Entries from December 31st, 2016

top 16 of 2016

I’ve been holed up at my parents in Michigan for the holidays, introducing Archie to snow for the first time and generally checking the heck out, but as 2016 is coming to a close I couldn’t help but reflect on the year on the blog. Here’s my favorite 16 posts from 2016. Happy New Year!

light lab kitchen by sarah sherman samuel1. One of my favorite projects this year was designing the creative warehouse space called Light Lab. It was a complete blank canvas and I had so much fun bringing it to life. See the full reveal tour here.

johnnycash-party2. Another highlight of the year was Archie’s 1st birthday/my 34th. Turns out sharing a birthday with your son can be pretty great and we celebrated with a Johnny Cash birthday bash! See the party post here.

sss-studio16s3. I moved into a new studio space, see the full tour here! And the studio breaking in party, here.

encuentro-mexico44: I posted about our road trip to Mexico which was a true highlight. Glamping our way through Mexican wine country… see the post here.

baby-proofing-livingroom6-6405: It came time to baby proof things in the Samuel household. We didn’t make a ton of changes but see the home tour and how we made our house more Archer friendly in the post, here.

sss_summer_evening-soiree6: We built a new modern pergola in the backyard and took full advantage of it in this summer soiree to remember.

kitchen-progress-a-frame3-faucet7. Construction has been ohhh so slow on the A-frame but we made some progress in the kitchen, laundry room, and living room. Hoping to finish this place up in 2017 so we can start enjoying it! See all the A-frame progress here.

culottes-crop-top88. My style hasn’t changed a ton since having Archie but I’ve fully embraced the mom cliche of high-waisted pants. See more of my personal style posts here.

kristinaandsarah6409: My friend Kristina had her third child and while she was still expecting I made over her master bedroom. See the “modern organic” tour here.

patio-after8-640-110: Our Los Angeles home renovations are complete (until we decide to add a second floor or something crazy like that, that is) and I shared the before & after of the back patio this summer. See all the renovation progress here.

the-amado11: With the renovations going on in our A-frame, we’ve been spending gobs of time in Palm Springs. One of our favorite stays was at the Amado, see the post here.

say-cloud-sarahshermansamuel12: I teamed up with Say Kids on a T-shirt collaboration, using the cloud print I designed for Archer’s wallpaper. See the Tee post here and Archer’s nursery tour here.

bathroom-213: We put the final touches on our main bath, brass shelves, herringbone tile, hexagon floor… see the “before & after” tour here. P.s. we also did an update in the master bath.

copper-plant-stands-diy1-114: DIY projects are always some of the best posts and these plant stands were a big hit. See the tutorial here.

guest-room-holidays7-64015: Speaking of DIY… this quick 5-minute woven headboard might be my personal favorite. See the tutorial here.

trullbrook-client-kitchen-finishes16: And finally, I introduced my latest client renovation project, starting with the kitchen design and I can not wait to share share the rest. 2017 is already looking good! See the post here.

Thank you guys for following along and being here. All your comments and support mean the world to me! Cheers to an incredible 2017. xo sarah



new years eve ready

new-years10new year eve metallicnew-years8new-years3new-years9new-years5new-years2Tick tock, are you New Year ready?! My favorite kind of New Years Eve celebration is one where you dress up all nice but go to someones home. A fancy night in, kind of the best of both worlds right? Last year we hosted just that and this year we are heading to Rupert’s brother’s house to ring in 2017 in similar fashion. Also, it wouldn’t be New Years Eve without a little metallic so when I saw this skirt I snatched it up quick!

Top by Keepsake, find similar here // Skirt from Asos, find similar here, here, and here  // Shoes by J.Crew // Cuff by Edge of Ember

Photos by Heather Kincaid 

holiday ready

holiday home decor We are officially holiday primed here at casa Samuel. Trees, garland, wreaths… check check check. I’ve teamed up with BISSELL to share my top tips for getting your home ready for this festive season.


holiday cookie & cocktail party

sss-absolut-holiday-2sss-absolut-holiday-105 Holiday entertaining has to be my favorite kind of entertaining. For some it might feel like there’s added pressure, but I think it actually takes the pressure off! Throw a few wreaths on the wall and you’ve got yourself some instant festive decor and what other time of year is more fitting to throw a cookie party? This year I did both and gathered a few friends to say SKAL (or “cheers” for you non-Scandinavian folk) to the holidays with Absolut Elyx.

While cookie noshing and cocktail sipping I came up with a few tips and tricks to take the stress out of holiday entertaining (to make sure I am able to enjoy a party along with my guests) while still pulling together a few instagram worthy moments, of course.

christmas cookie and cocktail party // sarah sherman samuelchristmas cookie and cocktail party // sarah sherman samuel

1. Simplify the Decor:
First, I like to clear away any clutter and start with a clean slate. Then, one easy way to make a big impact is to replace your year-round art with a simple seasonal piece (or pieces). I took down the two large art prints that hung in the space and replaced it with 5 simple wreaths, which I DIYed in almost no time using wood embroidery hoops and fresh greenery. Just wrap individual pine boughs and leafy branches around the hoop with floral wire and you’ve got yourself a modern little wreath. I used the same greenery to make a tabletop garland which anchors the cookie buffet. Using just greenery is a lot easier than attempting a complicated floral arrangement and it brings a seasonal touch… win/win.

sss-absolut-holiday-63sss-absolut-holiday-13sss-absolut-holiday-932. Streamline the menu by creating a food based theme:
Cookie party! You can’t get much easier than a cookie party. I love baking so I made a few batches from scratch but to make sure I wasn’t stretched too thin, I mixed them in with a boat load of store bought ones as well. Execute a beautiful cookie buffet by utilizing serving dishes or cake stands at different heights. Stick with one cookie type per cake stand to keep it from looking cluttered.

sss-absolut-holiday-70sss-absolut-holiday-42For added ambience, save one batch of dough in the fridge and bake them as guests arrive to fill the space with the fresh baked cookie scent and if your friends are the crafty type you can have a cookie decorating station as a fun activity. Find those cute reindeer cookie cutters in the Elyx Boutique.

Another way to simplify the menu is to offer one (or two) signature drinks. You certainly don’t have to offer a full bar. Choose your favorite cocktail and make a batch right before guests arrive.

sss-absolut-holiday-84sss-absolut-holiday-48sss-absolut-holiday-79 I made two cocktails for this party because I thought one paired with the cookies well and the other was just too pretty not to! The first is the cookie’s best friend, called the “snow bunny” (pictured above).

2 parts Absolut Elyx
1 part Kahlua
0.5 part white crème de cacao
2 parts half and half

Combine ingredients together in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake hard until ice cold. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with freshly ground nutmeg.

Next up is the “holiday cosmo”…

sss-absolut-holiday-100sss-absolut-holiday-90sss-absolut-holiday-55sss-absolut-holiday-94See, I told you… SO PRETTY right? p.s. I substituted the redcurrant in the garnish for cranberries.

2 parts Absolut Elyx
1 part Triple Sec
1.5 parts Mulled Spiced Cranberry Juice*
0.5 part Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

Combine ingredients together in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake hard until ice cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a string of redcurrants dusted with powdered sugar

*mulled spiced cranberry juice- There are many recipes for creating a ‘mulled’ juice or wine. Based on using a 1litre carton of cranberry juice I suggest a combination of 1 sliced lemon and 1 sliced orange plus the zest from 2 additional fruits combined with fresh grated ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon-all to your taste. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer for around 45 minutes. Be careful not to boil. Strain and chill well before use. Store in the refrigerator and the juice will last for around 1 week. For best results prepare mulled spiced cranberry juice at least 24hrs in advance

sss-absolut-holiday-52sss-absolut-holiday-46sss-absolut-holiday-443. And finally… cheers! have a drink and relax. Remember you’re not striving for perfection but concentrate on having fun and showing a bit of yourself in the decor. Spend the time laughing over cocktails, not fretting over too many details.

Shop the Post:

Absolut Elyx can be purchased at https://www.reservebar.com/vodka/absolut-elyx // Copper Coupes, Rocks Glasses, Copper Jiggar, and Copper Cookie Cutters can all be purchased at www.ElyxBoutique.com

My dress by Self Portrait // Shoes // Copper Vases // Tray from West Elm // Measuring Cups // Napkin // Rolling Pin by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Images by Nicki Sebastian

holiday cards

christmas-card4-640Last Christmas I was the overextended new mother, over zealous relatively new business owner that over committed and the holidays flew by, as they can easily do. I photographed and had printed our holiday cards, I even had Rupe help address and stamp them but somehow they were never stuffed and never sent out! I had meant to write a personal note on each card and it never happened. I said yes to too much and was trying and failing to juggle everything.

This year I vowed to take the time to show Archer the magic of Christmas, to bake cookies, to play holiday music and decorate with abandon, to watch our favorite Christmas movies, to say yes to friends and parties and family, and to send out our holiday cards! So far so good, we have watched Elf, and every Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer movie ever created (Archie wakes up and asks for “Reindeer, Reindeer?”), had a cookie party, seen more of my friends, booked tickets to see family, and am well on my way to having all our cards stuffed and out. Turns out watching reindeer movies can be a very productive time for card stuffing.

family-portraitchristmas-card5-640family-portrait2 We had these photos taken recently by Katherine Rose, who also shot some of Archer’s newborn photos. We even ended up re-creating a couple of the same images from the newborn session, almost two years later. I used Artifact Uprising back then for our birth announcement so I was thrilled to work with them again for our holiday cards this year. I love their minimal designs and that they are all so tasteful. There is no searching through thousands of cards that aren’t my style in hopes of finding one that works.

family-portrait3I also loved AU’s acrylic float frames so much that I had them print and frame the portrait from our photo session, I made sure to get two extra for gifts for the grandparents.

Now back to stuffing…

XO happy holidays.

Cards printed by Artifact Uprising // Photo print & frame by Artifact Uprising // Dresser is vintage // Jewelry Boxes from West Elm // Vase from CB2 //Flower Print by Debbie Carlos // Headboard is a DIY – see info here

Rupert is wearing J.Crew // Archer is wearing his sarah sherman samuel for Say Kids Tee + Zara jeans // My top is by J.O.A. // Jeans from TopShop

Images by Katherine Rose

introducing the trullbrook residence

Hi Hi, I’ve got a brand spanking new client project to introduce and I am pretty excited about it. You may have caught a couple small glimpses (here and here) on Instagram, as I have been working behind the scenes for the last couple months, but now that construction has begun I wanted to start chronicling the progress here for you to follow along! To give you a quick run-down on the project, it is a full gut renovation in a two story residence here in LA. There are 4 bathrooms and one kitchen which were dated and didn’t suit the homeowners taste, so we said BUH-BYE to it all. They brought me on board to design a home that better reflects their {realllly great} taste. To kick things off let’s dig right in with the heart of the home… the kitchen.


trullbrook-kitc-hen-plans2So this is how the kitchen looked when we began. Not bad at all, but the house is quite large and in proportion the kitchen was quite small and that is A LOT of wood. We are updating the appliances, getting a larger cooking area with a 48″ range and doing away with the stacked wall oven which further closed in the kitchen. From top to bottom… all of it is going.

trullbrook-kitc-hen-plans3trullbrook-kitchen-plansThe biggest change will come in the new layout. Taking out the wall oven and the peninsula will open up the kitchen into the “breakfast room” dining area, making it one big dine-in kitchen. We will be adding an island in the center and a custom built-in banquette where you now see the table and chairs.



As you can see, as-is the kitchen isn’t large enough for an island but it is large enough that it feels like it has wasted space in the center.

renovation plan


By removing the peninsula and extending the kitchen into the breakfast room we had a lot more room to play and now onto the really fun part…


kitchen-inspiration2 ktichen inspiration kitchen-inspiration5kitchen-inspiration4kitchen-inspiration3These are a few of my favorite kitchens that the homeowners also loved. The selection makes me SO happy and gave such great inspiration for the space. Even though they vary in style there are some common threads and each one has something uniquely special about it. My goal is always to create spaces with an unexpected element/something that makes it stand out from the norm or past projects and the client was clearly on board.

Kitchen one Designed by Stefani Stein, photo by Tessa Neustadt // Kitchen two by Amber Interiors, photo by Tessa Neustadt // Kitchen three by Anna Smith // Kitchen four Designed by Kishani Perera, photo by Joe Schmelzer // Kitchen five by Devol Kitchens

Here is a sneak peek at the finishes!


trullbrook-client-kitchen-finishes We started the design with a palette in mind… green, brass, white and some natural wood. I’ve combined modern and traditional elements as well as a mix of high and low to create the biggest design bang for their budget.

Instead of using green on the cabinets we decided to put it on the floor with Fireclay’s Brick Tile in “Northwoods”. The color is the most perfect shade of dark green with blue undertones. Then it came to the cabinets and countertops. To keep it classic we are going with white cabinets… and once again I am using SemiHandmade, they make high quality doors and drawer fronts that fit onto Ikea cabinets, giving the look of a more custom kitchen for much less than a true custom kitchen (see them in our house here and soon to be in our A-frame here), then a slab hunting we went. We slab shopped all over town and landed on the most beautiful (and unique) marble called “green tweed”. Choosing hardware & lighting was easy once I looked to Schoolhouse Electric as they are masters at modernizing classic pieces.

See I wasn’t exaggerating on their really great taste! The homeowner is also a friend of mine which is why she is letting me share all the nitty gritty renovation details and you can see more behind the scenes action on her instagram @jaimibrooks. Also, if you ever find yourself in need of someone to talk to, she is an incredible human and an amazing marriage and family therapist. Stay tuned for more from the Trullbrook Residence. x

Cabinet doors by Semihandmade // Pendants by Schoolhouse Electric // Sink from Ikea // Cabinet knobs by Schoolhouse Electric // Drawer Pulls by Schoolhouse Electric // Range by Thermador // Faucet by Waterstone // Tile  by Fireclay