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When boots are never really on your list and you have no business buying anything else for yourself, how do you say no, if they’re red suede? You don’t! They’re red suede in your size! Clearly it was meant to be. Also, every red suede boot deserves a mini fashion show.

I am happy to say I checked some big things off my list; the perfect floor lamp for Tina and Brian and some beautiful crystals for my birthday dinner.    As always, I walked away feeling very INSPIRED. Dear Long Beach Flea Market, you make getting into trouble so much fun.

See the rest of our finds from this week’s trip below.

Xo, Smid

*Pictures by Christine Cleary 

*Boots from Kitty James Collection

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Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset



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I was recently written up in San Diego Magazine and named Queen of Flea Marketing. It was pretty awesome and I’m honored. I’m also SO grateful for that article. It was so much fun to see that happen because it truly represented who I am as a designer. I love flea marketing. There is no finer hunting. I’m in it for the kill, ‘er’ I mean the find. I can find a diamond in the rough. I can see the beauty in the worn and thrown away pieces. No question. Most importantly, I can redesign a whole house around one vintage flea marketing find. Flea marketing inspires me. It fuels the creativity in my brain. And well, it’s quite addicting. If I didn’t have my family commitments on the weekends, I might be out scouting every day. Ok, you get it. I love flea marketing.

When the article was published, one of the owners of Kobey’s Swap Meet here in San Diego, asked why Kobey’s wasn’t mentioned. The fact is that at the time of the article I was a Kobey’s virgin! Here’s the thing. I’m the kind of girl, when I know I’ve hit jackpot, I’ll keep going back for more. Why switch it up if the gettin’s good? I’m loyal. I’m dedicated. I like knowing my hunt will be successful given I can only flea market a couple of times a month. I’ve been very successful at the Long Beach Flea Market and also the Rose Bowl. But it’s also good to expand your horizons and keep your mind open. So I put Kobey’s on my 2016 agenda. And last week I got my first taste. I had a very specific agenda to fill; with important items needed for my birthday bash. I was not disappointed. In fact, I was blown away.

It was a lovely experience, quite fun and textile heaven! It’s definitely less polished than other larger flea markets, but in a good way. It almost feels like thrifting; each store has it’s own sweet little finds but they’re all on one gigantic lot.

The first stall that caught my attention was a giant truck loaded with cardboards boxes. Three men were busy unloading what looked like garbage but I knew better; this was organized dumpster diving! I jumped in! I found some items that were actually on my list including a gorgeous copper tray that would look amazing loaded with crystals and cacti for my party. They even offered me the pretty girl discount. Ha Ha! I’ve never had that before! I loved it.

At the next stop, I met a little old man that either dedicates his life to searching for beautiful one-of-a-kind Native American pieces or hand makes them himself. I also met a man and his son, who are in the rug/textile business together. The father had a lot of knowledge on and love for his pieces. I honestly think he cares more about finding a suitable home or a buyer that will love the pieces, than making money. He gave me a stunning blush PINK wool blanket that I was eyeing. I tried to refuse the gift because I felt guilty taking it without paying. But he wanted me to have it. Smart man! I ended up buying a rug (not on the list) and a textile that I will be draping over my birthday table. These guys will be on my regular shopping routine moving forward.

After spending my sunday there, I’m not sure how I’ve lived this long in San Diego without shopping it.

See all the great finds below!

*Pictures by Christine Cleary (@superchris77)



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IMG_3074_correctWhen you think you’ve planned enough dinner parties, hosted many guests and your house is pretty well designed , you think it shouldn’t be too hard to pull it together again for another round of guests. Think again!. Well…I encourage you to think again.

I have gone through this so many times and still struggle with giving myself enough time to master the details and most importantly, enjoy the process.  It’s typical for me to get bogged down in cleaning, buying food  and other necessary details;  then I feel really rushed, not well put together and frustrated with myself for not taking the time for the little things that make me happy.

In this case, Smid was asked by The Design Network (OMGEEEEEE!) to come and feature the house on a new series they are piloting, The Design Smackdown.  We are really excited about this feature. And truth be told, when I first learned about it, I thought everything in the house was nearly feature ready and just needed a quick clean and a few toys put away. Then I caught myself as I did a walk through of the house with Chris, my design assistant. I was WAY too relaxed!!  The walls were all filthy, the kids book cart all tousled, the shower head looked like it died 5 years ago and my closet….A MESS. No self respecting designer would leave their closet looking this way. My powder room had things I had been thinking about changing for well over a year, but just had not prioritized the redesign because I have been prioritizing clients. I had empty fruit bowls everywhere and the front door entry plants were half dead.

We had our work cut out for us and had to start right away.

Now I am not sharing all the changes we made because you’d be here all day reading through the list. I just thought it would be nice to share one of the rooms that we spruced up with very important details, the ones that make me happy. But, here is what was different this time, I styled it, ‘jushed’ it all the day before. And it was fun. Really fun! It’s the first time that I’ve been able to enjoy the process for my own home in a really long time. When your planning your next get together, dinner party, or whenever you want to put your house’s ‘best foot’ forward, I highly recommend starting earlier-start a lot earlier than you think you need.

Xo Smid

*Photos by @superchris77


I restocked my old garden tool box with glassware, flatware, and linens that matched the vibe I was going for. I also realized the other items in there had been getting really dusty. So not at all photo ready or ready for wine! We added a splash of color with the cutest twinning cactus and a camellia flower from the garden. The marble slab is a cutting board and the birds are just my favs.

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I set the table so TDN could get a feel for what this looks like when we sit to eat in this area. That’s my chicken nugget cactus and a succulent on the plate for another splash of color. I don’t like matching too much which is why I have a bowl on one plate and not on the other. I loved that I got to think the tiniest of details through.



We styled the fridge with bright colored fruits and had things on hand for the crew to eat. It made us look like we were quite the hostesses.


Fresh oranges from the garden to put in a few places and create warmth.


So yummy! And I actually mean the way it looks.


My SMEG. Gah! I still can’t get over the black SMEG. I love the reflection of my bucket shelving cart and my creepy lady head in the fridge.

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The bucket shelves were restocked with clean dishes, succulents out, fruit in bowls and we were ready to host. BOOM.