Thursday, April 29, 2010

Design: Sacramento

International Ideas Imports I have found to be a great wholesale and retail source for outdoor and indoor and indoor furniture.
Located in Rancho Cordova, they have a great selection of teak outdoor furniture and other unique furniture peices and casegoods for interiors.  They carry some great rustic and reclaimed wood pieces too. 

They even carry a few decorative items.
Their high quality furniture is not only well known and used in Sacramento but to the general trade in all areas.  They had a temporary showroom at the Las Vegas Market that I was sure to stop by while I was there this last winter market.
Be sure and check them out next time you're looking for some great outdoor furniture!

Images from International Ideas

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Welcome Asko

Last night I attended a new product viewing put on by our distributors of Sub-Zero and Wolf Appliances.  They have added a new member to their product family, Asko.  I wasn't familiar with the line but by the time I walked out of there I was sold on the products.  This new line provides the "water" appliances to the group, meaning dishwashers and washer/dryers.
 Hailing from Sweden, this product line is extremely high in efficiency and is environmentally conscious in its use and production.  All interior parts, where possible, are made of stainless steel, as opposed to the commonly used plastic so they are durable and clean, preventing mold growth and increasing the life of the product.  They are backed up by amazing warranties.
 One feature I love is the "encore" line of dishwashers made especially for that second dishwasher use.  I personally would love to have two dishwashers in every kitchen.  The encore can have up to 4 adjustable racks depending on your needs. This is especially great for people who entertain a lot.
 Another item I loved was the drying cabinet, ideal for all your hang dry items.  It's even great for drying items that you don't want to send through the dryer like shoes and bags.  I want one!
I know who I'm buying from next time I need appliances! Asko is not new to the game, it has been around for 50 years but I can see it doing very well in the American market.  Do you have Asko appliances or heard about them?

Images from asko

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scouting Out Scout

I was down in Oakland for a consultation and spent the time afterward hanging out with friends around the charming parts of Oakland and Berkley. While we were on Telegraph Avenue enjoying a delicious ginger cookie, we wandered into an adorable housewares shop called Scout.
I instantly fell in love with all the eclectic and fabulous items they had displayed. There are quite a few unique items that were so tempting to buy!
 If you love the home products featured in Anthropologie, you will love this store.  There are fun furniture pieces, wall art, lighting, paint (they feature Mythic non-toxic paints) and other fun decor items, large and small.  They also feature outdoor lighting and mailboxes!

Scout also offers staging and design services which you can find out more about here. If you ever find yourself on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, you must stop by this store!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

5 April Favorites

This months 5 favorites!

First April Fave: Easter Chocolate

This year, Easter landed on the first weekend of April.  I love Easter!  In spite of the uncharacteristic stormy weather, I managed to wear a dress to church!  I was quite determined.  My reward for my efforts was yummy Easter chocolate, thanks to my mom :) (and yes I have featured chocolate for the past three months - I am a chocoholic!)

Second April Fave: Caleb's Photos

My three year old nephew loves to get a hold of my camera and take as many photos as I will let him (thank goodness for digital!) He actually takes some creative photos.  I'm not sure if it's because he's only 3 feet off the ground or that he's not afraid to get up close and personal with his subject.  Here are a few that he took this month for you to enjoy, there's even a self-portrait!

Third April Fave: Josh's Basketball Games
Caleb's older brother, Josh is in 3rd grade and started playing basketball this year.  As you can see in the photos, he has a height advantage as he is the tallest on the team (Josh is #2).  It's fun to see the kids play, even when they don't quite get all the rules down.

Fourth April Fave: Old Sacramento
Last weekend I went down to Old Sacramento with some family to pick up an item from a particular shop and we ended up hanging out for a few hours, enjoying the historical site.  Sometimes you forget to enjoy some of the touristic of the city you live in.

Fifth April Fave: Strawberries
Strawberries have arrived on the grocer's shelves and in the restaurants and we have been eating a lot of them for dessert lately.  They are so colorful and refreshing by themselves.  They are definitely one of my favorite fresh fruits!

What are your April favorites?

Photos by Rebecca Ward

Monday, April 19, 2010

Take The Time

Clocks are great decor items, even in this digital age.  Here are some great ones from Pottery Barn I would love to find a place to put them.  Take the time to enjoy these!
 Images from Pottery Barn

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Yesterday I posted about House Beautiful magazine's May issue being a must-have.  Now I have made it easier for you to get at this magazine and an even easier way than that!
I now have available on my bookstore a magazine section.  I've added the ones that I am currently subscribed to, including House Beatuiful and others I recommend.  (BTW, I just notice that Amazon has an amazing deal right now on Dwell Magazine!  Only $5!!)
So now you can go the easy route of ordering through my bookstore, or....
You can win a subscription to House Beautiful through this blog!*  Starting today, tax day (a day we all need something to cheer us up) you can now enter to win a one year subscription to House Beautiful.  Contest ends April 30th.  A winner will be selected using  There are up to 3 chances to enter and get your name in the drawing:
1. Leave me a comment on why you would like to win a subscription to this magazine
2. Become a "follower" and leave a comment that you are now a follower
3. Blog about this contest and leave a comment with the link to your blog

Good luck!

*Only US domestic (48 states). My apologies international readers!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Advice You Need to Have

I notice that I am quite often bringing to light the great inspirations that can be found in House Beautiful Magazine.  I really recommend you should just go out and subscribe, if you haven't already. At the very least, pick up the May issue!  It's titled "The Big Advice Issue", which you know must be loaded with some gems.  I have provided some as proof!
To start off with, we have this yummy room from the cover.  The greys and cream upholstery peices (LOVE the sofa!) are kept fresh with orage, tourquoise, green and dark pink accents.
The advice being mentioned for this room is to double up on the accent pillows and make sure they are contrasting in color and texture or patterns.  Also, put some skirts on your upholstery to avoid too many legs in the room.  Skirts help to "ground" the room instead of making it appear "nervous"
Here's some creative advice to wallpaper you sliding closet doors!  Presto chango you have an exciting feature wall for very little effort.
This photo shows how unlimited we can be in our outdoor spaces thanks to new fabrics and finishes.
This photo is highlighting a common misconception that my clients find hard to believe when I tell them: Dark walls will make the room feel bigger! The edges of the room will get lost in the shadows.

Really, just go pick up this issue and discover all of the other great tips that House Beautiful Magazine has so wonderfully compiled.

Monday, April 12, 2010

O'Donnell Residence Before and After

I was sent a link by a client of some before and after pictures that she has taken of her house and thought I would pass it along to you.  I haven't shot my portfolio pictures of the house yet but this gives you a nice sneak peak!  My client did all of the new furnishings for her remodeled condominium but I was brought on board to design the cabinets, colors, tile work, flooring and lighting.  I worked in conjunction with Ted Smith Design who was the architect on the remodel.  I am very pleased with how everything turned out.  My client wanted a more contemporary look with a little bit of craftsman detail to symbolize her Scottish heritage.  You can take a look at her photos here and hopefully I will be getting official photos in the near future!

Photos by Sue O'Donnell

Book Binge

As you noticed, I took a break from the blogging world last week, which was not easy to do!  I missed you!  Now it's back to business.  The reason I was MIA was this last weekend I exhausted myself from the extensive examinations over 2 days for the NCIDQ(National Council for Interior Design Qualification), as I mentioned here.  I was studying and working so much last week that Design R blog had to be put on the back burner.
Today I thought I would mention all the books I have accumulated over the last month in research for several projects.  I mentioned some Victorian books here and now for the Craftsman/Bungalow style plus some great remodeling books. I will, of course, make them available at my bookstore.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves about what a great resource and and give you a peak into what an inspiration these books are!

First of the Craftsman books is Living in the Arts and Crafts Style by Charlotte Kelley.
Second is The New Bungalow Kitchen by Peter LaBau.  I've been doing quite a few craftsman style kitchens this year so this is very helpful!
Third is Bungalow Style by Treena Crochet.
Fourth is Bungalows by M.Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman

Now we move into general remodeling of classic homes. 
The First is Creating a New Old House by Russel Versaci
Second is New Rooms for Old Houses by Frank Shirley
Third is American Style by Dylan Landis
And last but certainly not least is Roots of Home by Russell Versaci

So those are the 8 latest and greatest in my Book Binge.  Hope you enjoy them as I have!