Monday, February 13, 2017

Decorating with One-of-a-Kind Finials

 How to use a one-of-a-kind knob or finial in a decorating scheme can be puzzling. Of course there's always a cabinet with a solitary drawer that can use some spiffing up or a bare newel post at the end of the staircase. That's the easy stuff.
 I'm always amazed at some of the creative ideas that arise when trying to figure out how to use or where to put that one precious item that you're determined needs a place in your decor.

Now that's Clever
I'm always thinking of ways to display our finials. Hand sculpted, hand painted and standing 8" in height, they're truly works of art.  I remember  I happened to come across these large 5" jacks in a store and thought they would make great pedestals - an unusual display and very effective.
Another time I thought it would be cool to put a finial in a glass bowl, similar to an aquarium affect.  I think I borrowed the idea from a restaurant that had a single gerbera daisy resting inside a glass jar.

There's always the grand way of displaying a painting from a cord using the finial as the anchor. This works well with a knob too if you use a dowel screw. I am often quick to point out that our tiebacks make great hooks for hanging jewelry, evening bags and the like.

Doors that pull open and close such as closet doors are perfect for our knobs, pulls and even finials. This Jumbo Isabella finial is attached to a French door.                                                                             

I've even tossed a knob into a stash of collectibles from anything to shells, rocks, beach glass, etc. Believe it or not, the knobs look right at home in a grouping of found objects!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A New Twist For Our Jitterbug Desk

I've been eager to create a furniture piece that juxtaposes rich colors with wood stains, particularly a weathered wood or wired brush effect.

I've seen a little bit of this concept here and there but mostly with latex or chalk paints and nothing particularly interesting about the furniture piece itself.

So the opportunity to create our Jitterbug desk with this concept was an exciting challenge. I love when a customer is receptive to trying something completely fresh and new. The desk was the just the right project. It offered perfect placement for our jewel tone color finishes which I mapped out on the drawers and curvy cabriole legs, We left the greater surface areas such as the top, sides, back and chair well for the wood stain treatment. My cabinetmaker even used a different wood for these areas so the grain would be more pronounced.

At first my customer was concerned that we may be compromising too much of the piece to wood grain and not leaving enough for our signature paint treatments. But I assured her that the desk would have a good dose of artwork including her favorite rose and mosaic patterns that she specified.

I absolutely love the paint color palette. Ruby, deep gold, amber and silver look awesome with the gray tones of the wood stain. We made up congo light knobs and pulls in a custom color scheme that added a nice contrast with the drawers.

Choosing between knobs and pulls was a tough
decision and I eventually decided to use a
combination of the two.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Revisit Beach Bungalow Kitchen Makeover

It's been 9 years since our friends purchased a beach house.  It was a pretty basic bungalow in need of some updating, particularly the kitchen. Every time I looked at it, I tried to imagine our paint finishes on the cabinets. Up until this point, all of our projects were furniture pieces, nothing larger than a bed or an entertainment unit. Painting 4 sides (yes the edges are included in the process) of 15 cabinet doors plus 4 drawers was a huge undertaking for us. But I was eager to take the challenge and made a proposal.

The plan included  a new finish on the cabinets, new hinges, new gorgeous knobs (of course) and a faux granite paint finish on all the trim that surrounded the cabinets and the tiles. It was truly a gamble for both of us. Although I was confident that the outcome would look good, I was almost clueless as to how the logistics would play out and how I was going to tackle each step.

Over the river and through the woods
For anyone who understands Stinson Beach and the proximity to San Francisco is probably aware of the long and winding cliff side roads. Remember the Michael Douglas's roller coaster ocean drive to see Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct? This journey to the beach became part of the project routine.

So first I hired a person to go out to the house and remove all the cabinet doors and take them back to his shop to sand them. Then he brought them to our furniture paint shop for the priming and painting. It was a little overwhelming at first. Every inch of our workshop was occupied with a cabinet door.

Painting the cabinets was part one of the project. It was back to the beach house to sand, prime and paint all the trim. Then I had a contractor haul the doors and drawers back to the house where they were installed with new hinges. Oh yeah - I even got my cabinet maker in Los Angeles involved because we decided to create a door to cover the open shelving where pots and pans were stored. It was another journey to the beach with my handyman for the installation of the new door.

The Best Part
One of the nice aspects of the kitchen layout was a huge skylight that ran the length of the counter tops. It couldn't be a more perfect setting for our paint finishes and knobs where the cabinets dazzle from dawn to sundown.

 Happy Outcome
What I didn't know was how everything would hold up over the years. One can imagine how pleased I am to report that the paint finish shows no nicks, no scratches and most of all no fading!The amber color is still rich and vibrant. The knobs and cabinets are  just as lively as the day they were installed. The kitchen is happy as ever.

The Makeover Formula
Nothing too outlandish, my friend wanted the paint finish to have the feeling of exotic wood. So we chose the amber paint treatment which is softer than copper, and more exciting than brown for the cabinets. I created the fantasy stone trim  in light and subtle tones bringing in some of the other colors in the room.
Having a little bit of fun, we selected 2 different knob styles with an emphasis on shades of mustard gold with silver accents. .Both the Congo Lights and the Nu Sunflower knobs have topaz crystals that offer a pop of shimmer.

Monday, May 16, 2016

When the Ocean Meets the Sand

While leafing through a recent Elle Decor magazine I couldn't help but notice that just about every product advertisement focused on a blue and taupe color scheme. Furnishings, floor coverings, tiles and home accents, whether it be a rug or a sofa, you would think there was a  manufacturers' conspiracy to dish out a version of this color combo.

It reminded me of a comment that I heard from an interior designer who was helping a couple decorate their living room.

A little unsure about the designer's fabric recommendation, they questioned if blue goes with beige to which the designer remarked, "Does the ocean go with the sand?" I absolutely love this analogy. It makes me crack a smile whenever I think about the question and the retort. The popularity of this color scheme in interior decorating has obvious psychological impact. The visual of ocean and sand offers a wide scale of moods that swing from calm to exhilaration - something to reach everyone's comfort zone.

This motivated me to look through our product lines and was happy to see that blue was plentiful in shades of light to dark. We have a lot of fantastic blue color combinations, but not quite anything that offered the blue and taupe package.

So I did a little tweak with our popular Tiki knob and pull in light sapphire and lapis. I substituted the olivine crystal with a light smoke topaz and was amazed at how changing this small detail brought me closer to the ocean/sand scheme.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Soft Wisps of Color for 2016

At the beginning of the year I always like to think about the celebrated Pantone pick and how I can use it in a Susan Goldstick creation. This year the Pantone mystics selected 2 colors to share the annual color of the year spot. Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue were chosen for their balance of comforting warmth and cool tranquility that offer a sense of  peacefulness.
French bridal bouquet with blushing pink and blue

It's funny how I don't immediately conjure up a vision of these colors together in a singular theme.  It must have something to do with the little girl pink and the little boy blue that makes me want to separate them as an either-or choice.

But then I think about country french motifs and how romantic and spirited these colors can be when they collaborate effectively in contemporary decor. 

2" diameter Mini knob style 7 pink 
2" diameter Mini knob style 7 blue

A Pretty Surprise
Looking through our archives of custom painted furniture and cabinet knobs, I was reminded that we've used a pink and blue color scheme in several product designs. We blended  pale shades of pink, blue and yellow for the lustrous paint finish on this Bolero dresser. Our mini knob style #7 shows the theme in 2 ways reversing the background colors and the "M&Ms". Each looks pretty yummy!

Fabulous fabrics, wall coverings and furnishings in these soft wispy colors will soon hit the marketplace. I'm especially eager to integrate the new pantone hotties into our product lines including knobs, pulls and decorative drapery hardware. A color scheme that speaks beauty and serenity is bound to grow a fan base that will thrive beyond 2016.

Hand painted Bolero dresser 45" w x 34" h x 22" dp has a quiet elegance in this soft color palette.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Remembering Stan

This has been a sad week for me thinking and reflecting about Stan Tenerelli our cabinet maker who passed away. He was the proud owner of Advanced Woodshop in Los Angeles, a family business with a lineage of talented carpenters, a legacy that proudly continues with his son Michael.

I discovered Stan in 2000 when I was looking for someone to produce our furniture line. I was familiar with the beautiful work he had done for my brother Oliver. It was an experiment for both of us and it turned out to be one of the most rewarding business relationships either of us could have ever imagined.  But it was a unique and beautiful friendship that evolved that went beyond my expectations.

Not only a gifted furniture and cabinet maker, Stan was a remarkable man of many interests.  Be it wine making, cooking, rose gardening, hunting, fishing, horse racing- I just adored his enthusiasm for all his pursuits. Of course we never ran out of things to talk about.

The  Holiday Ritual and The Amazing Christmas Basket
For many years Stan played a huge role in our holiday celebration and of course I'm referring to the famous Christmas basket.  The basket always reflected the year's success of our collaborations.  The largest was almost 3 feet tall, wrapped so that a bottle of champagne peeked from the top and all the goodies carefully hidden below. Along with the basket, sometimes there was a case of wines, each individually chosen by Stan and of course a case of his most recent harvest of Tenerelli classics.

Christmas Eve 
My husband Kevin and I saved the excitement for Christmas eve where we would each take turns pulling something from the basket. Olive oils, jams, nuts, liqueurs- some things savory, some sweet and always a box of pancake mix and maple syrup (saved for Christmas breakfast) Everything was hand picked by Stan that he assembled throughout the year.  He really knew how to make gift giving fun and we participated with equal passion. We always focused on one of his hobbies including designing a Tenerelli wine label. One year we even surprised he and Laura with a Jitterbug dresser that we painted up especially for him.

The Christmas Morning Call
Stan and I agreed that 11am was the perfect time to call and exchange Christmas wishes when Laura and Kevin could get on the phone too. Then we would go over all the basket contents, where he bought them, how to use or prepare a particular thing, his favorites, my favorites. It was all so special.

Yes he was amazing. Stan left us with some beautiful memories that Kevin and I will always cherish. We were lucky to have have him as a part of our lives.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Runway Fashion Meets Home Decor

It's always fascinating to see the trends of  New York's fashion week that trickle into the home furnishings industry. The latest and greatest on the runways inevitably influence home decor where fabric textures, prints and color schemes pop up on upholstery, furniture and wall coverings.

The way it all comes together gives us a new stylish trend.  Prominent themes this year dish up plenty of  boho chic, a clever term derived from the word bohemian - a love for the unconventional. Characterized by a fanciful mixture of  vintage and modern with victorian frills and metallic details, it's a look that is clearly drawing attention. Exciting applications of color and pattern are bold and plentiful while tribal and ethnic prints lead the way.

What I love about this latest trend is the creative freedom it offers and decided to introduce one of my favorite motifs into our paint finishes - the paisley. The bed posts and center panels of our Barcelona low foot board bed get a generous dose of paisleys in shades of lilac and merlot surrounded by a splash of aqua feathers.