Friday, April 17, 2015

books by bloggers

Looks like I better clear some space on my coffee table! Is it just me, or is every design blogger coming out with a book this spring?? Here's a round-up of my favorite new books by bloggers:

I just got my hands on a copy of Justina Blakeney's The New Bohemians a few days ago and it is gorgeous! It might be worth buying for these illustrations alone, but really every page is just bursting with colorful inspiration! The book features photos of twenty homes, as well as DIY guides, decorating advice, and a plant encyclopedia to help you embrace Justina's Bohemian "Jungalow" aesthetic. 

SF Girl By Bay's See San Francisco doesn't come out until April 28th, but the preview images I've seen are really beautiful. With Victoria Smith's bright, clear photography, its sure to be a great coffee table book (and amazingly, she took all the photos with her phone!). We better enjoy photos of the unique sites of SF now, before Google takes over the whole city!

Like everything Joy Cho does, the new Oh Joy book is full of great style, cheery bright colors, and plenty of gold (check out the gold foil on the cover!). It features 60 projects for entertaining, cooking, decor and fashion. Even if you don't end up actually doing any of the crafts, you're sure to be inspired by the fun styling and fantastic photos! Her blog features a sneak peek inside the book here.

Brit + Co publishes a crazy amount of content on their site, and their new book is no slacker either. The cover of Homemakers proclaims that it features over 1000 creative ideas for your home, and I don't think its exaggerating! Brit Morin puts a modern spin on homemaking and offers a really wide range of projects. Whether you're into decor, crafting, cooking, or health - this book's got you covered.

I don't have kids yet, but when I do, I will certainly look to the Design Mom book for decorating advice. How she manages to raise six (yes, SIX!) kids in the Bay Area without her house looking like a garbage dump is beyond me. I think most of us could probably benefit from her practical storage solutions and tips for making your home a more thoughtfully designed place, whether or not kids are in the picture.

[from top: vase photo from Oh Joy, New Bohemians photo from The Jungalow, See San Francisco photo from SF Girl By Bay, Oh Joy photo from Oh Joy, Homemakers photo from Brit + Co, Design Mom photo from Design Mom]

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

living room progress

I've been working on changing up our living room for the last few months. With the current crazy rental market in the Bay Area it doesn't look like we'll be moving any time soon, so I decided to try to make the best of the space we have and give it a little refresh. It's not quite finished yet, but I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of my process and a peak into the changes I've made so far. Read on to see the progress of our living room:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

palette picks: cinnamon

OK, I'm just gonna come out and say it: I think Marsala, Pantone's Color of 2015, is ugly. They're trying to play it up as a wine or burgundy color, but it's a brown. A weird, purple-ish brown, like a bruise on your leg that stubbornly refuses to fade. If they had asked my opinion on a brown for this year, I would have told them to ditch the purple tones and crank up the orange to create a gorgeous Cinnamon. This color is often associated with Autumn, but I think it works year round. It's a warm compliment to nearly all shades of blue or green and I love it as a contrast to white and black. It also looks fresh and vibrant when paired with what seems to be everyone's actual favorite color of the year: blush.

[All photos linked via my Pinterest Page]

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

on the hunt: modern slipcovered couches

I've spent the last few months on the hunt for a new sofa. What I was looking for seemed somewhat impossible: a comfortable sofa with modern, clean lines that was slipcovered in a fully washable fabric. And just to make it a little harder: I was trying to find something under $1000.

I found plenty of gorgeous, modern sofas that were stiff and uncomfortable, with back cushions that were comically short. Most were not the least bit washable- which seems sort of insane to me. Between our dog sleeping on the couch for 14 hours a day, and our bad habit of eating dinner in front of the tv, I knew we needed something that could be thrown in the wash when the inevitable wine or food spill occurred. Slipcovers were the obvious answer, but most slipcovered sofas have a very traditional look, with oversized rolled arms and full skirts- not what I was going for. Eventually, I was able to find some options (though most were not in my price range). Read on for my top picks:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

i'm baaaaack

Hello friends! Hope you are having a happy 2015 so far. I apologize for the radio silence the last few weeks. Just before the holidays, I herniated a disc in my back, and it hasn't been fun to deal with. Slowly but surely, I'm getting better though, and should be on the mend soon. The only upside was that all the time I spent laid up on the couch inspired me to do a little makeover of our living room. Stay tuned for posts about finding a new couch, rug, and more. Until then, you'll just have to enjoy this adorable injured lamb...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

gift guide: great gifts under $50

Hey guys, does anyone know where the first half of December went? I can't be the only one that's feeling a little behind this year, right?!? If you still have a few (or a lot of) gifts to buy, allow me to help with this handy gift guide. Consider it a gift from me to you:

1. Animal Magnets & Cardholders: each of these animals is made of two magnets that stick together, so you can stand them up as card holders, or pull the two halves apart and stick them on the fridge!
2. Cashmere Beanie: no one will ever complain about getting cashmere
3. Bottoms-up Cups: you could gift these little travel cups with a bottle of something to sip in the woods and still come in under $50
4. Balsam & Cedar Candle: not only does this candle make your house smell like a wonderful Christmas tree, the sparkly mercury glass container looks magical when its lit!
5. Gold Leaf Eyeshadow: give her the perfect accessory for New Years: gold eyelids!
6. Strawberry Socks: I love giving and getting fun socks, and Hansel from Basel has some of the cutest socks and tights around. I just wish these strawberry socks came in adult sizes!
7. Make it Ahead Cookbook: The Barefoot Contessa's latest is a no-brainer. Her recipes are always great and everyone loves her. Go to your local bookstore- they will have it. Want more cookbook suggestions? Check out my favorites here and here
8. It's Too Early Mug: Is it too dramatic to call Emily McDowell the voice of her generation? Everything she makes is genius, and her new mugs are no exception.
9. Orla Kiely Water Bottle: Yes, there's another Orla Kiely collection at Target! Water Bottles, yoga mats, suitcases and travel bags! I love it all. 
10. Ceramic Coffee Dripper: If this thing got any more hip, it might spontaneously combust. Gift it with a pound of whatever the latest Blue Bottle replica is for extra cool points. 
11. Spice Gift Sets: Oaktown Spice Shop has an amazing selection of gift sets for all the cooks and foodies on your list, and their quality is top notch. They have hard-to-find spices, interesting salts, and even a kit for making your own tonic water!
12. I Hate Running Shirt: I'm pretty sure everyone hates running, right? Find this and other clever shirts at Thug Life.
13. Forest Critter Garden Pot: plant a little succulent in one of these adorable pots and you've got a sweet gift almost anyone would love
14. 1:Face Charity Watch: they've taken the Tom's Shoes model and applied it to watches. Buy one of these sleek, modern watches and you'll fund one of their selected charities. 
15. Klizia Stapler: who would have thought a stapler could be so cute?

Still can't find something for the person who has everything? I've got more ideas over on my Pinterest board. Or you can always just give everyone a goat

Sunday, December 7, 2014

diy wreath

Inspired by trips to the flower mart, I decided to try to make my own wreath this year. I didn't really know what I was doing, but after looking at some Pinterest inspiration and reading a few tutorials, I gave it a shot - and was pretty pleased with the results. It's a little time consuming, and will make a big mess of your living room, but it's not difficult and makes for a nice afternoon project. I highly recommend inviting a friend over and enjoying a little spiked apple cider (it really helps with the hours of wire twisting). I bought my foliage at the SF Flower Mart, but local florists or even well-stocked grocery stores usually carry a good selection at this time of year. Or you can always go foraging for branches in your neighborhood or backyard!

See below for the how-to: