Abby Stone

Change The Fabric, Change the Look: Upholstery Magic
Apple green plush or tweed linen? Each one gives a different lookwhat they can do…It’s true that even a simple change of fabric can change the look of a piece. Take this sofa, the Chet from CB2, which we’ve blogged before. In apple green velvet, the sofa reads nouveau 80s, modern and sleek. In linen, the look is softer and would easily fit in amongst the simple wood pieces we’ve been seeing a lot of.A good upholsterer can: change a straight arm to a rounded or flared arm.
Oct 12, 2022
Tips for Making a Fan More Effective
I don’t have air conditioning. Most of the time, my apartment, which is on the bottom floor, stays cool. But then there are those nights that are almost unbearable, and I break out the fan. Easy, right? Set it up, so it blows directly on your face. Uh, not so much. Luckily there are some tricks you can use a fan to help make it more effective.Since heat rises, the coolest air in your home will be hovering around floor level.
Sep 16, 2022
6 Tips for Moving to a New City (Even If You Don't Know Anyone)
Learn how to meet new people and (gasp) have fun.
Aug 29, 2021
12 Things You Probably Own Too Many Of
Do I really need 20 t-shirts, a dozen towels, three teapots? I need multiples of certain things, yes, but at some point, a few turns into too many.
Oct 23, 2020
Feng Shui For The Bathroom
Yesterday, blogging about our toilet seat cover, we received a lot of questions about our toilet’s necklace. Yes, it looks like a necklace, swinging and dangling at the slightest touch, but no, it’s not a necklace. It’s a Feng Shui crystal, placed there after a Feng Shui consultation. More of what we learned after the jump… Keep the bathroom door closed at all times. Tie a red ribbon around the door handle as protection against evil and bad Chi (energy).
Jul 18, 2020
Renter’s Removable Solutions:
Oh the challenges of a rental! Especially one in a modern building of the sort that seem to be replacing the classic old Spanish-style buildings in our neighborhood. Beige carpeting, skimpy rooms and clauses that limit painting or marring walls in any way, a dilemma if you’re considering replacing cheap mini-blinds with curtains. How exactly do you hang a curtain rod without making a hole in the wall and risk losing your security deposit?…Slide on Brackets to the rescue!
Jul 16, 2020
How To: Callus Succulents and Cacti
Callusing cactus? No, that’s not a description of how your feet look after being in flip-flops all summer but a technique for sprouting cacti and succulents from plant pieces that have fallen or broken off, with minimal effort which we, novice gardeners that we are, had first heard about Sunday night from Ryann Davis of Succulent. She assures us that it’s so easy that even the darkest of thumbs should be able to do it and, from one plant, create many offspring.
Jul 16, 2020
Raina & Robert’s Modern Farmhouse Makeover
Name: Raina Kattleson of A Stylist’s Life & Robert Butscher, an architectLocation: Hudson Valley — New York, NYSize: 1200 square feetYears lived in: Bought 1 ½ years ago — spent 15 months renovating and now rent it out. The popularity of makeover shows, before and afters, and rags-to-riches stories points to our continued fascination with those who have the gift to see the potential in something. It’s not a gift everyone has.
Dec 19, 2019
Odd Couples: Mismatched Bedside Lamps
Two matching lamps in the bedroom? Fuggedaboutit! For a lamp lover, the bedroom’s a great place to mix it up. Combining table lamps, office lamps, sconces, standing lamps — even chandeliers — together can show off your style, shave a little off your bedroom budget and keep it modern. Our favorite new trend: mixing a standing lamp with a task or table lamp.
Dec 19, 2019
Homekeeping Help: 7 Tips For Maintaining Your Mattress
A mattress is a big investment and rightly so: the quality of your sleep has a profound effect on the quality of your life and how well you function. Since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, it’s worth it to take a few moments to keep it functioning at its best. Try out these tips every few months to keep your mattress in tip-top shape!Strip your mattress down: Inspect the mattress for surface soil and stains.
Nov 19, 2019
Natural Solutions for Keeping Animals Off Your Lawn
Letting your own animals scamper on your grass is one thing but if you live in an area where other people’s pets consider your lawn their own personal way station, the result can be a ruined lawn and a bad temper. We’d love to think that a well placed sign asking pet owners to keep their animals off your lawn would do the trick but that is not always the case.
May 10, 2019
Fish for Feng Shui
Owning a pet requires time and money, things that may be in short supply in your own life. If this is your situation, why not try a fish? Fish not only make good pets for those who may not have the regular life that a dog or a cat requires but they’re also good for your home’s feng shui. Watching them swim is a proven destresser and anxiety reducer.
May 10, 2019
9 Tricks to Beat the Heat (Without Turning Up the AC)
It’s summer and if you’re not getting out of town, chances are you’ll find yourself fighting a battle with the heat between now and the fall. Maybe you’re like us and you don’t have air conditioning, maybe you’re trying not to rack up big bills, or maybe you’re trying to be more environmentally-friendly. Here are some tricks we’ve accumulated through years of grinning and bearing (and sometimes baring) it.
