07 July 2014

tile trends


The images below are pictures of pretty bathrooms that I found on Pinterest. The words below that are a sponsored post and were not written by me. Thanks for not minding that I do a verrrrrry rare sponsored post every now and again. I promise that I'll buy you a drink if we ever run into each other.




What’s new in Bathroom Tile Trends for 2014?
Bathrooms have grown in importance as a room over the years.  People now place a lot of emphasis on making their bathroom a stylish and welcoming place.  A big part of that style is the tiling used.  
If people are visiting your home, and use the bathroom, you are going to want them to get a positive impression.  In addition, if you are soaking in the tub, you want to do so in a pleasant environment.  The latest in tile trends for 2014 can make both of these things happen.
The Wood and the White
A clean and classic look, pristine white tiles against a background of wooden accents is very popular for 2014.  This doesn’t mean that you actually have to employ wood as a material itself.  Ceramic and porcelain tiles with a textured feel and a look of wood have been on the market for a while now, but are just making their rise to prominence – check out ABL to see them yourself.
A Metallic Feel
Quirky and contemporary, metal tiles are on trend in 2014.  They present a crisp and clean look that is perfect as a backsplash, feature, or covering for an entire wall.  For a really contemporary feel stainless steel is cool and sleek, whereas copper is a little steampunk in its aura; past blending with future.  When you think of metal don’t just think about shiny, there are plenty of more muted matte styles available.
Going Underground
Many of us will have travelled on the subway at some point in our lives.  Few of us would probably quote visiting a subway restroom as an unforgettable experience, but the instantly recognizable rectangular white tiles that decorate subway walls have become a much sought after bathroom decoration.  They present no problems with matching patterns, and give a sense of space to a smaller room.  
Mosaic and Mixing It
Big and bold floor mosaics are hot right now; whether swirling or geometric they are a great way of putting your own stamp on a bathroom. Mixing mosaics is equally popular; although you don’t necessarily have to match the designs from  floor to wall it’s best to choose styles that complement each other, and remember that too busy can be hard on the eyes and can make a small room look even smaller.  
Same Color, Different Shape
If you don’t want to mix your colors, or even patterns, in a room, you also have the option to vary the size of tile you use.  Choose a block color that complements the bathroom hardware and accessories. When you pick out your tiles in the color be creative and opt for differing varieties.  If you have large square tiles for the floor, then go for small slim rectangular files for the walls.  If your color choice is dark you may want offset it with some lighter colored paintwork.  
Any of these tiling styles would be great addition if you want to update your bathroom with a 2014 look.  

24 June 2014

desktop clean off

oh hi.  it's the end of June, which means I'm wrapping up all the weddings until August and my brain is about to explode with all of the awesomeness I've witnessed in the last 6 weeks.  seriously, you guys, I have the best brides and the best clients EVER.  

also, Veronica and I have been working like crazy on getting the studio in shape so that we can have a fancy photoshoot and then show it off to all of you so that you'll want to come hang out with us and drink champagne.  IT IS GETTING SO GOOD IN HERE.  but there is still SO much to do, as you can guess.  I'm crossing my fingers for an August reveal.  

aaaaaaand I also have a bunch of fun events and projects in the works, like 2 residences in Evanston (a very pretty suburb just outside of Chicago), a total bathroom gut-remodel that is gonna be VERY dramatic when we can see the before/afters, a very rad and exclusive wine-tasting event on a secret rooftop in Logan Square, a shoot for one of the top interior magazines, and I'm also doing a super cool big installation for the Pitchfork Music Festival.  top that with working on weddings for next year already and as you can imagine, I totally have tons of time to relax and get my nails done.  duh.

so, while I run around TCB'ing, I thought I'd show you some pretty pictures that were crowding up my already very crowded desktop. 

 oh hi, room I would like to live in., I love everything about you.  I am not even a red-person or much of brown-town person, but this is brown town with pops of red in the best way possible.

this was sent as inspiration for the bathroom gut-remodel.  obviously when I saw it, I was like LET'S DO ALL OF THESE THINGS.  so we are.  but different and more suitable for an adorable couple who is about to have an adorable baby.  


more bathroom inspiration.  I actually bought these sconces to use in the studio...can't wait to show you where and how!


this is how I imagine my life would be if I were older and lived in a chateau in the countryside, just outside of Paris.  I'm gonna work on making that happen.

just super pretty.  that's all.  the art, the table, the subtle wallpaper.  the floor is maybe a little out of place in the photo, but I'd work with it. 

the end, back to business!

22 May 2014

studio inspiration

in my last post I revealed that I get a liiiiiiiiittle anxious when it comes to sharing a space.  however, I had absolutely no second thoughts when Veronica asked if I was interested in sharing a studio with her.  she and I have basically the exact same level of taste, except she leans more towards the fancy side of life and I lean more toward the hobo side.

we are both so eager to be at the other end of the Great Studio Makeover, but since it's wedding season, we're also bananas-busy with making sure our clients have the best day of their entire lives.  you know, no biggie.

so until I have a lil' more time to start shopping, ordering, sourcing, moving, unpacking, arranging, and decorating...I'll just be over here looking at these gorgeous inspiration photos Veronica sent me.  she was all "...this is kinda what I'm picturing when I think about a white space..."

and I was all, "DONE AND DONE."





are you drooling?  because I am.  I'm also putting some design boards together, so stay tuned for a little peek into what I'm plotting for the new studio!

14 May 2014

new studio BEFORE

raise your hand if you lived in the dorms during college.  raise your other hand if your roommate was a total stranger.  now wave your hands in the aiy-yer, like you just don't cay-yer, if, because of your tendency to develop TMJ and a Tracy-Flick-like bitch-face when forced to live with a person who might have TERRIBLE taste and TERRIBLE things, you never really even stayed in your dorm room, because what's the point of living someplace where you have to put up with someone else's sad bedding and strings of chili-pepper twinkle lights?

weeellll, that made me sound like a total jerk, but you're my friend so I can tell you these things without worrying that you'll judge me, right?  thanks, friend, you're the best.

luckily I no longer have to live in fear of being forced to relinquish my design dictatorship to a total stranger.  my husband has great taste and we are enjoying creating our home together.  and I am bananas-excited that I'm going to share my brand new studio with one of my most favorite friends, who has impeccable taste.  ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for...the talented Ms. Veronica Sheaffer!

you probably know her from her blog, My Hands Made It, or perhaps you recognize her name from when I helped her makeover her previous studio space.  she shares my love of white walls, natural textures, and brass everything.   she is also crazy-crafty, super clever, and always down to get weird and make shit up as we go.  needless to say, this is going to be a VERY FUN PROJECT.

and here is what we're workin' with:


the good:  it's big!  the ceilings are high!  the hardwood is great!  there's tons of natural light!  it's got a funny little storage cubby in the wall for squirrels!


the bad: the ceilings and some of the walls are painted black/brown and also sour-milk yellow.  ew.  obviously that will be changed immediately.


can you guess what else will be changed immediately?  if you guessed the sconces, then you're a winner!  when we told the landlord that we'd be removing them, he looked very surprised that we would not want such an elegant light fixture.

thankfully, that stained glass is just a vinyl window-sticky faux-whatever.  bye bye to that, too.  I'll actually be spending some quality time with windex and a razor blade, as every single pane of the windows and doors has plastic coating the inside (either colored or frosted) AND the outside, as they never removed the protective plastic from when the windows were installed.  cool.

 I do really love the windows though-- from the outside (which you saw the other day if you follow me on Instagram!) the framing and mullions are all black and it gives the exterior a sortof British vibe. also, thank the lord it's not glass block which is SO common in Chicago.  woof.


okay, back to the inside-- there are two doors, but we'll only be using this one.  the door in the other photo will likely be blocked by shelving or a worktable, as that part of the studio will be a separate cutting area/workroom for Veronica and her magical elves.


isn't that dark brown nook charming??  it's my favorite part of the space-- I just love how the outlet covers, switch plate, thermostat, vent, and utility panel just POP on that cozy chocolate wall.  and look how the previous tenant added a white cord to the bottom of the wall-- who needs baseboards when you can add electrical "piping"?!

JOKES JOKES SO MANY JOKES.  this photo is making my eyes bleed.  but I do love that little nook to the left, which will be fitted with shelving to house all of my props, lamps, materials, swatches, rugs, and maybe Corgi puppies.

well, there she is!  we have a lotta work to do, but it's already moving full steam ahead.  I took some updated photos today and I cannot wait to share 'em.  I'll be throwing some design boards together over the weekend and hopefully we'll be able to move in next week!

21 April 2014

lettuce entertain you

I've been working on more food-centric styling projects lately, which I LOVE to do.  the days feel exciting and creative, especially when the team is enthusiastic and trusts each other.  a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with Paige Fletcher, who is an incredibly talented food stylist and what she did completely blew my mind...(yes, that was a jab at those horrible, leading headlines that litter my Facebook feed).

but seriously.  she is like a magical culinary wizard that makes food look SO gorgeous and SO delicious, even when it's not at allllll.  I don't want to spill any of her secrets, but I learned more than a few tricks that day...not that I plan to add "food stylist" to my business card-- I'm always down to lay out a fancy cheese platter or set up a dinner party or stage a bar for a photoshoot, but when the food is the actual star of the shoot...I fully bow down to Paige.



I provided all the props, the textures, the backdrops, surfaces, etc, and what you see is literally like 2% of what I had available for the day.  you really never know what is going to work, so I had TONS of options for glassware, napkins, accessories, bowls, plates, vessels, tabletops, etc.  some of it is borrowed, some of it is rented, but a lot of it comes from my prop library-- in the first photo, that little cutting board is one that I found at an estate sale...if you look closely, you'll see "1955" carved into the handle; it says "LILA" on the other side.  

prop & set styling is probably one of my most favorite things to do, especially when the photographer is as fantastic and fun to work with as Anjali Pinto is.  seriously, guys, she is the best and I'm super excited that I get to work with her again on a wedding in June.  

these images will be used in summer promo for a pretty major restaurant group-- can't wait to see 'em out and about around the city!

16 April 2014

salad daze

I posted this photo of my breakfast salad on Instagram this morning and a few of you asked me for the recipe, so I thought I'd share the concoction that has become my new morning obsession.


- handfull of greens
- beans 
- pickled red onions 
- other veggies
- toasted tortillas 
- eggs
- dressing 
- hot sauce 

this is not rocket science, y'all, nor are there any rules whatsoever to making a breakfast salad. also, I am most certainly not Joy the Baker (hi, Joy!) or Tracy Shutterbean, the queen of delicious breakfasts (hi, Tracy!)  

I use organic baby mixed greens, but you can use spinach, arugula, butter lettuce, chopped romaine, or whatever suits your fancy.  the next step is the beans-- I'm lazy and use canned beans (rinsing well, of course) and any type will work: black, pinto, garbanzo, Cuban, mixed, etc.  

I have recently taken to pickling a big red onion and keepin' it in my fridge to add to, um everything.  soups, salads, tacos, pizza, Indian food, sushi...it's all better with picked red onion.  I also always have stack of those cute little palm-sized corn tortillas in the fridge and I toast one of those till it's crispy and crunch it over the top.  then I drizzle on a little homemade dressing (always a combination of a bit of Bonne Maman, ground mustard, vinegar, and a little olive oil, shaken in a jar), put 1 or 2 (oh who am I kidding, it's always 2) sunny eggs on top, and shake on the hot sauce (I'm a Cholula or Tapito girl).  

Then I just mix it all up and eat it.  And then soooometimes I crave the exact same thing for lunch.  after you try it, you'll probably see why.

the end! 

14 April 2014

totally aced it


remember when I did one of the best weddings ever at the Ace in Palm Springs?  I do, because I wish I were there right now, instead of in Chicago, where it's currently threatening to snow.  the photographer,  Ryan Flynn (who I cannot wait to work with again) just posted a ton of photos and I thought I'd share 'em here as well...maybe after we look at all of the sun-soaked smiles and desert joy, we'll feel like we've been whisked away to Coachella.  right?

thanks again to Justina for recommending me to John & Samantha-- they are easily one of the sweetest, most genuine couples I've ever worked with (and also major party animals) and I was so honored to be a part of their amazing wedding weekend!