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COVER

Color

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University Electric 1500 Martin Ave Santa Clara, Ca. 95050 See Us On The Web At: www.universityelectric.com

Phone: (408) 496-0500 Fax: (408) 980-8058 2650

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Features

Departments

A Paris accent | page 122

Haute stuff | page 113

Designer Joan Osburn combines her love of color and France in this rural cottage.

Although simple in design, a tray can be helpful in countless ways.

Take a seat | page 128 The purchase of a dining chair isn’t to be taken lightly. Three designers offer tips on making your selection.

The perfect palette | page 130 Check out the latest spring hues before transforming your home.

At the table | page 116 Caroline Somary of SpringLoaf Catering shares her secrets for throwing a successful outdoor party.

In the garden | page 120 Flower-intensive vines are just the trick for adding elegant color to the garden.

Favorite spaces | page 132 More than a coastal town, Santa Barbara dishes up fine design, chic shopping and a slew of great restaurants.

Also visit us at SpacesBayArea.com SPRING 2010 • SPACES • 107

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Most of us have strong preferences when it comes to color. For some it’s yellow for its uplifting quality. For others, it’s a soothing blue. And yet others are happy surrounding themselves with neutral creams and white. On the pages that follow, you’ll see a spectrum of hues. Our featured home, for instance, is inspired by the owner’s love of Provence, while in Inside Design, we witness the 2010 trend to grays and orange. But no matter what the motivation, it always comes down to surrounding yourself with the colors you love. Enjoy the issue.

Kristine M. Carber Editorial Director

The premier magazine of design

editorial director Kristine M. Carber art director Timothy Tsun contributing designers LeeAnn Nelson Robin Siegfried staff writer Crystal Chow contributing writers Joan Chatfield-Taylor Joan Jackson Barbara Jones Charles Neave contributing photographers Margot Hartford Kerry Hiroshi Paul

Make Spaces for Everything with Master Suite

Spaces Vol. 4, No. 2 ©2010 by the Bay Area News Group. All rights reserved. Material herein may not be reprinted without expressed written consent of the publisher. for advertising information, call 925.943.8259 or 408.920.5793. For other information, call 408.278.3464.

www.SpacesBayArea.com

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HauteStuff cool

Like an extra pair of hands, a tray can be helpful in countless ways. Although simple in design, its value goes far beyond the main function of bearing canapés, cocktails or tea for two. For one thing, everything looks classier when placed on a tray. And when the server or platter is an object of beauty, that makes it flat-out fabulous. — Crystal Chow

Get into spring and summer mode with these white-trimmed lacquered trays from Plantation. Featuring wood construction, they’re available in five tropical colors. 15 by 12 inches and $125 at www.plantationdesign.com.

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HauteStuff

1

Tapas and other small bites will look appetizing indeed atop this Blomus-designed stainless-steel and porcelain serving tray. Imported from Germany for Nova68. 11.8 by 5.1 inches, it’s $49.99 at www.nova68.com.

5 Inspired by folk art and the bright colors of Central America, designer Alexander Girard created this Millerstripe-pattern tray of high-grade duroplast. It’s 18 by 14 inches, made in Germany and available at the Museum of Modern Art Design Store. $80 at www.momastore.org.

2

This handsome tray is a fine example of folk art tole painting, which dates to 18th-century New England. It’s formed of pressed sheet iron and hand-painted, measuring 24 by 18 inches. $119 through Wisteria at www.wisteria.com.

6 Put a little (mirror-polished) steel in your serving ritual with this gorgous Recinto tray by Alessi. Available in two sizes, $168 and $196, from Velocity at www.velocityartanddesign.com.

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HauteStuff

3

Go dotty with this black-and-white number from Jayson Home & Garden. Handcrafted of stoneware and porcelain and measuring 14.75 by 6.5 inches, it’s $135 at www.jaysonhomeandgarden.com.

4

The open pattern on this Bisanzio tray is almost too pretty to cover up, so best to pair it with see-through glass and plastic items. Manufactured in Italy of bent wood in two sizes and three colors. $160 or $175 from TableArt at www.tableartonline.com.

7

You want sparkle with that martini? Then serve your drinks on this Preston Tray by Z Gallerie. The faux croc finish is lined with rhinestones for lots of flash. There’s lots of surface, too, with measurements of 21 by 13 inches. $59.95 at www.zgallerie.com.

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SPRINGLOAF CATERING Owner

Caroline Somary Age: 39 Hometown: Born in Cheshire County, England but now lives in Lafayette

Background: Studied graphic design and moved to San Francisco to work in marketing. Met her Swiss-born husband, Darius, who also worked in marketing but whose dream was to become a chef. He left his job to attend the California Culinary Academy, where he graduated with honors in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. In 2003, Darius founded SpringLoaf and Caroline joined him to manage the business.

