Home Progress: Living Room

The living room was one of the first areas that got the most attention because this is truly where the fam hangs out the most. There is an amazing tree (either a tipu or jacaranda, I’m terrible with tree species) right outside the large windows that provides shade (crucial in the hotter months), some privacy, and the best shadow patterns. The layout of this room was similar to my San Francisco apartment’s living room, so I placed all the major furniture pieces in the same manner.

The sofa went in front of the window, bookcases flanked the fireplace with the tv placed along the long wall. I originally had a rectangular, ornate gilded mirror above my old fireplace, but that style just didn’t feel right in this house. I replaced it with a simple framed round mirror and it was amazing how much lighter the space felt with just that simple change.

My bookshelves are not styled and I’ve since purchased a new rug, but this space is pretty much where it’s at. I swapped out the live edge coffee table I’ve had for years with a vintage, round table which filled the space appropriately. I’m still in search of a new piece for the turntable and record player and I’m trying to restrain myself from adding any other pattern besides the rug. The living room is just the right amount of cozy and it’s really starting to feel like home sweet rental home.

Rodarte for The Rug Company

Rodarte for The Rug Company (1)

Rodarte for The Rug Company (2)

Rodarte for The Rug Company (3)

Rodarte for The Rug Company (4)

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Images via The Rug Company

Color Study

interior design color scheme palette

image via here

Lady Loft Project

feminine modern loft interior design

I’ve been working on a great project with a very great client and I can’t wait to see this space completed. The space is a modern loft in LA and we’ve been focusing on the living room and dining room, which is essentially the same space. It was a challenge to give the two spaces their distinct looks while making sure they marry well, but I think we’re close. Here’s a look at the major components of the design…a bit of vintage and a bit of modern mixed with a touch of Oriental flair.

5 Tips for Designing a Timeless Nursery

Timeless Nursery (2)

Nurseries have come such a long way from the traditional blue-for-boy and pink-for-girl baby rooms and although I’m all for gender specific design, what I’m not a huge fan of is designing a space that becomes too baby-ish too soon. Here are just a few tips to help you create a nursery that will grow with your child.

1. Think in terms of long haul when choosing furniture. If you purchase a chair only for nursing, you’re only going to use it when you’re nursing. Choose something that works for now and in the future.

Timeless Nursery (1)

2. Don’t buy an expensive crib. The longest your babe will be in the crib is about 2 years (??), maybe even less, so spend your dollars elsewhere in the space.

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3. Do invest in a dresser. A dresser will work as your changing table and provide storage. A piece of furniture that does double duty has the ability to morph into something else somewhere else in the home if needed.

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4. Don’t delve too heavily into a theme and do pick colors that aren’t too juvenile. If you absolutely must have a “Frozen” themed room (I’ve never even seen the movie), do it in a way that the theme carries across in items that can easily be switched out, think pillows and accessories.

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5. Don’t go crazy with baby products. I have a feeling I’ll have to take my own advice on this when my time comes around. You most likely don’t have the space and you probably don’t need all that extra stuff. Keep to the baby essentials.

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Images via here

Home Progress: Front Porch

I’ve been super motivated to get my home sweet rental home “finished” because Spring is just around the corner. I know lots of people who rent their homes and there’s always that feeling of “well, I don’t know how long I’ll actually be here” and then five years go by and they’ve lost all that time to live in a home-y space. I’ve also had a handful of clients that were waiting for the right property to buy and they end up in their rentals for years before they finally realize that even though their home is a rental, it deserves some attention. Of course, I would tell you to use your best judgement on where you should spend your hard earned money and do what you can when you can, but I promise you in the end, you’ll be so glad you put some effort into your home because I am true believer that your home heals you when you put some thought into it.

So, welcome to my front porch. My house has that ranch-y curb appeal and I didn’t want to do anything that was a total departure from the 50s ranch style. I knew I wanted some sort of seating situation and some potted plants to warm up the space. I also needed some pots to help block the possible deathly drop on either side of the step. This being where I live, I’m totally aware of the drop, but let’s just say there were a few kids around Halloween that were trick-or-treating that weren’t aware of it (thankfully everyone was fine).

I’m usually a collector and mixer of things, but this house seems to call for more simplicity. For a more uniform look, I used all terra cotta pots in different shapes and sizes and filled the existing chocolate pot with succulents. I potted a bunch of lavender because I’m really trying to keep the Ojai vibes going strong and I just can’t get enough of the smell.

I purchased the bench at an antique store and accessorized with some goodies from Target.


