To free us from the expectation of others, to give us back to ourselves….there lies the great singular power of self respect.                                                                                                                 Joan Didion


I am heading down south tomorrow for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.  They are renewing their vows.  The ceremony and celebration is going to be held at their home, with the ceremony in their yard. Their home is 5 doors down from the beach; it is so lovely there.  We are all excited.  We haven’t even told AJ & G yet because they get so excited they do not sleep well…it’s cute in commercials people, but a bit draining in real life :)

I have a lot of open items in my life, primarily as it relates to my business.  There are a variety of reasons and many of them are valid…you do not have to go too far to hear the news of the economy and have people tell you what a hard time it is for opening a new business.  Guess what, I expanded a business in the last year, so now, it’s time to move into that space (figuratively) and claim it.  I was realizing even more today that I am experiencing a lack of faith.  It’s one thing to believe in God, which I do, but quite another to trust him…I mean REALLY trust him.

I want to be free, to try some new things on and to share my little slice of the pie. I want to do so many things creatively….it seems the days run short and my ideas stay locked away more than I would wish. One idea a week, that is where I will start.

pssst:  I do plan to open an etsy shop for my vintage wares….I have some really pretty, stylish things, in my mind’s eye.  There, I said it; one of my ideas :)

Peace, joy and creativity to you.  Thank you kindly for being here.


image via Pavel Horák’s photostream on flickr.  He is a very talented photographer, and you can see more of his work here.

Category: Design | 5 Comments

love this; she’s a new friend, we are unravelling together.  for my birthday, i thought i’d pick something i’d love to wear, to inspire me; this wins.  her photostream is here, and her sweet etsy shop, bella wish can be found here.  she’s lovely. dreams are so so important; having, believing, and remembering this today.

have a great day :)  sending you smiles, warmth and inspiration

Category: New talent | 11 Comments

yummy balance of tattered, textured, metallic and soft

copper richness, against the waters of silvery slate grey goodness

russet coral, sky water crisp blue, geometric strong exterior with the warmth of it’s coverage

juxtaposition of large scale pieces color, quiet, or color rich, unlikely blends that work

old classic shapes, materials colors blended perfectly with pops of what’s new, the shapes, the size the thickness

awesome, grand, boisterous, with a dash of delicate for breathing room

cozy layers of well spoken taste, fanciful richness

grandeur, repetitive thinking, inspirational combinations, unlikely hues that fold well together


old world. new world, reflecting the beauty of age with grace

Today I’m featuring visuals of design vignettes; I combined individual illustrations that seemed to be tied together somehow.  I find that to be relaxing and enjoyable.  

I have been thinking about the content I post here and what drives my selections.  I do work in the field of design, and I would like to visually illustrate that a bit more here.  

So, why do I show so many visuals, either photography, interior and exterior styling?  You might not be asking this but I have asked myself and I would like to share my thoughts on this from where I sit today. So much of what I do is both creative and technical.  People are often shocked when I share about my previous career, a CPA/business consultant. They say things like, ‘wow, that is a huge departure from interior design’.  I am a bit puzzled by this, but that is from where I sit, from how I filter the two fields in comparison.  

I consider myself a very dual brained individual, using both the left (logical/mathematical) and right (creative/visionary) sides of my brain. I did initially while in corporate america (primary, left, secondary, right) and still do today, in the field of interior design, only in reverse (primary, right, secondary, left).   I find that in the field of interior design, to do it well, you must call on both sides of your brain, or outsource one of the sides based on what the field calls you to do.  

So what does this have to do with what I share here?  I guess what I am coming to terms with at the moment is this.  The creative side of my brain is now predominant.  I think of these two sides as muscles and I use the creative muscle more in this field, so it is, by nature, stronger.  

I use the logical part to forge ahead on project details, technical measures, vendor #’s, pricing, billing and project management. I am also currently using it more than I would like to foster the studio arm of my business, the infrastructure, marketing (in the works, come on Jana) overhead pool online presence. Portions of this requirement are not my strong suit, so therefore they are a bit more taxing on my spirit.

This leaves me more tapped for blogging.  I have so many ideas for content, a multitude of things I have thought about over the last couple of years based on the inspiring blogs I have read and pretty things I have seen.  I am not technically proficient with all of the software and skill set it takes to visually communicate ideas well on the web, on this blog.  

I do consider one of my strengths in design to be the mastery of color and material selection/combining. Once example of this is paint color.  I would love to show you the 30 or so colors that I use over and over again in different combinations because frankly, they work so well and they are so spot on balanced in their tonal quality. (my preference for paint color)  My next commitment is to photograph a select number of projects I have completed to best illustrate this.  I’ve done a ton of design work over the years but have been very remiss in finishing the loop after project completion to have the work well photographed.   I could also show you via downloading samples in photoshop and doing color boards.  the main issue there is that not all of the colors I love are available online for download; so this IS on the list.

