I want to live here

The home of model/actress Molly Sims seems to be the perfect spot to say goodbye to the summer of 2017.  I could easily live in this Pacific Palisades beauty and here are the reasons why:

  • In this noisy world of ours I often long for some quiet and peaceful time where the only thing I hear is the rustling of the wind, the chirping of the birds and perhaps the distant din of the roadway.  This seems to be the perfect spot to spend that quiet time.
  • Plenty of green grass has become a real luxury here in southern California where “desertscape” has become the preferred landscaping style.  I must admit I am not a fan of cactus and other drought resistant plants, rocks and dry riverbeds in the front yard.  Give me big flowering bushes, lots of bushy trees and loads of cool, green grass.
  • An infinity pool is the perfect way to enjoy a beautiful view such as this.
  • Simple wood furniture adds to the serenity of this space.
  • The overall neutral color scheme makes it possible to enjoy the beauty of the trees, bushes and other landscape without the distraction that colorful upholstery, pillows and accessories might bring.
  • Simple concrete walkways also add to that serene feel.  While flagstone or brick or stone would be beautiful, the simplicity of the concrete is the perfect choice.
  • Those clear glass walls in lieu of a fence add to the overall modern look and feel which I so appreciate.

How about you?  Is this the perfect spot to bid farewell to summer for you?

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Some of my favorite home decor fall finds

ella with jen and griff etc in palm springs

family vacation in Palm Springs

Was this the fastest summer ever?  In just a few weeks, fall will officially arrive but it already feels a bit like fall in the mornings here in San Diego.  While our changing seasons are not quite as dramatic as they are in other areas of the country there is a definite smell in the air that signals changes are ahead.  And for you decorators, that means changes in our home’s decor.  Here are some of my favorite fall items that just might inspire you.

I am not a big fan of theme decorating but a few thematic items do set the mood.  For those of you who are not fans of orange and brown, this pumpkin pillow from Pier 1 is so pretty and can be displayed now all the way through Thanksgiving.  They actually have several options for neutral interiors that are very chic and sophisticated and will still put you in the mood for roaring fires, hot toddies and maybe even a trick or treater or two.pumpkin pillow with blue and green pumpkins from pier 1

These pretty leaves will add a bit of sparkle to your outdoor balcony or along your indoor fireplace mantel.  Who says you can only have lights at Christmastime?fall leavesl it up from pier 1

With shorter days, it might be time to add a new lamp or two to your inventory.  Small accent lamps can be placed on a bookshelf, atop a chest in the entry, even on the kitchen counter.  They add just the right amount of ambient light to many areas in your home.

lamp small lamp from west elm

Available at West Elm

If you already have plenty of lamps, a new lampshade can do wonders in updating the look and feel of your home.  A textured shade, perhaps burlap or textured linen, will make any lamp look “fallish”, especially in a color like this gorgeous tangerine version from Houzz,

Urbanest French Drum Burlap Lampshade, 12"x14"x10", Tangerine


The colors in this throw are scrumptious…I would like a scarf to match!  This might have to find its way into my fall decor.

plaid throw from grandinroad

Available at Grandinroad

Finally, nothing welcomes fall like a big bunch of sunflowers.  Fresh flowers are a must in any home, IMHO, and sunflowers, gerberas and mums are so affordable and easy to arrange in any vase.  For added texture, place your clear glass vase in a basket…..I can smell the fall leaves burning as we speak!design sunflower and orange gerbera from back porch musings

How do you add the beauty of fall to your decor?

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Five ways to extend your enjoyment of outdoor living now that summer is over


Aaah…the joys of summertime living–easy and carefree days, long evenings spent outdoors with friends and warm breezes wafting through open windows and doors.  Sadly, seasons change and before you know it summer turns into fall.  And while that means shorter days and a stricter schedule to adhere to, you can continue to enjoy outdoor living for a few more months.  Here are five easy ways to spend as much time as possible on your patio or deck.

Replace those colorful beach towels with plenty of cozy throws for those evenings when there is a bit of a chill in the air.  Drape them across the back of a lounge chair or keep a basket of blankets within easy reach.design-throw-cashmere-from-william-sonoma

Use lanterns in lieu of votive holders which will protect your candle flames from the wind and make it possible for you to delight in outdoor candlelight all year long.  Change your filler from whimsical floats and seashells to colorful fall leaves, acorns and other seasonal items.

S’mores are not just a summertime treat.  Few things are as special as sitting in front of a fire, wrapped in a warm blanket and roasting marshmallows so keep that firepit stocked with wood throughout the fall season.

Don’t overlook your garden and potted plants.  Summer’s blooms may be gone but they can easily be replaced with seasonal color like mums, sunflowers, pansy and lilies.  And succulents, of course, bloom year round and in most areas of the U.S.  Visit your local nursery for options that will work in your climate.
Fall is a season full of fun-loving holidays like Labor Day, Halloween and, of course, Thanksgiving.  To increase your enjoyment of your outdoor spaces be sure and add decorative items outside as well as inside.  A cheerful jack-o-lantern, outdoor pillows in all the colors of fall or a beautiful cornucopia on your patio table will make the space relaxing and enjoyable.
cornucopia lucky clover trading co

available at Lucky Clover Trading Co.

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Blown glass love


joe cariati glass set from y living

artist Joe Cariati and available at Yliving

I have had a long love affair with blown glass, in particular mid-century designs.  Clear and colorful bottles are my favorites and if it has a stopper….be still my heart!

design glass art colorful bottles from curated kravet

But I would not turn down one of the opaque beauties shown above.  Don’t believe me?  Just check out my pinterest pages and you will see what I mean.  But my love and appreciation of this art form does not stop with bottles.

One of the items on my personal bucket list is a visit to one of the pumpkin patches sponsored by the glass labs at either Stanford or MIT.  These “patches” sell pumpkins that have been made by the students and every year I am in awe of their talent.  My daughter now lives just a few miles from Stanford so I just might visit their pumpkin patch this October.  See anything you like in this picture…I sure do!


Blown glass can also be found in more functional forms such as lamps, bookends, mirrors and decorative items.

This black and white striped lamp would be a fun addition to a modern living or bedroom and the price is amazing.

blown glass lamp from shades of light

available at Shades of Light and on sale right now

Love the simplicity of these owl bookends, available on Etsy.

blown glass bookends from etsy

And the finest of the finest, Murano glass.  Another bucket list item is a visit to this magical island just to revel in all the blown glass beauty.  I would hang this treasure in a rustic sun porch to add a modern touch to all the natural elements.  Be still my heart!



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Ten things that made me happy in July

happy face sweating from iconshutdotcom free clipart

via iconshut.com

The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are in full swing, temps are soaring in San Diego and we have been very busy.  There have been lots of opportunities for happiness this month, beginning with:

1. A bird’s eye view of fireworks from our friends deck in Big Sky, Montana.  Such a great show…what a difference to celebrate the 4th in a state where fireworks are legal!  Thanks, Bowlins, for the best 4th of July I have had in a very, very long time!

2.  Occasional trips to Home Goods with my local bestie, Sandy.  We hit this store up every few weeks just for fun.  Sometimes we buy something, sometimes we don’t.  But we always cap the morning off with a delicious lunch and plenty of fun conversation.  I am doing a bit of real estate staging these days and it is such a good resource for inexpensive artwork, dish towels etc…one stop shopping makes this decorator very happy!

3.  Music in the park.  What could be better than sitting in the local park with good friends, good wine, good munchies and good music.  One of the best parts of summer in San Diego.

4.  Yet another road trip to the mountains of Arizona where our friends have a beautiful vacation home.  There is just something about evergreen trees and crisp mountain air that makes this girl very happy.  I come away with lots of decorating inspiration, that’s for sure!

5.  Everything about this picture makes me happy–the daisies, the Picasso style face on the vase, the black and white stripes n the background and, most importantly, the fact that the pic was taken by my daughter in her own kitchen window!jenna pic of vase with daisies in her kitchen window

6.  Christmas in July.  I know this annoys some people but I am happy as can be when I can turn the TV on and watch a Christmas movie and hear my beloved holiday music.  This keeps me satisfied until November when I can really get in the mood.

