Saturday, November 29, 2008

HGTV"s Karen McAloon Shares Her Top 10 Tips To Style

Designer Karen McAloon, host of the HGTV show Find Your Style, helps homeowners on their design style to create their ideal room. This month in the Vision magazine for window fashions, she shares her best tips for identifying a client's style-key conversations to have with clients about their space,purchases and lifestyle.

"Do you have multiple items of the same color,shape or style around the house? This is one big 'tell' I look for as I look through clients homes. For instance, a Kilim rug in the front hall,a Kilim rug in the bedroom, anohter in the living room? That tells me the client likes Kilim rugs. It sound way too simple to be that easy, but most people stop seeing their style even when it's right in front of them".

"Do you work on a desk that is too small, but can't bear to replace it? Have a couch that is crazy uncomfortable, but it's still in your living room after all these years? That broken clock that's still up on the wall? Take a good, long look, because this is a dead giveaway to your personal style. There is something you love so much about this piece that you have chosen its form over function."

"Do you browse the same store all the time, even when you're not looking to buy? Does a good flea market make your heart pound with excitement? Where you look for your furnishings speaks volumes about you style. New used, found, handed down from family-where your furniture comes from represents your style!"

4) ART
"What you have chosen to hang on your walls says something about you. Art is purely personal, not tied to function or need and therefore is usually the best indication of your style. A vintage movie poster can mean you probably like classic lines in furniture, while an abstract lithograph likely means that modern design is your bag. A flea market oil painting of someone else relative? Eclectic is your style."

"A French country dish towel that caught your eye in the store, or an impulse buy of a Tiffany style lamp that you thought you'd never like, but do. The last thing you bought for your home is a great potential indicator of what your style is, especially if it is a design departure for you."

"Do you have terra-cottas, rusts and warm yellows all around your house? These are the sun-kissed colors of Mediterranean design,so you should look for rough-hewn wood tables, terra-cotta lamps and vases to polish up your style. Does all your furniture have lean, sharp lines, and you don't have a single thing on your mantel? Your style is thoroughly modern. Whether it's color, scale, shape or ear, the uniting element in your home is the best place to start when looking for your style."

"This is my secret weapon in finding a client's design style! Always stay in cozy country B&Bs? Like the modern city high-rise hotel? Or, do you go more for the traditionally furnished accommodations? Hotels have clear design styles, so use them to help you find your style."

"When there is one piece different from everything else in your room, take note! Chances are, this is one style you like, but are afraid to fully venture into."

"Where you chose to spend your vacations, and what you bring back with you are great style indicators. Always go to Mexico on your holidays and have a full set of cobalt-blue wine glasses? You like the hacienda look. Love your family vacations at the beach, and have jars of seashells in your bathroom? Coastal cottage is probably your style."

What's your most favorite room in the house? Look to your best design work and repeat it! There is nothing wrong with having all your rooms designed similarly. In fact, it can bring a calm and serene feel to your home.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving Party For Four

Hopefully, all of you that celebrate Thanksgiving enjoyed the holiday. Ours was small but perfect. This year, we decided to have Thanksgiving at home with 2 close friends who also made the decision to stay home instead of flying east to their families. The past 6 Thanksgivings have been spent traveling to extended family's to celebrate. It was really nice to stay home for a change.

Dan prepared the traditional feast of Turkey,mashed potatoes,sausage stuffing,cranberries and a vegetable medley.
I prepared the table using a cornucopia filled with a variety of gourds and miniature pumpkins. I set the table with porcelain dishes purchased from Ebay. The heavy glass stem wares were a gift from Dan's parents.

We sat down to eat at 4:30pm. We were finished by 6pm and convened to the family room for coffee with pumpkin and apple pie.

Shortly after, we took a stroll around the neighborhood park. The night was clear and perfect for an evening wandering. As we walked, we could see families in their homes along the park just sitting down for their Thanksgiving feast.

Our evening ended at 8pm as we bid our 2 dear friends good night. We unwind to traditional holiday music as I share my evening with you before retiring to bed.
A very Happy Thanksgiving and wishes for a splendid holiday season.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Colorful World Of Hank Taufaasau

(Night rider (26" x 34") Oil on canvas)

If you have an appreciation for beautiful art, particularly Polynesian art,then you'll certainly enjoy the masterpieces created by my close relative and extremely talented artist Mr. Hank Taufaasau.

(The Blue Nude(24" x 16") Oil on canvas)


Born in Hawaii, raised in Lanakila and Manoa Valley, Hank's interest in art was evident at an early age. "I grew up copying everything in the comics. Mostly, Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates and Blondie. I thank my mother for the foresight of enrolling me in the Honolulu Academy of Arts instructional programs when I was 11 years old."

(New Work Oil on canvas)

While an athletic standout, an ROTC Battalion Commander and Student Government officer at Honolulu's St. Louis High School, Taufaasau was usually the lone student of Brother Nicholas Waldech's lunchtime non-credit art classes. "He taught draftsmanship. I wanted to use paints and colors. He insisted that I learn to draw, admonishing me that 'color would come later!'. Brother Nick painted in the classical high Renaisance style. He used oils directly from the tube. It wasn't until much later that I had an inkling of the effects of mixing and muting of colors, though some would contend that my oils are hardly muted."

(Horse on fire (24" x 36") Oil on canvas)

Taufaasau is regarded primarily for his bold renderings of Polynesian people. His colors are vivid, bright and lively. "My ethnic background (Samoan, Chinese, English, Portuguese, Hawaiian and Tahitian) probably dictates my use of color and form. Growing up in Hawaii, even rainy days are screaming with color. A grey, overcast day in Manoa is rife with the colors of the everpresent Rainbow."

(Genesis Tu (36" x 24")Oil on canvas)

For more of Hank Taufaasau's collection, please visit his website at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas In November

Well, after visiting Oliveaux's blog I was inspired to begin my Christmas right away. I have been anxiously waiting for Christmas as this will be my 1 year old son's first real Christmas with us so I couldn't wait to decorate and watch the excitement in his face. Out of respect for Thanksgiving, we agreed that we would only decorate the Family and Library room for now.

Of course, we couldn't set up this early with a fresh tree so we purchased an inexpensive artificial white tree(macfrugals)for $49.00.

When baby Daniel saw the tree for the first time, his entire face lit up. His response was "oooooooohhhh". It was a beautiful site. He seemed so amazed seeing his reflection in the ornaments. Naturally, it prompted his next instinct which was to reach out to feel the ornaments. However, we have amazingly done a very good job(so far) of getting him to refrain from touching when told. So, instead, I removed the ornaments that he seemed most enamored with and allowed him to feel and observe the ornament from my hand.

Here is baby Daniel exploring the miniature artificial tree in the Library.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sacramento's Fabulous Forties 35TH Annual Holiday Home Tour

Every year since 1973, residents of the Fabulous Forties have opened their homes to the public for the Holiday Home Tour, a self-guided walking tour that benefits Sacred Heart Parish School in East Sacramento. Thousands of visitors from throughout Northern California and Nevada and beyond come to see special homes and their architecture that create an extraordinary neighborhood.


The Fabulous Forties East Sacramento is home to a neighborhood that is affectionately referred to as the "Fabulous Forties." An area bound by J Street and Folsom Boulevard from 38th to 47th Streets, this historic neighborhood boasts wide avenues, sweeping green lawns and large, prewar (pre-WWI and pre-WWII) homes that have housed many of the city’s most prominent residents.

The neighborhood features grand old houses that were custom built in the early decades of the 20th century, when architects were looking to Europe for design inspiration. As a result, the Fabulous Forties is renowned for its eclectic "Revival" style architecture. Here you find a variety of dwellings: English cottages, Tudor-style homes, Dutch farmhouses, Mediterranean villas, and Craftsman bungalows. No two houses are the same.

(The previous home of the late former California Governor Ronald & Nancy Reagan located in the Fabulous Forties neighborhood)

This year's home will be decorated in the holiday spirit by the following design/decorating firms:

La Maison Marche
Ricki Stevens
5379 H Street
Sacramento , CA 95816

Tim and Linda Arborgast
Jett Modern

Arborgast Design Group

The French Hen
3200 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento , CA 95816
Nicole Turner
Dianne Balentine

Freddric Bradford
David and Fernando
1801 L Street, Suite 70
Sacramento , CA 95814

haus by David Randall
Jonathan Marquardt, Principal
2512 J Street
Sacramento , CA 95816

Wes Green
3250 J Street
Sacramento , CA 95816

Curtis Popp
1915 17th Street
Sacramento , CA 95811


Spanish Eclectic

Georgian Colonial

European Revival

Craftsman Bungalow

Comfortable Contemporary

Dates & Times:
Friday, December 5th: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 6th: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 7th: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets $20 until December 4th, and $30 beginning December 5th, 2008.

Tickets are available now at the following retailers and at the Sacred Heart School office:

Calico Corners
1741 Howe Avenue
525 Sunrise Blvd.

Collected Works
4524 Freeport Blvd.

La Maison Marche
5379 H Street

The French Hen
3200 Folsom Blvd.

Hoshall's Salon & Spa
6608 Folsom-Auburn Blvd. #4

Ivy House
5601 H Street

Pottery World
4419 Granite Dr, Rocklin, CA

William Glen and William Glen Christmas & More
Town & Country Plaza
Fulton & El Camino

Blush Boutique
2317 J Street,

Haus by David Randall
2512 J Street

Friday, November 7, 2008

Vacation Pictures Of Paris,France

Photos taken while vacationing in Paris,France. The first set of photos are of the Napoleon apartments and exhibits at the Louvre Museum.

More photos taken while strolling central Paris. The architecture is just beautiful.

Four Seasons George V Hotel near the Champs Elysees. Photos of our stay in the Raquel Welch suite.

Complimentary French champagne from the front desk for the 15 minute wait on our luggage being delivered to our room. Imagine if it been an hour...complimentary dinner for 2 at the Le Cinq perhaps? That would have definitely been worth the wait.

Jet lagged on the first day.

The Le Cinq Restaurant in the hotel is not only beautiful, but the food is spectacular! Dinner there was a royal experience.

Dan feeling like a pampered celebrity.

Breakfast in the hotel lounge

The trendy upscale restaurant bar La Suite located across from the Four Seasons hotel. We had dinner there one night during our stay. The decor is very modern completely draped with white canopied booths and over sized lounge chairs complimented with hot pink(yes,pink)lighting creating a young hip ambiance. Unfortunately, the food must not have been great because I cannot recall what I ordered.

The famous Marche Aux Peaux flea market which is located in a scary part of town but well worth the trip. It's about a 7 block walk from the Clignancourt metro stop. Amazing antiques. A great place for those that enjoy negotiating deals with savvy vendors that appreciate the art. I hope to locate my other more detailed photos of the market to post later.