There have been quite a few times that while working with clients on a room, they tend to want to use their entire budget on the BIG pieces.  Namely things like the sofa, the occasional tables, chairs, the bed, etc etc.   The things you sit on or place things on in a room.  Often when I’m presenting a plan, the thought of using part of the budget for the things that will really make the room feel pulled together, cozy and lived in, seems to scare the clients.  They often just want to use what they have…the ten year old quilt their grandma made them that has a hole (not joking), the 1970s floral painting that was given to them by their aunt, the knick knacks that are too small but were SUCH THE DEAL at Homegoods, things like that.   Believe me, if a client gives me something that is sentimental and fabulous, we can use it to design a whole room around it!  I LOVE doing that whenever possible actually!

But sadly, I usually have to persuade the people I work with quite a bit, to finish out a room completely and not just stop at the big ticket items.  This means bringing in a great rug or flooring, pretty lighting, well thought out and curated accessories, and one of the most important of all… fabulous ART!
Yes, ART!  It helps bring a room together, give it personality, and set the tone.  It draws your eye up to the liner space in the room, and keeps the viewer interested in the room.  Recently I have been searching for a fairly large piece to go in my own home, as well as spec’ing out a few pieces to go in my clients rooms.  Etsy is still one of the best go-tos for affordable, great looking original art.  And these particular artists caught my eye and I thought I would share them with you!


This artists’ work has such a beautiful tapestry quality about it.  Michelle Morin can be found HERE.

Her pelican reminded me of this room…

I will never tire from a simple landscape painting.  I’m always drawn to them and love to work them into a room where a client wants a peaceful, soothing experience.

These landscapes are a little haunting and I love them.

JShears can be found HERE.

See how the landscape in this casual living room just highlights the fireplace even more and creates a soothing environment?

A great portrait painter is hard to find in my book. Well…but I have high expectations since my favorite portraits happen to be by a Master. But this artist is phenomenal!

Here’s a cool vignette with a similar painting. Although, I don’t like it as much as the two above!

And his landscapes are pretty darn good too!

This simple still life would look so awesome over a bar cart or in a man’s study.

These were done by Kai Samuel-Davis. His work is found HERE.

* I have a strange “thing” for graveyards.We just don’t have the cool old ones that they have back East.*

Thor Wickstrom, shop HERE.

There are so many more talented, wonderful artists on Etsy.  I need to make up my mind on which one is going to be going over our living room sofa possibly.  So many choices!


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October 19, 2010

spooky decor for your home

by Shelly

Although my favorite time of the year is actually the warm months of Summer, I absolutely LOVE Halloween!  I guess it’s the actress in me that just adores the idea of dressing up in costume and putting on crazy makeup. Oh yeah, and I love a wig!  But my love for this spooky time of the year doesn’t end there…movies, decor, food..if its spooky, I’m into it!

Our neighborhood is in full Halloween mode right now in fact. Everyone has their home decked out in scary decorations including pumpkins, ghosts, tombstones, and demons.  I’m so proud of our 3 year old for embracing the holiday as well and NOT being scared like most kids her age are.  She’s crazy into it too!

Well, with just weeks away from Halloween (and the season premiere of Walking Dead on AMC!), I thought some spooky inspired items for your home were in order.  Sometimes the best Halloween decorations are the ones that don’t SCREAM Halloween!

click on picture for a closer look!