Ilse Crawford Sinnerlig Collection for Ikea

Ilse Crawford Sinnerlig Collection for Ikea (1)

Ikea has done it again and now we can only hope that we’ll see some of this collection in the States. The DIY furniture giant has collaborated with London designer Ilse Crawford to launch the Sinnerlig collection which features natural materials with a neutral palette. There will be larger furniture pieces such as cork-covered tables and a daybed down to hand-blown glass bottles. Unveiled during Stockholm Design Week, the collection will be available at Ikea stores and online from August. Our fingers are crossed that this release includes the design hungry of the US of A. Cue the drool.

Ilse Crawford Sinnerlig Collection for Ikea (3)

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Ilse Crawford Sinnerlig Collection for Ikea (8)

Ilse Crawford Sinnerlig Collection for Ikea (9)

Images via here

Vintage Spaces

Before & After: Double Duty Nursery

It’s about that time in my life where I feel like so many women around me are having babies. It makes sense, they (and I) are of a ‘certain age’ and it’s been really wonderful to see my friends transition into parenthood. I do not currently have a little human of my own, but designing other people’s nurseries has been plenty of ‘baby’ in my life so far.

I’ve shared a few snippets of this nursery before, but I wanted to give you the full before and after tour. Seeing the ‘after’ is always great, but sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of what the ‘before’ was like to see the progress and complete transformation. You can see the design board here and below was the original inspiration.

The clients for this project were the owners of Tide & Pool so we knew the design direction was going to be beach-y, playful, modern and a space their baby could grow with. This nursery also needed to be gender neutral since the parents didn’t know the sex of their baby and it also needed to function as a guest room.

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I know you’ve heard it before, but paint can be so transformative! It’s the most cost effective thing you can do that has the most impact. Of course, you can hire someone to paint for you, but if you’re on a total budget, it’s something anyone can do themselves. So, we painted and removed the unsightly blinds.

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The nook behind the door was going to be wasted space until we decided to turn it into a reading corner.

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And obviously, there was a crib and changing table.

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We did a color block paint treatment on the walls and I seriously love how they turned out. The darker color on the bottom adds depth to the space without having to change anything architecturally.

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The blinds were replaced with reed shades and then flanked with some whimsical, tasseled panels.

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The daybed and dresser will do double-duty for many years.

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The reading nook turned out better than I hoped…this little one is going to be such a reader.

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I almost want to have my own baby just so I can design another nursery. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

Home Sweet Rental Home

It’s been almost five months since the fam and I moved into our home in Ojai. It was a stressful search and after seeing some really terrible properties, like waiting for Honey Boo Boo to come around the corner terrible, we came back around to this house. It’s a 50s ranch style home, cute curb appeal, cozy and good vibes on the inside, nice size yard (with nearly dead grass but great views of the mountains), and it’s very comfortable for our lifestyle. The kitchen is a bit meh and the bathrooms are straight from the 70s (and not in the good way), but I have to remind myself that it’s a rental and I’ll get to design my dream kitchen and bathroom one day. Ideally, we’ll start looking for a home to buy after one year here, we need to get a few ducks in a row first, but if we end up being here for a while, I’d be fine with that, too.

As soon as we moved in, we took off on our European adventure for a few weeks. When we returned to our new home, we returned to a sea of boxes, which I’m unclear how that was even possible since this house is so much larger than our SF apartment. The pre-move purge/garage sale had little affect. Anyone who has had to move, no matter how much stuff you have, knows it’s a total process. So, I’m going through the ‘process’.

Here’s the living room. I love the large windows that look out to the front yard and there’s a beautiful tipu tree that provides some privacy into the front room. The floors are original hardwood which is always a bonus.

The dining room is next to the living room and there’s a buffet to store all my serving ware (and I have a lot). Still thinking about what I want to do with the ledge. Pumpkins occupied the ledge for Halloween and Thanksgiving, which then transitioned to garland for Christmas. It’s currently empty and looking a little sad, but I have few ideas.

This bedroom was a tiny bit larger than the second bedroom, so it’s the master. I’m okay with the vertical linen blinds in the living room and dining room because they’re pretty neutral, but I knew these pink blinds had to go immediately.

This is the den and currently it’s my office. I did have a dedicated office space in SF, but I would have to walk down the hall for the printer, or go into the kitchen pantry for my samples and supplies. Now I get to have it all one place which I’m pretty excited about it.

Here’s the guest bedroom. Again, the vertical blinds need to go.

And here’s the backyard. Did I mention there are citrus trees?!? If there were only an avocado tree, I would be in guacamole heaven.

I’ll keep sharing updates, no major renovations, but there will definitely be some furniture shopping. Home sweet rental home.