Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Treasure Hunting This Weekend at the New Topanga Vintage Market

Wow, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a fabulous new vintage market just minutes away from my home!  This past Sunday was the 2nd monthly Topanga Vintage Market.  When I first heard about it last month, I thought it would be just a couple of vendors with very limited items.  Boy, was I wrong!  It was the complete opposite, and I didn't give myself nearly enough time to get through it as I had only set aside an hour (which I thought would be plenty of time).  However, after an hour and a half, my boyfriend had to pull me out of there.  At that point, I had only walked through half of it! 

Not only was the market great, but some of my favorite vendors and buyers were there too.  Vendor, Joey Wahl from Joseph Wahl Arts, was there with a ton of unique and fun items.  Joey just opened a vintage store next to his handcrafted cottage furniture store on Topanga Canyon Boulevard. 

Another one of my favorite vendors, Karen Chambers from LA Junk, was also at the vintage market with her amazing pieces.  She has such a great eye; I always love her stuff!!

And then there was Jennifer from The Old Painted Cottage who is my mentor.  I just love her blog and she always has such a great selection of items she sells for the home as well as gift-giving ideas.  I bought an incredible vintage hotel sign from her awhile back.  She does such a great job setting up her booth too; I’m obsessed!! 

Needless to say, I can’t wait to go to the next Topanga Vintage Market on June 24th!

One last thing…  For those of you who are interested, there is “Remnants of the Past Vintage Show” being held at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, CA on June 2-3, 2012.  Cost is $10 per person.  For more information, check out
I’ll definitely be going!!  Ciao, and until next time my friends…
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sneak Peak: Makeover Madness in the Hollywood Hills

For the past year and a half, I have been working on a house in the Hollywood Hills.  The first phase of the project was a complete interior remodel which took about 6 months to complete.  Check out some of the before and after photos I shared on my blog last year.  Now I’m just about done with Phase II which was to completely furnish the residence. 

While interior design is my passion, I also love hardscape and softscape design.  My father was a general contractor so I grew up joining him on his construction jobsites.  As a result, I’m very familiar with landscape design and construction; what is involved and what is required to complete such projects.  My client approached me about six months ago to redo the exterior front yard and backyard which is a completely different kind of project from the interior remodel & design.  Enter Phase III.  The first thing I did was hire a fabulous landscape architect, Bill Mellettand a landscape designer, Amy Blakemore.  Both are from Carpinteria and worked on my Padaro Lane project three years ago.

After the interior remodel was completed, my client and I realized that the inside of the house did not match the exterior of the home.  The interior was decorated with a rustic contemporary aesthetic in which repurposed materials and furniture were used.  The current front exterior fa├žade is red brick with a paver stone driveway; a complete disconnect from the transformed interior and not the look we wanted.

My client loves stone so I was lucky enough to find some beautiful, blue Cherokee at Santa Barbara Stone.  It has all of the color tones that are included in our project’s color scheme.  Luckily, I was able to find a good stucco contractor that was able to stucco over all of the brick and apply a weld crete coating with a smooth trowel finish.  The driveway, which will be poured by the end of the month, will be a colored concrete with expansion joints. 

My client enjoys entertaining.  The current backyard is not only outdated, but it's also not conducive to hosting large parties.  The property has a 360 degree view of the Hollywood sign, Downtown LA, Beverly Hills/Century City and the ocean.  Therefore, we decided to lay out the backyard so one could see the view from all areas of the yard – the deck off the master bedroom has the Hollywood sign view; the new fire pit area will give you the best view of Downtown LA; the Gazebo, which we tore down and rebuilt out of Ironwood, will have the best view of Beverly Hills/Century City; and the new barbecue area will give you the best views of the ocean. 

The exterior off the living room had a small brick patio area which was not functional so Bill came up with the brilliant idea of pushing that area out into the yard to create a larger seating area with a fire pit and stone seat bench.  As you can see in the rendering below, my client loves it!!

We are about a month away from completion and the backyard concrete pour is today so I ran over there to see how it’s going. 

I hope you like the work in progress.  I can’t wait to share the finished product with you all!  Have a wonderful week everyone!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ode to the Kitchen and Bathroom – A Remodel Series

One of my favorite rooms to remodel are kitchens.  I love to cook and eat so I thoroughly enjoy transforming kitchens into beautiful, functional spaces to serve those purposes.
My client for this project is an excellent cook and baker so it was important to select just the right appliances for her kitchen.  Since she loves to bake, she wanted a stove from the Thermador Professional Series which required a major hood.  This requirement allowed us to design one and have it custom manufactured so it would seamlessly accent the stove she selected and perfectly complement the kitchen aesthetic.  Notice how the shape of the hood took on the shape of the light housings used above the island.
All of the material for this media bathroom is from Ann Sacks and is a pewter limestone.  Pewter is a hard, strong sediment stone that is highly water resistant and offers a neutral multicolor effect.  As I mentioned in previous posts, I like to use the same material in small bathrooms and play with the sizes, mixing them up for a more interesting appearance.  Here, the wall tile in the shower is 12” x 24” with a slab on the vertical face of the tub.
Throughout my blog, you may have noticed that one of my favorite materials to use in bathrooms is carrera marble, especially when the bathrooms are quite small.  Carrera marble is one of the most internationally famous stones as a result of its elegant grey veining throughout the stone. 

Most of the time, I like to use a mosaic on the shower pan that matches whatever material I used throughout the rest of the bathroom.  In this case, it’s the beautiful carrera marble, of course.
I found the barrel mirror placed above the pedestal sink at an antique store in Santa Barbara.  I love how it gives the bathroom some character and offers a great contrast to the rest of the space.
So what do you think?  Do you have any design preferences for kitchens and/or bathrooms?  I would love to hear them!