Posts by Mary Jo Bowling

For years we've written about how the kitchen has become the contemporary family room. But what happens when you are a modern family living in an older house where the kitchen's main role is utility? There are two choices: either (as the song says) love the one you are with or (the more exciting option) make it an everyday space that you can love.

This week Anthropologie, the boho-chic powerhouse, debuts a home store-within-a-store called Decorator Concept. Its mission: make good design possible for anyone. On March 24 the veil will be lifted on 12 Decorator Concept's in the United States, and the Corte Madera store will have the sole Bay Area outlet.

This sale in the Castro district is described as a moving sale. I don't know where the residents are going, but it must be to a furnished home, because it appears they are selling all of their worldly goods.

Julie Massucco Kleiner, co-founder and principal designer at Massucco Warner Miller, says a pair of pillows in a little girl's room launched their new collection of ready-made cushions. "Melissa Warner [also a principal and co-founder] created two pillows with a pink silhouette for the daughter of a client," she says. "When it was published in a magazine, we received over 100 calls asking where to buy it. We thought there was enough of a market to launch this collection."

Inspirations for Lori Weitzner's new TOUCH wallpaper collection include well-worn jeans and soft wool flannel suits. The caressability of the line will have you running your fingers along the wall, and the clever features will allow you to use them in surprising ways.

It's not often interior designer Jean Larette gets a 911 call, but the day after the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article about her work that featured several before and after photos, she did. "A gentleman rang me up and asked if I could come over RIGHT AWAY. He wanted me to get started on his project as soon as possible," she says.

Jim and Theresa Berger have a place in New York City and a sprawling ranch-style house in Denver. When they decided to buy and remodel a home along the Venice canals in Los Angeles, they chose to make it completely different.

  At this moment the best floral designers in the Bay Area are assembling dazzling arrangements behind closed doors at the de Young Museum, readying for the opening of a Spanish-themed Bouquets to Art 2011. To call the creations "bouquets" is a misnomer; many of them are themselves sculptural artwork.  

To some of you El Cerrito might seem like a long haul. Get over it, because El Cer is only 30 minutes from SF and it's the scene of a good estate sale this weekend. Nice tansus for $300, need I say more?

Some people are addicted to online gambling. Others have a problem with Internet porn. Until recently, my little vice has been shopping on 1stdibs.com. Then an antiques dealer got me hooked on Bond & Bowery. I love this site so much I don't care if I ever get the monkey off my back.

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