Picking the perfect paint color...



Choosing the right paint color for a given space is overwhelming. Period. We have all been there; the unintentional victim of a previous owner or tenant's perfect maroon or yellow gloss walls, the powder green kitchen that makes you queasy while you drink your morning coffee, the red dining room that someone promised would "warm things up" only to leave you feeling...well, not warm, and on and on. Color is personal, I am not going to argue that, but color is also universal. It should be intentional, it should be harmonious, it should contribute to and play with the landscape or story of the particular space in which it is used. 

-Things to consider: Anything that is permanent and or non negotiable. This can be anything from the flooring and trim (painted or wood), to expensive pieces such as a sofa, rugs, bedroom furniture, dining room set, china/dishes etc. You may also want to consider any favorite (expensive) bedding as well (coming from a self admitted duvet hoarder). These things are meant to last for a while so choose wisely when it's time to shop!

-When possible, I like to clear all the contents of the room except for the main pieces that will be used before picking the color(s). If you are changing an existing color I realize this isn't always possible, but follow the other steps as best you can.

-Clear the clutter off all surfaces.

-Get as much natural light as possible. The best time to look at colors, (for me) is after 12pm and before 4pm.

I'm like the reverse-vampire-color-picker.

-Turn off the artificial light. Call me crazy, but this is one of my "things". Light bulbs can really mess up my mojo when casting yellow or blue shadows. I use clear light bulbs on all projects when permitted.

-Step back and survey the space. What are the main two colors that are present? Which one recedes? Which one progresses? This is the magical time when you are ready to pick your color...

-Select a color that marries the prominent existing colors. 

While it may seem like a limiting, simple, or on the other hand, a totally complicated solution--I promise it is not. Unless you have an empty home, don't own a single thing and are building from the ground up, you are already living with fixed colors and tones that more or less dictate the direction you should go in. 

Still overwhelmed? Drop me a line and schedule a consultation. I am located in North Beach/Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. Color consultations are billed at $125 for the first hour and $75 thereafter. The majority of color consultations are completed within one hour.

Happy painting!



The Louis Ghost Chair...



The Phillippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair is everywhere. From weddings to kitchens and offices, modern interiors, waiting rooms, open air lofts and teeny tiny studios. Clearly, (haha, no pun intended) this chair has a serious reputation. It provides seating while remaining visually light, classy, sophisticated, modern and practically invisible. The MoMA sells it. Enough said.

We recently made a GIGANTIC move all the way from New Hampshire to California for my husband's new job. I had to completely rethink everything I owned. Moving from a four bedroom home to a 1+ bedroom apartment has been easy it's obvious challenges!! Not to mention the actual act of dragging your $#!^ across the entire country makes the whole "do I really need this?" a real, daunting and painful process. Gone were my six couches, my ten person farmhouse dining room table, china, pillows, (oh my god, the pillows) my painted furniture--ok, basically everything besides our king size bed (we agreed we would make that sucker fit no matter what) and my Grandmother's hope chest.

While our new apartment is not small by anyone's standards who actually lives in a small apartment--it took some planning to create a space that was not overwhelmed by our "stuff". In comes the Louis Ghost Chair. I purchased two on a complete whim, not knowing if I could ever make them work with the man couch and the gritty, worn, warm feel I always go back to. Well, I love them. They literally do dissappear and only come to sight when you want to look at them to appreciate how quietly they just sit there. As you can see, I roughed mine up with a vintage Imperial globe and my books stacked bindings to the wall so as to not create a visual mess with the varied colors.

It all made sense it last night when a friend who stands well over six-feet tall took a seat, and another friend remarked, "That's creepy! You can't even see the chair!". Well played. My Ghost Chair is not dissapointing.


a colorful fall salad...

made for my mom's after work gathering...

as a nod to fall, here is a colorful recipe containing gamelli. you could subsitute the pasta for brown rice. it looks pretty and tastes amazing.

start with boiling a half box of gamelli or other pasta of your choice until al dente.

strain, add to bowl and mix with a half of container of feta and 1/4 bottle of Brianna's French Vinagarette dressing.


refrigerate for about a half hour or so to cool.

in the mean time, strain a half jar of mandarin orange slices.

using a large bowl, start layering your salad. add half of the cooled, dressed gamelli with feta, a layer of baby spinach, a layer of mixed greens, 1/4 cup of sliced almonds, 1/4 cup of craisins.

next, add the remaining gamelli, a layer of baby spinach, a layer of mixed greens, 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 craisins, mandarin orange slices, and top with remaining feta.

refrigerate until ready to serve, and serve with chilled vinagarette. your favorite warmed bread would be a welcomed side. enjoy!



