Category Archives: Real Projects

Sweet Nursery For Two…

IMG_1819Here’s a peek at a nursery project that  I’m working on for a beautiful family in Trestle Glen, Oakland.



Before:  A little-used spare bedroom needed to be converted to a nursery for the family’s just turned two-year old son and their soon to be born daughter.

IMG_4258The dark draperies needed replacing, fresh paint, and closet organizers.


Part of the challenge – to incorporate this glider which has  sentimental value…IMG_4254…while working with the existing bedding lovingly made by the child’s grandmother.  This was a particular challenge as the fabrics were purchased in Hawaii and finding fabric that would compliment and be appropriate for a baby girl would be challenging.

Perry Hettema Childrens Room-1


My proposal further developed the fun tropical vibe that the family had going for their toddler with some additional layers and textures.  I really wanted to use these gorgeous fabrics by Lulu DK for Schumacher which to me are sophisticated and fresh for either a boy or a girl.

IMG_1819After:  Some modifications were made to the design proposal to suit tastes and budget.  What remained…new woven roman shades, fresh paint, and whimsical rug that evoke a school of fish swimming present a cohesive envelope for the nursery.  Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress but I am delighted with the evolution thus far…


The glider and ottoman received new upholstery in Sunbrella cotton for durability with piping in the fun Lulu DK fabric to coordinate with the crib bedding.

IMG_1831The second crib with the Lulu DK “Lollipop” embroidered fabric.

There is still more work to be done in this room and we are converting the previous nursery into a guest room.  This is a good example of  how I can work with clients using their existing pieces while adding to and elevating the overall design concept.   Stay tuned for more from this project!






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The best day ever…

Anna Kuperberg Photography

This past weekend was our first year anniversary.  We commemorated by going to church and back to the site of our reception for a night.  We had such an awesome time reminiscing about the day, the sweet and kind things that our family and friends said and how they made us feel, and how happy we were that day celebrating our marriage.

When we returned home I poured over the hundreds of photos that our amazing photographer, Anna Kuperberg, took and relived the day.  It’s always neat when you have some distance to look back on photos.  I believe that with perspective the memories come alive in a whole new way.  I had intended to share these photos through a wedding blog but never got around to it.

So… wanted to share some of the details of the day with you.  As a designer I so enjoyed envisioning every last detail of our event and choosing components that would make the event personal to us.

We knew we wanted a church wedding.  We also knew that we wanted a venue that had that special balance of nature and history without compromising the quality of the food.  We feel so fortunate to have chosen Cavallo Point, The Lodge At The Golden Gate.  I love good design, my husband loves the National Parks, and we both love history so it was absolutely perfect!

The overall vibe for the day was a relaxed elegance.  We wanted to achieve a simple, clean, and classic aesthetic that would let the venues shine.

Anna Kuperberg Photography

I had such fun working with Bella Figura on our stationary suite.  They created a custom map of the area for us.
Anna Kuperberg Photography

Programs too!

Anna Kuperberg Photography

For guests staying at Cavallo Point, we wanted to make sure they felt taken care of.  We had “Welcome” bags delivered with treats and refreshments.  The bags were from “The Wedding Chicks”.

Anna Kuperberg Photography

The flowers were really important to both my mother and me.  We simply love beautiful flowers and Torryne Choate of Birch did not disappoint.  She does classic with an edge so elegantly.

Anna Kuperberg Photography

I loved my bouquet…lillies of the valley.
Anna Kuperberg Photography

Our parish church, St. Agnes, is beautiful everyday.  Torryne’s amazing work added just a touch of something special for our wedding.
Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography

Cavallo Point absolutely knocked the reception out of the park.  We chose their intimate Verbena Room on the second floor for dinner.Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography Anna Kuperberg Photography

Anna Kuperberg Photography

The cake was provided by Cavallo Point.  They did an incredible job.  Lemon cake with lemon curd filling and buttercream frosting.  It was delicious.

