bohemian

Tahitian Style

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One of my favorite parts of traveling is seeing how people live, what their homes and furniture look like and how it can inspire my own work and perspective. It doesn’t take much to bring me over to the laid back island style, but 2 weeks of island hopping in Tahiti with the hot, moist air that smelled like vanilla everywhere we went and the vivid colors all around made it that much more enticing.

It seemed like the water was bluer (it really is), the trees were greener and the flowers more fragrant. There is a vitality that is richer and tangible. I am usually a sucker for neutrals- I love my whites more than anyone (white on white on white always wins in my book) but spending 3 weeks hopping from island to island I grew a newfound love for color. In one of the hotels we stayed the beds were dressed in bright coral linen that paired with the simple wooden furniture, banana leaf roof and shell chandeliers created a laid back, nature inspired appeal.

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Interior design in Tahiti is largely driven by the local resources. Furniture and decor is all imported and high import tax make even the most attainable items expensive. I was struck by the ingenuity of the locals and how certain natural resources were used in such thoughtful and interesting ways. Banana’s are an essential part of the Tahitian diet, but the leaves are also used for the underside of many of the ceilings of bungalows that we stayed in. I even found myself hiding under a banana leaf tree during a sudden down pour during my daily jog, and did not get wet at all! Those banana leaf plants are incredible.

Being a California girl I thought I knew all about indoor/ outdoor living, but the Tahitian’s are truly one with their environment. There are no screens on windows, doors are always wide open and very little time besides to sleep is spent indoors. I didn’t watch tv or sit on a sofa for 3 weeks and this is typical for the Tahitian lifestyle. Time is spent around large dining tables enjoying conversation and shared meals. The nightly sunrise was an important occasion where it seemed like everyone stopped what they were doing to watch it until it dipped away. It was a truly spiritual experience to paddle out into that blue water and sit on my board watching the sun dropping and the amazing colors it spilled across the sky while behind me the sacred green island covered in green trees rose up. It was like being in the most beautiful painting every night.

Whenever I travel I immediately start thinking about how i would design a house and Tahiti is no different. Check out my pinterest for some of my favorite Tahitian inspired home decor and I have rounded up a selection below.

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Stay in Style

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Well its been awhile since I've frequented this space! If you follow along instagram you know I have been permanently posted between airports and various cities around the world #designlife. Excited to share a little interview that Society6 was kind enough to do with me a few months back about our design philosophy and how we approach all these beautiful spaces for Sonder. You can read the whole article here . 

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Bohemian Home Magazine

I was so excited to find the interview I did a few months back for Bohemian Home Magazine on the stands. The photos look beautiful! Read all my tip on how to create your own Bohemian getaway! Thank you as always Julia Sperling for making the photos so beautiful that this story continues to have legs! xx

Before and After: Audrina Patridge's Living Room

Audrina and I had so much fun re-designing her bedroom that we were pumped to jump in and start on our next project- the combined living room, dining room and kitchen. Audrina initially started out on her new home re-design with her master bedroom because she was just about to have new baby Kirra and really wanted a place to be cozy and to nest. She soon realized that she was spending most of her time with her family and the new baby in their great room and really wanted to get that space as shaped up as we got her bedroom! 

First thing first, inspo! Audrina sent me lots of great inspiration pictures for what she was hoping to achieve in the space, lucky for me I already had a good idea of what she was wanting- Boho/ Bali/Beach, functional, luxurious, tropical, pattern infused. I had also already been privy to her closet and how she likes to inadvertently match her shirts to her lamps (insert smiley face) so I was pretty clear on the design direction! 

Before

Before

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Before

Keeping her existing sectional, Audrina and I set about creating a comfortable, space for the family to hang out. One of the  major changes to the room layout was the shift of the sofa to face into the space. I really wanted to open up the space so that whoever was cooking in the kitchen could still feel connected to the rest of the space and vice-versa. Two low slung chairs with a subtle printed mudcloth provide additional seating and add that bohemian flair we were trying to bring to the space. I absolutely love the beaded chandelier it is definitely the glamorous, bohemian show stopper that we needed for Audrina's space! 

Audrina is such a great client, I love working with her because she has a great sense of style and really know what she likes! I think the space is a reflection of that and of her -  It feels so functional and cozy, but also designed and pulled together. Check out the articles in People and Architectural Digest and be sure to hop over to Audrina's blog to find out where all the pieces are from! 

Photography Credit: Carla Choy Photography

Kitchen Tips and Trends

Seems like I have been working on a lot of kitchen designs lately and wanted to share some of my tips when it comes to designing a kitchen and also what I am loving right now! There is a lot to think about when you are re-modeling a kitchen, unlike many other spaces in the home kitchens and bathrooms are usually spaces that need to do a lot of jobs as well as withstand the test of time because they typically end up staying put for a bit!  Case in point the 1970’s kitchen that I am currently working on! It hasn’t been touched in a couple of decades so its finally time for a facelift! 

Top Tips

Be practical! Think about all the functions for your kitchen- how do you use it? Are you a super cook? Do you love to entertain? Do you want to just make your kitchen disappear? These are all important things to consider when starting on your project. Although you love the look of carrera marble, its tough to maintain and if your countertops take a beating a quartz or other manmade material might be a better option for your lifestyle. 

Steer Clear of the Trends! You want your kitchen to withstand the test of time. In kitchen’s and bath’s I tend to recommend that my clients go with neutrals on things like the cabinets. Although a lime green cabinet looks amazing in a magazine this wont necessarily translate for many years and if you are planning to live with your new kitchen for awhile I recommend staying with the basics on the major pieces. 

Treat your tile and hardware like jewelry! These are the places you can have a bit of fun with. Be more adventurous with your tile choices and know that nickel, chrome, rose gold.. you can change up your hardware easily over the years. 

Brighten it up! I love me some lighting! In all spaces! Lighting in a kitchen is especially important. Here you have to consider decorative lighting as well as task lighting. A vintage pendant can make any space interesting and again this is an area that can be changed out of you keep your kitchen for 30 years! 

Trends that are not Trendy! 

I’m loving a lot of whites, natural stone and light woods.  There are so many amazing materials out there to choose from and dont even get me started on tiles! But truly I am really drawn to the direction of the kitchen being a space that takes its inspiration from nature, it should be a beautiful backdrop to create delicious meals for family and friends to enjoy. 

I love thick natural wood open shelving. 

Hints of brass or gold mixed with a surprising rich color. 

I have been seeing a lot of islands that are different material than the rest of cabinets and that is a trend I am really loving. 

Bench seating is always a hit with me! Anywhere you can lounge to drink your coffee is a plus! 

Ok I am going to go back to pinning incessant inspiration pictures. Follow along with me here! And in the meantime I hope you are inspired to create your own perfect kitchen oasis.