I want to live here


Ritz Carlton at Vail Resort  design by Worth Interiors @erikadowefitz

Oh my!  While the photo does not show the exterior I can imagine grounds full of snow and plenty of evergreen trees and maybe a deer in the yard and a cardinal in the tree.

What do I love about this room?  To borrow from the great Bard himself– Let me count the ways:

  • That reclaimed wood wall!!  Are you kidding me?  Could it be any more perfect?  The wood comes from Stikwood, an online site that is worth your time to investigate.
  • The industrial chic elements like those hanging light fixtures and metal bed frame.  While not an exact match, this headboard would work just as well in your industrially chic bedroom
  • Cool accessories.  I love the metal vase and the primitive horse sculpture and that LA coordinates sign is so fun.  Etsy is full of items like this–think I will order one.
  • That bedside table.  I have that exact unit in my family room that acts as my media cabinet and it is perfect in this room (and in my little family room)It is no longer available in this size but West Elm offers a smaller version that you can see here.
  • It is in Vail, Colorado.  As a skier, anything in Colorado catches my attention.
  • The neutral color scheme of gray and beige.  The varying textures keeps the room from being boring and allows that amazing wall to take center stage.  And no need for any type of artwork–the wood does it all.

What do you think?  Could you live here?

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How to turn a bland water closet into a showhouse worthy room

We turned our client’s ordinary and rather bland water closet into a room that is worthy of any showhouse!

We began with this beige room that had all the necessities a toilette needs, except a personality.  And this homeowner had several pieces of jewelry that were miniature works of art themselves and, like most women, did not wear them very often because she simply forgot she had them.  So we created a way to showcase them that would serve as a functional work of art in the bathroom but also make it possible for her to wear them more often as they were easily accessible.

Our inspiration came from this photo


source unknown

We wanted to add some texture to complement all the smooth surfaces that are found in a water closet as well as complement the adjoining master bath wood cabinetry and granite countertop and shower surround.  She also wanted to keep the look light and bright so we chose to create a wainscoting effect using reclaimed wood pieces.  However, since we live in an urban area, locating reclaimed wood was not as easy as we expected it to be and we had to come up with another solution.  We opted for something that, I think, works just as well and was easier to install–engineered wood flooring.

patti bathroom flooring box label for wall

To add even more personality to the space we chose to install it horizontally rather than the expected vertical installation and it came out perfect.  My genius handyman created a top using basic floor molding that was stained to match and we hung a small cornice over the single window using a remnant piece of flooring that ties the whole look together.  The homeowner’s lace panels diffuse the bright sunlight and add a feminine touch and nice contrast to the space.  Here is the finished result:

patti bathroom with wood wall peg board and cornice all done

photo DH Design

patti pegboard withjewelry hanging

To make this peg board you will need:

  • a piece of standard white peg board
  • frame molding
  • decorative hooks-we chose various designs for an eclectic look
  • one very talented handyman

This is one water closet I wouldn’t mind spending a little bit of time in!

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Ten things that made me happy in February


What an odd little month February is.  No real holidays unless you count Valentine’s Day, which my husband does NOT consider a holiday, and a short month stuck between winter and spring.  But it happens to be one of my favorite months for no real reason.  Here are ten things that happened to me during the short month of February that made me very happy.

  1. This tongue in cheek design book, Catalog in Living, made me laugh out loud.  Available on Amazon, it is well worth the money!
  2. Taking this little guy to his very first movie. (sorrry..no pic available due to an uncooperative two year old)  He was entranced by the big screen and the whole experience was made even more enjoyable by the treats he got…after all, best part of going to the movies is the popcorn and candy…right?
  3. Time spent with my daughter makes me happier than anything else in the world.  She ventured down from her new home in the bay area for work and we were in heaven knowing she was sleeping in the room right  below us.  Moms…you all know what I mean!
  4. Scheduling a future trip to Hawaii!!!!!!  We will be celebrating 30 years of marriage in April so we are returning to where it all began…Lahaina, Maui, where we were married.  We actually returned to the islands every two or three years after we were married but have not been back for 11 years.  Other travel and skiing took over our time and travel $ but we now have both and are planning on enjoying every single minute.  I could not be happier!
  5.  Minor decorating projects in both my own home and that of friends and clients keeps me busy and in touch with what I love—design.  A couple of bigger projects coming up that I will be sure to share as we progress.
  6. Kate Spade surprise online sales.  Do you get these emails?  If not, sign up at Kate Spade and you will be able to purchase your favorite items at up to 75% off..truly amazing sales.
  7. This video is absolutely hilarious and gave me a great laugh!  Take a moment and watch it—guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
  8. The wildflowers are in full bloom in San Diego.  What I call “freeway daisies” are everywhere and all the trees are beginning to leaf out and the hills are as green as they have ever been.  Thank you weeks and weeks of rain!  Just might scratch off something on my bucket list this year and head out to the desert to see the wildflowers.  And this pillow from Pottery Barn is the perfect way to bring a bit of the desert wildflowers into your home.

Another unexpected death in our family has shortened this list but, as always, very happy for the health of myself and that of my family.  What made you happy in February?

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Colored acrylic–yes or no?

I have long been a fan of acrylic furniture and am not ashamed to admit it!  But lately I am spotting a lot of colored acrylic that is unique and interesting.  Check out these ideas and tell me what you think.

These red acrylic chairs in this London apartment are the perfect antidote to England’s gray days.

Muswell Hill Project – Extension and new layout

Fun and funky work area made even more so with that amazing acrylic desk chair featuring a unique egg shape that is actually very comfortable.

What an amazing game room/library and those smoky acrylic chairs add such an air of sophistication.  Also loving that light fixture!


Photo Trevor Tondro via House Beautiful

What might be a boring sunroom has been turned into a flower lover’s delight with these patterned acrylic chairs paired with the classic ghost chair.  This lover of all things bright and cheerful would be very happy in this space!
Dining Room
I will take one of each of these colorful Thalya chairs by Kartell.  The muted colors add such a sophisticated and warm touch to any style interior.


In stark contrast, this vibrant cobalt blue chair would be perfect in a beach house breakfast room or as a desk chair in a child’s room.


Take a look at this condo in Brooklyn, NY.  Now try to imagine the same room with a solid surface or clear acrylic coffee table.  It wouldn’t have the same appeal, would it?  The rich amber color of the coffee table grounds all the neutrals while the see-thru effect of the acrylic keeps a small space from appearing crowded.  Perfect choice in this designer’s humble opinion!


via Architectural Digest photo Stephen Kent Johnson

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Ten things that made me happy in January

  • Rainy days in Southern California.  We could sure use it and as an added bonus, it is dumping a ton of snow in the mountains for us skiers!
  • Trips to the gym with my husband.  We have both always exercised regularly but usually at different times and, for many years, in different gyms.  Semi-retirement makes it possible for us to go at the same time and for some reason it is just one of those small things that makes me happy.
  • Gotta say it…the fact that the inauguration has taken place and all the marches are over makes me very  happy and gives me hope that maybe things will settle down a bit and every single piece of news we see and hear will not be rude or nasty or involve name calling….maybe?
  • Mid-week lunch and shopping with girlfriends.  This is so cliche, lunching with the ladies, but it is truly one of those luxuries that can really only happen once you are old and retired.  We solve the world’s problems over a salad and iced tea.  The only problem we have never been able to answer is how can we sit and talk at a table for 3 hours?!
  • Freeway daisies blooming in January…heavenly!
  • New furniture makes me almost as happy as a new pair of shoes!   I just ordered this piece for our living room and, while it is backordered for about 60 days, it will solve both a storage and display space problem we have.  Downsizing does require decorative creativity!bookcase-from-wisteria
  • This munchkin who just turned 5 years old!  How can that be when I remember so clearly the morning she was born.  Grandkids are the best!!!!ella-and-i-at-her-5th-bday-party
  • The anticipation of a visit next month from our daughter.  I miss her so much it hurts now that she is living ten hours away.  But knowing I am going to see her for a whole week in just a few weeks makes this lonely mama very happy!
  • A design job well done.  A seemingly simple thing like new lighting can turn a once dull stairway into a thing of beauty.  We replaced the builder grade flushmount fixture at the top of the stairs with a beautiful Tiffany style light and added sconces to the walls in the stairway, on a dimmer.  In the lower left corner you can catch a peek of the new chandelier that replaced an ancient one dripping with dusty old crystals.  The whole effect is absolutely gorgeous in person.patti-hallway-with-new-lights-turned-on
  • Snow in our local mountains.  I know I talk a lot about snow but it is just something I crave and get very excited about.  Who would ever guess that this picture was taken in San Bernardino county?!

    Photo via After Orange County blog


    What made you happy in January?

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I want to live here

div>Hog Pen Creek Residence

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways:

  1. Those windows that literally bring the outdoors in.  And that view!
  2. The sliding barn style door that hides the TV is brilliant.  And for once the TV is hung at a comfortable viewing level for everyone in the room.
  3. Mid-century design in both the architecture and the furnishings.  It reminds me of homes in the sixties in Pebble Beach where I grew up.
  4. A pop of orange, one of my favorite colors.
  5. An attached screened in porch (hidden on the other side of the fireplace).  I have always loved screened in porches and wonder why more homes in southern California do not have them.  Yes, we DO have bugs and lizards and other crawly things that can hamper the enjoyment of a summer evening.  My bucket list includes a home with a screened in porch some day.
  6. A raised hearth and modern fireplace.  I can easily imagine this same room on a rainy winter evening made so cozy with a fire and some pillows on the hearth.

How about you…could you live here?

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Ten things that made me happy in December

cute chunky smiley face snowflake

cute chunky smiley face snowflake

  • Falling snow will always make me happy.  I love nothing better than to stand in a quiet spot on the mountain and simply listen to the sound the snow makes when it hits the trees and the ground.  Heaven!  Click on this link and experience the sound and sight of falling snow for yourself.
  • The announcement of this year’s Color of the Year by Pantone–Greenery.  I love this shade of green and am way ahead of the game as I recovered the bench at the foot of my bed in this color green velvet  3 years ago.  You will be seeing a lot of this color in the next year and don’t be afraid to introduce a touch of it into your own home.  It pairs beautifully with almost any color and will add a bright spot to your existing decor.design-color-of-the-year-2017-greenery-pantone-15-0343
  • A successful real estate staging project.  Statistics prove out that a home properly staged sells quicker and often for more $ than a home that is empty or full of the owner’s belongings.  In support of this statistic, my most recent staging project sold in less than 24 hours for a full price cash offering and a short 15 day escrow!  How do I know staging was a factor?  Because the new buyer asked to purchase several items.
  • New holiday traditions.  Admittedly, it has taken me a couple of years to accept and adjust to the fact that my beloved Christmas traditions were being replaced.  But with the recent wedding of my daughter coupled with her crazy work travel schedule, Christmas was spent away from our home and at her place in the SF Bay area this year.  We didn’t even put up a tree for the first time in my entire life!  Still adjusting…..but how proud I was of my daughter and the attention she gives to the holiday and establishing her own traditions.
  • Holiday movies every single day and night on the Hallmark channel.  I could watch them over and over, and did.  And for some reason, the main female character in several of these movies is an interior decorator.  I wonder why?
  • The faces of little children during this magical time is enough to make anyone happy, including me.  How I love their little pre-school holiday recitals, dance class gift exchanges and the look of delight when experiencing their very first performance of “The Nutcracker”, as my 4 year old granddaughter did this year.  And is there anything more delicious than kids in Christmas jammies?  I think not!ella-and-brendan-in-xmas-jammies-2016
  • Having my daughter home for a couple of days during the month made this lonely mom very happy.  She flew down for her company Christmas party and stayed to work in the local office for a few days.  How I loved waking up in the morning and having her under my roof!!
  • Relaxing time with friends.  For some reason the holiday season makes everyone feel just a bit more sociable.  Casual card games, easy dinner parties and long lunches were part of our holiday festivities and I loved every minute of it.
  • The Holiday Bowl is a tradition that makes me happy.  We have attended every single game since 1986 and while our tail-gating has changed a bit over the years we both still enjoy the game and the pomp and circumstance and, most especially, the military presence in the form of the Leap Frogs and, if lucky, an F-18 flyby!
  • In a strange sort of way the end of the football season makes me happy this year.  I am a huge Charger fan so was glad to see a torturous season come to an end.  Who knows where they will be next year but not having to listen to the owner’s rhetoric anymore will also make me very happy!

What made you happy in December of 2016?

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