Vintage Secretary Desks

One of the gift-curses that comes along with being a designer is seeing so many beautiful products and wishing I had a house (or shop) big enough to buy and showcase them all. Today, while on the hunt for a secretary desk for a client, I came across these stunning vintage options and had to share. They aren't quite right for her home, but maybe they are for yours! 

Design Nerd Tidbit: The secretary desk as we know it evolved from the French escritoire, a portable box without legs that held materials inside and provided a smooth writing surface on top. As literacy spread and letter-writing became a popular leisure activity, the desk became a permanent home fixture and evolved to include more storage for paper and materials, and a larger surface area for writing.

Today, I love using secretaries as functional pieces in multipurpose spaces. Office supplies can be tucked away, and the fold-down top acts as the perfect surface for your laptop as you reply to a few emails after your morning coffee. As hand-written correspondence is appreciated now perhaps more than ever, a vintage secretary desk provides the perfect inspiration to sit down and send a thoughtful card to a friend far away. 

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Desks: top left, middle left, bottom left, top right, bottom right

History Sources: 1, 2, 3

Simply White

I love color as much as the next girl, but sometimes the best way to show that color off is with a crisp, white backdrop. Especially if the style of the space is eclectic, white walls can help keep everything feeling fresh and cohesive.

This also allows the special pieces in the room to really take center stage and sing their hearts out. One-of-a-kind art, vintage textiles, and unique collections are best complimented this way.

Believe it or not, white walls work for every space in the house, even kids’ rooms! Check out some of my favorite examples:

left, top to bottom: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
right, top to bottom: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

A Former Obama Staffer Makes A VERY Good Point About The Women's March via Refinery29

I feel so grateful to be surrounded by so much love, support, and power today as hundreds of thousands of woman march across the world. However, as Jen Psaki says in the below article, this "should be a warm up." Read more here: 

East Side Story: All About Oakland via Sunset Magazine

The beautiful little town of Oakland is my home, and I'm madly in love with this place. I've been here for several years now, yet I feel like I'm still discovering OakTown's identity and treasures a little bit at a time.

Sunset Magazine recently moved their headquarters here, and published a wonderful piece on what our town is all about, who's behind some of the exciting happenings, and where all the best places are to eat, drink and shop.

You can click on each page's image for an enlarged view. Enjoy!

Diamond-Inspired Design Bling

I’m not a huge fan of traditional bling, but design bling? Heck yes. Some killer faceted pieces have been catching my eye lately, and I must say I’m totally hooked.

When interpreted as faceted glass, metal, or ceramic, these diamond-inspired accessories are fresh and modern, and not too girlie. Check out some of my favorites below:

Lazy Afternoon: Hammocks Galore!

There are early-spring vibes floating around and they’re making me crave a lazy afternoon spent lounging around outside. Yesterday, I caught myself daydreaming about being in a hammock in the shade with a nice cool drink and a good book — doesn’t that sound heavenly? Sorry, I know it’s not Friday yet, but here’s some divinely peaceful inspiration to get you through the end of the week.

PS Did you know hammocks were invented by natives of Central and South America, as a place to sleep out of reach of all the nasty critters? Since then they’ve been used by sailors and astronauts as space-saving sleeping quarters. My favorite use of all, though: pure, unadulterated relaxation. Enjoy!

clockwise from top left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Safari Style

I finally saw Jurassic World this weekend and it gave me some serious adventure-envy. I’m pretty sure in a past life I was a dinosaur tamer or mountain trekker or safari guide… which would make sense since it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I have a serious penchant for all things global-inspired and animal-print.

What I love most about the present-day design industry is the constant flow of new technologies and innovation, which means an equal flow of awesome new products and ideas. Lately I’ve been especially digging the “I can’t believe it’s not real” exotic-inspired vinyls on the market. I swear, you could hold this stuff in your hands and have no idea it’s not real croc or ostrich or python — and it’s incredibly durable, to boot!

A couple of those vinyls have snuck their way in below, where I share some of my favorite safari-inspired, wanderlust-inducing items for your global modern home.