Another Year of Building Joy

IMG_0109Just over 20 years ago, Laura Seccombe started a tradition of spreading joy to the children at the Edgewood Center for Children and Families, here in San Francisco.  In 2008 Gregg De Meza continued this tradition and this year was no different. The festivities commence after work on the Wednesday before the Saturday event with food and drink at the DM+A office. This year Gregg had Deviled Crab flown in from Tampa (whoa). They look like giant Easter eggs coated in bread crumbs, but when you cut into them, instead of yolk, you find luscious crab meat - YUM!

Now that the workers are fed, let the construction and competition (this year was girls against boys), begin. Two hours later and lots of libations, then voila, the office is transformed into a little city of 45 gingerbread houses. Awe, the office smells so amazing.

Saturday arrives and we transport all of the houses to Edgewood to meet with the rest of our helpers, comprised of our clients, family and friends. Big shout out to our elves this year, you really made the event a success!

The multitude of candy and icing are set out, so bring on the kids to decorate to their hearts desire. We love seeing the creativity from the little decorators. Some are really master craftsmen, putting a lot of focus on the shingles and cladding of the house, while others emerge as fine landscape artists, creating shapely trees and shrubbery out of ice cream cones and puffed cereal.

The event is wrapped up with the kids taking their finished gingerbread house to snack on for the rest of the year and leaving us feeling very thankful that we can start our holiday season building joy and laughter with the children at Edgewood.

Cheers to a Wonderful Holiday,

The DM+A Elves

Bathroom Tile Love

bath-tile-de-meza-architecture- dw0313_spello_02Thanks Style Carrot for the feature of our Bathroom Design for the San Francisco Decorator Showcase in your recent post on Contrasting Bathroom Floor Tiles. Cool choice of patterns, scale and color. In particular, we adore the hexagonal tiles by Italian designer, Paola Navone.

We look forward to seeing more of your finds.

Lava Mae, Wash On!

bus image shower imageLava Mae, you have inspired us to be nice. Your service providing mobile showers for the homeless is such an awesome service. For most of us, we take taking a shower for granted, but here's why it's so challenging for the San Francisco homeless to get clean and why Lava Mae rocks!  

  • There are only 8 places in the city offering showers for the homeless.
  • Most are centrally located making it difficult for those who make their homes in other parts of the city to access.
  • With 1-2 shower stalls at best in each facility that translates into 16 showers for the 3,000+ men, women and children living on the city’s streets


Speaking for myself, and having a baby to tend to now, I understand how something as simple as getting a shower in can breathe new life into your day and soul for that matter.

Hey friends we just made a donation to provide 200 showers to refresh our homeless. Click here to do the same!


Elevated Views

logo page12Thank you Coastal Living magazine for the write up in the July/Aug issue. The Jackson St. roof deck project in San Francisco provided an additional 1,000 sq. ft. of living space; perfect for entertaining high in the sky.

Glass panels were the optimal choice for unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the beautiful bay while also providing much needed wind protection. Durable and low maintenance finishes are a necessity for outdoor spaces. Ipe wood juxtaposed with lava stone tiles provide texture and warmth to this modern space.

Here at DM+A, we are all about the animals. We all have pets we consider family members, so another another must consideration when designing with glass panels is for the birds. Gizmag shows a cool example of bird-protection glass and what humans see vs. what birds see.

Let us know if you have a rooftop area that you're interested in developing into a useable space and we can do a feasibility study for you.

Enjoy the summer!


Time to BBBe Nice

grey in gray chair greyteknion babyblueslogo Just wanted to give a shout out to Teknion and B&B Italia for the hospitality at the recent Bourbon and BBQ event at their San Francisco Showroom.

A big YUM for the mac 'n cheese and BBQ from Baby Blues. My little guy, Grey, had all smiles for the server too. As soon as he can eat, I will definitely be bringing him to Baby Blues!

The showroom revamp is very cool. Sweeping city views and the seating options were so irresistible we had to photograph the Baby in every piece.  My personal favorite is Teknion's Fractal chair upholstered in Magnify (Gray) - such a beautiful piece and the sheen and texture of the fabric is gorgeous.

Thanks again Teknion for sharing!

HGTV + Showcase House = Good Times

jonathan rachman entry HGTV Party at 2014 San Francisco Decorator Showcase House

We've been having so much fun at all of the industry events this year and recently attended the HGTV party at the 2014 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. The annual Decorator Showcase benefits San Francisco University High School's Financial Aid program. The Pacific Heights mansion showcased work from the Bay Area's top interior and landscaping design firms.

This year we noticed the overall trend was the use of gold starting at the entry/foyer, designed by Jonathan Rachman. Loved, loved, loved the cowhide rug with the gold splatter in true Jackson Pollack style. We moved on to the dining room where I had to take a closer at the matte gold flatware (so cool), yep, my curiosity caught the attention of everyone in the room including the designer, George Brazil of Sagrera-Brazil Design because, of course, the flatware was attached to the table!

Moving on, I have to give a shout out to HGTV and Hannah Shipley. You are the hosts with the most! As you all know, we DM+Aers are indulgent when it comes to food + drink. Our glasses were never empty and the blue cheese cheesecake bites were so heavenly. I must have the recipe, so if anyone has it, please post! Onward to the next event.

To Bidet or not to Bidet

431px-231_Bidet_Karlsruhe_c1810 Cat In BidetBidets started out as a chamber pot in the bedroom and with modern plumbing it was brought into the bathroom.  Don’t confuse the bidet with a toilet even though they look similar.  Once you do your business in the toilet you then would transfer to the bidet to clean yourself using a jet of water.  You can straddle the bidet in either direction, depending on what you want cleaned.  A bidet is often considered better for personal hygiene.  It allows a hands-free and superior wash in place of wiping and occasionally irritating action of toilet paper. There are two types of bidets, conventional and attachable.  Conventional will require additional plumbing and space in your bathroom, but it will last a long time.  Also when paired to match your toilet, it can make your bathroom more elegant.  The attachable can come in a non-seat and seat-type.  They are inexpensive, easy to install, and can come with a lot of convenient features such as wireless remote, automatic deodorize, multiple nozzles, etc.  Since they are an attachment, the look is techier and would be harder to make the bathroom more seamless in the design aesthetic.   With these options persons with various incomes can afford a bidet.  But whether or not you choose to use a Bidet, we do know that that is still the question!

Happy 33 to Me!

hillstone w greykale saladThree is my lucky number since the 3rd grade : )  So it makes sense that I feel turning 33 will be a good year for me.  For this birthday lunch, I wanted to go to Hillstone Restaurant.  Many of you may also know it by its former name of Houston’s.  It is a classy and respected eatery along the Embarcadero in San Francisco.  I especially love coming here to have their Kale salad.  It has a roasted peanut vinaigrette, which is to die for! I was so obsessed for this dish, that I scoured the internet and found someone who attempted to recreate it.  The recipe is pretty good, but I always feel it isn't perfect yet.  So coming back I get to determine what I am missing.  Go ahead and give both a try.  I'll finish with a Happy 33 to Me!

7 for 7

Architect Registration Examarepact For those of you who follow our blog, you might have seen my post explaining the process of licensure for an architect.  Or the one where I passed Site Planning and Design.  Well those were about 3 years ago and there is a 5 year limit on the exams. So if I didn't pass all of the exams by the 5 year mark, I would have to retake any that were over 5 years old.  If any of you know me, you know that that is not an option for me.  Ideally I would have picked one exam off after another.  But with teaching on the side, rowing, and just wanting to have a life, meant the 5 year limit was approaching and I still had (6) exams to go!

Luckily I came across a program through the AIA San Francisco called the ARE Pact.  It is where you register for the program with a fee of $1,000.  With the enrollment, you are placed within a study group of 10 and you gain access to free ARE lectures and study materials.  If you take all the exams within 1 year you are refunded your $1,000.  I know myself enough that if I was able to round up $1,000 to partake in this program, I would make sure I would get that thousand bucks back!

Well that is what I have been doing this last year.  I didn’t row, cut back on my teaching, and barely had a life!  But with perseverance and determination I did complete all the exams and am happy to report that I passed all of them as well.  I went 7 for 7 and am officially done with the ARE (Architectural Registration Exams)!  Thank you ARE Pact & Michelle Railsback for making this program happen!

But I can’t call myself an architect yet…I still have to take the CSE (California Supplemental Exam)…And the process continues : )

This App Really Measures Up!

MyMeasuresPro copy screen568x568Do you use a tape measure on a daily basis? Are you a homeowner working with an architect, designer or contractor on a project? Are you purchasing new furniture and space planning a room? If so, this is an excellent time and money saving tool for documenting dimensions without having to dip into the budget to hire someone to handle. While field verifying or completing as-built drawings, one of our main tools for the job is the My Measures App. This tool for storing and sharing object dimensions will take the guessing game out of those quick, rough, sketches or lack thereof. Here at DM+A, multiple team members work on the same job, so anyone can understand the dimensioned images and run with them. Simply take a picture, take a physical measurement and add the dimension to the image. Easily calculate area and volume, save it for review later or share it via email or text. This quick My Measures How to Video will demonstrate just how easy this app is to use.

