I love road trips. Especially spontaneous road trips where we’re not really sure exactly where we’ll stop. Over the holidays we decided to drive down from the Bay Area to southern California and Arizona. We didn’t have our itinerary completely planned out; we just knew we wanted to hit Joshua Tree National Park, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and of course some cool Route 66 stops along the way. While passing through Palm Springs, we found the Rendezvous hotel- a fabulous little boutique-style, mid-century heaven. And by mid-century heaven I don’t mean luxurious, I mean it really had an authentic period feel to it. I know Palm Springs is a mid-century hotspot, but this place had such an unchanged feel to it. Iconic furnishings, friendly staff, very cool but low-key vibe: I love this place. Oh, and did I mention pink flamingos by the pool? This is where we want to stay next time we drive through Palm Springs. And I plan to have a retro bathing suit with me when we do!
Isn’t it great when a fun new store opens in your neighborhood? I was very excited when Nathan & Co, a beautifully curated gift & home accessories store, opened at 5636 College Avenue in Oakland right around the corner from my house. And even if you don’t live in the neighborhood, it’s definitely worth the trip. Did I mention that it’s right by Cactus Taqueria? That means you can fill up on a yummy burrito and then check out Nathan & Co’s assortment of gorgeous pillows, teacups filled with succulents, adorable kid’s toys, pantone colored mugs and home and kitchen goodies that you know you want. You can also stop by their original store at 4025 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611.
I can’t remember ever seeing an Anthropologie window or display that wasn’t cool. How fun is this display of the Golden Gate Bridge at the Market Street store in downtown San Francisco? I just wonder what they’re going to do with all Rice-a-Roni when it’s time to take it down…
A friend of mine just shared this and it really brightened up my day and made me smile. I love when something simple and inexpensive can be a brilliant solution to improving the quality of someone’s life.
When I was a little girl I used to love stickers. Most kids do, don’t they? Well last weekend…I rediscovered stickers. I was browsing the sale section at the art supply store and spotted a cool looking book: Sticker Bomb 2.
It looked interesting because the images on the cover were not cutesy but graphic, intense and funny. But I wasn’t about to buy it because what I really came in for was spray paint (I’ll have to tell you in another post about the spray paint drama that happened later that evening in my apartment…). A few days later the hubby tasked me with decorating the vintage Gibson guitar we bought him at an antiques fair a few weeks before. I told him excitedly about the sticker book I had found and we headed to the art store. I panicked when I didn’t see it with the rest of the sale items, but after digging a little deeper we found that it had been hidden behind a stack of flowery folders. Ha! It was ours. And better yet, for 40% off! Later that night we embellished his guitar, his iPad cover, my notebook and the decal on my laptop.
I was on a roll. I was totally sticker happy. This book was mad cool. It had an introduction about the street art and culture of stickers written by some of the artists whose work was featured. All of a sudden I felt that I sort of understood the stickered bathrooms of cool bars & live music venues. That Saturday we planned to add stickers to our bikes (and anything else I could get my hands on) but first we went to my friend Marlene’s garage sale. We bought some very cool stuff, including a CB2 floor lamp with large metal shade. You can probably figure out the rest….yes, that night I most definitely made a sticker project out of it. We’re really into how this new creation brings some edgy-cool (a quality we love about street art) to our living room. Oh, and check out that fantastic horse pillow I bought from her garage sale as well…
I’m going to order the other book in this sticker series. Stay tuned for more sticker creations. Like how my old, boring microwave becomes totally pimp.
It’s a detour from interior design, but I made this the other day and it’s so good I had to share. I bring you the yummy…the beautiful…the trifle! Oh, and most importantly…the easy! If you have guests coming over and you need a quick and fabulous dessert forget the ready cake mix and build a trifle. If you don’t have a large beautiful vessel, like this one which I found at a thrift store, make mini trifles in wine glasses. That’ll be sure to add an instant cuteness factor! OK, so whaddya need? I like to use tapioca pudding, crushed chocolate cookies, and strawberries or a medley of berries. You can use vanilla pudding, chocolate pudding, blueberries, graham crackers crumbs…or whatever other delicious ingredients you think work together. They key to a trifle though is use a transparent glass bowl (or glasses or cups) and find three ingredients that contrast in color. A great texture combination is something creamy like pudding or mousse, fruit, and something cookie or cake-like. Layer the ingredients carefully so that they show clearly when you’re done. Get as fancy as you like with the top layer. It takes a little time, but arranging strawberry slices in circles as the top layer looks soooo pretty and you’ll score lots of oohs and aahs from your guests. I am so into this trifle idea that I’d like to try using it for a savory dish. Keep an eye out for it in future posts but in the meantime go make your own trifle and enjoy the compliments.
Today was not just good, it was awesome actually. I completed an etsy sale. Etsy sales are very exciting for me because I list furniture items that I refinish/upcycle and local buyers are key because shipping these large items is cost prohibitive for the customer. Today my lovely buyer Camille picked up the sweet little blue Chippendale table I recently listed. I knew it was gonna be a great day!
