I’m excited to share with you, my sweet readers, a new professional venture I embarked upon almost one year ago… I’ve taken a slight departure from my residential and hospitality interior design focus to develop and execute creative direction for several start-up and interior + lifestyle brands. I fell into the first position by happy accident (well, there really are no accidents as everything happens for a reason – I am a firm believer in that!) and one position led to the next and so on. The FarmHouseUrban brand, however is still ever present! I temporarily turned off access to my online store www.shopfarmhouseurban.com, but it will be back in the New Year and better than ever along with other exciting happenings!
I was recently approached by the exquisite home furnishings company – Europe 2 You to partner on a project for the launch of their new e-commerce site – EtuHome. For those not familiar, Europe 2 You is a wholesale-only maker of gorgeous vintage inspired products for the home. EtuHome is the new retail branch of their company – making their products accessible to absolutely everyone!
For this project I was sent several of EtuHome‘s top-selling pieces and my assignment was to style them in my personal aesthetic. Here’s what I came up with:
I pulled some things from around the house – linens, ceramic pitchers, vintage hotel silver, galvanized containers, votives and a box of acorns I just got from here, Then I went to the fridge and took out all the fruits and veggies that were still good! Last, I cut some stems from the garden.
The piece above is the Spanish Olive Tray which comes in three sizes. I adore this piece! Part cutting board, part serving piece, it adds a unique twist to both. As such, there are endless ways to use it. The most practical and easy – leaning on your kitchen backsplash! I have been noticing the trend of using individual-size wood pieces as serving trays, so that was my inspiration and styled mine as a coffee tray.
Next is the Bordeaux Bistro Tray which measures 20″ in diameter. The galvanized edge is 4″ high. Many of us have upholstered ottomans which are risky to set beverages on. This tray is the answer! It provides a stylish receptacle for stacking your magazines or weekly newspapers too.
Above and below is the Bianca Cake Stand (short). I used the sepia filter just because 🙂 but below is the unfiltered version. I have a cake stand collection, but none are made of wood, so this is a fun addition. Now thinking of what kind of cake to make for it…. any ideas?
The below two photos show the versatile Baguette Board. I tried to style the pieces in ways that offer an alternative to the suggested use. I played around with this piece more than any of the others and found so many places that it just looked great – including across my bathtub holding soap and a sponge. I wouldn’t suggest that it be used that way if water was in the tub as it might damage the integrity of the wood and finish. That said, when not in use or set on a table or counter holding just about anything – it will look amazing!
The next three photos are of the Bordeaux Wine Barrel Lazy Susan. This is a fun piece and frankly a must-have if you’ve got a large round or square table. It should come with a warning to parents of teenagers and their friends who wouldn’t stop spinning it young children – not to put breakables or spillables on it in their presence.
Last but certainly not least, is the Balon Cloche. This piece is truly stunning – even on its own. Trimmed in tin, the shape and size sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen.
There are many many more gorgeous pieces on EtuHome’s online shop. I highly encourage you to pop over for a browse – you won’t be disappointed!
These middle days that span from the holidays to spring can feel like a savannah. It is during this time of year more than any other that I'm driven to seek out inspiration rather than wait until it falls into my lap. Often times, falling into those deep crevasses can lead to all kinds of amazing discoveries!
Here are a few things that have recently caught my attention, provided creative starting points for some current projects and are just straight up fun. Enjoy.
Please hear me out. It's no longer Calico Corners, it's now just Calico. There is clearly a big change happening within this company and me likey. Like a stealth in the night, they are doing it swiftly, quietly and with precision. So, get out of your I'm-too-cool-for-Calico mindset and get your fabric on.
Speaking of fabric, I'm thrilled to see that technology for stain resistant, yet awesome looking and feeling fabric has been keeping up with NASA. Every time I see the latest collections, I wonder if there is any reason to buy any other fabric? One the most exciting discoveries was finding out that two of my go-to favorites have joined forces. Galbraith & Paul and Perennials have teamed up and are now making 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabrics for all of your outdoor, pet-perched, kid-friendly needs!
I just discovered this website and really like their fresh approach to industrial lighting. They have great options for infusing a bit of color to a room too. I love the wall sconce below. It's all about the brass.
In the age of the camera phone, actually printing photos let alone getting them framed has disappeared from our lives much like pulling to the side of the road and reading a map has. I for one, am up at night over this. I carefully photographed and albumed every 'first' that my kids experienced until I got a digital camera and then it was all she wrote. It's all on a disc I told myself. Anyway…
I love this app because it allows you to send a photo from your Instagram, Facebook or camera roll and they will print it on high quality paper (they offer 3 sizes) and then frame it under glass and a 12" x 12" black wood frame for $65! Not only that, but you get it in 5 days!
In an attempt to post more frequently, I'm going to try to be less wordy…
Some things I've been lovin lately and thought you might too…
1. Garden & Gun
I cannot believe I forgot to tell you about my most amazing discovery during our Southern States vacation!! Named after a 70's era nightclub in South Carolina- the South's equivalent of Studio 54 – Garden & Gun magazine is about the new South – food, art, design, people. The writing is darn good. and you thought I was going to say I'm into horticulture and firearms… Check out their blogs too – awesome.
We drink a lot of sparkling water (or bubbly as we call it). Let's just say our carbon(ated) footprint was shameful until we discovered this incredible gizmo. It allows you to carbonate your own water – adding just as much or as little fizz as you want – then storing it in lovely glass bottles. They come with one CO2 canister that makes 60 bottles of water. When it's empty, return it and get the replacement at half the cost of a new one. We got ours here, but the canisters can also be purchased/exchanged at Crate & Barrel (prob other places too). Williams Sonoma sells flavors to add to the water so you can create your own custom beverage. Personally, I think it tastes best straight up with a twist.
I recently received an email from two sisters in Argentina who knit beautiful accessories. They are chic yet have that homespun one-of-a-kind feel. I think I might have to have this poncho.
Yesterday I had an unusually fun excursion to a part of San Francisco that I rarely visit – the Outer Sunset – to meet with wood artisan Luke Bartels about a custom piece of furniture for a client. This funky neighborhood reflects by a diverse mix of ethnicity, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds and is bordered by Ocean Beach.The studio space/woodworking shop; called the Woodshop, is shared by four artists and a whole lotta wood!
Luke Bartels – Specializes in using reclaimed wood and already fallen trees to create one-of-a-kind furniture, shelving, art and you name it.
Work by all four artists (above). This shelving unit is made from poplar and cyprus trees and can be adapted to any specifications.
Tree branch antlers.
Danny Hess – Builder/designer/owner of Hess Surfboards.
Josh Duthie – Transforms vintage and antique chairs. His business is called chairtastic.
These industrial stools have a walnut seat and can be made with a back.
The Woodshop is about 3 blocks from the beach. So close that you can see the surf from their front door. I just couldn’t resist taking a minute to stop (literally and figuratively), take off my shoes and be here…
Last week during Design San Francisco I attended a private event held at the most amazing showroom at the Design Center – Coup D'Etat. The event was called "Public Eateries: A Conversation on Designing Restaurants in the Era of Food". Two of my favorite topics + Coup D'Etat – it couldn't get much better than that! It's been a dream of mine to design a restaurant…perhaps, oh I don't know, maybe an urban farmhouse open kitchen type-of-thing…
The discussion was panel style, moderated by Jeffrey Alan Marks whose work I have long admired. I strongly encourage clicking over to see his inspiring portfolio (as long as you promise to click back here after!)
Notice the arched windows and doorways. There's so much detail (a trademark of Marks') in this big kitchen, yet it has a relaxing and comfortable feeling.
above photos via thelaurelstreetblog
I wouldn't have thought to pair the ottoman and chair fabrics with a busy carpet, but it works beautifully and gives a slightly boho vibe to an otherwise formal room.
I was so excited to find out that Marks' will be starring in the new Bravo reality tv show – Million Dollar Designer- that follows five LA based interior designers as they go about their daily activities. Is this not the best news you've heard all week?! I can't wait!!!
On to the panelists. The talent on that stage in the area of restaurant design is hard to beat. First to speak was Cass Calder Smith. I'd list all the restaurants he's designed but I would run out of room, so here's just a few – La Mar, Restaurant Lulu, Perbacco, Barbacco, Rose Pistola and the newest addition; 25 Lusk.
above two photos – 25 Lusk
How flippin cool is this place? I can't wait to check it out.
Next to speak was Stephen Brady; Visual Director of Gap, Inc whose restaurant design credits include Spruce:
Notice the panes of glass (not mirrors) separating the bar from the restaurant. This is such an elegant restaurant. I especially like it for lunch.
And Cafe Des Amis.
cafe des amis
The third and final panelist was Charles De Lisle of CDL Workshop. I first discovered his work last spring at the SF Decorators Showplace which I posted about here.
The entire room was covered in rusched navy blue gingham and accented with chartreuse chairs. The affect was so dramatic and creative. The restaurants that CDL has designed include the remodeling of one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco; House of Shields and the kitchy Canteen.
I have been planning to do a proper post on Coup D'Etat since they opened their new bigger space (next door from the old one) last fall, but haven't had a chance. I took a few photos with my phone and they are not very good, but will give you an idea. Also, they have a 1st Dibs shop that never disappoints.
Lots of industrial elements that have been reworked into furniture and lighting. In addition to European and American antiques, they also make a variety of custom upholstered pieces.
Lucite table base with gorgeous wood slab top. How about those canister lights???
One of my favorite parts of the showroom are Erin Martin's pieces. The custom designed leather engraved cocktail table (in background) is outrageous and has a price to match!
I adore these French nesting tables (unfortunately sold) and the casters are brilliant.
Restaurant design is so much more complex than I realized. Sound, lighting, menu, flow all need to be carefully considered. I definitely have a new perspective and will look at restaurant detail more thoughtfully now. I would love to see shelter magazines do bigger spreads on them. What's your design favorite restaurant?
The space we call home is a reflection of who we are. Each of us deserves to live in an environment that nurtures and provides comfort and peace. Creating a home and a life you love starts with surrounding yourself with things and people that make you happy. It’s not about fancy things or being perfect, it’s about appreciating the beauty that is accessible to us all. This blog is my journal for celebrating the all the beautiful things that inspire me. I hope you will visit often and will be inspired too!