Entries from September 24th, 2018

Moore Residence Library Tour

I saved a couple of the best room tours in our Mandy Moore house project for last… one is the library nook that we carved out of an un-used hallway by creating the built-in sofa to cozy up in and shelves to house Taylor’s book collection.  As you will see in some of the before photos below, there was already some traditional wood bookshelves along one wall, but we scrapped those and re-worked the layout completely. I wanted to delineate the space more into its’ own room and by adding shelves in some areas and taking away shelves in others, we did exactly that. We also added swing sconces over the sofa and swapped out the peaked “mall skylight”, as architect Emily Farnham coined it, for a more streamlined option. The end result is a quiet moment in the house that makes a huge impact.

I still dream of that color velvet. We went back and forth on the fabric for this sofa for months. At first it was going to be a green cotton canvas and we must have looked at a couple dozen shades of green, however there was already a lot of green in the house. We then looked at some shades of blue and almost landed on a chambray but then there was taupe and a puddy/lavender and maybe a warm grey?… but every swatch we went back and forth on there was always one person that wasn’t 100% on board between Mandy, Taylor, Emily and myself. It wasn’t until I found the ochre colored velvet(or “whiskey” to be exact) that brought on a very quick unanimous hell yes! And now I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Now let’s peek back at the before…








See all of the progress and tours of our Mandy Moore Residential project here. 

Shop the Look: Custom Built-in Sofa in Fabricut Velvet // Arm Sconces From PhotonicStudio // Teak Stool From Grandin Road // Rug – Vintage // Ceramic Bowl From Spartan Shop // Planter From Spartan Shop // Ivory Vase From CB2 // Ceramic Boat Tray From Etsy // White Spike Planter From Jayson Home // Artwork by Claire Oswalt 

Interior Architecture by Emily Farnham 
Interior Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel
Photography by Tessa Neustadt 
Built by Bronstruction

The Moore Residence Study Tour

We are in the home stretch of our Mandy Moore house tour. Sidenote: I forgot how long it takes to put these posts together, you know all the sizing photos, linking sources, and then actually writing about it. Time is something not on my side at the moment so thank you for being patient in what has turned into the longest reveal ever. haha

Today I am sharing the study, as we called it, and it serves as Taylor’s office/music room. Mandy wanted this space to be all Taylor so while he rolled with whatever Mandy, Emily and I came up with in the rest of the house, he had just a couple boxes he wanted ticked in this space. One of which, that at the beginning, I was fairly worried about executing.

The first request was built-in book cases to house some of his collection and second was a desk (easily fulfilled requests), but the third was that he wanted a guitar wall. To be honest I got a little cringey as visions of huge clunky wooden guitar racks filled my brain, but I am never one to shy away from a challenge so I set out to turn the guitar wall into a feature to love and to my surprise it ended up being my absolute favorite part of the room.

I thought we were going to have to build something custom but when we came across these gorgeous minimal guitar mounts I knew they were the answer to all my worries. When it came to mounting them I asked taylor to bring out all the guitars he wanted to hang. Similarly to how I hang a gallery wall, I then treated the guitars as art and composed the exact layout that I wanted on the floor. From there I eyeballed the placement one by one as we replicated the layout on the wall.

guitar mount - mandy moore house - sarah sherman samuelFor the built-in cabinets and shelves, we initially thought to have them separate from the desk with a floating desk in the middle of the room. However in order to maximize enough space for a sofa and lounge area, we integrated the desk into the cabinetry and the result Emily and I both agreed it was a much better flow and use of space.

And here is a quick look at what we started with.







See all of the progress and tours of our Mandy Moore Residential project here. 

