Articles on this Page
- 01/15/14--02:00: _10 Easy Pieces: Ins...
- 01/15/14--04:00: _Salt Air: A Whitewa...
- 01/15/14--06:00: _A Tumbleweed Light ...
- 01/15/14--08:00: _Backyard Bunkhouse,...
- 01/15/14--10:00: _An Apron for Everyo...
- 01/16/14--02:00: _House Call: High on...
- 01/16/14--04:00: _Made Measure Takes ...
- 01/16/14--06:00: _Galerie Half: LA's ...
- 01/16/14--08:00: _California Made: Af...
- 01/16/14--10:00: _Concrete Chic: The ...
- 01/17/14--02:00: _International Style...
- 01/17/14--04:00: _High/Low: The Curvy...
- 01/17/14--08:30: _Eat, Pray, Love: Lu...
- 01/17/14--10:00: _Style Counsel: A Cu...
- 01/18/14--02:00: _Current Obsessions:...
- 01/20/14--02:00: _The Power of Pastel...
- 01/20/14--04:00: _5 Favorites: Leathe...
- 01/20/14--06:00: _Coming to Ikea: The...
- 01/20/14--08:00: _Block-Printed Texti...
- 01/20/14--10:00: _Patchwork Tiles: 10...
- 01/15/14--02:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Instant Kitchen Islands
- 01/15/14--04:00: Salt Air: A Whitewashed Restaurant in Venice Beach
- 01/15/14--06:00: A Tumbleweed Light Fixture from Marfa
- 01/15/14--08:00: Backyard Bunkhouse, Hollywood Royal Family Edition
- 01/15/14--10:00: An Apron for Everyone from Hedley & Bennett in LA
- 01/16/14--02:00: House Call: High on a Hill in Los Angeles
- 01/16/14--04:00: Made Measure Takes Leather Pulls One Step Further
- 01/16/14--06:00: Galerie Half: LA's Best Resource for 20th-Century Antiques
- 01/16/14--08:00: California Made: Affordable Pendant Lights from LA
- 01/16/14--10:00: Concrete Chic: The Line Hotel in LA's Koreatown
- 01/17/14--02:00: International Style: At Home with LA's Stealth Stylemakers
- 01/17/14--04:00: High/Low: The Curvy Sofa
- 01/17/14--08:30: Eat, Pray, Love: Luxury Linens for Less
- 01/17/14--10:00: Style Counsel: A Cult Shoemaker in Echo Park
- 01/18/14--02:00: Current Obsessions: Out with the Old
- 01/20/14--02:00: The Power of Pastels: A London House Reimagined
- 01/20/14--04:00: 5 Favorites: Leather Baskets Too Pretty To Hide
- 01/20/14--06:00: Coming to Ikea: The Return of a Cult Stool (and More)
- 01/20/14--08:00: Block-Printed Textiles from a New York Painter
- 01/20/14--10:00: Patchwork Tiles: 10 Mix and Match Ideas
Do you have a smallish kitchen? Or maybe you're on the fence about work islands (think they're too suburban?). Here are 10 low-commitment, problem-solving options, ranging in price from $250 to Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Above: West Elm's retro-styled Cabin Kitchen Island has a solid oak top and a white lacquer finish; $999.
Above: The Sheridan Kitchen Island from Crate & Barrel is available in gray, white, or black for $699.
Above: The Olofstrorp island in pine is $249 from Ikea.
Above: The Quovis Counter-Height Table designed by architect Giulio Lazzotti is $1,400 from Design Within Reach.
Above: The March Kitchen Work Table, designed and fabricated by Berkeley-based Matt Bear, combines the lines and lightness of a kitchen table with optional accessories for tools and storage. Contact March for pricing and more information.
Above: The Salvaged Wood Kitchen Island is made from solid pine timbers and is available in a range of sizes; prices start at $1,870 from Restoration Hardware.
Above: The simple John Boos Cucina Classico Work Table with Maple Top is available in two sizes; prices start at $661.48 from Kitchen Source. See a version at work in designer Lena Corwin's Brooklyn kitchen.
Above: The custom Mise en Place Work Table from Dublin-born, Cape Town-based chef Liam Tomlin inspired by the French culinary principle of mise en place, or "everything in its place." Made from solid ash with a cast-iron frame, the design includes cutting boards, glass holders, a wine rack, and more. Go to Chef's Warehouse & Cookery School for details.
Above: The marble-topped Modular Kitchen Island from Williams-Sonoma is available with a polished nickel, antiqued brass, or oiled bronze base; $1,995 to $2,495, depending on finish.
Above: Room & Board's Fisher Two-Drawer Kitchen Island is available in three sizes and in a choice of materials; prices start at $1,819.
For more inspiration, peruse our vast Kitchen Photo Gallery.
Partners Dave Reiss, Carol Ann, and Moïse Emquies recently opened Salt Air, a seafood restaurant located in the beachy heart of Venice in LA. Carol Ann, founder of Blinken Interiors, and Brett Witke co-designed the bistro using a white palette and giving the space a breezy, Scandi-style interior that perfectly lives up to its name. Just add a platter of oysters.
Photos via LA Eater.
Above: White wooden chairs and and linen-upholstered banquettes are paired with Carrara marble tables.
Above: The kitchen, located in the middle of the restaurant, is set off by zinc-paneled walls with windows.
Above: The white wash extends from the brick walls to the exposed roof rafters.
Above: The bar features a marble counter, zinc paneling, and subway tiles.
