Posts Tagged ‘midcentury’

One Thousand Saves!

When a perfect stranger comes across an image of a room, and sees fit to add it to an Idea Book they keep online with a title like “Dream House” or even simply “Our New Home”, it gives a girl a thrill to be the designer involved. So it was a happy day last week when Houzz.com let me know that images from my portfolio on their site have been saved over 1,000 times by their users.

NJDhouzz1klogoI’ve been on Houzz for 3 years, and it has proven to be a great way to connect with people who are interested in working with me – around the corner in person, and across the country online. It also illuminates what a more general audience responds to in my portfolio by showing me which images are inspiring them when they think about their own homes.

Last month, Houzz interviewed me about a recent project that they featured as their  “Room of the Day”. Thanks, Houzz!

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Photo credits: All images by Tessa Neustadt, except for the bottom right image in collage by Judson Morgan.

Take Me Away // Napa Valley Working Vacation Weekend

A design project in the Napa Valley had been a long-held little dream of mine, and in 2015 it has come true twice! Earlier this year, it was the tasting room for a small winery in St. Helena. And then this Fall, I started collaborating with a dear friend on her lovely new cottage in Napa. This is a picture of the bungalow where Emily used to live. So charming, and the scene of many good times over the years. We want more of that feel with the new place – an unpretentious warmth.

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Emily’s new house doesn’t come with quite this much vintage character, but it is on its way to revealing its own charms. After a few weeks of Pinterest back-and-forth based on floor-plans and pictures, last weekend I made an overnight trip of it and finally met the house in person. Amid the beautiful distractions of the Napa Valley and time with my friend, the mission was to review design progress, develop some ideas further, and of course get some good shopping done.

IMG_4876I was very pleased about some key pieces of new furniture that had arrived. It’s no secret that I am obsessed with these dhurrie chairs, and this is my favorite colorway.  I adore these hues and that texture paired with the copper Martini table. Emily was initially a bit skeptical when I pinned this chair, but now it’s true love.

IMG_4877This gem of a bentwood rocker was picked up at an estate sale, and Emily is in the midst of re-finishing it. We decided on a rich black stain to contrast with some of the other furniture in more naturally finished woods. It is such a gorgeously sculptural chair, and is going to look great next to a big plant.

IMG_4933This is part of a gallery wall for which I did a preliminary lay-out. Emily has a fair amount of art that she has collected in 20 years of travel, and I love that it’s a mix of media including textiles and photography. We sorted through it all and made decisions about how to frame and hang the best pieces.

To wrap up Day One of our work, it had to be a dinner at one of my favorites in Downtown Napa, Angele Emily and I sat at the bar, where the people-watching and eavesdropping was almost as good as the food and wine!IMG_4892

And then we saw Janeane Garafolo, who I hadn’t really thought about in years, do standup at City Winery. Since Emily and I became friends in college in the 90’s (probably J.G.’s heyday, as far as high-profile work goes), nostalgia made us curious to check out her current act. Happy to say we laughed a lot – her comedy held up!

Day Two was all about shopping. The Napa-Vallejo Flea Market turned out to be NOT what we had imagined (at all!), so we quickly moved on to sourcing vintage furniture online. I introduced Emily to the world of bidding on Ebay. (We missed out on a sweet midcentury credenza, and then found an even better one and won it for a steal!)

Then Emily showed me the brick and mortar stores in Napa that she has been prowling for inspiration.  Poor House is my new favorite, with so many pieces that looked made for my aesthetic - a perfect mix of simplicity and distinctive details.IMG_4923So inspired by everything in the vignette above, from the quilted leather of the chair, to the streak of red on the desk!
IMG_4921The swooping lines and rich walnut finish of the lounge-y chair (above) caught my eye, as did these bar-stools, which hit just the right “warm industrial” note for me with the leather and the leg details.IMG_4915

Antiques on Second is a store I will return to with a truck one day.
IMG_4909I have such a weakness for campaign furniture. My current projects have no room for this folding bench, but I want somebody to give it a home in an entry hall or covered loggia. IMG_4910These chairs also deserve a good home. That green! So much character. I’m going to run with this idea sometime for sure.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday evening and time to head home to L.A.. My farewell to Napa and Emily was made less sad by the spectacular sunset we got to accompany us on the drive to the airport.

