Entries from May 31st, 2018

Maya Brenner Office Tour

sarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project tour Last year, just after I found out we were expecting, I got a call from Maya Brenner about designing her new office space downtown LA. I have loved her jewelry for a while and the brand she has built so I was excited about the project but hesitant to add on another project before baby. When I met her at the space for the first time she confided that she too was expecting (we were both early days at that point) and we decided we would just make it happen before BOTH of our babe’s arrivals. And so we did.

sarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project tourThis weekend the LA Times featured the project (you might notice they had us re-shoot our portraits for less pregnant photos (ha),  but I’m sharing the originals) and I am thrilled to now share the whole tour!

sarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project tourMaya had a few must-haves, above having a functional office space, and they were: 1. bright and colorful but not overwhelming. 2. A press wall that becomes a feature in the space and that she can add to easily, 3. A showroom for the jewelry and plenty of closed storage. 4. A mix of high and low but nothing too precious 5. and finally she wanted it to feel special and reflect her brand.

The press wall (above) turned out to be one of my favorite corners of the space and is an example of the high and low mix. The vintage brass tulip table and the CB2 chairs sitting with a Target vase and magazine clippings taped to the wall. To give the press wall a little polish we used black thin masking tape to hang each piece.

Gem Wallpaper Mural from Houzz // Kaishi Chair from CB2 // Tulip Table (Vintage) // Desktop from Ikea // Desk Legs from Pretty Peg Legs // Waste Bins from The Container Store // Desk Lamp from Schoolhouse Electric // Wall Storage Unit from Ikea //  Conference Table from Article // Conference Chairs (in Wasabi) from West Elm // Pendant Lights from Rejuvenation

sarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project tourkitchen terrazzo wallpaper One way we brought a lot of visual interest through the space is with wallpaper. We used three different designs but spaced them out throughout the office so they don’t compete with each other. In the kitchen we did a mini-makeover with my Sarah Sherman Samuel for SemiHandmade cabinet doors (before and after below). I noticed that the basic office kitchen that was there previously was Ikea cabinetry so all we had to do was switch out the cabinet doors and hardware for a big change. Then while we were at it we swapped out the countertop for Ikea’s wood one and popped in a new sink and faucet. Maya’s mini kitchen was the first one to use both my Semi-handmade doors and my hardware I designed with Park Studio.

Cabinet Hardware from Sarah Sherman Samuel x Park Studio LA (Mackinaw / Ottawa / Half Moon) // Cabinet Doors from Sarah Sherman Samuel x Semihandmade // Faucet from Home Depot // Ibo Gold Wallpaper from Anthropologie // Wooden Cutting Boards from Sarah Sherman Samuel

sarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project tourJust as you walk in we created a small lounge area for visitors to relax and for Maya to take informal meetings. The woven back chair Maya already had and I used that as a jumping off point for that space. Behind the chair we hung a scarf by Block Shop, layered a vintage rug over a jute and brought in both brass and natural wood accents to balance each other out.

In the showroom, which became like it’s own life-sized jewelry box, we used my Pink Agate Wallpaper for Lulu & Georgia and I found this vinyl flooring by Atrafloor that looks like marble with a brass inlay. I like to work in juxtopositions and contrast so I used a rugged concrete table to counterbalance the soft pink wallpaper and I also carried some raw wood in here to do more of the same.

Pink Agate Wallpaper from Sarah Sherman Samuel x Lulu & Georgia // Fitzgerald Flooring from AtraFloor // Concrete Table from Wayfair // Wooden Stools from Houzz // Shelf Brackets from Rejuvenation // Chandelier from Wayfair // Drapery from West Elm // Drapery Rods from West Elm // Jute Rug from Overstock // Vintage Turkish Rug // Settee from Anthropologie // Coffee Table from LAX Series // Hanging Scarf from Block Shop // Gold Planter from Urban Outfitters

sarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project toursarah sherman samuel // maya brenner office project tourIn addition to upgrading the Ikea kitchen with my SemiHandmade doors I turned to Pretty Pegs to upgrade the Ikea desks but swapping out the legs for theirs. The wood with the brass accent was perfect for the space. The centerpiece of the studio is a large white oak conference table from Article which I surrounded with these amazing art deco-esque chairs from West Elm.

Kaishi Chair from CB2 // Desktop from Ikea // Desk Legs from Pretty Pegs // Waste Bins from The Container Store // Desk Lamp from Schoolhouse Electric // Wall Storage Unit from Ikea //  Conference Table from Article // Conference Chairs (in Wasabi) from West Elm // Pendant Lights from Rejuvenation

And now for the little kitchen before and after…

Like I mentioned above, the existing cabinets were from Ikea so we didn’t have to buy or install new cabinets. We were able to swap out the doors and drawer fronts with SemiHandmade for a big change. We also got a new undercounter refrigerator that was panel-ready so we were able to made the kitchen look more seamless with a panel from SemiHandmade as well. The gold Terrazzo like wallpaper is a fun jewel-like pattern that carries your eye up to the ceiling making it feel a little larger, while the wood countertop and gold accents warm up the previous corporate vibes.

Cabinet Hardware from Sarah Sherman Samuel x Park Studio LA (Mackinaw / Ottawa / Half Moon) // Cabinet Doors from Sarah Sherman Samuel x Semihandmade // Faucet from Home Depot // Ibo Gold Wallpaper from Anthropologie // Wooden Cutting Boards from Sarah Sherman Samuel

House News!

There’s been a lot happening around here and I’ve got some big news to share with you guys. If you read this post you already know that we sold our A-frame in Palm Springs in hopes of finding a larger primary home for our family. With the birth of Clover we suddenly outgrew our small LA 2 bedroom house. As you might also remember we temporarily set Clover up in the play room, then gave her the master bedroom but the bottom line is we feel like this house is no longer working for us and owning two small (1,000ish sq ft.) homes in different cities no longer felt practical, especially in these first couple years of having two kids we would hardly be able to use a vacation home like you’d want to. Relaxing and unwinding on the weekends doesn’t really happen with a toddler and a newborn. So the search was on for a new larger primary home that works for our family and where Rupe and I can have a bedroom again. Haha

So here she is!! (I can not wait to paint over that red btw). All 4,300 square feet of her. I think we may have gone overboard in the space department and I will probably now lose the kids but Rupe and I tend to make overly dramatic changes. Speaking of dramatic changes… the house is in Michigan!!! After looking for about a year and almost getting houses all over the map… literally, (we put offers down on houses around Los Angeles, Austin, and a couple others in Grand Rapids and we were either beat out by timing, offer price, or once we got all the way to inspections and the house had a crumbling foundation and was falling down a hill) we ended up narrowing in our sites on Grand Rapids, Mi and found this property.

I have to say it is no ordinary house. I think half the reason it takes us so long to find a new house is because I look for things that the typical homebuyer is not looking for. I want the kitchen and bathrooms to be ugly and dated (the more outdated the better!) and I look for light. A light filled house or at least the ability to open it up to make it a light filled house is top on the list. I also look for unique features that aren’t seen in every other home. Most of all, I like clean lines but character, which can be a hard combination to come by. This house, however, has all of it. At least, as far as I can tell from the photos. Yes, we haven’t even seen it in person. Essentially, in our complete sleep deprived desperation, we bought a house off the internet and will be moving our family across the county in less than a month. NBD

I just read an article which said not to make any drastic life changes in the first 6 months of having two kids (boy did that ship already sail) and now I know why. We bought the house when everyone was sick, I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours in a row for 5 months ( I am still having a hard time putting two sentences together. haha Seriously my brain is MUSH), our nanny who normally works three days a week was gone for almost a full month (we had no other help), I was still running a business and fitting in work whenever wherever I could (plugging along through the greatest brain fog), Rupe and I were alternating mental breakdowns… it was a definite low point. I think we were looking for a way out, whether it made sense or not. And yes, now that Clover hit 6 months and she is sleeping through the night as well as napping longer than 40 minutes, everything suddenly got SO much more manageable but while we were definitely a bit hasty, I’m excited for this next adventure and really excited about this house.

 So why Michigan? While we may have been hasty in the purchasing of the house we have talked about wanting to eventually move to Michigan for our family at some point, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue (just a bit more sudden and a lot sooner than we thought). After living in California for over 12 years it will definitely be an adjustment. Yes yes, the weather is grey and cold for almost half the year but I’m looking forward to experiencing the seasons again. And as much as I’ve travelled and as many gorgeous places I’ve seen, Michigan has some of the most natural beauty. It flies under the radar and I didn’t realize just how beautiful it was growing up, until I was gone for a few years. 

The number one reason we are moving is for our kids. I had an amazing childhood growing up in Michigan with room to roam, easy access to nature, great schools, family around, and a slower pace. I want my children to have that too. If we never had kids we would probably live where we are in LA forever, but I feel like if we didn’t give Michigan a shot for them, I would always wonder what could have been. If life would be easier with more space, a little less hustle and with some family not far away. Also Grand Rapids is a smaller city but it has a growing creative community that I am looking forward to being a part of. It was even #1 on Vogue’s list of cities to buy a house in 2018  and #20 on New York Times list of 52 places to visit in the entire world in 2016. So you all have to come visit! we’ll have the room. ;)

As pretty as Michigan is and as much as I am counting on it being easier to have family around, I honestly don’t know if I will be able to hack it in the winter there. I haven’t lived there in almost 15 years which is almost half my life and all of my adult life. I am not sure how to adult in Michigan.

I love our LA neighborhood and the friends we’ve made, which is why we are keeping our LA house, just in case. Really, that isn’t even a joke. It was the only way Rupert was able to convince me to move across the country. We will be renting it out and giving Michigan at least a one year try. After a year we will reassess and see where we are. I can do most of my work from anywhere (I rarely leave the house right now anyway) and I will still have my business based out of LA, so I’ll be traveling a bit more, but now feels like the perfect time. Before Archie is in full-time school and while we are both working from home (Rupe just recently went freelance and currently takes phone meetings in his car since there is no space for him to work. ha). I also didn’t get a chance to even take maternity leave this time around and I want to be able to enjoy my kids while they are so young. Work has been incredible so I won’t complain but I am hoping the move will help me find a bit more balance. The future is wide open and I can’t wait to see what is in store. One thing I know for sure is a whole lot of renovations on the new house. We are calling it #samuelfamilyfixer.

Next up is a full tour!

And if you got bored and stopped reading after the first paragraph here is the cliff’s notes version.

#1 we bought a new house (basically off the internet)
#2 it is in Michigan
#3 we are keeping our LA house and renting it out for a year to give Michigan a try
#4 we are moving our family to Michigan next month to give our kids more of what I had growing up. Room to roam, nature, family, and hopefully a slower pace.
#5 my company will still be based out of LA and work will continue as usual (but hopefully a little more balanced)
#6 are we insane? yes, probably


Anthropologie Summer Catalogue

Have you guys seen the latest Anthropolige catalogue? I was so thrilled to be a small part of it. The Anthro crew came to our desert A-frame and brought truck loads of their new outdoor furniture and decked out our garden! It was so fun getting to see and test out all of the new pieces that were not yet launched at the time and I got to share a few outdoor entertaining tips in the catalogue, which you can also view here.

Pre-Pinterest days, and even before I started this blog, I used to hoard Anthropologie catalogues, I’d clip them up and use them for real life inspiration boards and I specifically remember one that was set in the desert where they did a whole circus theme. I was so inspired by that shoot and thought it must be such an interesting job to get to think up the photoshoots and I dreamed of being a part of something like that. Then boom 5 or so years later here I am! My Anthro catalogue dreams came true.

Images by Debi Treloar for Anthropologie

And now for the goodies… I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pieces from their newly launched outdoor line.

I want to snap up alllll the pieces!

Sources: towel // hammock // metal chair // stool // wood chair // porch pot // hurricane // coffee table // ottoman // bar cart // candle holder // lounge chair

To celebrate the feature in the catalogue I also got to teach a little workshop at the Anthropologie in Newport Beach where I styled a table two ways and shared more tips on tablescaping. Check here to read a few!

Also, find my new favorite jumpsuit I’m wearing above, here!

Now please excuse me while I pinch myself and start planning my next summer shindig… x



high/low guest bedroom

After designing several guest bedrooms recently (like my most recent one for Mandy Moore) this often undervalued space has been on my brain. It’s the space we extend to family and close friends as a place to unwind after long and often hectic travels. Going into this high/low board, I knew wanted to use natural materials and a neutral color palette to create a room where guests can kick off their shoes and feel at home. So we really did go all neutral, as in mostly just shades of white and ivory.

The jumping off piece for this entire board started with that armoire, which could just as easily go on a more affordable board but I love the lines of it so much that it’s living here amongst some really high end pieces. I’ve been loving the modern uses of caning, and this piece in particular strikes a rare balance between laid-back and high end. The neutral color palette also created an opportunity to incorporate one of my favorite pieces of art by Serena Mitnik-Miller. The subtle watercolor hues and minimalist pattern is absolute perfection.

Luxe Look Sources: nightstand // bedframe // bench // rug // pendant // art // art hanger // dresser // accent chair // side table

Guest Bedroom high/lowThere are so many pieces in here that I’ve had my eye on for months, and was happy to be able to compile them into a design plan for you all! Starting with that tufted geometric rug, it creates a statement without being too loud and overpowering and continuing the ivory hues with the Anthropologie reading chair, the room starts to feel as cozy as it is light and refreshing. Win-win!

Look for Less Sources: nightstand // bedframe // bench // rug // pendant // art // art hanger //  dresser // accent chair // side table

To see more High/Low rooms check here.