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.



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My BIG news and a Thank You!

My BIG news and a Thank You!

FarmHouseUrban Pop-Up Shop Coming to Mill Valley!



The pieces are starting to come in and I'm absolutely giddy seeing how everything looks piled together! This time around expect mostly accessories, pillows, table top, kitchen and linens. The pop-up is only 5 days, so I decided to add a fun feature and enlisted the most amazing line-up of specialty guest vendors! A different vendor will be showcasing their incredible collections daily (only for a few hours each day).  I will go into way more detail as we get closer, but here is the set schedule:

Monday, Octoboer 26:  Perfumes – delicate, delicious, pure scents made in small batches in Berkeley, CA.

Tuesday, October 27: Jewelry – necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, you name it. All in 14 ct solid gold at GREAT price points. Most with geodes and small jewel embellishments. I am so super excited to have her beautiful pieces!!! All handmade in the Mission neighborhood of SF. 

Wednesday, October 28: glassybaby –  Yes!!! I am serious! As in the real glassybaby!!! Beyond thrilled to have this mini glassybaby shop in the pop-up!

Thursday, October 29: Jams – this woman owned local company is large enough to be sold in several gourmet groceries in the Bay Area, but small enough to be selective with the fruit and ingredients that go into each little pot of deliciousness.  

Friday, October 30: Plant arrangements: Think succulents in bowls and orchids in reclaimed wood containers. Simple, stunning, not fussy. I thought this would be a perfect friday offering, as there are going to be Halloween parties galore. These are ready to grab and go – the perfect hostess gift.


California Home + Design magazine featured a recent design project of mine yesterday. I am extremely honored. Thank you for the lovely article and including my work! Read the article here.


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exciting news and the coolest new place for all things vintage!

exciting news and the coolest new place for all things vintage!

I've been sooo excited to tell you all about this, and now the time has come!!!

A few months ago I was contacted by a person I had never met about a new business she and her husband (and a host of others) were creating.  She described it as a marketplace for all things vintage – cars, jewelry, clothing, homes (yes homes!) and of course, home furnishings.  They were selecting "Style Makers" who each had a certain look and style, to showcase their wares under individual storefronts on the website.  At first, I didn't think it sounded like the right fit – I pictured a giant virtual flea market – or worse – a garage sale!  After a few phone meetings, and emails I soon realized that was not the case.  Far from it.  Second Shout Out was created to for the hip consumer who has an appreciation for the finer things that have timeless beauty and permanence. 

The site just went live, but the official launch is not until mid-September.  

Please hop over to spend some time and peruse all the wonderful treasures on Second Shout Out and let me know what you think!

Vintage Marketplace


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FarmHouseUrban online shop is here!

FarmHouseUrban online shop is here!

I am thrilled to share with you, my lovely readers, FarmHouseUrban Home Store products are now available online! This has been a long time coming, so I'm very excited to finally share it with all of you. Every piece is chosen because it reflects the FarmHouseUrban lifestyle. My only rule of thumb when selecting an item for the store or website is that it be something I would personally love to have in my own home.  

We actually 'soft' launched a couple of weeks ago, but were waiting to announce our debut with other big news. That will come a bit later, so here we are! I hope you like it!!


We will be adding new products often, so make sure to check back and/or 'like' us on Facebook, where we will be posting each new item before it's online! In addition, I'll highlight pieces here and there on the blog and will have a pin board of all our products on Pinterest. We're going big with tabletop for fall – lots of fresh and fun ideas coming your way! 

Thank you all for reading and supporting FarmHouseUrban!!! 

To shop FarmHouseUrban: click www.shopfarmhouseurban.com.

To follow us on Pinterest click here.

Our new shop hours where you can reach us with questions are M – F 11:00am – 4:00pm.

Contact us @ 415.464.8610 or email info@serenaarmstronginteriors.com.


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The week in review

The week in review

It's been a whirlwind around here this past week!  Take a look…

Saturday – Margaret and I attended the motherlode of estate sales. Here are just a few of the treasures we scored…



It turns out the house belongs to George Lucas and the occupant was his personal Assistant for the past 30 years.  The most incredible part was that he wrote Star Wars on a legal pad in one of the upstairs rooms!  Goosebumps, I tell you. I look forward to sharing more soon.

Sunday – Father's Day

Monday – Met with reps to see new products for the store and clients. New smaller items – tabletop, accessories and hostess gifts coming!

Placed orders for a new client's 'FarmHouseUrban" living room.



Beachy Striped Wool Dhurrie

Screen shot 2012-06-23 at 8.48.37 PM

Simple Slipcovered sofa

Coffee table

Awesome Coffee Table 

Tuesday – Went to a former client's home to start working on a new project. Great to be working with her again and her gorgeous home.  

In the early evening, I headed up to St. Helena to visit girlfriend Cristine. Tuesday's is her Bocce Ball night, so I met her at the Bocce Ball park.  They take Bocce very seriously in wine country. 

Afterwards, we went to the new restaurant French Blue, designed and owned by Howard Backen (the architect whose work I have admired for.like.ever.)

French Blue1

French Blue2

French Blue4

French Blue5

French Blue - cabinetry

French Blue6

Wednesday – Margaret and I worked on the online store.  Fine tuning the look + feel, getting all the product images uploaded, the descriptions written, making sure measurements and pricing is accurate takes a loooong time.

  FarmHouseUrban Home store - logo

Still tweaking the logo…

In the afternoon, I made a stop to my woodworker's shop to check on the prototype for a new piece for the FarmHouseUrban Home Collection.  Here is a sneak peek at the FarmHouseUrban dining table!

FarmHouseUrban farm table

FarmHouseUrban farm table2

Thursday – Stopped in to check on the status of a kitchen and family room renovation I've been working on. It's been a really fun project and I can't wait to show you more photos when the space is complete.

Fireplace detail1

What to do with a monolith of a fireplace when the client doesn't like stone or wood? Raised panels in a geometric design!

Fireplace detail2


Deciding which shade of warm gray…

Friday – Made a quick trip to the city to my favorite discount fabric store to look for a tweedy woven for an ottoman.  I didn't find anything, but did end up in the waaaay back intrigued by these retro (retro as in they've probably been here since the 60's, not new retro) Hawaiian prints.  Perhaps it has something to do with watching "The Decendants" recently?


Hawaiian print

Hawaiian print2

I'd love to make big pillows out of these for outdoors.  They're not made of acrylic fabric, but at $8 per yard, even if they lasted one season it wouldn't be a huge loss.  My sewing skills are a bit rusty (plus, hello, I have no time!), so I guess I'll have to pass.  

Here's to a relaxing Sunday! Hope you have a chance to put your feet up today!


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New FarmHouseUrban market totes!

New FarmHouseUrban market totes!

Between moving to a rental house this past week (yes, we moved and it was just as horrendous as I remembered it to be- they should make prisoners do it instead of jail time!) and client presentations, Margaret; my awesome Assistant and I had time for a little office silliness.  It was sparked by our new arrival – FarmHouseUrban market totes! Yippee!  We love them!




Here's Margaret rockin' the denim bag.

Denim market tote

The burlap version (we only have two left!).

Burlap market tote

And the light denim version.  John our office neighbor came out of his office to see what was up.  He's a Naturpathic physician who specializes in joint pain. It's very convenient having him next door!

Denim bag2

I met the maker of these bags during my last trip to New York.  She designed them for urban dwellers who need to carry lots of heavy things in as small a bag as possible. I was gaga for them the minute I saw them! Made of heavy weight denim or burlap with upholstery binding for straps. There's a large pocket inside to keep phone and keys handy.  Price is $60/ea.


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