Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy New Year! (almost)

Good morning friends,

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas with your families and friends. This is the first year that my niece had a basic understanding of what Christmas is all about--presents!! ;) Watching her open her gifts and enjoy each one in a unique and endearing way made my holiday simply magical, as if it were me experiencing the childhood joy of Christmas all over again. Take a gander at this video...

Now that the hustle and bustle of this holiday is over, it's time to look toward ringing in the new year in style---Gatsby style that is! This year my friends and I have decided to attend the Gatsby-inspired party at Per Diem, a two level speakeasy tucked away in the Financial District of San Francisco.

I realized I need to come up with something sparkly to wear, preferably with a 1920's flair, so I went to my best resource for inspiration: Pinterest (of course). Take a look at some of what I found:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gift Wrap, Certainly Something to be Merry About!

Happy Tuesday my friends!

We are really getting down to the wire here, only eight more days until Christmas! Thankfully, all of my shopping is done, just waiting for the gift wrap I ordered from World Market to come so I can get them under the tree. My little niece is really into owls right now, so I opted for the owl paper as well as a Christmas tree paper this year. Believe it or not, each roll was only $2.49! What have you decided on for wrapping your treasures??

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dress Up Your Blog

Hello my dears,

As a new blogger, I am constantly learning new ways to 'dress up' my blog and get more people to view it. Through my research, I came across a fantastic website called Shabby Blogs created by Megan Hastings. She has hundreds of beautiful (and free!) backgrounds, buttons, frames, etc. to customize your blog and make it a "work of art" as she puts it.

If any of you bloggers out there have some tips, tricks, or resources for me I would love to hear them in the comments section!

Until next time, take care friends!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My First Before and After!

Hello friends,

I realized that in order for me to really get my interior styling business off the ground, I've got to actually start doing it instead of just researching it. So, I started. First project: my bathroom. Unfortunately since I am a renter, I can't do all of the changes I would like. However, I hope this can be an inspiration to all you renters out there who want to make your space your own. Ask any designer what will make the most dramatic change for the cheapest price and they will almost always tell you to paint. This is something that you can almost always do as a renter (as long as you paint it back before you move out) so this is where I started with my bathroom.
It's a tiny bathroom that is a bit dated so I wanted it to be a little more modern, feminine, and me. I selected a sage green for the walls since the tile is an off white color, I wanted a wall color that showed contrast but didn't make the tile look dirty (as a bright white wall would do). The storage is limited to under the sink and the medicine cabinet so I purchased a Zenith Products Wood Spacesaver  in espresso as well as a Zenith Shower Tension Pole Caddy  in oil rubbed bronze from  for storage as well as ambiance. The shower door is pretty basic and not terribly attractive so I purchased a shower curtain tension rod and a Lush Decor Lillian shower curtain to cover it up. The entire project only cost about $150 and I think the result is pretty good. Check out the before and after:


And after:

Now I just need to add accessories and details. I recently added a couple of items:

I found the mask at a hookah bar in Tucson, AZ during my college years and it has stayed with me throughout my several moves since then. There's something about it that I find comical as well as relaxing (if that's even possible?!). The lantern is a TJ Maxx find, I think it was about $7 and it has a battery operated candle inside. 

To me, styling an interior is a never ending job when it comes to your own house. You accumulate new things, your taste changes, you need a change, you have to consider the taste of others you live with, etc. This is what makes it so interesting to me. I have had to move every year for the last 10 years, and as much of a pain as it is to relocate, I try to look at it as a new opportunity and a new design challenge.

Until next time, have a wonderful week!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Kantha Quilts-Fair Trade Artisans

Hello friends,

Me being the creative person that I am, I am always discovering new skills I want to learn so as to be able to execute new projects. My latest--sewing! To be honest, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to take action on this particular pursuit considering my grandmother was a fabulous seamstress and made almost every dress my sister and I wore as children. My interest isn't particularly in clothing (although I have no doubt it will come in handy now and again with a ripped hem or gaping hole!). For now, I just want to learn the basics on a sewing machine to make my very own Kantha quilt. I discovered them from Connected Goods and loved not only how beautiful they are, but also the story behind them. They are made in India, particularly Bengal, from sari scraps. The scraps are sewn together with a kantha stitch (hence the name) and are often used for children or for guests to make them feel welcome.

