Sunset Magazine Idea House Tour

I have always wanted to tour one of Sunset Magazine's Idea Houses--the 2012 Breezehouse Prefab was one of my faves and a total inspiration for our home. Earlier this week I had the privilege of touring the brand new 2016 Sunset Magazine Idea House. Nestled in the premier hilltop neighborhood of Claremont Hills, bordering Oakland and Berkeley, the 4,000 square-foot home boasts four bedrooms, four and half bathrooms, a game room, wine cellar, and artist studio and a total of five decks overlooking the entire San Francisco Bay.

Sunset Magazine will open the doors to the public for six consecutive weekends starting August 19th. In collaboration with some of the Bay Area’s most sought-after design talent including Geremia Design, Robert Nebolon Architects, landscape designer Michelle Derviss, and builder Landmark Development Corporation, Sunset has brought together an award-winning team to create an ultra-modern home with an interior comprised of fine details and artisan materials to provide warmth to its contemporary architecture.

Geremia Design, whose award-winning interior design has been honored by Forbes "30 Under 30" and as Architectural Digest's "Ones to Watch," incorporated a collection of wares and furnishings made by friends and local fabricators to connect the Idea House back to the community, creating a modern space that feels well-loved and well lived in.

Dark charcoal bathroom with hand gold paint splattered walls.

I'll do dishes here any day!

Love this art piece by Lena Wolff.

Beautiful artwork by Megan Donegan.

Ombre ceiling!!!

I loved all the unique plants around the house by

One of my favorite rooms in the Idea House is the master bathroom--it's covered in Heath Ceramics tiles in the most calming shade.

Here's the kids' room. I need that bunk bed!

All the bedding by Coyuchi (heart eyes!)

Kids' bathroom details

Love how Geremia Design mixed and matched different styles in this game room.

These kinds of details capture my eye.

Heading down to the next level where you'll find the guest bedroom and entertainment room.

I noticed a lot of jute and sisal rugs layered with a smaller rug on top. Loving this look.

Texture love!

Okay, how cute is Chantal Lamers, Sunset Magazine's Home Editor? We've been following each other on Instagram! ;)

My favorite art piece is this one from Lena Wolff.

Entertainment room! Long sofa covered in Sunbrella fabric. Chantal said a lot of people are starting to use Sunbrella fabric indoors as well for its durability.

Lovely wines (too bad I couldn't find out for myself!) provided by J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines.

One of the challenges for landscape designer Michelle Derviss was the slope. Inspired by M.C. Escher, she created the most beautiful viewing garden using steel boxes and stair stepping them in an elegant way to create a piece of sculpture. Low maintenance plants with colorful foliage filled the garden.

The Sunset Idea House, located at 540 Gravatt Road, Berkeley, CA, will be available to tour from 10 am to 5 pm as follows:
● Friday, August 19 Sunday, August 21
● Friday, August 26 Sunday, August 28
● Friday, September 2 Sunday, September 4
● Friday, September 9 Sunday, September 11
● Friday, September 16 Sunday, September 18
● Friday, September 23 Sunday, September 25

Tickets can be purchased for $25 and are available online at Eventbrite or onsite
during tour hours. A portion of the ticket proceeds will go to the Oakland Public Education Fund. Sponsors of the Sunset Idea House include, AZEK Building Products, Belgard, DXV American Standard, InSinkErator, J.Lohr Vineyard & Wines, James Hardie, Lamps Plus, Maui Jim, Sunset Western Garden Collection, Torani, and Western Window Systems.
Stay up-to-date on the Sunset 2016 Idea House by liking Sunset on Facebook
(, and following @SunsetMag on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, #sunsetideahouse. Or, go to for more details.


+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper),
Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.
+ You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

The New Sunset Magazine Test Garden and Kitchen at Cornerstone

Earlier this week I got to tour the new Sunset Magazine Test Garden and Kitchen at Cornerstone in Sonoma as they prepare for their annual Sunset Celebration Weekend on May 14-15. For the first time, Celebration Weekend will be held at Cornerstone, a marketplace
with food and wine, shops, gardens and event spaces that will serve as Sunset's
beautiful new wine country location. Remember their rad new headquarters in Oakland?

The new Outdoor Kitchen was still under construction but promises to showcase the best in Western living. Complete with a standalone wine bar island and a double island cooking peninsula with two grills, refrigerator, sink, and four gas burners, the Outdoor Kitchen has been designed to showcase food and wine pairing demos and educational sessions.

On May 14th and 15th, 2016, Sunset fans will join editors, celebrity chefs, vintners, craft beer brewers and renowned lifestyle experts at Cornerstone in Sonoma, CA, for this two-day series of culinary, wine, garden and lifestyle events including the debut of the new Sunset Test Gardens, Outdoor Kitchen, and "Airstream Village". Featured presenters include celebrity chefs Ludo Lefebvre, Tanya Holland, Andy Ricker, Russell Moore, Ayesha Curry, Amanda Haas, Cindy Pawlcyn, Ellie Krieger and more.

