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This has to be one of the most beautiful tile collections I’ve ever seen.

It’s from Maybury Home, a British company that specializes in mother-of-pearl tiles. I ordered some samples and can assure you they’re just as stunning in real life as in the pictures. I’m particularly enamored with the gray herringbone…

…and the gold mosaic (but beware, the mosaic pieces are really tiny so, although they are mounted on a single 2×2 inch tile for easy installation, the effect is very intricate):

I am definitely keeping these in mind for the bathroom renovation…


Wow. It’s been weeks, months even, since I posted last.  Real life took over and I ended up with barely a moment to myself, let alone the time needed to blog. But it hasn’t all been hard work, travel, and family! I’ve actually been pretty busy with a few design projects. So I thought I’d end my blogging hiatus with a brief round-up.

Thank you’s and mentions

I’ve been honored to be featured on several fabulous blogs and web sites in the past few week. Natalie Myers of SoSmartalec, featured our house on Houzz. did a cute piece on our youngest son’s nursery.

And Alice in Designland featured a photo tour of our house. Thank you all for your kind mentions.

Our kitchen renovation

Believe it or not, we still haven’t broken ground on our renovation. But it’s close, I promise! Most of the design choices have been made. I’ve changed my ideas somewhat since this post. But, the core elements remain the same. I will provide more detail in later posts, but, for now, here’s the image that has been the cornerstone of inspiration (via this site).

Yes, I know, it’s not a kitchen. But here’s what I like: it combines period architecture with mid-century and modern furniture and elegant neutral colors. It’ll be great, honestly…. As a sneak preview, here’s the color palette.

There’s silver travertine (for the backsplash tiles), white quartz, walnut shelves, matte white cabinets, and flint tile flooring. The palette has moved on since my last post on this topic, the reason being that I decided to stay more in keeping with the period architecture of the house, while still creating a contemporary look.

I’ve also been working on some designs for friends, family and readers. Oh, and our company is planning a new office so that’s at the back of my mind too.

So it’s been busy round here. But at least there will be lots to update on in the next few weeks. Watch this space…

Our renovation is moving ahead slowly. We still haven’t appointed the contractor, but plans are completed and we have the permit. That means we’re also at the stage of choosing fixtures and fittings – at last. In addition to the kitchen, we’re also hoping to put in a new master bath and renovate the family bathroom. For the master, I have in mind something white, light and bright, with a little warm-toned wood. So, very similar to the kitchen then… The good thing about this whole exercise is that it’s forcing me to focus on one specific style, rather than succombing to the latest fad. It’s been quite enlightening.

To give you a glimpse of the style I’m zeroing in on, here are some of the images I’m using as inspiration for the bathroom.

This is close to the effect we want, via Houzz. A honey-toned wood (in this case bamboo) floating vanity, wide mirror, square basins and lots of white. We won’t be using Carrera marble, but the faucets are pretty cool.

This, also via Houzz, has a similar color scheme, with more open shelving instead of a traditional vanity and ceramic or glass tiles instead of marble. I don’t like the glass sinks, but the mirrors are great.

More Carrera marble and the wood here is much darker than we want. However, the square sinks and frameless shower screen are spot on. Also via Houzz.

Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. Unfortunately, I don’t think wood floors are for us, but we can get a similar effect by using this type of wood in the cabinetry. Via The Marion House Book.

And, well, this one is just getting ridiculous (in a good way). Again, we won’t be duplicating this exact look (I wish), but the combination of materials is relevant. By Emily Summers.

Taking a slightly different direction now, I’ve also decided the bathroom has to have a little sparkle. I plan to add lustrous white glass tiles, like these (via Remodelista), in a banner along the vanity and around the room.

I’ve admired this bathroom, from Living Etc, for years! This is the image that got me yearning for sparkly tiles!

What do you think? Is it possible to combine all these ideas successfully?

For fun, and on the suggestion of a friend, I entered my four-year-old’s room into Ohdeedoh’s ‘Small Kids, Big Color’ contest. What a kick to see it actually featured on the home page of that blog!  Apparently they only select a few and there are some amazing entries there, so I’m thrilled to be in such good company. If you liked the room when I first posted it here, feel free to vote for it here 😉 And check out some of the other entries – truly inspiring.

