Category: Looks We Love

Renovation: Phase One Update, Demolition and Framing

As I reported at the beginning of the month, phase one of my home renovation has begun.  At this point, it is well underway.  In the past few weeks we have been through demolition, added structural support and plumbing, and started some basic framing.  (If you don’t remember where we started, take a look at my April 6 post, here.)  It is loud, dusty and there have been one or two surprises.  But, it is nice to see progress.  Even though it is still rough, there is enough framing that we can walk the rooms and start to get a feel for the space.  Take a look for yourself.
Future Garden Room
Future Garden Room Bathroom
Future Stairway
Future Guest Room
Future Guest Room Bathroom
Of course, when you renovate a home that is almost 90 years old, there are always surprises.  It has happened in all of our past projects and this time is no different.  First, we had to close off part of the kitchen (originally not to be touched until Phase Two begins) to facilitate some structural work.  Then, when we demolished the guest room it became apparent that a prior owner had removed PART OF THE FOUNDATION of the house when doing a prior renovation.  So, as a result, we have been digging an unplanned trench to replace the segment of the foundation that had been removed and add additional support to the space.  (See below.)  There is never a dull moment around here, that is for sure.
The next step is to start ordering tile and fixtures in the next couple of weeks.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted on our progress.

Color Crush: Marsala

color of the year
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As everyone knows, “marsala” is the Pantone color of the year for 2015.  I have to admit, I had a little trouble embracing this one at first.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the color.  I love it for nail polish, a beautiful sweater, and a lipstick.  I love it for flowers.  At first, though, I wasn’t sure if I loved it for home decor.  The more I have seen it, the more it has grown on me.  The round up below is particularly inspiring.
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If you are willing to make a big commitment, you cannot go wrong with these pieces.
myoldcountryhouse sofa
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At the end of the day, I probably would not make a large commitment to marsala.  I prefer it as more of an accent color than the main focus.  It is used nicely here by designer Sarah Richardson.
Sarah Richardson
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If you like the “less is more” approach too, here are a few low-commitment pieces that won’t break the bank.
cb bottle vases
Crate & Barrel Bottle Vases
Wayfair throw pillow
Wayfair Throw Pillow
Lamps Plus
32″ Brezza Mirror
Etsy, Kravet
Kravet Pillow, 20″ Square (Etsy)
Dot & Bo
Dot & Bo Wall Clock 

Weekend Inspiration: Try Something New

We are always looking for something new to do on the weekend.  Here are a few things that we would like to try.  What are your plans?
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Taste A New Wine
The SF Vintner’s Market is happening at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion this weekend.  It is being billed by 7×7 Magazine as “the ultimate opportunity to discover new wines from top local wineries and boutique producers from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Paso Robles, Medocino, San Luis Opisbo, Russian River Valley, and more.”   Since we love tasting (and buying) wine, this one sounds like it is right up our alley. $80-$150. Saturday/Sunday April 11-12: 12-4pm. Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center.  To buy tickets, click here.
Eat Someplace New
We have heard great things about the food and cocktails, especially the cocktails, at BDK. It is in the old Grand Cafe space at the Hotel Monaco in Union Square. It is an American Tavern with “enhanced comfort food,” according to the website.  Some of the fare includes:  Thai coconut red curry popcorn, pickle-brined fried chicken thighs with coleslaw and mini buttermilk biscuits, and dark chocolate fudge cake with salted pretzel crumble.  Based on that snapshot, something tells me that it doesn’t suck.  Book now on the Website or Opentable.
Presidio 10
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Do Something Good
After all the eating and drinking above, a little exercise couldn’t hurt. The Presidio 10 is a 10 Mile/10K/5K race in the Presidio. The 10 mile and 10 kilometer courses go over and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. The 5 Kilometer fun run goes to Fort Point and back. The finish line expo include awards for age divisions, hot breakfast, party tents from multiple sponsors, and live music.  The Presidio 10 is one of San Francisco’s longest standing running races and celebrates its 31st year on Sunday April 12th 2015. All net proceeds benefit The Guardsmen, a 501 (c)(3) charity which supports At-Risk Bay Area Youth.  Sign up here.


  • We were pleasantly surprised to find some of our favorite shops in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village.  Take a trip down, you won’t be disappointed.
  • Planning a renovation?  We’re sharing phase one of our most recent project.  Take a peak if you are curious and stay tuned for updates.
  • Trying to enjoy the great outdoors in a small space?  One of our bistro sets might be just the thing to help you do that.
  • Need to light up your life?  Peruse our top ten chandeliers; they are certain to make a dim space dazzling.


Color Crush: Yellow

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With Spring upon us in San Francisco (uh, Winter, did you get lost?), I can’t help wanting to freshen things up a bit and what better way to do it than with a dash of yellow?  It brings an instant dose of sunshine indoors and always makes me smile.
Yellow, pottery barn, spring, kitchen
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To us, it makes perfect sense to add pops of yellow into the kitchen.  Depending on how much of a commitment you would like to make, there are many ways to do it.
smeg, west elm, pottery barn
1.  Reese plates
2.  Storage bowls with yellow lids
3.  Ikat bowls
4.  Smeg refrigerator
But, why stop there?  Consider adding pops of yellow to other rooms of your home with these versatile pieces.
west elm, crate and barrel, serena and lily
5.  Moroccan pouf
6.  Dip dyed stools
7.  Gourd vases
8.  Forsythia branch
And, for the real risk takers out there, try adding the hue to your front door, a strategic window, or even a staircase.
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Yellow window, apartment therapy
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These last few images require a big commitment, but you know what they say, “big risk, big reward.”  If nothing else, you’ll be smiling every day.