I am interested in products that are created using new technologies but that still have strong ties to the traditional origins of the craft. I love it when the product has a contemporary edge, yet still retains the warmth and refined sensibility of the classics. Looking at the latest Italian Architectural Digest, I noticed an unusual hardwood floor inlaid with marble. Continue reading 'Art Underfoot'»
Category: custom furnishings
Early in December of last year, my team and I were installing new family room furniture in a client’s primary residence. I had finished their second home the previous year, so they knew the capabilities of the firm, but I hadn’t done much for them in this house. She asked me to “take a look at the dining room and living room” to see what the rooms might need to make them look better for the big party she was planning.
The first thing I noticed was that there was a lot of nice art, but it was hung in a way that was not very effective. I knew that by rehanging the existing art, we could help the areas to be much more dramatic and engaging. So I had our art installer come by and help us hang the work that I had reorganized and placed into groups. The groups are much more powerful than the pieces scattered about, which you can see here:
Then, I noticed the furniture in the living room was not showing the room to its best advantage. I Pushed the furniture around a bit, opening the room up more to the fireplace and suddenly theroom appeared larger! I noticed an area by the window that was not furnished with much of anything. We moved an antique sofa table into the window area and decided that it would benefit from some new lamps and accessories. With that, an area that was once dead was now alive and interesting, both from outside the house viewed on the way to the front door and from the inside as well.
I inventoried the lamps. There were not enough to create the warm glow I had in mind. So with the clients permission, we brought in some new lamps and lampshades, some new pillows for the sofa and other accessories for the room.
The book case in the living room had a few items on it, but needed help. I picked the raspberry accent color that was in her fabrics and had the painters who were working in the family room paint the back of the bookcase that color. The client had a few pieces of blue and white Chinese Export Style ceramics. So we filled the bookcase with more of the blue and white ceramics, interesting wooden boxes and beautiful old books. And a couple of small pictures that we took down from the walls and hung inside the bookcases added drama, scale and perspective to the shelves. The shelves went from drab to dynamite!
The living room was looking very good by now, so on to the other rooms!
When we had started the re-do, I put all the clients accessories from the three areas in one area of the floor so I could see them all at the same time. This allowed me to notice patterns of items that worked well together, small collections we could place and also let me know what was missing. I brought in a carload of accessories to add to the group and then everything began to sing. We were able to restyle the bookshelves, tabletops, kitchen counters and desks. We also brought in some containers for plantings and orchids to make the rooms feel really alive!
We then raided the clients other rooms and found a wonderful antique Italian leather stool that we placed next to center table in the central foyer. We added large branches to her beautiful Chinese planter, found a lovely antique chinoiserie sewing box for the table and removed the rug from underneath the table. You can see below what a spectacular difference that made.
The chest of drawers, and the rug beneath it, that were in the entry area was off center in the hall. I centered the piece, hung an antique gilt wood mirror above it, placed candlestick lamps with charming shades, and refreshed the planter that the client had placed there. Now there was a space next to the chest that cried out for a chair. My favorite vintage store had an old Michael Taylor style chair that would fit the bill. We placed a small oil painting above it and the entire area felt warm and inviting, instead of a bit “off”.
In the dining room, we rearranged the display areas on her antique French buffet and the sideboard by using her silver tea set and other family pieces. We found a new mirror that was painted in just the right shade of blue and rehung the art there as well. Again, one of the clients beautiful containers was repurposed for just the right touch in the dining room. The room felt fresh and completely revived!
The clients were so thrilled with their new look. They just loved it. They told me over and over how delighted they were with everything. And of course, the joy that our clients feel when the project is complete is what we live and work so hard for!
As we were considering our marketing plans for the new year, I remembered how much we enjoyed doing that small project in a short amount of time and how incredibly happy my clients were with the dramatic results. They couldn’t have been more pleased! I thought others might be interested in “refreshing the nest” also. And we enjoyed providing that small service so much. I decided to put together a special offering of packaged services that would allow us to have some fun from time to time by doing a small service for a client, instead of the very large estates we are used to working on. Those are usually 3-5 year projects that take quite a bit of stamina! So our new offering is going out to a few selected homes this spring.
That was the birth of the “One Day Makeover” idea. It is nice to know that we really can help families feel like their homes are refreshed, fluffed up and looking their best, without breaking the bank this year!
Please read my earlier blog called “Spa Packages for Spring,” – the original name of our special services – for more information on our offerings. Our “Total Bliss” package even includes a treatment at La Belle Day Spa on the day we are working in your home!
If you or any of your friends are ready for a makeover for your home, let them know about our special offers for Spring!
All the best to you,
Announcing a new service at JAID!
We at JAID have been known for 25 years for providing interior architecture and interior design services on large and complex estates and vacation properties.
We are pleased to offer some new, smaller service packages to a selected group of our neighborhood friends. See our blog “The Birth of the Spa Packages” to see how we came up with this idea for a special offering and some photos of the difference it makes in a home. As happens so often, we got the idea from one of our dear clients. Continue reading 'Spa Packages for Spring'»
Yves Saint Laurent in the grand salon of his apartment on Rue de Babylone with model Sibyl Buck, October 27, 1995. They are surrounded by the Surrealist-period Léger painting The Black Profile (1928), sold by the artist’s widow, and Jean Dunand’s 1925 Art Deco brass-and-lacquer vase, among the treasures to be auctioned at the Grand Palais, in Paris, February 23 to 25. By Jean-Marie Perier/From Photos12/Polaris.
The Yves Saint Laurent auction at Christie’s will present one of the premiere art collections of the 20th century. The auction collection has over 700 items and is estimated to be between $300-400 million in value. The photos I have seen of the apartments that Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge lived in are filled with amazing pieces that are rarely available to purchase. The items could create their own museum, but instead will go,scattered over the world item by item, to be loved and enjoyed by a lucky few individuals. This auction is destined to heavily influence furnishings and interiors for the next 10 years. Continue reading 'The Art Sale of the Century!'»
One of my favorite vendors in the SF Bay Area is a stone carver by the name of Nathan Hunt, of Hunt Studios. Nathan grew up in Southwest England. He started his career as a stonemason at the Exeter cathedral when he was only 15. His apprenticeship in the churches and cathedrals of England taught him not only the technical skills required to cut stone, but showed him the very important ideas about classical architecture, scale and proportion. He eventually worked on castles and palaces and also on Princess Diana’s memorial. Continue reading 'Bay Area’s Best Stone Carver'»
That’s what he says about his outdoor furniture. That’s his tag line. And that’s a point of view I agree with.
A friend recently sent me an email update. She was at a party, and a young man was there who was an outdoor furniture designer. He had brought several pieces along with him for the crowd to enjoy. She loved them so much that she sent the catalog to me since she knows I love messing with traditional furnishings to make them fresh. Continue reading '“Not Your Momma’s Wicker!”'»
As a professional firm, I get so much promotional mail everyday. I look forward to it, as it keeps me updated on all the latest art openings, invitations, special shows and fun new products. Today I got a card from a British furniture designer, John Reeves, showing his new collection called “Louis Zinc”.
As a professional designer, I’d like to say something about clients.
Where would we be without them? I consider my profession as a residential designer to be one of an artist, one who can only create art when it is commissioned by someone else. (The rare exception is doing small bits in my own home.) So, without clients I would not be able to produce exquisitely beautiful interiors that you see below.
Nor would I be able to push myself as an artist to keep one step ahead of trends, to combine things in an unusual way, or to search out that unusual object that makes the rest of the room just sing.
Nothing is as gratifying as when, after years of hard work, paying excruciating attention to details and struggling to stay on budget, we install a new home and the clients and their families are truly delighted with the results. The joy and the gratitude that the clients express when we have exceeded their dreams and expectations is what keeps me and my team inspired to serve the next client with a true dedication to perfection.
Over the years, I have received amazing letter and emails from clients who simply cannot believe how beautiful their home is. I keep a file of “love notes” from them, and when we are struggling with a gritty detail on a particular project, I pull out that file to reread some of the notes. In them are words like “gorgeous” “majestic” “charming” “thoughtful design” “works of art” “exceptionally beautiful” and my personal favorite, “great job…well done!” Ah, yes. It makes it all so worthwhile and keeps us digging away in the design trenches to create another beautiful home that contributes to the happiness of that particular family.
A special thank you to all my clients who have given me the opportunity to create real beauty and joy for them in their homes. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do the work I love!
All the best to you,
Our “Mediterranean Modern” project just got noticed! These are some of the words we have heard used to discuss this project. One of the favorites of all of my projects was just published in Gentry Magazine, which is a magazine for the “Gentry”, or land owners, on the Peninsula here in the Bay area. Click on the link, GENTRY MAGAZINE, and go to page 204 to see the entire spread for yourself.
Thanks, Gentry, for sharing my work with our little world!
One of my many passions is mid-century Parisian furniture! When given the opportunity to incorporate an exquisite piece from that era into a design I am working on, my heart races with anticipation. However, as is often the case, modifications must be considered. You see, often times I find the scale of mid-century pieces a bit off for the larger homes here in Woodside and Atherton where I create many of my interior designs. Continue reading 'My Mid-Century Affair'»