Friday, December 24, 2010

peace to you

merry christmas..happy holidays from hillside.

we were organizing and cleaning a bit today at the cabin. it is starting to look like a steps. it will all change very soon, but i wanted to unpack a few boxes and try a few things out.

tomorrow holds dinner for 9 in the city and then out to hillside with our out of town friend sarah...she will christen hillside as our first overnight guest. the good news is she doesn't mind that there is no electricity in the bathroom, we have no real kitchen, only one room has been painted, but there is enough love to fill the we will be good.

the photo above is my usual hodge podge of finds that made the cut for hillside :). from $250.00 french countryside cabinet (steal) to $1.99 prayer candle, all of equal importance.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

better late than never

i am the guy who starts to welcome in the holiday's a month early...the day after turkey day i am digging in the basement storage area, looking for the christmas boxes as well as pounding the pavement for the perfect tree.

lets just say i am late this year. company coming in today and as of yesterday nothing was ready. i was sad to face the harsh reality of no christmas trees left (but this little guy), no wreaths ( so had to buy a candle center piece and trim it up a bit), BUT i was able to get some headway as of yesterday.

now, the reality is....none of this really matters as i consider everything that we have all been through this year..the highs and the lows. what DOES matter is our health, our friendships, our family and all the blessings, such as being employed and feeling loved.

a few shots of some of yesterdays accomplishments in our home. less is more.

Monday, December 20, 2010


i love the holidays. it is a time to put aside work, gather one and all and just spend some time together and hopefully create some special memory and history.

another reason is i get to bring out some special ornaments and trinkets that have great meaning and history. i know, every year i post these iron elk figurines. they were Maxine's (gma) and i will always remember the day she told me to pick one thing out of her collection of christmas question in my mind what would hold the memories together for me..the elk.

the photo of the tree's was also a photo that maxine took in the 50's...i asked her about it long ago and she said it was one of the first winters in california..somewhere in the siera's i think?

so, from my nook to yours...may the quickly approaching holidays bring that spark of fond memories.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


my 17 year old self, "OMG....we see big time".

well, this weekend the $1.91 per square foot, 2 grade, 8" pine floors from lumber liquidators were installed by yours truly, the better half and a work friends fiance named patrick (shout out). they look awesome (17 year old self) for the quality and price. super happy as you never really know what it will look like until you see the actual wood. we lucked out.

i thought i would start from the beginning with this room. it is the living room/kitchen nook area that has had some major transforming moments.

in the first photo check out the ceiling (ply wood with layer upon layer of clear lacquer), the divider wall that sectioned off the kitchenette and the living room, the flooring. WOW!

the following photo's are the stages of the is not complete, but it has been awhile since i have posted any hillside photo's and i think this one is meaningful enough to share.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

table time

a few holiday table top options, if you can stomach the horns. if you are disturbed by horns, you can buy resin everywhere now, see photo of three resin options. check out haus interior

photo's from a new blog favorite emma's designblogg

Thursday, December 9, 2010

just a litte bit of living

i love this home in norway. it is so graphic to me with the stark contrasts of color and clean lines and minimal approach. what draws me in are the warm wood hues on the legs of the table in the dining room and the desk in the bedroom. it is almost the perfect balance to me...all it needs is something living...a fig tree, a rose, or i can even imagine b-mo. :0)

photo's from bo bedre norway and they are photographs of the home of

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

thinking of you part 2

i posted this candle back in February of this year. it is the little candle of hope. it has a tag that has the names of those we are thinking of and hoping/praying will get through their time of need and struggle, as well as names of those to celebrate.

i have written your name down donna. someone on the west coast is thinking of you during this time of loss. i have hope this will be a great time of reflection, and that love will endure over the heartache.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

green + gray

to all of you gray lovers (donna) out there, i thought it appropriate to share some mighty fine images that have a twinkle of green (in honor of the evergreen tree..though no photo's of evergreens) and our ever growing popular color gray. i have been a gray loyalist since 2001 when i convinced my second interior design client to paint her entire 5000 square foot home in shades of gray....i haven't looked back since then and i think she is still in shock she took the plunge (good shock of course):o)..a risky move for a traditional-english lover.

anyway, i decided it high time to rally and put aside the busy life for 20 minutes a day and breathe...

images found elle decor

Monday, December 6, 2010

holiday hints

this photo perfectly captures how engaged i have been with the holiday close to the action, but still a room away.

if you look closely you can see the reflection of the christmas tree in the mirror and the warm glow of the fire in the corner...but not in the room photographed. i want to be in the other room with the cheer.

i think the problem is, i am longing for a christmas tree. tradition is to get our tree the day after thanksgiving, but this year we were out of town and it just hasnt happened yet..and the lack of lights and fragrance of the tree is messing with my psyche :)

then a reminder...the season is not about the tree, the music, the parties, the busy....but rather about the spirit of giving and helping others. i will call it simple holiday hints for now. (i bought wrapping paper on the way home tonight..its a start)

self help by me.

image found on skona hem

Sunday, November 28, 2010

how low can you go

so, a cold front has hit sf and the thanksgiving holiday was a record low, the lowest in 118 years during this time frame...low 40's.

i guess one could say i have acclimated since moving from nyc as this weather does feel really cold to me and i am already on the hunt for a new down winter coat. BUT once i recall the walk from the subway to my apt (15 minute walk) during the coldest winters of my life in nyc, i have to calm down and be thankful for the 40's.

wherever you are, i hope this finds you warm, with a full stomach (leftovers of course) and bundles to be thankful for.

another image from ETCETERA etc, by sibella court.

