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!



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ten things that made me happy in July

happy face sweating from iconshutdotcom free clipart


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.

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?


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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?
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Enter a caption

  • 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?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Throw pillows are your friend

I admit it….I am a pillow junkie.  I can’t help myself….I come to a point where I say out loud “I will not buy anymore pillows” and then something like this beauty

catches my eye.  Sigh!!

Follow along as I share some of my favorites this year that just might join my always growing collection of throw pillows.

Velvet is still a home decorating trend this year and these pillows from Pottery Barn come in a variety of colors.  Purchase a matching pair for the sofa or just use a rainbow of pillows for a colorful change.  The velvet texture is perfect for the fall and winter season.

design pillows velvet from pottery barn

I am a huge fan of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper.”  Joanna has designed a collection of pillows that are somewhat pricey but oh so beautiful.  (similar designs can be found at West Elm for less $) I saw some of these in person at their store in Waco, TX and they are well-made and substantial and will add that rustic and graphic punch to your home.  While these colors do not work in my home I think they are so pretty and I love the lumbar shape…I may just have to pick up the sage green colorway.  Somebody stop me now!!

Don’t overlook the big box stores for real pillow bargains.  Target, Walmart and even Costco can be great sources for inexpensive accent pillows for both indoors and outdoors.  This floral pillow from Walmart is less than $15!!  The dimension and design hint at a much higher price.

design pillow from walmart

Love the romantic touch this jacquard pillow will add to my master bedroom.  Many items in my home feature a black contrast welt so I think this will work great.  And did you look at that price!?

design pillow floral jacquard from west elm

I really like smaller pillows tossed onto a chair.  If you use a mini size (12×12, 14×14 etc) it is a good idea to make sure the pillow has an interesting design; a small solid pillow will just get lost in the room.  This small pillow will be making its debut in my living room this Halloween season

design pillow chihuahua from pier 1

What are your favorite pillows in your home?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I want to live here

I just returned from a week in Big Sky, Montana so I have beautiful mountain views on the brain.

big sky madison river shot from dave doss

This home in Aspen,Colorado spoke to that and makes me want to return as soon as possible.  As John Muir so succinctly put it “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

i could live here mountain home in aspen emily minton redfield photographer via mountain living mag and ccy architects

What is NOT to love about this outdoor space?  The gorgeous mountain and valley views are breathtaking, the intimate outdoor space that begs for a quiet afternoon spent reading a book or sharing good wine and conversation are perfect and the flowers are right up my alley.  This space was designed by CCY Architects, beautifully photographed by Emily Minton Redfield and shared by Mountain Living Magazine in a way that makes me want to move in tomorrow.

The interiors are as beautiful as the exterior.  Who needs a bedroom when you have a space as beautiful as this living area to sit and relax in?  Simple minimalist decorating, stacking windows that literally bring the outdoors in and pops of color set against a neutral background make this decorator very happy.  I can just imagine those mountains covered with snow in the winter and a roaring fire to complete the look and feel.  Yes, please.

i could live here aspen home by ccy architects living room



How about you?  Is this a space you would like to live in?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ten things that made me happy in June

happy face daisy from clipartpandadotcom

What a fun month June is!  So much anticipation of the summer months ahead combined with an easy-going schedule makes this a great month.  Here are a few things that took place in June that made this decorator very happy

  1.  Family vacay.  It is rare when we can get the whole “fam damily” together for a weekend but we succeeded.  We rented a large home in Palm Springs and that was the perfect solution.  The 118 degree weather was tough but the pool and misters made it bearable and the kids didn’t seem to mind.  This picture shows my daughter and son-in-law along with their niece and nephews (my grandbabies) cooking breakfast.  I was one happy mom/grandma!ella with jen and griff etc in palm springs
  2. June gloom was in full swing in San Diego so when the sun did peek out in the afternoon it was energizing.
  3. Enjoying a quiet afternoon with a cold glass of iced tea, a stack of magazines and plenty of catalogs to peruse.  Nothing is better than a staycation in home territory.
  4. The annual San Diego County Fair.  This is always a fun time, especially when I get to see it through the eyes of first time fair- goers like my grandbabies.

    ella laura and bren at the fair 2017

    A little foot massage makes the fear much more enjoyable!

  5. For those of you who have worked with me you already know how important inspiration photos are to your decorator.  I encourage anyone who is looking to decorate their home to scour magazines, online sites like Houzz and even model homes to find rooms, items, paint colors etc. that appeal to them.  This article illustrates this concept well.
  6. Seeing the beauty this country has to offer.  We just got home from a ten day road trip through Montana, Idaho and Utah and I must say some of the scenery took my breath away.  And California wildflowers pale in comparison to those that literally cover the mountainsides in Idaho!  I was in floral heaven!
  7. A surprise visit from my daughter.  Since she moved away last year I literally ache for her presence sometimes!  I know that sounds silly but I am sure all parents out there can fully understand.  After all, she is my only child and I kind of got used to having her around for 29 years even though she has not lived in our home for the past 6 years, at least she lived in the same city.  So anytime she cpmes into town for work I am very happy.
  8. Visiting old friends.  As I get older I have come to really appreciate and understand the value of friends who have been with you through thick and thin and are more like family than friends.  We are fortunate to have many such friends in our lives and when we get together it is like time has stood still.  I miss them already.
  9. The happiness on my husband’s face as he crossed several activities off of his bucket list on our recent vacation.  He was truly like a little boy on Christmas morning as he learned to fly fish, shoot clay pigeons, raft etc.  Even a dunk in the very cold water couldn’t dampen his spirits!

    big sky rick with fish and guide

    my husband is the guy on the left with the silly grin over this little fish!

  10. As a lover of Picasso’s talent, these Picassoish pillows make me happy.  (maybe not en masse like this….a big

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment