Worth Noting 05

Summer has been distracting to say the least. I don't feel that productive, more distracted, but that's by design I suppose. I have been mentally filing away ideas to put into action in a few weeks when the kids start the school year and I feel more focused. Here are some things that caught my attention of late.

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1) Super cool hose tour via Apartment Therapy. Check out their hidden speakeasy bar. 2) Lev and I have been talking about making our own dream catcher. They seem to be all the rage at the craft fairs and I think I can do it. Here is a tutorial. 3) I did a post for the Woodside Homes blog about how to use today's shades of the most tried and true interior paint colors. 4) I found this Conde Naste image very inspiring with all the time we have been spending at the beach this summer. Nature is just so darn gosh regal. 5) Amber Interiors did a bedroom styled 3 ways and each one was just too good not to drool over. 6) Speaking of bedrooms, gah gah over this dreamy transformation by Avenue Lifestyle. 7) The talented Holly Mueller has been honing her craft, especially in the area of macrame. Grab one of her beautiful hangings while you can before she becomes a superstar.  8) Ever wonder what all the symbols on Turkish kilim rugs could mean? What a handy little guide.

Staged Student Rental

Another SC Student Housing project completed - luxury rentals for students near USC. They just keep getting better and better as my clients are more daring in their design decisions. With my talented friend Amy Bartlam taking her gorgeous photos to truly capture the small space. The cool thing about this little studio is that I was charged with furnishing it too.  We thought it would be too tricky for a student to try to fit in everything they needed. The kitchens and bathrooms are actually well sized, and everything else happens in the main living area.

The sofa was limited to a 5' love seat and the ottomans double as both the coffee table and additional seating. There will be a custom Murphy Bed installed in the next few weeks that will provide a bed, a desk, and bookshelves. The CB2 wardrobe cabinet allows for more clothing storage.

Some more design notes: this was my first time using wood grain porcelain tile. I wanted one material throughout so as not to break up the different areas and make it feel bigger. This tile looks so much like wood up close its insane, yet much more durable in the long run.

I also wanted to try the oversized engineering print method to fill up the wall space. I have seen these selling at $50 price points for original art, to $25 for prints using your own photos. But you know what, I used a photo of palm trees I had taken in Palm Springs and uploaded it to the Staples website for about $7 for a large 36"x48" print. Done. 

I tried to strike a balance between laid back LA style to welcome the student to his/her new city and European minimalism. I hope the student moving in today love sit as much as I do.

Hancock Park Outdoor Living

Some projects are a complex endeavor that may span the course of a year or so. They are challenging and rewarding when you walk through the finished space. Others are short and sweet and super satisfying by quickly transforming a plain area and making your client smile. I had the pleasure of working with a cute young couple who just purchased a home in Hancock Park.  They were motivated to outfit their back yard with furniture so they can start using it as an outdoor living area and in anticipation of a Fourth of July party they will be hosting. It wouldn't be summer without a post about patios, right?

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We chose modern and neutral teak wood furniture for the lounge area, dining table, and chaise loungers. Then I had a little fun collecting vintage Mexican blankets, kilim pillows and a large beautiful kilim rug, a tie dye throw, and pottery for planting succulents in. The idea was to capture the relaxed feeling of a bohemian retreat in the Palm Springs desert or the Southwest in their own back yard. You may think these items are too nice for the outdoors, but the summers  are so dry with zero threat of rain and the textiles hardy enough that they will weather just fine.

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It was fun and easy and I am in love with the colorful results results.

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A Memorable Michigan Visit

We spent 9 days visiting Alec's family in Michigan and it was a very special trip this round due to my brother in law's second wedding! The lush green growth everywhere after a brutally harsh winter served as a sharp contrast to LA's mild and dry summers. Seeing aged barns, expansive lawns overgrown with clover and dandelions, rivers and brooks springing up, and daylight stretching to 9 PM through my children's eyes made me appreciate this magical time in the Midwest more than any other time. Let me walk you through the highlights. 

The kids are lucky enough to have grandparents who live in a charming 100 year old farmhouse in the town of Farmington. Its quiet and picturesque with a large yard, a leaning barn, and a nice little river and playground nearby. 

We were also hosted by my brother-in-law and spanking brand new sister-in-law at their amazing house. Clearly influenced by his parents' property, Will and Dana found another farmhouse dating to 1880's in the rural town of Dexter. This house is huge and newly renovated with modern amenities. And it sits on 5 acres of land.  The kids and their cousins had a grand time exploring the property, big enough for a chicken coop, gineau pig, dog, cat, bonfire pit, tire swing, hammock, play house, and baby goats in the near future.

The most perfect hammock ever: found from this Etsy seller

The most perfect hammock ever: found from this Etsy seller

What's great about Dexter is that it is quiet and rural, but only 10 minutes away from the very cosmopolitan collegetown of Anne Arbor. And do you want to know what's especially cool about this area? Crazy good thrifting. It seems that most people in this area are into traditional antiques so all the midcentury stuff I'm crazy about sits on the shelves marked at super low prices. Dana and Will know all the best spots so I had a fabulous time treasure hunting. The sad part is that I found so many great pieces on the large side and there was no way for me to transport them back to LA. I may rent a pod next time and fill it to capacity. I will look into it. 

Here is just a taste of what I had to leave behind. A fabulous MCM slat coffee table with tiled components that pulled out and unfolded to be their own mini TV tray tables. For only $175 at a "fancy" upscale consignment shop. The agony of NOT being able to buy this.

Here is just a taste of what I had to leave behind. A fabulous MCM slat coffee table with tiled components that pulled out and unfolded to be their own mini TV tray tables. For only $175 at a "fancy" upscale consignment shop. The agony of NOT being able to buy this.

The real reason we were there was for the most perfect country back yard wedding you could ever imagine. Will and Dana thought of every detail to host the wedding at their home. From renting a bounce house for the kiddies, to hanging fairy lights and lanterns in the trees, a giant Persian rug as the dance floor, and having my mother-in-law bake 6 pies to feed the guests gave the event an authentic upscale country feel.

An old door found on the property was used as the seating assignment decor. Brilliant.

An old door found on the property was used as the seating assignment decor. Brilliant.

Some guests ended up camping on the property so an antique hutch was outfitted as the washing station next to the port a potties.

Some guests ended up camping on the property so an antique hutch was outfitted as the washing station next to the port a potties.

Each table boasted a collection of mismatched vintage china, that matched by being the same color scheme. 

Each table boasted a collection of mismatched vintage china, that matched by being the same color scheme. 

These were just a few moments that show you how much thought and heart Dana and Will put into their wedding and home. I know they are going to have a wonderful life together based on what I witnessed and I feel really lucky to have been a part of it all. 

Worth Noting 04

We are off to Michigan for a week for a beautiful back yard wedding. I'l leave you with a few thoughts worth noting.


1) huaraches will be my new go to shoe for summer. so bohemian and comfortable.

2) obsessed with this outdoor lounge transformation via Smitten Studio. Her home is literally a few miles away from mine and I am super motivated to possess a back yard this cool one day.

3) another gorgeous back yard inspiration via Free People.

4) an unusually beautiful event flower display. Talk about thinking outside the box.

5) a cool hanging table DIY to try.

6) Not too shabby, Urban Outfitters, not too shabby at all for a woven rug.

7) The calm muted mood of this California home is just right. 

8) Amazing home tour, also a couple of miles away from me. I really must step up my game being in such close proximity to homes with a killer design sense.

9) One more house tour - a flip well done, finally. I have seen so much bad builder special beige awfulness its refreshing to see this masterpiece in Echo Park.

On Trend Tile

I have been fond of cement tile from afar for a long while. I love its geometric simplicity and muted tones. The motifs aren't printed on the surface. Rather they are instrinsic to the cement material. Whether you call it Cuban tile, Moroccan tile, or Encaustic cement tile there are a few companies that have been the go to sources for this timeless building material for a few years: Granada Tile, Cement Tile Shop, and Kismet Tile. I'm sure you will recognize some of these patterns from your favorite retail shops and restaurants.

In the last few weeks I have noticed the use of cement tile exploding for modern bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor patios on the interwebs. It is not cheap, but it is also a durable tile that packs a punch with its eyeful of sharp geometrics. Here  some of my favorite lately. 

1) 2148 Vestal Ave. 2) Nordic Design 3) Home Adore 4) Australian Interior Design Awards 5) Curbly 6) Home Adore 7) Apartment Therapy

Bathrooms are an obvious choice because their small square footage means you don't have to spend quite as much to get the effect you are after. These tiles look amazing with clean white subway tile too.

8) Kismet Tile 9) Granada Tile 10) Martha Stewart

As pavement for an outdoor patio area these are drop dead gorgeousness. The cement tile provides a nice indoor-outdoor connection if you install it through to the kitchen or entry as well. 

In general it offers Old World charm in a modern way. Win-win.

 

Playa Del Rey Living Room Update

A quick update: L really dug the bedroom design boards I put together yesterday. She loved the Labrador Blue centric room so much she decided to paint both girls' rooms in that blue and work from there. Goodbye pink flamingos. While we were choosing paint colors and generally upgrading her decor we also included the living room and here are my ideas for her.

More blue, I know, but L really loves her blue and that's all good in my book. All we really have to work with is the blue sofa sectional that we are keeping.

The blue sofa sectional and fig tree plants are keepers, everything else must go.

The blue sofa sectional and fig tree plants are keepers, everything else must go.

The Mexican iron scrollwork mirror and console are dead to me.

The Mexican iron scrollwork mirror and console are dead to me.

Let's paint the walls a serene silvery white. This will continue to the dining room, kitchen, and hall. Create a framed photo gallery wall where the mirror was. With a rustic modern console table below that. We can dress up the sofa with pretty indigo batik throw pillows, a cow hide rug underfoot (L was intrigued and it will go with her current rustic Spanish Colonial vibe), and some more small tables/stools for lack of a coffee table. Better, right?