travel

Tahitian Style

4aba79c0-dbdd-4167-b2b5-b793245f931a.jpg
0db5455c-6a9c-424c-b988-1977c178f9e6.jpg

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.

660a513a-1143-4014-957c-1d8bbcb933ff.jpg

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.

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 10.15.21 AM.png

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

Stylin' in NOLA

Whoa its been a whirlwind and I'm just catching my breath before we keep on rollin. Spent all of last week in beautiful New Orleans working on one of our newest Sonder properties and as usual I had a blast exploring the city and designing on the fly. Nothing like arriving to a new city with a photo shoot scheduled and working under the gun to make it happen! 

First things first- painting and setting the stage. Luckily I had a great group of locals to show me all the spots to find the accessories we needed to add the perfect NOLA flavor to our units. And install! 

I had a blast sorting through vintage shops looking for cool finds- old coffee bags, found bottles, and amazing street photographs were some of my favorites that I took home with me.

Then its time to shoot- one of my favorite things! I always say no matter how great your work is, if you are not working with a stellar photographer it will never shine! Luckily we were able to get the amazing Jacqueline Marque to shoot for us, and I had so much fun collaborating with her and can't wait to do it again! 

And voila! Sonder's are ready for you if you are heading down to NOLA anytime soon! 

 

 

Paris in the Fall Part I

IMG_2026.JPG

Sorry its taken me a bit to do my European travel round up... time ran away at the end of year as it continues to do! So Part I , here it is! 

To end my 2016 I had an amazing adventure around Europe. Planes, trains and automobiles- 10 days in France, Belgium, Spain and back to France. Road trips, wide open beautiful countryside covered in vines, the Mediterranean Sea, streets of Barcelona. sleeping in the oldest Medieval Castle in France and the sparking Eiffel Tower outside my window. To say the trip was good would be an understatement. 

For me, travel, by far, is my greatest source of inspiration. Being in a different atmosphere than your everyday, getting outside of your comfort zone, enjoying another culture and I am so lucky to get the opportunity to do that! 

We started the trip in Sainghin, my boyfriend's home town. Quaint and country. I found myself meandering old cobblestone stone side streets, ancient churches and I knew I was the only American for miles. It is a very small town outside of Paris and I was mostly taken by what I saw in terms of the architecture. All of the homes were very traditional stone, but new builds were popping up in the middle of farms that were wholly modern. The black steel and wide open windows in stark contrast to the traditional surroundings. And I loved it. I also love and noticed everywhere the French philosophy of repurpose. My boyfriend's family home has been in his family for generations and it has been built on, added to, converted, creating a warm and unique atmosphere where everything is worthy of saving. 

Next stop a trip to Bruges and Ghent. Drinking hot wine along the winding canals I took in these fortress like cities made more for walking than cars. And dont worry of course I had a waffle! 

The next day we flew to Toulouse and I have to say I wished I had more time to enjoy this city. It was pouring rain, so we hid out most of the time in a cafe, but did venture out a bit under the arcade. And the pink city did not disappoint. I have always been a fan of those "big little cities." Maybe thats why I love San Francisco so much! Toulouse felt like that. Meandering and green set atop drifting rivers. Modern and old in the perfect mix, a vibrant outdoor scene and who doesnt love an carousel! I intend to go back and spend a few more days there to really take in the beauty that is there. 

Road trip! Unbeknownst to me I had a surprise in store on our way from France to Spain. Sleeping in a beautiful castle in Carcasonne. It was raining when we left Toulouse and as the old walled city lights came into view our little car got closer and closer, until I was told that the hotel was inside the castle! Score! Our adventure to actually get into the hotel was very Woody Allen, trying to drive our mini Euro car on tiny winding roads that were never made for cars, waiting for a bellhop to arrive in the pouring rain and finally arriving to the magnificent hotel in the old walled city. 

Part II- Espana and Paris! I cant wait to show you around El Nacional, my favorite place in Barcelona!  In the meantime I am heading to Tulum next week. Check out my pinterest board as my plan my warm weather vacation! 

Color Study: Pink

The other night we were walking along the bay at sunset and I was noticing how the sun on the water was making everything pink. Paired with the beautiful blue water of the San Francisco Bay it made me realize why I love the color combination of pink and blue so much and why I use it so frequently in my work. I love the way its both warm and cool and pulls in colors from the best times of the day, dusk and dawn.

