Design with Velvet

Velvet is a timeless fabric, but people often picture their grandmother’s sofa collecting dust in an attic when they think of the material. Not anymore, velvet has made a huge resurgence with so many lovely applications from tufted headboards and sofas to chairs and restaurant banquettes. Velvet adds a layer of vintage, luxurious charm and can also feel modern and exciting with linear upholstery techniques. 


Rugs We Love

Rugs can bring together an entire room, by anchoring a color palette or layering in texture with natural fibers. A rug can be the focal point or fade into the background to let other pieces shine. From modern to traditional, muted tones to overdyed, we love rugs in every category. Check out our picks below, and then follow us on Pinterest for more of our favorites. 



Staircases We Love

A staircase is one of those liminal spaces that can fade to the background, but we enjoy when someone has taken the time to make their staircase a showstopper. Whether they have floating wood clad steps, tiled fronts, brass banisters, or are painted brightly, there are endless ways to make a staircase standout. Here are just a few of our favorites: 

For more of our favorite staircases, follow us on Pinterest



Color Analysis: Stacked Crates

Inspiration can come from the strangest places, like when you see a stack of perfectly color coordinated carts against a corresponding wall. The energizing color combination of rusty red, juicy orange, and raspberry is balanced by blue based deep grays. These tones might work well in a restaurant or office. If you feel inspired by this palette, click through their coordinating paint colors in the link below

For more color inspiration, follow us on Pinterest and Instagram


Before and After: Home Office Remodel


Our client approached Stripe in 2016 wanting an update to their home office. To maximize the living space in their studio, they had commissioned a built in desk to run along one wall. While functional, the finishes were generic, with a black laminate top and matching handles making the piece feel heavy and dark. The pink terra cotta tile floor felt out of place stylistically from the rest of home, and the blank white walls pulled focus to the television. 

Mood Board:

While the space did not demand a huge overhaul, an update was needed to pull the room together. First, we presented our client with a rendering of our design. We began by tackling the desk, replacing the laminate countertop with a Caesarstone material. The brown cabinet hardware was modernized with stainless steel bar pulls. We used a Shibori wallpaper from Amber Interiors to create visual interest and had white floating shelves built above the desk so our client could take advantage of the wall space. The shelving also balanced the walls, making the space feel larger by emphasizing the expanse of the wall. Our client was not ready to replace the tiles, so we found a large dusty blush rug to cover the floor space, tying together the tones in the desk and the wallpaper. To top it off, we added a lovely fabric desk chair from Restoration Hardware that is both beautiful and functional. 


Today, the home office is a serene and inviting space. Sometimes a client will have a great idea (like a built-in desk) but will ask us to help them bring the room together. With the right finishes and decor, any project large or small can become the space it was always meant to be. 

Las Vegas Market Trends

At the end of January our team ventured to Las Vegas for the home goods market that takes place there twice a year. We were very excited to see the trends (many continuing and growing from 2016) throughout the market. Below, we break down what we were excited about (and sometimes not as excited about) from the market.

2017 is shaping up to be the year of moody interiors, with dark tones, especially green and blue, featured in many showrooms either as a wall color or in soft furnishings and décor. It was interesting to see many showrooms embracing the darker hues of green (which we adore) instead of the predicted bright greenery from Pantone. While there were some brighter pops of color, rich jewel tones took precedent across the market. 

Woven materials and rattan were on display, with many furniture companies incorporating texture into benches, chairs and tables. “Jungalow” style, a term coined by interior designer/ blogger Justina Blakeney, seemed to influence many show rooms, and her wares were also on exhibit from rugs to furniture. We love textural materials for their ability to give visual interest in a neutral space, and bring a touch of laid back style to any room. Baskets and rugs were another popular item with woven texture, from shallow bowls to belly baskets and woven jute to chunky knit rugs. These materials add a lived-in quality to an interior, taking the edge off of stark minimalism. They also mix well with the ever popular mid-century furniture silhouettes, lending an eclectic vintage vibe. 

Indigo dyed and mud cloth fabrics were everywhere, with many places using the textiles on floor cushions or benches, as well as on pillows of all shapes and sizes. We especially like the use of vintage versions of these textiles, as they lend authenticity to an interior. Velvet was another huge trend, with the luxurious fabric on everything from sofas to chairs to pillows. We loved the deep tones many of the velvets were shown in, often on button tufted furniture with a refined, vintage look. 

Bringing the outside in was ever present as we walked around the market, from large scale indoor plants in baskets, to every kind of hanging and wall planter. Many showrooms used the beautiful forms to make installation art style displays cascading from the ceiling or along a wall. One plant trend we didn't love was the resurgence of faux plants. Although they require a little more maintenance, the real thing is much nicer. 

Across the market, modern brass pendant lights and fixtures, as well as basket pendants were a mainstay. Oversized lighting seemed to be the most prevalent trend, and often the light fixtures were larger than the furniture underneath them. We think the oversized trend might work nicely in a commercial setting but prefer a more balanced look in our home. 

Stripe & Stripe MEN + Stripe Design Services Instagram Giveaway

We are so excited to offer a giveaway for our Instagram followers in conjunction with the Stripe Stores. First the fun part, the prizes! From the Stripe Stores, you will be getting a $100 gift certificate to help decorate your new space (or whatever else you’ve been eyeing there) and from Stripe Design Services, an entire room (of your choice) design through our E Design Service. To enter the giveaway:


1.    Follow @stripedesignservices and @stripe_santa_cruz, if you aren’t already!

2.    Like the contest giveaway photo.

3.    Tag at least 2 friends, the more friends you tag the better your chances. The giveaway ends on February 22, 2o17 at 9am PST.

4.    Once the winner is announced, please direct message us with your email and we can begin the E Design process with you.


But how does E Design work? We’re so glad you asked, here is the run down:

E Design is a way of working with our team without committing to the full design service, this is an affordable alternative and a great option for people living outside of Santa Cruz County. To get started, we will have you fill out a questionnaire and provide us with photos and measurements of the space you would like us to design. After it is approved we will produce a mood board, a space plan (including a rendering) and a shopping list. 

Here is a sample project to give you an idea of how this works:

You will send us before photos like these (this project was for 2 spaces- dining and living room):

In addition to a floor plan with dimensions (including window and ceiling height):

Make sure to send us inspiration photos or add us to any Pinterest boards you have started for your space:

We will then have a detailed conversation with you about your hopes and dreams for your space. We will find out things like how the color orange makes you sweat and how you've had a love affair with woven textiles from a specific country. Now is the time to tell us we have to accommodate your grandmother's 16th century Welsh dresser. We really get to know you. 

Normally, next we would send you a bid. For this giveaway all we will need is your budget for the room. Please keep in mind that you don’t have to buy the items all at once, and allow a reasonable budget so that we are able to deliver a creative and complete design to you.