Friday Buy Day 9.4.15

Happy Friday.  And it's the happiest kind of Friday because it is Friday of a three-day weekend!  we hope you are doing something fun or relaxing or both, and are bringing you some must-have separates to pack for now...or layer for later.

Because it would be irresponsible to exclude a pair of white denim on Labor Day weekend considering all the controversy that surrounds these cloud-colored pants this time of year...

It is a matter of personal preference, but I wear white denim all year round.  I wear them with the usual pairings in the Spring/Summer, and during the Winter I love to pair them with a cream colored chunky sweater and booties, or a denim button-up, pea-coat and leopard flats.  This pair by my favorite denim line, Frame, and are now $73 from $209!!  They have a mid-rise, they are a perfect length and they are super-flattering...which is saying a lot because white jeans can be tough.  Almost all sizes left, for now....


Cute, right?  Love the gingham print, the eyelet lace detail at the bottom hem and the versatility of this button-up.  Wear it with white jeans, denim shorts or a straw hat for now.  Come fall, try it with the cropped cable-knit sweater featured in the last Friday Buy Day post and add distressed denim and tweed high-tops (another old Friday Buy Day item).  At $49.95 and an additional 30% off the sale price, it is too sweet to skip. 

These Ancient Greek sandals are insane.  Part sandal, part shootie....they are utterly cool.  The perforated leather, wrap around ankle and brass studs are just enough without being too much.  Amazing with printed silk shorts, sundresses, and seventies inspired rompers.  Also perfection with grey distressed denim, a printed tee and leather jacket.  Or try them with a silky blouse and leather skorts (yes, skorts).  There are only 4 sizes left, but I couldn't help posting them because they are so cool.  Originally $325, now $289 and an Additional 50% off!!!

Bohemian chic at it's best.  Softly draped sleeves, a creamy painterly palette, crochet lace trim.  Wear it with denim shorts and gladiators.  Wear it with flare jeans and wedges.  Wear it grey skinny cords and taupe suede booties.  Originally over $300, on sale for half that...and now marked another 30% off the sale will be the gift that keeps on giving.

Moving on from flowy bohemian to body-con rocker is this little number from Current & Elliott.  100% Cotton makes this the perfect, packable, wearable, washable dress.  Throw on a leather jacket for dinner out or wear it during the day with the sandals above for an effortless and edgy look.  For $78, from $156, get the look of Racquel Allegra at 1/3 of the price.


Might seem a little random to include an iPhone case, but I couldn't help myself because my bare iPhone was completely shattered by my 2 year-old last week and I was on the hunt for a chic cover when I found this one.  A nude-rose color of crushed sparkles...yes, please. (and on sale, of course)

Lastly, these grey wash, perfectly distressed jeans for those of you who do not buy into the "white after Labor Day ruling".  Shannon and I believe you should buy what you WILL wear, not what you THINK you will wear.  And these fit that mantra perfectly.  No need to go through all the outfit possibilities, only to point out that at $99 (from $248) this is a Fall (and year-round staple) that should be incorporated into your weekly line-up if you don't have a pair already.

Wishing you your best Labor Day yet.  Cheers!


Friday Buy Day 8.21.15

The schizophrenia continues this Friday Buy Day as we straddle the sales of Summer with the delicious Fall offerings flooding the stores (and the internet).  As always, we are bringing you what we want to buy right now...and everything is either on sale or is sold at a super reasonable price point.

Summer is not over fact it is just beginning for us San Franciscans.  And, everyone knows how much we love a romper.  At $84, this darling romper with 3/4 sleeves, a tassle-tie neck and bohemian print is a steal.  Wear it with gladiator sandals to a backyard BBQ, or pack it on your next weekend getaway for a comfortable and stylish outfit. 

Now, onto some transitional pieces that you can wear now, later and always.  I am obsessed with this printed button down from the Gap.  It has a subtle cactus print, a perfect chambray color and  would look fantastic peeking out of the cropped cable knit sweater (look to the right).  Finish off the outfit with the leopard d'Orsay flats and master the art of a perfect print mix.  The cropped cable-knit sweater (and for those of you who are worried about the word "cropped", it is not really hits at the hip) comes in cream and black and has rich, woven detail that is hard to see from the pic above.  The sweater not only looks great layered over a button-down, it would also look great with skinny sweats and sneakers, or try it with a leather skirt and statement necklace.  As for the shoes, wear them with everything.  They ease they grunge factor of ripped jeans, feminize the masculinity of boyfriend jeans and look just as good with a skirt as they do with ankle-length pants.  These three staples have endless uses, are all under $100 (seriously) and will never go out of style. 


Okay, back to Summer with this darling printed dress. With a cut-out back and easy shape, this one is a crowd-pleaser.  For a more transitional look, try it with low-heeled suede booties and a cropped leather jacket. 



Seems a little random, but I found this brand of workout pants at Urban Outfitters and I really love...them. They are sexy, flattering, wash well and priced well below your favorite Lululemons.   And who can say no to another pair of black workout pants:)



Lastly, this ethereal dress from Rebecca Taylor. Cream lace, peasant sleeves, a flounce skirt and flattering neckline make this the perfect dress for day or night, work or play. For now, try it with studded gladiator sandals and a top-knot.   In the Fall, pair this with booties and a wool fedora for an Isabel Marant inspired ensemble. This dress is feminine with a bohemian flair and will definitely find a place in my weekly line-up of go-to's.


Whether it's a new pair of workout pants or a new pair of leopard flats, we hope you found something (or a few things) to spice up your wardrobe. Have a great weekend! 

An Amazing (& Easy) Gluten Free Dinner

I was at my friend Tracy's house last weekend and she is well-known in our group as one of the best chefs around.  Her son was born with  an allergy to gluten and as a result, she and her family have adopted a primarily gluten-free diet. Tracy cooks most nights of the week, and her meals are beautiful, colorful, healthy and many are even manageable for an amateur like me.  

I asked her to share a few of her weeknight recipes with me and I made this delicious concoction last night: Stir-Fried Steak with Veggies Over Coconut, Lime & Ginger Cauliflower "Rice"

Does your mouth water just hearing the name of the dish?  Mine did...



Here it is:

1.  Add avocado oil to a cast iron skillet on medium/high heat and stir fry peppers, onions, snap peas and brussel sprouts (quartered)..or really any veggies you want in your stir-fry.  Add strips or cubes of steak.

2.  Cut the cauliflower into florets and pulse them in a food-processor.  Do this in relatively small batches (i.e.: 4 groups for a large head of cauliflower). 

3.  Heat coconut oil in a separate skillet and add fresh ginger.  Throw in the cauliflower crumbs and cook to your desired temp (I like mine a little crusty/well-done).  Add lime zest, a little lime juice and salt to taste.

4.  Place the stir-fried veggies and steak over your coconut-lime-cauliflower "rice"  in a shallow bowl.  Add some Siracha and enjoy a mouth-watering, gluten-free meal that you will surely want to incorporate in your weekly rotation!

For those of you who (like me) may have thought gluten-free meals had to be boring or unexciting...we hope this delicious, flavorful and easy to make recipe provides you the wheat-free inspiration you need (:

Bon Appetit!


Friday Buy Day 8.14.15

We are ALL over the map this Friday Buy Day.  We are loving the Summer sale items, but also can't contain our excitement about some cozy knits and leather skirts.  So consider yourself warned that this Friday Buy Day is a schizophrenic smattering of some amazing things we are digging right now.

First up, this beautiful textured maxi dress by Cynthia Vincent.  There are plenty of places that sell really inexpensive maxi dresses, but I've found that investing in a few that are beautiful enough to wear to dinner, and chic enough to last a few seasons are a much better "value" than buying a handful of "cheap" ones each Season.  The v-shaped pattern on the bodice is extremely slimming to the waistline, while the low-back is sexy and elegant.  The pattern and fabric are a timeless combination and at just over $200 (from over $400) you will surely get your money out of this dress for many Seasons to come.

Next Up, a new pair of skinny jeans.  These are from Point Sur's collaboration with J. Crew.  They are made of Japanese denim (the best) and have the perfect amount of whiskering and just a touch of distressing.  With a mid-rise (9 inches) and the perfect wash, these will surely be your go-to denim for now...and later.  On sale for $99 (from $198) with an Additional 30% off the sale price (code SHOPMORE), give these skinnies a try and see if you've discovered your new favorite line of denim.

The schizophrenic part of this post begins now: this (to me) is a non-negotiable staple.  I know that sounds ludicrous...a faux-fur pink cropped jacket with a gray stripe on the back as a "staple?"  And so...I'll explain.  Living in San Francisco, you become obsessed with jackets.  Outerwear in general is probably the most important aspect of one's outfit because it is the most (and sometimes) only piece visible.

I would wear this jacket over a long sleeve gray cashmere sweater with sneakers and skinny jeans, or with a cream blouse, distressed denim and high heels for an evening out.  I would wear it over a cocktail dress during the Holiday Season, and bring it along as my warmth when wearing an all-white outfit.  I love the shape, the color, the versatility and the price (half off...$300 from $600).  A fantastic addition to my jacket wardrobe.

For those of you who are not interested in a salmon-colored faux fur cropped jacket(: here is a more subtle staple.  This chambray tunic/mini-dress by Vince is chic, understated and timeless.  For now, pair it with strappy gladiator sandals and a sheer pink lip.  Later, wear it over leather leggings with leopard flats and a chunky cardigan.  It is the perfect travel companion and can be re-invented countless times depending on how you style it (add a scarf and boots, try it with a statement necklace and oxfords, or wear it with a cropped leather vest and your Superga high-tops...the list goes on)

These will be delivered to my doorstep in 1-3 days based on the shipping information(:  Love the matte black frames, gold detailing and unisex shape.  I'll let you know how they look on my face but very hopeful that these will be my new favorite sunnies.

A (faux) lizard leather mini skirt? Yes, please.  This is the perfect addition to everyone's wardrobe for Fall.  Now on sale for under $200, this piece feels ultra-luxe without the ultra-luxe price tag.  Wear it with a chunky knit and booties, or add a silky blouse and strappy heels for a party.  It is sexy, interesting and super versatile.

Lastly, this super cozy chunky knit sweater.  With it's wide-rolled sleeves, open knit detailing and side zipper, this sweater is sure to be a weekend favorite.  Pair it with skinny sweats for a stylish leisure look, or try it with leather leggings for a date at the movie theatre.  This is the perfect "I am not trying too hard, I just look this cool" sweater.  I know you know what I mean.

Congratulations!  You made it through this crazy post.  Hope you found some pieces that you love, whether for Summer, Fall or a little of both.  

Have a great weekend!! 


N3twork's New Digs

South Park is a small area in San Francisco centered around an oval-shaped park by the same name.  With it's condensed size and neighborhood feel, it is not immediately obvious what South Park is all about until you step off of the bus.  The place is buzzing (literally) with entrepreneurs, engineers and deal-makers.  The birthplace of Twitter and home to Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins,  South Park now includes N3twork in it's list of impressive companies that lease space in the hood.

Shannon and I had the good fortune to work with N3twork when designing their new space.  After some renovation to expose the amazing brick walls and exposed beams original to the building, we were left with a large, light-filled open concept work-space and a variety of conference rooms on the periphery.


All of the desks were custom made with reclaimed wood tops and steel bases of different heights allowing employees to sit or stand as they work.  N3twork worked with the renowned design team at Office to create brand strategy and meaningful visuals.   We were able to use their skillful designs to further enhance the space.

Every time I visit N3twork, I am inspired by the culture born out of their collaboration with Office.  

The environment is energetic, hip and invigorating as they #fightfordelight.  

And, because no tech company is complete without one, we had to add a fully-stocked bar cart.  A little bourbon has been known to cure "engineering-block."

Cheers to N3twork.  Wishing them continued success... 

More images of our design work with N3twork and other projects will be available in the Portfolio section soon.

Friday Buy Day 8.7.15

Much like our wardrobes often need a little pick me up, this time of year often makes me want some fresh pieces to enliven my home.  This Friday we are bringing you some awesome (and cost-conscious) ideas to give your place the mini-facelift it needs.

1.  We absolutely adore this over-dyed rug from Lulu & Georgia.  The saturated, yet faded turquoise color looks fantastic with gray, beige, pink, navy...and the list goes on.  Use this instead of your boring Pottery Barn sisal to liven up your living space.  It is just as beautiful under a sofa as it is peeking out from under your bed.  Or try a smaller size in your kitchen...making coffee while standing on this beauty is a great way to start your day.

2.   Next up, this awesome leather butterfly chair.  Inspired by the Ralph Lauren Home one we drooled over recently (that was $4000), this one rings in at under $300!!  It comes in chocolate or ebony and would look great in the corner of your living room with a sheepskin and a floor lamp, or try a pair across from your sofa to update your space.

3.  This paper-maiche side table is the perfect way to lighten up a room, especially if you have a dark rug.  With it's sculptural shape and bright white color it would look great with a task lamp next to a corner chair or add one in between two arm chairs as the perfect perch for your cocktail.

4.  Depending on the pieces the home-owner (or renter) already has in her collection, Shannon and I often use art as a compass for the palette of the space.  This ethereal and happy piece by Jen Garrido lends itself to a fresh and collected space.  Try it on your mantel in a living room with blues and grays.  Or add it to your bedroom, with a navy blue campaign style dresser and crisp white bedding.  Throw a vintage Hmong lumbar on top and your bedroom will feel clean, modern and balanced.

5.  We love this white rose topiary (it's alive).  It is an easy, and low maintenance way to add greenery and life to your home.  The flowers bloom most of the year and the plant will last for about 4 months inside.  At $75, this is an economical and beautiful way bring the outdoors in.  Buy a pair to flank your fireplace, and wrap some tiny lights around the base.  You don't need a Holiday to make your home feel festive and special every night of the year.

6.  Lastly, this uber chic ceramic lamp.  Great texture, great size, and great price (under $200).  Add it to an entry console for a perfectly lit foyer, or try it on your bedroom dresser for a pop of color and layer of interest.


Much like a new jacket or pair of shoes for your wardrobe... a new rug, some greenery or a pair of chairs can give your space the little boost in confidence that it craves this time of year.

Friday Buy Day 7.31.15

The beginning of August is one of the best times to sale shop...arguably even better than sale shopping post Holiday.  There are Pre-Season sales that get everyone excited about cozy Fall knits and there are also Spring/Summer sales with boatloads of great warm-weather clothing dramatically reduced.  I am enticed by both:  Fall is around the corner, and (strangely) this is the perfect time to buy Spring/Summer when you live in San Francisco because we are fast approaching the warmest months of the year.

With 2 weddings coming up, I couldn't help but post this beautiful mermaid style dress by Mason.  The sexy bar straps and elegant shape make this a perfect choice for a rehearsal dinner, or an engagement party.  And if you are not the bride to be, buy this dress as a chic cocktail alternative.  Pair it with deco jeweled earrings, or a fanciful cuff.  White in the Fall/Winter is always welcome.

Next up, this open knit cardigan by Three Dots.  This is the kind of work-horse everyone needs in their closet.  With a chunky marbled knit, cotton construction and ribbed trim it is equal parts functional and stylish.  This is the perfect topper when you're traveling so that you feel comfortable and look pulled together.  It is machine washable, under $90 (from $180) and currently there are all sizes left.

Because things are really starting to heat up around here (SF), I would be remiss not to include a Summer maxi in the line-up of must-haves.  This cotton maxi has a darling batik print, a deep slit and an adjustable halter neck tie.  With a slightly boho feel, it is easy, breezy and wants to be worn at home or on vacation.

This blouse is the perfect blouse.  Timeless, yet modern, it has a  sexy draped neck, elegant silk fabrication and gently cuffed sleeves.  Wear this tucked into a pencil skirt, or try it with wide-leg trousers for a refined menswear inspired look.  It would also look fantastic with ripped jeans and stilettos.  Your new "go-to" blouse is under $100 and will be one of your favrorite Fall staples.

Because it is party (wedding) season, I couldn't help but include this amazing tulle and embroidered dress by Alice and Olivia.  A deep v neckline keeps it from feeling too sweet while the beading and scalloped hem show intricate, almost couture-like, detail.  The restrained and classic color combination ensures this dress has no time-stamp and the half-off price ensures this dress won't empty your piggy bank.  

Wishing you a wonderful (and stylish) weekend!!





English Chic

Shannon and I are working on a beautiful home in Orinda with a decidedly English vibe.   Beautiful green ivy creeping on the facade, with views of mature oak trees and manicured gardens out every window.  Shutters, original to the build, adorn many of the windows while multiple sets of iron-cased french doors provide breezy access to the fountains and foliage that await outside.

We are designing this house with (irreverent) British undertones and thrilled about how everything is coming along.  An English room is timeless, slightly moody and should make you want to pour yourself a stiff cocktail (brown liquor, not clear) and cozy up by the fire with a novel. 


Everyone can do greige, but it is way more interesting (and stylish) to skip the safe, catalog look and get a little more creative.  A leather sofa? Never out of style.  And buffalo check chairs? Yes please.  The toile can go on drapes, on the wall...or skip it all-together and incorporate a Pendleton stripe for a more masculine take on this room (And no, the wallpaper is not upside down.  Look closely)

1.  This cognac leather sofa is the modern take on a classic piece...and only gets better with time.

2.  Because it wouldn't feel truly "English" without an equestrian nod.  

3.  Slightly preppy, totally stylish.  This chair is a necessary element, adding whimsy and pattern.

4.  Toile...elegant and feminine.  Upholster your headboard in emerald green toile fabric with crisp white linens in a bedroom, or add toile wallpaper in a study to balance the more masculine elements.

5.  Pottery Barn got it right with this piece.  Sculptural with an aged patina, this coffee table feels luxe for a great price.

6.  A cozy (faux) fur throw is essential while drinking a brown liquor cocktail and reading by a fire.  It just is.

7.  The oil painting.  Find one online, at your local consignment shop or in your grandma's garage.

8.  Mixing textures and patterns adds depth and interest.  Finish the room by throwing a few plaid pillows on the sofa (you can mix it up).

So, go ahead... add some leather, fur, plaid and and a creepy old man in a gold frame to your living room, and see if you don't find your conversations more interesting, your reading selections more sophisticated and your bourbon palette more evolved.  Unfortunately, I can't make any promises on the accent(:



Friday Buy Day 7.24.15

As always, this Friday Buy Day we are delivering you awesome fashion, all on sale.  

Take a look....

Might as well start with a show-stopper right?  This printed maxi dress by Parker is sexy (open-back not shown), versatile and yearns to be twirled on a dance floor.  Love the geometric bodice and the tropical print.  Try it with simple ankle strap heels and bold lips.... and wait for the compliments to roll in.

These Rag & Bone jeans are awesome.  It's hard to find denim, and we've found that Rag & Bone is flattering on virtually everyone.  These are cool because of the frayed hem and the straight leg.  We love these jeans with sneakers as much as we love them with stilettos (if too long, get them altered to ankle length).  And now, at $149 (from $198) and an Additional 30% off the Sale Price (most sizes left), it seems criminal not to put a pair in your cart and see if they are your new favorite denim. 

Next up, this darling chambray top.  The structured, slightly boxy fit and the flared sleeve are high fashion, while the price is anything but.  Wear this with flared denim and wedges, or try it with printed silk pants.  Simple, elegant and much more interesting than a white tee.

If you're going to indulge in the culotte trend, this is the way to do it.  This Alice & Olivia jumpsuit screams "cool".  The linen and the stripes are classic, while the cropped wide leg and cut-out back are decidedly modern.  Be bold, and wear this in lieu of a dress for your next brunch date or baby shower.

Lastly, these chic sandals from Vince.  They don't require much in terms of when to wear them because they are so versatile.  Love the snakeskin, love the woven platform and love the ankle strap. They are currently $154 from $275 with almost all sizes left (for now).  If I saw a girl walking down the street wearing the Rag and Bone frayed denim (above), the flutter sleeve chambray top (above), and these on her feet...I would definitely pause to admire.  Make your wardrobe envy worthy as well (:

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Hope you enjoyed this week's Friday Buy Day!  Have a great weekend.



Friday Buy Day 7.17.15

I am feeling guilty that I haven't been writing more, but we have been so busy with our design work that we have had little time to share our many thoughts about everything that's going on!  But, at minimum, we are committed to bringing you Friday Buy Day every week and as I'm sure many of you know... it's Nordstrom's Anniversary sale right now!  Crazy to think that we can already shop for Fall attire, but excited to share some awesome pieces at major discounts...

This cropped military jacket from Rag and Bone is a MUST.  I actually have last year's version (a little longer in length and a little more boxy) and I wear it non-stop.  This one is even more chic because it is the perfect length for layering over a longer cashmere sweater and tee, or try it over a printed dress with boots to toughen up a more feminine look.  It is washable, wearable and now on sale for $ will be back up to $350 when the sale is over, so get yours today.

Next up, this elegant and stylish jumpsuit from DVF.  Everyone knows Shannon and I love a onesie, but the pant jumpsuit is particularly elegant and chic.  Love the cobalt color, the draped sleeve and the slightly slouchy trouser style.  So effortless.  Wear this to a work event, a friend's birthday party or add some beautiful earrings and head to a cocktail party.  You will be the best-dressed guest.

Like the Rag and Bone military jacket above, this is another stylish workhorse.  This is one of those pieces that once it is in your closet, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.  Wear it over a striped cashmere sweater with skinny jeans and sneakers, or pair it with leather leggings and a silky blouse for a night on the town.  It instantly adds luxury and texture...and at $89 you can not afford to miss this buying opportunity.

FDBD 7.17 4.jpg

Because everyone needs a new Fall bag, and it doesn't always have to be an oversized one.  This clutch is a great size, has a luxurious sheen and texture and goes with everything.  Under $170.  Enough said.

Lastly, these "sweater" sneakers from Nike.  They come in three color ways ( I love the charcoal/black) and are just as pretty as they are practical.  I would wear the black/charcoal ones with skinny denim and and a leather jacket, or try them with skinny sweats and a chunky scarf.  Elevating your cozy weekend attire is mandatory in the Fall.  


Hope you enjoyed these Fall picks from Nordstrom's Anniversary sale.  Happy Shopping.  

Friday Buy Day 7.10.15

Clearly, San Francisco weather (it is currently raining) does not dictate our Summer purchases.  This week we are bringing you some more stylish must-haves...all on sale, of course.

First up, this darling top.  Slightly sweet, and slightly sexy it is a perfect top to pair with lacy shorts and sandals or flared denim and wedges.  It is $69.95 from $130 and an additional 20% off the sale price with code SALEAWAY.  Get yours, and head to your next backyard BBQ or Happy Hour in style.

Next up, these chic shorts from Ella Moss.  The lace is feminine and flirty, the banded waist is really flattering and they would look just as lovely with the silk blouse (above) as they would with a denim button-up.  At $78, you will get your wear out of these in no time.

I am totally obsessed with these sandals  They instantly make an outfit, and the olive green color goes with virtually everything.  I picture them with grey skinny jeans and a slouchy white tank, or try them with a Texas Tuxedo (denim on denim) to add a little glam factor.  They are now an ADDITIONAL 40% off the sale price...making them around $85 from $200.  Sold.

Lastly, I must confess...I bought this beautiful embroidered cover-up yesterday because I couldn't stand the thought of it selling out in my size.  I love the scalloped edges, the wide sleeves, the v neck and creamy color!  Gorgeous over a swimsuit..or add a gladiator sandal and a straw hat and for the perfect margarita sipping ensemble.  It is around $100 from over $200, and from now on will never go absent from my packing list.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Getting a Gut Job Right

We are so excited to be working on a complete home renovation in Burlingame, and save a few walls..the entire place has been gutted.  We have selected the slabs, the appliances, the hardware, the doors and made countless other important decisions with the oh-so stylish homeowner, and now we get to talk about furnishings, decor, and paint!

Her kitchen is large and will be her most used room.  It has also long been a dream of hers to have an all-white kitchen (except for a blue La Cornue range).  And dreamy, this kitchen will be.  

We hand selected beautiful honed Calcutta Oro marble for her island and countertops, and for the decor we wanted to keep the vibe fresh, light and airy.  Her home is traditional in style but when her family's renovation is complete the new home will lend itself to a more modern, cool sensibility.  

We created this board for her (above) to give her a visual of how her space will come together.  To add some texture, and a bit of color to the clean and light palette, we will be adding a custom settee to wrap one corner of the room and provide seating for the rustic farmhouse style table (custom banquette not shown).  We chose the rustic farmhouse style table to counter-balance the sharpness of the white marble on the countertops and on the island.  

We are debating the chair choices above (woven bistro chairs or more organic, modern ones), as well as the lantern choices above.  We have chosen a weathered Oushak rug in saturated, yet faded colors to provide a cozy contrast to the white.  And pillows on the custom banquette will also add a comfort and color.

We can't wait to share the "after" of this beautiful space with you all, but in the meanwhile feel free to weigh in on the lighting and chair choices above(:

Our Favorite Fourth of July Refresher

Shannon and I love the Fourth of July and will be spending it together, with our families and close friends in Sonoma.  Whenever we do these fun group getaways, the food menu and the cocktail choices are always a huge part of our pre-planning discussion.  Our friends (and Shannon) are AMAZING cooks, so I won't get into the delicious menus that are planned for breakfast, lunch and dinner while we're away..(or maybe I will, but that will be another post)...but I will offer my favorite cocktail for this Holiday: The Watermelon Margarita.

Watermelon Margaritas are the perfect complement to a warm day by the pool, or a backyard BBQ and because they are not "traditional" margaritas, you will surely impress your friends.  There are plenty of recipes out there that require you to "reduce" the juice and carve the fruit...blah, blah, blah....but all of that is too much work for a drink that is so delicious your friends' glasses will go empty at a rapid pace.  So if you don't want sore arms from muddling, follow this simple recipe:

The Ingredients:

For a salted rim, dip the glass in a shallow plate with lime juice and then dip the glass in another shallow plate with salt.

Add ample ice ( I like mine extra cold), and fill the glass about 1/3 with blanco tequila ( I love Clase Azul).

Add the Watermelon Juice (I love the Watermelon Cucumber Cooler from Trader Joe's...low sugar and the cucumber is refreshing), and top with a splash of club soda and a squeeze of lime.

The result is refreshing, delicious and a patriotic take on the classic margarita.


Friday Buy Day 6.26.15

This Friday Buy Day is extra special as we approach the Fourth of July!  We are bringing you our top picks for this fantastic Holiday with enough time for shipments to arrive before the big BBQ.

First things first, high-waist denim shorts.  This collaboration with Alexa Chung and AG is a good one and these cut-offs are the perfect mix of casual cool.  Great rinse, perfect length and look just as cool with a cropped lace blouse as they do with a boyfriend button-down.

Next up, this beautiful embroidered blouse.  We love the softly flared sleeve, the tassle detail on the neck-tie (although personally I'd leave the tie undone for a more relaxed and open neck-line) and the bronze, royal and cream color combo.  Pair this with ripped denim and metallic sandals (see below) for a chic but effortless look, or try it with cut-offs and an open-toe bootie for an edgy and bohemian vibe.

This bathing suit by Lauren Moffatt epitomizes patriotic style.  The floral print is a little bit sweet while the bandeau cut-out is a little bit sexy.  This would look fantastic with denim shorts and a fringed straw hat for milling around the pool.

We love a graphic tee or sweater and this one is perfect to pack for your 4th of July getaway.  Wear it with ripped jeans and a head-scarf for a playful yet casual look, or try it with a denim shirt underneath, skinny sweats and sneakers for a cozy evening around a fire roasting s'mores!

I DIE for these cullottes.  If you are inclined to indulge in this latest trend, these are the pants (shorts?) for you..and they are now an ADDITIONAL 20% Off the sale price of $79 with code SALEAWAY!  Love the print, love the shape, love everything.  I picture them with a cropped blouse, and strappy heels (red suede would look great!) for a Fourth of July fete that is a little more dressy than a backyard BBQ.

Lastly, these rose gold sandals will be your go-to shoe of the season and are now on sale for $99 (from almost $200) and are an additional 20% for a limited time.  The twisted silk rope, rose gold color and the tassle details make for a sophisticated take on the Grecian trend.  They would look great with the ethereal embroidered blouse (mentioned above) and denim shorts, or pair them with a breezy maxi.  These are the perfect sandals for an evening when you want to feel a bit dressy but don't have the energy to wear a high-heel.

And there you have it...our top picks to be the best-dressed guest no matter where your Fourth of July plans are taking you!!


A New Seating Situation

Whether friends or clients, we hear a lot of frustration about the dining room.  Tables and chairs we may have inherited from parents or grandparents are now feeling dated and stodgy, but the cost of replacing them often trumps our desire to do so...especially for renters or people not sure they are going to be in their current home for a long period of time. 

Dining tables and chairs can get really pricey.  Even at more "reasonable" furniture stores, large tables are expensive, and then adding 6 chairs doesn't ease the expense.  But Shannon and I notice that many times, the space can be salvaged by either stripping and painting the existing table, or sanding the dark wood for a more bleached and rustic feel.  As for the chairs, it's usually time for new ones.   But don't get scared, we have found some super stylish finds that offer a cost-effective solution.  So, swap the dark cherry chairs for more modern (but quite reasonable) seating selections.


Here are our top picks:

1.  Roadhouse Chair is by far one of our favorite chairs for the price.  At $249 it packs major style into a small price point.  Pair these with a rustic farmhouse style table, or opt for something more unexpected and pair it with a more modern Saarinen style table.

2.  These tabouret style chairs have had a major comeback recently, and for good reason.  At $95, there are few (if any) chairs that are less expensive, they come in all colors of the rainbow, and they are virtually indestructible.  Pair the gunmetal chairs with a mid-century modern table, or buy a set of the electric yellow with a zinc top table for an edgy and urban feel.

