Archive for November, 2012

What A Day!

Do you ever have one of those unexpectedly awesome days?  It’s not like anything extraordinary happens but it’s just one of those feel good days.  That’s what yesterday was for me.

First thing in the morning, I dropped by my seamstress to pick up some pillows for a client and I found out that my nursery roman shade was ready.  It was a very exciting treat!  I was tempted to blow off all of my meetings and spend the day admiring the shade but I forged on.

Roman shade not actually installed and in terrible lighting…better shots to come.

My car was on empty but I didn’t want to be late to my meeting so I decided head to Los Altos from Pacific Heights and ignore the “e” sign.  Well, I made it to Woodside when the gas needle was well below the empty sign and the mileage tracker said I had 5 miles of gas left.  I was still about a mile and a half away from the exit and then I had to actually make it to the station from there.  It was a nail biting situation but I made it.

Why was this such a great thing?  Well, because it gave me an opportunity to think of my dad and how I was doing him proud.  Dad never took life seriously and it can be seen in the advice he gave to us kids over and over.  “Start ugly early and trade your way up;” “college is the longest, most expensive vacation of your life” and “don’t marry anyone who hasn’t run out of gas.”  Hilarious but there was hidden wisdom in all of it.  For the record, I think all of us have married people that have never run out of gas and my mom (who my dad obviously married and loved very much) has never run out of gas.  She rarely even has her car get to empty.  But, dad liked that running out of gas showed you took risks.  I think he was smiling from heaven on my risky pull into the gas station on pure fumes.

From the gas station, I was off to my first meeting.  We had a chandelier delivery that was coming that morning.  The box showed up and it was as big as a house.  I’m talking huge.  It was so huge that I made Allie pose in it and she happily obliged.

 It’s moments like these when it’s so wonderful to have a good chuckle.  I absolutely love working with Allie and I’ll give her a proper introduction on the blog as soon as I get a photo from her…ahem, Allie!  The meeting was also very successful where we nailed down some beautiful fabrics for drapes and a custom bench.

From there, we were off to our next meeting.  It was a meeting with a new client; we introduced mood boards for her living room.  She was great to work with and I’m very excited with where things are headed.  Somewhere in this general direction, with tweaks…

After that meeting, we popped by my mom’s home because she arrived back from Morocco yesterday.  She was so happy and she looked fabulous, complete with a henna tattoo (go Mom, so Madonna of you).  We had a great conversation about the design that she fell in love with in Morocco…pearl inlay mirrors, large lace chandeliers, Moroccan wedding blankets.  It was like she hit every major thing that is trending right now.  So wish I could have been with her.

She brought back this lovely pouf for baby girl…

I love it!  And boy is it authentic…straight down to the smells of the souk.  It carries a special meaning and it’ll be fun to have in there.  But, first it’s getting a good cleaning with the shoe/leather expert.

Once I got home, I went out to meet Heather Clawson.  I was in awe.  She is even more chic in person!  It was great to chit chat with others in the design community as well, like Crystal, of Rue Magazine.  She and I first met in Chicago, when Crystal was about to go live with her first issue and I was toying with the idea of opening a decorating business.  It’s fun to see where we both are at now and to spend some time catching up.

When I got home, Graham had Pandora playing.  And randomly “American Pie” came on.  “American Pie” is hands down my dad’s song…it was kind of our thing.  For all six months of my engagement we tried to figure out how to make that our father/daughter dance without boring the crowd to tears for the full 10 minutes of song.  As Graham’s I-Phone let out the sweet tune of Don Mclean, I sang every word and danced away on our kitchen floor dance floor.  In my mind, it was dad, me and baby girl having our first dance.  As the birth approaches, I miss him more every day.  So, it was nice to feel him there yesterday, checking in to say hi.

Happy Friday everyone!  May the good days keep on coming!  Fingers crossed!!

November 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM 5 comments

Habitually Chic

Do you read the blog Habitually Chic?  I do, habitually.  Ever since I started reading blogs, Heather has been on the top of my daily read.  And now she’s coming to town today for a book signing of her new book:

Not only is she going to be in San Francisco, she’ll be at the new fabulous store Hudson Grace which is literally a block away from my apartment.

I can’t wait!!  I will be starstruck and awkward and very, very giddy!

