New Uses and Homemade Gifts

We didn't have to buy much with our move from 
Newport Beach to San Francisco, California. 
Last month, we downsized from about
2600 square feet to 1500 square feet.  
It gave me an opportunity to refresh and 
reuse our belongings in different ways.
Our bedroom end tables from Noir became consoles in the living room.  The only problem was one of the knobs got lost in the move.  It could not be replaced.  So, I decided to buy pulls that were a little dressier and more pronounced.

 Anthropologie has beautiful knobs, like 
these bone and brass handles…

This is one side of the fireplace with the 
new painting by Sharon Hutchinson.
Just noticed how the brass lamp and 
bone tassel mimic the new handles.

This is on the other side of the fireplace
(can you tell that I am trying to disguise the components?).

The Chinese altar table that was in our 
Newport Beach living room is now the dining room.

came from Restoration Hardware
(on special).  

 Each year, I reuse my Christmas decor in different ways.
Here is how I used the pinecones last year on 
our Newport Beach mantel...

Yesterday, I visited my client in 
Walnut Creek, California  
and she gave me this special homemade gift.
A darling personalized plate (using chalkboard paint)...
Along with these delicious
confession… I ate THREE on my drive back to SF.

So for dinner, I made a salad with this 
(perhaps the "next arugula") and
goat cheese, grape tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.

Dana was inspired to make her own bejeweled 
Christmas tree from my post but she took 
it a step further by adding tiny, 
vintage family portraits…using
frames from Hobby Lobby...

Here is her tree, that she said she is still working on...
but I think its looking great already.
 See the little portraits on the tree 
that make it even more special.

 While I was at Dana's house, we gathered 
her collection of antique engravings 
to create a gallery in the front hall 
(over freshly painted
 Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan walls).
More is in store for her pretty home.
I'm also helping Barbara, Dana's mom.  
She has great taste and we are finishing her
living room, dining room and powder room.  
She gave me this fun present...
Which I will bake when the kids come home in a week.

I haven't done any Christmas shopping...
There seems to be lots of discounting already at the department stores.  Everything looks so festive here in the City...
I can take the cable car right to the stores.
How are your holiday plans coming along?

Participting in
Amaze Me Monday @ Dwellings
Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally
Make it Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Making The World Cuter Monday Making The World Cuter
More The Merrier DIY Home Sweet Home
Motivate Me Monday Keeping It Simple


  1. What a sweet and lovely client. Of course you ate them in the car! No judgement, here. I love how you restyled your things. They feel fresh and new. Endlessly jealous of SF...but love reading about it. I am also a huge Kale fan.

  2. Dear Mary Ann,
    I absolutely love your new home! The bone and brass pulls look so elegant on the tables.
    City life is wonderful!
    The Arts by Karena

  3. In love with the window vinette! so simple, modern and elegant.

  4. I love how you used your Noir pieces on either side of the fireplace....so clever! Love how they look (and the new pulls are fantastic) and they are just the right size. Your new home looks awesome.

    Seriously loving the RH twig tree....thinking about getting one. Looks beautiful at night in your window.

    P.S. well, duh....who wouldn't eat those delicious treats in the car :)

  5. I love your blog, Mary Ann! You always have such a fun collection of stories and ideas to share. Oh, and I'm buying one of those RH trees. Fabulous!!

  6. I love how you disguised the television components! I'm going to try that....great idea! You have such wonderful and classy taste! Just love your blog!

  7. I saw those trees at the RH outlet today. Would have bought one if I needed it. I love your new knobs.

  8. Hello Mary Ann!

    So many interesting ideas you weave together- always a pleasure to read your blog. This time I think my favorites are the new handles and your lovely decorating, and the kale salad, and the RH tree and...

    Mimi @ A House Romance

    PS Thanks so much for your kind words re my father- I so very appreciate it!

  9. Uh oh, I need that RH tree now! Looks great in your home!

  10. You seem to have been gifted lots of fattening sweeties so it is good you have discovered baby kale. Those shortbread caramel brownie bars look delicious - I'm going to have a look at the recipe. I love seeing how you are reworking things in your new home. Love the RH tree and the pine cones across the table.

  11. Oh, I forgot to say how much I love the engraving collection and how they have been framed and hung.

  12. Will Barbara share her Chocolate Chip Toffee Blondies recipe? Looks like a great gift.

  13. What a sweet client. And I love that you use your same decorations each year but in a different way. It keeps them fresh and fun. Happy weekend!

  14. Looking good! What a nice and thoughtful client! I am feeling like I need something sweet right about now:)
    Love the collection of framed engravings...so pretty!

  15. So pretty! Love how you are getting ready for Christmas in your new place!

  16. What a very nice client!
    I love those knobs from Anthro (love almost everything they have!)

  17. I love your new knob too, and also your new painting! Lovely.

  18. Mary Ann, it's all so wonderful. BUT, you've not filled your crystal decanters with libations! You can check eat off the list, now drink and be merry ;-) Cheers!

  19. Those knobs look fabulous on those Noir tables!

  20. Disguising the TV components in a stack of books is the cleverest idea I have seen in a long time! Also love your bowl of pine cones under the twig tree. Am planning to do a bit of copying! x Sharon

  21. It all looks so beautiful, Mary Ann and how fun to find new places for your lovely pieces...adore the knobs!!

  22. Love how you have made this space such a warm home! We are about to downsize and this is helping me get excited!! Love that you can hop on the cable car to head to the store! What a fun and exciting new life!

  23. It all looks gorgeous. Love those new knobs. My husband makes Kale-slaw - shreds one bunch of kale, one shredded carrot, one shredded onion and adds 3/4 cup mayo, 1/2 fresh juice from a lemon, 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper - put in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. It is so delicious and keeps for days!

  24. Hello Mary Ann,

    I see the blue in the first picture. Pretty. I think the new knobs add class to the end tables.

    Please consider returning and leaving a comment for me.
    Happy Blue Monday!

  25. the prints at dana's house are absolutely beautiful-and fantastic arrangement! also love love love the new knobs on the noir table! you just added lots of value to that piece!

  26. Love all that you do Mary Anne! Im saving jewelry for a jewelry tree. It will be past trend by the time I get enough to fill it, but it's very cool. Have a great week. Happy journey to the holidays. xo Nancy

  27. Oh my….I've been so busy I just realized I didn't leave a comment on your latest blog! Why am I not surprised that I now want to downsize, get rid of lots stuff I don't need move and into a SF apartment!! (Preferably ……..WITH you!!!!) You always know the perfect things to do to make a space look fabulous. And those treats…yum! I doubt if any of them would have made it home if they'd been driving home with me! I do love my sweets! Great holiday treat gift ideas and I love your beautiful, simple Christmas decor!
    Tootles!! Gail


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