Sunday, March 11, 2012

Let's Talk About Teal

Ever since the Pantone Color Institute declared "Tangerine Tango" the color of the year for 2012, for keen-eyed designers there's been and elephant in the room and its NOT pink.

Teal, (sometimes confused with "Peacock Blue" which has more blue) and their brighter cousin, Turquoise are making a huge splash this year.  After slowly sneaking into the modern palette, teal is showing up big and making bold statements in interiors.

With some notable exceptions, these vibrant hue's don't seem to be replacing our beloved neutrals, but instead we are seeing the blue-green hues functioning as a pop of color in otherwise colorless rooms, or paired with contrasting but equally vibrant colors, such as Magenta, gold and yes, our very own color of the year Tangerine Tango.

Happily for all both the official and the under the radar colors of the year look fabulous together. 

So get ready, go forth and mix yourself up some fresh and festive Teal for 2012!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Buster's Chaise Lounge

One of my early foray's into the intersection of interior design and reclamation was 'Buster's Chaise".  This fifties fantasy began life as possibly the ugliest sofa known to man that I literally found on the sidewalk.
Buster's Chaise, modeled expertly by Buster
Its Herculon dressed pine frame was a marvel of bad and disassembling it was an adventure in seeds and stems, but once rendered down to wood and no-sag (or "S") springs, and the wood reconfigured, this one of a kind room changer cost close to nothing.

I don't have a picture of the actual sofa I used, but this is darn close.
I was proud of this piece, Its unusual look and storied history started many a conversations, but no one loved it like Buster.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The House That Craigslist Built

When we first bought our home in San Francisco's Bernal Heights the backyard was nothing but an uneven slope of weeds. But in spite of the fact that I'd never taken to gardening, I was driven to do something spectacular with the space. After decades of apartment life, I finally owned land in San Francisco and I wasn't about to let the potential go to waste.

I wanted a lush garden I could enjoy year round. But I had to overcome the fact that our fifties four-square only provided access to the backyard via the garage.

What was missing was an enclosed space that provided immersive views of the garden that I was determined to create.  I needed a place to relax and entertain comfortably and feel like I was still in the garden even on the many San Francisco days that aren't sunny and warm.  What I needed was a back porch.

I made a call to the city, and when I discovered that I didn't need a permit for what they termed a 'shed' - an unattached structure that did not exceed 100 square feet or 8 feet in height and had no plumbing or electrical - I was thrilled.


The only problem was we'd poured most of our cash into transforming the house from a total dump into something livable and we didn't have much money for the extravagance of adding a garden and a back porch to enjoy it.

But I was burning with determination. So for nine months I scoured the free section of Craigslist, finding all manner of useful things from landscaping rocks to furniture and plants. I found building materials, flagstone pavers, bricks and even fresh sod.

I  spent several months designing and redesigning. Exploring the most pleasing way to fit the materials I had collected not only into a lovely and lush garden but also into a functional structure that met the city's parameters.

In the end, the building incorporated tons of free stuff, including 3/4 of the total lumber, three sets of french doors, all the furniture and even two unique "Mondiran" style metal and plexiglass panels that had been fabricated as a backdrop for a Wired magazine photo shoot.

Now, four years later, I sip my morning coffee and enjoy the view of my private paradise sitting cozy in the house that Craig's list built.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Read This Blog

(disclaimer: old picture :-)
As a child, I must have "re-arranged" my bedroom weekly, if not daily. (I like to think that) My parents marveled at how much I could change the feeling and character of that ten by ten using the same furniture, time after time.

Well, the more I've changed, the more I've stayed the same. Because today my passion is all about making wonderful spaces with limited resources.

These days I focus on restoring, re-imagining and resourcing wonderful furnishings at amazing deals.

I scour garage sales, thrift shops and the internet to find diamonds in the rough, polish them up and use them to create rooms people love to live in.

I invent creative solutions for those strange decor problems that everyone has and bring everything together into a space that expresses the personality of its inhabitant.

In the end your space won't look like some generic magazine cover, it will look just like you.

So Stay Tuned; cuz here comes da blog...