Monday, December 31, 2012

Remodel - Reflection & Looking Ahead

On this New Year's Eve I'm spending some time reflecting back upon the largest project I have had the privilege to work on (specifically through JLID as opposed to with another design firm) thus far.

This project is definitely on the fast track and I couldn't be happier. 

Driving by the site today, notice the new fourth floor!

Here is a picture from a little over one month ago, we were up on the new third floor at that point.

Here was the view from the new fourth floor deck when it was just getting framed. The owners will have an amazing view of the Golden Gate bridge. Also great for one of my favorite weekends here in SF: Fleet Week & the Blue Angels' air show. 

Here is the deck as of my last visit on 12/21/12.

From the beginning the contractor, Howard Hughes, was adamant about getting the house framed and sealed up before the rains started. We are all so grateful! His crew and subcontractors have been able to continue their work through all of the awful weather we have experienced recently. The electrical, plumbing, windows and trim work have all been roughed-in. We are at the stage where items are being ordered, which is very exciting. 

Happy New Years!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Your Lamp, Your Way!

I just discovered this great company, Mottega, and thought it would be fun to share it with you!

You can design your own lamp based off a group of options for the vase, base, finial & shade. The prices seem to start around $950/lamp but ship quickly. Within 1 minute here is what I came up with for a pair of bedside lamps for a project:

Happy designing!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Sales + Rented Apt. = Quick Fix

Happy Holidays! 

One of the best things about the holidays is spending time at home with loved ones! However, if you're a designer, that also leads to an insatiable desire to 'fix' all of the things that bother you about your place. When you rent, have a finance background and you're a designer, you find yourself perpetually in a mental tug-of-war.

Today while on a really quick research mission in the East Bay for a project, we stopped at West Elm. Tony & I have been talking about getting a new rug to replace the current white shag...

but as anyone who has ever shopped for a rug knows, rugs are expensive. And we rent, enough said. Thanks to the great sale ($149.99 for 8'x10') on the jute boucle rug in iron we were able to get the fix we have been craving!

Up close:
I love the texture that the jute adds to the room.

Off on the side of the couch (that you cannot see from this angle) is a white, shag, bean bag for our daughter. We replaced the 'anywhere' chair with the beanbag about a year ago. If you have a two year old, I definitely recommend it! So. Much. Fun. The orientation of the room has shifted. We got rid of the ginormous media cabinet that was too small for our TV...even in its ginormity. I definitely think a room looks best if the TV is hidden but some battles aren't worth fighting with hubby. The room still needs at least two arm chairs over in the corner by the window and a new couch. But I think everyone knows how much I dislike our couch. The paintings on the left need frames. The windows need roman mom's coming to visit next week so I'm going to see if we can convert these curtains into roman shades.

Hopefully more to come in my holiday break make-over on a dime. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving in San Francisco. It seems like the weather is always perfect and today didn't disappoint.

It's always so much fun to learn about how everyone is celebrating the holidays and their traditions. This year our friends Ryan, Courtney & Lucia introduced us to their tradition of breakfast at the Buena Vista. Her parents are in-town as well so it was great to see them!

On the way there we went by the job-site & were able to see my sign up. The work on the fourth floor is just beginning. The job-site walkthrough & final design meeting this Tuesday are going to be very exciting.

I'm very excited about this project. We have much to be thankful for this year. Hoping you & your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm incredibly excited because it looks like we will be able to start demo on the project I mentioned last week, early next week! However, my fingers remained crossed until we actually break ground.

Here's the kitchen rendering from last week, after playing around with it today for about 3 hours. Next step, layering in color...

Saturday, September 22, 2012


For fun I like re-imagining our living room.

Today's inspiration started with the Belgian Slope Arm outdoor sectional from Restoration Hardware in Perennials Textured Linen Weave in 'Natural'. I've been kind of obsessing about this sectional all summer. And yes, I want an outdoor sofa - inside. Why? Because when you spill a lot, like I tend to...probably even more than my 2.5 yr-old does...having stain resistent, durable fabrics and 'revolutionary foam cushions' that dry quickly, are a MUST. An added plus: if the stain is really bad, this is just a slip cover so you can toss it in the wash or replace it altogether.
Here's the room as a whole.