I do love being here and I love sharing bit and pieces of what inspires me, what I am taken with in my everyday design travels.

I hope to devote more time to featuring local and regional talent on a variety of fronts as the months progress.  Forging ahead for today….All the images are via Jim Thompson’s website.  He is a renowned designer of equisite Thai silk, silk blend, and cotton fabrics sold to the trade in the interior design world.

Clients cannot always afford the luxury of specifying such high end upholstery fabrics throughout a project. I try to offer a mix of fabrics, a range of pricing.  In many instances, a select amount of this quality for say, the body of a sofa (an alternate choice for cushions and throw pillows), a pair of club chairs, the seat cushions on dining chairs, or for accent pillows on prefabricated upholstery does the trick.


Category: Design | 2 Comments

It’s a busy weekend.  I was in the city earlier today working with a new client; began making my way back to the east bay around 2:30 pm and it was already backed up like typical commute hour.  People are anxious to get away, relax and take in a long weekend.  We’ll be staying close this weekend, but we’re heading down south next Friday to celebrate my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.  M & D are renewing their vows and having a little celebration in their home at the beach–so excited to celebrate with them and be with my side of the family.  Did I mention that the beach is my absolute favorite place to be in the entire world? Their beach, their town, it’s simply the best.  It still has that small beachy town feel that I grew up with spending time in  Belmont Shore, Pismo and San Luis during vacations through my youth and teenage years.

Our car, with the 5 of us heading down, tends to look a bit like this :)  Have a wonderful, safe and fun filled weekend.  Sending you warmth, sunshine and incredible joy.


image via marie claire maison

Category: Photo fun | 4 Comments

rediscovered this today via my flickr favorites.  it illustrates my wish for each of us, individually and collectively.  there is a lot of bad news right now.  we are in an new, unknown and sometimes scary time on so many levels.  i wish for an added measure of compassion, many people are suffering.  i know it’s not happy chat, positive verbage, inspiring footage; but it is real.  sometimes it feels like i am walking in a sea of people whose channels are really only clear when the topic is light and the mood is easy. this might be completely my stuff, and if so, i’ll figure that out. 

we can all add a bit to those around us by noticing, listening, responding and caring.

a person in my life is losing her home. she works out of her house, so she’s also losing her business, her livelihood.  she has no place to stay.  it is devastating. we are considering our home, but we have a full load in a small space. i’ve felt my share of the stresses of late; it’s hard to expand a business in the best of times, but when times get lean, it all falls on your shoulders and frankly, i am not very good at asking for help.  in the grand scheme of things, i haven’t experienced what many are going through .  wishing for lighter times, more resources, open and responsive hearts.

sending answers, peace and goodness to each and to all.


image from my flickr favorites, the lovely lepiaf.geo’s photostream.

Category: eyes | 7 Comments

I love deconstruction, woven materials, rich muted hues, large well proportioned scale.  Add in outdoor spaces loaded with simplicity, organic materials, blue skies, water and breathing space.  Words don’t give this furniture line justice, so I’ll pipe down and just let you soak in the gorgeousness.

eggplant, oatmeal, concrete, moss, boxy inverted seams

cylinders, spot on cinnamon & cocoa, large scale sexy weave, smooth sand, quiet

contour, balance of movement and straight lines, minimal, cozy, smart

espresso, suspension, oatmeal balanced texture, serene, deep, brilliant take on the porch swing

drenched in style, minimal, thoughtful hardscape, circular balance

brisk, not your mama’s bean bag, intimate social circle, pomegranate creme fraiche, lanterned lined memories

sexy muddy palette, molded goodness, sumptuous, secret filled point of no return

Italian furniture line, Paola Lenti.  This is but a small illustration of their outdoor collection.  The also feature an entire line of indoor furnishings and phenomenal area rugs.  These would be great to share with you on another day.

We have an outdoor portion of the studio, it needs a bit of love…this gives me inspiration.  We wish it had views such as these; we wish we had a budget to afford the beauty that this line exudes.  I believe in using visuals that extend beyond the skies limit…it’s amazing how limitless style is; good style is not defined by the budget one has.  In my humble opinion, it’s driven by your ability to envision and combine.

Category: Design | 4 Comments

vintage; souvenirs, lived and loved in.

random, layers, simple,  sea glass.

splendid, feminine, longevity, victorian, rich in pretty.

sunshine, spring time, fresh, delicate, playful.

story, chiseled, damp with thriving, minimal, mature composition.

patchwork, yummy, gumdrop, subtle, whimsy, smart, cozy.

shapes, lines, crisp, transparent cylindrical

oatmeal, warmth of cool, ribbons and sheers, quiet comfort.

raspberry, brilliant, layered, intentional balance.

