November 30, 2009

giving thanks

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving this year and was able to spend time with friends and family. It is so great that we have an entire day dedicated to giving thanks for everything we have. It is easy to focus on the negative and forget about the positive but thanksgiving really helps to emphasize the positive and remind us of how amazing life really is! I was especially reminded one of life's greatest simple pleasures... cooking!

November 27, 2009

Before & After: Paper Organizer

Moving into a bigger studio space, I needed more furniture to fill the room but didn't want to break the bank in the process! I found this old bedside dresser on the side of the street near my house and thought it would make a great paper organizer. After removing the drawers all that was left was a little fixing up and voila!

November 25, 2009

Free Thanksgiving Place Cards!

Because the Holidays are all about giving, here is a free downloadable Thanksgiving place card template to use for the big feast tomorrow afternoon.

Click Here to download the free template and simply cut around the edges, fold in the middle and write in the names. The hardest part is figuring out who goes where!

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2009

before and after project

I have been struggling to come up with a solution as what to do with our huge coffee-table in our very small room. Determined to make it work, I decided to turn it into my next design project.

with a few floor cushions

and a roll of fabric (+ an extra large zipper)...
I turned our over-sized (under-used) coffee table into a bright day bed. A quick and fun project that ended up making our room look substantially bigger than before!

November 23, 2009

Find of the Week

Weekend garage sales have become a ritual between fellow yard-saler, Chelsea, and myself. This weekend our best find were these vintage Armani sunglasses. Thinking they might be above the $15 price limit, we were a bit hesitant at first but were ecstatic to find out they were being sold for the bargain price of $3!

This Beatles inspired trend might even become the new ray-ban in the upcoming year.

November 20, 2009

Office Decorating Tips from Domino

I am in the process of upgrading my studio space and am very excited to start decorating. I thought I would share some fun and useful tricks from one of my favorite decorating books, Domino.

Glamour in the Details Uniformly polished desk accessories telegraph "Ive got it together"

This is one of my favorites and I can't wait to try it on one of my own: Disguising a File Cabinet with "chinoiserie" (really just vintage fabric enlarged on a photocopier) is a quirky reinvention of a decorator favorite.

and of course.. Color-Coded Binders lend cohesiveness to storage space.

November 19, 2009

Delilah Bakery

I have finally found my new favorite café in town. Delilah Bakery transported me back to Paris with their creative french inspired menu, open kitchen and lovely cafe seating.

Everything here is detail oriented from the exquisite mini cupcakes to the charming and playful decorations. I will definitely be back again soon!

November 18, 2009

A Tint of Change

I just received these beautiful Riedel wine glasses as a gift and I absolutely love them! Their unique shape and delicate glass are important details but what really stands out to me is the subtle gradation of color across the four. Part of a breast cancer awareness series, the pink starts off as barely a hint and gradually moves up to bright and vibrant pink, making each cup distinctively different and therefor much more interesting!

November 17, 2009

Tricks for Promoting Small Businesses

During my first visit to Umami Burger, I was exited upon arriving and seeing these wonderful place-mats. I can't figure out if they're silkscreened or stamped on but I'm leaning towards silkscreened. I thought this was such a great, thrifty and hands on way to make things a little more personal right when you arrive. I almost didn't mind the long wait for the food because it allowed me to look at my lovely place-mat for longer :)

While I wouldn't recommend the restaurant due to poor service, I would recommend whoever was behind their design decisions. Silkscreening or stamping your logo on different promotional materials is a great first step for small businesses while staying within small budgets.

November 16, 2009


My favorite garage sale find of this week is my new vintage glass tea-cart. The gilded bamboo adds a luxurious feel while its tarnishing give the cart its vintage look.

This piece has now become our new bar on wheels and all for the bargain price of $3!! Maybe my best and favorite garage sale find yet!

November 13, 2009

Designer Fabric Overload!

Yesterday I was graciously given rolls and rolls of beautiful designer fabric.. I feel like a child at Christmas with too many toys, not knowing which one to play with first!

I also received a box of intricate beaded lace, gold linings and other goodies that I can't wait to put into use. Now my only dilemma is deciding what to make from all of it... but that's always the best part. Hopefully I will have some great new projects to showcase in the very near future!

November 12, 2009


While thinking about relationships in design, I began to notice connections being made in even the smallest ways down to the relationship between a clothing tag and the clothing itself.

These interactions are so easily overlooked but they really do have an overall effect on how the article of clothing is viewed. It is obvious when care is taken in creating the garment itself but if care is taken to the next level and showcased even through the tag, I think your almost guaranteed to be wearing a very special garment.

Sometimes its the smallest detail that draws you in the most.

November 11, 2009

Design and Packaging

This wine bottle reminded me of a previous post of mine about the integration of design and architecture.. while this is obviously not architecture, it is still a structural object. Design that works with its environment, structure, packaging etc. definitely adds an extra element to the piece as a whole, bridging the gap between structure and layout.

November 10, 2009

The Art of the Business Card

I love business cards because people are forced to maximize this tiny amount of space in order to explain everything about themselves and/or their business to people who presumably know absolutely nothing about you or your business. So I am always interested to see what other people think is the most important idea and information they want to spread.

In some cases it is the straight forward information: phone, email, url, etc. but others use the card in order to attract the senses. Their main focus is color or pattern, touch or feel, typography or size.. anything that will set them apart and describe themselves and their business without the help of words. These sense oriented cards end up being much more successful and interesting than the information detailed cards. After all, we're all just trying to set ourselves apart one way or another.

November 9, 2009

Do It Yourself : Collage Cards

This project required me to step a bit outside my comfort zone. While I live (and design) by the rules of simplicity, that doesn't mean I don't love and appreciate more eclectic styles as well. So I forced myself to let go of my rigidness and go with the flow and just see what happens. I dug out some catalogs from the recycling bin and went to work with my exact-o knife and glue stick. It was very freeing to be able to let my simplicity guard down and I enjoyed the process. I am even happy with the outcome (which is a rarity in my non-simplistic designs!) I guess the lesson I learned here was to keep trying new things and never to limit yourself to what you already know.

November 6, 2009

Visual Journals

For me, keeping a written journal seems so tedious and agonizing. How can words really describe those things that you are thinking, feeling, wanting to express? This summer in Paris I couldn't find the words to describe my new experiences so I decided to create a visual journal of my travels instead.

Every time I open this bright orange, over-stuffed notebook all the memories of my summer come rushing back. Not only am I visually reminded through the scraps of paper I collected here and there, but everything has a Parisian scent associated with it which jumps off the page immediately.

I can just imagine people coming back from their travels with a camera full of pictures and a journal full of words but those little moments, the way things feel and the subtle scents disappear through the cracks. They can really only live on through your memory of them, which eventually fades as well.

The power of such simple and subtle things is overwhelming!

November 5, 2009

Detail is Everything!

Too often detail is compromised in packaging due to small budgets, time constraints or just plain lack of appreciation. Some people think of packaging as a safety cover for the real item inside while others look at packaging as an art-form in itself, something to be treasured; something that represents the item without even seeing it. This kind of thinking makes for good packaging! And in return, these beautiful packages are more than just boxes full of tea; I will keep these boxes until they are completely un- usable (and then I will probably still keep them in my desk drawer for inspiration)

Not only did their beautifully detailed packaging catch my eye, it will also escape my trash can and stick around as decoration for a while to come.

.. and of course the packaging represented the product perfectly. The tea is full of subtle bursts of flavor with a sweetness that can only be appreciated through its detail.

November 4, 2009

The Return of Character

As every art movement in history has displayed, whenever there is an action taken there is always en even stronger reaction. I see this happening right now with contemporary art and design. By simplifying itself to the extreme, the contemporary movement thought it was escaping the reaction phase. After all, if the design is minimized to it's purest form and structure, what is there to react against? The reaction is due to lack of character and charisma, in my opinion.

I think we, as humans, need the imperfections of real life to be visible in order for us to feel comfortable and ultimately be happy in our surrounding. I admit that I love gazing into the huge open windows of the stark and modern condos with their gigantic open spaces and views that reach the ocean but after that immediate jealousy asides, I always get a distant and detached feeling that I would never want to feel in my own home.

So as long as we are imperfect creatures, I think we will always need a bit of imperfection surrounding us as well. It almost reminds us that nothing in life can be perfect so just accept your flaws and even flaunt them if you can because that's what gives us our character.

November 3, 2009

Blending of Architecture and Design

I love coming across great integrations of design and architecture. Too often, the two arts are completely separated from each other but on occasion you find examples such as these that really work with the space instead of around it; of course the results are always more intriguing!

Yolk is a design store in Silverlake, CA and Express is a little disco bar in Paris, France.

November 2, 2009

Tricks of the Trade: Letter-Spacing

Letter spacing is a simple trick of the design trade. Does text sometimes just looks nicer and you can't really put your finger on why? Most likely, if the text is written in Uppercase, the reason it looks nicer sometimes opposed to others is the fact that it has been spaced out. When fonts are created, they are created to combine both uppercase and lower case as seen in a sentence. They are not designed to use all in Caps, therefor the spacing between words written in all Caps is not enough.

By supplying the letters with a little more breathing room (in this case, 140 pts of breathing room) It allows each letter to be seen instead of crammed up against the last. Over spacing is also a problem though and should be used in moderation. I love when such simple changes have such a great effect!