Archive of ‘BLOG’ category

Creating the Perfect Guest Room (And Experience)


Living in San Francisco, having overnight guests is about as common for my husband and I as doing laundry; it’s a sure thing. From our parents and siblings, our adorable (and still sleep training) nephew, to friends and what sometimes seems anyone else who knows we live in SF and have a guest room. But, with living literally across the country, we do welcome the opportunity as this gives us a chance to spend missed and much needed time with our loved ones. We are fortunate to have the family and friends that we do, and sharing our home is something we will always do (as long as you are polite!)

Here are the things we have found to create the best overnight (and some extended stay) experiences for both you and your guests:

  • Purchase a quality mattress (guest use appropriate- they sell them- just ask) and a waterproof mattress cover. Whether someone reads at night with a glass of wine in bed, or sweats a lot; protecting the mattress is key.
  • Invest in quality white cotton sheets that are nice enough to hold up to several repeated washings, but not so nice you will cry if they become destroyed. This Pottery Barn Classic 400-Thread Count Sheet Set in white has washed and bleached like a dream and I wouldn’t hesitate buying again in a heartbeat. (Currently on sale for 10% off.)
  • Mix and match down and down alternative pillows for your guests comfort. If you haven’t purchased pillows in a long time, pop into HomeGoods and get a two-pack for $19.99. Your guests will thank you.
  • A comforter in a basic solid or print pairs best with white sheets and creates that hotel feel. I only purchase and own down comforters, so this is what I provide for my guests. Be sure to cover them with a machine washable duvet that is again of a quality that will last, yet be aware that accidents do happen. I’m loving this one pictured above from Serena & Lily.
  • Provide guests with their own set of towels. Just because you keep your towels in your bathroom, it doesn’t mean you want 15 other people using them. This is a pet peeve of mine.
  • Offer an eye mask and travel sized toiletries in case they have forgotten anything. This is a good time to get rid of the stock you have collected from your own travels.
  • Show them where coffee, tea and the closest breakfast place is. Traveling across the country means dealing with a time change and more often than not, my husband and I are still sleeping when our guests wake- at least for the first day or two.
  • Let them know your sleep/work schedule is so you can be sure your routine isn’t interrupted. This is important- it is not rude to set expectations- it is a must.
  • Set the example by making your bed. Enough said.

Above all, enjoy your time with your guests. I know many people who wouldn’t consider having overnight guests and that’s perfectly ok too. If it’s feasible for your guest to stay in a hotel, sometimes that is the best bet. It allows for everyone to have their own space and time, while still meeting up for dinners, outings and sightseeing. If you are going to host guests, be honest with yourself about your needs. If you need the bathroom from 7-9 am- tell your guests! If you sleep till 10 am- tell your guests! If you have yoga every night at 6 pm- tell your guests! You should carry on with your daily routine as you wish, and no one should complain. This is your guest’s vacation, not yours. On the flip side, if you are going to be a house guest, remember you are just that; a guest in someone else’s house with more often than not, a very different schedule and house rules than you. Now is the time to let those manners shine!

xo, e

image via Serena & Lily

10 Rustic Mid-Century Modern Rooms

Mid-century modern has been a buzz for the last several years after making its debut, errr, during the mid 20th century. Although influences were drawn from across the globe, architecturally, this style is most widely recognized by large, open living spaces, open beamed ceilings and ample windows bringing the outdoors in. The intention was to create a functional home for the average American family.* The good news is, this still remains one of the most highly sought-after design trends because of its high function and appealing form.

I’m working with a client in San Francisco to create a space with mid-century flavor with a rustic twist. Clean lines shouldn’t be sacrificed for comfort, and keeping things light and airy will help to keep the studio space from feeling overwhelmed. I love the idea of keeping the palette clean- browns, grays, whites and touches of greens. Using flokati rugs, mongolian lamb poufs, hides and faux skins to soften the leggy aesthetic of mid-century mod. Touches of raw wood, metal cabinets, green plants, exposed light bulbs and well-loved books will bring in the rustic and warm homey touches.

Want to create your own mid-century modern room? Head to Salvation Army and browse the furniture section. For lack of a better explanation, many home items that were popular in the 50s are finding their way there as estates are being emptied and sold. What better way to pay tribute to the original owners than to give them new life and enjoy the true built to last quality.

xo, e


6 Pastel Colors Cool Enough to Live With

When most people think of pastel, they think of minty greens, pepto pink, and baby blue; not colors you immediately consider when talking about interior design. However, after 10 years of being a color consultant, painter and designer, I have learned to look at “pastels” in a completely different way. Learning about the pigments, formulas, bases and tints that create paint colors has allowed me to train my eye to see color for what it is. Using these soft and creamy colors as the backdrops to your rooms creates a happy, light and easy-on-the-eyes vibe. You can go preppy, beach, boho, traditional, eclectic, country…Using earth tones and touches of metallic with the pastels help to keep it stylish and grounded.

DIY: 6 pastel rooms and a paint color to match


Mint green is grounded here by a creamy white, touches of beige and gold. Opt for all white bedding and minimal accessories to keep the look clean. Repetition of colors creates a seamless and well thought out design.