To purchase tickets and find more information, go to

Sunset Wine Editor Sara Schneider about to take us on a wine tasting tour at the three tasting rooms on the premises--Meadowcroft, Keating and Poseidon Vineyard & Obsidian Ridge. Too bad I'm allergic to alcohol! I sat back, took photos and chatted it up with Irene Edwards, the down-to-earth, no nonsense, very cool Editor-in-Chief of Sunset.

Designed by Homestead Design Collective, (co-owned by Alethea Harampolis of Studio Choo), the new Sunset Test Garden is divided into distinct garden “rooms,” including the Cocktail Garden, the Farm, the Backyard Orchard, and the Flower Room, bursting with blooms like classic David Austin Roses and specialty chrysanthemums. The Gathering Space is the outdoor living room of Sunset’s dreams: Olive trees offer shade, and borders of low maintenance and drought tolerant Sunset Western Garden Collection plants mingle nicely with graphic succulents.

Custom walk through trellises were fabricated in LA by TerraSculpture.

The Frank Lloyd Wright inspired greenhouse is courtesy of Portland-based NW Green Panels.

Sunset Garden Editor Johanna Silver will be joined by some of the West’s leading experts in drought tolerant landscaping, edible gardening, and garden design at this perennially popular area of Celebration Weekend.

I was really excited to see the camp cooking demo from Associate Food Editor, Elaine Johnson. We each received a prepub copy of Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper's Guide to the Great Outdoors. Elaine showed us how to make a simple mezze platter, a cocktail, a mocktail, and how to build the perfect campfire. I can't wait to delve into Camp Sunset and go camping with the boys this summer.

Elaine shows us the best way to make a fire.

A complete schedule of Celebration Weekend 2016 presenters and events, event information and online tickets is available at

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper), Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

Sunset Magazine's New Oakland Home First Look

I have been a huge Sunset magazine fan for years now and am SO excited they moved their headquarters to Oakland--yay for the east bay! I was even more excited that I got to get a first look at their new digs at 55 Harrison Street in Jack London Square. I don't think these photos do it justice--I was completely floored by the new office space. From the beautifully designed test kitchen (think Heath Ceramics tiles, open space, cork flooring and clean lines) to the all-glass, floor-to-ceiling wine "cellar", there was no detail left untouched. I also loved that they kept some of the artwork and iconic pieces of furniture from the old headquarters.

After more than 50 years in the iconic Cliff May-designed headquarters in Menlo Park, Sunset moved to Jack London Square in Oakland, a vibrant neighborhood full of small businesses and awesome restaurants, coffee spots, and of course, Miette (my fave!). The new offices were designed by San Francisco architects RMW.

Side note: Our Cliff May-designed home is the only one in Berkeley. We were featured in the January 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine--Lucas was so tiny then!

One of my favorite parts of the office is this floor to ceiling library housing stacks of Sunset magazine archives, cookbooks, pieces from the old headquarters, and even a little reading nook seamlessly built right in.

I could look at this space all day. And that painting!

Below is Margo True (right), Sunset's Food Editor (love her recipes!) with Carol Shih (left), Digital Associate Editor.

And check out Sunset's original test kitchen on the cover the November 1966 issue!

Here's Oakland's Mayor, Libby Schaaf, on one of the office tours.

Below to the right is Sunset's Editor-in-Chief, Irene Edwards. I really loved meeting her--she was so down-to-earth, vibrant and full of positive energy.


I'm allergic to alcohol but this floor-to-ceiling glass wall wine cellar was so dreamy.

More books! And that wooden slat wall--LOVE! Reminds me of a George Nelson platform bench.

I'm also excited to visit Sunset's main test garden beds and outdoor kitchen at Cornerstone, a public garden, event and retail space in Sonoma. Below is Johanna Silver, Sunset's test garden guru. What a rad job!

One of the highlights of the night was guest chef Tanya Holland, Executive Chef and Owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ in Oakland, CA. She demonstrated a quick version of her technique for flavorful fried chicken and served it up with a bright and zingy black eyed pea salad and buttermilk biscuits. Yum!

For dessert were these delicious little Mini S'mores made by one of my favorite bakeries Miette.
Nine of them count as one normal sized one, right?

This is the other kitchen where some photo shoots and guest chef demonstrations take place. The all white dishes and accessories along with the copper Kitchen-Aid mixer (LOVE) were generously provided by Williams-Sonoma.

Sprinkled throughout the office were these gorgeous arrangements by Berkeley's Flowerland (signs were printed by my friend Rori at Paper Monkey Press).

These addictive Candied Rosemary Hazelnuts were a sneak peak from Camp Sunset, A Modern Camper's Guide to the Great Outdoors (Oxmoor House, May, 2016). The recipe is from chef-owner Jason French of the Portland restaurant Ned Ludd. I'm totally going to make these!

I mean, look at their view!

Thanks for the awesome housewarming invitation. Welcome to the east bay, Sunset! Check out more photos on Instagram #TheNewSunset.

The Sunset Celebration Weekend is coming up on May 14th and 15th at Cornerstone in Sonoma Wine Country which will include the debut of the new Sunset Test Gardens and Outdoor Kitchen and will reflect the sophisticated lifestyle and taste of Sunset’s gorgeous new Sonoma Wine Country location.

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper),
Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.
+ You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.