10 things I can't live without - 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Last week I revisited the 10 things I said I couldn't live without back in 2012.  In case you didn't read the post or the original post, to clarify, these items are not essentials - I can actually live without these 10 things, but the idea was to use this as a branding exercise.  So here we are in 2016 and here is my new list  - a few repeats and few things that are categorically similar but not quite the same. Here goes (in no particular order):

Hong Kong - I lived in Hong Kong for ten years from 1980 to 1990.  It is my childhood home and was my parents' home again from 2007-2012 (during which time I visited often during work trips to Asia).  Hong Kong will always hold a special place in my heart. The smells, sights, sounds (I heard jack hammers on the street the other day and it took me back to being a kid) and culture played a formative role in who I am as an adult.  I like to think that my open-mindedness, love of travel and appreciation of other cultures all stem from my childhood experiences in Hong Kong

Ramen - This was on the list the first time around and will most likely remain on the list moving forward. Ramen and just about any type of noodle soup is my all time favorite food. I think soupy noodles are the Asian equivalent of pizza or mac and cheese - pure and simple comfort food. I am a total sucker for intense flavor and spice so ramen is a perfect food for me - hydrating, flavorful, spicy, and nutritious (when the right items are included - veggies, eggs etc).  I'm making myself hungry just writing this!

Red lipstick - It took me a while to jump on the red lip bandwagon, but now I'm a convert. I find that when I'm dressing up for date night or a work function, a red lip really just ups the ante. I could be wearing torn jeans, a tee and clogs and the red lipstick can turn what is seemingly mom-wear into something going-out worthy.

Sketchbook - Specifically my small graph paper Moleskine sketchbook. I keep notes in here as well as all of my concept sketches for new hardware lines. I often carry it on the train - it's the perfect size for my purse.  My sketchbook helps keep me organized and consolidates all of my ideating into one place.  I would be a mess without it.

Bryr clogs - I have a love hate relationship with these clogs. I've had a few quality issues with them, but I absolutely adore the fit and the edgy designs. Unlike your regular Danskos or Swedish Hasbeens, Bryr clogs are made by hand to order (the price tag reflects this) and the designs are way more fashion forward. They are comfortable enough to trek around the city or to walk a trade show floor without getting blisters and they really elevate any outfit.

Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil Perfume - As I mentioned in last week's post, perfumes, and smell in general have a way of taking me back to a specific time and place. Obviously, this is not unique to me.  Because of this, when I go on a big trip I like to treat myself to a new perfume at the duty free shops. Last year when Scott and I went to Portugal, I fell in love with the fresh scent of Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil. It's now my go-to perfume and conjures up such fond memories of summer and wandering around the beaches of the Algarve and the cobblestone streets of Lisbon.

Craigslist - I mean, do people actually still use Craigslist in the land of Chairish, One Kings Lane, and local Facebook groups? The answer is yes. I still find that for the specific item that you are looking to source locally, Craigslist is a great bet. From my entry console ($50) to Lucy's bedroom loveseat ($40) to my King sized brass headboard ($75), I have scored so many amazing items on the super cheap via Craigslist. The key is to know what you are looking for and to keep checking back.

Our house - Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I think about the fact that we live in such an amazing house.  Living in our 1879 Victorian also makes me feel like a real adult (for better or worse).  I mean, it obviously is an adult house when it comes to the amount of money we have to put in for maintenance, but also, when I think about what kind of person would live in our house, the person is a forty or fifty year adult with older kids - not us!  So it's kind of weird to think that we live here.  It's the kind of house that some would call a forever house.  And it will definitely take a lifetime to complete all the projects I have planned, so I certainly don't have to worry about ever being "done".  Stay tuned on the blog as we continue to make changes and renovate one room at a time.

Airbnb - As an Airbnb host for about six months now I have a new appreciation of this site. It provides us with supplemental income for our household, and the user interface and hosting system is really top notch. But I also love Airbnb as a traveller.  We've booked homes in the Fingerlakes, Portugal, New Hampshire and Maine for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room (or multiple hotel rooms). Booking an entire home or apartment has become so easy and is so key when traveling with small children - I have no idea what I'd do without it.

Vinho verde  - This is my summer staple wine. We discovered it on our honeymoon in Italy (I guess the Italians have a local version) and then again when we were in Portugal. It's slight effervescence and lower alcohol content make it refreshing and easy to drink on a hot evening.  And the price point doesn't hurt either.  Go find some at your local wine shop!

Well, that's it folks. What are your 10 things you can't live without? Stay tuned as we explore our top 10 lists for the rest of the Nest Studio team.

Warm & Cozy Mid Century Bedroom

Hey Nest Studio readers, it's Kate Cabiltes dropping by for my bi-weekly product roundup.

Today I am sharing a warm and cozy bedroom by Cali-based interior designer Megan Tagliaferri of FLO Design Studio. This room is loaded with texture and mid century goodness. I like how Megan planted a bright mid century painting as a focal piece above the bed and wooden mid century nightstand. She plays with textiles in an array of patterns from the moroccan wedding blanket duvet cover to the geometric kilim rug. Velvet and striped pillows and a sheepskin rug add even more layers of texture to the room's canvas. This would be easy to replicate by combining a few mid century furniture pieces with textured neutral accents and a few other pops of color such as yellow and green.

