high & low adult table & DIY

black and gold luxe thanksgiving adult table // sarah sherman samuelI’m mixing high (gold plated napkin rings & caviar) & low (DIY and Target candle holders) and the result is one super easy but fancy pants adult table. 

I’ve got the table all set up a day early again (I’m always more excited about the table set up than doing the cooking) and I’ve got a few last minute ideas for your thanksgiving table to steal from mine…

mix of high and low // black and gold luxe thanksgiving adult table + DIY // sarah sherman samuelplacemat DIY // thanksgiving table I love a non traditional table at thanksgiving and I like it to look like I went all out, even if it only took minutes. One idea is to lay a dark base, (luckily my table is dark but a black or deep hued table cloth would do the trick too) this sets the stage for some drama (the good kind).

Idea #2… Go monochromatic (always a fave). The dark table layered with dark placemats (DIY after the jump) and dark plates give the table a textural quality that instantly feels oh so rich.

placemat DIY // thanksgiving tableblack and gold luxe thanksgiving adult table // sarah sherman samuelAdd a touch of glam: I’ve added in my vintage brass toasting cups, gold plated napkin rings (these are part 2 of the SSS collaborations and are going to be available in the shop next week!), and serve up some caviar for an app. Just sprinkle on a cracker with a dollop of creme fraiche and your guests will be blown away. 

And lastly…Grab a wreath (or make one if you’re extra crafty) and use it as a centerpiece. We picked up this candle holder from target and put black candles in it to bring the monochromatic drama up into the centerpiece.

DIY details on the placemat and product sources after the jump!…


my top 5 snowy destinations

idylwild - a-frame sarah sherman samuelMy instagram feed has started to fill with fresh snow falls and all white powdery goodness which has me feeling all sorts of feels. Excited for the holidays, but sad I won’t be heading back to Michigan again this year and while I shouldn’t complain about Southern California weather, it is this time of year that I reaaaaally crave the snow. So instead of boo-hooing I put a list together of my favorite snow filled destinations and hope I can make it to at least one of them this year!

  1. Idyllwild, Ca (the location of the photo above). We went here for one of my birthdays (in Feb) a few years ago and we nearly got snowed in, but I loved every second of it. We stayed in a charming little cabin, this one is cute too. Unlike most mountain towns, this one does not have a ski resort so if that isn’t your thing, Idyllwild is a great escape without having to battle the snow bunnies.
  2. Traverse City, Mi. Northern Michigan gets a heckuva lot of snow and Traverse City is one of the best cities to explore. Sleeping Bear Dunes, is not too far away, it’s turned into quite the foodie town, and it’s far enough north to turn into a major winter wonderland.
  3. Mammoth Mountain/Yosemite. We had a similar experience in Mammoth as we did in Idyllwild, one of our trips there they had 12 feet of snow! Chains on the tires were a must, but we all loved it. We went snow shoeing, and our dogs went bananas for it. We stayed in a cozy cabin at Tamarack Lodge. The road up to Yosemite from Mammoth closes down part of the year but if it is open, you can’t get much more picturesque of a place to visit than that.
  4. Banff, Canada. One google search and you will see why. Can we all just stay here please and call ourselves Elsa.
  5. Glacier National Park, Montana. The scenery here is stunning and although it is quite the trek to get there… totally worth it. Hiking trails galore and post card scenes where ever you look.

Please share your favorite snowy spots!

Image by sarah sherman samuel

Boho Glam Lounge Area

boho glam // lounge areaI’ve been doing some more e-design work as of late, which can mean a lot of online furniture shopping, which also happens to be my favorite kind of shopping. This room (aside from the print which is one of mine) can all be purchased online with most of the pieces even available at large retailers. I recently presented this to a client looking to create a lounge area in her #girlboss office. Being in an office meant she wanted to appeal to the entire staff and not get too too specific to her own personal style, but she wanted a feminine space, a little bohemian and a little modern, with a touch of glam. Just like I like it. That large Anthro blush sofa lays the perfect foundation, the lucite and gold bring in the luxe, while the wood and leather keep it from going overboard girly.

Shop the look: X side table // blush sofa // pillows by loomgoods // petite arc lamp // marble side table // vintage leather sling chair (alternate from west elm) // lucite coffee tables // sheepskin bench // printed rug // the print is one of mine, it isn’t in the shop yet… but will be in the new year!

putting the fun into holiday photo cards

family holiday photosFor all the years I’ve slacked off on getting a holiday card together in time, this year we made up for it, for Archie’s sake of course. Baby’s first Christmas after all needs to be properly documented and celebrated. For me the shooting and the designing and the printing and the mailing of cards just seems way too much like work, but this year I did a quick photo session with a tripod, used one of Shutterfly’s card designs and left the printing up to them. Easy peasy, and I’m gonna share a few tips that make a Christmas card shoot less chore and more party.

holiday photo card tips // sarah sherman samuel640First things first, make a really cute baby. Ok, I guess that is not a requirement but it sure helps.

The for real first… opt for a simple background. To keep the design of the card clean and modern (and make it snowglobe-esque) I chose to shoot on all white. If you don’t happen to have an all white room at your house, for less than the price of a photographer, you can rent out a photo studio and either talk a friend into snapping some photos or do what we did and shoot yourselves with a timer and tri-pod (sure did make for some funny candid moments).

Second: Choose a simple color palette. For the first photos, I went fairly monochromatic, opting for black and white with a few shades of green. For the second batch I chose to do a few small pops of color.

family holiday photosholiday photo card tips // sarah sherman samuel640family holiday photosThird: Pick your props! I wanted our cards to look a bit like a scene from a snow globe… a little whimsical, a little cheesy, and a lot fun. To reign back the cheese, instead of going all out on props, choose just a few strategic Christmas themed pieces to sprinkle throughout the scene. Archer’s little elf shoes, a christmas tree, some snow balls and scarves set a holiday scene without looking too Griswald-ey.

Fourth: Wardroooobe! Keep the clothes to clothes you actually wear. If you often wear matching sweaters around town then hey, you win at life… go for it! If not, choose clothes that compliment each other but don’t look too matchy matchy.

And finally… Put on some christmas music, maybe do some juggling, dance around with a tree, and have SO MUCH FUN.

The card designs I chose are: Merry Christmas // Happy Holidays // and the Round Ornament Card

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. Share and celebrate your family update. Shop Shutterfly for personalized holiday cards that are unique, meaningful and that are just the way you want.

weekend scenes: samuel A-frame

samuel A-frame My parents are visiting from Michigan, so on Sunday we headed down to Palm Springs to scope out the A-frame, start making plans, and treat my mom and dad to some r&r in the desert. Hopefully I sufficiently buttered them up enough to get some more free labor (like on the Michigan cabin) once the renovations begin.

My current favorite space at the A-frame is the garden. Along with the rest of the place, it’s in need of a lot of love, but filled with cactus, fruit trees, eucalyptus and olive trees! Major oasis potential. My black thumb won’t do anyone any good here, but I am willing to learn, so any landscaping/gardening recommendations are gladly accepted.

Hope you had a lovely start to the week. x

Images by me via Instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

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