Category Archives: Needs

Subzero – The Battle Between Water & Aesthetics is Over


Let me preface by saying that I have one other love besides truly fabu lighting.  And that love is refrigerators.

Give me a 60 inch wide True commercial grade refer any day. Or Miele’s counter depth completely flush refer components.  Or even Lieberr’s just introduced in-wall wine system.  Yeah.  Shut up.  I know.

There, however, is one company on the market that really takes it to the next level.  Over the years they’ve become synonymous with high end refrigeration.  Their products are known the world over for being the best of the best.  The cream of the crop.  I’d go so far to say that they were truly the first innovator of the refer.  To take it from the round condenser on top of a white box with cabriole legs to what is really the second mainstay of the modern kitchen (second only to the range….).  I know them as the wet-dream of every housewife in America.  You know them as Subzero.

This year’s showing at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Showcase (or KBIS for us industry peeps) was their first in awhile.  We missed them.  I’m sure the Twitter petition helped.  And me being the techie detail oriented geek that I am, went straight for the details.  Certainly, the introduction of their combination steam/convection oven was great and I’m sure the Smart technology in their newest lineup will turn heads,  but I latched on to something else.

The integrated ice/water dispenser.

For years, refer designers have struggled with the water dispenser.  Where the h-e-double hockey sticks do you mount that monstrosity?  Buyers and designers alike had to choose between the functionality that is having filtered water and fresh ice in a single machine with the aesthetics of flush and integrated fixtures that disappear into the cabinetry.

“No Wire Hangers!” Mommy Dearest says.  And now, we can say the same about water and ice.  Why?  Because the idea lightbulb finally went off in someone’s head (fortunately it was someone at SubZero) and they slim-lined that necessary evil into a very small pocket inside the refer.

Who’d have thought?!  Inside the refer?  Now that’s brilliant thinking.  No more streaks of water down the front of your freshly polished stainless steel.  No four-year olds with camel-istic instincts overfilling their sippy cups.  No more ugly mole on the face of your we-won’t-talk-about-price luxury.

So thanks be it to SubZero for making my job just a little bit easier.

My third love, just in case you wondered, is toilets.  More on that later.

For more information about SubZero’s awesome products visit their website at

Images courtesy Subzero Wolf and my not be copied without their permission.

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.

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Cookies – The Importance of the Contingency

Mmmmmm….. Cookies.

Hungry aren’t you?  I was, up until about fifteen minutes ago when I ordered a sandwhich.  Food posts make me that way.  My stomach kinda curls up and starts screaming until I throw in something a little more than the cube of cheese I consumed for breakfast.  (and now you know the secret to my very small physique….)

But alas, this isn’t a post about food.

No no.  I tricked you by luring you in with cookies.  I’m bad that way.  And yet you continue to stick around and endure my abuse.

And this is why I love you.

So anyway.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Cookies.  Problems.

Once upon a time I heard it said that Oprah (ie: God) recommended eating your dessert first.  And while I understood her reasoning since sure, eating dessert first meant that you didn’t pressure yourself into eating the rest of your meal (not that a bit of broccoli wouldn’t do you any good) I didn’t agree with it.  Think about it.  Eating your dessert first only means that you’re filling your body up with the extras.  The cookies.  And in the end, you’re missing out on the essentials.  Then after a few years when you’re suffering from “The Sugars” as the Queen of Butter calls it, you realize that you missed the heart of the problem.

The same goes for any remodel, redesign or refresh.  Sure, we all love the good stuff.  Picking out awesome fabrics, great art, beautiful furniture.  I love it too.  Something about watching a transformation happen before my eyes.  Walking into a blank room and leaving a finished environment.  But the reality is that all of this, all of the finishing, the furnishings, the art.  All of it is the Cookies.  And we all love the cookies.