Shop the Look: Sofa From Lawson Fenning // Rug – Vintage // Coffee Table – Vintage from Chairish // Black Armchair // Green Stone & Brass Side Table from CB2 // Leather Office Chair From West Elm // Wood Side Table From Candelabra // Arm Sconce by Photonic Studio // Guitar Wall Mount From Hudson Valley Hard Goods // Ceiling Pendant From Cedar & Moss // Grey Trays From Jayson Home // Throw Pillows From The Citizenry

Interior Architecture by Emily Farnham 
Interior Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel
Photography by Tessa Neustadt 
Built by Bronstruction

High/Low: Guest Bedroom

My love for cane furniture is still going strong and there have been so many cane bed options popping up, I thought it would be a perfect jumping off point for another high/low room design. For the lower priced design we used two twin beds together to make one but this bed is also a great mid-range option. And you won’t believe the nightstands I found on Amazon…

Shop High Bedroom: Cane Bed From Clickon Furniture // Navy Nightstand From Anthropologie // Artwork By Claire Oswalt// Circle Sconces From Chiara Colombini // Throw Pillows From The Citizenry // Pink Velvet Desk Chair From Benchmark // Vintage Oak Wood Desk From First Dibs // Brass Wall Hanging From The Citizenry // Wool Rug From Pampa //

Sourcing from Ikea, Target, and Amazon never looked so good.

See more of our High/Low room designs here. 

Shop Low Bedroom: Cane Headboard From IKEA // Indigo Nightstand Table From Amazon // Artwork By Tracie Andrews // Circle Sconces From From Etsy // Throw Pillow From Target // Pink Velvet Desk Chair From Amazon // Natural Wood Desk From IKEA // Brass Wall Hanging From Target // Natural Area Rug From Rug Savings

designing an urban living room with LG

Last week I travelled to San Diego with LG for the home technology tradeshow, Cedia Expo. I don’t typically take part in tech tradeshows (although from now on I just might because I was definitely nerding out over the next big thing in televisions) but I was there to install the “urban living room” space I designed within the LG booth. I wasn’t planning to do a blog post on it because well, tradeshow lighting is reaaaally tough for photography, but I had such an enormous onslaught of questions about the space, while I was covering it in my IG stories, that I wanted to share all the resources in one place and share a bit more about the project.

I have loved working with LG on a couple projects now, they are pioneers in the tech field and it has been incredible to see how their products have evolved just over the last year even. They pioneered the OLED category, which as a designer that obsesses over colors I can truly appreciate all billion+ of them (and the perfect black) that only OLED TVs create. So when they asked me to design a space in their booth at Cedia I was thrilled to create a forward thinking urban-inspired living room to showcase one of their OLED tv’s (the 65″ OLED AI TV E8 to be exact, aka “the glass tv”). And we did it in less than a month, from design, to install and opening day of the tradeshow. PHEW!

If you have been to a tradeshow before then you can imagine what a home technology tradeshow typically looks like. The booths are basically like you’d see in a store display but with the latest and greatest, newly released, or soon to be released product. TVs are all lined up in a row in a plain jane display space.  For the first time LG wanted to create some home spaces within their booth so people walking the show would be able to see the products come to  life in a real-life inspired setting and that is when they turned to me for help.

My jumping off point for the room was their OLED E8 TV. It has a super slim glass design that appears to float in mid air. The pixels are actually painted right on the glass which I’m still not 100% sure I can grasp the idea of but it feels very of the future so that is what I went with as my inspiration for my design. I wanted to push the boundaries of what is expected in a living space a bit with the bold wallpaper but kept everything in a neutral palette so as to not compete with the TV once it is on. To keep a neutral space from being boring I layered on different patterns and textures like the rug, wallpaper, and the large artwork. I then added in a couple real statement pieces like the palm lamp and the sculptural vintage side chair for some serious (actually the opposite of serious) personality.

lg-cedia-booth by sarah sherman samuelI also wanted to make sure to bring in some innovative furniture pieces to match all the tech innovation going on. I looked for pieces that served dual purpose or new ways to use everyday furniture . For example the coffee table pivots which is great for small space city living. You can have all the three sections stacked vertically on top of each other for when you need to save on space or pivot them outward for a larger table when entertaining. The floating credenza is an Ikea hack, featuring my Sarah Sherman Samuel line of doors for SemiHandmade! SemiHandmade just started making their doors to fit Ikea’s Besta units which make beautiful tv consoles and credenza’s (more on that soon!). The bench in the space is also multifunctional since it has the same seat hight as the sofa and you can pull it up to the edge to have it act as a chaise to get cozy on or move it back to the side for extra conversational seating.

