Sunday, October 4, 2009

We've moved!

Please check out Niche Interiors' new blog home at:

New features include monthly newsletters, before & afters, and a search feature to find articles on all your decorating dilemmas. Thanks for following the Design Cobbler! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sneak Peek: South of Market Loft

I never knew how tough photographers had it until I became an interior designer! Here is a sneak peak of the newly finished loft that we shot today. Check out the website soon for all the photos and descriptions...

For more info: Visit

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Artisan Collection from Restoration Hardware

I don't usually get too excited about furniture from chain retailers, but some of these new pieces from Restoration Hardware's Artisan collection deserve a little buzz.

Flatiron dining table made from reclaimed elm doors and iron legs. $1,795

Wine barrel chandelier made from reclaimed French Oak, $2,195

Printmaker's sideboard, $1,995
*This would make my office (or anyone's) very happy*

Fore more info: Interior Designer San Francisco - Niche Interiors

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tools for Living by DWR

Ready to infuse your kitchen or office with some functional modern style? Check out DWR's Tools for Living store. I always agreed that it's the small things that make a difference. Here are a few items on my personal wish list...

Table brush, $50. Cleaning would be much more enjoyable.

Say goodbye to that ugly plastic stapler and hello to the Heavy-Weight, $60.

Granit sugar bowl and creamer designed by Eva Zeisel, on sale for $51.

For more info: Interior Designer San Francisco - Niche Interiors

Friday, September 11, 2009

Design Inspiration: Four Barrel Coffee Shop

I have been meaning to stop in Four Barrel Coffee shop on Valencia Street, after learning that a furniture designer I've worked with created all of the tables for the space. Take a look at the interior below, I know it inspired me. Oh, and the coffee is good and strong too!

I love the concept for the tables throughout the cafe. Mounting the slab directly to the wall and floor saves space and looks very cool. I believe the tables are made from old railroad ties.

For more information: Visit

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Decor Mag Highlights!

The September shelter magazines have all arrived and I'm sharing my favorite rooms. Read on for some inspiring images for Fall, courtesy of Elle Decor and House Beautiful...

The contrasting textures and colors are grounded by light, neutral walls and sofa. Love it!

Risky move to paint the walls and built-ins with a rich, bold blue. It paid off!

The lilac color palette is soothing without being too matchy. The modern glass coffee table keeps the room light and airy.

For more design inspiration: Visit my San Francisco Interior Design Portfolio

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Modern Wallpaper Sources and Tips

Above: Hygge & West Daydream wallpaper in Blue.

It's no news to you that wallpaper is back! Now there are tons of fun, modern prints to choose from. Say goodbye to boring floral and country prints and hello to graphic and whimsical patterns that will add interest and drama to almost any room in the house. (Except for a full bathroom: Steam and wallpaper don't mix.)

Wallpaper Pointers
Bold wallpaper prints are best applied in small doses for maximum impact. Instead of doing an entire living or dining room, consider choosing one accent wall. If you are going for a dramatic effect, foyers and powder rooms are great places to hang wallpaper on every wall. Both spaces are small in size and transitional in the flow of the house.

Modern Wallpaper Resources
Read on for highlights of my favorite wallpaper manufacturers.

Ferm Living ( is a Danish company coming out with lots of inventive, easy to install papers.

Twenty2 ( is a Brooklyn based husband and wife team that have been creating bold patterns since 2001.

Jocelyn Warner ( is a designer from the UK. Her designs range from intricate to simple and bold.

Hygge and West ( See Julia Rothman's collection for Hygge & West for beautiful bird and tree motifs.

For more information visit: San Francisco Interior Design Services

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chic online furniture deals!

Sometimes the sale page can be a sad, sad state. Not when you have an interior designer cruising the best furniture sites for you! Read on for a few of my favorite sale items from online retailers.

Wisteria Venetian Bamboo table, on sale for $339
Glam it up by adding a mirrored piece to an otherwise boring corner.

Viva Terra Ivory & Gold Suzani bench, on sale for $235
This bench would add some charm at the foot of your bed, in a foyer or in front of a fireplace.

West Elm Patterned-Sphere table lamp, on sale for $59
Perfect for a small table or night stand.

Pottery Barn Wooden Door mirror, on sale for $179
Perfect for your bedroom or (if you are lucky) your walk-in closet.

For more info: Visit

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Current Obsession: Rotary Phones!

My latest purchase for the office is a vintage white rotary phone. I was a little hesitant to take a technology leap backwards, but I'm so glad I did! Visually it's a nice addition to the desk, and when my cell phone is acting up I can always depend on old faithful to connect a clear, crisp phone call. I bought it on eBay, so I scoped out a few that are up for auction right now in case anyone wants to join my rotary phone party!

Yellow rotary phone, currently at $9.95

Happy Hunting!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Challenge of Built-ins

Trying to design a piece of built-in furniture to blend seemlessly into the existing architecture of a space is not an easy feat. Luckily, I have a very talented contractor who just installed these built-in bookcases and window seat (with storage) with a fantastic eye for detail.

He was able to match the existing molding by utilizing San Francisco Victoriana, who carries a variety of architectural ornamentation, including many traditional moldings used in San Francisco buildings. If they don't carry the specific molding you are trying to match they can make it for you.

Update: Check out the finished project on my San Francisco Interior Design Portfolio under "Forest Side Bungalow"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Design Icon of the Week: Eileen Gray

Above: Rue de Lota apartment designed by Eileen Gray.
The tubular shaped Bibendum chair is shown, one of her most recognizable designs.

Eileen Gray has always been a favorite of mine. Maybe it's the fact that she was a woman in a male dominated field, or maybe because flexibility and function were at the forefront of her furniture designs. Here is an excerpt from the Design Museum about Gray:

Neglected for most of her career, EILEEN GRAY (1878-1976) is now regarded as one of the most important furniture designers and architects of the early 20th century and the most influential woman in those fields. Her work inspired both modernism and Art Deco.

In the August 1917 issue of British Vogue magazine a writer described the work of Miss Gray, a lacquer artist who had fled her home in Paris to seek refuge in London during World War I. “Influenced by the modernists is Miss Gray’s art, so they say,” it began. “But is it not rather that she stands alone, unique, the champion of a singularly free method of expression.”

Her design style was as distinctive as her way of working, and Gray developed an opulent, luxuriant take on the geometric forms and industrially produced materials used by the International Style designers, such as Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Mies Van Der Rohe, who shared many of her ideals.

Her voluptuous leather and tubular steel Bibendum Chair and clinically chic E-1027 glass and tubular steel table are now as familiar as icons of the International Style as Le Corbusier and Perriand’s classic Grand Confort club chairs, yet for most of her career she was relegated to obscurity by the same proud singularity that makes her work so prized today.

Above: The adjustable E-1027 table, a modern classic. Reproductions now available at DWR.

Now, you can find me at the Examiner! Check out my page for more interior design articles, tips and local sources or visit: for more info.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Serving up the succulents

Being new to the gardening world, I started my path to a green thumb by planting succulents years ago. They thrive well on sparse water and care, and there are endless varieties in beautiful shapes and colors. I spruced up the pots with new varieties this year, my latest favorite being Echeveria Metallica shown above.

We also decided to plant a vegetable garden this year. (Growing the vegetables has been easy compared to building and installing the planter boxes on the edge of our patio deck.) The green onions, garlic, and tomatoes are thriving well from seeds, and the basil plant was added after the red peppers didn't take off. Nothing is ready to harvest yet, but hopefully before the end of the summer we will have a home grown salad. We used redwood (cut to size at the hardware store), deck screws, and metal brackets to create simple planter boxes to fit between the posts on our patio fence.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Design Icon of the Week: Alvar Aalto

I spotted an Alvar Aalto vase at the flea market this weekend and the dealer thought the designer was from Mexico. That made me laugh a bit, and prompted the idea of featuring a design icon every week. Here is a short bio from the Design Museum about Aalto:

The most important Finnish architect of the 20th century, ALVAR AALTO (1898-1976) was a central figure in international modernism. His greatest buildings, like the 1927 Viipuri Library and 1928 Paimio Sanatorium, fused the naturalism of Finnish romanticism with modernist ideals: as did his influential furniture and glassware.

Here are a few of his most recognizable designs. And yes, the forms in his designs are evident at IKEA today.

Stool 60, designed in 1932. Stackable and constructed of Birch wood.

Savoy vase, designed in 1936 for a competition at the World Fair in Paris. Still produced today by Iittala.

Paimio chair, designed in 1931. Made of bent plywood and birch.

For more info visit:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Peonies vs. Tulips

These Peonies are challenging Tulips position as my number one flower.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Modern Wallpaper!

After today's installation I officially love wallpaper again. The "Little Leaves" pattern above is made by Ferm Living, a Danish design company. The metallic sheen of the leaves is hard to capture in a photo, but beautiful in person. At $115 a roll, it's also not a bad deal.

For more info: San Francisco Interior Design Services by Niche Interiors

Monday, June 29, 2009

Farley Bar at Cavallo Point Lodge

Something about this place (besides their tasty Sidecars) keeps me crossing the bridge to Sausalito. The interior is distinct, and manages to successfully balance the elegant with the casual.

The restroom reminded me that not all public bathrooms make you want to leave ASAP.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Decor Mag Highlights!

I thought I would share some inspiring interiors from recent decor magazines. The first two images are from the June edition of Elle Decor, and the last two are from July's House Beautiful.

I love the textures and old world, but casual vibe. Pimms Cup anyone?

You can't go wrong contrasting 1940's wood chairs with a smooth, modern table.

Light blue + dark grey = Chic

Ikat prints are everywhere right now, but it seems fresh upholstered in vivid pink and lilac.

For more design inspiration visit: My San Francisco Interior Design Portfolio

Friday, June 12, 2009

Picture Hanging 101

I found these illustrations in an old House & Garden interior decoration book from the 1960's.

The excerpt reads:

Large pictures over a fireplace, proportioned to piece of furniture, small pictures grouped to make a large unit, pairs of pictures in a symmetrical arrangement are examples of simple improvements which your eye will catch at once.

Despite the run-on sentence, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Red, White & Green: The Many Faces of Spray Paint!

As I looked around my apartment yesterday I realized how many pieces had been transformed by the wonders of spray paint. Here are a few favorites...

Two coats of vibrant red made this chair into a living room focal point.

I can hardly remember how this old hospital table looked before...I have a vague recollection of a poop brown color. Luckily, the enamel top didn't need to be touched. Now it serves us well for additional storage in the bathroom.

A brighter shade of green blends well with the garden while adding a pop of color.

Spray Painting 101:
- Clean the item prior to painting
- Use a spray primer if you are trying to cover a darker color with a lighter one
- Use multiple light coats
- Keep your distance: Don't spray closer than 8 inches
- Look for new cans that can spray from any angle! (Even upside down)

Have fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Decorator Showcase Inspiration

I wanted to share two of my favorite rooms from this year's decorator showcase house in Pacific Heights. Cameras aren't allowed so I had to sneak a few with my iphone...

What a fun teenage girl's room! I love the color palette and the bed that doubles as a loungy sofa.

This funky little reading room has a lodge-chic vibe. The paneled walls and dim lighting enhance the small room, creating a cozy little escape.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brighten Up Your Ceilings...

With one of these beautiful fixtures!

Designer Lindsay Adelman's 9 Globe Bubble fixture is the tops! Each fixture is custom made in her Brooklyn studio.

I love these Stamen pendants by Niche Modern for their simplicity of form and delicate quality. (It's just a bonus that they also have Niche in their company name.)

The Ziyi chandelier by Thomas O'Brien for Visual Comfort successfully blends tradition and modernity.