Custom Live Edge Table

Along with the ridiculous cement tile fireplace for the Mar Vista home, I got the opportunity to design and oversee fabrication of a gorgeous live edge dining table. I went to House of Hardwood (where we found the mantel wood) and worked with David to create a true work of art. 

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The first step was choosing a one of kind slab of wood, Monkeypod to be exact. chose the slab first.

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Then I figured out the best sizing and created a simple plan for how to use the monkey pod slab as the table top and black walnut wood for the table legs and seamless benches. two to be exact.

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David estimated 2-3 weeks which I thought was optimistic. In fact, it took closer to 10 weeks which makes more sense to me given all the details and labor this table required. It was super worth the wait. Look at this beauty.

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Photography by Phoebe Chauson

Photography by Phoebe Chauson

Yup, incredible. My client loves her table and the fact that it is a one of kind piece. It ended up costing about $3500 including materials and labor which is comparable to a pre-made showroom  live edge slab table. Not too bad price wise and super special.

Noteworthy 18

Happy Friday. In LA, we are expecting a heatwave and it really does feel like summer now. No more waking up to June Gloom grey skies and waiting for it to clear out after lunch. We have been waking up to sunny happy clear skies and I'm in a summer head space. A collection of the latest goodies on the interwebs.

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1) This e-design bedroom for Ava Styles by Decorist is amaze balls. It makes me want to redo my bedroom, again. That bed. 2) That's my kind of minimalist zen meditation space, too bad its in NYC. 3) I'm slightly obsessed with the 3 ladies behind Three Birds Renovations. Best friends who started a flipping business together in Australia and seem to be having a blast doing it. Pink bathroms are becoming a thing again. With clean lines, light woods, and paired with copper or matte black fixtures. As seen in bathrooms 4) 5) and 6). 7) A super interesting shelving design 8) Backyard patio goals for summer lounging 9) I want to go there. It could be LA but its probably Morocco.  At least I can buy a rug or two from Tigmi Trading

Domino List of 10 Up and Coming Designers

Domino Magazine has been very very good to me. More than 10 years ago it captured that effortlessly pulled together yet youthfully energetic home we all aspired to create. "That's so Domino" is definitely a saying I think to myself on the daily because they have been able to capture a certain viewpoint that speaks to me and many. Domino posted two of my projects and will be sharing another this month. The exposure from Domino alone has really upped my game, but now that they named me one of ten up coming designers to know, I'm speechless and beyond grateful. 

I have been very lucky to work on a few higher end homes this year and because of publications like Domino, the clients give me the breathing space to be creative and try new combinations or concepts. There is a trust inherent in the designer if you have been called out by the industry as someone who knows what she is doing and can take interiors in a new direction. I'm sure this latest honor will grant me even more creative freedoms and I'm excited to see what that results in. Its as much of a surprise to me as to you at the end. Here a few images from recent projects to remind myself I'm on the right track and taking my work in a good direction.

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Don't forget to congratulate the other talents from Domino's list:

Consort Design, Kate Marker, Kelly Nutt, Hannah Crowell, Kelly Deck, Claire Brody, Kristen Cadwallader, Jana Bek, and Jenny Wolf

Giant Dreamcatcher DIY

I have had my eye on those ginormous bohemian dreamcatchers for a while. I see them at craft fairs, in store display windows, and as the new de rigeur wedding backdrop. They sell for upwards of $150-$500 depending on the size. Totally worth the price for the handwork and man hours that goes into making one, but I was wondering if I could make one on my own....and maybe my children's summer camp crafting gave me the crafting bug. 

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I can be crafty but I also want it to take barely any time and look perfect upon completion, which is a tall order. Luckily, I stumbled my way through figuring out how to make a giant dreamcatcher for Ilana's bedroom for about $50 in materials and 2-2.5 hours. Not too bad. Its much girlier than I would want it to be. We had to compromise.  She wanted more color and more sparkle. I wanted to take a less is more approach. Since I was making it, I won with a simple crochet version and just a touch of glittery flair. 

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A few materials: hoola hoop, doily, white cotton twine, ribbons, beads, and fabric glue and scissors. I went for bohemian type beads - god's eyes and crystals. Ilana chose the irridescent ball beads. I started by wrapping simple white 1" wide ribbon around the hoop to cover the pink plastic.

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Once the hoop was covered I centered a large white doily on the floor and loosely threaded it with the white twine between the outer edges of the doily and the hoop, back and forth, until I had completed the circle. I then tightened the twine so the doily was still centered and wrapped a knot around the hoop. I added another round of twine pulled tight so that the surface of the doily was taut. I could have probably gotten away with one round but I wanted it to be strong. Once I was confident the doily was secure and the twine wouldn't unravel, I started decorating. Ribbons, beads, etc. I was a little disappointed with the ribbon. I had bought 4 spools in 9 yd lengths and it barely made a dent. Ilana likes it that way so its cool. I can always add more in the future. I was also pretty strict about beads. I didn't want too much to weigh the doily down and make it slump. I used just a few super special ones. I can add more strands of beads in place of ribbons in the future as well. In general, Ilana is ecstatic and my crafting itch has been scratched for a while. Give it a try. I would add leather strands, feathers, crystals, and wood beads if it wasn't going in a little girl's room.

