Sunset Idea House Tour + Takeaways

By Kate Riley August 18, 2016

I was invited to attend a preview of the Sunset Magazine Idea House here in the Bay Area. The home is multilevel on a dramatic slope that takes in views of the Bay and is decorated with a combination of modern and transitional furnishings. The entire home was light and bright with an organic feel due to the wood floors, textural accents, and abundance of green plants. The designer on this project was Lauren Geremia and there were a lot of great takeaways that caught my eye.

1. Yes you can wallpaper the kitchen. This was such a beautiful detail and brilliant idea, the use of the William Morris bird & pomegranate wallpaper behind glass as a backsplash. I love this idea because the paper adds beautiful pattern but is protected from moisture or grease by the glass.

 kitchen wallpaper sunset

 wallpaper in kitchen sunset


2. Create a larger chandelier with smaller pendants. This was another ingenious installation in the dining room, the use of six small pendants in a row to create a larger chandelier effect.

 pendant lighting dining

 pendants lined up dining


 pendants as chandelier



3. Layer smaller rugs on larger ones. Throughout the home the designer chose large scale neutral rugs and layered them with smaller rugs on top to add pattern and interest. If you have a rug you’d love to use in a room, say a vintage Kilim, but it’s too small for a space, consider buying a larger rug that fits and layering the smaller on top. It works! (Depicted below are the guest room, master bedroom, and office.)

 guest room

 master bedroom layered rug

 office layered rug

Casual Dining Chair Favorites

By Kate Riley August 16, 2016

Yesterday on the airplane ride home I was feeling rested and inspired. Taking a vacation has that effect :) I came up with a long To Do list of things I want to accomplish around the house this fall. Funny how when you live with so little while traveling you realize you really don’t need so much stuff in your home, just a few favorite functional and pretty pieces to make it feel comfortable and happy.

Some of my rugs and furnishings are a little worn, so I’ll be replacing them with a few new things this season. My dining room chair slipcovers are the perfect example, I have four of the Ballard Designs parsons style chairs in my dining room. They’ve worked so well for our family for years I’m sticking with that style, just replacing the slipcovers with new fabric.

It brought to mind a few favorite styles of dining room chairs that always look chic in a space. Here are five no fail options for casual dining chairs that will always look great!


Simple and streamlined, a parsons style dining chair is a classic. Whether slipcovered or upholstered, the look is tailored and timeless.

 slipcovered parsons chairs

sawyer berson

 upholstered parsons dining chairs

 slipcovered parsons dining chairs

mcgill design



I also have two wishbone chairs in my home, they live in corners as accents but come in handy when I need extra seating when people visit. Wishbone chairs have a unique look with their smooth rounded back support and rattan seat, they are simple and modern.


 wishbone chairs dining room 2

kate marker interiors

 wishbone chairs dining room


 wood wishbone chairs

kelly deck

 pale wood wishbone chairs



These all wood classics have long spindled backs, they can be stained or painted. Airy and elongated, they’re always a good looking choice.

 tribeca spindle chairs


 yellow windsor chairs

great neighborhood homes

 white windsor dining chairs

sarah wittenbraker

mixed windsor style chairs target



Maybe I am under the influence of a recent trip to Paris, but this style has always been a favorite. The woven pattern coupled with the natural legs add oh so much charm to any dining space.

 cafe chairs

amie Corley

 cafe dining chairs

threshold interiors

Chinese Chippendale

Known for their fretwork backs, these iconic chairs add geometric pattern and exotic flair. Find vintage pieces in natural rattan or more modern version lacquered in vivid hues.

 chinese chippendale chairs

summer thornton

 blue chippendale chair

new england home

 white chippendale chairs

charlotte & ivy

 blue chippendale dining chairs

studio McGee

Related: Style Mix: Wood Tables & White Chairs

Of course you never need to match all of your dining chairs, a mixed group always looks chic and inviting! What style of chair do you have in your dining room? Do you love the style, or would you trade them in for something different?