November 15, 2012 at 5:26 AM 1 comment

Getting Organized

Today, I’m feeling extra grateful for two things: my husband and the “nesting” hormone.  This past weekend, with Graham’s help, we went to Ikea, bought a bookshelf and a bunch of storage boxes.  Graham built the bookshelf while I went to town organizing all of my fabrics and papers.  Things were out of control in my office.  It’s hard to stay organized when you have literally 1 billion fabric samples and no storage.


Yes, I posed with boxes in an Ikea parking lot…so not normal.

Graham was a huge help lugging the bookcase to the car and building it.  Thanks, babe!  And the “nesting” hormone was a massive help in keeping me motivated to actually get this project done in a weekend.  On Friday night, on our way back from dinner with friends, all I could talk about was our morning trip to Ikea and how I was going to clean.  On Saturday afternoon, after Ikea, we stopped by a friend’s roof deck party and the whole time I was there, I couldn’t wait to get home to clean.  Those that know me, know that this is definitely hormonal because I love parties!  Saturday night, we went out to dinner with friends, and in the back of my mind, I was thinking about labeling my new boxes for the office.  Sunday, I put in a full day of cleaning the house.  You could not tear me away from a garbage can or a Goodwill donation bag.

If I could inject myself with the “nesting” hormone for the rest of my life, I would in a heartbeat.  Here’s to hoping this hormone never goes away.

And the results…

The beloved settee got moved to the bedroom so I could fit more storage in the office.  I moved my Dorothy Draper style dresser over to under the window…

And the dresser in its place holding so much more than a settee ever does…

And the behemoth of a bookshelf that holds all of my fabrics and client folders and taxes and business stuff and baby stuff and anything that seems important…oh, like, I don’t know…my marriage license that was stashed away in a random drawer.

All of my fabric memos are now tucked away in boxes according to their color…

It may not be the prettiest project that I have ever done but it may just be the most rewarding.  It feels like a huge weight off.

Oh and guess what Graham and I have reserved for this Sunday afternoon?  More purging.  Doesn’t it feel good sometimes to just donate away and get rid of things?  Why and how do we accumulate so much stuff?!!

November 13, 2012 at 9:04 AM Leave a comment

The Crib

Aren’t you all just baby nursery talked out?  Should I turn it down a notch?  I try to but really I can’t resist.  Before you know it my posts will be coming out in baby talk form.

People have asked if we have a crib and why yes we do.  Let’s discuss, shall we.

Working in this field, I know whats out there for everything ever.   Alright, perhaps, I don’t know everything but lets just say I’ve got my feelers out there.

My dream world crib…

I’m a humongous hollywood regency fan and the nursery has got a hollywood regency/chinoiserie tilt.  So this bad boy would fit right in.  Where it isn’t quite justified is the $1,500 price tag.  I do get a designer discount but it aint 50% off people.

A couple of months into the pregnancy I tried to bat my eyelashes at my mom and give her my best dow eyed, “I’m you’re only daughter and pregnant, want to cave and buy me this crib?” look.  Well, she wasn’t born yesterday.  She took one look at the price tag and laughed.   That tactic failed.

Onto the more practical decision.  The crib that is pretty much mandatory for all design bloggers ever.  I think it’s a right of passage…

Yep, you guessed it…the Jenny Lind Crib

Apartment Therapy

Guess how much that bad boy set G Money and I back…a whole whopping $161.99.

I love the crib and I can’t wait to set it up.  I know everyone has it but that’s because it’s pretty and practical.  Now, lets take a look at it in living action shall we…

My all time favorite version ever – gold – ooh la lady.  By the fabulous Urban Grace Interiors

Red and gray – pinch me so dang cute.  Via Apartment Therapy

Loving the black and that chair is scrumptious.

Stop it with those window treatments so cute – Modern Declaration

I’m 99.9% sure that we’re keeping it the white version that we bought it in.  I kind of regret not going black.  But there is a .01% chance it’ll be painted gold.   Ooh – the suspense.

November 12, 2012 at 5:53 AM 1 comment

Words and Wallpaper Art

You’re all very smart and savvy readers whom I love and adore.  So, I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now that I’m dog gone tired.  Yesterday, I reached six and a half months in my pregnancy.  And while I’m not to the third trimester and so I should still be a bundle of energy and all glowy, pre-the dreaded third trimester slump, my energy is waning.  Sometimes that leads to lame to nonexistent blog posts.  So, on the days that I don’t really show up with that A game or I don’t show up at all, I hope you can forgive me.

But, let me reiterate that I love you for reading.  And I will try with all my might to deliver.