Mentors: Donna Hay, the Australian equivalent to Martha Stewart but much more contemporary, and Jamie Oliver of the United Kingdom. “Their philosophy is all about simple, honest food.” Inspiration: Both Darius and I grew up with mothers who loved to cook so good food was a way of life for us. Our families would always cook for friends rather than go out to dinner.

What motivates you: Variety. People ask why we don’t start a restaurant but in catering no two events are ever the same so there’s no monotony. The menu is always changing and always based on the season and the client’s taste. Your culinary philosophy: Buying seasonally, and using local products, especially organic ones.

SpringLoaf Catering 415.699.1816 Peninsula and San Francisco 925.962.9369 East Bay www.springloaf.com 116 • SPACES • SPRING 2010

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AtTheTable

Photos by Kerry Hiroshi Paul. Table design by Caroline Somary.

Biggest food trend you see: More dessert bars, and a movement away from classic desserts like cakes at weddings to desserts like pies, ice cream bars, etc.

Signature dish: Beet napoleon. We’ve converted so many people to beets. And Cornish hens stuffed with pine nuts and cranberries. Favorite food: Dessert, especially fruit tarts.

Southern cuisine; for Cannery Row, we had a seafood station, and for Joy Luck Club, we featured Asianinspired dishes. The dessert station was based on Dr. Seuss books with quirky dishes like a Cat in the Hat. It was a huge success and really brought the community together.

If you weren’t a caterer, what would you be: A stay-at-home mom. I have two children, 3 and 5, and one loves to eat and the other is fussy.

And when you aren’t working: Most memorable event: The opening of the new library in Lafayette. We created the food based on American classics. For Huckleberry Finn, we served

We’re outside enjoying California. We love to camp and have the best food in camp. We even make our own marshmallows. — Kristine M. Carber

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AtTheTable

6 easy steps to a successful summer party Be creative next time you plan an event. Here are a few tips from Caroline Somary.

1) Don’t overdo the decorations Keep decorations simple and let the food be the focus. Caroline suggests a neutral palette, getting color from candles or linens, like napkins. To dress up serving platters, garnish with flowers or greens. Ribbon also works well, such as red and white for the holidays or pink for a baby shower.

2) Choose seasonal dishes Before planning the menu, check Quesa.org for its chart of what’s in season in the Bay Area. Food should be honest and simple, says Caroline, who also eschews expensive bottled water for homemade iced tea or pitchers of tap water with slices of fruit.

3) Try a family-style menu By putting out large platters of food, everyone gets to taste what’s offered, plus it’s a good conversation starter since people interact when food is shared.

4) Think beyond finger food You have a much greater selection of dishes, Caroline says. For example, try serving a small summer salad in a cosmos glass or a shrimp cocktail in a martini glass, both of which look beautiful and add elegance to the event.

5) Print menus A simple menu (printed on your home computer) lets guests know the names of the dishes being served and the local farm or producer providing the ingredients. At the end of the meal, guests have a special memento to take home.

6) Remember that you’re outdoors Spring and summer are wonderful times for outdoor parties but don’t forget the afternoon sun, especially in the Bay Area. Consider renting patio umbrellas to shelter guests from the heat.

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InTheGarden

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InTheGarden

Vine times

W

ould a modern-day Jack settle for an ordinary green beanstalk? Probably not. Instead, he’d wish for one of the fast-growing annual vines that produce gorgeous scented flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. These vines are especially enticing because they are easily started from inexpensive seeds. They grow quickly in sunny areas, climb effortlessly to cover fences, trellises or teepees and — the bonus — many self-sow for next year’s garden. Cardinal climber, for instance, shines with clusters of scarlet heart-shaped flowers that serve as tiny fastfood outlets for visiting hummingbirds. Grow by a window to watch the hummers swoop in for their treats. Morning glory does just what its name suggests. The trumpet-shaped flowers open to catch the early rays and close toward day’s end. It is a relentless climber and can reach 15 feet or more given enough sun. Magic is the word often used to describe the romantically fragrant moonflower. A member of the morning glory family, moonflower also fulfills the promise of its name. The white trumpet-shaped flowers open at sunset — or even on a cloudy day — and fill the air with a heavenly scent. This plant needs plenty of summer heat to bloom. Gardeners who like two-for-one deals appreciate the runner bean vine, a.k.a. scarlet runner bean vine. It grows quickly and produces clusters of scarlet or orange flowers that turn into edible bean pods. But, wait, there’s more. When left on the vine, the pods fill with large purple and black swirled beans that are perfect for the soup or stew pot. The secret to growing these flower-intensive vines is to choose the sunniest spot in the garden. Seeds can be sown directly into the soil or started in small pots to transplant into specific locations. For gardeners with limited space, a container and a trellis to climb on is all it takes. — Joan Jackson

