welcome baby clover

I have a serious back log of posts I want to share with you guys but I’ve been spending most of my time with our Clover girl and working on client and product related projects but I’m coming back at you and I realized I never properly introduced my sweet new bundle. So without further ado I wanted you to meet our latest addition to the Samuel household. Clover James Eleanor Samuel. She was born in November and has completed our family of 4 (Or 6 if you count the pups pikku and cracker).

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the name so I thought I’d share the story behind Clover. Rupert was always very close with his grandmother. She had a big part in raising him and she always had a knack for finding 4 leaf clovers. She sent me a couple pressed in a birthday card once and searching for them had become a popular pastime for Rupert and his granny, on their farm in England. A few years ago she passed away and we travelled to England for the funeral (I was actually pregnant with Archie at the time but didn’t know it yet (sidenote Archie is Rupert’s grandfathers name). Anyway, after the funeral services they had a reception for all the family at the farm and when it was over Rupert and I were walking back up the driveway and sure enough he found a four leaf clover. Ever since the 4 leaf clover has come to be a little reminder of his granny and a way to say she’s still there with Rupe. A few years later we found out we were expecting a baby the day before a trip to San Francisco and as we were walking along Lands End we stopped up at the Sutro baths to rest on a downed log and got talking about how things will be with a (unexpected) second child and what names we’d like etc. and just as we were going down a list of names Rupe looked down to find a 4 leaf clover and that sealed the deal. We had no idea if we were having a girl yet but if we did that was going to be the name.

 Now that she’s been here with us for a while I can’t imagine life any other way. Some how she feels like she was here all along. Archie is still a completely smitten big brother and the cute factor is out of control on the daily.

The rest of her names are family names as well, James is one of Rupert’s middle names and Eleanor is my mother’s first name. And now excuse me while I go cry over how tiny she was in these photos and how big she already is now!

Photos by Nicki Sebastian

My top is by ModernHaus // Rings by L Frank Jewelry // Clover’s bloomers by Rocky Racoon Apparel 

Styling surfaces with Caesarstone

Recently I worked with Traditional Home and Caesarstone to create a video around how to style your surfaces and we touched on different tasks from these three aspects of my work: designing interiors, keeping up the blog, and creating products/maintaining the shop. I got to test out three different Caesarstone surfaces to coordinate with each and in the video you’ll see how I used them.

Caesarstone has a surface called Montblanc that has beautiful, dramatic veining which makes a gorgeous backdrop, especially for photography (and I’m not going to lie, with Instagram and in the blogging industry, I’ve definitely designed a few kitchens around them needed to be photogenic). So, when you have your friends over IRL, Montblanc is a great backdrop for a picture perfect cheese board which always makes an Instagram worthy shot.

How to build a perfect cheeseboard

1: Start with a good foundation: The background is the first thing to consider and I love how the marble-like Montblanc has the amazing veining like I mentioned. You need to add a pretty cheese board. I like to use wood and choose a size that reflects your party size. For an intimate gathering you can keep it small, but for a large one there’s nothing more impressive than a giant cheese board. Here’s a few more tips to making a pretty cheese spread…

  1. Pick different types of cheeses. At least one of the following: soft, a semi-soft, a hard, and a blue.
  2. Mix in fruits for color. Figs and dried apricots are my go to.
  3. Bring in something salty, like olives, and don’t forget the crackers.
  4. Include some honeycomb for extra points.

In the video you’ll see me styling some of my cake stands on top of Caesarstone’s rugged concrete surface. I love this surface because it has the look of concrete, but the durability of quartz. Concrete countertops can be tough to install and they can stain, so if you like the look of a concrete countertop but don’t want the hassle, this one is a great option. A few tips for styling a kitchen with concrete…

  1. Bring in warm wood tones in other areas of the kitchen so it doesn’t feel too cold.
  2. Same goes for hardware, opt for warmer metallics like bronze, brass or copper to contrast with the concrete.
  3. When choosing paint colors for cabinets it’s always a good idea to have a sample of the countertop material on hand so you can find a complimentary color. The concrete pairs well with white and black, but it would also look great with a navy or dark green.

I like to have a clean surface that won’t distract from the project at hand so that I can spread out the different materials to work with, as well as to present to clients. The Caesarstone Attica is perfect for this, a pretty white surface with all over veining that has the look of a classic marble. I’m often asked how I start a design project and what my process is, so I’ve listed out a few things I always do at the beginning of a project.

1: I always start with a design questionnaire first to help nail down the clients personal style and needs for the space. An example of a question I have on there is how they want their space to feel and I offer descriptive words like cozy, relaxed, peaceful, inspiring etc. Nailing down adjectives for how they want to feel in their space is so helpful when designing.

2: I also often ask clients to pick out a favorite object or two to show me that I can pull inspiration from for the room we are working on. It can be a favorite piece of jewelry, an item of clothing or an object brought back from their travels. Getting them to talk about the object and why they love it gives some great insight into their personal style which I can translate into the space.

3: When it comes time for presentation, I build up different vignettes of materials and finishes to give the client a tactile idea of how the space will look and feel.

To see all these tips in action take a look at the full video here.

Mandy Moore Guest Room Peek

mandy moore guest room peek // sarah sherman samuelLast week I shared the design of one of the guest rooms in the Mandy Moore residential project and today I am stoked to give you a sneak peek into the almost finished space! I teamed up with Brooklinen to give Mandy a guest room that ticks all the luxurious boxes of a boutique hotel without breaking the bank on the bedding.

Most of the rooms I design have a mix of high and low and this room is no exception, although the balance here weighs much more on the high end, we still managed to utilize a couple big box items as well.


Archie’s Playhouse

modern playhouse // customizing a kit playhouse // sarah sherman samuelJust before Clover arrived, I shared the tour of our family room/Archies playroom that we converted into the new nursery. After stealing away Archie’s playroom we wanted to give him a special place of his own so we  built him a whole damn house! ha Ok it is a tiny house but it is insanely cute and a spot of his own, none the less.

I thought about designing and building my own but with an already too full work load and the baby well on the way, I knew I didn’t have the time so I started looking around for kit playhouses and landed on this one from Wayfair that was the perfect foundation for just a little bit of customization…


The Mine Mandy Picks

More furniture for the Mandy Moore residence is trickling in and I wanted to highlight one of the websites that supplied some of the really great pieces. Above are a combination of items that made their way into Mandy’s home as well as a few more of my favorites from the site called The Mine. From toilets to dining tables (both of which are in the house now and I can’t wait to share where that stunning table goes) The Mine truly is a one stop shop for quality home goods.

Wood Side Table // Oval Dining Table // Syracuse Lounge Chair // Jacques Leather Desk // Fiberglass Side Table // Woven Pendant // Stilnovo Chandelier // Oregrund Chair // Undermount Sink // Gold Serving Tray // Matte Black Curtain Rod // Brass Mirror


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