Above: Colorful vintage ceramic pendant lights hang from ropes over the bar. For more information and reservations, go to Salt Air.
I first became obsessed with tumbleweeds after admiring an artfully displayed collection at Dosa 818, Christina Kim's LA loft. So I took note when I spotted a tumbleweed chandelier making the rounds on Pinterest. A quick Google search turned up a surprising source, which led me straight back to Dosa. Small (design) world.
The maker of the tumbleweed chandelier in question is Jean Landry, a set designer based in Marfa, Texas, who spent 20 years as a modern dancer ("It took me all around the world and greatly informed my sense of space and how we move through it," she says). Jean, as it turns out, is a great friend of Christina Kim, and she offers her lighting through Dosa. Full circle.
Above: Contact Dosa directly for pricing and ordering information.
Above: Jean collects her tumbleweeds from the desert environs of Marfa.
Above: A view of the colored electrical cords on offer.
When actors (and hands-on remodelers) Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen decided to downsize to a 1949 three bedroom fixer-upper in Studio City, LA, they had to find space to fit their family of six. The fact that their four boys, ages 15 to 24, all happen to be giants made the need for extra room that much more pressing. Fortunately, the previous owner had built a palatial workshop-tool shed for himself in the backyard.
In their transformation of the unheated workshed, the couple corralled their talents—Pays is now a professional interior designer and house flipper specializing in recycled design (see Amanda Pays Design), and Bernsen, one of the stars of the television series Psych, has serious carpentry skills having trained early in his career under his builder uncle. The results are a bunkhouse that stands ready for coming-and-going grown children and guests, plus a mezzanine ideal for drum playing and painting. And, surprisingly, it was all built on a (relative) shoestring.
Above: Pays and Bernsen entirely lined the interior of the workshed with scrap wood siding from a now defunct salvage dealer. They whitewashed it by painting it (Benjamin Moore Simply White—"with a brush not a roller," specifies Pays, "I like to see the strokes") and then rubbing it with a rag. They upgraded the old concrete floor with a new layer of poured concrete. And built a mezzanine level; Corbin himself hammered the wooden ladder with metal railing that leads to it. The finished interior is spacious enough for a hangout area, plus side-by-side bedrooms.
Above: The bedrooms are sectioned off by Pays' signature curtains made from all-cotton painter's drop cloths suspended from galvanized plumber's pipe, both from local home supply store Anawalt Lumber. The metal bed frames are Room & Board's Parsons Twin Bed.
Above: The industrial lighting came from the Rose Bowl Flea Market.
Above: In lieu of space-hogging bedside tables, Bensen built shelves from scaffolding boards and steel L brackets.
Above: Each bedroom is kitted out with built-in shelves, drawers, and a small closet.
Above: A small TV has been slipped in between shelves.
Above: The closets have hardware store aluminum pulls—"$2 each," says Pays—and are whitewashed inside and out. "We had a great carpenter and painter helping us," says Pays. "I design; Corbin does all of the drawing to fine detail. He's good with space; I'm good with colors, textures, and placement."
Above: A new bathroom next to the bedrooms is just big enough for a sink—with cast concrete counter—toilet and shower. The white shower tile and American Standard toilet are from Lowe's. The window shade is made from a drop cloth.
Above: The mezzanine level serves as a music space and art studio.
Above: Bookshelves have been shoehorned under the eaves.
Above: True, most unheated backyard workshops aren't stuccoed and shingled—and positioned next to pools. Pays and Bernsen painted the structure a warm concrete gray, replaced its sliding glass doors with old front doors from Old Good Things, and added a barn light from a swap meet. The windows are original, but in several spots were relocated. During their renovation of the main house, the couple and their youngest son lived happily in the bunkhouse for six months. Want to see their California king-sized kitchen? It's featured in full detail in our book, Remodelista, A Manual for the Considered Home, as is Bernsen's ingenious solution for storing batteries and light bulbs.
To tour another standout remodel in a 1940s LA house, go to A Thrifty New England Kitchen By Way of LA and Steal This Look: A Barbara Bestor-Designed Master Bath.
"Who doesn't need an apron?" asks Ellen Bennett. "A potter, a painter, a cook, you name it." After a stint in Mexico City where Bennett attended culinary school, she worked as a cook at Providence, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Hollywood. This is where it all began: the idea of creating an attractive, handmade, hardworking apron. Five aprons a week for fellow kitchen workers soon led to a team of seamstresses and Hedley and Bennett was born.
Now, a year later, Bennett makes customized aprons for celebrity chefs, restaurant clients, barbers, and artists, and sells her readymade aprons to stores in LA and via her own online shop. Her designs hover around the $100 mark, and Bennett goes to great lengths to make them worth it, using comfortable, durable materials and winning details like reinforced lined pockets, brass hardware, and adjustable neck straps, so that they work equally well for men and women, the tall and small.
Above: Ellen Bennett in her LA Fashion District office. Photo via Los Angeles Times. She makes her aprons from a range of fabrics, including Japanese denim (known to be among the best in the world) and American canvas.
Above: The Squid Ink apron is made from raw black denim; $65 from Hedley and Bennett.
Above: The blue Japanese denim Dakota has three pockets and an extra long waist strap; $90.
Above: The Sunday Limited Edition apron has two lap pockets, one chest pocket, and brass hardware. It's made of gray Italian candiani denim; $89.
Above: The Nonna apron is reversible: blue twill on one side, blue on the other; $126
Above: Made from Japanese selvage magenta denim, the Lennon apron has a double pen chest pocket and antique brass hardware; $98.
Above: The Chestnut is Japanese brown denim with gold straps, a triple chest pocket, and antique brass hardware; $98.
Not many people can lay claim to living on a historic 4.5-acre estate in the heart of Los Angeles with fabulous views of the city to boot. An artist, decorator, and objects designer who defies classification, Kelly Lamb is lucky enough to do so, albeit in renovated stables. Perched on a hill in Silver Lake, the estate is the Paramour Mansion, built in 1923 for a silent movie star and his heiress wife. In the decades following its twenties glory, it served as a convent and then later a school for wayward girls, until it was purchased in 1998 by philanthropist and interior designer Dana Hollister.
A New York transplant, Lamb moved into her studio four years ago and loves living in a building that has such a history, not to mention an enchanted setting. She confides that, "The view is insane and the main grounds and gardens are spectacular. Some days it's amazingly magical and serene." The downside? "Movies are shot here, and it can suddenly turn into the back lot of a film studio with Porta Potties outside my back door and studio gaffers yelling all day." But as Lamb concedes, "It's always exciting." For more on the artist and designer, visit Kelly Lamb.
Photography by Laure Joliet for Remodelista.
Above: Surrounded by a walled courtyard, Kelly's studio is situated on the ground floor of the former stables and her living quarters are upstairs. Kelly renovated the patio and put in the brick terrace. The octagonal ottomans are custom-order Kelly designs made of indoor/outdoor fabric, and each has wheels and a detachable Velcro loop at the bottom so it can easily be rolled around.
Above: Kelly Lamb in the arched entryway to her studio where she and a small crew work on her geometric ceramics and other prototypes for her line of products—see Kelly Lamb.
Above: A Roche Bobois leather sofa in the living area where Lamb also has her desk. On the floor is a cast bronze disco ball made by Lamb who early on became interested in the geodesic form—which explains her faceted ceramics line. An admirer of Buckminster Fuller, she says "I have always been inspired by sacred geometry and how it unfolds into so may different beautiful shapes."
Above: The chalkboard painted front door has a To Do list scribbled on it. To the right is a trio of Lamb's hand-blown colored Glass Lights with a custom metal finish. (She used to blow glass when she lived in New York.) Hanging from the ceiling is one of Lamb's Moon Pendants made from ceramic with glossy glaze on a bronze chain with a crystal at the bottom.
Above: Lamb's desk overlooks thee courtyard. The glass balls are color samples for her lighting line. On display throughout are collections and pieces of glass, crystal, and bronze. Lamb notes that she likes the mix of natural organics shapes alongside geometric forms.
Above: Another view of the moving living room/work area. A Donald Judd armchair in copper was purchased at the end of an exhibition that Lamb photographed for the Judd Foundation several years ago at the Tate Modern in the UK. She explains, "I was taken with the copper pieces; they really spoke to me, especially when light radiates from them."
Above: The kitchen and dining area is anchored by a table with marble top.
Above: A faceted white serving bowl, vase, and tea cups from Lamb's signature line of ceramics.
Above: A traditional Japanese wooden cabinet is used for storing food supplies.
Above: An Ed Ruscha print sits atop an Indonesian cabinet. The chair covered in gold fabric is borrowed from a friend.
Above : A view from the kitchen into the living area. Two horns found at a flea market are displayed on the cabinet beside a cardboard prototype with silver leaf on it. The painting is an early California landscape from the twenties.
Above: An inspired answer to window treatment: a Window Veil made by Lamb from Swarovski crystals and metal chains.
Above: The view of Hollywood on one side and Downtown on the other.
Product designers Paul Kinny and Christina Teresinski, founders of the newly launched Made Measure in Melbourne, are in the midst of a love affair with leather. Their first collection consists of simple, handcrafted handles and pulls made in their studio of high-grade leather that improves with age. They also make wallets and iPad cases from the same leather. And in case you need a customized version of their designs, they stand ready to assist.
Above: The Leather Handle is available in four colors: British Tan (shown), Natural, Chocolate, and Black. It also comes in different styles: No Stitch, Matching Stitch, (shown), and Contrast Stitch, and you can choose from a handle with single or double holes; prices start at AUD $18 from Made Measure.
Above: An option we haven't seen before: leather drawer pulls that sit flush on top of a drawer face. The Leather Pull Recessed in Saddle Tan (top) and Black (bottom) are made from vegetable-tanned leather and measure 40 millimeter wide and 195 millimeter long. The pulls are also available in Natural and Chocolate; AUD $29.50 each.
Above: Owner Paul Kinny at work in his Melbourne-studio.
Los Angeles antiques emporium Galerie Half has been on our radar for a while now (Alexa visited just a couple of weeks ago and is dreaming of a pair of Belgian loveseats). Not surprisingly, the gallery is a favorite with the LA design cognoscenti too (Diane Keaton and Ellen Degeneres are fans). The founders of Galerie Half, Cliff Fong and Cameron Smith, offer an artful mix of 20th-century design, European antiques, primitive furniture, and architectural artifacts. To see more, visit the shop on Melrose Avenue in LA and online at Galerie Half.
Above: Galerie Half showcases a melange of lighting, antique furniture, paintings, and other pieces of artwork. Photograph by Lizzie Garrett Mettler.
Above: Landscape painting and portraits can be found throughout the store. Photograph by Lizzie Garrett Mettler.