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A Paris accent

Designer Joan Osburn’s home is testament to her passion for color and travel By Charles Neave Photographs by Margot Hartford

S

et at the end of a quiet lane, behind a set of decorative iron gates, sits the home of designer Joan Osburn and her husband Steve. It is a modernized bit of France set in the southern part of wine country, with dozens of decorative rose bushes and a kitchen garden behind, above a small wooded tributary to a nearby river. In front of the house, which sits on an acre, the landscaping is strictly but casually European. When the Osburn’s built this comfortable two bedroom, three bath house five years ago, they had very specific ideas. One of them was art, the other, as Joan, the self-

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Opposite page: Coral and melon hues are carried into the kitchen, with its French bistro stools and Italian silver tile island made to mimic metal. Above: The master bedroom has 12-foot doors opening to a view of the garden. Walls are Provence yellow, and furnishings include an antique dresser and French café tables collected on Joan’s travels.

described ‘color wizard’ is the first to say, is color. There is not a single white wall — or ceiling for that matter — in the entire 2,000-square foot dwelling. “It is really all about art, isn’t it?” she says, as she walks from room to room. As she has said for years, she looks at every threedimensional space as her canvas, and color is her most important tool. The color palette that has been employed here runs the gamut, but in every space it works so that even on cloudy days the rooms shine; on sunny days they absolutely glow. Lighting is well thought out, so at night the colors continue to stand out, if more subtly. Windows are ideally spaced and for the most part large, and French doors lead from the master bedroom and the combined kitchen and dining room. What they call the ‘café’. “The house is carefully infused with color and texture that flows from one space to the

next,” Joan says. “Nothing jarring, but there is nothing tepid about the way the color is selected and applied. Downstairs all the wall and ceiling surfaces are layered in hues and topped with opalescent finishes, each with a different brushstroke texture. This color technique catches the light in different ways as the light of the day, and the seasons, change.” Furnishings are an enchanting mix of antique and contemporary French, for the most part, ranging from the whimsical to the practical. Fabrics vary in pattern, color and texture, and the emphasis is on the practical, the comfortable and often the whimsical. They provide color, and at other times by their very presence and positioning, highlight it. “In addition to the wall and ceiling colors, all of the fabrics, rugs, furniture objects and lighting were selected to harmonize and juxtapose one with the other to

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Above left: This alcove sports an antique French door and a 20th century marble bar from a bakery in Paris. Above right: Two of Joan’s paintings hang in the stairway, which also features vintage glass-fringe chandeliers and a custom railing. Opposite page: The Osburns eschewed bright colors in the bath for soothing blues to evoke a spa-like feel.

create an interior that is of-a-piece.” It takes time to digest the sheer volume of objets and furnishings found throughout the house. From the dining room table — a circa 1900 French antique cast iron base with a sandblasted glass top in the French Directoire style — to the collection of espresso cups and sauces in the salon. “Trends in furniture are always shifting, and yet furniture is a purchase that needs to last for years, possibly generations ... It is important not to get stuck with a trend that will look dated in ten years. Rather, I suggest using a mix of well designed and interesting pieces where function and form are equally important. In other words, do not sacrifice one for the other. Scale is often the most overlooked element in furniture selection ... It is a trick to balance all the pieces together both functionally and aesthetically.” To create an interesting dynamic, mix antiques with modern. Antiques add patina and texture and since they are ‘recycled (they have already lived a life elsewhere) antiques are essentially ‘Green’. “Many of the items

she finds in her travels she features on her Cafe Society Store website. Quite a few are one-of-a-kind, and come from a range of periods from Belle Époque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, French Deco and beyond. Other categories include newer items, a line of metal outdoor furniture and hand-selected jewelry. The art on the walls and the small sculptures here and there are also a mix, of found treasures and her own contemporary works. She studied painting in Paris and at Cal Arts in Los Angeles and not surprisingly her paintings are colorful, but at times they are more subdued than the walls on which they hang. “My work is very loose and ‘painternly’, with color, yet at the same time, highly restrained. I like to combine the brush stroke with geometric forms. “Both Steve and I were fortunate enough to go to art school before we went to design school. All of the elements of art and design align beautifully, but the art part of it gives our work a creative twist. In fact we like to say that our design is, in fact, classic/modern with a twist.” And, of course, with a Parisian touch of color as well. s

