Big Boy Room with (subtle) Striped Sophistication

It is imaginable to provide children’s space that accommodates their needs without sacrificing the aesthetic and not obsessing on age-specific decor.  A children’s room should feel fun, but with a dash of maturity, while also being comfortable and a room to grow up in.



In order to strike this balance, there are certain selections which contribute to the success of this formula.  First and foremost, materials and furniture selections should be resilient to kids’ wear and tear which is what drove the selection of the bed, side table, rug and dresser.  The bed is from Room and Board and can be easily transitioned into a bunk bed or additional storage below, which is another trick in selecting items that can grow from toddler to big boy.  The rug is from Restoration Hardware and I recommend selecting the thicker rug pad to add some coziness to a room with a hardwood floor.  The side table is from CB2 and it was important to make sure it had an open shelf that serves as a bookshelf, as well.  The coveted teepee was designed by Theteepeeguy on Etsy.

Also, rather than just selecting a single color for the wall paint, creating a subtle texture by alternating between a high gloss and matte paint of the same color.  The 8″ horizontal banding surrounds the room, but doesn’t overwhelm the space while still providing a simple backdrop.



The side table lamp is from Blue Dot, which has an unique red chord that gives this modern lamp a playful side, too.  Bedding is from Restoration Hardware and the pillows came from Jonathan Adler, Serena and Lily, West Elm and a beloved pattern from Maharam.



The You are my Sunshine piece was done by the talented KA-Art.  She worked with me to customize the size, the lettering, frame and finish.  I can’t wait to commission her to do another piece!  The dresser is from Room and Board and the color and material can be customized to whatever you want, which gives another opportunity to showcase something that is ‘off the shelf’, but doesn’t feel it.



This Land of Nod pouf is the perfect additional seating for reading a book or climbing up and down from bed and easily moveable.

I believe children’s rooms can balance between play and sophistication by making careful selections that evolve as your child does, getting more for your money by lasting longer.
Photography by Muffy Kibbey

February 9, 2015


From sock to FLOR

Inspiration for home design can come from the oddest places.  Unlikely revelations can appear anywhere.  Don’t be afraid to embrace them.

Paul Smith is the master of stripes.  His patterns are part of our daily lives as pillow covers, ottomans and socks.  My husband’s favorite pair of Paul Smith socks served as the inspiration for our hallway rug.



At 40 feet long, we needed a rug that would put up with the foot traffic, tricycles and trails of crumbs.  It is the main thoroughfare between our living/dining/kitchen to the rest of our home. It needed to be tough but also fit within our hallway. We wanted to avoid pairing together separate runners that wouldn’t stay put. We were stumped.

FLOR is known to be a resilient and easy to maintain flooring option. With children at home, this was critical.  But we didn’t want to sacrifice the aesthetic of our home accommodate children.  FLOR would be sturdy, but also provided an abundance of color and texture options, which was useful when matching the colors of the sock.

As we unpacked the multiple of boxes from FLOR, we were leery about the ease of install, but it did prove to be straight-forward with minimal ‘marital disagreement.’

The FLOR dimensions are 20″x20″ square carpet tiles.  However, the beauty of FLOR is that you are able to specify if you want your squares cut in half, quarters, diagonally or in half-circles, which allows relatively customizable sizing to the space it’s filling.  The spacing of the sock’s stripes dictated the FLOR patterning and with such a long hallway it was critical to add some space delineation and not have monotonous rug fill the space.



Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from something that exudes design integrity, even if it comes from an unanticipated place.


Photos by Muffy Kibbey Photography

February 9, 2015


Bay Road Home, Atherton, CA – Under Construction

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Rendering of Bay Road Home – by l’oro designs

Even after designing homes for nearly a decade, the most gratifying part of my architecture practice is seeing the client’s dreams interpreted in my mind and computer, then become a physical reality.  Even with the advancement of technology and getting to spin around a house in the 3D model, the moment you see the poured foundation and the walls go up is thrilling.  Each phase of construction has it’s unique excitement.  But when the roof is up and the windows are in is when you begin to feel the spatial impact of each room, transitions, adjacencies, alignments.  The pieces of the puzzle fit tightly together, beginning to generate the sense of the finished product.

