Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Room of the Day


Loving this room by interior designer Alessandra Branca that I came across on The Skirted Round Table blog! Such a well designed kid friendly play area that makes great use of space. The tented ceiling is fabulous! The pendant lights are sophisticated yet playful too! And, of course, the built-in storage with baskets for toys and books completes the space.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

*1The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a holiday tradition that has been taking place in Newport Harbor for 101 years now - it's the oldest boat parade in the nation! While I did not attend the boat parade this year, I have many times before. In fact, the parade route goes right by where we keep our boat and in the past we've entertained friends and family while watching the parade from the back of the boat. Sad to have missed this year's parade but I was able to find pictures to share with you. Over 100 vessels take part in the parade - everything from electric bay boats, to small craft boats, to yachts, even canoes & kayaks. Each year the parade lasts for five nights (this year from December 16th - 20th) attracting millions of viewers.


The parade route makes it's way through the entire Newport Harbor (where the boats turnaround at the breakwater). Given the size of the harbor and the route it takes - there are many location spots in which to view the boats pass by.


Lights galore - apparently some boat owners have spent over $50,00 decorating their boats for the parade!

2The boats really light up the water at night!

3The Christmas floats make their way around a 14 mile route which passes by restaurants, yacht clubs, private homes, boat docks, and the public beaches of Newport Harbor.

4Many boats are also entertaining guests aboard the during the parade route (which lasts over 2.5 hours) - it's fun to see the party-goers enjoying the spirit of the parade and the holidays!


Hopefully next year I will make one night of the parade (and take some photographs of my own!). Hope everyone had a good holiday!

{Images via The Orange County Register}

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bathing Beauties


Traditional Home magazine featured an inspirational section on bathroom vanities and when I saw them it was like I died and went to vanity heaven! Not only are the vanities themselves beautiful but the bathrooms are too. I'm definitely feeling inspired by these! Looking forward to some bathroom projects in 2010!


This bathroom in Texas features antique mirrored tiles on the face of the vanity (what a great idea!) and Carrera marble (my favorite all time classic). I think the wood floor really gives this bathroom warmth.


Using a trestle table as a vanity is so completely unique and different! In this Atlanta bathroom, the wood frames used for the mirrors were imported from France and the pavers are stained concrete to give this bathroom an overall Old-World look. I love the pendant lighting and the addition of pieces of furniture flanking either side of the vanity.


This bathroom was designed by Larry Laslo for the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Showhouse in New York. The walls are amazing - they are covered in heavily veined Italian marble tiles. I think the frameless mirrors were a good choice - nothing too overly stated, just the right balance, makes the black-crystal sconces stand out on their own.


In a master bath, this custom vanity was installed at each end of the bathroom (with tub in the middle). The mirror is imported from London. The sconces are really interesting (not sure of their source).


These vanities are from Kohler and appear suspended (!) against a wall of silver-leaf glass tiles at a beach house in New York. I like the mix of contemporary elements with traditional accessories in this bathroom designed by Eric Cohler.

Are these not {some} of the most gorgeous bathrooms you have ever seen? Click here for more!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Gift Idea: Give the Gift of an Interior Design Consultation!

Looking for a holiday gift idea?
Have a friend, relative, or colleague who could use a fun & creative gift?

Perhaps someone who's just moved into their first apartment/condo/home and would like some help selecting paint colors, picking out furniture, accessorizing, or any other interior design advice...then a gift of an interior design consultation may be just the splurge they are looking for! Gift certificates are available in hourly increments for on site interior design consultations or any other interior design services. ($75/hr = $75 for a 1 Hour Interior Design Consultation, $112.50 for 1 1/2 hrs of Interior Design Consultation, etc.) Can be purchased by check, Pay Pal and available to anyone in the LA/OC area or for vitual design consultations for anyone, anywhere. Please email JSInteriorDes@aol.com for more details. (Also available for any other interior design services.)

Room of the Day


Interior designer Mary McDonald has done it again - producing a bold and theatrical room full of vibrant color and dramatic details. In this living room for a movie-mogul client, she created an old-Hollywood glamour. Colors consist of high contrast black, yellow, and offset by a deep taupe. Symmetry reigns in this living room with pairs of lamps, tables, & chairs - anchored by a big pouf. Check out the rest of the project and read the interview here at House Beautiful!

Who's THAT Material Girl?


Well, it's the one and only original Material Girl: Madonna!

Over the years, we've seen her transform her many looks and styles - from her Marie Antoinette days (above) to the early days of her "Material Girls" song (below) - and now, a very domesticated Madonna has signed on to showcase the Spring/Summer 2010 ad campaign for Dolce & Gabbana. The ad campaign was shot in New York by photographer Steven Klein and recently featured in Vanity Fair Italia.


{Remember when? I still have this on vinyl!}

And here's a preview of Madonna's new ads for Dolce & Gabbana:


Madonna being very domestique at the kitchen sink doing dishes.


