Going to Ikea is like going through a maze. I try to plan my visits on a random weekday afternoon around 2 or so to minimize the madness. I can’t imagine a Saturday afternoon with the crowds and check out lines! I always seem to be able to fill a shopping cart with random things (possibly things that one doesn’t need). The reward at the end of the adventure is the treat of frozen yogurt. Sometimes it’s the little things that cost 99 cents that really make your day.
Last weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle featured a tribute to the iconic San Francisco designer Michael Taylor in the Home Design magazine.
I was honored to be included in a section by Anh-Minh Le titled, “The Taylor Inspiration”, sharing how I take inspiration from Michael Taylor in my own work today.
You can link to the whole article HERE
THE TAYLOR INSPIRATION
Even 28 years after his death, Michael Taylor’s work still inspires designers. He advocated – and in some cases initiated – a host of decorating ideas that continue to fill the pages of shelter publications. Local interior designer, Grant K. Gibson shared a room from his portfolio that echo Taylor’s approach.
“What I learned from Taylor was not to be afraid of mixing high and low. He had Cost Plus, I have Target! I have been using Target shades since my first San Francisco Decorator Showcase space 10 years ago. I was a little bit nervous about that, as the Showcase is thought of as very high-end design. But I like the way that bamboo and natural-fiber window treatments add texture and diffuse the light very nicely, and the look is tailored and handsome. I don’t think you would guess that these shades cost $40, especially since they are in the same room as antiques collected during trips to Paris.”
“Taylor also favored mixing pieces of different styles and periods – way before the ‘eclectic look’ became a thing. He didn’t believe that any particular period was more beautiful than another. This living room illustrates that point, with a Swedish Gustavian-style chair, tablecloth edged with a Greek-key pattern, neoclassical artwork, faded Oushak rug, wicker basket as a planter and English roll-arm sofa upholstered in natural linen.”
“Of course, you can’t talk about Taylor’s design without talking about his use of plants indoors. Not just small potted plants – he went big. My take on this concept is the fiddle leaf tree in the corner. I love the height, and the way it introduces something natural into the design.”
I am picky when it comes to lighting. Lightening can really make or break a whole room. Too much light can be harsh and offputting. Not enough light: you can’t see anything or appreciate the space.
I like to think of lighting as works of art or pieces of jewelry for an interior.
We found this antique French lantern and are having it wired for a client’s pool house. Maybe I will get invited over when the project is complete for a dip in the pool!
Summer is here and we have numerous projects under construction to keep our office on our toes!
This is a peek of a new shower that we are working on with a client. The Waterworks wall tiles are all handmade. I love the way each tile is unique and has a slight variance in color. If you look closely, you can see pale blues and greens. This adds an organic feel to a space. One of my favorite materials to use on a shower floor is a honed marble mosaic. It’s like a little foot massage in the shower every morning!
People often ask where I learned to cook. My grandmother and mother were both amazing cooks and I have such fond memories of time spent with them in the kitchen as a child.
When I was a teenager, one of my best friends in New York did a lot of catering for events and parties. I spent hours in her kitchen helping and immersing myself. While our cooking styles and flavors are very different, I always love asking her for new ideas and secrets. I love listening to what flavors and spices she is using and then taking her ideas and changing things around a bit to customize the recipe to make it my own. This is a potato recipe that has recently turned into a huge favorite. I made them last weekend and am already craving them again!
SMASHED ROASTED POTATOES
I like using baby Yukon Golds. But you could use red potatoes too.
Boil the potatoes until they are almost soft (keeping them a bit firm is ok – as they are still going to cook longer in the oven).
While the potatoes are boiling, preheat your oven to 400-450 degrees.
Lay the potatoes out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (At this point you could wait and continue the rest of the cooking for a dinner party and serve them hot). I then use a water glass (nothing fancy) and a press down each potato until it is slightly smashed down. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes. (Toss them and check on them after about 10 minutes.) The skins should get nice and crispy. Finish with coarse sea salt and pepper and a fresh herb. I have made them a few times with flat leaf parsley. This weekend I had chives. You can also add some roasted garlic for a nice kick.
So sorry for the silence on the blog these days.
It seems that there aren’t enough hours in the day. The last weeks have been filled with some fun adventures. A bit of traveling and a lot of great new projects at the office. I took this photo a few weeks back of these fabulous peonies. I just love the vibrant pink against the blue and white vase.
Hope that you have a great week. I promise to update again soon!
Interiors Magazine asked me (along with the great Lulu Powers and Hutton Wilkinson) some of our favorite outdoor tips. I thought that with summer around the corner, I would share my ideas!
“I try to always keep things simple, not fussy, so that people can relax and enjoy themselves. And I tend to focus on the basics: Instead of 100 dishes, narrow it down to just a few; have a signature cocktail; and set up a buffet so that guests can serve themselves. It helps the host be less stressed!”
Last week I shared how much I loved a client’s garden in the city. Now I am sharing farm fresh eggs. I am not sure what this all means. Last weekend, I picked up this dozen eggs. The taste of the fresh eggs at the farmers market really does taste better than those on the shelf at the grocery store.
Not only was I interested in the eggs for the taste- but also for the beauty of the colors. I just want to color match all of these beautiful colors!
I haven’t shared a recipe for a while.
As you know, I try to keep things relatively simple in the kitchen. Easy and healthy are my goals these days.
Last night, I made this — and it is defiantly going to be added into my repertoire of go-to recipes.
I preheated the oven to 400 degrees (I like to cook things on high heat).
Then I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper and add heaping bunches of fresh spinach.
I then placed salmon fillets (with some salt and pepper) on top of the spinach, and topped the salmon with chopped up olives with garlic and tarragon.
10 minutes in the oven. A few minutes to rest after cooking. The result was tasty and filling.
Hope that you had a good weekend!