Sneak Peek at My House: The Hall Bath

This morning, I needed a sweatshirt to defend against the air conditioning. For a slight blessed moment, it felt like fall. Add in last night’s happy news from our contractor that our project just might start soon, and I’m ready to lose this summertime sadness. (Don’t you love that Lana Del Rey song?)

So, in celebration of all things changing and new, here’s a sneak peek at my design for the hall bathroom at Camp Sterling — soon to be “Camp” no more. (There aren’t enough emojis in the world for that joy.)


It is easier to design for someone else – as any designer can tell you. We are our own worst clients. When it’s your own home, you think of alllllllll the things you love, and alllllll the beautiful tiles and wallpapers and faucets and mirrors that exist in the world, and you stay up at night building 18,000 design boards in your mind, which you want to talk through with anyone who will listen.  I’ve designed literally 8 different hall bathrooms this summer, likely driving my assistant/mother/husband/friends  insane, but this has emerged as my long-running favorite.

(And yes, I used a similar mirror for my client Casey Kadavy’s powder bath makeover earlier this summer, knowing I also planned it for mine, but that’s OK because I LOVE her.)

So let’s break it down – a little bathroom design 101:

MIRROR: In a small bathroom, it’s best to choose one item to make a big statement — a fun cement floor, or subway tile everywhere, or even a vintage rug. In this bathroom, it’s that killer bone inlay mirror or a version therof. Wisteria offers a pretty one.


VANITY: I wanted a gray-stained wood to bring in warmth, and furniture-style vanities add so much style.  This Restoration Hardware piece is simple enough to hang out with that mirror and adds a classic element to tie in with the rest of my classically-designed house. It’s also sized exactly right. (Hmmm, I wonder who planned that . . . . ) I’ll buy it without the countertop so that I can add a little more detail to my marble backsplash. I like notched corners and all that jazz, like so:


FLOOR: Because the bone inlay is a natural material and carries with it that beautiful patina, I wanted a natural stone for the floor. But I also wanted the floor to be black. Slate has just the right amount of rusticity, and a herringbone pattern will add subtle interest. The grout will be black. Because black grout does not show anything, and is therefore the most glorious grout ever to exist in a bathroom to be used by actual people. I’m using Montauk Slate from Arizona Tile.

TUB: Clawfoot with a suspended shower surround – because it’s beautiful, and nods to the era of our home. Not the easiest for taking showers, but this is a bathroom for the children we don’t yet have, and the guests who will likely visit twice a year. I’ll probably do a black-skirted tub. Still hunting for the exact piece.

WALLS: I can’t do just paint on drywall in here, because I have issues, so I’m considering shiplap boards, wainscoting, or an understated grasscloth wallpaper just to add some texture. Stay tuned. Wainscoting paired with a very subtle grasscloth  has the leading edge. These aren’t quite the right colors, but you’ll see the idea:


FAUCET: Bridge style, because I love them to distraction. My choice is from Signature Hardware – from whom I’ve been ordering all summer to excellent result. The interior fittings are all brass.  (This matters: when you buy faucets from a discounter or a big box store, the interiors are often plastic, and eventual leaks are likely). Signature Hardware’s pricing is also more affordable than some similarly styled lines — and the faucet is available in the polished nickel finish I love. It’s just a little warmer than chrome.


LIGHTING: I’ll have can lights to do the heavy lifting, so the vanity sconces can be cute. I’m still searching for the perfect understated piece (the hardware needs a little more curvature), but this cute Schoolhouse Electric sconce might do the trick if I can’t find it.

ACCESSORIES: The Anthropologie hook I love, paired with my beloved Turkish Towels, of course.

Isn’t it exciting to have a vision come together? And wait ’til you see the before picture. Picture yellow linoleum floors paired with the original pink and gray tub tile. I’m showering in a washed-up Easter egg, people. Well, I would be showering in here — if the shower actually WORKED!

November 1, people. November 1.

By |2015-08-25T08:07:17-07:00August 25th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|0 Comments

Jaimee vs. The Dandelions

I wake early on these spring mornings, slip on black sandals, and creep outside in my pajamas.

From the safety of the front porch, I survey the enemy’s nighttime progress. I check the stronghold by Palm Tree # 1, and then Palm Tree # 2.

I cast a frown at the house across the street, where the enemy has clearly won the battle with a full-scale invasion, a veritable forest of flags flying high.

Such carnage will not happen on my watch, I declare, and then I charge out onto the grass with gloves and a sack, swiping up any new enemies and stuffing them into a sack.

I am a conqueror. I am in an episode of Game of Thrones. I am at war.

These damn dandelions.

They have me in battle three times a day. I sweep the lawn at 6 a.m., and by noon, three new flowers have sprouted from nowhere, grown 6″ and opened.

I carefully pluck them, trying desperately not to spread the seeds. If I swipe a dandelion bud that’s just about to open, I’m even more excited. I’ve stopped the enemy before it’s hatched.

After, I come inside and show my husband the casualties. I suspect that he thinks I’m insane.

I’ve always had a weed-pulling compulsion, but it’s simple Psych 101. My life is overwhelming, almost all of the time. There are looming deadlines, paperwork, subcontractors and staffers to manage, late shipments stuck in snow, and many things I cannot control.

I can control the weeds.

As any girl in battle would do, I call upon my father for help. When he was young, he owned a landscape company and always has the prettiest yard on the street.

“Dad,” I say, “What can I do about the dandelions? They’re killing me.”

“You need a healthy lawn,” he tells me. “It will choke them out.”

He is right, but this is not really helpful. At Camp Sterling, the “lawn” is some kind of strange antique scrub grass. It is not healthy. And get this: the sprinkler system is powered by a cord that goes through a drilled hole in the front wall of the house and plugs into the only outlet in my office.

Ohhhhhh, Bunny.

We aren’t replacing the sprinklers or the lawn until the renovation is completed, so I research and learn that you can kill dandelions with boiling water, with lawn-safe chemical sprays, and with vinegar.

Oooh, I think, maybe that will keep the dogs away too. (Oh, and a PS: Our lawn recently received a truly revolting non-liquid deposit from a dog. I figured it was karma for this. The dog’s owner left it, by the way.)

I consider my dandelion weapons and decide against them.

I want to continue my highly satisfying war.

This morning there were only 2 yellow flowers. Zero white puffs.

This is my first such victory.

Score 1 for Jaimee the Conqueror.

By |2015-04-13T02:59:24-07:00March 18th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|1 Comment

That new gold laptop is messing with my faucets and my mind

On Monday, Apple announced a new MacBook Air – in gold, glorious gold, and the heavens opened, gilded angels came down from the sky, women across the United States suddenly became a lot more interested in buying new computers, and I went a little insane.

My thought process: Oh, I want that. I’ve been thinking about getting a new computer. My assistant  needs to use my old laptop all the time anyway. And then my computer will match my new iPhone. And my office ceiling light. And the brass knobs on my office cabinets.

Maybe I should do gold plumbing fixtures in the new house. Or maybe in just the powder room. But gold looks so beautiful with the marble I love. Maybe I should have a marble desk in my office to show off my new computer.

I wonder how fast I can get the gold laptop? Oh, shipping begins April 10. It costs $1,299.

I cannot buy a new computer because I have to buy marble and plumbing fixtures.

But should they be gold? I love the gold faucets in my clients’ homes. They make my heart do flip-flops.

I’ve had regular chrome faucets plated in gold, for heaven’s sake, and it changes everything. You take a simple but tasteful room, add gold, and then Oh baby, baby. You’re . . . golden.

Gosh, that was a bad pun.

But gosh, this is a pretty bathroom. And look at those gold cabinet pulls.

Say, if I had gold fixtures, I could maybe set a sink in my powder room into this Bungalow 5 cabinet, which I’ve used for clients and always loved.

Ooh – and maybe with my favorite Philip Jeffries Rivets wallpaper – which is grass cloth that looks like it’s been studded with nailheads.

I used that paper in a client’s office — black with gold rivets, and it’s glorious. Especially with her lighting fixture. Ooooh gold lighting fixtures.

Maybe a pair of these:

Or these:

Gosh, that’s a pretty bathroom.

But what I think I really want is polished nickel fixtures. And that new laptop – in gold.


By |2015-04-13T02:59:43-07:00March 10th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|1 Comment

Installpalooza 2015

This week has been madness leading up to two big installs that wrap today. Install is the best part of design. The moment install is finished is the best part of design.

Install means we start with an empty house, arrive with a semi-truck filled with furniture, accessories and a full install team, and end with every book and picture frame in place. All of the furniture the clients selected and ordered is arranged, their wallpaper is hung, rugs cover the floors, and every shelf and end table is styled with the things they love. There are lamps glowing, candles twinkling, and fresh flowers just waiting for the clients to walk in and have their Nate Berkus-Oprah-OMG-tears moment.

It means crazy exhausting long days (yesterday: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. culminating in my sweet sister meeting me for a late-night duvet-cover search and much moral support), about a thousand trips to West Elm-Bungalow-etcetera, and a lot of Kind bars as meals.

Confession: much to my team’s protestations, I love install — the running about, the yoga pants, and that last  “client is coming home in 30 minutes” dash. I’ve always been a girl who feeds on deadline.

Depending on the scope of a project, install happens in a single day or in 3-4 days.  Come follow along today on Instagram (@jaimeerosestyle) or Facebook for a few sneak peeks. I’ll show more of the finished spaces when they are photographed by someone not using an iPhone while totally hopped up on Coke Zero.

Above: the wallpaper in my client Marci’s master bedroom. It’s insanely beautiful gold map paper by Christian Lacroix for Designer’s Guild, and we got the last few rolls in existence. Also – that nightstand is a new favorite.

And don’t you love this rug and ottoman? Talk about texture! The rug is actually strips of metallic leather woven together.

Alright, I’m off to the flower market. Come follow along!

(And if you’re not on Instagram, you can see my feed online here.)

P.S. I’ve been posting all week – make sure you didn’t miss anything!

Monday: A secret source for budget tile

Tuesday: Book Report – Design-Obsessed Diane Keaton comes to AZ

Thursday: The best chocolaterie in Paris


By |2015-03-06T07:22:48-07:00March 6th, 2015|House Renovation|1 Comment

A Secret Source for Budget Tile

I heard a rumor the other day about a secret budget source offering some of the high-end and high-style tile that I specify for my clients’ homes.

Tile like this:

And this:

The super-hot cement encaustic tile, as well:

Penny tile, even (and note to yourself: a black penny tile floor with black grout looks INCREDIBLE in real life – I just did it in a client’s bathroom):

Also this Greek Key action:

Ready for me to give up the goods? I’m being such a tease . . .

It’s Overstock. Yes, I know. Such a fantastic surprise — and the prices are a huge savings, especially on things like the cement encaustic tile and the penny tile. I’m just starting work on a new Arcadia renovation (in addition to my own) and this Overstock discovery just might come into play. (Tip: order a sample first — even if it means buying one box of tile just to check the color.)

Some of my favorites:

Black and white hex tile in a flower pattern:

Black granite hex tile:

Greek Key:





Pennies here:

Cement tile (available in many  patterns and colors):

Even oh-so-trendy chevron-patterned marble:

Which is your favorite? Happy Monday!

By |2015-03-02T07:01:59-07:00March 2nd, 2015|House Renovation|2 Comments

There is no way to say this nicely

With our house, we inherited two 30-foot palm trees that stand sentry on the edge of our front lawn. They look like medieval guards at the gate. I love them.

We’ve never owned such trees before. We’ve also never lived in a traditional neighborhood before — with joggers, moms with strollers, and couples on bikes.  Also, there is dog walking.

And so I have discovered that if you have large trees on the edge of your lawn, the dogs will stop, with the owners standing by, and “water” them.


I know I’m strange, but it really grosses me out, OK?

Just this week, I’ve noticed three bathroom sessions. I stood inside and watched with horror, wanting to howl “nooooo!” through the open windows.

Except I’m the new girl in the ‘hood, and I can’t be THAT new girl.

So I went and washed my hands instead. I have pulled weeds from those trees, people.

Technically, I believe it exhibits poor manners to let one’s dog to do its thing on someone’s front yard, but if I post a “no dogs” sign on the trees, I might as well also hang a sign on the front door that says “brat.”

In America, it is not OK to dislike dogs.

I know this because I’m not a dog person, and when that tidbit comes out, people are shocked. People judge. People think, “This girl, she needs to be watched. She’s dangerous. She’s unnatural. She’s not like us. We probably shouldn’t hire her. We probably shouldn’t be friends with her. We definitely shouldn’t date her.”

OK, so sometimes I’m a little overdramatic.

But I promise you that upon the above confession, I will now receive surprised and sad emails from my dog-owning clients, all of which will go something like this: “Really?! You’re not a dog person?! But you like my dog, right?”

George is the only one that knows. When I come over, ring the doorbell, and his dog goes insane, he yells, “Shut up, Sparkles, she doesn’t like you.”

God bless George.

So this is a conundrum.

Is there something wrong with me? I mean, not the dog person thing – clearly everyone agrees that such feelings are freakish.

But being so heebie-jeebied out by the dogs doing their thing on my front lawn — is that weird? Is anyone with me?

And what should I do? Put up a sign anyway and pass out cookies to all the neighbors once a week so that I will have friends? Try one of those repellant sprays? Stop looking out the windows? Consider a fence?

And really, I don’t necessarily want an answer, because I likely won’t do anything at all. I’d rather be a nice neighbor. I’d rather have better manners. I’d rather look away.

Like Kathleen Kelly, I just wanted to send these thoughts out into the void.

So happy Monday morning, dear void.

By |2015-04-13T03:02:41-07:00February 23rd, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|5 Comments

A little something new

As of last night, we have a working oven.

To reward my hard-working husband, who brought this glorious moment to fruition, I am going to crack open a new cookbook.  I bought it because the Barefoot Contessa said that it was her favorite new cookbook. In the kitchen, I do what she says.  Success inevitably follows.

Huckleberry Cafe is a beloved Los Angeles hotspot, and the new Huckleberry cookbook from owner Zoe Nathan gives up the goods. It’s all fruit-filled crumbles and egg-topped melanges and brioches rolled around oozing blueberries.

Every page looks utterly diabolical. I cannot wait.

I also now require a trip to the Santa Monica bakery itself — a favorite of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner, to boot.

I believe I am going to start with the Blueberry Cornmeal Cake, reputed to be one of Huckleberry Cafe’s best-sellers. Look at this thing.

Recipe here.

And then next week we can discuss the diet and exercise program I will begin, because this stress-eating comfort-food business is going to make for an unhappy summer.

But first, cake.


By |2015-02-19T07:03:58-07:00February 19th, 2015|Recipes|0 Comments

The Bad-On

It has been a wretched 24 hours at Camp Sterling. My charmed “Oh Bunny” sighs have turned to “OH, BUNNY” squalls, and really, Bunny, I would like a word.

In the ’80s, Bunny decided to enclose his patio, turning it into what our Realtor named the “Bad-On,” because it is an add-on, and it is all kinds of wrong. The ceiling slopes so low that my 6’3″ husband skims his head. There is no A/C. The walls are, of course, faux wood paneling. The window goes into the hall bath shower (?!@$%?!).

The Bad-On is coming off.

But in the meantime, Bunny didn’t get a building permit – or build the Bad-On to code,  and that is causing some serious headache and heartache this week at Camp Sterling.

Xanax, anyone?

Last night, in an effort to calm our sad hearts, I thought I’d make dinner. It has been weeks of take-out, and the thought of another paper sack made my stomach turn.

Our stove is still not functioning — and neither is the washing machine — but I was determined.

When I was little and in love with all things Little House on the Prairie, my brother and I liked to play “pioneers.” We’d turn off the lights, get flashlights, and make tents out of sheets. My mom would bring us sandwiches. It was heaven.

Playing pioneers as an adult is, um, different.

I noticed yesterday that our barbecue grill has a burner we have never used, and  thought, “Oh, yes. Laura Ingalls wanted me to notice that.” So I drove to the store, grabbed the groceries, came home, and went to work preparing tacos — the 10-minute classic kind my mom used to make, because yesterday, I really wanted my mom.

I heard my husband in the back of the house, chipping out the last of the carpet tack strips. While dinner cooked, I stood in the spot in our backyard where there is a small view of Camelback Mountain.

The sun was setting, and the mountain was pink. I felt like I’d won the day, just a little.

I came inside and set the table with real dishes, for the first time.

There were even flowers in the center.

On our dining room wall, I’ve hung this framed quote from a Roald Dahl book, and last night, before dinner,  it felt so very apropos.

I called my husband to the table, and he walked into the kitchen.

“I ate dinner before you got home, Jaimee,” he said,  still very, very angry at Bunny, this house, and all parties involved.

So I spent dinner in the company of my phone, looking up prices of fantasy airplane tickets for this weekend.

Later that night, in bed, I paged through my old paperback copy of “Under the Tuscan Sun,” in which author Frances Mayes survives a house renovation in Italy.

These days, I find it very encouraging.

She had scorpions – and we don’t (yet), so at least there’s that.

On Frances Mayes’ worst day, she took a shower, put on a white linen dress and went to town for a shopping spree.

I think I should do that in San Diego.

By |2015-04-13T03:03:09-07:00February 18th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|3 Comments

The Living Room vs. Great Room Debate

I’m working on our new floor plan.

My mother is convinced that we need a living room separate from the open kitchen/family room area.

Our realtor, Rob Kukla, also remodels Arcadia houses and is convinced that we don’t.


(Design by Myra Hoefer – one of my most favorite living rooms ever)

I’m leaning toward siding with my mother, as all good daughters should. She says that when and if we have children (and that’s still just a dream, friends), I will want a room that’s pretty and presentable at all times.

Toys, she says, will invade our lives. Bouncers. Swings. All manner of red plastic gadgets that will surely drive me to the brink of sanity. (Who wants to let me design pretty baby gear? Who wants to tell me which baby gear is actually necessary?) When I was a kid, we had to keep our small collections of toys in our rooms and there was no such thing as a twilight turtle or a wipe warmer.

My client, Tiffany, who has one of the most beautiful homes ever (and yes, I will show you, but it’s on deck for showcase in a magazine), says that her formal living room has turned out to be an excellent place to sit and talk on the phone  without being interrupted by her children.

“They never think of looking for me there,” she said, giggling.

And that all sounds pretty genius to me.

(Design by Rafterhouse – an Arcadia remodeling company)

However, if I let go of my living room dreams, we won’t have to add on quite as much square footage — thus preserving the budget for other things. Like a back wall built entirely of windows — which we are having either way. Or his-and-her offices. Or a wrapping paper station in the laundry room.

I have always wanted a wrapping paper station.

Design by Urban Grace Interiors

So, let’s hear your vote:

Are you on Team Mom or Team Realtor?

Do I need a separate formal living room or will one great room suffice?

By |2015-04-13T03:03:27-07:00February 17th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|6 Comments

Part Two: Betty and Bunny

Sometimes, to cheer myself up, I think about Betty and Bunny.

This was their house.

They bought it in 1961, raised a happy family here, and Betty even rode her bike around the neighborhood until she passed away last year. She was almost 90. Her husband, Harold, a teacher, died in 2003. He went by Bunny — a fact that made me love him immediately. They were married for 53 years. He called her his bride.

We bought the house from their son, a contractor.

“I know I should tear this down and build something great and sell it for a fortune,” he told me. We were standing in the street, looking at the front yard.

“But I can’t tear down my memories,” he said.

I looked up a photo of Betty the other day. She reminded me so much of my Granna — such grace and kindness in her eyes. I told my Mom about Betty and Bunny, and she cried.

From Betty, I inherited this tiny glass hobnail vase. I found it in her medicine cabinet filled with Q-tips, and I am holding it as a treasure and a talisman.

In this house, a family was happy. In this house, a husband and wife were married for 53 years.

In this house, there was always love.

I want that, too.

I want to build upon their memories.

The other night, after my tired husband helped me pull out the carpet in the bedroom (Betty’s son’s idea), and mop the floors, he held me close and talked about his dreams for the house.

“I’m excited,” he said. “We can have a backyard with orange trees and grass and a hammock. We can ride our bikes. We can go on walks.”

Yes, I said, and I thought about Betty and Bunny.

By |2015-04-13T03:03:54-07:00February 13th, 2015|Jaimee's Home Renovation|3 Comments


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