Play Date: 2013 Peninsula Volunteers’ Decorator Show House …

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the Peninsula Volunteer’s Decorator Show House.  San Francisco tends to have the strong hold on show houses with the occasional one popping up in Marin, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that the Peninsula was finally getting its proper respect in over a decade!  Nestled in the hills of Woodside, CA the Show House is an 11,000 square foot (yes houses that big do exist) of beautifully decorated and appointed rooms.  It was eye candy and inspiration as I walked through each room and got the opportunity to meet each of the designers and discuss their vision behind their designs.  Truth be told, the press tour was only meant to be 2 hours and over-stayed my visit by an hour….I just so inspired albeit the valets didn’t share my enthusiasm partially because I think they wanted to go home!

If you have time to visit the Show House I would recommend it!  Take a Saturday, grab lunch in Palo Alto and drive up.  The door donation supports a fantastic cause and I am sure you will leave a bit more inspired to do some sprucing up in your own home!

Here are some highlights from the tour……

Warren Sheets: Living Room



I loved that Warren used purple which I think is a highly underutilized color in design.  It’s deep hues almost act like a neutral in this room which makes the splash of yellow just sing!

Morgan Design Group: Dining Room

MorganDesignGroup_Dining MorganDesignGroup_Dining2

I loved this room from the chandelier to the place settings.  It was an homage to the movie Clue….and FYI, the designer did it in the dining room with the scissors…..

Emily Taylor:  Library

Emily Taylor Library Emily Taylor Library 2Hello drama!  I loved all the painted woodwork in this room….it as moody, sexy and just the right amount of comfortable formality…….

Christine Sheldon: First Floor Bedroom

ChristineSheldonGuestRoom ChristineSheldon2

My pictures don’t do the room justice…it was just light filled and full of color and pattern.  I seriously wanted to spend the afternoon in that room!

Sabrina Alfin: Garden Room

SabrinaAlfinGardenRoom SabrinaAlfin2

Any time you can bring the outdoors in, I am all for it!  This room contained all “green” materials (pun intended) from recycled cloth to vintage finds to the living walls.  I loved how the designer created a pattern using the plants…..

Terri Pollard: Equestrian Room (2nd Floor)

TerriPollardEqRoom TerriPollard2One part horse lover and one part awesome kids room…..if I was a girl and loved horses, I would be all over this!  I especially love the two frames above the bed filled with dressage ribbons…..

Melodie Rubin: Guest Retreat (2nd Floor)

MelodieRubinBedroom MelodieRubin2I loved the light feel of this room and especially was smitten with the chandelier.  It’s over the top yet quietly centers the room…..

Jana Fung: Guest Bathroom

JanaFungBathroomThe designer tasked herself with using what the bathroom had already.  So this is just paint, stencil and some new surfaces.  Amazing how big of an impact can be had without changing the foot print of a room…..

Johnny Moallempour: Master Bedroom

JohnnyMoeallempourMAsterBed JohnnyMoeallempourMasterBed2

I loved how the designer mixed contemporary with traditional pieces to bring the room into the present.  What I especially love is the onyx table that anchored the right side of the room….drool!

Johnny Moallempour: Master Bath

JohnnyMoeallempourMasterBath JohnnyMoeallempourMBath2

Oh this bathroom is gorg.  Seriously gorg.  OMG gorg.  I think I ended up with a designer crush on Johnny.  If you go to the space, pay special attention to the shower area and tell me what it is missing (but in the best way possible)…..

Scot Meacham Wood: Game Room

ScotMeechamWood_GameRoom ScotMeechamWood2 ScotMeechamWood_GameRoom3

[Scot Meacham Wood Photography by Nicolas Smith]

What does 104 yards of Lily Pulitizer fabric get you?  A game room to die for!  Draped in fabric styled to perfection.  I loved this room because it was such a bold statement for the end of the tour.  As Scot put it, “it’s the macaroon at the end of the design feast…”

And it truly was a feast for the eyes!  Hopefully you will be able to get out and see it for yourself!

Have a great weekend and be safe peeps!

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Talking Out Loud: Zainido Decor…..

There has been an explosion of young entrepreneurs along the West Coast that are not in dot-com or finance.  These new waves of young business owners are embracing more traditional job paths that forgo IPOs and embracing alternative careers.  They are artisans, crafts persons, shop owners and skilled collectors who are keeping time-honored traditions alive.  “Talking Out Loud” is a chronicle of the conversations with these people about their work, life and inspirations……

Fate has a way of introducing you to people you need to have in your life.  That is how I felt when I responded to an online ad selling a pair of vintage chairs.  Meeting the seller, Dana, was like meeting a long-lost friend…..warm, witty, passionate about design and pretty darn funny.  Aside from discovering her love of vintage, I pleasantly surprised she is a purveyor of high-end mid-century art glass.  Her shop & showroom is filled with amazing pieces in every hue of the rainbow for rental or sale.  She quickly became my defacto source for art glass and the occasional gabfest, so I am excited to share Dana and her shop Zainido Decor with you…..


Why opening up a mid-century store specializing in art glass?  There are so many different types of retail stores to open, so what was it about the San Francisco/Bay area landscape that promoted you to open this type shop? 

Glass, to me, has always been a stunning component that can be added to any room. Either in groupings or as a statement piece, it does a seductive dance with light that is hard to resist. I am a firm believer that when you specialize in something, your energy is focused on learning and putting out the best products, so as a collector of glass, it just made sense to be a vintage company that specialized in Mid-century Glass and ceramics.

I was actually born in Phoenix, AZ, but raised in the SF Bay Area and I’ve always had a love affair with it. In terms of design & antiques, the Bay Area has always loved me back with opportunities in the diversity of clientele and their vision.

Did you have a previous career before opening up Zainido Vintage?  If so, what was it and has it helped you with the current business?

I did. I am an Interior Designer by trade and a lifelong student of history. With these two, they have definitely given me my grounding when it comes to knowing design styles and identification. I feel that being able to identify what period an aspect of design, such as a fabric, a furnishing or an object is from in really important and often overlooked when it comes Interior Design. I think that might be the “purist” in me.


What is it about art glass and mid-century furnishings that interesting to you?  What intrinsic or aesthetic qualities about the material/medium drew you to it?

In Mid-century Modern, you had risk that were taken and an innovation with materials and shapes that just doesn’t happen in the present day.  I was collecting MCM before I knew what it was called, so I have always gravitated to the style, admittedly over time my style has changed, but it will always be Mid-century Modern.  When it comes to glass, there is something so magnificent about a material that you can form with fire, whether it is translucent or opaque that mimics the brilliance of gems.


Where do you get your products from for the store?  What criteria do you use to select fabrics to present to your customers? 

I source everywhere, even in different cities. Funny enough, its come to a point where, if I walk into an establishment like a thrift shop or antique store, all I see is the glass and go directly to it, like an obsessive tunnel vision. Even, lately when I watch TV, I’m looking at what is behind the acting on the cabinet or the table.

At the center of it all, I am a collector FIRST. I buy based on beauty, what I love, what moves. Over time, as my buying has evolved, it has also stepped up as well. My clientele, know my style, trust it and keep coming back for more. That’s what has worked for me; it’s a sort of consistency.


In your expert opinion, what are you looking at when selecting a piece of vintage art glass?  Any tips you can share for determining the age or value of a piece?

I’m always paying attention to colors and color trends, which play a large part in how I buy and how my clients buy. For instance, with Emerald being chosen as this year’s color by Pantone, I have noticed a high demand for greens in general.

Here are some rules I use when searching for that special piece:

  • Decanters with flame tip stoppers and apothecaries with the ball handles are not being made in the present day because the stoppers and the lids are too difficult to mass-produce. So if you find a decanter with a flame tip stopper or an apothecary with a lid, chances are this piece is vintage.
  • If a piece has a “Pontil” mark (an organic looking button on the bottom of a hand-blown glass piece where the pontil rod was broken off after the piece was finished) on the bottom, then it’s probably older and definitely hand-blown. More recent pieces have this ground down creating a circular carved out effect on the bottom. There are some exceptions though.
  • There are some shapes and textures in vintage glass that aren’t being reproduced today as well, for instance, the optic pattern that is often seen in goblets and decanters, the linear optic pattern that can be seen in goblets and apothecaries are great indications of an older piece. Additionally while some shapes are always around others have remained in the past giving them a special home in the mid-century cabinet.


