Want Color or Life Inspiration? Take a Walk

It is mind-blowing the color palettes you’ll find in nature.

Think that’s a daring combo in the fabric you just found? Go outside and I bet you’ll see something even more fearless.

I regularly hike the hills surrounding our local reservoir, with camera (or at least iPhone) in my pack. (Okay and some pepper spray in case the local coyotes get too friendly.)

Wildflowers Hill Hike

A bird nerd like Dad was, I’m always snapping photos of the pelicans, ducks, vibrant bluebirds, and that great blue heron’s luminous plumage (he’s still convinced he is hiding from me in the cattails).

The birds never disappoint, but I only have to glance down for fantastic color play.

My walk the other day is case in point. The rains have painted our hillsides with wildflowers, seemingly overnight becoming Monet-worthy canvases.

Spring Wildflowers Color Palette

Masses of yellow mustards, elegant purple lupines and shamelessly bold-orange California Poppies…all against a backdrop of lush leafy grass that goes on and on. A great lesson in proportion too, as the sea of green becomes a neutral backdrop for the peppering of brights.

And EVEN Patterns. Yup, keep your eyes peeled for fantastic patterns to jumpstart designs.

Stripes in Nature

I audibly gasped when I spotted these wildflower stripes…not sure if this photo does it justice but stroked all across the hillside below me were clear, natural stripes of hue.

Let’s see, that’s inspiration for color palettes and patterns. Oh, and one more tiny thing…life.

Seriously, a hike can be a moving meditation where your subconscious can get to work. Solutions to even difficult problems have come to me during simple strolls in the out-of-doors.

So next time you need a fresh palette, a fresh look at life and of course some fresh air…take a walk.

Purple and Yellow Wildflowers

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2012

Salivating for a feast of design? The tables are set and the pillows are plumped for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2012, opening this weekend.

More than 30 talented West Coast designers have breathtakingly transformed the historic and stately mansion at 2020 Jackson Street, for this 35th annual Showcase—a benefit for San Francisco University High School’s financial aid program.

I was privy to a peek the other day, and I came away impressed and filled with inspiration. Many spaces are memorable, but I found myself reflecting on the creative and cozy eating areas. (It was lunchtime, after all.) Here’s a just a taste of what you’ll see….

Dining Room Rethought by Scavullo Design(Click on the photos for more detail).

Such a festive solution that Marysia Rybock and the team at Scavullo Design created in this vibrant and inviting dining room. The goal was to achieve “a space that balances the room’s existing Gothic Revival elements…with whimsical pieces and a unique layout that connect it with a contemporary lifestyle.”

And that Jonathan Browning mother-of-pearl chandelier. More than stunning—it’s taken up residence in my brain cells.

Modern Pantry Dehn Bloom & Tinsley Hutson WileyPhotograph by John Merkl.

A secret spot for tea (or to check in with your iPad) is found in the Modern Pantry, by Tinsley Hutson-Wiley and Allison Bloom. Tea isn’t the only British influence you’ll see in the space (you won’t miss it — I swooned at the artistic use of neutrals).

I’m astonished this compact catering kitchen was orchestrated using all removable pieces and overlays to the existing decor. No pressure to the homeowners, but I’d keep the gals’ work!

Lifestyle 2020 Kitchen by Green Couch Interior Design

A mere tidbit of the savory kitchen and family room served up by Jeff and Tray Schlarb at Green Couch. When you visit, be sure to take in the family room’s fresh brick finish and the planetary Coup d’Etat light fixture.

Roof Terrace Pagoda Tent by Frank Holbrook Design

It wouldn’t be a San Francisco Showcase without a scenic enclave from which to savor the Bay, and this year doesn’t disappoint. Frank Holbrook bedecked the Roof Terrace in comfy elegance. Think he’ll mind if we pop that champagne?

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2012

Hungry for more?

Showcase runs April 28 – May 28, Tuesdays through Sundays and Monday Memorial Day,
2020 Jackson Street, San Francisco.

  • Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday 10am – 3pm (last entry)
  • Thursday & Friday 10am – 7pm (last entry)
  • Special “Friday Nights at Showcase” 5pm – 7pm each Friday.
  • Sunday & Memorial Day 11am – 4pm (last entry)
  • Closed Monday (except Memorial Day)

Tickets are available at the door: $30 general admission; $25 seniors (60+). For group rates, call (415) 447-5830. Check www.DecoratorShowcase.org for additional information on designers, special Friday Night events and shuttle and parking information.

Watch HomeWorkshop.com for more about a few of the home’s fabulous transformations. But in the meantime, serve us up a comment about your favorite spaces and details highlighted here, or others you see in person at Showcase.

Designing a Nursery for The Cake Boss

Watch Sherri on The Cake Boss Baby Special!

I don’t know about yours, but our family (especially our 10-year-old daughter) is in love with The Cake Boss. Buddy and his passionate fondant-rolling, frosting-piping New Jersey clan have us riveted, hungry and chuckling every week.

Designer Sherri BlumSo as you can imagine, we were over-the-moon excited to learn that our own Nursery and Kid’s Room Design Contributor, Sherri Blum, would be creating a space for Buddy and Lisa’s new baby!!

That’s right! Tune in to the one hour Cake Boss Baby Special, tonight Sunday, March 6 at 9:00 PM/8:00 PM Central as Sherri Blum, owner of Jack and Jill Interiors helps Buddy and Lisa design their baby nursery!

Read more details, and see photos at Sherri’s blog at Jack and Jill Interiors. Also, check out Sherri’s contest on her Facebook page here!

Fun and Funky Side Tables

Side tables are functional furniture – a home to your coffee, a table lamp, your ever-lengthening to-do list. But rather then only function, how about choosing a side table that accents your design with a playful shape, a shot of color, on unexpected material?

Enjoy these fun and funky choices:

West Elm Recyclable Aluminum Martini Side Table

West Elm’s Martini Side Table is a like a sweet, little bon-bon for the room, glittering in recyclable aluminum.

West Elm Martini Side Table

I’m digging the studded sides, and the storage capacity of Worlds Away’s Nora Side Table in White Lacquer.

Worlds Away Nora Table in White Lacquer

Add feminine curves with Urban Outfitters Coil Side Table – a great use of wire.

Urban Outfitters Coil Side Table

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a fat stack of design mags in your living room. Corral them in a storage table like Home Decorators’ Emily Side Table, in Antique Yellow.

Home Decorators Emily Side Table

This one’s got texture, glitz and rhythm –
Worlds Away’s Davis Basketweave Side Table, in Silver Leaf.

Worlds Away's Davis Basket Weave Silver Leaf Side Table

Want a uniquely shaped table with a good-sized surface, that doesn’t add much visual weight to your design? Try Pottery Barn’s Potter’s Wheel Accent Table.

Pottery Barn Potters Wheel Accent Table

Here’s a shot of rustic – Modernarks’ Whisky Shipping Crate Side Table.

modernarks Whisky Shipping Crate Side Table

The storage swivels left and right with Heal’s mod, Tube Side Table, in Green.

Heal's Tube Side Table in Green

And if your room could use a little ‘tude, I spy SilverFoxSalvage’s Hand Painted Eye Table.

Here's Lookin' at You Kid

SilverFox Salvage's Hand Painted Eye Table


What’s your fave side table?

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