Recession Babies

By 1929 my immigrant grandmother had two babies. She recalled that she and my grandfather were extremely careful not to become pregnant again. They couldn't afford it. Times were tough and my grandfather, who was a welder, could not find steady work in Los Angeles during the Depression. Building and construction was down just as it is now so people in the trades had very little business even in sunny California.

Walmart or Dubai?

Does it feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone these days? Things couldn't be any stranger. I picked up a trade magazine and read about the world's tallest building - Burj Khalifa in Dubai - that stands close to a mile in height at 828 m. Named after the United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan the building is home to the world's first Armani Hotel, designed by Giorgio Armani. Oh, I get it!

New Beginnings This Spring!

I'm looking at rain drops hugging the window screen while several brand new tulips peek up above the sill. As I think about the promise of spring, still so much is fractured around us which doesn't seem quite right in this potentially cleansing time of year. It is quite aggravating that tax time coincides with one of the most lovely of seasons, don't you think? Plus it always seems that several insurances are also due right at this time of year. 

Picking Olives

I was appropriately born in olive oil country - Burbank, California. The sleepy little San Fernando Valley town sits in a fertile area where ocean breezes occasionally meet with near-desert climate. The civilized region began as a couple of large ranchos where for 6,000 years before Indians continuously lived. In September of 1797 San Fernando mission was founded on the site of one of these prominent ranches and joined the other 21 missions established by the Franciscan order in California.

Gone to the Dogs

There they are just exploding to get inside: Dundee, Kai and Siggy: Our extended four-legged family. The ones who teach us how to love unconditionally. Life changed in my house when we acquired these two large Labrador brothers about 4 1/2 years ago.(The small one belongs to our son and Dundee was just visiting when the photo was taken.) You wonder what dogs have to do with interior design? Quite a lot it turns out.

Babies Everywhere!

All you have to do to verify that we are experiencing a big baby boom is to sit down at a mall and watch what passes you by. I've never seen such a wide variety of carriages, running strollers and other futuristic looking devices obviously created by clever industrial designers to provide parents with ergonomically positive transportation. It is amazing! Management at shopping centers have already figured out that if they offer whimsical push carts (in the form of mini fire engines or horses) that parents will want to linger with the kids. Wonderful fountains and jungle-gym play equipment also serve as a draw for house-bound parents anxious for an outing.

Why Does Your House Need to Stay Organized?

So much of how we live depends on what stage we are in at the moment. For instance if you have three little kids under the age of 5 you live in a certain manner, accepting the fact that the house might be a little less picture perfect than you might like. If you are empty nesters perhaps everything stays in place and you only have to clean once every two weeks. Good for you! Young couples on the go live life mostly out of their nest - taking advantage of local coffee houses, clubs, social networking and bars - and basically just sleeping at home! 

Hang Home Office On Wall

Sometimes it's fun to see how little money you can spend in a day or how small a suitcase you can get away with on a trip. Nowadays the suitcase trick is not so much of a lark: You almost have to squeeze everything into a small bag if you want to avoid long lines at the baggage carousel and the prospect of lost luggage. Whether or not minimizing your home office is possible, it sure is appealing to imagine that you could function with this little office!

Summer Projects

When you are a kid the prospect of summer arriving is sort of like waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve or the expectation of getting some great present for your birthday. But when you are the mother of three little kids and you are trying to figure out what to do with them during a summer break, well that is not fun. 

Property Daydreams

Summer rolls around and all kinds of out-of-character ideas pop up. I often dream of a little vacation house like this little cabin-in-a-kit. Get-a-way houses are generally in the mountains, near a lake or by the sea shore! This year I'm dreaming of ways to make my own property feel like a vacation spot and it's kind of funny.