Contrary to the revelation in my “Culled Closet” post, I bought yet another accent piece.  I’m now the proud owner of a pink patterned jumper, which BTW looks great with a brown suede handbag I found in a SF vintage shop.  Having said that, I’m still focused on culling items and hope to hone in on my Spring 2014 “look” in a timely manner.  Stay tuned.

Do you have a favorite new item in your Spring wardrobe?  If so, please share.


Lately, I’ve been loving the look of vintage brown leather sofas.  Their patinaed finish and profile, reminiscent of another era, easily add character and plushness to any room.  Take a look at a few of my favorites:

Ebay and 1stdibs have  quite a few of these babies up for grabs.  Check on them here, here and here.  I say:  go for it!!

Images:  1./2./3./4./5./6./7.


I came across these photos last night and was reminded of the start of the new year.  We spent the first day of 2014 with friends at Pescadero Beach exploring its many coastal wonders with our children.  It’s hard to believe that the ides of March are here already.  The first two months of this year have been [beyond] busy with work, the kids’ individual schedules and our ongoing home renovation.  In all this, it seems I’ve lost a bit of  my old “California wanderlust”.  My weekend plans are to work in the garden and to reconnect with the landscape that surrounds us.   We all need to regroup and recharge in the most natural way.

Do you have plans for this weekend?  Whether you stay home or decide to head out, here’s my wish for a safe and happy one. 


There are a few things that we’re still undecided on for our renovated kitchen.  One of them is counter stools.  My original thought was to keep the seating profile clean with a backless wood stool painted in the color of the cabinetry.  Essentially to make them disappear, since I often like when certain things disappear from view.  However, after further scouting on the subject,  I’ve come up with some alternative options.  Some less expensive, others more comfortable, stylish and, of course, more expensive.  Take a look at what I found and why we’re now considering them:

1. Arteriors Wyndham Wood And Iron Swivel Stool has an interesting brass leg design and a lightness to its profile.  The fact that it swivels is practical, but it may also turn snack time into playtime.

2. World Market Linen Hayden Barstool looks both comfortable and sturdy.

3. I’ve always admired the sculptural beauty of The Cherner Collection, but I’m not yet convinced that a chair back is right for our space.

4. Leyla from Organic Modernism has an interesting design, a beautiful wood grain and what looks like a perfectly molded seat.

5. The Gavilan Stool is funky and somewhat reminiscent of a Mid-Century design.  I like the brass legs and the leather seat available in many colors.  Pricey.

6. Target’s Counter Stool in oak has all the right dimensions, can be painted and fits nicely in the budget, but is it interesting enough?

Which one do you like and why?  Help me out here.


Last week we began the painstaking process of refinishing our  60+ year-old concrete floor.   After removing an existing kitchen island and a wall dividing the kitchen and dining room areas, not to mention the obvious wear and tear through the years, the floors really needed to be addressed.  The approach was to sand, mend and stain.  Everything was going as planned until the color was applied.  What we previously thought was a match, turned out to be completely wrong after the first/second/third/etc. tries.  Currently, after a week of sanding, we’re  in for another couple of days of sanding and color matching.  At least this time around, the children are not home from school (ill with fevers) and Alex is back from his trip to Switzerland.  Take a look at the first few attempts:

Stayed tuned for what I hope will be the perfect color reveal.

Many thanks to Babik for providing [renovation] refuge for me and her Munchkins (including Loki).  Her hot meals, soothing spirits and comfy beds kept all of us in check.

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During my stay in Cambridge last week, I did spend a few nights at a friend’s home (who had also been a client) and was reminded of how much I enjoyed working with her.  Because our styles are so different, we challenged each other in areas that were out of our mutual comfort zones.  Where I tend to be more miminalistic and tonal in color preferences, my friend has a more classic and traditional approach to decorating with bolder colors and prints.  Together we collaborated in bringing together a mix of textiles and patterns that resulted in a refined, transitional space.  The images below tell the story.

couldn't resist….

Thank you EVB for giving me the opportunity to work together on your beautiful home.



Most of us are looking forward to shedding that winter coat (even in Cali), but  as warmer days approach, cooler evenings still demand one.  The  ease and elegance of the mid-length coat is perfect for those in-between seasonal periods.  They’re light enough for the onset of Spring, yet roomy enough to accommodate Fall’s inevitable layers.  Take a look at some of my favorite “it” coat images:

Be sure to check out more of my favorite looks here.  Which coat are you buying?!?

images: 1./2./3./4./5./6./7.


Now that the walls and ceiling of our kitchen have been exposed, new electrical wiring and boxes are being installed.   The valances, so typical of Mid-Century design, have been preserved and in some areas extended.  In case of any late night entertaining, we added a pocket door to separate the dining area from the hallway leading to the bedrooms.  This so that those who tend to go to bed early (mostly me) can fall sleep easily.   On Tuesday, the concrete floor affected by the renovation will be sanded, smoothed and tinted.  Things are moving right along.  Take a look:

pocket door

concrete floor treatment and color samples

fully exposed skylights let more light in now

Now and then architectural drawings of 2014 and 1950

Loki contemplating the plans before approving them.


Before my kitchen was demolished , I experimented with my favorite winter salad ingredients:  blood oranges, avocado and red onion.  Using Instagram to document my culinary exploits, I had  few people ask what type of dressing I used.  So here it comes:

Mind you, I’m not one for measuring ingredients, so depending on the size of the salad and your preference as to just how much dressing is enough, your own judgement should come into play.

Olive Oil, Orange Blossom Champagne Vinegar, Citrus Zest, and Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.  Whisk together and pour.

I’m looking forward to having a kitchen counter again.  I suspect there’ll be some serious cooking in the new space.


Thank You!

February 27, 2014

I’m so grateful and inspired by the overwhelming support Cocoon Home Blog received in Apartment Therapy’s The Homies Awards.  Making it all the way to the finals is just amazing.  Thank you so much!

I look forward to more sharing of my design inspirations, special family moments and personal journeys with all of you.

Many congratulations to the other finalists, I feel honored to be among you.

Now, a huge thanks to Babik (my mother-in-law and editor) who has always encouraged and supported my creative endeavors.  Her efforts and devotion to Cocoon Home Design  brought us to the finals.  Thank you!