Veneer Retreat Furnishings

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

The build out was complete and I had one beautiful blank canvas to bring furniture into and layer decor on. Who could ask for more than polished concrete floors and white walls. I had to be strategic about what I brought in with only 700 SF to work with. Each piece had to do its job and do it well, yet not be oversized.

I partnered with Room & Board for many of the furniture pieces. We worked together to show how their modern furnishings fit well in small space living. I came up with the scheme and they supported my design concepts by gifting me the items. It was a dream come true to work with brand on outfitting our desert home.


The timeless clean aesthetic speaks to me. A lot of their styles look like items I would have custom designed for my own client work. What was really important to me was having solid quality furniture in the house. I know there is a tendency to go with the quick easy flat pack products that can be shipped to the house and assembled there. They are inexpensive and you convince yourself that you don't want to spend a lot of money on furniture after spending so much on the remodel. I get that, but I also knew these furniture pieces had to be built tough to withstand the abuse of future Airbnb guests and time in general. I didn't want to have to replace a bed or a table every couple of years. The logistics of getting bulkier items hauled out of the house and new items in and assembled between guest visits is a headache I'm trying to save my future self. Not to mention the environmental load on landfills with "disposable" furniture. I'm a one and done kind of girl and I wanted to commit to furniture that would be in the house for decades. Which is along winded explanation of why I chose Room & Board. Sustainable sourcing, American made, solid wood construction were all huge selling points for me beyond the beautiful design. The furniture is in and its not going anywhere. Let me walk you through what I chose.

Originally there had been an unattractive granite topped island where the dining table is now. It divided the small space and only allowed for counter seating for two which seemed wasteful. Out it went and instead I wanted a beautiful wood table to gather around. I had been admiring the minimal from of the Corbett table with matching Corbett bench. In the lighter ash sand color, it was the perfect fit and look for the kitchen. Now we can comfortably seat 7 and squeeze in 8 in a pinch.

For contrast and to pick up the white with black accent scheme I described in the remodel scope, I paired the table with the Salter chairs in black on graphite base. The bentwood form and Eiffel style base reminds me of mid-century styling without being obvious.

Can we talk about the oversized lighting pendant? Another special piece that is made of laser cut and folded fabric. Its called the Orikata pendant and it reminded me of both Japanese origami and mid-century bubble lanterns. I went big because I knew it would be memorable to have one statement lighting piece and this one really captured my imagination. They come in many different sizes and shapes. I had seen them hanging clustered together in the showroom and was amazed.

Right next to the dining area is our cozy living area. I chose a leather sofa here bcs I knew leather wold be durable enough to withstand stains and friction from wear for years to come. It will only age better. The caramel color of the Hess leather sofa is a buttery warm hue that adds warmth and depth to the starker black and whites. If you look at the base of the sofa, the legs have the same Japanese zen vibes as the lantern and dining table and it all starts to connect subtly.

In the living room I brought in some walnut because I don't like matchy matchy everything. There is the massive Grove bookcase that is only 5' wide. Isn't that funny? It holds hours worth of thrift shopping for books and ceramics and extra bedding in the closed cabinets. Its not that big yet it takes up the whole wall and stores so much. The walnut wood feels more mid-century and works with the two-tone vintage Lane coffee table. There is also a walnut accent piece, the beautiful Dell side table/stool.

For decor I have very cool geometric pillows I co-designed with Kesslyr Dean and neutral vintage kilim pillows for texture. That insane organic shaped basket is also from Kesslyr Dean and the art from the LA artist Kristi Head. The idea was to bring in more organic shapes and desert hues to soften the black and white.

Isn't the rug EVERYTHING? Its the flat woven Palas rug and it sums up the desert cabin. It feels nomadic and tribal, yet also modern and minimal. I love it so so much. I actually had a different one in there first. I liked it in the showroom but when it showed up the cooler greens and blue tones felt off and I was sad. I was scared to ask for the swap but I figured it was worth the ask. Room & Board could not have been cooler. They have always been very cool about returns and exchanges on my client orders that I don't know why I thought it would be any different for this. They worked with me to do the swap and make sure I was 100% happy.

Moving into one of the two guest bedrooms we have a low platform Floyd Detroit bed. It sits low to the ground. The engineering behind it is very clever. Its flat packed and easy to move but quality construction that you would take it with you when you move, not send it to the dump. I like that depending on how many panels it has, it can be a twin, a queen, or a king bed. And grow with you as you progress through living situations. We have the queen version here which left about 14" on both sides. Enter the Room & Board Reclaimed Hourglass Wood Stools as the space saving bedside tables at 11" diameter.

Across from the table we have a little dresser. I did not want it to match the bed so I chose the charcoal stain on ash wood Hensley dresser on graphite base with black hardware for an architectural look. There were really so many choices for finishes to customize the piece to your home's finish scheme when the furniture is made to order. With a serious dresser, I wanted to add a little humor and brought in a cactus shaped hamper (for storing extra blankets). A large vintage rug with rusty tones adds the warmth and life to this guest bedroom room along with the nature photography prints.


There is another small bedroom off the kitchen with a queen bed. In this bedroom I placed the Anton bed in the charcoal stain. That way I technically have a matching set with the Hensley dresser, but I didn't put them in the same room to give the house a more collected feel. The Anton bed is SOLID. It has steel platform slats which I have never seen before have confidence can hold any weight person that stays in the house. The clean lines remind me of the dining table and sofa in the main room so there is a linear DNA that the main pieces share. I layered a cowhide rug over a vintage patchwork hemp rug for color and texture. You can't have a desert house without a cowhide rug, right?! I also like mixing the organic forms with the linear forms for layered balance.

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That wraps up the interior tour. It is small space living after all. Let me take you outside.

When you enter the house, you are greeted by a sweet duo of folding wood loungers. They are unfinished and will weather naturally in the sun.

In the back we built a wood deck to create a more formal outdoor living space. We have dining, lounging, and a bar area along with a fire table.

The main attraction is the Oasis modular outdoor sofa. I'm a huge fan of modular sofas and use them in my work all the time. An outdoor modular sofa is brilliant because you can build it exactly to your size needs. Its really comfortable, structured, and looks high end. It has Sunbrella flax fabric which is suited for outdoors BUT honestly, I would use this modular sofa indoors too in a family room or playroom where you want a more relaxed look with tough fabric. I added my own vintage kilim pillow covers for a little flavor. They will get sunbleached over time and wear perfectly.

To complete the lounge area we have two Penelope lounge chairs. The black color picks up the scheme I started in the house. The chairs are woven plastic on a steel base and I know they will last forever, even with the harsh desert conditions.



Lastly, we have a nice outdoor dining set up. The pretty Crescent table with the nifty interior curved detail on the powder-coated aluminum frame and weather proof top feels space agey and light, even though it is really quite heavy. And the equally playful Hoop chairs. The chairs are grey and the table top is taupe but they all feel like shades of warm desert hued greige that layer nicely with the modular sofa. I brought out vintage containers to dress the table when entertaining outside that add a little color and texture to the modern digs.

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I'm really ecstatic with how it all came together. A nice combination of modern well built pieces and vintage items for flare and texture. This was a project I poured my heart and soul into and was a little trepiditious of putting out there. With the help of Room & Board, I am proud of how it came together as something unique to the desert (not your typical "rustic" look) and high quality.

Natalie Myers

Veneer Designs

5535 Bedford Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90056

310.995.8108

natalie@veneerdesigns.com

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