Archive for December, 2012

Checking In

I hope you had a very merry Christmas and you are enjoying time with your loved ones.  I have been relishing in my time off and it truly has been a special time for me.  I have been off the grid on purpose and it’s helped me to reflect on things before baby arrives. Pretty soon it’ll be back to the grindstone, but for now, I’m going to continue to be chill.

Christmas was wonderful; Graham and I spent it down in Los Gatos at his parent’s home.  The morning started off with stocking and present opening.  Graham and I gifted each other the Canon Rebel T4i and I love it!  We’ve been playing away with our new camera and I’m hoping you’ll see some picture improvement on this blog with it.

I was so happy to also get lots of new stocks in my stocking.  Santa must know how often I walk around with mismatched pairs on – it’s terrible.


Glynnis (Graham’s mom) was toasty warm with the coat we gave to her. IMG_1195

Brian (Graham’s dad) and Graham were very excited with a new Brie cheese warmer that was used promptly after unwrapping.


After gift giving, Graham went to prepare the turkey for the dinner for 18 that was happening later that evening.


While Graham prepared the turkey, I made sure our little bun in the oven kept on cooking away.


Six more weeks to go and I am feeling massive but incredibly thankful.

I helped Glynnis set the table for our Christmas dinner.  She has beautiful linens and silver that were fun to pull out and we set each place setting with Christmas crackers which is a very fun commonwealth tradition.


Soon, the guests arrived and the merriment continued with dinner and charades.  It was a late night with good food, fine wines (not to be had by me) and fantastic company.





I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and you are gearing up for a good time for New Year’s.  Today, I’ll be planning out a very last minute getaway for Graham and I for New Year’s as we just decided that this is our last trip away without worrying about a little one at home so we might as well get away while we can.

December 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM 2 comments

Checked Out


The installs prior to Christmas are finished off and our meetings are wrapped, so I’m a bit checked out this week.  I’ve decided to take advantage of the quiet before the storm and I’m attempting to completely finish off the nursery by Jan. 7th.

Jan. 7th work will turn back into overdrive until BGB graces us with her presence.

It’s a bit surreal to think that this is kind of my last really quiet relaxing time for the next 18 – 20 years or so. 🙂

But, I love noise and commotion, flutter and activity so I say bring it on.

Well, bring it on, in due time…February.  Until then, I’m going to be propping up my feet and resting as much as I can.  Things will probably be pretty quiet on the blog through the holidays.

December 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM 1 comment

If the Shade Fits

Sometimes it’s the details that knock things out of the park…


I, for one, love the striped chandelier shades.  I think it’s a fantastic little detail.

Here are some chandelier shades that I’ve ordered for the nursery…


I’m having a handy man switch out the current lighting for this light fixture that we used to have in our previous living room.


Fingers crossed the shades fit and add a nice new element without getting way too busy.  We shall see.

December 19, 2012 at 5:09 AM Leave a comment

Glider: Before and After

Remember when I had my dang eye twitch and it all seemed to revolve around the glider?  I just couldn’t find one that was comfortable, gave good back support, I could rest my head on it, was compact and good looking.  It was one of those impossible gets that sometimes a client will put a request in for and I feel like a miracle worker when I pull through.

Well, with the glider, I searched my little ever growing bum off from vintage to custom and nothing was working for me.  I was just about to pull the trigger on this Serena and Lily glider when I decided to look through Craigslist one last time…

With a final peruse on Craigslist, I happened upon this bad boy for $150.  What I loved about it was the tight back that was tall enough for neck support and straight enough to sit up when feeding but also comfortable to sit in for hours.  I also loved that it wasn’t as deep or wide as the hundreds of other versions I saw out there and the price was very enticing as well.

The only kicker was the fabric.  It really wasn’t doing anything for me and it wasn’t in any way going to fit into my nursery scheme.  The low price on the glider, justified a fabric make over.  A little trip to my upholstery shop and here’s where she’s at now…

I spent a long time looking at really fun Lulu DK kids fabrics.  This one was the major contender for a very long time.

In the end, practicality won out.  The brown is a virtually indestructible fabric and then I got to have my bit of fun with the skirt trim which is a Lulu DK twix tape.  I also love that if we are blessed with a boy next, we can easily remove the trim at the skirt and change that out to the blue or green color way that it also comes in.  Then you’ve got an easy boy glider.

There was a flash of thought to add in button tufting on the back but again practicality won out.  I didn’t want the buttons to be potentially pulled off by a rambunctious little toddler and if they were pulled off, they could be a choking hazard.

Now, I’ve got a kid friendly glider that I love too.  What do you think?

December 12, 2012 at 5:07 AM 4 comments

Round Here

I thought I’d share some pics of what has been happening around here…


BGB (Baby Girl Belchers) got her Julia Lynn photo back from custom framing.  It makes such a difference to have items properly framed.  Graham will be hanging it this weekend and I can’t wait!


I had a pair of spindle chairs reupholstered from the white cotton fabric they came in and I am obsessed with how they turned out.  It was a little bit painful to leave them with my client and not hoard them for myself.


The same client’s breakfast nook is coming along.


I have fallen hard for this antique chinoiserie chandelier and I’m hoping it’ll work out in a project.

There is a lot more going on around here, but I thought those were some fun peeks for now.

December 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM 1 comment

Waxed Canvas Diaper Bag

Lets discuss my diaper bag situation, shall we?  I’ve looked around the market at the various diaper bags in stores and nothing was appealing to me.  Months ago, I fell in love with this one from Kate Spade but I just didn’t know that I could commit to such a bright color day in and day out.


On the hunt for a more unique looking diaper bag, I knew that ETSY would provide me with exactly what I was looking for.  Plus, it’s always nice to help out a fellow small business owner.

At first, I fell in love with this number


But, after reading the description thoroughly I believe the inside of the purse is made from waterproof fabric while the outside is a cotton canvas.  There is no way I’ll keep a cotton canvas clean.  On with the hunt.

Further searching brought up this special nugget of a bag


It’s made of waxed canvas which is much more durable and weather proof.  I also really love the look of it!  So, I’ve ordered the purse and it’s in the mail.  Now, that was a very fun purchase.  Love how baby necessitates a new bag.  And for those mommies who tell me that I don’t need a new bag, I’m just going to politely not listen to that advice solely because I want a new bag.  Mmmm K?   Sounds good to me.

Oh…and if Baby Girl necessitates that I get the ETSY striped bag for the summer months, I’m going to go ahead and listen to her.  We shall see, she may just require it.

December 10, 2012 at 5:01 AM 2 comments

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  Tonight, Graham and I are off to Seattle for one of my best friends from college’s baby shower.  She just flew down here last weekend for mine, which was so much fun!  Seriously, best shower ever!!


When I made the rather bold decision to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, without knowing a soul, I felt really scared and trepidatious about my decision.  My mom pushed me to go on a “scramble” which was an elective week long camping trip for Freshman in small groups of ten, as a way to meet some new people before I was thrown into the college experience.  I reluctantly obliged my mom’s begging and signed up to leave the comfort of my home and lifelong friends a week earlier then college orientation, to go canoeing and camping in the Blue Mountains with ten strangers.

Let me say that I am deathly shy when it comes to meeting new people and I get home sick like crazy.  Two week summer camp was torture for me.  So, as a way of comforting me, mom and I went shopping so I could feel confident in my stranger meet n’ greet/camping experience.

I was the only one flying in as everyone else was from the Seattle area.  So the other nine strangers met each other first in their familiar city and then set out to the airport to meet the “Californian.”  I stepped off the plane, feeling confident in my brand new Abercrombie and Fitch khaki, white Gap T-shirt and LL Bean boat shoes.  This I felt was very “Washington” in attire.

When I met the group at baggage claim, I saw that I got the “Washington” look wrong.  People were dressed in head to toe Mountain Hardware, with a little hemp and tie-dye thrown in for good measure and everyone was gripping their nalgene bottle covered in “save the earth” and “whistler” bumper stickers.  Woa, was I out of my element.

The first person I met was this bubbly girl named Anna.  She was very excited for the trip and she wasn’t shy in the least.  She was practically hopping on top of the luggage ramp with enthusiasm.  I knew that this was a girl that I wanted to get to be friends with and that her enthusiasm could counter balance my shy ways.  However, Anna’s first impression of me was…”How will this prissy California girl last a week camping?”

Little did she know that I grew up camping.  I spent my first night away from my parents, in the woods with my brothers, before I was in first grade; I have made awesome forts out of fallen eucalyptus trees; and I can make a mean dinner of Dennisons chile with a stick, the can and fire.  The woods didn’t scare me in the least…meeting new people did.

Luckily for me, Anna let my Abercrombie and Fitch get up go and before I knew it we were fast friends.  I even forgot I was shy or home sick, all thanks to her.  We shared so much of our past, our interests and made many lasting memories on that trip.  Not only did she make the trip for me, she made my college experience all the more whole.

After the camping trip, we lived in separate dorm rooms across campus, joined different sororities and had slightly different friend groups.  Despite all this, we remained fast friends and vowed to live together as soon as we were out of student housing.  Junior and Senior year we shared a house together with four other awesome ladies.

Since graduating, Anna and I have never lived in the same city but that hasn’t hurt our friendship.  We chat on the phone, share our ups and downs and make a pact to see each other at least annually, but hopefully more.  We’ve even met up in far off lands like Croatia and England.

Now, Anna and I are embarking on our next journey together.  We are due three days apart from each other.  This time around, we’re both really giddy and a little scared for our new adventure but at least we’ll be in matching outfits at our journey embark (hospital gowns).  It’s an exciting new chapter and just like our scramble, we’re going to go for it, love every minute and call each other when things are feeling a little overwhelming.


And after that little story, I’m off for the day and for the weekend with my scramble partner, Anna.

December 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM 2 comments

Living Room Project Reveal

Today, I’d like to share with you a living room make over that I completed last month.  When I was called on this project, my client had the two side chairs you’ll see in the photo below and a piano.  This is the first room that you see as you enter the house and so she was looking for a formal living room that still had a nice California relaxed feel to it with pops of color.  And here is the finished result…

Tina Living Shot

Since my client has children that are beyond the age of toddlers walking around with messy hands, we went with a beautiful cream sofa and brought in some pop with purple ikat pillows, a gold geometric lumbar and a Chartreuse green throw, which also complemented the colors of the beautiful painting that she had.

tina sofa

sofa up close

We carried the gold accents throughout with a gilded coffee table and some fun accents.  I counter balanced the sophisticated gold accents with a natural jute to bring in the “California” relaxed style.  My personal favorite element in the room is the custom drapes and roman shades…



My client had a beautiful charcoal art piece above her fireplace but she wanted to add in a few more accessories for her mantel.  I added on a round piece of petrified wood that is really stunning to see up close, some decorative vases and her orchid for some color…


Looking from the fireplace to the front entrance you’ll see there is the piano and then a hallway.

piano 2

To bounce around light, we added a gorgeous lace mirror and two small vintage accent chairs that I found on ETSY.  The accent chairs are the perfect size for my client’s son to pull up to the piano and practice the violin with his instructor.


This was a really fun project and I’m grateful to the warm family for letting me into their home to work on their living room.  And thank you to Allie for the great pictures!

I’ve got more projects up my sleeve that I hope to be sharing before this baby comes (ten week countdown).

December 6, 2012 at 5:27 AM 3 comments

Welcome to the Team

I am giddy about today’s post because I have a very special announcement to make.  My very talented, extremely fashionable, design obsessed cousin, Allie, has joined Kate Collins Interiors.

I am so excited to have her on board.  She’s already been working with me for over a month now and she has brought so much to the table.  She has an incredible eye, a creative nature and an easy going, positive can do attitude.  I have to tell you that my days have been a lot happier since bringing her on board, just ask my husband how much less stressed and cranky I am.

Without further ado, I’d love to let you know more about this super star Allie with a little Q and A session…

Q: What furniture piece are you currently dreaming of?

A:  A canopy bed…

Q: Who is a designer that you look up to?

A:  Always been a HUGE Kathryn Ireland fan, actually, she’s pretty much my hero! Its causal, yet pulled together, eclectic but styled, french, country, and beachy (what else is there in life?) whimsical though traditional at times. To me, her style is “lived in” which when it comes to a house, I think is the most important element. Its colorful and cozy, vintage and fun. Love her use of natural wood and soft fabrics (texture master). I could go on and on, but the woman is definitely my design idol.

Q: What do you love to do on the weekends?

A: On the weekends, I love to…

    • go antiquing
    • camp (such a redneck)
    • be by any sort of body of water, preferably on a boat (sailboat, motorboat, yacht, fishing boat) even if it’s just  bobbing around; I think i’m really a pirate at heart
    • horse back riding/attend rodeos (I like to think of myself as a Ralph Lauren Cowgirl)
    • travel
    • take pictures

Q: What is your current favorite color?

A: If I had to choose a favorite, I would go with yellow.

Q: Where are your dream places to go shopping?

A: ABC Carpet and Home is my absolute favorite in the whole world! After that, it would definitely be the street markets in Italy and Southern France, I’ve found some real treasures there.

You are all in for a treat because Allie shared some photos of her camper van.  Yes, she has even packed her camper van to the brim with style.  Take a look at Allie’s gorgeous work…

Knowing that a first impression makes a big impact, Allie painted the door pink –

This sets the tone for the girly with an punk edge feeling she created inside…


I love the turquoise and white cabinets with the glass knobs.  She did all the cabinetry painting herself.  I adore how her bed mixes the sweetness of floral with the edge of a skull pillow and the british flag.  Now, that is a camper van that I would go camping in any day of the week.  Can you even call it camping when you’re staying in such a cute van?!

Welcome to the team, Allie!!  Thanks for making my days so sunny, even when it is pouring rain outside.

December 5, 2012 at 8:35 AM 4 comments

Bedroom Mood Boards

It’s been a little while since I’ve shown some mood boards that I’ve put together so today I thought I’d share some work.  I put together two different looks for a master bedroom re-do.

Option 1:

And Option 2:

This client is traditional and a bit country but her husband likes touches of modern so I tried to incorporate all of their wishes.

A favorite piece from the mood boards is this bench from Williams Sonoma Home:

Is that not the most beautiful piece ever!  And it’s so versatile; it’s great for a front entry, pulled up to a dining room table or at the foot of a bed.  Scrumptious.

December 3, 2012 at 5:13 AM Leave a comment


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