Articles by: Jennifer Volland

Build a Library To Call Your Own

Build a Library To Call Your Own

I love books…the way they smell, the way they look, the way they feel. Even when I’m not engaged in the physical act of reading, I love having books around me. From a design perspective, books add warmth and interest to any room. They make a personal statement and generate […]

Go Vintage for Quality Outdoor Furniture

Go Vintage for Quality Outdoor Furniture

Finding decent, well-priced outdoor furniture is no easy task but go vintage for some cool and funky options

Preparing For A Garage Sale, Part I: Decluttering

Preparing For A Garage Sale, Part I: Decluttering

A couple weeks ago I had a garage sale. I dreaded the thought of cleaning out my house for the months leading up to the big date but I knew it needed to be done. It had come to the point where everything was bugging me, from my messy T-shirt […]

Simple Fireplace Redesign For Less

Simple Fireplace Redesign For Less

A fireplace is the focal point of a living room, so it’s important to have something that doesn’t make you recoil every time it catches your eye. My friends Heather and Neil had this unfortunate reaction when they moved into their 1940s traditional house in Santa Monica. The living room […]

Reupholster Your Dining Room Chairs

Reupholster Your Dining Room Chairs

Our friend Antonella’s up to her old tricks again…making her beautiful house even more beautiful. When we last visited her, she was transforming her office space. Now she has moved onto the dining room and re-covered six dining table chairs with a bold new print. This nifty little intervention cost […]

Home Office Design Makeover

Home Office Design Makeover

There’s no reason your home office has to reflect the drudgery of bill paying, document filing, and to-do lists. Like any other room, it presents an opportunity to make a statement. And, if you work from home, your business will benefit from surrounding yourself with sources of inspiration and stimulation. […]

Preparing For A Garage Sale, Part Two: Sale Tips

Preparing For A Garage Sale, Part Two: Sale Tips

The big day has finally arrived. You’ve decluttered, sorted and arranged your goods. The alarm goes off at the crack of dawn to awaken you for your final preparations. An “early bird” is waiting in the driveway even though your announcement said the sale begins at 8:00 a.m. The kids […]

Add Color with High Pressure Laminate Panels

Add Color with High Pressure Laminate Panels

When someone asks where you spend most of your time, the garage doesn’t typically rise to the top of the list, does it (well maybe it does – I am writing on a DIY blog)? Anyway, if your answer was no, it didn’t for me either … at least until […]

Bomb Shelters are Booming

Bomb Shelters are Booming

A couple years ago, I went on an architectural tour of a mid-century home that had a nuclear fallout shelter in the backyard. I kept imagining how tense and uncertain the Cold War atmosphere must have been for people to resort to such measures. Check out this article in TIME […]

Well-Designed Space: What We Can Learn from Hotels

Well-Designed Space: What We Can Learn from Hotels

When trying to impress upon my siblings and me the importance of tidiness, my grandmother always used to say: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” She had neither the financial resources nor the desire for the random accumulation of goods, and the few things she did acquire […]

Design Spotlight: Built-In Bleacher Seating

Design Spotlight: Built-In Bleacher Seating

On a recent trip down the California coast, we stopped at Nepenthe Restaurant, a Big Sur family-run institution since 1949. In addition to the incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and the tasty Ambrosia Burger, I love the architecture. Rowan Maiden, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed the unique […]

3 Reasons to Go From Wallflower to Wow

3 Reasons to Go From Wallflower to Wow

Is your house the block wallflower? One simple step can change that. When my husband and I painted our front door bright orange, our neighbor Kathy thought that it was only the primer and waited patiently for the day that we would cover it with the “real” color. Of course, […]

Full Frontal: Making the Most out of Your Front Yard

Full Frontal: Making the Most out of Your Front Yard

The American front yard is often regarded as useless space. It serves as a formal entry for guests and, when perfectly manicured, it presents an idyllic image of family life to the public at large. Aside from visual impressions, the front yard tends to remain static, undisturbed by the activities […]

Baby Bedding: An Unconventional Yet Chic Solution

Baby Bedding: An Unconventional Yet Chic Solution

When I was pregnant with my first child in 2004, my husband and I found it difficult to settle on a crib set. Most of the options available to us were gender-specific – soft pink or baby blue – and we didn’t know the baby’s sex. But even if we […]

Furniture Facelifts: All the benefits, none of the pain

Furniture Facelifts: All the benefits, none of the pain

My recent post about refurbishing an old family sofa got me thinking about the value of old furniture. Personally, I think it is a wonderful thing. When I look around my house, I can count at least a dozen pieces where I’ve extended life with new upholstery or refinishing. One […]

Born Again: Refurbishing a Handcrafted Family Sofa

Born Again: Refurbishing a Handcrafted Family Sofa

My dad made this sofa when I was just a toddler. It sat in our living room for years, and at eight feet long, it was the centerpiece of everything from family photos to teenage sleepovers. I suspect my dad built it more out of necessity than desire. In the […]

Shine a Light: Illuminating a Home with Vintage Fixtures

Shine a Light: Illuminating a Home with Vintage Fixtures

When my friends Bob and Anne Marie were sourcing lighting for their new house in Hermosa Beach, California, they bypassed home improvement superstores and specialty shops. Instead they rose at the crack of dawn and headed straight to the Long Beach Antique Market to scour the wares of hundreds of […]

A Note about Home Buying Vision: Buying a Ruin in Italy

A Note about Home Buying Vision: Buying a Ruin in Italy

I thought my sister Michelle was crazy when she forked over her hard-earned savings for a pile of rubble in southern Italy. No, she wasn’t purchasing the property for its potential value as an archaeological dig site. This was going to be her vacation home, the place she spends summers […]