Hooray for My Measures App!


Doors & Windows Are Being Blurred By Opening

Traditionally a door was used as a passage from one space to another, while a window was used to allow light and fresh air to enter the space.  Today doors can be windows and windows can be doors.  The opportunities are endless, which make one wonder where one stops and another starts. Check out some of these manufacturers of great door & window solutions.  Make sure to check out their websites, because this is just a small selection of what they have to offer!

FleetwoodFleetwood Doors







WeilandWeiland Doors







NanawallNanawall Doors







La CantinaLa Cantina Doors







Invisible Wall SystemIWS1

Knoll body throws a party like...

 Rachel & LisaGreggoIt has been a while since Gregg, Lisa, and I could go out together and we had the opportunity to attend Knoll’s new showroom opening reception. It seems fitting that a company like Knoll, rich with history would move to a building also rich with history.  The new showroom is located in 140 New Montgomery, which some of you may know that it also houses the headquarters for Yelp.  The building has recently been remodeled and you can check out a great article on the history and renovation here.

While at the reception, we snacked on Hog Island Oysters, sushi, and cupcakes.  Also while admiring the new showroom you couldn’t help but notice the views. Since the showroom is on the 25th floor, you can see some notable buildings under construction like the Transbay Terminal and SFMOMA’s expansion.

We want to finish by giving a big thank you to Katheryn Domin-Danish for inviting us and allowing us to view contemporary works while in a historic setting.

Product Love - Wardrobe for Windows

gecko install 3 gecko installFlexibility, low commitment, variety and we’re not talking about the qualities of the ideal mate. We're praising Gecko from Studio by 3form. In a dense city like San Francisco where many rent, walls are shared and window views can mean no privacy, Gecko from Studio by 3form is a cool design solution. This is an adhesive backed textile system; an alternative to traditional window coverings; a window film that can be reused, won’t leave a residue when removed and can then be reapplied over and over again. All that’s needed is soapy water and a squeegee as demonstrated in the Gecko Installation video. I like to think of Gecko as a sort of wardrobe for windows.

Gecko is offered in a 54" wide roll for all patterns. Standard roll length is 25 ft. Custom lengths longer than 25' are also possible.

For more information and to view the many patterns available, click here.

Happiness is Leave No Paws Behind

happiness dogIn honor of International Day of Happiness today we wanted to share a touching story about a senior dog and the love and compassion we as humans have for our beloved pets. A few weeks ago, a senior Dachshund, was lovingly left at a shelter in a basket with a note from his elderly owners. They could no longer afford to care for him, so Rescue group Leave No Paws Behind took him and reunited him with his owners.

So HAPPY to hear, Leave No Paws Behind will pay for the dog's expenses for the rest of his life, and will be reunited with his family at the end of this month.

For more details on this story, click here .

Thumbs up for Thumbtack

profile pagethumbtack logoWe wanted to give a big thanks to Thumbtack for the quality clients we've gained from having a profile on their site. When you are in need of a local professional for services, Thumbtack is a smart platform for making those connections. Thumbtack takes Yelp a step further and allows consumers to receive quotes directly from service providers of their choice.

Product Love - Affordable Modern Panels and Door Fronts

Level 3dl collection northern contours bath Thanks to Northern Contours our clients have an affordable alternative to the traditional wood frame cabinetry with Level Doors and Drawer Fronts.  This quick ship, pre-laminated product is available in a textured melamine as shown here, an ultra high gloss or linear and matte thermofoils to transform your kitchen or bath design. This is a perfect solution in wet rooms where expansion and shrinkage associated with hardwood panels no longer is a concern. Click here for product information and finishes.

2014 Resolution Time!

The Four AgreementsResolutions It’s that time of year when we all make resolutions; some stick while most don’t.  I am not going to suggest any resolutions to you, but instead would like to recommend a book for you to read.  It is “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miquel Ruiz.  It is an easy read which you can relate to and be inspired to make changes in your life.  Hopefully, ones which will stick.

Christmas Lunch

Littlejohn's Candies Alta CASan Francisco's Central Market Street is changing.  New businesses are emerging as well as new condominiums.  We had an opportunity to experience some of the changes by visiting a few local businesses for our annual Christmas lunch.  This year we went to Alta CA for lunch. We had items such as devil eggs, oysters, smoked pork trotter, and oxtail fritters.  It was delicious.  Then we decided to top it all off with caramels and toffee from Littlejohn’s Candies, which was right next door.  If you are ever in this part of the city, check out the changes and possibly stop in for some deviled eggs at Alta or some toffee at Littlejohn’s.  You won’t be disappointed.