I'm excited to say that my coastal fresh in the midwest project was recently featured on Rue Magazine's blog, Rue Daily. Hop on over to their site to see the feature and read more about how I worked in tandem with Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home, who designed the client's adjacent family room (it's reaaaal good).
I've long had a penchant for blush tones, but lately I've been embracing muted pinks more than ever. Maybe it's the coming of warmer days on the horizon and the budding blossoms popping up all around. Or maybe it's just the usual marketing push for all things pastel during these early weeks of Spring. Either way, dusty pink is having a major moment in my book.
From faded corals, to muddied pinks with a hint of lavender, to the softest of peachy nudes, I'm loving it all. Here are a few lovelies on my wish list...(aka, gimme all the pink!)
1. ashed wall art // 2. rebecca atwood woven fabric // 3. heather taylor home tea towels // 4. farrow & ball paint - setting plaster // 5. susan connor ny taza cushion // 6. takara earrings // 7. cuyana mini tassel bag // 8. pink marble cheese trays
p. s. I'm looking forward to making the recipe for that beautiful Lillet Rose Spring cocktail pictured above ;)
xoxo - a. s.
All images via Pinterest
Jaclyn and I worked closely together throughout the design process, from the initial concept, to the space planning and selecting pieces for the room, as well as the final styling of the space for the photo shoot.
Our initial challenge was to overcome the sheer size of the room and make it multifunctional for the homeowner's specific needs, while working around the somewhat awkward architecture. We also needed to provide all new furniture and accessories for the room on a relatively modest budget.
If you are like me (and like most people), you have a major love for fall. During this time of year with the cooler temperatures and shorter days, it's natural to gravitate towards warmer colors, cozier textures, and creature comforts at home. But before the twinkly lights go up and the garland comes out, we would be remiss if we didn't first embrace the changing of the seasons, the fall colors, and the tradition of the harvest season. So on that note, I've rounded up some images that are currently inspiring me how to decorate my home this fall. I'm thinking nature-inspired, earthy, and a bit of a rustic modern flair...
While we can't go about completely redecorating our homes on a whim every season, small changes like switching out throw pillows and bedding, adding warmer knit throw blankets, and adorning your tabletops or mantle with seasonal florals can make a significant impact to cozy up the vibe in your space.
:: get the look ::
Sources: 1. mud cloth pillow // 2. vintage textile pillows // 3. storage basket // 4. wool blanket // 5. sandalwood candle // 6. smokebush branch // 7. vintage pottery // 8. nakashima straight back chair // 9. icelandic sheepskin throw
Could your home use some sprucing up before the holidays? Don't hesitate to contact me for decorating, styling and accessorizing services!
I'm excited to share this lovely living room that I just wrapped up. You may be surprised to learn that I designed this room via my e-design service (you can learn more about how that works here). Although e-design is super convenient for both the client and designer, and the process goes relativity quickly, the downside to it is that you rarely ever get to see your design come to fruition in real life. Since my client happens to live in my hometown of Kansas City, I thought why not combine a visit home with a little styling and photoshoot of this space?! Luckily, my awesome client was totally game and allowed me to come invade her home for a day.
Just two journal posts back, you can see the concept board for this room, and as you can tell, it really did come together just like the original design plan! My client's inspiration rooms were bright, California classic, with even a bit of coastal influence. I wanted to be careful not to go too far into "beachy" territory, and make sure it was appropriate for her traditional style home in the Midwest. I love how fresh and modern the end result feels.
My client did such a good job following the furnishing design plan, that all I needed to do was bring in accessories, do a little mantle and coffee table styling, and the room went from good to great. Eventually, a set of triptych artwork will go on the wall behind the sofa, and sconces will be added to the walls to create another layer of beauty and interest in the room.
Huge thanks to my amazing client for trusting me to design the space and inviting me into her home! If you have a design project near or far, don't hesitate to reach out, I'd love to hear from you!
- a. s.
photography by Sarah Sweeney Co.
I had a great time attending the Legends design conference at La Cienega Design Quarter in Los Angeles earlier this month. This event gives interior designers and architects the opportunity to attend a variety of informative discussions that are moderated and paneled by the industry's leading professionals. As a bonus, the talks are hosted at noteworthy showrooms and shops throughout the design quarter where inspiration abounds.
One of the highlights for me was a keynote discussion titled, "Collected: Living with the Things You Love in a Well Curated Home," which was moderated by Nate Berkus. As someone who loves incorporating vintage pieces and believes in making careful selections for the home, the discussion amongst the incredible designers really resonated with me, and I felt very inspired by their wisdom and candor. Such a great experience!
I traveled with my awesome sister and interior designer, Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home - we had such a fun time checking out West Hollywood and Venice Beach, and packed in as much as we could in the few days we were there. Here are just a few snippets of the trip...