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Take a seat

Three designers share their favorite chairs By Joan Chatfield-Taylor

Y

ears ago, the formal dining room was considered so important that it was often larger than the living room — or the parlor, as it was often referred to in those days. Even the smallest house squeezed in a room devoted only to dining, a space almost inevitably furnished with a rectangular table and a parade of matching chairs. It was a setting that seemed to emphasize proper etiquette rather than comfort. Everyone sat up straight, no elbows on the table, children were seen and not heard, and when the hostess turned from conversing with the man on her left to the person on the right, all the guests promptly did the same. Along came World War II, the servants went off to work in wartime factories, and things were never the same again. Modern architects ripped down walls, and the dining room either shrank or disappeared entirely, replaced by that amorphous space known as the dining area. As the dining room contracted, the kitchen grew and practically everyone got used to the idea of eating family meals there.

The growing informality inspired a new kind of furniture for dining. With even formal meals served in an extension of the living room, chairs and tables had to harmonize with the larger room’s style and provide extra seating there when needed. Grandmother’s ladder-backed antiques didn’t always fit into this picture. The purchase of dining room chairs is not to be taken lightly, given the numbers needed, so we asked several Bay Area designers to choose some of their favorites and to offer some tips on making what may be a very long-term commitment. Ruth Livingston, an interior designer in Tiburon, says, “The first piece of furniture I ever designed was a dining room chair, because they were so hard to find.” Created in 1994 for a client in Atherton, the Athena chair, a skirted style with a high, curvaceous back, went on to become a bestseller and spawned countless variations. “They all have a back detail, because that’s what you see most of a dining room chair.” In the case of the Athena,

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the back has an inverted pleat fastened with a fat round button, suggesting an elegant silk cocktail dress. Her newest design is her variation of the oval-backed Louis XV chair that has been re-interpreted in everything from gilded wood to Lucite. She has stripped the familiar shape down to its essentials, a slender, unframed oval back perched above an upholstered seat and four sturdy wooden legs. Palo Alto interior designer Pamela Pennington has a sleek, understated favorite. It’s the Cadette chair by Dakota Jackson, a New York-based designer whose studio and factories are in Long Island City. “This chair is extremely comfortable with its high back and padded seat,” she comments. “I love the fact that it offers so many options. You can do an upholstered chair with your own choice of fabric. It also comes with the wood back with upholstery just on the seat, for a more informal look. It also comes as an armchair and now, with the Cadette II, you can have a cutout back for a more retro look. It’s a classic, and it’s made in this country.” San Francisco designer Jay Jeffers, known for his lighthearted, colorful interiors, offers some practical suggestions for picking the right chairs. “Think about how much they will be used. If they’re for everyday dining, comfort should be a factor. If they’re only used

for occasional dinner parties, you want your guests to be comfortable, of course, but style can play a larger part. There should be a comfortable seat and a nice pitch to the back, not too straight up or not too slanted back, or your food will end up in your lap. I always look for chairs that look good from the back, because that’s how they will be seen most of the time. “We tend to use out of the ordinary chairs, and we mix them. For example, we might use a wooden side chair with an upholstered seat, but we would use fully upholstered wing chairs as the armchairs at the ends of the table. You can use different chairs to add interest as long as the seats of the chairs are the same height.” His own dining area in San Francisco is an example of his free spirited approach. He’s lined the sides of the gleaming wooden table with six side chairs dating from the 1960s. At the ends, two imposing armchairs with fretwork backs seem to have arrived from a garden terrace; in fact, he acquired them from the estate of the late Vivian Vance, the television actress best known for her role as Lucy Arnaz’s best friend. The trellis pattern is repeated in the skirt around a nearby console table that serves as sideboard. It’s a relaxed setup that our grandparents undoubtedly would not have understood. s

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The perfect palette Creams to coral: use updated colors to transform your home By Barbara Jones

C

olor is the most exciting element of design — not only because it can make the biggest impact, but because it’s the easiest to change. A weekend spent with a brush and a gallon of paint can enliven a staid living room, update a bathroom or bring tranquility to a bedroom. “A home isn’t just a house, it’s a place of comfort and feeling,” says Sara McLean, the color marketing manager for Dunn-Edwards Corp. “Color speaks to who you are, so you shouldn’t be afraid of it,” A veteran of studio design, McLean now tracks color trends as she develops consumer and trade-friendly tools for the California company. Dunn-Edwards offers nearly 1,700 custom colors, so the opportunities for creativity are virtually endless.

