Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 ~ Thoughts on Design

A new year always inspires me to open my eyes to all that is around
me for inspiration. I never leave home without my digital camera so
I can catch just that moment that takes my breath away. My list is
long: rain-soaked grass, the outline of bare branches, mud puddles,
streets filled with leaves, new buds coming out, rocks, the beach,
sunsets, sunrises, the rain, clouds (this winter has produced the most
amazing clouds!), the glorious shades of green everywhere outside,
the movement of the water outside my window, tree bark, peeling
paint, that perfect bloom on my magnolia tree, rusted metal, birdbaths,
moss, faded textiles, clearly I could go on and on!

Even a trip to the grocery store gets me thinking about color and
textural combinations. Think leeks and articokes on a big platter with
radishes and eggplant. Fabulous texturally and oh the colors! Next
time you are stumped for ideas on what color(s) to use in a room, look
no further than your favorite Farmers Market or produce aisle at the
Supermarket. Mother Nature has done all the work for you! Choose
what speaks to you and try it in your space. Granted, not all your
inspirations will work in every situation, depending on the light in the
area you are using and how it changes throughout the day. But it will
get you started and assist you in thinking about colors in a new way.

Here are some things that I am loving, right now!

• Coral and navy
• Yellow orchids
• Framed maps
• Bordered seagrass rugs
• Art hung on paneled doors
• Black, cream and red ~ mixed with LOTS of texture
• Ebonized furniture
• Blue and white exportware
• Articokes and watermelons as table art
• Repurpose old sterling silver vases as desk organizers
• Zinc urns and columns
• Forced branches
• Don't reupholster ~ drape a beautiful throw or quilt over
• Wicker baskets repurposed as lamp shades (trust me)
• Found pots, jars under console tables
• Antlers, horns and shells!
• Painted boxes
• Vases filled with leaves
• Pussy Willows

Gotta run and get busy planning my next THRILL OF THE HUNT.
Check back often for details and dates for a Late Spring event.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We're Baaaccckkk on Sunday, September 26, 2010!

Watch this website for details on our next event ~ one day
only, Sunday, September 26, 2010. I'm already hunting
and gathering. Don't miss it!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Next Thrill of the Hunt is Set for Saturday, April 17th!

My last Thrill in mid-February was a huge success! Thank you to all
my faithful supporters and newbies. Always wonderful to see new
faces, along with the familiar ones, as you walk through the gate.

Spring will be in full bloom on Saturday, April 17th from 11 a.m. to
4 p.m. ~ One Day Only at 1200 Saint Charles in Alameda. Joining me
is my favorite Thrill Buddy, award-winning artist, Suzanne Etienne.
Suzanne will be coming down from her gallery in Ashland, bringing her
newest original pieces and a load of fabulous giclees for sale. If weather
permits, we will have art throughout the garden and brightening the
guest house. If you aren't familiar with Suzanne's work, checkout her
website at

I've just returned from a hunting trip down the coast. Amazing weather
and inspiration galore! The highlander was so packed with treasures
that I had to skip my last stop for lack of room to put one more thing.
Cannot wait to show you all I've gathered from Petaluma to Paris, with
fabulous new sources that I've just come across.

With so many special occasions in the Spring, I will be featuring great
gift ideas for your favorite mother, graduate, bride & groom and
birthday buddy.

Here's a short list of my favorite things that inspire my design:

Lemons, pears, figs, melons, coral, rolling green hills, goats,
lamps, wicker baskets overflowing with flowers, allees, birdbaths,
yellow, Paris, rust, arbors, paintings, nests, urns, clock faces,
grasses, asparagus, geraniums, pigs, the sea, shells, fabrics, ikat
patterns, pillows (lots of them), pearls, turquoise, moss, terra
cotta pots and so much more.

We now accept VISA and MasterCard, along with local checks.
Remember too that I am available year-round to assist in your
interior design needs. No job is too small! Consultation
appointments are welcomed.

See you on April 17th! Don't miss it...and bring your friends.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Great Day To Be At Thrill of the Hunt!

Come on by ~ I'm open again tomorrow, Saturday, February 20th
from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Guest House is filled with lots of
fabulous finds for your home and garden. More surprises tomorrow!

Put a Spring smile on and come on by ~ 1200 Saint Charles, Alameda.
Call me if you need directions at 510.368.1447.

Can't wait!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

It Has Been Too Long!

I'm ready to beat the "Winter Blahs" with the first Thrill of the Hunt
for 2010 ~ Friday and Saturday, February 19-20. The doors will be
open both days from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine. I'll have something
sure to cheer you up when you arrive!

Come by and wander through the treasures I have collected to spruce up
your home and garden just when you need it most. All this rain has left
many of us feeling soggy! I try to remember this is the precursor to all
the beautiful new buds and green hills coming our way.

