Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Color

My favorite time to look at the color of nature is in right after a storm.  Everything has been freshly washed and the light is filtered through gray clouds, the darkened sky lending a nice canvas to the colors on the ground.  I grabbed my camera this weekend to capture a few colors that stood out to me:
The palest pink of a flowering plum tree

The bright purple and yellow of potted pansies

The zesty orange of fresh picked oranges
The contrast of green ivy on red brick

The white begonias in their green bed of leaves

A freshly washed terracotta pot

I hope you are having a great Monday!  I'm looking forward to meeting with new clients this week.

Photos by Rebecca Ward

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tenderly, The Flower Chair

The Chair as an intimate journey,from the nucleus of the home toward far-off destinations.
Like a light, free flying carpet.
A heart, a leaf, a flower, opening up majestic to let you in.
Carnal, yet bizarrely infantile, sumptuous but rested and secret.
A wonderful charm: the excitement of velvet, a flicker of silk, to relive in the colours of the mosaic, amidst chromatic phrasing, that disperses glare, then collects together sudden lights.
Where sentiment joints amazement and art does not appear at the end to times, but rather at their origin, in a mosaic.

Sicis, an Italian company known for their mosaics, has, with the help of Carla Tomoleo developed a branch of their company called Sicis Next Art which is a creation of art of the future. As you can see this chair, called Tenderly, is just a sample of the incredible and whimsical peices they have in furniture as art.

It looks pretty comfortable to me!

Happy Friday!

Images from Sicis

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trendy Renovations

Today I'm happy to bring you guest bloggers Christina Johnson & Mia Kelly who have written a very informative article about Trendy Renovations and what's happening in the remodel industry. Enjoy!


Contractors and homeowners are busy setting their sights on the top renovation trends for the next decade, hoping these trends will spark positive movements in real estate markets. Many of the renovation trends popular in the early 2000s are simply out of date and frankly a bit uninspired. The exterior trends need light to moderate alterations such as a fresh coat of paint in a bright new color, yet a lot of home interiors require major overhauls as kitchens and bathrooms begin to look outdated and worn.  Geographical location is important too, a trend may be just beginning in the New York real estate market area, but in the California market it could be old news.

In the last ten years, kitchen cabinets were defined by natural wood and colored melamine. Yet, the new trends in kitchen styles are not following these basic patterns anymore.
Fisher & Paykel

 Drawers: Cabinet doors are being changed for drawers that contain everything from clothes to washers and dryers! Manufacturers are designing their appliances to fit into drawers. Refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and warming drawers will all be contained within space saving drawers. Renovations for the next decade place a high premium on saving space but also minimalism. These space saving drawers are wonderful ways to keep your busy life organized without sacrificing the aesthetic of your home.

Colors: Many modern style followers are enamored with glossy colors. Bright reds, greens, and aqua blues are the cutting edge colors for the brave and style conscious. Others still will continue to enjoy the sophisticated dark, warm, and natural colors characteristic of 2010.


Countertops: Granite and marble are being replaced by composite countertops. They possess the look and feel of natural stone without the worry of damage. Composite countertops are made of Zodiaq and Silestone and mixed with a synthetic bonding material. These mixed material countertops are more durable and heat-resistance than granite and come in a variety of colors.
Image from

Bathroom Styles
The size of bathrooms has doubled as compared to the last 10 years. This is because bathrooms are not simply bathrooms anymore. They have become multi-room, multi-purpose spa rooms, and luxury shower spaces. Tile is still the floor material of choice and can be seen on the walls and even ceilings of these luxury bathrooms.
Soaker tubs, a Japanese innovation, are large enough to stretch your legs out and high enough to completely submerge your body into the water. Other gadgets like hot air bubblers, massage your body more evenly than traditional spa tub.  The shower has split into two areas. The first area is large and glass with seats and many showerheads. The second area is an enclosed cabinet with a full steam bath. Ad to this equation a flat screen television, iPod player, and color therapy lighting and the shower doubles as a home entertainment theater.
Image from

Contractors are designing decks larger and more functional. This new style deck is layered platforms that include an outdoor ecosystem complete with plants, trees, and even outdoor jacuzzis. Building decks that double as outdoor living spaces, complete with barbecue grills, fire pits, and full furniture is a new trend that is becoming increasingly popular.
Image from

In-Law Suites
As the baby boomer generation takes on more responsibility with children and parents, In-Law suites recognize the multi-generational living situations of many families. In-Law suites are convenient solutions for long term living arrangements necessitated by the baby boomer generations’ growing care responsibilities toward their children and parents. These suites will range anywhere from 1 to 3 bedrooms often time with full bathrooms.

