Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Inspiring World of Wendi Young


Occasionally while searching for inspiration I will stumble upon a designer I am absolutely in awe of.  Case in point…Wendi Young.  This image below has been all over the blogosphere and on many a pinterest board.  I didn’t pay much attention to the source until today.  I am sure you have all seen it.  To me it it is the quintessential outdoor room.  It has it all.  Can you imagine a more perfect space?



My dining room needs updating and I have been trying to decide what to do with it.  Here is my inspiration.  This is absolute perfection.  The art on the wall creates the scene…the beams…the moss filled trough…need I say more?


I love the use of unexpected objects as art.  Can you imagine a more ingenious use than this? I love the way the textures play off each other here.




How about this kitchen?  It is so understated. Classic but with a twist. It kind of sneaks up on you and takes you in.

This bedroom is so serene and peaceful, just as a bedroom should be.

All images via Wendi Young Design

All of these images are of a project she did in Shady Canyon in Irvine.  What makes Wendi’s designs stand alone is her ability to develop a design that keys off the personalities and lifestyles of the individual owners The thread that binds them together is the understated elegance and attention to detail.  To see more of Wendi’s designs go to  You will savor every image.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Simple Bottle Tablescape at Casanova Restaurant in Carmel


Last weekend I had the pleasure of helping some friends host a bridal shower for a darling bride to be.  Our hostess  acquired the charming Milagro Room at Casanova Restaurant in Carmel.  If you haven’t been  to Casanova you have missed an experience.



via Casanova website


Here is the Milagro Room


image via Casanova Restaurant

We have had an unusual Spring here in California.  Normally by this time my garden would be overflowing with antique roses and perennials.  However due to the weather I only have a few rose blooms,  and an abundance of lavender, catmint and rockroses.

I decided to do a simple bottle tablescape so that I could make use of the few blooms I had.  You don’t need to have a collection of antique bottles (I don’t). All you need are a few interesting bottles mixed in with whatever bottles (in this case clear) you can scrounge up in varying shapes and sizes.  I used empty wine bottles, vinegar, oil, and even empty Snapple bottles.  The folks at Casanova pushed the tables together to make a King’s table. Here is the result.



Isn’t this room darling?



Here is a close-up of the mish mash of bottles and simple votives (lots of them) …no fine antiques here






I scanned a few images of  the happy couple to be and placed randomly in the mix



Finally the staff at Casanova graciously removed the wine bottle montage from the mantle and allowed me to personalize it for the future bride and groom




Here is the menu for the fabulous luncheon at Casanova.  The lovely cookies were prepared by Tammy Hunziger at Room for Dessert.  You can see more of her goodies here


photo via Cathy Goldman

This is how Casanova serves their coffee with dessert, how fun is this?




Here is the darling Bride to Be Katie




If you would like more information about Casanova Restaurant and their lovely banquet facilities go here

For more bottle scape inspiration go to my tablescape pinterest board here:

flowers in bottles



farmhouse tablescape

The great thing about this type of tablescape is anyone can do it! The more casual looking the blooms the better!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ottomans of Interest


I admit it I am crazy about ottomans especially anything in hide or an animal print.  They are great as extra seating and they add another layer of texture as well. Hide also has the added luxury of being  naturally water and stain repellent



image via centsational girl

Zebra ottoman

Zebra Ottoman from Windsor Smith designs.

Windsor Smith


dan marty

dan marty



dan marty via velvet and linen




texture layers

via pinterest

Upholstered Ottomans as a coffee table.  I love this look but only recommend to clients that are neat nicks and do not have children!





Beautiful blue by Jay Jeffers and team.

Jay Jeffers

Windsor Smith

ottoman by alessandra branca

Alessandra Branca


One of my favorite applications is to add an ottoman or two next to a coffee table.  They add interest and provide extra seating when needed.

Gary Riggs Interiors  gutsy

Gary Riggs


James Michael Howard

jim howard


Adore everything about this room.

image via pinterest


Love the sunbrella covered ottomans in this outdoor space

love the slipped ottomans

I love ottomans shoved under a console table.  They fill in that dreaded empty space and can be grabbed for extra seating in a pinch.

home of Amy Howard via cote de texas

amy howard via cote de texas


nicely styled  clever


P Allen Smith via Acanthus and Acorn  love the use of ottomans with a console table...even though no one will ever use them!

p allen smith



via pinterest


/crazy but wonderful

via coastal living

I had these ottomans slipcovered for my daughter’s condo.  I ordered them from for under $100.  I ordered the grain sacks from Wendy Lewis of the Textile Trunk here,and had my fabulous sewist Katie Baker whip them up.  Here is a picture from a local designers show house, My daughter generously allowed me to borrow them for the event. She has them under a console table and uses them for extra seating in her San Francisco Condo.


cindy hattersley design

How about at the foot of the bed for extra bedding, or a throw?


sweet little beds!


If sewing is one of your talents you could find an ottoman at a local junk store and whip up one of these beauties for practically nothing!

Painted floors

via pinterest

BURLAP Slipcovered Stool

via pinterest

slipcovered ottoman

via pinterest

Do you have ottomans in your home?  If so what is your favorite application?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Trend…Lamps on Islands

As I Designer I try to resist crazy trends. It is my responsibility to create an environment that is both functional and stylish yet reflects the personality of the owner. That said am I crazy or is this about the quirkiest trend of late?

 I admit sometimes they are quite lovely such as in this application.  Everything about this kitchen is just luscious!

Simple yet beautiful kitchen.  Love the cabinet color.  Been seeing lamps on the island a lot lately.  I like the concept - just don't have electrical to my island - darn it!  Image from Velvet & Linen.
via Velvet and Linen

Love the look here too…But does anyone eat or cook at this counter?

Lamps on an island? How does that work? Love.
Via Designers Attic Blog

This kitchen is absolutely stunning! I love everything about it, but if my family were anywhere near that counter someone would knock one of those lamps off within minutes.

lamps on an island!
via pinterest

I am nearly positive whomever owns this kitchen does not cook or eat . It is so beautiful though, isn’t it?

 lamps on the island, glass door refrigerator 

Love this masculine kitchen from Peter Dunham but again I just visualize these lamps getting grease or food splashed on those lovely white shades.

lamps on island

Maybe I find this trend impractical because I have a dog that drinks out of birdbaths and lays on tables?

What do you think?  Is this a quirky trend?  Would lamps be practical on an island in your kitchen? I would love to hear your comments.

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