A lot of people thought I was crazy for buying a white sofa with 2 children under 5, but I can honestly say that our white fabric furniture has proven to be one of our favorite and most durable purchases (just make sure it is slip-covered or the pillow covers have zippers so that you can take them off for cleaning).Read More
People often ask Shannon and me what our favorite "style" is. And at the risk of sounding annoyingly diplomatic, it is hard for us to define one style that is our "favorite". I think why we feel so passionate about interiors, and exteriors...(and even clothing for that matter) is because we truly love and appreciate so many different aesthetics. Shannon and I share a very similar style, which encompasses a variety of different genres. But even as business partners whose styles are very aligned, we definitely have (and celebrate) our differences. I am a little more excited about a monogrammed pillow than she is, while she appreciates a funky side table a little more than I do.
That being said, we've thought long and hard about this "favorite" look question and so we are prepared to give you our answer. If we could pick only one style to live in ourselves, it would be a combination of modern, rustic and bohemian.
The above image is a stunning representation of a room that is modern while still oozing comfort. The wood ceiling, and the wood beams that frame the door in combination with the natural floor covering offer a rustic vibe while the art and the shape of the chairs and the minimal furniture assemblage are clean and modern.
This bathroom. Simple, modern, clean and oh so stylish. We love the bold use of dark iron, complemented by the white subway tiles. The natural wood shelf adds a rustic element so that the result doesn't feel too cold or harsh. The design and color palette are modern, the warm wood and iron are rustic, and the brass adds just the right amount of glamour.
This kitchen is another dreamy space. The herringbone floors are stunning, and are especially noticeable against the rich black cabinetry. The antique mirror gives an old world feel, while the Platner chair is decidedly modern. Salvaged floors, exposed beams, industrial lighting, and a mirrored backsplash styled with rustic cutting boards, edgy chairs and shiny appliances make for one beautiful space.
And there you have it...our favorite rooms are rustic, modern and slightly bohemian in style. Adding the bohemian element is easily done with flooring and textiles choices. Add a kilim, a vintage oushak or a Beni Ourain rug to a room to instantly lift any pretension and often times add depth and color. Add a sheepskin throw or a batik pillow to soften a square edged sofa.
We'll share a few of our top places to buy modern, rustic and bohemian pieces:
What's the difference between Barbie and a Supermodel? A crooked tooth, a distinctive mole, a super-short haircut. Barbie is beautiful...and perfect, but for one reason or another the Supermodel seems more interesting. I'd rather go to a movie with her (hopefully a pre-screening of a Cannes favorite), I'd rather eat with her (assuming she eats) and I'd rather go to one of her friend's parties (hopefully in some edgy loft in Chelsea...haha).
But, all stereotypes aside, Shannon and I are drawn to rooms (and love designing rooms) that are beautiful, but not always perfect as it is traditionally defined. While we love matching nightstands with a beautiful lamp on each one flanking a luxuriously dressed bed...we also love a less tailored, more unexpected approach to this set-up.
In the Sonoma project, the vibe is eclectic, vintage and relaxed. Having perfectly symmetrical bedroom configurations would not feel authentic, nor interesting. We purposely hung the vintage artwork we found from sites like Chairish, and stores such as Stuff and Past Perfect in an off-kilter way. Two or three pictures on one side of the bed, while only one on the other. The same imperfection was applied to night-stands. Maybe one is a desk with a lamp and books, while the other is a side table with a different lamp and leaning artwork.
The result is look that is less contrived, more lived-in. Less meticulous, more comfortable. Less perfect, yet possibly more memorable.
A similar approach was used in the sitting area above. Traditionally, you might see two of the same chairs opposite one another, but it felt more cozy to mix up the textures and woods by adding another element. The same goes for the black floor lamp amongst the sea of brown wood legs. There are times when things that "don't go", really go quite well.
This "imperfect" strategy doesn't work in all spaces, and it doesn't work for all people. Symmetry is visually soothing, and perfectly matching night-stands may bring serenity to the client each night as they crawl into bed. But, there are many instances when creating an imperfect space is the pinnacle of style, comfort and chic. Barbie is perfect, but sometimes we find even more beauty in something a little less perfect.
We feel terrible that we didn't get to post this on Friday, and we'll try to never let it happen again...can't stand the disappointed texts and emails (: Although not keen on making excuses, last week was filled to the brim with exciting and productive preparation, meetings and presentations. Couple that with some out of town visitors for us, and some out of the country visitors for Shannon...and the one thing that didn't get completed to our satisfaction was Friday Buy Day. Hoping that by posting this on Monday, it may offer some inspiration at the start of a new week.
We've been focusing a lot on fashion for the last Friday Buy Days and and we thought it would be fun this week to focus on some fun (small or budget friendly) ways to update your space, or just make it feel a little more fresh for Spring:
First up are these barstools from CB2. We have purchased similar ones in the past for over $700 each and while these are not exact replicas, they are pretty darn close. We love the cognac leather seat, the whipstitch detailing and the rustic iron base. At $269, these are less than half the price of their similar counterpart and deliver the same rustic chic style. Add a couple around a center island or replace your current barstools with these stylish seating alternatives to turn your kitchen nook into a fine dining experience.
Another great way to freshen up your space for Spring is foliage. We love flowers in a space, and more economical than replacing flowers each week is investing in a large plant. A fiddle fig leaf plant is always a great choice, with beautiful leaves and a rich green sheen. They are sturdy plants, and adapt well to most climates making them a great choice for a lasting and low-maintenance alternative to purchasing fresh flowers regularly. These can be found at your local nursery or at many Lowe's and Home Depot locations. Typically you can find a nice size one for approximately $180 and they add beautiful dimension and texture and color to a space.
Another stylish way to freshen a room for Spring is by switching out your pillows. We love a good mix, but be careful not to overdo it. Many of us (we are guilty too) have a tendency to "over pillow" sofas and beds, when a restrained...yet artful mix is always best. We've included some images above of pillows we love...all found on Etsy, and all very reasonable (starting at $70).
Lastly, a fun and free way to update your space for Spring is to move your furniture around! In the above picture from the Sonoma project, we rearranged all of the furniture to create more space, and a fresh new feeling in the room. The leather chairs were originally in front of the TV and we moved them by the fireplace, the cowhide pillows originally lived on the sofas and we created a cozy nook by adding them to the rustic fireplace, and the built in daybed was originally covered in pillows....we took most away and added a few larger ones and one lumbar on each side.
So, go ahead and put your sofa on the other wall. Take the bench that's in your children's room and add it to the living room as a fun seating option in front of your fireplace. Or, move your daughter's dresser in front of the window where the roman shade and the streaming light act as the only art above.
Choosing one, or a combination of the above suggestions will add a fresh dose of style to your space...just in time for Spring.
Shannon and I just finished a really fun project in North Beach. Our client lives in a flat with her husband and their two children. They have an extensive art collection along with a myriad of beloved textiles and found objects. They have adorned their space with exotic and interesting pieces but felt overwhelmed by a few of the rooms they used the most: their living/family room and their office/guest room.
Lets start with the family room. Having young children ourselves, Shannon and I know a thing or two about how your space gets invaded with castles and legos, trinkets and airplanes. In their family room, a train table served as the coffee table and they had a series of cabinets/dressers holding everything from the television and DVD's to legos and dinner linens. Our first goal was to de-clutter the space and re-arrange the furniture. She owned a great orange sofa and had an old leather chair that she wanted to keep, so from a furniture standpoint we wanted to get rid of the assemblage of smaller furniture pieces that peppered the room and add a few functional yet cool pieces (all vintage) that allowed for adequate storage and would also create the illusion of more space. Storage and space are two luxuries in San Francisco so we always keep these front of mind.
We kept the sofa, the chair, the trunk and the ever so important record player....the rest had to go. We ditched the old rug in favor of this West Elm dhurrie in iron which makes a statement but does not compete with the kuba cloth drapery. We found the brass tray top table on Chairish and sourced the hand-carved side tables from a local collective. The Harvey Probber credenza was a total score. These sell for thousands and thousands of dollars and we got this one for a fraction of that. It is a beautiful piece with ample storage for her children's DVDs and for her dinner linens. The combination of the woven doors with the black trim is a perfect anchor for the prints on the rug and the drapes. The vintage brass lamps were sitting in her basement and we replaced some of the fittings and added black lampshades from Restoration Hardware. The sofa was a little too short for the width of the room so by adding the side tables and the lamps, the sofa feels elongated and the whole wall space is visually used. We loved incorporating the cool items she already owned and adding a few others to round out the space. The room is chic enough for a candlelit cocktail party (records playing of course) and open enough for her children to build a Lego creation on the floor. Win win.
Now....on to the Guest Room/Office. Wow!
We don't need to say much about why this wasn't a functional room for this edgy young family. The elaborate bed was way too big for the room and too busy. There was another small assemblage of racks, cabinets and dressers to hold shoes, clothing and bedding and you could barely walk through the room to reach the closet. Our client said the room was used a handful of times each year as a guest room, but primarily she wanted to use it as an office, and dressing room (IKEA hack to follow in the next blog...it's RAD). First things first, remove all the clutter. We were left with the cool Mexican oil cloth that she had purchased to cover the walls, and a small but very functional space if decorated properly.
She wanted a futon to act as a sofa during the day, and roll out to a bed on the occasion she had overnight guests. Although we are not huge futon fans, we purchased a black one so that it would blend in with the other pieces and not make too much of a statement. We used her existing art to act as a "headboard" of sorts and frame the futon/sofa. We scored an awesome Paul McCobb dresser on Craigslist that had ample storage for some personal items and a set of bedding. The oversized glazed ceramic lamp was another basement treasure we had re-wired and we added a shade. The moroccan rug is the perfect complement, not competitor, to the Mexican oil cloth. Sometimes people are scared to mix patterns, but if they are of similar scale they can add a lot of dimension and interest in a room. And clearly, this client embraces anything bold. Boring she is NOT.
Their family went away to Mexico for the week and Shannon and I got down to business. She is thrilled and so are we. It was such a fun project to work with someone so daring and edgy and it was awesome to find such major scores on awesome mid-century pieces from really influential designers. Can't wait to be invited over for one of their infamous dinner parties...lights dimmed, records playing.
We're not exactly sure who determined that pairing navy and black were a "don't", but we strongly disagree.
Above is a photo of a chic playroom by Owens and Davis using a sophisticated color palette. The navy sofa is the perfect pairing with the whimsical black wallpaper. The sheepskin and the acrylic table layered on the bare, dark floor provides a light and airy antidote to the dark colors so that the room doesn't feel too dark or serious. The sputnik light with the white bulbs talks to the white in the wallpaper and graphic pillows. Modern, textured, layered. We have always loved navy and black (with a touch of white and brass)... and this room is the perfect illustration of that combo done right.
Hello Sexy Space. Blue Black and Brass are at it again. The black bookshelves paired with the brass sconces and the navy graphic rug make us want to curl up with a glass of red and stay awhile.
Strangely whether it is an outfit or a living room, the combination of black, blue and brass seem to be unstoppable. In this living room by Studio McGee the black walls and the navy striped rug make all the impact. Add brass hardware on the draperies, bookshelves and coffee table and the punch of fuschia for a sophisticated yet timeless vignette.
Whether for an outfit or a living room, you can't go wrong pairing navy, black, brass (or gold), and a pop of white. Few combinations are as elegant and timeless while also being modern and bold. So, if you had hesitations before....let them leave you now. Navy Black and Brass are here to stay.
When we think about design and think about spaces that inspire us, they all have one thing in common: layers. The spaces that inspire us are multi-dimensional and feel alive because they are layered with texture, or color, time-period, or design aesthetic.
We love layering different fabrics to create depth in a bedroom, or layering rugs to create a chic and cozy reading nook. Layering a cowhide rug over a sisal rug is a great way to create a more cozy and textured space. It is also a great way to separate a reading or eating nook from a larger living area. We also love a sheepskin thrown in front of a glider, or a leaning photo against a mirror. I think what draws us to layered rooms more than anything is that they don’t feel as “perfect”. Layering can evolve over time and is also easy to change depending on season…a lightweight throw draped over a sofa in the Summer can be replaced by a wool tartan blanket in the Winter.
We are constantly on the look out for amazing finds...whether fashion or for the home. And we get even more excited when we discover something amazing that can actually fit our budget! This week our favorite finds are ALL on Sale! After all...who wants to pay full price in January?
We love the versatility of this gorgeous silk blouse. Pair it with skinny black jeans and booties, or tuck it inot a pencil skirt for a more work appropriate look. It is an additional 30% off the sale price!
We can't get enough of these chairs! The angular shape, the neutral seat and the unbeatable price! Pair them with a sheepskin and an African mud-cloth pillow bohemian elegance. Hurry because they are offering an additional 20% off the sale price!
We are borderline obsessed with this four poster bed. The color. The spindles. The price. It doesn't get any better.