Category: as seen on TV

Basement Makeover for HGTV’s Room Crashers

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I can finally post about the last Room Crashers episode I designed! We did this room over a year ago, so it’s been a little bit of a wait.

Basically, what we were working with was a family of four with another baby on the way, they had a great house with a huge basement that was just being used as storage. My plan was to split the room and create a guest room for Grandma to stay and a sort of “rumpus” room that would be a super kid friendly space for the twins to hang out and have slumber parties or playtime, BUT also be cool enough to function as adult space in the evenings for drinks and foosball, and have enough storage for their exercise equipment.


Additionally the ceiling was low and the floor joists were already exposed, so that would have to be dealt with. Covering the joists with a ceiling would mean and even lower ceiling so I want to lighten it up and use the joists as beams.

The clients are also the owners of a business called Novica which sells the work of artisans from all over the world so they had a great collection of textiles and objects in their bright, light-filled home.  The basement, on the other hand, had almost no natural light and the ceiling was just the bottom of the floor above. Because they had such an eclectic collection of pieces from all over Asia and Latin America,  I started looking for  Moroccan inspiration that didn’t rely to heavily on windows or natural light. I was also having an indigo moment.


The plan:

A painting test I made to show the faux painters what we were hoping to achieve. 

Living room Board


Guest room board


Built in seating that opens to become storage, The cushions are twin bed size, perfect for kids slumber parties and TONS of throw pillows. The coffee table is West Elm and the darling little stools I found at the rose bowl flea market.
The sconces were made from decorative sheet metal, electrical pieces and wood you can find at home depot, and the clients foosball table was modified so that it can be stored against the wall and brought down when needed.
Foosball table in the upright position, and one of the homeowner DIY projects – make a door design with sisal rope and hot glue.

a little “behind the scenes” of the shoot

We also made screens or jalis for the windows using some old lead grilles painted copper.

It was a fun project and I think the homeowners were pretty happy. What room in your house are you not using to it’s fullest potential?



wall planting

I love wall plants. You can say they are a little too “done”. But I don’t care. I love them, always have, always will. The picture above is of my newest staghorn fern and i think it is AWESOME,

I used them as a project in my first HGTV Room Crashers episode. I had to compromise a little due to time and budget – I wanted to do a “trophy wall” of staghorn ferns but had to settle for two large panels:

Julianne Moore’s garden was featured in Architectural Digest and had exactly the look I was dreaming about:

via Architectural Digest


via Architectural Digest


Stag Horn Fern’s aren’t the only option for wall mounting plants. We have quite a few wall mounted plants around our place – here are some highlights:

There is of course  the classic Woolly Pocket:

I just trimmed a bunch of our plants back and am going to add a few more pockets, but I think I am going to paint the walls  first.

This is a White Fan Orchid Cactus – not technically wall mounted – I just stuffed the potted plant into the top of a brutalist style metal candle holder I got for 50 cents at a yard sale

(and ya, I’m bragging about my super cool score)

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HGTV’s Room Crashers – Zen Master Bedroom


I finally get to talk about it! The first episode I designed for the HGTV show Room Crashers aired the other day and now I can share pictures and all the fun details. I actually just finished another episode for them – but we’ll talk about that one after it airs…

First  – the before:








The clients were two Yoga instructors who had a great big beautiful room that had great potential but they had not really figured out a way to create the warm, inviting sanctuary that they needed. In addition to being their bedroom, they also had their office space and yoga practice space in the same room, so we needed to do some space planning.  They also had a master bathroom that DID NOT HAVE A DOOR!! Can you believe that? Sometimes I just don’t understand new construction. They both wanted a space that was warm and inviting and were very inspired by Southeast Asian design, and Kia had always dreamed of having a four poster bed – so that was number one on my list.

I went for a mix of British Colonial and Asian aesthetics  to create a space that was both sophisticated, worldly and a teeny bit tropical. After searching for some inspiration images for unique four-poster beds, I randomly pulled this image from Houzz – which happened to be designed by my friend and former colleague – Dara Rosenfeld. We worked together for more than 7 years at a firm in San Francisco. She has her own firm now and continues to be utterly brilliant.

Emulating this bed was way too ambitious for our budget and time line, but I was VERY inspired by the ceiling. That was something I thought we could pull off! Especially because I knew about this great bamboo wallpaper ! I was so excited to show up on set and see it going up on the ceiling on day two of our shoot. I had never put bamboo wallpaper on a ceiling before so i was a little nervous – the second I saw one strip on the wall I was thrilled. This shot is in progress:

and completed:


The next challenge was creating some distance and separation from their bathroom. I went for a two fold solution.

1. Installing a pocket door at the entrance to the bathroom.

2. Magic.

Ok not magic, per se, but a sliding book case that hides the more private areas of the Master Bedroom Suite, the closet and the bathroom. This may or may not have been a secret childhood fantasy that I inserted into this design just to see if I could get them to do it. But I learned an important lesson. When another client learned about it, they asked “when do I get a secret passageway hidden with a bookcase?”  The lesson? Act out more childhood fantasies.


Last but not least, the copper wall. Now intially my plan to to make the alter wall clad in woven copper – like this:

but due to some production *things*(not really issues, or problems… just, you know, things. Designing for TV in 3 days is different than real life. Did you know that? I sure leaned it real quick )

we weren’t able to do the weaving. But we did still do the copper – and it turned out!

Some more details:

the rug is the Silvana Rug that I have been obsessed with forever. It is a wool and silk blend and it is beautiful.

and, my friends, that is a 10′ x 13 rug you see. It is ONE BIG RUG!

A little detail where you can almost see how pretty the silk details are. Almost. In person they are about 10x prettier.

Also  really love the elm wood desk  (I love need a big desk) and an Oak Chair with a rush seat.

I also found some BEAUTIFUL antique pieces from Mix here in LA.

this is my favorite antique piece  – I used it for Tommy’s bedside table:


You can’t really see this piece in the show or in the pictures – but the dresser I used as a bedside table for Kia it has an amazing patina and paiting.


This was my initial design:

You can checkout my pinboard for this project here




as seen on ENDGAME!

Guess what I saw on Hulu? The Soho Collection Wool Area Rug in Light Blue! It was nice to see it at this angle because you can really see the texture and relief in a way that is not always apparent in product shots. Such a great way to add textural interest to a floor.

I also saw the show Endgame  that the rug was in. I think it is a Hulu original. Using Chess as a jumping off point, it is a  clever little mystery series. A pretty good way to spend 45 minutes.  If you are going to watch TV.