Monday, November 22, 2010

fast times with the mo

sitting here, thinking of one of the many points of light in my life...and man's best friend emerges on top.

we have had b-mo 5 years now. before he came to us he was in 5 different shelters in southern california....he would get moved to the next shelter right before dr death was able to get him, his name should really be lucky. eventually, someone brought him to san fran (which is a no kill city) and his mug was posted on pet finder....the rest is history.

his favorite color is red. he has fire in his eye and belly.
his name comes from benji, which turned to benjamin mohawk (that is his real hair and his natural mohawk) to b-mo.
he likes apples
he has survived some big fights and is as tough as nails.
he would like to eat vermin and small children (sad, but true)

this post is for anyone who needs a little pick me sure works for me...every dog gone time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

back at it..

heading to the cabin...hoping for some meaningful blog opp's. another painting weekend in store...the transformation is painfully slow.

love this photo.. i imagine it being the place the hipsters stay when hunting in the woods. hee.

image source

Thursday, November 18, 2010

men too...why not?

for many of us the scent of roses evoke some sort of emotion and many of us quickly recall grandmothers, aunts and the ladies of the family. this is defiantly true for me and my scent memories. grandma maxine had roses everywhere, paintings, towels, plants, perfume and the list goes on.

well, this scent also takes me back to india where i found it more common for men to wear rosewater. this is when i felt compelled to start using rosewater and more secure in my masculinity, not threatened by indulging in a scent i love . i purchased several bottles and once they were gone they were gone and i stopped using it and way too busy and lazy to find pure rosewater locally.

which brings me to a great product that i recently has quickly become a favorite and i use it daily. it is intoxicating and the perfect fragrance level for someone who is not keen on cologne or manufactured fragrance. is just right and not to overpowering.

its a great lotion that is light and at the right price. $12.00. perfect holiday gift in my book.

dr. hunter hand creme

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

unfortunate reality

i have been a bad, bad blogger and admitting it to myself and then others is the first step....right? unfortunately life has its agenda and sometimes it trumps ours. i'm going with the flow, but wanted to call it like it is and tell myself and you that my early new years resolution is to get connected again to, what seems to be, one of my only creative outlets/therapy.

i took this photo last week after this load of clean laundry sat in this same spot for 5 days, in THE KITCHEN. that says it all..everything in life seems to be falling behind. at least it was a load of lights and not so bad to look at.

happy hump day to you....may the rest of the week be a downhill joyride.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

living with the things we love

i received this book as a gift from our real estate agent after i referred a co-worker to him. he is an amazing guy and with all the time we spent with him...well, we consider him sf family. (props to you jay m).

this is one of those books that you tend to look at over and over actually "lives" on the kitchen table and has perched itself there for over a month now. it is my escape from the chaos of everyday life.....and i must pick it up 3 or 4 times a week when i need that mindless, gazing fix. it works every time...totally transports me into her world and love for textures, prints, fonts and basically all things old.

sibella court, the author of the book, tugged at my heart strings with her personal story and as you walk through her book, you immediately realize her gift of making old feel new and fresh.

all images taken from ETCETERA etc, by sibella court

Sunday, November 7, 2010

before & after x's 2

well, i can barely sit up straight after this weekends cabin face lift, but i am bound and determined to get this post out before dinner is delivered (rainy day = indian delivery + we are too exhausted to think about cooking).

1st series is the creek on our property, it dries up in june/july and they said starts flowing again in november. well...yesterday it was bone dry AND by mid-day today it was flowing AND when we leaving.... it was raging, thanks to the rain blessings (i wish i could record the sound and play for you, so soothing). check out the path that goes to the top of the property.

2nd series...OMGosh, this is the hallway with the door on the left leading into the large bedroom. we decided to remove the single door and put in french doors (they were free from our friends j&l, the remodeled their victorian several years ago and saved these).

so, you can see the wall is gone, but the doorframe is close to being in and then the rest is history. is here, gotta run. hope your sunday evening is restful.

