Sunday, December 14, 2008

white christmas

they speak for ornaments...all in white. i like a white tree, of course with little color (silver). it makes for simple decorating. just make sure you start with the big, long ornaments on the bottom of tree and the smallest on top.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


after turkey day there was a fridge full of food, including some amazing herbs. perfect leftovers for a touch of scent, green and natural decorating. these little herbs have been in this spot for 2 weeks and look as fresh as the day they made their debut.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

purist at heart

simple, affordable table top magic. i'm a sucker for creating a dining experience with something other than a mixed bouquet of holiday themed flowers. not dissing anyone, but this is something i enjoy doing every dinner we host.
this is another great idea we all can do. i spent $5.00 on paper white bulbs ($1.00 each), $9.00 for candles (using 6 on the table, they are 2 for $3 at wallgreens), i took some gravel and poured it 1/2 up on each different container if found in the kitchen, then stuck in the bulb (try and really mix and match in the same color). For the candles i just wrapped twine around each candle and tied it in a knot to give it a personal touch. ok...this is sounding too get the point.

double the pleasure

great little boxwood family finds. these two will only live inside through the holiday's and then out to the stoop they go. i don't think they are the indoor type, but a great simple pleasure. old zink pots, $5.00 each and the plant's were 2 for $10.00.
it's looking pretty rustic, but i think that little modern etching, with simple framing, gives it that clean and simple elegance(ok...elegance is not the right word, but i have been cooking and cleaning all day in prep for thanksgiving..that i just can't think of the perfect, descriptive word)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

perfect paring

this is just my style. cheap ($ serious), modern (of sorts) and a lovely shade of white-ish. i have no idea what decade this is from and as long as it is older than 1969 i should be ok.

bargain basic

in my opinion, one of the few investments you have to make to furnish your home is your sofa ('s). when i first move to SF from NYC i didn't have a sofa, so i found a great shop in Hayes Valley called Montauk. Great hard wood frames, down filled and deep (so you can sleep well if your kicked out of bed...kidding). The sofa i loved was a Huge investment, so i went home to think long and hard about it and do some measuring.
Well, my friend Pam (red ticking, seattle) went into the shop a bit later and i told her about the sofa i loved. when she was searching out the store she found a used one in the very back corner, same model, same linen cover and it was 1/2 the price. i put on my jet powered vans and flew down to Montauk to check it out. what had happened was, a customer purchased this sofa and once she put it in the room, she felt it was too big, so the store agreed to let her put it in the back of their store and try to sell it. It was still an investment at 1/2 off, but i would have paid full price and bellied up to buyers remorse for years to come......

creative landscaping architecture

i decided to plant some bulbs next to the house i just bought. ha, Ha! Another great find--this great little scale model found at the local flea market for 5 bucks. i'm not sure where it will land, but this little piece of real estate couldn't be passed up. the funny thing is, i didn't get there early this time and it was still sitting out in front of the booth. either i'm lucky again, or a complete confused fool. i'm affraid to think to hard about it. happy planting.

this better pass as color

see, i can do color too. i've heard some of you loud and clear. i have to re-state my personal position on color. ready.....i like color in my life, i need color in my life, but the amount of color needs to be in small doses, like this little french provincial seaside painting. e-bay find. this was my first live auction and i didn't know what i was doing and somehow got locked in and i won. well, i love it, but the price i paid made me believe it was MUCH bigger than 6.5" x 9". this is not one of my "bargain/affordable finds, but does represent for my color loving friends.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

been there, seen that

i know, that molded glass water bottle has already made its debut, but has since been moved to a new spot and now belongs to a collection of odds and ends. ranging from the $20.00 decanter found in the south of france, to a set of 3 hand blown vases for $50.00 at an antique show in seattle. to me, this is a great way to display your clear glass collection (if you don't have one you can quickly obtain one) and make it half functional (brandy bar) half display. well, not really display...more like a simple, strong statement. you can keep adding, and adding, and adding and since it is all glass, the "clutter factor" isn't screaming in your face. unless you decided to fill them all with brandy. it is an idea.

Mirror, Mirror on the floor

this mirror is officially misplaced, due to the constant "flea market finds" and weekly shifting of "stuff". i saw this mirror in the window of a local SF shop "gypsy honeymoon", but knew not to ask how much because i wasn't in the market for a gilded mirror AND didn't know how i would get it home. so, it was settled the timing was off, so i didn't ask. funny thing is, i kept walking by the shop and after several months (including visits inside the store) i decided to ask. well...lets just say i figured out a way to wedge it into the huge, old volvo trunk and made it home amongst the family of "shameful" finds. let's just say it was worth sacrificing 100 latte's for. honestly, it is quite difficult to find great french mirrors these days, especially ones that are not adorned with all kinds of bobbles, flowers, baskets and angels. i have to admit, i knew from the moment i saw this mirror i had to have it and i guess i was either a fool for buying it or really lucky with the time. the best part is the clip on lighting from the local hardware store...$7.50.