I wanted the room to feel high end and highlight the TV but only having a month to design and execute, I had to rely on in stock items and big box stores. We had a last minute sofa and wallpaper swap, but we pulled it off. The result is a mix of high and low, vintage and new, and anything but boring! You know, my favorite kind of space.

Shop the Look: LG OLED AI TV E8  // Gold Palm Floor Lamp // Black Wall Sconce //  Sofa // Coffee Table // Pair of Cane Chairs // Vintage Accent Chair // IKEA Credenza with Semihandmade x Sarah Sherman Samuel Door Fronts // White Scalloped Side Table // White Leather Bench //Maxi – Champagne on Cream Wallpaper // Le Freak – Gunmetal on Cream Wallpaper // Rug – sold out but find similar here //  Quilt Wall Hanging // History Repeats Artwork // Last Tuesday Artwork 2 // Rattan Floor Poufs // Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating Book // Tom Ford Book // Louis Vuitton Book // Throw Blanket // Wooden Ring Dish Bowl // Small Stoneware Vase // Tall Ceramic Vase // Wooden Chain Decor // Gold Tray // Mid-Century Ceramic Planter

My Jumpsuit is by Damaris Bailey

Maker Spotlight with Cambria Vineyards and Winery

cambria winery tour // sarah sherman samuelA couple weeks ago I had to travel back to LA for work, and I got the chance to zip up north to partner with Cambria Estate Winery! I sat down with their winemaker, Jill Russell, to chat about the craft of winemaking and the importance of female leadership at Cambria. I often get asked where I find inspiration and one of my main sources is by learning about a different artistry or craft. Nothing can dig me out of a creative slump quicker than delving into a new type of skill, and I did just that with an afternoon at Cambria.

I drove up from Los Angeles for the day, meandering through roads of open fields and vineyards, stopping for lunch in Los Olivos on the way while very excited for the day ahead. I haven’t been alone in the car sans one or two kids for a very long time, or have been able to do anything alone for that matter, so I really took it all in. Arriving at Cambria, Jill had a wine tasting all set up for me complete with a beautiful cheese plate from Fromagerie Sophie with wine pairing notes, and we dove right in.

Pinot Noir is my go-to wine, so I was delighted to get to taste Cambria’s Rosé of Pinot. I also enjoyed three of their Pinots while Jill told me the back story on what goes into making the perfect Pinot.

According to Jill, Pinot grapes are finicky grapes (figures I would love them so much): They require patience and the ability to react quickly to weather changes. Climate plays a huge role and that’s where Cambria has a literal step up. The vineyards sit atop the Santa Maria Bench which was once a riverbed, but now is a ledge that sits high above the valley floor. I learned how the inherent rocky soil lends itself to excellent drainage, and how the valley that Cambria is situated in is one of the only East-West facing valleys. This means the valley’s opening is faced towards the ocean, funneling in cool maritime wind and fog, giving Cambria one of the longest growing seasons. Even on hot summer days, the cool air will flow in from the ocean in the early evening, giving the temperamental Pinot grape what it needs to achieve perfectly balanced ripeness.

The thing that struck me the most while chatting with Jill about the wines and her job was that Cambria wines are all single-vineyard. This means everything is grown, produced and bottled right there on the estate. This is not only ideal for the grape (the least amount of travel for a grape, the better), but it gives them full control from start to finish, which I find SO important in virtually every craft. It makes it easier to give full attention to detail, and you know I am ALL about the details.

After the tasting, Jill took me on a full tour of the estate, and we dove deeper into the history of Cambria and what it is actually like to be a winemaker (and we tasted grapes, played in the dirt, and took a few Boomerangs…as one does).

