BRIGHTENING THE DAY

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I took this snapshot a few weeks ago. It was a cold day and I needed a little happiness to brighten things up.

I love these brass vases (Nate Berkus for Target!) with an arrangement of paperwhites and pink peonies, along with a fern that I picked up on a recent trip to Mendocino in a simple vase from Astier de Villatte.  Against the white walls and Louis XVI chair- the peak of the landscapes from my collection of monotypes from Sausalito artist Walter Kulhman that I have been collecting for the last couple years.

I know that so many of you are having cold and snowy winters.  I hope that this image brightens your day!

SOULCYCLE

 

Thanksgiving is upon us and I wanted to share a very personal story of mine from the last several months.

There is an exercise craze that you may or may have not heard about called SoulCycle.  It was started in New York a few years ago.  It is an indoor spinning class – basically in the dark (with candles), pounding music and instructors to motivate you and push you to the limit.  Exercise has never really been my strength…until I checked this out five months ago when it came to San Francisco.  Last week they featured my story on their blog and I wanted to share it with you.

You can check out the story online HERE or read below.

As we take time this week to reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives, I wanted to share how extremely grateful I am for this recent journey.

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving week.

 

Soul Transformation: Grant

After a five-month journey at SoulCycle, Grant K. Gibson has shed more than 35 pounds and begun healing from a devastating personal loss. The San Francisco interior designer (who just donated his big jeans to charity!) shares his Soul Transformation.


My friends in New York were always talking about SoulCycle. So when Soul Marin opened five months ago, I decided to check it out on opening weekend.
My first class didn’t go very well. I hid in the farthest, darkest corner just crossing my fingers that the instructor wouldn’t notice me. It all happened so fast: the staff clipped me into the bike, the music was blasting and all of sudden I was doing push-ups, pedaling for dear life, and trying to catch my breath. The class felt like the longest 45 minutes of my life. I actually threw up in my towel during the class.  I resolutely vowed to never return.
But for some inexplicable reason, I texted two of my girlfriends who joined me at the first class and asked them to try it again the next day. I think that they were as shocked as I was. I had something of a reputation for joining gyms and exercise classes (four times in recent memory, if the truth must be told) and incurring hefty start-up costs and monthly fees — and then rarely, if ever, show up. I was the master of rationalizing, manufacturing endless reasons why I was too busy to work out.
My second class was with Allie Fell. This time, everything just clicked. It was my “Soul moment.” Allie had the best playlist. Her energy combined with her motivational mantras and positive attitude had me hooked. I started to drive every morning from my home in San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge to get my fix with Allie in Marin. Frankly, I think that she was as shocked to see me keep coming back as I was.

Grant with Soul instructor Allie Fell.
I quickly moved to the front row (I didn’t want to hide anymore!), where I could really focus on the beat and watch myself move on the bike in the mirror. I also frequented classes with Ian McAndrew, who helped me fine-tune my bike settings (I am 6-foot-4) and encouraged me to up my weights.
I started going to classes five to seven days a week — and the pounds started dropping off. My friends thought that I had joined a cult and couldn’t understand my new addiction to cycling indoors by candlelight to pounding music! Long gone were my lazy mornings of sleeping in before work. I enjoyed running into friends and clients at Soul; I’ve also made some amazing new friends who have been there with me through this journey. We motivate each other to keep working out. I used to suggest going to brunch on the weekend or having cocktails after work. I have learned that making dates with friends and working out together can be just as much fun.
I have lost over 35 pounds so far and I feel better than I can ever remember. I love having to buy new clothes — and not having to hide under so many layers. I donated my “fat” jeans last week after taking this photo. I am much more aware of how I eat. When I started to see my results pay off in class, I also decided to consult with a nutritionist. I met with Ian (who had just received his nutrition certification), so we meet to review how I could make adjustments. His advice has been invaluable. For the first time in my life I don’t feel like I am on a diet. Some of my favorite go-to foods are: kale, quinoa, eggs, oatmeal, berries, lean proteins, Greek yogurt, almond butter, avocados, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
SoulCycle has been more for me than just a workout. I lost my mother earlier this year and I had so many emotions bottled up inside. I really tried to keep it together and really thought that I had overcome the sadness, but I now realize that my weight and general health were linked to my grief. In a way, SoulCycle has been like therapy to me. I’ve worked out many years of pain and stress (and the weight gain to match.) The dark, candlelit room has allowed me to cry and let out all my emotions, while no one else could see me. I have been able to move on to the next chapter and find some peace.
There were so many times that I just wanted to give up and just walk out of class – literally to throw in the towel. I have been pushed to my limits, achieving greater physical and emotional strength than I ever expected. I can’t thank SoulCyle enough for becoming a community that has transformed me both inside and out. Thanks to the incredible staff at Soul Marin and Soul San Francisco. And a big thank you to instructors Allie, Ian, Lindy Flowers and Jenny Gaither for the support and inspiration that keeps me coming back for more.

