Hardware Picks

We're constantly sourcing hardware for kitchens, bathrooms, built-ins, custom furniture or even just dressing up IKEA hacks (which we've been doing a lot of!).  We definitely have our favorites whether we are looking for modern, classic or a little fun.  We have something in our vault for just about every style and every budget so figured it was time to share!

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Pulls: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

Knobs: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

IKEA Roundup

What better way to follow our target roundup than with an IKEA roundup?!  We are all about finding ways to keep those project budgets under control and it's no surprise our other favorite source for this is IKEA.  There are a few staple pieces we've found ourself going back to time and time again so figured we just had to share…. 

1.  The KALLAX system (formerly known as the Expedit) - This amazing storage system is so versatile and there is nothing like it that even comes close in price.  We love that you can mix and match cabinets, drawers and baskets with open storage to make just the right type of storage for your needs with a clean and simple design.  

2.  The DOCKSTA table - An impressive take on the classic tulip table.  This works with a variety of different styles and the minimal assembly is always a perk!

3.  RIBBA Frames - Available in so many shapes and sizes and now in white, black and gray.  We especially love this simple frame when doing gallery walls since those can start adding up quickly.

4.  SKOLD sheepskin - Now even better with the new much lower price!  These are great for nurseries for a super soft space to crawl around on.  The smaller RENS sheepskin is also a favorite, especially for throwing on top of a dining chair that needs a little extra cushion.

5. AROD reading lamp - We love how this is easily adjustable to conform to where it's going and can add a modern touch to just about any style space.  Also available as a table lamp.

6. LINBLOMMA duvet cover and pillow cases - Oh how we love linen, especially for bedding.  If you have kids and pets and can't stomach spending $300+ on a duvet then this is for you.  And if white is still a bit scary it also comes in a lovely natural.

7. AINA curtain panels - Again with our love for linen!  This may be the best IKEA bargain we've found yet at only $30/panel.  These work great as a simple and affordable solution for light and airy white linen drapes to soften a space and add a little privacy.

8. RANARP lamp - White and Brass.  Enough said.  Also comes in a floor lamp, sconce and pendant now!

Right on Target!

We have been loving all the great things we've been finding at target these days so wanted to share some of our current favorite finds.  Budgets can get tight on projects and purchases add up quickly so we love to stock up on goodies like these that aren't going to break the bank but still add all the style we are looking for...

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Winter-Ready Windows

Now that winter is here, it seems like all of our clients are suddenly wanting to cover their windows! Window treatments definitely make a room softer, cozier and less drafty, and fortunately we have plenty of go-to options to suggest. So while we are up to our eyeballs in shades and drapes, we thought we'd share some of our favorites and tips.

One of our standby window options is the bamboo shade. They are neutral, affordable, and can work with a variety of furnishing styles.  We frequently use these incredibly inexpensive bamboo shades from Overstock available by the inch so fairly simple to make work with most windows.  We also really love the options over at blinds.com when we're looking to get more specific about coloring and need to see samples.  Those can be done completely custom and they still don't break the bank.

We also frequently use roman shades. They are simple and tailored, and can add softness and pattern to a room without the drama of a drape. It's difficult to find ready made versions, but if you are lucky enough to have a standard window size, Pottery Barn does a nice linen version. We usually have them custom made, which means we can do anything- a solid color, fun pattern or decorative trim.

For larger windows, we love the look of floor length drapes.  For a non custom option, Pottery Barn is again a great source and we particularly love their Emery linen/cotton drape.  Even Ikea (shhhh...don't tell) really comes through with their 100% linen AINA panels for only $60 a pair.  Kind of incredible!  

Again, we also often have them custom made to allow for wider lengths and more interesting pattern and details.  A tip for anyone measuring for drapes in classic, San Francisco Victorians: make sure to measure the height on both sides of the window very carefully! Those creaky wood floors tend to slope, which can leave you with an awkward "pants that are too short" length on one side. We may or may not have learned this the hard way...

San Francisco Victorian Before and Afters - Master Bedroom

The other room we did for this lovely young family was the Master Bedroom.   The clients wanted this room to be light and bright like the front room but it was on the opposite end of the house where there was less natural light streaming in.  There was also a serious need for more storage while also wanting to upgrade to a king so we needed to maximize every inch of space.  

Here is what the room looked like before...

We went with an overall light and airy color palette with lots of bright and warm whites but they didn't want it feeling too neutral so added some darker colors for contrast along with big bright pillows on the bed.  We also took advantage of those high ceilings to put in a dramatic chandelier which not only gives off great light but is a gorgeous addition to the room!  

Check out what a transformation the room took….

One of the most impressive additions was the IKEA Pax wardrobe we completely made over for the space.  We had to go with the shallower frame to make it work in the space but it still added a significant amount of storage.  We gave it a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Steep Cliff Gray and had custom mirrors cut to inset on the doors (which we upgraded to the hemnes doors).  The mirrors drastically lightened up both the darker color of the pax and the room itself.  And of course we had to finish it off with these brass bar pulls.

The one other main challenge in the room was finding a king headboard and nightstand combo that fit on the wall where they would be going.  We used these great nightstands that are not only small scale but still add some extra storage.  And to keep the surface area open we did plug in sconces so there was no need to add electrical and the nightstands weren't being taken over by lamps.

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We're all thrilled with how this space turned out!  And if you're feeling inspired to makeover your own Pax you can find a full tutorial here on Jenny Komenda's wonderful blog!  

San Francisco Victorian Before and Afters - Front Room

We recently completed a project for a sweet young family in San Francisco and wanted to share the transformation of their front room. The space was originally a combined office and guest bedroom, but since they rarely hosted guests it ended up being wasted space. We capitalized on the great natural light and gorgeous period details to transform the room into a comfortable and airy sitting room complete with built-in storage, a small desk, and sleeper sofa.

Before the remodel: dark fireplace, queen bed taking up floor space, and an improvised storage closet.

We designed built-ins flanking the fireplace with a combination of open shelves, an enclosed wardrobe, and small writing desk. The fireplace was painted and re-tiled in a marble herringbone, and the room and trim got a fresh coat of paint as well (Benjamin Moore Horizon on the walls and White on the trim).

The result: A bright and colorful sitting room that can still serve as both the office and guest room...

Fall Favorites

It's getting cold here in SF and feels like fall is in the air. Finally! It's time to make the house warm and cozy and snuggle up on the couch with some cider.  Below are a few of our favorite things to help you do that in style...

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1.  There is nothing better than curling up with a furry throw when it's blustery outside, and we love the warmth and texture they add to a space.  Some of our favorite sources are OKL and West Elm where there are no shortage of options and usually on sale!

2.  If faux fur just isn't your thing, this Etsy shop has some thick beautiful handmade wool throws straight from Uruguay.  

3.  Flameless candles have won us over!  They are a great way to set a warm glow without the hassle or hazard of lighting a bunch of candles.  These ones from Pottery Barn come fitted with a timer so you can set them for when the sun goes down.  They're especially great for unused fireplaces.  And notice these are suitable for outdoor use as well.  Get some hurricanes and set them up on a table or hang them on branches. Even in cooler temps it's nice to enjoy an evening on the patio.  And for those harder to reach places you can operate them with a remote.

4.  All that said, it's also nice to have the real deal!  This lovely gold 3 wick candle is long lasting so should make it through the holidays with it's subtle but festive scent. 

5.  Those big throws can't go everywhere with you but this versatile and silky soft cashmere scarf can. 

6.  Don't forget your feet!  Lounging around home and enjoying your stylish digs is all the better when you're not walking around on any cold hardwood or tile.  These Ugg Ansley slippers are soooo comfortable and plenty of great colors to choose from..

7.  And speaking of feet, if you're stepping onto cold bare floors first thing in the morning consider treating yourself to a mini area rug to toss by the side of the bed. Makes for a softer start to the day!  Something like this fringed flokati or a sheepskin work great and will add a nice touch to the bedroom without breaking the bank.

8.  It's lovely to watch the leaves fall outside, but inside that doesn't have to be the case.  Bringing in some life with a houseplant may not physically warm things up but it does make for a cozier atmosphere.  One of our favorite plants is the fiddle leaf fig.  Just make sure it gets some natural light or it will likely end up looking like the leafless trees outside.

9.  Toss in a couple extra throw pillows here an there, and make sure there is some texture to them.  The softer and fluffier the better, which is why we love sheepskin pillows.

10.  And don't worry...if fur, real or fake, just isn't your thing then there are other great options to bring in that plush texture like this west elm shag lattice pillow or this big surya pillow from zinc door.

 

Mantel Styling Tips

There is definitely no one right way to style the perfect mantel.  In fact, there are so many lovely options for your mantle that the task can seem daunting when starting with a blank slate and unsure of the direction you want to go.  

If you want to keep it simple, a single piece of art can be all it takes.  This look can range from a neutral piece leaning casually against the wall to something larger and dramatic for more impact.  And we always like adding a little height with florals or branches, either on one side or both...

Another favorite styling technique is layering multiple pieces: a mix of mirrors, art, accessories and some greenery.  The trick is having a variety of heights to work with so the pieces are staggered.  And again, branches or florals are key to the mix!  They are a great way to add height and texture to soften things up.  If you don't want to be constantly replenishing your greenery, west elm has some great faux options here.  

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And finally, what is a mantel if not a place to display some holiday cheer? Love this little pumpkin we spotted on our client's the other day!  

Woodside Renovation Before and After: Kitchen and Great Room

We've had so much fun sharing the before and after photos of our Woodside renovation this week, and saved our favorite for last! While many parts of the house just needed a touch-up and some new paint, the kitchen and great room were, to put it delicately, a hot 90's mess. The great room was a bit dark and featured a large, hunting lodge style fireplace in the back. And while the kitchen was spacious and had a nice layout, the surfaces desperately needed an update.

In the great room, we installed new sliding glass doors along the entire long wall to bring in tons of natural light and created a new sleek marble fireplace. In the kitchen we went with grey quartz counters, a beautiful slab of calacatta marble on the large island, and blue tile for the backsplash. We kept the existing cabinets and island and just refreshed with a coat of Benjamin Moore White Dove. It was so satisfying to see the space become brighter, fresher and more inviting for our fantastic clients and their family.

Great room before...

And the great room after...

Sectional  |  Ottoman  |  Sideboard  |  Lamp 

And the kitchen before...

And after!

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Art  |  Dining table  |  Dining area chandelier  |   Island pendants  |  Dining chairs are custom, available through us|  Wall paint in both areas is Sherwin Williams Conservative Gray

Woodside Renovation Before & After - Living Room Fireplace

Next up we're sharing before and after photos of the living room fireplace.  The original fireplace really wasn't the worst thing in the house so we toyed with the idea of working with it to minimize expenses.

But after seeing it with the new hardwood flooring, we realized that at the very least the existing marble would have to go.   And so began the fireplace transformation...

The clients preferred something more contemporary so rather than working with the existing mantel we came up with a completely new design.  We kept it simple so as to not break the budget but set out to find the perfect piece of calacatta to make it unique.  We found this beauty that just happened to be the perfect size down to the inch (and we got a great price because of that hole in the upper left!).

That beautiful veining is what made the finished fireplace so stunning...

Although the fireplace is a modern design, it still works well in the room which contains a mix of traditional and contemporary pieces.  We are all in love with the result!

Woodside Renovation Before & After- Office

Continuing the tour of our Woodside renovation, we've got before and after photos of the office. The space went from brown, brown and more brown to light and bright! We started by painting the bookshelves and trim Benjamin Moore White Dove and the walls Farrow & Ball Light Blue. With a clean slate on the walls, we added new hardware to the cabinets, changed the light fixture and kept the furnishings simple. The result is a peaceful space where our busy clients can sit down and concentrate.

Before the renovation...

And after...

Desk  |  Chair  |  Light 

Woodside Renovation Before & After - Entry

We're excited to have some really great before an afters to share of a recent renovation.  First off, the entry!  Basically everything had to go except some really lovely moulding that we kept.  The clients chose beautiful european white oak floors to replace the existing beige tile and a new stair rail that was more contemporary.  They wanted to try and work in something a little more rustic and unique than just matching the handrail to the floors so we did a slightly distressed beam in a darker finish for some contrast and a little flair while still keeping with the style of the house.  Really love the transformation!

Marin Guest Cottage

One of our favorite recent projects was actually an eDesign, with the majority of the design work done remotely. We started with pieces readily available through major retailers, tossed in a few custom items and even a little Ikea hack, and ended up loving the result! Since we’ve gotten so many questions about the space we wanted to share some information and sources.

We began with a fresh coat of paint, using a blend of Benjamin Moore's Linen White and Decorator's White for a warm but bright background. We recommended natural fiber rugs, a slipcovered sleeper sofa and fresh white bedding for a casual, beachy feel.

Rug  |  Side Table  |  Light

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Sofa  |  Ottoman  |  Pillows are custom using Galbraith & Paul and Quadrille fabrics, available through us.

The space on either side of the bed was very tight so we knew we needed really narrow nightstands. The clients were up for a little DIY Ikea magic, and ended up with these beauties! We started with inexpensive Ikea nightstands, added a coat of Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue in gloss and finished with fun brass knobs.

Nightstand  |  Knobs  |  Lamp  |  Custom pillows, available through us

The clients needed a place for guests to eat but lacked space for a full table. We thought this small console table and stools solved the problem quite nicely!

Stools  |  Table