My son is beyond excited to have his room appear on the site – even if he doesn’t quite get how it ended up there!

My brother-in-law and his wife became the proud parents of a little girl this week (their first baby). So, in honor of the occasion, this post is devoted to all things girly in interior design: it celebrates baby pink and bubblegum pink, frills and flounces, feminine shapes and floral patterns. And, why not, I say?! Besides, what better way to usher in the spring than with the color of cherry blossom? Enjoy.

Via This is Glamorous.

Via Automatism.

Via Casapinka.

Nicole’s living room from Making it Lovely.

Via House of Turquoise.

Via Peacock Feathers.

Via A Life More Fabulous.

Via JPM Design.

Via Apartment 34.

Via Beauty Comma.

Via Pink Wallpaper.

Via Automatism.

Now let’s raise a glass of pink bubbly to my brand new niece. Welcome to the world! May it always be rosy!

Today I’m guest blogging over at Ill Seen, Ill Said. Jane invited me to participate in her ‘Where We Blog From’ series and you can see pics of my office space here. I have to confess to being a little embarrassed about the space since it’s the room in our house which has had least thought put into it. But I blame that entirely on the fact that it has four windows and a cool view so who cares about the inside!

Anyway, thanks to Jane for hosting me. It’s an inspired series: I always enjoy seeing where other bloggers spend their time. It was fun to be a part of it. Hope you like the post.

Photo from Flickr.

I promised this year would entail some new challenges, and now I can finally reveal one of them. We’re expecting our second child in April! This explains the reduction in posts to this blog during the Fall: morning (ie all-day) sickness and fatigue do not mix well with blogging. But, with all that behind us, we’re looking forward to welcoming a new little boy into our family.

Photo via here.

Now, since this blog is all about interior design, most of my baby-related posts will be focused on his nursery and the other decorating projects a new family member entails. As any design-obsessed mother will know, a baby is a wonderful excuse to explore a whole new aesthetic (not to mention redoing a perfectly acceptable room in the name of ‘baby-proofing’!) In our case, it means redecorating three rooms. Our older son will move into the guest room, the guest room gets combined with the office and the new baby will take over my son’s old room. Bring on the paint chips and wallpaper samples!

Since I’ve had some experience decorating nurseries with baby number one, I can learn from prior mistakes. I’ll share those, and the inevitable new ones, on this blog. We’ve also nearly finished our first son’s new room so I can share those pictures soon. I promise not to let kid-friendly design take over, though – there will still be plenty of inspiration for grown-ups!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few images of stylish nurseries. If I’m honest, I find it hard to find images of nurseries I really love and that balance both adult and baby needs – while also being suitable for a boy. Even these examples don’t necessarily satisfy the practical requirements of a modern nursery. More on that later. But they capture the right mood so, for now, enjoy…

A 1970’s nursery – yes really – via the Giggle nursery decor blog.

Via Sweetie Pie Pumpkin Noodle.

Via here.

Via here.

The ubiquitous image of Jenna Lyons’ nursery as seen in Domino (via here).

Lots to think about…

Welcome to 2010! To mark the start of the New Year, and before I turn my attention back to interiors, I thought I’d post a few photos taken by my father-in-law in England. We didn’t get to travel back there this Christmas, but these images really sum up the countryside at this time of year: cold but bewitchingly beautiful.

May your 2010 be as serene as these pictures…

This picture of my husband and son was taken (by my brother-in-law) at Ocean Beach, just a few blocks from our house. It seemed such a fitting way to illustrate the end of 2009. It sums up a year that, although tough (who can claim to have had an easy 2009?), was very much about family. This year, more than ever, we’ve started to feel settled here in San Francisco and are appreciating everything about where we live. We’re excited about what 2010 will bring. There’s both peace and hope in this picture – and I can’t think of a better combination for the end of one year and the start of another.

Happy New Year to everyone. May it be your best yet.

The design discoveries and dilemmas of a Brit in San Francisco as she turns a house into a home.
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