I already can't wait to go back! And for all of you fellow design lovers out there, I complied a mini guide of my very favorite spots we visited during our trip:
++ A.S.D. Guide to Los Angeles ++
Stay: Palihotel - Melrose / The Charlie Hotel
Eat/Drink: Palihouse West Hollywood / Fig & Olive / Melrose Umbrella Co. / The Butcher's Daughter - Venice / Gjusta - Venice
Shop: Nickey Kehoe / Hollywood at Home / Nathan Turner / Consort Design / Le Labo - West Hollywood / Cuyana - Venice
See: Lee Stanton Antiques / Natural Curiosities / Harbinger / Lawson Fenning / Cisco Brothers / Cote Jardin Antiques / Rooftop terrace at Restoration Hardware - go to lounge and enjoy the view
- a. s.
first image used with permission by JL Photographers
all other images by Amanda Steiner - be sure to follow me on instagram if you aren't already!
I am excited to announce that I have recently joined an awesome group of designers on Laurel & Wolf, a popular e-design platform. Since I was already offering e-design as one of my services, coming on board with them was a no-brainer for me, considering that it will help me reach a much wider audience.
Laurel & Wolf offers a very user friendly website that makes the process of virtually collaborating with a designer on your space easy, fast, and affordable. They even offer a complimentary concierge service that will purchase the recommended items for you, truly making your room come together in a snap.
Below is an example of a mood board for a recent e-design project I completed. The design package also includes a floor plan and a detailed sourcing list for all of the items.
In honor of Earth Day, I'm sharing my thoughts on how to make our homes a little more green. When choosing home furnishings and decor, there is so much to consider from the sourcing of raw materials, to the manufacturing process, to ultimately, the lifespan of the items. Our consumer choices do affect this world and our own health, which is why I promote supporting companies that take efforts to have less of a negative impact on the environment and the consumer. These are some goals I strive for as a designer:
:: Buy fewer, better things | Choose responsibly manufactured items whenever possible | Incorporate vintage & antique | Opt for quality & longevity whenever possible | Choose timeless pieces & materials that will outlive you ::
Here are some examples of ways to incorporate eco-conscious choices into your space...
I recently came across this beautiful home tour on the One King's Lane blog, and must say, it's just one of those spaces that hits all the right notes for me. The mid-century modern home, originally designed in 1953 by architect Gregory Ain, belongs to fashion stylist Jessica de Ruiter and her husband Jed Lind of the renowned Commune design firm. What I love about their home is that it feels authentic, collected, and the furnishings and decor blend seamlessly with the unique architecture, as well as its sunny California surroundings.
I don't always gravitate toward modernist design, but when it's done with warm organic materials, handmade textiles, collected heirloom pieces, and an understated neutral palette, I'm a quick convert. Jessica remarks about their careful selection of items for the home: "I’d rather buy pieces that are timeless and that I’ll keep forever than disposable things." I could't agree more with those sentiments and often encourage my clients to adopt the same perspective. When we choose to surround ourselves with the things we love, even if this means it is done slowly over time, we can create a home environment that inspires us daily.
Here's how I would recreate Jessica & Jed's relaxed yet sophisticated California style...
Sources: 1. table lamp // 2. artwork // 3. wall hanging // 4. campaign chair // 5. vintage beni ourain rug // 6. vintage persian rug // 7. knotted wood side table // 8. handmade ceramics // 9. fair trade bolster pillows // 10. woven basket // 11. wrap bench
Read more & see the full tour over on One King's Lane
When Amy Pearson and I were asked to design a church space, we admittedly had some preconceptions in mind. We envisioned rows of pews, commercial grade carpeting, and bland furnishings - neither one of us could say we were particularly thrilled at the prospect! ;-) However, upon getting to know the clients and learning more about the project, we discovered that they were seeking a surprisingly casual space that needed to be multifunctional and feel inviting, relaxing, and warm. The congregation members were attracted to an eclectic vibe, mixed with elements of industrial and mid-century modern.
The empty space was formerly a hair salon that must have had its heyday sometime in the early 80s. It was somewhat of a sad sight, and would require a total overhaul. Take a look at the before photos and the short list of things we tackled in the space to help bring it back to life...
Because the space required much needed updating and repairs, and not to mention a brand new kitchenette, we needed to work within a tight budget for furnishings and decoration. However, we were thrilled that we were still able to make the space feel cozy, homey, and pulled together. Take a look at the after photos:
The newly opened up entrance now has room for a trio of shelves and a comfortable ottoman for the church's lobby / bookstore.
The entrance leads into a new kitchenette, which features beautifully dark stained butcher block countertops and crisp white Shaker style cabinetry. The classic and clean-lined kitchen with a hint of industrial blends well with the space and is fitting with the checkerboard floors.
The kitchenette also doubles as the checkout area for the bookstore and a food service area during events.
The reading room has a cozy living room feel so that members can have a calm and comfy place to relax, read and study. The majority of the walls were painted in Sherwin Williams -Loggia, which really helped warm up the space. We brought in an eclectic mix of furnishings and decor that reflected the member's style.
We were happy to be part of the church transformation and hope they will enjoy the space for many years to come.
Do you have a design project you are interested in working on? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me to discuss how we can work together!
Project done in collaboration with Amy Pearson Design
It’s official. I’m obsessed. For the past several months, I’ve been drawn to anything and everything in deep and saturated blue-green hues. I love complex colors - the ones that you can't really define and that are ever changing with the light and their surroundings.
Farrow & Ball recently introduced Inchyra Blue (directly above, left) and it looks amazing. I’m excited to try it as I've been dying to get a deep blue-green shade like it into a client’s home. I’ve been a longtime fan of Farrow & Ball paints, having sold them and used them throughout my own home. Renowned for their highly-pigmented, clay-based paints which are made in Dorset, England, their colors and wallpapers are often sought after by designers and interior enthusiasts.
Here’s a few other paint options that would be great to consider if you too, like me have fallen hard for this color:
I'd love to hear if you've used any of these colors and what you think of them!
- a. s.
All images via Pinterest
Just a little round up of a some lovely treasures I've been eyeing lately. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Santa will bring me a few of them this year...
1. I'm totally smitten with all of the lovely textiles by Susan Connor and the Vatta cushion is right at the top of my list // 2. I’ve been a big fan of designer Lauren Liess ever since seeing this kitchen on pinterest. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her recently released book, Habitat // 3. I’d use these lovely gold-dipped pinch bowls for salt + pepper cellars or a catchall for small jewelry // 4. Bergamot & Vetiver scented bath salts in a beautiful apothecary jar - need I say more? // 5. Moisturizing, all natural lip stain is just what every girl needs to combat the winter elements // 6. A coffee maker that's beautiful and functional. This brass and walnut wood coffee pour over deserves a spot on my kitchen counter.
What's on your wish list? :)
- a. s.
I recently helped a client with a kitchen renovation, and to my delight, she was seeking a modern farmhouse feel, or a style that I often refer to as "modern country." I'm seeing this look more and more these days, and I must say, it really is one of my favorite styles. It's classic, not overly formal, often features simple Shaker style cabinets, neutral colors, and a mix of farmhouse industrial and modern elements. With roots in British, Scandinavian, and American country interiors, this style has long been prevalent in Northeastern country homes, yet feels just as good in Midwest and West Coast abodes.
What I love about a modern + country kitchen, is that besides feeling comfy, homey, and looking like a kitchen that one actually cooks in, there is also a bit of an edge to it. I think the magic lies in the juxtapostion of rustic and chic materials and the "undone" feeling of it. When I see these spaces, I imagine that someone terribly interesting yet down to Earth must live there!
Below is the look that I put together for my client, along with a few extra embellishments that I couldn't resist adding:
I've been on a long hunt for a new dining room table, since the vintage pedestal table we currently have is a bit too small for the space. My husband and I moved into our home in Portland almost two years ago, and I've been putting off finding a table that better suits the room for long enough. Lately, I've been searching around for inspiration and options, since for some reason the perfect table seems to be eluding me. Or maybe it's just that I'm terribly picky!
So far, I've narrowed it down to these options:
I've been eyeing the farm table by Nickey Kehoe for a while...it is seriously stunning in every way and perfect in scale, but I don't know if I can handle the price. Gulp!
This streamlined beauty from O&G Studio has a lot of the qualities I'm looking for - simple, classic and unfussy. The fact that it's customizable in size and wood finish, and that it's made in the USA by talented craftspeople, make it even more appealing to me.
However, I keep going back to the idea of a more rustic version, such as this antique French farmhouse table. One of the nice things about older tables with beautiful patina and wear, is that they immediately add warmth to a room and you won't stress as much about scratches, spills, etcetera.
Alas, decisions can be tough, friends. Wish me luck!
- a. s.
The holidays are just around the corner, and what better way to get ready to host Thanksgiving than to create a beautiful centerpiece for your dining table. This year, I tried something other than the traditional floral arrangement and decided to build a live centerpiece. Not only was this incredibly easy to make, but the plants will last for months and can later be repotted in an outdoor container or the garden.
I went with a dark and moody color palate inspired by the colors of fall and the verdant Pacific Northwest forests. First, I selected a mix of autumn ferns, dusty miller, chocolate loosestrife, cinnamon curl huerchera, and creamy white pansies at my local nursery. I planted them compactly in a low decorative bowl and covered the exposed soil with moss. It was a super fun and easy project that makes a big statement and I love how it turned out!
For special occasions, I like to set the table with a mix of elegant and simple or rustic items. Here, I used lovely Frances Palmer dinner bowls, earthy woven chargers, contrast stitch linen napkins, clean lined glassware, and my favorite vintage Laguiole cutting knives. Baby white pumpkins made the table a bit more autumnal, but not required! :) This setting would be perfect for your Thanksgiving table, or a cozy fall meal.
I recently had the very cool opportunity to participate in Coveted Home's "What They Covet" series on their journal. Every month, Coveted Home invites a guest blogger, designer, or tastemaker to share a room that they find inspiring and curate a selection of goods that embodies the style and mood of the room. Sounds like fun, right?! (Read more on Coveted Home below)
I chose the sunroom of a 1920s Portland Tudor, designed by the ever talented Jessica Helgerson and her team. Head over to Coveted Home's journal to see how this inspires me and check out my style round up for the room! And while you are here, feast your eyes on this drop dead gorgeous home...
So good, right?
- a. s.
More about Coveted Home: Coveted Home is a home furnishings + lifestyle shop located in Kansas City, Missouri. They are seriously nailing it these days with their awesome selection of goods and stellar design work. Lucky for us, they have an online store chocked full of goodies, and ship anywhere. It also happens to be owned and operated by my sister and designer, Jaclyn Joslin! I began my career in interior design working alongside Jaclyn at her first store, Urban Dwellings Design back in 2008. A few years later, we underwent a rebranding and a new location, and through this evolution, I became the Creative Director of buying and merchandising for Coveted Home. I owe much of my design experience and knowledge to the years I spent working in this atmosphere, and so it is without reservation that I shamelessly plug them :) For a daily dose of design awesomeness, follow them on instagram, facebook, and pinterest! You'll thank me later.
photography by Lincoln Barbour
I'm excited to announce that I've created an e-design program so that I can offer design services for smaller scale projects, and to clients that don't live in the Portland area. This is a truly affordable option to receive a custom room plan and designer recommendations.
Keep in mind that there are many benefits of working directly with an interior designer, and not every project can be done through e-design. For example, interior designers are able to guide you through the often overwhelming process of furnishing, decorating, remodeling, or building a home. We offer very personalized service, access to trade only products, custom furniture and finish options, custom window treatments, project management, and much more.
However, many people fall into the category of not wanting or needing full service interior design. Maybe they only need help decorating a room through furniture, accessories, and color - or they have an idea of what they want, but they don't know how to pull it all together. This is where e-design comes in! The ideal candidate for e-design is someone who enjoys a collaborative process, and is able to implement the design plan on their own.
Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to learn more about the process and rates or if you want to get started!
- a. s.
Fall could very well be my favorite season of the year. The nip in the air, the softer light and fading colors, and the inevitable changing of the seasons somehow brings a nostalgic comfort that's hard to explain. The cooler weather draws people indoors for more intimate gatherings, cozy evenings at home, and savory recipes.
Today, I'm sharing a delicious recipe for Chanterelle Mushroom & Pear Bruschetta. Golden chanterelles grow wild here in the Pacific Northwest, and many people go mushroom hunting this time of year for these beautiful delicacies. However, if chanterelles are not available where you live, button or portabello could easily be substituted. My good friend recently made this appetizer with chanterelles that she found earlier that day. It was such a treat!
Chanterelle & Pear Bruschetta with Leeks and Goat Cheese
4 cups thinly sliced chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned & dried
2 thinly sliced leeks, white parts only
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 ripe pear thinly sliced - bosque or d'anjou
1 small package of plain goat cheese
1 cup chopped italian flat leaf parsley
1 sprig of thyme (optional)
1 crusty baguette
2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons butter (or ghee)
salt & pepper
To prepare: Slice the baguette in 1/2 inch slices and place on a baking sheet, then set aside. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Sautee the leeks for 2-3 minutes with the olive oil and butter on medium heat, then add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften. Season generously with salt and pepper, then add the white wine and thyme and let simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring frequently. Add the pear slices for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.
Toast the sliced baguette in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until golden. In the meantime, crumble the goat cheese and chop the parsley. Once the baguette slices are ready, assemble the bruschetta by topping with the mushroom-pear mixture and a sprinke of goat cheese and parsley. Enjoy!
Recipe by Leah Cox
Over Labor Day weekend, my husband and I took advantage of the day off (and the beautiful weather) to host a backyard garden party. Inspired by New Feast, a gorgeous cookbook that I recently purchased, I decided to create a Middle Eastern themed menu. To add to the ambiance, I laid down two vintage kilims that I brought home from my trip to Turkey last summer. Placed under our apple tree, they created a bit of a souk-like feel, which was super fun and cozy!
So on that note, I've rounded up an assortment of lovely goods to put together a Middle Eastern inspired dinner or cocktail party. Of course, all of these items would mix gorgeously into the home and add a worldly nod to your decór to enjoy on a daily basis.