I had lunch with a couple of friends a few days ago. One friend was sharing details about the remodeling being planned for her home while the other, a recent empty nester, was talking about a redecorating project currently in process. Specifically, the empty nester was turning a bedroom into a new office and craft room. She couldn’t be more excited about it. I could relate to her giddiness because it wasn’t until we moved into the seaside ranch home that I was able to decorate my very own office space. Coincidently that evening I also read about the new office of Crystal Palecek, Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Rue Magazine. Here’s a look at Crystal’s new office space but be sure to read the interview with her to learn more about the design, its inspiration and sources for her project. After hearing about my friend’s project and seeing Crystal’s new office, it made me start rethinking my own space. Uh-oh…can you see where this is headed?
A couple of years ago I was at a local flea market and a complete stranger captivated me. I laid eyes on the artwork you see below and was intrigued by the woman in the painting. Who is she? Who painted her? What’s her story?
“You know, if one paints someone’s portrait, one should not know him if possible.” –Otto Dix, artist
I know absolutely nothing about the woman in the painting. She’s a complete stranger but I knew that I had to have her. I welcomed her with open arms without any thought of how she would be displayed in our home. As a result of my uncertainty, she’s been sitting at the back of my closet unframed and hiding in the corner. Over the last couple of weeks, I did some major purging of items in my closet and realized that it’s time for her to (literally) come out of the closet and find a suitable place to be displayed. (By the way, at the time this post was finalized I still hadn’t quite figured out where to display her.)
I am fascinated by painted portraits. They create an immediate sense of history and elevate the decor in a space. Put them in a grouping and they immediately exude a regal quality. Let’s take a look at how they have been incorporated into a few interiors.
I once spent part of an afternoon with a friend at the Huntington Library making up stories about the people in various portraits. What would this guy’s story be?
I love stalking real estate listings for places that I travel to and since we are in La Jolla, California I thought I’d share “Marine Lair” with you today. The 3,124 square foot home with 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths is situated on a tiny 2,560 square foot lot located directly across the street from the beach. The home was built by Andrew Canter, the 34-year-old owner of Canter Companies and real estate investment banker, who spared no expense in designing and building a contemporary beach home (and bachelor pad…he’s single) in one of Southern California’s premier oceanfront communities.
Canter put his development team to the test by informing them that his vision and “…concept was to create something rare and extraordinary in every aspect of the design.” The home is very sculptural in nature and incorporates carefully curated rugged and exotic materials, such as koa wood veneer harvested from Hilo, Hawaii. This isn’t surprising coming from an owner working with a craftsman who spent a lot of time building boats. It feels like a little jewel box on the beach and it can be all yours for $11.8 million. If you don’t have access to that much cash don’t worry…the seller is accepting bitcoin.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July holiday and today on the blog we are celebrating the spirit of summer with designs inspired by patriotic colors. Although I’m generally partial to neutral colors, I’ve always been drawn to a classic New England look that often incorporates red, white, and blue. Mr. B and I be celebrating by the water (one of my “happy places”) and heading to La Jolla. The fact that the holiday falls in the middle of the week this year is a bit of a bummer but it’s still a good excuse to seize the day and enjoy what summer has to offer, even if only for one day. What are your holiday plans?
I wish you a very Happy 4th of July. Stay safe..stay sane…
All the best, V.
There’s nothing more classic than a good stripe so I created a series of thick stripes executed in watercolor. Most have already sold and very few are still available.
SOLD. This is another painting I created for a client in Boston. This is one in a series of four different designs but all incorporated the same brighter blue and red tones. The colors seem most appropriate for a New England interior.
The first time I laid eyes on the work of New York designer Alyssa Kapito, I was immediately captivated. Her designs are polished and tailored providing a fine balance between classic and contemporary pieces. Her work feels exceptionally well curated and I love the pops of graphic, modern art in many of her designs. It’s no surprise that this former intern of design legend Bunny Williams has made quite the name for herself in the design world. She has garnered recognition from some of the top design publications and I bet we’ll be hearing a lot more about this up and coming designer. Meet Alyssa…
Alyssa’s work for this past 2017 Holiday House NYC benefitting breast cancer completely stole my heart. If I could sum up “perfection” …this would be it.
Alyssa’s interiors for the Holiday House may have initially caught my eye but once I started looking through her portfolio of work I realized that there are many other spaces she designed that are “swoon-worthy” (is that a word?) in their own right.