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I’m not allowed to show up at home after a trip without a special little surprise for my kids, so I made sure to stop at The Roost Napa on my way out to look for gifts. Here’s one I found for myself!

IMG_5042I was going to have so much remorse if I didn’t buy this tote bag. My passion for its playful print is unbridled!! And it will always remind me of this special little trip.IMG_5027

And I didn’t forget my girls, who got these awesome finger puppets. They were only a buck each, and the details are wonderful. As expected, they were a hit with this little monster.
IMG_5022Weekend Mission Accomplished! A bit of work, a bit of play, and lots of fresh inspiration for this project and my work next year. Thanks, Emily!!

Scouted! // Floor Lamps at Target

I’m at Target frequently out of household necessity, so naturally, I scout the furniture and accessories each time. Over the past 5 years or so, it has gotten better and better. This season, they are particularly nailing it with the floor lamp offerings. I’m seeing the kinds of modern classic styles I have been pinning for years, at a crazy low price point.

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1.// Threshold Seeded Glass Industrial Floor Lamp $89.99

crosbyschoolhouse2.// Threshold Crosby Schoolhouse Floor Lamp – Black $49.99

adjustablependant3.// Threshold Adjustable Drop Pendant Floor Lamp – Ebony $89.99

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4.// Threshold Tripod Floor Lamp – Antique Brass $79.99

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5.// Threshold Oak Wood Tripod Floor Lamp $79.99

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6.// Threshold Globe Arc Floor Lamp – Antique Brass $129.99

So many rooms out there are hurting for light, or at least a tall piece with a bit of presence. These are my picks for solid styles at a super-reasonable price.

Current Project // Eichler House

I’m very excited about this project that me and the team are working on – my first involving an architecturally significant house! Joseph Eichler was a mid-century housing developer who was intent on bringing good design to the post-war masses. He built some 11,000 homes in tracts in his day. The relatively few Eichlers that remain are highly sought after for the way they epitomize Mid-Century California architecture.IMG_5626The house that I am lucky enough to be working on has all the hallmarks of the Eichler style, including a very private front that unfolds upon entry into a beautifully transparent dwelling. There is an interior atrium, and glass walls that invite the eye to travel straight through the house’s interior Living and Dining area to a sparkling pool in the backyard. A connection between the indoors and the outdoors is often something I strive for in my interiors, but in this case, Eichler and the talented architects he hired have more than done the work!IMG_5606Still, there are many things that need updating with this old house, and my client is ready to make an as yet sparsely furnished space feel much more like a home for herself and her family. A kitchen remodel (in which we kept the original foot-print) is almost complete, and room by room, we are decorating the house. IMG_5616My client has a wonderful appreciation for Mid-Century furniture and has acquired a few ,key pieces so far, but told me from the start that she didn’t want her house to look like a Mad Men set! The decorating is a mix of vintage pieces along with new furniture and rugs in a modern eclectic style.
IMG_5576Thank you to Ilse Helgen for taking these cool pictures. She gave me the “Before” pictures I asked her to snap, and then threw in some art!

Show Me 3 // Midcentury Style Armchair

Lord knows my love affair with mid-century style is an enduring one. But even if you’re not especially a fan, what’s not to like about a beautiful walnut wood finish teamed with black upholstery? In a soft leather or a woven blend, one or a pair of these chairs always works in an eclectic interior, and can add a dash of warmth and vintage flair to a starkly contemporary room. Picture yourself swilling a martini, as you lean back in the best one you can afford.
PD_19638_MAINHIGH // Model 45 Chair // Design Within Reach // $10,530

 

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MID // Cavett Leather Chair // Crate & Barrel // $1,300

 

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LOW // Zahra Armchair // Dot & Bo // $700