All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Well tonight thank god it's them instead of you...

This has been a really busy season--nothing seems to have let up much at Ye Olde Dayjobbe, and working on the candy store over the past couple of months has taken up time. In addition to all that, I also began moonlighting with a new design service that seems to be the wave of the future for regular folks.

For the first time in 15 years, I found myself working on Christmas Eve as well as today (Boxing Day for folks who know/care about/celebrate such things.) When I first moved to San Francisco (said 15 years ago) I had a retail job to make ends meet while I stayed with relatives and figured out this city. So without (many) friends, family, or traditions it didn't seem like such a big deal to work Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas.

This year, however, I felt it. Close friends and my partner all had this time off and I didn't. This morning I woke up with a new appreciation for those who do work during the holidays. Even though it may not matter to some people (for various cultural or religious reasons, or lack thereof) I still think of this season as a time to reflect on the year that's passed. I realize how much I've taken for granted--the managers and colleagues I've had who chose to work during the holidays--so today I salute you. Today I'm right there with you.

Next year, however, I plan to make it clear to everyone that I'll take this week off to recharge, reflect, and reconnect. And I'll be even more thankful for the people who grin and bear it and work through it all.

(Like the people at the Chinese restaurant where my friends and I have dinner every Christmas Eve...)

(Or friends and family who only have one day off to spend with loved ones...)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

I want candy!

I've spent the past few weekends here and there helping some friends who won an amazing opportunity to start their own business. Downtown Sacramento had an amazing competition for potential small business owners to help revitalize the area.

Friends (and former Retrograde clients) Camille and Andy won this year, so after helping with their home a few years ago they asked me if I could give them some recommendations and help for their new business, Andy's Candy Apothecary.

How the hell could I pass up helping on a candy store!?!?!?

Andy's dream of bringing gourmet (as well as obscure, imported, and nostalgic) candy to downtown Sacramento is one of many signs that the state capital is really blowing up. During trips to visit them and the site, I'd have amazing coffee and eat at gourmet (and well designed!) restaurants and bars. It made me think twice about going back to the central valley (!)

Here are photos from the grand opening weekend:

I even got a shout out on the entry chalkboard, woo hoo!

Check it out when you can--it's worth a trip to Sacto to see the store and explore our capital city!
 Andy's Candy Apothecary
1012 9th Street (between J and K Streets)
Sacramento, CA

Monday, December 9, 2013

London Calling...

So where the hell have I been for the past few weeks? On holiday, of course! Ye Olde Dayjobbe kept me busy throughout the summer, so this was the first chance I could get to escape. (Plus, it was an easier time to spend my Virgin Atlantic miles for two round-trip tickets to Europe in the fall than in the summer.)

As some of you may know, I used to live in London, so we definitely wanted to go back. I took my partner there for his first visit ever about seven years ago and he found it overwhelming, exciting, and loads of fun. So we were overdue for another visit.

After staying with some friends, we checked into the Zetter Townhouse in trendy Clerkenwell. It was amazing--the regular Zetter Hotel is a large warehouse conversion just 21 steps across a cobblestone courtyard, but the Townhouse is a smaller, more intimate place made up of two converted Georgian townhouses. It's been written up in design circles for a good reason--each room is different in a quirky, coloful, eccentric (and eclectic) British way. Here was our room:


(There was an interesting little window into the bathroom from the bedroom!)

(And here was the view from our room.)


 (The hallway of our floor had pictures hung on a diagonal slant. Clever!)

The lobby was decorated to look like an elaborate parlor, with multiple seating areas you could reserve in the evening for drinks or meals. 


Of course, the best part was the cat by the parlor fireplace mantel--she had on a blue dress the evening we checked in (you can sort of see her in one of the photos above) but one morning we awoke to find she had been changed into holiday finery!

We knew we were in the right place.

Next week--photos from Berlin!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Am I living in a box?

Best thing about having a friend with art studio space? Going to open studios!

A couple of weeks ago a friend invited us over to SoMa Artists Studio's open house to check out the resident artists' work. Not only did I get a haunting painting by my friend (it kind of relates to his haunted apartment), but my partner also scored an amazing Joseph Cornell-like shadow box by artist Kat Flyn.

Check out our new art:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Two bottles of whiskey for the way...

I kept seeing them at Harrington's on Valencia and then I couldn't take it any more--I had to get these chairs because I want to be able to use them in a project!

So, I'm offering them for $165 each. There are two, but they are slightly different from each other in scale (same seat carving, though.) They'd make excellent accent chairs.

Let me know. I want them to go to a good home. I'm gonna miss them when they're gone...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Did I tell you you're wonderful?

I'm an equal opportunity shopper and recently stated--with pride--that I like to push peoples' boundaries of masculine and feminine in order to achieve balance and harmony in a space. I said, "if you're super macho, I'm going to make you try something pink; if you're a girly girl, I'm going to make paint something navy blue."

I've never believed in engendering colors or interiors. Being truly eclectic means having a mish mash of items and mementos that reflect who we are as whole, complete human beings with all of our experiences, quirks, and dreams. I had a bedroom several years ago that I painted pink--but with dark brown trim and moldings, bamboo shades, and an awesome black velvet painting of a naked Hawaiian woman (scored from my father's old bar), it worked. (Really, it did--I'll try to dig up some photos!)

Even Apartment Therapy recently had a post about masculine vs. feminine interiors. Interesting reading, but in their matrices they had a lot of crossover--plenty of women dig leather and hide rugs; plenty of guys like some blingin' brass or gold. I dunno, I think it's all more fluid now than ever, especially for people who are bombarded with all manner of design that's out there today.

PB Teen (of all places!) has recently worked with some stylists to create a new collection of vintage-inspired furniture and decorations. Yeah, it's marketed toward teenage girls, but I think there's a lot there that would appeal to adults (male and female) too.

Check out a few pieces from the Emily & Meritt collection:

(I'd love to have a "Wonderful" pillow somewhere, wouldn't you?)

The chaise is in a nice, neutral shade of blue. And I like how the rabbit lamp sports a black shade, which keeps it also a little more neutral.

 A rabbit eared alarm clock? Awesome.

Like the Wonderful pillow, I think the "Fantastic" garland is great, in a retro hipster way. It's gold paper on rope. The rope fringe kind of makes it feel more vintage than feminine.

And I must confess, I got a wish box to hold all these fortune cookie fortunes that keep spilling out of this jar in my kitchen. Watch out--it'll make an appearance on this blog again soon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Beep beep beep beep yeah!

This morning as we walked down the street to get some coffee and pastries, we walked into annual Freewheelers Benefit Car Show featuring some remarkable vintage automobiles. The proceeds went to our local elementary school, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy.

Looking at the amazing color combinations, I couldn't help but think of how they could be applied to interiors. There were some amazing colors there: coral, turquoise, cool snow white, pale greens, rich evergreen emeralds (which is supposed to be the next hot color) was amazing and inspiring. You know I really loved the contrasting upholstery/interiors in a lot of these cars. The exterior designs were amazing as well, featuring rich curves, polished metal trim, and even some wood accents.

Here are some photos. Hope they inspire you with some new room or furniture colors!