There is an area in our kitchen that is somewhat sacred to me. It's a decorative spot where there's always a vase with botanicals in it. Recently, I put together a few of my favorite plants for a special occasion. Creating an arrangement is meditative for me. I enjoy the process from its onset, whether it means walking the SF flower market or foraging our garden. I never really know what will inspire me until I spot a material that moves me. This time, a bunch of grevillea first caught my attention, followed by bright pink peonies that called for some poppy pods for textural contrast. Once I got home, I added twigs from our very own smoke tree. The result was at once bold and sweet. I enjoy having this spot in the kitchen which I treat as a little sanctuary. Effigies of the goddess of compassion, rock salt vessels and a black and brass box accompany the botanicals, setting the mood for morning, day or night. Take a look at one of my latest compositions and remember to treat yourself to cut foliage or flowers whether there's a special occasion or not.
After a long weekend, I awoke on Tuesday needing some inspiration. As I've done numerous times in the past, i turned to Pinterest for just that. Scrolling through the images, some pinned years ago and others just days ago, I found myself gravitating toward what I'm most comfortable with: layered neutrals, mixed patterns and contrasting textures. A little pop of color for interest on either a larger piece or in accessories is ok, but the spaces that most reflect my sensibilities and inspire me are earthy, elegant and just a bit funky. Take a look and let me know what type of spaces inspire YOU.
Around this time last week, Alex and I travelled to Santa Barbara. The trip was part of an extended birthday celebration/gift that included tickets to see one of my favorite artists, Banks, who was to perform at the Bowl. Two days prior to the show, we walked, ate, drank, napped on the beach and shopped a bit in this truly pretty place. Tucked in between the mountains and the sea, Santa Barbara's air is clean, crisp and a little salty. We stayed at the hip Goodland Hotel, where I admit to feeling a little out of my league, but where the laid-back, cool California vibe was quite entertaining. Among the places we visited, my favorites were the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, The Textile Studio, Raoul's, American Ale for cocktails, and of course, the Bowl, where I danced (my-you-know-what-off) to the sounds and amazing voice of Elizabeth Banks. Take a look a few images from our past weekend:
Many thanks to NS and KT for taking such great care of the kids while we were away.
As an aside, let's all hope that the recent oil spill that contaminated the pristine Santa Barbara coast is cleaned up quickly and effectively, so that no more wildlife or plant material is lost forever.
With a three week deadline and [an almost] empty space this project ended up to be one of my favorites. A recent move from Chicago to San Francisco with few items in tow, made my Pacific Heights client realize his new space needed to feel like home and...quickly. The first thing Cocoon Home set out to do was to strategically place big plants to thrive in the amazing light, frame the awesome views and give the space a natural feel. Such a short deadline dictated that basic items needed to be sourced on the spot (no room for lead times). It was a touch of sheer luck that the start of the project coincided with the renowned Alameda Flea Market, where most of the accessories that set the tone for the apartment were acquired. Larger pieces, i.e. furniture, were found at the Chestnut St. Pottery Barn in S.F., The Wooden Duck in Berkeley and at West Elm in Emeryville. Our finds in each of these stores helped create the look and mood we were hoping to achieve. Taking into consideration our client's love for Paris and french style in general, we coupled masculine metal pieces with softer white fabrics and indigo textiles to create a California home with a Parisian feel. As you enter the space, antique french documents next to a vintage typewriter atop Pottery Barn's Burke Console table help set the tone for the rest of the space. Patterned rugs and clean lines flow and welcome one from room to room, all seemingly coordinated yet not overly intentional. In time, our client will add his own personal touches and together we'll find beautiful art and a few more rugs to add the finishing touches to this sophisticated bachelor pad. In the interim, take at look at what was accomplished thus far in a VERY short span of time:
When asked to donate a few botanical arrangements for a fundraiser benefitting our children’s elementary school, I knew foliage would play a predominant role in their composition. I wanted them to feel very lush, textural and cascading. With 6 different types of leaves and a vine, these came together: somewhat feral, but, nevertheless, beautiful arrangements. I do love a pretty flower, but there's something about combining different shades, shapes and textures of leaves that I find very appealing. A blooming passion vine was included for its interesting tendrils and to add another color to the mix. Take a look: