November 20, 2009

Missed Connections

Dear Sophie Blackall,

My wall has a missed connection with your art. I need it.
'kay, thanks!

Tara :)

(Image by Sophie Blackall.)

Red Book, Blue Book

Monday, September 14, 2009Look: historically, I'm not a morning person. And to top it off, I was grimacing through some lower back pain that flowered over the weekend. So when you noticed me (white guy, brown hair, blue/white striped shirt, earphones, red book) and I noticed you (white girl, brown hair, nosering, headphones, blue book) for however brief a moment this morning, it was bolstering and made me forget the knife in my back. Haven't noticed you before, but if there's a next time, maybe I can slap myself out of the morning slumber and say hey. No promises, though.

(Click as fast as you can: or

Design Guides by Design*Sponge

JJ is quail hunting in Mexico this weekend and so I have the house (and the City) to myself. I don't have much that I have to do, so I've decided to use the Design*Sponge Design Guide for San Francisco in order to explore the place that I've called home for the last decade, or so. These "guides" are put together by various bloggers/designers and are posted on the Design*Sponge website - one of my daily reads - and are a great way to explore a city and discover new and interesting shops, museums, and landmarks all with a slant toward design and interiors. I think they are a great way to rediscover a city once you've traipsed around and seen the main tourist attractions. You know, like Fisherman's Wharf or the Eiffel Tower.

Looking at the list of cities on the site makes me want to go back to Europe and re-visit a lot of places, especially Amsterdam. And wouldn't it be fun to go "down under" and see Brisbane and Sydney? Oooh, wouldn't that be exciting? I do have some frequent flier miles...

So, I'll start this weekend with San Francisco and make it my goal to go to AT LEAST three other cities in 2010.

Check the guides out:

Design*Sponge City Guides

(All images via Design*Sponge.)

November 11, 2009

Chairs Galore!

I've posted about my super-duper awesome Hans Wegner knock-off chairs HERE (jealous, much?). But, because the holidays are nigh upon us AND maybe you don't have equally fab dining chairs for your Thanksgiving or Christmas guests (or random Tuesday night dinner party) AND I am feeling so very generous, I present to you:


The classic Eames DCM chair.
Expensive, yet seemingly so simple in a "oh, this old school chair? I think I found it at a garage sale" sort of way.

The Thonet No. 18 Viennese Cafe Chair.
It's French, bitch.

Black Windsor dining chair.
Can be found in almost any Quaker-chic home. A sturdy classic for a reason.

The West Elm Oval back dining chair.
A nice mix of comfort and modern.

The CB2 Bandit chair.
Knock-off of the Emeco Navy chair. A-hoy!

Ikea Olle Chair.
Looks MoMa or SoMa, but it's 100% Affordable Euro Design.

Sundance 1956 Chair.
Rugged and Chic. City and Farm. Basically, a lot of cool. Thanks Robert Redford!

Pottery Barn Nailhead Chair.
Like a little throne for the dining room.

The Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair.
You will want to marry this chair and have 10,000 chair babies. If you are me, that is.

November 10, 2009


Some books that I need ASAP to prett-ify our bookshelves:

The New Classics Series by Penguin.

I'll take all 8 of them please. I promise I will read them from cover to beautiful cover.

"Paris Made by Hand" by Pia Jane Bijkirk.

This will reconcile my inner francophile with my inner d-i-y-er.

And last, but not least:

"Restoring a House in the City" by Ingrid Abramovitch.

When JJ and I get our diamond-in-the-rough Victorian, I will use this book as inspiration and will have the most kick. ass. house. ever.

October 29, 2009

Do you ever _________________?

Watch a movie or thumb through a fashion magazine and think "wow, where do they find these gorgeous houses/sets/locations?" Chances are, if it is in England, they used Light Locations. Light Locations, per the website, is "a photographic location agency providing beautiful, inspiring lifestyle locations to the film/TV and photographic industry." For eye candy, this website cannot be beat. Check it out at: Light Locations.