Unfortunately at this point in my life, I can't spare the high price for these beautiful textiles so I started to do some research. I found that you can purchase sari scraps straight from India on ebay  for about $7.99/yd of all places! You can check out the beautiful pieces they have for sale in their ebay store called Indian Royal Treasure. My next venture was to find a decent sewing machine for a decent price. I checked on Craigslist and voila! I found a classic Singer 457 Stylist for only 40 bucks. Now that I have all the materials, it's time to get the skills and therefore I have decided to enroll in an introductory sewing course where I work at Academy of Art University here in San Francisco.

Here are the materials I've acquired so far....stay tuned for the finished product in a couple months!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Traditions

It's here. The holiday season is in full swing and I couldn't be more excited. Christmas music, decorations, holiday parties, gift giving, family time, the list goes on, but one of my absolute favorite traditions this time of year is going to see San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. Something about that gorgeous music composed by Tchaikovsky never seems to get old to me. Even though I've seen the ballet and heard the music hundreds of times, I sit on the edge of my seat and watch, captivated for the entire performance inside the beautiful San Francisco Opera House. We are so lucky to have one of the best ballet companies in the world right here at our fingertips.

Ballet has been a part of my life ever since I can remember, being that my mother was a professional dancer for Oakland Ballet and currently an instructor, the dancer gene was passed along to both me and my sister. We spent years of our childhood racing to ballet after school every day and spending hours upon hours in rehearsals on the weekends. I no longer perform, but I will go take class any chance I get (certainly beats the treadmill!). Alonzo King Lines Ballet has an array of classes offered every day of the week and is open to the public. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good studio in San Francisco.

If you have never seen the Nutcracker or the last time you saw it was on a field trip in middle school, I suggest adding it to your merriment this holiday season. Here is some inspiration for you:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Turkey week is HERE

Hello friends,

As always, it was next to impossible for me to get out of bed this morning due to my lack of the 'morning person' gene however once I realized it's only a three day week it wasn't so bad (the coffee helped too of course). This year I will be going to the east bay to my aunt and uncle's beautiful Berkeley home for the Thanksgiving feast. My sister and I will be heading over early to help Aunt Jeanne cook (or rather to watch her cook while we sip on cocktails and dish about the latest happenings).

Being the passionate decorator that I am, I have to admit that the food and family is not my only draw. Table setting, centerpieces, place cards and the like have me scouring various blogs and Pinterest for inspiration.

My boyfriend Aaron and I recently attended a 'friendsgiving' with a beautifully done table and place cards. Take a look at ours:
Here are some other fun ideas:

1. Free printables from Erika at Style Me Green:

2. Mini pumpkins, paper, and straight pins from Crate Paper blog
3. Aunt Jeanne is a collector of pears, this might be a good one for this year. Tutorial from Freutcake here
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I will see you next week when we will be in full blown Christmas mode...look out (it's my favorite holiday).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Thursday my friends!

The weekend is almost here and I can hardly wait. My roommate recently bought this beautiful aquarium, mostly for a mini ecosystem with lots of moss and other greenery with a few fish here an there. I didn't realize that it takes weeks to properly prepare the water before the pet store will even sell you the fish! 

This new venture of hers inspired me. Not to have my own (I'm not patient enough to do all the legwork!) but rather to visit the Aquarium of the Bay here in San Francisco. This city has so much to offer and so many things to do, it almost seems sacrilegious not to take advantage as a resident of our beautiful city by the bay.

What has also inspired me is the use of aquariums as interior decor. The creativity that goes in to some of these aquatic displays has come quite far since the original and traditional fish bowl. Take a look...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

She's Back!!!

Hello friends,

I haven't posted in forever because, to be honest, I sorta gave up on blogging. I gave up too soon so I am back with new ideas and images to share, to inspire and motivate you to create!

My latest update is that I have decided to start my own interior decorating business. It has been a passion of mine since I was a child, begging my mother to let me paint and rearrange my room practically on a monthly basis. In my current job, I spend all day encouraging students to pursue their creative passions and guess what? I am going to take my own advice and I invite you to join me.

Since I am keeping my day job, I can take my time building the business. For now, I am starting with simply educating myself on various styles, furniture, resources, textiles, color theory, and space planning. Each day I learn at least one new thing when it comes to decorating. Today, it is the flokati rug. A flokati rug is a handmade shag wool rug. "Shag?!" you say, and yes shag. Believe it or not, shag can be chic. Take a look: