Styling bookshelves 101

Styling bookshelves 101

Hi beautiful reader. How are you doing during this time of year? It can be hard and it can be wonderful, sometimes concurrently, right? Just be mindful to keep centered and take good care of your self (see last post if you need some help getting started). I am knee deep in a couple of interiors projects with install deadlines the first week of Jan. The other work related project, and I know I’ve been talking about it for awhile so bear with me because it’s really coming together in such a big beautiful way is… the online shop is almost ready!!! I am beyond excited to share these home decor and fashion collections with you, so please, follow along or subscribe so the minute the shop goes live, you will be of the first to know!!!

The kids are home for the holidays, which I LOVE. That said, I have found it helpful when they and their friends abscond back from college, that a few military practices come in really super handy. One that I like a lot is “One is none. Two is one.” This basically means that if I have only one of something, say for example, peanut butter, it’s as if I am already out of peanut butter the same day. So, always have like 2+ peanut butters so you don’t run out. Another favorite is “Time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted.” I really like that one. It’s particularly helpful when, weirdly, your chargers all disappear and everyone ‘swears’ they have no idea where they went. I’ve also found that writing checklists of what you mean by “clean” alleviates gray areas and makes for fewer conflicts.

Happy Holidays!

On my way to a holiday dinner party of girlfriends Top from 2 years ago from here, Black jeans from here. and ankle boots from here.

xo

s

Bookshelf styling is an art unto itself. I find it to be one of the hardest things to do in the entire realm of interior design. Anyone else struggle with this too? Finding the right balance of stuff without it looking cluttered can be be challenging.

I’ve got a buit-in bookshelf that has been in need of attention…

FarmHouseUrban bookshelf styling

FarmHouseUrban white pitcher collection

FarmHouseUrban ceramic vase collection

FarmHouseUrban buddha + books

I decided to educate myself on how to improve it and have consolidated the findings to this list and added a few of my own two cents:

  1. Start with books. Duh! While this might seem obvious, it’s worth reiterating. I prefer hardcover books rather than paperback for the shelves I’m working on, but not opposed to displaying paperback. I’m contemplating taking the paper jackets off too…Books can and should be oriented horizontally and vertically to create visual interest. I’ve noticed on Pinterest and some popular home remodeling shows that faux books are used quite often for their color or size. I would suggest using real books over faux.Bookshelf Styling ideasBookshelf styling ideas
  2. Use large and tall items. Pretty self explanatory.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  3. In addition to framed photos, art can be used as a backdrop, leaned up against the back or hung on the bookcase frame.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  4. Framed family photos shouldn’t be lined up in a row. Scatter them around or have them made into one large piece. bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  5. Lay out things that you love from around the house on a table or the floor near the shelves you’re working on- boxes, vases, bowls, baskets, objects of art and start moving things around. I read a good tip to not use anything smaller than an apple when styling bookshelves. Even if you only get a few shelves ‘just right’ you will now be thinking of your bookshelf when you are out and about and see something cool and wonder, “where would I put this?”.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas

More bookshelf and interior styling inspo, on my Pinterest page here.

 

 

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My Favorite Style Icons and a New Book

My Favorite Style Icons and a New Book

Well howdy dreamers. What can I tell you? For one thing, I just ate way too much chocolate — even for me.  It’s my one actuallyI have a huge problem and probably need an anon but admitting it is the first step, right? guilty pleasure so its all good. Other than that juicy tidbit, life has been in a blissful holding pattern for the past few weeks. Oh – here’s something – I stepped back into doing residential interior design for a project I couldn’t refuse… It’s in Cabo. On the beach. I know – check myself.  I got to fly down to Mexico and stay at the property for a night. I dressed the part. I conjured a female Pablo Escobar-ish look which was way out of place among the college Spring Breakers and honeymooner couples on the plane. It also could have been that I was the only one traveling solo to Mexico. Or the tube of floorplans sticking out of my purse.

Sources: dressshoes, bag

Happy Weekend!

xo

s

For most of my life I have had style icons. Women who I think epitomize an effortless, classic and timeless style while staying current and slightly edgy. I have several – see them here, but my numero uno, all-time favorite is Ali MacGraw.

Ali MacGraw

Ali MacGraw in a beanie at the Academy Awards

She wore a beanie to the Academy Awards – no words.

Ali MacGraw

Photo by REX USA (94679c)
ALI MacGRAW – 1971

Ali MacGraw

My favorite of her former beaus is Steve McQueen, so I started pinning photos of him too. What a couple.

Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen

Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen

So, I was beyond excited to receive the book “McQueen’s Motorcycles – Racing and Riding with the King of Cool” by Matt Stone from the publisher. Cool personified. If you have a motorcycle lover in your life, this book would make an excellent gift.

 

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Bathroom Styling and My New Favorite Design Book

Bathroom Styling and My New Favorite Design Book

Highlights from the new book, “The Perfect Bath” by Waterworks Co-Founder, Barbara Sallick

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to my lackluster bathroom vanity and how to make it pretty while keeping it free of clutter. Do you share this quandary? As I've said many times, when I need inspiration, or just want to free fall into a creative flow Pinterest is where I go. So, for the past couple of weeks I've been saving beautifully styled bathroom images here and here. Just a few…

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As luck – or serendipity – would have it, as I was pouring over bathroom images, a gorgeous design book on bathrooms arrived in the mail from the publisher! The book isn't just 'A' book about bathrooms. It's written by The Bathroom Goddess herself – Barbara Sallick, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Design for Waterworks. Let me preface my fussing and fawning by saying that I would never promote anything that I haven't personally experienced and/or seen and that I didn't adore. I adore this book. It is chock full of images all of which are absolutely breathtaking. The chapters are organized in such a way that if you are using it to help you design, you can plunge right in to those tips and resources. If eye candy and a little lift with your afternoon tea, is more your speed, you can have that too.

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© The Perfect Bath by Barbara Sallick, Rizzoli New York, 2016.

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Collins bath

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If you are looking for things to put on your holiday wish list, I highly recommend "The Perfect Bath". To purchase, click here.

As I contemplate my bathroom, I will be spending time considering the beautful bath accessories found at Waterworks.  

More interior inspiration to come…

xo

s

 

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Things I’m Digging – Fall 2014 – Reading Edition

Things I’m Digging – Fall 2014 – Reading Edition

Hi lovelies. As I write this, it's raining buckets. I have the fireplace going and am wearing the requisite rainy day attire of fuzzy socks and a big sweater. Not only is it Halloween, AND the San Francisco Giants Parade, but it's also my birthday weekend. Rain was not supposed to happen. I actually don't have any big plans. Since the b-day party a couple of weeks ago, it's been a festival of coffees, lunches and dinners with girlfriends.  I prefer it that way – in ones and twos – and feel incredibly blessed to have the circle of amazing friends that I do. So, this leaves a big fat birthday weekend with lots of time to read! As such, I thought I'd share my latest crop of favorites in case you might be finding yourself doing the same.

xo

Serena

FictionA Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

AParisApartment

I was sent a pre-release copy from the publisher and read it over the summer. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Very descriptive especially for those of us who love art, interiors and France.

Here's what Booklist says about A Paris Apartment:

Shuttered for 70 years, the ninth arrondissement apartment is a treasure trove for furniture appraiser April Vogt. Plus, an extended trip to Paris allows her to avoid her troubled marriage. As April uses the diaries of Marthe de Florian to establish provenance of the pieces, she becomes obsessed with Marthe’s Belle Epoque exploits, her rivalry with Jeanne Hugo (Victor’s granddaughter), and her path from Folies Bergère bartender to renowned (if forgotten) courtesan. All the while, April struggles to forgive her husband’s infidelity, a situation not helped by the presence of Luc Thebault, the estate’s solicitor, who seems determined to make sure April doesn’t work too hard. Gable’s debut is strongest when Paris is the focus, whether it’s suffering a rude waiter at a corner bistro in the present day or dripping in jewels and furs and being bored by Proust in a café at the turn of the century. Some of April’s actions late in the book will render her unforgivable to many readers, so if sick parents and infidelity are red flags, pass on this one. Otherwise, vive la Paris apartment! –Susan Maguire

 

 Self-Help  Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

DaringGreatly

Almost two years ago, when I was going through an extremely challenging time personally, I stumbled upon a TED talk given by Brene Brown about vulnerabilty (watch it below). At that time, there were 7+ million views. Now there are 17+ million. It was a life changing moment, because up until that point, I lumped vulnerabity under the heading of 'Weak Characteristics'. Wrong! Her work on this subject, which is detailed in her book Daring Greatly has words of wisdom for all of us, no matter what place in life we happen to be. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to be vulnerable, especially if you've been hurt. If you are feeling scared to go forward into the unknown – whether it's starting a new business or opening your heart to love again, and everything in between, read this book. You will feel better, I promise. 

  

DesignModern Country by Caroline Clifton-Mogg

I was incredibly honored to recieve a copy of this beautiful book from the Publisher. The images are absolutely GORGEOUS! As you might guess, this book conveys my favorite style – comfortable, cozy spaces that also have a modern twist. 

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Blogs/WebsitesThe Scout Guide

Fall arrangement - TSG

MInterirosAre you familiar with The Scout Guide? In case you aren't – they are beautifully curated city guides for most major US cities, each filled with the best of what's to offer locally in that city. I just discovered they also have a webiste and blog highlighting small businesses, local artists and hometown favorites in the various cities they represent! A visual treat and great resource when planning a trip.

Have a wonderful Monday!

 

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FarmHouseUrban Kitchen – Pumpkin Bread, a Cookbook and My New Favorite Food Blog

FarmHouseUrban Kitchen – Pumpkin Bread, a Cookbook and My New Favorite Food Blog

Hey Pumpkin, Happy Thanksgiving to you! In keeping with the holiday we most associate with feasting, I bring you a recipe, a cookbook and a cooking/food blog I think you will adore. 

But first… Thank you my dear readers for sticking around and being so lovely always. When I hear from you it makes my day and fuels me to keep going. I wish each and every one of you a day of comfort, peace and joy and hopefully a delicious meal shared with those you love.

I have told you about the Tartine Cookbook before and the story behind how this recipe came into my life (read it here), but I don't think I have shared the actual recipe with you. So here it is.

It is more of a cake than a bread- small, delicate crumb, sweet and lightly spiced. Perfect for breakfast, with tea, as a midnight snack or as I am going to do tomorrow – to be given as a hostess gift.

Tartine Bakery resides in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. 

 

Tartine Pumpkin Tea Cake

1 2/3 cups (225 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
1 tbsp + 2 tsps (25 ml) ground cinnamon
2 tsps (10 ml) nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cloves
1 cup + 2 tbsps (255 g) pumpkin purée
1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil (like safflower or sunflower)
1 1/3 cups (270 g) sugar
3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
3 large eggs
2 tbsps sugar for topping
3 tbsps pepitas for topping

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×5-inch loaf pan. (You can do this recipe with a stand mixer or by hand.) Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into a mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin purée, oil, sugar, and salt together until well blended. Beat the eggs in one at a time, making sure each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the flour and mix until just combined. You don’t want to overbeat the batter as it will result in a tougher crumb. Then beat for 5 to 10 seconds until smooth. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and tap the pan on the counter to help flatten the batter out. Sprinkle the sugar and pepitas on top and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Invert the pan onto a cooling rack and flip the cake out. Turn the cake back right-side up and let cool completely. Serve at room temperature. Lasts about 4 days (well-wrapped) on your counter or up to a week in the refrigerator. Serves 6-8.

*Note – I don't use the pepitas (pumpkin seeds). I only usually have Canola Oil and that works fine.

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To take a look at or purchase the Tartine Cookbook, click here.

My favorite new cookbook (both new to me and new on the shelves) is from the Seattle institution – Macrina Bakery. I cooked and baked my way through the pages of the first book and was just given the newest treasure trove of delectible recipes by my bff. 

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Seriously, has there ever been a more beautiful cookbook cover? Trust me, the rest is just as good.

To take a look at or purchase "More from Macrina" click here.

My newest favorite cooking blog is Alexandra's Kitchen. For awhile I was on a roll, making every recipe she posted – each one filled with fabulous photography and sprinkled with anecdotes of her own life and experiences. I need to play catch up…You will love it.

Alexandra's kitchen

To go to Alexandra's Kitchen blog, click here.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

 

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Wanderlust and Summer

Wanderlust and Summer

Hi. It just hit me that summer is here. It isn't only that Memorial Day just passed and I started wearing white jeans again, but I also feel a giddy sense of excitement starting to brew. What is it about summer that conjures those feelings? Experiences seem to attach themselves to memories in a special way unlike at any other time. One of my favorite things about summer is not adhering to a schedule. With that freedom comes a sense of wanderlust – where should we go? Anywhere we want…

What are your favorite things about summertime?  Here are a few of mine:

1.  Simple clothes.


Shorts2


Shorts


Summer skirt


Maxi dress

White denim skirt

2. Staying up late, getting up early and taking naps.


Moonlight


Bed for nap
Ferragamo bedroom

3. Leisurely meals that don't require standing in front of the stove. Assembling rather than cooking…


Antipasti


Desclans - rose


Peaches
Smores2
4. Eating outside whenever possible.


Alfresco


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French table outside

5. Time to read.

I've been on a roll with the last two books I've read. Both outstanding! 


Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles


And the mountains echoed

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

After going to see the Great Gatsby movie last weekend (omg - sooo good!) I want to re-read the book. It was completely lost on my 15 year-old self the first time. All that focus on finding the parallels and metaphors - blah, blah, blah, when the best parts are the descriptive details and the amazing love story!

Any book recommendations?

6. Road trips.


Road trip

Happy summer to you.

 

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