Leo’s Oyster Bar

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I’ve been a bit more of a minimalist lately, whether it be my personal surroundings or wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have a soft spot in my heart for some design to the max. Leo’s Oyster Bar in SF’s Financial District (just two doors down from one of my favorite restaurants Wayfare Tavern) is an amazing mix of midcentury retro glamour design. This gorgeous, tropical oasis is making me crave some oysters (and I don’t even really eat oysters ;p)…

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Images via here

Coffee Shop Inspiration

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There’s a fun consulting project I’ve been working on located in Sintra, Portugal. My clients are a couple who are opening up a small coffee shop that will be connected to a new museum that is opening up in the Spring. Being one that loves coffee and design, this project has kinda been ideal. Will keep you posted on the progress. But first, coffee…and some inspo.

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Images via here

Photo Diary: Los Alamos

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I recently took a trip to Los Alamos, a small town just an hour and a half north of Ojai. It had been on my list to make the short trek up to this area for quite some time and I finally blocked out some days to do it. Los Alamos has one main street and there a just a few restaurants and small establishments located on said street, including the Alamo Motel, a cute little lodge belonging to the Shelter Social Club family.

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The fam and I checked in to the Alamo and we got straight to eating. For such a small town, there are some legit places to fill your belly. You know how much I love food, and I’ve missed the SF food scene so much, so this trip was real a treat.

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In this order, I had lunch at Bell Street Farm, a little wine tasting at Casa Dumetz, dinner at Full of Life Flatbread, and breakfast the next day at Bob’s Well Bread Bakery. EVERYTHING was delicious.

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There’s some great antique-ing to be had, but because I’m on the long road of becoming a minimalist, I only went home with an amazing pepper mill and ice pick (yes, surpisingly I’ve been needing one).

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This little town is definitely worth a trip. Word on the street is a few more restaurants are opening soon, so I’ll for sure be planning another eating-fest.

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Wanderlust: Café Pinson

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A case of the Mondays is pretty much equivalent to a case of wanderlust and I would absolutely love to be in this little Parisian cafe right about now. Café Pinson mixes print seating with bold color, but it all remains brilliantly understated because of the use of natural materials and natural light.

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The teal built-ins and door ensure that I will never tire of this deep, rich color.

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The wood counters are in perfect contrast with the rustic tile.

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This cushion-filled dining area is perfect for leisurely lunches at a relaxed pace.

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If you need me, I’ll be daydreaming of being right here…

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Images via Café Pinson

SF: Shop, Eat, See, Do

Things to do in San Francisco

Shop: Get your hands on some eco-friendly fashion at the Amour Vert sample sale this weekend.

Eat: The new Sightglass in the Mission is a beaut, and you’ll be graced with a delightful display of pastries and small bites upon entry.

See: Major girl crushing on Annie Clark is going to be happening this Saturday at the Fox Theatre as St. Vincent is set to perform.

Do: Vintage Fashion Expo is always fun to check out, even if you’re just ‘window’ shopping, but it’s doubtful you’ll walk away empty handed.

Frosted Cupcakery Revamp

If you live in Southern California, you for sure have to have heard of Frosted Cupcakery because they are pretty much the best cupcakes ever. If you haven’t checked them out, I suggest you hurry up and do so (and you can thank me later). Their Long Beach location has been in business for quite some time and because of all the traffic, their seating area was starting to show a lot of wear and tear (literally).

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Stacia, the owner, asked me to revamp their seating area and so we decided that we would do a banquette with a slight wing on the ends to give it some dimension, finished with a single row of button tufting. We used a contract grade vinyl for durability in a nectarine orange shade. Stacia did raise the question of ‘is it too much orange?’, but I felt that it would brighten up the space, complement the mural and the light blue walls. We also replaced the existing chairs with a few classic white Tolix chairs. I love how the revamp turned out.

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Photos by Laure Joliet

SF: Shop, Eat, See, Do

Things to do in San Francisco

Shop: Pretty Penny has come to this side of the bay. You no longer have to make the trip to Oakland for their vintage goods.

Eat: Check out Hard Knox Cafe in the Dogpatch for some good ol’ southern food.

See: The Grand Budapest Hotel is a guaranteed delightful visual experience.

Do: Enjoy the amazing weather and catch some rays just across the Golden Gate bridge at Rodeo Beach.

Restaurant Manger

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Although I’ve made a pretty good effort of eating my way through SF, there is still a never-ending list of restaurants I’ve yet to visit in the Bay Area. Even still, I can’t help but think of far and away places I’d love to travel to. Travel has been (and always will be) my biggest inspiration for design and life in general, and when there are restaurants in the world like Manger you can see why. This modern, sleek and beautifully designed establishment is in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. The minimalist dining room of Manger’s modern take on the French bistro is enhanced by greenery, a muted color palette and an open floor plan with exposed kitchen. The food looks just as beautiful…as if I needed another reason to get myself back to Paris…

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Images via here

Jackson Hole, WY

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When flying into Jackson Hole, you’re immediately greeted by the Grand Tetons as soon as you step off the plane. Breathing in the fresh, cold mountain air, I knew it was going to be a good trip and the perfect place to ring in the new year.

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I started the first day with a delish breakfast at Pearl Street Bagels.

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Then tramsped around town and did a little shopping, which included a stop at the Pendleton store.

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Not too long after that bagel, I was hungry again (what’s new?) so I made a stop at Persephone Bakery for something warm and filling. This bakery is cozy and so cute, serving Intelligentsia coffee and the best baked goods. I came back almost every day while in Jackson.

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More exploring around the town square and of course I had to pop into a few home shops, including Twenty Two Home.

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One of the days, I took a winter sleigh ride at the National Elk Refuge. I could almost touch these beautiful creatures.

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There was lots of touristing, relaxing and reading that went on, and the best way to end the trip was at Solitude Spa. I literally spent an entire day there which ended with a soak in the rooftop hot tub.

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Jackson Hole was the perfect setting to wind down, reflect on 2013 and reset for this upcoming year.

Chimichanga

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If you grew up in Southern California, you probably know about chimichangas. If you didn’t, then let me just tell you a chimichanga is deep fried goodness, as if the burrito was not good enough as is. Chimichanga is also a Mexican restaurant with locations throughout the UK. I would equate it to something like our El Torito, but with wayyyyy more fun design. Don’t you agree?

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Images via here

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