Entries from August 17th, 2016

a designers children book round-up

designers guide to the best childrens books // round-up // sarah sherman samuelWe are BIG into children’s books around here, especially Archie. It’s built into our bedtime routine, nap routine, morning routine, and many times a day he will carry one around grunting in the way he does when we wants something, “eh eh, eh eh, eh eh” meaning read to me pleassssse.
I put a call out for everyone’s favorite books about a year ago, on instagram, and since then, we have been devouring them like crazy and I wanted to share my list of absolute favorites.

Some books don’t hold his interest at all, and some he wants over and over and over again. Of course it changes as he gets older, but there are some that I love for design/illustrations and storyline (huge bonus when it’s both like Gaston and Henry’s Bright Idea) and ones that he loves (the ones that hold his interest all the way through from start to finish) and those crossovers are what made my very select list of favorite books.

walnut-animal-society-book-henrys-ideaOH and I totally judge a children’s book by the cover. Archie is most attracted to clean illustrations (as am I, obv). When there is too much going I think it was hard for him to take anything in. He has started to look at busier, more detailed picture books now that he is older but from age 6 – 12 months those Moe Willems Pigeon Books were almost all he ever wanted. Each page is super simple with just a flat image of the pigeon on a solid color. We bought every single one of them because they are so good… clever, funny, well designed… and Archie was obsessed. Two of those made the list, but really all of them are great.

And still my favorite book of all is Gaston. I think I have bought this one book 7 times now giving it as a gift for friends with kids or babies on the way. It was one of the first books I got after Archie was born and there were many a night when I would stand by the kitchen extractor fan (serving as a giant white noise machine) bouncing a swaddled newborn Archie to sleep while reading “Fi Fi, Foo Foo, Ooh La La and Gaston…”. Each page is a frame worthy illustration and the story is so sweet.

designers guide to the best childrens books // round-up // sarah sherman samuel If you are only in the market to add a few books to your library, make sure the top 3 (but really the top 6) are in there. Those are our absolute favorites of the favorites.

Happy Reading!!

Gaston // Extra Yarn // Henry’s Bright Idea // Mr. Tiger Goes Wild // An Awesome Book // The Pigeon Needs a Bath // Home // I Want My Hat Back // My Teacher is a Monster // Wolfie the Bunny // The Day the Crayons Quit // The Little Gardener // Big Bear Hug // This Moose Belongs to Me // The Wonderful Things You Will Be // Cats Night Out // The Pigeon Wants a Puppy // Archie and the Pirates (I mean how could I not?)

Image by Katherine Rose 


A-frame Laundry Style

Laundry Room Renovation ProgressLast week I shared a bit about the design of the laundry room in the a-frame, and as you know from our LA home, I don’t like to short change a laundry room. I love giving what can often be a neglected space a little extra oomph with special touches like wallpaper and in this case we also didn’t hold back on the actual machines.

I worked with Electrolux who upped the style and the functionality of the a-frame laundry room and I’m excited to share a peek into the work-in-progress as well as the summer wardrobe staples they help me care for.


Project Light Lab Tour

lightlab ktichen tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelToday is the day… it’s project Light Lab reveal tour day! And of course I’ve got a couple before and afters for your viewing pleasure because nothing is as satisfying as a good before and after.

lightlab ktichen tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelIf you have been following along you may have seen my post on the design and the progress but in case you didn’t here is a little recap. Anne Sage and Team Woodnote teamed up in a new joint venture they named Light Lab. It is a creative warehouse space for shoots, events, and all sorts of creative happenings. With two extremely different (and I mean basically polar opposite) styles, Anne and Caroline turned to me for the interior design. I wanted to give them both a space they would love which meant giving Anne her sophisticated, muted aesthetic while also catering to Caroline’s vibrant bold vibes.

So without further ado here she is…

lightlab ktichen tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuellightlab ktichen tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuellightlab ktichen tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuellightlab ktichen tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelIn the kitchen I kept things monochromatic, appealing very much to Anne’s style, but also because this will be an event space and I wanted to make sure to have the kitchen be the centerpiece of the space without it dictating the style of an event. The use of black and white and gold lays a classic but modern foundation where the look can be changed dramatically with accessories, florals, etc. To make sure it didn’t go boring I added in special elements like the plywood feature wall, the geometric tiled island, extra extra long floating shelves, matte black cabinets and appliances, the faux marble backsplash, and those incredible gold stools. I also had them paint the entry door in a soft shade of pink, giving Caroline a little hint of color.

