When we moved into our new house, I immediately saw the potential in a strange, open area underneath our staircase. The front hall of our house, as with most homes, is a high-traffic area with most of its occupants carrying keys, purses, phones and immediately kicking off their shoes. We had a cabinet maker help us create a chic storage area complete with white wooden paneling working its way up the wall to meet the curving staircase. Now all of our shoes fit nicely into the lower cubbies, the diaper bags, purses and hats are behind cabinet doors, and I’ve also bought a big tray for all those “I’ve just walked into the house” sundries. Now, no one in our home has an excuse if they cannot find the keys.
I stumbled across these alphabet cards when I was decorating my girls room and became officially obsessed with Ida Pearle’s work. I love the flat graphics balanced against the touches of pattern. Luckily, I’m not the only one in my house as enamored – there have been many a night when bedtime is pushed back by half an hour or so, because we just can’t decide which is our favorite “letter” that evening.
I recently came across this amazing home featured in the NY Times. It’s owned by the founder of the lighting and housewares company Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. The house is beautiful and such an inspiration for my own home design. I’m thinking of getting some of those fabulous sconces shown below in yellow and red.
photo credit: nytimes.com
Once in awhile, it’s always fun to take a break from “homelife” and head out for an afternoon with the ladies. Eight of us recently spent some time meandering a few blocks in Sebastopol called “The Barlow”. Located in an old apple cannery, it’s a beautiful street of galleries, restaurants, wineries, breweries, boutiques, even a distillery – all owned by local artisans. Each spot was more charming than the next and I was completely blown away by the design and branding of each spot – complete eye candy for me!
My family and I were up in Healdsburg this weekend and we stumbled upon Noble Folk – a dessert nirvana for pie and ice cream lovers. Their sweet and simple branding had me at hello, but their super original flavors and combos (rosemary ice cream topped with pistachios and marigolds!) really sealed the deal. We came home with a blueberry and blackberry pie but you can bet that I’m going back for the strawberry balsamic next time.
Visit Noble Folk HERE
My daughter picked “scarlet runners” in her school garden today – my reminder that fabulous colors don’t only exist in a Pantone book.
My mom, Barbara, known as “B” to the kids, went through each of our Women Who Inspire interviews (read the wonderful interviews HERE) and bought all of the recommended children’s books for our vacation last month. She read a different book each night to her grandchildren. They loved all of them! You’re the best, B!
The Dot by Peter Reynolds
Fireboat by Maira Kalman
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
Back-to-school for us means school uniforms. I truly adore them! Perfectly simple each day – and I always love to see the personal touches that emerge as the year goes on…
I’ve been with my family on Nantucket for a few days and took the cousins on an Insect Walk. They were given a map and some butterfly nets and sent off to collect bugs. The guides helped the kids place their findings in clear containers to observe and learn about the different creatures they found. The kids (and the adults!) had a blast.
My parents had their 50th wedding anniversary this year and we celebrated with a family shindig at the beach in South Carolina. Of course, no shindig is quite complete without some proper branding, so I whipped up a logo to commemorate this special event. Fifty years of marriage was also marked by 50 years of living and travelling around the world (my dad worked for USAID), so I wanted to bring those elements all together. Here’s a peak at the logo in action (t-shirts and placemats).
My mother has always loved arranging flowers and it was so nice to be around at a young age. Recently, I’ve been sharing this tradition with my own daughter. I love that creative time with her – combining colors and textures to create bouquets for our home and for our friends.
I snapped a quick picture of our shadows one late afternoon when I was walking into town with my family. I brought it into photoshop, fiddled with a few details, and then sent it to a place where they transfer them onto canvas into any size you want. It was so easy!
I’m dreaming about my upcoming vacation to Nantucket and cannot wait to visit one of my favorite spots on the island – Cisco Brewers.
I took my girls to the Marin County Fair over the July 4th holiday. I loved seeing the visual cacophony of the carnival. It was a feast of crazy color and design!
Everytime I am in the wine country, I insist on taking a detour to Healdsburg to visit SHED. Just off the main square, it’s a beautifully designed building with a warm yet industrial feel. I love going for lunch and a glass of local wine, but I also love wandering around the space, tasting and admiring everything from the homemade vinegars to the gorgeous housewares and books to the array of gardening tools and supplies.
At the Sonoma Farmer’s Market last Friday, I met “The bejkr” – The baker. He has a mobile bread oven and makes the most delicious bread around.
He had me at first nibble, but what really roped me in was his design. He brands his bread! He lays a stencil (of his logo, a pattern, a message, etc.) over a loaf, sprinkles flour over the stencil, and into the oven it goes. Whatever has been covered by the stencil comes out lighter than the rest of the loaf. It’s fantastic.
Wrapped in butcher paper and tied with string, my warm-from-the-oven loaf felt like a little work of art. A scrumptious one at that.
I love to pop into the Glassybaby store on Sacramento Street in San Francisco to see the hot new colors. These handblown vessels are great as votives, vases, drinking glasses, or simply as a lovely design accent. I just recently bought Hudson, Thank You, and Frog Hunting, and love them together on my shelf. They come in every color imaginable – see for yourself HERE.
Glassybaby is very inspired by giving as well. A portion of the proceeds from every purchase goes directly to cancer research and other fantastic organizations that support people in need of help and healing. You can read more about their giving history and partners HERE.
I love supporting good design and good causes.
The day was cold and cloudy, but it was a tropical wonderland inside the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. The structure is so cool (look at the floor detail!) and the flowers are an explosion of crazy shapes and textures.
The room I had the most fun decorating in my new home was the attic which we turned into a playroom for my young daughter. With it’s slanted ceilings, small nooks, and playful porthole windows, the room just needed some carpeting and a splash of color to create a warm and inviting space for kids.
We started with trundle daybeds which sleep four. This comes in handy with all our friends and family who love visiting the Bay Area. We added a few bookshelves and tons of bins, boxes and drawers to store all of the toys. And finally, a little coloring station in a nice sunny spot in the corner for all of Sabine’s drawing and craft projects.
I limited the palette to primarily pinks and oranges, which helped give the spacious room a warm and cohesive look and feel, but it was fun to add a few more splashes of color with some hanging paper mobile garlands of birds, butterflies, and flowers.
Kurt and I popped into the HEATH store in Potrero last Saturday night, pre-dinner. My mouth fell open when I saw this Ottoman by Olli. It’s at the top of my wishlist… I can dream.