May 9, 2019
7 Things To Do Before You Move In
Our friend just moved into her new place. Painting, having the utilities turned on and the cable installed were some of the things she did before she moved in. But there were a few less obvious things we suggested that she hadn’t thought about… Change your toilet seat: Call us squeamish but isn’t it time to start with a new seat? Replace your old throne with a new one and, while you’re at it, give the bathroom a good scrubbing.
May 8, 2019
Warm Up Your Bath Towels…Without a Towel Warmer!
The other day, I was talking to some friends about our dream bathrooms. A sunken tub, said one. A shower for two, was another vote. His and Hers sinks, was on a third friend’s wish list. Top of my list? A towel warmer. I got that one covered, said my sunken-tub-wishing friend. Really? I’d been to her house recently and I didn’t remember any towel warmer or even any space for one. She shared.
May 8, 2019
6 Things In Your Home To Replace Right Now
When the food in your fridge goes bad, you know it. The pungent smell (or fuzzy texture!) is a telltale sign. But most items don’t come with an expiration date. We keep using them and using them when we might be better off giving them the old heave-ho. These six household items are at the top of the list: The pillows on your bed: The place where you lay your head every night sees a lot of action (we’re just talking about sleeping, not to mention other activities).
May 7, 2019
Tricks for Dealing With a Hairy Home
I have long, dark hair and lots of it. You’d know this if you went into my home even if you’d never met me because it is everywhere. Whether the hair in your home is your own or belongs to your pet, dealing with shedding hair is a challenge. Here, some tips on how to deal with it!Dust with a dryer sheet: Yet another use for the all-purpose dryer sheet! They’re a magnet for hair (the used ones work just as well as the new ones) plus they leave behind a fresh scent.
May 6, 2019
Crazy Ideas to Make Your Life Saner
Don’t knock it ’til you try it, the saying goes, and in this case it applies. While some of the things I’m suggesting might sound a bit nutty (and too meticulous) they’re tricks that work, and hey, isn’t that really the bottom line? Keep a marker in the freezer: If you’re the type of person who cooks a lot and freezes the leftovers, or someone who likes to buy in bulk, keeping a marker in the freezer might mean the difference between “what is this?
May 5, 2019
Tips for Getting Around at Home with a Broken Limb
The day before Thanksgiving I slipped on my front steps and broke my foot. Suddenly, life became a lot more challenging. Hopefully you’ll never break anything, but if you happen to come home from that holiday skiing trip with a souvenir, here are some of the things I’ve learned that will make your life a lot easier.Roll Up The Rugs: Rugs, especially those without a rug pad under them, can slow down a wheelchair or slip under a crutch. Roll them up or remove them.
May 5, 2019
A Mediterranean Style House
Name: Christina Nickerson, Owner of Olmay Home, and her husband, two daughters, and their dog Location: Hancock Park, Los Angeles, California Size: 5,000 square feet Years lived in: 15 years I’ve always been surprised that the classics, things like great jeans, a beautiful white mug, a plain dark chocolate bar, someone who makes a good martini — which you would think would be so easy to locate — can be so hard to find.
Feb 20, 2019
Jonathan’s “What I Did Last Summer” Rental on a Budget
Name: Jonathan Lo of Happy Mundane Location: Solana Beach, California Size: 1,300 square feet Years lived in: 1 year; Rented Last year, Jonathan Lo circled back around to his fondest childhood memories and rented a place in Solana Beach for long summer weekend escapes. Of course, since it was only going to be used in summer and because the space was temporary, cost was a primary consideration. When costs need to be kept low, turn to imagination to keep the final look high.
Feb 20, 2019
Design Inspiration From a Palm Springs Desert Chic Boutique Hotel, The Amado
Name: Jaime Kowal, The Amado Location: Palm Springs, California Size: 3,200 square feet interior space, 11,200 square feet exterior space Years lived in: Purchased and renovated in 2013; opened as a desert chic boutique hotel in 2014. I was heading out to Palm Springs for the weekend with friends; we were nine adults and a half dozen children all in. We wanted some of the amenities of a hotel with the isolation and privacy of a house. The answer to where to stay?
Nov 1, 2014
5 “French Women” Strategies for a Healthy Home
I’ve been reading French Women Don’t Get Fat and its sequel, A French Woman For All Seasons, as part of the research for a piece I’m writing. The lessons of the books are simple: take pleasure in what you eat; eat everything — in season and of the best quality you can find — in moderation; drink water; move a little every day; and, play to your unique strengths. A recent experience made me think that these same lessons could also apply to your home.
Jul 23, 2014
Before and After at The Albright: From Old To New
Name: Albright Restaurant Location: Santa Monica, California I’m sure that, if I’d gone to architecture school, I would’ve ended up as a preservation architect, carving new spaces out of old ones and creating a seamless transition between then and now. So it’s no surprise that I was curious, when I discovered that Santa Monica Pier Seafood, one of the older (and better) fish shacks on this wooden wharf, had undergone an update, to find out a little bit more.
Jul 1, 2014
12 (Okay 13) More Items You Probably Own Too Many Of
There’s something about the new year that puts me into declutter mode. So, it’s not surprising that Thursday morning, the New Year’s Eve hangover now thankfully a memory, there I was, donation box in hand, tossing, tossing, tossing, starting with my favorite gotta-goes, the multiple multiples.
Jan 7, 2014
Natural Curiosities’ Endlessly Inventive Offices
Name: Natural Curiosities, an art house/art studio Location: Echo Park, Los Angeles, California Size: 5,200 square feet Years lived in: 2 1/2 years at Jensen Recreation Center’s Bowling Alley Space. How do you imagine your dream office? Lots of light? A historic old building? Lots of hidden nooks and crannies filled with things to discover? Working with a bunch of talented and creative people? Check, check, check and check! Welcome to the wonderful workspace of Natural Curiosities.
Jan 6, 2014
Erik & Paul’s Happy Los Feliz Home
Name: Erik Perez, Senior Director at HL Group, and Paul Hardoin, Associate Director at Ernst & Young Location: Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA Size: 2,800 square feet Years lived in: 3 years; Owned I often joke with Erik that, given his smoldering looks, he could’ve been a film star during the silent era. So I wasn’t surprised when he posted a photo on his Instagram of an actor from the twenties to whom he bore striking resemblance.
Jan 5, 2014
What’s Your Style Sign? Mystic Medusa’s Astrological Decor Tips
Mystic Medusa Mystic Medusa:hereARIES: Aries craves simplicity and a funky-inspirational atmosphere from which to operate. Think primary colors — most of all red — Mark Rothko-style massive bright abstracts if there is to be art, and the most insane, enviable and functionally loud sound system possible. TAURUS:The couch is the center of the Taurean universe, and ideally it is ultra-comfortable and yet provides proper support.
Jun 13, 2013
The Power Of Paint: My Lamp Before & After
Though I’ve been doing this a long time, the power of paint to transform things still astonishes me. Take this lamp (or lamps, since it’s part of a pair) for instance. They’ve been moving from room to room as I’ve tried to work their weird green base into my home’s neutral color scheme. But it wasn’t working.
Sep 25, 2012
Guaranteed to Save You Money & Time: Tips for Organizing Your Fridge
I’m always surprised by how much money I can spend at the market. While there are lots of things you can do to save money on food — limit your grocery runs to once a week, eat out of the freezer and pantry instead of ordering out, take lunch to work, shop with a grocery list — for me it all starts with having an organized fridge. Not to mention a clean one.Having an organized fridge is more than just a matter of things looking neat and pretty.
Aug 8, 2012
9 Steps To Arranging A Well-Organized Kitchen
Whether you’ve just moved into a new space, are settling into a summer rental, or are just frustrated with your kitchen, here are some ideas to help you arrange your kitchen for maximum cooking and cleaning efficiency that will making mucking about in the space a lot more fun.Start with what you have: You may love them, you may hate them, but unless you’ve got the money for a full scale renovation, your sink, stove and refrigerator aren’t going anywhere.
Jul 25, 2012
12 Tips for Arranging the Perfect Buffet Table
Whether the occassion’s Thanksgiving, a Friday night potluck with friends or Sunday brunch, serving your food “buffet-style” is the easiest way to feed a large group. Here are our best tips for arranging the table for a presentation that’s stylish and streamlined and gets your party moving!• Position the table away from the main eating area: This ensures people will move around and mingle, two keys to a great party.
Nov 9, 2011
The Ups & Downs of Ground Floor vs. Upper Floor Homes
Have you taken a look at last week’s House Tours? David and Teresa’s aerie had me contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of living high and living low. Each has their pros … and cons:My own home is on the ground floor. But for the last two months, I’ve been living on the top floor. It has literally given me a whole new perspective. Here’s what I’ve discovered from my own experience.
Oct 17, 2011
9 Things I Wish I’d Known About Decorating a First Home
I was talking to a friend who’s about to decorate her first home. She asked me if there was anything I wish I’d known when I went to decorate my first place that would have saved me time or money. There are a few things…1. Buy your big pieces of furniture secondhand: This is not just about saving money, it’s also about how your style will change as you learn what you like and don’t like.
Oct 5, 2011
Ann & Bart’s Patiently Furnished Home
Name: Ann DeOtte & Bart Kaufman Location: Capitol Hill — Seattle, Washington Size: 900 square feet Years lived in: 1 — rent Large windows with treetop views, high ceilings and gorgeous wooden floors; Ann and Bart certainly lucked out with their home in one of Seattle’s oldest buildings. But an open plan space has its own set of issues. The first is figuring out how to let the architecture shine while still creating a sense of coziness in Seattle’s damp and dismal days.
Mar 1, 2011
5 Tricks for Moving Furniture
That’s me. And that’s my credenza. which probably weighs in somewhere around 300 pounds, maybe more. I’m not kidding — it’s a monster. And I weigh about 105 wet. But I was able to move it from one end of the room to the other without breaking much of a sweat and without ending up in the hospital or with residual back pain. How’d I do it? I have a few tricks up my skinny arms.
Jan 19, 2011