Dining by Design 2009

If you love to decorate or entertain here's an event you shouldn't miss! Diffa's Dining by Design 2009 is just 2 weeks away. An over-the-top celebration of all things tabletop! DINING BY DESIGN brings together established talent, budding artists, and celebrated individuals to create three-dimensional dining installations that awe, inspire, and delight.

The 2009 event will be November 18-19 at the Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center, 101 Henry Adams Street. These tables are always a show stopper and worth a gander. If you want more of an experience check out the website or see details below.
Wednesday, November 18th; 6:00pm-10:00pm
This party sets the stage for Thursday night's gala as designers and guests mingle and preview the installations as they sip signature drinks from Stolichnaya elit and Castello di Gabbiano wines paired with tastes from San Francisco's top restaurants.

Thursday, November 19th; 6:30pm-11:00pm
Cocktails and table hopping, followed by a seated dinner, dancing, and dessert.


Fall Interior Decorating Classes (Oakland)

If you could use a little help decorating or maybe you just need a fresh perspective, consider taking this fall series of classes with my friend and design colleague Danielle Fox. Courses are held at SLATE art & design gallery in the Temescal district of Oakland. Space is limited to ten students per course and a minimum of four registrations are required for a course to run.
  • identify and develop your personal style
  • spruce up your home before the holidays
  • enjoy twelve hours of presentations, discussion, and individual and group exercises based on one of your favorite topics, all for the price of two hours of professional design consulting
  • benefit from a professional’s experience, expertise, and extensive resource library
  • complete the course with a comprehensive room design that reflects your own personal taste and lifestyle, for a fraction of the price of hiring a designer
Weekly Topics
  1. Aspirational Style / Style Categories / Materials and Motifs
  2. Reality: Context and Lifestyle / Performing a Design Review
  3. Space Planning, Furniture Scale and Proportion
  4. Project Managent and Budgeting
  5. Shopping - online, retail, trade, custom, vintage
  6. Color Schemes, Fabrics, Windows
  7. Art and accessories - the final balancing
  8. Sharing Room Designs

Fridays 10-11:30 AM
October 9–December 4
(no meeting Thanksgiving week)
Please let us know if you would prefer another day, evening, or weekend schedule.
Alternate classes can be formed.
$250 for eight meetings. Receive a $25 discount for each friend you refer.

Danielle Fox, Danielle Fox Design
4770 Telegraph Ave & 48th Oakland
O (510) 444-4085
C (510) 325-6659


Easy Fall Updates

Paint. You don't have to paint an entire room but how about one accent wall or the front door. A little color can go a long ways. Think of something rich and deep. Check out Sherwin Williams SW 6321 Red Bay combined with SW 7069 Iron Horse to create a modern country update.

Pillows. Rotate pillows out or buy new pillow covers. Go for new colors, sizes and textures.

Fresh Accessorizing. Fresh flowers bring color and life while easily establishing the feeling of new season. Another option is to fill glass vases & bowls with persimmons, apples, & gourds. See my example of a fall dinner party I did for a friend's birthday.

Coziness. A warm fuzzy quilt or throw instantly calls you to come and snuggle up. Updating with new lamps or lamp shades can create warmth both during the day or when lit. A new lamp with a dark metal or wood base not only helps to anchor a room but provides an element of nature. Consider a lamp shade that is a heavy linen, a dark color or possibly gold on the inside to create a warm glowing light when turned on. (Anson Lamp from Crate & Barrel.)

Art. Change out one piece of art with a new piece that evokes a since of fall. Put away your pictures from the beach and update family pictures with last years pictures in the fall leaves, skiing, or those with hats & scarfs. Or have some fun...rake the leaves, put the kids in hats and scarves and snap some new pictures. My girls in the front yard.

A few simple, inexpensive changes can get you in the mood for any new season.


Fun Side Chairs

Totally fun side chairs from Walmart. Check out the Skyline Collection for chairs, ottomans, headboards and more. Chairs seem to range from $225-299.


Home Shopping Network - Who Knew?

Honestly I've never watched HSN the Home Shopping Network but I was flipping through the channels the other day and saw Nate Berkus promoting some very cool stuff! I decided to check it out today and found some great items from Nate and other good finds too. I guess never say never....


Super Cute Kid Room Decor Items

I haven't been posting on a regular basis but I'm going to try and get back on track. Anyhow, a friend sent this link to J Caroline Home! because they have ready made items such as pillows, ottomans and slip covers for Ikea Child's Poang Chair. You can choose a variety of fabrics, which are perfect for a child's room. Check them out for their fun fabrics and very reasonable prices.


How much light do you need in a room?

I come across homes all the time that have inadequate lighting, lamps and fixtures. It's a bit like getting dressed up and forgetting your jewelry.

Calculate the amount of light needed in any room by multiplying the length times the width of the room (in feet). Then multiply that number by 1.5. This gives you the number of watts required to provide ambient lighting for the room. If task lighting is needed, multiply the square footage by 2.5 instead of 1.5 to find the wattage. Ceiling fixtures should be at least 7 feet above the floor.

