Etsy Find of the Week – Recycled Street Sign Table

Looking for that pop of color and graphic appeal for a room?  Check this out…

This fun little table was created out of a recycled traffic sign by Etsy seller J Ryde Visuals.

This table would be perfect for what my parents refer to as a “drink stand”.   You know, that place you put your cup of coffee in the morning while you curl up in your chair reading the paper,… on your iPad.  Read the rest of this entry »

Shades of Autumn – Cassandra Tondro Leaf Prints

I once had the opportunity to visit Concord, MA just at the height of the fall color.  Swirling masses of gold, orange, scarlet, and yellow leaves were everywhere, and I felt as though I was walking through a postcard.   It was one of the few times I regretted living in the milder, Southern California climate.

Here, the heat of summer smacks right into the cold and wet of winter, with hardly any visual transition.  You have to search to find a tree displaying true fall color.  Luckily, Santa Monica based artist Cassandra Tondro is willing to make that search and give us a taste of autumn, Southern California style.

At first glance, you could be excused for thinking these are impressions from leaves that have been dipped in paint and pressed onto paper.  After all, didn’t many of us do that in crafts classes growing up?  Not that our childish blobs ever looked this amazing, but still, it’s been done right?  Guess again. Read the rest of this entry »

Working Wednesday – Getting Caught Up & Pretty Tile

Although having your own business has many perks – making your own hours being a major one – there is a big downside in that if you get sick, there is no one who can really take on your workload until you get better.  I found that out the hard way this year, when I became very ill in January, an illness which left me functioning at about 50% for most of the rest of this year.  Not good!

Happily, my doctors have figured out how to bring me back to 100%.  I feel GREAT!

Now comes the tough part – getting caught up!  So, in the interest of keeping my clients, editors, friends and family happy, today’s post is short.

Really short….


My current favorite tile.  Oceanside Glasstile’s Muse Ovation in Tidepool.

The End.

Thanks for visiting,



Breaking a Leg in Design

Images via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I had to take my dog to the vet this morning, for what may turn out to be a fractured leg, so my post today is necessarily brief.  In fact, the sight of her trying to make it to the back of the vet’s office on just three legs is more on my mind than the design work I need to get done today.  Not good.

That being said, her situation did get me to thinking about leg injuries in general, and that in turn brought Charles and Ray Eames WWII leg splint to mind (I’m a design geek – it’s how my mind works).   A masterful example of form AND function, the commission from the U.S. Navy to design a leg splint enabled the Eameses to develop and perfect the plywood molding technology they had begun to explore just a few years prior.  This allowed them to later design and produce the iconic, mid-century plywood furniture they are now most famous for.

When you think of it, some pretty significant design innovations have come out of completely unrelated needs.   Do you know of any others?  What’s your favorite story of great design arising from new technologies?

Thanks for visiting (and cross you fingers for my dog)!


Etsy Find of the Week – Upcycled Metal Hinge Chair

The title of this post pretty much sums it up.  Behold, a chair made entirely of hinges…

Kinda cool, no?  Probably not the most comfortable seat in the house, but definitely a conversation piece.

This chair was created by Etsy seller Neva Starr out of 122 old metal door hinges, welded together.

Says Neva Starr…

This chair is one of my favorite pieces. The original state of these hinges has been carefully preserved as each one has a story to tell. Some still carry remnants of the past. Bits of old paint and wood are the clues as to where they have been. Read the rest of this entry »

Mix ‘n’ Match Wallpaper Collection by Kirath Ghundoo

Today is the start of 100% Design in London.  Wish I was there.  Then I could see fun new ideas like this…

The Mix ‘n’ Match 11 Wallpaper Collection, by Kirath Ghundoo, is being exhibited there this week.  It’s an exuberant assortment of digitally printed patterns, designed to be used in any combination you enjoy.  Because there is no need to match or repeat, there is no need for wasteful cutting and scrap (a great bit of built in sustainable design).  You can even use the strips individually to accent a painted wall.


There are seven patterns altogether, with LAVISH above being my definite favorite.  Love the colors!

To see the rest of the collection, visit Kirath Ghundoo’s shop here.

Thank for visiting!


Working Wednesday – Cambria Countertop Test

Although being an interior designer isn’t nearly as glamorous as many people seem to think, it is at least always interesting.  Sometimes it is downright fun.  Case in point…

my mad science experiment!  Here’s the story…

I had recommended using composite stone countertops for a project I’m working on, and the client said “Great, but we want to make sure it is extra durable”.  “No problem”, I assured them, “composite stone is much more durable and environmentally friendly than granite or other types of stone surfaces”.  “Terrific!”, they said.

I beamed.

“Oh,” the client added, “and please make sure it is made in the U.S.”.

I groaned.

You see, most composite countertops are made in places like Italy, Spain and Israel.  This doesn’t bother me as much as it might, because most of the technology and raw material is based there anyway.  However, I also understood the clients desire for a “made in America” product, as I try to keep my dollars closer to home too.

My actual problem was that the only large scale composite stone countertop manufacturer based in the U.S. was Cambria, and I had never used their product on a project.  I had no idea how durable it would be.  There will be a lot of countertop on this project, so I couldn’t afford for the material to be anything less than flawless.

That’s where the fun began…

Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Farm Punk

Just catching on to the Steampunk trend in interior design?

"Steampunk Rooster" by Ursulav


Well watch out, because Steampunk’s little cousin Farm Punk is galloping up right behind it!

Fashioned from reclaimed barn wood and discarded bits of farm equipment, farm punk is earthy, rustic and very, very solid.  This is furniture that will be around for generations (provided those generations don’t mind moving some seriously heavy stuff around with them!).  Take a look at some of the great looking pieces I found (click on an image to see the source).

The Big O Console by The Steel Fork



Vice Versa Bench by UTD

Read the rest of this entry »

Stil Novo Design’s Recycled Wine Barrel Furniture

Since my husband is in the wine business, I see wine themed interior furnishings… All. The. Time.  Most of the stuff I see is pretty darn kitschy, including the furniture made from old wine barrels.  That is really a shame, because the reclaimed oak staves are some of the prettiest wood out there.  Imagine the luminous color of oak stained by years of exposure to red wine.  What a shame to turn such regal wood into blah furniture.

Happily, Stil Novo Design’s furniture and lighting is far from ho-hum.

In fact, it is downright gorgeous!

I love this little table lamp.  Such a pretty glow.

They also use the hoops from the barrels to create great pieces like the Orbit chandelier.

Read the rest of this entry »

Working Hard All Day Like a Machine…

When my father was taking Russian in college during the Cold War, the textbooks they used were written in the U.S.S.R. (for the young folk – that is what communist era Russia was called).  One of the first phrases they learned from the book was Я упорно тружусь весь день, как машина, or “I work hard all day like a machine”.   So Soviet, dontcha think?

In any case, just wanted to let you know that I am in fact “working hard all day like a machine” this week, so my blogging will be curtailed.  I’m hoping to get something posted, but no promises.

This little “comrade” misses you, Dear Readers, and hopes to get back to writing for you soon!