Colorful Outdoor Deck E-Design

The thing about e-design is that is saves you money 
but you have to do all the running around.
Dana wanted to wait to show her deck until after four of the sconces below were installed...
But lots of times, e-clients (you know who you are) 
never send me the completed photos.
AND, I wanted to show you this while it's still summer.  
Dana's family likes color, especially red.
Here is the before photo.  She said the teak set could go but 
I said "I love to use what you already have...
when it's GOOD." 

And after...imagine this with the new cool lights and red seat cushions on the teak chairs.  Dana wanted to use the green garden stools (nice) and they were on sale at Ballard.  
It's a good time to take advantage of summer sales on outdoor furniture.
Here it is with the rug going the opposite way...which I might like better.  If Dana was not an eight hour drive away, I would go over in the evening, have a glass of wine 
and play with putting a garden stool in the middle 
of the teak chairs and one at the end of the 
sofa on the right.  I would also bring over the 
lanterns and tray from the mood board.
 Or perhaps we'd just relax, like Lucy above, 
and enjoy the view of the flowers and pool...
So, that's the downside of e-design for me...
I don't get to see the space or new friends, 
like Dana, in person...but it is still fun.

If you are a design enthusiast who needs jumping off point with a mood board, sources and floor plan, check out my Services Page.

PS.  Nice job, Dana!


What's Great at IKEA Right Now

We needed a sofa for our new condo in the mountains in 
Mammoth Lakes, California. 
So, I went to check out the comfort of

First things first...
 I may get one on the way out, too. Hey, it's NON-FAT.

This Louis Philippe style silvery mirror leaning in the back is huge for just $99...talk about upgrading your full length mirror!
 I like this nubby linen sham for $12!  And that rose colored swirly matelasse is nice, too.
 Can someone use this happy green Oxford stripe for their boy's room?

 We have this floral duvet cover in light blue in one of the bedroom's in Mammoth.
The combo with the dark grey coverlet is pretty.

How about this duvet for a young man/teen's room?

Brighten up a bathroom with a $12.99 bath mat?

 I have a few of these in my office...
And I am going to put more in the bathrooms on open shelving in Mammoth.
For $19.99, a couple of these would be great over a work space.  I like the shiny grey in back.  
These would make my garage look awesome.

You could have a huge party with these $1 glass plates.

At the other end of the pricing spectrum...
  Some of my photos have been getting a lot of Pinterest action, like on Beneath My Heart.
Especially, Debbie's front hall chest.
People have asked it's origin...and it IS special, French, 
and one of only 30 made!
But you could try to refinish your own chest in 
turquoise for a similar look.

Incidentally, the IKEA sofa bed is surprisingly comfortable.
Only $799 plus tax, but the shipping to Mammoth Lakes, California
was an extra $350!  ouch.

I'll show you the new condo with the IKEA sofa soon.   It only has two bedrooms, but look at the pool...

Have you been to IKEA lately?


Secret Garden in California Tour

 For a long time, I have nonchalantly walked our dog, Rocky past this lovely garden at the rear of a local home.
I even hired their gardener, Alfredo, to help me with our yard.
 They put good soil on top of the sandy dirt and grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables.
I wanted to see what was through that open window.

Finally, I worked up the nerve to drop off a note, asking the homeowner if he would mind if I took a few photos of his garden for my blog.  
He said YES... 
  and he gave me a tour! They have four of these happy dogs.  
Look at the lavender and the antique bird cage.
The fountain at the bottom was recently installed with
little custom made doves spitting water into the tiled base.
So darling.

This is the third car garage, that opens from the street and onto the garden. By the way, that is how blue the sky is (no retouching).  Apples are growing in abundance all over the property.

There is the window in back that
occasionally has my head with my mouth open slowly drifting by.
Love the white painted brick fireplace.

 How cute is that light and the barbecue cover?

I wish I could show you the home's awesome interiors...but I have to respect their privacy. (Hey, I can only be so pushy). Imagine lots of white board and batten, wainscoting, dark wide planked floors and beautiful stone and tile work.  

 Thanks, guys for the tour.
Note from Homeowner:  "should anyone ask.....puppies not for sale" :)

And thanks for the apples from your secret garden.

Last week while we were in England, we visited 
Hampton Court Palace. This was home to Henry the VIII.
Look at the lovely public gardens.
See the pretty pebbled path with boxwoods and lavender...
It is similar to my friend's "secret garden" path.
Do you have a garden that is special to you?

Participating in 
Inspiration Friday
Tuesdays Treasures


12 HOT Tips for London

Highlighting ideas for a fun time in London...
By the way...after reading last month's Traditional Home magazine London issue, we checked out 
Egg (clothing store in Belgravia) and Mungo and Maud (pet store).  Both were a little underwhelming.  

  • Check out trendy housewares and furniture at Andrew Martin.  There is a Madeline Weinrib section in the back.
  • Have a delicious prix fixed lunch at The Enterprise.  I could not decide what to order--everything sounded so good.  Settled on Tuna Tartar and Wild Mushroom Fresh Pasta...great.

  • Go see a show.  We LOVED "Wicked."  You can get half priced tickets at TKTS in Leicester Square. The "Wicked" tickets were not discounted (but we got great seats).  However, many shows are a good deal when bought the same day.
  • Want a "proper hamburger"?   We were not sure they existed in London but Byron passed my husband's bar for a late dinner after the theater.  
  • Tour the National Gallery.  TALK about an exquisite collection of premier artwork! 

  • Eat at the gastro-pub, The Thomas Cubitt (thank you, Katie D).  Charming atmosphere and great food.  I had to hide my Buckingham Palace gift shop bag to "blend in" like a local. :) Delicious fresh trout.

  • Stop by Wild at Heart and smell the flowers.  I bought one of the white pitchers below there.  Have to bring in with my carry on.

  •  Wear a cross over the body bag like mine from Cole Hahn...there are "Beware of Pick Pockets" signs all over... due to increased Olympics tourism.

  • Dine at the Asian Fusion restaurant, Eight Over Eight in Chelsea.  Try the crispy pork belly and bok choy vegetables and green curry.
  • Also, try Essenza in Nottinghill for delicious Italian food.  Ask for Maurizo.  Carpaccio and Spaghetti Vongole. 
  • Make a reservation at all of these places.
  • Have dessert at The Orange...fresh shortbread cookies with Earl Grey Ice Cream and Lemon and Earl Grey Posset (a custard--wow).  Served with a glass of Chateau St. Helene Sauterne.  Then, walk it off visiting the pretty decor shops on Pimlico.
  • And back to our nice hotel... The Kensington Hotel, where in spite of all the unusual July rain. We have a rainbow outside our window.
For more London information, read my previous post.

Thanks for visiting.