But the truth is that as designers we can not get to the cookies until we’ve had a chance to tackle the main meal.  I know.  Plumbing and electrical work and HVAC and foundations and ….. It isn’t fun.  It isn’t pretty (unless you hire my plumber!).  And nine times out of ten it isn’t cheap.  In fact, half the time you don’t even know it’s going to pop up until it does.  I had a recent client who after they moved in (it was the night of) to their new fixer upper found that they could turn off all of the lights on the second floor of their house by flipping the switch to the garage door in their garage (which was in a building not even connected to the main house). Reworking wiring on the second floor took a major cut out of the budget for their master suite remodel but it had to be done.  Nothing like having a great master suite but oops, I just shut off the power, again.

It really (excuse my teenage slang) bites to have to take the money you’d put away for the awesome Samuel Heath antiqued brass Edwardian shower fixtures into something like Romex. Or light switches. Or shoring up the foundation of your house because a group of racoons decided to gnaw at your center post for the last three decades.  But…. never fear!  See there is this little step that you can take during the budgeting period that might help things along just a bit.

What?  A solution?

It’s called a contingency.  And it’s super important.  I won’t go into details about hows and whys and whats but will say that as soon as you have determined what it is you want to spend on your master bath or kitchen or addition, and lop 10% right off the top.  Put it into a savings account.  Pretend like it doesn’t exist.  Because it doesn’t.  Forgot about it already didn’t you?  Exactly.  Then when the time comes (and it will…. have your replaced your toilet recently?) and that rainy day happens (ok, more like breaching the levee type of day) you’ll have a little cash put away.  You can still get your amazeballs in-mirror tv without sweating bullets because the Other Half told you to lose something.  And if you don’t need it (lucky you!) you’ve got a little cash put away for an add on or two (did someone say towel warmer?).

One day when X-Ray vision is invented we might be able to avoid the non-cookie stuff.  We can inspect for it. We can budget for it.  We can keep it from happening long before it actually happens.  But until then, when visiting the grocery store of the remodeling world, we have to save room next to the cookies for the other stuff.

For the broccoli.

Now eat up.  I hear the Girl Scouts knocking.

This blog post is just one of the dozens of super-excellent blogs participating in this week’s theme “Cookies”.  To see the other great blogger’s take, click here to take you to the Let’s Blog Off page.

Images via: (1), (2)

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Salt – Now fortified with Basil! A visit with Salt Farm

I’m an addict.

I’ll admit to it.  I love it.  I crave it.  I probably couldn’t see my life without it in some way shape or form.  Granted no one (except maybe my Doctor) will ever give me an intervention.  There is no Twelve Step program for lessening its grip on my life.  And I’ll never be sitting next to Lindsay Lohan with it’s sweet delicate kernels stuck to the skin around my nostrils.

It’s like legal coke.  Let’s be honest.

It’s Salt.

But not just any salt.  We’re talking Italian imported sea salt with just a touch of black truffle. Or a simple basic salt ground with bits of coconut and ginger and chili.  Maybe it’s a salt with dried tomato flakes, sweet basil and a hint of garlic.  Drooling?  Me too.  I just had to clean up my keyboard. Missed a spot.  No… right there.  Now you have it.

Once upon a time salt was salt. It came in in a blue paper carton with a girl and an umbrella. Times have changed and like Morton said “When it rains it pours”.  Salt is no longer just salt.  Take a gander down the spice section of your local Whole Foods and you’ll see Sea Salt and French Sea Salt and Kosher Salt and regular salt and salt infused with just about any other item that can be ground in a mortar and pestle.

It isn’t easy to pick one. Especially with the likes of Iron Chef and Top Chef and Chef Boyardee around. Make one wrong move and it’s over.  You might as well go back to the Culinary Institute and learn how to boil water.

So I’m going to help you.  I’m going to point you in the direction of one Ms. Tonya Youhanna and her fabulous San Diego company, Salt Farm Gourmet Salt.  I’ll make it really easy.  Roughly 30 different salts ranging from the very popular Himalayan Pink (did you know this is a super healthy salt with 84 different minerals?) and Sel Gris to the exotic Espresso (perfect as a dessert salt or on red meats) and Wasabi Sesame salts.  And, of course, the famous Black Truffle.