Above: A pair of Belgian Loveseats from the 1970s from Galerie Half's 1st Dibs shop; price available on request.
Above: A portrait and a sheepskin-covered lounge chair. Photographs by Lizzie Garrett Mettler.
Above: French Lampe Gras Wall Appliqués from the 1920s on 1st Dibs; price available upon request.
Above: A Greta Grossman Swedish grasshopper lamp, via Esoteric Survey.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 14, 2011 as part of our White Christmas issue.
Rule of thumb at Remodelista: when you come across really good lighting that is both affordable and made in the US, post about it immediately. These pendant lamps from Los Angeles company Wrk-Shp are too good to keep to ourselves.
Founded by an architect (Ryan Upton) and an architect-turned-fashion designer (Airi Isoda), Wrk-Shp defines themselves as a multi-disciplinary studio that is one part women's clothing, one part product design. Their product design extends beyond accessories to lighting and furniture, but all their pieces have a subtle industrial quality to them. Here is a look at the duo's concrete pendant lamps (plus their wall cleat, the best one we've seen yet).
Above: The Concrete Pendant Light in Red is a hanging fixture intended for indoor use only; shown here with a T-10 light bulb; $115.
Above: Wall Cleats never looked so good. This one is made from a maple wood dowel and brass screws; $20 each.
Above: The Concrete Pendant Light in black is also $115.
Above: Details of the concrete socket with subtle branding plus a twisted cloth covered cord, available in black or red.
On the hunt for more affordable lighting? Us too: Affordable Lighting from a New Crop of Designers.
Set in a stripped-down 1960s Hyatt in LA's buzzing Koreatown, the now debuting Line Hotel—from the owner of New York's NoMad—takes a refreshingly raw approach to the architectural makeover. Hotel impresario Andrew Zobler of the Sydell Group let loose an impressive creative team, including It Boy chef Roy Choi and LA designer Sean Knibb, to reinvent a dinosaur building. Located in one of the most round-the-clock neighborhood's in the city—just three miles from Downtown, and six miles from Beverly Hills—The Line is about to unveil a trio of Roy Choi restaurants, a night club, and a Poketo-curated newsstand and boutique. In the meantime, 388 concrete rooms stand ready.
Above: Situated to take in sweeping city views, the beds have desks as headboards—"to maximize the space and give the guest a large commanding workspace (or place to their things) that faces the window," says designer Sean Knibb of Knibb Design in LA.
Above: "We started with the concept of repurpose—use as much of the existing structure as possible, and take materials that would not usually be considered luxurious and elevate them through substitution," says Knibb. Towards that end, he photographed the structure's exposed concrete, and then had it turned into wallpaper, which is actually what lines the walls of the rooms. It was custom made by Astek in LA. Each room also has a chair upholstered in a vintage Mexican serape, a painted coffee table with a "cityscape" built from books, and a photo collage by Kevin Hanley of LA's Acme gallery. Knibb Design created the rakish lamp.
Above: So bad it's good? A new sculpture inspired by mid-century artist Curtis Jere's metal flocks of birds.
Above: A double room with a Knibb Design hanging light and hits of tomato red, inspired, says Knibb, by the colors of Koreatown. The porcelain laundry jug vases by artist Foekje Fleur, he points out, "contribute to the recurring themes of repurposed design and elevation through substitution."
Above: A sitting area with serape-upholstered chairs and a hexagonal marble table. The furniture is available to order from Knibb Design.
Above: Don't overpack: A compact closet and shelving made of bleached ash.
Above: Bathrooms are white-tiled and detailed with bleached ash and gold fixtures.
Above: Soon to open: POT, Roy Choi's take on the Korean hot pot restaurant. We like the floral strewn, two-toned walls and Emeco wood and metal Lancaster Chairs.
Above: The 1964 structure, designed by architects Daniel Mann Johnson + Mendenhall, rises about the palms and the neighborhood hubbub.
Another new LA hotel to check out? See A Mediterranean Beach Lodge, Santa Monica Edition.
Whenever we need a dose of inspiration, we head to Matin, the under-the-radar LA private art gallery that's also the creative workshop of owners Christina and Robert Odegard. The gallery represents a small group of artists, who make what they term "exceptionally handmade work." That includes the furniture designs of architect John Pawson (Matin is the lone US representative) and artist/icon Donald Judd, as well as several European artists who work in porcelain. Not to mention Christina Odegard herself; a jewelry designer and sculptor (she and Robert met at RISD), who has recently produced a group of cast bronze lanterns, candlesticks, and lights that we've been admiring of late.
Above: A Matin Bell in painted bronze by Christina Odegard and vessels by Marie Torbensdatter Hermann, one of the artists in Matin's roster. The private gallery works primarily with collectors, curators, architects, and interior designers; the couple's small midcentury house in the Hollywood Hills doubles on occasion as their showroom, but the majority of their business is conducted online.
Above: The pierced Matin Bronze Lantern No. 2 in Smoke White (a candle fits under the base) with ceramic pieces by Matin artists Edmund de Waal, Robert Turner, and Rupert Spira. The etchings above the mantel are by Louise Bourgeois, one of Christina's inspirational icons.
Above: The Odegard's have applied a spare, John Pawson aesthetic to their 1950s house. The living room is furnished with Dosa poufs, Donald Judd's Walnut 9 chair, Edmund de Waal's porcelain piece One Safety in the fireplace, a Spencer Fung chair, and Christina's bronze bell and candlestick.
