Our new home has very tall ceilings, tons of windows, and is filled with sunlight, but it had one very heavy room with wall to wall dark stained mahogany. It stood out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the bright, airy house.
We didn’t want to remove the wood altogether, and we liked the idea of having a little study, so we decided to just lighten up the color. We sanded and stripped the wood, bleached it, and then stained it taupe gray.
After pics below – pretty amazing how far a little bleach and stain can go! It’s now our favorite room in the house to sit and read a book.
There are few things I love more than a dinner party. We celebrated my husband’s birthday this year with a Bourbon tasting for 20. I don’t know who had more fun: Kurt tasting his bourbon or me designing the graphics!
Remember those ugly sconces from my Staircase Renovation post? Well, we found a perfect replacement: The Altamont Wall by The Urban Electric Company.
If you recall, the original sconces had ornate brass patina fixtures and avorio glass shades that created an unfortunate faux antique look (to match that terrible wrought iron staircase). They were the first thing that caught your eye when you walked in, and it also cast a horrible orange glow on everything.
The new, understated sconces, with their simple, cylindrical shape and black finish give off the perfect warm light – day or night. Oh, and we also removed the matching chandelier – good riddance!
As always, less is more.
The extremely talented Lisa Abdalla, of Lisa Abdalla Interiors, helped us select the Urban Electric sconces. Thank you again, Lisa!
Last month, we hit Florida for a family spring break. My heart is firmly in California, but those East coast beaches have us beat. The white sand looked like sugar, the water felt like a warm bath, and the shells! Oh the shells. The shoreline was covered with millions of beautiful seashells in shades ranging the entire spectrum. Every morning was like a treasure hunt and we literally spent hours sorting through our “jewels”.
My husband and I just bought a new home, and although moving can be very stressful at times, the creative remodeling projects are right up my alley.
Before the official move in date, we had to address a few key issues – the first being a hideous wrought iron staircase that is not only the first thing you see when you walk through the front door, but also follows you up three flights through the middle of every level of the house.
The solution was simple — remove the entire bannister and replace it with a much cleaner and sleeker style. We chose straight cut wooden balustrades and painted them white to match the risers on the stairs. We then paired that with a similarly clean lined bannister which we stained a nice gray-brown to match the floors and the steps. The combination made for a very cohesive feel with the rest of the house and really tied all of the levels together in a contemporary and clean way. (And, don’t worry, we’ll address the light fixtures later.)
To finish it off, we added a herringbone carpet runner with gray edging. Check out the completed pics below. A quick and easy makeover with a dramatic impact. Such a transformation!
The supremely talented Lisa Abdalla, of Lisa Abdalla Interiors, was instrumental in selecting the herringbone carpet runner on the staircase. Thank you for your indispensable interior design eye, Lisa!
My friend Yasmine invited me over for a special dinner on Saturday to celebrate her birthday – just four ladies, champagne galore, and amazing food. Walking into Yasmine’s Sausalito home feels like I’ve walked into a French cottage (don’t you just love those dog statues at the foot of the stairs?). With a perfectly distressed farm table, mason jar glasses, and a giant chalkboard menu (written in French no less), Yasmine has great style – it’s the perfect combination of the rustic and the refined. This style is also reflected in her fabulous online boutique Maison Rêve, by the way.
Being the fantastically creative hostess that she is, the birthday girl used very cute block letters as place settings. Such a fun and unique way to indicate your spot at the table. The four course meal was delicious and prepared in precise and delectable portions. We topped off the night with a decadent birthday dessert of honey tuiles and strawberries.
Thanks for a great evening, Yasmine!
My nephews love to draw, and I wanted to make their handmade work a permanent fixture in my home somehow. So I decided to frame a few of their pieces of art and hang them on the wall of my daughters bedroom. And to always remember who did which drawing, I stamped the boy’s names on the matte board.
I bought simple frames and mattes at Photograph & Frame an inexpensive frame shop on Chestnut Street in San Francisco, and I found the lettered stamps at Paper Source. I used a gold metallic ink pad (also from Paper Source) for a little flair.
I’m obsessed! Who knew that such a simple object could be so fabulous? I love these Gigogne tumblers. They come in two sizes – just right for big hands and little – are virtually indestructible, and stack beautifully. Perfection.
