Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Weekend!

After a few downpours today, the sun decided to show, revealing a vibrant rainbow!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Walnut Wallpaper

Walnut Wallpaper being the name of the company, that is, not wallpaper made from walnuts or walnut colored.  I was turned on to Walnut Wallpaper by the a mention by the editor of Dwell magazine, Michela O'Connor Abrams (yes this was at the Sustainable Furnishing synposium mentiored here.  I got so many gems of information there!)
This fun company is located in Hollywood, California.  Founded in 2005, It features many of the in-demand and hard to find wallpaper lines and designers while also providing eco-friendly wallpapers, as shown below.
What a fun resource to find!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Can Take That to the Furniture Bank

I was sadly unaware of the existence of furniture banks until I went to the Why Green, Why Not? symposium in Las Vegas this month, as I mentioned in my blog here.  Kathy Ireland mentioned it as a way to be green.  I wasn't the only one not in the loop though, since someone piped up to ask her what exactly a furniture bank was.  On returning home I did a little research and found one local to me as well as useful websites for furniture banks nationwide and I thought I would pass on this knowledge for those unaware of their existence, like me

There is an organization called the National Furniture Bank Association (NFBA) whose mission is "to assure that no child in America has to sleep on the floor."  Furniture banks will take your donated unwanted furniture, often pick it up, and relocate it to a family in need.  What a wonderful way to clear the room for your new furniture or just get rid of some in an over cluttered space.

For my local readers, Furniture for Families in Folsom, California is the furniture bank for the area.  Other furniture banks can be located on the NFBA website simply by entering your zip code.

Of course, there are always charities like Goodwill and Salvation Army as well as internet sources like freecycle who will be happy to take your donations.

I think knowing about furniture banks will be a great value for me in finding ways to help my community and I will definitely recommend it to my clients, families and friends! 

Have you ever used one?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Predictably Me

This is so predictably me.  I got a great deal on a gray (surprise!) striped shirt recently, which is now one of my favorite things to wear.  As I was sitting at my desk today, I glanced at my business card and with the sleeve of my arm close by, I noticed a resemblance. Do you?
Thank you Krista, my graphic designer, for my business cards.  This event just reaffirms that she completely captured my style in the design for my card.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New and Improved

As you can see, I've updated the look of my blog!  I realize that not everyone has a love affair with the color gray, as I do, so I'm making my blog more reader friendly.  Using my inspiration board from Feb 4th's post, I incorporated more teals and greens, but not eliminating gray altogether.  I also changed the header, it was time for something new.  If you look closely you can see a glimpse of the old header in the new...
Old Header

New Header

What do you think?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

To my readers...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

5 February Favorites

February is one of my favorite months!  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that my birthday falls on the 15th of February.  Also, who doesn't love seeing pink, red and white everywhere with encouragement to demonstrate love.  So, in honor of this fabulous month, I decided to treat you to some favorites of mine that I am enjoying this month.

First Feb Fave: My husband
Of course!  My valentine.  He's the love of my life and the best man I've ever known.  The last 3 years being married to him have been the most enjoyable and fulfilling in my life.  Here is a picture of him I thought he wouldn't object to me posting.  He's such a rockstar!

Second Feb Fave: Monkey
Monkey is our cat, named before we adopted her but she certainly lives up to her name crawling up on everything, especially my computer when I'm trying to work.  She's our little baby.

Third Feb Fave: Daffodils
 Whenever I see daffodils in February, I'm reminded of my mothers comment that she could see daffodils out of her hospital room where she gave birth to me.  They are so sunny and cheerful while all the other plants are still sleeping.

Fourth Feb Fave: Chocolate!
I am a second generation chocoholic and there is nothing better than little heart shaped chocolates during the month of February. Yum!

Fifth Feb Fave: Cup of Tea
Thanks to this year's El Nino effect, we've had plenty of rainy days.  I love brewing a perfect cup of tea to enjoy while I work.  And here's a few notes about brewing tea: Don't boil your water too long and never reboil your water!  I avoid microwaving water for tea because I find it tastes different.  Be mindful of how long your tea needs to steep so it won't become bitter.  White tea, like this new Berryblossom White from Tazo should only steep about a minute due to its delicate nature.

