Wait, what year is it?

 
 

Now that the holiday hangover has finally worn off, it feels nice to be back in action with a new year and clean slate. I spent the holidays with my family and friends down in San Diego celebrating any and all occasions that call for excessive eating and drinking (Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve Eve, Christmas Eve Eve Eve, etc.). I couldn't be more excited to reintroduce the concept of "moderation" back into my life after it was thrown out the window to make room for a gluttonous amount of holiday treats and booze. Despite the all-around over-indulgence, I always appreciate time spent in my beloved hometown.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Also—in other San Diego-related news—a major kitchen update recently wrapped over at this place and the results are pretty dang stunning. What used to be a cramped galley kitchen has become an opened-up culinary oasis. No longer is one forced to sacrifice Game of Thrones minutes to make a snack! Good design changes lives, people. I'm telling you. 

 
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All in all, I have to say that I'm pretty stoked for 2016. 2015 was just starting to get cool so I'm excited to carry that momentum into the new year (and I'll do my best to keep you posted here along the way). Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to the new year!

Ham House Debut

Finally! It's about time we have some high-qual photos of The Ham House up in this place! With the bedrooms and a few other outstanding items to complete (likefor instancea kitchen renovation), the living and dining areas of the house are for the most part DONEZO (special emphasis on "for the most part," as I will continue to lose sleep until the lack of lighting over dining table issue is resolved). Here are a few selects and to take a peek at the full set, you can visit my portfolio page

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A big thanks to everyone that lent a helping hand working on the house (whether it be painting walls, moving/hanging heavy objects three centimeters to the left...then back to the right... and/or sewing pillows, etc.). And an extra special thank you to The Faded Awning for styling props (if you're in La Jolla be sure to pop in this shopit's filled to the brim with vintage treasures. Plus the gals that run the jointCathy and DeDeare the sweetest ladies on Girard Ave.). 

And lastly, thanks to these guys for letting me use their first home as a creative canvas! Can't wait to start all over once that kitchen reno kicks off.

 
 

Meanwhile, Outside of the Frame...

I spent the long weekend in San Diego FINALLY taking some high-quality shots of The Ham House for my portfolio page (now this note is actually accurate). The shoot was essentially like taking photos in a tornado of dogs, cats and humans but I wouldn't have had it any other way (if anything, it's reassuring to see your work validated as livable). Plus the animals were not camera shy and made for some CAH-uuutttee photo props (also allowing me to tack on Animal Wrangler to my resumethe REAL reason I got into the biz). 

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at some of the goings on during the shoot (yes, that is one of my props eating a fellow prop).

 
 

Hoping to have the final photos live in the next week so stay tuned!

Progress Report: Project Ham House

I spent this past weekend in San Diego celebrating Passover/Easter (my family celebrates any holiday that involves a feast), enjoying the sun and hanging with my family and friends. In between all that, I was hard at work on my favorite little Cardiff casita that belongs to my best friend, Brittany, and her husband Duncan. 

They bought their house in September and we kicked off the decorating process by painting the entire interior of the house/ourselves bright white. As far as decor goes, my challenge was to merge Brittany’s love for the coastal/nautical look (first order of business was to put a cap on the usage of anchor motifs) with Duncan’s #FIERCE obsession with Africa (he has a museum-worthy amount of artifacts that he’s collected over his numerous visits). 

This is what my initial moodboard for their living room looked like:

Side Table  // Couch (already owned- similar ) //  Pillow 1  //  Pillow 2  //  Side Chair  //  Rug  //  Blanket  //  Coffee Table  //  Console

Side Table // Couch (already owned-similar) // Pillow 1 // Pillow 2 // Side Chair // Rug // Blanket // Coffee Table // Console

I was going for a contemporary spin on "coastal casual" with some global accents woven in. You can see some early photos of the decor in this post. Here’s how the space is shaping up:

Leather Loveseat ( West Elm ) // Coffee Table ( West Elm ) // Vase ( Target ) // Media Console (Craigslist) // Side Chair (Craigslist) // Wall Decor ( Target  & already owned) // Fiddle Leaf ( Home Depot ) // Pillows ( Target  & handmade) // Blanket ( Pottery Barn )

Leather Loveseat (West Elm) // Coffee Table (West Elm) // Vase (Target) // Media Console (Craigslist) // Side Chair (Craigslist) // Wall Decor (Target & already owned) // Fiddle Leaf (Home Depot) // Pillows (Target & handmade) // Blanket (Pottery Barn)

 
Club Chair (Craigslist) // Side Table ( World Market ) // Decor (already owned)

Club Chair (Craigslist) // Side Table (World Market) // Decor (already owned)

 
Mirror (Long Beach Flea Market circa 2010) // Secretary Desk (Craigslist) // Painting ( Andrew Pearson )

Mirror (Long Beach Flea Market circa 2010) // Secretary Desk (Craigslist) // Painting (Andrew Pearson)

We ended up making a few swap-outs from the original moodboard for items that would better suit their needs (like a loveseat as opposed to chairs). While much of the large furniture pieces are from West Elm, we also managed to find some AH-MAYYY-ZING pieces on Craigslist to give it that"collected" look (the fact that they had a bunch of collected pieces to begin with also helped). 

It's still a work-in-progress but it's slowly coming together and I'm obsessed over how it's shaping up. We're especially cherishing the plant situation while it lasts because their new kitten seems to have other decorating plans in mind...

 
 

A San Diego Thanksgiving

When I tell people I'm going to San Diego for the holidays I often get asked if I feel like I'm missing out on seasons. I do contemplate it for a second: Colorful leaves are great... Warm drinks on a cold night sound pleasant... And I do love me a good fire in the fireplace... But then I remember this:

 
 

80 degree Thanksgivings people. You just can't beat 'em. Aside from enjoying the fantastic weather (did I mention I got a TAN?!) it was so nice to spend the long weekend catching up with family and old friends. 

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Speaking of old friends, here's a sneak peek at some of the design details I'm directing over at The Hamilton's new house in Cardiff. I've been loving working on this house particularly because the creative brief was such a fun one: "Coastal California meets Africa meets the 600 Mason Jars we received as wedding gifts" (we decided we're going to address the Mason Jar issue with a messy and dangerous game of Flip Cup).

I've been finding a mix of pieces from a variety of sources but these two above are my favorites so farboth found on Craigslist. The vintage campaign-style media console on the left we got for $700 (talked down from $900). Still pretty pricey but it's in mint condition, sturdy as a beast and still way cheaper than any other piece we would have gotten new at a place like West Elm. The poor thing was later defiled by a 60" TV but I must say, she's handling the wide load with such grace. 

The mid-century woven leather chair on the right was a total steal for $60. The pillow was sewn by my super talented and funny friend Whitney, with fabric I bargained for at the Alameda Flea Market.

Hoping to share more photos of their cute little coastal abode in coming weeks. Happy Tuesday!