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Tri Pendant Beauty...To Do Yourself!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, May 30, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

My Inspiration

I've been in the mood for a new dining fixture and had just the thing in mind. A clean, sophisticated piece that would place some bright direct light on the table (as I do quite a bit of work at the table), but also cozy, romantic, and dimmable, with a bit of Parisian chic. Was I asking too much?...NO.

Here is the result...and I love it.

The shades are made with a newspaper and glue mixture and then painted gold on the inside (giving them some good reflective power) and black on t...
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Stop And Smell The Roses

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, May 11, 2013, In : Flowers 

The best way to freshen up your home and decor, at little or no cost, is with flowers. If you have them in your yard, as so many homes I've seen over the past few weeks do, just clip a few and bring them inside.

All you need is one in a bud vase on your night table. If it happens to be a rose, the subtle, delicate fragrance will float through the room and give it a fresh, clean, scent. Not only that, your room will look redecorated and alive!

You can also just clip a few from your garden and pl...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, May 2, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Just like in fashion, sometimes the finishing touch makes all the difference! This is an easy touch that you can save loads on if you are willing to do it yourself. It really is easy.

 After Framing
I have several canvas paintings. Some that I have collected by favorite artists, and others that my son or I have created. Usually they go for years without framing. They can be hung so easily without one and look just fine. I decided that it was time to frame this one that I created which hangs ov...
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Stylin' + Finding a Desk Space Where There Is None.

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, April 11, 2013, In : Styling 
Hope everyone had a great spring break! I did, and I'm back with a bang!

Styling a room in your home can be daunting, but oh will it make a difference. Styling, the art of arranging accessories in particular, can really pull a room together.

When photos are taken of interiors for design magazines, there's usually a stylist on site to make it all look perfect. You don't think they look like that before the stylist walks in do you? Here are a few simple things that you can easily do yourself at h...
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Fancy A Finial?

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, March 22, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I certainly can. I needed a new finial for my lamp which had been missing one for what seems like years!

I decided to do something different instead of the same old little finial that no one ever pays attention to. Here's how I did it.

I just went to the local hardware store...the one that carries lamp parts (mine was Berkeley Ace Hardware), and picked up a finial with prongs just waiting for something to grab on to.

Next, I stopped at my local bead store (Baubles and Beads) and chose a rusty...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, In : Furniture 

My favorite articulated sconce 
I was running around today trying to find some fun things to style a photo shoot that I'm doing Thursday. I didn't have time to go far, but needed lots to choose from, so my destination was 4th Street in Berkeley.

Feeling desperate, I walked in to the new Rejuvenation on 4th street. I've shopped there before, but only on-line for clients that needed period light fixtures (which they specialize in). 

They just recently started opening stores outside of Portland ...
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Designing Music

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, In : Architectural Elements 

 Can you guess what this is?

When I first layed eyes on it I thought it was an amazing art installation,

but actually, it is a functional wall treatment that randomizes sound waves.

This one is in the most incredible recording studio I have ever seen, 25th Street Recording in Oakland.

All of the posts and beams are reclaimed fir,

the floor is reclaimed fir that was originally stadium seating back in the midwest,

the brick walls are all original to the building, which used to be an old auto bo...
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Tulips Gone Wild!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, February 27, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

What do you think of these chairs?

If you need that statement piece, here it is! They are "Bouquet" chairs by the artist and furniture designer Tokujin Yoshioka.

Fluffy, soft, and totally unique.





A Saarinen Tulip Chair Hybrid 
Just use the same method to make the chair as I did to make my Moonball Pendant Light. Instead of using coffee filters (like I did for the pendant light) use felt squares.

Let me know if any of you decide to try it. If you're in the mood for a fabulous pendant ligh...
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Beefing Up The Entry Wreath

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, February 21, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

After the holidays I put my succulent wreath back up on the front door...but it's grown, gotten a little leggy, and was in need of a facelift! 



Not wanting to add more succulents, I thought I'd do something even easier and more interesting...Tillandsia's! This was super easy and added another texture which I always like to do.

I just clipped off all of the dry and dead leaves

and played with the placement of the new Tillandsia elements.

Once I settled on their individual spots ...
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Door Knob Organizing

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, February 15, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I was really getting tired of looking at the mess on my door knob. I come home from working out and throw my stuff on the door knob. I come in from the cold and throw my jacket on the knob...Clearly too much stuff on the knob! My bedroom looks so much nicer without this mess.

My remedy? 3 more door knobs on the back of the door.

Actually they are drawer knobs! I really didn't want hooks, I'm just tired of the hook look I guess.

I purchased three brass drawer knobs at the hardware store.

They e...
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It's All In How You Stack It

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Do you need a hip, modern, side table that will be perfect with any decor? No worries, here are a couple of inexpensive ways to stack your own.

This is a fantastic side table in a modern and sophisticated interior. Francesca Connolly, editor of Remodelista, used games to make this one in her Brooklyn townhouse. Just stack the games and top it off with a round piece of glass that you can find here.

Then again, you can use books and forgo the glass.


Place your books side by side with a twist. ...
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Keep Your Valentine Warm

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Sunday, February 10, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Have you ever crawled into bed without your valentine and frozen because they're not there to warm up your toes or preheat your side?

I have, and I've always wished there was something to do for that extra warmth to put me to sleep. Maybe your valentine could also use something for those extra cold evenings. Here is the very simple snuggly DIY solution.

A soft and warm hot water bottle. Low tech? Yes! 

Just purchase one hot water bottle at your local pharmacy and a half yard of faux fur (or an...
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If Every Day Was Valentines Day

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, In : Gifts 

...the world would be a better place. 

If you're looking for a little something different for your Valentine on February 14th, I'll share a few items that might be fun.

A great little speaker/stand for your Valentine's iPhone. The very simple and retro style speaker can be set up anywhere at anytime. Before you know it you'll be doing the Tango where you least expect to. "The Bullhorn" comes neatly wrapped up in a number of colors for only $10.

Another sophisticated and stylish accessory for y...

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A Palette-table Idea

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Sunday, January 27, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I've been spying so many wooden shipping palettes in my travels lately. 

What could be easier to re-use with such BIG results?

How about a kitchen island for that beach house or mountain retreat,

a rustic buffet to store wines and table linens,

a display shelf for dishes,

or throw a cushion and some pillows on top for a reading nook.

The possibilities are endless and so is the supply of free palettes. Just pick them up in the back of large grocery stores or big box stores where they're waitin...

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A Touch Of Gold

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, January 19, 2013, In : DIY 

I'm missing the sparkle of the holidays so I thought I'd bring a little back with a quick and easy project that has a casual but chic flare.

Gold leafing can be so easy. Especially if you are working on a small piece and you don't care if it's perfect. 

To zip up a small plant container, just grab an old, used, terra-cotta pot and make sure you wipe off any mud on the exterior surface. I purposely left the white staining on the sides because I prefer the casual used look.

Pick up some gold le...
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I Have A Pile of Seashells...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, January 10, 2013, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Here are my seashells now! 
That I've collected over the past few years. The only shells that I didn't collect from the beach are the oyster shells that I convinced my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to save for me after their oyster feasts out on the town. 

I had no idea what I would ever do with my pile of shells but knew that inspiration would come...and it did! I spotted these designer shell mirrors. Bingo!

I've seen many shell mirrors out there that I've grown tired and bored with. But ...
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Lively, Radient, Lush Green

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, January 5, 2013, In : Color 


That's how the official announcement for the 2013 Pantone color of the year describes it.

Every year Pantone announces their new color of the year. The color pick is intended to influence the particular time period it has been chosen for. Emerald is meant to "enhance our sense of well being and harmony" in 2013. I hope it works!

Pantone is a company known best for PMS, the Proprietary Matching System that originally only graphic designers used but is now widely used in all industries ...
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Light Up The Mantle...Without Sconces

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, December 27, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

If you don't have sconces and want to light up your mantle, all you need is a pair of lamps!

Mantles are not usually very deep, so you'll need to come up with half shades instead of full size lamp shades. Custom half lamp shades can be ridiculously expensive so I'll show you how to make a couple.

I happened to have an extra lamp shade that I used for this project. You can usually pick up an inexpensive shade at Target, Cost Plus, or Lamps Plus.

First cut the shade in half using either bolt cu...
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Merry Christmas!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, December 25, 2012,
Merry Christmas


May you all have bright, beautiful, and healthy holidays!


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Quick Mirror Transformation

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Are you in desperate straights to find time and resources to decorate for the holidays? I am! 

What I had over my mantle just wasn't making the cut. As I have several mirrors that I pick up at junk shops because they are so easy to re-do in so many ways and can be used for so many things, I thought I'd re-do one quickly and easily to start my mantle decor. Mirrors are always a good fall back for making a big statement.

This mirror was no exception. I picked it up for $5. at my local junk shop....
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How Does Your Garland Grow?

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, In : Holiday Decor 

Naturally! Garland (a mass of plant material) is the basis for most holiday decor, whether it is wired together or just strategically placed on your mantle, in the middle of your dining table, or hanging from your light fixtures.

It's nice to match your holiday decor with the environment in which you are living. For example;  in Hawaii place a shell wreath on your door but in Alaska use antlers, decorative snowdrifts, and large pine boughs!

Use what is abundant in your particular area during...
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The 10 Minute Wreath

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, December 8, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Wreaths are one of the easiest things to pull together for the holidays. It will only take you 10-15 minutes and you'll have exactly what you want.

You can either start from scratch (with a wire form) or take much less time by starting with a plain, unadorned, pine or boxwood wreath. You can pick them up in the grocery stores, at the Christmas Tree lots or even at Trader Joe's (where I purchased mine) for $9.


I just started with some greens that I picked off a Laurel bush on the side of my ...
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Don't Be Someone Else's Doormat

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

...Customize your own!

It's fairly simple to customize your own doormat. I needed a new one and just could not find what I wanted (ridiculous, I know, as it launched me into an entirely new project). If you just can't find what you like then purchase a plain doormat that you can usually find at your local hardware store and design away!

First you'll need a piece of paper the same size as your mat to make a stencil of your design. I used cut up grocery bags that I taped together.

Draw your des...
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Tech Talk For The Holidays

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, December 1, 2012, In : Gifts 

It has been raining all day so that DIY project that needs to get done is on hold until I have a few hours of dry weather because it just will not work to do it inside! So I'll interrupt the scheduled post to bring you some fun and unusual gift ideas for the holidays.

This is the X-Mini II Capsule Speaker that plugs into your iPhone, laptop, or mp3 player to give you a big fantastic sound anywhere you go. It's available in several fun colors and about a third the size of your iPhone for only ...
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Dishing It Out

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Tis the season for giving and do I have a great personalized gift for you to give! It only takes 2 minutes and costs less than $5!


This is the easiest to make. I call it the "Snow Leopard Winter Mug". 

All you have to do is go out and pick up some really inexpensive white dishes. I decided to try my luck at Cost Plus World Market. They had a great selection of white dishes just begging to be adorned.

I picked up a mug ($2.), a bowl ($10.), and a small serving platter ($3.). Any of these coul...
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Pulp Non-Fiction

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, November 17, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I've been a bit swamped with last minute deadlines before the Thanksgiving holiday thus the silence for the last week. When Thanksgiving has passed, I'll have some new projects to share. Here is one that looks easy and I would love to try!