Pink is an especially beautiful color to me- it can have so many variations and tones and can give a design so many different directions. Ballerina pink for a little girls room, dusty rose for a sophisticated twist, neon pink for an unexpected splash. Ok I know a lot of people don't think pin is as perfect of pop as I do- but my love for pink aint ever gonna die. Follow along my Color Study: PInk board on pinterest where I indulge my love for pink in nature, interiors and fashion. 

Images: SRTA-PEPIS / Another / Textile Tribe / Hotel Covell / mansurgavriel / French by Design / The Red List  / Habitissmo

Inspiration: Iowa

Traveling anywhere is a big source of inspiration for me. Whether its discovering a new coffee shop in my neighborhood or flying across the world- I love seeing what is popular, what design trends people are gravitating toward and what is different and what is similar in different parts of the country and world. Getting outside of my everyday routine inevitably triggers something creative and inspired in me.  Recently I spent a few days in Des Moines, Iowa for a photo shoot and on my down time I was able to get out and explore the city. We are just going to ignore the fact that it took me 16 hrs (lightning storms!) to get there! Adventures in travel! 

Des Moines, turns out is a great walkable city, I was able to get out in the morning and run along the river and check out the architecture and the skyline. The downtown is full of cool industrial style brick buildings with a thriving nightlife and great vintage fashion scene. Luckily I was pointed in the right direction by some of the locals I was working with and checked out Preservation. Mecca! Chock full of vintage levis, handmade shibori bags and delicate jewelry I knew I was in the right spot. The fact that the interior consisted of cool black and white rock and roll prints, rustic wood benches covered in sheepskin and layered jute and dhurrie rugs- well me and Preservation were pretty much kindred spirits. 

After a quick chai in a local cafe with a cool industrial, vintage vibe: concrete floors, buttery leather sofas and misc glass displays I grabbed my tea and took a walk over to the Des Moines Botanical Gardens. Ok we all know what a plant-a -holic I am, so this place was heavenly. An enormous dome overflowing with luscious greens, palms, banana leafs, pretty much any tropical green you can imagine and I was set. After taking this all in, I found myself along the river again coffee in hand, breathing in the thick humid air. 

Although it was a quick jaunt through, it was a great trip! I met so many creative people it was amazing- everyone was talking about their home improvement projects, what they were working on, what they were making. It was inspiring to be around so much positive creativity and it was an energy that was really tangible in the air. It was an electricity you could feel - or maybe it was just the humidity! 

I Want to Go: El Cosmico

It opens like this.. "El Cosmico is an 21 acre nomadic hotel and campground in Marfa, Texas. In keeping with the belief that life should be a balance of adventure and do-nothingness...." Count me in! So much is happening these days that I am ever more grateful for, but the idea of running away to a remote getaway with miles of stars and quiet is always so appealing. Of course funky design, sunset soundtracks and camp cooking are just the extra pieces to get me to pack a bag and jump on a plane to wide open Texas. 

Trailers, teepees, yurts and tents dot this property inspired by "hippies, nomads, bohemians and those living a life of self-determination." Its the perfect spot to tune in and get centered. 

Follow along on my Wander pinterest board for a little reminder to breathe in the air and look around at all the beauty. 

all  images via El Cosmico

I Want to Go : Hotel Henriette

I'm headed to France next month and already planning for all the croissants I will be eating and museums I will be frequenting. I had enrolled in a beginner French class in preparation for my trip (and lets be honest my life) but sadly due to my crazy travel schedule criss crossing the US of late, I have missed every single lesson... So instead of buckling down with my Rosetta Stone I did what any design obsessed, newly minted Franco-phile would do, I turned to Pinterest for travel inspiration and immediately fell down the rabbit hole of all the places i would be finding treasures to bring home with me. 

So turns out I'm totally in love with Hotel Henriette in Paris. The rooms are to die for and don't you dare ask me which room is my favorite. I absolutely refuse to pick a favorite and I intend to switch rooms every night I am there. 

Follow along on my France Trip Board on Pinterest- I will be adding all the places I plan to visit! 

All images via Hotel Henriette

Inspiration: Tokyo

I get so much inspiration for my work from travel. I love cities, countryside, urban, suburban. Checking out gardens and museums, restaurants and hotels and meeting new people.  Being in these environments is a never ending well that just makes my brain non stop tick with what Im going to bring to my next project. I was recently in Japan and let me say what an amazing city the architecture,  the energy, the colors. Between the Prada Store, Robot Restaurant, kayaking around Tokyo then taking a train across the country to more remote areas to see the isolated beauty, it was a stunning trip. 

When in Tokyo be sure to hit the Aoyama Flower Market to sip tea amongst the most beautiful blooms in a really cool industrial space. 

IMG_9284.JPG