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California Bungalow Home Tour

I dream about houses like this one. From the sink to the tub and all the patterned and art filled moments in between, it’s a new take on a traditional family home. But seriously, that tub. Cecily Mendell of Cecy J. Interiors is behind this gorgeous space; one that houses a family of five and lots of kid-friendly yet whole heartedly grown-up and design savvy details. See the full tour in the VAULT.

Breakfast Room

The breakfast room was extremely important to get right since it’s the first place the family gathers to prepare for the day and spends a tremendous amount of time there.  I stumbled upon the Danish made Hay Arm Chairs during a design scouting trip in Los Angeles and fell madly in love with it for this project.  The chairs are comfortable and supportive for adults but cozy for kids to curl up in and comes in stunning color options. The material makes its a no brainer for clean up.  


Dining Table: Restoration Hardware | Chairs: HAY | Paint: Farrow + Ball ” Elephant’s Breath” | Pendant: Cecy J. Interiors | Pillows: Cecy J. Interiors | Bench: Cecy J. Interiors


Tile: DaVinci Marble | Hardware: Ashley Norton | Stove: Wolf | Counters: DaVinci Marble | Wall Paint:Farrow + Ball ” Elephant’s Breath” | Cabinet Paint: Farrow + Ball “Cornforth White” | Stools: Restoration Hardware |

Dining Room

Pendant: Lindsey Adelman | Chairs: Design Within Reach | Wallpaper: Desousa Hughes | Dining Table: Figured Woodworking | Hardware: Rocky Mountain | Art: Lost Art Salon | Flooring: Francois & Co

Family Room

Sectional: custom from Cecy J. Interiors | Porthole Mirrors: Roost | Coffee Table: Priley Lane | Occasional Chair: custom from Cecy J. Interiors | Pillows: custom and John Robshaw | Ottoman: Rove Concepts

Powder Room

The small hall bathroom was instantly transformed with Kate Ridder wallpaper in Moonflower Red (including inside of the exposed shelves), reclaimed wood shelves and custom Urban Electric Lyford sconces in a polished nickel finish to fit into the small space.

The brass sink fixture and polished nickel sconces were very “intentionally unintentional” as we wanted the space to not feel too perfectly matched and decorated. The finishes were meant to contradict one another to ensure the space felt approachable and not overly designed.  

The hall bath is a beautiful refuge and always a location we love to dress up for clients. It’s one of the few spaces in a home that all your guests will visit and it’s typically a small space so taking design risks never feel as scary as papering an entire dining room would, for example. 


Wallpaper: Kate Ridder | Sconces: Urban Electric

Master Bedroom

We are not a firm that feels everything must be “custom” and there are some fantastic retail vendors that we love working with. However, we are also never afraid to go custom when necessary to make sure an item is tailored perfectly to suit our client’s specifications. The master bed is a custom design we came up with for the clients who wanted it to feel like a modern, spa like escape but still a cozy place to read bedtime stories to their children. This unique request called for a custom bed upholstered in outdoor fabric with a straight back headboard and simple tufting.


Bed: custom from Cecy J. Interiors | Drapery: custom from Cecy J. Interiors | Rug: Madeline Weinrib | Pendant: Roost | Flooring: Francois & Co | Wallpaper: Serena + Lily | Bedding : John Robshaw | Sconces: Circa Lighting | Side Tables: Wisteria | Paint: Benjamin Moore ” Etiquette”

Master Bath

Wall Paint: Sydney Harbor | Floors: Ann Sacks | Towel Holders: Waterworks | Tub Faucet: Waterworks | Petrified Wood Side Table: HD Buttercup

Laundry Room

Cabinet Paint: Sydney Harbor | Runner: Pappelina | Hardware: Hickory Hardware

The owners are California natives who met in high-school! They had lived in the original home for a few years with their three young children before deciding to remodel. Their goal was to bring the home up to date without losing the character and cozy feel of their quintessential California bungalow. Collaborating with interior designer, Cecily Mendell of Cecy J Interiors, the couple wanted the house to be beautiful, yet approachable, while maintaining a natural flow and serving as a place to entertain family and friends, play and simply relax. An emphasis was placed on making each room special, but functional, and the result is a house that exudes an elegant, laid back, barefoot approach to living that California is known for.

Some of the most dramatic changes to the home were new hardwood floors by Francois & Co., and incredible custom lighting.  The homeowners had planned a “day” date in San Francisco to peek at some potential product selections. Their first stop was at The Future Perfect  and after one look at the Lindsey Alderman, Branching Bubble in Milk Glass, they knew that was not only the chandelier they wanted for the dining room but also the perfect piece of art for the space. Lindsey was actually no longer producing the piece in Milk Glass but she made an exception and produced it for the couple.  

Design And Styling: Cecy J. Interiors

DIY Halloween Costume: Donut

We like donuts… like, really like donuts. So much so that we have about a million variations in our archives, and might even go so far as to consider donuts their own food group. Well the next obvious step is a mini donut halloween costume and we rose to the challenge. This gem is cozy enough for even the littlest toddlers, while giving them plenty of mobility. Grab even more costume ideas here!


Donut cushion
Light tan craft paint
Tan spray paint
Foam paintbrush
Paper straws in fun colors
9×12 sheet of pale pink felt
1 yard elastic
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
Plastic knife
Safety pins
(3) 4oz bottles white puffy paint
(1) 4oz bottle pink puffy paint
Solid color sweatshirt or long sleeve tee
Solid color sweatpants or leggings


step-1 Inflate the donut cushion. Spray paint the cushion tan in 2-3 coats- you can focus mostly on the sides of the cushion as the top will be covered in “frosting” and you won’t see the back. Let dry 1 hour.

step-1 Draw on a wavy shape outline in white puffy paint for the frosting. Fill in the top of the donut with a thick layer of white puffy paint. You can use a plastic knife to smooth out the frosting. Let dry 1 hour.

step-2 Place the donut on a trash bag or scrap cardboard, then drizzle with pink puffy paint. Cut out a small, roughly 3”, oval of felt and drizzle with pink puffy paint.

step-3 Cut the paper straws into 4 pieces each, until you have a handful of straw pieces in each color. Press the straws gently into the puffy paint until the donut has been “sprinkled”. Hot glue a pile of “sprinkles” onto the felt headband piece.

step-4 Let the donut and headband dry overnight. Hot glue the headband piece to the center of the piece of elastic. Cut out (2) 3”x1.5” pieces of felt. Hot glue one end of each felt tab to the backside of the donut (one on each side).

step-4 Dress your child in sweatshirt and leggings. Tie the elastic headband around their head and knot it, then trim the extra elastic. Safety pin the felt tabs on the back of the donut to the sweatshirt, and voila!

Check out these other DIY Costume Ideas

 Stormy Rain Cloud | Ice Cream Man | LionRingmaster | Circus Wagon

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living

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Modern Calligraphy Workshop with Twinkle and Toast

On my list of things I want to do, attending a calligraphy workshop has been near the top for years. I’m fascinated by the art. And now after spending some quality time with these gorgeous images from Shane And Lauren Photography from Twinkle And Toast‘s workshop at Isari Flower Studio + Event Design, I’m making it a priority to sign up for one of these pretty events in the oh-so-near future. I mean, learning something in a beautiful space with delicious eats – does it get any better? I think not.


Taryn Sutherland, of Twinkle and Toast, loves to share her passion for all things hand-lettered and recently, she began hosting intimate and hands on workshops in order to teach others about the history, tools and technique of modern calligraphy.

Each workshop is geared towards complete beginners and requires no experience. Tayrn walks her students through practicing the movement, shapes and technique used in the art. The sessions are always a beautiful evening filled with one-on-one instruction, treats and laughter in some of San Diego’s most unique spaces.

In June, Taryn hosted her DIY Modern Calligraphy workshop at Isari Flower Studio in Solana Beach, California. The students gathered around a huge and crisply white worktable, swathed in the freshness of the mint centerpieces. Water’s Fine Foods & Catering supplied the most delicious snacks for the students to enjoy while learning to use their new tools and practice their new skill.

Photography: Shane And Lauren Photography | Flowers : Isari Flower Studio + Event Design | Calligraphy: Twinkle And Toast | Flower Studio: Isari Flower Studio + Event Design

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A Stylish, Baby-Friendly San Francisco Victorian

Taking a three bedroom victorian home in San Francisco and whipping it into baby friendly gorgeousness is not a task for the faint of heart. Meaning: it’s flippin hard to meld a grown-up aesthetic with wee little messy/ decidedly unbalanced humans. But Homepolish designer, Felice Press managed all of that and the result is a mix of good bones, touches of gold and lots of soft corners. See more shot by Lauren Edith Andersen right here in the VAULT.

From Homepolish… Kaella, her husband and their 1.5 year old had a brand new home and some great design ideas. With their designer Felice, the 3BR full floor Victorian home was brought to life in a practical, beautiful way.

Kaella had design ideas that leaned towards the feminine end of the spectrum but was worried about the home feeling too girly. With Felice, she was able to add masculine details (in furniture shapes and shades).

We worked within the traditional style of the victorian house but updated it to be a modern version of it with decor and color.

Photography: Lauren Edith Andersen | Floral Design: Huckleberry Karen Designs | Hair + Makeup: The Glamourist | Interior Design: Homepolish Interior Designer Felice Press | Tassel Garland: Glamfete

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Classic Manhattan with Bourbon Soaked Cherries

It is officially Fall on the calendar and that means we’re overhauling our beloved bar carts. Out with the fruity and light and in with the toasty warm sips. This Classic Manhattan with Borbon Soaked Cherries is exactly what i’m talking about. Whipped up by Jessica Camerata with photography by Jessica Smith, have a look at your new favorite Fall drink.

There’s nothing quite like a classic manhattan cocktail especially in the fall. With the warm flavors of whiskey paired with sweet vermouth, it’s really the best cocktail to curl up on a cool night. Your typical manhattan may usually be served up with a maraschino cherry, but this adult beverage deserves an adult garnish, bourbon soaked cherries of course! You can buy these already made, or choose to whip up your own at home.

Classic Manhattan with Bourbon Soaked Cherries
prep time
5 Minute/s
cook time
total time
5 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 3 dashes of bitters
  • 2 oz Makers Mark Whiskey
  • 1 oz of sweet vermouth
  1. Serve over an ice sphere
  2. Garnish with 3 skewered bourbon cherries

Photography: Jessica Smith | Recipe & Styling: Jessica Camerata