Wed09172014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Fabric animates interior design


Courtesy of Viscusi Elson
Fabrics in window treatments and on sofas and pillows add color and texture to any room design.

As an interior designer, I have to admit that I have a fabric addiction. Fabrics can be colorful and vibrant, simple and monochromatic, patterned, striped, floral, woven, printed, jacquard, houndstooth - the choices are endless.

Fabric is one of the most powerful tools I use besides my imagination. Even if you reject window treatments, your home will have fabrics on the sofas, chairs, beds, etc. The right fabric can inspire an entire room and evoke an array of emotions. For that reason alone, it is important to pay attention and give value and time to your fabric selections.

Interior designers choose fabrics carefully to subdue, accent, enhance and/or make a design pop. Fabrics are as unique and individual as finely crafted wines, a special piece of art or that family photo that is perfect for that wall.

Finding fine fabric

A variety of places produce fabrics in a vast array of qualities with endless design possibilities. My favorite countries in which to shop for fabrics are Italy, France, England, India and the U.S.

European vendors are known for their bold use of color, patterns and combinations of the two, often pulling from historical events to re-create a modern version. The craftsmanship of hand embroidery from India is so amazing that European fabric vendors will mill the background fabric and send it to India to have the layer of embroidery applied. Vendors and artisans collaborate from various countries to offer the ideal culmination of design and quality.

Who devises all of these patterns, color combinations and prints? I have always had a vision of fabric designers sitting quietly drinking wine and giggling about the names they give their creations (like names of paint colors), but I learned on my visit to a few of the European fabric houses that it is a much more complex process than that. The artisans draw inspiration from the world around them, cleverly churning out patterns that continue to inspire.

Designers sketch the patterns on paper, then artists handcolor the design to convey the intended vision. Once sold, the buyer can choose to follow the artist’s vision on color or restyle it to fit a collection.

New designs continue to come, fresh colors are produced and timeless traditionals are milled to perfection.

Of course, most people think of sofas and chairs when talking about fabrics, but don’t forget the other opportunities to present your own style through the use of fabrics on pillows, draperies, wall coverings, bed coverings, headboards, bean bags, dog beds and more.

When you begin a home project, start with fabrics that inspire you. Draw inspiration from the lines, patterns and colors. Integrate the use of fabrics into your budget from the beginning and watch your space transform.

If you are interested in viewing and handling some lovely fabrics, stop by my studio in downtown Los Altos to see what’s new. If you are fabric-obsessed like me, you may want to make an appointment, because, as I said, the possibilities are endless.

Gina Viscusi Elson, owner of Viscusi Elson Interior Design and Rutt of Los Altos Custom Cabinetry, is an award-winning interior designer with more than 20 years’ experience. Her showroom is located at 147 Main St., Los Altos. For more information, call 941-7800 or visit veinteriordesign.com. n

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