I accidentally grabbed the Belgian Track Arm sectional instead of the Belgian Slope Arm sectional, for this mood board but you get the idea. (Update: I tried fixing this but can't find an image of the Belgian Slope Arm Outdoor sectional.)

One of the walls or maybe all of the walls would be made of this board formed concrete as well. 

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Today, one of the biggest steps towards breaking ground on a project that has been in the works for over two years, was made!! I'm beyond excited. 

Like I mentioned, this project has been in progress for two + years...awaiting the permits from the city...thank you SF for FINALLY granting them. The entire team involved: architect, engineer, contractor (& respective teams), and of course the owners - are all very determined, patient, talented & hard-working individuals. 

For this remodel and addition, over the first two weeks of June, I had the pleasure of creating the interior elevations for the 2 kitchens, 4 bathrooms, 2 powder rooms, 2 living rooms and as expected, incorporated into the CD set. This dwelling is currently two, single floor condos, which will be converted into two, two-story units. The owners were great during this process, stopping by for quick design meetings, as needed.

We have pretty much selected all of the finishes, fixtures & equipment but some pieces are still up in the air - we plugged in allowance $ amounts for those. The owners would like to be able to see a 3D, artistic interpretation of the space that will be created, to confirm what we have discussed but to also see if we should make any changes. On that note, I have always wanted to do a water color rendering so this is the perfect opportunity to try my hand. It seems like everyone is doing everything on the computer. Making all of these uber techy renderings of spaces...which are cool but I think it's nice to have a mix of both technology & the personal, watercolor effect. It feels more interesting. I also think it could be a fun thing to hang on the wall, when the project is complete. Maybe it is even a series of the various iterations to get to the finished product. 

I thought it would be interesting (for myself) to post on this blog, about the progress of this project. As a warning, you will see things as they are developed and not always finished or perfect. For example, tonight I am working on the first phases of the rendering for the 3rd floor kitchen. This image is a combo of sketch-up & photoshop and far from complete.
Here are the interior elevations that relate:

The lighting above the island is just a placeholder to let the contractor know there will be lighting above the island. The particular pendants are still TBD.

Yes, it HAS been a long time since I've written anything in this blog but the reasons for that will be explained later...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Powder Room Remodel

Over a year ago I was hired by a friend in Santa Barbara to re-do their powder room. The project has been complete since April! Here are the 'after' shots:
I love the Timorous Beasties wall-covering and the basket-weave marble flooring. We were able to find the latter at nearly 40% of the cost at a resource in Portland! Even shipping it down to Santa Barbara didn't get us close to the cost if we had sourced it elsewhere. The Jonathan Adler mirror adds a finishing touch and the frame on the right is a framed use while parent's lamp store, Naomi's Lampshades, provided the chandelier.
My mom, Bea Searles, trimmed the shades to add that extra touch. She works incredibly hard to make sure every one of her clients is 1,000% happy about their purchase.
Here are the before shots of the space:

As an aside, I couldn't ask for better clients. They are truly wonderful people and amazing parents. In January they flew me down for the day to LA to work on a remodel for the place they purchased for one of their sets of parents...images to follow.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's old becomes new again...<$40 & 1 hour of labor

The picture above is our "old" entryway. [The coat racks came with the apartment and since we don't have anywhere else to keep our coats (gotta love small SF apts) - we kept them in-place.]

A little sad, right? I know the carpet is AWFUL - we've asked the landlord twice to have it replaced. I think it hasn't been changed since 1970 when the place was purchased: gross. Sunday I decided (& got approval from my husband) to spray paint the console table red, in an effort to add life to the entryway. Over the past year or two I've had a tendency to hate red and as a result, the entryway has become the space that I stash all things red that we own. "Regal Red" is the Rust-o-leum red I chose at Fredericksen's Benjamin Moore store. The knobs were also from the hardware store...altogether, under $40.

Each coat took about 10 minutes to apply. As a reminder, wear gloves so you don't get 'spray can finger' & hold the can at a 45 degree angle, 6-8 inches from the object and move quickly. If you miss a spot - catch it in the next coat. I let the paint dry 1 hour between each coat.
To start:
Primer for 'red' paint:
Two coats of Regal Red:
To finish - I swapped out the previous picture for something brighter and moved a rug from another spot to under the table. AND the landlords, thanks to the new management company, agreed to let me select the new carpet - from 8 'apartment price point' selections. Much happier now!