If you ask me, nothing says Happy Monday like inspirational images.  I am pleased to share some of my favorite images from famed London photographer, Emma Mitchell.  Her work is rich, thoughtful, simple, and evocative. Photo styling is really appealing to me. I’d love to learn more about it and I play with the idea of it as an arm of my design business (a girl can dream).  I do not have a background in photography, so I lean more towards the idea of styling the shoot over doing the snapping.  I was originally introduced to Emma’s work via set design thinking

Have a wonderful day.  I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the poem I praise you for what is yet to be, by Ted Loder:

I praise you

that you turn me loose

to go with you to the edge of now and maybe.

to welcome the new, 

to see my possibilities

to accept my limit

of passion and compassion


released by joy,

I uncurl to other people

and to your kingdom coming,

for you are gracious beyond all telling of it.

Category: Design | 4 Comments

she lives in oakland, her self description is brilliant:  

a sleepy-eyed girl, in love with the estuary.
hiding out in oakland with stitches and songs.
learning how to talk to birds.

fashion designer, a personal inspiration to me; selene’s flickr photostream is magnificient.

dreaming in color, of softly kissed lips and quiet, memory ridden spring afternoons

color balance; mini proper, this n that dazzling vintage glam. romantic snippets

empty; love this vintage bag; her hat, gloves, cinder block, and the sexy of rusted corrugated metal

paint; the velvety rich wine back wall, tattoo expression, delicate fingers and artistic composition

lean; the juxtaposition of her bubble gum mini-dress, messy borderline hair–againt the slats, graffiti ridden, pickled, painted, remnants

she’s smart, a bit stiff…surrounded in ties and trims of color; vignette of stylish thinking; the flash

tonal, textural, oatmeal thoughtfulness. touch of whimsy, shaped and balanced color selection

lover’s photography. park whimsy. the sexy of holes. a perfect mix of blurred colorful expression

precious time. a personal adventure; parasols, and petticoats, so pretty smart and friendly

abandon, innocence, adventure…sibling care…to really fly and spin, in pretty, playful bliss


these images, they captivate.  my creativity thrives on a mix of pretty and messy. the ability to interpret real life applicatons of these kinds of visual compositions; this line, a fashion line, gibbous fashions, amazing. found via the lovely my folk lover blog.  

i wouldn’t apply these ideas literally in fashion or for interiors.  a bit more tailored might be. when preparing for a client presentation or composing a fun studio vignette, this type of inspiration coats my soul and sets the creative ball rolling. what stirs and ignites your creativity?

Category: Fashion | 3 Comments

your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize.  your words are the greatest power you have.  the words you choose and use establish the life you experience               

                                                                                                                                              sonia choquette


sorry for the funky blog loading the last couple of days.  newbie here; didn’t realize picture sizes were bogging the blog. funny the terms we use today. fraps, tweets, IM’s, flickr, etsy, DM’s,  blip, um, what? 

today’s visual is my apology. i added a thought about words.  oh, and remember to smile. someone once said smiling adds days, weeks, months, years to our lifespan. at a minimum, it makes each moment a bit brighter. your smile, it makes me smile.

image by fritz henle via

Category: Photo in Style | 4 Comments

celebrated pop’s (boyfriend’s dad) 70th yesterday.  mommy day, grammy day. good food, cards, gifts, lil wonders.  AJ (gotta love the lip gloss) with pop in the midst opening his cards… hold those you love close, know their preciousness…I say this primarily to remind myself.

boyfriend and i are celebrating 7 years of marriage today.  time. time, it flies.  we’re busy. their little or maybe a bit bigger, but busy.  we’re both trying to navigate the waters of 2009, a year that is teaching us, and learning we are, not quite sure what but we’re learning, we’re devoted and we’re in it and i love him. he makes me want to be better in ways i am not, ways that come easy to him.  we don’t always want to but when we do, we make each other more, together, than we otherwise would be. 

my parents are celebrating 50 years of marriage at the end of this month…may God grant us that same privilege and may we treat it with similar regard.

this post, today, it’s the rooted part.  i’ve been blogging now for a few months and am gearing up to be more visible in my design presence here, that footprint is needed in order for me to manifest the professional presence I desire. must learn to illustrate and present my desires as a designer, as a woman of aesthetic expression.  this includes showing you the work I have done to date.  this is hard for me and I cannot explain much of the why.  part of it is the practical coordinating of after photos, my perfectionistic tendencies and the way i was raised; do. not. brag.  but really, it isn’t about me, or is it?  my serving clients is for them and i love it.  remind me of that, k.

but today, this post. means everything.  it’s the strong, solid, unwavering roots in my own lil family; i scraped, crawled, cried and tried to have roots in a relationship for much of my adult life; it came later than the story I would have written, but it came with the profound Grace of God in understanding what I needed.

and so it is now, in this new time, a business plan that eludes me.  show me grace in this day and in the days that follow when the knowing is foggy and i must stretch beyond what feels remotely natural or feasible.  each of you that stop and gaze and spend time here, you add a sprinkle of joy to my days.

may tony and i find a moment to just be, be for and with each other.  here’s to you my love, today and for always.

images by:  jana

Category: Family | 3 Comments

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