KNITTING

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I was looking through some drawers a few weeks ago and I came across this pair of knitting needles that belonged to my grandmother.  I have been looking for a new hobby – particularly one that would help me relax on evenings after work (wine always does the trick too, but this is fewer calories….)  I took a class last week and so far it’s going pretty well.  I am not sure what I am making yet, but so far this new hobby is enjoyable.  Once I stop clenching the needles for dear life, I am sure that this will be come more relaxing!

REBEL

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Who proclaimed the rule that you can’t wear white after Labor Day?  I am not sure – but I decided to be a rebel last week with a new pair of white jeans.   I know – I’m not exactly a revolutionary here.  But it’s my own small personal rebellion.

What do you think about white after labor?

Campbell and Wallace

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Last week was difficult.

We had to come to the hard decision to say goodbye to Campbell and Wallace.

Life had become really difficult for them.   Major troubles seeing, hearing, walking.  The vet thought that one likely had cancer.   I rescued them as a pair when they were 12 years old from a man that could no longer care for them.  They had been together their whole lives – so I was determined to keep the pair together.  It would have been such a shame to split them up.  I was so glad that I could provide a home for them to live out their senior years.   I never ever imagined that they would live to be 20 years old.   Last Monday the vet made a house call and agreed that the time had come for both of them.   The choice was the most difficult I’ve ever made. And the saddest.  They are both no longer in any pain and are at peace together.  I miss them like mad.  It’s eerily quiet around the house.  Such a strange feeling.   I am not ready yet, but a few days without them makes me realize how important pups are in my life.   I know another pair of Westies will come into my life in the future.   I will never forget Campbell and Wallace – the two sweetest boys in the world.

September

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September is just a few days away.  Kids are already back to school – or just about to be.  I love to spend an evening with a glass of wine and a stack of September issues.  Everything from the annual Vogue -it’s always inspirational to see the colors, textures and trends in fashion and then relate them to interior design –  to my favorite interior magazines.   I can’t believe it is already September.  How the year has flown by.

Flea market

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Belated thank you to everyone who came out to the Alameda flea market a couple weekends ago.  The whole day was a huge success.  Highlights were seeing old friends and meeting new friends… and going home with basically nothing.   It was a great sale.   Seeing me drive the U-Haul was pretty classic.
Thanks again San Francisco!

Alameda Flea market

 

Flea-Market

Looking for something to do this weekend?

My friend Caitlin Fleming (from Sacramento Street) and I are teaming up to sell at THIS SUNDAY’S Alameda Flea market.

We have two truck loads of fabulous furniture, lighting, rugs (including vintage Moroccans that I brought back last year!), designer textiles, art and antiques from around the world.

Booths: P- 11 and 12.  Hope to see you Sunday!

 

Supper Club

Supper Club V2 | Styling Grant Gibson | Sacramento Street 1

Every few months, I gather with a group of friends for what we call Supper Club.

This past weekend was my turn to host.  Lots of menu planning went into the night.  I was also in charge of table décor.  Here are a few snap shots of table.

Supper Club V2 | Styling Grant Gibson | Sacramento Street 5

I wanted to mix natural elements into the setting.  I started with quartz candle holders and place card holders (both of which will available for purchase very soon in the forthcoming ONLINE SHOP section of our website).

Supper Club V2 | Styling Grant Gibson | Sacramento Street 6  Supper Club V2 | Styling Grant Gibson | Sacramento Street 4

I mixed in succulents and fresh lavender from the farmers’ market.  I added in the wicker place mats and simple white plates with black and white napkins, along with Diptyque candle jars (re-purposed as water glasses) and my prized antique Greek key wine glasses.   We had a fabulous night with lots of laughs.  I am already thinking about what I can do when my turn comes around again!

Report card

 

Grant K. Gibson

I recently found a box that contained letters and notes that I had written my grandparents when I was a wee little boy.  My grandparents have long been gone, so it was a real kick to discover the things I had written them so many years ago.  One of the favorite items I came across was my report card from kindergarten.   My favorite line is the last.  “He enjoys expressing himself in art”.   This really made me smile.  I guess even back then I loved being creative.  Perhaps a career in interior design was always meant to be.

Grant K. Gibson

Another of my favorites was the program to my pre-school “graduation.”  There is a section titled, “Special Quotes from Special Children” in which students were asked to complete the sentence, “My favorite thing about The Country School…”

Many children made endearing statements about their love for their teachers and classmates.  I, however, dispensed with any saccharine niceties in my simple declaration, “I like lunch.”

Do you save things like this from your childhood too?

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