Archive for April, 2013

Saved by Oilcloth

Guest Blogger: Allie

Years ago I purchased an adorable patio set from an antique store in Santa Cruz that sadly, had to close its doors. But before it did, I scored this adorable number for the deck at my old house…

chair before1

However, after years in the sun, the oilcloth was faded and cracked and the iron rusted.

chair before2

I thought about tossing the set, but quickly realized it was nothing a fresh coat of paint and a newly recovered cushion couldn’t fix. My mom had some extra scraps of oilcloth laying around from one of her own projects and I began recovering at once, realizing along the way that it went perfectly with the existing blue paint, little bits of rust and all.

chair after1

Here is the chair now and its matching pieces in all their glory!

chair after2

Nothing like some fresh oilcloth, no new paint needed!

April 30, 2013 at 8:55 AM 3 comments

Umbrella – ella – ella

This past weekend was a beautiful sunny weekend in San Francisco.  Our summers are off season compared to the rest of the country.  It’s terribly foggy here in actual summer so spring and fall are when we catch all of our rays.  On Sunday, Graham and I wanted to sit out on our deck but little monkey can not be out in sun and we don’t have any shade on our deck.  Graham pulled a genius move, it may have been ghetto genius but it was still genius.  He took a winter umbrella and attached it to the bar-b-que.  Problem solved.

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Ha ha.  This clearly is not the solution.  I actually need to get an outdoor umbrella.  Thank you Josie for providing me with a need to buy.

Since it’s a tiny space…

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I’d like to just have fun and go whimsical…


Coastal Living

Here is what I have found in terms of umbrellas that are tremendously out of our price range but a girl can dream.


Jonathan Adler – Outdoor Pagoda Umbrella


Bellamee – Pom Pom Umbrella

droog_-_Shadylace-parasol_-_product_16_x_9_jpg_700x394_crop_upscale_q85Droog – Shady Lace Umbrella


Santa Barbara Designs – Pink Flamenco

Wouldn’t it be fun to have such a whimsical umbrella out on my tiny deck?  Josie and I vote for this look –


Majority rules in our family so pink ruffles it is.

April 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM 2 comments

Dining Room Chair Redo Thoughts

I don’t know if you recall my dining room chairs, but these are them –


I found two pairs separately at two different consignment stores.  I mean what luck I had to be able to gather a set of four.  And I got all four for a steal!

I spray painted them white and let them be.  However, there are problems with them.  1. They sit too low and need seat cushions made.  2. The spray paint is chipping all over the place on them because my hasty self did not use a primer. 3. The caning on one of them is about to break through.  I toyed with throwing the towel in on these chairs and buying different dining room chairs.  But, I wasn’t ready to do just that.  I find it harder to give up vintage finds.  SO, I thought, how about giving them a new lease on life – paint them a new color, get fabulous seat cushions made and just ignore the caning issue?  I’ve got the potential fabric picked out (a polka dot number).  And I’ve been toying with the idea of going a new bold color for the chairs, when I came upon this image…


Designed by Anna Spiro

Anna Spiro used the exact same chairs in an outdoor design.  Anna Spiro is only one of my all time favorite designers ever.  She can do no wrong.  None.  She gets preppy, chic, modern, vintage, pattern play, color – all of it.  She not only get it; she’s a master at it.

So, it’s settled then.  My dining room chairs are getting seat cushions and a new color.  Luckily for me, a friend of mine’s boyfriend is a master spray painter.  I wonder if he’d like to volunteer to spray paint the chairs…especially if I ask him holding this face in front of me.

photo (9)

I mean, who could say no to that face?

Also, if he replies, “maybe” or “we’ll see” or some other non committal phrase – he’ll receive this face…

photo (10)

And if he gives a strong no, he’ll receive this face…

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Man, 11 week olds really come in handy.  And on that note, happy 11 weeks to my precious daughter and all of her many expressions.

April 25, 2013 at 8:50 AM 5 comments

Before and After

Guest Blogger: Allie

Does everyone know what this wednesday is? Its chalk paint project reveal time! After my initial post on the miracle paint, I ended up salvaging and painting a total of three pieces, one dresser and two nightstands and boy, what a difference a fresh coat of paint makes! I have yet to find the perfect hardware for the dresser, honestly, I think I’ve tried 6 different types of knobs! Bear with me, I have faith I’ll find the right ones, but until then, the nightstand photos will have to do.  My original thought was to change out the hardware, but once they were painted, I actually liked the original pulls on it. So without further anticipation, I give you the


nighstand before

And after…

nightstand after

Sorry about the crooked iphone photos, I really do need to start using a better camera. But you get the idea. Some difference, right? For the dresser, I’ll make sure to take some close ups so you can see the naturally distressed look that makes chalk paint so good!


April 24, 2013 at 10:40 AM 5 comments

Josie: 10 Weeks

Hi All,

It’s Thursday again, which means that Josie is now ten weeks!  I figured I should give you an update since her 8 week birthday.

We checked out JCP where we got her some adorable new clothes –

photo (1)

We spent the weekend at my mom’s beach house where Josie soaked up the rays (in the shade)

photo (2)

We survived Graham’s first business trip by having a ton of fun staying with Grandma Kaky and enjoying the sunshine, napping and of course stretching…

photo (3)

Josie has become more and more expressive.  Sometimes she is very serious –

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Other times she is all smiles and coos –

photo (5)

And then there are those times when she wants to cry and cry and cry.  Now she’s looking at me, like, who me, cry?…

photo (6)

She is so cute!  And we are having the time of our lives with her!  Until next Thursday, I’m off to capture more sweet moments with my handy phone.

April 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM 3 comments

Your Kids as Art

Graham and I had beautiful newborn pictures taken of Josie when she was just six days old by the very talented Nicole Paulson!  They came out so sweet and fun.  We have one shot framed on a side table and we’ve given some framed pics away to her adoring grandparents.  But, of course, I want more of the adorable newborn shots printed and on display.  So, why not go big?

Here is what I’m thinking…




kid photo

I think the trick for making kid pics look more like art is to blow them up extra large and to choose a shot that is a little unusual or humorous versus the typical posed shot.  Perhaps something like this…


I won’t be blowing up this shot because the last thing I want to see is a 20 x 30 image of myself.  However, I did insist for Nicole to take this photo to play off of our funky vintage portraits behind.  Do you know how hard it was to keep a straight face for this one?  Oh newborn photo shoot humor…maybe I was still loopy off of the c-section drugs when I thought this one up.

April 17, 2013 at 5:03 AM 4 comments

Ikea Kitchens

Hi everyone, Kate here.  I have missed all of you so much and I’ve missed my daily ritual of writing a blog.  I hope you won’t mind that I’ll be popping back in more and more.

My brother and his lovely wife are nearing completion on remodeling their home.  It is bananas beautiful and it has me dreaming of owning and putting my own stamp on a home.  Graham and I briefly toyed with the idea of stretching as far as we could financially to buy a complete and total tear down in Woodside.  We’d then live in said tear down for years until we could afford to rebuild.  When toying with this idea, we knew we’d have to give the untouched 1940’s ranch style kitchen a little face lift and I would’ve gone to Ikea in a heart beat.  If ever we do re-do a kitchen ourselves, I’m think we’ll go Ikea for cabinetry and splurge on appliances and countertops.  I would build an Ikea kitchen in a heart beat.  In fact, I just used the Ikea butcher block counters in a small kitchen facelift for a client and it turned out fabulous.

Ikea cabinets

Love the Ikea kitchen island

Sarah Richardson design – the buttery yellow really makes the Ikea furniture feel custom

via House and Home – that penny tile floor makes my day

Do you have an Ikea pieces in your kitchen?

April 16, 2013 at 8:43 AM 4 comments

Sweet Dreams

The nightstand (or bedside table, whatever you want to call it)…its the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you see before you go to sleep at night. Needless to say, it should be a clean, clutter free environment, that houses not only useful objects (alarm clock, lamp, books, etc.) but makes you smile and gives you an overall sense of calm.

bedside table all in one

There are many routes you can take when choosing a nightstand. Modern, traditional, whimsical, romantic, the list goes on. Not only should you decide on what style you would like to have, but what your needs are as well. There are a plethora of dual function pieces out there, so if your space just “isn’t quite right” for a traditional bedside table, don’t limit yourself! Lets start with the idea of using a dresser instead.

bedside table dresser

It’s functional storage and are typically the correct height to double as a bedside table. Another dual purpose idea is going the vanity/desk route. It creates a great space to collect your thoughts in the morning over a cup of coffee, or a place to unwind and jot down the day’s ideas or events before turning in at night.

bedside table vanity

 But remember not to get to0 excited on the double function train and clutter it up, try and keep it simple! If you have a long, skinny space, but aren’t enthused about the desk/vanity idea, a console table usually fills the same space.

bedside table console

 Typically thought of for entry ways or behind sofas, but not anymore! Not that I encourage more storage next to the bed, but if you have a big lamp or sculpture you’d like to display, this could be a great option. Speaking of storage, there is the “stacked vintage luggage” nightstand.

bedside table old luggage

Clean, cute, unique, and a great way to stash to visually unpleasing clutter. Then for the almost zero clutter design aesthetic, there’s the modern nightstand.

bedside table modern

It all comes down to personal preference really. So, now that we’ve discussed the different styles of nightstands, stay tuned for when we dissect the components of what makes a great one!


April 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM Leave a comment

Happy Friday

 I was feeling particularly excited to attend some local markets this weekend; the Alameda Antique Fair in particular! Kate’s blogged about her many a treasures found there, so I’m hoping her good hunting skills have rubbed off on me. Keep your fingers crossed.


One of the more talented vendors at Alameda Point Antique Fair

Alameda is a bit of a scene, an early one at that. So if you’re in the mood for a slightly slower paced, more food oriented market, and happen to be in the Santa Cruz area, I highly recommend the East Cliff Farmers Market. Its just the right size and has everything you need, complete with cappuccinos and fresh cut flowers.


Taken by Your’s Truly at a street market in France.

Sorry to say neither market offers that asparagus selection, but there are plenty of other wonderful finds! Oh, and for heaven’s sake, don’t forget your bag! I recommend FEED Projects bag. They’re big, durable, adorable, and support a wonderful cause (of your choice)!

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Happiest of Fridays to you and yours!




April 5, 2013 at 10:18 AM 1 comment

Josie: 8 Weeks

This sounds crazy because Josie is only 8 weeks but I feel like she is growing up so fast. 🙂  She’s so much bigger now then when she was born and she is starting to engage more and more, which I love.  We’ve had a wonderful week; here are some highlight pictures…

Josie is getting closer and closer to fitting into her 49ers pajamas that Graham is constantly putting her in.


I mastered the art of the urgo baby, which is helpful to wear around the house when I want to get chores done.


Graham had Good Friday off and so we went out to dinner and we all enjoyed a drink.


Easter Sunday was a fantastic day spent with family at Graham’s sister’s house.  Josie sported, not one but two Easter outfits…



After a fun day of egg hunting and food gorging, we caught some zzzzs on the sofa…


Josie had a very monumental day yesterday, she did her first smile.  It was amazing!  Here’s to hoping that more come today!


April 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM 7 comments

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