That's my Five February Favorites for 2010.  What are your February Faves?

Photos by Rebecca Ward

Monday, February 8, 2010


This weekend I went with my mom and sisters to a wonderful Spa at the Silverado Resort in gorgeous Napa Valley.  It was a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend to ease my way into my thirties.  My upcoming birthday being my 30th, we thought what better way to celebrate than by combating aging with facials and massages.  I could get used to that!  
We had been to this spa before for my mom's birthday.  They have a great package deals for girls to get away.  The Resort is surrounded by a beautiful golf course and vineyards.  Definitely worth checking out of your going to Napa Valley. 

Photo by Rebecca Ward

Thursday, February 4, 2010


As part of a class assignment for a blogging class that I am taking (thank you Holly at Decor8!) I have put together an inspirational board that consists of images and words that define my blog, and me by consequence.
This assignment was not difficult for me since I used to make art pieces like this all  the time and give them as gifts based on things the recipient liked.
You can see the obvious elements of what I like come through - my passion for design, the color grey, France, asian design, luxury, modern, green exterior spaces and a chandelier for every house, to name a few.
I would recommend this exercise to anyone needing a little inspiration and creativity in their life.  Enjoy!

Why Green? Why Not?

While I was at Market, I attended a symposium on sustainable design, as I mentioned in my last post.  I wanted to find out more about this subject since, whether my clients are asking for it or not, it is good to be informed about the products I specify.  I firmly believe that we should be good stewards of the resources we have and maintain a eco-friendly balance so we can at least leave our future generations with as many natural resources as we have had available to us.
The panel of discussion was hosted by the Sustainable Furnishings Council.  Questions were directed to the glamourous Kath Ireland, HGTV star Angelo Surmelis and the President and Publisher of Dwell magazine, Michela O'Connor Abrams.

They all took turns giving valuable and heartfelt answers about what they are doing with their own company to produce a sustainable product, not only meaning the materials used, but how they are made and the conditions under which they are made. 
Kathy Ireland pointed out that she will frequently make surprise visits to her factories to ensure that her standards are being met for her product and the working conditions.  She has made efforts to see that her products are never made by children. 
Angelo explained the efficiency of his packaging for his furniture, there is little waste and all packing products are recyclable.  He also emphasized that even in his shows, partly due to limited time and budgets, he seeks to reuse as many pieces of furniture and fabrics as possible. 
Michela pointed out Dwell Magazine's continual effort to support and encourage green products.  The magazine holds valuable sources for designers and consumers to find products that are certifiably "green".  Dwell also showcases many projects that use green means in the design and building process.

The symposium was very informative and inspiring!  I realize that I need to be more responsible in finding more green products and asking my vendors for them.  The more companies are asked for green products, the more motivation they have for making them since they are driven by their buyer's needs and demands.  Thankfully, there are many more options for specifying green now than there ever has been and hopefully we will see this trend became the standard for the industry across the board.  Many sources can be found at the SFC website.

It was also a plus to be able to meet these inspiring and famous people!
Photos by Rebecca Ward

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Went to Market

I got back from a quick trip to the World Market Center in Las Vegas where the winter furniture market is going on right now.  I had never previously had a chance to go see the showrooms so I thought this was as good of a time as any.  It is quite the ordeal!  Three buildings comprise the Market with the Las Vegas Design Center and its permanent showrooms with many temporary exhibits there for the market week.  I traipsed up and down the 11 floors of building A and the 16 floors each of Buildings B and C which left me exhausted by the end of day 2.

I did get to sit in on a synposium put on by the SFC on green design with a panel consisting of Kathy Ireland, Angelo Surmelis from HGTV and the president and publisher of Dwell magazine, Michela O'Connor Abrams. But more on that later.
Overall I think a great introduction for me to Market for when I need to return with specific needs for my clients.