Anna Kuperberg Photography

We love our cake topper.  More lillies of the valley – Paris by Debra Moreland.
Anna Kuperberg Photography

Anna Kuperberg Photography

The Verbena Room has this incredible view of the Golden Gate bridge from the terrace.  Such a show stopper!
Anna Kuperberg Photography

This is one of my favorite shots of the reception.  I can feel the energy and love.

Anna Kuperberg Photography

Dinner was followed by dancing in the Mission Blue chapel on property.  Torryne created beautiful wreaths that flanked the entrance of the chapel…

Anna Kuperberg Photography

Anna Kuperberg Photography

..and floating gardenias and candles added the to warm club vibe.  The linens were from La Tavola.


Anna Kuperberg Photography

Our wonderful DJ, Jason Mitchell, provided the gorgeous lighting.  The chapel felt like a special nightclub just for us.

Anna Kuperberg Photography

Anna Kuperberg Photography
Anna Kuperberg Photography

Cavallo Point also did some sweet treats for the after party.  Apple hand pies, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies.  
Anna Kuperberg Photography

Anna Kuperberg Photography

Our first dance as husband and wife.  We danced to Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis.

For those of you who have asked, our AMAZING vendors:

Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate (Reception Venue), Anna Kuperberg (Photography), Birch (Floral), Lisa Price McNichol  (Month of Coordination), Jason Mitchell (DJ & Lighting), La Tavola Linens & Classic Party Rentals (linens and furniture), Bella Figura (Stationary), Tracy Joe (Calligraphy), Steven Espaniola (cocktail guitarist – Hawaiian slack key)

St. Agnes Church.  Special thanks to Father Ray Allender, Scott Grinthal, Frank Uranich and Rita Clunies – Ross of St. Agnes church.

A big heartfelt thank you to my parents for the best day ever.  Love you.

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New KMD Space for 2013!

KMD moved into new offices in the beautiful SF Design Center in February!  We’ve been working hard to coordinate improvements and settling in.  Here is a sneak peek of the space and a little about the journey to move in day…

SF Design Center

Located on the Mezzanine of Showplace, its a beautiful old brick building and centrally located with many of our vendors.


Here is how I saw the space for the first time.  That is a window that looks out on the Cowtan & Tout showroom and windows.


I was excited that there are two workspaces behind this wall.  A space for myself and for a future new hire!  I love that we can keep all of our technical stuff in a “private space” and still have a great public space to meet with clients.


Immediately, the paint needed freshening up and the carpet just had to go.  I went with a warm white to reflect more light and play down the various ceiling heights throughout…

photoNext was new carpet.  I chose one of my favorites…seagrass.  I love the way it smells when you walk into the office and it provides a great texture for someday layering that vintage Moroccan rug that I have been dreaming of…

I can’t forget to show you the little face lift for the outside door and window trims – a deep violet gray really instills a sense of place.  How do you like my sign?

Here is a scene from move-in day.  Literally 5 minutes after the movers left.  Loving how all of the furniture that I already own is already working in the space – perfect fit.  Buy well and you will be happy for years!


Here is a peak inside one of the workspaces.  Lots of shelves and storage too!


I brought a few of my favorite pieces of art from home to liven up the place.  Plotting out the gallery wall…


My dear husband helped me get the hanging just right.  I thought you might like to see the process.


Paper templates help plot the perfect place for artwork and you can see how the pieces will relate to each other and the space before committing with nail and hammer.


After a few adjustments…ta-da!  Gallery wall.  Loving the lounge area too with the vintage textile my mother scored for me at Pierre Lafond in Santa Barbara.  Such a great Christmas gift.  I really love the colors!


I’m thinking that I will add a great lucite console under the window for refreshments.  You can see my pin board in the left hand side workspace – waiting for inspiration.


Things are taking shape.  There is room to grow and add to my design library.  So exciting!

Every morning that I walk into my office, I feel a rush of possibilities.  It is so inspiring to have space for everything!  Opportunities for layering and room to grow.

I now have a great space to meet clients and vendors by appointment.  Please contact me if you’d like to come and check out the space or talk about a new project – there is no time like the present and I’d love to discuss collaborating on the home of your dreams!

Kari McIntosh Design

2 Henry Adams, #73

San Francisco, CA 94103


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French Countryside Bebe Fete

My dear friend is having a baby this month.  A few weeks ago I hosted a celebration in her honor. It turned out great.  The menu was delightful – I felt it was worth sharing.

In seeking inspiration, I scoured blogs and websites (of course) and lo and behold – Martha Stewart does not disappoint!  I settled on Martha’s menu for a French Countryside shower.  Perfect, as the mama-to-be is a true francophile.  ImageOn the menu:

ImagePotato Leek Soup – Such a straightforward and delicious recipe.  I have welcomed this recipe into my rotation.  Served in mugs for ease.

ImageRadishes with Chives – These are so simple, pure, and delicious.  The bed of salt that they are presented on also adds a world of flavor.

ImagePisaladiere – the onions that cook down for over an hour with a touch of sugar are like candy, wow

ImageMacarons – Martha suggested and provided a recipe for Madeleines.  I took liberty to “outsource” dessert and I decided on an assortment of macarons from Chantal Guillon in Hayes Valley.Image

Chocolates – A nod to our hometown, we’ve been friends for 30 years, the chocolates came from Sweet Surrender in Bakersfield.

Strawberry, Banana, Orange Mimosas

Ice Tea

ImageI kept the decorations fairly simple.  On my last trip to Texas Antiques Week I found the ‘bebe’ letters at one of my favorite vendors – Clutter.  They are vintage float letters from a parade in San Antonio.

ImageMy mother lent me this beautiful French Toile tablecloth and shared some of her serving pieces with me.

ImageMister awaiting our guests!

What do you think?  Might you try some of these recipes yourself?  I would personally make each of them again (Thank You Martha).  Bon Appetit.

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My new bed revealed…

Some of you may remember my conundrum about tweaking some aspects of my bedroom.  I thought long and hard about a new bed frame for my room and settled on this Oly Campaign Bed.  It finally is here!

I moved my dark finish Asian bedside tables to use in my living room as sofa tables and found these amazing mid-century Syrian mother of pearl commodes at William Laman in Santa Barbara.

Inspired by two of Bunny Williams gorgeous bedrooms, I decided to hang a textile behind the bed.  I found this vintage crazy quilt (probably from the 70’s) at Uncommon Objects in Austin, TX.

Here is the before shot of my bedroom.

My next step is to replace my two rustic dressers with one large 11 or 12 drawer dresser and place it directly across from my new bed.  I plan to hang this shell mirror above the large dresser for drama.  I think that I’ve finally identified the dresser…stay tuned.

You may wonder what I did with the antique paper mache wings…I moved them to the dining area.  I just love how they look.  Mister approves too!

Since I am sharing before and after photos, you may be interested in what I have done with my guest bath.  Here is a shot before.  It is a small bathroom and so I left it white to keep it feeling open.

This glam Phillip Jeffries grasscloth brought the bathroom from plain to FAB!  The cloth has a silver foil background that adds a hint of sparkle.  This picture does NOT do the room justice.  I’m really happy with how much more textural and interesting the paper makes the bathroom.  Many different pieces of art look AMAZING on this paper, but I settled on three of my more neutral and textural Sid Dickens tiles (wing, “M” the commemorative tile for The Millennium, and Leo for my birthday).

What do you think of my changes?  Always tweaking…



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Dusting off the cobwebs…

Back from the coast, it was a busy week…part working vacation, time with family and friends, and fresh ocean air!

I’m back to the real world this week but I wanted to share this great photo that I’ve been day-dreaming about.  I snapped this during my walk back from the Fiesta Parade.

So Americana!

Today the bed that I long deliberated over is finally arriving!  If you don’t remember my conundrum, you may re-read my post here and

Check back for photos revealing my selection and some rearranging that I’m working on…

Happy Tuesday!

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Quick Fixes, Before & After

In times like these, some clients do not have the resources to re-decorate and yet they want to make some small changes that yield a large impact.  I received an email from my friend back in December.  She was due with her second son in at the beginning of February and hosting a party the first week of January.  She told me that she wanted some ideas on finishing touches and wall decor, without buying a lot of new things.  Changes that could be implemented before the baby’s arrival in February.

We met a few days before Christmas.  Here is a before view of the living room.  The room has  nice qualities…clean lines and well-proportioned furniture.

The built-in bookcase was a feature from the previous owner…

Here is the “after” shot of the living room.  The first recommendation that I made was the addition of window treatments to soften up the room.  Simple window panels make such a difference!  I also suggested moving the pair of upholstered chairs into the bay window and orienting the sofa in front of the fireplace to open up the room.

Originally, I suggested moving the mirrors over the fireplace to the bedroom and mounting the television over the fireplace.  Moving the television required professional help which the clients preferred to hold off on…

All of these changes were implemented within a week of my initial consultation!

An alternative “after” photo.  I recommended that the photos from my client’s honeymoon in Spain that originally hung in the hallway were relocated to above the sofa.

My clients likes light, bright colors and wanted to keep the paint throughout the same yet were open to small paint changes.  I selected a blue-gray paint for the back of the bookcases to coordinate with the existing rug.  The clients painted the bookcase themselves.  It is a simple way to add interest without changing the color of the entire room.

Accessories were edited and some accessories from other parts of the house were moved to the bookcase.  The red painting was another piece hanging in the hallway that I recommended be moved to the living room until my clients acquire more pieces.

I also suggested moving the desk to another wall in the living room but this requires moving wiring or going wireless so it remains a future project.

Here is a shot of the guest bath “before”.  My client/friend wanted to paint the room and try something different.

I selected a cool gray paint to juxtapose with the light tiles and fixtures and coordinate with the artwork selected for the bathroom.  The colorful tile picture was moved to the current wall so that when guest’s enter the room they see the art in the mirror.

Here are the  “before” shots of the master bedroom.  Not much to be done here…just editing and changing out some accessories…

The decorative plate on the dresser went to the bookcase in the living room…

More editing done with the accessories from this angle…

Now for the “after” photos.  I selected  a violet color for the bedroom to coordinate with the existing wall color and bed linens.  My clients were leery of painting the entire room this color so they tried an accent wall behind the bed.  This was a great option since they do not yet have a headboard.  I also suggested a tailored upholstered headboard for them in linen and taller lamps.  These may come in a later phase…mirrors from other parts of the house were moved above the bed.

Alternative view of the wall behind the bed.  Such a soothing color.

Another painting from the hallway was moved to the bedroom above this dresser.  I enjoyed the  paintings in the hallway but my clients did not have much artwork for the rooms that they spend the most time in.  To save money I suggested relocating the art from the hallway to these rooms so they can enjoy them until they acquire new pieces.

A “before” of the dining room.  My clients were not happy with the artwork and the overall feel of the room.  Drapery to soften the room and a painting that reflects their personality will create an inviting dining space.

“After” with the draperies and a print of the French flower of Provence with French writing…one of the clients is from France.

Isn’t it amazing what simple changes and tweaks can do?  My clients were pleased.  For a flat fee for 4 hours I provided them with lots of different ideas, suggestions, and paint selections.  They implemented the ideas that they liked themselves in a week or so.

I am delighted to consult with you on changes you can make by “shopping” in your house first.  Contact me for fixed fees for 1 -4 hour design consultations.

If you would like help creating the home of your dreams, email me about our design services.

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Filed under Before & After, Real Projects