Try: UnknownBenjamin Moore Pure Essence 638


Living in California, I see so many pink houses. Always consider your surroundings, but pink can work in the right situation. Stick with antique white for trim and stately iron urns full of lavender and greens at the entrance.

Try:s-h-cottage-ack_1_compact Quiet Home Paints ACK from their Cottage line


Not going to lie, finding a purple room was extremely difficult. Again you will see touches of metallic and neutrals ground this room. Keep frills to a minimum when using pastels and a masculine touch of leather goes a long way.

Try: UnknownBenjamin Moore Naples Sunset 1391


This soft blue could work just as well in this English countryside dining room as it could in a nursery. The neutral beiges and creamy whites could also transfer to crib color, bedding and nursery art.

Try:s-h-Lg-cottage-porch_compact Quiet Home Paints Porch from their Cottage Line


I’m not sure there is anything more welcoming than a yellow and white sun filled guest room. Using just two colors to decorate a room is so easy and always results in a completely pulled together and finished look.

Try:UnknownBenjamin Moore Summer Harvest 206


Because paint isn’t only for walls, consider adding a pop of pastel on salvaged chairs to create a unique and inexpensive designer look around your table.

Try: s-n-Lg-wake-sprig2_grande Quiet Home Paints Sprig from their Wake collection

Need help picking a color for your next painting project? I offer consultations on-site in San Francisco and online worldwide.

Contact me!

Happy painting,

xo, e


9 Tips to Host a Dinner Party on a Budget (and a Whim)

spring dinner party inspiration / baked goods & styling: Gigi Mamma Cakes / photo: chelseyboatwright.comI remember the first dinner party I had- I was 23 and hosted Thanksgiving at my apartment for 13 of my friends and family.  It was an ambitious endeavor, but I knew no one would hold it against me if I didn’t pull it off like Martha. I had a fairly large dining room that could fit two tables, so I rented one along with some extra chairs. A proper seat for every guest is essential! I rented wine glasses too, because it was less of a headache than to think about buying them at the time; I would still recommend it depending on the size of the party. My neighbor across the hall let us use his oven to heat up side dishes because he was out of town which was a life saver. It was a collaborative effort for sure, but I learned little tricks that I still put to use every time I entertain.

  1. Clean: Declutter and do a general (but not deep) cleaning of all common areas that guests will be using. The one exception is the bathroom- clean it like the Queen is coming. Designate a spot for coats, bags, shoes etc., because people will ask!
  2. Cook: Create a simple menu that you have executed before- think spaghetti and meatballs. Simple meatball recipe hereFor an appetizer, pick an easy finger food that guests can grab and eat without making a mess.
  3. Serve: Use all white serving dishes that can be mixed and matched for a seamless and elegant look. You can find them on the cheap at places such as Homegoods and T.J. Maxx
  4. Prepare: Prep like a restaurant kitchen: Appetizers should prepped be ready to be put out or pop in the oven. Salads should be made, meats marinating, pan of water on the stove for boiling, etc.
  5. Listen: Create a Pandora station depending on the crowd. Some favorites: Pink Martini, Frank Sinatra, Bon Iver…
  6. Drink: Serve a signature drink to cut down on costs of multiple liquors and mixers.
  7. Flowers: Split up a store bought bouquet into two or three small vases- don’t forget the bathroom.
  8. Decor: Use a funky fabric remnant for a unique table cloth. Dress with pomegranates and lemons.
  9. Ambiance: Candles! Tea lights en-masse create an elegant ambiance.

Get the appetizers out about 20-30 minutes before guests arrive. Mix up a pitcher of drinks and relax. There is nothing worse than a frazzled host, so if nothing else comes together as planned- have a drink and ask your friends for help.

A special thank you to the best hostesses I know for sharing their tips– cheers!

xo, e

Detox Green Juice


I have been hooked on green juice ever since discovering a little shop in my neighborhood. While I know there are so many positives to drinking the juice such as: crazy amounts of vitamins, anti-cancer benefits, clearer skin, increased metabolism, immunity protection and defense, anti-aging and more…at $11 a bottle, I was finding it hard to justify regular consumption. I’ve tried smoothies, but they just don’t pack the same punch or deliver the highly concentrated nutrients I am looking for (although still an excellent option for getting your greens!).

My husband came home with a bag of organic fruits and veggies on Valentine’s Day eve, and a gorgeous Breville Juice Fountain Elite followed. Unable to contain our now mutual excitement, our kitchen turned into a fruit stand/juicing central. I pulled up my local shop’s website and concocted my own version of their recipe. I am going to rename it…’Very Verde’. I now have my husband hooked on the green juice and could not even get him to try a sip of mine for months leading up to this. True story.

Recipe: ‘Very Verde’

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 ripe pineapple cored and sliced
  • 4 granny smith apples, core removed
  • 1-2 peeled lemons
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • Large chunk ginger

This recipe makes three 16-ounce mason jars. Refrigerate for a few hours for optimal taste.

*organic, local and seasonal produce for best results

xo, e

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