Friday, October 31, 2008

not my style

whats a guy to do? IF i owned this place i think i would remove this wall covering. BUT, since i don't own this apartment, i live with it. fortunately it was painted the same color as the walls and trim, which makes it less distracting, but rather a nice, subtle texture. oh, did i mention the new lamps from my favorite shop on the west coast? my friend Pam Robinson, who is owner and sole buyer for her "Provencal inspired boutique", red ticking...let me put these lamp's on lay-away. who ever hears of lay-away these days. anyway, they finally arrived last week and i had to make a call out to red ticking. go visit

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Found Object

words can't express my love for this little lighting inspiration. this desk lamp mounted on this carved wood describes my interest in texture and whimsy. i don't think i will ever be able to part with this light from the south of France. priceless. it was sitting in a box all by itself, almost like a left-over, has been. but let me tell was calling out my name and i heeded the call. a real find and a real bargain

Basket Heaven

metal, wood, wicker, you pick. we were fortunate enough to be the first to view these and it was moving. there were hundreds of baskets throughout the estate and there wasn't one i wouldn't bring home with me. problem is...i already have too many and no space. on the far left of photo you can kind of see a tall cylinder wicker basket that i could easily have fit my 5 foot, 11 inch frame in. never seen one like it.

Size Matters

"if only" i had a small piece of outdoor real estate. these weather worn urns are fresh off the french express. they made their debut in the US at the container sale. if i had a huge indoor space or a fraction of outdoor space i think i would have traded these for the old volvo. the color (or non color) of these French Beauties are a dream color pallet and that pop of green brings them to life.

California Chorus

California is the only place i have ever lived where succulents thrive, so whenever i see them i get a grin. This was taken near Santa Cruz at a French container sale. The gentlemen running this sale, have what seems to be, a city of succulents on their estate. I have never seen such beautiful gardens look so effortless. Of course, these little guys were special enough to make it out of the dirt and into a pot...not sure how lucky they really are, but they were a show stopper in my book.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Controlled Clutter

big pet peeve = clutter. well, when you live in 850 square feet with a hankering for "stuff", its hard to keep your space organized and presentable. i think in a past life i was a monk, as i long for a spare, no fuss, no clutter environment, but i have made an effort for this lifetime to be as clutter free as possible. so, what you do is keep a theme, in any space that displays your treasures. if you have a vast array of treasures with many colors, then rotate them by color (during st. Pat's....fill that space with all the green and gold you can rally...:O).
in this built-in i pretty much only put glass or whites--making it seem organized and clean. you can always throw in black and white photo's and baskets as they are essentials for adding your texture and keeping it interesting.
and of course, don't forget your live plant or brings that special "wink" to the room and helps it feel alive.

overlooked beauty

carnations were Maxine's (Gma) favorite flowers and then gardenias. i have to say that for $5.99 @ safeway, these poor mans flowers have provided that little bit of freshness to the room and have been debuting for 1.5 weeks now. simple, clean and i think a new signature in our home. they actually have a faint, sweet smell that fills the room. this is actually 2 bouquet's that i cut to a 3 inch stem and put them in 3 of these great little flee market finds (Chinese soup cups from the 50's).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

picasso & green

another great find. this great 1950's picasso study moves from room to room. you never know where she will wind up. found in a pile of junkie drawings..she was definately the diamond in the rough.
i little bit of the ever-growing glass finds. most recent is the great glass plastic bottle replica. found it at moma store. i know, i know...its not new, but it still rocked my fix for finds.
and can't forget the splash of color...this little branch has been there 6 weeks and counting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

handmade with care

i found this lamp 20 years ago in a little antique shop in idaho. i stored it at my grandparents until about 3 years ago. i don't know why i waited so long to bring this one home. i do remember the lady at the antique shop saying it was hand made out of sagebrush years ago. for some reason it brings some modern sensibility to a room that has a lot of old primitive things.

shocking, but true

now,..... i enjoy arranging the apartment and spending time puttering and moving things around (weekly...usually a bad weekend habit), but even after all my efforts and people always comment on this little, spot of a spot in the apartment, and it always sounds something like this "i love this little spot/nook/storage/spot sooooooo much", seriously. anyway, this is the one "spot of a spot" in this apartment that i do not spend time arranging, but it is rather, a monster waiting to take over. go figure!

japanese country style

i love the japanese minimal approach with a bit of rustic and country mixed in. i found this great magazine in japan town, it is very similar to a japanese home magazine called Olive. i only have 2 issues of Olive and always keep them towards the top of my mag pile for inspiration. unfortunately, this magazine has english name. sorry.....

