Accessories, Decor, Foyers

Chilewich | decor


I love Chilewich mats for so many different reasons.  They are well crafted, functional, sleek, timeless and versatile.

Chilewich makes what feels like a million products.  Pet mats, placemats, iPhone case covers, you name it…. but my favorites are their door mats for a busy family mud room or placemats for everyday use.


Photo via Chilewich

Bedrooms, Decor, Kids Rooms

sea side villa by Les Ensembliers | decor

chic beach retreat

chic beach retreat

chic beach retreat

chic beach retreat

chic beach retreat

chic beach retreat


Check out this amazing sea side retreat.  It seemed like the perfect way to kick off the weekend.

The home was designed by Les Ensembliers, a Quebec based Architecture + Design + Construction firm led by Maxime Vandal and Richard Quellette.

Their attention to detail and ability to maintain design flows is inspiring.

Have a perfect weekend!

Decor, Dining, Kitchens

project peek | decor

cecyj interior design, breakfast room, project peek

We recently completed a project in Sunny San Diego and I was lucky enough to have Sean Dagen shoot the house after we finished.  You’ve probably seen Sean’s work in Serena & Lily and Rue magazine.  Sean is an insanely talented photographer and besides being one of the coolest guys I know, he is also a total gentleman and a delight to work with.  Here is a shot of the breakfast room from the project.

Accessories, Art, Bedrooms

Victorian House Renovation | Decor

Kitchen Remodel, Brick, Victorian House Renovation, Decor

living room remodel, Brick, Victorian House Renovation, Decor

Kitchen Remodel, Brick, Victorian House Renovation, Decor

Kitchen Remodel, Brick, Victorian House Renovation, Decor

Kitchen Remodel, Brick, Victorian House Renovation, Decor

guest room, Benjamin Moore's Tudor Brown

Knox Martin Art

Check out this dreamy Victorian Southampton house, renovated to perfection and brought to us by Elle Decor.

I love the original brick fireplace they kept in the kitchen and the endless line of perfect light fixtures throughout the home.

The guest room walls were painted in Benjamin Moore Tudor Brown which is unexpected but works perfectly with the fresh white bedding, lighting, art and accents.

Thank you Elle Decor for letting us feature this beautiful home.

Celebrities, Decor, Dining

Ginnifer Goodwin’s L.A. Home | decor

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Los Angeles Home

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Los Angeles home Fireplace

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Breakfast Room

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Photo Wall

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Office

Ginnifer Goodwin’s Los Angeles Stairwell

It was fun to get an email from ELLE magazine yesterday with shots of Ginnifer Goodwin’s Los Angeles home, which is featured in their February issue.

Ginnifer’s home seems to have the same fairy-tale romantic vibe as the television series in which she stars, Once Upon A Time.

Head over to Elle to read the full interview and see additional photos of this dreamy house.

Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Decor

Cabin Style | Decor

Chic Log Cabin remodel cecyj chic

living room cecy j cabin chic remodel

Chic Log Cabin Master Bathroom Remodel cecyj

Cecyj Kitchen cabin chic remodel

Chic Cabin Family Room Remodel Cecyj

cecyj dining room cabin chic remodel

cecyj living room cabin chic comfort

Chic Log Cabin Remodel living room cecyj

cecyj bedroom kids cabin chic

CecyJ Outdoor Living cabin chic

Master Bathroom Remodel CecyJ cabin chic

Cecy J bathroom cabin chic

Cecy J Living Room Cabin Lighting Fireplace

Cecy J Chic Log Cabin Master Bedroom Remodel

CecyJ Playroom Pool Cabin Chic

Chic Log Cabin CecyJ Lighting

We got back yesterday from a fantastic family trip to Lake Tahoe.  Skiing, fresh air and loads of design inspiration got me thinking about the Cabin Style home.

There is definitely a fine line between classy and tacky cabin style, but MWA Architects, based out of Truckee, California, seems understand high quality building and design.  MWA calls itself a casual down to earth company… and as any good snow country firm, notes on their website that they “play hooky on powder days.”  From the looks of these amazing homes they have designed, I can’t image they play hooky often.  MWA creates truly spectacular Cabin Style Homes.



Decor, Dining, Foyers

beautiful in black | decor

stairwell decor paint cecyj

photo wall, decor, dining room cecy j  art

black cabinets, kitchen, pendant lighting cecyj

dining room cecy j, Lonny Magazine, lighting

living room, chic mirror, round coffee table cecyj

white chic bedroom, fireplace in bedroom, bedroom sconces cecyj

office, black paint, cowhide rug, Lonny Magazine cecyj bookcases

While enjoying the Lonny Magazine’s holiday issue last night, I was completely taken with the featured oceanside residence in the suburbs outside Copenhagen, Denmark.

Renovated by architect Mikael Mammen, the home is simple and modern with a beautiful focus on shades of black.

Check out Lonny’s holiday gift guide and more great decor tips,

Decor, Dining, Kitchens

SB Design House – Kitchen Designer Interview

Kitchen Remodel, Santa Barbara DESIGN HOUSE, KITCHEN DESIGNER

Do you remember the post about the Santa Barbara Design House family room + kitchen designed by none other than Mary McDonald?  Well, I had the pleasure of meeting the kitchen (and bath) designer who brought it all to life…

Charlie Rutledge business is to build great spaces and, I think you will agree, he is good at his craft.  Charlie is a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) and a Certified Bathroom Designer (CBD) and he graciously let me pepper him with questions about kitchen design.  He even provided us with the floor plan (below) of the Santa Barbara Design House kitchen!

Thank you Charlie, such a pleasure speaking with you.


Kitchen Remodel, Santa Barbara DESIGN HOUSE, KITCHEN DESIGNER

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator The floor plan (link to plan below) for the Santa Barbara Design House seems to invite casual entertaining and living.  Tell me how you approached this project?


Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator I always start with the big picture and function.  This property is made for entertaining and large parties, but it also needs to work well for daily life.  I wanted both the residents and the caterers to find it very easy to use!

Incorporating the client’s wish list is one of my top priorities as a designer.  So the first challenge was to get two full size sinks and all the appliances needed for large groups, (two dishwashers, a full refrigerator, full freezer, and seven others) and still create great function.  This was achieved by putting things where they make sense for cooking, clean up, and storage for those using it daily.  And not wasting an inch of space was also important. For example, the posts on each side of the range pull out with storage for spices and oils, and the columns on the sides of the refrigerator are working cabinets as well.

The next challenge was to make a grand visual statement worthy of a design house and yet, as you said, invite casual entertaining.  Visually I did this by creating balanced focal points, using formal details in the cabinetry and trim, but softening that formality with the “worn” finishes.  Functionally I did this with careful use of zones.  That is, by giving the cook and the guest both a place so they are together but not in each other’s way.   The prep and clean up zones are open to, but distinct from, the seating/serving side of the island.  Also, by having the refrigerator and the second sink at the “edges” of the kitchen, both parties can use them without crossing paths.  So when everyone has a comfortable place to be, it is naturally inviting and feels more casual.

Kitchen Remodel, Santa Barbara DESIGN HOUSE, KITCHEN DESIGNER

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator I love that you put the sink on the island.  Is this a new trend?  Tell me why it works.


Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator Including a second sink and putting one of them in the island has been popular ever since we got past the “triangle” to “zones”.  If the main sink is at a window, I usually include a medium size prep sink on the island.  It is especially important in a larger kitchen where the fridge is in a different zone than the clean up sink.  I do try to keep the cook top and ventilation off the island as it is not as friendly as the sink for seating, entertaining, and the projects for which the island can be so useful.

Kitchen Remodel, Mary McDonald CecyJ

Kitchen Remodel, Mary McDonald  CecyJ

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator 5 things every homeowner should ask themselves before starting a kitchen remodel?


1.  Why do I want to remodel?  Again this seems obvious, but if you list all the reasons, the end result could be so much better.  If the primary reason is to improve the look, you may not think about the other issues you could improve, like those dead corners.  Likewise your focus might be getting more storage, but when you consider everything you realize you don’t like the appliance locations.

2.  Do I need a professional to design or build my project?  Be realistic, you may have a sense that you know exactly what your kitchen needs, but having someone who has designed and built a couple hundred kitchens help you might save you from your own ideas!

3.  What do I like about my current kitchen?  You don’t want to get all done and realize you miss the junk drawer!

4.  What does not work for you in the current kitchen?  Seems obvious, but really think it through.  You may be frustrated every time you load the dishwasher, but why?

5.  When costs become a deciding factor, what are my priorities?  You may be able to gut the room and move walls to achieve your dream kitchen, but if your budget only allows for a partial remodel, make sure it is the right part.  A good professional will help you evaluate options and get the most out of every penny.


Kitchen Remodel, Mary McDonald

cecy j #1 mistake homeowners make when starting a kitchen remodel?


Getting the process out of order, therefore going in circles.  Cost will eventually play a role in the scope of the project and your material choices.  If you establish the scope and estimated cost at the beginning, you will be able to make each choice knowing how it fits.  Even if you choose to blow the budget, you know by how much!


cecy jWhat paint process do you recommend for cabinets to prevent chipping?


