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 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.
The office can often become the part of our home with the most clutter, a dumping ground for our unwanted items. One way to get this space into shape is by adding strategic shelving and storage where your books, papers, and electronic gadgets can live. Doing this will free up your desk space, creating the ideal clean work surface for all your projects. Take your cues from this office found on Pinterest designed by ABD Studio, the beautiful built-ins provide plenty of storage, while the trestle desk and soft furnishings create a sophisticated space. For more on how you can get this look for your own home office, click on the image and links below.
April is bursting with spring energy, from flowers blooming to vegetables growing to flurries of outdoor activity. We are excited for everything that April has to offer, and can’t wait to frolic through the California sunshine this month. Below, our picks for the best events in Northern California and articles from around the web.
1. On display this month, the crochet coral reef at UCSC’s Mary Sesnon Gallery CO2CA-CO2LA Ocean by Margaret and Christine Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring brings awareness to oceanic environmental issues and human impact on our oceans. A satellite crochet coral reef will open in May at the Seymour Center, knit by members of the UCSC and Santa Cruz community if you aren’t able to see the one on campus. Via UCSC.
2. In addition to spring eats, we are looking forward to finally being in the mood for frozen treats, like these boozy Lemon Raspberry Sorbet Prosecco Floats. Sounds like the perfect accompaniment to a warm spring day. Via How Sweet Eats.
3. Online shopping has made finding beautiful home goods so much easier, but it’s hard when you can’t test drive the sofa that is calling your name. This ongoing Apartment Therapy segment rates the relative comfort of sofas from popular online retailers (like CB2 and West Elm). It is a huge help in deciding which sofa is the perfect fit for your home and your behind. Via Apartment Therapy. Image via West Elm
4. The 2017 Santa Cruz Waves Swellies awards are on Thursday April 20th at 6 pm. The Swellies are also moving to a larger venue this year, the Museum of Art and History downtown for an even livelier event. We are so excited to see if the Stripe stores get any honors, along with many other great local businesses. Via Santa Cruz Waves, Eventbrite. Image via Stripe MEN Santa Cruz.
5. The Downtown Farmer’s Market is bursting with produce, which makes it the perfect time to bust out seasonal recipes. If you need any inspiration to get going, peruse this list of spring recipes that is sure to entice you off the computer and into the kitchen. Via Bon Appetit.
6. Every year since 1977, prominent local interior designers are picked in San Francisco to participate in a Decorator’s Showcase Home. These stately homes are given a complete makeover room by room and then open to the public during the weekend of ______. An interesting way to see how designer’s styles can vary vastly in one home, with ticket proceeds benefitting a local high school. Via San Francisco Decorator’s Showcase.
7. The bay area is home to many wonderful artists, including the largest artist’s studio community, the Hunter Point Shipyard Artists in San Francisco. They are opening their studios to the public in April for an event featuring 125 artists. Original art work is what makes a home special, and it is one key part that takes time and energy to be done well. Events like these make it easier to layer those forever pieces into your home. Via Hunter Point Shipyard Artists.
8. We always love exploring the coastal region we call home, and we also love perusing antiques, so we are excited when these two things come together. The Petaluma Antique Fair takes place on April 30 and seems like the perfect event to have as the center of a weekend wine country getaway. Explore quaint downtown Petaluma and then head into surrounding Napa and Sonoma for the perfect Northern California April mini vacation. Via Downton Petaluma.
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:
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
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.
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.
An entry way welcomes people into your home, but often they can be cramped or awkward spaces. To create the right balance, all it takes is a few key pieces. Some of these pieces may already be in your home, so re-styling your entry way or hall could be as simple as pulling together the right vignette. This elevated cabinet scenario has lovely balance; with just a few items creating a personal and curated look that isn’t overdone. If you have vintage prints or décor that you just don’t know what to do with, take your cue from this inspiration image we found on Domino. Click on the image and links below to find out how to get this look in your own home.
March marks the official beginning of spring on the 20th, and we feel very ready to embrace all that the season has to offer. The rain has felt almost never ending so we are excited to seize any sunny day opportunity. From local workshops to our favorite cocktail recipe for the month, we are pleased to share all of our picks for the best of this month.
1. Our love for tile is no secret, and we are still in the time of year where blogs are speculating about which trends will be huge. Lucky for us, that means we get to look at more tile, like these patterned beauties from Apartment Therapy’s list of tile trends for 2017. Via Apartment Therapy.
2. This month we are looking forward to making fresh and juicy cocktails. As citrus season is nearing its end, this blood orange cocktail seems like just the ticket. Refreshing and beautiful to look at. Via Holly and Flora
3. Santa Cruz is blessed with a lot of creative entrepreneurs, and the NEXTies celebrates individuals doing great work in Santa Cruz County. We are looking forward to this inspiring event on March 24th. We are always excited to learn about local people with innovative enterprises. Via Event Santa Cruz. Image via American Conservation Experience.
4. Indigo dyed textiles are incredibly beautiful and the process of making them seems intriguing. 17th Avenue studio in Santa Cruz is hosting an indigo and shibori workshop on March 25th that takes you through the entire process, from how the plants are made into dye to making your own indigo creations. Via Evenbrite and 17th Avenue Studio, image via Eye Swoon.
5. Greenery is Pantone’s color of 2017, but not everyone is in love with the bright hue. Domino has compiled a shoppable list of other gorgeous greens that will please any interior loving person. Via Domnio.
6. With great spring weather already here, we can’t wait to be in the great outdoors. That’s why heading up to San Francisco on the first Tuesday of March to get into the conservatory of flowers for free sounds wonderful. Then spend the rest of the day wandering around Golden Gate Park, visiting the DeYoung or Academy of Science. Via San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers.
7. It can be a frustrating prospect to pick out a bedroom set that isn’t matchy-matchy. That’s where this list of perfect bed and night stand combinations from Emily Henderson comes in. She has taken all the guess work out of getting the right proportions and style combinations. Via Emily Henderson.
8. While it is always nice to peruse the beautiful dream bathrooms of Pinterest, our own bathrooms often have a much smaller footprint than the ones we see on inspiration sights. That’s why we love this list of attainable chic and small bathrooms chock-full of great small space ideas. Via MyDomaine
This February we are swooning over rich jewel tones and serene blue walls. This bedroom, found on Katrina Lee Chamber's design blog , combines both to great effect. The luxurious green velvet headboard mixed with bright metal and antique accents creates a plush space for a cozy respite. The graphic bedding adds a modern touch to complete this scene. Click on the image and links below to find out how you can achieve this look in your own bedroom sanctuary.
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.
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:
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.