joy of nesting

joy of nesting
Shiree Hanson Segerstrom Design and Wellness for Women with Arthritis and Other Chronic Pain.

An Elle Decor Magazine Featured Home

This month Elle Decor Magazine is featuring a wonderful, modern interior design in Manhattan by Stephen Gambrel.  Enjoy the tour!

What an incredible job this designer did.  Stephen Gambrel is one of the finest designers in the country.  His work is innovative, with a timeless appeal.

Vintage 1930's Style Bathrooms Redesigned

One of the reasons I've never shared my 1930's bathrooms with Joy of Nesting readers is they don't photograph really well.  Somehow the charming character doesn't translate well to print.  Or does it?

When I have guests one of the things they comment on most is the tile and original fixtures in my two diminutive bathrooms.  When I first moved in, the bathrooms were a source of concern.  I wanted to update them in a architecturally sensitive way.  I wanted the remodels to be as era appropriate as possible.

How can you tear out perfectly good tile that is a relic like this?  The short answer is you don't.  You work with what is there, trying not compete with the colors and style.

In the yellow bathroom I did a matching shower curtain, window treatment, and sink skirt in a Lee Jofa document print with a clever little red beaded trim at the hems.  The fabric repeats the spades and clubs motif that is present in much of the home's original iron work like the curtain rods, the entry door window, and fireplace tile.  I found some great light fixtures for both baths at Restoration Hardware.

Fabricut white quilted window treatment, sink skirt, and shower curtains and a custom black iron curtain rod gives the green bath its simple back drop.  I used Kelly Moore Swiss Coffee white eggshell paint and fluffy white cotton towels in both baths.  Ou est la "vay say"?

Photography by Robert Watts.

FROM THE INSIDE OUT...Beautiful Skin Through Delicious Foods

The correlation between health and beauty is a topic that has interested me since I was a pre-teen.  In my twenties, with a husband and small child to feed, nutrition and cooking became a real priority.  My life centered around making a wonderful home and cooking nutritious meals that put us together every day at one table. 

When I began approaching my forties I started reading everything I could on healthy practices for mid-life and beyond.  I found one author in particular to be very helpful, Dr. Nicolas Perricone.  Dr. Perricone is a respected dermatologist from Connecticut and an advocate for eating wild salmon three times a week.

I have read two of Dr. Perricone's books and other books on health and aging and found the following basics.  Processed sugar, in all its guises, should be cut from our daily diets.  Fat is good when it's in the form of olive oil, walnuts, and salmon.  Women need about 60 to 90 grams of protein daily.  And we all need at least 5 cups of produce a day, preferably those low on the glycemic index.

One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get enough produce in your diet is with a daily "salad meal".  That means a meal of salad, using a 10" plate and leaving about an inch or two open at the edge.  The basic ingredients are spinach, arugula, or romaine plus a whole fruit, some onion, herbs and spices, a grilled lean meat, one ounce toasted walnuts or pecans, and a goat's milk cheese or grated Parmesan.

For women 4 to 6 ounces of wild salmon, free range chicken or turkey, or about 10 medium shrimp give you enough protein for one meal.  Our bodies don't store protein and we need it daily for repairing damage.

One of the things that signals meal satisfaction is acid.  Acidic foods are citrus, tomatoes, peaches, and vinegars.  Salads with grapefruit or peaches or oranges are absolutely delicious when contrasted against savory flavors like toasted nuts and grilled meats.  This type of food combination is immensely satisfying and so prevents us from finding satisfaction through eating the wrong foods.

The results from eating these foods and of course getting enough water, sleep, exercise and dietary supplements will result in more energy, better looking skin and hair, and healthy weight.  There are other long term benefits too like better self-esteem and better attitude.

Dr. Perricone also stresses the importance of fiber and it's relation to weight loss.  This was new information to me but it makes sense that when you are properly digesting your food your metabolism is higher.  He states that beans and whole grains are good sources of fiber.  But if you think simply going to the grocery store and picking up any loaf of bread is fiber, think again.  Read the labels.  You will only find truly healthy breads by checking the labels.  My favorite grain source is Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffins.

One of my favorite little food tricks is substituting sour cream with Greek yogurt.  I use it on my tacos, tortilla soups, and in dips.  It is wonderful with berries and in smoothies. 

Garbanzo beans, organic in the can, are delicious and easy when blended up in the food processor with just lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and olive oil.  Instead of using fattening pita chips try celery and carrots.  Humus makes raw veggies so much more interesting.

Super foods are best described as highly nutritious foods without additives or preservatives produced without the use of pesticides.  All that is fine, but the biggest benefit is that they are also delicious.  Blueberries, asparagus, wild salmoncantaloupe, broccoli, free range chicken, and carrots lead the way but the choices are tremendous especially when you start combining them in interesting ways.  Try serving your grilled salmon with a little peach, cilantro, and red onion salsa. 

Stock your kitchen with the best of the best food choices.  Keep a variety of produce, nuts, herbs, and spices on hand and fish, chicken, and turkey in the freezer.  Don't worry about following recipes.  Half the fun is preparing meals from the seat of your pants with a wide range of ingredients that don't require a lot of preparation.

 Images from Saveur Magazine.


Yesterday David took me to the California State Fair which is held at Cal-Expo in Sacramento every summer.  For once the temperature was perfect.  We had a funnel cake, rode the monorail, and strolled through the beautiful flower gardens and water and animal exhibits.

I eat healthy most of the time but ocassionally I succumb to the lure of fried foods.  David had his funnel cake with strawberries and I had mine with cinnamon and sugar.  My only regret is that I didn't have my requisite corn dog.  No one makes a corn dog like the State Fair except the one's at the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk.

Seeing the golden bear statues (the California black bear is our state animal) reminded me of a trip to the fair when Christian was young.  He loved the insect, animal, and reptile exhibits and of course, had to take his picture riding the bear.  I was tempted by a moment of silliness, to climb on board for a picture but alas my inner adult prevailed.

One of my favorite features of the state fair, or any fair for that matter are the animal exhibits.  I love the baby piglets we see every year, the beautiful sheep, and of course the petting zoo.  This year we petted the cutest llama, kangaroos, pot bellied pigs, goats, and sheep.  There was an indoor exhibit of the most adorable little birds called African Finches.  They are tiny and chubby and colorful.

Being the fabulous grape producer California is, tastings and blind competitions are naturally part of the annual event.

Photo credit above Photographer' Direct.

The art exhibit was quite enjoyable for David and me.  I saw some wonderful works that I am considering for some upcoming projects.  For more information click here: California State Fair.

FRESH FRENCH ...Tips for Creating Neutral Interior Color Schemes

Going through sources for a recent design project, I came across the most wonderful French inspired pieces.

These light, cool furnishings look fabulous in small homes and cottages with neutral color schemes.  I especially love seeing them in homes by the sea.

Some things to remember when decorating your home with neutrals:  Keep furniture and accessories mostly neutral because colors easily overpower their subtle beauty.

In lieu of color, use lots of texture and patina.  Scale is another great way to add visual interest to a neutral color scheme.

Add a variety of finishes like the mirrored dresser above.  Don't be afraid to introduce brass into your neutral scheme, particularly old brass.

Great fabric choices for this type of interior are linens, wools, raw silk, or even dupioni silk in a more formal scheme.

If you want to really add some visual interest to your neutral scheme, add blackish dark brown wood flooring.  This one thing will make everything else really stand out!

 Don't forget to add lots of baskets, books, and beautiful foliage.  At Christmas bring out the red, dark brown, and lots of texture.


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