Our New Backyard and Summer Essentials

As soon as the snow melted we were on top of getting our backyard set up for summer and I am so excited to share the result! Last year we landed at our #SamuelFamilyFixer in Michigan halfway through summer and it was just too too short of a season. We had no furniture, outside of a couple odd inflatables, so lounging by the pool wasn’t even doable (and not like we had much time with the impending renovation). So this summer we were ON it… we knew we had to replace all the tile around the top of the pool as it was constantly falling off and our pool looked like it was missing a whole lot of teeth so that was first on our list.

Then when it came time to furnish the largest outdoor space I’ve ever furnished, it was daunting for sure. I’ve worked with CB2 before and use their furniture all the time (you probably have noticed) so when they said they wanted to do a story on our outdoor space I was ALL in. The only problem was that two weeks before the scheduled shoot our pool and backyard looked like this!

We had 4 days to pick tile so my options were VERY limited. I needed to find something local, in stock, white (my only stipulation), one that is rated for pools in freeze/thaw conditions AND it had to fit in the same footprint as the existing tile (i.e. be the same size). NBD! We went to a local showroom called Virginia Tile and they had almost exactly what I had in mind and I was able to get it in 2 days time. PHEW! It was porcelain and non glazed (which meant it would stand up to the harsh winters), white, and fit into the current spacing. Done and Done (limitations can sometimes really make for the easiest decisions).

In a perfect world the only thing I would have changed was instead of three 2″ square tiles I would have done one 2″ x 6″ but we found the winner and two days before the shoot, after the tile guys finished, we had two giant tanker trucks pull up and fill the pool with water.

And then the angels sang….

The trees exploded with green just a few days before as well and it all feel right into place. Now we have been reveling in these long hot summer days by the pool and it’s become the gathering place I could only dream of.

SHOP THE LOOK! (and right now it is all on sale. up to 40% off!)

Sunset Teak Lounge // Basket Planter // Round Sun Shade // Lodi Sun Lounger // Terrazzo Side Tables // Terrazzo Coffee Table // Bongo Side Tables // Bizert Outdoor Corner // Bizert Outdoor Armless Chair // Moda Terrazzo Dining Table // Pink Bistro Chairs // Lineal Planter

We’ve been having most of our dinners out here now and I couldn’t be happier about it. So much so that I am not even thinking about the having to cover all this up for winter. NOPE, REFUSING TO THINK ABOUT IT! ;) Happy Summer!

Oh and have you seen me over on CB2? To see more of my backyard and to read through the interview click here!

My dress is a couple seasons old but you can find similar here at Nordstrom or here at Need Supply

This post was done in collaboration with CB2, photos by CB2

Trullbrook Master Bath Reveal

a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel

Oh hey, it’s reveal day! For one of my all time favorite bathrooms that I have sat on for over two years now. eh hemm. I have had a busy few years, what can I say? ha The good news is I still love this bathroom as much as the first day and I am thrilled to share it with you in its’ full glory.

a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel

This bathroom renovation was close to my heart because, for one, it is the home of a good friend but also because, hello brown wall to wall carpet in the bathroom. EW! I take great pity on anyone that still has to endure the trend in the 80s/90s of carpeting a bathroom. I am happy we got it out of here and even more happy we got our navy shag out of our master bathroom in the #samuelfamilyfixer.

Along with carpet removal we had to bust out about 27 walls (ok more like 5 but close enough). See the design plans here to see how we reconfigured the entire space to give Jaimi and Matt their dream bathroom.

a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel

Jaimi wanted a serene, neutral bathroom but one that was still full of visual interest. Nuanced might be her favorite adjective to describe her style (mine too). The monochromatic pattern play from the mix of tiles and the gorgeous taupey marble slab along with the extra long custom double vanity delivered on all accounts.

a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel

Having a previous career in the beauty business the homeowner Jaimi has a healthy amount of product and creating the custom vanity also opened up the opportunity to give her the truly customized storage. We packed in shallow drawers on each side of the seated vanity so everything is at her fingertips.

a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel
a serene neutral master bath // sarah sherman samuel

Et voila! A choppy cramped and dated bathroom turned into a spacious zen retreat. Make sure to scope out the before photos here!

and see more spaces from #clienttrullbrooks here.

Matte White Tiles // Archer Pendant Lights // Mirrors // Sinks // Plumbing Fixtures // Vanity is custom // Vanity mirror is custom

sss for concrete collaborative tile!

festoon, new LA event space // Sarah Sherman Samuel

I am in New York at ICFF where we are officially officially launching the tile collection I designed for Concrete Collaborative today!! It has been over a year in the making, I finalized the patterns in March of last year and the first production test run went right to install at the creative studio and event space of my friends at “Festoon“!

I was thrilled to create this series of five for Concrete Collaborative (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). With crisp patterns and clean lines, Concrete Collaborative’s tiles are crafted using careful consistency and superior design. I have seen A LOT of cement tiles in my day and the quality is all over the map. CC’s quality really stands out and they are made locally in California so it was a no brainer. 

The tiles are ideal for both interior and exterior applications. My series of five consists of linear designs which can be combined and arranged to create endless pattern opportunities.

 

The tiles are created in a beautiful lilac hue that I used in Festoon, but can come in all Concrete Collaborative’s wide range of color options. I pulled a chart together of a few of my favorite color combos below.

 

And speaking of ALL those different pattern options that you can create, I’ve illustrated a few of my favorites below.

 

The curve of the arch my be my favorite but the stripes are modern and classic at the same time.  

 

 

The single line design creates patterns that are reminiscent of subway tile but with all the character and beautiful tonality of the encaustic tile, it is a major upgrade. A modern version of a traditional staple. 

 

Above are all ideas using just one tile from the series but the best part is when you mix and match the different designs to create repeat patterns or larger motifs that can read more as a mural. Here are a few utilizing the series to help get your creativity flowing with all the options.

 

 

 

I have put all the designs in my shop so you can find them easily but you can order them directly through Concrete Collaborative with their online shop ConcreteLove.com. You can find them all here.

I can’t wait to see these in some of your homes. #sssxconcretecollaborative.

Photos of Festoon by Marisa Vitale

Samuel Family Fixer Lighting

We have officially moved back into #samuelfamilyfixer! The bulk of construction is done and while we have quite a way to go before it is fully complete at least we are in and I can’t tell you how relieved that is. Going into a renovation you always know it is going to be disruptive and tough at times but man, as soon as I see the finish line I can’t even remember how bad or how hard moving three times (once across the country) with two small kids in under a year, while doing a major renovation was. Ok maybe I still remember a bit, because PHEW, but those memories are now bathed in the glow of a REALLY beautiful home for our family which I think makes it worth it (I will let you know once we actually have settled in, because now it is project finish and furnish this baby.

One big part of a renovation that I get a lot of questions about is lighting. Lighting is SO important and when we first moved into our fixer the lighting situation was THE WORST. In the kitchen, for example, the only source of light was two outdoor/garage spotlights and even the bulbs were extreme on the warm side, casting everything that was already wood and warm into a low lit den of yellow. Clover’s bedroom and our master bedroom had no electrical for lighting at all, and the main living room had only recessed lights (which were again with the super warm bulbs and with a 19 foot ceiling I wasn’t about to climb up there to change the bulbs). So, during the renovation I had to create a major lighting plan as I was basically starting from scratch. Essentially there was no decorative lighting in the entire house which is a major bummer because they can totally make a space.

A few must haves on my list when talking light plan are:

  1. Ceiling fixture on a dimmer in the kids bedrooms and table lamps on the dresser.
  2. Ceiling fixture and sconces in the master bedroom
  3. Sconces or pendants at roughly eye level in bathrooms
  4. SO MUCH MORE LIGHTING IN THE KITCHEN. Ideally a mix of recessed and pendants as well as task lighting over the range and countertops
  5. Chandelier over the dining table
  6. Pendants in the living room and a mix of floor lamp and table lamps.

I ended up doing a mix of my go-to lighting vendors all over the house and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to highlight them. Starting with Troy Lighting. They are part of the Hudson Valley Lighting Group which is a go-to source for me. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Troy pieces here.

ALCHEMY // CALABRIA // WABI SABI // ZEN // KOKORO // BIMINI // HUXLEY // BRERA // ZEN 2

The lighting in the living room being all recessed can lights with no easy way to add more (it is a high peeked ceiling with no attic space above and I didn’t want to disturb the original wood paneling) I am turning to table lamps and dimmer switches to create a cozy space in the evenings. 

While we have moved in, we are being super strict with ourselves and our stuff and only bringing into the space pieces we either absolutely need or love (ideally both but really I can’t wait to ditch the grass bottle drying thing from our countertop. tick tock clover your bottle days are almost over). With that in mind, our the house is relatively still empty, but slowly I have started to move some things in, little corner by little corner and this one in the living room is getting my nesting vibes going.

In the living room I turned to Troy lighting because of their large sculptural table lamps and with the incredibly tall ceilings I wanted something chunky and substantial. The Calabria Lamp was such a great fit. They look like I could have picked them up at a vintage shop which helps to balance out the mod characteristics of the credenza to create the more collected feel I am always after. I added some of my favorite ceramic pieces to sit along next to them in an artful moment that has me really excited to start furnishing and styling the whole house. 

If you don’t know of Troy Lighting you can check out their full collection here and I love following them on Instagram to see how different designers and interior junkies style the pieces in their own homes (or homes of clients). This post was done sponsored by Troy Lighting however all thoughts and ideas, as always, are my own.

LAMPS // CREDENZA // WALL HANGING (Scarf) // FOOTED VASE //

Kitchen Update and Kitchen #2 Design!

This post was done in collaboration with Cafe Appliances

YOU GUYS!!! THIS IS IN MY KITCHEN RIGHT NOW! And I feel so grown up, well almost. There is still a lot of finishing work to be done in the space. Outside of this stunning view is still a bit of a disaster, but I couldn’t help but share an update.

Our kitchen renovation in LA was done on a shoe string budget. We did all the work ourselves, outside of the marble countertops (which was our splurge) and just re-used the previous owner’s appliances. They were generically fine, but they were not “me”. But…in this house I am getting my dream Cafe Appliances (this 36″ range in matte white with the Brushed Bronze hardware SWOOOOON and the Fridge and the Dishwasher), and really making this my kitchen utopia. I will have my first kitchen island, my first pantry, my first larger than a 30” range. It is all happening. I will do a whole post on how we divvied up the work between our GC and us for this renovation but we saved in this kitchen by doing Ikea cabinet boxes and my Sarah Sherman Samuel for SemiHandmade cabinet doors, which we also installed ourselves. This kitchen, along with most all of my projects, is a true mix of high and low and somewhere in between.

Here is a peek at the other side of the room. If you have been following me on my IG Stories, you will have seen all the steps we’ve taken so far to get the kitchen to this point. Five months in the making, but it is starting to look like a real kitchen. Above is where we were just a couple days before the move, the new windows made an incredible difference in opening everything up, and the old small dark kitchen isn’t even recognizable.

And while things are wrapping up in the main kitchen why don’t we just jump right into the design of kitchen number 2! That is right, our #SamuelFamilyFixer has two whole kitchens and I am not mad about it. Two kitchens might sound ridiculous and extravagant but things are bigger in the midwest. ha The house we bought already had two full kitchens. One is on the main floor (where our living room, dining room and bedrooms are) and the other is in the lower level along with another living area, two bedrooms and bathroom. This floor will partly be my home office while the kids are so little, as well as a dedicated place for guests. (Our first time having an actual guest bedroom! Who is coming over?!). So while we do not need a second kitchen, we inherited one and now I am counting all the reasons why I am pumped to have two kitchens.

Let’s be honest, two kitchens is a designers dream! Double the finishes, double the fixtures, double the appliances! All those extra design decisions have me giddy. Twice the chance to put your own style into a kitchen and maybe explore another side of your personality.

Work/Life separation. Once I get my local Michigan design team up and running, employees will be able to enter the office from the lower level without having to go through the rest of the house and we will be all set with our own Sarah Sherman Samuel Inc. office complete with its own kitchen.

Entertaining! Having two kitchens is also an entertainers dream. Extra oven space for big dinners (Thanksgiving at my house this year!), and even for smaller parties, I could mess up the lower level kitchen and use that area for prep behind the scenes while keeping the main kitchen clean where the guest are.

So let’s take a look at what I have planned for kitchen #2

When it came to the main kitchen there was no doubt I wanted it bright and light and you already know how thrilled I was to come across Cafe Appliances and their Matte White finish and their customizable hardware. They are appliances that stand out as a stylish design feature instead of just a utilitarian necessity. So when it came to designing the downstairs kitchen it was a no brainer to bring in Cafe again, however instead of the Matte White I got the Matte Black and they ended up being a big piece of inspiration for the whole {second} kitchen.

In interiors in general I always like the mix of old and new and layering in different textures to create a space that even if it is brand new, feels like there is a story behind it. The Matte finishes on the Cafe Appliances take it from going too modern and sleek and in my opinion give them some soul that when paired with the metallic hardware, it is like they already have my signature style built-in. When thinking about a backsplash, I am looking to use Clé Tile’s zellige or earthenware tile to bring in something with a vintage look to balance out the new cabinets, hardware and countertops. The artwork above, by Sharon Etgar, the Zellige Tile and the Cafe Appliances together perfectly convey the overall vibe of what I am shooting for in kitchen #2. Which I am hoping will be like the artful little sister of kitchen #1.

And here is what started with…

Above is a before photo of the kitchen. So far we have demo’ed everything out and installed some new engineered hardwood flooring over that lovely yellowed floor. A few things I wasn’t loving were how the fridge and range sat right next to each other, crammed in the corner and the off center island is also making me twitch a titch. So far, we have demoed out all the cabinets… my dad re-used them in his wood shop, and we gave the appliances to my aunt who is updating her old kitchen.  Poof, we have a blank slate. We are planning to move the range location to dead center on the back wall so it creates a central focal point and I’ll be doing my favorite trick of maximizing the visual and countertop space by installing the Cafe Undercounter Fridge and forgoing a full sized fridge (it is the second kitchen after all).

So what do you think? Two kitchens, too crazy? or genius? I am team whatever makes you happy, kitchens are personal! And your kitchen or kitchens should be a reflection of you. That is why I was so happy to partner with Cafe Appliances as that is what they are all about.

This post was done in collaboration with Cafe Appliances. All thoughts, ideas and swoons are my own.

For more on our #samuelfamilyfixer check here.

MAIN KITCHEN: Cafe Appliance 36″ Range // Cafe Appliance Dishwasher // SemiHandmade Cabinet fronts by Sarah Sherman Samuel on Ikea Cabinets // Caesarstone “fresh Concrete” countertops // Calacatta Marble Backsplash // Elkay Quartz Sink //

SECOND KITCHEN: Art by Sharon Etgar // Cafe Appliance Undercounter Refrigerator // Cafe Appliance 30″ Range // Clé Terracotta Tile // Counter Stool // Vase // Footed Bowl // Engineered Hardwood Floor from Build Direct

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