living room

april sunset magazine

sunset-magazine-storyI’m excited to share a project I worked on for the April Issue of Sunset Magazine! I styled and photographed 20+ photos for the 10 page story illustrating a plethora of life hacks, i.e. tips and tricks for solving everyday problems around the house.

sunset-magazine-story5sunset-magazine-story4It’s chock full of decorating tips, how to repurpose household items, plant care, and tricks in the kitchen.

sunset-magazine-story2sunset-magazine-story3sunset-magazine-story4I shot the feature all around my house so you will easily recognize the spaces, Pikku even squeaked her way in there (such a ham). The May issue is already out in stores (I’m a little late to the sharing game) but I still found the April issue at Barnes & Noble yesterday, so go grab yourself a copy OR you can see the online version of the story here.

Image Sources:
Entry Image: Vases from CB2 and Jonathan Adler // Mill Console Table by CB2 // Octagon Mirror I had custom made // Lamp From Target // Pillows by Little Korboose and Loom Goods  // Mid-century stool, vintage //Sheepskin from Ikea // Basket from Chicos // See More of the Entryway Here

Living Room Image: Vintage Hardoy Ottoman from Surfing Cowboys // Sofa from HD buttercup // Khotan Rug from The Rug Warehouse // Chandelier by Jonathan Adler Candle Holder, Vintage // White Credenza from West Elm // Pink Flamingo Photograph by Sharon Montrose  // Aldama Chair from The Citizenry // Vintage Coffee Table // See more of the Living room here.

Last Image: Cutting Board by Sarah Sherman Samuel // Copper Knives from target 

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Sunset Magazine 

babyproofing casa samuel

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelWell it’s official, Archer is walking and the baby proofing game has begun! I think I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t spent a lot of time around babies so I wasn’t sure what needed babyproofing and what didn’t. Of course most is common sense and I’ve seen the drawer catches and door knob covers but we decided to hire a baby proofing service to get the low down from a professional. They go around your house giving advice on products to use where. (If you are curious the consultation cost us $40).  I have to say I am really glad we did it, because I wouldn’t have thought of some of the suggestions and others that I would have done were unnecessary.

So if you are wondering how I’ve been making my house a bit more child friendly, here it is! Surprisingly not a ton has changed, but I will walk you through where we are so far.

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelbaby proofing // sarah sherman samuelThe most dangerous rooms in a house are the bathrooms and the kitchen so the main thing the baby proofer recommended was installing gates to keep Archer in the main living spaces instead of having the whole run of the house. We used Munchkin’s LOFT gates, which went in easily and I really like how sturdy it feels. We needed two gates, one in the doorway that leads to all the bedrooms and bathrooms and one in the doorway going into the kitchen. By blocking off the kitchen with the safety gate, it eliminated the need to put cupboard catches on all the cabinets in the kitchen.

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelWe also secured the entry console table with a strap that screwed right into the wall. As of now hasn’t bothered with the items on top of the console so they are staying until it becomes a problem but so far so good.

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelbaby proofing // sarah sherman samuelThe one piece of furniture that we decided to swap out for now was our vintage wood slat coffee table. The living room isn’t exactly spacious and in tight quarters those sharp corners already proved themselves a hazard. Also, the marble slab on top was a bit scary to have when he was nearly knocking the table over when pulling himself up on it. I found this simple rush grass ottoman/coffee table, which was pretty inexpensive and nice and soft and round and I even like it. When Archer is older and the other table makes it way back in here, we can use this one in our outdoor patio area.

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelbaby proofing // sarah sherman samuelWe did install some cabinet and drawer latches on this credenza since there are all sorts of tiny non-baby friendly items inside.

baby-proofing-livingroom-15-640Our family room is two steps down so the baby proofer guy said they usually don’t gate for one or two stairs and for a while there I was worried Archer would never get that he shouldn’t just take a nose dive down the stairs. Thankfully after working with him on turning around and scooting down backwards he totally got it. We were advised however to pad the heck out of the rug down there because the fast he gets the more prone he will be to taking a few nose dives whether we like it or not.

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelThe family has become Archer’s main play area so we also just moved this coffee table off to the side and have two large baskets of toys down here to continually empty and re-fill which is his favorite activity du jour.

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelIn the bathroom the only thing we did was put a lock on the toilet. Archer has a large head, is very tall, and skinny which equals extra top heavy… so anything to prevent him from taking a dunk in the toilet is A O K with me.

baby proofing // sarah sherman samuelAnd finally… plug covers all over the house, making sure all cords/cables and cleaning supplies are out of reach, and securing large items like dressers and television to the wall were those common sense things that even I already had under control.

So in summary:
My house hasn’t gone through a complete kid zone transformation (yet atleast) but here are a few things I’ve done to get it more toddler ready

#1 Gates are my new best friend, use them to keep your kiddo in the safe zone.

#2 Secure large furniture pieces (and items like televisions) to the wall

#3 If you can’t take away a trip hazard give them a soft place to land

#4 Toilet locks get the thumbs up from me

#5 Plug covers all over

#6 cords and power cables out of reach

#7 put the cleaning supplies where they can’t get to them

SOURCES: LOFT security gate by Munchkin // Drawer Latches // Plug Covers by Munchkin // Ottoman/Coffee Table  // Mill Console Table by CB2 // Door by AAW (stained with 1 part Light Walnut & 2 parts Provencal by Varathane) // Vintage Hardoy Chair from Surfing Cowboys // Sofa from HD buttercup // Khotan Rug from The Rug Warehouse // Chandelier by Jonathan Adler // Paint color is Snowfall by Behr // Mid-century stool, vintage // Sheepskin from Ikea // Basket from Chicos // Pillows by Little Korboose and Loom Goods // Glass Terrarium from Urban Outfitters // Candle Holder, Vintage // Gold Bowl by CB2 // Black & White Rug from Urban Outfitters // Large Tote from The Citizenry // Yellow Chairs are vintage // White Credenza from West Elm // Pink Flamingo Photograph by Sharon Montrose 

 This post was in collaboration with Munchkin. Munchkin rids the world of the mundane by developing clever, innovative solutions that make family life safer, easier, and more fun. You can find Munchkin products at Munchkin.comTargetBabies’R’UsWalmart, and Amazon. It’s the little things!

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!

not your grandma’s gallery wall

how to build an artful gallery wall from family moments // sarah sherman samuel Last holiday season, I was very pregnant and very late to the decorating game (I shared our Christmas decor on December 30th, whoops). We were also just coming off all the major renovations, so empty walls were pretty much a thing. This year, I am trying to put all the finishing touches I have left hanging, BEFORE all the friends and family come. The sorely neglected family room was this weekend’s project.

You may remember our DIY Built-ins in the living room, but the other side of the space has remained empty, aside from a sofa, for way too long. So, when I heard about Framebridge and had the chance to partner with them to FINALLY get some art on the walls, I jumped at the chance.

printing and framing for an artful gallery wall // sarah sherman samuel how to: printing and framing for an artful gallery wall // sarah sherman samuel I knew I wanted to create a gallery wall in the space to offset the odd window placement as well as display family photos and memories we hold close. However, being such a main wall in a central location of the house, I didn’t want to use traditional family portraits or photos. I wanted it to look more art than family tree. So, I combed through my own instagram feed to find more creative images of personal moments that make me go awwww, but ones that a total stranger could still appreciate.

how to: build an artful gallery wall from family moments // sarah sherman samuel building an artful gallery wall from family moments // sarah sherman samuel I got started by first selecting about 10-20 of my favorite images and pulled them into a folder on my desktop. Then I went to the wall and just started taping off shapes, rather willy nilly. I didn’t worry about having the exact proportions of a 8×10″ or 20×30″ photo (for example) because with Framebridge everything is completely custom. You can have a 10.25″ x 32.4″ frame if you really wanted.

Once I got my masking tape shapes to a place that I felt was balanced, I measured them and went back to the art narrowed down my images to the amount of tape frames I had and selected which images worked best in the sizes I had created on the wall.  I then started plugging them into the frames on their website. This is most likely a backwards way from what most people do, but since it is all my own art (Framebridge does the printing too) and I had more than enough to fill 10 houses with gallery walls, I was more flexible with the images than the layout of the frames (which ended up taking priority) and made it a heck of a lot easier. To each their own of course, but for me, it took all the guesswork out of it.

When you upload the art to Framebridge, they make it incredibly easy on you by giving you not only a rendering of how the art will look in the frame, but they do all the math of how big the finished product will be, with or without a mat and with whichever frame you choose. What I did was, upload an image, select the mat (or not), choose the frame, and if it didn’t come out to the size I was looking for I just hit the back button, adjusted a little slider to make the original image larger or smaller and then went back to the frame selection page to see what the new measurement is. Then I simply went back and forth until the final measurement is how I wanted it.

It felt like Christmas day when all the boxes showed up at my doorstep! Now I am one step closer to having the house holiday entertaining ready.

Get all the sources, a peek at the process and my top tips for creating an artful and balanced gallery wall, after the jump… READ MORE

rustic modern before & after

modern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelLast week I trekked out to timbuktu Santa Clarita to get to see, style, and shoot the space I designed for the lovely Eden, of Sugar and Charm, and I am SO excited to show you the final reveal! A while back I shared the initial design board I created for her, we honed in on her style and named it “rustic modern”. So here we go…

p.s. her house isn’t really that far away but us L.A. folks like to complain about driving and her picturesque “country” neighborhood does make it feel like a different world. I mean there were horses walking down the street while I was there.

modern rustic room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelI picked a fairly monochromatic palette of varying shades of blacks and whites which set the backdrop for that chair and its pop of yellow. Also, by keeping with a limited color scheme we were able to combine all the styles that Eden is drawn to (traditional, rustic, country, and modern), as well as infuse a little of my modern california eclectic aesthetic, without it looking too mismatched. And as per usual, I played up natural textures and patterns so the neutral palette didn’t fall flat.

modern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic room makeover // sarah sherman samuelThe “porcupine quill” mirror creates such a unique focal point for the entry, it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door and probably my favorite piece in the space. Heart eyed emoji for days!

modern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic room makeover // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelIn the main seating/living area we swapped her large wooden coffee table for the smaller round one, which together with painting the fireplace white, opened up the space making it lighter and brighter.

modern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelWe moved the “landing pad”/console table to the other side of the room which made the space for a gallery wall and bench… a cozy place to pull on and off shoes. Eden also swapped out the old, not so great door, for an awesome dutch door, adding to the farmhouse feel.

modern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samuelmodern rustic living room makeover // before & after // sarah sherman samueldon’t miss the side by side before & after’s, after the jump…

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