1.  Unstretched Encyclopedia Skull and Bone Canvas $59-$199 @ Pottery Barn

2.  Phantom Pillar Holder 17.5″-Black $19.95 @ Z Gallerie

3.  Brass Claw Bottle Opener $24.00 @ Jayson Home and Garden

4.  Gothic Quatrefoil Mirror $799 @ Restoration Hardware

5.  Magnetic Specimen- Cicada-2 per box $12 @Van Rozeboom Interiors

6.  Bride of Frankenstein Tintype $38.00 @Obscuro shop on Etsy

7.  Ruby Colored Wine Glasses (2) $16.95 @TwoVintageAvenue on Etsy

8.  McAllister Silhouette Plates $65.00 each @ Jayson Home and Garden

9.  Spiderwebs Under Glass from $45.00 each @ ABC Home 1

10.  Vintage Fencing Mask $95.00 @ Gothic Rose Antiques

11.  Antique German Wall Clock $595.00 @ Gothic Rose Antiques

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Late July Edition!
I sort of skipped what was suppose to be a monthly post of my favorite things last month (June).  This month has been so filled up with summer get togethers, trips out of town and whatnot that…well…I’m just getting to it now. But here it is! My July favorite things!
1.  San Pellegrino Aranciata
Found these on a trip to Costco just before Summer really got going.  They’re yummy, look oh so cute sitting in a tub of ice during a bbq, and they’re a nice alternative to soda. BIG, big fan of these!
2.  Santa Barbara Design Umbrellas 
I want all of them, every color, every style…I LOVE THEM!  They aren’t cheap, but man are they a lot of style for your patio.  A simple outdoor set would become WOW with one of these over it!
3.  Rikshaw Designs
I first learned about Rikshaw Designs from Alex over at the Rustic Rooster blog. I was hooked…instantly!  Catherine Fitzsimmons designs are right up my alley, bohemian, colorful, casual and beachy.  It’s no secret (well maybe it was on here!) that the other half and I are all for having another baby right now.  Guess what I’m putting in the baby’s room? Yeah, you guess it…this stuff!  But until then I am happily living in my cute kurtas…I just ordered two!
4.  Felix Doolittle Stationery
I finally started using my cute Felix Doolittle return address labels this past month.  I can’t believe I had forgotten about them!  As per my usual, I got them, left them in a drawer I never hardly open and thus forgot about.  Our address labels feature a cute black labrador chewing on a ball…VERY our dog Zipper!  Ball crazy doesn’t even begin to explain how in love with tennis balls our creature is.  She’s insane.
In any case, the artwork is absolutely stunning!  Each drawing is so good you wish you had a full sized version to put on your wall.  They really are that spectacular.  I used them on a few thank you notes I sent out this past month and people actually called and/or emailed me to ask where I had gotten my labels! Seriously.
I also picked up bookplates for my little one featuring a monkey holding onto a LARGE baby bottle of milk.  We called Ellie “milk monkey” when she was born because she was such an avid eater.  That girl loved her milk!
 via Martha Stewart

5.  Grilled Steak and Summer Vegetable Salad- From Everyday Food
I’ve subscribed to Everyday Food since day 1 of the publication.  It is my go to for quick, delicious, easy food.  The mag really is a life saver.  They come up with week long menus which include a whole shopping list with everything you will need to make the food.  Very convenient!  This past month featured this meal which I thought may be a little ho-hum.  But we’ve been trying to eat light around here lately and this fit the bill.  I will tell you…HO-HUM it is NOT!  I’m a big fan of all sorts of veggies, so getting me to eat them is not normally an issue.  The hubby however…can be a bit picky.  He’s not super into squash, zucchini or eggplant. This dish had all three..BUT HE ATE IT!!!!!  AND, he loved it! It also looks super pretty when you plate all the veggies and steak together.  It’s a really nice presentation.
Grilled Steak and Summer Vegetable Salad
Serves 4
Time: 45 minutes
Try grilled bruschetta with this supper: Brush thick slices of crusty bread with olive oil, then grill until toasted on both sides.  Flank steak can be used in place of hanger.
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • 2 springs of rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 lbs. hanger steak
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes on the vine, or plum tomatoes halved
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 sweet bell pepper (any color) cut into sixths, seeds and stems removed.
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1. Heat a grill to medium-high.  Clean and lightly oil hot grill.  In a small oven proof pot combine oil, rosemary, and garlic and place on grill.  Cook until oil begins to bubble, 2 minutes.  Remove herb oil from heat and set aside 3 tablespoons in a small bowl.
2.  Brush steak with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes per side for medium-rare (move steak to a cooler part of grill if it begins to over brown).  Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil.  Let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.
3.  In batches, brush vegetables with herb oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill, turning occasionally, until tomato skins are split and vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes total.  Transfer to a serving platter, along with sliced steak.  Add vinegar and honey to reserved oil and whisk together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drizzle dressing over steak and vegetables.
“5th Avenue” at Art
Locomotive #4 via
6. Ray Turner
I discovered Ray Turner when I was about 18 years old in a downtown Fullerton art gallery (which has since moved locations), Sarah Bain Gallery .  I was immediately hooked on Turner’s style.  The exhibition was on a series of chefs in a kitchen.  They were stunning…and NOT expensive at the time. Now of course paintings that were once in the hundreds are in the tens of thousands.  No, I won’t be acquiring one soon. sad.  But I recently decided to check out some of his new works and as usual I was not disappointed. One day..maybe…I’ll get one of those chef paintings.
Ok, that’s my late July edition of “A few of my favorite things“! Hope you enjoyed!

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October 29, 2009

Science class

by Shelly

Every morning I religiously get up, head downstairs, start the coffee process, feed the pets, and then hop on my laptop to check out One Kings Lane an online private home decor website. It’s by invitation only and SOOO worth it! Need an invite? Drop me a line here and I’ll send you one.

So this morning I broke from my usual first thing in the am routine to take a long hot shower before heading downstairs. *it was ccccold this morning…at least by So Cal standards*. Well my little delay caused me to be late for the sale of the day on the site. Empiric Studio was todays’ sale and they have FAB scientific prints and posters, old photographs, old So Cal photos, travel graphics and floral and fauna prints. By the time I logged on all of the amazing looking scientific prints were sold out! UGH! I was in love instantly. I was thinking a few might be sort of quirky in our dining room or maybe in my soon to be office. Who knows…but I want one! Just check some of these bad boys out…

 Pfurtscheller Zoological Wall Chart

Italian Periodic Chart, midcentury
And a series of these astrological prints would look too cool grouped together in a room. Not your usual art that everyone seems to have!
 Illustrated Astronomy, Uranus and Neptune

Illustrated Astronomy, Eclipses
I think a few of these babies are going to be making their way into my home or a clients’ very soon.