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Vintage Modern

Monday, August 25th, 2014

California Boho Goes Pro in this Santa Monica Office

Becky

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TV production developer Ashley Stern needed to set up a Los Angeles outpost for her Paris-based company —quickly and on a limited budget. The space her real estate agent and interior designer Veerta Motiani helped her choose had plenty of pluses. It was around the corner from Santa Monica’s Main Street, it had wonderful high ceilings and industrial style, the building was new with a gorgeous lobby and roof-deck ocean views, and the price was right.

However, the long narrow space posed some design challenges. It didn’t get a great amount of natural light, the ceilings were a little too high for human scale and she wasn’t allowed to paint the walls. On top of that, Stern needed the space to serve as her office, have room for a potential intern, include a conference table space and be set up to accommodate two of her French colleagues when they were in town on business.

photo by Alen Lin

The project began with Stern’s desk. “She was nervous about this idea, but I had to tell her to just trust me, we were going to use a dining room table instead of a desk to serve as the centerpiece of the room,” Motiani says. The rustic light pine table serves primarily as Stern’s desk but can also accommodate two of her French colleagues when they are in town. Because it’s open underneath, her co-workers or her intern, or both, can join her around the table to conference and to work on their laptops. Two comfortable modern chairs serve as their desk chairs when they are in town. Turned around, as you see here, they offer another place for Stern to have one-on-one meetings.

Motiani wanted the room to reflect Stern’s bohemian style and the relaxed coastal Santa Monica/Venice Beach vibe. The rug’s deep blue chevron pattern brings in ocean color, while a woven ottoman adds a beach grass feeling. The ottoman also functions as a side table for notepads and pens during meetings and as a casual extra seat.

photo by Alen Lin

Because the room was dark and they weren’t allowed to paint the walls, Motiani found a contemporary steel chandelier that fit in with all of the industrial elements on the ceiling. She also chose a white filing cabinet and accessories near the windows to reflect the light and keep things bright. Stern literally was brought up in a [converted] barn and loves horses, so Motiani chose a white horse ceramic piece to sit atop the filing cabinet. She brought in plants to play off the glimpses of tree branches outside.

To save on the budget, Motiani found a handful of pieces in Stern’s family storage unit. The tall lamps were among their things; Motiani knew their exaggerated height would help the design stand up to the extra-high ceilings.

photo by Alen Lin

Another way Stern’s family helped the decor in a major way was through the artwork. Stern’s grandfather is noted photographer Phil Stern. He allowed Motiani and his granddaughter to cull his archives and pick out exceptional pieces for the office.This photo of James Dean in the turtleneck is one of his best-known pieces.

The glass console table can serve as a landing spot for keys and bags, a credenza or as a separate desk for an intern. A sofa serves as a more casual space to work from, where Stern can relax and get her creative juices flowing or pow-wow with a colleague. The coffee table is an upside-down metal bucket from Stern’s family storage unit. Motiani chose it because of its beautiful green-gray color. The piece adds an interesting rusty and crusty patina to the room, suitable for this more relaxed seating area.

photo by Alen Lin

“This project was a challenge — I really had to hustle to keep within the budget,” Motiani says. “We were really lucky that her family had so much great stuff they weren’t using!”