7.  The Nordstrom anniversary sale.  The prices seem much more reduced this year so I felt compelled to shop a bit more…what a budget minded person I am  (not!)  My husband got a new suit that was marked down almost $300…how could anyone say no to that?  My daughter added a couple of pairs of shoes and a gorgeous tote bag for $35 (I may have to get one myself) and I found a couple of cozy sweaters and some embroidered jeans.  And the home decor section was not over-looked…check out these pillows I found–the colors are perfect for fall:

Two of these are on their way to my home for the leather chairs in my family room.  The perfect complement to the red leather welting on the chairs

nordstrom pillow

And the colors in this pillow are so pretty…not to mention the tassels!

pillow from nordstrom
via Nordstrom

8.  A year ago this month my husband survived emergency open heart surgery with a 15% survival rate!  Nothing makes me happier than to report that he is as good as he was before with absolutely no effects from the “episode”, as we fondly refer to it.  We celebrated privately with our own “celebration of life” dinner in our backyard, shed a few PTSD tears of relief and reminded ourselves once again of just how lucky and blessed we are.

9.  My daughter’s new blog page.  She is such a great representative of her millennial generation and her blog promises to be entertaining and informative and just plain fun.  Check it out and follow along…you won’t regret it!  And be sure to share it on facebook so your friends can enjoy it too.   www.pillowtherapyblog.wordpress.com.

10.  The lazy days of summer provide plenty of opportunity for backyard barbecues with family and friends…one of my favorite activities.  Our weekends have been filled with hosting both.  Dinner might be something as simple as grilled hamburgers and hotdogs or something a bit more “elegant” like a charcuterie board (no one puts one together quite like my son-in-law) and some good wine.  I have learned, with age, not to wish for the future but, rather, to enjoy the present.  I know the chilly nights of autumn will arrive soon enough so I am going to enjoy the amazing, bug-free evenings we enjoy here in San Diego.

What made you happy in July?


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Octupus love?

Maybe I am alone in my confusion but I am struggling to understand why someone would want to display an octopus in their home decor.

While I can certainly appreciate the unique and strange qualities of this undersea being, to be quite candid, it just gives me the creeps.  I usually prefer interiors that are warm and cozy and inviting, not cold and frightening.  However, based on the number of home decor items that feature an octupus, I appear to be alone in my  feelings.  How about you?  Is this something you would like to display in your home?

Admittedly, this outdoor rug would be cute on a seaside patio but….?
octupus rug called juniper rug from grandinroad
I don’t think I could eat off of a plate that was staring back at me.
The beading and design on this pillow could be mistaken for a piece of abstract art but a close look reveals that it is, indeed, an octupus.  No amount of glitz and glamour will make that OK with me!
Every bookshelf needs an octupus that closely resembles a skeleton…right?
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I want to live here

While I am drawn to homes in the countryside, I could certainly be forced to live in this beautiful seaside home in the Hamptons designed by Brian Brady.

i could live here beach house white furn with dark wood accents pop of color in flag artwork by brian brady via design chic blog

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  • Neutral interiors popped with dark wood accents speaks to me.  The furniture frames anchor the bright space.  Without it the room could appear to be floating.
  • A single piece of statement making art is always appealing.  This painting of our American flag is subtle and beautiful and speaks to a beach house without being “themey”.  (not sure that is a real word??)
  • The simple window treatments are one of my favorites.  I prefer drapery panels with hidden hardware…just seems to let the treatment itself and, in this case, the view, take center stage without being interrupted by another design feature i.e. drapery rods and rings.
  • That view!  Large windows allow the view to become the artwork in the space.
  • The symmetry of the floor and table lamps and overall furniture arrangement is soothing.
  • A mis-matched collection of tables.  The easy way to design is to purchase a matching set of tables, lamps etc.  But a thoughtful selection of items is much more interesting, don’t you think?
  • This room would be just as beautiful without the ceiling light fixture.  But I think it adds an elegant and sparky finishing touch and must be breathtaking in the evenings.

How about you?  Is this a place you could live in?

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