Some of my favorites:

(All Images from Light Locations.)

October 27, 2009

Sunny House in the Mission

Local house tour from AT. (I bet this place doesn't have a mold problem. Boo.)

Kelly and Jonathan's Mission District Charmer

(All Images from Apartment Therapy. Click link to see more.)

Just when I think I'm out...

I get pulled back in! Saw the work of Colombe Stevens on the (fabulous) Desire to Inspire, who saw it on the (really fabuluous) Remodelista and now I'm in love. This is window blogging (akin to window shopping, but easier on your feet and wallet) at its finest. Go to either website and see the beautiful photos. So very, very inspiring! (Oh, and note the super awesome Wegner chairs. Holla!)

(All Images from Colombe Stevens.)

October 13, 2009


I need a blog break. Normally surfing the web and looking at fabulous interiors makes me want to rush home and rearrange throw pillows and the like, but that hasn't been the case lately. It seems that now that the post-wedding nesting phase is over (that's a true thing, btw) I am kinda tired of house stuff. Strange enough, I just have no desire to obsess over the proper place to store placemats (usually a fun hobby of mine), nor to dwell on the correct curtain length for the living room (96" or 118"? I don't know.) You're lucky I don't post about that stuff - as it is only poor J.J. has to deal with my obsessing. So, what was I saying? Oh yeah. I'm not posting for a while. Instead I'm going to sit on my butt and watch terrible, terrible television and let my injured ankle heal. Of course, I might change my mind tomorrow and start uploading photos like a banshee. Only time will tell.

September 24, 2009

Feeling Slab Happy

I dream of having a large, long table at which JJ and I can host many friends for dinner. A big table where JJ and I can work on "projects" (now) and our children can spread out and do homework (future). Currently I am loving these "slab" tables made from large pieces of wooden slabs. (Duh.) Often made from reclaimed wood, they are beautiful and full of life and character. I can get lost just looking at the burls and whirls and knots and stuff. (JJ - feel free to fill me in on the proper wood terminology here, as I am clueless.) I think that my boss is giving JJ and me a large slab of redwood from a felled tree on his property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I hope that we can turn it into the long-hoped-for dining table. We'll see. It's immaterial actually, because a large table won't fit in our current apartment. The dining area in the kitchen is teeny, tiny and is now even more cramped thanks to the addition of my Hans Wannabe-Wegner chairs. (Still love 'em!) We've tried coming up with ways of converting one of our two living room/office/tv rooms into a dining room, but haven't come up with a feasible plan. Until then, I look at these photos and get pretty excited! Slab happy, if you will.

What I hope to have someday...

(Image from Living, Etc.)

and what inspired me...

(The original inspiration - from Scott and Marie's House Tour on Apartment Therapy)

(A Modern Variant from

(Ash Dining Table by Terry Kardowicz from Michelle Kaufmann's Smart Home on AT)

(Slab Table from BDDW Furniture)

(Century Furniture version)

Yikes! Bikes!

It has been a very busy week and I haven't been able to post much. Mostly because I've been busy DOing things rather than BLOGging about things. I have many photos and posts to put up chronicling my various house projects AND, if I can get my butt in gear, I'd also like to "re-tour" the house because a lot has changed since I last posted photos (in January?). Of course, things are always changing...

In any case, here is some eye candy from BDDW Furniture to hold you over until I return to active blogging:

(Lake Dresser)

(Lake Credenza - Low)

(Mills Bed)

(Simple Bench)

(Mills Bed - Twin)

(Lake Credenza)

(Slab Table - detail)

(Slab Bed)

Gorgeous pieces, non? I'll take one of each please, especially the Slab Table. (More on that later...)
(All Images from BDDW American Handmade Furniture website.)

September 18, 2009

I'm sorry mama, I didn't mean to make you cry...

I heard that song "Cleaning Out the Closet" by Eminem earlier today and it reminded me that I have a BIG bag of dry cleaning and mending that needs to be taken to the cleaners. I also have a wine-soaked, bar and beer-stained wedding dress hanging in the bedroom that I need to get cleaned/stored/sold. This task is difficult for me because my obsessive compulsive side is at war with my sentimental side. If history has taught me anything, I think my obsessive compulsive side will win. (Currently, I can't sleep at night if the closet door is open and I can see the clutter inside from the bed. Oh, come on, you know you'd do the same and you all know I like a clean house.) In sum, our closet is a mess. Filled to the brim, it not only has clothes, but piles of miscellany, such as suitcases, picture frames, and purses packed in there so tight right up to the ceiling that I'm surprised nobody has hurt themselves yet trying to get something out. (Oh wait, somebody DID hurt themselves trying to get crap out. D'oh!) So, um, yeah, I need to clean the closet like Eminem says:

I'm sorry mama
I never meant to hurt you
I never meant make you cry
But tonight, I'm cleaning out my closet

You're probably wondering what this has to do with "cohabit8ing" or interior design. Nothing much, I guess. It has more to do with compromise. You see, cleaning out the closet isn't the easy task it once was when, being a single gal, twice a year I'd go through my clothes and donate/thrift every last piece of my wardrobe, excepting only my all-black basic "classics" which I told myself would last forever. After the "big clean" I'd then spend the next six months buying new clothes, only to repeat the entire process all over again. Cleaning out the closet now means that not only do I have MY half of random clothing to go through, but I have another person that I have to convince needs to do the same with HIS half. (Two people + one closet = barely controlled chaos.) Easy for me to throw away an outdated, ill-fitting shirt, not so easy for other people. *cough* JJ *cough*. Note: JJ if you're reading this, I will let you help me go through my clothes and "edit" if you will let me do the same for you.

Also, in the spirit of bad clothing and families, I have posted a good photo from Awkward Family Photos (easily the funniest website ever) and am silently glad that neither JJ, nor I have a sweater like one of those below. Not anymore, that is.

And now, I'm off to browse The Container Store website...

September 17, 2009

How to Make a Trestle Desk

My friend and longtime reader Malin wrote to me:

"Help me find a desk like this:

I like the legs. ...everytime I go on Craigslist I can't find anything."

Lemme see...

To start, you probably won't find this exact desk on Craigslist. As the NY Times article (the source of the photo) says, it's custom - made from an old door (and set atop some nice sawhorse legs). That's the bad news. The good news is that you can easily re-create this look on your own with a little help from the local hardware store (that would be Cole Hardware for you) and some creativity.

In no particular order:

  • You can source an old door (or even just get a nice piece of wood, such as a slab of Bamboo or the Numerar countertop from Ikea) and sand/stain/paint it. A local source of "old" and reclaimed wood: Urban Ore in Berkeley.

  • To make a nice, smooth writing surface you can go super custom and get a piece of glass custom cut to order.

  • The sawhorse trestle legs are SO basic. You would need to buy sawhorse brackets:

    (A pair like these shown are only $4.49 at Ace Hardware)

  • Snap/screw in some 2x4s (have them cut to the correct height, usually ~30" for a desk/table) and you're good to go.

  • To really make this desk your own, I would advise sanding and staining each piece of wood, from the tabletop to the 2x4s, in your color of choice. (In the photo above it looks like a darker walnut color stain. I'd ask JJ about this though, as he is the wood pro in our family.)

  • Other "trestle" leg desks you might like, especially if you aren't feeling very D.I.Y-ish:

    Braxton Table (from Target):

    Madison Table (again, from Target):

    Workstead Table (from Workstead - this is de-lux-e!)

    Or you can source some interesting trestles from Ikea's Vika line and use some sanded/stained planks:

    Hopefully this inspires you to keep your eyes open for a suitable slab of wood because if you find that, the rest is easy!