American Homes Category

May 12, 2015

A Friend as a Client : The Buddy System

The first time I contemplated doing a project for a friend, I received a dose of well meant warnings: “Don’t do it – whatever you gain won’t be worth it when you lose a friend.” This applies to any industry – be it design, finance or real estate. “You need to draw a line”. Work […]

April 8, 2015

Potrero Home with a Hidden Speakeasy is the Ultimate Party Pad

My husband Richard has this TV habit – the minute he steps in the house, he reaches for the TV remote, even if he gave it a mere 3 minutes of his attention for the hour or two it is on. He is playing his guitar, blowing into his harmonica or eating his dinner while […]

October 28, 2014

Ippolita Rostagno’s Brooklyn Brownstone

Brooklyn brownstones, like West Village brownstones have some mysterious quality. There are many in a block’s stretch and although the facade may be of many varied styles- (Italianates are prevalent in Brooklyn) I have always wondered about the many ways a long and narrow building can be designed. My six years in New York, as […]

October 21, 2014

Take a Peek into a Converted Firehouse

Filed in: American Homes

Sometime around 2000, former Engine 40, a fire station at the southerly border of Cole Valley hailing from 1909, was converted into two very pretty if rather unconventionally laid-out townhomes. The unit in front, a three-bedroom, went for $1.7 million in 2011. Details like the paneled ceiling, zippy cove lighting, arched windows, and the original fire […]

September 25, 2014

Claiborne Swanson Frank’s Living Room

Claiborne Swanson Frank’s Manhattan living room is an example of a typical small Manhattan space that is made efficient with really smart design tricks. The use of 2 (mirrored) consoles across each other gives the space more light (reflective) plus since it is suspended it frees the floor making it fill less of the room. The […]

September 21, 2014


I am struck by the popularity of monograms and its staying power. What I thought would be a two year trend has now gone way past that and I am certainly hoping the art and its use won’t lose favor. Monograms first appeared on coins, as early as 350BC. The earliest known examples are of the […]

September 18, 2014

Guitars are the new Artwork

When short in space, I always look to utilizing the walls to showcase personal treasures that I can actually use. Domino feature on Jenny Komenda does exactly this when instead of frames, her cherished guitars adorn her walls. Imagine one guitar off the wall- it is being making some music elsewhere and the wall becomes […]