These wonderful "PulpLamps" were created by Enrique Romero, an Industrial Designer in Madrid, Spain.

The only material he uses is the paper paste made from recycled newspapers.

Shred the newspaper into a container,

Add your glue and water,

Stir well

Let sit ...

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Tillandsia Tidbits

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, In : Flowers 

I fell in love last time I visited Costa Rica...with Epiphytes, otherwise known as air plants because they don't need soil to grow. All they need is something to hold onto (don't we all), indirect light, and moisture! They are the easiest plants to care for, indoors and outdoors, whatever the color of your thumb. Not only that, they can look so fabulous!

While at a neighborhood party last week, I was speaking to friend, who low and behold, has the same love of Epiphytes that I do! You just do...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, In : Halloween 

I wanted to give you some last minute ideas to make your Halloween night extra fun...

Grab some white or green water balloons, break open a glow stick, insert it in the balloon, fill the balloon with water and hang it inside an old nylon from your front porch or even from the tree in front. If you're throwing a party, hang them from the ceiling!

Take your old wine bottles, oil bottles, vinegar bottles...ANY bottles...and spray paint them with a matte black. Stick a black candle in the top and ...
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Bored With The Head Of Your Bed?

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, October 27, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

If you're ready to switch up your bedroom a bit, try a new headboard! Here are some easy, inexpensive, and creative ways to do it yourself!

This is an old head and footboard you can find at an old junk shop, flea market, or antique shop. All you need to do is paint it. This one has been totally modernized in black with the blue stripe down the center.

Another idea would be to make your own tufted headboard. You can make your own traditional curved style, but why not go big and sophisticated. ...
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Fall Floral Arranging...When you don't have the right size vase

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, In : Flowers 

Make your own!


Flowers are such an easy way to brighten up your home for fall, especially with some deep, bright, warm colors.

I picked up a length of scrap metal screen at the local junk re-use yard (Urban Ore) and it was just the thing to get my creative vase making juices going. 

I was picturing a long, low arrangement, and this made it work. I just took 3 short (about 4 inches) fat jars, 

placed them on top of a piece of scrap wood that I had,


wound the scrap metal screen under the wood ...
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LED Candles for The Holidays

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, In : Great Finds 

Now's the time to stock up on candles for the holidays! Try the candles that never make a mess, and never burn out!

LED candles are now on sale at Cost Plus through October 21st at a fantastic price.

The 3"x3" candle is now $5.99.

The 3"x6" candle is now $7.49.

Use these for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas...or just for a romantic evening dinner.

On another note, I thought I'd tell you about a couple of other great deals I've spied.

I'm loving this bright Vintage Mahal pillow tha...
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Interior Halloween Decor

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, October 13, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

As my child has aged, I tend not to decorate indoors for Halloween anymore. I keep the scary, creepy, and fun stuff on the front porch for the little visitors on Halloween night. But I still love a good table centerpiece!

This one has a more elegant Halloween feel and its super easy to do. Just cut the top off a green pumpkin (a small top the size of a drinking glass opening...3-4" in diameter), hollow out a cylinder size area of the pumpkin (so you can actually slide a glass or small jar rig...

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Fall Furs

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, In : Furs 

It's fall, the evenings are getting cooler, and if you've ever used a nice faux fur to keep warm, you know that it's the best!
Here are a few suggestions for using them, as well as places to find some.

Use a sheep skin to keep your toes warm...

or use one to keep your seat warm...



If you're not satisfied with that, then by all means wrap yourself in a large faux fur!

  has a sale that's ending in 2 days featuring Donna Salyers' "Fabulous Furs" that are normally close to $200. now o...
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Wild Reflections

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, October 6, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I found a great large beveled mirror with a decent wood frame the other day at one of my favorite haunts for only $5. It just needed a quick sanding and painting to spruce it up. But why settle for plain Jane when I could go wild!

This is what I ended up with! It's fun, interesting, used up a bunch of pieces of Manzanita I had laying around as well as an old paper maché deer and some rubber snakes.


I just glued my carefully curated pile of odds and ends on the top and bottom of the mirror f...

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Towels As Art?

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Why not?...In the kitchen.

I was at Sur La Table today and found the greatest kitchen towels! In fact you could either frame them, if you need some wall art in your kitchen,

 or you could get a small wooden dowel at the hardware store, glue it to the top back edge of the towel (with hot glue) and just hang it over two small nails.

The other great thing to do with nice towels is make some fabulous throw pillows. When they have fantastic graphics...
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Cost Less At Cost Plus

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, September 28, 2012, In : Shopping 

I haven't been to Cost Plus World Market in ages...have you? I was in the neighborhood so I stopped by to check out their inventory and was I surprised!


They had some fantastic, colorful cotton and jute rugs on sale for up to 50% off (large and small sizes).

You could throw a small one in an entry, on your kitchen floor, or use this big neutral paisley in the bedroom.

Have a small sitting room to furnish or just need a small settee for your bedroom? This was really cozy and comfortable in l...
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Instant Personalized Art

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Très chic!

What a wonderful way to be able to view and display your favorite this digital age.

Take advantage of technology, create a conversation piece, and fill a large space in a fabulous way.

If you take pictures with your iPhone, as I do most of the time now...I mean that's when I get my best candid shots can now instantly download and format them so easily with one of the many apps out there.

You can either print them on to a canvas or a contact sheet that you ...
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Presto Change-o!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, September 22, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I know what you're going to say..."Another light?"

It's just sooo hard for me to resist a $7. deal at the The Goodwill!

All I had to do was paint it. I was planning on painting it a bright glossy red or even a glossy black, but after cleaning and priming, it just looked amazing in white! So I found a Matte White Krylon spray (not glossy) which makes it look like a plaster sculpture in real life. Pretty Cool. I would actually put a bit longer Black drum shade on it though.

The moral of this sto...
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Flowers & Leaves

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, In : Flowers 

Sunday was my 17th Anniversary...Wooo Hooo! Shocking...Time flies when your having fun!

My honey brought home one dozen beautiful roses for a perfect arrangement so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share them with you and show you how to make a statement with lots of greens!

You can use as few as 3 to 5 flowers (or none at all). Take a stroll in your backyard, grab some greens (any kind will do) and be sure to place your greens in the vase first. They will act as the structure to hold y...
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Coffee Table Magic

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, September 15, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I love to find simple ways of creating furnishings. About a year ago I posted a couple of creative ways of putting together a 3 minute coffee table. Here are two more!

If you're in need of a quick one, just gather all of your magazines that you've been saving, stack them up, and place a piece of glass right on top.

This one you can create by taking four cinderblocks and laying a stone slab right on top. You can find some nice stone slabs at your local salvage yard. Just be sure and inset the ...

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Jean Prouvé DIY Sconce

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, September 13, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Jean Prouvé, the french metalworker who was a self taught architect and designer, made incredible contributions to the design world. One of them being this very simple wall mounted metal lamp which is one of my favorite modern lighting designs.

If you study his designs you will see that because they celebrate simplicity, the feel of his designs can be created using basic materials that are easily accessed.

I think this small sconce would look great in pairs, flanking a sofa or even a bed. B...

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Rewire Your Own Lamp!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, September 7, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

When you come across a little treasure at the junk shop or flea market, wouldn't you like to bring it home and transform it into a beautiful piece for your home? It's super easy to do.

Here's how you can do it in less than an hour.

I wish I had taken a picture of the state I found this one wouldn't have believed it! For $10. how could I go wrong. It was really dirty brown with some rusted parts still hanging off of it.

The first thing you do is take it apart and clean it. Then decide ...

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Great New Mid Mod Shop + More!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, August 31, 2012, In : New Shops 

I found a great new resource for Midcentury Modern furnishings in a fabulous up and coming spot!

The spot is called Temescal Alley.

The shop is called Lot 49 Urban Home Store.

Perry, the incredibly nice guy who owns and curates this little shop has only the best stuff at very reasonable prices. 

He is a graphic designer by day (Monday through Friday) and a shop keeper on Thursday through Saturday.

Not only is his furniture and lighting fabulous, but he also has new pillows that he makes using ...

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A Quick Trip To Ashland

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, In : Travel 
My family always takes a quick 3 day trip to Ashland, Oregon at the end of the summer. It's the perfect, relaxing place to immerse yourself in the theater... a huge source of design inspiration.

Ashland is a quaint little town just north of the California boarder with one of the most well known repertory theater companies in the country. 

This quaint little town not only has the first and largest Elizabethan stage in the country, but also two additional theaters, the Bowmer Theater and The Ne...

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Color Blocked Spools

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

It took me a while to decide what colors I wanted to paint the spools that I found at the construction site last week.

I finally settled on green and grey which would blend with all of the other yard and deck colors but not be too wild.

First I primed the spools with Zissner spray primer,

then after waiting a half hour I sprayed the top and center column with my favorite Krylon indoor/outdoor paint in a lime green (they call it Ivy).

After waiting another half hour I taped the center column w...

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Man Cave

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, August 18, 2012, In : Room Inspiration 

If you have some extra space in your home and can devote it to your man, what do you think he'd like there? A Man Cave of course.

I'm in the process of putting together one of these caves and I've really started getting into it! Does it just have to be for a man?

I would label it hip, industrial chic....Just imagine some dark wood paneling up the bottom half of the wall, white paint above, large framed black chalkboards, and a few industrial articulating sconces hanging between each one.

Oh, an...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, In : Internet Sale Sites 

A couple of months ago I was approached by a group of four creative and enthusiastic entrepreneurs that were starting a new business to make interior design affordable and easily available over the internet. They knew that I was experienced in providing   "e-design" services and wanted me to be a part of their team of designers. 

After I helped them to solidify their Design in A Box concept, and designed the office of their first client, they are off and running!

Allow me to introduce you to ...
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Hittin' The Construction Sites...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, August 11, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

and finding some soon to be garden tables!

They may look like your ordinary electrical wire spools to you now, but when I'm done with these puppies, they'll be fun and colorful outdoor tables.

Just give me a few days and I'll be back with the new and improved little spool tables.

Here's one example of what can be done. These are rustic yet modern looking. I think I'll add a bit more color.

I happened to spot these at a local construction site and asked the foreman if he wouldn't mind me lifting...
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Invite The Birds Inside

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, In : Art 

I've always loved the outdoors and usually try to incorporate them, in some fashion, into my interior designs. 

One of the things that I enjoy doing is listening to and watching all of the birds that make our backyard their summer home. The bird bath that I rigged a couple of months ago has attracted even more avian friends!  


Ralph Lauren Design

One way to incorporate the outdoors into your home is through birds in art.

There are incredible vintage bird prints available for little to no cost...

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I'm Back...With Shipping Containers!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, August 3, 2012, In : Shipping Containers 

I had a FANTASTIC vacation, in the water, on the beach, and also visiting a shipping container. It was so tasty!

While at the beach, my son found a great new shipping container that had opened as a waffle shop in Carlsbad (North San Diego County).

He insisted I return with him to taste the chocolate chip waffle sandwiches which sounded awful to me, but I was game.

Oh My God! They were delicious! You need a waffle iron that makes thin waffles as opposed to a belgian waffle iron (which I curren...
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Talk To You Soon

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, July 19, 2012,

Originally I was planning on sharing some fun posts with you...but this is where I am...

and I just can't seem to bring myself to get out of the water!

So I'll have some great new things for you as soon as I'm back from my really relaxing about 2 weeks!