3.  A traditional Windsor chair might feel too "traditional" but this dip-dyed version is cool, classic and current.

4.  An inexpensive take on the classic tripod chair, this white and wood version is great with a round, square or rectangular table and instantly updates a stodgy dining table.

5.  We love these wire chairs from CB2.  The shape is clean and modern, and they look great with a sheepskin throw for warmth.  They are easy on the wallet, and easy to store so that you can buy extras for Thanksgiving dinner.  

6.  These chairs crafted by John Vogel for West Elm are in our office at Jack Ryan.  They have an architectural element, and the wishbone shape is a nod to modern style, while the woven seat offers contrast and texture.  Timeless, chic and quite comfortable (:

Don't let your dining room be a room that you dislike.  Sand or paint your existing table to an attractive finish, and add new (inexpensive) chairs to instantly refresh your space! 

Friday Buy Day 6.19.15

It's Friday again which means it's time for us to share some of our favorite sale picks!  We are headed to Ojai next weekend for a girls trip so we chose pieces inspired by our upcoming getaway!

The color of the sun isn't for everyone, but if it's for you...then this is the dress.  Finished in a gauzy cotton fabric and off-the-shoulder, this dress is modern and clean with a boho appeal.  Wear it as a cover-up, or pair it with neutral flats and a bold turquoise earring for dinner al-fresco.  It is $39 (on sale at Zara) and is an inexpensive way to indulge in bold color and the shoulder baring trend.

Next up is this ethereal embroidered top.  We love the gathered sleeves, the blouson shape and the creamy color.  Pair this top with denim cut-offs and ankle wrapped sandals, or try it with skinny flare denim and natural colored wedges for a casual evening out.  It is less than $100 from almost $200 and you will wear it ALL the time.  This will be part of my traveling ensemble as it is comfortable to wear on a plane, while chic enough to wear while wine-tasting.

LOVE. love, love these jeans.  Made by Frame (one of our favorite denim lines), they are skinny flares.  Skinny at the top and through the thigh...flared from the knee down, making them THE most flattering style of denim ever!  Because they are slim at the top, feel free to experiment with different top styles.  They look fantastic with a more cropped, boxy style blouse or try them with a blouse tucked-in for an elegant outfit.  We also love them with a more drapey, boho style blouse (like the one pictured above) and wedges for an unexpected and chic combination.  These sell for $220, now are on sale for $149 and are an ADDITIONAL 50% OFF the sale price!  All sizes left...for now.


A little louder than our previous picks, we couldn't help but add this to our list because of it's sexy, yet boho shape and bold color palette.  Screams vacation, right?  This Mara Hoffman dress is perfect for Happy Hour margaritas, or lounging around the pool playing dice.   Pack it for a weekend trip to Southern Cal, or a week-long trip to Mexico or is fun, fresh and easy to wear.



These sandals complete all of the above, and anything/everything else you have in your closet.  They are super-stylish, while also remaining super neutral.  They don't compete with loud pattern, yet will add depth and interest to a "plain" outfit.  They are only $125, and are a fantastic and versatile addition to your sandal collection.


Hope you enjoyed this week's Friday Buy Day picks...Have a wonderful weekend!

Pouf Possibilities

Shannon and I love poufs...oh the possibilities.  We love poufs paired at the base of a fireplace for some cozy extra seating, or wedged under a children's play table as safe place for the littles to perch.  We love one at the end of a chair as a foot rest, or a handful of colorful poufs scattered around a low-table in the backyard for a festive fete.  We talk about them, we blog about them, we have them in our homes, and we try to limit our "over-buying" of them the same way we try to limit our "over-buying" of pillows (unsuccessfully).  

Here are our Top Picks (Most under $200):

1.  We would use this striped pouf as kid's seating in a playroom, or peaking out of a rustic coffee table for extra seating.

2.  This pouf is a darling splash of color and texture.  Layer a few of these on Fouta towels in your backyard for the perfect place to lounge and sip on a watermelon margarita. 

3.  This is a great neutral pouf that adds texture to an otherwise colorful, or patterned space.  A pair would look great in front of the fireplace of a home with a casual or beach vibe.

4.  This mongolian fur pouf is luxe and stylish and under $200.  It's a great way to indulge in this cozy trend without breaking the bank.

5.  This batik pouf is gorgeous with it's washed out colors and timeless appeal.

6.  A perfect complement to other patterns in a room...don't be afraid to mix and match.  This one is a great addition to a mountain home, or would also be a stylish foot rest for that wingback chair in your family room.


Take a look around the place you call home and see if there is room for a little texture, color and pattern in the form of a pouf!

Friday Buy Day 6.5.15

We're doing something a little different this Friday Buy Day and instead of featuring a handful of separates to add to your wardrobe, we are bringing you our favorite Summer outfit.  Meaning, if the weather cooperated, and we had to wear one outfit everyday, this would be it (and of course it is all on sale!).

The ensemble is simple, yet stylish.  The heather gray racer-back muscle tee is the perfect foundation piece for the cotton candy tweed jacket, keeping it from looking too sweet.  The gray color picks up on the silver button and zipper of the jacket and the ripped cut-offs are an unexpected addition to a more "ladylike" jacket.  The jacket is a cotton-blend making it the perfect weight for an extra layer.  I wasn't sure if I could pull off the whole birkenstock didn't quite feel like me.  But somehow, add some sparkles and I am all about those "hippie" sandals (:

1.   Gray Racer-back Tee ($19.95)

2.   Pink Tweed Jacket (now $349 from $582)

3.   Distressed Cut-Offs (now $39)

4. Sparkly Sandals (now $79)

All of these items are fabulous separates, and as a whole they create our favorite Summer ensemble.

Outdoor Furnishings

Furnishing your outside space can be just as meaningful, if not more, than your inside space if you live in a climate where most of your time and entertaining can be spent outdoors.  We are working on a project in Lafayette, where the weather is beautiful almost all year long.  The Springs are warm, the Summers hot and the Winters mild. 

Our client has a stunning (literally stunning) piece of property outfitted with a gorgeous pool, gardens, chicken coops and mountain views.  And while she loves color and we will boldly use it in her home, we actually discouraged her from using too much color in the outdoor furnishings.  

This may seem uninteresting, but we have some reason for our restraint:  We wanted the property to shine, and we wanted the outdoor furnishings and decor to be timeless, not trendy.  It is so fun to visit places like The Parker in Palm Springs or The Viceroy where you are inundated with saturated color everywhere you look, but our suggestion to her was to leave that moment in Palm Springs (or on vacation) where it belongs.


Her home is a mid-century Spanish style rancher.  It is in a rustic setting adjacent to a state park, and there is natural beauty in every direction.  We didn't want to distract from this magical setting so we chose outdoor furnishings finished in iron and dressed in a light stone color, that is almost creamy.  We hung light fixtures that are a slightly more modern rendition of traditional lanterns.  We incorporated a little black, chocolate and print as a nod to the Spanish architecture and keep the rest of the space clean, and uncluttered.

We are still waiting on some additional furniture and the addition of an outdoor fireplace, but we are thrilled with how the space is coming together and jealous of all the chic pool parties this family will host in the months ahead.

Packing the Perfect Shoe Assortment

Summer is almost here and everyone seems to be going on a trip.  Close friends are headed to Hawaii, Thailand, Europe...and although I am sad to report that I am not going to any of those places I am happy to share some solicited (I swear I've been asked a bunch) advice on packing(:

Typically, there is one reason why your luggage weighs 100 pounds and why you can't fit all of your clothes into your bag when you are packing for a week-long getaway...your shoes. Shoes are the downfall of almost all over-packers. And after experimenting with this dilemma for years, I am going to share my results.  Travelers should pack no more than 5 pairs of shoes.


Thats right, for 90% of all travels 5 pairs of shoes should adequately suffice a wide range of outfits and outings.   Exemptions; Sub-Saharan Africa, you need less.  Cannes Film Festival, you need more.  Camping in Big Sur, you need less.  Kim Kardashian's Wedding weekend in Italy, you need more.  You get the drift...outliers are the exceptions.

Here are the only 5 styles of shoes you need to pack:


1. Sneakers, of course.  These will serve as your leisure, airport, and workout shoes. We love the nike high-tops because they are fashionable, super comfortable and look great with Lululemon leggings if you decide to hit the gym. 

2.  A comfortable (but chic) flat. This can be a ballet flat, a sandal or a smoking slipper (the climate will determine which one is appropriate) . We love one with some sort of print or interesting texture (leopard, tweed, or patent leather).  This will be your shoe for a day of shopping, sight-seeing or traveling between cities. It has to be chic enough to to wear to the Louvre but comfortable enough to schlep your luggage through an airport. 

3.  Heel. This can be a pump, a platform or our preference is a strappy gladiator style heel that pairs just as well with a dress as it does with skinny jeans.  This is where a lot of women get tripped up...too many heels.  So, here is our recommendation: get creative with your accessories and stay basic with your heel. There is no doubt that funky heels can spice up an outfit, but when traveling try to make your outfits interesting so you can keep your shoes neutral.  A black strappy heel looks amazing with ripped jeans, a blouse and a chunky necklace or wear them with a printed cocktail dress and statement earrings for a dinner party.

4.  A wedge OR a bootie (depending on climate).  This is for that "in-between" outing.  Not fancy enough for a 4-inch pump, but fancier than a flat sandal.  A trip wine-tasting, a chic brunch, a Sunday evening dinner at a neighborhood gastro-pub.  Wedges with your flared denim and a cropped eyelet blouse for somewhere warm (P.S. the ones featured are on MAJOR link!).  Or, booties with your skinny jeans and a chunky turtleneck sweater for somewhere cool.

5.  Lastly, flip-flops.  They require little in terms of space in your luggage, and require little in terms of explaining their purpose.  They are needed for trips to the pool, trips to get ice down the hall, or trips to grab a coffee in the lobby bar.


And there you have it, our guide to packing for a week-long excursion and avoiding back pain and baggage fees.