25 August 2010

Vintage Navajo Rug: UpCycle-able?

I was quite distraught about this.....

valuable vintage Navajo Rug of mine that
got damaged in storage

estimates to repair the damage were in the
thousands of $$$

...until I saw these!

really fun sofa and chair upholstered
in antique Tunisian kilim fragments...
very chic in this room!

none other than the beloved French interior designer Madelaine Castaing
loved these tribal rugs too and used them with abandon!

from Jeanne-Aelia, my dear friend at Through the French Eye of Design

French designer Pierre Yovanovitch used kilim remnants
to add texture and drama to a simple interior

a very "kilim-like" Missoni fabric upholstering the
venerable Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

from 3rings

Now there isn't an ottoman or chair anywhere that's safe with me! Wouldn't my damaged rug look fabulous as a pouf? or covering a clean-lined modern chair like this one?

What do you think? Ideas, please, brilliant readers!!

{from Kit}

21 August 2010

A Brunch For {Ma Belle Soeur}

Growing up, I was the only girl with four brothers for company! So I know when I am lucky enough to find amazing sisters-in-spirit (you know who you are!). Recently one of my very favorites, Michele, came to visit me from the East Coast. She and I are planning out the details of our upcoming shopping, design, antiquing and flea marketing trips in France. Michele grew up in France and is a professional traveler, and we are both quite passionate about all things francaise, so ours is a partnership made in heaven. I am very lucky to have a sister-in-law like her!

So it seemed only fitting while she was here to use some of my most cheerful little flea market finds for our outdoor working brunches. This is the table before the coffee, croissants and confiture.

Please come and join us! Smell that coffee!

these are delft plates I found at a market in Amsterdam;
I especially love the one celebrating peace after WWI

this is a collection of blue and yellow flea market finds set out
for a lovely brunch to inspire us to work on our tours of France

the teapot looks a little like Belleek, it's not, but I love it; the silver
is Tiffany, spoons Mikimoto and an English tea tin;
nectarines nestle in a chicken wire "bowl" just for fun

this lovely Moustiers vase is one of a pair found at a flea market
in Provence several years ago; flowers are all
from my garden and feature the bloom of an artichoke we
let go too long...they are so beautiful when you forget to pick them!

our little spread includes wonderful china cups and a very cool
silver star plate found at a local garage sale and the yellow birdcage
from a flea market says "Provence" quite loudly!


If you are so inclined (we weren't) you can make your own glorious croissants. It's a project (I made them once myself in France!), but you will knock the socks off your family and friends when you present these delectable morsels fresh from your own oven!

Visit La Cerise for wonderful reading about croissants and well-thought-out recipes! And be sure to let us know how they turn out!! Bon appetit!


19 August 2010


Yesterday, a little light went out in our lives. We lost our 7 year old Ollie very suddenly to an inexplicable illness. If you love a little doggie, you will understand what this means.

I am limp and trembling with sorrow. I know I'll get over it. But ... sweet memories of a world-class "best friend" will have to sustain us for now.

2003 - 2010

14 August 2010

Happy Walls and Ginger-Infused Limeade

Painted accent walls as only the French can do them, to lift you out of the wilting summertime doldrums! The colors on these walls inject so much vitality and energy, it's hard to imagine these spaces without them..I find these colors joyful and compelling.

Could your rooms use a little color boost? Would you choose any of these?

Enjoy a ginger-infused limeade (recipe below) while you contemplate these gorgeous hues.

a deep lavender garden wall!

an orange ceiling and pale green walls

blue walls below and blue walls above!

a blue wall, a green wall and orange-white pattern

a blue dining wall with chairs in Japanese plaid

a cheerful ochre passageway

a citron wall is just the beginning for this bedroom color scheme

the same dining room with blue and citron walls and Japanese plaid chairs

two different hues of green..citron and jade..accented with blue chairs


Recette Cuisine du Soleil


A very refreshing drink made from lime and ginger to sip in the sun ...

Serves 6


5 limes

2 lemons

1 piece fresh ginger

3 tablespoons sugar


- Peel and grate the ginger.

- Squeeze the lemons & limes, bring juice to simmer in a saucepan.

- Add the ginger, remove from heat, cover and let infuse for 20 minutes.

- Strain and pour into a bottle, adding 1 liter of water and sugar. Mix well.

- Place in the refrigerator, add a few ice cubes just before serving.

{all images CoteMaison}

10 August 2010

How a Pair of Snowboarding Caterers Finally Got Some Sleep!

If you are the hottest catering team in San Francisco, and also live in a huge, light-filled loft facing south on a hill, you might have a little trouble sleeping in after those late-night weddings and soirees! These hip urbanites love where they live with one tiny exception..the bright daylight streaming into their bedroom was waking them up wa-a-a-y too early after pulling very late nighters.

Simple Fit to the rescue! When I was offered a chance to try this amazingly chic and utterly "instant-install" shade, I thought of my clients Lisa Tomasi and Steven McCormick of Pear & Pepper Fine Catering & Events. They live in a shade-challenged sun-drenched gorgeous loft facing south.

The whole process could not have been simpler: I measured the inside of their window, placed my order, and received the shade two days later. It took longer walking up the vast stairway in their glorious loft than it actually took to install the shade! 30 seconds, tops! I was ecstatic at the "no problem" attitude of this shade, and Lisa and Steven are thrilled to have a place to hibernate while the sun shines brightly outside.

Lisa loves succulents and poufs! she scored these
turquoise poufs blocks away at the Alemany Flea Market!
and the lucky succulents enjoy lots of natural light
in this sun-drenched loft

no one could sleep in a bedroom with this brilliant light shining in!

literally 30 seconds later, a block out shade clicked into place;
strong, sturdy shades these are, and why not? they are
made right up in Sonoma county!

up in the stratosphere of their gorgeous, two level, huge
loft home!

a deck that gets southern exposure is the perfect place for
gardening and cookouts

descending the stairway view over their living room: yep, those are
snowboards mounted on the wall..can you tell these two know to the
minute how long it takes to get to Tahoe when the snow reports come in?

their mid-century sensibilities show in the
chic dining area Lisa and Steven have created to serve
lucky family and friends their amazing culinary creations

another adorable and lucky little

the entryway table where keys and mail are kept; they
love flea market finds and quirky signs

just in case you missed the snowboard wall, here's another
view; I love the graphic quality the boards create

Steven cleverly used these spring loaded twisting
fixtures to hold snowboards snugly to the wall

Check out this cool video on YouTube. Use them in your home, your guest cottage, your office, in houses that are staged for sale, your rented apartment..they offer a chic and sensible solution. Without a screwdriver in sight, these shades click into place, and can go with you when you move.


{I have not been paid by Simple Fit to endorse their product;
I was provided with a shade and asked to review it.
I am giving a great review because these shades are terrific!}

You can friend Redi Shade Simple Fit on Facebook!

03 August 2010

Before & After: A Little Chair

I love antique Japanese and Chinese fabrics and have several in my collection that will make gorgeous cushions. Then out in the shed one day, I found this old French country chair I had stashed out there years ago. In sad shape, but very sound. So this weekend, I repaired the woven seat, and gave the frame a new life with cool glossy green paint.

Now I'm trying to decide which silk to go with for the cushion. What do you think? The black, the coral, or the purple?

chair after with black embroidered
silk from Chinese jacket

detail in this black embroidered
silk from Chinese jacket found at
an estate sale locally

chair after with gorgeous vintage Japanese kimono
fabric in coral, green, yellow, blue

a bolt of kimono silk found at local
consignment shop

chair after with purple Japanese kimono silk

purple Japanese kimono silk
given to me as a gift in Japan


the old French country chair when I found it in the shed

the chair half painted with glossy green paint


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