Kitchen Island Décor and Mediterranean Chicken

Do you decorate your kitchen island or table?
Here is the pitcher that I hand carried back from our 
recent trip to London...along with a rooster, plate and bowl 
from a previous vacation in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Before, we had this tiered fruit basket.  
I keep fruit, especially tomatoes, 
unrefrigerated so they can continue to ripen.
Now, the fruit is over here on the counter.

On Debbie's island, she has flowers arranged in blue and white vases on a glass tray.

The Enchanted Home also uses blue and white on her 
island in her kitchen.
 You can find similar blue and white porcelain at 

Claire has a succulent arrangement in a metal urn
...low maintenance.

Our friend, Cindy gave us these white sponges 
(who really wants neon blue sponges on their counter?).
They are made by Twist.  
One side has a loofah, also nice in the bath.

Here's an easy, flavorful Mediterranean Chicken 
recipe that I've made many times.

I toss thin lemon slices on top before transferring the skillet to the oven...it adds color and another layer of flavor. Serve with a simple green salad and warm French bread...
and for dessert,
fresh palmiers (elephant ears in French) cookies 
from the bakery.  

Incidentally, I saw the same pitcher at Roger's Gardens today.
I didn't need to carry mine across the world!
Source: Roger's Gardens
An arrangement like this would be colorful on a kitchen island.

Participating in


Our New Mountain Home

We've moved into a furnished rental while we are 
looking for a place to buy in Mammoth, California.
Although we have to live with much of the owner's 
existing furniture, I added some of our own...
and moved some furniture to the beach house 
(more on that later).

Yes, I DETEST the reddish stained wood.  Sigh.  
Trying to ignore it.
A lamp that we already had adds some ambience 
in the kitchen, especially at night.

This is "before" we put the air conditioning unit and 
chest in the guest bedroom.
Look how bad the sofa was...
The owner allowed us to give it away. 
This is "after" we added our slipcovered chairs, lamps and Wisteria industrial coffee table

 With the exception of the grey IKEA sofa
these were things we already owned.
That is an old French travel poster and on the mantel are hurricane candle holders from Target.
I did buy new velvet lumbar pillows from West Elm to 
tie in with the new sofa.
This linen pillow is also from West Elm and helps to soften the FIRM sofa bed.  At the store, when I tried the mattress out...I thought "not bad" and then I sat on the Ektorp sofa and thought "okay."  BUT stupidly I did not try one with the bed inside (there wasn't one on the floor that way)!  It makes the seat much firmer.  Oh well, it's not that bad. 

The "before" of the table and chairs that have to stay...
I am NOT crazy about them...
and the frozen tree art was depressing

 Here I have added a mirror and antique French regional maps.  Flowers always help.
 Placemats the color of the stone fireplace are in an attempt to camouflage the table.  I still see it :(

Next to the fireplace, I placed 
our huge wooden bowl and our oversized Pottery Barn clock.  
Guess what is in the bowl?
Memories!  Old and new photographs and 
invitations to parties we've given.

Let's skip the bedrooms and bathrooms...how much red wood and bad furniture can you handle?  But the good thing is this cosy condo is in the Village surrounded by shops and restaurants.  There is a gym, pool, hot tubs and gondola to the slopes.  Fun!

Speaking of FUN...
Last weekend, there was live music 
and wine tasting under the pine trees and stars.  
There were lots of great bands and the 
headliner this year was 
Kenny Loggins.
  We were able to meet him after the show...
(he's in the flannel shirt). 
We were feelin' Footloose.
There is a funny photo of me bear hugging Kenny on 

Participating in
Party Time @ It's So Very Cheri
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple    


Elegant Home Office E-Design

This project was a "hybrid e-design."  Since my client, Ad is local, I could go over and see the space first.  Then I let her "run with the ball" with a design board, sources and floor plan.

Ad works from home and needed a pretty home office/den.  
Below is the 'before" photo.

Ad knew she liked this handsome desk below, 
so I designed the room around it.
Sometimes, her daughter and a friend play 
on the computer in this room.
An ottoman pulls up for occasional seating at the desk 
when not in use in the cosy reading corner.
 The chair in the striped fabric was discontinued so Ad bought it in a solid and cleverly added the striped pillow.
You can see the rug better here.  Since this is really Ad's work space, I thought a soft rug would be nice to sit on the floor for wrapping presents or sorting files (that's what I like to do).
I knew Ad liked blue from seeing other parts of her home in photos and then in person.
This pastel landscape was her grandmother's.  
It looks like early southern California.

We had my carpenter, Adrian, custom build the wooden 
shelves in an ebony stain for contrast.
Ad styled the shelves herself.  Love it!
 The desk from Restoration Hardware is very well made with a working key hole and dovetail joinery.
I was able to extend my professional discount to her.
The lidded basket hides electrical cords.
I saw that Ad collected prints and added them to the design.  
She did a fine job with the composition, didn't she?

Please check out My Services page if you could 
benefit from an e-design.

Participating in
Tuesday Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
Party Time @ It's So Very Cheri
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps On The Porch
Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping It Simple  


It's Just Decorating.

When the mood strikes...I like to switch around my 
furniture and accessories.  
 This photo below has been getting some Pinterest "pins"...
Our only air conditioning is when we open the dutch door for 
the ocean breeze cross ventilation.
Recently, I moved things around...
for easier access to the patio. 

I brought this garden stool inside.

One thing that our son, Tommy and his friends know to be constant in this room is  the supply of chocolates in the jar 
(Hersey's Nuggets right now).  
Tommy goes back to school in Florida on Tuesday.  So, this jar won't get refilled as often and I will miss his big hugs.

Yesterday, our daughter, Alie accepted a job transfer 
from New York back to California soon (YAY!).  She has been on the opposite coast with school and work for the last six years.

So anyway...how about you.  
Do you like to change your furnishings around?

Participating in:
Knick of Time Tuesday @ Knick of Time
The Inspiration Board Link Party @ Homework
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Time to Shine Tuesday @ A Diamond in the Stuff 
Tuesday Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
Be Inspired Party @ Elizabeth & Co.


Claire's Fresh Furniture Makeovers

Claire has been busy!  
This is the "after" photo of a chest in her daughter's room.
She spotted this at a garage sale and liked the design of the legs.
A bit of labor and new fun, chrome drawer pulls and look!
 Some more of her recent projects...
 "Before" child's rocker
And "After."  
I'd like to design a child's room around this.



Claire's Home Tour 
is one of my most popular posts.

The above photos were taken with a cell phone.

Speaking of which, isn't this a fun
cell phone cover ($18)?
Do you think it is just too decadent to have 
more than one cover?  
Or one that you want to take a bite out of?

Particpating in 
White Wednesday @ Faded Charm 
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Piece of Work Wednesday @  Primitive & Proper