Looking very Italian-esque, Madonna at the kitchen table peeling tomatoes.


And eating spaghetti on the kitchen counter!

{In retrospect, it's certianly a change from the mod glam Versace ads I remember from over a decade ago.}


Lucite furniture and a glass desk - Madonna working away.


Over the years, not only have we seen her chameleon looks - but we've seen her in many "environments" as well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Doors


Just because we can't always see the interiors of beautiful homes decorated for the holidays doesn't mean we can't judge by the exterior - it's always so neat to see a festive front door! Here's a few holiday doors for inspiration...


A colorful wreath featured on a detailed door in a JCrew ad.


This white wreath is simple and sophisticated, adds contrast to the dark door (formerly featured in Blueprint magazine).


Pretty blue door with a trio of wreaths via Martha Stewart.


Traditional greenery makes for a classic holiday door (image via Martha Stewart).

How is your front door decorated for the holidays?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hallways & Enclaves


Small spaces, transitional spaces, and spaces leading to other spaces...here are some decorative hallways and enclaves!











[Images collected and sourced over time via the Internet]

Kelly in your closet!


{Kelly Wearstler on the cover of the January 2010 issue of Town & Country}

It's reported (via FabSugar) that Kelly Wearstler is venturing into fashion design. Apparently, she will be launching an accessories collection next Spring which will include scarves and a jewelry line, ranging from the avant-garde to classic. Word has it she is interested in clothing design, too. There have been so many fashion designers that have transitioned into interiors, what do you think of interior designers merging into the world of fashion design?

Monday, November 30, 2009

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With iDesign, you can access interior design services for a flat rate per room package via the internet. By sending your room measurements and photographs, along with a description of what you would like the outcome to be, iDesign provides a package solution for your room which will include: concept pictures & ideas, furniture floor plan drawings, color & material selections, furnishings selections, & list of resources. Each room design is: $375. Please inquire for more details.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Walking Tour: Houses of Balboa Island


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! I spent Thanksgiving Day at my family's house on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Despite living in Los Angeles for many years, I was born and raised in Newport Beach, so it's still that place I call home. Our house on Balboa Island is located on what is called "Little Balboa Island." Balboa Island is an island in Newport Harbor comprised of a larger island and a smaller island separated by a canal and accessible by a bridge. On Thanksgiving Day, we took a walk around the perimeter of the smaller island (Little Balboa Island) and I took some pictures that I thought I would share with you. So join me on my walking tour!


So here's your map (um, using my iPhone map). Our walk begins on the smaller of the island where you see "The Grand Canal" at the very top (of the larger waterway, Beacon Bay) - we are going to walk around the perimeter on the water side above where you see Crystal Avenue (the water side street is E Bay Front) and then down to S Bay Front, across S Bay Front and back up along side The Grand Canal (all the homes featured are water front houses). Hope that's not too confusing! Don't get lost!


One of my favorite houses, this house sits on a corner lot right at the edge of The Grand Canal (but wraps around a bit with rooms facing the canal) and faces Beacon Bay. This house probably takes up about four lots. I don't know a lot of details about the house but my dad said it has been written about/published quite a bit.


A typical Balboa Island home, this house has a spacious front patio and a cute walkway.


An older more original island home, decorated for the holidays.


The architecture of this home is more southern, but still retains some traditional Balboa Island aesthetics.


Another house that has a southern flair, reminds me of a house you might see in Florida. (Part of the house both above and pictured below.)



The house sits on two lots, so it has a nice wide front water facing porch.


And it's currently staged and on the market for $10 million.


So now we've come to the intersection of E Bay Front and Park Avenue. Notice how even the lamp posts are decorated for the holidays!


An original 50's era gem, love the front door!


In the spirit of the holidays, owners decorate their private docks too.


My dad loves this house, not so much me - but I do find the nautical shutters whimsical.


Now we're at the corner of E Bay Front and S Bay Front. This house sits on a corner lot with dynamic views (the picture below is taken right at this corner).


The house above enjoys this view...every day.


A newer Balboa home, lush with landscape.


A day at the beach: Thanksgiving Day was 84 degrees, warm & sunny. Next time bring your bathing suit!


Another Florida-esque style home. This property was at one time available to rent. Great location, situated on a corner lot.


Most all of the water facing homes come with their own docks, great if you are a boat owner.


We're now at the corner of S Bay Front and The Grand Canal. This house sits across the way on the larger island.


As we make our way up The Grand Canal, my dad stops to introduce us to a friend of his that he meets up with on his daily walk.


We've now just passed the bridge that connects the larger island to Little Balboa Island as we continue to make our way back alongside The Grand Canal.


A house on the canal side, more traditional and modest in size, decked out for the holidays.


Making our way back to where we started, this walkway leads up to our house.

Hope you've enjoyed your tour of Balboa Island! Come visit again soon!