I hope you're all having a great summer...Lori

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Poetic Art

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, July 14, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I love big pieces of art...specifically big canvases.

They can so easily make a big statement on an empty wall or in a very neutral or white room. 

Here is another idea for you to do yourself. Go down to the 1 cent canvas sale at Aaron Brothers, purchase a BIG canvas, Paint the whole thing one color (you could paint it black or fuschia, or your favorite color), and then paint one of your favorite pieces of poetry on it. Don...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, July 12, 2012, In : New Shops 

It's a must go and see in San Francisco! Cavalier

Jay Jeffers, the hottest interior designer in SF right now, and his partner Michael Purdy, who is the principal of Purdystyle, an independent consulting firm focusing on brand and product development for the creative community, have opened their new retail shop right in front of Jeffer's interior design firm's offices.

 They have a fabulous collection of eclectic wares and furnishings for the home and they continue to fill their sho...

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Freshening Up The Old Outdoor Iron

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, July 7, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

One of my clients was ready to spiff up her yard for some fabulous outdoor entertaining with this incredible weather we've been having. So instead of getting rid of all the very old iron furniture she had, we freshened it up and added a bit more!

This is what it all looked like when we started this project; old, rusted, and certainly not very appealing.

But with a little elbow grease, a sanding sponge, and a metal brush, we just cleaned off the rust and grime and readied it to be prettied up ...
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Fireworks On The 4th

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, In : Recipe 

Time to set off the tastebud fireworks!

One of my favorite dishes that will surely set them off at this time of year, 

with the incredible heirloom tomatoes

and basil

and garlic

and olive oil available fresh at the farmers market,

is Bruschetta!

So easy to make too! Just thinly slice or chop the tomatoes, garlic, and basil...pour a bit of olive oil on top, and you're ready to place some of this delicious stuff on top of a thin slice of garlic rubbed, toasted, sour baguette. The only problem is, ...
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You Saw It Here First!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, June 30, 2012, In : Beads as Decor 

Allow me to introduce you to Carlos Souza. He happens to be the PR guru for the very pinnacle of fashion style, Valentino.

It so happens that Refinery 29 and then Habitually Chic, two top design blogs, both ran a story on Carlos and his very stylish New York digs this week. The photos were captured by Carissa Pelleteri.

And what stylish focal points did those photos capture? None other than beads used in the design of his eclectic interior.

Does this look familiar? See my blog post here.

OK p...
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DIY Chic Root Table

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, June 28, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Long before I spotted this fabulous table in Rachel Roy's Manhattan Studio, I had picked up a slab of Teak root with this very design in mind. This was just the spark I needed to make it happen. You can do it too! Here's how:

First find a Teak root slab and go to the hardware store or lumber yard and pick up a 36" length of 1"x12" Pine. You can find the Teak at Save On Crafts.

Next cut two lengths of 1'x12" to the height of the table that you would like (I cut mine 18" long).

To make the ta...
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Using Beads as Decor

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, June 23, 2012, In : Beads as Decor 

Most of us have something that we've inherited or collected but are not sure what to do with. My inheritance happens to be several strands of beads and necklaces that I never wear. Some sterling, some turquoise, lapis, ivory, and malachite.

The different textures, colors, and sizes of all these make for a wonderful conversation piece when all displayed together.

Similar to putting art on the walls or a sculpture or beautiful vase on a table, necklaces when grouped together create their own wor...
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Introducing H

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, In : New Shops 

There is a great little shop that I happened to trip over in North Berkeley last week and I must tell you about it!

H Julien Designs is a wonderful small space filled with incredibly simple and beautiful floral arrangements, handblown glass vases, pottery, scarves, and a number of gifts that I would be happy to present to my very best of friends.


Shockingly, Howard Arendtson has owned this shop for 10 years and told me that people always come in and wonder if it's new...just like me!


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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, June 16, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I stopped at my local junk shop and low and behold they had a "free" pile in front. Sticking up out of the pile was a very large, what used to be beautiful, gold frame. It had a warped poster glued to the back and was actually twisted because one of the corners had come apart.


New frames can be extremely expensive and old frames just have so much more character. I couldn't resist taking it and nursing it back to it's original beauty. Here's how to do it...

First take care of the broken corn...
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Time For A Bath

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

For the Birds!

Remember last summer I hung my fire pit as a beautiful platter on the wall above the bench on my back deck? It really spiffed things up. The best up-cycle I had done in a while! If you'd like to see how to do it click here.

At the time, I couldn't figure out what to do with the lid to the firepit. I decided to keep it knowing at some point something would come to me. Well it did! 

I was watching the birds perched on the large pot that we have in the middle of the jungle (that I ...

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This Week's Random Finds

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, June 9, 2012, In : Great Finds 

First of all, make your home bright and beautiful this weekend. 

Peonies are in season for a short time. These are my absolute favorite flower. They're full and luscious and last! Just pick up 3-5 of them at the store and pop them in a glass. You don't need many to make a big splash!

Next, If you need any simple planters (indoor or out) here's your deal! These Zinc tall planters will go with any decor and make any plant look great. They're on sale now at Crate and Barrel.

If you need a floor...
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What To Do With Your Cool Fireplace

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, In : Fireplaces 

Is your fireplace being abandoned without a second thought in the warmer weather? Why not take the opportunity in these warmer months tp change it up a bit? Make it a different focal point...without a fire.


There are endless ways you can decorate th interior of your fireplace when not in use. The simplest and probably the most popular is to fill it with candles or lanterns.

But there are also other creative lighting ideas if you still want to see it lit up. How about a tumbleweed that you wr...
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The Atomic Light

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, June 2, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

The name was my son's idea. He thinks it looks like an atom, and all his friends agreed. They all think it's WAY COOL! I like the industrial chic look it has.

Some of you guessed right on the last post. These molded spheres of steel hanger strap were fashioned into a pendant light. If you guessed chandelier that counts.

All you need to do is get some 22 gauge 3/4" galvanized steel hanger strap at your local hardware store and a few (approximately 12) small short bolts that fit through the hole...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, In : Sneak Peek 

It's been a busy couple of weeks and I'm slammed! I'm trying to play catch-up and complete several projects for your viewing pleasure.

Here's a little peek at a couple that you'll be seeing complete in the next 2 weeks...

Can you believe there are two different things in this picture? You probably think I've lost my mind. On the contrary, I've been using too much of it at once. 

I'll provide an hour of complimentary design consultation to the first person who guesses what these will be! Just e-...

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Hoist Your Flag

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, May 26, 2012, In : Art 

If you have a large wall to make a colorful simple statement on, or a small bedroom that needs a punch of color

try a vintage flag!


 There are so many sizes and designs to choose from.


Mariners flags are great in a library or a boys room

All you need to do is either mount your flag on a piece of 1/4" plywood with furniture tacks around the edge, use a large poster frame, or put a frame together with 4 lengths of 1" x 2" strips that are secured at the corners with 4 corner brackets and wrap th...

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What Would I Do...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

If I found these two chairs...which I did today for $20 each at Urban Ore (my favorite place to find materials for re-use)? 

These are old, large, heavy duty, outdoor rattan chairs. The kind that they used to make in the pre-plastic rattan age. They're in great shape other than a few misplaced pieces of rattan on the backs and the old outdoor upholstery.

First I would pop the upholstered seats off, spray the chairs a HOT PINK or TURQUOISE blue with Krylon outdoor spray paint.

Then I would r...
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Faux...Faux Bois

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, May 19, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Faux Bois, meaning "false wood" in french, has always had a place in my home or garden. Not surprising  considering how much I love using branches in my work.

Faux faux boise would then refer to real wood that's pretending to be fake? Right!

After spotting this console (for thousands of dollars) that I thought was fantastic, I thought I'd try my hand at a little faux faux.

I just used what I had on hand.


I spray painted this grapevine branch with Krylon HIgh Gloss white paint,

spray painted th...
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An Inside Job

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

If you've always wanted to get wild and crazy in a room but were afraid to, most designers would tell you to go wild in a small space (like a small powder room). Sounds fun doesn't it?


I know many people who yearn to do even a small space in a bright color or a crazy fun wallpaper but STILL can't commit themselves to even a phone booth sized powder room. THIS POST IS FOR YOU.


Why not try going wild in the safety of your own closet or in a small cabinet.


Just paint the Inside of a small cab...
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Blue and Lots of White!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, May 12, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I dropped by my favorite junk antiques shop today to see if they had anything new that one of my clients could use.

What I found I decided to keep for myself! After all, I deserve a treat for Mother's Day!

They had several blue and white chinese pots and ginger jars. One is always nice...but en masse they can be fabulous.

For $15. I purchased 3 of varying height, cleaned them up, placed them in a group,

and filled each one with a bunch of white flowers. 

One with Tulips, one with Hydrangeas, an...
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Sunny Warm Weather

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, In : Garden 

Really makes me crave my weekend mornings out on the back deck with my incredible live-in barista's special cappuccino.

There are some FANTASTIC outdoor rugs available right now to spruce it up.


Close-up of the blue and white (also comes in grey and white) 
One of my current favorites is the Outdoor Dhurrie by West Elm which is on special.

Not only would it look great on the deck, but it could even be used to drape over an old bench to give it a fresh new look (without even having to get a new...
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DIY Designer Drapery

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, May 5, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

A couple weeks ago I was working on a client's colorful drapery. I started by showing you how to applique drapery, lampshades, and pillows. If you missed it, here it is.

I finished the drapery panels by tying all the elements together with some blue woven cord. The blue really picks up the birds in the design. 

I layed the panels side by side and chose a design that would bring it all together. I hot glued the cord on being careful to match the beginning and end of the cord on each panel. 

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Chic DIY Desk

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 


This chic little desk could not be much easier to make yourself.

All you need is some welded wire fencing (the kind that is used to make rabbit cages or backyard fencing). You can find it at your local hardware store. 

It comes in several widths. I would recommend using the 24" width for a desk or console table. If you would like a higher table, you'll need to purchase the 36" width fencing and cut it down to the size you prefer.
Unroll your fencing.

Decide on the diameter of your wire columns...

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Super Easy DIY Fabulous Large Pillows!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, April 28, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Have you been looking for one or two unique large pillows for your sofa or chaise? They can be very expensive and very hard to find.

This one was made with an Anthropologie 2' x 3' crewel wool rug!

It only takes 15 minutes max! 
These crewel wool rugs usually have a heavy cotton backing that is just attached around the edges.  


All you need to do is open up the seam at one of the short ends of the pillow (where the cotton back attaches to the front), fill it with a bag of poly fill or a feathe...

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A Different Arrangement

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, In : Flowers 

We've been having some crazy weather but now it seems like spring is finally in the air.

I'm ready for a different arrangement! Instead of using your basic vase, how about a fun basket. There certainly are plenty to choose from.

All you need to do is take a couple of jam jars, mason jars or old mayonnaise jars, fill them with water and place them in your basket.


Now just place a few bunches of tulips with some curly willow (or just some sticks from a tree for that matter) in them and you now...
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Manzanita Madness

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, April 20, 2012, In : DIY 

If you've been following my blog adventures for any length of time, you'll know that I'm CRAZY about branches, especially Manzanita. I always recommend keeping a few branches around. They can be used in so many different ways!

You can even make a quick and easy pendant light!