Christina carves her bronzes out of wax, or, in the case of the candlestick, wood. They're cast in Los Angeles in small open editions. Above L: Her Large Candlestick stands alongside her great grandmother's chair, reupholstered in off white. Above R: The candlestick is 38 inches tall; $6,000 from Matin. "The forms take inspiration from antique bell shapes, Chinese lanterns, and organic references," says Christina. "I come to a form mostly through the process, either carving the wax or wood, and allowing it to develop as I carve."
Above L: Christina also makes her bell form as a wall light in painted cast bronze; $6,000. Above R: The Matin Bell is detailed with a bronze clapper strung on a woven leather cord with a hand-carved ebony heart, turquoise beads, and a carved buffalo horn pull; $8,000.
Above: Christina first created Matin's bronze lanterns for her garden, where they rest atop candles. "Their surface, when left untreated, will develop a patina over time that blends in with the surrounding nature as if camouflaged," says Robert, who adds that they're also available in a Waxed Black or Smoked White finish. All of Christina's bronzes can be placed indoors or out.
Above L: Bronze Lantern No. 2, $3,800. Above R: Bronze Lanter No. 3, $3,800. Christina also makes a line of one-of-a-kind sculptural gold jewelry that you can see at Matin; a small Matin jewelry line is also sold at Chariots on Fire in Venice, California.
To see more, go to Matin, and send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also don't miss our posts on Matin's John Pawson's Tables and Kirsten Coelho's Porcelain Renditions of Farmhouse Tinware.
I recently admired UK designer Russell Pinch's curvacious Goddard sofa, which manages to be both modern and romantic at the same time. So I took note when I saw an eerily similar doppelganger recently for a fraction of the price.
Above: Pinch's velvet Goddard Sofa is constructed of coconut fiber, horse hair, natural latex, and wool, all on a frame of sustainably harvested solid beech hardwood; $6,820 from The Future Perfect.
Above: Room & Board's new Murphy Sofa has a similar profile, with a slightly elevated height. It's available in a cotton velvet upholstery in 15 color choices; the 81-inch sofa is $1,399.
It was a trip to the Amalfi Coast that inspired Ariel Kaye, an LA entrepreneur, to start her own line of affordable luxury bed linens. As she tells it, she fell in love—not with a dashing Italian, but with the sumptuous sheets at a picturesque hotel. "I returned home on a quest for perfection," she says. "But would I really have to spend a month of rent to recreate my perfect Italian sleep experience?"
Following the business model of fashion site Everlane, which cuts out the middlemen and the marketers, Ariel set out to create Parachute, her own line of luxurious-but-reasonably-priced bed linens for a wider audience. She visited production facilities in several locales before settling on a small family-owned factory in Tuscany that's been in business for 70 years. "A set of sheets from Sferra or Frette sets you back $600-$800," she says. "We offer a similar set for $250."
Above: "People think thread count is the most important factor with sheets," Ariel says. "Actually, it's the caliber of the thread and the quality of the fabric you should be concerned about." Parachute's sheets are made of long-staple Egyptian fibers and are available in percale or sateen ("Our sateen is more matte and less shiny than some," she says).
Above: Parachute's sheets are available in white, powder, and ash. The Purist Set (one fitted sheet, one duvet cover, and two pillowcases) is $249 and can be ordered in percale or sateen.
Above: The Sheets + Cases set includes one fitted sheet and a pair of pillowcases (add a top sheet for an extra $50) and can be ordered in percale or sateen; $129.
Above: A Duvet Cover is $179 ("we use soft rubber buttons for closure that are durable and won't break in the wash"); add a pair of shams for an extra $20. Available in percale or sateen.
Above: The sheets arrive tidily bundled.
Above: The first batch of Parachute linens, ready for delivery. For more information, go to Parachute.
One visit to Los Angeles and you’ll notice it too: the streets from Venice to Silverlake and Downtown LA are filled with Beatrice Valenzuela shoes. They're a California staple, and the styles at Beatrice's Echo Park store tend not to change. “The way I approach my shoes is as wardrobe essentials, unchanging in style from season to season. I’m the kind of person that once I find something I love, I always want it in my life; I think we all have that inclination toward objects and clothing,” says Beatrice.
The concept behind the leather shoes came about while Beatrice was traveling through Mexico. “I studied anthropology and have always been looking at handmade shoes from different cultures around the world. I had never made shoes before, but I knew what I liked, and at an open-air market in Mexico City I met the man who I continue to collaborate with today.” An early career in styling and an interest in antiques led Beatrice to take the slow fashion approach to her own label. "Many times I’ve found the perfect dress, have worn it until it has practically dissolved, and know I won’t be able to find it again,” she says. “It’s like that pair of Levis we all have in our closet—it’s always available and it doesn’t matter that we all have them. My shoe collection is modeled in the same way. The colors of the leather might change seasonally, but you can always find the same style you rely on.”
Beatrice grew up in Mexico City and lived all over the US before spending a few years in Paris where she met her now-husband, Ramsey. She was on her way to Cuba when she followed Ramsey to LA. “We’ve lived here for 11 years, and are now in a home in Echo Park with our daughter, Astrid, just up the street from my store,” she says
We asked Beatrice for some fashion and design advice, including how best to wear her shoes, scents to wear each season, and what she can't stop buying for her home. To browse her store, go to Beatrice Valenzuela.
Above: Photograph by Jeana Sohn of Closet Visit.
Remodelista: Three words that describe your personal style?
Beatrice Valenzuela: Vibrant, feminine, and chic.
RM: What are your wardrobe essentials?
BV: A good jacket (either fitted or abundant) and a pair of perfectly fitted jeans cropped at the ankle. I really like Won Hundred and Acne jeans, but it really depends on your body type. You have to go out there and try on a ton of jeans until you find that perfect fit. I also always have a structured leather bag made by a friend: Clare Vivier, Agnes Baddoo, and Samantha Grisdale, among others.
Above: Beatrice bought this handknit sweater at an estate sale in Malibu: "I also got a gorgeous Josefa kaftan from Acapulco; it was an amazing sale." Photograph by Jeana Sohn of Closet Visit.
RM: How do you brave the elements?
BV: When it's cold: Cresent Down Works' Wool Italian Vest over a fitted sweater, a big soft scarf, and a pair of by own Botines. When it's hot: an Eres bikini over a loose see-through caftan by Dosa or one of Jesse Kamm's Imperial Tunics with the Nahuatl Sandal.
Above: Beatrice wears an ear cuff that a friend brought back from a trip to Provence. She's currently working on a small jewelry collection to include hair accessories and ear cuffs (inspired by this vintage one). Photograph by Jeana Sohn of Closet Visit.
RM: Do you have a signature piece of jewelry?
BV: I have two! I've been wearing my jade bracelet since I was 18; it has been on my body the whole time. It actually doesn't come off now because it has become part of me. The second piece is from my husband, Ramsey, who made me the most beautiful sculpted ring band and I wear it on my finger everyday. It's rose gold and feels wonderful on my hand.
RM: Hair maintenance and beauty essentials?
BV: I deep condition my hair once or twice a week. I recommend finding a hair repair treatment or mask that you like and waiting 10 to 20 minutes before rinsing. When I shampoo my hair, I always leave in a bit of condition. It acts as a leave-in condition and helps with any frizz. For beauty, I use Tata Harper products—I especially love the Regenerating Cleanser, the Hydrating Floral Essence, the Rejuvenating Serum, and the Restorative Eye Cream. I find that her products are absorbed into the skin very easily and I like the aromatherapy.
RM: Go-to scent or perfume?
GD: It depends on the season: spring is Coqui Coqui's Orange Blossom, summer it's Coqui Coqui Coco (coconut), fall requires Diptyque's Philosykos (fig), and winter it's Dasein's Winter scent.
RM: What's in your bag?
BV: Measuring tape, nail polish, lipstick, Tata Harper's Stress Treatment and Hydrating Floral Essence for rejuvenating a bit in this dry winter season, stickers (for my daughter Astrid), a Postalco sketch pad, a book, and sunglasses.
Above: Photograph via Tomboy Style.
RM: Any advice on how to wear a pair of Beatrice Valenzuela shoes?
BV: Our shoes look great with an ankle cropped jean and a chunky knit sweater, while the sandals are best with loose skirts and dresses.
Above: A Magdalena Suarez Frimkess untitled tile from LA's South Willard gallery.
RM: Favorite art piece or architectural work of the moment?
BV: I've been collecting Magdalena Suarez's ceramics since I was in my early twenties. I just recently acquired some new pieces that I'm really inspired by.
RM: What's the last thing you purchased for your home?
BV: I am always buying baskets. I think it's a bit of an obsession really.
A week of exploring all that LA has to offer has put us in a sunny frame of mind. Next week, stay tuned for posts about color, pattern, and paint palettes. Here's what's piquing our interest this weekend: cleaning ideas, taking care of clothing, and planning our next vacations.
Above: The Zellel'z 5 Chandelier hangs in a kitchen by architects Fernlund + Logan that we recently featured; the same chandelier is included in Country Living's roundup of 10 Eye-Catching Kitchen Lights.
Out with the old: HuffPo Home's advice for consigning your furniture.
Sarah is heading over to FOG Design + Art, a modern furniture, art, and design fair, this weekend in San Francisco.
Above: Alexa has been taking tips from the queen of colorless living, Ivania Carpio of Love Aesthetics, on how to keep whites white. We're also having a look at the key to keeping clothes fresh on Real Simple.
To be filed under "Why didn't I think of this": genius birth annoucement seen on Pinterest.
Above: After our week exploring all that LA has to offer (see the full issue: Western Edition), we're planning our next visit and hoping to stay in this Air BnB, an apartment owned by an architect at Commune first seen on Design Tripper.
Having a look at these 15 ideas for displaying art on Sunset Magazine.
Above: Margot has been admiring Hay's Box Desktop set in the palette "Female" available at The Goodhood Store in the UK.
Is it just us or does there seem to be a lot of young Parisian men obsessed with Silicon Valley of late? Take, for instance, designer Jean-Marc Gady who has worked with Guerlain, Diptych, and Chanel, to name a few, and is trading the City of Light for Cupertino and a job at Apple; via Maison et Objet.
As a young girl growing up in Dublin, Michelle McKenna of Space and Grace was fascinated by the effect that color has on a person's well-being. Capturing colors as some would butterflies, she developed a highly honed internal sense of color, which served her well when she and her husband, Brenlen Jinkens, "won" their London Victorian townhouse at auction. The house was in a serious state of disrepair—a literal “blank canvas.” But with her innate design sense, Michelle, a floral designer and color consultant (as well as a body work practitioner of Amatsu and Reiki), used color to capitalize on the infamous soft and gray British light. “I had to stop myself from using the strong, bright colors that look so good in the Mediterranean sunlight,” she says. “I wanted to generate as light a space as possible while being sympathetic to the gray skies of London.”
For her broad brush strokes, McKenna turned to English paint company Farrow & Ball (known for developing paint colors for the stately heritage homes of the National Trust) to develop her nuanced palette. And for her finer brush strokes, she was inspired by the botanical world (she studied floral design with Hannah McIntosh of Scarlet and Violet, and learned that "time seems to slow down when I arrange flowers". “I often think that colors in a hospital should be used to relax people,” she says. “The colors you use can really change the atmosphere for the better.”
Photography by Emma Lee, unless otherwise noted.
Above: After restoring the plaster and lathe walls throughout the house, Michelle wanted to use a breathable paint and found her solution in Farrow & Ball's Casein Distemper finish, a form of early whitewash with a chalky finish that's eco friendly. "It was important to me to have a house that breathes in this damp weather," she says. "Most paints have chemicals in them that act as a membrane, keeping the moisture in." In the living room, not content with the available whites, McKenna mixed her own color, a 50/50 mix Farrow & Ball of Cornforth White and Strong White. "When deciding colors, I painted samples directly on the walls because the plaster board could affect the end result," she says.
Above L: The colors of the George Braque print in a gold frame complement the textured blue—teal Dapple Velvet from Mulberry, which Michelle used to reupholster a Chesterfield sofa she found in a London antiques shop. Above R: A tray from Vintage Heaven plays host to afternoon tea served in a teapot from Poole Pottery.
Above L: The walls of the stair hall were painted with Farrow & Ball Great White while the spindles and tread were painted with Farrow & Ball Pigeon. A vintage carpet runner from Sweden sits on original floors whose whitewash effect have come about from being lime washed. In the stairway to the basement, McKenna papered the walls down to the basement with pages from a Swedish botanical book, Bilder Ur Nordens Flora by C.A.M. Lindman. Above R: The house is five stories high; the centralized stair splits the house in half between front and back.
Above: Michelle brings the outdoors into the kitchen with handmade Chinoiserie Wallpaper from British company Fromental. Working with furniture makers The Goodingham Brothers, she created a traditional English kitchen with cherry countertops and cabinets in Farrow & Ball Light Blue.
Above L: McKenna uses classic subway tiles as a backsplash in the kitchen. Above R: The household crockery displays a mixture of patterns and textures.
Above: In the seating area of the kitchen, traditional English meets midcentury Swedish. The birds on the Fromental Chinoiserie Wallpaper could almost fly to the copper Artichoke Pendant Lamp by Louis Poulsen, while a Lilla Aland chair by Swedish company Stolab pulls up to a green leather upholstered banquette.
Above: The stair landing between the kitchen and dining room is a display opportunity for Michelle's floral arrangements, displayed in her collection of jewel-toned vases.
Above: Michelle used Farrow & Ball Pale Powder on the walls of the dining room; the woodwork is Winborn White, which is an off-white. "Using Strong White would have been too bright and would have drawn attention to the woodwork," she says.
Above L: Lace curtains from Timorous Beasties reveal a floral pattern. Above R: On Victorian spinback chairs, McKenna pairs a white on cream Marimekko Fandago brocade with a strong pink and yellow tasseled ribbon.
Above: A classic Michelle display on the sideboard in the dining room includes a combination of midcentury Swedish brass candlesticks and English china. Her floral arrangements have strong highlights, which are deep in color as opposed to bright. The gold painted lamp with the magenta lampshade is from Domino Antik in Stockholm while the painting of the cat is by animal portraitist and friend Leslie Mello.
Above L: The Josef Frank linen cushion cover from Svensk Tenn in Stockholm adds highlights of color to the subdued English hues of the blue linen cover on the bench and the Farrow & Ball Pale Powder walls of the dining room. Above R: Michelle layers English Arts and Crafts artist William Morris' Daisy Wallpaper behind the headboard of a bed. Photographs by Julie Carlson.
Above: in her dressing room, Michelle hangs two garden embroideries that a daily source of inspiration.
Above: An antique trash can that Michelle found at Columbia Market sits between two pedestal sinks with mismatched nickel faucets.
Above: In the bedroom, Michelle's homemade bouquets and budding plants hint at the promise of spring in January.
Above: A homemade floral arrangement and a midcentury Swedish lamp from Svensk Tenn on stools add peace and calm to the sanctuary-like bedroom.
As inspired by this house as we are? For many more views of of it, see The New Romantics section in our book Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home. More posts on the English palette? See Bespoke Color from an Accidental Decorator.
Here at Remodelista we're always trying to find ways to keep daily clutter (think mail, magazines, cords, etc) out of sight. Good-looking storage is hard to come by, so we went on a hunt and came away with this collection of leather baskets too pretty to hide.
Above: Weaver Caitlin Emeritz collaborated with Etsy seller Leather by Mike to design a series of Natural Leather Woven Baskets; the original design was available through Metrode, Caitlin's shop and blog, but similar styles can be custom made by Leather By Mike.
Above: The Natural Leather Tote is made in California by Emilie Douglas Ball from top grain leather. It has an integrated leather handle and doesn't require any hardware. The tote measures 16 inches wide, 11.5 inches deep, and 10 inches tall; $180 via Gildem's online shop; inquire about availability.