Here's how to get the look in your bedroom...

"Conform" Painting by Nell Waters Bernegger via One Kings Lane
Madison Table Lamp via Jayson Home
Acorn Mid Century Nightstand via West Elm
Grey Wedding Blanket Shag Throw Pillow via Cost Plus World Market
Mustard Velvet Cushion via Holly's House
Wrap Large Bench via CB2
Dove Grey Tibetan Sheepskin via Abigail Ahern

Inspiration Image via FLO Design Studio

Ten Things...

Monday, August 22, 2016

For those of you who have been following my blog since the dawn of time, you may remember the post I did in 2012 about the ten things I can't live without. The idea was to come up with a list of ten things "I can't live without" similar to the types of roundups that you would find in the pages of a luxury magazine like Architectural Digest, or Vogue.  I mean, if I were to come up with a list of then things I truly can't live without I think it would look something like this (in no particular order):

Bug Spray
Sun Block
My Family (lest I list them all and happen to leave someone off)
Clean Water

That's just off the top of my head. But the type of list I am actually thinking about usually involves a magazine interviewing someone famous like Michael Kors or Renzo Piano and the list often includes a lot of things that almost any human could live without: Teslas, Nars Lip Stain, Louis Vuitton Luggage and the like.  In any case, I find these lists to be quite humorous, but I also like them as an exercise in brand distillation.  What is my personal brand (and I don't mean just the Nest Studio brand here)? and what ten things sum up my personal image? And since four years have passed since the last time I thought about this,  I figured it would be a good time to revisit my old list and come up with a new one. Here is what we had in 2012 and a little blurb about where I stand on that item now:

Vegemite - Yup. I still swear by Vegemite and butter on an English muffin for breakfast but I'm not sure I will be including this in my next list - gotta move on to something more interesting and new.

Ramen - Well, since I would definitely need this on a desert island, it is pretty much a given.

Silver Birkenstocks - I love my Birks. I now have the white thin strap Birks and they are a summer staple.  But I have some other fun necessities of the footwear variety to share with you for 2016.

Loreal Voluminous Mascara - Always.

J Crew Matchstick Jean - Well, ya know, styles actually change. I have moved on to Madewell for all my denim staples but I do have fond memories of the J Crew Matchstick.

My Black 2008 Honda Fit - Oh man, I miss that car!  Maybe one day I will get another, but in the era of hauling 2 kids, a husband, an au pair and all kinds of other junk, I have moved on to bigger, more mom-like cars.

IKEA Svalka Bistro Wine Glasses - These are great.  Still an everyday wine staple.

Black Sharpies - I use these all the time still, but I think I will bring some other practical items to the list for this time around. Although most recently I have discovered black sharpie for coloring in grey hairs!

Kenzo Parfum D'Ete  - This perfume was so great!  I miss it and wish Kenzo still made it. I discovered it on vacation and have decided vacay is the best time to try and buy a new perfume (because later the perfume will always remind you of that holiday).  Can't wait to share my new staple scent with you.

Stay tuned for my new list and a 10 Things roundup from each member of the Nest Studio Team!

Stylin' Mamma: Fall Fashion Wishlist (NorCal Style)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

First of all, it's nice to be back here at the Nest Studio blog.  For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jaime and I write the San Francisco-based lifestyle and parenting blog Less on the Floor.  I've known Jess for about 20 years now and it's always fun to collaborate on Stylin' Mama.

If you read any fashion blogs you *probably* noticed that last week was all about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, aka the official Fall Fashion Shopping Event (kind of like back-to-school for grown-ups).  

It's made for some fun browsing, but honestly...living here in Northern California it always makes me giggle a bit.  Because what the rest of the country thinks of as "transitional dressing" or "shoulder-season dressing" is really just dressing in San Francisco, where the temperatures are always between 49 and 75 degrees and usually swing a full 20 or 30 degrees on any given day.  

Do I get excited about Fall Fashion?  Yessir, I do.  But it's honestly in more of fashion-porn kind of a way.  For example, I lust for these boots, but you know what?  I will never.  Wear.  Them.  Because they will feel great in the morning and then the sun will come out and they will just stick to my hot legs and annoy me until the fog rolls back in.  

In short, my Fall Fashion Wishlist is as schizophrenic as the weather in these parts.  Sandals and sweaters, anoraks and cropped pants.  Somehow it all works...and of course, end-of-summer sales work in our favor.  So there's that.  

To start, I am lately obsessed with staggered-hem jeans.  I actually DIY-ed my own last week in a fit of frugality, but if that's not your thing, these from Nordy's are pretty cool.  

For the summer-to-fall transition, a soft sweater in a soft color will ward off any chill in the air, but be sure to layer over a fitted tee for the inevitable midday burst of sunshine.  (P.S. how sexy is this henley?)

For trucking around town, those who know check out Bryr clogs.  Handmade right here in their Dogpatch studio, just down the street from AT&T Park, these clogs are so beautiful and literally give life to your jeans-and-a-sweater.  I know Jess had some mixed results ordering from them -- my suspicion is that their production infrastructure wasn't quite up to their sudden cult-status explosion last year -- but so far mine are holding up beautifully.  These Spanish Peep-Toes are next on my list.   

Though neither my professional life nor my social life demand heels these days (sigh), I am a gal who likes to be prepared to go day-to-night.  Cue these lovely rose-colored heels (on sale!): between your sexy henley and your sexy shoe, all that's missing from date night is a glass of rose. 

On a more practical note, this dressy anorak is the perfect back-of-the-car coat in case the sweater isn't cutting it.  And of course, every Stylin' Mama needs a bag that can hold everything...and I hear backpacks are still hot these days.  

Whatever your life demands, enjoy these last few weeks of summer and happy Fall shopping.  

Chic Neutral Mid Century Haven

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hi, Kate Cabiltes here!

After coming across the blog Stories by Venice Beach based designer Sarah Sherman Samuel I have been inspired by her spaces more times than I can count. The eclectic but California cool look of her own home's mid century living room is oozing with inspiration. The light colored high ceilinged bones of the room provided a great canvas to layer the streamlined mid century furniture with Scandinavian boho accents. The jaw dropping Jonathan Adler light fixture really anchors the entertaining area which is centered with a rusty patterned rug. While the room is primarily neutrals, the varying shades of brown and rust and all the pops of white and brass add depth to the airy space.

Here's how to get the look in your living room...

Octagon Wall Mirror via CB2
Jonathan Adler Meurice Collection 30-Light Brass Chandelier via Lamps Plus
The August with Ferns via The Sill
The Architecture of Happiness Book via Amazon
Mara Oak Coffee Table via Article
Burnt Ochre & Butternut Floral Border Wool Rug via West Elm
Copper & Cognac Palermo Chair via The Citizenry
Pod Hanging Chair via CB2

Inspiration Image via Sarah Sherman Samuel

- Kate

Urban Farmhouse: Second Guest Room

Hi Folks - We are down to our last concept post on the Urban Farmhouse Project! So far I've shown you the Master, Kid's Room, Guest Room, Living / Dining, and Play Room - plus all the finishes in the kitchen and baths.  There is one more bedroom in the house. In the future this will become a nursery for a second child. But in the meantime it's a second guest bedroom and study. The owners wanted to use some of their existing furniture including a dresser and double bed. They also didn't want to spend a ton of money here. What was purchased new should be able to be re-used elsewhere or in a future nursery. We did a West Elm rug and a fun rattan mirror from Target.  I think this room will be nice and bright and a great space for guests until Baby #2 comes along.

Can't wait to show you the final product as we get stuff put into place!

Urban Farmhouse: The Playroom

Monday, August 8, 2016

We're nearing the end of our concept boards for the Urban Farmhouse Project.  Just the second guestroom left to show after this.  And even more exciting is the fact that my client moved in a week ago and we are finally starting to install, get things placed in their proper positions and see the spaces come together. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here is what we came up with for the playroom. The playroom is upstairs and most of the bedrooms come off of this space. It is flooded with light and has great views (as well as a really fun little reading nook bench off the side).  We wanted it to be kid friendly, eclectic and colorful and we also wanted to utilize some existing pieces the client had (like the media console). Here is our concept board.

And here is a photo of the little reading nook so far:

And the gallery wall over the sofa:

Can't wait to get everything unwrapped and set up!

Urban Farmhouse: Guest Bedroom

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hi Folks! Jess Davis here with another post about my Urban Farmhouse Project. Last week I showed you the boy's room.  This week we have the guest room. The room is small and the owners wanted it to feel light and airy.  We found a concept image that gave us some direction and here is what we came up with.

We utilized some furniture that they already had from their previous residence and paired it with a vintage rug and Los Angeles themed artwork.  

Here is the guest bath that adjoins the room.

Looking forward to showing you the super fun play room next week!

Sunny Moroccan Bathroom

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hey, Kate Cabiltes here!

I personally believe that the bathroom should be one of the most soothing rooms in your home and when I ran into this bright haven by designer Becki Owens I was absolutely obsessed. This already spacious white bathroom was styled to look slightly Moroccan by adding in warm global accents such as a kilim rug and turkish towels. The large round mirror opens up the space even more and the gold hanging light fixture and sconces add a touch of understated glamour. 

Here's how to get the look in your bathroom...

Round Steel Mirror via Kathy Kuo Home
Handcrafted Pendant via Arteriors
Turkish Towel via Overstock
Hub Ladder via Umbra
Elodie Rug via Lulu & Georgia
Bamboo Bath Caddy via Toilet Tree Products
Baies Candle via Diptyque Paris
Rose Bouquet in Mint Julep Cup via Wayfair

Inspiration image via Style Me Pretty

- Kate