rosemary warner photograph

i mentioned rosemary warner earlier and this is the photo i was refrencing. i met rosemary in 2003, about 6 months after i moved to nyc. she finally (hee) invited me over to her studio in dumbo (brooklyn, nyc) after a few months. she lives in that amazing loft space we all dream of, when our New York dream comes to life (fat chance anyone could get that now). well, she had lived there for over 20 years in this old shoe factory and the first several years she didn't even have heat. she has built a kitchen, bathroom, interior walls have gone up and she did it all alone. she lived on the 5th floor of a walk-up building and her space was 5000+ sq. feet....i about fell over dead when i walked in for the first time. she has the most amazing work live space and i was surrounded by this whole collection called jump.....i gravitated towards this piece and had to figure out a way to get it. it took over a year of payments until she made it home and believe you me, she is one of those girls you always have to keep close to home. i better stop as i am sounding so materialistic.

Monday, September 15, 2008

a sharp deal

flea market find in San Diego. i couldn't not.... and wish i would have bought the whole batch. this vendor had a whole box of these resin horn knives and i only bought a portion. lesson learned....again.

Friday, September 12, 2008


color just isn't my thing. i fear i will become known as the one who didn't take color risks. i look at a neutral pallet and think, "maybe i will throw in a little color and add a nice cactus or branch from any kind of tree that has green leaves" and think to myself " wow, that color makes a huge difference". well, the next day someone comes over for a visit and states the fact, "you should add some color to this room" and i say back "i just did, look at that tree branch with 2 leaves in the corner".
seriously though, i find so much color in this weathered, sun bleached pine table. that i bought from a great french importer near santa cruz. this table was such a deal that i can't even tell you how much.
the top of this table has most incredible combination of pale earth browns and all shades of grey. i find that enough color to sooth my spirit. once in a blue moon i will throw some color in a space and live with it for a few weeks, but then i have to change everything back to minimal color. the red pillow is like a bomb going off in this space. i found that fabric at the gypsy honeymoon in SF

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday Night Light

my favorite room: because this room faces west and the evening lights shifts effortlessly every season ,with a different warmth than of the past. September light carries with it a warm, emotion filled glow that only comes toward the end of September. i wish i could capture the light in this picture, but aside from the fact I'm not a photographer, i think it is a light hard to express through a lens.
this room also has a powerful group of women watching over it. most of my collection of images, paintings and photo's of women are in this room. They range from flea market finds, to french oil portraits, to an amazing large photograph i purchased from a friend who let me pay her $50 -$100 a month for over a year until the full $1000.00 was paid off. this was a splurge i was not in a position to make, but rosemary was so generous to let me have a payment plan. i'll write more about rosemary's art another day in its own posting, yeah!!
anyway, can you see how many women are in this photo??

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Entrance

well, here i am and it feels good to be a wealthy man. i recently vacationed in montauk with some good friends. my new friend rick (boyfriend of my dear friend, patti, who was also the host for the long weekend) was passionately encouraging me to create a blog to capture a history of things that inspired me. interiors and any form of casual elegance.

rick told me about a great blog called "the satorialist" to look at for inspiration. well, "inspire" it was mind blowing. actually, the first day after getting home from montauk, i sat down at the computer and spent 2 hours looking at every entry in the satorialist blog ( starting back in sept 2005). i was embarassed that i had never heard of this blog.

let me get to the interesting part of the wealth. well, on this trip to montauk, my other good friend pam, bet me one million dollars i would not and could not get a blog up and running in a month or a year for that matter. there just happened to be others present to hear this bet (rick, patti & lupe). well pammy, guess what, this blog is up and running and it has only been 2 weeks. (pam call when the check is in the mail because i'm spending money like crazy right now)

so in comes the reason for this first photo. it is the entry hall of my apartment in san francisco and this is my first blog entry-the hard part is done (that first entry) and this photo really rings true to the intention of this site. to share some inspiring photos and ideas with my friends that might just create that casual elegance without breaking your 401k. so, i thought i could tell you a little about the objects and how everyone has access to creating their own style. the entry sideboard cabinet from burgundy, france was purchased from a french antique dealer here in san francisco. she has become a friend and offers great prices. this cabinet was $300.00 (a great piece at a great price), horse etching $100.00 (solid good price), collected books- a few hundred dollars (affordable source of inspiration), mixed ceramic $120.00 (great little investment), diptyque candle (fig) 65.00 w/tax (a guilty pleasure i can't not have), 17ft runner (carpet) for $85.00 found on eBay, and a great little german etching i found at an antique mall for $10.00(shocking).

one down and many more to come.