Next Design Project & It’s a Doozy…..

Sometimes as a new designer you stumble upon design opportunities.  Yesterday I had such fortune.  Good friends from college recently decided to move from San Francisco to Berkeley in order to purchase a home for their growing family (2 adorable girls under 3 years of age and 1 more on the way!).

The wife and I had talked on and off about me assisting her with decorating the house once they moved in.  It was a light and breezy type of talk, sorta like when your best friend says she loves your pound cake and you tell her you will teach her how to make it.  Or when your friend says she wants to secretly kill her husband and asks for your help to hide the body — you know — no biggie.

Well peeps, I finally got over to the house yesterday as they were finishing up general repairs before they move on Monday and let me say O-M-G.  The house in its raw state is stunning…….

Front Exterior

It was built in the 1930s by a wealthy local who wanted to create a replica of the childhood home of his wife.  The grounds are amazing old growth trees, stone paths and ponds……simply stunning.

Koi Pond


And some highlights from inside the house…..

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Sitting Room/Office

Fireplace in Office/Sitting Room


Dining Room

Formal Living Room

Living Room Fireplace (It's 6 FEET tall)

As I said the above pictures are just a TASTE of the house.  I didn’t get the chance to photograph the two other bedrooms, kitchen, playroom, craft room, butler’s pantry, balcony, patio, servant’s staircase (yeah I said servant staircase) and basement.

When I say this house is GRAND, it is beyond the scale of homes I tend to work on, hence why I consider it an honor  that our breezy talk of me helping is turning into a full-fledged consulting gig for the overall design of the house.  It is clearly a long-term project over the course of several years, but that is what makes it fun and challenging.

My mind is spinning with ideas!  I anticipate we will start a dialogue come this Fall and map out a strategy before diving into the actual work.  As you can tell, I am giddy over this project!

Let the fun begin!

PS:  Scruffy finally got neutered yesterday and all went well.  He is limping and groaning like a 90 yr old man but then I sorta expected that.  I am just thankful my little furry nugget is safe and back at home.

Check Me Out at Alice In Designland

Hope y’all had a great weekend!  My weekend was filled with work of various sorts….school work, house work, design work.  Makes me feel that I almost didn’t have a weekend at all.  However, the one bright spot in  my weekend was that I received word that the pictorial story I did for Alice in Designland was live!

The editor, Dia, contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would share my Music Room with her readers.  I was flattered and happy to do so because (1) I love Dia’s blog and (2) the Music Room is near and dear to me heart since it was the first room I fully conceived and decorated from scratch.  Take a moment and scoot over to Alice in Designland and take a look at the new pictures of the room!

Big thanks to Dia for letting me share my room with her readers!

Casa Sugar House Tour

I have been hinting for the last few weeks about various photo shoots.  Well I can finally show you one of them!  I was lucky enough to have the editors at Casa Sugar ask to photograph my home as part of their site’s House Tour series.  Aside from being profiled on one of my favorite decor and shelter sites, I also had the opportunity to connect with a fantastic photographer by the name of Philipp Striebe who shot the pictures. Philipp is an award-winning photographer and it showed during the day of the shoot as he spent hours working with me to compose the shots.  He made the house look fantastic and I am in his debt!

Preparing the house for the shoot was a marathon session of paint touch-ups, accessory rearranging, plant buying and window cleaning.  The shoot itself was really informative and enlightening as it was a huge learning curve in helping me understand what makes a good picture.  It was also a boot camp in learning how things are styled for shelter magazine shoot.  One of the things that stuck in my head was the phrase “In magazine life, there are no power cords….”   Okay, let me just tell you that trying to hide the multitude of cords in the house was a feat of prop placement, double stick tape and unplugging. I did so much unplugging that we didn’t have a landline for two weeks because I forgot to plug the phone back in!

However, I am really relieved that the pictures turned out so well and more importantly that the Casa Sugar editors liked the final story.  I truly hope this is the first of many shoots as I build my portfolio.  Speaking of portfolio building, I am currently seeking clients in the Bay Area for gratis work.  Simply put, I am looking to work on rooms for gratis minus basic expenses as long as the client pays for materials and outside labor. Yup, you get me for free if you put up the dough to redo your room.  I am most interested in clients with living room, den and family rooms looking for cost-effective and cosmetic changes (sorry, not licensed for demo work).  If you are interested in using my services, send me an email at

Now that I have plugged my services, why don’t you scoot over to Casa Sugar to check out the tour!  And be sure to leave a comment if you like what you see……

And on a final note, I want to say thank you to everyone who visits the blog.  Six months ago when I started the blog, it was a way for me to explore a facet of myself that I quite frankly ignored for years.  Through your encouragement, comments and kind words, you have helped me find a voice, pursue a passion and redefine who I am.  It is because of you all that the Casa Sugar story was possible and it is because of your feedback and support that I am moving forward on several other exciting things.  I am now living my life out loud and I thank each and every one of you for it.