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane Studios

Becky

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We are so excited to announce the launch of a collaboration made in heaven. Illustrator Sarah Jane of Sarah Jane Studios has teamed up with Pop & Lolli to bring her charming and whimsical creations to removable fabric wallpapers and decals.
Pop & Lolli founder Mia Viljoen first fell in love with Sarah Jane’s work when her daughters’ South African grandmother made them matching dresses from Sarah Jane’s fabric. She then realized the charming illustrations would make brilliantly gorgeous wall decor, decals and wallpaper .
Today we’re sitting down with Sarah Jane to learn more about her inspirations for this charming collection. Thanks so much to Sarah Jane for sharing her thoughts and inspirations with us!
PHOTO CREDIT: Tara B Photography
How does this collaboration differ from others you’ve done before? My products in the past mostly have been created here at Sarah Jane Studios. My fabric that I design is a collaboration … a licensing relationship. And this one is just that. I love that I can design for Pop & Lolli while still keeping the Sarah Jane esthetic as a strong brand. This collaboration is different in that I am actually able to sell and market the wallpaper myself as well, which I get really excited about. I love being directly involved with the customer!
What’s it like to go from prints and textiles to wallpapers and decals? Is your approach any different? If so, in what way? From textiles, wallpaper is an easy translation. Most of my wallpapers are directly from my fabric collections. My approach with the wall decals took a bit more preparation. It was a matter of in some cases redrawing the illustrations to fit the end result of being enlarged and used separately.
How can parents help keep the magic of childhood alive the way your illustrations do? Creating creative spaces for children is key. Children live in their imaginations, and will do that naturally regardless of their environment….for a time. Keeping their spaces a live with color, design and story is what keeps that whimsical thinking an ongoing experience for them. I’ve also found that when  children’s space is designed with creative play in mind, the parents are more likely to engage in that play as well. Fostering creative play is always easier when the space is fun, colorful, and whimsical first.
What inspired this collection? Is there a particular message seen in it you’d like to reiterate? What does this message mean to you? Simple, imaginative play inspires most of my designs. I am a firm believer in letting children be children. Not growing them up too fast. The world does a pretty good job of that already. Children parading around with balloons and bugles, mermaids that seem classic and timeless, and children riding bareback through an open field might seem unrelated in context. But in feeling, it’s the same. Let children imagine themselves without boundaries, keeping play simple and creative and imagining themselves in the art.
But on top of that, I also care greatly about making sure that a children’s space is in line with the design-minded parents. Color that’s fresh, line work that’s simple and expressive. The parents have to love it too!
Thanks so much Sarah Jane! We’re so excited that everyone who makes a Pop & Lolli purchase will be entered to win a $50 gift card from Design Public, now through August 8, 2014, so be sure to check out all things Pop & Lolli.
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Monday, October 11th, 2010

Home Inspiration from a “House” in Ireland

Ali

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Travel suggestion: if you ever find yourself in Ireland book a couple of nights at the Bellinter House about a half hour outside of Dublin. I just came back from a jaunt in the land of the green/cable knit sweaters and this “house” (aka mansion) was incredible. Every room was styled with such an eye, color and detail. I’m ready to paint my walls fern green, my ceilings celadon and my bathroom midnight blue all while drinking a few pints of guinness. A few of our photos from our time there (oh, and make sure you eat lots of scones…also incredible!).


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Friday, September 17th, 2010

Rue Magazine is Here!

Becky

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It was such a treat to read the buzz about Rue Magazine’s premiere issue yesterday and then to peruse it. I know I am going to back and pore over it for hours. It was so much fun to see so many of our favorite bloggers and designers featured (I’m not even going to name them because I know I’ll inadvertently leave one out – there are SO MANY!).

When I first started blogging, one of the very first blogs and the first photo we ever feel in love with on Flickr were both from Victoria, a.k.a. sfgirlbybay. It’s been so much fun to watch her blog grow and to watch her switch up her home, especially after she moved! Let this photo serve as a teaser, then, if you haven’t already, hop on over to Rue and check out the entire issue. My only wish is that I could buy this baby in print and add it to the very special magazine issues I keep permanently:

The folks over at DwellStudio are some of the best at styling their products, but I think they would likely agree that this one is a superb example of styling their Chinoiserie Pearl bedding!

image from Rue, shot by Tinywater Photography

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Thursday, September 16th, 2010

More Images from The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs

Becky

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Here are a few more shots I snagged at The Ace Hotel Palm Springs this past weekend. It’s such a perfect desert hangout, and again, I cannot recommend breakfast enough, though I must say, I felt about at least ten years older than the average guest at this joint.

I’m not sure I could have asked anyone to place these scooters in a more perfect spot for this shot!

This mid-century modern roofline is just so California to me. I love its relationship to the range beyond it.

No detail was overlooked. There are kitschy tchotchkes and vintage books in the lobby.

This shelf unit above was copied by one of my favorite bloggers, The Brick House, in her home as a D.I.Y. project. Check it out here.

The lobby has this fun natural history museum on ecstasy display.

Love this tile pattern by the pool.

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