Style find: Wood Cut Nautical Charts

I stumbled onto these beautiful wood cut nautical charts in Bae Home & Design, a San Francisco boutique on Sacramento Street. They are bathymetric charts composed of  layered Balsa wood that reveals deepening water. To me, they felt like the physical iteration of an Anthony Doerr novel. All the popular playgrounds are on the list: Nantucket, Tahoe, the San Francisco Bay, the Bahamas, Santa Barbara, the San Juan Islands. They’re $128 to $298, and I’m dreaming of some meaningful Christmas gifts indeed. Find them here.



San Francisco

Lake George in the Adirondacks

By |2012-11-20T06:32:23-07:00November 20th, 2012|Style|0 Comments

Decor Quick Change: Turn Your Coffee Table into an Ottoman

“My house feels so, I don’t know, flat,” my clients will tell me as we walk through their rooms for the first time. I nod, take snapshots, listen. We drift from room to room. In the end, five out of six times, my diagnosis is the same: “Sugar pie, we can fix this. Easy. Everything in your house is brown.”

Five of my last six decorating clients have suffered from the same affliction. They like neutrals. In furniture stores, neutrals are brown. “You need to add white,” I say. “But I have kids,” they say. “And that’s why God invented vinyl that looks like leather,” I say. A couple hundred dollars later, everyone is happy. Look:

My client Michelle wanted a quick change, an easy lightening up, without a big $$ investment. And so we turned her brown coffee table into a tufted white leather ottoman. Before, the house in deep Tuscan mode:

After, all freshened up.

My other decorating edict, besides adding a touch of white to break up all the brown, is this: did your sofa come with matching pillows?

Remove them from your house as fast as you can. That’s a lost opportunity to add something more personal with contrast and personality — and an easy fix, too. Just cover your old pillows with pretty new fabric.

For Michelle’s coffee table, my upholsterer used a textured white vinyl that looks exactly like leather. It’s scrubbable, bleachable, very inexpensive, and Michelle and her family can put their feet up without worrying about the white. Antique brass nailheads gave it extra custom panache. All of this cost a few hundred dollars.

Isn’t that a great trick?

By |2012-10-09T06:08:13-07:00October 9th, 2012|Style|5 Comments

Try it: I painted my living room wall black

When I was an intern at the L.A. Times a dozen years ago, I had an all-white bedroom. I liked to lie on my white bed, beneath white mosquito netting, and consider the fragrance of the white Casablanca lilies I kept ever-present on the nightstand. Often, I played Pavarotti. This all-white room (in my friend Kim’s sweet beach house) felt like all I’d ever need in the world. (I was 22, OK?)

When T and I moved into our new house, the walls were white and I wanted almost everything else to be, too. The result was pretty, but all the furniture was fading together. I needed drama and contrast. And so last weekend, I had black paint on the counter and an encouraging friend on my sofa.  On a wild, gleeful spree, I painted one of the walls black.


I love it. My friend loved it. Her event-planner husband pronounced it fantastic. My mom and sisters – ultimate test – all approved.

Tyson is not sure.

I explained to him why it works: the room is large, the ceilings are high, and half of the walls are floor-to-ceiling windows. The place is flooded with light. All the furniture is light and bright. The black makes the shape of the furniture pop.

Am I crazy? Do you like it?

P.S. This weekend at the grocery store I was greeted by a cardboard bin of  pumpkins – real, stacked, orange pumpkins. (I squealed and posted a photo immediately to Instagram — are you following along? I’m @JaimeeRoseStyle) Anyway, another major pumpkin find: pretty silver-leaf pumpkins at Michaels. They come looking like this. And they come in gold, too. You don’t have to do anything but display and pretend you silver-leafed them yourself.

But now really, I want to know: the black walls . . . would you, could you? Am I nuts to be so in love?



By |2012-09-10T07:18:57-07:00September 10th, 2012|Style|10 Comments

The best sheets ever and other bargain finds

I have a sheet fetish shared by four of my best girlfriends, and our combined obsessive-compulsive behavior (and significant financial investment) brings you this news today:

The best sheets ever are microfiber — and you can get them at Costco for $99.

Buuuuuutter, I tell you. Cool-in-summer, warm-in-winter, soft, thin, butter. Toast should be so lucky.

Research: we’ve tried Frette, Peacock Alley, Hotel Collections, Williams-Sonoma collections, Ralph Lauren, Matteo, Pratesi, zillion-dollar linen (OK, those I like), and the rest. I spent a year doing a story about Supima cotton and what it means to the universe. (Did you know that Egyptian cotton is not actually as nice as Pima, or Supima, cotton?)

Microfiber is softer than all of the above, and it’s  just starting to catch on. The spa set is already on it: these are the sheets used at Sanctuary, the Boulders, et. al. Comphy makes microfiber sheets that you can order online. Jennifer Adams Home also makes them, and they’re sold during special events at Costco. (The schedule is here.) You can also purchase them from Jennifer online, but then you will pay $415 instead of $99 for the exact same sheets, and who wants to do that?

Cindy and I each picked up a new set on a weekend shopping whirlwind that also brought us to the sale at Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, which is crazy, and you need to go. Sale items are an additional 50% off, which means that I paid $26 for a cashmere T-shirt that used to cost $150. It’s a perfect basic for fall-winter-spring, also sold in pink and other shades.

Mine is black, natch.

This French Connection striped T-shirt was $35.

And check out the studly cuffs and hem of my new Michael Kors sheath dress — formerly $250, now $67.

Find an Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue near you here. The sale ends Aug. 14.

P.S. My mom taught me this clever trick: save the clear plastic cases that come with new bedding, and use them to store seldom-used blankets and linens in your linen closet. It keeps the dust off and the just-washed scent in. (I tuck in a dryer sheet for good measure.)

Oh — and never buy a duvet insert from Ikea. They seem to made of cotton balls and aren’t sized correctly for standard duvet covers.

That is all. Have you tried microfiber sheets?

By |2012-08-08T07:10:40-07:00August 8th, 2012|Style|1 Comment

Organizing my closet — a peek inside

When we first toured our house, I was seduced by the two huge and glorious master closets (huge and glorious compared to the apartment we shared previously). And then I noticed: the closets were empty — no bars, no shelves, nothing. The realtor contacted the owner, who had his handyman install two bars — neither of them dress length, and not a shoe shelf in sight. Also, the rods didn’t match the woodwork in the house. This is what you get when you allow your closet to be under the control of three men.

We’re renting, so I didn’t want to invest too much, but needed a functional space. Here’s what I came up with:

In the world that exists in my head, the carpet would be leopard print, the walls would be wallpapered, and there would be a swanky chandelier. But it’s so much better than before. I now have places to put things.

A lot of measuring, a trip to Ikea and prolonged begging meant a new dresser assembled by Ty. (The Hemnes, and it’s fantastic — a cheap trick beloved by designers all over — also on sale through Aug. 5) I picked up five of the small Lack $7 shelves and installed them high above to store and display my handbag and shoe collection.

Those large white boxes on the very top shelf are also Ikea (the Kassett boxes), and they were as hard to assemble as the dresser. ( A screwdriver to put together hat boxes? Seriously, Ikea?) But I appreciate that they look neat and hold hats, ski outfits, off-season clothing, and my tutu (you know, for when I go to New Orleans).

I’ve had the white leather bins forever, and they hold my considerable evening bag collection. (Yes, I have issues.)


The ottoman is Missoni, from Target.



I like to decorate the space with my prettiest things — sequined shoes and bags and bright boxes I drag home from shops.



These hooks are from FOUND, and they hold all of my pearl problems.


Moment of truth: my shoe racks. UGH. They are horrible, and everything falls off all the time. (And yes, those are orange Last Chance tags.)


The ottoman has been the best addition. It gives me a place to sit and ponder my many black T-shirts, and also slip on shoes. (When it’s not piled with clothes, of course, which it is almost every single day.)


Now tell me your best trick for keeping your closet neat — I still can’t figure out how to make myself hang things up the minute I take them off.


By |2012-07-31T08:05:07-07:00July 31st, 2012|Style|7 Comments

Bits (that’s British for things you don’t need)

My British friend Angela has a gorgeous accent and a charming vocabulary. I love her word for the little fripperies we haul home from our travels together: “bits,” she’ll say, filling her carry-on with teacups and earrings, or paper straws.

Bits = the small, inexpensive, pretty objects of life.

I love bits.

(Angela’s husband has ordered her to not bring home any more bits.)

I keep telling myself the same, but can’t obey. Some new favorites:

A vintage silver salt cellar in my cupboard of bits.

A miniature clock for inside the medicine cabinet — yes, late again. (From Kitty, something like $12.)

Ty’s Sunday morning donut ritual under a mini silver dome from The Grey House, my favorite antique store in Tucson.

And little Miss Scarlett dancing in my living room in her pink nightgown — the best bit of all.


By |2012-02-22T07:52:49-07:00February 22nd, 2012|Style|2 Comments

I heart Arizona

Happy 100th Birthday, Arizona. I do love this weird, wily place and am proud that my ancestors helped settle the state. It’s still home to the people I love most.

Scarlett and I made Arizona a birthday cupcake, and I scoped out a few more valentines to Arizona below.

(And here’s why Arizona’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day: We were originally slated for statehood on Feb. 12, but the calendar czars in Washington, D.C. thought that would be disrespectful to the memory of Pres. Abraham Lincoln, since Feb. 12 is his birthday. And Feb. 13 seemed unlucky, so the 14th it was.)

Arizona Valentines:

State love, $30.

Mirror, $135.

Roots, $40 (available in many colors).

Grand Canyon dreaming, $15.

Wear your love $17.50.

City skylines, $20. (Tucson also available.)


Because no one is really from Arizona, $30.

Say cheese, $40.

Vintage map print in sunset colors — download and print your own, $4.

Customize to your personal color palette, $25.

Cities on the grid: $12.50

Couch love, $158.

Home is wherever I’m with you, $17.75.


By |2012-02-22T07:48:40-07:00February 22nd, 2012|Style|0 Comments

Valentine scenes from my house

V-Day: I’m into it.

I believe in heart-shaped dinner plates and leaving presents from Cupid on the doorstep. I send Valentines in the mail and make ridiculous desserts.

I love Love.

What the holiday has looked like at my house, thus far:


Vintage peek-a-boo glasses that won my heart from across the store. My heart rate actually quickened. (Thanks for the shopping trip, Christina and Sarah.

Tulips in a vintage mercury glass ice bucket.

Pink-striped candy ribbons from Hammond’s. They’re cherry-flavored and delicious and feel like the kind of glories my Mom might have bought as a girl at the St. Johns drugstore soda fountain.

Lazy cake.

A topiary turned hostess gift — found at Trader Joe’s, dressed up with burlap.

Tulips at Puddinn’s house.

Vintage his and hers statues from Found. I like his outfit better.

My paper straw collection is getting a bit insane. Heart-dotted versions from the Alt hotel sweet shop, also at Crate & Barrel.

Australian Licorice in a candy dish for Mark and Angela’s visit. (We’re all so obsessed that last summer, in Lake Tahoe, we had a licorice tasting.)

I love to watch people’s faces when they look at sparklers. Everyone grins. I’m putting these mini hearts on V-Day dessert. (From Kitty at the Scottsdale Quarter)

The Valentines my nephew made for his kindergarten class:

(And I love my sister, for teaching her little boy about celebrating l’amour with homemade things.)


By |2012-02-22T07:44:16-07:00February 22nd, 2012|Parties|3 Comments

Mark and Angela’s Historic Phoenix home

My friends Mark and Angela live in a 1937 Phoenix abode. In Arizona, that’s prehistoric.

Here’s a little sneak peek inside, courtesy of the Republic’s talented photog Michael McNamara:

I know. You kind of want to hate her, don’t you? Except she’s lovely from head to polished toe, and lets her friends try on her shoes.

The kitchen windowsill:

Dining room. (Yes, you have seen photos of many wonderful parties in this very room.)

















You should know that this bouquet is made of fresh raspberries, on the branch, just ripening.

See the entire slideshow here.. I didn’t even show you the guest house, kitchen, pool, or freestanding shower imported from England. It’s heaven.


By |2012-01-02T20:36:36-07:00January 2nd, 2012|Style|1 Comment

Nine layers of Haunted Home Halloween genius

When my mother sees these photos, she is going to lose her mind (and then go to the store for more spider web and cheesecloth.) Behold, the haunted home of San Diego decorator Simone Lagies, as seen on BHG:

Mom will also sigh over these images, from Curious Sofa, which I spotted on local blog Little Lovables. (Mom, you MUST do this to the chandelier, and don’t you think your eiffel tower needs some crows?)

By |2011-10-20T16:29:28-07:00October 20th, 2011|Style|1 Comment


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