Happy Holidays!

Austria Salzburg Domplatz via ChristkindlmarktCoAt-1Christmas Market at the Cathedral in Salzburg (Photo: Courtesy of Christkindlmarkt.co.at)

I am staying in San Francisco for our yearly break, but I am dreaming of Salzburg, strolling around the Christmas market and spending time with my family.  I always felt that the time around Christmas was much more quiet in Austria than it is here in the US, especially when I was a child counting down the days to Christmas Eve with the help of an Advent calendar.  Karl Heinrich Waggerl (1897-1973), the Austrian writer work lived and worked in Wagrain, the village where I was born put it best:

“In den Nächten vor Weihnachten

tritt man gerne einmal vor die Türe
und steht alleine unter dem Himmel
nur um zu spüren, wie still es ist
wie alles den Atem anhält
um auf das Wunder zu warten.”

“During the nights before Christmas
one likes to step outside the door
and stand alone under the sky
just to feel how quiet is, 
how everything holds its breath
to wait for the miracle.”

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays and that the coming year will be a wonderful one for you all.



SFLuxe: Rushing for Gold at the SF Fall Antiques Show

The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show

Lord David Choldmondeley, Denise Hale, Martin Chapman (Photo: Drew Altizer)

San Francisco was at the center of the gold rush of the mid 19th century, sparked by the discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in 1848. Its population grew from around 200 citizens in 1846 to about 35,000 by 1852. Gold has had a big impact on this city, and it has also become once again the metal finish of choice for jewelry and home decór in recent years. So it was only á propos for “The Rush of Gold” to be the theme for this year’s San Francisco Fall Antiques Show at Fort Mason.

For my complete article please visit SFLuxe.



Tea With Claudia: Jan Showers

Claudia JanClaudia Juestel and Jan Showers (Photo: Moanalani Jeffrey)

When I was at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles a few years ago I got a call from Kyle Bunting just as I was about to walk into the conference room to hear Jan Showers, one of the nation’s leading interior designers, speak. Turns out they are great friends, and he asked me to say hello. I just caught her at the end of her presentation as she hurried out to catch a plane back to Dallas for another event that same day. The jet-setting designer was clearly in a hurry, but Jan’s Southern grace still came through when she took the time to have a quick chat with me.

Naturally, I was really looking forward to spending more time with such a lovely lady, and I got a lot of that when we finally sipped tea at her suite at the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco, overlooking the park and Grace Cathedral.

We talked about everything from her childhood dreams to her start in interior design and later furniture design, her family, her love for travel and what still may come. I was taken by Jan’s warmth and candor and feel so blessed to have spent such an enjoyable afternoon with her.

For my complete interview please visit SFLuxe.