Tufted Headboard

In about a week and a half, I will be flying to San Francisco to teach a workshop on tufting. I LOVE to tuft. But since I’ve been on an upholstery hiatus the past couple of years, I thought I should brush up on my tufting skills before I teach the class! So my husband and I are the lucky recipients of a brand new, gently curved, tufted headboard. And our bedroom is nearly complete! full bed If you’re in the San Francisco area, I’d love for you to join us on Wednesday evening April 9 from 6-8pm at the Paris Flea Market, 535 Leisure St., Livermore CA. It’s just $35! You’ll get a chance to get some hands-on experience, ask any burning upholstery questions and be in the drawing to go home with the finished demonstration headboard. My friend Karen from Redoux Interiors is hosting me and has a Paypal button on her site so you can register and pay easily. Or if you would like to schedule a class for  you and your friends, let’s talk! Just use the contact form to reach out.

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Surprise Makeover

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Planning an office makeover has many inherent challenges. Business offices generally are constricted by bland, commercial grade construction and utilitarian accoutrements. However . . . the latest office renovation that I pulled off with my team of incredible coworkers was anything but bland and constricted.

I work part time for a wholesale company that designs and produces vinyl expressions and images for craft stores around the country called Decorating Your Life. The owner of the company, Elizabeth, just had a birthday and we all agreed we should surprise her with an office overhaul. Giving her office a facelift was on her radar, but it seemed to linger at the bottom of her priority list. There is no one on Earth quite like Elizabeth. She is energizing, inspiring, funny, smart and the girl you are proud to call friend. Rallying the troops was the easy part. The hardest part, oddly enough, was keeping her away from the office while we finished the work. This girl has energy! Sure enough, she admitted after the reveal that she had planned to come in and get some work done over the weekend. It’s a good thing our team works well together. And quickly, too!

From Door Vert Before

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Far Back Corner Vert before

Desk Far Back Corner after

Door Before

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Full Back Wall after

We started the makeover at 4 pm on Friday night, worked til about 7:30 and then came in Saturday morning at 8 am to finish up and surprised her at 11 am! One of the best things about this particular makeover was that because it’s for a design company, we had all the materials and supplies on hand for creating the artwork. We only had about $150 to work with and we were able to source the red leather chair for $110. That left $40 for paint, the little round rug ($10 at Ikea) and fabric for the desk slipcover. We went over budget a smidge, but were able to repurpose most everything else – including the fun pendant light!

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Elizabeth’s husband, Jim, was in on the whole thing with us and helped secretly procure the fun little rug and bring her to the reveal on a moment’s notice. I wish every install could be this fun and this fulfilling. Knowing my “client” as well as I know Elizabeth made many of the design choices easy and my incredible coworkers filled in all the missing design blanks. Literally! Elizabeth was thoroughly touched and we were all thrilled to be able to do this for her. This was definitely one for the books!

There Is Inspiration Everywhere

 

IMG_6104Fall in the Pacific NorthWest is usually spectacular. But this one has gone above and beyond. Last weekend was so beautiful that we just HAD to get out of the house and go pumpkin picking. We went to a popular farm out in the county that has everything from pumpkins and apples to a corn maze and animals. And talk about photo opportunities! For us it is also long on visual inspiration.

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Image 1This was a newer barn in a lower pumpkin patch on the farm. It. Was. Beautiful! Scott and I were the weirdos taking close-up pics of clever light fixtures and construction techniques. Happening upon this gem was also timely for us as we are consulting on a commercial remodeling project that wants to incorporate this timber frame/lodge look. The fact that this barn served hot cider, donuts and hot chocolate made our kids a little bit more patient with us as we geeked out over some of this stuff.

Image 10They were most excited to get lost in the corn maze. We did spend quite a bit of time inside — laughing at each other, doing Bear Grylls impressions and, of course, running into people we know!

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IMG_6109Next we picked apples. Honestly, some of the best we’ve ever had. We didn’t even take the time to read what kind they were!

IMG_6103Choosing pumpkins was an ordeal. Because of our mild weather and it being late October, a lot of the pumpkins were past their prime. It smelled pretty fermented out there. But we each walked away with a pumpkin and a plan for carving.

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IMG_6123Right as we were taking these goofy pics with my 11 year old middle schooler sitting on my lap, 3 girls from his class came walking by. They all chimed out, “Hi Tate!” I burst out laughing and after being briefly mortified, he started laughing too. When out in the pumpkin patch, you can’t take yourself too seriously!

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It was a delightful day full of pleasant surprises, visual inspiration and good solid family time. I had to snap this one last pic of vintage “Summerland Blue” chairs that were sporting the spoils of the season. I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of the opportunities that Fall has to offer and that you come back inspired and refreshed.

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Corner Coffee Shop

Today I had a meeting to discuss staging a home in a new housing development. I’ve done a handful of projects already for this client as well as other members of his family. As I walked up the stairs towards his office, I slowly realized that a couple years ago I designed the office space for his father who owns the building. I had completely forgotten! On the bright side, the office really came together well, looked cohesive and the client’s father waxed poetic about how much he loves the colors and comprehensive theme. On the down side, I realized I am historically terrible with remembering to take “after” photos of my projects. Once a project is off my plate, I’m onto the next thing!

Another casualty of this mentality is the coffee shop I designed a YEAR ago. So, although the final-final staging still needs to be done, here’s a look at how it all came together.

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This little coffee shop is tucked into a corner of our church just inside the front doors. It serves as a casual meeting place, an entry point for people who might be nervous about coming to church for the first time and simply another way for people to build community within a large church. It’s a rather small space with strange angles. Plus it needs to be cleared easily when the space primarily acts as a thoroughfare. So my first thought was stacking Tolix Chairs. They were a must!

tolix fieldI really wanted to create a minimal, Scandinavian style vibe with the color scheme and furnishings. European style chairs and bistro tables were the jumping off point. And I went with two shades of grey for the walls. The lighter color reads pretty light on screen, but it’s definitely grey in person.

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IMG_3475I kept the lighting unobtrusive with a mix of glass shaded and industrial vibed brushed aluminum pendants. Another big impact was staining the double doors a rich walnut color. Previously they were a honey colored oak. Personally, I say blech to that. Another must on my list was to incorporate a live edge maple slab for the ordering counter.

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That was one of the highlights of this project — picking out the slab. There’s a woodworking outfit just a hop, skip and jump away from my house in my favorite little quirky town of Edison, WA called Smith and Vallee. I will definitely be back for future projects!

We rounded things out with custom designed, coffee inspired artwork by my husband, Scott.

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Not shown (or photographed yet) are custom designed industrial shelves that incorporate the scraps from the live edge slab. Nothing went to waste! I promise I’ll follow up with that because it really does finish things off. This was one of the most rewarding projects because not only did we land on budget, but the people I worked with are good friends of mine and I get to see it every week at church.

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So here’s hoping that I can turn over a new leaf and consider a project finished when the final “after” photos have been taken! I’ve got more projects to show you. In fact, I’m in the middle of one right now that will show some pretty dramatic changes. Wish me luck!

Summer Soiree 2013

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Last year, I threw myself a 40th birthday party. I invited good friends, threw together a communal table, strung a few lights and provided dinner for about 20. It was great. But I thought I could do better. I still had a vision in my head and I was determined to see if I could create that vision to my satisfaction.

Since this summer turned out to be the most stellar one in years – decades, even – I decided that an end-of-summer-party was in order. So this year, I called in some reinforcements. I convinced my friend and smoke-master Jamie to take care of the meat. (Boy did he ever deliver!) And I made the rest of the meal a potluck so that I could focus on decor and atmosphere.

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My husband and I created a 22 foot long table from saw horses and 4×8 sheets of plywood and benches consisted of 2×12 boards on top of stacked cinder blocks. I covered the table with two 9×12 canvas drop cloths which I will use for upholstery projects. I invested in some pretty green wine glasses and rounded edged off-white dinner plates from the Dollar Store. The blue plates are ones that I usually bust out for parties. They’re not my favorite color, but you work with what you’ve got. Finally, I topped the table with a slab of cedar that we had lying around and scrounged the property for weeds and vines to accompany my sad little hydrangeas. I think they turned out great.

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Scott was able to borrow 3 strands of 100′ long patio lights and meticulously hung them in the trees. Patio lights really make it, don’t you think?

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My kids were looking forward to this party almost as much as I was. So Owen contributed by making signs. Unfortunately, people were too busy eating, visiting and Instagramming to make use of the photo booth, but later on it housed a few dancers.

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At final count, we hosted 33 people – 17 kids and 16 adults. I’m not sure who had more fun. The kids have all known each other, for the most part, since birth and so they are quite used to these kinds of get-togethers. One of the spontaneous outcomes of the night was this awesome pyramid (One Direction may have been playing in the background)

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Like most great parties around here, the evening was capped off by an amazing fire in the fire pit complete with reminiscing of parties-gone-by. I am so fortunate to have such a great community of friends who have become family. It’s an honor for me and my husband to be able to create an atmosphere that people can relax and connect in. Our cups are full.

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