With school out for summer you might be struggling to find a way to keep your children’s toys from taking over every inch of the house. We’ve rounded up a few chic ways to keep your home clutter-free while keeping toys and games easily accessible for playtime!
Disguise What’s Inside. An easy way to completely remove toys from view is to use furniture that doubles as storage units such as ottomans, benches, or coffee tables. Niche Interiors designed the above ottoman with a removable top for stashing kids stuff out of sight before adult gatherings.
Mix It Up. Use low storage units that can house bins or be used as open shelving. Being able to see a few books and supplies will add visual interest to the room while providing easy access for your kids.
Stylish Bins. Treat woven baskets, patterned bins, or wooden crates as design elements in your space – look for options that are both attractive and functional. Land of Nod, Serena & Lily, and The Container Store are all great places to start your search!
If you’re like us, you dream about escaping to a scenic place with an equally beautiful interior to match. Take a mini-vacay with these inspiring vacation homes, and steal a few tips to freshen up your own space!
Designed by Jeffrey Alan Marks
Now, this is a room you would want to lounge in for days! Take home tip: Layer a bold, striped rug over an existing rug for an graphic but laid-back feel.
Designed by Jeffrey Alan Marks
Take home tip: Maximize the potential of every corner of your home with statement artwork and beautiful, well-curated accessories. A well-styled table goes a long way!
Designed by Patrick Printy
If this was my vacation home, I’d never leave! Take home tip: Layer crisp white sheets with wool and linen blankets, and bring in the outdoors with a simple, but dramatic flower arrangement.
We’re always on the hunt for new furniture stores in San Francisco, especially if “vintage” and “industrial” are involved! We stopped in to check out the newly opened S16 Home in the Castro, which specializes in vintage furniture and lighting, quirky industrial antiques, and high-end designer consignments.
The upholstery consignments include mid-range to high-end pieces; We spotted Room & Board armchairs and Barbara Barry for McGuire chairs (score!). But, the showstopper was definitely the Hudson live-edge coffee table with acrylic base.
S16 Home is located at 286 Sanchez Street in San Francisco. Happy hunting!
I’m excited to share the inside scoop from last week’s Healthy Homes Conference sponsored by Build it Green and PG&E. We’re huge fans of Arlene Blum, the biophysical chemist who was largely responsible for eliminating the flame retardant requirement in California’s new standard for upholstered furniture (Read more about TB117-2013 on our blog post here.) It was an honor to meet her and hear the latest on the fight to remove harmful flame retardants from our sofas.
I learned some interesting facts about the specific chemicals used in flame retardants, all of which were very alarming. Did you know that PentaBDE is one of only 23 chemicals that is banned GLOBALLY? It’s effects on animals exposed include endocrine disruption, neurodevelopmental problems, lower IQ, and cancer.
The good news: Furniture manufacturers are starting to make the switch to foam without flame retardants. A few big box stores will be phasing in healthier foam starting July 1st. Be sure to look for the “TB117-2013″ tag and to confirm with a sales rep that the foam doesn’t contain flame retardants (they are not banned from furniture, just no longer required).
Ready to make a change? The Green Science Policy Institute has a fantastic program called the “Safer Sofa Foam Exchange”. Take your existing foam inserts which contain flame retardants (purchased anytime between 1978 and 2013) and exchange them for new, healthier foam for roughly $50 per cushion. The old foam will be used for testing and research by the Green Science Policy Institute to help determine the safest way to dispose of these chemicals, many of which have long half-lives and remain in the environment for decades. Participating locations include Foam Order in San Francisco, The Foam Store of Marin, Foam and Cushion in Concord, and Kay Chesterfield Company in Oakland.
Interested in a 100% green, non-toxic sofa?Contact us to learn more about our custom, locally made sofas fabricated from natural latex foam wrapped in organic wool.
We had a great time exploring the showcase house and catching up with fellow designers at the HGTV party last night. With a 19 month old at home I may be biased, but the kids spaces really stood out this year!
“Little Roamer’s Room” designed by Regan Baker Design is an inspiring space perfectly suited to an imaginative young boy (or girl). The existing wallpaper from the 1970′s (WOW!) was given an adventurous and modern spin with explorer themed accessories and art. The tent expands the length of the room by latching onto a hook on the opposite wall.
“Lily’s Pad” designed by Artistic Designs for Living was another fun space, created for an artistic teenage girl. Jackson Pollock-style paint splatters on the ceiling mix with glamorous teal headboards and jolts of lime green and tangerine.
Congrats to all the designers who contributed their hard work and creative talent to the home. Be sure to stop by 3660 Jackson Street to see all the fabulous rooms in person – open through May 26th. Find details at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase website.
Ready to start on your own interior design project? Contact us for more information about our services!
We were thrilled to learn that Serena & Lily, one of our favorite online retailers, was opening their first design shop in San Francisco! We got a sneak peek of the Sacramento Street store at the designer preview party this week. It’s an inspiring and colorful space packed full of Serena & Lily’s signature textiles (hello, fun patterns!), eclectic furniture, and whimsical accessories for the modern nursery.
One of our favorite features is the vignette in the back of the store showcasing their collection of original artwork and prints. Now, that’s how an art wall should look!
Stop by to see the eye candy in person starting this Saturday, May 3rd at 3457 Sacramento Street. See more photos from the event on Instagram – including a shot of Jeffrey Alan Marks interviewing Jen!
Happy Earth Day! As interior designers we’ve been given the opportunity to play our part in helping the environment. The furnishings, materials, and finishes that we source have far-reaching impacts on the health of the local and global environment as well as the health of our clients. Here are three small choices you can make that will have a very large impact in conserving our planet’s resources.
1. Opt for FSC certified or reclaimed wood flooring, cabinets, and furniture. Forests create oxygen, protect biodiversity, filter pollutants, and help mitigate global warming. The Forest Stewardship Council is an international agency that tracks and certifies sustainably harvested wood. By purchasing FSC certified wood, you are supporting responsible forestry practices that help protect forest ecosystems.
2. Invest in quality furniture. Avoid poorly constructed furniture and invest a little more in pieces that will stay with you for many years. You’ll prevent adding to our rapidly growing landfills, and will also avoid using additional resources to replace your original purchase. Don’t have a big budget? Consider vintage! Sometimes all it takes is a new fabric or wood stain to give a piece new life, for a fraction of the cost of new items. The Alameda Antiques Faire and vintage shops such as Past Perfect are fantastic places to start your search.
3. Shop local. Ask showrooms where their furniture is made and consider the fossil fuels required to bring a large item from overseas. There are so many quality furniture companies that still manufacture right here in the United States, such as Plantation, A. Rudin, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to name a few.
Our latest project, a bachelorette pad in One Rincon Hill, inspired us to share our tips for bringing color into your home – from daring, vibrant upholstery to accent pillows and flowers.
Re-think the painted accent wall. A grasscloth accent wall is a great way to add both color and texture to your space. In this master bedroom we chose a paprika shade to spice up a mostly neutral room. Try combining various shades of a warm color with a cooler hue across the color wheel from your main color. In this room we opted for orange with aqua accents.
Feeling adventurous? Consider a vibrant fabric for your next armchair! We snatched up these vintage Milo Baughman chairs from a dealer and had them re-upholstered at our local San Francisco workroom. Bonus: The new latex inserts are non-toxic and eco-friendly.
Commitment issues: Using bold color in large (and more permanent) ways isn’t for everyone. Starting out with accent pillows and flowers is a safe way to venture into the world of color. We like to stick to one type of flower or one color for unfussy, contemporary arrangements.
There is nothing like fresh flowers to enliven a space and add just the right amount of color and texture. With so many options it can be hard to decide what to choose. Take our style quiz to see which type of arrangement is the perfect fit for your home!
Do you have an affinity for the unconventional? Unfussy, unstructured arrangements using branches or dried flowers add interest without looking like you tried too hard.
Would you describe your home as traditional? Classic architectural details and furnishings call for roses, peonies, and hydrangeas. We prefer sticking to one flower and adding simple greenery as an accent.
For the outdoor adventurer living a casual lifestyle, these arrangements include rough and earthy elements such as succulents, rocks, moss or wood. These low to no maintenance plants add instant texture to a setting without competing with existing color palettes.
The widely renown aphorism, “less is more” from architect Mies van der Rohe resonates for minimalists. Flowers with sculptural, almost architectural qualities are showcased in a single glass vase.
The new Madeline Weinrib showroom in the San Francisco Design Center caught my eye yesterday – those patterned Swan chairs are so fun! The showroom was gracious enough to let me snap a few photos before their official opening next month.
Known for her vibrant color and bold patterns, Madeline Weinrib puts a contemporary spin on global motifs. Her New York-based line includes hand-woven textiles, carpets, and home accessories – many of which can be seen in our projects! The new showroom is located on the first floor of the Galleria building in the San Francisco Design Center at 101 Henry Adams Street.