All you need are 3 sandblasted Manzanita branches (that you can get here),

and a light socket and some nylon covered electrical cord (that you can get at your local hardware store or here).

Thread your electrical cord thr...
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It's Larger Than Life

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Looks fabulous on one of your blank walls, and is only $8. if you do it yourself in black and white!

Large photographic images can be stunning in a home.

They work in kitchens,

living rooms,

and your kids rooms.

Just pick a digital image that you have taken, load it onto a thumb drive (flash drive), take it over to your local large office store like Office Max or Office Depot, give them your thumb drive and ask them to make the largest "engineer print" that they can. A 4' x 5' print will be a...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, April 13, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 
It takes some patience and time, but the results are well worth it! Embellishment!

I'm currently working with a client that is very colorful, fun, and full of life, and so is her beautiful home.

We completed her home a few years ago, but she's ready for new drapery in her living room. Instead of the basic plain drape, I'm producing one of a kind beauties that will be colorful yet simple.

We purchased some fabulous Belgian Linen Drapes that are on sale now at Restoration Hardware. They're discon...
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Who's The Fairest...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, In : MIrrors 

...of them all

There are so many mirrors to choose from, and so many things to do with them!

So many interesting shapes and sizes. Convex mirrors are some of my favorites! You can use mirrors to create more light,

to create an illusion of a large window when you are lacking one,


to create a darkly romantic and cozy interior (in this case they are antiqued mirrors).


You can even use them as art by hanging a bright wall of vintage mirrors. This would certainly enhance the light in any room.


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Serving Up The Golden Egg

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, April 6, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Spring is in the air and celebrations will be had this weekend with lovely meals.

Whether you observe Easter or Passover, It's a great time to set a beautiful table...and I have some ideas for you!

Votives are festive...why not make your own by using real eggs lined with gold.

The glow is beautiful and it's fitting for any occasion.

All you need to do is pick up a dozen white eggs at the store. Crack them in half, empty the eggs into a bowl (you can use them later for a quiche or fritatta), wa...
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What To Do When You Hate Your House

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, In : Architectural Elements 

One option would be to move, however this family bought the house for the perfect neighborhood. Sometimes all a home needs is a good canvas to start with. The house was plain and lacked even the simplest architectural elements.



 With the addition of some simple architectural details and comfortable furnishings the family has fallen in love with their home!

Just adding built-in book shelves in the living room as well as crown molding, nice high baseboard molding, and paneling on the lower q...

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Frank Gehry Recycled?

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Saturday, March 31, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Yes! Frank Gehry designed and fabricated classic pieces out of cardboard and you can too!

I decided to try my hand at this fabulous table. 

Instead of a large table or desk, I fabricated a console which is just as long but not quite as deep. 

The first step was to stockpile my cardboard. I ended up using 12 sheets that were approximately  30" x 60" each. If you don't think you can save this much yourself, you can easily purchase recycled cardboard sheets at an art supply store such as Blick.

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The New Chalk Art...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Is very much alive and well!

It's being used by hip hotels in New York (Ace Hotel above),

and by big brands like Ralph Lauren and Rugby for product launches.

The artist behind this lovely chalk lettering is Dana Tanamachi from Brooklyn, New York. You can read about her here.

But why not create some of your own.

If you have a budding artist in the family, it can be a piece of art that changes with the seasons.

If you don't want a permanent wall painted, just paint a canvas with chalkboard paint ...

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Big Daddy

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, March 22, 2012, In : New Shops 

Big Daddy's Antiques is the perfect name for this big daddy of a shop!

In addition to selling at the best flea markets in California, they have been in business for over 20 years selling out of their Los Angeles warehouse and opened their San Francisco warehouse about 1 year ago.

The owner travels throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia sourcing large unique architectural elements and antiques to stock the shops.

Big Daddy's also has a large custom business. You pick the table base, they make t...

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The Shop Is Open!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, In : Design Salon Shop 

The Design Salon Shop is finally open!

It's taken a while and I wasn't sure if I should wait until every possible item is ready, but I decided to open up and regularly add to the offerings as I go.

The Design Salon Shop resides in the Etsy marketplace. For those of you that do not know Etsy, it is a vintage and handmade marketplace who's mission is to empower people (very very small businesses) to change the way the global economy works, make it more sustainable, and more fun. Certainly I hav...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, March 16, 2012, In : Art 

I stopped by one of my favorite haunts today, Urban Ore, looking through lots of other people's trash, always looking for treasures.


It is a very LARGE, old, rusted and warm ring with a very soft feel.

It's about 48 inches in diameter, the band is about 3 inches wide and it is a very heavy gauge steel.

It would look incredible just hanging on a stark white wall (very modern...rustic yet minimalist).

Imagine a beautiful rusted steel circle above this sofa,

on your mantel,



It would a...

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A Slice of Orange

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, In : Color 

I have always loved the color orange in a home...

It only takes one POP!

It could be in a blanket,

on a chair,

just a pillow,

or a painting.

One of my clients is just finishing up her retro modern kitchen and sprinkled it in the back splash. The tile is from one of my favorite resources;  Ann Sacks.


It suits her and her family perfectly!

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A New Star is Born

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, March 9, 2012, In : Art 

Last week I was invited to the first art exhibit of a young man I have known since he was in grade school. I was always enthralled by the projects he had going; all quite advanced and all taking huge amounts of patience. The end results were always incredible.

Pillars of Creation - Eagle Nebula 
After graduating from UC Davis Elliot went on to Hastings Law School in San Francisco where he will finish in June and take the BAR exam shortly thereafter. 

Creation Nebula

Seeing Elliot's...
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$4. For A Smile

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, In : Flowers 

All you need are 20 stems of Daffodils (available for about $4. at your local grocery or florist), a small container, and some ribbon or twine.

Cut your Daffodils to the height you prefer for your container,

wrap the ribbon or twine around the stems about 3 or 4 times (starting the wrap where the top of your container will be),

tie a square knot (right over left...left over right), 

place them in your container that you've partially filled with water.

Voila! They'll be blooming in a couple o...

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Somebody...snatch these up!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, March 2, 2012, In : Furniture 

I was out hunting for my list of client items when I came across two steals! 

I would have snatched them up myself, but I'd need another house just to store things.

At the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Berkeley they have this fabulous long console table for $200.

All it needs is a top!

I'm picturing a zinc wrapped top that could be done VERY EASILY and inexpensively.

This is what I'm picturing it looking like. 


Then I spotted this Travertine marble indoor/outdoor coffee table top marked down to ...

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The Unveiling

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, February 28, 2012, In : Bathroom 

I love it when a plan comes together! In this case, I also get to enjoy it on a daily basis!

In case you don't remember, before the the holidays we had a small plumbing emergency in our master bathroom. Because the pipes were all rotten and the bathroom is on the second floor, we had to stop everything and move the bathroom renovation to the top of the list...immediately! Luckily I already had a plan drawn up and my favorite contractor willing to fit me in between other jobs.

Let me remind you...

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Who Needs More Storage Space?

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, February 24, 2012, In : Storage 

If you've exhausted all of your traditional resources for storage and still feel you need more, but really don't have enough, I have a few additional places to look for some.

Use your dining room as a library. If you don't already have some shelving, install some. Then crawl under your dining table and check out the available real estate there! If you have a rectangular table, you can always use a 1x6 or 1x12 board or plank to span the two ends of the table and create extra storage.

Check out...
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Sitting Pretty

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, February 21, 2012, In : Furniture 

I've never really thought much either way of the Grandin Road catalogue, however, it arrived the other day in the mail and I was surprised to see some great stools at fantastic prices!

Alsace Metal Stool $49. (Great Deal!)




 Do you need a stool to sit on, put your feet up, or use as an accent table?


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Double Ringer

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, February 17, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I was so inspired by the incredible chandeliers in the UC Berkeley International House that I decided to try my hand at producing one myself!

It takes a bit of patience and fine motor skills, but if you'd like a weekend challenge I say GO FOR IT!

This is what you'll need:

2 wood rings (I used one 24" and one 30" diameter ring)
Several copper or steel 1/4" pipe clamps (I used 22 copper clamps as I had 22 lights)
Several 1/4" brass or steel screws (you'll need two for each clamp)
1 3/4' Candelabra ...
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Simple Is A Sweet Valentine

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, February 14, 2012,

Mutts by Patrick McDonnell


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Pillow Talk

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, February 10, 2012, In : Pillows 

We're in between seasons, and its just about now that I can use a quick and easy change to perk things up around the house. Of course one of the easiest ways to do that is change up some pillows. Not only are these some of the most fabulous soft, colorful, and beautiful pillows, but they are on sale!


These are all hand made from Uzbekistan hand dyed silk velvet and are available in the Etsy shop, Sukan.

My favorites are the reds,




the blues,



and this incredible pink I would toss anywher...

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It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

They use trees and even telephone wires as a structure for support, they gather moisture and nutrients from the air around them, and they require little or no care.

They are usually found in the tropics but can survive anywhere that has natural light, moisture, and is temperate.

They are called Epiphytes. Many mosses, lichens, and ferns are Epiphytes. 

Tillandsia's, which are readily available on the internet or through local specialized nurseries such as Flowerland, can make a beautiful livin...

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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, February 3, 2012, In : Garden 

On the quiet part of Solano Avenue in Albany there lives a nursery that has been there for years. It was a sleepy little spot with nothing unusual going on until...Voila! Three years ago Carly Dennett bought this little nursery and turned it into a magical spot... the new Flowerland.


With her background in professional gardening, her lifetime love of nurseries, and her merchandising experience, she continues to morph this place into more than a nursery; a place for creative ideas, beautiful ...

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Domingos Totora...A Recycle Artist and Genius

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, In : Art 

My first thought when discovering his work was "impossible...this can't be recycled cardboard!"


But it is...and oh, Domigos Totora's work is incredible.

After studying design in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Domingos returned to his small hometown of Maria Da Fe, a city in the region of Minas Gerais in Brazil and chose cardboard as the source material for his work. The surrounding nature serves as his source of inspiration. 

Starting with recycled cardboard, he creates objects and sculptures where beau...

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I Wound It Through The Grapevine

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, January 27, 2012, In : Lighting 

...the electrical wire, that is.

What can you do with some old grapevine and a little electrical wire? 

Make a unique, modern yet rustic table or mantle light!

All you need is some colorful wire,



a socket for one end of the wire,



a plug for the other end of the wire,

a fabulous old Edison Filament Bulb,

and your in business.

just wind your wire through and/or around the grapevine until you are satisfied with the look, then you attach both your socket and your plug. Electrical wire comes i...

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Time To Make A Statement!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 
...or two.

Aaron Brothers Art Supply is having their annual one cent sale through January 28th. Now is the time to pick up a HUGE canvas and get the second for ONE CENT!

Franz Klein Painting (Miles Redd interior)

 What can you do with a large canvas you ask? You can make a HUGE statement!

Franz Klein Painting


All you need is a little inspiration,

Gwen Driscoll Design

Mario Uribe Painting (KWID Design) 

2 paint colors and 1 brush.
First paint your background color on the entire canvas and let it...

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Raw Inspiration

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, January 20, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 
I've always been attracted to the color and texture of light, raw wood.


Here is an inspiration board for a Family Room that is neutral, comfortable, and elegant all at the same time!

Some of these items you can even make yourself!