1) 12’ x 16’ = 192’ square footage
192' x 1.5 = 288watts
Therefore a 12’ x 16’ room would have ample lighting with two 150-watt table or floor lamps
(2 x 150 watts = 300 watts) or an 8-light chandelier with 40-watt bulbs (8x 40 watts = 320

2) For specific task lighting within a space (for example, the light needed on a kitchen island ), multiply the square footage of the island (8’ x 4’ = 32’) times 2.5. Two 40-watt mini pendants would do the job (32’ x 2.5 = 80 watts).

Other links & sources:
Massive Lighting - an average (in Watts) in order to have good light
Common Kitchen Lighting Mistakes
Lowes Lighting Tips
Energy Saving Lighting Tips


SF Silk Trading Company Closing

The Silk Trading Company is closing their store in S.F. Not exactly sure when but they are either having or will have a blow out sale of 50%-80% off items in the store. This is a great opportunity to get ready made panels, fabric by the yard and pillows.

The Silk Trading Co.
1616-A 6th Street

Also, check them out online for great sales on discontinued fabrics and premade drapery sales.

Tanell - Spruce $25/yd
Jacoby- Terraza $29/yd
Kendrar $10/yd
Ribbon Overlay $76-98/panel


Thomas Paul Fabrics Available to the Public

Thomas Paul has a great line of fun, graphic fabrics which were exclusive to Duralee a trade only resource. However, you can now get these fabrics at Calico Corners. They range in price from $15-45/yard. Here's the crazy part...they are cheaper at Calico Corners than I can buy wholesale at Duralee. Great for the public...kind of sucks for me as a designer!

Check out the Thomas Paul site for other items that coordinate with his fabrics. You can get art, rugs, lighting, pillows & dishes.


Color for 2009: Purple, Blue, Yellow, & Coral

Thinking of painting or bringing in a new accent color? You won't go wrong with one of these colors.

Purples, especially reddish-based purple but you can also incorporate the palest lavender to more saturated tones.

Blue is our new green. We'll continue to see lots of greens just because of the "green movement" but more blues too from water blues, sky blues to aquamarine blue which works well with yellow.
Yellow is a hot accent color. Especially citrus yellows. I've been watching it make it's way from the fashion industry for a couple years now. It also combines quite well with blacks, whites and grays.
Coral is another color that has been seeping it's way back into design. Just look at Pottery Barn.
All pictures from the Better Homes & Garden site.


Furniture Layouts

I often create Room Layouts for clients, which can be a vital step in the decorating process. Typically I create 2-3 layouts per space/room. A floor plan helps define measurements, furniture sizes, traffic patterns, etc. Each layout I create comes with a detailed list of furniture & sizes, and it may include pictures and sources. After a client and I settle on a layout, either I implement the plan or the client can then do the footwork themselves. A Room Layout saves time, frustration and helps prevent costly mistakes.

I've included two samples of the same game room, in which a client wanted to include a pool table but also wanted a lot of seating. Pool tables take a lot of floor space because you must allow square footage for shooting with pool sticks. After putting together 4-5 plans, it became clear to the client they weren't getting as much seating with a pool table. It's up for debate, but most of the family thought the pool table should go into the garage.
Layouts may include: windows, doors, walls, appliances, flooring, measurements, lighting, furniture, rugs, etc.


What's Your Personal Style?

Take this fun quiz from Sproost to discover your style.

My personal style was always a 3 way mix but the mixes were not the same...ahhh that's OK it's just plain fun anyhow. I took the quiz 4 times. I tend to be a French Eclectic, Modern Elegance, Classic & Hollywood Couture. What I'm not - southwestern, lodge or asian.

a little of my french
a little of my modern elegance

a little of my hollywood couture


Have you heard? Mauve is Back!

What does it mean? Well, as always it's all about a fresh spin and making an old color look new. See below how mixing mauve with browns, blues or greens keeps it fun & fresh. Keep you eyes open because you will see mauve leaning any where from pink, purple, gray or to brown.

According to Funmum.com this season’s hottest colours straight off the catwalk are contrasting brown and mauve and they have managed to work that trend into this beautiful top.
Here's an interpretation of that mauve & brown combo in bedding by Elizabeth Allen Atelier.

I love how Elizabeth Allen's bedding is paired with this golden headboard. The barrel lampshade adds a fresh modern style, which also helps this new country look stay fresh.

Here Elizabeth Allen's mauve colored bedding is paired with a luscious apple green. The classic, clean lines of the headboard, popped with green and mixed with classic, mauve flower pattern still feels fun. It's all about what you pair together.

Back in December '08 I put together a young girls room in a monochromatic mauve color scheme. Remember this Glamorous Girl's Bedroom?


Ikea Slipcovers

Over 90 designs and colours. 8 fabric choices. Fits old and new IKEA sofa models. Chair and cushion covers too. Simple to put on. Easy to take off. Completely Machine Washable. Inspiration has never been more fun. Check out Bemz.


Ceilings...what to do with them?

I'm working on a hair salon project and I'm trying to find an inexpensive solution to cover a small, ugly ceiling for the washing room. Here's a cool ceiling! Great focal point!


Coordinating Colors & Accessories

Suray is a site with some great area rugs; however, besides their great area rugs they have art, pillows, throws and lamps that coordinate with their rugs. They've even taken the guessing out of what go's with what by putting coordinates together for you.