Colorful California Interiors at Ann Dennis

Ann Dennis' showroom at the Stonemill Design Center, in Costa Mesa, California,
is a mix of antiques, bright colors and new fabric collections.
It makes it a fun place to explore while looking through the lines she represents such as 
Colefax and Fowler,  Cowtan and Tout, Hinson and Company, Manuel Canovas, 
Scalamandre and Kathryn Ireland.

 Just recently, I visited the Stonemill Design Center for the first time. 
It's smaller than the design Centers in Los Angeles or Laguna Hills...but there are a number of suppliers represented and it is close by.

Parking is a breeze, too.
Thanks for visiting!


Our Photo Shoot for Better Homes & Gardens!

Several months ago, I read on Design Indulgence, how Lisa Mowry helped Sherry get her home published in  "Better Homes and Gardens." 
We had just finished the renovation of our house and I thought "What the heck...I'll send her a link." She was encouraging and asked for more photos.  Slowly, other magazine scouts noticed our house on my blog and inquired about shooting it.  So complimentary!  Then, Lisa emailed to say that Amy Panos, Home Editor of "Better Homes and Gardens" said it was a "go!"  Thank you, Lisa and Amy!

When I learned what shots/angles they were interested in,
such as "lightening up the mantel" I thought, "good idea" and bought wooden finials (above)
with a finish similar to the new chandelier.
"Add greenery."  I bought some plants and a  green throw blanket and asked, if the stylist could bring a green tray.  "Take a shot of the office loft"  What?  I needed to straighten it up and make it prettier.
So, I borrowed some blue accessories.
 "Shot of the pantry, cute red step stool."  "Uh oh",  I thought.
It needs more color and organization in there.
 I cleaned it up a bit and added a seaside picture from Home Goods.
I figured that the stylist, Laura Hull, would work her magic in here with some editing.

I also borrowed this piece of art from here to lighten things up in the living room.
We were told not to wear black, white or prints.  Tommy and Alie selected their options...
The shoot was scheduled for around my husband's birthday so the kids would be home.
But then, unfortunately, Howard had to go on a business trip.
This was strategically placed.
 I washed all the slip covers and put this sign up for Tommy and his friends...and then...

The photography shoot was yesterday! 
Here is the photographer, Edmund Barr, with our daughter, Alie.  Edmund would be aghast over this lousy photo (and I didn't have him sign a "waiver release" like we did).
 He did the photography for one of my favorite table setting books, "Flair."
Not only did he sign my book, he fixed our running toilet!  
Something he learned from an episode of "Mad Men."   What a guy!  Now if he will just 
erase my neck wrinkles for the magazine, I will love him forever.

Here is his assistant, Dyleen, setting up the high tech equipment. 
Although they kept the mantel as I had arranged it, 
their photo will be waaaaay better.   In other rooms, 
Laura used mostly my things but in different eye catching ways. 

Edmund was good at getting us to relax...he took a picture of Alie and me setting the patio table and 
of Tommy in the kitchen spinning a basketball on his finger.  Normal stuff.

Except for where they were shooting, the rest of the house looked like chaos 
(and it was so neat the night before).  
Oh well, at the end of the day it was back to normal.
And we got to keep Laura's beautiful flowers and the new green tray!  

They ran out of time and didn't shoot the pantry or my office (newly outfitted with borrowed items 
from Debbie and things removed like the printer and file folders). 
So, here it is again looking like Cinderella before midnight 
(I glued the blue fabric on the desk blotter to lighten it up).

It might be a year before the photographs run in the magazine, 
but what a fun day for Alie, Tommy and me!  
Thank you, "Better Homes and Gardens!!!!"

And thank YOU so much for stopping by!

Participating in


Party With Us On The Beach and "In Good Taste"

I made this  invitation on Power Point and emailed them to our friends.

In exchange for my help with a little facelift of their beach rental property, 
our friends let us have a couple days to have a party at their place.  
Here's what it looked like before and after...
We used what was already there and added a few new accessories...
 I wanted to keep the party simple and super casual.

It gets cold when the sun goes down, so we set up two tables inside for dinner.

A sail boat race was taking place while we were getting things ready.
I bought lots of beach balls and turquoise "party" items at the dollar store 
(I forgot what a fun place that is). 
Here we are with the birthday boy just before the party started.

Beach Birthday Party Menu
Mammoth Mountain Beer,
Lemonade Spritzers, Aqua Gatorade
White and Red Wine
Smoked Albacore with Crackers, Crème Fraiche,
Tabasco, Lemon
Classic Onion Dip with Ruffles Chips
Grilled Mammoth Mountain Brats
Rolls, Condiments
Salad Trio:
TC’s Three Bean and Grilled Corn Salad
Linda’s Fresh Asparagus Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad (from a restaurant)
Vanilla Root Beer Floats with
Whipped Cream and Crushed Heath Bar

Today, I am over at Design Chic for their series
"In Good Taste."
I want to show you the "Good Taste" of several friends of mine, 
such as Abby's from Wolf-Rizor Interiors'.  
Check it out HERE.

  Thanks for joining our beach party!


Cottage Style Magazine Shoot and Cool Restaurant

   A representative from "Cottage Style" contacted us after I featured my friend, 
Debbie Duggan's home.  It's being shot for the magazine right now!
Her whole house is looking even more gorgeous than usual. 
We played around with different pillows in her bedroom.  
The center one, above, is made from a vintage kimono.
It will be exciting to see the professional shots in the magazine after Debbie and 
the stylist, Char Hatch Langos and the photographers do their magic.

Isn't it fun to try a new restaurant, especially one with good food and cool design?
We just had breakfast at the recently opened 
Greenleaf in Costa Mesa, California.  
The entrance is lined with lemon trees in wine barrels.
It's a gourmet "chop shop" meaning lots of healthy gourmet salads, in addition to, sandwiches and paninis.
Pass through the interesting little market to order your meal.

 Select a seat inside (cool light fixtures) or
 in the pretty pebbled courtyard.
 We liked these flower arrangements in rustic containers with vegetables.
 They also cater.  I will order a couple of large salads to 
add to the menu for my husband's 

beachside birthday party 
this weekend.

Best wishes!