Back to School: Student Housing Duplex

Just in time for the USC fall semester to commence, I wrapped up another project with SC Student Housing. This is a new construction duplex meant to be used as student housing rentals. What's great about the guys at SCSH is that I have been working with them as their sole designer on any new project since I launched Veneer, and there is a level of trust and communication there that is very special. Also because we are looking at rentals with a yearly turnover, the guys are cool with experimenting with new design ideas and materials. Why not? 

With that in mind, and continuing a certain branded look we have been developing for the past few years, I tried out walnut flat front cabinetry with black countertops and black walls for the kitchens. Intense yet handsome.

I took the location of the bar height counter where I imagine students will eat in, view TV, and work on laptops to do matte black Tom Dixon inspired pendant lights.  


And you will notice that I carried the black accents throughout the house, like painting the doors glossy black as well.


The other kitchen is almost a mirror image of the first kitchen, with the same design elements for consistency and fairness.


Things got a little crazy in the bathrooms. We were itching to try an idea where 3x6 mirror tiles would be installed amongst ceramic white subway tile and aggregate to create the vanity mirror. A few random mirror tiles would work their way into the shower stall to keep it interesting. Of course, the vanity would be a floating version of the kitchen cabinets. 


The mirror tile element was very specific and we only used it as the "show" element in the downstairs bathrooms. Upstairs we kept things simple for budget reasons but jazzed it up with dark purple paint.

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The bedrooms are simple as well and designed to allow 2 or even 3 occupants. They are large and on the upper floors have quirky little nooks and angled ceilings to add a lot of architectural interest to the plain almost monastic accommodations. What I think is the smartest thing we did was install wood grain porcelain floors throughout. From the kitchens, into the bedrooms, and even the bathrooms - they provide the look of wide plank white oak floors but with incredible durability and the continuity feels very high end.


Another cool property in the world of student housing has entered the scene. This is nothing like the sad drab student housing that you and I experienced. There is actually a second property I worked on concurrently that I will post photos of soon.

Playa Vista - Final Touches

I don't think I have really mentioned the Playa Vista project yet but I'm sure you have noticed some sneak peeks on my Instagram of how the rooms are coming together. Beautifully. The project is in the final week of installations now. I should probably tell you what its all about. I hope to professionally shoot it by the end of August and share the glamor shots then. The boards will give you a good idea of what to expect.

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There are actually a few more spaces than what you see here but you can get the sense of the luxe bohemian style we went for. Neutral layered textures with indigo and black accents. Touches  of brass and global textiles. The house is a new construction in the development of Playa Vista. Its a very nice house, but its was lacking in personality so my clients undertook the stressful task of swapping out brand new builder grade fixtures, tiles, and flooring with their own choices. Installing special wallpaper in key areas. And LOTS of custom built solutions throughout (Murphy bed, entry bench, mantel, dining banquet, shelving, and furnishings) to make it unique and special. Dreaming up the custom work and then watching it come to life was satisfying beyond belief. 

This weekend I will be styling up the finished work once all the furniture is in. Here are examples of the kind of accent objects purchased to spread throughout the house and compliment the larger scheme.

Out of respect to my clients I will not be sharing all of the sourcing details. But if you want to get a similar feel instantly on the smallest of scales, I did quickly put together some placemat and napkin choices for my clients to tie into the new scheme of her home. I will gladly share these sources. Literally any combination of placemat with napkin set with napkin rings will look beautiful. I can't decide which combo is the best one. 

Placemats: tassles/pocket/linen

Napkins: feathers/quill/indigo/dashes and moons/shibori/stripe

Napkin Rings: wood/brass

Noteworthy 11

Its almost August. Is it bad that I am counting down the weeks of summer vacation before school starts again and my routine returns? 3 more weeks of camp +1 last minute spontaneous vacation week in Austin. As much as I adore summer I will be glad to welcome fall and the start of the new school year. For now, we are still very much in summer mode with my list of noteworthy items.

1) The next time my ice cream cone starts dripping faster than I can consume it, I will attempt the drip art of Giulia Bernardelli, found via Honestly WTF. 2) The summer uniform 3) Of course Jenny Kayne has a summer retreat in Lake Tahoe and of course its as effortlessly chic as she is. 4) A sweet girly nursery by the founder of Lulu and Georgia. 5) I like the relaxed layout of this shared bedroom. It would make for a lot of giggling and closeness as well as open up play space. The rest of the home tour equally compelling.  6)  I must get myself down to Lost & Found shop in Santa Monica. I have driven by as well as browsed online and it looks magnificent from all fronts. I have run out of excuses to visit in person. When the kids are back in school, that will be my time.... 7) I am working on a long term development project that will be about 2 years from completion. We are in the architectural conceptualization phases. We have blocked out the spot for the pool and since then, its all my design brain focuses on when it comes to this house. This linear pool by TaC Studios is a good starting point. 8) Jessica Comingore has shared the photographs of her completed studio space and she nailed it. Its everything I would like to achieve for my future dream work space. 9) When my contractor frees up at the end of the summer, I would like him to come over and install an accent wall of shiplap in my living room. I think it will look cool, right? image via Schoolhouse Electric.

Easy Coffee Table DIY

I forgot to share this really easy DIY with you. I found a broken clock at the thrift store a few months ago. Missing number 2, non-functioning mechanism, bent arms. Overall it was a disater but the chunk of wood it was made of was a keeper.

I pryed off the cheapo brass guts and clock face and attached 4 hairpin legs to the underside of the table. And with that I have a new rustic live edge coffee table in the living room. 

Too easy. You can attempt this over the long holiday weekend. Happy Fourth of July people.

Noteworthy 10

You would probably be expecting a Father's Day centric post as we head off into this weekend, but I figured enough blogs were doing the shaving, bar lover, coffee lover, bbq themed gift guides. Instead, I will leave you with the usual round up of things that caught my eye recently.

1) A lady who loves rugs as much as I do, if not way way more. The rugmaker behind Aelfie and her fab live work space on Lonny. 2) a very simple paint diy for those rocks, er "crystals" my son brings home daily and I don't have the heart to throw out. 3) Presented as a plant guide, the styling here is the trifecta of modern boho: white painted floors, vintage rattan furniture, and indigo pillow. xoxo. 4)Yup, basically the most perfect summer shoe: clog meets color blocking. 5) Can you believe this gorgeous 600 sf space is actually a mobile home? In Paradise Cove, Malibu but still. Shot by my talented friend Amy Bartlam. 6) Midcentury and vintage done very well in Brentwood via Plastolux. 7) Mom jeans are back in? Are you kidding me?! 8) I found my dream house, this will be the inspiration for any future house I own. 9) Originality by way of a brilliant splatter ceiling.

Ilana's Bedroom - 2 ways

I found a neat little kilim that is both the perfect size for Ilana's room and the best feminine faded pastel colors. The problem with Ilana is that she cannot handle change. Not one item can be swapped out in her domaine. Clearly she was born to the wrong mom since both Alec and Lev know not to get too attached to any piece or arrangement in the house.


First I eased her into it by layering the rug she is used to over the "offending" kilim. I paired it with a sweet pastel kantha throw on her bed.


On the sly I replaced the shag rug with a sheepskin rug so the pattern of the kilim below can really shine.  But the floor maintains a soft feel underfoot. I tried out this supersoft peach and mint Mexican blanket (so 80s, what's not to love) on the bed.


End result - the trickery sort of worked. The kilim was suspiciously accepted. But that Mexican blanket I found in a crumpled pile in the hall. Hey, you can't win them all. I have to let her have her space.