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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Is it time to “Re” your home?

Well is it?  OK…I know you are confused and saying to yourself “What the hell does she mean by re?”  You know that I have uttered one of these words to most of you at some point—REmodel, REupholster,REpaint,REarrange.  Here is a better definition of these words that will help you determine if, just maybe, it is time for you to “Re” your home.

REmodel—-the grandfather of all the Re’s!  A remodel is messy and fun and exciting and scary but, hopefully, the end result will be the kitchen, bath, single wall or entire home of your dreams.

carlson fireplace

A fireplace remodel turned this master bedroom into a relaxing retreat    DH Design 

REupholster—-my favorite Re word.  I love having the ability to turn a beloved but much used item of furniture into a brand new and custom piece that is unique to your home, all through the use of new fabric, foam and some creativity.  All American Upholstery in Lemon Grove, California is my go-to.  Pat and his wife Julie are true artists when it comes to turning an old piece into a new and updated treasure.

design reupholstered bar stools from pat

What a difference a little reupholstery makes! from All American Upholstery

REpaint—-A new paint job will instantly REfresh your home  (there’s another RE word).  You can make it as colorful or as neutral as your taste dictates and you can paint just one room or your entire home.  The key to a good REpaint job is in the details so take the time to properly prepare the walls, tape off, cover furniture etc., or hire a professional.  I have a guy you won’t believe so if you need a REferral in the San Diego area, contact me.

doyle laundry room after all done

Be creative with your new paint as we were in this laundry room with painted stripes via DH Design

REarrange—-The simplest and most affordable way to RE your home is to rearrange your furniture.  The cost is zero and if you don’t like it you simply move your furniture back.  While arranging furniture might seem like a simple idea, many people practice what I refer to as “spin art” arranging i.e. all the furniture is shoved up against the wall as if they were in one of those spin machines that use force to move items around.  Every room has it’s own feel and the furniture arrangement is almost natural once you figure it out.  And this does not apply to just furniture–try REarranging items on your bookshelves or hang art on a different wall or combine items on top of the dresser for a REfreshing new look.

There you have it.  Is it time to RE your home?

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Happy 4th of July and a fun little decorating project

Next to Christmas, 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Not sure why…could be the warm and sunny weather, outdoor parties and the thrill of staying up late as a kid to watch fireworks.  Have trouble staying up late now and the fireworks are often hard to spot through the fog but still love the hot weather and fun parties.

All that being said, I do not forget why we celebrate this day and each year it seems more and more important that we take the time to reflect on what the holiday really means.  It is a ku-razy world out there but we are so fortunate to live in this country and must do everything in our power to keep it the finest place on earth!  So make sure you vote in November to make your voice heard!

OK..back to decorating.  This is a fun little project I stumbled upon on the “Confessions of a plate addict” design blog and thought it was so cute for a 4th of July centerpiece.


design red white and blue balls from confessions of a plate addict blog

via Confessions of a plate addict blog

And for those of you who like to partake in an adult beverage on this day, this is what I am taking to the party–(alcohol makes me a very popular girl)

How do you celebrate and decorate for the 4th of July?

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Easy summer decorating ideas

Beach Style Bedroom

                                        Photo by Discover beach style bedroom design inspiration


Summer officially arrived on Monday, June 20th.  I can hear the screen doors slamming as we speak and feel the afternoon breezes and I delight in the squeals of kids playing in the pool.  So let the good times roll!

Follow these easy suggestions to turn your home into a relaxing retreat that can be enjoyed all summer long. To begin, take a good look at your living spaces and remove anything that appears too heavy or visually warm. This includes items like your rugs, hanging window treatments, accent pillows, accessories and your artwork.  Now let the decorating begin:

    • Rugs.  Rugs are easy to remove and/or replace.  Roll up those heavyily patterned wool rugs and replace them with a rug woven of natural materials like sisal or jute.  Or step out of your box and layer these over other rugs you may have for a true designer look.  Outdoor rugs are also a nice option to use indoors to eliminate any worry about dirt and sand being tracked in from active kids.
    • Window treatments.  Nothing says summer like a pair of sheer curtains blowing in the wind.  If your draperies are easily removable, replace them with something that is light and airy and you can even get creative with drapery tiebacks.  Or hang woven shades that can help keep out the sun and heat but look more casual than draperies.
    • Accessories.  Easiest way to introduce summer is through your accessories.  A bowl of collected seashells, a driftwood lamp base, a woven lamp shade or baskets in place of trays to catch everyday items like glasses and keys, will all add a casual look to your decor.  Don’t forget a lightweight throw for those chilly nights or air conditioned days.
    • Artwork.  Store dark and moody artwork in the garage for now and replace with affordable prints of your favorite summer scenes.  This might include a poster of your favorite vacation spot or a painting of a summer landscape or even your kid’s artwork from camp.  And family photos are the very best artwork there is so frame old vacation photos in white frames and mats and create a fun gallery wall that will be the focal point of your home all summer long.  Notice the colorful and fun artwork in this beach house.
Dining + Living
                                   Photo by Rethink Design Studio 
  • The bedroom.  Don’t overlook the bedroom when it is time to summerize your home.  Remove all that heavy bedding and obtrusive pillows and replace them with a lightweight white comforter and sheets.  Just for fun, purchase a couple of those clear glass lamps that you can fill and then fill them with seashells, a piece of coral, chunks of seaglass or a bunch of old vacation photos.   I prefer a serene bedroom so shades of sand beige and white are most appealing to me.  But for those who must have color in their bedroom, opt for seafoam green or soft coral or shades of blue for your summer look.