Here is the resource list with links and tutorials: 

Oversized Sunburst Mirror - Ballard Designs
Boston Library Wall Light - Circa Lighting
Hayes Sectional - Room and Board 
Hourglass Teak Stool - Pearl River
Souk Rug - West Elm
Grapewood DIY Coffee Table - Tutorial

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Cisco Home

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, In : Sustainable Living Shop 
One of my favorite "go to" spots is right on Hayes Street in San Francisco. Cisco Home carries all of their own uniquely designed furniture, lighting, and accessories.

Everything from their chairs to their lights are hand made in their Los Angeles warehouse with sustainably farmed woods, organic materials, and happily employed craftsman that take pride in what they are creating.

Cisco Pinedo moved from Mexico with his family and began designing and creating furnishings out of his garage until...

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Objets D'Art...Where You Can Find Them

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, January 13, 2012, In : Art 

Art is everywhere around us. Consider a basic industrial tool, or even a piece of driftwood. The design, whether natural or manmade is something to be appreciated and celebrated. 

(Hollister and Porter Hovey Design)

(Joseph Foglia Designs)


(Hollister and Porter Hovey Design)

Be sure to give it some space to will take on a life of its own and everyone can really enjoy it!

You can find many wonderful objects at the Alame...
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Costa Rica's Sustainable Building Material...Bamboo

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, In : Bamboo 

Among the giant Philodendron leaves, vines, palms, and wildlife in the jungles of Costa Rica, there grows many species of bamboo. Some more giant than others.

Bamboo grows quickly, multiplying exponentially. You can actually hear it growing. So what a perfect resource for building!

They have so much beautiful, tropical and often rustic architecture in Costa Rica...and quite a bit includes bamboo.









Fences and Gates

It's time we did more with bamboo...It i...

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Wasted...Design In The Details

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, January 6, 2012, In : Waste Recepticles 

I've had waste on my mind lately...specifically, where to put the waste if not in a generic basket or plastic container. You know you can make or break your room in the details. 

So here are a few creative options that will definitely do the job and look good too...because of course disguising the waste is what it's all about!

Canvas Bucket (Casual, Chic, and Hip)

Brown Clay Jar (Earthy, Neutral, Rustic, Zen)

Tall Market Bucket (Chic or Rustic or Minimalist)

Galvanized Bucket (Fun, Casual, Rustic...

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New DIY Hidden Cabinet Doors

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Happy New Year Everyone!

Remember the old antique mirror that I refinished and limed? That mirror is now in my new bathroom. Here's a sneak peak...more photos to come later.


Traditional medicine cabinets and their designs can be so limiting. I used the mirror as a door for my medicine cabinet above my sink. The cabinet is really just a niche in the wall that I outfitted with glass shelves and hung the mirror with a piano hinge on the right side. Piano hinges can hold a tremendous amount of we...
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Tropical Holidays

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, December 23, 2011,

I wish you all a beautiful holiday!


From the jungles of Costa Rica. 


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Let's Stop Monkeying Around

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, In : Donations 

I recently spotted this new campaign by the World Wildlife Fund Australia in a design site that I subscribe to. It sure made me stop and think. The graphics are brilliant but the message is clear.

If you're trying to find the perfect gift for someone with everything this holiday season, consider a donation to the WWF. It's also a great project for kids to get involved in as it doesn't require much. A small donation makes a big difference.

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Grecian Laurel Wreath + A Fun Gift Idea For Friends

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, December 16, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I've always loved the Greek Laurel wreath (crest) of ancient times and thought it would be a fun and simple project for a slightly different take on the traditional holiday version. It's straight forward and simple yet elegant.

Materials you will need: 
  • Approximately 3 small Magnolia tree branches
  • 2 pieces of cardboard
  • Glue gun with hot glue sticks
  • Gold leaf or gold acrylic paint
  • fishline to create loops for hanging

First, cut out 2 crescent shaped pieces of cardboard. They should be about one to t...

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Jim Wishart...The Tile Master

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, In : Tile Setter 

A few years ago, Scott Meadows, an exceptional contractor in the Bay Area, introduced me to Jim as a tile resource for my clients. I have since utilized Jim as my first line tiler in several of my projects and thought you also might like to meet him. He is a perfectionist with a plethora of knowledge and experience supporting his talent!

How did you begin your career as a tiler?

Originally I was looking for a trade that I was interested in. I met a friend that tiled, accompanied him to one of ...

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It's A Jungle Out There...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, December 9, 2011, In : Garden 

A Cactus Jungle!

This fantastic little succulent and cactus nursery has been in operation for 15 years while gaining national attention for... 

their creative succulent walls and wreaths.

I thought these little succulents that come in coconut fiber pots for just $3.50 would make the perfect little gifts. There are many varieties available and all you need to do is tie a ribbon around them!

They utilize all organic and sustainable materials to raise the healthiest little cactus and succulents ...

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Rock and Roll

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Do you need a nice large coffee table for entertaining during the holidays but would rather save the money for gifts? 

No problem...these tables are not only easily put together with materials you may already have, but are certainly worthy of a permanent place in your home!

For this stylish number, all you need are 3-4 stones that are very similar in height and 1 round or square plywood plank, old outdoor table top...

If you have four extra 4x4's hanging around in your scrap wood pile, use thos...

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Keep It Simple...Green

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, December 2, 2011, In : Flowers 

Greens are so simple, elegant, and inexpensive for the holidays! 

I don't usually start decorating this early, but my family wanted a little more time to enjoy the holiday feeling in our own home this year.

All you need is:

2-3 Branches. I used dried Manzanita but Curly Willow or any other tree branch off the street will look great!


 2 leafy branches with a small berry or blossom,


Cedar, Juniper, or Pine branches. 4-5 will do ( I used Cedar),


3 Eucalyptus branches (for the silvery green),


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Historical Treasure Hunting

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, In : Historical Design 

There is so much rich architectural and design history in my Berkeley neighborhood. 

On my Sunday walk I visited one treasure I have been meaning to explore for far too long.

Rooms started at $14. a month!
The International House at The University of California in Berkeley has been hosting students from all over the world since it opened with the funding and support of John D. Rockefeller in 1930. It was the first coed housing program west of the Mississippi which included foreigners, "whit...
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Day Of Gratitude

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, November 25, 2011,

Gone turkey hunting...

I hope you had an incredible day with family and friends. I'm grateful for all of you readers!

I'll be back on Tuesday.



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Bountiful Edible Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, In : Centerpiece 

One of the things I am thankful for this year is the bounty of local organic fresh vegetables at the farmers markets here in the Bay Area.

All those fall colors and veggies are so incredibly beautiful at the market that I thought it would be great to re-create the look in the middle of the Thanksgiving Dinner table...then you have fresh produce to eat for the next week!

This is what you'll need:

  • 1 pumpkin, squash, or large oblong gourd ( I used one of my leftover halloween pumpkins) 
  • 1 bunch of g...

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Cinnamon Heaven

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, November 18, 2011, In : Recipe 

I know that this is a bit of a design break, but I don't think you'll mind because I am about to share with you my secret weapon.

I usually pull it out in the fall, around Thanksgiving, when I need an extra favor from someone (specifically my 13 year old son). He and all of his friends fall to their knees when I pull this one out of my arsenal.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!!!!!! The pumpkin makes them moist and even a bit nutritious. I guarantee they will have the same effect on your friends and fam...
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It's A Black and White Issue

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, In : Rugs 

Need a new little (or not so little) area rug to spruce things up?

This Ikea Stockholm cotton rug is dynamite in any setting
It is amazing how black and white goes with everything! 

PB Teen has a new trellis rug at a reasonable price 
You just need to find the version that is right for you.

Here are some that will bring out the animal in you, while maintaining your quiet sophistication:

This one from is very high quality and will go with modern, rustic, and traditional interiors (a...

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The Grande Bazaar!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, November 11, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 
A few weeks ago one of my blog readers sent me a hot tip about a place she thought I might like...She was right!

Bazaar Gilman is truly a grand bazaar.

Sitting just across from Berkeley Bagel on Gilman Street on a lot that used to sell pottery, it is now tented and plumb full of all kinds of treasures.

There are bins filled with great stuff like these gold aluminum molded letters (much better than any you'll find elsewhere) for only 2 to 3 dollars each,

Shelves full of sterling silver,

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Flash Sale Sources

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, In : Internet Sale Sites 
As you may know, there are several Internet sites now that consolidate overstocks, blems, and over runs from many manufacturers and stage "flash sales". You usually have to be a member of the site (just simply sign up with them by giving them your e-mail address) and they send you a notice (sometimes daily) of items they have for sale at deeply discounted prices. The sales run anywhere from 1 to 3 days or until things sell out...quickly!

Just in case you are not familiar with some of these "fl...
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Historically Inaccurate and Hilarious

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, November 4, 2011, In : Fabric 

What a potentially fun project!

Richard Saja is a New York City craftsman that has been repurposing toile de Jouy stories for the past 10 years.



Toile is an inexpensive linen or muslin fabric. Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 18th century and literally means "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas", a town of north central France. 

Toile de Jouy is a type of patterned fabric, mainly used in upholstery, that depicts a story or pastoral scene such as a couple having a picnic by a lake. It usu...

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Happy Halloween

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, In : Halloween 

With construction workers in and out of our house daily, I couldn't put the ghouls and goblins out on the porch to scare all the little people.

So it stayed simple this Halloween.

A few un-carved Cinderella pumpkins, a few candles in bottles, a couple of curly (scary) branches, and two little sculls did the trick.

And it only took about ten minutes instead of the usual day long decorating affair...I kind of like that.

I hope you and your families had a Sweet Halloween!

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Turn Old China Into New Gifts

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, October 27, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

It seems we all have orphan crystal or china pieces that were at one time part of a beautiful set but are now stuck in the back of our cabinets. If you don't have this problem, these lonely pieces of history can be found by the barrel full at flea markets and junk antique shops for mere cents. 

All you need are 3 plates of varying size (small, medium, and large) and two cups, candle holders, or glasses, and in minutes you will have a beautiful gift or a serving piece of your own for your holi...
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Heath Heaven

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, In : New Shops 
If you have never visited Heath Ceramics, you really must when you are in the area!

Heath has a rich history of producing hand made tiles and ceramics for over 50 years. Their tiles can be seen in famous restaurants such as Chez Panisse and The Slanted Door.

Edith Heath, an influential potter and designer of the Modernist era, started the company in 1948. In 2003 Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey purchased and completely revitalized the company, adding beautiful new colors and designs.


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A Do-It-Yourself Board Gift

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, October 21, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

It's always nice to bring something along for the host and hostess of your holiday parties. You can even wrap a bow around this one as a gift for any occasion. 

Everyone can use a beautiful exotic hardwood cheese board!

Just visit your local specialty hardwood store. Most cities have one. In my case I visit MacBeath Hardwoods.

They usually have a scrap wood bin where you can purchase smaller pieces (that they call scrap) for approximately five to ten dollars per pound.

There are so many beauti...
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100 Bottles Of Candles

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

 Well...really there are only 25 bottles. 

via Shelter

All recycled clear glass wine bottles, all the same size, although you could also use many different sizes, all with one white candle. The candles should alternate lengths.

Now you know what to do with your clear glass wine bottles. Save them! Make a statement!


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Nathan Lives In Rockridge!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, October 13, 2011, In : New Shops 

You may be familiar with Nathan...he also has a home on Piedmont Avenue.

But just one week ago Nathan & Co. opened a second home on College Avenue right across from Market Hall.

The little shop is stocked to the gills with interesting big and little items.

The front section has lots of cooking supplies and cookbooks, while the back has some REALLY FABULOUS jewelry that I wish I had a picture for you to see...excellent pricing on the jewelry as well!

Here are some aluminum pedestals with glass ...

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In The Limelight

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

As luck would have it, I found a beautiful, large, mahogany antique mirror a few weeks ago at one of my favorite antique junk shops...for only $12.

It is the perfect size to make into a very large medicine cabinet door (above the sink) in the new bathroom. So this is the first do-it-yourself project for my own bath, but will also be useful for you.

The finish on the mirror frame was old, blotchy, cracking, and yellowed. With a little sand paper and alot of elbow grease, I was able to sand it d...
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Lose A Shower...Gain A Jungle Rain Head

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, October 7, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

We weren't planning on renovating the bathroom just yet.

But as luck would have it the pipes disintegrated the other night. The problem is, they are directly over the kitchen counter.

So we demoed the bathroom immediately.

Put up a temporary shower in the only place we had room...

on top of the vegetable garden...

in the middle of the jungle.

We did it quickly (with a hose splitter and some black bamboo we harvested last year) so it's not the prettiest thing, but it sure is wonderful showering ...
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Spotlight on Nick and Tony Zigenis...Painters Extraordinaire

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, In : Painters 

I've been working with Nick and Tony Zigenis for the past 15 years. Not only are they some of the nicest people you will ever meet, they are some of the best painters you will ever find! They are always the first people I go to when a client needs interior or exterior painting done.

How did you both begin your painting careers?

It was very natural for us. Our father started the business when we were kids and taught us most of what we know. "Zigenis and Sons" became a highly reputable and sough...

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Narcissus...Not Narcissist For The Holidays

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, September 30, 2011, In : Flowers 
It will only take you 10 minutes today to make your home look and smell beautiful for weeks during the holidays!

The fresh bulbs are now in your local nursery and specialty stores.

All you need for a BIG impact are about 15 bulbs,

a long, narrow and shallow container or trough (this can make a great statement in the middle of a rectangular table or on a mantle),

and some regular pea size gravel or decorative stones.

Fill your container about two thirds with gravel or decorative stone, place yo...
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Running The Stairs

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, In : Stair Runners 

Bare stairs can be great, but if you have old dull wood that needs to be brightened up, are craving the warmth of wool on your bare feet, or just need a change...

placing a runner on your stairs can make all the difference!

There are so many different things that can be done.

You can paint a runner on,

install a wonderful woven cotton piece by Dash and Albert,

Zebra Runners at 

 release your inner animal,

just paint the rise of your steps the same color as your wall and baseboard w...

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Little Shop Of Hoarders

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, September 22, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

There's a new little shop in town. 

The "Little Shop of Hoarders"!

It is packed full of surprises and styled fabulously.

a wonderful collection of gilt frames 


a collection of fire nozzles
 A partnership between four friends: Ron Morgan, Therese Long, Tom Burke, and one other. You may remember Ron Morgan from the infamous
"Loot" on College Avenue in Oakland. After a long run, Ron decided to move his shop to Lafayette along with his Floral/Garden Club consulting business. But now we are lucky ...

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5 Is The Magic Number

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, In : Design Rules 

Have you ever wondered why your console table top either looks drab or is just unnoticeable? 

Wisteria Console

It could be that there isn't anything on it, but more likely that there are the wrong number of things on it.

Wisteria Console 

The rule of thumb in styling or designing a tablescape is to use an odd number of items. 

Instead of just having a pair of lamps (2), add two family photos and a bowl or vase (5).

Atlanta Showhouse 
It's also nice when some of the shapes relate. Round and oval ...
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1000 Filters Of Light

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, September 16, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

You too can create a VERY dramatic incredible modern pendant light with 1000 coffee filters!

I've always been one for drama. One of these large lights over a simple dining table is all you need to create atmosphere.

You will need a 22" paper lantern, available at Pier 1 Imports or Pearl River and

approximately 1000 coffee filters (give or take 200).

Just take each coffee filter and fold it in half, then fold it in half again to create a center point.

Place the tip of your index finger in the c...
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Linen Luxury

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, In : Sheets 

Happiness is a soft and sound sleep! 

One way to guarantee your sleeping pleasure is the softest and purest sheets.

Garnet Hill Linen Sheets by Eileen Fisher

100% linen sheets are amazing. They keep you cool when you are too hot,


They keep you warm when you are too cool,


They are luxuriously soft and get even softer with every wash,

Best Deal! 

 and they last forever...try some!

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Salvaged Artefacts

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, September 9, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

If you are passing through Sonoma, you must make a stop at Artefact Design & Salvage. Just make a day of it and have a picnic in the beautiful vineyards while enjoying a glass of wine!

Artefact Design & Salvage is a 4000 square foot showroom filled with wonderful installations (large and small), old artifacts rescued from demolition, 

art and lighting,

garden paraphernalia and sculptures,

as well as objects for your home.

You will return with great ideas!

Artefact Design & Salvage
23562 Highway 121...
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Mosaic Masterpiece Anyone?

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, September 6, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 
When we posted the interview with Gina Dominguez, the mosaic tile artist, several people expressed an interest in learning to do their own mosaic masterpiece!

We are in luck. Gina is starting a new class for beginning mosaics on Thursday, October 27th from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. It will be an 8 session class held weekly at her studio at 6206 La Salle Avenue in Montclair. The cost for this wonderful class which includes all materials and equipment is $150. It will provide instruction on the basic und...
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Turn A Table Into An Ottoman

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, September 1, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 
Tired of your old coffee table? Have you found a table with great legs or a fine shape at the flea market? How about turning it into an ottoman that you can use as a bench or an upholstered coffee table.

I found this old coffee table at the flea market for $10. It was horribly dirty, and the finish was cracked and dull.

The first thing to do is clean and sand the existing finish.


After you clean and sand, be s...
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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, In : Hardware 

After searching for some time for something unusual, just a little different, and a little rustic to use in an entry to hang coats, scarves, bags, and any number of things on...

I found these wrought iron hooks! They are available in 4 or 6 inch lengths for just $6 online at Brook Farm General Store.

I used a row of 6 of these hooks in a clients white entry but I could also see these in a kitchen or bath for towels, in a mud room or laundry room...they have so many uses!


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Antique Junk Re-do

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, August 26, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Remember the Antique Center that I mentioned last week?

Here are a couple of tables and lamps that I found for a client's little girl's room.  All I had to do was clean the lamps, add the shades from Omega Too, and clean, prime and paint the tables pink with a touch of special gold trim! See the prime and paint tutorial for the tables here.

Pair of porcelain vintage lamp bases $25.00
Pair of vintage wood end tables $25.00
Pair of lamp shades
Paint and Primer for tables $20.00

What do y...
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Ikea Metamorphosis

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, In : Furniture 

I have to show you this amazing mid-century modern faux credenza!

Believe it or not, this is made by using the Ikea Akurum Wall Cabinets. It is a very simple process.

I love the very clean and sophisticated lines. It looks like a custom built piece. Of course, it is!

If you'd like the really simple and detailed directions, visit the very talented Morgan Satterfield at The Brick House and check out how to make your own "Fauxdenza"

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It Looks Like a Junkyard...

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, August 19, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

But it's not! It's a cross between a giant garage sale and a small flea market. Let me tell you, I have found some real jewels here over the past few years!

I'm talking about the "Antique Center" on the southern end of Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. James Cross has been in business here for over 50 years. With the help of his mother Pamela, a retired interior designer, they find homes for many wayward chairs, end tables, lamps, mirrors, and more. 

Antique Chair...change the seat fabric and polish...

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The Law Of The Light Bulb

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, August 16, 2011, In : Light Bulbs 
You may have heard some buzz about incandescent light bulbs. 

New York Times
If not, let me tell you what it's all a nutshell.

There was a bill passed in 2007 that made the incandescent bulb subject to stringent changes beginning in January of 2012. Some of these changes have already gone into effect in California. The changes will make the current 100 watt bulb, that we all know and love, obsolete. The manufacturers have been mandated to make these bulbs at least 25% more efficient ...
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Bathing Beauties

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, August 12, 2011, In : Bathroom 

When you get tired of your old cotton bath mat, try warming up your bathroom a bit with an antique rug!

Attic Magazine
A well worn antique rug has seen worse than damp feet. 

Kristin Buckingham Bathroom

Most of these old wool rugs have lasted centuries in sometimes very harsh conditions.

You can find a small old persian rug on Craigs List, Ebay, and even at the Alameda Antiques Faire for as little as $25.

 Attic Magazine

To clean it, all you need to do is take it outside, hose it down, scrub it ge...
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Bring The Outdoors In...And Light it Up!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, In : Indoor Plants 
I love the outdoors, especially my peaceful tropical garden. So I decided to bring some green indoors.

Fiddle Leaf Fig - Super easy to care for and just needs filtered light

One beautiful green plant in just the right corner of your home can really add some dimension.

Kentia Palm - Needs a bit more sunlight
It adds another texture to your room.

Philodendron - Also easy to care for 
It adds another height to your room, which keeps the eye flowing through.

Banana Trees - Indoors they need consisten...

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Designer Bubbles

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, August 4, 2011, In : Water Bottles 

Water is one thing I drink throughout the day. 

I get tired of regular tap water and much prefer bubbly water. 

I'll even add bubbly (seltzer) water to a bit of lemonade or orange juice for a refreshing drink in the afternoon. The kids love it too! It's just like an italian soda with half the sugar. 

A few years ago I decided to invest in my own seltzer water bottles. I was tired of filling the recycle bin with so many plastic bottles.

I always have a bottle of bubbly water on the dinner table an...
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Fabulous Fabric Find

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, In : Fabric Sources 

One of my secret sources for unique and beautiful fabrics is right in Berkeley!


Laura & Kiran Colorloom Fabrics are not only colorful, but also hand dyed and embroidered with great care with the traditional textile techniques in India. Here are some of my favorites.





Laura and Kiran both met and married in India and moved back to the states to bring us their colorful contemporary designed products and texiles.

Their collection of stripes is unbelievable!

 If you are in need of some special fa...

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Gone Surfing!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, July 26, 2011,

I've been gone for a week already...while working just a bit.

But now...I'm immersing myself the water!

I'll be back to you all on August 2nd.

Have a great week!

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Design Rules!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, In : Design Rules 
There are many rules of design, most of which are meant to be broken.

It is still good to know some of the basic rules though, which more often than not, are a good standard to use.

Here are just a few...


When deciding on window treatment, whether drapes or roman shades, by hanging them as close to the ceiling as possible you can actually make your ceiling appear to be higher than it is and the room look larger than it is. It's all an illusion. As you will find, most design tricks are.



A dini...
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I Found My Marbles!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 
Make yourself a beautiful pair of marble lighting masterpieces.

First check Craig's List and e-Bay. I found these little beauties on e-Bay and stuck with my initial bid of $25 for the pair!

Believe it or not, when you least expect it, your bid will be the high one. They arrived 10 days later in perfect condition.

Now you'll need a gold base to spiff them up just a bit. It's just like adding piping to a throw pillow.

Once you have received your bases, just treat them with a quick coat of gold R...
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Oh My Darling, Clementine

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, July 14, 2011, In : Flowers 

I'm talking about Clementine, the lovely little flower boutique on the sleepy end of College Avenue in Rockridge...not the folk ballad!  

Natalie, the shop owner, will be celebrating Clementine's 1-year anniversary in a few weeks, and she is happy to say that the business is doing very well. 

Natalie started working with flowers at the now closed Impressions in the Orinda Theater Square. If you don't already know, Impressions happened to be the most eclectic, fabulous, and unusual flower shop ...
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Snuggly Toes

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, In : Rugs 

 I have been asked several times over the past few weeks for rug recommendations. The most important part of these requests is that the rugs need to be modern, interesting, and SNUGGLY!

People want rugs that their entire family can sit on and play board games, chat, watch TV, and feel cozy.

I have found the MOST snuggly rugs.

Elle Decor 
They are classic but modern and would fit in any setting.

These rugs are originally from the Beni Ourain and Neighboring tribes in the Northeastern Middle...
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Spotlight on...Gina Dominguez

Posted by Janelle-Renée on Friday, July 8, 2011, In : Tile Mosaics 
Lori and I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Gina Dominguez who owns Snapshot Mosaics in Montclair Village, Oakland.

Gina Dominguez in her tile mosaic shop. 

Janelle: How did you get started in mosaics?

Gina: I've always done art on the side, even when I was growing up, ever since I was very young. Art was a big passion for me. It was always one of my favorite subjects in school--that along with math, believe it or not. For some reason I think they go together.

Gina: I completed high s...

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Light Up The Night

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Monday, July 4, 2011, In : Outdoor Lighting 

Now that the weather is cooperating it's time to fling open the doors and start dining the backyard.

When the sun goes down and the warm breeze picks up you'll need some ambient light to help you see the barbecue and your food, but nothing too harsh.

Perhaps something that will bring back some memories of your summer in Italy or that small European cafe.

Traditionally, in the more popular big box stores, these industrial outdoor lights can run approximately $300.  

But there are a few s...
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Create Your Own Masterpiece!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, July 1, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Last week I visited
Aaron Brothers for some great frames for kids art. At the same time, I picked up a few canvases that are also on sale through 1 get 1 for one cent. It's the perfect time to create a colorful masterpiece.  

Either you or your child can do it...or you can all make a fun project out of it.

There are two easy ways to make a colorful masterpiece.

The first one is the fastest and most fun. All you need to do is channel your inner Jackson Pollock!

Blick Art Supply carries...
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Throw in the Towel!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, June 28, 2011, In : Napkins 
Today I threw in the towel...literally.  I was out looking for fabulous finds for clients and I have to say...there is so much garbage out garbage! I can find more quality stuff at Urban Ore and other second hand stores!

I decided to head over to Sur La Table for some much needed cooking supplies when I spotted their fantastic sale on cotton kitchen dish towels.  

So many fabulous colors at such low prices that I stocked up. I use them as napkins!

Kitchen dish towels make GREAT nap...

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Picture Perfect

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, June 24, 2011, In : Art 

I've been asked several times over the past week "How should I frame my kids' art and where can I hang you think it's good enough to hang in the back hall?"

What is great about kids art is that it is natural and uninhibited. It is very difficult (if not impossible) for most adults to create the same feeling in their masterpieces. Kids really are the true masters.  

Where should you hang it? I say hang it somewhere that is visible to your house guests so that they may enjoy it too! You...
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Kill 'em with Kilim!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Monday, June 20, 2011, In : Pillows 

If you want to make your home feel cozy and warm, interesting and unique pillows can really make it happen. 

While working with a client to establish a new plan for their living room, I found a fabulous source for Kilim Pillows. 


She started with a beautiful new leather couch prior to engaging my help, and what she requested was a cozy, warm, down-to-earth look, while maintaining a modern sense.


This room is meant for the whole family to pile into for lounging and playing games. I started wit...

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Don't Do It!

Posted by Janelle Renée on Friday, June 17, 2011, In : Garden 

Whenever I come across a yard that has a toilet or tub planter, I cringe and then wonder many things. For example, I love claw foot tubs. How is it that a claw foot tub can look luxurious and beautiful in a bathroom yet look cheap and tacky in a yard planted with even the prettiest flowers? 

The Design Salon Blog is all about re-purposing and re-using items in creative ways that may not necessarily be the original purpose. We promise to NEVER support you in creating something like this! 

Have ...
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Brownies as a Design Element

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, In : Recipe 

Ok…The house is not as organized as it should be, the guests are coming over, and I need a good distraction so nobody will notice anything else. Time to pull out all stops! 

Quadruple Chocolate Brownies 

This is a recipe I cooked up when I was trying to use up all of the chocolate in the house. It happens to be the best brownie I've ever had. But's addicting.

Once they have a taste, nobody will notice a thing.  They take about 30 minutes to make, start to finish.  This is w...

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A Succulent Centerpiece...Inside and Out

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, June 10, 2011, In : Garden 

I always like to have some sort of flower arrangement on my dining table. This only becomes a challenge when I’m entertaining and it’s time to eat.  Usually the arrangement needs to leave the table or is moved down to the end of the table so that everyone doesn’t have to fight the flowers in order to have a conversation. Half the experience of eating is visual after all, so it would be nice to find a way to keep it there. 

This centerpiece can remain in the center of the table because ...

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Spotlight on...Scott Meadows

Posted by Janelle Renée on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, In : contractors 

Scott Meadows is a Certified Green Building Professional and General Contractor who Lori has worked with on many projects. Once clients meet and work with Scott, they find it difficult to do any projects without him. His fine building and communication skills, as well as his broad knowledge base and integrity are rare in the industry. Recently, Lori and I had the pleasure to sit down and interview Scott.

Lori: Scott, what should people keep in mind before hiring a contractor or working with o...

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Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, June 3, 2011, In : Sustainable Living Shop 

I’m always on the lookout for great ideas for recycling. Especially for those materials that NEVER breakdown and are needlessly swamping our landfill and ocean water. Sometimes you can find really clever and beautiful home furnishings, accessories, and jewelry that are quite unique.

Hatch, in Montclair Village, is dedicated to sustainable living.  There is something for all ages, including great little soft stuffed animals made out of old recycled plastic bottles, to fabulous messenger bag...

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Inside Out Pillows

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

This past weekend was perfect for spiffing up the outdoor party area.  I decided to wash all the chair and chaise cushions as well as the throw pillows.

Everything came out perfectly except for the large throw pillow covers.  They were VERY faded, stained, and looked terrible even after washing.  They are about 3 years old, so probably about time to replace…although not at the top of my list for spending money on.

I took them out of the dryer and briefly turned one inside out and was very...

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Create A Tropical Paradise In Your Own Backyard

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, May 27, 2011, In : Garden 
It is actually fairly easy to grow a tropical paradise in your own backyard. Despite the fact that it does not feel very tropical here in Berkeley, it is moist here and temperatures rarely dip below freezing. If you have even the smallest south facing exposure, you have what you need to create a tropical paradise in your Bay Area backyard!

Hawaii is one of my favorite places, mostly because of the weather, the plants, the water, and the pace.

You find incredible colors as well as a...

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Simply Modern

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

A beautifully curated collection of modern beauties, that is what Modernaire contains in its small space on the corner of Shattuck and Dwight in Downtown Berkeley. 

Bruce Crawford opened Modernaire in Berkeley about 3 years ago after having had stores in Massachusetts and Hawaii.

Similar Driftwood Table 
(Pinterest via Elements of Style)

His inventory covers a wide range, from Art Deco through Post War and Mid-Century. 

You will find Scandanavian designers such as Hans Wegner, Greta Falk,...

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Let Your Home Go Wild...or at least in that dark, plain hallway.

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, May 20, 2011, In : Chinoiserie 

We all have at least one space in our home that is completely boring. It could be a dark hallway, the laundry room, or even the half-bath down the hall. There is no good reason not to spiff it up.

Pepe-Lunché Designs

I used to walk through my upstairs hall without a glance. Then one day I decided to bring the outdoors in and liven it up a little. Now when I walk through (several times a day) I feel like it’s spring!...even when it’s dark and dismal outside.


Pepe-Lunché Designs


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Spotlight on... Robert Lavezzo.

Posted by Janelle Renée on Tuesday, May 17, 2011, In : Metal Artisans 

Robert Lavezzo in his studio with some of his creations.

Lavezzo Designs is a design and metal fabrication studio located in Emeryville, and last week Lori and I had the pleasure of interviewing its owner, Robert Lavezzo. I know Robert very well since we co-owned Lavezzo Designs for 12 years until I left a few years ago to pursue other interests. 

Lori: How did you get started in metalwork, Robert?

Robert: I started working at a metal shop while I was still in high school. I realized that I like...
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DIY Butcher Block Island Part 2 of 2...The Finale!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, May 13, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

I left off last time with a completed frame with a butcher block top firmly attached.  I decided to put casters on my Butcher Block (just in case I need it out of the way in a hurry).


To do this, either cut a piece of wood the same width and length as the frame that is sitting on the floor (this will also give you a bottom shelf) or just cut 2 pieces of wood the same width as your frame, but only about 4 inches long.  I opted for the latter as I thought that I would prefer to have this spac...

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DIY Butcher Block Island (Part 1.5 of 2)

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

OK! Now it is time to put everything together.

On Friday I took a break after assembling the 2 rectangles made out of shelf brackets. Now place one of the rectangles on the floor with the flat side up. This will be the base of your island.

You will be attaching the 4 legs (also shelf brackets) to this. Be sure that your 4 legs are the same length (about 2” less then you would like your final counter height to be).

Snug one leg base up against one outside corner of your rectangle base.  Bo...

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DIY Butcher Block Island (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, May 6, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 


A few weeks ago I found a butcher block top at the Crate and Barrel Outlet which had been part of an island that was damaged. I have always wanted more butcher block counter space (on a small island) but never found the right size at the right price for my small kitchen. The one I found was perfect at 42” by 21”.  The question then for me was, what should I do for a base?

I figured it out…and I don’t think anyone has anything like it.  You can do it too!

All you need are some nuts, ...

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Make Your Own Modern Rustic Chic Table

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Remember the glossy white laminate shelves I found at Crate and Barrel Outlet for $7 each?  Well I added some rustic gnarly sandblasted grape wood legs and made one of them into a chic coffee table!

I find the juxtaposition of the slick white top with the grape wood branches very rich. I would place the table on either a dark ebony stained wood floor or a very light creamy white rug to help it stand out even more.

Here is how you can make your own:

Purchase at least 3 (that is what I used) an...

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A Fresh New Look for Under $100

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, April 29, 2011,

You can get a fast fresh new look for your home for under $100.  

One way to do it is a fresh coat of paint, but that’s not fast and can sometimes run more (depending on how large your room is)


The quickest way to do it is a few new throw pillows for your couch.  This can usually get pricey, but I have found some fabulous, colorful, beautifully handmade pillows at bargain prices.


Lily Belles Garden - Etsy


It’s quick, easy, a...

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Score! on a Detour

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

This is a bit of a detour from home furnishings, but I thought you might appreciate a little tip about one of the best used clothing stores in the Bay Area.

I was in San Francisco doing some interiors shopping for a client when I decided to swing by one of my favorite spots, Goodbyes on Sacramento Street in Presidio Heights. It never fails to disappoint. They have been in business for 19 years offering the best deals in men's and women’s designer apparel.

