Ambiance Interiors

san francisco bay area interior design

new fabric and a little bling go a long way!

design, living areas, Before & After, Furniture, VendorsHeidi MenardComment

I recently worked on a project where I was confronted with well-worn chairs that I'd placed into a home over 10 years ago.  Showing the signs of age, both in wear and style, we decided a little updating was in order.  We selected a simple cream linen from Kravet Fabrics, opting for a lighter, fresher approach to a room that was originally decorated when "old world" was in vogue.  We also decided to eliminate the skirt and expose the legs that were underneath the chairs.  We selected a small nailhead trim, and alternated the spacing, to give the traditional rolled arms a more stylized appearance.  New foam and Dacron wrapping cinched the deal in turning our old, tired chairs into something new & smart.  I'm now very confident that these chairs will be fabulous for another 10 years.



There are so many choices in nailhead trims that it's hard to limit yourself to just one.  I used D'Kei to select a small 1/4" chrome profile.  Breaking up the head-to-head spacing gives the furniture a modern aesthetic.

carpet care tips

Heidi MenardComment

Last weekend, I suffered a catastrophic carpet “event”. My sweet, but very naughty, Portuguese Water Dog managed to snag a 6 pound raw chicken off my kitchen counter that was beautifully marinating in the finest EVOO, 10 cloves of garlic and fresh garden herbs.  My darling beast then proceeded to carry the chicken onto the wool carpeting in my guest bedroom to enjoy her prize. The fact that I had dinner guests arriving in 1 hour, and house guests arriving later in the week did not help to dispel my panic. I returned home to discover an absolute massacre of chicken parts on my carpetblood, marinade, and various parts of the chicken anatomyand, of course, adding insult to injury, a dog that was now contaminated in raw chicken. 

I'm sure we have all been here before, in one way or another. Just remember, in times like this, don’t panic and follow these steps:  

  • Pick up any chunks and solids (whatever your case may be)
  • Blot up any residual moisture
  • And for the hardest part…do nothing & leave it for the professionals!

My carpet cleaner, Dave from Showcase Cleaning & Restoration answered my panicked call and came over the following weekday.  Professional cleaners use products that contain enzymes which help release the stains and have the equipment to fully extract them from the carpet fibers.  Spot cleaning  can actually set the stain if not done correctly.  Here is the result of his visit:



Here are my suggestions for great carpet care:

  • I love Folex for the occasional spot cleaning.  It’s available at hardware stores, select grocery stores, and of course, Amazon.  Fabulous stuff that works well on both wool & nylon products. Just don’t forget to use clean water and dry towels to remove any residual cleaner and absorb any remaining moisture.
  • In the event that you don’t have any Folex, use a very small amount of dish soap in solution with a cup of cold water to gently remove the stain.  Blot the area dry with a dry towel.
  • Never “rub" a spill or apply force to a stain.  Instead, be gentle on your stains by blotting at them.
  • In times of crisis, or routine maintenance, Dave from Showcase Cleaning is your guy!  Tell him Ambiance sent you.
  • Buy wool! I know that this stain would have never come clean on a nylon carpet.  Seeing is believing, and makes wool worth every penny.

woodside showcase - the grand unveiling

design, living areasAndria GutierrezComment

The showhouse opened May 4th to great reviews. So far, the Wall Street JournalSan Francisco ChroniclePalo Alto Daily, and Palo Alto Weekly have toured and expressed media interest in the house. The rooms throughout the home are beautifully furnished and decorated, and the house will not disappoint as it is full of original and daring ideas.

Our room turned out beautifully, and truly transformed an eyesore of a space into a room that is not only edgy, stylish and fashion forward, but also welcoming, captivating, and dare I say, sexy?

In accomplishing this feat, we stayed true to our vision for the room. The sketch shows our original proposal to Peninsula Volunteers when we submitted our application in February. Though a few minor modifications were made (i.e. Beatles chairs instead of chaise lounge, painting vs. steel wrapping the beams), we held true to the original goal. The clarity in our objective at the outset kept us focused and all 6 designers on the same page throughout the entire design process. Did we have a few surprises? Of course! All design projects do, but sticking to our guns is what got us through to the finished product!