Friday, November 5, 2010

champs at last

champagne that is. why you ask...well we are going to spend our first night at "hillside cabin" this weekend and there is due reason to celebrate.

this great bubbly is from our dear NYC friends as a house celebration/warming gift and we decided to save it for the first night (i think we have been holding it for 3 months now...and believe me, that is a feat in itself). i'm sure after a long day of work tomorrow this treat will sooth the sore muscles (or hopefully distract from the aches and pains) and ring in a new beginning.

so here are the deets: it really isnt ready for overnight guest, but we are totally game for cabin camping. the blow up mattress is in tow, the fridge is being delivered tomorrow am (key for the champs), there is no shower head but there is warm water, and of course b-mo is beyond the point of excitement.

tomorrow should hold some great photo's ops for upcoming post, as we are pulling out some paint brushes and bringing a little sparkle and clean to the front "porch" room.

one more note...what do y"ou think of the name? the house sits on a hill and actually most of the 3/4 acres is hillside", so we think this one has a ring and is a keeper. let me know if you can think of something else...we are open to suggestions, but do this one fits the bill.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

addiction...this too shall not pass

emersonmade is still one of my favorite blogs to visit when i need a pick me up, a shot of sunshine and flirting or just a moment to think of nothing other than a basic observation of, what looks to be the simple life....she continues to woo me. i am addicted to her, almost as much as i am to alice waters and ina.

this is what halloween means to me as a mature (ha, ha), civilized adult. (lol). but really, she evokes the best kind of costume.

happy halloween, i hope you get something sweet. if you are like me, you have got a head start to the holiday bulge...its starts around october 15th when i can't resist the family packs of twix, kitkats, reeses and you know the rest of the story and what halloween can mean to some of us...candy.

i like to say "getting ready for winter and storing up some extra protective fat". it works.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Friday!

so, i've have been vacillating for the last 3 weeks on floor paint color, but do think i am getting close.

my original and true inspiration is the JCREW shopping bag. have you seen the new bag...the color is shockingly is cross between craft and recycled news paper gray (meaning a warm, mushroomy grey). anyway, when i was at bmoore 3 weeks ago i picked a color in the same family..but i didn't quite get to the depth i wanted too because i didn't have a bag handy, so back to the paint shop tomorrow to get them to match the bag. (thanks for the bag maya)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

faux or fur??

it can be a slippery slope when discussing these types of topics, but i have to get your opinions on hides.

thoughts on these in your home? i happen to have a beautiful white hide, that was a gift from someone special. its original purpose was for back patch/label for denim jeans for an iconic/american/luxury know..the classic one with rich history in americana....

well, it ended up in our home...something i have loved seeing, but not a must have. now i can't imagine the room without it.

love to hear your i doomed?

photo source here, recommended on one of my fav blogs, remodelista.

i has been a long, dry spell. busy with job changes, constant flow of visitors all summer (a joy indeed) and life. will try harder...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2 to 1

so, for those inquiring minds out are some photo's of the progress of the demo (sorry about the grainy photo's) on the cabin/shack.

i have done many cosmetic interior projects over the years and always tell my clients it will take much longer that you could imagine (not disclosing it can take up to twice as long...don't want to scare everyone away), but one tends to forget these rules when they apply to you.

these photo's are the before and after of the "previous" kitchen dining nook. now you see it, now you don't. thankfully it opened up the space just enough to create a flow that is all connected with the exposed beams and planks. lets see after the next stage if the flow remains...but for now there is hope.

the problems is now just a big room with nothing in sink, no fireplace...just lots of glue that needs to be scraped off by hand before we can rent the sanding machine. if you do not see a post after next weekend....i have been sucked up by the cabin/shack or am stuck to the floors and can't get up.

ps...can you see the before ceiling in the photo...high gloss, varnished plywood..with layers and layers of varnish. i bet they put a new one on every year. fancy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

warm white

evoking the warmth of the season inside, with the texture (literal) and color of outside. i mean, why not plant that tree right in the center of your light filled entry.

i do love the warm white on the walls & trim, with that raw-wood bench and the deep rich gray pillow. dreamy.

photo found on coco+kelley (a favorite bookmark)

Monday, October 18, 2010

weekend visits

it has been a busy summer with guest, travel and of course the cabin/shack project ....little time for rest, but when you are with close friends....the time together can be the equivalent of a nice, long escape of a nap.

well, the weekend before last we had some friends from seattle and nyc in town visiting. of course they were chomping at the bit to see the cabin in its "before and very naked" state. so, we just planned a nice weekend in the wine country.

i have to say that i did bring my camera, but i did not take the time to scout some great shots (my friend john was the photographer and i am anxiously waiting to see the results and promise to post more then).

well, i was able to secure a wine tasting at scribe winery in sonoma and i couldn't have imagined a more blissful setting than this. you must visit this special winery on your next trip to sonoma valley. total local feel with an optimistic and young and careful energy. this place is protected from the growing commercial feel of the wine country. i can't speak enough about it, but can share a few shots.

the photo of the big spanish style home is a home on the property that they are going to start restoring soon. they told us to take a peak and explore our hearts out, so while i enjoyed a nice pinot, my partner in crime took them up and explored the home and discovered some great drawings on the walls (bee drawing). it is a diamond in the rough..with all the original elements to make this one a stunner.

the last photo is of this charming outdoor dining room out of odds and could say it is etsy gone wild.

photo's by myself and LDRC.