Santa Barbara

After LA, we drove up to Santa Barbara to stay at the Bacara Resort. In November we won a 3 day, 2 night trip to stay here by liking a facebook page as a giveaway on one of my favorite blogs. Can you even believe that? Ryan and I never win anything, but this past year has been particularly lucky for us. This was my favorite part of the trip because it solely was for relaxing and drinking wine. How could you not love that?! When we checked in we had two bottles of Le Grand Courtage champage and a stocked picnic basket from Le Grand Courtage waiting for us to enjoy on the beach. How adorable is that?! Not only did they pay for us to stay at this amazing resort, but they had an adorable, romantic picnic ready for us! After we checked out our room, we basically skipped down to the beach to watch the sunset with a glass of wine in hand.

The following day we went on a private wine tasting tour for our anniversary.  (Our anniversary is beginning to have a theme…) A sommelier drove us around to six vineyards to taste the freshest wine you’ll ever have in your life. Mid-day they set up another picnic overlooking one of the vineyards and it was so incredibly romantic. This was one of my favorite days… maybe ever. I feel so lucky to have been able to experience this with Ryan.

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Los Angeles

The Stahl House was by far my favorite part of our trip to LA, but we had fun doing other things the two short days we were there. We stayed at the Andaz and we absolutely loved it! It was in a great location, was very modern and had the most beautiful rooftop pool overlooking the Hollywood Hills. We loved the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Urban lights installation. (I was kind of in love the elevator bank at the museum. Doesn’t it look very Mad Men?!) We also did one of those celebrity house tours (nerds!) and as embarrassed as I was buying the ticket, we had so much fun. Our favorite was a quick exterior tour of the Greystone Mansion that was in over 50 films (although the only one I can remember is Richie Rich!) Their gardens were so inspiring, I took way too many pictures but won’t bore you with! Imagine getting married there?! We also checked out the Getty Villa in Malibu and had lunch at Moonshadows overlooking the ocean. Literally. The bar where we sat was over the ocean! :)

 

Andaz Los Angeles hotel
LACMA
LACMA elevators
Greystone mansion gardens
Greystone mansion gardens
Getty Villa
Moonshadows Malibu

 

Stahl House

Ryan and I took a trip to California for our anniversary a few weeks ago and I’d love to share some photos!  We originally started planning this trip because we won a few nights at an amazing 5 star resort in Santa Barbara (more on that later!) so we decided to extend the trip. We flew into LA, stayed for a few nights, drove up the coast to Santa Barbara, stayed a few nights, drove up the coast a little more to San Francisco where we ended our trip. Our first stop (quite literally) was going to the Stahl House, and to say I was excited was an understatement! I’m sure you’ve seen the infamous photographs by Julius Shuhlmann. I mean… they are so beautiful. During our tour, they told us that the photo of the two women chatting were actually assistants to the photographer and it was an organic shot in the moment. Isn’t that interesting? I always imagined it being a formal cocktail party and they were women chatting about their husbands.

The home is very simply laid out in the Hollywood hills and has the most breathtaking view of the city. It is a “L” shape with the kitchen, living room, and dining room one one side, and the master bedroom, bathroom, and children’s bedroom on the other. While beautiful, it wasn’t the most practical for family life today. They had one TV, in the master bedroom, and the family all watched together in their room. Also, three children shared one bedroom and in order to get to their bedroom you had to walk through the parents bedroom. The house is still owned by the children, and even one of the sons was there to chat with us.

We arrived for the tour around 6:30pm and stayed for about two hours to watch the sunset. We took photos, experienced the space during different lighting, and chatted with some fun people from all across the country. You see those glass panels in the living room? They are actually sliding doors. We sat there chatting about our trip while the most perfect breeze swept through the house and it made me giddy. Giddy to be in California, giddy to be celebrating another year with Ryan, and giddy that I feel fortunate to be designer who gets this excited by design.

Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles

Stahl House, Los Angeles

Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles

Edison Project: After

Remember that outdated bathroom I shared a few weeks ago?! Well, this week I finally took the after pictures and I am so happy with the way it turned out! The width between the tub and the vanity wall is just over 3′ wide so we needed to find a vanity that was very shallow, but also provided adequate counter space. I love this vanity for so many reasons! The wood makes the space feel warmer, and the belly basin sink top allows for a larger wash space while keeping the vanity depth to a minimum. I also love the open furniture-style vanity that makes the room appear larger than it is. We kept the finishes neutral to modernize the space, but also to keep a classic look for future resale.

Such a huge difference from the “before” photos, right? Now the only pink that is allowed in this space is the colorful Spring inspired flower arrangement!

Edison NJ Bathroom Design AFTER

Edison NJ Bathroom Design AFTER

Edison NJ Bathroom Design AFTER

Edison NJ Bathroom Design AFTER

Edison NJ Bathroom Design AFTER

Edison NJ Bathroom Design BEFORE and AFTER

four eyes

Are you ready for a whole lotta nerdiness and few selfies? (Hey! At least I’m not doing the duck face!) I wear contacts every day, but lately I’ve been needing to give my eyes a break. I’m guessing it’s because of my seasonal allergies, or maybe because I’m stretching out the use of my last pair of contacts. Either way, I need a new pair of glasses. I have a pair that I got in target last year (target has all that is good in the world) but the actual lenses are so tiny, it bothers me especially when I’m drafting on the computer.

I’ve been reading a lot about Warby Parker glasses so I figured I’d give them a shot. Their glasses are $95 (!!!) including glare free lenses and shipping. Plus they ship five pairs to you FREE so you can try them on at home. For the first time ever I actually have several pairs that I like and I can’t make a decision. What do you think?! Help a girl pick out a pair of frames!

Warby Parker Nedwin

Nedwin: Amber (I’m kind of leaning towards these because I like the shape and the color isn’t too harsh on my face)

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Langston: Striped Evergreen (These look more green in person, but I think the color may be too dark for my skin color.)

Warby Parker Reece

Reece: Sandalwood Matte (Love this color!)

Warby Parker Wilkie

Wilkie: Sugar Maple  (I also really like this style and color, but I can’t decide it the frames are too trendy wendy/wannabe hipster. Although the bigger lenses make it so comfortable to work on my laptop.)

HELP!

spring fever

Today is apparently the first day of Spring, although it’s still freezing on the east coast. There’s even threats of snow showers in the coming week! Even though it’s too soon to pack away my sweaters and cozy socks, I still like to think that it’ll be warm soon. I love that I’ve been waking up to birds chirping in the morning, and that it’s staying light out past 7pm.

Now that everyone’s been talking about my favorite season, it’s lit a fire inside of me that is making me think about gardening nonstop. Last year I planted my very first garden, although I never actually posted progress photos. Better late than never…? Most people recommend keeping a journal, but instead I emailed myself photos of the progress so I could visually see what to do or what not to do this year.

Last year I planted way too much: 6 cherry tomatoes, 4 plum tomatoes, 2 beefsteak tomatoes, about 12 pepper plants, eggplant, carrots, garlic, cucumber, basil, parsley, string beans, and three kinds of lettuce. I went crazy. I planted everything way too close, even though the packages had direct instructions. I mean, how can a tiny little seed grow into a 10′ tomato plant?! This year I created a profile on Smart Gardener that I will actually stick to.  Like a lot of things in my life, I found the site through Pinterest and so far it’s amazing! You can put in the size of your garden, what you’d like to plant and it suggests a garden plan (much like my beloved floor plans). It even emails you when you should be planting, watering, and harvesting!

It’s fun to look back on how much Ryan and I have actually done to this house. No surface was untouched, including the garden. The first two photos below are what the yard looked like when we moved in. I don’t understand why you would have an amazing garden plot but then cover it with paving stones around plastic planters. And check out that little jungle on the right! Unfortunately that blacktop is still there but we’ve covered a good portion of it with a fun outdoor rug. (I’m sure I’ll be taking pictures this Spring to show you!) We also got rid of that terrible rusty swing too.

BEFORE:

Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

Our first Summer here, in 2011, I removed all of those paving stones and prepped the plot for a garden. There was SO much sand here because it used to be a sandbox at some point. I also had to remove a ridiculously heavy amount of rocks so the roots had room to grow.

Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

The above photo is where the “jungle” was. Ryan used grass and weed killer to get rid of all of the unwanted wildflowers and planted new seed grass seed since this photo was taken.

Vegetable Garden NJ

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Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

Vegetable Garden NJ

Below is my Smart Gardener plan for this upcoming year. As you may have noticed, I’ve simplified everything quite a bit. I need to allow the plants to have room to grow, and also so I can have room to walk around them to pick my harvest.

garden

Looking at these pictures gets me so excited for the upcoming season! It’s so nice to have a hobby that is creative but allows me to focus my energy on something other than interior design. Do you plant a garden? Do you have any tips? I especially love this book because it gives you gardening advice and also has delicious recipes to make with your veggies.

 

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR DESIGN PROJECT!