Thursday, July 31, 2008

My New Fav Item @ SITE

After much deliberation and just plain stalling on my part...SITE now has a bath and body section!!! Who doesn't want to be surrounded my luxe products that make everyday just a bit more special? Deciding to be a 'design' shop rather than a 'home furnishings' shop really allowed me to expand my focus, while still remaining consistent with the quality, uniqueness, and design of all items we sell.

My new obsession:

These amazing Spanish balms are packed in the same tins that the pharmacia in Madrid has been using since 1898!! I love their graphic punch, and really sweet look! Just in at SITE....

New Calendar

A clever concept....a calendar based on the bloom times for specific plants! Here's one for Em....California Seasonal Fruits

via lena's blog

Monday, July 28, 2008

Inspiration: Sea Ranch

This past weekend I stayed in a cottage in Sea Ranch, CA that was built in 1968.
The area is known for its architecture as well as stunning topography. Here is a view of the front entry. While this house was very unique, it is a great example of the building style of the area. Very few homes were stained or painted and instead were grey like this one.

I love succulents, they have are so much like sculpture. The house had a succulent garden inside the gates that was there long before Flora Grubb.

In the entry owl hooks were hung for hats and coats.

The inside was filled with skylights and transom windows.

Because it is a family vacation home instead of a rental, there were all sorts of artifacts the family had collected over the years to discover.

Here is the back other locations the stark linearity of the structures would make them stand out, but in this landscape they recede into the landscape somehow, their jagged edges feeling more like ancient rocks than like modern design.

Generations of family photos were mounted on driftwood and hung throughout.

The large fish was my favorite part of the interior.

Shelves hold shells, model ships and a library about the area.

The Master Bedroom was papered in grasscloth, with an assortment of poppy paintings and photographs clustered above the bed. (It is the California state flower!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why I Love Jonathan Adler

Truly one of the pioneers of Hollywood Glamor, Jonathan Adler has long been on my design radar. Generally his palm beachy, happy-go-lucky, junk shop chic is just a little left of center for me, but I always manage to find a few amazing things anytime I peruse his shop. His latest collections and new COM friendly upholstery options make me happy and optimistic for future endeavors. Classical warrior bust lamp? J'adore. Needlepoint pillow with belt motif? Yes! More here.

Lawn Furniture

This morning's house conversation: What kind of lawn furniture should we have?

If we were strictly sticking to the "cabin theme" one would get the crappy folding chairs with plaid strips of plastic-filled polyfiber something something that also helped win WWII. Fits in theme, but not very comfortable. After tooling around this wonderful thing called the Internet we discovered the retro metal chairs, only updated, recreated by Torrans Manufacturing Company of Jefferson, Texas.

This look is now filed in the "maybe" otherwise known in Mac and Sarah terms as: "I'm listening...." portion of our look book. Any other "vintage" inspired outdoor solutions? I'm all ears!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The House Buying Process

Ever experience Déjà vu?

Ever experience Déjà vu?

As my partner and I move closer and closer to our house buying close we begin to waiver back and forth on our decision. Is it right for us? Do we really like the neighborhood? Is the commute okay? Is it too small?

Is it too small?

In the house-buying world this seems to be the most important question: “how many square feet?” Is like a status symbol, an extension of the proverbial phallus – if your house is big, and in a super desired neighborhood, you must obviously be very successful. Although I do somewhat buy into this concept, I must also turn around and ask all these people why they require so much space? In the world of “green” living we observe the most openly “green” individuals to be those who tend to have a lot of money. Why else would Whole Foods market, Trader Joe’s, and New Seasons be placed in upscale neighborhoods and not the low income housing areas?

Maybe I feel inadequate, which in turn necessitates the need to defend my house buying purchase; or maybe my partner and I just simply don’t buy into the commercialism of owning “stuff,” as George Carlin (R.I.P.) so aptly points out.

So we have consciously decided upon not living beyond our means, and more importantly perhaps, not living in a gigantic house which will simply be filled with “stuff” – after all, it is only logical to assume that an empty room will either a) be filled with packed boxfuls of junk or b) be filled with unpacked “arranged” boxfuls of junk. Our space will necessitate the simplest needs and as such our design solutions will be very creative. And since this is a design blog and you are most likely tired of reading (or have already stopped reading by now), I will fill this space with our design look book.

Currently we are figuring out solutions for an extremely long space. Our main living space is 10’ x 23’ - images below (DISCLAIMER: these are photos from the previous owners I DO NOT OWN CRAPPY HUGE LEATHER COUCHES):

<--- Left Side of Room Right Side of Room --->

Our design inspiration comes from the “cabin” theme. What if we modeled this after Airstream Trailers, which are also long, narrow, and compact? A quick look at Shady Dell’s website has given us our first idea – a built in table and bench.