McLean notes that some people choose a palette because it represents a connection to a personal experience, ethnic heritage or even a social cause. For others searching for inspiration, she suggests experimenting with a color wheel, an artist’s tool which shows the relationships among an array of hues. Then select analogous colors — those included within a pie-shaped slice of the wheel — to create a monochromatic, sophisticated scheme; and complementary, or opposing shades to evoke energy and visual excitement. And if a budding decorator is still feeling overwhelmed, McLean advises turning to nature. “Look at a landscape, pick a bunch of flowers. Then take what you like, what makes you happy, and create a color scheme

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InsideDesign

around it.” To help guide that process, McLean relies on the so-called 60-30-10 rule. Very simply, 60 percent of the décor is your primary color, usually the walls; 30 percent is a secondary hue, which can be used for furniture, window or floor coverings, or a focal wall; and the remaining 10 percent is an accent color that can be carried out with striking accessories. Whatever, the hue, McLean adds, it’s very important to carry it throughout the house. “If red is a favorite color, use shots of it in every room. It may be a throw pillow or the mat in a picture frame, but it should feel like it’s the same house,” she says. “Color is an important element that helps create a unified whole.”A member of the Color

Marketing Group, which forecasts trends in the industry, McLean predicts that cream tones will face stiff competition from gray as the predominant neutral shade. Cool smoky pigments are coloring the walls in many contemporary homes, rich charcoal is warming more traditional spaces and deep slate is making a frequent appearance on shutters and front doors. However, beiges tones with hints of organic hues will continue to be a staple for creating sophistication and elegance.

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InsideDesign InsideDesign

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InsideDesign

Here is McLean’s take on other trends for 2010: Red: New colors are crisp, with blue undertones creating rich berries and crimsons. Don’t rule out Russian red, which remains an iconic hue for conveying energy and drama, passion and femininity. Orange: Considered a “social” color, orange is an attractive accent for neutral cream or gray, and also pairs well with purple, fuchsia and red. Look for shades in expressions of nature, such as citrus, melon, pumpkin and clay. Yellow: The contemporary version of this optimistic color goes vibrant, with undertones of green, black and gold. Hues are reminiscent of faint candlelight, bright sunflowers and roasted squash. Green: The true colors of nature — think grass and clover — come to the forefront, with blue replacing yellow as the predominant undertone in the real “green” movement. Blue: The most peaceful of all colors continues to evoke a feeling of tranquility. Pale blue-gray creates a classic neutral shade, with red-based berry colors coming in their own. Purple: Monochromatic combinations of blue- and red-based purple create sophistication and romance and hearken back to the days when purple was the color of royalty. s

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We’re off to...

Santa Barbara Santa Barbara may be an old town, but it’s far from outdated. Throughout its scenic streets are chic shops, fine restaurants and a slew of delightful buildings. Here are 5 of our favorite reasons to visit.

1

Shop till you drop

The shopping never ends in Santa Barbara, but here are a few standouts: Rooms and Gardens, with its wooden floors, high ceilings and shelves of soap, candles and tabletop décor; Maison K, catering to contemporary tastes; and Brostrom’s, for the antique collector who loves browsing for Asianinspired gems.

3

Haute hotels

A longtime Hollywood haven, Santa Barbara and its resorts are legendary. Old World elegance is the hallmark of the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, set on lush grounds with a spectacular view of the ocean. A must-stop is the Ty Lounge for Oprah’s Pomegranate Martini, named for the talk show host who stayed at the hotel while house hunting in the hills above town. B&B fans will like the Victorian Cheshire Cat just a short walk from restaurants and boutiques.

4

Acres of orchids

One of the largest orchid-growing regions in the country, Santa Barbara is the place to find that special cymbidium or phalaenopsis. Among the top growers are Gallup & Stribling, CalOrchid and Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, all open to the public for buying a bloom as a souvenir of your visit.

Ven Lilac ‘The Lip’

5

Brostrom’s

2

Red-tile tour

Park the car and follow the red tiles for 12 blocks past 22 historic buildings, including the Spanish colonial county courthouse (be sure and climb the clock tower for its sweeping view), the Spanish deco-style post office, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and Plaza de la Guerra, where the first city council met in 1850.

The Biltmore

Divine dining

With seven-figure homes the norm, it’s no surprise that fine dining is de rigeur here. French fare can be found at Bouchon Santa Barbara, boasting a Wine Spectator award of excellence wine list. Seagrass is the first coastal cuisine eatery, dishing up spiny lobster, oysters and seared giant sea scallops. And for great service at great prices, head to the Cajun-inspired Palace Grill, a hit since it was founded in 1988.

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