Here is my inspiration board for the January California Gift Show displays. The goal: to be a lot hipper than the ones that I did for July's show. I also want all of the floors (there are about 11) to be cohesive in their aesthetic. Displays need to be up at the LA Mart by January 18 and there are 2 windows on each of the 11 floors. That's 22 windows folks, which means a VERY busy December/January for me!
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of teaming up with photographer Chantel Marie Tripp to style a photo shoot. I wanted to do a fall picnic, but fall in Newport usually consists of "brisk" 75 degree weather and the beach. So why fight it, right?
I've styled interiors, windows, weddings and holiday tables, but this was the first time I had ever styled a photo shoot with people...from the models, to the clothes, to the scene, to the props, to the location...and I have to say, I had an absolute blast.
It helps that Chantel is an incredible photographer and amazing to work with. She has a way of interacting with people that makes them come out of their shell and appear as though they are in love, even if they've only met once before (ahem, ahem). Not only is she amazing with people, but I love the way she sees the world and captures that with her camera. Girlfriend has a serious artistic eye and mad photography skills.
And a major shout out to Kelli and Aaron for being spectacular models and such amazing sports. Seriously kids...add these photos to your modeling portfolios! And Erin, mad props on Kelli's make up...are you for hire?
This Thanksgiving I am incredibly thankful to the following.
1. God. For everything. All the good that I get to enjoy, and all the bad from which I can grow and learn. / 2. My parents. For their love and support. For pretending like I am the most talented person on the planet, even though I know it's not true by a long shot. / 3. All 4 of my siblings who double as my best friends. / 4. Kelli & Erin. Since your move to Southern California my life hasn't been this fun since, well, ever. / 5. Apple. My iPhone 4S has seriously changed my life. / 6. Melissa & Brian. For checking off one of my New Year's resolutions by making me an aunt in 2011. / 7. Too many designers and bloggers to name. You all give me daily inspiration to be a better and more interesting designer and blogger.
I know this little outfit probably wouldn't fly in a lot of cold weather places this time of year, but in honor of celebrating my first ever Thanksgiving in Southern California, I thought I would put together something a little less bundled up.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I really wanted to post up my Thanksgiving table design before Thanksgiving this year. It may only be one day early, but before is before, right? This table is brought to you by the Goldenwest swap meet. I went last Saturday morning and snatched up as much granny chic decor as I could find. I didn't really have a plan before I went, I just kept an open mind as I dug through some very questionable boxes of random linens.
When I shop, it's always more about the character and feeling of the items, rather than making sure everything matches exactly. For my florals, I went with anything that had an outdoor autumn feel in color and shape. For a finishing touch I added some cranberries and a few gourds and made placecards based on a design found here.
So there you have it.. a perfectly used, slightly messy table, with possibly a few too many vases...just how I like it.
PS Still working on this photography thing and slowly becoming willing to accept that I will never be able to be a great photographer and designer, there just aren't enough hours in the day. If anyone knows anyone who is interested in collaborating and shooting styled shoots in the OC area...give me a holler!
My nephew's due date was today, but in true Stiles' fashion, I suppose he's going to be a little late. It's been fun helping my sister with the nursery and trying to find the best products out there while still working with a tight budget. After all of this baby hunting there is one, no two, things that I've learned about babies.
1. They need a LOT of stuff.
2. Much of that stuff is not what I would call aesthetically pleasing. (My nice way of saying it's ugly. Neon colored cartoon characters just aren't my thing.)
However, I did a little searching and found 4 cribs that I approve of.
So Cal is a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to fall, but things are really starting to shape up around here. Which is good because let's face it, it's almost winter. It rained all day, it was freezing, and it was overcast. Yay fall! I played in the rain and took a couple of photes.
Speaking of Thomas O'Brien...the design world was abuzz this week with the new West Elm location opening on Beverly Blvd. I'm a Thomas O'Brien super fan, and he designed the new space which opened yesterday. I can't wait to visit.
A few of my favorite bloggers are helping West Elm throw an opening party on December 15. I'll be in NYC, so I won't be able to make it, but you can get the deets on Design Love Fest and leave a comment for a chance to win 5 things from West Elm, here.
This is Malin Elmlid. A pretty classy lady from Sweden who now resides in Berlin.
She reminds me that just because I don't have space for a garden, that doesn't mean I shouldn't start growing and collecting plants. Look how happy they are inside? Even just small potted plants can add so much life to an interior.
Such a pretty and collected vignette (below). Doesn't have a contrived feeling, which is what I strive for when styling and designing interiors. Sometimes I am more successful than others.
I'm always interested in peoples' kitchens. Because it's such a functional space, I love to see how others organize and display.
I'm all about bookcases. Messy ones, organized ones, color coordinated, you name it. The whole Kindle thing kind of scares me because I don't ever want bookcases to become obsolete. They are just way too beautiful.
More and more of my favorite sources for interior inspiration are becoming stylish, interesting and eclectic peoples' homes who haven't hired a designer. There is so much personality and interest in spaces that are collected throughout their life (long or short). This is something that I wish to give each of my clients, but I have to admit that it's difficult a lot of the time. It requires a lot of effort on the part of the client as well, and not just the designer. They have to be willing to let you in to their world quite a bit and do a lot of homework and looking on their own. The client also has to be willing to let go, and let some of their lives be on display in their home even if that means a little bit of organized chaos.
I remember Thomas O'Brien talking about this a year ago when I went to hear him speak at the LA Mart. He said that jobs where clients send their assistant with a giant budget to work with him to complete the house don't interest him. He said that he requires a lot from his clients and that that is what produces the most successful outcome.
I found Malin here, through Freunde Von Freunden. I think he's sort of like a German Selby, and frankly, who doesn't love the Selby?
I have been reading design blogs for a while now. About a year ago I started to get really bored with reading post after post on pretty rooms or pretty clothes by famous designers. It is fun to read and write about the latest and greatest, I do it too, but lately what I have found the most inspiring is seeing what the bloggers themselves have created - whether that be a craft project, a room, a meal, a photograph, or an outfit. Even if it isn't my style, and even if I don't necessarily love it, I still find those posts the most fun to read.
I have been prepping and planning to do more of that here on my blog. I realized one day that as an interior designer, I'm not going to be able to post new projects every day, or even every week, as projects take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to be completed. This means that I have to do more blog specific designing. As a result, I am working on styling shoots just for my blog and going all out for dinner parties (stay tuned for Thanksgiving), showers (see my sister's baby shower here), and friends' weddings (new posts coming soon), and also work on my photography and painting skills (actually, I don't think I can call them skills yet, more like hobbies that I'm not very good at). This way, not only do I get to share more original creative content on a regular basis, but it keeps my creativity flowing; constantly pushing me to try new things.
All of this brings me here, to my first style/fashion post. I have friends who borrow my clothes on a regular basis, so even though I get bored of my closet frequently, I guess there must be some good stuff in there. I don't consider myself a fashionista, but nonetheless, I LOVE clothes, almost more than furniture, and I always find it interesting to see what people are wearing.
dress: vintage (picked up on 4th street in Long Beach)
I am an interior designer and stylist constantly searching for creativity and inspiration in the world around me. I fall in love daily with the many different forms of artistic expression that I find through reading books, magazines, and surfing the internet, taking field trips to art galleries and museums, listening to live music or one of my many Pandora radio stations, eating amazing food, spending time at the beach, in the mountains, or any one of my favorite cities, walking across my own front yard, or getting a new stamp in my passport. This blog is a little collection of the many different things that I find worth living for.