Thursday, August 21, 2014

What The Fork Please

Our kitchen silverware drawer has pieces mixed together from our wedding silverplate and an everyday stainless set I bought at Marshalls years ago. 
It's annoying and I'm finally ready to do something about it!

It seems like I've been searching for a new set of everyday flatware forever.
While I'm not exactly sure what I want, I know I want it to be special.
This pattern is simple and I like the straight lines.  But....

I especially want a new set for our new house.  No more mis-matched silverware!
While I like this pattern, I wonder if I'll tire of it down the road.

I've almost bit the bullet several times, but at the last minute could not commit.
To say I'm particular about our flatware is an understatement!
It has to feel right in the hand.  Not too heavy, not too light.
I wonder if this pattern will feel right in the hand.  

It also has to look good!  
But not too ornate and not too simple.
I wonder if this pattern too simple.
All the examples above are from Pottery Barn and are reasonably priced.
Still, when you add up 12 place settings, it is a commitment.

This pattern from Crate and Barrel is nice, but too much like the everyday stainless I have now--or what's left of it.

 Williams-Sonoma has a nice monogrammable set that is stainless and dishwasher safe.
Do I want a monogram?

Believe it or not, this is the look I want.
It's also from Williams-Sonoma and made in Italy.
I absolutely love the pewter handles and the little hallmark stamp.
But.  It's hand wash only, and expensive.

Another pattern to consider is this hotel silver, monogrammed pattern from Williams-Sonoma.
It says it's dishwasher safe.  Also expensive!

Restoration Hardware has a similar pattern which is dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended.
Beautiful, but not user friendly.  And quite expensive for a set of 12.
Do you see why it's so hard to commit?

To complicate things, I purchased this gorgeous set of bone handled flatware on sale from RH.
Hand washing is definitely recommended, so I'll just use it for special occasions.
It still doesn't solve my everyday flatware choice.
That's why I'm asking for your opinion.  Which one would you choose from my examples above, and why?
Come on, tell me: "What the fork?"

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Field Trip To Flora Grubb

Flora Grubb Gardens has been calling my name for a very long time now, so I was quite pleased when on a whim driving home from the City, I impulsively took an exit and got lost in a part of San Francisco I've never been before.  Google maps directed me to Flora Grubb, thank god!

Flora Grubb specializes in succulents and living walls--perfect for an urban garden.

I'm thinking of creating a living wall of succulents somewhere in the atrium of our new house, or perhaps on the roof deck.

They sell succulent letters, both planted...

...and ready to plant.
Of course the "A" is perfect for us!

You could spell out anything you want with these letters, although they aren't cheap!

There are beautiful stag horn ferns for sale... well as wall pockets ready to be planted for a living wall in your home.

You know how much I love succulents, especially when planted in faux bois planters!

This one is absolutely amazing!

They clearly have fun planting for their displays.
What a great use for an old pedestal sink!

Got an old rusted car in your yard (I hope not!), then plant it with succulents!

Here's an idea.
Take out a board in an old picnic table and plant a runner of succulents down the middle.
Instant centerpiece!

I got a lot of ideas from Flora Grubb and will have to go back when I'm ready to landscape my new City house.
Can't make it to Flora Grubb?  No problem, they have a website.
Click on the logo below for a virtual field trip to the wonderful world of Flora Grubb:

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For

 If only remodeling could be like on TV.
But it's not and I'm only just beginning to realize the extent of our project!

 While my head understands that you have to deconstruct in order to create, my heart took a plunge when I saw the progress of the demo, even though I couldn't wait to tear out everything!
Be careful what you wish for, right?

Emotionally, it was hard, even though I didn't like anything that was previously existing.
Like this stairway and railing...

Anything salvageable is being donated to Habitat for Humanity or recycled, not only to be green, but to assuage my guilt!

It's all good, I tell myself.
In the end, it will be exactly how we want it to be!

Once the demo is done and the house cleaned up, there will be a clean slate in order to work with.
Let the fun begin!
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Sunday, August 10, 2014


We've been talking about making a huge lifestyle change ever since we took our youngest child to college--six years ago!

Well, we finally took the plunge and bought a house in San Francisco.
It's nothing like our suburban home.
In fact, I'm not even in love with it!

But the location is fabulous.
We can walk to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker!
We are trading our suburban lifestyle for a city lifestyle.

The home was built in 1935 and is Mediterranean style.
What do I like about it--besides the location?

The parquet floors in the living room and dining room.

I like the amount of light this home has and the cathedral ceiling in the living room.

I love the interior atrium that leads to a roof deck with views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge!
It's unexpected and quirky...

There is a family room with a wet bar that opens to a small courtyard.
I plan to remodel the wet bar by taking out the uppers and wallpapering the whole room with grass cloth.
It's just the tip of the iceberg.  

Let's just say that I'm going to be very busy for six months!
Demo begins tomorrow!

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Our Garage Gets A New Look

Our garage has been a dumping ground for so many years--a holding area for our grown children's things, our aging parent's things as well as our things.
We periodically clean it out, only to have it fill up again and look like this.
But wait till you see what it looks like now!

As you can see, we've been very busy!
After many trips to the dump, consignment centers and Goodwill, the garage finally got a clean coat of paint on the walls and floor.  
I mean, you could perform brain surgery in here now, it's so sanitary!

There is still more to do, but I'm so pleased with the results, I just had to share!
It's all part of the process of making a huge life change, which I promise to share soon.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Restoration Hardware At The Design Center

I've been spending a lot of time at the San Francisco Design Center lately and my favorite place to visit there is Restoration Hardware for the quiet, calm effect this space has on me.
From the minute you walk into this courtyard, you are in another world!
Of course, I'm inspired to recreate this in my own courtyard.

Having a bubbling fountain on one end is a must.

 Growing "freeway ficus" on the walls is also a must!

 Inside the showroom, I am inspired by this bathroom, especially the tub.
While here today, I told my girls, Ashley and Kat that this is the new tub I'm hoping for.

 And while I love this double vanity, I feel that having storage is more important.
But still, I'm tempted...

 Just outside the bathroom is an enclosed mini courtyard with this fountain.
I wish...

 Walking through the showroom, there is another larger courtyard at the other end.
The outside mirror, surrounded by ficus is another great idea that I will try to do.

And although this fountain is too grand for my space, I'm loving it anyway.
When we walked out to this courtyard, Ashley asked if we could just sit here and listen to the water for a while.
  "I wonder if they rent this space out?  Wouldn't it be nice if we could bring our own bottle of wine out here?" she asked.
Somehow I don't think RH would think that's a good idea, Ash!

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