Posts by Mary Jo Bowling

At an estate sale, when you are looking through the personal effects of a recently deceased person, it's easy to feel like her spirit is close at hand. If the owner of this Russian Hill Victorian is around and trying to convey a message, it's one of joy.

Confession: I love organizing gadgets. Sadly, sometimes the straight-out-of-Brookstone-style items disappoint. However, I don't think the Iglu is going to break my tidy heart.

The best estate sales are full of mystery and melancholy, not to mention great finds and bargains. No one understands this like Old Hat, a company that stages some of the best ones.

Architect Mercedes Corbell's Oakland home proves that color may be the most powerful weapon in a designer's arsenal.

The house is still long and low, but it has a new skin of Ceraclad, a cement-based panel siding from Japan. The dramatic pop-up entryway hints at the modern interior renovations behind the door.

Interior designer Brian Dittmar has a client with a double life. During the week the man is a buttoned-up banker, but on the weekend he lets his design flag fly high.

Robert Baumann brought authenticity to a new Mediterranean-style home by incorporating old-world elements tracked down by the owners.

Decorating your walls poses the same problem as choosing a mate: Commitment is scary. Although finding the right partner is a challenging problem, there's an easy answer for your home.

As electronics evolve so does design. The iPads, iPhones, iPods, Droids and the like that are taking over our lives are also taking over the desktop with a mass of noodle-like charging wires.

Nothing looks quite as good as high-style design that was snagged for a low price.