Amazing whale video (and some design tips)

I have a wonderful, long time client who is one of those people that revels in the experiences of life.  She has traveled the world, sometimes as a couple and sometimes all by herself.  I so admire her sense of adventure because that is so not me!

Her homes are full of items she has collected from all her travels.  Things like artwork from Hong Kong, weavings from Central America, scarves from Thailand; all scattered among her own award winning baskets.

One of the adventures she participates in is whale watching in Baja California.  The lagoon is the place female California gray whales go to give birth and train their babies before making the long trek back to Alaska in the springtime.  This video is from her most recent trip and it is pretty amazing to get that close and personal with these magnificent creatures.  And this is the ONLY way I will get that close so I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope you do as well.

And if you are interested in displaying your souvenirs and collectibles in a pleasing way check out these ideas:

Not sure a collection of miniature alcohol bottles is up my alley but I love the way they are displayed in this otherwise elegant dining room.

This is a great use of under-utilized space in a kitchen or dining room.

Usually not a fan of plate walls but this one is pretty cool

What do you collect and how do you display it in your home?

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10 things that made me happy in March

  Happy Birthday to me!   via Pinterest

Happy Birthday to me!
via Pinterest

1.  A home full of birthday flowers.  My family and friends certainly know what I enjoy.  Roses and sunflowers from my husband, tulips and daffodils from my beloved granddaughter (picked out by her very thoughtful Mom) and, even though my daughter was out of town a giant bouquet of multi-colored gerbera daisies greeted me at the door when I got home on my birthday.  She is the best!!

2.  Road trip!  We took a quick road trip to Phoenix to catch a game or two of the Padres spring training.  In spite of the unseasonably warm–nay—HOT weather we had a good time, as always, on the road.

3.  Do you remember the childhood song “Make new friends but keep the old…”?  My girlfriend and I have been friends since the first day we met in 6th grade.  Through all the trials of childhood and the teen years, marriages and divorces, raising kids, losses of loved ones and health issues we remain friends and found the time to meet up, without the distraction of husbands, for a nice long catch-up visit and a trip down memory lane as we drove around a town that just seems so much smaller!  Why is that?

4.  Re-upholstered dining room chairs.  Loved the animal print for many years but was in the mood for something snazzier.  What do you think?

New fabric on right is a velvet chenille zigzag that feels so wonderful on the tusch!

New fabric on right is a velvet chenille zigzag that feels so wonderful on the tusch!

5.  The power of blogging.  A blogger recently moved to San Diego and in reading her posts about their new home I offered up some contacts that were trustworthy, honest, detail-oriented and good at what they do.  She ended up hiring my amazing painter.  And we have never even met!

6.  An ecstatically happy daughter.  My one and only daughter got engaged this month and she is over the moon excited to begin this next phase of life.  Time to start rolling pennies to pay for this wedding!

7.  Photos of my hometown.  I grew up in Pacific Grove California and I am so happy when I see a new post on “You know you are from Pacific Grove, California when…” facebook page.  Check out this gorgeous shot from Robert Pacelli.  There’s no place like home….

pacific grove photo by robert pacelli you know youre from pacific groe claifornia when facebook page

8.  Signing a contract for the wedding venue (yes, already!)  What a relief to know that is taken care of and now we can spend these next several months on fun stuff.  Let the party begin!!

9.  A new design client.  It just seems that as I complete one job another one comes along; just the pace I like.  I will keep you posted on the progress and scope of this after our initial meeting next week.

10.  I have probably said it before but mid-week lunches with girlfriends are the best.  Try to find some time to do this as it can be so rejuvenating and simply good for the soul.  Thanks Lisa, Sharon, Sandy and Paula!

So what made you happy in March of 2015?

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Happy Easter!

This is bound to make you smile!!

photo from slim paley's blog  http://slimpaley.com/about-slim/

photo from slim paley’s blog http://slimpaley.com/about-slim/

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A burst of juicy color in a family home

I have always loved serene and neutral rooms that are popped with color in the form of artwork, pillows and accessories.  When given a choice I am always drawn to the room done in neutrals with plenty of black accents.  But when I saw this home in Traditional Home online magazine  designed by Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey, I remembered how much I also love color.  Not sure I could live with a purple couch forever but I can certainly enjoy looking at it and admire the courage of the homeowners to step out of the beige and greige box most designers are pushing and really embrace their love of color.  I mean—pink checked drapery panels?  Gotta love it!

Photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home

Photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home

And painted nightstands are such a fresh change from the more expected dark wood tones or even a mirrored cabinet in this mouth watering orange and turquoise guest room.  Be sure to take note of other fun details like the multi-colored fringe trim on the drapery panels and the placement of fun artwork.

photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home Magazine

photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home Magazine

Be still my heart!  This is about the cutest little boy’s bedroom I have ever seen and the sophisticated textiles and colors will grow with him requiring just a simple change of artwork and accessories as he gets older.

Photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home

Photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home

And for those who appreciate the serenity and beauty of neutrals…a master bedroom to dream in.

Photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home

Photo by Gordon Beall for Traditional Home

What do you think—-neutrals or saturated color in your home?

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Why I do not live in Florida

One of the many reasons I do not live in Florida!!!  I cannot even imagine having to worry about something like this!

