interiors design

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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Modern Farmhouse Magazine

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So exciting! Check out the latest issue of Modern Farmhouse on stands now to see the stunning 6 page spread of a beautiful kitchen remodel that we contributed to. The truth is great designs are usually due to a great home owner and this project was no exception. This project came out so beautifully because Lisa has amazing personal style and had a very clear vision of what she wanted for her home and it is truly a reflection of her. 

This particular project was so awesome because so many talented people were part of it! See all the details here

India Inspiration

Travel, Wander, Seek. Besides interior design and furniture my next love is travel. I love seeing new places, getting new inspiration, re-finding myself in the context of a new country or city. I feel the most energized and the most creatively in tune when I travel and when I get home I can't wait to get to designing and letting bubble up to the surface in a tangible way the inspiration that I return with. Next week I leave for a quick jaunt to India and I can't wait. I know that most of my time is already scheduled out so I won't be able to do all the fun touristy things I would do if I was on my own, but I am excited to get a feel for the country and plan for my next sojourn back. 

Taking inspiration from other countries is very important in my design process. I spend hours every weekend (that I am home!) looking at books and images of interiors specifically from countries outside of the US and India has always intrigued me. I love the vibrancy of the colors, the rich culture that exists and of course the gorgeous textiles, rugs and pillows that are so much part of the country. I have been pinning away my to do list for my trip- that probably wont be happening this time around, but I certainly plan to go back and discover more when I have more time. In the mean time at least we can all soak up some beautiful images from India as I prep for my trip! 

via Vetica

via Vetica

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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At Home in Marin. Thank you SF Chronicle!

A few months ago I welcomes the amazing writer Lelani Marie Lebong into my little Treehouse for some tea and to talk about my home and what I have been up to. We had the best time talking and laughing about all kinds of random stuff- I usually think I have the best job in the world, but after a morning with Lelani I realized she just might,  we had so much fun! You can read my interview here. Thanks so much Lelani for the great article and for making the trek up my 47 stairs!