Your home office needs a kick in the sweatpants!

For the last 2-1/2 months, like it or not, Californians have had to assess our homes & lifestyles.  I’ll venture a guess that some previously undiscovered perks have popped up from this long, dark pause in human history.  There are the obvious ones like working from home in jammers, avoiding pants with zippers entirely, a deepened (hopefully) bond between siblings, spouses, family units, and the unexpected perks like the joys of cooking ambitious meals, and realizing how truly liberating it is to stop jam-packing every minute of our lives by always racing hither and dither.  Whew!!!

It will be interesting to see what permanent changes come from this.  It seems like Working-From-Home may be here to stay.  I assume many employers have realized the value of completely reducing overhead by keeping their employees mostly at home, and have read the studies that show higher employee satisfaction in remote working.

I run my business from my home, and (hard as it is to admit Designer “design fails”) until recently I had it set up ALL WRONG!!!  I had my desk tucked into a corner opposite this beautiful window, and was just not getting enough sunlight or airflow.  I feel so much more productive now!  

There are so many little considerations that are involved in how a room makes you feel.  It is so important to have the proper set up for a home office, or you just won’t feel energized!  While every room calls for pleasing color palettes, art, accessories, a good layout, comfortable furnishings, good acoustics and storage options, nowhere is it more important then the functioning home office.  Proper lighting, privacy and acoustic considerations are particularly imperative.

Does your WFH situation need a kick in the sweatpants?  We can work out a plan to make your office the most effective, inspiring, healthy environment to have you firing on all cylinders….

What lessons have you learned during Covid and what permanent changes do you think you’ll keep up with?  I’m committed to not furiously shuttling my kids in and out of the car and all over creation for activities and events that they aren’t really into (I’m looking at you ballet).

 

xoxo,

Pamela

Business Unusual

Now that we have all had time to Kondo our closet, organize the family photos, work though that 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle, binge watch Netflix, and drop off the Goodwill donations, perhaps you have started looking around you home and thinking of home improvement projects for the future.  Your home office may need better lighting and a comfier chair.  As does that cozy reading nook the kids have been homeschooling from.  Maybe you’ve been cooking more impressive meals and enjoying them in that previously underused dining room. Is it time for some much needed window treatments and an irresistible new wall covering in there?
While it’s definitely not business as usual over here, much of what interior designers do is researched, planned, sampled and sourced online.  As long as there is an internet I’d be delighted to help you breath some life into your loving and supportive home.  A fully flushed out design plan will leave you hopeful, and all the more excited for our return to normalcy.  Here is an example of a recent Finishing Touches eDesign I did for a client’s master bathroom.
Please let me know how I can help you sort out any future projects!
xo,
Pam
P.S. (really long P.S.)
I sincerely hope you and your family are staying well.  We have been taking lots of Vitamin C, D, and getting lots fresh air (in our woefully small backyard), along with lots of good rest.  While I’m now a part-time homeschooler, I’ve found it has been pretty gratifying watching my little rosebud begin to read!  While taking this very seriously, I’ve also been trying to limit my exposure to the news because fear depresses the immune system and we all need to protect our calm, now more than ever!
I was chatting with my girlfriend the other day and told her this all reminds me of Emily’s goodbye at the end of Thornton Wilder’s, “Our Town.”  (Anyone, anyone?)
“Let’s really look at one another!….It goes so fast.  We don’t have time to look at one another.  I didn’t realize.  Saw all that was going on and we never noticed…Wait!…one more look.  Good-bye world, Mama and Papa, clocks ticking…and Mama’s sunflowers.   And food and coffee.  And new ironed dresses and hot baths…and sleeping and waking up.  Oh Earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every, every minute?”  
She told me to stop being so dark!
I suppose it is dark, but I’ve always felt it was more about being grateful for life, and it seems ever more relevant now.  The world has changed forever in a matter of a few short weeks.  We have left the comfort of our relatively easy, painless lives. Every one of us has lost something, albeit (hopefully) short term, but for the first time our expectations and our privileges have been revoked, and a great many are already suffering far greater losses- both physically & financially.
But one day this crisis will end, and when it does I can’t imagine we won’t all be truly happier and more grateful people.  Perhaps we will have less sense of entitlement, and realistically manage our high expectations.  Maybe we will focus more on the good and stop manifesting problems when there really are none.  For myself and my children, I can only hope any pain endured during this experience leads to a greater appreciation of life in general.  I like to imagine we will be more like my Grandmother’s generation- she grew up during the Great Depression and birthed and raised four kids between my Grandfather’s WWII and Korean War deployments.  Much like the rest of her generation she was almost almost always happy.  Difficult times make us stronger and we will be happier when life returns to normal.
So we made it to April- we are all here… and there’s one silver lining.  Hope springs eternal!  Come on Spring!!!

At the Corner of Calm and So Freaked Out

Who isn’t totally freaked out right now?  I thought I was doing a fair job “Keeping Calm and Carrying On,” and then the fear and anxiety really crept up on me.  Not good!  Stressed out people get sick.  I tried furiously popping CBD lozenges, burying my head and listening to anything other than the news, because well...it’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…. but the curiosity killed the cat about 12-1/2 seconds later.  Who among us can resist?
Now life has come to a complete stand still.  Time for a collective deep breath (in the safety of your home that is).  I thought I’d offer some silver lining.
Cleanliness and hygiene are definitely on the up and up!  I mean, I didn’t think the NYC Subways had ever been cleaned, like never once, and now you can eat off the floor.  People are finally washing their damn hands, they have stopped picking their noses, and being otherwise gross!  The schools are making kids wash hands like their lives depend on it (because truly the little ones are the grossest little petri dishes of all) and that’s a great reinforcement away from home.  Also, people are finally keeping their kids home when they are sick, and staying home from work too, as opposed to exposing the world to their germs because they can’t possibly miss a beat.  Perhaps when this crisis is averted, these obvious and overlooked health measure will stick.
In the collective fear I also feel more connection with friends and loved ones in general.  I don’t believe it’s the end of days, but certainly it sort of feels that way when colleges, jobs, events, vacations, entire countries, are shut down and essential resources like toilet paper are depleted.  Scary times!  And of course the media is no help, because you can’t tell what is real and what is an agenda.  That’s extremely sad.  In the midst of it all, I do feel more concerned for all of my friends and family, even strangers across the globe, I feel less bothered by B.S. and more connected to what matters most.  I hope you do too.
Stay well my friends!
xo

The Untrendy Guide to What’s Cool in Kitchen & Bath

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Showcase (KBIS) is the largest tradeshow in North America, and I was lucky enough to attend last month in Las Vegas.  Being it’s the size of -Lord knows how many- football fields and packed to the gills with exhibits, it’s quite the whirlwind.  I’ve finally had some time to digest (and get 1,200 emails from vendors thanking me for stopping by) and wanted to share some of my lasting insights, products and favorite vendors from the show.

What I loved most was all the subtle earthy tones and textures represented.  I’m an Earth sign, and though ashamedly more of an “indoor girl,” I am most at peace when surrounded by nature and a palette of soothing natural tones, stones, textures, and the handmade. 

While a good manmade quartz countertop still holds more aesthetic appeal to me than say an overly grainy granite, I was really drawn to the natural stones and the improved quartz offerings that look like marble.  My countertop fave was this particular style from Cosentino Dekton ,“Laurent,” it’s a jaw dropper.  It isn’t on the market yet (hence the crappy iphone photo) but trust me it’s luscious.  I stopped by more than once to run my hand over the smooth suede finish.

 The entire Antolini exhibit made me want to rethink my entire kitchen….maybe I am more glam than Earthy!

Recognizing the All White Kitchen will never go out of style there is so much beauty to be had with color and texture especially those that hint at nature’s subtleties.  Like the soothing warmth and depth of cabinets in natural walnut, or a good hand-painted rich hue like this kitchen from St. Charles New York, with their proprietary built-in hinges.

Those handmade creations that are consistent, yet one-of-a-kind from Native Trails also stood out, and they too feel great to the touch- like this Native Stone Tub made of a sustainable blend of eco-friendly concrete that is both lightweight and super stain resistant.

And I never tire of the Native Trails signature hammered copper farmhouse sinks.

This faucet is very much on the industrial side but I just love it!  The California Faucets Steampunk Bay – Who can resist it’s durable lines?  It reminds me of the inner workings of a Swiss time piece.

The Krauss booth debuted a fun, color changing faucet that lets you know when it’s hot to the touch.  It was more impressive than it sounds, but so new they wouldn’t even let us snap a photo.  Bridge faucets with pull-downs were also everywhere and I am already a big fan!  We have one of these Elkays in our house and I love it!

Image result for krauss bridge faucet with pull down

 

If you know me well enough you’re probably aware that I’m not the tech savviest of gals.  I can barely work the remote and it’s not because I’m that old (!).  I just never much cared for it.  Just a low tech girl, living in a high tech world!  I particularly don’t like Alexa knowing my business (unless it’s my dearest friend, Alexa).   It’s bad enough that I can simply think of something and have an advertisement for it arrive in my inbox within seconds, so I personally don’t want to own a “Smart House.”  Nevertheless, I can totally appreciate that Jetson’s style homes are not only here, they’ve damn well perfected them!

“A Smart Home,” sets your perfect water temp & pressure & queues up your favorite smooth jazz before you step into the shower.  You can of course, pre-heat your home, and your oven without the touch of a button, and there are even new options like ranges with touchscreen apps that can have the most undesirable cooks serving up bites of heaven. I was very impressed with master chef functionality of the Fisher & Paykel 48” Dual Fuel Professional Range.  (I believe this range won the top appliance award of the week.)

I also love the built-in sous vide functionality of the new 48″ range from Signature Kitchen Suite.  The demo was oddly mesmerizing and the filet & chicken tastings were perfection.  Evidently guys really dig this sous-vide cooking thing!  My husband has already asked for one.

Also, GE has really stepped it up from their days of supplying the 55+ older communities with their new Monogram line.  This range is really a looker!  Again, please pardon the crappy iphone photos!

Also, GE’s Café Line is darling!  With its endless base and hardware tones (no more stainless steel only) it is totally on trend and works in a variety of kitchen styles.

Lastly, I loved the European premium Power Cooling line from Liebherr.  Maybe it was that their booth was mysteriously quiet, and I found myself hanging out there alone with ze Germans, in a moment of peace from the great masses, but in that time I discovered everything from integrated columns to wine cabinets and undercounter options for sleek, long-lasting, high performance power refrigeration.  Now that’s cool! 

Polished & Put Together? Every single day!

Need to spruce up some space in the house or just feel like you never really tied everything up in a nice bow?  Have you ever wanted to work with an interior designer but felt they were too expensive?  If you answered Yes! The Finishing Touches package is the perfect design service for you.  It’s a game changer and you needn’t have a huge budget for this service.

This is a quick, affordable way to give your home a fresh new look within a few hours, to a couple of weeks.  No more second guessing…Are these the right pillows?  Is this the correct size area rug?  Do these colors work together?  Is this artwork or chandelier hung at the correct height?  What on Earth should we put on these bookshelves, or this mantel?  We will take your existing furniture pieces, accessories, area rugs, lamps, decorative throw pillows art and décor and make magic happen through a bit of rearranging, editing and adding a few new home décor items to give your space a fresh and updated look. 

 Each new home décor item is hand selected by me to ensure that it fits your personal style and preference while working with existing pieces to create a unique curated look for you.  No more spending hours shopping and returning a bunch of stuff or simply giving up, and just living with something that you don’t love (or even really like).  I’ll  take care of everything….sorting, sourcing, shopping, installing!

This service is designed for clients that have all their major upholstery and case good pieces, but feel they are missing the “Wow” factor.  If your home feels void of personality or interest, or simply imparts a feeling of being blah! or incomplete I recommend this service!  It is also a great opportunity to get your feet wet working with an interior designer.

Interested In Having Pamela Day Designs create the perfect room for you?

It all starts with a phone call, text or email to me.  We will briefly chat about the areas that you’d like The Finishing Touches on, and we’ll also schedule the design consultation during this call. A design consultation is necessary so that we can assess the room(s), take necessary measurements and photos, discuss your style and color preferences, budget, and more. We will also schedule The Finishing Touches installation day so that you’re able to plan accordingly.  Typically, it takes several days, to a couple of weeks (depending upon room size and number of rooms) to hunt and gather all the items needed to create your custom curated plan. Once everything is curated for your room, it’s time for installation day!  Most one to two room projects are typically installed within 4-6 hours, depending upon size of room.

Let’s chat!

xo

Pamela

Tasteful Holiday Decor

Does taste really matter when it comes to holiday decor?  As far as I’m concerned anything that sets your heart a flutter should be splashed all over your home for that one over-indulgent month between Thanksgiving & New Years.  Whether that means your Grandmother’s early Victorian mercury ornaments, your circa-early 2000’s Pooh Bears, or your Home Goods haul from this morning.
With that in mind some of my favorite go-to’s for holiday decorating bring up Christmas memories of yore and the people and places gone by.  Handed down from generation to generation is most meaningful of course, but if you’re lucky you can also swoop up any of these authentic items at an estate sale or flea market.  For that matter, you might even peek around that canny Joanna Gaines section at Target for some decent reproductions….or just search the olde Google.  We really want for nothing these days!
Vintage sleigh (flea market score), old sleigh bells (estate sale score), and a cute little balsam fir from Balsam Hill
  • Sleigh bells– I love those J-i-n-g-l-e bells!  Draped from the door they’ll remind you that Santa Clause is coming to town with every opening.
  • Vintage Sleds, Ice Skates, & Snowshoes (the older the better)!!!
  • On the table – citrus fruits, greenery, some bronze pheasants, white candles everywhere, and there’s no time like the present for the fine China!

Peacock feathers are always a good idea but especially around the holidays, as seen inside the cozy Beverly Hills home of  designer Mary Macdonald. 

  • Garlands draped everywhere from the front door, to the stair case, and around the mantel (basically anywhere you can find a home for them).
  • My personal preference is warm white Christmas lights strung assiduously (not cool white, and not colorful).
  • Poinsettias (loads of them) and sprigs of fresh greens, red and white flowers throughout!
  • Remember not every house needs to look like a Land’s End ad, so throw in a giant lawn blow up for good measure…but only if it makes your heart happy!

This little tree looks just like the one my Grandmother use to have that I had my eye on for years before it was abruptly snagged by a wily New York cousin.  Happily, I found this near replica at Target last year.  
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
xo
Pamela