1/2 box (1 lb) gamelli cooked al dente

4 oz crumbled feta, divided

1/2 jar (20 oz) mandarin oranges

1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided

1/2 cup craisins, divided

1/2 package (7 oz) baby spinach

1/2 package (7 oz) mixed greens

1 bottle french vinagarette dressing, divided


boil a half box of gamelli or other pasta of your choice until al dente. strain, add to bowl and mix with a half of container of feta and 1/4 bottle of Brianna's French Vinagarette dressing. refrigerate for about a half hour or so to cool. strain a half jar mandarin orange slices. using a large bowl, layering your salad as follows: half of the cooled, dressed gamelli & feta, a layer of baby spinach, a layer of mixed greens, 1/4 cup of slivered almonds, 1/4 craisins. add the remaining gamelli, a layer of baby spinach, a layer of mixed greens, 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 craisins, mandarin orange slices, and top with remaining feta. refrigerate until ready to serve, and serve with chilled vinagarette. enjoy!




the power of pink...

"The color pink is considered feminine in modern Western countries. It evokes traditional feminine gender, caring for other people, being beautiful, being good, and being cooperative." (wikipedia)

in honor of national breast cancer awareness month, here is an ecclectic mix of interiors and pink touches for your home. click on images for links to purchase. don't forget to pick up your pink ribbon and wear your support.


a total bohemian lounge, found here, certainly evokes the feminine quality of pink without being in your face.

get the look:

i would scour thrift shops and the flea market to complete the look. vintage prints are everywhere, and people practically give books away. the bohemian look is about layers, multi-pattern schemes, and comfort.

the 14 year old girl in me would love this room. it's missing something over the bed, but it's close to perfect.

get the look:







for paint, try Quiet Home's Peony and Slipper (a zero voc paint and Portsmouth, NH based company). again, hit the thrift stores for vintage suitcases and phone. for the lanterns, TJ Maxx usually has them or look on etsy for some unique ones. i found those cute pinwheels on etsy and i would string them into a garland and hang over the bed.

this room is just asking for a girls brunch complete with strawberry mimosas (see recipe below)

get the look:














 the chairs are great (a set of six on etsy). i would update them with a coat of white paint and some rough sanding to expose some of the wood. for the rug, any sisal/jute rug would do. add a bunch of white blooms and maybe a few green plants. i would add some gauzy type curtains and maybe even use two pairs and aternate panels. i am not really a big fan of the light, but i am stumped as to what i would rather see there.



here's the mimosa recipe:

  • 3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • Juice from 2 large lemons (about 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup agave or honey
  • 8 medium fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed and sliced
  • One 750ml bottle Prosecco, chilled
  • 1/2 cup soda water or sparkling water, chilled

Combine the basil, lemon juice and agave in a pitcher. Using a wooden spoon, lightly crush the basil. Stir in the strawberries, Prosecco and soda water. Pour into chilled champagne glasses and serve.


i still exist and i have a project to share...

it's been a crazy summer! i am going keep up my end of the deal and post current happenings in case anyone is interested in my somewhat cool, mostly normal, sort of kooky life. i have lots of exciting things going on...guess you will have to stay tuned to get the nitty gritty on everything-- for now, a project i have been dying to share-- here's a picture story of a great project in Manchester, NH: a privately run cafe by Dyn, Inc. the world leader in internet Infrastructure-as-a-Service, specializing in managed DNS and other services (supports this blog and squarespace--holler!)

it wouldn't be as exciting without some befores...and when i say befores...


what's the matter? don't see the potential?! 


oh hey Kevin! here is the future Executive Chef of the cafe, Kevin, looking a liiiiittle bit scared...everyone looked a little bit scared...


my plan of attack:

paint--LOTS of paint

new flooring

new ceiling tiles


demo bathrooms



here are my pinterest inspiration boards: CAFE


coming to life... 



please note not all spaces were entirely complete at the time of photos, but hey, this is real life! hope you enjoyed this photo story. keep an eye out for professional photos coming eventually (we all know i am no photographer!). please feel free to ask any questions about sources, etc...

*General Contractor for the project was KRD Builders, Amherst, NH 


to remember the engagement...

Romantic rings from the time of the Roman Empire sometimes bore clasped hands symbolizing contract, from which the late Celtic Claddah symbol (two hands clasping a heart) may have evolved as a symbol of love and commitment between two people. Romans believed the circle was a bond between the two people who were to be married and signified eternity, but was first practiced on the fourth finger/ring finger by the Romans, who believed this finger to be the beginning of the vena amoris ("vein of love"), the vein that leads to the heart. (wikipedia)




when we decided to do engagement photos, we both kind of chuckled---this isn't really like "us"; to capture personal moments to ultimately share felt a bit awkward. i wanted them to be artistic and have a vibe other than just our goofy faces. i wanted to find a photographer who's work captured me from an artist's point of view. while we know several extremely talented photographers, Boston based Dylan O'Dowd of DKO Photography was my choice. he is an unbelieveably gifted photographer/artist. he scouted out our locations, had the images in mind he wanted to capture and made short work of it. his images are alive and full of energy. lucky for us, he is also our wedding photographer. thank you, Dylan. you rock.

see DKO here: