California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Friday, September 30, 2011

A New Red Tablecloth and a Fabulous Candle Scent Recommendation
























On my way home from one of my seamstresses I stopped off by two of my favorite house and garden stores, Alexandra's and I Love Paris.  Alex is getting all her new fall stuff in and I Love Paris is celebrating, this weekend, their 10th anniversary!  Congratulations Eleanor.  Everyone loves Eleanor, the ultra-gracious and knowledgeable owner.
























The new candle scent I'm burning is Voluspa's Muscari.  I highly recommend you give it a try.  Within just a couple minutes of lighting it, my whole living room, entry, dining room and even my office filled with it's gorgeous scent.  Remember to keep your wicks short, about 1/4" and burn them a full hour so it develops an inch of melted candle wax on top.  This helps keep the candle level and that way you get the most out of it--no leftovers on the sides.  Tablecloth by Bruno Lamy for Couleur Nature.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall is for Polishing the Silver


















Sometime before our 27 year old son Christian was born, my husband Jim brought home a box from his mother's attic.  It was mostly filled with pictures and books belonging to him during his college years but amongst the dust and paper was a beautiful albeit tarnished silver tea set.  He said "I don't know if you're interested in this.  It was our wedding silver when Susan and I were married."























Was he crazy!  Did I seem so proud?  Of course I wanted it and furthermore, it hasn't been stored a single day since he first gave it to me. 


















Soon after receiving "Susan's" silver service, Jim's dear mother Mary Etta started sending over little treasures from her collection and from the auctions she attended around town.  There was the darling little cigarette holder from Gump's, my personal favorite; the silver pitcher; and a myriad other silver serving pieces and trays.


















Most valuable to me are the sentimental baby cups bearing the engraved names of James, Christian, and me, Shiree'.  I polished those up today.  I don't usually let them get so tarnished.  They're fresh and clean now.  Ready for this photo shoot.























The trophy cup above is engraved with and has carved handles of lions.  It isn't silver by any stretch but I love how it looks overflowing with boxwood greenery.  I have found that silver tones stand out nicely in my home with it's white plaster walls and dark brown trim.























I love my vintage tablecloths, napkins, and serving pieces.  I love the opportunity to use them but I am very careful not to overdo it with dinner guests.  When you have guests to dinner the focus is on them, not your table wear. 

Though I was born and raised in California, deep at heart I think I am a southern belle: at home with my linens, china, crystal, and silver.  I love having them around-- a reminder of my days as a young wife and mother.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Album of Rare Vintage Celebrity Images

Framed celebrity photo's, particularly old black and whites, are a great way to get across a specific feel in a room without overpowering the scheme.  I'm including several of my favorite images, courtesy of my good friend and former employee Peggy Kistner.  Enjoy!















































































































































































































































































































Wednesday, September 7, 2011

VINTAGE 1930's KITCHEN REDESIGN


It was time.  I had been putting off replacing my appliances and refinishing my kitchen floors until four weeks ago.  When my refrigerator broke down it was the final straw.  I purchased a new dishwasher while I was at it and it came and has been installed but the fridge had to be special ordered.  I have been without cold food for almost a month.


























Today the floor re-finishers are here.  They pulled up the old vinyl floors from the 70's and low and behold found beautiful Douglas fir.  I chose a dark ebony finish, warm without any hints of purple.  The only challenge so far is water stains in the corners.  To deal with that problem we decided on going darker with the finish to make the water stains less obvious.  Custom valances from Shiree Hanson Segerstrom in a red Ralph Lauren leaf print with Fabricut black linen on the small welts and ties.  The arches on the valances were designed that way to call attention to the arched doorways.  The windows beneath do not have arches.



























When we first bought the house in 2000 the cabinets were a light maple and the walls a dreadful grayish- greenish-tan'ish-white no one color could describe.  The drawer and cabinet pulls were a 1960's copper.  The light fixtures were not even worth mentioning.  The island counter was the worst feature however.  The previous owners, normally so good at maintaining the lovely architecture, slipped up and installed a neon greenish yellow laminate.  It was the first thing to go.




The back splash is about the only thing original to the kitchen.  Everything else was redone in the fifties and seventies and now, by me, over the course of several years.  When I chose lighting and pulls I decided on black wrought iron for continuity with the rest of the house and a fun thing happened.  My friend Melanie found three perfect, very old iron hanging fixtures, one of which she purchased from the owner of another Simpson built home! 

















This is a shot of the old Harvest Gold refrigerator soon to be replaced with a Frigidaire Gallery stainless steel.  The color of the appliances is what dictated the initial color scheme in the kitchen.

Newly refinished floors, appliances, lighting, and pulls: my vintage 1931 kitchen is almost done!
























Wood floor refinishing by Keith Baier; vases by HomArt; striped napkins by Danica; canvas' by House in the Country; iron urn by Barreveld.  Photography by Robert Watts.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

TREND WATCH..."Done" Means "Dormant"


I went through a period where color and pattern were anathema to me--now I can't seem to get enough color and print.  Rich surfaces, handmade details, and evolved art are the things I seek out for my home and the interiors of my clients.

All images C Magazine.  (C published my Sacramento feature in April of this year).


If I made be allowed an observation, design trends are moving toward personalized spaces.  Cookie cutter interiors are quickly becoming passe' only to be replaced with quirky, well traveled details: spaces filled with travel memorabilia, treasured heirlooms, and framed images of family and friends.


















Another design element I currently love is detail and lots of it.  Jacqui Getty's veranda is a good example of this.  A great day bed, handmade area rugs, throws, nubby pillows, Thai tables and of course plenty of greenery make a great outdoor space.  I am inspired by this space with it's purples, indigo's, fuscia's, blacks, whites, and greens.


















Gleaming hardwood floors, zebra print rugs, and warm white linen sofas are a winning combination.  Unadorned windows are a bold step in sunny southern California.  Perhaps a bit impractical but the look is to die for.



























































A house is always a work in progress.  To think your home will be "done" is unrealistic.  "Done" means "dormant".  A home is a living thing.  My own home has been undergoing some transformations lately.  I redid the living room by adding touches of turquoise to my moss green and claret color scheme.  The effect is artsy and original.  Next up is a little kitchen redo.  I'm taking up the old flooring, redoing the hardwood floors underneath, and replacing the appliances with Frigidaire's Gallery stainless steel.

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