Do you have a favorite blankie?

You know what I mean…that favorite piece of cloth you pull up over your legs when the weather gets a bit chilly or you just need a tender touch, and here in San Diego that means as soon as the indoor temps drop below 70 degrees!  These blankies gave you comfort as a child so why not re-create that feeling now that you are an adult?

I am not a fan of forced air of any type, hot or cool.  Therefore, we have always had a large basket of blankets and quilts within easy reach of a TV chair.  They are a mishmash of colors, designs and fabrics but they all have one thing in common—a COZY factor of 100+.  The current basket includes an old lap quilt my daughter used in her room as a tween, hence the favorite tween color combo of pink and purple.  It is just the right weight to toss over your legs on a cool evening in front of the TV.  Also in the basket is a felt blanket my sister-in-law made for us that requires no sewing…just cut the fabric and tie it together to create the fringe on the ends.  Here is a link to a tutorial if you are interested in making one of these.  Also in the basket is one of those fleece throws you can buy at almost any bed and bath or discount store for about $14.99.  They are indestructible and warm and fuzzy and large—perfect to wrap up in on a cold winter’s night.

design throws in basket from our house

Here are some of my favorite blankies you can purchase right now in anticipation of the soon to be here fall and winter months:

We all know how good a thick and warm sweater feels to wear.  Well you can experience that same feeling with this cable knit throw from Pottery Barn.

One of my all-time favorite blankies is a faux fur throw blanket purchased at Sam’s in Flagstaff, Arizona for $14.  Similar items can sell for over a hundred dollars in high end stores but the cozy factor is worth whatever price you pay.  High-end is this beauty from Williams-Sonoma….more affordable options can be found at stores like Home Goods and even Target.

design throws from william sonoma faux fur

Like accent pillows, while functional, a pretty throw can also be used to change up your decor.  Toss a holiday inspired one across the back of the sofa or a add a patterned throw to the arm of a solid colored chair for contrast.  It creates an inviting and warm look any time of year.

So ‘fess up….what does your favorite blankie look like?

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A new source for one of a kind art

I have many passions.  I love unique art, I love random gallery walls and I love to find undiscovered talent.  My personal art collection features a variety of originals, prints, watercolors, oils, canvases and pieces done by my daughter and they are all proudly displayed throughout my home.  I hope they tell a story about the people who live there. Fortunately for all of us, I have discovered a new site that addresses all of my passions—Artlifting.com

Artlifting offers original and print wall art as well as an array of fun items like tote bags, coffee mugs ,t-shirts and greeting cards.  And the best part of all of this is the fact that the artists featured are individuals who suffer through homelessness or disabilities that make it difficult for them to earn a living or live a normal life.  The idea that an otherwise unknown talent is being given the opportunity to use their talent to earn a living is so exciting for someone like me who loves art that has a back story.  Just take a look at some of the amazing creations that are available to all of us.  And you thought you couldn’t afford original art!!

Prints are an affordable way to fill your home with artwork that is pleasing or memorable to you.  Imagine a gallery wall of unique art that might represent your travels or hometown or favorite vacation destination.  So much better than a fuzzy iphone picture.  This depiction of Bear’s stadium, for example, would be a fun way to remember that game of a lifetime or your favorite team.  The artist, Krishaun Williams, suffers from a mental illness that has hampered his ability to paint in the past. But with treatment he is now able to share his lifelong love of the Chicago Bears with all of us.

design art bears stadium by krishaun williams via artliftingdotcom

Bears stadium by Krishaun Williams available at artlifting.com

I absolutely love these whimsical floral paintings from Alicia Sterling Beach.  Living with a degenerative disease that results in constant pain, Alicia finds comfort in creating something memorable through her art.  A trio of these hung above the bed in a child’s room is a great way to introduce children to the beauty and appreciation of original art.

design art from artlivingdotcom by alicia sterling beach artist

Floral silver leaf original art by Alician Sterling Beach and available at artlifting.com

Posters are the most affordable way to add art to any space.  Imagine how inspiring this Yellow Saxophone poster could be if hung in a music class at school or in your own budding musician’s bedroom.  Charles Blackwell has been partially blind due to a childhood accident which only serves to make his talent even more inspiring.

design art saxophone poster form artlivingdotcom

Yellow Saxophone player by Charles Blackwell and available at artlifting.com

Please visit artlifting.com and help change the lives of these incredibly talented people.  I am certain you will find something that inspires you.

