Summer has arrived and it’s time to think about how to spruce up your outdoor decor. Whether it’s replacing old furniture, bringing in more color, gardening, or adding landscape lights, it’s a perfect time to start. But, what if you don’t have a backyard or a patio? Not everyone lives in a home that has a backyard or patio. For those of you who don’t have the luxury of having an outdoor space to entertain family or friends or enjoy the benefit of lounging outside to admire the beautiful landscape, you can still bring the decor and fun indoors. You can transform your interior space into an outdoor oasis full of colors, nature, texture, and light. Here are some ideas to bring sound, sight, touch, and smell of the outdoor experience into your very own living space!
Fragrant Flowers & Plants
What’s better than coming home to a relaxing, beautiful, and fragrant home as if you just stepped out in nature? Surround yourself with flowers, plants, succulents, bonsai trees, or cacti and watch your home transform into a lovely garden. Plus, indoor plants are very beneficial and a positive force. They are living organisms that remove pollutants from the air by absorbing gases (such as carbon dioxide) through their leaves and roots. Perhaps that is why when most people take a walk outside or go hiking, it feels so calming and soothing to the soul and instantly lifts the spirit.
Most homeowners in San Francisco tend to stick to neutral colors because it’s a trend right now and they don’t want splashes of striking colors or use of bold patterns in their space. So, to liven up the design projects I work on and keep it interesting, I try to introduce encaustic or cement tiles to my clients. Encaustic and cement tile is popping up everywhere and becoming a trendy addition to interior and exterior spaces based on it’s unique artistry and customizable design. It’s a creative way to include patterns and natural colors that convey something completely different than ceramic tile or other kinds of materials – you get a Mediterranean vibe. What exactly is encaustic or cement tile? A lot of people call it encaustic cement tile as if it’s one and the same, but they are very different. The name gets confused by everyone even by tile manufactures and tile vendors. Both tiles are un-glazed, but there are very important differences. The main difference between cement tiles and encaustic tiles are the materials that are used and the production process each goes through.
Mother’s Day is tomorrow and even though my mom is not here (she’s busy traveling the world!), I’ll be calling her to wish her a happy Mother’s day. If my mom were here, my sisters and I would usually give her a bouquet of flowers, chocolates, and even fine jewelry, which she loves. But, none of these gifts would compare to the gifts my mom gave my sisters and I while growing up. I didn’t grow up in what I would consider a safe home which is why I think I subconsciously pursued interior design as a second career. I want people to feel safe, comfortable, and secure in a beautiful space that they can call home. A home should be a sanctuary, a beautiful oasis from the stress, suffering, and challenges from the external world.
I think it’s truly amazing for any woman to raise a child, let alone 3. My mom raised 3 girls practically all by herself who grew up to be beautiful, successful, magnificent, and loyal women. Watching my mom while growing up, she did so much for the family without any complaints. No matter how she felt each day, she got up and kept pushing herself to do her best, to be her best, which is why I’m so driven to become the best version of me and to reach my highest potential. We’re all here for a reason – to figure out our passion, share our talents with the world, and experience life with happiness, kindness, empathy, and authenticity. To live life fully without fear. To face the unknown and transform into the best, most amazing version of ourselves – like a caterpillar that transforms into a beautiful, magical butterfly. I believe that’s what my mom was trying to teach my sisters and I – to do our best and be our best no matter how we felt each day. To give it our all, to be persistent, to dedicate ourselves to really becoming the best version of ourselves. Looking back, I have accomplished so many things that I am extremely proud of (just a few of my proudest moments: studying one of the hardest majors as an undergraduate – Chemical Engineering, going back to school to pursue Interior Architecture & Design and paying for it myself while working full time in tech, getting over my fear of the water and becoming a graceful swimmer, starting my own business, and traveling the world by myself scuba diving in Cairns, Australia, paragliding in Turkey, hiking to 16000 ft elevations in Bhutan in challenging weather conditions, and driving a tiny car all around Iceland-which is an amazing country by the way and I highly recommend visiting). I’m proud of all that I’ve accomplished and all that I have yet to accomplish and it’s because of what I learned from my mom. I wouldn’t be the amazing, beautiful, abundant, and worthy woman I am today without my mom and her unconditional love and dedication to my sisters and I. So, here’s a big Thank You and Hug to not only my mom but all the wonderful mother’s out there who sacrifice and give so so much of themselves for their family so that they can become the best that they can be.
What is your best memory of your mother and what did you learn from her? Please share! I would love to hear about it.
This year’s 2018 San Francisco Decorator Showcase featured minimalist designs, lots of whites, dark moody colors, pinks, metallics, and interesting wall coverings such as fringe, that provided lots of texture and visual appeal. The Showcase is located in the Marina Green this year, not far from Pacific Heights and Telegraph Hill where previous showcases took place. The 1930’s Spanish-Mediterranean home built by architect George McCrea, features six beds, five and a half baths, and about 4,800 square feet. For the first time in 41 years, the showcase featured a large-scale outdoor temporary art installation that explores color to challenge the viewer’s visual perception. Titled “Eye’s on Hue”, Artist AJ Oishi in collaboration with Simon Breitbard Fine Arts, carefully chose each hue and position within the multi colored array of her classic bullseye design. Oishi’s art will likely be the most popular instagrammable moment for the SF Decorator Showcase! 28 Bay Area interior designers are given a room where their creative magic is expressed and displayed for the public to raise money benefiting the financial aid program for San Francisco University High School students.