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10 things that made me happy in February

Smiley

1.  Returning home from a trip to Las Vegas with money in our pocket.  You never know!

2.  Tulips in the grocery store.  Gerberas, daffodils and tulips are my favorite and I am always so undecided about what colors to choose so I usually buy several bunches and mix them all up.  Heavenly!  And for those who have had their fill of gray, wintery days, nothing brightens up a room than fresh and colorful flowers.

3.  An ahmazing Super Bowl game.  I am a football fan but unless my team is playing (go Bolts) the Super Bowl usually bores me but this game was so much fun to watch.  And Katy Perry rocked halftime, which is usually too loud and busy for my tastes.  Couldn’t stop singing for days!

4.  Celebrating my girlfriend’s birthday which is Valentine’s Day.  She said growing up she always thought everyone was having parties for her birthday….cute.  Let’s get real…after 28 years of marriage my husband and I pass on the crowded restaurants and have a much better time spending the evening celebrating a “real” reason i.e. a birthday.

5.  A long phone conversation with a friend who moved to Hawaii several years ago.  So nice to hear her voice after way too many years of communicating via email.

6.  The opening of a new Home Goods Store in our area.  This one is located in a fairly upscale area so the hope is that the inventory will reflect that.  Always fun to go browse, especially with my daughter.  The apple does not fall far from the tree!

7.  My precious granddaughter starting her ballet classes.  My daughter took dance for 12 years and I loved all the recitals and even just watching the class itself.  To see my little Elly Belly in her tutu and ballet slippers twirling (her favorite thing to do) is delightful.

Scrumptious! DH Design

Scrumptious!
DH Design

8.  Julie Andrews surprise appearance on the Oscar’s show.  It actually brought me to tears, not sure why.  Sound of Music is one of my absolute all-time favorites and I have always admired her not only for her unbelievable voice but for her enduring marriage and the relationship she has with her daughter (they write children’s books together).  What a joy to see her age so beautifully and maintain her unbelievable grace.

9.  An early birthday celebration with friends who share the same birthday with me.  Lots of wine and laughter but just take a look at this exquisite cake!  Those are real flowers from her garden.  This woman can do it all!

DH Design

DH Design

10.  Rain in San Diego and SNOW on the mountains!  After missing the ski season for the past two years I am needing my annual “fix” of snow.  Maybe seeing it on the distant mountains will be enough.  (not)

There you have it.  What made you happy in February?

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Funky chair delight

Has anyone been watching the new Ellen’s Design Challenge on HGTV?  If you are a lover of unique and true one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, you will not only love this show but be amazed by the talent out there, as I am.  And if you have ever worked with me you probably questioned at some point why I was trying to convince you to find a “funky” chair for some area of your home.  The answer is that, as a designer, I try to make sure all my clients’ homes feature a statement piece that is not only unique but representative of “them”;  and I love the unexpected in furniture design, in particular chairs, so the combination of a funky chair in a client’s home seems like a natural fit.

“Funky” can mean different things to different people.  To me it simply means a chair that is distinctive or unusual–maybe even a little offbeat, in form, color, material, fabric etc.  It can be fully functional or simply a piece of functional art.  Here are a few samples of what I would refer to as funky:

Mackenzie Childs has cornered the market on funky as seen here with her Freckle Fish side chair

Mackenzie Childs has cornered the market on funky as seen here with her Freckle Fish side chair.  The perfect unique touch for a beach house.

Tall and lean, funky chair in the entry is a nice counterpart to all the traditional furnishings in this beautiful home. via south coast blog

Tall and lean, the unexpected chair in the entry is a nice counterpart to all the traditional furnishings in this beautiful home.
via south coast blog

A true one of a kind chair from ad espana magazine via jason mowen blog

A true one of a kind chair from ad espana magazine via jason mowen blog

Metal peacock chair source unknown

Certainly would not curl up with a good book but funky does not always mean comfy! Metal peacock chair source unknown

Easy to accomplish with just the right amount of funky fabric via the painted house

Easy to accomplish with just the right amount of funky fabric via the painted house

Alligator chair certainly falls into the funkychair category via south shore decorating blog

Alligator chair certainly falls into the funky chair category–a little creepy, I will admit but certainly makes a statement. via south shore decorating blog

Skirted chair looks like it has feet.  Not large enough to sit on but provides a convenient spot for guests coats etc via atlanta homes

Skirted chair looks like it has little feet. Not large enough to sit on but provides a convenient spot for guests coats etc via atlanta homes

Is a nice compliment to the other unique furniture in the space

The distinctive design of this modern chair is a nice compliment to the other unique furniture in the space

And I follow my own advice with this funky chair that sits in my den.  Lovingly named the “Cat” chair by the artist, Jerry, (if only I could remember his last name), we purchased this chair from the Design in Wood exhibit at the San Diego Fair.

"Cat" chair in my den DH Design San Diego CA  92111

“Cat” chair in my den
DH Design
San Diego CA 92111

If you are in the market for that one special piece I highly recommend you take the time to tour this exhibit.  And remember, the hunt is part of the fun!

How do you define funky and what piece of funk do you have in your home?

If you are interested in more funky chairs check out this article in the latest edition of GOOP.

 

 

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