Every day things inspire my design aesthetic. None more than color
combinations that I see in nature. When stumped on what colors work
together, just look out your window or leaf through a gardening book.

Much like you can force a bit of Spring by bringing a bowl of Paper
White bulbs and watching them peek up, you can bring sunshine into
your rooms now with a few unexpected color additions. Try adding
orange or coral in a neutral room or add lime in a yellow or blue palate.
Adding a pop of color in small doses with toss pillows, a colorful new
vase or a grouping of items on your coffee table with a chic colored tray
provides you with a lot of bang for your buck!

I'm heading to the San Francisco Design Center later this week to
preview what's new and take in some classes at the 2010 Design Week
event. I'm excited to see the new textiles and furniture lines being intro-
duced into the marketplace. I always return with renewed creativity,
lots of useful information and new ideas to share with my design clients
and Thrill goers.

Check back here often for tidbits I'll be sharing from things I learned
and ideas that popped up while being inspired walking through all the
design showrooms.

Talk to you soon ~ and see you all February 19 & 20!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What the Heck is Thrill of the Hunt?

Many folks have been telling me "I'm not sure I know what Thrill of the
Hunt is". In a nutshell, it is a day, 2-4 times a year, when I open up my
design studio to the public and sell my collections, props, vintage and
antique pieces acquired and just fun stuff for your home and garden
that catches my eye. I have things available for every budget, literally
starting at $1.00 going up to $5,000. I usually have small furniture
pieces, original and reproduction art; mirrors, decorative home
accessories and great gift items. Pillows, rugs, dishes (vintage and
new), serving pieces and objects of art can be found throughout the
Guest House.

While I have a European-inspired home, I admire all design styles.
Thrill is full of transitional items that I believe work in most any
decor. I love to interweave styles and think it makes a home much
more interesting. A very contemporary home can benefit from a few
well-placed antiques, just as a period home comes alive with an asian
flavor here and there.

Checkout the photos below from the last Thrill to catch a glimpse of
what I'm talking about. Each Thrill is different ~ I never know what I
might have for sale and really love everyone to just come and 'hunt'.
You might just find that perfect object that you have been looking for
or something you didn't even know you needed!

Thrill has turned into more than a day of hunting. So many familiar
faces with so many of you spreading the word to your friends and
family. I am very grateful for your support. You are the reason Thrill
continues and is growing in leaps and bounds. Friendships are made,
patched up and enriched in my little Guest House. Don't miss the next
one! Keep checking back to this website for details about future dates
in 2010. With luck, there will be news about a new location as well.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Your partner in the 'hunt',

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Ode to Fall 2009

Sunday, September 27th was a record-breaking day! Beautiful, beautiful weather. Shoppers by the hundreds. Amazing art displayed throughout the Guest House and garden, with treasures finding new homes, as Thrill-goers scooped up their finds.

So now the little Guest House looks sad ~ and empty ~ and will be getting a good coat of paint while we are in the "quiet season" 'til early 2010.

I've already been lucky in finding some great vintage dishes and glassware for next time. As well as connecting with my Parisian shopkeepers, who just sent me really beautiful pieces to sell. I am so excited! As you might guess, I am plotting my return to Paris. While I have been very lucky to have been able to travel quite a bit over the years, a city has never taken hold of my heart like Paris has.

Of course, my recent trip has greatly influenced my design sensibilities. That is not to say I think every house should be "French", just French-inspired. By that I mean infused with not only the homeowners personality but also a joy for life and all those pursuits that interest them. That's truly "French Design". They really don't. They just display and use those things that bring them joy and never wait for a special occasion.

I don't know about you, but I was raised in a house full of lovely things. Not necessarily expensive things, just items that held memories or were found on our many family vacations. My mother has great style and was always ahead of her time, even though money was not plentiful. She painted, sewed, moved things around and really loved to take our home from season to season. Nothing was too precious to be used and children were welcome everywhere. China never sat in a cupboard waiting for a holiday or special reason to use it. I have that same philosophy in our home. Candles come out at breakfast and cloth napkins are derigeur.

Use those things that you have. Display them, move them around, enjoy them! Just moving art around can change the whole look of a room. Actually, a bouquet of flowers or greens from your garden, local Farmer's market, or grocery store can also uplift a room. Better yet, pile a big bowl full of Fall fruit on the coffee table. The colors will inspire you and your family will get in the habit of grabbing that delicious looking fruit for a snack!

Of course right now the markets are full of Indian corn, mini pumpkins, faux autumn leaves and more. All for just a little bump in your grocery budget. Take advantage of these items, adding in green apples, artichokes, eggplant and before you know it, you have a stunning centerpiece for your entry table, dining room table or buffet.

Have fun with your home and your surroundings. It is the 'french' way.

'til next post.