December 5th, 2013
My guests will attest to the fact that this spare bedroom has gone through what feels like a million and one reiterations. It always feels off to me, probably because no one lives there and the lighting make sit hard to photograph somehow. I am liking the latest version mainly due to the Nelson Saucer lamp we installed. It adds a beauty to the space that nothing else has been able to thus far. We are on the fence whether to list our house with AirBNB for the next time we are away. We use the service to rent places and have been curious and uncomfortable about how it would feel from the other side. But we made a profile anyway for the exercise of it all and in the process I took these photos. Don’t be surprised if this room changes again, and soon somehow.
Looking up at this light is so pleasant. I can’t decide if I like or loathe this Moroccan inspired floor pouf I made when we moved in.
I’m still into the side tables we made with hairpin legs and the clip on reading lights my in-laws rewired.
November 24th, 2013
You know I love me a nice caramel leather sofa. In fact, I have one in my own living room. What pairs well with the rich warm medium brown you ask? Tone on tone greys and some black and white to boot. This living room vignette via Divaaniis a bold space with strong presence. But it draws you in and achieves an inviting and comfortable effect. The second installment of this series breaks it down.
1) Darrin leather sofa is one attractive puppy from the JC Penney Jonathan Adler collection and its on sale right now. Steal of a deal. 2) black machinist stool used as a side table. 3) grey striped rug 4) Blu Dot Sprout coffee table in black 5) black task lamp 6) large modernist abstract painting in black and white, this one is Franz Kline – something that speaks to you. 7) typography print in black and white, choose a mantra for your every day. 8) Kay Bojeson toy monkey 9) the ubiquitous Ikea Stockholm pillow 9) Mikabarr oragami pillow covers 10) Benjamin Moore China White is a warm off white to balance the cool greys and harsh black and white.
November 21st, 2013
These traditional Finnish holiday decorations made of straws are taking on a life of their own now that anything geometric is big time trendy. Nothing would be more appropriate than hanging a few smaller himmelis from your tree. They are getting popular enough that wreaths, garlands, and a string light versions are not out of the realm of possibilities. The big box stores are now offering their own versions. You can take a stab at DIY (instructions here) or stick to the Etsy sellers that have been making these before they were big time. Either way, your holiday decor will be divine and oh so on trend.
Wire ornaments from CB2 look remarkably like himmelis ;)
Urban Outfitters offers a brassy metal wall decoration I really like.
Hruskaa is one of the originals to offer beautiful himmeli mobils on Etsy: ornaments and a wreath for the holiday season and year round I would think.
Me& She also creates pretty ornaments and garlands.
November 19th, 2013
I did a dry run of the holiday table. We may end up going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, but I had this vision in my head and wanted to see how it would all look together. Its not a wasted effort because I can pull these elements together on any night of Channukah or for Christmas dinner (substituting pine cones for gourds).
I think the set table captures the organic minimalist look I was hoping for. The Stendig calendar sure does help with that overall feel. The countdown to 2014 already started here. Lots of candles in vintage candle holders. An Irish linen table cloth. White and black mixed dinnerware. Gold chocolate coins, brass bowls, and my brass light fixture above. I would actually like to switch out the silver flatware for gold or black flatware but since we aren’t actually hosting a dinner, it doesn’t feel very minimalist does it?
November 6th, 2013
This year our Thanksgiving will be as small and simple a scan be. We won’t go overboard on the food and keep the dinner really intimate and at home. No fuss no muss. But since it is the first night of Channukah too, I am insisting on making the tabletop decor extra special. Putting more effort into it than years past when I concentrated more on the food or we were not home. Tablescapes aren’t my forte so I consider it a little exercise in an area of design I am not as comfortable with. I put together an inspiration board and am slowly gathering my design elements. One part earthy, humble, organic, and natural for Thanksgiving. Think linen, burlap, gourds, ceramics. The other part smart, neat, and dazzling for Channukah. Think black, white, and brassy golden notes, candles, many candles. Together – pretty, very very pretty and celebratory.
The final tablescape won’t have these exact same items, but it will (hopefully) embody the spirit of this board and carry through until Christmas and New Years plus/minus some smaller elements.
gold flatware, fault bowl, cloches, tree slice coasters, shanna murray plates, candle holder, gold rimmed glasses, black shallow bowls, cutting board, vintage brass candelabra, linen table cloth/runner, serving bowl
November 1st, 2013
The tomboy in me was having a fit over the pink rug in the office and had to be represented by way of the bedroom. I had been getting sick of our cutout West Elm headboard. The style is perfect, but the espresso wood stain is getting tired and doesn’t match any of the other wood finishes in the room. Its all sharp corners and hard angles so I wanted to soften up. I noticed that West Elm was selling slipcover headboards and thought t was a neat way to update the bed frame without having to swap it out. I wanted something really heavy, utilitarian, and rugged looking. What better than a military grade tarp of waxed canvas in drab green?
To be honest I experimented with a denim version first but it was too flimsy and kind of boring. I was also overthinking the form and it just wasn’t looking great in my opinion. Then I found this beauty on Amazon and figured why not try it.
The fabric is heavy and it has a lot of personality already. After minimal cuts and about 20 minutes on the sewing machine, I got the headboard slipcover I had hoped for. Its nt perfect, but it fits pretty well and looks hella cool. If I can do this, you can too.
You must have noticed the brassy eyeball sconces from Urban Outfitters (believe it) that we put up on each side of the bed. For cozy winter bed reading, classy, like grown ups. The warm brassy metal is a nice contrast to all of the blues, greens, and greys in the room and the ball shape is just fun. The tarp had brass grommets that I tried to include in the slipcover design but it just wasn’t going to happen.