Above: A collaboration between artist Alissia Melka-Teichroew and Mimot Studio, the Leather Strap Large Basket is made in LA. It's made from leather straps, copper-plated rivets, cross-stitched rubber coated metal wires in yellow (that hide the leather end points), and is hand finished; $252.50 from Melka-Teichroew's online store, AMT.
Above: The Large Storage Basket is made in Sweden from full-grain, vegetable-tanned cow hide. The basket comes in one piece with interlocking sides, no hardware, and ships flat packed. It's 6.7 inches wide and 3.3 inches tall; $92 from Skandinavious via Etsy. Skandinavious owner Louise Vilma also offer other leather and felt home goods.
Above: The Natural Large Leather Basket by Sol Y Luna is made in Spain from vachetta (saddle) leather, a high-quality leather that only gets better with age; $420 via Monc XII.
Want to weave your own basket from wood (or leather) straps? Check out the DIY video: How to Weave an Elegant Basket for the Holidays. Have a look at our favorite storage and organizing finds, including 5 Favorites: Baskets as Wall-Mounted Storage.
Just in time for spring, Ikea is introducing a new collection of pastel furniture and tabletop accessories in stores on February 1. The collection is called Bråkig—that's Swedish for "rowdy"—and includes a US-available reissue of the Frosta Stool, a design directly influenced by the iconic Alvar Aalto Stool 60 (though the Frosta has four legs rather than of three). Here's a sneak peak at some of our favorite items in the forthcoming Ikea collection (note that product names and prices are not yet available).
Above: A set of minimalist open shelves in the palest shade of rose.
Above: We predict a run on this covetable desk made from copper-toned sawhorses and a simple piece of ply.
Above: The Frosta Stool, currently in full birch ply for £8 each in the UK, has not been available in the US for some time. With the introduction of the Bråkig collection, the stool is back with seats painted in pastel colors.
Above: The Frosta Stool with a pale pink seat.
Above: This set of two-toned rugs have a strong resemblance to a Remodelista favorite, the Kavir Carpet from German design company e15.
Above: A pine wood dresser, ideal for a playful setting such as a kid's room, has a mismatch of colorful knobs and sits on orange-painted legs.
Above: The underside of a plywood bench reveals a stealth hit of color.
Above: Chairs in natural birch veneer and pastel colors are inspired by Shaker-style dining chairs.
Are you an Ikea addict? See our recent post on their Industrial Chic Lighting collection and shop all our favorite designs from the store in our Product section. Also don't miss Superfront: An Instant Upgrade for Ikea Cabinets.
Artist Caroline Z. Hurley was first exposed to the art of block printing during a trip to Bali. Upon her return to New York City, she took her inspiration to another level and started block-printing Italian linen and other textiles. A RISD graduate and Memphis native, Hurley works as a part-time teacher and spends her evenings in her studio. She's quickly gained a following for her abstract paintings and vivid-colored linen throws, blankets, and napkins—all block printed by hand in her signature geometric patterns.
Above: The Pick Up Sticks Linen Throw is available in sherbet pink for $140 at Caroline Z Hurley.
Above: Hurley offers linen napkins in a variety of hand-blocked patterns. The Sticks Linen Napkins (left) and the Hannah Black on White Linen Napkins (right) are both $60 for a set of four. N.B.: The napkins are a favorite of Domino magazine's editor-in-chief Michelle Adams.
Above: A detail of the blanket shows the block-printed arrow pattern that Hurley creates by hand using non-toxic acrylic ink.
Above: The Nenga Linen Throw is made from a green-colored Italian linen and hand blocked in a diamond pattern; $140 from the Minimalist.
Above: Caroline stands against her photo styling wall. For more of her work, including her paintings, go to Caroline Z Hurley.
See other uses for linen in our recent posts: High/Low: Linen Pendant Shades and A New Line of Linen Inspired by Modernists. Thinking of trying block printing yourself? See our DIYS: Block Printing: The Customized Tea Towel and Three Fabric Printing Techniques, Rolling Pin Included.
If the idea of white subway tile seems a tad predictable, patchwork tiles take the material to a whole new level with mix and match patterns and colors. Europeans have long mixed tile patterns, and now the ability to use inkjet technology on porcelain tiles has allowed for more detailed patterns and designs. Read on for ideas and sourcing.
Above: A backsplash made from handmade cement mosaic tile from Purpura.
Above: A kitchen backsplash of Made a Mano tiles from Copenhagen-based; shown here, their Novecento line of lavastone tiles.
Above: A backsplash created from Made a Mano tiles in a blue palette.
Above: Colorful patchwork tiles in a Dutch kitchen; photograph via Eenig Wonen.
Above: Black and white mix and match tiles provide contrast to an otherwise all-white kitchen. Cle tiles offer a collection of Moroccan Handmade Encaustic TIles in black, white, and gray patterns. Photograph via Mechant Design.
Above: Mix and match kept simple: horizontal tiles from Made a Mano form a striped backsplash.
Above: A blue and white backsplash from Odyssey's Blue Tapestry Collection.
Above: The blue-tiled floor of the restaurant Maritim Barcelona features a mix of patterns; Granada tile in Los Angeles offers a selection of graphic blue and white cement tile designs from their Echo Tile collection.
Thinking of ways to introduce tile at home? Have a look at all our Tile posts, including 10 Unexpected Uses for Tile. Love the look of patchwork? Check out DIY: 10 Patchwork Curtains Made from Vintage Linens.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 22, 2013 as part of our Color Therapy week.