Goodbyes has two stores that sit ...

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They Clean Up Well!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, April 22, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Remember the pair of old, tarnished, dirty, brass lamps I found at the Alameda Flea Market and Antiques Fair? I’ve finally had a chance to polish one up, and wow, it looks great!

Brass is quite easy to clean up.  While it looks almost new, the brass takes on a time-worn glow (patina) that you can’t find on new lamps.  Here’s how to do it:

First, make sure that your item is actually brass.  You can do this by testing a magnet on it.  If the magnet does not stick, it is brass.  If your ...

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A Trip To Morocco...Just Down The Hall

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Monday, April 18, 2011, In : Bathroom 

I thought that I would show you the progress on one of my clients bathroom renovations today. It’s always so exciting to be able to completely start over with something that you have been living with but wanting to change for a very long time. It’s even better if that space can become an escape to another world!

These are the before pictures of the small master bathroom:


The goal of this renovation was to make the space feel as open and light as possible and add a bit more room in the...

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Take a Walk in The Meadows

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, April 15, 2011, In : Flowers 

The Meadows that I am referring to is the charming little flower shop on College Avenue on the Berkeley/Rockridge border.

The owner of The Meadows since 1989 is Patrick Ansari. He works hard to run a sustainable business by supporting local farmers, providing flowers that are grown outdoors (not in hothouses that use more energy and resources which in turn make them more expensive as well), treating his flowers with care so they last longer, and of course taking care of his valuable staff.


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Kitchen Island?...Perhaps a giant cutting board instead.

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, In : Kitchen Islands 

I have always wanted lots of counter space.  More specifically, cutting board space to slice and dice without the onions and garlic falling off the board and lodging between my toes and the tomato juice dripping over the edge.  

House Beautiful (like the simplicity)


Despite having remodeled my kitchen 9 years ago with the achieved goal of lots more counter space (even putting in all under counter refrigerators so as not to lose that precious 30” of horizontal counter heaven), I still want...

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Fabric Store Notions

Posted by Janelle Renée on Friday, April 8, 2011, In : Fabric Sources 

Bolts and bolts of fabric...

If you live in the Bay Area and sew, you are probably no stranger to Discount Fabrics.

One of its two locations is just a block away from Urban Ore in Berkeley. The other one is in San Francisco. I have not yet been to the one in San Francisco, but according to Christine Allen, the selection is impressive and "huge".

Beautiful and inspiring fringe.
Marked: "Regular price of $29/yard; Discount Fabric price: $19/yard"

The store in Berkeley isn't huge, but the selection ...

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Spotlight on... Christine Allen

Posted by Janelle-Renée on Tuesday, April 5, 2011,

Good designers, especially residential designers, are a personable bunch. After all, they design living spaces for people. To be effective, they have to understand their clients’ tastes and personalities, as well as how they function within their environment. This understanding can only be obtained through personable communication.

I believe that great designers go a step further. They seek out quality products for their clients because they know that although the costs might be higher in th...

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In the Eye of the Beholder

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, April 1, 2011, In : Art 

Art does NOT have to be expensive to be impressive!  

Horizon Series #6 - Liz Maxwell "Hang Art"


Iceberg - Jeff Dikio "Hang Art"

Do you have an empty wall that you'd like to cover or do you just want to change the look of your living room, family room, or entryway?

One of the easiest things to do other than painting your walls, is placing a painting on the wall.

While working with clients to find that special work of art, I’ve come across a few resources that I would love to share just in...

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Ohmega Salvage and Urban Ore Redux

Posted by Janelle Renée on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 
On Saturday, Lori and I braved the rain to check out Ohmega Salvage in Berkeley. Like Urban Ore, they mostly sell reclaimed architectural elements like doors, window, sinks, tubs, and even furniture. According to their blog, they recently received a shipment of antiques from France.

The rain and cold wind urged us to walk briskly through, but I did notice that Ohmega has a very large inventory of glass shades. I was pleased to find a whole rack of them marked "free".

Below, some not-so-free sha...

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I Found A New Home!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, March 24, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

Home 101 Urban General Store.  It’s a great new little shop on the sleepy south end of Shattuck Avenue in Downtown Berkeley.  The owners, Hadley Salz and Allison Etchison, have a keen eye for vintage chic and reuseable items. Their eclectic mix of wares includes vintage china and crystal, furniture such as chairs, desks, and cabinets as well as candles, jewelry, tea towels, and more!  


Here is one of their tables I wish I could find a home for.

This would make a wonderful small coffee ...

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Let There Be Light!

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Last week at the Alameda Antiques Market and Faire I found a fun fish basket (panier de poissons) that I thought would make a great pendant light. It’s a unique shape and material, and it should cast a very interesting light through the metal wire which will create fun shadows on the wall. Making a pendant light is VERY EASY to do. You can transform almost anything into a pendant once you know the basics. So here’s how!

Materials you will need:

 1. 3 feet or longer piece of covered wire

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Fabulous Farmers Market Orchids

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Thursday, March 17, 2011, In : Flowers 

Every Saturday at the Berkeley Farmers Market on Center Street, the orchid man sits with his huge stand of lovely orchids.  He has large ones and small ones, most for only $10.


Orchids are a wonderful plant to have as a floral arrangement.  They are simple, sophisticated, and colorful all at the same time.  What is even better is the blooms can last for up to two months, and you only have to really water them well every two weeks!

Here is one way to take 2 of those orchid plants and really ...

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Antique Faire at Alameda Point

Posted by Janelle Renée on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

The first Sunday of every month one of the largest antique shows in California takes place in Alameda... unless that first Sunday is a rainy day as Lori and I discovered on March 6th. Fortunately for us, the Alameda Point Antiques Faire has a "rainout rollover" policy and the show gets postponed to the following Sunday.

Although there were fewer vendors at the rollover event this past Sunday than on a usual faire Sunday, Lori and I spotted many great finds.

Above is a pair of cane chairs for $...

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Salvaged Treasures at the Salvation Army

Posted by Janelle Renée on Friday, March 11, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

Today marks the 131st year that the Salvation Army has been operating in the US. Like many of the first Americans, it too originated from England.

Lori and I visited the Salvation Army Store on Webster St. in Downtown Oakland a few weeks ago.  I was still on my hunt for a bookshelf and a table for my sacred space.

Thrift store shopping is inevitably a hit-or-miss experience. This time, it was a hit! Well, at least a partial hit.  I found a little table in excellent condition and of good quality...
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Spotlight On...Photographer, Muffy Kibbey

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Tuesday, March 8, 2011, In : Photographer 

Walking into a beautifully designed room, you instantly feel the warmth and personality of the homeowner.  You should feel at ease and comfortable sitting down.  However capturing this on film is a completely different story, no matter how wonderful the design is.  This takes many years of experience, knowledge, and talent. After several failed attempts to photograph my own designs, I needed help and was introduced to Muffy.  She has since photographed many of my designs, some of which have a...

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Freshen Up...For only $6.

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Friday, March 4, 2011, In : Flowers 

All the spring blossoming branches are here, but only for a couple more weeks. The fastest and easiest way to make your home feel fresh and beautiful is with flowers.  Having guests? Don’t have time to dust? No problem.  A simple arrangement will distract and disguise most anything.  

Blossoming Branches are the easiest.  There are several at the flower shops right now; Cherry Blossoms, Redbud, Pussy Willow, and more.

Just grab a bunch,

Clip the ends off the branches and then split them wit...

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Made in Italy

Posted by Janelle Renée on Monday, February 28, 2011, In : Italian Design 

When I came upon this window display on an evening stroll in Milan, after my initial "Wow! Now, that's fabulous!" reaction, I couldn't help but shake my head.  Leave it to the Italians to design a bathtub in the shape of a shoe.  My attention was immediately captivated and saw that everything about this tub screams Made in Italy.

This tub is designed by Sicis which was founded in Ravenna, Italy.  Ravenna has long been famous for tile mosaics, going as far back as the 5th century, as a number o...

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The Pits!.....(Turn Pits Into Pretty Platters)

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, In : DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects 

Do you remember the garden fire pits that were all the rage a few years ago? It sounded wonderful and warm for one of those spring or summer evenings in the garden under the stars. Some people still use theirs, but I think for most, it was just a little too much trouble for not enough warmth, not to mention the risk of instant hair loss while trying to warm your hands over the fire.

Actually, I never purchased one, but a friend of mine who was one of the first to purchase hers at Smith and Haw...

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Join Us! **Updated**

Posted by Janelle Renée on Monday, February 21, 2011, In : workshop 
**Please note that Lori and I changed the time for this event.  For more details, please visit the Meetup page.**

Do you have a blank wall that is begging for something unique, or is it time to finally put a lamp on that bedside table to complete the look or help you to read at night? Join Lori and me on March 6th at the acclaimed Alameda Antiques Point Faire to search for fabulous finds and treasures; plus, get tips from us on how to re-purpose or restore any item you might find!

For more i...

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Spotlight On...Deals and more at Urban Ore.

Posted by Janelle Renée on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, In : Second-hand shops 

Urban Ore on Ashby Ave. in Berkeley hasn't changed too much since my first visit there nearly 10 years ago.  It still has an earthy smell twinged with the smell of "old"--not unlike the smell of the home your grandparents have lived in since 1953.

Urban Ore's website claims that on an average day, they save 20 tons of material that would have otherwise been lost at a local dump.  Granted, some of the items you find at Urban Ore might feel more at home at the dump, but then again, one ...
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Succulent Fun

Posted by Lori Pepe-Lunche on Monday, February 14, 2011, In : Garden 

Although the weather here in California could not be nicer, especially for this time of year, it is still a bit too cold to be planting wonderful summer vegetables and beautiful spring flowers.  It certainly feels like spring though; so why not do a quick spruce up of your containers and planter boxes?

I’ve found that keeping some containers filled with succulents satisfies me year round.  They are virtually effortless and extremely forgiving: they grow in the shade, if you forget to water t...

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Spotlight On... Architect Ken Martin

Posted by Janelle Renée on Friday, February 11, 2011, In : Architects 

Welcome to our first ever "
Spotlight On..." interview.  Today we have the pleasure of presenting an interview we had with Ken Martin, an architect from Berkeley. 

Lori met Ken about 15 years ago when she moved to her home in the Elmwood District of Berkeley.  He was working on several home renovations on her street at the time, including his own.  Lori describes Ken as thoughtful, generous, and witty, with a very dry sense of humor.  Above all, she said, he is very down to earth and accessibl...
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Posted by Lori and Janelle on Wednesday, February 2, 2011,
Welcome to the Design Salon Blog!  We hope to inspire you to create the home you've always wanted with our Monday and Thursday weekly posts where we will cover just about anything and everything related to residential design.
The glue of the Design Salon Blog will be our "Spotlight On" series:

Spotlight On... Artisans, Tradesmen, Contractors:  Each month we will interview at least one independent artisan, contractor, or skilled person of a trade, like a tile mosaic artist, a metal craftsmen, c...
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About Me

As an Interior Designer, I am constantly looking for new ways of re-purposing and re-using what people already have as well as finding new resources for affordable furnishings. This is just a place to share great resources, ideas, information about the trades, and ways of doing things yourself to help make your own home fabulous! 

- Lori Pepe-Lunché,  more about me...

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