I love San Francisco!

San Francisco Trolley
I would have to say San Francisco is one of my favorite places to visit in California! Similar to the energy and my love affair I have with Laguna Beach, San Francisco is right there with the magic I feel in Laguna!

I have traveled to San Francisco many times, say, 20 or so times in my short 39 years. Each time I visit I find a new place I love or become somewhat obsessed with!

This trip was a combination of birthday celebrations, travel for business (for George, my lovely fiancé), a college visit (with my angel daughter), and a craving for inspiration as I have some exciting new clients that I want to clear my palate for.

Our first stop on our trip was the Fairmont Hotel on "atop nob hill". Did you know that this was the first ever built Fairmont Hotel, ever!?!? Construction of this fabulous hotel started in 1902 and was completed in 1906. This beautiful structure survived the great earthquake and fire of 1906. The Fairmont was one of the only structures still standing after this devastation that hit San Francisco. There is so much history about this wonderful hotel amongst it classic and luxurious design. I was really enchanted by the aura of this hotel as I walked through the front doors of this lobby.

I learned a lot from a friendly Kashmir salesperson at a lovely store called Charisma (another one of my favorite words) at the Fairmont! They import Kashmir pashminas made from the Kashmir goat. The shawl is traditionally given from the groom to his bride as an endowment in a beautiful hand painted box. The price tag on a real Kashmir shawl is $1,000 to $100,0000.  The sales gentleman said the pashmina finds its owner. Being the romantic that I am, I loved this and asked him to have a pashmina find me! What do you think of the pashmina that found me?

I finally found the design inspiration I had been looking for! Who would have thought it would be at the fabulous Ferry Building located at the embarcadero?! Oh how I love this place!  We enjoyed oysters at Hog Island Oyster Bar, admired the cheese at the Cowgirl Creamery (a cheese bar for the fromage lover), tasted gourmet dark chocolates, and I found inspiration for color hues and textures I love at the Far West Fungi Mushroom store. 
In design, layering monochrome and texture is a style I am craving. It represents luxury and stillness for me, and I love the combination of emotions this style evokes. The oyster (below) stirs images of warmth with saturated taupes, creams, and opalescence; while the texture and subtle hues of the mushrooms create a calm and richness. The earthiness of the sunchoke also represents a soft and subtle organic tonal texture that I really love. I am now enthused to go home and do some designing!
Next on my travel through San Fran was a trip to Ghirardelli Square. I'm not so much a chocolate lover but I do appreciate the art of creating these delightful treasures. I was told I must try an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista. Naturally, I cannot pass up a recommendation from a local. The Buena Vista has created a recipe for their signature Irish coffee that originated in 1952.
Buena Vista   
This trip has been filled with history, inspiration, lovely people, fantastic service and special moments with my fiancé and beautiful daughter.  I hope that Haley falls in love with Academy of Art University so I have more reason to visit my dear San Francisco!

Happy designing!