So Etsy sales are excellent, but what else makes today so good? I just set up my Square account. If you are not familiar with Square (I was just introduced to it a few days ago) it’s a tiny credit card reader that plugs into an iphone and allows you to accept plastic with its nifty app. And you can link it to your bank account where the funds you accept are transferred nightly. And it lets you email or sms receipts to your customers. What about those darn fees, you ask? 2.75%…not bad huh? I did a little test- I wanted to make sure I set it up correctly. Not that set-up was complicated…it was actually super easy and fast but I’m sort of afraid of technology. I ran my credit card through for a dollar and it worked and I’ll be getting 97 cents tonight. Cha-ching. This so sounds like a paid endorsement but I’m not quite as blog savvy (not yet at least) that I’m getting paid to say this. I just had to share the awesomeness that this little Square is. Oh wait- did I mention that all you have to do is go to their site and sign up for an account and they send you the device for free. I love free.
What other great stuff will today bring? Potluck at my friend’s house with the promise of Risotto, veg chili and cream cheese frosted chocolate cupcakes. Yay!
Calling all fellow SF craigslist nerds! I recently discovered dovetailmarket.com, a website that brings the best of craigslist furniture daily. They can’t guarantee that the ad will still be there or that the furniture will still be available, but we all know the good stuff goes fast!
Now that we’ve seen some of the best, just for fun here’s the worst craigslist (for sale section) ad of the day. And I know this %#$@ is for free, but they’re not counting the 30 seconds that we’re never getting back.
I stumbled upon Fran design lab, a San Francisco company creating furniture with a beautiful, modern aesthetic from reclaimed wood. Awesomeness. In addition to browsing through all the fabulous tables, I found myself fixated on the homepage staring at this diagram for a full 6 minutes while grooving to Logozo by Sidestepper, the featured song. This little chart is the coolest breakdown of furniture styles I’ve ever seen. It’s brilliant and pretty funny. Just visit the furniture for sale section on craigslist and you’ll see exactly what they mean. I think I’ve seen some people really use almost that many tags. I’m so gonna print this and hang it up. I wish it came in a poster or t-shirt!
It’s hilarious when large retailers screw up their ads like this. I mean seriously…no one at Target caught this before it went online??? Well now (probably after some complaints) they list this product as Kool Kolors Computer Desk – Classic Black on target.com. I guess now all there is to complain about is how lame it is to spell cool and colors with a K.
This past Sunday was the Haight Ashbury Street Fair in San Francisco and boy was it fun. The Haight is always fun, so imagine just how good it was with the addition of live music and street food! I was tormented by the smell of meat, meat and more meat grilling, sizzling and smoking everywhere. I haven’t eaten meat for 2 years but I nearly broke down. Luckily, I was saved by a basket of garlic fries. And a spinach knish. And 1/2 a slice of pizza. (Good thing we walked for 3 hours). After the good times, we got to stroll past some of my favorite houses in the area. A group of ornate, candy-colored Victorian beauties on the corner of Haight and Central…
There’s rain in the forecast this weekend for the bay area, but that won’t stop the artsy fun. If you’re in San Francisco, check out the Union Street Eco-Urban Festival. There will be live music, there will be arts and crafts and there will be green exhibits. So basically, there will be awesomeness. Saturday 6/4 & Sunday 6/5, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Union Street : Gough to Steiner, San Francisco.
If you’re on the other side of the bridge (yay!) don’t miss the Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival this weekend in Berkeley. I love how the name of this festival is like all the promotion it needs. Seriously, any festival with chocolate in the name is a winner. I’m sure the street art part will be really fantastic too. I think you should go even if you’re not in the East Bay! Saturday, 6/4, 10am-5pm, North Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley.
I think Jonathan Olivares’ book “A Taxonomy of Office Chairs” is so cool because not only am I a design history nerd, but also an office chair nerd. Olivares talks about his book in this little video.Watch it, and if you’re an ergonomic geek like me, grab a copy of the book. By the way, is it me or is he kinda cute (in a design-researcher kind of way)? OMG, I really am a nerd.
If you visit California’s Napa Valley, I really recommend stopping by Mumm Napa, a popular vineyard along the Silverado Highway. It’s known for it’s great sparkling wines (non-alcoholic varieties served as well) but Mumm also has a fantastic photography gallery. A great showcase of Ansel Adam’s landscapes and U.S. national parks is part of the private collection and other artists are featured during rotating exhibits. During our stop over yesterday we saw SIGNS OF LIFE: An exhibition of photographs by Robert Buelteman. I loved the plant subjects, the colors, and this Rumi quote on the wall:
Check out more of the artist’s work and his interesting technique at www.buelteman.com.
There was so much visual goodness in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood during Sunday Streets that I couldn’t help but add another post about it. This one is about bikes. So many bikes! I know this post seems more relevant to fashion or industrial design, but one of the bikes is also a piano- that’s furniture related, eh? Besides, creativity, regardless of the type, can always cross over and inspire us in our own design field. What was so great about the bikes was that they were like moving art. Multimedia installations of recreation and eccentricity.
There was the fuchsia duo emitting bubbles to the crowd’s delight.
My sister-in-law, Lobna, poses with this piano tricycle dude.
The double decker bikes whose riders got on so effortlessly. How do they do it????
And last but not least, these two were powering a band’s performance on this bicycle-thingie. Wow! Respect.
Oh, and I don’t have a photo, but ‘Deep from San Francisco’s Flashdance was there with his sound system 3-wheeler “trikeasurus” blaring out tunes as he wove his way through the Sunday Streeters. Very cool.