A whirlwind design tour of Oxfordshire

Unimaginable fun! We were welcomed into India Hicks warm and stunning home, America Farm, where I learned some new design tips- like it’s perfectly appropriate to place a photo of your Godfather in your Bahamian loo (only if it’s Prince Charles).  I gushed mouth agape over the preserved Royal bridesmaids dresses (India was Princess Diana’s, her Mum was Queen Elizabeth’s) and marveled over the original Federal style eagle base console table and the Louis XVI swan chairs, the perfectly placed tablescapes (David Hicks would be proud!), and the antique paintings of Mountbatten relatives.


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We later enjoyed afternoon tea in a whimsical tent outside India’s gracious Mum, Lady Pamela Hicks home.  She regaled us with stories of her time spent with Ghandi and Cornelius Vanderbilt (among other witty gems!).  We toured the inside of David Hicks red library and Lady P’s robin’s egg Wedgewood room.

A wonderful tour of The Grove gardens by Ashley Hicks followed, who told many captivating stories about his famed designer father, David. We ended the night at Lord Nelson Pub, across from the cemetery where David is buried. It was an overwhelming day of design and history.

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School’s out!

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I thought it’d be easy- pillow fluffing, paint selection, placing furnishings so they look right- what could possibly go wrong?  A lot!!  It’s not fricking easy.  It involves much more than I ever, EVER imagined.

I endeavored on my second act as an interior designer just 5-1/2 short years, 1 husband and two kids ago (that certainly didn’t ease things).  I thought, “Well, I’m coming out of a career that people don’t understand even after I explain to them what I do (like Chandler from “Friends,”) and going into interior design, school is going to be SO fun!”  Not so.  It was grueling!  I can honestly state it was far more intense than completing my Bachelor of Science in Business, and my Master of Science in Business (completed while working full-time in aforementioned intense job).

Here are some photos of the fruits of my labor.  Boards, that you may glance at for 3 seconds that took 30 hours or more to complete.

They did teach us everything though, and that was the idea now, wasn’t it?

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ID5 ID 4 board

We bought the worst house on the best block

We were not looking to immediately buy a home in North County.  The idea was to rent a property for 1-2 years whilst getting our bearings in suburbia (which we now refer to as just “coastal”).  That all changed when we found the most absolutely, perfect neighborhood for us and our family; I’m talking Norman Rockwell/Pinterest board people that love wine.  I mean, not to completely brag, but our neighbors are ridiculously cool, our kids are all about the same age and pretty much everyone is totally adorable.  My Mother says I get too excited about things and tend to set expectations too high, but we’re 2 years into the best street in ‘merica and so far, so good!  Alas, I did mention we bought the worst house on the block.  It’s a good home with good bones but desperate for a remodel.  We have a whopping one kitchen drawer, nasty bolted on fiberboard cabinets, and horrific laminate flooring that sounds like kittens walking on a chalkboard.  Finally, we are ready to begin remedying our 1970’s starter home.  I’ve drafted all the plans and elevations and have my finishes and appliances ready to order.  We’re ready to rip the roof off this Mutha’!  Prayers for tight deadlines, avoiding unforeseen expensive major things, and most importantly for avoiding a marriage counselor.  Stay tuned!

kids

The gang!
Halloween on the Court

 

Antiquing in Southern California

Perusing the Paris Flea Market at Porte de Clignancourt or even taking a long weekend antiquing in San Francisco may not always be feasible options for feeding your passion for antiques.  While online resources like 1stdibs offer convenience, and many of the same dealers, the downside is you will always pay a premium for the ease of seeking out specific pieces online.  (Curators and Antique Store owners will admit they are slinging the exact same wares online for an escalated price.)  With that in mind, I have highlighted a few good stops throughout Southern California that would make for a lovely day trip.  READ MORE

In with the Old

Growing up on Long Island in a small village steeped in history, with looming Victorians & grand estates tucked so far back through the trees you couldn’t see them, I gained early exposure to the beauty of architecture, art, antiques and collections. However, it was my travels throughout Paris, Vienna, and Florence, that really crystallized my passion.
1905 Gatehouse

 

While 17th & 18th C antiques really excite me, I also appreciate traditional 19th C furniture and happen to also love 20th C Mid-Century Modern and Scandinavian too. Naturally, the older and the more precious, the harder to find, but high quality pieces do not necessarily need to be the most expensive. It’s good to look at every level, not just the fanciest dealers and galleries. It may not always be prudent to drop a down payment on a Federal Style Demi-Lune Table, so it’s sometimes best just to impart the look, but I believe items collected over time speak more to our roots. Antiques tend to move with you wherever you go. They get passed down from generation to generation, as opposed to donated on moving day.READ MORE

Pamela Day Designs - Interior Designer - Kitchen & Bath

A House is Never Finished

I change my own house almost every day. Nothing major obviously, but minor edits. My husband calls it tinkering. Every day he comes home from work and something has been moved around on the shelves, an item has been brought out of storage, disappeared, or simply manifested out of thin air; worse is when there’s something for him to hang or move. I am forever adding and subtracting, always editing. Major pieces like appliances, furniture and fabric remain fairly constant of course, but I’m always on the hunt for something better.
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