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An Eastside Kitchen Remodel

I just wrapped up a hardy remodel in Los Feliz and I couldn't be happier with the results. They say "Westside pretty and Eastside gritty" but I would tend to disagree when it comes to this Los Feliz home right near Griffith Park. The house was flipped quickly (you see that a lot in LA) and done in a way that was somewhat pleasing to the eye, but not at all what my clients were into. They called me because they totally got my style and I appreciated their savvy when it came to the design and remodel process. They were exacting, but also very sweet and easy to work with. It felt like a real team. All the photos are now in my portfolio and I will break them down by rooms, but for now I wanted to tackle the kitchen which I am really proud of.

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Let's start with the before staged MLS photos. It really wasn't that bad but it wasn't my cuppa tea. The flippers had opted to reuse the existing cabinetry layout and paint over what was there. They thought if they dressed it up with new counter tops, OK hardware, and so so appliances people would like it enough. It felt oddly crowded and empty at the same time with the peninsula where it was and the large range and hood obstructing the view into the kitchen.

We played around with Ikea cabinets versus custom cabinets more due to time restraints than budget. But the cabinet maker said he could do it in 4 weeks so we went for custom because of all the weird angles and because that's what we really wanted. The first thing I wanted to do was get rid of the peninsula and use the wasted space in the middle of the large kitchen to install an island. 

I knew I wanted to accomplish a few things to make this kitchen feel contemporary and of forward thinking: 1) integrated fridge and dishwasher, open shelves, drywall hood, and waterfall edges on the island. My clients totally got it and were eager to get it done.

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As you can see the real life photos are way more interesting that the Sketchup renderings even though all the major components are there. Part of what brings it to life are the details. A mix of brass finger pulls and matte black appliance pulls, the repeat of brass and black with the faucet and added sconces, vertical staggered backsplash field tile to give it a different twist, and that runner. Note that the blues in the runner coordinate with the blue of the front island panel that is the same color as their front door is painted. 

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Opening up the entry into the kitchen was the best thing that could happen. It gave room to breathe in the breakfast nook. More black and brass and walnut wood, thank you very much. And it allowed the island seating to feel different than the table seating.

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I think I would literally kill for this to be my kitchen. Thankfully, the sweetest guys are enjoying it very much and I am happy about that. 

Student Rental Staging

I have been working with the talented development duo behind Southern California Student Housing for years now. The latest little project I wrapped up for them was the staging of a studio student rental near USC. The idea was to show the students (and their parents) how they may live in the newly renovated units. Where furniture can go, how they can decorate it. I pulled together an inexpensive and slightly bohemian assortment of big box furnishings and thrifted decoration, something a savvy student may be able to collect on their own. Everything was from Wayfair, Overstock, Target, and Urban Outfitters. Its fantastic how many happy fun items are out there now for people on a student/new grad budget. It may not be the sturdiest quality but its better than hand me down mismatched pieces that could leave an overstressed student feeling blue. This stuff is light years away from any resources I had back then...not that I would have had a clue how to put it together anyway.

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Splitting the studio up into specific activity regions is key to making it feel more spacious. Sleeping quarters are tucked behind the kitchen wall for semi privacy and located right next to the sofa area for an en suite feel.

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The sofa is a smaller loveseat with attractive side tables from Target and vintage bohemian textiles.

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A cute dining area with the midcentury inspired white table and black Windsor chairs are also from Target. Keeping the desk nearby white with a black task chair keeps the unit feeling consistent and not too busy. The color comes in by way of accessories, not furnishings.  

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Keeping the bed near the window has always been important to me. Natural light is key to keeping students' wacky schedules somewhat normalized. Its a simple platform bed but layers of texture and a fabric wall hanging are an inexpensive way to make the bed's scale look more impressive.

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The African mudcloth and wall hanging black and white scheme are in step with the furnishings in the main room and softened by indigos and faded vintage patterns.

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A simple go cart desk from CB2 is styled to perfection with interesting thrift store finds. And a cute rattan mirror from Target. 

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Even though this nook may end up being the area of a second bed (because most students end up sharing the suite) its nice to show an informal dining nook to eat civilized meals at and socialize with friends.

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The bathroom is clean and minimal. Black and white accessories make the most sense here. 

Sneak Peeks of Hollywood Hills

I won't say much, I just had to share these teaser shots Phoebe took while she was helping me style everything the night before the professional shoot. 4 hours later, she was able to steal a few mostly exterior shots before the sun set and they are lovely. Many many more cool, calm, and collected spaces to share post edit. This is your California dreaming dream house. This is my dream house. This house broke the mold. Happy weekending.

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