Blue & White: Summer 2018

Blue & White: Summer 2018

Hi my loves… how are you? It’s been quite a month. The good news being that my son graduated from college this past week and is coming back to the Bay Area WITH. A. JOB.! I’m so super excited to have him back in California, proud that his hard work and success in business school paid off, but also, like all of my kids’ milestones, I’m a little weepy about the significance of next steps and new chapters…

On the opposite end of things, my grandfather passed away a couple of weeks ago… I was so fortunate to have flown back to spend time with them a week prior. I know we hear this all the time, but honestly, it’s so true and worth repeating —  how quickly something can happen. So cherish the ones you love. 

xo

s

Like no other color, blue has an ability to resonate and stir emotion. It represents the sky and sea, and depending on the shade, blue is the color of fresh air, dusk, strength, spirit, soulfulness, sadness, joy and tranquility. I suppose that’s probably the reason this is the third post (the others are here and here) I’ve done on that color!

With summer coming, I’m drawn (in a huge way!) to the classic blue and white combination. In seasons past, a cream + black palette has been dominant, and while I love that too, I’m craving a fresh, bright, beachy vibe right about now. Here’s what I am loving. I hope you do too 🙂

beach cottage with white shiplap

The stripes and mixing of blues is what I like most about this space. The less match-y and careful, the better. Also worth noting, vertical (vs horizontal) panelling and on the ceiling too – cool and different – especially pared with the pale floors. This all looks to be original, but the same effect can be replicated.

modern white bedroom with antiques

I love the antique wood accents in this modern space and pops of color hung directly on the walls. Why not display jewelry like that?! I think I have a new design obsession forming…

white painted stairs with blue stripes down the center

High gloss porch paint. Stripes like vintage grain sack. No more words needed.

Side note* I painted the floors white in our house when we first moved in. They were hardwood, but stained a terrible color and a mixture of plank widths. They turned out really well and withstood kids, dogs and everything else for years. Moral of that story – if you don’t like your floors and they aren’t worth refinishing (or too much $) – paint them white!

summer bedding in neutrals

This bedding is all about texture. Worn-in and unironed linen, smooth cotton print pillow case anchored by a knit throw. The faded subtlety of these colors and textures just says summer to me.

half wall panelling in farmhouse bedroom

baskets made out of vintage blue striped fabric

I love to create storage in places and with things that are not always the intended purpose. Wish I knew how to find these amazing containers?! If anyone knows, let us know in the comments! I bet they have flip-flops inside.

I will have an aperol spritz, please.

all white modern farmhouse bathroom with blue patterned floor tile

Again, another example of the winning combo of an all white room + a natural wood element + blue. The first thought most of us have (me included) is, “will I get tired of this pattern and wish I had gone with a more neutral tile?” I think as long as the tile is in the blue family (or black/dark gray) you (me included) will never tire of this. Balanced out with all white, this indigo pattern is playful, modern and fresh yet classic.

modern farmhouse powder room with full wall of blue and white tile backsplash

Just one more example of the above elements working beautifully together.

boho mid-century living room in neutrals and blues

What I love about this space is the well-edited use of furniture and accessories to create a perfect boho/mid-century vibe. This is so on point with what is topping the interior design aesthetic list right now.

Have a great week!

 

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Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever

Maybe it’s because Lily and I are headed out-of-town for a week of skiing in a few days (I can’t wait!!!), but all I can think about are cabins. Truth be told, I started fantasizing about them this past summer – lake cabins in particular – and the ever-so-slight departure I noticed away from the farmhouse/barn design trend of the past 5+ years. I still firmly believe in the permanence of this style and love it (obviously) but if I were to spot an aesthetic trend in interior design emerging, I would say that ‘cabin chic’ might be next. Just a prediction 🙂

On an administrative note: There are still a few tweaks, additions and modifications to the site in progress, I’m working diligently on fixing them with the help of Luke over the phone from college when he’s available, Our highly skilled and efficient tech department is on it! and you will see improvements made in the days to come. Thank you for your patience.

xo

serena

ps – ski trip photos will be on Instagram!

log cabin

Barn doors covering double doors on a rustic home

Notice the double sets of doors. I have been seeing this done quite a bit lately and think it’s just brilliant. It allows for privacy and weather protection when you want, light and openness when you prefer that.

Wood beams and stone wall in kitchen

I would love to know more about that counter piece on the left… It looks like it’s a vintage piece of furniture and melds beautifully with the other elements in the room. Sometimes clients are apprehensive about mixing woods. This is a great example of how well it works and is actually better than having all the wood match exactly. It looks like there are five wood components to this space and they’re all different.

Rustic style reading nook in a cabin

What a nice place to read or take a nap.

Gallery wall covering painted shiplap

I really like the gallery wall but what caught my eye is the painted shiplap. Typically we see it in white, and in cabins wood-paneled walls are often kept natural, but painting one in a rich gray to create a focal wall I think compliments all the other wood details in the space beautifully.

Ralph Lauren U-shaped sofa

I want to be right here! Doesn’t this room draw you in? Especially in a vacation/second home environment where family members and friends are likely to gather, a comfortable seating arrangement to pile into is so inviting.

Monochrome blankets and pillows displayed in antique cabinet

Stacks of blankets and pillows are decor by themselves.

Rustic elegance in a master bedroom

All wood cabin bedroom

Modern cabin style kids bunk room

Ralph Lauren furniture on cabin porch

The cabin essentials kit:

Faux fur blankets – can’t have enough of these lying around. From here.

Beautiful art from here.

Black painted corner cabinet from here.

Coffee table from here.

Delicious wool blankets are from here.

Both log-style bunk beds are from here.

Windsor chairs look great next to a fireplace even in a modern setting. They are classic and iconic. This one is from here.

For more cabin style inspiration, click here.

 

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The Tale of Four Chairs: the transformation from old to new

The Tale of Four Chairs: the transformation from old to new

Hi to you. I am writing from the airplane on my way back home from Washington, DC. It was a last minute trip to help take care of my sweet 94 year-old grandmother. Every time I visit, I am struck with such nostalgia… Mostly the memories are from the year I spent living with them right after college and starting my first ‘real’ job. Coming home each night to my cute grandparents, a home cooked meal and the pink and green bedroom my grandmother had wallpapered for me prior to my arrival, was the icing on the cake for my not-so-worldly twenty-one year-old self. Spending these recent few days with her knowing they may be our last, was so special. 

xo 

s

ps -will this rain ever stop?

Several years ago, on one of my pursuits for cast away vintage treasures which often nets zero results, I hit the mother lode. I found four chairs that at first glance looked rather sad and lacking potential. Thankfully I went back, took another look and saw past the chipped orange shellac finish and ugly roses. The wheels began to turn.  Below is a photo from that day.

Vintage Chair - 'Before'

Needless to say, I bought the four chairs. The first step was to remove the finish. I had no idea what the wood underneath would reveal, but if it was good, the plan as to what to do next would start to unfold. The photo below was after the first stripping.

The ugly roses had to go, Another few rounds of sanding revealed the most beautiful natural wood. Despite the strong opinion of the wood refinisher, I opted to not put any finish or paint on them.

The next step was the upholstery. We created a stripe by using charcoal gray and natural linen on the front, and all charcoal on the back. The visual of them facing each other and seeing the back of one and front of another looks really nice.

At the time, I was about to open my first pop-up shop, so I put them in the window. They sold the first day.

Vintage chair recovered in natural and charcoal Belgian Linen.

With the other two chairs I tried something a little different, but in my opinion, just as beautiful.

Vintage chair recovered with tufted back in French teal fabric

I have not had the opportunity to show these beauties off in the last few pop-up shops because they were in the back of my storage unit. I just went through it and am sorting out gems to put on the shop website and what to pass along. When I saw these chairs once again, I was struck with how truly spectacular they are. Please email me directly to inquire.

Next post is all about Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

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Changes

Changes

Recent updates to my house and missing David Bowie.

Hi sweet people. I wrote this post about a month ago, right before I thought I lost all of my photos and was having computer issues. Other than omitting the part about the bad weather we were experiencing at the time, and where I riffied on about how I've made yoga and meditation a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby, I didn't change anything…

The passing of David Bowie this week hit me hard. His music was the soundtrack to my youth as I'm sure the same is true for many. I was with my Dad when he got the news that John Lennon had been shot. He sat down, covered his eyes with his hand and began to sob. At the time, I felt so awkward. An Ivy League graduate, college football linebacker and Korean War Veteran crying over the death of a musician… I get it now.

To the Thin White Duke…thank you.

 

Speaking of changes, I've been making some around the house lately. What do you think?

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I went back and forth – modern or traditional for the dining room light fixture. As you can see, I finally decided on a traditional chandelier. The chairs and table are all modern, so to balance them out I decided a chandelier would be perfect. A mix of both old and new is what I strive for. I love how sparkly it is at night too.
 
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I bought this early American table at an estate sale a few years ago thinking I would sell it. I don't know why I fell so hard for it, but I absolutely love it and cannot part with it. It bounced around the house in different spots, usually to fill a temporary hole, but I think it found a permanent place under this Hiro Yokose painting.
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I wanted a table for next to this acrylic chair from the 70's that I found on Ebay (for $100!)  but it had to be simple yet substantial. I opted for a petrified wood stump from here

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See that french daybed in the back? I've had that piece for awhile and am not sure what to do with it. I moved it to the above location around Christmastime when I needed to make room for the tree. I'd like to remake the mattress more like this and make big fat bolsters in a contrasting color like dark + light gray or brown + natural linen. I'm still deciding…. We'll see.

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So now there's this big open space at the top of the entryway stairs and between the living and dining rooms where the daybed was… A round table would work, but it's not that practical and I don't want a formal feel. So, I'm thinking of a small 'conversational cluster'. I'm considering moving the coffee table from the living room (above) and adding 4 modern chairs. Ideas?

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Another stump for next to the tub 🙂

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Nightstands finally!

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That's it for the tour! Happy week to you!

xo

s

 

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Pop-Up – Recap

Pop-Up – Recap

Details and photos from our pop-up shop in Mill Valley, CA.

Holy Moly what a week. I will go into detail about the pop-up in just a minute, but had to first share with you the highlight of my birthday which was this past weekend… We had just been seated at Bix in San Francisco (such a festive spot!) for dinner on Friday night and guess who walked in? My son Luke who completely surprised me by flying home from college in Washington, DC! It was a total sob fest. Well, only me, but at least they were happy tears!

And now for some photos from the pop-up last week… All of this new merchandise will be on the shop website by next week! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email me.We sold out of all the pillows and featherbeds, but more are coming in new color ways and fabrics soon!

Gorgeous vintage dresses from France.

I got these saw horses from Ikea and just used plywood boards for the tops. I love Ikea.

Instead of putting price tags on every piece, I used some muslin I had and wrote the prices on the fabric with a Sharpie. I nailed the muslin pieces to the plywood with industrial tacks.

I have a soft spot for vintage finds. Each piece I buy, I actually want to keep for myself. This macrame throw is so cool… It sold the first day. I’m still pining for it.

This is an antique grape pickers bucket. At one time, there were leather straps so it could be worn on the pickers’ back. It’s beautiful aged patina is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I like them hung on the wall with branches or long stemmy flower arrangements.

The piece above is an outdoor beverage trough. I have one and love it. The board is removable, but is a great accessory for bar accoutrements. For the pop-up, I had a party one night and used it for pre-mixed cocktails which I put in these fun bottles that I got at Ikea.

The featherbeds were my best seller. I ordered the three above for the shop, and sold an additional five. They are cot size, so when I spotted this WWII cot a few weeks ago, I knew it would be the perfect way to display the featherbeds. I had the canvas replaced so it’s now sturdy and clean but has the naturally weathered distressed wooden stand.

Another picture of the featherbeds (above). They roll up and tie and come with a beautiful linen duffle bag with shoulder straps. Perfect way to take them to the beach, a picnic or camping!

Coordinating lumbar and throw pillows. All sold out for now.

It was a blur of a week, but so fun.

More posts coming soon.

xoxo

 

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Weekend Recap – Girlfriends Weekend in Wine Country

Weekend Recap – Girlfriends Weekend in Wine Country

A girls get-away weekend celebrating a birthday in wine country

Well hi to you… I'm in the midst of a super exhilarating work whirlwind at the moment! As such, I have BIG news that I'm excited to share with you – my dear readers – in the next week or so, so please stay tuned! I hope you had a wonderful weekend… I spent it with a group of girlfriends at this magical place celebrating a birthday among us.

We didn't leave this spot very much…

The birthday girl (right) and me checking out the pool. I'm very fortunate to have been here before, not for an overnight, but spent the day at the pool a couple of times with out of towners who were guests. I think cannon balls might have taken place…No cannon balls took place this time.

On my way home I decided to stop for a snack here. Then I took a little stroll down the street and ended up at a place I have wanted to check out for a long time – Ma(i)sonry in Yountville. Part art gallery, part wine tasting establishment, and now partnering with Restoration Hardware, it is quite a sight to behold! I am still not 100% sure what the partnership exactly entails despite having had it explained to me 3-4 times. But there were lots of phrases used like 'bought our concept' and 'shared experiences' and 'we will continue to own this, but they will own this too' … Anyway, here are some photos I took..

Maisonry


Isn't this little guy cute??


All of the pieces you see in the photos are for sale. If interested, please click here.

 

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