Thank you Christina and Mia! 

Christina Johnson is a grad student pursuing a masters in journalism and an avid writer in her free time.  She is particularly interested in real estate, politics, and green efforts.  Her co-writer Mia Kelly works in the real estate field and also in her spare time writes articles on up-and-coming trends in home renovations easy DIY tips.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Marriage of Luxury and Performance

Chella is a brand of textiles that seems to truly provide Luxury and Performance.  They claim that they cater to Pool, Spa and Active Living.  This would include households with pets and children who can cause a lot of wear and tear on your fine fabrics.  They hold up equally as well under the hot sun and in the pouring rain for hotel guest or in you own backyard.  Next time I am near one of their showrooms, I look forward to feeling the luxury of these performance fabrics.  Meanwhile, here are some photos to exemplify their diversity:

Rain or shine

For all of those "oops" moments- like a sticky sucker!

Able to withstand some puppy love

All photos provided by Chella

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Hearts Day

I hope you all are celebrating the love in your life today and have happy hearts! 

I would love to send each of you this beautiful bouquet made up by my favorite local Sacramento florist, Arden Park Florist, but you will have to be satisfied with this photo of it :)

I will impart some great news for all the bloggers out there:  Holly Becker of Decor8 blog is now accepting students for her online blogging class called "Blogging Your Way".  I was a part of the class a year ago and found it so helpful.  Please go check it out and learn as much as you can from this talented blogger!  Registration starts today and the class fills up fast.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Photo by Rebecca Ward

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chaps My Hide

The add for the Kyle Bunting company says "The extraordinary in hide" and I heartily agree.  Kyle Bunting creates amazing rugs, wallcoverings, upholstery and furniture out of hides.  I'm marveling at all of the creative applications they have come up with, especially the wallcoverings.  Bright colors and contemporary patterns are used in many products.  Take a look:

Pretty fun, right?  I'm sure it costs a fortune but I would love to specify it someday!

Images from Kyle Bunting

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Color and Your Age

The Sherwin-Williams' magazine STIR has an interesting article you can read here entitled, "Age-Related Color Bias" which asks the question, "Are there actual age-related color preferences, or are they the result of generations of accumulated cultural and age bias?"

I have always noticed that age plays a big part in the color my clients prefer.  There are exceptions, of course, but I can usually guess what colors a client will or won't like based on their age.  Most people over 65 don't see the value of grey like I do ;)  For them, grey is a sad, dreary color reminding them of a color palette from the 30s and 40s when the Depression and war made its impact on their youth.  Most people over 30 stay away from avocado green when used with orange and yellow because it reminds them of an aunt or grandma's (or their own!) house which has been stuck in a time bubble from the 60s and 70s.

The article explores that there aren't only associations we make along the way with colors that will affect our taste at a certain age but that our psychological development will change our perception of color.  Babies and young children prefer bold stimulting primary colors, where busy and stressed adults prefer something more calming in the greens, blues and browns.

Do you like warm colors like orange and tan

Do you like something flashy and vibrant like red?

Do you prefer the crisp and cool colors of blue and green?
So let me ask you this: What's your favorite color and has it changed with age?  Mine has!  When I was young my favorite color was yellow, then purple and now grey.

 As an aside, I would like to say that an important fact to note when considering color and age is that our eyes and perception of color and the ability to see the full spectrum of color diminishes with age.  One also needs to consider what it's like for the percentage of the population who are color-blind. They will have drastically different opinions on what colors they prefer.

Photos by Rebecca Ward

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I can't flip past an add for Ironies in my design magazines without stopping to drool a little.  I thought I would stop by their website to see if they  had some great photos I could share with my readers and I hit the jackpot!  I just love the calm and serene look in the presentation of their elegant products.  Prepare to drool!

Images from Ironies