If the name Dina Bandman sounds familiar, it’s because I featured a laundry room she designed for last year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase House. With showhouse season currently in full swing across the country, one of my favorite rooms from this year’s San Francisco showcase house is yet another room by Dina Bandman: a nursery affectionately known as “Lemondrop Lullaby”. Her inspiration was drawn from the lemon trees of California. It’s a sophisticated twist on traditional nursery design and is a welcome deviation from traditional pink and blue. With a little alteration, this space could easily be converted into a grown-up space. Let’s take a look at the details…
The wallpaper is handpainted and sequined by famed wallpaper house, de Gournay. In conjunction with Dina Bandmand, this new beading technique is something de Gournay introduced at this year’s showhouse. Their wallpaper is nothing short of a work of art. Not surprisingly, their wallpaper is pricely but I’ve been hoping to one day find a panel, just one panel of wallpaper, that I could frame and hang on display.
I’ve been seeing a lot of lattice as wall treatment lately. Here it’s used on the ceiling and is a playful touch to the “fifth wall”.
The closet doors were originally a solid panel. A bit of molding, mirror, and great door hardware create a custom look that even the novice DIY’er can tackle. However, in this case, California Closets came to the rescue.
If you want to visit the San Francisco Decorator Showcase House you can purchase tickets here. It would be another great excuse to visit San Francisco. But, hurry…you can only tour the house now through May 28, 2018.
If you are curious about the vendors Dina Bandman used to create this space then check out this post on Dina Bandman’s website.
Images via Dina Bandman by photographer Christopher Stark, de Gournay,
Spring always seems to be a busy time of year and that’s particularly true for the design industry. The internet is currently all the buzz with coverage of various different showcase house events across the country but given that I live in Southern California I admit to being partial to the annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design. This year marks the 54th annual Pasadena Showcase House which makes it one of the country’s oldest and largest showcase house events. I was invited to attend the press preview but was really disappointed that I couldn’t attend. The upside is that when I visit with my mother on Mother’s Day (our annual tradition), it will be great seeing the house and grounds for the first time with fresh eyes. If you haven’t bought your own mom a gift yet for Mother’s Day, this would be a fun event to take her to. Plus, Mom will probably appreciate you spending time with her more than a bouquet of flowers (although flowers are always a good idea!). The Pasadena Showcase House of Design is open to the public from now through May 20, 2018. It’s a great way to spend a day out while supporting the arts. If you haven’t bought tickets yet, you can purchase them here.
Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s house, a beautiful 11,000 square foot home built in 1915 that’s decked out in modern flair, which is something very different than from year’s past. There’s also a guest house and even tree house on the property.
Photos by Peter Christiansen Valli courtesy of the Pasadena Showcase House of the Arts and Photos via Pasadena Star-News and Visit Pasadena.
Tuesday Tips are meant to provide inspiration for a particular decorating project that can infuse an easy dose of style into your decor. Tuesday Tip ideas are relatively simple to accomplish so they are perfect projects for those short on time. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Tuesday Tip but I recently came across an image that I thought would be a perfect little decorating tip to share with you today.
Frame special heirloom pieces of silverware to create one-of-a-kind artwork. Alternatively, look for pieces at flea markets or antique shops, which can usually be found abundantly and often at very affordable prices. Don’t feel like you have to find a match set. Mixing and matching pieces can be just as interesting, if not more interesting, than something too “matchy-matchy”.
Graphic image created by Reviving Charm with photography by Rikki Snyder.
When it comes to living large in a small space I must admit that New Yorker’s do it best. The home of interior designer Meagan Camp, located in New York’s Upper West Side, is proof of that. What she lacks in space she makes up for in style. Her apartment may be a mere 300 square feet but you tend to forget about the size due to the fact that she has selected pieces with just the right proportions to keep the space from feeling tight and cramped. Meagan has also done a successful job of incorporating a mix of vintage and new, with many of the new pieces available directly to the public (i.e. West Elm sofa and Ikea wardrobe). The overall design is a successful marriage of traditional and contemporary elements that keeps this space fresh and relevant for today’s living.
Neutrals are classic and timeless, and can lean traditional or modern depending on how they’re used…I like to create a traditional shell and mix in trend-driven items. This way, you can easily mix in new pieces as trends come and go, rather than needing to re-do [the] entire space.” — Meagan Camp
To read more about Meagan’s approach to the design of her apartment check out the article here.
What do you do when you need more room to store clothes, shoes, and accessories? Well, if you are Martha Stewart, you call California Closets to help convert an unused bedroom into a new walk-in closet. Her only prerequisite was to use pieces that are modular so that the architectural details of the room were not disturbed. This also gives her the flexibility to convert the space back into a bedroom if ever needed. I am very fortunate to have a walk-in closet but lately each time I walk inside, I keep telling myself that I need to do a good purge. After the purge, I might look at updating my closet a bit. The existing color scheme in my closet is similar to Martha’s incorporating emerald green, grey, and antique pieces but I have been wanting to repaint the room and add crown molding. Besides working in the garden, this sounds like another great Springtime goal. We shall see…