Dark Mood X 7

November 24, 2014


There’s an elegance and sophistication associated with the color black.  We recognize its dramatic effects on fashion, interiors and exteriors alike, home accessories and even in gift wrapping.  Black lends a dramatic, classic look to almost anything.  Art, knick-knacks, books and botanicals stand out against its rich depth, giving any space a contrasting, edgy feel.  Even simple recipes can appear more interesting when served on a dark plate.  I think I need to find an area in our house where black would feel at home.

Take a look at a few of my favorite ‘noir’ looks:   6ac11ab0827fbdf4b44874724e2650d2

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We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year and I couldn’t be more excited.  Firstly, because it happens to be my favorite holiday and, secondly, because of my love for a well dressed table.  This year, gold tipped leaves inspired a table setting that turned out both earthy and sophisticated.  Vintage Russel Wright dishes, a colorful runner, berry filled twigs, wood and brass create a look and a feel that complement our home’s mid-century design well.  Take a look and find out below how to quickly gild leaves for the upcoming holidays.

Himalayan pink rock salt decorates each setting and is also a take home gift for our guests. candle stick psd IMG_3756 IMG_3807

Clusters of berries tied to the gilded leaves serve as mini botanical arrangements that can become hanging ornaments for our guests.

Gold Tipped Leaves


Magnolia leaves (they’re thick and won’t crack as the paint dries), gold paint and twine.


Tie twine to the leaf stem. Dip the tip directly into the paint. Hang and let dry for 1 to 2 days.

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Best Wishes for a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.                                                                                                                                 


Scenes From New York City

November 18, 2014

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We just returned from the East coast where we visited family and friends in both New York and New Jersey.  The timing for this trip was perfect.  The air was chilly but not frigid, the trees were still holding on to their Fall colors and signs of the coming holidays were all around us in a typically flamboyant NYC style.  Being back home feels really good and realizing that we got to spend precious time with people we love feels even better.  Here are a few images from this past weekend:


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Great news!!  Our dining table and stools have arrived safely from Australia and they’re even more beautiful  than I had anticipated.  The table base is just the right size for our dining area and it provides a bit of raw elegance to the space, while the stools pull the entire space together by virtue of their black leather seats and brass finish.  Once I return from a week-long trip to the East coast, I’ll be in full dining chairs scouting form.  My guess is that I will need some serious ‘blog reader’ input with THAT decision.  In the mean time take a look at these beauties:

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I built this room inspiration around a leather sofa owned by my clients. Its mid-century inspired design is a perfect fit for the Eichler home they live in and their passion for that era’s style.  We’re working on adding color, texture and period appropriate accents throughout their main living areas.  I’m excited to mix newly found vintage pieces and contemporary ones that will hold up to the demands of a growing family.  Stay posted for project updates.

Room elements:

Sculptural Chaise Lounge Chair,  Mulberry Tripod Floor Lamp, Chimayo Throwsideboard, Petrie Sofa, Cavett Leather Chair, Safavieh Beltram Rug, and Spindle Side Table.


Banks, Boots & Brass

November 6, 2014

banks boots brass psd Three things I can’t seem to get enough of lately:

1.  Banks:  LA musician Julia Rose Banks‘ hypnotic and sensual sound is practically all I listen to at home and in the car.  If you haven’t heard her music yet, here’s one of my favorites.

2.  Boots:  The boot season is upon us and I’m trying desperately to refrain from buying these babies.  (Who am I kidding?!?)

3.  Brass:  The warm tone and classic appeal of anything brassy has officially become an obsession.  Can’t wait to reveal our newest arrival from Australia:  a brass plated dinning table.

What are YOU obsessing over lately?





This happens to be the 16th home photographed and featured in my blog’s [hands-down] favorite category:  The Way We Live.  Each of the spaces I have shared with you has been completely different from the rest but equally beautiful and representative of its owners’ style and life experience.  I’m honored to have had the opportunity to turn my lens on this East Bay home.  Its mix of textiles, patterns and color reflect a casual elegance with an inviting coziness, making it a family friendly showcase.  Pieces that have been in the family for generations blend seamlessly with newer acquisitions, thus honoring the past and present in home decor.  In this post the owner (and friend) shares her living room, which much like the rest of her home, combines classic elements with sophisticated boho accents and feel good colors.  Take a look:







Thank you, BJP, for sharing your chic and cozy home with my Cocoon Home Blog readers.




The weekend before last, we celebrated Zoe’s 7th birthday with a dream catching party.  Each of her friends strung beads and hung feathers to create her very own dream catcher.  With a bit a prep work you too can host a party like Zoe’s.  Depending on the age of your guests, more or less preparation may be required.  I went ahead and prepared the rings by wrapping them in tape and weaving them with string.  Separately, I also took leather strips and cords, and with Zoe’s and Natalia’s help, strung one bead at the end of them (to secure the ones the guests would later choose).  Take a look below for the list of supplies and instructions on how to make it these creative party favors come to life:

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5″metal ringsbrown floral tape, waxed thread, leather strip remnants, glass, ceramic and wood beadsassorted feathers and cording in assorted colors.

Instructions:  Prep the frame and strings.

1. Wrap each metal ring with floral tape.

2.  Weave the rings.  I followed this You Tube video.

3.  Prepare 5-7  leather strips and cording per guest and secured a bead on each end.  This way your guests can add beads and attach feathers without anything falling off.

Party Setting:


1.  Place one prepped ring at each seating.

2.  Drape an assortment of 5-7 beaded leather strips and/or cording next to the rings.

3.  Put a handful of asorted beads at each place setting.

4.  Place a mixture of feathers in cups or small vases along the length of your table.


5.  Have the children add beads and feathers to the beaded strings.  The feathers can be pushed inside the bead holes or secured with floral tape.

6.  Once the strands has been adorned, have your guests knot them onto the rings.

7.  Voila!!  And don’t forget to explain how dreamcatchers came to be…




Within the last few weeks, I’ve acquired 3 amazing lifestyle books.  Each one has me riveted not only on the images, but also on the texts that describe approaches to design, philosophies and flavors. The first book The Chamber Of Curiosity, I picked up while visiting Heath Ceramics with a friend (btw, they have a great book selection).  The second was a surprise gift from Alex,  Commune Design’s first book:  Commune: Designed In California.  The third, Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook Plenty More, I purchased it at his book signing event in SF on Friday night.  All three of these bound beauties will offer inspiration for our home, clients’ spaces and for the taste buds of family and friends no matter how many times I peruse through them.     IMG_3100

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Do you have a favorite go-to book for inspiration?


barbera design psd Finding the right dining table and counter stools for our renovated kitchen proved to be a much harder task than expected.  We wanted to preserve our  home’s mid-century design without overpowering it with a table or stool style that conflicted with it.  In Australia’s Barbera Design bronze table and Uccio stool, we found the perfect balance between modern design and a sophisticated aesthetic that will work well with authentic mid-century chairs.

Now that they have been found and ordered, we are not so patiently awaiting their arrival.  Our latest update was that the cargo ship carrying our items had docked in Los Angeles!  Next stop would be Oakland.   I’m anticipating another 2 to 3 weeks before they’re delivered to our home, which will prompt both the table top and chair selections.  Let’s hope the last stages of this project go smoothly and quickly, we’re all ready and eager to sit down at a table!