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Acrylic by any other name is–

Acrylic, also referred to as a Lucite or plexiglass or,for those not in the know, just plain clear plastic, has long been a favorite of mine.  I don’t know what it is about this translucent material but I love the simplicity and cleanliness of it for the same reasons I love the clarity of a beautiful emerald cut diamond or clear crystal quartz or round glass balls.  And the apple does not fall far from the tree as my daughter chose to use acrylic accents at her recent wedding selecting, for example, this clear acrylic ring box over the more typical ring pillow.  She also used a pair of ghost chairs at the sweetheart table that she can use in her own dining room after the wedding, a clear acrylic box to collect cards and the pen used to sign the guest book sat in a clear acrylic base.  All of the centerpieces sat in clear glass bowls to continue the “clear” theme.

design acrylic wedding ring box

Acrylic ring box via

Along with the iconic Ghost chairs by Philippe Starck, today’s manufacturers are providing many beautiful pieces that will be right at home in any contemporary setting but also add an unexpected touch to other interior design styles.  And, like glass furniture, acrylic is the perfect choice for small spaces as it takes up very little visual space.  One visit to Viyet and you will be rewarded with a smorgasbord of acrylic furniture designs from chairs to end tables to benches and even a bookshelf made entirely of lucite.

A newfound favorite of mine is this end table from Pottery Barn.  For those who think acrylic might be a tad too contemporary for their home, this mix of aged bronze and acrylic is the perfect choice.  Loving this!

design end table fro pottery barn barton c table

Barton table from Pottery Barn

And for those who want to instill a sense of sophisticated design in their newborn family members, Pottery Barn is offering an amazing crib with lucite panels that is somehow more appealing than the standard “jailhouse” bars that appear on most cribs.  I think I need to hurry my daughter up on grandbabies so I can use this crib!

design acrylic crib from pottery barn

Acrylic crib from Pottery Barn Kids

An acrylic dinette allows the magnificent view to take center stage in this apartment kitchen.  A wooden table and chairs would make the already small space seem cramped and also block the view.

Luxury High-Rise Apartment by Gallery315 Home

 

How do you feel about acrylic furniture and accessories?  Is it something you use in your home?

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Ten things that made me happy in July

happy face american flag from floozeesdoozeesdotcom

from floozeesdoozees.com

  1.  New furniture.  Some people get excited about a new car or a new house or a new pair of shoes but I get particularly excited about new furniture.  I recently purchased this very affordable end table for my living room and it made me very happy to place it in my home.   On a side note, a well put together home includes items from different sources, in varying styles and at different price points.  As with all design, if it works for you and your family, then it works, regardless of what “experts” may tell you!
    west elm side table

    Maisie end table from West Elm

    2.  Fourth of July parties.  Warm sun, cold drinks, funny friends, fireworks from the deck and beautiful surroundings are the perfect recipe for an ideal 4th of July celebration and we had all of these.  And, of course, these munchkinsella and brendan on 4th of july 2016 cute

  2. Christmas in July.  Don’t get me wrong…I am so NOT ready for the holidays.  But I do love movies that feature plenty of colored lights and lots of snow and pretty sweaters any time of the year and the Hallmark channel provides that during their Christmas in July period where holiday movies run all day and night.  Heaven, I’m in heaven….(as the song goes)
  3. This new site!!  https://www.fractureme.com/  Loving this idea as an alternative to turning photos into canvas although my framer is not going to be too happy with me!
  4. Road trips.  Always a happy moment for me, this month we headed north to Harris Ranch in central California.  It is like a little oasis stuck out in the middle of nowhere and it was so relaxing and peaceful and quiet and hot!  We met up with my favorite grandbabies on their way home from vacation in Washington and it was so good to see their goofy little faces.
  5. The sound of fireworks every night.  It is my own personal alarm clock telling me it is 10:00 as that is when nearby Sea World sets off their nightly extravaganza and I love it.  Only thing better would be to be able to see these fireworks every night but my house faces in the opposite direction!
  6. I am not going to make it to ten this month as we experienced a medical emergency in our family and my husband underwent emergency heart valve transplant surgery.  So I will say that what makes me happier than anything on earth at this very moment is medical technology and amazingly smart doctors and nurses who save people’s lives every single day.  Without them I would be writing a very different post!

What made you happy in July?

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My favorite end tables

Elle Decor recently ran an article on their favorite cocktail (coffee) tables.  While this is a necessary piece of furniture in most living and family rooms, I love the small accent tables that are equally as important.  Here is a list of my favorite end tables (also referred to as side tables) and the commonly used names that might make it a little easier to identify when you are shopping.

A small, round and tall side table is often referred to as a martini or cigarette table.  They are perfectly sized to sit next to a club chair and hold a drink or ashtray (hence the name) or a small vase of flowers.  Like most furniture, they are available in most any style, finish and price range you can imagine.  This very chic option from Restoration Hardware can be ordered in several different finishes but I am partial to this rubbed brass look.

design end table martini table from resoration hardware

Martini table from Restoration Hardware

A step table is a throwback to the mid twentieth century  and is making a modern comeback, due, most likely, to the amazing function of this versatile end table.  I have this one from West Elm in my living room.  You can see how easy it would be to place a lamp on the upper “step” and books and other display objects on the other two “steps”.

design end table step table from west elm called terrace table

Step table from West Elm

A drum table is appropriately named as it is shaped like a drum.  Large or small, modern or traditional, this end table will fit any interior decor style.  This iconic mid-century design from Milo Baughman will become a treasured piece in your home.

design end table drum table from milo baughman available at dwr

Milo Baughman drum table available at Design Within Reach

A C-table is a marvelous choice to slide next to a sofa or chair, especially when space is limited.  There is an endless variety of styles but this one from Pottery Barn happens to be one of my favorites.  I love the mix of modern acrylic with the warmth of the oil rubbed bronze finish.

design end table fro pottery barn barton c table

Barton C table from Pottery Barn

A pedestal table is a small, usually round, side table where the top is supported by a pedestal that can be as ornate or as simple as you like.  This table from Crate and Barrel is a nice choice for a traditional or transitional styled room.

design end table pedestal table from crate and barrel marengo table

Marengo pedestal style table from Crate and Barrel

Whatever style you prefer–Tables with drawers, a rustic log, a modern tripod or an industrial metal piece on wheels– end tables are a vital part of your living area furniture.

 

 

 

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A tisket, a tasket…what do I do with these baskets?

As an aging flower child from the seventies I have had a long love affair with baskets.  They are a great resource for decorative yet functional storage and add wonderful texture to any style decor.  And, while not a fan of plates hung on the wall (with the exception of this eclectic arrangment from West Elm)

design plates on wall from west elm

I do love an arrangement of baskets hung on the wall.  Below are some very stylish examples of baskets used as wall decor:

This wall grouping is the perfect compliment to the bamboo style headboard and traditional side table from Bunny Williams Home.

design baskets on wall from bunny williams home

The ultimate wall grouping, this works because all the baskets are in the same color family and as the other furnishings in the room.  You can imagine that a multi-colored arrangment like this would be overwhelming!

baskets on wall source unknown

source unknown

A more practical version of a monochromatic grouping.
San Anselmo Dining Room

 

A colorful wall arrangement that enhances the furniture style and overall color scheme of this room.  One of my all-time favorites.

Moroccan Modern

 

Colorful and very bohemian, this arrangement of baskets is so much more effective in this casual home than a large painting would be.

This appears to be an old tobacco basket but, whatever it is, it is perfectly scaled as  an above the bed piece of art.  And for those of us who live in earthquake country, soft enough to fall on our heads during a shaker!

Katerina Tana Design

 

How do you feel about baskets as wall decor?  Do you share my passion?

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Ten things that made me happy in June

June is just one of those happy months full of anticipation for the upcoming summer events.  I started the summer off with lots of fun June things that made me happy, including:

  1.  Road trips…love them!  We headed north to San Luis Obispo to catch a performance of “Mamma Mia” and then headed east to hook up with friends in Phoenix.
  2. Finding a new design source always makes me happy.  While I have not yet used this site it comes highly recommended by another designer who’s opinion I respect so am anxious to give them a try.  If you need outdoor cushions or indoor cushions crafted from durable outdoor fabric try this site.  Prices are impressive.  http://www.cushion.com/chaircushions.aspx
  3. My daughter danced at the fair for about 12 years so to relive that experience with our granddaughter is priceless.  And how cute are these costumes!ella in pink costume
  4. Cinnamon rolls at the fair.  I have pretty much eliminated all sugar from my diet but these tasty treats are too good to pass up!!  Follow this treat up with the pig races (my fave) and I was one happy girl.
  5. Sunshine!  After a month of May gray here in San Diego the sunshine is certainly welcome.  It just seems to energize and also gives me a chance to wear all my new summer clothes!
  6. Renewing old acquaintances.  We visited with out of town friends we have not seen in almost 20 years and had a blast.  They are truly the hosts with the most and we look forward to many more fun times!
  7. Mountain towns.  Ever heard of Show Low, Arizona?  To be up in the mountains surrounded by evergreens and timber sided houses just removes any stress I might have.  I did not see one palm tree!!!!!
  8. Reliving the wedding.  We received the professional photos which allowed us to all sit back and share funny stories of events that took place that entire day.  And the fact that this handsome young man flew down from the Bay area to officiate the wedding made it all the better!jens wedding with matt
  9. Discovering a new chardonnay….try “Butter”.  This may have to replace my current everyday favorite…Cupcake.  Let me know what you think. BTW…I do not have wine everyday..I just wish I did.  :)
  10. I may have spoken too soon when listing #5.  What really makes me happy during these extremely hot days is the fact that we installed air conditioning last year!!
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