My husband and I recently spent a fun evening at Saison, an amazing restaurant in SoMa. Our table had viewing access to the kitchen where we watched the chefs in action as they prepared our 10-course dinner. Each course was impeccable, unexpected and delicious, and every dish was creatively plated and displayed like little works of art.
At the end of the meal, we were presented with the menu from the night sealed in a kraft envelope with a red wax stamp. A nice keepsake to take home to help us remember the special night and every tasty bite.
If you happen to have something to celebrate, I highly recommend a night at Saison.
From giant toothpick sculptures, to beautifully designed play structures, to “make-your-own-tornadoes”, the Exploratorium entranced us in from the moment we stepped through the doors. We could go back again and again and still find something exciting and new. (And did I mention that the sushi in the cafeteria is pretty fantastic too?)
We thought a fun way to get everyone ready for Christmas (and on a massive sugar high) would be to all decorate gingerbread houses with our families and compare the results. Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Below is a quick recap of the fun… you be the judge!
First, we have Eve’s daughters working their magic on an amazing snow frosted roof. It’s quite the colorful masterpiece.
Next up, Joanna’s niece and nephew get crafty with Oreos, Rolos and marshmallows… Yum!
Jocelyn’s son built a very happy home complete with a gorgeous shingled roof, a snow-covered chimney, and a very creative candy cane lamp post. So cheery and colorful.
And, last but not least, Lesley’s nephews may have had a little too much fun… even the addition of the adorable candy cane front door couldn’t hold this house in one piece! Nice work, gentlemen.
Joanna had some creative time with her nieces and nephew over the Thanksgiving weekend. Check out these DIY birds …
A Day in May is honored to work with new hires Joanna and Jocelyn! We wanted to celebrate them with a special dinner so Lesley’s husband Pablo took on the chef role. Lesley found the fun kraft paneled place cards at Paper Source and chose to write the guest names by hand for a homespun flair. Eve topped off the night with a delicious homemade berry tart.
One of the many perks of what we do is all the oodles of extra paper our wondrous printer, Judith, (www.full-circle-press.com), sends our way. I got home on Friday to a HUGE packet of black and orange paper. In the spirit of the season – halloween bats soon popped up on my front porch.
I took my three girls to Sonoma last weekend and we spent the most magical day picking strawberries. Most landed in little mouths, but we had enough left over to make several nice jars of stupendous jam. And, of course, what’s a jar of jam without a sweet label to go along with it?
Few things are better than cooking with friends. This weekend, I invited a few of my nearest and dearest over to cook a feast and drink some wine. I had everyone tell me in advance what they planned to make, and I whipped up these menus/place cards before they got here – printed on kraft paper off my home color printer.
Lesley hired the lovely Maybelle to create some very special Christmas gifts for her mother and sister this year. Mom and sis have recently moved into new homes and to celebrate that happy occasion Lesley had Maybelle create hand stamps of the new addresses. The gifts were a huge hit and Lesley supplemented the stamps with fun ink pad colors depending on the envelopes used in the future. Maybelle is not only a pleasure to work with but her gorgeous presentation is always so appreciated. See below for the wonderful cloth bags and wooden hang tags. Hats off to you Maybelle!
Kathleen Deery is an extraordinary floral and event designer in San Francisco. She always wows us with her attention to detail and her design expertise. Eve found this delectable and delightful package on her Sausalito doorstep this weekend. A gift from Kathleen ensuring that this Thanksgiving everyone’s dinner table will look as good as her own. Thank you, Kathleen!
Eve threw the chicest of baby showers in her gorgeous Sausalito home for Lesley last month. The shower was complete with lavender letterpress coasters honoring the little one who will be the fourth daughter at A DAY IN MAY. Check out the images below to see some more of Eve’s wonderful touches from the colorful macaroons to the homemade fig tarts. The guests enjoyed all the wonderful fare while soaking up the view of Sausalito’s marina. Judith Berliner, A DAY IN MAY’S letterpress printer extraordinaire, also joined in the fun at the baby bash.
March is a big month. Two of Eve’s three daughters have birthdays within a day of each other. This, of course, puts a lot of pressure on mom, but Eve saved the day, as usual. She baked these lovely cakes and threw Greta (7) and Esme (2) the party of the century. Happy Birthday girls!