Who can resist Black Truffle? I can’t.  The beauty of Tonya’s is that hers not only uses an imported Italian base but is also 10% Black Truffle. Considering that most commercially available truffle sales contain maybe 5 to 7% truffle to salt, it’s like you’re leashing up the pig and stealing the truffles from her.  Let that image swirl around in your mind a little.

Actually what I love best about Tonya (besides the super Salt tattoo that she has on her right arm) is her pricing.  Sure she has three- and five- pack samplers (the five pack contains Black Truffle) but her standard bottles are quite generous and a steal at $10 to $12 a piece.  True Story – I bought a chardonnay salt from Dean & Deluca once and paid almost $20.  (I told you I was an addict)

Ok ok…. I’m hungry now and I should probably eat rather than lick my screen.

If you’re in San Diego, you can find Sea Farm at the Hillcrest and Little Italy Farmer’s Markets.  Or, stop by her website Salt Farm and most importantly her Etsy shop.

Buy some.  Buy them all. Well not all of them, leave some for me would you?

Aside from another addiction, D.Coop was not compensated for this post.

All images via DCoop and may not be copied without permission.

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Answering the Age Old Question – Where do I set my Drink?

TIG…. S? That’s right kiddies…. it’s Saturday.

Well, actually while writing this post it’s still Friday but give me a gimlet already.  I’m just happy that I can work from bed in my jammies. Wait.  How that is different from most any other day I’m not entirely sure but I’ll take it anyway.  Which reminds me, does any other couple have the “tuck vs. untuck” issue when it comes to sheets?  I swear, making that decision with the Mister in the room is like trying to determine the directionality of toilet paper.

Annnnyway.  I’ve been working diligently on a new project in Rancho Santa Fe.  When 6,200 square feet calls, you answer the GD phone.  I answered and now it’s fabric samples and tear sheets and interns. Oh My!  The oh my part was for the interns.  Not the fabric samples.  Or the tear sheets.  Just clarifying.

Needless to say, the age old question popped up.

Like it always does.

When it comes to seating arrangements.

Just where do you put your drink?



Often times, and this goes for commercial and residential projects equally, that little thought is put into just where that drink is going.  Be it a gimlet (my drink of choice), a Budweiser, or just a simple glass of water in the evening before bed (wus!), a location must be determined. In some cases this is the wide arm of the super soft leather sofa you’ve already bought.  But in most cases, a table is needed.  What kind of table you ask?  Well let me tell…. and show…. you!

Small, petite, tiny.  It all works.  Choose one that is 12 inches in diameter minimum up to 18 or 24 inches diameter maximum. 

Choose a piece even with or just lower than the arm of the chair it is adjacent.  Higher than and you are doing some weird arm flexes. No one likes a weird arm flex.

A wear friendly top is a must.  I like coasters but my friends, well nevermind.

Storage is an option, not a necessity.  Unless you need a place for coasters.

Use this as a creative opportunity.  Pack some punch with a great color, cool finish or oddball material.  Seriously!

Do you like?  I know I do!  Now get to picking.

Happy Drinking!!

Table Round-up, in order of appearance:

Side Table no. Four by The New Traditionalists via here

Taboret Stool/Side Table by Bungalow 5 via here

Primi Table by Phase Design via here

Dax Round Pull up Table by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams via here

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Personal Space? Possible Even in Tight Quarters

Happy Wednesday!

Before I start, here’s an exclusive coupon for Lowe’s if you’re thinking about doing some remodeling and freeing up space.

Where are these weeks going?  I swear they fly past quicker than I can even think.  Granted I’m sure part of it is that my email in-box is starting to fill up with the beginning of the year requests.  I won’t complain about this one bit. As they say, idle hands!

So as is normal policy around the D.Coop Bloggie, Wednesdays are meant for trolling the interweb and leaving my mark on someone else’s page. This week?  Our normal coup at MomtrendsTuesday we went all gangbusters on the mancave but what happens when you’re short on space?  I know that we all can’t live in big(ger) houses with multiple rooms and we sometimes resort to 1-bedroom junior suites. Or studios. Or Grandma’s attic.

Even an apartment dweller needs a personal sanctuary! 

Enjoy our little moments of personal bliss on Momtrends and of course, I’d love to know just how you have accomplished a personal sanctuary with minimal real estate.

And PS: We’re almost there!  Friday is just on the horizon!

Image via Apartment Therapy

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To Mancave or Not to Mancave? That is the question.

Mancave, noun: A room, space, corner or area of a dwelling that is specifically reserved for a male person to be in solitary condition, away from the rest of the household in order to work, play, involve himself in certain hobbies, activities without interruption.

– Urban Dictionary


I am also pounding on my chest but because I’m not so well versed in the art of You-Tube and I still don’t know how to work my webcam (do I even HAVE a webcam?), you won’t get to see it.

I’m not hairy (save for several random hairs on my big toe, what’s with that?!). I regularly purchase and use deodorant. I don’t club my women. Well actually, I don’t club men either (I prefer my date alive thankyouverymuch). And my teeth are regularly inspected by a member of the American Dental Association. So I utter a few grunts and groans when falling out of bed each morning.  And yes, I CAN apply for car insurance online.  I think that this means, by last count, that I am not a caveman. Score!

*makes note on resume*

Granted, I’m not your normal guy. I don’t do sports (and by don’t do I mean don’t do without a drink in my hand). I’ve never read Playboy (by read I mean read without a drink in my hand).  And I’ve never fist-bumped three of my other buddies because a really big guy in tight pants carried a Stewie shaped ball over a white line and did a “Hand to Jesus” move.  Big shocker right?  Should I make a Steelers joke right now?  Probably not… don’t want to lose the one reader I have from Pittsburgh.

So, Mancave. Let’s talk about this for a minute. The last time I checked, we’d made it past the evolutionary stages whereby we all walked as if we lived in a French bell-tower (ie: hunched over), grunted our orders, and screamed Yabba-Dabba-Do at the top of our lungs. This isn’t the stone age and a great majority of us haven’t eaten Dinosaur in years (Though I’ve heard it’s quite a delicacy). Yes guys, I know the Mancave is that one space in the house that is all yours.  With the “Keep Out Girls” sign on the door even though Pamela Anderson has held a place of honor on the wall since her first surgery.  You know what I’m talking about.

“Everytime I hear the word Mancave I’m struck by what a giant step backward it is.  Does making a room sound like it has Neanderthal-esque appeal make it more attractive?”

– Meredith Heron Meredith Heron Design

Sure.  It is the one place in the house that you are free to do guy things.  Like play X-Box.  Or watch football.  Or fart.  And yes, some of these actions may seem a little caveman-esque (if I hear “There is more room on the outside” one more time…) but isn’t calling your room your cave just shy of asking to be hairy and grunty again? Bears live in caves. Cavemen live(d) in caves. Trolls live in caves.  Scratch that.  Trolls live under bridges.  But men, we have this great thing the Oxford English Dictionary calls a vocabulary.  Say it with me. VOC-AB-U-LARY.  I tend to think of the great TV men.  Dick Van Dyke. Darren Stevens. Al Bundy. None of them had a Mancave. Van Dyke had a study (and a chair with a really dangerous ottoman). Darren had his office (which I believe was actually immune to his mother in law).  Al Bundy had a toilet in his garage.

Call me old fashioned but isn’t referring to our “space” as the Mancave, no matter how we say it (try it with an English accent, it’s fun!) a little disrespecting?  A little self-depreciating? We’re men yes.  Are we gentlemen?  Some of us. But are we cavemen?  Not unless you’re in a Geico commercial. So what’s the point of referring to ourselves as such?