The Bay Road Home is in Atherton, CA.  The client’s desire was to create a house which works for a family and also provides easy entertaining spaces that flow from one room to the next.  In addition, these spaces filter out to the backyard patios, taking advantage of the indoor/outdoor living.  When you want to make a home work for small kids, teenagers, guests and entertaining, finding the balance between function and sophistication can be challenging.  Meeting these goals can only be accomplished with strong client vision, forging a team collaboration, assembling the separate details to compose a single design.

Snapshots of ‘before’, ‘demo’ & ‘framing’…

February 9, 2015


Nursery – Under Construction

My utterly creative client wanted to alter this small open office into a nursery in time for the arrival of their son.  Simple solutions of just filling in a half-wall and borrowing space to create a closet – this space went from a casual den to a functioning baby’s room.



Before – Goal was to optimize space and turn this bright, small office into a nursery



Before – Only a half-wall separated the soon to be nursery from the stair-hall to the Master Suite — not ideal for sleeping baby



Before – Maximizing the square footage and plans to add a small closet in the corner



Construction – Picture rail trim to match the existing stair hall



Under construction – New closet and full wall



Under construction – View towards main window of nursery – crown molding and trim to match existing details of house



Under construction – check out l’oro designs’ sign in the window!


February 9, 2015


A Modern Nursery

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Architecture isn’t just about designing buildings, but also how you perceive and improve spaces.  When my first child was born, we were challenged with transforming a cramped guest room into a bright and functional nursery.

My husband and I chose not to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl.  Partly, I was superstitious. Mostly, I just wanted a healthy little one.  But by the third trimester I was struggling to get through the final months without knowing who this mystery baby was. I tried to distract myself by focusing on the nursery. The gender neutral nursery.

I love the color orange.  It’s bright, and it’s cheerful.  It was an accent color at my wedding and I wanted to feature it in the baby’s room. I knew it could work for either a boy or a girl.  Grey walls, orange pops of color, white furniture and some other color accent for a boy or a girl. Turquoise would be the final touch to make this room officially ‘boy,’ bright pink for ‘girl.’

The base palette was completed just a few weeks before our son, Laird, was born.  We waited until after we brought him home to add sentimental touches to make the room unique to our family.  A sailboat mobile represents our love for sailing and Cape Cod summers.  The canvas print hanging over the changing table is a photo we took at the hotel where we were married in Hawaii.  Only a sharp eye would pick up on Laird Hamilton’s own “Laird” surfboard amongst the colorful collection of boards.  A tribute to our son’s name.The hope is that the room will grow as Laird grows.  It will not be just a baby’s room.  The bright palette and flexible furniture layout will lend itself to a new identity as Laird becomes a walking toddler and a playing little boy.  I just hope he invites me to push matchbox cars and build legos with him someday!


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Above photo: Oeuf Classic Crib, Serena & Lily white bumper, I had the crib sheet custom made from one of their patterns, but now Serena & Lily offer it as a standard sheet Pimento French Ring Crib Sheet, I wish we didn’t have carpeting, but we do, but I tried to cover it up with this bright rug from Dwell Studios Draper Stripe Rug, Stacked Animal Wall Sticker & Wall Paint color: Benjamin Moore Timber Wolf

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Above photo: A lamp I worshipped for years before purchasing, Jonathan Adler’s Giraffe Lamp, Ikea bookshelves, Room and Board dresser & changing table, Laird’s chair & Dream Ring
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Above photo:  I was highly skeptical about the need for a rocker, but I love the one I got and it’s essential for our nap & bedtime routine. Room & Board allowed me to customize the fabric from their stock ones for something more stain resistant.  I chose the Doss fabric, Charcoal.  Also, I kept the blackout curtain very simple and selected a Dwell Studio pattern (Cameo Ovals) from The Shade Store


Photos by Muffy Kibbey Photography

February 9, 2015