Cambria was founded by wine icon Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke in 1986. Their daughters, Katie Jackson and Julia Jackson, grew up among the vines and continue the family business alongside Barbara. Jill was hired as winemaker in June 2017 to continue Cambria’s legacy of talented women winemakers. Cambria has strong women in leadership roles as well as out in the vineyard, and I thought it was interesting to hear that the female vineyard-workers were sometimes preferred, as they were considered to have a more discerning eye and attention to detail when harvesting grapes.

So, what does a typical day look like for a winemaker? According to Jill… it is “Busy!” From Jill: “During harvest, I arrive at the winery around 5:30am, check in with the teams and get to work calling picks, writing work orders for various fermentation activities including punchdown schedules, yeast additions, and so forth. I’m constantly walking the vineyards, checking the crushpad and making sure things are running smoothly for when grapes come in. Post-harvest, it’s all about the tanks and barrels – here I’m tasting wines, seeing how they’re progressing and running blending trials to determine the final blends for our wines.”

I was curious how one can get creative in the wine business since Jill mentioned that it is part farming, part artistry and part science. She explained how her favorite way to get creative is running new blending trials and the freedom of considering, “What happens if I try this? or this?” There are so many variables to get creative with. Her mind is always thinking of new methods or blends to test out.

I asked Jill what sets Cambria apart from other wines, and her reply was that she strives for three distinct qualities when crafting their single-vineyard wines — texture, harmony and energy.

From Jill: “Textural beauty is so important, I like our wines to have a multidimensional mouthfeel, full of layers, expressions of fruit and finish. In combination with texture, I focus on the harmony of how aromas, fruit, other flavors, acidity and tannins all behave together in the glass to truly represent the place where the wine comes from.”

As Jill talks about what she strives for in her winemaking, I can’t help but see the parallel in the work I do as a designer, as well as the work of other artists and makers across the board. For example, the search for that harmony or balance. I talk a lot about how I strive for balance in interior spaces —just replace flavors and tannins with visual weight, pattern, and colors, and she could have taken the words right out of my mouth. Then when it comes to “energy,” it is even more apparent. I always want whoever experiences my work to feel something, and feel the love and the story behind it. The same goes for the wine of Cambria. Jill wants the wine to make you feel the energy, and know that the wines you drink from them are lovingly made by a team of passionate wine lovers.

As a fan of Pinot Noir, Julia’s Vineyard has this amazing “Santa Maria Spice” as Jill explains, that isn’t the traditional sweet spice you may find in other red wines, but something a bit more savory like Chinese Five Spice. It really achieves that harmony in texture that Jill is so passionate about it! On the other hand, Katherine’s Chardonnay has this beautiful bright acidity and pretty citrusy floral notes. This isn’t your mother’s oaky, buttery Chardonnay (not that there’s anything wrong with those), but it truly tastes like the place. The tour of the estate and vineyards with Jill really illustrated how these single-vineyard wines are able to showcase the terroir they come from in the glass. This isn’t a blending of flavors from different areas, this is Cambria’s rocks, earth, fog, and wind all neatly captured in a bottle.

After all the inspiration I had gleaned from my visit to Cambria, I asked Jill where she found her inspiration. She finds it in her colleagues and from just drinking wine from around the world (sign me up). She explains that there are so many fantastic producers, “I’m always learning and always getting excited about the next vintage.”

Interested in getting into the wine business? I asked Jill if she had any advice for someone who thinks he or she might want to work with wine. Her answer was the same that I often give to people interested in getting into design —  and that is to just get working! She advises, “The best thing you can do is get a job at a winery, whether it’s a part-time gig at a tasting room or a full-on harvest internship. No matter where you start, you’ll learn so much about the industry and can start to forge your own path in where you want to work whether it’s in the vineyard, in the cellar, in operations, marketing or working with customers.”

Thank you for following along, I loved getting to learn more of the origins of some of my favorite wines and I hope you did too! I will definitely be back.

 This post is paid for by Cambria Estate Winery.

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