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2443 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA, 94115

(310) 463-0650

Designs by Alina:  Handcrafted jewelry fabricated with gold, pave diamonds, and choice pearls for the sophisticated modern-classic woman. Beauty and inspiration forever entwined. Lifestyle blog on design, travel, fashion, family.



Designs by Alina Lifestyle Magazine

Blog, Travel, family, interior design, jewelry design and fashion.



Filtering by Tag: Design

Google Has It

Bernardo de Albergaria

If you have read my About page you know I am passionate about design…all sorts of design. I worked my way through architecture school as a draftsman quickly switching majors when I discovered that a large portion of my time as an architect would involve staring at uniform building codes, electrical and plumbing plans, and all that really important non-design stuff to which I was highly allergic.

In my quest to quench my creative thirst, I found myself writing, producing, and hosting entertainment news pieces and television shows, a career that spanned 17 years of pure enjoyment. While interviewing directors, producers and actors was very rewarding, what I enjoyed the most was to be in the edit bay watching my scripts come to life. I knew exactly what I wanted to see on screen down to the frame and to that end I relied heavily on my editor, Wayne Reese, whose fingers pranced upon hundreds of buttons in order to unlock my story. Together we braved many 20+ hour edit sessions in which every transition, no matter how short, was well thought out and required patience to develop.

My years in those artistic posts underscored my awareness of how much time goes into developing anything worthy of being created, from writing to architecture, conceptual art to graphic design. I am always in awe of simple concepts with the power to move and don’t let the lack of perceived complexity fool me into believing that there was not much work leading up to the final design.

Case in point - Google doodles

I remember the first time I saw one of those little masterpieces and thinking that whoever was behind that clever doodle must be pinching him/herself every day to get to doodle for a living.

Today my son and husband asked me to join them in watching the World Cup. At half-time, I turned on my computer and on the Google homepage I saw an animated version of this:

The manner in which Father’s day and World Cup Soccer are woven into a single design is simple yet captivating. I am certain that there were many meetings, hours of brainstorming, lots of rejects and much doodling leading up to this winner.

That said, I also appreciate arduously intricate labors of love, like my all time favorite, Debussy’s Claire de Lune, which is more of a motion picture than a doodle. I don't know about you, but to me Google is not just a search engine, it's a canvas for the clever.


Magazine Worthy Decorating Idea

Alina de Albergaria

When Bernardo and I searched for a new home in the lush, historical area of Santa Barbara's Upper East neighborhood, we knew we were in luck when we came upon a 1931 Mediterranean, designed by Carlton Winslow (Carlton Theater, Los Angeles; Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara; Casa Dorinda, Montecito) which was in much need of repair. We immediately enlisted the help of our good friend Alessandra Branca, a genius at modernizing classics, who exudes the sort of joie de vivre with which everyone would like to be infused.

The design part was fantastically fun but living though the remodel was an arduous task. With three small children in a new school, a husband who traveled the world over, dwindling funds, and a house full of ram board, noise, dust and workmen, I was about to lose my mind, and I needed among other things, to adhere to a budget. So the million dollar question was: "Where do I streamline expenses now that we are in the detail phase?" I wasn't about to abandon the fruit trees or rose garden, nor would I sacrifice the quality of the furniture or fabrics, so I drew the line at the hand-painted stairs I had just designed.

Hours of brainstorming later, I came across two sources of sheer magic: Dezign with a Z, and Wall Written, both online sources of custom artwork which gave our staircase and door leading to the garage the kiss of modern I sought without breaking the bank. The result is an infusion of playfulness which accentuates who we are and what we espouse.

Stylish or Safe?

Alina de Albergaria

Just as I am passionate about jewelry, I am passionate about our home. My husband and I are neither collectors nor minimalists, and while we like clean lines, we have opted for a contemporary classic style, one which tells a story about where we have been and where we are headed. 

That said, if we were to ever entertain the idea of introducing a collection of sorts, it would likely incorporate the concept of bringing together the perfect and the imperfect (there I go again with the “p” word).

While visiting my brother in Barcelona, our family went to a restaurant called Origens which serves ecologically friendly Catalan food. The décor was basic, the atmosphere casual, and if it weren't for a detail that caught my eye, you would not be reading this post.

While there was nothing remarkable about the bottles themselves, I think the Origins design team did a great job with what could have otherwise been just another bottle collection.

Below are a couple of examples of how I like to weave the "odd one out" concept into some of my designs.