

July 20, 2012 at 5:03 AM 2 comments

Baskets & Consoles

Lets say, you just purchased the perfect console table, but it’s still feeling a little bare.  Well, one of the oldest and greatest tricks in the book is to place baskets underneath it.  Not only does it provide great storage, it also fills a visual space and finishes off the look.

Where to shop for baskets?

Pottery Barn is my go-to for a classic woven basket.  The beachcomber baskets are my personal favorites.

For a more travelled look, West Elm has great graphic baskets made by craftswomen in Thies, Senegal.

And if you’re looking for something with some patina and perhaps a little different in shape or look, ETSY is always a great spot to check.  Just type in “antique basket” and there will be 100’s to choose from.

July 16, 2012 at 7:53 AM 3 comments

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!!  Today is a very happy Friday for me because it’s my birthday. 🙂  I’m going to be taking the afternoon off, indulging in a mani/pedi before hitting up the town.  Hope you have a great one and get after it this weekend!

PS – I finally caught up on this week’s Bachelorette last night.  Curacao looks gorgeous; I’ve got to get myself to the Carribean.

PPS – I’m officially 32 (wah – wah), and I still watch the Bachelorette.  I’m a loyal fan.  I started watching season 1 in college when we had ghetto tin foil as attenas to get basic tv stations.  My roommates all made fun of me for watching but I was a sucker for the show and I still am.  Funny to think when I started, the contestants all seemed so much older than me and now everyone seems to be younger.  Probably more pathetic than funny.  Graham usually refuses to watch any part of the show with me but this season he’s watching from time to time.  Pretty sure it’s because Emily’s so hot.  My money is on Ari, his is on Jef.  What’s your vote?

PPPS – Graham would kill me for announcing to the world he actually watched part of this season.  But it’s my birthday so I can get away with it.  And to give him some saving grace, he does make fun of it the entire way through.

July 13, 2012 at 5:46 AM 4 comments


A fabulous client of mine sent over the cutest local shop that does the most adorable personalized stationary.  Everything is available online, so even though LoBird is based in Palo Alto, you can get her items anywhere.

From announcement cards to calling cards and everything in between, this is the place to shop…

Too cute for words!  If you’d like to get shopping, go here to see all of LoBird’s products.

July 12, 2012 at 9:14 AM 1 comment

Lace Love

Sorry for the radio silence there.  I went on vacation, had an awesome, very relaxing time and then came home to lots of e-mails and a pile of work.  That’s what I get for working for myself.  The blog fell behind.  But, I’m back.

Today, I wanted to talk about lace.  Lace is all over the fashion world.  And I, for one, absolutely love the trend.

What comes in fashion, usually moves to interior design and vise versa.  That’s why when I received an e-mail from Schumacher about their new lace shears, I was intrigued…

Jacquard Madras


Charleston Wool Madras

I’ve got to admit that when I think of lace in the home, I think Grandma.  But time after time, interiors follow fashion, so I may be eating my words.  What do you think of the look?  Do you like it in your home?

July 11, 2012 at 5:32 AM 1 comment

Older Posts


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!

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Chance for a free Kate Collins Interiors' designed gift...

Join 361 other subscribers