If you are using new cabinets, there is nothing better than the pigmented conversion varnish that can only be applied in the factory.  If you are painting existing cabinets, you need to spend the time or money to do significant prep before the color coat.  The needed prep will depend on the overall condition of the existing finish, type of wood, and what you want the final look to be.  Any time you paint over another finish it will be more prone to chipping than a quality process on new wood.


cecy jSo…. are prefab kitchen cabinets for a budget remodel ever an option?


Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator Sure, but it is good not to assume anything.  An experienced kitchen designer can help you get the most out of your budget by evaluating various types of cabinets.  Also, the cabinets that are often considered “prefab” are built to order and often higher quality than local shop “custom” cabinets.  I built custom cabinets 25 years ago, but turned to designing with national brand cabinets because I could offer more for the money, often just as custom as the local shop.

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator

Kitchen Remodel, Million Dollar Decorator What are some tips for optimizing space in a small kitchen?


1. If you have corners evaluate design options carefully and don’t waste that space.

2. Don’t be tempted to oversize your appliances.  A counter depth fridge may not have quite as many cubic feet, but one that juts out 10 or more inches has ruined many a small kitchen.

3. Using a “frameless” cabinet gives you more space in the drawers, roll-out shelves, and other moving parts.

4. Favor design options that give you more counter space, even if it means less total storage.  You can optimize the smaller storage, but being short on elbowroom is just a bummer!

-Contact Charlie Rutledge’s at Showcase Kitchens and Baths-

Decor, Kitchens, Living Spaces

Mary McDonald – SB Design House | Decor

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

Bravo TV, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

I plopped into bed last night thrilled to dig into my new issue of Traditional Home Magazine.  The magazine has gone in such a fresh and chic direction.

I was blown away by the article on the Santa Barbara Design House.  The family room + kitchen were designed by none other than Bravo TV’s very own Million Dollar Decorator, Mary McDonald.

I’m really drawn to dark blue these days so the kitchen island caught my eye.  Her use of accessories and the blue leather occasional chairs have a way of making the space feel informal and a bit rustic, just like Santa Barbara itself.

A huge thank you to Traditional Home for sending over the photographs brilliantly taken by Dominique Vorillon.  Visit his website here:

Traditional Home, Mary McDonald, Santa Barbara, Interior Design

[For more information on the Santa Barbara Design House tour, taking place September13 through October 7, visit the Santa Barbara Junior League]

Accessories, Bedrooms, Decor

A Cavalier Story | decor

cavalier goods, jay jeffers design group

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

If someone were to ask me my first impression of Jay Jeffers, I would say… classy, humble, kind and fantastically talented.

I’m not the only one who sings Jay’s praises.  Elle Decor named him a top 25 “A list” designer they love.  Jay’s work has been published in everything from House Beautiful and California Home & Design to InStyle Magazine.  Not afraid of color but aware of how to layer textures to create comfortable but ultimately classic spaces, I find his work to be a complete inspiration.

I met Jay when I popped into Cavalier shortly after its 2012 spring debut.  Cavalier is the breathtaking home décor store brought to life by the Jay Jeffers Group and creative director Michael Purdy.  It combines their expertise into a curated interior design destination for everything unique and coveted for the modern and fresh home.

A few snaps from my first peek at Cavalier…

Jay Jeffers design, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods


jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

Jay was kind enough to answer a few of my pressing questions.  I hope you enjoy his inspiring answers and insight as much as I did.

jay jeffers design group, cavalier goods

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6  
-Secret to success?
Be nice to everyone.
-Product from Cavalier that you’re obsessed with?
Cashmere pillows from Italy.  They are insane.
-Advice to interior designers starting their career?
Get to know other designers.  They will share in your success and you can cry on their shoulders.
-Paint color you’re currently loving?
 Sea Salt by Benjamin Moore Color Stories.  It’s like a little black dress.  It goes with anything.
-Wall paper you’re currently loving?
Phillip Jeffries linen.  Sumptuous and simple.
If we’re on a tight budget for a living room makeover… 1 item to splurge on?
A really great piece of art.  It will even dress up Ikea.  But please don’t furnish your living room from Ikea. 
-The perfect Bay Area weekend getaway spot?
My house in St. Helena – though right now it is under renovation until September.
-Cocktail The Jay Jeffers Group is sipping this summer?
The negroni is my cocktail of the year.  I love the bitter edge to it.  But be warned – they sneak up on you.
-“Go to” playlist or Pandora Station on constant rotation at Cavalier?
Donna Summer pandora station is ridonculous!  Today we’re playing old school Madonna – Bedtime Stories and Ray of Light.  So damn good.
-Heading to Baker and Banker for a celebration dinner in SF?
-Heading to The Rotunda for a power lunch in SF? 

Many thanks to Jay, Michael, Alisa, Jenna and all the members of flawless Jeffers Group Design Team.  A privilege to make your acquaintance.