Like myself, you are a minority business owner in the rather competitive world of design.  Do you think your experiences as an African-American woman have influenced your design aesthetic and how you do business?

Definitely. As a design student, I sought out mentors in the design industry and  never had one. So I promised myself that when I was finally out there as a professional, I would do all I could to nurture up and coming minority designers and retailers that wanted help.

As a business owner, I also try to embrace other minority businesses in the industry because I do feel that they often don’t get the exposure in the design industry.

So I have to ask, where did the name of your shop Zainido Decor come from?  

I plead the fifth. Let’s just say, when you are last on a list, you have the last  word. Wink.


If money was no object, is there a piece of art glass or mid-century jewel that you would go out and buy for yourself?

It would have to be a structure. There’s a house that I’m always walking through in my dreams that is the perfect combination of about 6 famous houses. So my answer would be, I would build the most amazing house & then put all my pretties in it!

You opened up what many would say is a non-traditional retail store and have succeeded quite well with it.  What piece of advice would you give to a budding retailer who is looking to open up his or her own store?

I would tell them 5 things-

  1.  Do it, Do it, Do it. Don’t let anyone tell you how hard it is, how much money you need or that you will fail. If it is your passion you will do well.
  2. Keep your overhead extremely low. The money going out of your business should be very well accounted for.
  3. Start small, meaning, you can always find a bigger space, when you need It. You can always hire some help, when you need it & etc. Its harder to scale down then to scale up.
  4. Put on a good face at all hours. If you have a display window in your space, make sure it is a showstopper 24 hours a day. Install good lighting so it sparkles at night. You’d be surprised how many people shop your store just by walking by.
  5. Rotate, Rotate, Rotate your merchandise. Create a different vignette every week. It’s not mandatory to constantly buy new merchandise, especially if its slow. Give you customers a new way to see it.

You are also a Mom to a beautiful daughter who is now watching her home run a successful design business.  Do you see her taking the reigns at some point and helping with the family business? If so, what is the one thing you will tell her that you wish someone had told you about design?

I would love it if she decided to go into the design business. She loves “mommy’s glass”, all the colors and going to the flea markets with me.  I would probably tell her to walk to the beat of her own drum and follow her instincts after school. There is no set program or directive that design students need to take after they graduate and I believe being young with vision is an essential key to happiness and success. Which is exactly what I did!


THANK YOU Dana!  I love Dana’s approach to her business as well as the sage bits of advice she is dropping for wannabe retailers.  As a new shop owner, some of these points hit home for me and are definitely now burned into my psyche.  To see more of Dana’s art glass and other mid-century finds she has for sale and rent, visit Zainido Decor!

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Pen To Paper: Oakland Kitchen….

I am working on a kitchen remodel in my backyard…..figuratively and literally since the clients are my neighbors.  They have asked me to help them rethink the small and outdated kitchen in their bungalow.  They love modern mixed with classic and want something that feels warm but not overly traditional.  We talked alot about the different finishes that they like and I interpreted their likes through my design filter to create a concept that is warm, modern and harks back to the home’s roots……

Oakland Kitchen 1

Oakland Kitchen 2

(sorry for the odd tinge of yellow on the shots – the drawings were done on trace paper and the lighting is off…)

Initially they wanted butcher block countertops but were afraid of the maintenance associated with them, so I reinterpreted the wood and placed it on the walls in long horizontal planks.  The wood will give them the warmth they crave as well as give the space a modern look.  A classic gas stove, apron front sink and hinged arm sconces are a reference to the age of the home and are the perfect foils to the modern update.  Throw in some Calcutta Gold Marble for the countertops and the back splash and we have the basis for a nice melding of classic, modern, warm and new.

Okay, I am off this weekend to participate in the Joy & Revelry Style Summit with some amazing designers and bloggers.  If you get the opportunity, take a look at the site and let me know what you think.  Otherwise, enjoy your weekend and take some time to relax….you deserve it!

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New Series: “Breathing Room” With Kelly…..

Space planning is essential when it comes to creating an inviting space.  However, I think many people are thwarted when it comes to furniture placement.  Awkward layouts thanks to lack of walls, window placement or the odd angle can make creating the perfect space challenging if not frustrating.  It’s one of the top things I know clients ask of most designers, so I thought it would be fun to bring in my friend and fellow designer, Kelly,  on a monthly basis to answer questions and give her take on the perfect layout of rooms to giving you the breathing space you desire…….

I’m Kelly Finley, an interior design/owner of Joy Street Design and the author of Joy of Design blog.  I’m very excited that Courtney has invited me over to discuss how to properly plan a space. One of my favorite parts of any interior design project is designing the furniture layout and planning the space.  I believe that space planning is the most important part of any project and should always be done before purchasing any furniture or making any final decisions on the layout of the space. 



So what exactly do I mean when I say space planning.  In a formal sense, space planning is the act of creating a layout of furnishings and items in response to and coordinated with the physical space of a structure while performing an analysis of design and spatial requirements for the occupants.  In normal words, space planning is the exercise of ensuring that the required furniture and other elements in a room are properly scaled and positioned to ensure a proper flow for the occupants.  This process is critical at the beginning of a project to ensure that future purchases will work in the space. A well-designed space provides comfort and harmony to a room.

Before studying interior design, I don’t think I ever specifically thought about space planning in the traditional sense.  When setting up the rooms in my house, like most homeowners, I didn’t think about the proper amount of space between the chair and the table or the proper height of a side table.  I saw furniture that I liked and “eyeballed” it to determine if I thought it would look good in the space. We’ve all been there – we order a piece of furniture and then we get it into the house and it’s entirely too big or too small.  It looked perfect in the store but now it’s completely useless or overbearing in the space that we need.  (The idea that the item won’t fit into the space through the entry door is an entirely different post about planning for the space but, unfortunately, I’ve been in that situation too. )

Joy Street Room

However, the more I think about this, the more I realize that this attitude that I didn’t previously think about space planning may be simplifying it too much.  When buying any furniture, we all clearly think about the distance between the furniture and whether the table is entirely too small for the sofa chair.  Indeed, I believe that every time you walk into a room, you are judging whether the space was planned correctly even if it’s not by official space planning terms. 

Floorplan 2

The difference between a professional and an amateur is taking the time to officially put the space plan down on paper ensuring that you make more informed decisions and hopefully fewer mistakes when shopping in the store.   This process of creating a space plan also provides you with new options that you hadn’t previously considered or solidifying that your initial plan is the proper one.  Through future posts, I’ll provide different methods of planning a space along with examples and actual projects to show the process in action.  Hopefully this series will provide you with a few tricks and tips to make your space planning much more effective and useful when you don’t have a professional to help. 

Thanks Courtney for inviting me over!

I am excited to have Kelly on board the team and am looking forward to fielding questions you all on the topic.  If you  have a question that you think Kelly can answer about space planning, send your question and pictures to lifeoutloud[at]!

[photo credit: Joy Street Design]

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Talking Out Loud: Drygoods Design….

Talking Out Loud is where I talk to young entrepreneurs and artisans about their careers, the path of how they got there and what lies on the horizon for them.  It’s their thoughts, their words and their journey…….

This time around, I was lucky enough to talk with Keli Faw, owner of the Seattle-based fabric and craft store, Drygoods Designs.  I was introduced to Keli and her store through mutual friend and fellow interior design, Beth Dotolo.  Nestled in the historic Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Drygoods Design is unlike any fabric store I have entered.  Sparkling wine is chilling in ice buckets for harried patrons to sip and while their children play in a designated kid’s area.  Fabrics are displayed along side jars of old-fashioned candy; a riotous explosion of print and pattern that is actual eye candy for the textile soul.  And in the center of it all is Keli……

Keli Faw_DrygoodsDesigns

Why opening up a fabric store? There are so many different types of retail stores to open, so what was it about the Seattle landscape that promoted you to open a retail fabric shop?

The retail storefront turned out to be a byproduct of my online shop. I started an online fabric site in the spring of 2011 because I wanted to grow my small line of handmade goods which were carried at some local shops. By the beginning of 2012 I was growing out of my small office space and had several local customers that wanted to come and see the fabric, pick up and have a more personal experience but my tiny office wasn’t working. I no longer had time to make my line of goods but was now helping others find fabrics they couldn’t find easily in other parts of the globe, the US and even Seattle. While some of the local fabric retailers carry some assortment of modern motifs, there’s never been one that felt edited. My customers seemed to like the online experience and so my goal was to make that happen in the brick and mortar version as well. Now that we opened the sewing studio, the focus shifts to not just what people want to make but how to make it too.

Did you have a previous career before opening up Drygoods Design? If so, what was it and has it helped you with the current business?

I come from a background in business, PR and communications. You’d think that I would be really proficient at promoting my business, however, almost all of our retail business has been by walk-in and word of mouth. I didn’t want to promote it until I felt we were really ready as it’s not a traditional type of place. I think what’s helped me most is trying each day to think about our customers. I try to approach my business by thinking about what I most enjoy in a shopping experience and service versus what’s the most profitable or cost-effective. It’s important it makes business sense, but I’d rather have gradual growth born out of customer care versus rapid and impersonal.

What is it about fabric that interesting to you? What intrinsic or aesthetic qualities about the material/medium drew you to it?

About six years ago I inherited an old sewing machine and taught myself how to sew and in doing so discovered that there were some affordable and modern fabrics out there. I became addicted to not only making things but the search for beautiful fabrics. I am a stickler when it comes to the hand of fabric – how it washes, drapes and feels. We are touched by cotton everyday and that is what I love most about it. You don’t have to like to sew or craft to appreciate textiles or be drawn to them.


Where do you get your fabrics from for the store? What criteria do you use to select fabrics to present to your customers?

While the majority of the fabrics we carry are deemed mid-weight or quilter’s (for its ability to shrink equally on the warp and the weft) cotton, we also stock home decor, apparel and outdoor fabrics. For almost all I work with the manufacturers or their reps, but some I have to find brokers or “jobbers.” I typically buy by color versus collection as I want to have different prints work across all the companies I carry versus people be locked into buying from one collection. Almost all the fabrics we carry have to be either a customer request or something that I truly love before it comes into the store. You hardly ever like all the songs on an album and to me fabric is very similar, so I try to edit down each of my buys into the best of the best. It’s really hard since there’s so many amazing options and I can’t carry everything. For example, I would love to carry Marimekko but at $40+ a yard and Crate & Barrel carrying it, it doesn’t make much sense. I try to tame my wish to carry more by also stocking complimentary products like packaging, gifts and cards that work well with the fabric.

In your opinion, what makes a “good” fabric? Has there been any fabrics that has made you stop in your tracks recently and say “wow?

While it depends on its use, I think ‘good’ fabric is a textile that invokes an emotional, almost visceral (in a good way) response. Sometimes it’s merely the weave or the texture that can have you smitten but most often it’s the motif or print that draws us to one print over another. Color is a huge factor as well. Novelty fabrics certainly have their place but just like anything, I love fabrics that don’t hit you over the head with their intended use or theme and let you draw that out or shift it by your eye deciding how you want to live with it. The second part is the quality of the base cloth. It has to feel right and drape in a manner that lets you see the possibility of what it is on the bolt. My current loves are illustrated geometrics and a return to the combinations of yesteryear with tight florals and geometrics playing off each other. We stock Liberty of London Tana Lawns and seriously, it’s like they were woven by angels. I have some Japanese fabrics headed in that I ordered at least five months ago and they will definitely have the wow factor.


How would you say living in Seattle has informed your selections for the store?

While I have lived in Seattle almost 10 years, I still don’t consider myself a local. A great deal of my influence is probably from living outside of the Northwest. I believe though that being in Ballard, the old Scandinavian fishing village/neighborhood of Seattle, definitely impacts my responses when I see vintage Scandinavian, viking motifs and subtle nautical prints. And we probably don’t focus too much on resort style prints given that it’s nice about three months out of the year here.

So you own a fabric store, so it begs to be asked…do you sew? If so, what is your favorite thing to sew?

Thanks to the opening of our sewing studio, I am sewing more now than I have since I opened up the shop, which is a great deal of fun. While I am starting to really enjoy sewing apparel – my favorite sewing is for those I know and care about. Being able to envision the person(s) using what I make, it’s truly what it’s all about for me. Those projects range from baby goods to accessories that they can use and enjoy.


If money was no object, is there fabric that you would go out and buy for yourself?

More Liberty of London Tana Lawns to keep, original supina ikat, more vintage fabrics.

You opened up what many would say is a non-traditional retail store and have succeeded quite well with it. What piece of advice would you give to a budding retailer who is looking to open up his or her own store?

Thanks for the kind words! It’s all about knowing that no matter how hard people might tell you it is and how much work it will be, you have to know your own limits because until you’re in your own experience you won’t realize it’s even harder than one could imagine. I don’t regret my choice but it is not for everyone. You have to love, I mean really love, interacting with all kinds of people and working around the clock. I am still in the thick of it as it appears I like to add a new layer every six to eight months:). My husband and two kids definitely sacrifice for this to build up and I can’t wait to repay all of their support.

Fabric is often used as a metaphor to describe the interwoven qualities of life. As a fabric retailer, your products find themselves in the most intimate aspects of your customer’s lives – from their children to their homes. What would be the highest compliment you think you could receive from a client who used on of your products?

That’s a great question (and so hard to answer). I feel really lucky to have the online and in-store customers that we have. Until we opened the studio, it was the feedback around customers feeling taken care of and cared about when they shopped, both online and in-store that really made each day. Now with the studio, it’s really amazing to see people learn and grow confident in their own ability to make things. That injection of creativity and community is truly incredible and I pinch myself that I get to be a part of it. It is a derivative of a ton of work but worth it all.

Thank you Keli for sharing your insights with us!  I now need to learn to sew so I can put all the beautiful fabrics from Drygoods Design to use……

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Talking Out Loud With Beth Dotolo…

I wouldn’t call myself jealous but there are times the green-eyed monster pops up.  I don’t understand how the Kardashians are famous (jealous).  I am annoyed by how handsome Chatum Tanning appears to be in magazines – I pray it’s just lighting and air brushing (royally jealous).  However, when it comes to talented people, like Beth Dotolo, I just have to give her my proper respect because girlfriend is working it!

Beth Dotolo

One half of the design firm Pulp Design Studios , Beth along with her design partner, Carolina V. Gentry have been designing beautiful homes across the United States with their signature modern design aesthetic with a dose of the unexpected.  The duo have recently expanded their design prowess to retail with the opening of Pulp Home.

I sat down with Beth to discuss the launch of Pulp Home and her picked her brain on a few other topics…..

1)  Congratulations on opening Pulp Home!  With a successful commercial and residential business in Seattle and Dallas steeped in custom design, why open a retail store?  What drove you and your business partner to this decision?

Thank you, Courtney! Carolina and I have actually been designing custom items for our design projects in residential and hospitality for our entire careers. And, now, we are launching our own line of home goods, both licensed goods with established companies and some we are having manufactured on our own. With a launch in 2013 of our own line, we thought it was only natural to have an online hub to house our goods! Plus, offering all those stylish goodies that have been curated from our designs was an answer to all the requests we get from fans of our work who have seen our interiors online.

Pulp Home

2)  So what can people expect to find at Pulp Home?  What are the three things in the store now that you wished you had for yourself?  Are there any favorite pieces that found themselves into the store mix after appearing in client homes?

We are offering items in three different categories… Of course, our Pulp Home original goods. But, we’re also offering items curated from our design projects and a new made-to-order concept. ‘Custom by Pulp’ allows customers to have furniture and pillows that we’ve designed previously tailored and customized just for them and their needs.

My very favorite item in our shop is our first Pulp Home original piece… our Starburst Pull. It’s available for pre-order now, and can update the look of a piece of furniture in an instant. We’ve been putting it on client’s pieces for a while now and when they arrive in the shop I plan to get my hands on some for my home, once and for all.

Pulp Home Starburst Pull

3) Now that you are in Seattle opening up the West Coast branch of Pulp Design, has the Pacific Northwest informed your design choice?  If so, how?

The one thing I’ve found from living in the Pacific Northwest is that people here are incredibly practical. At Pulp we pride ourselves in designing with purpose. We design for a lifestyle, we design with specific budgets in mind, and we design to create a space that people can actually use… and, use well. I think that coming to Seattle has been a natural fit for our design philosophy and, if anything, I think we can elevate the lives and style of Seattleites by educating them on the value of great design.

Beth Dotolo Seattle

4)  A common theme that keeps reappearing among readers is designing a space when you have a toddler, which I know you do.  Any tips for how to have a stylish space that is toddler-tested and designer approved?

Let’s be honest… toddlers are like gremlins. They’re destructive little monsters, aren’t they? Mine is anyways. Here’s what I think: You should design for durability and clean-ability whether you have a toddler or not. In the spaces that you live in and use, nothing should be too precious that you’re afraid to make a mess. Besides, a glass of red wine can be a lot more dangerous than spilled milk. Homes are for living in and they should be designed that way regardless of age.

[Editor’s Note: Beth practices what she preaches since her son Maxton is seen below building  forts with the family’s Verner Panton S Chairs, Philippe Starck Ghost chairs, and a luxe, but washable, Peacock Alley throw.]


5) You are an accomplished designer and now retailer, so what would be the one piece of advice you would tell an aspiring interior designer who is just starting out in their career?

Educate yourself! Design mistakes can be costly. If you aren’t aware of things like fabric durability, correct heights and measurements, building codes, and materials… one little mistake can cost you and your client a lot of money. Arm yourself with knowledge and if you don’t have a formal education in interior design then research, research, research!

Floor Plans

6) I always end all my interviews with a variation of this question……life (business or personal) is about not being afraid to take chances, such as you have done with Pulp Home, essentially to be out loud and open with your dreams and wants.  So tell me, what does it mean to you to be fearless and live your professional life “out loud”?

To me vulnerability is the biggest form of fearlessness you can have. While it’s ok to be afraid of failure, you’ve got to let yourself be vulnerable and open enough to take a risk, share it with others, and do your best to be successful while others are watching. We’ve created a great little community here on the world-wide web and it’s wonderful to have a platform to share new adventures. When you open yourself up to sharing and invite others in there is always a risk, but it’s with that risk that you have a community that will rise up with you and support you when you jump off that cliff.

Now do you understand why I can’t be jealous of this lady?  She lets her son build forts with awesome furniture and she isn’t afraid to fail for the sake of learning…..honestly Beth is my not-so-secret designer crush de jour!    Be sure to follow Beth and her design partner Carolina at their blog Hello Splendor .

Thank you Beth for sharing with us your new retail venture!  And on a side note, if you need someone to *cough* test those pulls *cough*…call me… *cough*

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Loving Out Loud: Modern Brass Trees ….

Things in my home have to play double-duty.  Decorative boxes hide remote controls.  Wall sculptures become coat hooks.  My oven doubles as shoe storage… get the picture.  So I have always had a bone to pick with holiday decorations for that reason — they are single use decor.  For 90% of the year, they are stored in the garage taking up valuable space for say….shoes.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across these modern brass trees from online retailer Jayson Home…..

Jayson Home Brass Trees

These adorable beauties run from $28-$46 but make the biggest impact when grouped together (remember – the rules of odd number pairings!).

Perfect for the holidays, but just as nice for year round decorating.  These will definitely find their way into my holiday table.

So tell me, do you have any holiday decor items in your home that sit out year round?  Share them with me on FacebookTwitter or Insta.gram.  In addition, feel free to check out me out on  Pinterest  for my musings on design, food and just plain randomness.

ps:  My Joss and Main Curated Holiday Guide is still going strong!  Swing by and take a look at my selections.