Category Archives: House style

Piece By Piece, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:03am


You may remember a while back I started repurposing my kids’ spaces. My son’s room became my “workroom” (in quotation marks because in fact I just keep stuff there and cart it out to my sofa for actual working); my daughter’s room became the guest room. However, that was 2015, and in January of 2016 we […]

Even California Decorates For The Seasons, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:22am


I woke up early this morning, as usual. Today was darker than yesterday. Not just the infinitesimal shortening of winter daylight – our rain has arrived. The San Francisco Bay Area has a “summer dry” climate. Everything browns from June to October. Sometimes we have long, long droughts, but in a normal year, rain falls […]

The Artsy Cousin Quilts, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:55am


We might say that this time of my particular life has been about befriending my inner Artsy Cousin. Born Sturdy, trained in Grande Dame where required, cozying up to Artsy takes time. Worth the wait, if it’s a dream of yours. As you know, I didn’t make these High WASP archetypes up. The Grande Dame […]

Real Life Presents For Women From Bouncing Babies All The Way To Elders


Presents. We High WASPs we call them presents, even though the word “Present” doesn’t sound as good with “Guide,” as the word “Gift” does.  Let’s think about the women we might be giving to of all ages. For me, that means from 84 years to 5 months.     For my mother: Alzheimer’s appreciates repetition. […]

Choosing A New House Number For A Modern Slash Traditional Slash California Slash Ranch


You may remember, we had our house repainted about two years ago. What I haven’t yet told you is that we subsequently began to receive a lot of postal mail that wasn’t ours. Did I understand the root cause immediately? No I did not. I’ll wait here while you infinitely smarter people figure it out. […]

What Shelter Magazine Are You? (And Wait, What Is A Shelter Magazine Anymore?)


Having examined, in the recent past, cultural identity, I thought we might move on to house style. As one does. Who among us has not undertaken Cosmopolitan and Glamour quizzes purporting to explain ourselves to ourselves? Who among us has never succumbed to a Facebook slideshow in an attempt at the same? So, What Shelter […]

The Perfect Set Of Outdoor Furnishings – For This Part Of The World


I generally prefer my gardens unfurnished. No statues or windchimes, no mirror balls. That way I can pretend I live on a high lonely hill, looking out. This isn’t an actively narrated pretense, just the kind that mutters when denied. But summer beats fictions. Live outside we must, cook outside we will. You gotta sit down. […]

The Great Candle Burn-Off #3: Jo Malone Grapefruit vs. P.F. Candle Company Sweet Grapefruit


Time for the third in this epic series of Candle Burn-Offs (#1 and #2.) We’re getting closer to true competition, I feel, fewer random retail pickups, increased intention. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. That sounds arrogant. OK, anything worth doing is worth trying to do well. More subjunctive in feeling, and therefore High […]

Small Interior Tweaks For Fun (Prettiness, Interest) Without A Lot Of Fuss


As I sort out larger furnishing choices, i.e. fabrics for my guest room and master bedroom, I’m amusing myself with small tweaks. Anyone remember these doves? They’re now living a well-lit life on our Pottery Barn Extra-Wide Valencia dresser. And yeah, it’s dusty. I’m way better at beauty than I am at daily cleaning. Those […]

Art From Friends And Family, Brigitte Carnochan In Many Guises


I forgot something important in my long post about house plans. The photography of Brigitte Carnochan, my stepmother. On the one hand, her gallery work. I want one of the platinum/palladium triptychs in the Valley Grasses series, maybe two over time, for our master bedroom. In real life, the platinum printing lends these pieces an […]

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