We have quite the long road to go, but so far we are moving on our way. Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


How a lampshade gets made in Brooklyn, NY and installed in Santa Rosa, CA. A great read at Poppytalk.

em- you have to go check out this little bit of NY in your 'hood!!! Report back!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Day in the life


I wake up late. Way late. My alarm didn’t go off and I was up late planning my 30th birthday party in November with Marina and Trixie via telephone. Oops! I already have lots of calls and texts from my contractor and partners in crime. Quick coffee and shower. I return the contractors phone calls- it appears we’ll have to drop the ceiling in the bathroom after all, which of course means I’ll have to tell the client he needs more money. Ick, never pleasant. Get an email I've been quoted in the paper in a story about small business in this current economy. Quick make sure I've not said anything stupid.

By now its 11am and I’m totally late to get Ivona for our day of shopping for our stores. I make a quick stop for a giant diet coke (I know, for shame…) and we’re headed for a day of antiquing. We plug in our first destination into the trusty GPS and we’re off!! I’m so into conversation that I miss the turn. We’re replug in the address but notice a great antiques barn with mid-century chairs out front- U TURN!!! Before I know it I’ve already picked up an amazing deco mirror and art prints for the store.

We shop for hours and by 2 we’re starving. We find the most amazing little retro diner, fuel up on long over do breakfast food (ok, and a kids size mac and cheese between us- shh don’t tell) and are back to shopping. The next few stops yield nothing but $1,200 fauteuils and over priced garden furniture. Blah.

Score! I find an amazing set of Danish chairs that need a little TLC- note to self order some of that amazing restoration wax you saw on Domino. Ivona scores some great pieces including a totally 80’s handbag she decides to keep for herself. We pull up to our last stop of the day- I’m hesitant, it looks shady. Before I know it we’re playing Passat Tetris- the new steamer trunk and Danish Chairs don’t seem to want to fit. It’s a good 95 degrees even at 6pm, so this task seems overwhelming. Twenty minutes later everything is packed and ready to go. We stop for gas, $4.59 a gallon, ouch!

As usual we plan world domination on the way home. Its intoxicating to open a store, and it leaves us planning and scheming new ones….LoveSite? We unload and spy the owner of the café renovation. The new awnings are coming in soon so we discuss other aspects of design for the café- website, lighting, bathroom décor, etc. A few mojitos later I’m off to sleep. I fall asleep planning my Tuesday full of prepping our new vintage and creating a great new display.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Salsa BBQ

These are some shots from the Salsa BBQ at Martin Ray Winery this past weekend. When I first moved out here I worked in the Tasting Room there, so it is wonderful now to work with them styling events.

The simplest solutions are often the best ones. We experimented with glass cylinders full of fruit and low floral arrangements with cabbages and flowers but in the end liked green glass wine jugs as vases holding one friendly sunflower. The guests really enjoyed them, taking some of them home after the party.

There was a live salsa band, so we wanted a dynamic arrangement for the party. Picnic tables set with colorful bamboo place mats and party lanterns were placed right near the dance floor.

Closer to the Tasting Room we placed clusters of round dining tables with brightly colored cloths.
In addition to pouring bottles and bottles of Martin Ray and Angeline reds and whites, we offered tastes directly from the barrel of a reserve Cabernet that will not be bottled until next year.

It is against the law to have a winery event and not serve / decorate with grapes. ;)

Our hostess, Wendi, who runs the Tasting Room and Legacy Club, sets out snacks. It is hard to see, but we used lovely Indian table cloths for all the food tables.

Another shot of the tables.

Party goers before the dancing started.

Drinking wine does actually cause the heavens to shine beams of light on you.

Here I am with Wendi and Tiffany from Martin Ray Winery.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Perhaps some of you are totally over birdcages and that whole aesthetic, but not me. I'm totally digging these unusual but easy cage moments!

an oldie, but goodie....BKLYN's Klein Reid Cage Print. I saw some of their work last night at the Cooper Hewitt Friday Cocktails and was reminded all over again how great their work is...

Can't go wrong with the Conran Shop when you can afford it...

These might be a little more "whimsical" than I normally tolerate, but think they'd be great in a kids room (and everything is better in threes!!)....

Friday, July 18, 2008


I guess I'm just that kinda girl; I really love these new retro inspired motivational posters. I might start a little gallery in the kitchen. Let's face it, who couldn't use some good old fashioned ass kicking from time to time? Better in poster form....

via Orange Beautiful

Thursday, July 17, 2008


My love affair with a great floor plans started my first week of design school in Basic Drafting, where as fate would have it, I met Emily. Those first weeks of school were a crash course: window sashes are drawn this way, wall thickness is shaded just so, doors are drawn in this fashion. Countless hours we spent alone pencils and vellum in hand. Of course these days I do 100% of my drawing in AutoCad (my second love) but my appreciation for blueprints and well laid out floor plans still remains (case in point, see SITE's logo at the right...)

When I saw these on Poppytalk, it was mad love at first sight. Serving trays + floor plans = YES. Fish's Eddy strikes again. Of course.