Before you get your knickers in a bunch (another indicator that we are definitely not cavemen – we wear underwear; most of us anyway), I know that it all comes down to semantics. That Mancave is nothing more than a word.  That in the end, it all comes down to one of man’s most essential needs (after bourbon, football, and sex).  Personal Space.

“In my vernacular, the media/theater room is a space for the entire family; whereas the Mancave is just for the men of the house to be a testosterone-filled play area.  I love the idea of men and women having separate spaces to relax.”

– Angel Robinson Write Robinson Couture Stationery

I totally get it.  The further along you are in life, the more chance there is that people are encroaching on your personal space. Usually it’s little people and they’re trying to play with your toys.  That’s Daddy’s Playstation, Junior!  Steve and I are only two people with a dog and even that can be enough to drive me to drinking. As such, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a room or a space or at least a futon of one’s own.  A domain that isn’t public territory.  To be the master of your own land. It is totally key and although it doesn’t necessarily need a door, it should become a personal reflection of its owner.

BUT, and this is the big but, can we please open up the dictionary and call it something OTHER than a Mancave?  Study. Library.  Mantuary.  Salle des Hommes. My personal preference?  Lair.

And ladies, naming a room is like naming his … um… tool.  When he comes up with his own personalized tag (because you’ve tazed him every time he said Mancave) don’t laugh.  Especially when he calls it “Grawl’s Room of Magical Delights”. Just giggle under your breath and offer him another beer.


Images via: ScrapeTv, GQ, Toonpool

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A Bull in a China Shop. My Time with the Audi R8 Spyder

Sometimes things happen and you’re not quite sure how they happened and why you got to be so damn lucky but that they did and now you can’t stop smiling and people want you to wipe that “damn look” off of your face before they say something cynical just to get you to stop smiling.  Thursday I experienced just that. A ring on the cell phone and a voice on the other line….

“Hello Mr. Smith.  This is Audi Concierge.  We’ve an opening in our R8 Private Drive this Saturday …. “

Needless to say, if you’d read my 25 Things post over the new year, you’d understand why I needed to change my pants after putting down the phone. Thank goodness I was not going commando because that would have necessitated reupholstering a chair. I was a poodle excited to see their owner for the thirtieth time.

Fast forward to Saturday.  I won’t bore you with details.  Making the drive to the Lodge at Torrey Pines.  Meeting with Audi’s product specialists.  Or even the nice little presentation by Steven (enjoy the rules of the road. Pssshhhh…).  No one really wants to hear about that stuff.  I will say there is nothing like the feeling of stepping into a private parking lot and finding eight Audi R8s bathed in the glow of the California sun.  Two coupes, the rest newly introduced Spyders. A mix of V8 and V10s.  Ours was red, a very cherry red V8 Spyder. Low slung, ready to pounce even with the engine quiet.  Inside, a set of keys, a map, and one of those Nextel radios (you didn’t think they’d let us get that disconnected did you… these are $150,000 super cars).

A turn of the key.  A taught grumble from the V8 stowed behind our seats. Top down (19 seconds  precisely). Forget the stereo, we wouldn’t need it anyway.  I distinctly recall needing to change my pants yet again.  Somewhere, the automobile Gods had determined that I would be behind the wheel of hand-built German beast.  Check for a pulse and we’re off.

Here in Southern California the sight of a supercar on any stretch of our freeway is really no cause for celebration.  You might get one head turn.  A teenage boy slugging his father and pointing. Some middle aged toupee wearing gentleman letting a little smile show beneath his mustache. But when you have eight high powered exotics the scenery is much different. Heads turn. Windows roll down. You have conversations with random strangers at stop lights.  It’s paparazzi like. Instant celebrity status though you know for a fact it isn’t you they’re gawking over.  One tap on the gas pedal and amidst the growl of the exhaust, you’re gone.  Your fans far behind you.