On the bright side of pregnancy, I had a Dr’s appointment yesterday where I got to listen to baby girls little heart and it’s the cutest little heart beat in the world.  She is a knock out – so watch out world!  Also, she’s kicking away which just has to be the best feeling ever.

Okay, okay…on with the post…yes, wallpaper.  That’s right…

Here comes more words though first…

Graham has convinced me that we can never have anything above our bed ever because we live in earthquake country and it’ll fall on top of us in a big quake and we’ll die.  Okay, okay so he doesn’t say we’ll die, he always just says that we’ll get hurt.  I just like to be dramatic and to exaggerate.  Due to my excessive need to worry and the seed he’s planted about falling bed art, I’ve stopped putting art above our bed…VERY RELUCTANTLY.  He does make a point with the earthquake country stuff and sweet, sweet itty bitty baby girl.  We are not hanging anything on the wall where the crib resides.


We hang wallpaper on foam core and trim it out with some inexpensive trim.  What what!!  Art that stays put on the walls.  We do live in a rental so this probably a pipe dream but sometimes pipe dreams happen.

Shall we get some dang pictures going now…okay, okay…

Summer Thorton Design

Summer Thorton Design

See what I’m talking about?  Gorgeous, right? For the record, I know I could do sticker decals or paint on stencils.  These ideas are also under consideration.  But, perhaps I like being high maintenance and asking Graham to DIY on his weekends, even though his alarm went off at 4 AM yesterday morning to catch a flight to Utah for the day.  What can I say?  He married a winner.

And with that wordy post, I wish you a very Happy Friday!!

November 9, 2012 at 5:02 AM 4 comments

Going for It

Thank you for the comments, e-mails and pins of my office project.  It means so much to me!!

It takes a big risk to go bold with paint color.  But, I love it when people just go for it.  Did you catch Robin Mizcah McCelland’s apartment in Matchbook?



To me, the coral makes the room.  Matchbook is always such a fun read, isn’t it?!

November 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM Leave a comment

Project Reveal: Office Before and After

You followed along with me at various points of an office that I was working on for an absolutely wonderful family.  And then, I stopped short of showing you the final images.  Why would I be such a tease?  Well, because I can’t take photos for the life of me…AT ALL.  My I-Phone wasn’t doing the final pictures any justice.  I have a fabulous new design associate on my team (more on her awesomeness later) and she has an interest and natural talent in photography.  Score for me!!  With no further ado, I’d love to share the photos that Allie took.

Here is the BEFORE:

We removed the bench that you see in the top photo because it wasn’t comfortable and it wasn’t getting used.  We then took the Ikea bookshelf from under the window and moved it to the wall where the bench was.  My client had the task of going through all toys and books in the room and removing any that were no longer used by their kids.  This cut down on the clutter and I stylized the bookshelf with a mix of their books and some little toys and decorative pieces.  I also put a really sweet art piece above the bookshelf to anchor the space and to finish off the room.

In place of where the bookshelf and toys used to be, we put a custom settee to fit under the window.  We also added on custom roman shades which brought so much visual interest and really finished off the room.  By removing the clutter and changing the layout, we were able to add a lucite coffee table.  Now the two little girls of the house can sit on a couch and watch a movie on the coffee table from their laptops.  If they get chilly, they can always pull a blanket out from the beachcomber basket.

The four drastic changes that really helped to shape the room were the new desk chairs which are really the focal point as soon as you walk in the room; the window treatments and the fun pattern that plays off of the morovian star pendant light; the bigger rug (the cute rug before was just too small and so it chopped up the room and it made it feel smaller) and the biggest change of all was the paint.  Paint can make a huge difference in a house.  The lighter colors made the room feel 10 times brighter then the navy and the striped added a really fun element to the office.

Some close ups…

These chairs are one of my all time favorite vintage finds.  My client is a lucky duck to have them as they are one of a kind gems.  Happy she’s happy!

It’s always fun to have personal elements to a room and that’s why I love this beautiful painting..

My client’s daughter is an amazing artist.   She did this beautiful cat piece and the cute one of the two dogs from Lady and the Tramp on the Ikea bookshelf.  I love how her cat looks hung up on the stripes.

This room was so much fun to work on.  Now, we’re working on finishing up her dining/family room and front entrance….before and afters to come.

November 6, 2012 at 9:24 AM 3 comments

Older Posts Newer 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 364 other followers