October 30th, 2013
This week I showed you the anatomy of one dreamy office and now I will show you my recently altered office corner. I was used to years of having my desk face a wall and suddenly I realized that is not what I wanted at all. I wanted to see what my family was up to by simply lifting up my head, not turning my whole body. So I moved the desk away from a blank wall to in front of a window with direct view of the play area in the same room and the hall and living room beyond it. That called for darker curtains and these grey ombre cotton panels were just the right style yet didn’t take themselves too seriously (it is still technically half a play room).
Instantly, the feng shui improved, or seemed to. Even my wi-fi got a clearer signal. But I knew something was off. I needed a special rug to delineate my work space from the kids play area.
I have been thinking a lot about pale pink. A few years ago, I would have never touched it except maybe in a little girls room. But suddenly it seems to me like a fresh way to add warmth and earthiness to the white and grey overload I have going on in my house, without being too bright or saturated. I’m not the only one thinking pink: see my article about the pale pink color alert over at Better By Design Blog. I found this special kilim rug – its faded and worn in some spots, mixed with browns and minty greens. I think its absolutely lovely in its rich mysterious history. A pink up my alley. And layered with the cowhide rug. Good thing this is my space because Alec would not approve of either layering rugs or the pink kilim.
My office transformation is complete. A space that makes me feel happy to sit in and plug away at design projects and blog posts. I have my campaign desk, industrial wire basket, white bucket chair and sheepskin throw, a basket at my feet for material samples, and even a blank wall to my left for taping inspiration images to. Simplicity for productivity.
October 28th, 2013
Typically I lean towards the minimalist, spare, and practical in an office. But secretly, OMG how perfectly dreamy is this work space? A nice balance of modern simplicity and old world flourish in heavenly silvery neutrals. Do you want to know how to create your own budget friendly version? I bring you “the anatomy of a room” – a series I am starting on the blog where I try to recreate special rooms that speak to me and hopefully resonate with you too.
1) patchwork cowhide area rug 2) saarinen tulip marble table 3) panton s chair 4) glass chandelier 5) white parson desk
October 25th, 2013
Happy Friday. I hope you had a nice week. I feel like Fall is arriving in LA. Its not as dramatic as other parts of the country, but the weather is cooler and crisper and all the Halloween festivities are in full gear. Let’s review the week.
1) We saw the most magnificent full moon over downtown LA last Friday 10/18. Our local park kept the trails open past sundown so that people may hike up to see the full moon rise. It was HUGE. Much bigger and brighter than I could have imagined and this picture does not do it justice. 2) We spent Saturday morning at Mr. Bones pumpkin patch. They do a good job and that’s where all the celebrities go with their kids. There is even a paparazzi area. We didn’t see anyone famous though. Ha! 3) Displays of pomegranates and persimmons at the farmer’s market makes it officially Autumn. 4) Sometimes Alec and I meet mid-day for coffee or lunch. Elabrew in Santa Monica was pretty rad. 5) I can never get too many bath pictures. We take a lot (duh) and they are always cute to me. 6) Tongva Park just opened in Santa Monica and it is beautiful. Worth a visit.
October 24th, 2013
Earlier this year I predicted that indigo shibori would become an ethnic inspired trend, just like ikat did a few years ago. I was partially right, but I cold not have predicted that its more locally homegrown cousin, tie dye or dip dyed denim would actually be the popular choice among bohemian design lovers seeking an accessible version of this exotic textile technique. And actually, I love the practical feel and utilitarian nature of denim that much more. I love it as pillow covers, bed linens, tablecloths, and sofa slipcovers. It feels organic, clean, and beachy all at the same time. It looks amazing with white, wood, and camel. Swoon.
1) modernhaus pillows 2) west elm pillows 3) rebecca atwood pillows 4) beyond france 5) bella notte 6) not my beautiful home 7&8) lookout wonderland
October 24th, 2013
Space planning is one my favorite things about interior design. Sometimes I get analysis paralysis when it comes to choosing fixtures and finishes because there are so many choices out there. I don’t want to make the “wrong” one I will regret later. But to me, it feels like there is only one “right” space plan for a particular site. And the trick is to find that one right fit after expirementing with a few different layouts. Right now I’m working on a kitchen renovation in Encino. Its a BIG space: 32′x32′. Walls are being demolished so anything is possible. After trying 5 different layouts, we found what we thought was the ideal layout for a family oriented modern kitchen. Here is the view in Sketch Up.
Pretty cool, right? A mix of walnut wood lower cabinets, white laquer upper cabinets, and white solid surface counters. I liked that the range stove is flanked by the two tall refridgerator unit and combi oven unit on each side. But then, the architect took a look and he didn’t like that the refridgerator unit was blocking the site lines through to the window wall. So we changed it to this final layout instead.
Now we have clear views and an L-shaped counter area for better work surface. Functionally it makes sense. But does it look as good? The engineers don’t think so. I’m kind of stuck – which is the “right” space plan for the kitchen? What is your vote?
October 11th, 2013
I don’t know what possessed me to take on this little project. Sometimes you just feel crafty. In my head I had the idea for a macrame covered light cord so I bought a simple white light cord, the macrame string (took a wild guess about the 4mm width), and an Edison bulb.
In actuality, I don’t know how to macrame so it took me 3 tries before I googled it and figured out the right knot. And then countless hours of knotting before it was done.
I am quite confused by my motivation and feelings about this light. Its kind of cool. Its kind of weird. It is imperfect. I’m not sure how I feel about it since the reality did not match the image I had in my head, but it was nice to attempt a handmade project. I am happy its done. If I tried again it would come out better, but the frustration and time expenditure doe snot warrant a second attempt. This is as good as it gets folks.