I could talk about performance and motor specs and … but I’m sure it’d bore you. I mean who needs to know that your particular V8 was capable of 187 miles per hour and had no problem making the 60 mark in just over four seconds.  Or that the v10 in our group could produce 10 miles more and make 60 in under four seconds. No no.  I’ll leave that to the experts at Car & Driver or Automobile.  Instead, let’s talk styling. You all know this is my foray and one that I take very seriously (even at 104 miles per hour. Shhh… don’t tell Audi).

Let me say that Audi did a great deal of justice to the Spyder. Typical exotics are covered in extraneous lines, superfluous details, wasted opportunities to create seamless sightlines.  What you won’t find littering the exterior are odd vents and crazy corners and superficial nothingness.  No line out of place.  If it weren’t for the somewhat unflattering rear hood vents that had a strange resemblance to the raised hairs on a very pissed off dog’s back and what has become Audi’s trademark wide angle front grill, you’d have not much of an idea that you have a storm of a vehicle.  And by storm, I mean that you’ll leave a lot of destruction in your wake but that people will still seek you out. Yeah.  Like a tornado.

In the Spyder, versus the standard Coupe, I’m happy to see the side fin disappear. I was never a huge fan of the off color piece of metal just behind the passenger and driver door. In some ways, the ability to add in that detail as an option was just a way to break up the sleek lines, maybe make it appear slower to the police vehicles you will inevitably pass on your way to higher insurance rates.

As for the interiors… wait… I forgot to look. Joking!  Audi has upped their ante over the years.  I remember driving an A3 a decade ago and remarking that the interior detailing in most of Audi’s line up had absolutely no characteristics. A decade ago bland and unremarkable would have been favorable terms.  Times have changed.  The R8’s interior was clean. There was minimal fuss and what fuss existed, only came from a light sprinkling of nickel finish and a few carbon fiber details.  Audi put a great deal of effort into not making this car a Ferrari or a Lambo or some other over-fibered example of macho-osity.  No, this is a gentleman’s interior.  Well trimmed leather. A few satin nickel rings around important gauges.  A Formula-1 loop of carbon fiber ran from the driver side door handle, up over the wheel and down to the left of the navi screen.  It was like playing with the Hot Wheels of my childhood. Whee!

Of course, there is still some work to do, this is a first iteration mind you.  I wasn’t a fan of the paddle shifters’ ergonomics.  Flat and thin, the level of confidence from these pieces of plastic were minimal at best.  The push of the heating system was light at lower speeds. I found that the center console was lacking in user intuitive-ness (is that a word) and I gave up on pushing buttons in an effort to focus solely on the road ahead.  In other words, Audi has put a great deal of attention in making sure the driver is at one with the road, but that there are still a few speedbumps.  For some drivers, they’ll set the radio, heat, and other controls once and never use them again.  For me, I drive.  Daily. To the tune of 30,000 miles a year.  Audi will get it… I’m sure of it. Especially if they continue to advertise the R8 as a daily driver.

Really the worst part about this car was giving the keys back at the end of our 90 minutes.  Stepping out of the driver’s seat left me with this pang of emptiness. Someone had taken my candy and promised to not give it back. I was elated and sad at the same time.  Wait… Was I in love?  Or was it just the pure unadulterated lust of pushing a piece of machinery to it’s limits and enjoying every glorifying moment.  The Audi would even have given me a ring… four of them to be exact.  Perfectly sized.  My size.

Back to the real world.

For more information about the Audi R8 and the R8 Spyder, click through to

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.

All images are copyright D.Coop and cannot be used without permission.

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Food for Thought

I saw this, this morning and thought I’d share. I think we all have moments where we need to remember just this. Enjoy your Sunday!

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San Diego Holiday Procrastinators Unite! Local Last Minute Shopping….

Normally at this point in my week before the Christmas holiday I’d tell you about how I had the worst time finding a parking space at Fashion Valley Mall that was not located in the adjoining county or involved a secret map with a bright red X.  I’d mostly likely be regaling you with tall tales of shopping yore – being trampled at the H&M or burning a hole in my debit card at Gucci.  Yes, I’m kind of a label whore.  It’s a title I’ve grown accustomed to in the years past.

But this year.  THIS YEAR.  It is now 3 days before the holiday and I’m done.  All done.  Finished up a few days ago actually.  Presents are wrapped (in some cases now unwrapped since Steve turns five years of age every Christmas and can not, must not wait until Santa squeezes his red a** down our needs-to-be-relined chimney).  They’re ready to be delivered to their respective parties wherever they may be.

NOW, normally I, like most of my readers, probably wait until the last minute (the Shell station does not have good gifts, unless your family enjoys Slim Jims) to finish up those last minute gifts.  I totally understand the plight.  The pain of the mall.  The torture of parking and dealing with families who might have been better served leaving the toddlers (and booze) at home.  Fear not dear Super-Procrastinator!  Turn the car around (or get out of bed and put on some clothes) and shop local.  San Diego has a plethora of amazeballs super awesome little stores tucked into and around it’s mildly sky-scraping buildings.  And just for you reader I’m sharing some of my favorites with you. Five favorites to be exact.

Ready?  Set…. Shop Local!

Noon Jewelery & Paper Goods

Someone said that bigger was better.  Not in this case.  Noon, a boutique no larger than the bathroom in my last house, is a great little hole in the wall.  Serving up great Letterpress from designer Mais Liis Webb and fabulous jewelery by artist Nora Alexander, I’m totally digging the copper rings, hand printed bags and flour sack towels, and of course, their totally cool etched glassware.

4993 Niagra Ave., Ocean Beach & 349 N. Highway 101, Solana Beach

Open Christmas Eve from 11am to 3pm

Root 75

Normally I don’t make it to Coronado from the “Mainland” too often simply because we on the East side of the bridge think it’s too far away.  Ok, let’s be honest, the Bridge is really high and I have a fear of heights. However, Root 75 is a great reward for conquering my little phobia.  A great little boutique tucked under the shadows of the famed Hotel Del Coronado, proprietors Kristy & Katherine have artfully mixed Jonathon Adler ceramics, Park & Orange prints (seriously some of my faves… I’ve featured them on my blog before) and seasonal floral arrangements.  My favorite?  The ceramic Mason jar ornaments. Yeah… totally cool.

845 Orange Avenue, Coronado

Open Christmas Eve until 2pm


Southpark has seen quite a resurgence in the past few  years as more and more families settle in the quaint Craftsman neighborhoods surrounding it’s vintage-y Main Street (otherwise known as 30th to the locals…).  The result is multiple great boutiques specializing in local fare filling the century old storefronts that litter the community.  Progress is by far one of my favorites simply because they fill a modern niche that you’d have to drive elsewhere to find.  I’m in love with their collection of vintage-esque clocks (totally atomic in appearance!), hand crafted furniture, and my all time favorite, the Sal ‘N Peppa gangster salt and pepper shakers.  You know, because you never know when sugar will be staging a drive by.

2225 30th Street, Southpark

Open Christmas Eve until 5pm


Like Southpark, Northpark is San Diego’s up and almost there gentrified neighborhoods. It’s also home to Pigment.  And D.Coop.  No no, no affiliation except that they’ve swiped my credit card more than a few times (it doesn’t help they are Right. Next. Door. to one of my favorite places to nosh at lunch time.  It really is one of San Diego’s gems, carrying the art work of Amy Paul (LOVE!), the extruded jewelery of Nervous System and enough awesome books to make staying in on a warm Saturday afternoon pleasurable.  And for the non-green thumbs, there is always a selection of hearty succulents to choose from aside the front door.

3837 30th Street, Northpark

Extended Holiday Hours – 10am to 8pm


As it’s name implies, Solo stands alone when it comes to awesomesauce gifts, home goods and of course, BOOKS!  Like a mini-mall of local artisans and craftspersons, Solo has multiple boutiques dedicated to the likes of Jennifer Price (industrial objet d’art and repurposed finds), Lori Graham (furniture designer extraordinaire) and Bill Wechter (20 year veteran photographer).  I kid you not, everytime I’m there I find something new (and usually something new finds me!).  Did I mention they’ve one of the greatest selection of Interior Design books in San Diego?

309 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach

Open 10am to 6pm

Ok kids…. off to have a drink with mom and then I’m on vacation!  Happy Holidays and may your shopping experience be bright!

All Images Copyright D.Coop and may not be used without permission. 2011

D.Coop received no compensation for this post.

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What Does Being Professional Mean? Boudoirs of course.

I’m excited. Ok so I’m almost giddy that it isn’t funny.

And no, today’s excitement isn’t a result of finding a hidden stash of vodka in the freezer (I always knew it was there, for safe keeping).  I’m so glad that you all assume I’m one big drunk.  Even Klout thinks that this is a truth considering that I’m influential in vodka. Yep… Grey Goose do you hear that?

ANYWAY….I had a very long client meeting last night that although laced with a bottle of great wine and a half a bag of chocolate chip cookies, resulted in the clients use of the word LOVE in response to the design for their master suite.  Love isn’t a word heard too often but I think when one member of the couple sharing this suite uses that Robert DiNero Two-Finger-to-the-Eyes maneuver signaling that we’re on the same page, you know you have it right. Which makes me happy.  So sure, the master bathroom is awesome and the fact that we managed to squeeze in a second walk-in closet to this little puzzle (the house was built in 1920 which makes closet space a rarity) only makes it that much better.  However, the key component that I’m super giddy about … the one piece of the puzzle that makes me not only totally girlish but very jealous in a Carrie Bradshaw meets New York closet kinda way… is that we’re carving out space for a girlie dressing room, a boudoir if you will.  After we realized that we were fitting in a second closet (from this point in the process known as “Rob’s closet, smiley face” on all documents), she squealed a little.  As much as I’d like to say it’s because we now have more room for shoes, I think it’s because she’ll be the only one of her friends that has a room (not a closet… a room!) for a closet. Yeah biatches, she can not only store her clothes in her closet but twirl and do somersaults in this little room.  Ok, maybe not the somersaults but it is pretty big for a 1920’s closet.

Now you all know me.  You know that when there is a line I can’t help at stare at it for a moment, shrug my shoulders and say the heck with it.  Let’s just say I’ve never met a line that I couldn’t cross.  And of course, I’m always up for a challenge.   This of course works well with these particular clients because let’s put it this way, they’re no different.

So since we’re trying to be all professional and stuff…

via Agent Provocateur

Ruffle Cushion by Agent Provocateur

That’s right kids.  The venerable lingerie line has introduced a home line to the market.  And guess what, it’s everything you’d expect from the world’s best lingerie company.  Ruffles and Lace and even leather fringe. Even I want the cushions.

$350.00 USD via Agent Provocateur

via Filthy Home

Down Below Victorian Wallcovering

With a name like Filthy Home you can’t begin to imagine what kind of papers this wonderfully naughty designer has come up with.  And since I’m trying to keep this, in the words of Modern Sauce, a quote unquote Family Blog, I can’t post half of them.  Let’s just say, their papers are to wallcoverings what Larry Flynt is to publishing.

$90.00 per 24″ x 96″ section via Filthy Home

via Daphne Hill, copyright the artist

“Ready for Action, Candida Albicans 3” by Daphne Hill

Every boudoir needs pin-up.  Must I say anything more?  Daphne’s are by far my favorites… she’s a local San Diego artist who, shall we say, puts a little hidden meaning into each of her pieces.  I’ll let you read through her Open Gallery narrative to determine exactly what that hidden meaning is.  Though a Google search of the later half of the title will tell it all.

Price upon request via Daphne Hill

Image copyright the Artist

Victorian Spread by Michele Marti

If there is any furniture designer out there that has captured the spirit of the boudoir it has to be Ms. Marti.  I mean…. corset meets Queen Anne sidechair.  Nuff’ Said.

For more information contact Michele Marti

Hello line… nice to meet you!

D.Coop was not paid for this post

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