Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Retro Redesign - Telegraph Hill Parlor

Telegraph Hill is a gem of a neighborhood, perched high above the city fray. Do you know the story of the wild parrots there? Fantastic documentary - Netflix it!

For this week's Retro Redesign, we're taking a look at a condo high atop the hill. The nature of the hill is really evident in this picture with the cars parked in front at a comical slant. I want to say it's under a million, which is a total feat in the city these days.

This is the parlor of the condo in question. The room itself is gorgeous. Hardwood floors, original trim, fireplace, fabulous window, with a view!

But ... whoever staged this property was stuck in 1990's contemporary Crate and Barrel hell. It's one thing to mix new and old. It's another thing to ignore the character of the place and dress it in not-quite-vintage stager's leftovers. Boo on that.

Instead, I found this dreamy inspiration photo on Houzz.

Look at how the chandeliers, the tufted furniture, the seating areas are concentrated around the fireplace as the focal point in the room. For our room, it's all achievable working with the structure in place instead of against it.

I think these items speak to the historical nature of the building, but don't feel too Victorian-uptight with the clean lines and modern palette. The pale yellow wall paint has got to go! Thought not shown, I would choose something in the greige family like Benjamin Moore's Grey Owl, that still has some warm notes in it.

Clockwise from Top L:
Ballard Designs - Beaudry Mirror
Pottery Barn - Clarissa Glass Drop Chandelier
World Market - Potent Purple Lumbar Pillow
Crate and Barrel - Clairemont Coffee Table
One Kings Lane - Elliot Velvet Cocktail Ottoman
Ikea - Liatorp Glass Door Cabinet

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pinnacles National Park

After yesterday's heavy post (and thank you so much for your kind comments, personal messages and support!), I know I need a few days off to absorb and reflect what it means to talk about miscarriage publicly. I've been spending a lot of time outside thinking and processing where I am in my life and how I got here. In Celtic tradition, there are places in this world where the distance between earth and heaven is smaller - thin places. There, in the quiet, still and beautiful places we're just a bit closer. While this trip to Pinnacles National Park happened long before I miscarried, the memories as told through the pictures are still calming to me. 
Pinnacles is one of the newer National Parks and I was inspired to go after reading an article in Sunset Magazine about it. It's a day trip from San Francisco, though the area certainly deserves more than just a day if you have the time.

We did a 6 or 7 mile loop through the park with our friends. Mark, the Eagle Scout among us, planned out the route through some caves where we used headlamps to help guide the way. As a newcomer to hiking, this was extreme for me. However, I think everyone else was thoroughly convinced that our next outing should be a full on spelunking trip!

We got really lucky and saw a condor pair. After watching them fly for 15 minutes or so, we saw them seize a bite of prey and tear it's entrails out. The circle of life in living color. Despite this bit of raw nature, seeing them fly with their awesome wingspan was pretty cool. The preservation of these guys are actually at the top  of the list for reasons why Pinnacles became a National Park.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Miscarriage Reflections - 1

I thought I’d know what to say by now. That as I healed, the words would flow and I could write this story like I’ve written others. Pen and paper have failed me. Storytelling jumbles in my mind as my point of view changes daily. My feelings ebb and flow leaving me incapable some days and numb others. The only constant is the truth of a terrible and often unspoken loss.

I miscarried on Father’s Day.

After 8 weeks of the best ride of my life, the highest high … then I plummeted to a new, scary and completely overwhelming depth.

This summer ranks right up with the worst summer I’ve had and I’ve had some sh*tty summers. Summer 2010, my mother-in-law suffered debilitating strokes. Summer 2011, my father-in-law unexpectedly passed away. Summer 2012, we became caretakers for my mother-in-law. Summer 2013, I was unemployed due to the government sequestration. Summer 2014, I lost my first pregnancy AND became unemployed again. This doubles as my pity party list and context setting. I’m emotionally and mentally wiped out. I’m crying, “Uncle!” to God, the universe, whoever will listen.

Because summer after summer, winter has reigned long and dark within. The parallels to Game of Thrones aren’t lost on me. As any psychology major or literary theorist will tell you, we find ourselves in the story. My favorite characters are dying, the ass holes are in charge and winter is coming. And just like real life, I have no idea when the next book will be released. The story continues to be written. (Let the fist shaking against heaven and Martin commence!)

While waiting, I do the only thing I can do. Every morning, I put on my glasses and feed the cat. I meet with friends, I ride my bike on errands, I fold the laundry. I go through the motions of living and after a few months, life has finally started to feel more real again instead of like the foggy Claritin commercial. I’ll string together a couple of good days. Even think about writing our story. Then I sit down to write and my throat tightens, the tears well up and my fingers tense. It’s as though no words will ever do justice to the beautiful, little life that I loved and lost. So I close the computer and think I’ll try again another day.

There’s more to the story. I know there’s more to write. This is just the start of telling the story, of honoring the memory and inviting others into the struggle that has been so hard fought.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Finds - Mixed Metallics

Flipping through the CB2 catalog this week, I tore out this gorgeous spread (pic in the middle below) featuring several metallics and a strong black and white graphic feel.  I love these warmer gold and copper tones as we move into autumn!  On the left are pretties for you and on the right are pretties for the home.


Clockwise from Top L:
Nipponeki Jewelry - Initial Tag Necklace
CB2 Catalog/Web Spread
CB2 - 3 Mixed Metal Canisters
Overstock - Baxton Studio Linen Chair with Nailhead Trim
Zappos - Anne Klein Buttons in Rose Gold

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Retro Redesign - Inner Mission Reading Nook

Oh man, this feature has been sitting my draft folder forever! The inspiration house has long been sold (for an outrageous price no doubt), despite it being nothing to write home about from the curb.  Luckily for it, the insides have good bones and I think the bay window nook is something special!

I have been focusing these imaginative redesigns on larger rooms, but decided to go for a smaller nook this time.  Here in the city, space is at a premium, so you really have to squeeze out the livability factor of every square inch!

Look at the cute moldings! I would want a place to read in the afternoon sun, and let's face it, since a lot of my decorating at home involves ensuring Oliver has a plenty of kitty nap time space, I think it could be a kitty friendly space too

Here's my summer-licious inspiration, complete with the on trend botanical pillows. If I had just published this almost a year ago, I could have taken credit for starting the trend. Alas, I'm bandwagoning, though I think this pairing with other prints is a stand out.

window seat

And here are the pieces I think would recreate a similar look:

Clockwise from Top L:
Macy's - Liora Manne Area Rug
Home Depot - Nearly Natural Pink Geranium
Wayfair - Oriental Elephant Stool
Outdoor Rugs Only - Mystic Leaf Pillow
Online Fabric Store - Premium Black Polka Dot Fabric
Fabric dot com - Premier Prints Twill Suzani Corn Yellow

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Finds - Ink Blue

I tore the page featuring the settee below right out of the West Elm catalog. This inky blue is so rich in person and I loved the geometric styling in the catalog. In fact, I loved it so much, I built an outfit around this blue for my weekend getaway to Napa.  Cheers and TGIF!

Clockwise from Top L:
Swell Forever - The June Forever Blanket
BKrafty Designs - Frozen Glitter Ikat Canvas
Lime Green Modern - Gold Hoops
Sur La Table - Marble Rolling Pin
West Elm - Ainslie Sofa in Ink Blue Performance Velvet

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Too Much of a Good Thing

It really starts to make you feel like a bad pet parent when they love cat dope this much. 

Thanks to HomeGoods and the maker of this funky massager with built in catnip for several belly laughs worth of entertainment. After the catnip freshness wore off, Ollie hasn't touched it since.