Shop the Room:

Fridge, Dishwasher, Oven, Beverage Cooler by Kitchenaid // Backsplash and Solid Suface Countertops (in Artic White) by Formica Corporation  // Cabinet Doors & Drawer fronts and Floating shelves by Semihandmade Cabinets (in black Supermatte) // Pendants by Cedar & Moss 8” lights from Rejuvenation // White wall paint: Nova White by Glidden Paint // Faucet by Brizo // Tile on Island by Fireclay Tile // Gold Stools by  High Fashion Home


light-lab-lounge3light-lab-lounge2light-lab-lounge-sarahshermansamuel In the main lounge area I created the custom prints using some photos I pulled from Caroline’s Instagram feed and Simply Framed printed and framed them for us. Caroline and Jayden’s rug company, Coco Carpets, brought in some color with moroccan rugs and I layered a few to make the extra large lounge space feel laid back and comfortable. Anchoring the area is the extra long sofa that the Light Lab team had custom made using a sofa they found for free as the structure. I just love that channel back. The coffee table was a DIY project made from a piece of remnants Anne picked out from a marble slab yard (more on that soon).

Shop the Room:
Rugs by Coco Carpets // Sofa (custom made) // White chairs by Bernhardt, Upholstered in Crypton Fabric // Floor Pillows by West Elm // Coffee Table DIY // Side Table from CB2 // Leather Chair from West Elm // Floor Lamp from West Elm // Prints by Sarah Sherman Samuel + Team Woodnote Printed by Simply Framed // Pillows from Cb2 

lightlab-jeff-mindell-1lightlab-jeff-mindell-2light-lab-lounge4The second seating area is a little more formal and one of my favorite spots yet. It’s simple but with some unique pieces I love.

Shop the room:
Rug from Coco Carpets // Coffee table from West Elm // Bench from West Elm // Chairs from ATG // Mirror from West Elm // Pillows from West Elm and Target // Chair from West Elm

(second seating area photos are by Jeff Mindell)

bathroom tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelbathroom tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelAnd finally… the bathroom!! I had to give Caroline a major color statement somewhere and it ended up being in the powder room and I went all out. I did a custom run of my own wallpaper design (limitless walls printed it for me) and went with a bold black and white pattern Fireclay Tile on the floor. Gold fixtures are the glammy cherry on top.

Shop the room: Sink Duravit from Wayfair // Faucet Kohler from Wayfair // Toilet Duravit Starck 2 from Wayfair // Tile Fireclay Tile // Wallpaper custom design by Sarah Sherman Samuel, printed by Limitless Walls // TP holder and Towel Bar CB2 // Towels from  Yuka from Wayfair //  Mirror CB2 // Lights by Cedar & Moss sconces from Rejuvenation

And here are a few of the before and after’s I promised…

lightlab tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelIt has come a long way right?

lightlab tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelI never did get a good before photo of the bathroom because it was doubling as a storage room while everything was under construction but the vanity says it all anyway.

lightlab tour // before & after // design by sarah sherman samuelI hope you enjoyed following along. Now I need to come up with a new excuse to head to the east side of LA so I can keep up my Light Lab visits. Orrrrr Maybe they won’t notice if I move right in.

Oh and see more about the space today on Design Sponge!

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel (except where noted by Jeff Mindell)

A-frame Laundry Plans

laundry room plans I’m moving through our a-frame cabin, designing one room at a time and next up is the laundry room! It is actually bigger than the one we have in our LA house and I’m excited to bring a little style to what was possibly the scariest room in the house (it was a close race between the laundry room and the bathroom, see the befores here).

I had some wallpaper custom printed from one of my designs (which you might recognize from the shop), found the perfect vintage rug, am going dark with the machines and cabinetry, and will be utilizing natural colored accents with a hint of brass to finish off the space.

Also… wallpaper update… I have been getting a lot of questions about when my wallpaper will be available for purchase and the answer is hopefully very soon! Like before the end of the year soon. Stay tuned…

Shop the Look: wallpaper by sarah sherman samuel // Wall Sconce from Cedar & Moss // Washer and dryer by Electrolux // Cabinets by Ikea // Wood Ladder by Sarah Sherman Samuel (see the DIY here) // Leather baskets by Commune for West Elm // Dust Pan and Brush // Vintage Rug from Frances Loom // Hardware from Anthropologie // Towels from Ikea 


a-frame kitchen plans & progress

a-frame-kitchen-rendering2It is happening!!!  We have made some progress in the A-frame cabin kitchen… finally. Now that things are underway, I’m excited to share my plans for the space and what made it onto my must have list…


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