    design lamp fillable lamp from lamps plus

    Fillable lamp base from Lamps Plus

  • Pillows.  One of the easiest ways to change the look of your home any time of the year is by switching out your accent pillows.  The stores are full of affordable options in lightweight fabrics and summer colors for any design.  Opt for a patriotic red, white and blue combo or a mix of neutrals for a soothing and calming look.  Toss in a summer motif like this bicycle pillow from Pier 1 for fun and you are all set for the season.

    design summer theme pillow from pier 1

    Bicycle pillow from Pier1

  • Throughout the house.  A bowl of fresh, seasonal fruit in the kitchen is a must.  A bouquet of fresh flowers in the bathroom is a must.  For summer night entertaining, a fireplace full of mini lights or a grouping of candles is a must.
  • Don’t forget the outdoors.  Your outdoor living spaces are just as important, maybe even more so this time of year, as the interior of your home.  Ideally the color scheme coordinates or complements your interior color scheme.  Add colorful pillows on the furniture, a rug that will protect your feet from the hot surface, accent lighting and fun accessories and get ready to be comfortable on those hot summer days or balmy summer evenings.

    design summer decor iron pelican from pier 1.jpg

    Whimsical accessories like this iron pelican from Pier 1 up the fun factor in summer decor

What are your favorite ways to decorate for summer?

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Rooms I love and why

rooms I love by pottery barn featuring irving club chair gallery wall mix of woods black window molding mix of metals

My job requires that I spend most of my day looking at beautiful rooms.  I know, poor me!  As a result, I come across many beautiful rooms and, occasionally, some not so pretty rooms.  And occasionally I will spot a room that just resonates with me and that is what I am going to share with you today.

This room from Pottery Barn has, IMHO, all the elements of a beautiful room.  So, to steal a line from the great Elizabeth Barrett Browning–“How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways”

  1. The first thing that caught my eye was the dark window molding.  I am loving this trend of metal window and door trim and this room would be slightly less appealing if the window trim was standard vinyl or even wood frames.
  2. The mix of metals appeals to me.  The brass garden stool and lamp base and the bronze end table are a beautiful complement to the shiny silver of the frames.
  3. Textures galore!  The nubby carpet, the smooth leather, glass and metal frames and a mixture of accessories adds dimension and interest to the room.
  4. That gallery wall is, as my mother would have said, to die for.  Perfectly curated to showcase a variety of black and white photography and neutral artwork.

I also love the fact that this room does not “scream” a specific design style.  It could be found in any home i.e. a mountain cabin, a beach cottage or a suburban tract home.  And it lends itself to switching out accessories for different seasons and holidays, one of my favorite design tricks.  Can’t you just see a plaid or faux fur blanket tossed across the arm of the chair and a bowl of pinecones and seed pods in the winter months?  Or add a couple of pretty pillows, a lightweight throw and a piece of seashell art during the summer months.  For example, the subtle colors and subject matter of this pillow  lightens the feel of the room and also adds some pattern.

design succulent pillow from pottery barn succulent blossom

Succulent Blossom pillow from Pottery Barn

design throw from pottery barn in multiple colors abbott throw

Abbott throw from Pottery Barn

design seashell on stand from the simplied life via coastal design

Mounted shell from simplied life

What do you think?  Is this a room you could love?

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Ten things that made me happy in May


Get ready for lots of wedding pics because my daughter’s wedding pretty much occupied the entire month.  But there were a few other happy moments that snuck in there as well.

  1.  My love of flowers and bright colors come together in these bridesmaid robes.  And that San Diego backdrop ain’t bad either!

jens wedding pic of grils in robes

2.Few things are cuter than a ring bearer with a paci!


3.  Two full weeks of dinners every night with out of town friends who came down for the wedding.  And it all began with drinks by the fireside at Dana Inn….best night ever!

4.  Watching the father/daughter dance after months of prep by my husband and daughter.  A huge success!  They broke up the tear-jerker part danced to  Heartland’s “I loved her first” with their own rendition of Chuck Berry “That’s what the old folks say” from “Pulp Fiction”.  One of the happiest moments of my entire life!!

5.  The beginning of Coronado’s summer concert series.  If you live in the area, this is a Sunday evening must!

6.  Finding the perfect game table chairs for a client’s re-decorating project.  Took many tries but I think we did it this time.  Made me happy but probably not as happy as it made them.

john and karen adler house game table with new chairs looking from living room

7.  Bingo!  Never played as an adult but what a hoot.  Not sure if the game or the wine and the company made me happy but who cares..I left smiling.  :)

8.  Flamingos—just looking at these silly birds will make anyone happy but when they are on top of a wedding cake–perfection!

jens wedding wedding cake topper

9.  My guilty pleasure…Kid Rock music.  Always makes me happy to hear his growly voice!

10.  This young woman has made every day of my life for the past 28 years incredibly happy.

jens wedding in veil and bridal robe

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