Blush & Brass: 4 Favorites

January 29, 2015

blush and brass

My ‘up and coming’ trend radar must have been in overdrive when I reupholstered our womb chair in a light pink fabric and added brass accents to our renovated kitchen.  Suddenly that color combination is hotter than hot for both home decor and fashion wear.  Given the classic look of the current IT metal and the flattering flexibility associated with blush pinks, I suspect this combination will withstand the test of time if used in moderation.

Here are a few items that I’m currently blushing over:

One:  A gem shaped side table that’s both fancy and functional.

Two:  Softly hued wallpaper that works in either traditional or modern settings.

Three: These brassy, pointy clogs have my name written all over them.  However, their 4.5 heels bring me back to my senses.  Maybe one of you can rock them.

Four:  A sweet lamp for Zoe’s bedroom.



For the past year I’ve been working with clients in Boston.  At first, we gutted their Beacon Hill condominium to update the utilities, raise the ceiling, refinish the floor and restore some of the residence’s architectural details.  Over the summer I had the opportunity to begin decorating the home and I’m flying East tomorrow to continue the process.  We’ll be adding rugs, accessories, accent pieces and, of course, some indoor botanicals.  Follow my search as I Instagram potential items for this project at #beaconhillchd.  It will be fun to have you along!
wallpaper IMG_1229


do right

This weekend, as we celebrate Martin Luther King, let us all strive to be compassionate towards others and ourselves.  To remember that any time it’s the right time to do what is right.  Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, for your wisdom, passion and courage that are still called upon to the present day.  We need your strength and belief in justice and equality for all mankind now as we did then.



My mother in-law prepared this salad for us a little while back and it was so good that I felt the need to recreate it and blog about it.  The combination of the crunchy iceberg lettuce, the fresh sweet peas and the juice of a Meyer lemon makes for a refreshing end to a hearty winter meal.  Yes, she served this salad after an Italian sausage ravioli and Chateaubriand roast (with a brandied mushroom sauce) dinner.  Did I mention hearty?!

Salad ingredients and instructions below: peas IMG_4625 IMG_4634



Firm avocado, iceberg lettuce, fresh peas, parsley, Meyer lemon, olive oil and sea salt


Cook the peas for a minute and rinse with cold water.  Chop up the iceberg lettuce and place in a bowl.  Add a diced avocado and the cooked peas and toss.  Sprinkle with fresh, finely chopped parsley.  Drizzle the salad with olive oil and the juice of one Meyer lemon.  Salt and pepper to your liking (preferably with sea salt).

I keep lemon slices (and sea salt) on the side so one can season it to his/her liking.





At last, our dining room table is completed.  Using the same material as we did for our counters, Silestone, but in a different color, we were able to blend our two kitchen areas without making them look too ‘matchy-matchy’.   A solid creamy white called Haiku for our counter tops lent a more modern look in the kitchen, while the marbled effect of  Quasar for the table top gave the dining room a more traditional feel.  The combination works perfectly together.  We’re loving the look and the durability of the stone and, in all honesty, we’re finding ourselves sitting around the table longer.  Eating slower, chatting longer and entertaining more often.  The renovated kitchen has become the heart of our home.  Take a look: silestone psd

bowls psd


It’s hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that we were finalizing the renovation plans for our kitchen and only now do I feel it’s almost done.  It was well worth the time invested and I thank all who’ve been following this [at times] arduous process.  In the future, I will share my art search for the dining area and for fabric to reupholster our comfy chairs.  I will need your help again.

Did you really think we were done?!?


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3 Simple Things For 2015

January 7, 2015

3 things sd

1. This softy hued color palette lends a sense of calm and elegance to apparel or home accessories.

2. Don’t underestimate the beauty and interest of a foliage plant. Big or small, outdoors or in, leaves can add drama and life to a space. Stay tuned for a list of my favorites.

3. A suede handbag, reminiscent of the 70′s is this year’s ‘must have’ accessory and I’m creating one just for YOU!


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Feeling California

January 5, 2015


While in NYC a few months ago, Alex and I had a distinct California moment.  At some point during a random evening, we realized that we were the only ones in a restaurant NOT wearing black.  Me, donning a vintage dress looking more like Janis Joplin than the icon herself and Alex in a cream colored cable knit sweater looking like an ordinary Cali dude shucking oysters in Tomales Bay.  No matter, we had a fabulous evening with our East coast friends while realizing we had become genuine Californians not just by the way we dressed, but in the way we lived.  Speaking to our hosts about how much we love the weather, the landscape and the spirit of the West, a deep feeling of contentment came over us.  It has been two and a half years since our move to the West Coast and in this past year California really began to feel like home.  We’ve made new friends, immersed ourselves in our respective jobs, expanded our networks and explored the many wonders of the Golden State.

I’m proud of my East Coast roots and will always honor them.  I still get excited every time we travel there to reconnect with family and friends and to revisit the many places that have shaped us into whom we have become.

I want to thank our family and friends who have been patient and supportive during our move and for still remaining so close to us across the miles.

Happy New Year!



Two and half years ago (when we first moved to California) we embarked on what has become a brand new Christmas Eve tradition.  With few friends and family members nearby, we felt the need for a new way to mark the holiday for the children and for us as well.  Honing in on my  Italian heritage and our love for pasta, we decided that an early, hearty dinner in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood would do very nicely.  Combined with a Christmas Eve service, some shopping for last minute gifts and yummy regional treats to savor at home while preparing for Santa’s imminent arrival, this new tradition felt just right.  Our return home later in the evening (physically and spiritually fulfilled), still allows for time to tend to unfinished holiday details.  This outing has become something we all look forward to and our very own hallmark for the holiday.  We hope that in years to come both local and visiting friends and family members can join us in our  [fairly] new Christmas tradition.

I hope that all of you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season filled with fond memories of old traditions and/or  fun times creating new ones! IMG_4293 IMG_4294

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Sugar Stick Holiday Wrap

December 22, 2014


The holiday wrapping marathon has begun and this year there’s something a little sweeter about it:  sugar sticks.  Yes, I’m adding sugar sticks to our packages this year.  The secret is out for any of you who are receiving gifts from us.  The rest of the embellishment is quite simple. It is comprised of twine, an oversized cedar sprig and a fern frond.   I especially like when the greens hang over the packages as if they were concealing their contents.  Take a look: IMG_4135 IMG_4143 IMG_4181 Do you have a special motif for this year’s holiday gift wrapping?   Do share if you do.  Together we can start our very own pinterest board!


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I actually enjoy the hustle and bustle of a “last minute” holiday shopping.  There’s something to be said for the spontaneity of finding an item that will make a perfect gift for someone on my list.  I also like the fact that there’s little or no time to hem and haw over decisions to buy or not to buy.  Here’s my last minute holiday gift guide that meets standards of vintage appeal and classic style applied to modern aesthetics.   Maybe one of these gifts will be perfect for someone on YOUR list…

1.  Komono’s Winston Monte Carlo Croc.

2.  Schoolhouse Electric and Supply’s Half Oval Hoop Earrings.

3.  Zara’s Mixed Knit Gloves 

4.  Pendleton’s Chimayo Throw

5.  Lego’s  Architecture Series

6.  William and Sonoma’s Leather Clad Flashlight