For nearly a decade, one of my go-to prop sources for luxurious textiles and classic furnishings has been Serena & Lily. I have been incorporating their gorgeous decor into my styling work for years to achieve the perfect balance of relaxed and refined. I particularly love their beautiful bedding that makes rooms feel inviting and layered and their expertly crafted neutrals that blend well with any interior space. I've been so happy to work with them over the years because I truly love the quality of their products.
My work studio at Grove House is essentially, an attached studio apartment. It can be accessed through the main house but also has it’s own separate entrance. It has a full kitchen and pantry (although we haven’t installed a range or refrigerator, it’s been plumed for both) a full bath and a large walk-in storage closet. I often say that I could easily and happily live in it, and when I’m home, find myself spending much of my day here. Aside from our master bedroom, it has the best natural light, which is why I’m so partial to it. The slipcovered sofa tucked under the windows is my favorite place to read, and our rescue dog, Liberty’s, favorite place to nap.
The other day I was picking oranges to ship to friends and thought they were so pretty piled up in the entry it inspired me to take a few photos. Our entrance at Grove House continues to be a work in progress. The anchor pieces - the metal locker cabinet I’ve had for a decade and the large 5ft wood mirror made from the wheel of an antique camel wagon, are definite keepers. I’m still on the hunt for a cool chair or stool for the left side of the cabinet and I’ve been going back and forth about painting the entry a dark, moody color. Only because the library is directly opposite from the entry and it’s being painted tomorrow. Anyway, I thought I’d share a few glimpses of how I currently have it styled, what’s inside those baskets in the cabinet, and sources for a few similar items.
Finally, I've begun to tackle a design project that, quite literally, looms over me every single day - finishing my studio space at Grove House. More specifically, the lounge seating area. You know how the saying goes - the cobbler's children have no shoes. That's me, in a nutshell. The "busy" excuse has been used frequently in an effort to ease my slight guilt over not getting my act together with the project. But enough already, the time has come to mark this one off my to-do list. Step One - Share my design plan with the internet.
Generally speaking, January is bleak. Much of our nation is covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice while others (like those of us in California) have been experiencing catastrophic mudslides as a result of massive fires and torrential rainstorms. Winter has been a doozy. But in the midst of dreary weather and gloomy days we're given a welcome relief in the form of our sunniest fruit; citrus!
Last week we began harvesting our front section of trees at Grove House. They were so overloaded many limbs were brushing the ground and branches were splitting right off unable to bear the weight. The record setting orange tipped the scale at 1.9lbs! A portion of this harvest, about 8,000 pounds, was sold to a farmstand just down the road. It makes me supremely happy when I drive by and see them all piled up like jewels.
If there's one thing I've learned through my years of design and styling work it's this: Design your home for the people that actually live there. It doesn't matter what so-and-so may think, or what your friends, family, and neighbors feel would look best, or what your readers and followers like or don't like - none of them live there. You do. What's more important is that when you step inside, it feels like home. For some that may mean a riot of color for others a white box. Modern or mid century, country or contemporary, whatever your drawn to, it should embrace you like a warm hug. Regardless of whether or not it pleases the masses or is on-trend. Because let's face it - they're both fickle.
When we started designing and building Grove House, my husband and I had many long conversations about what type of architecture and design we liked, how we wanted to live in the space, even how we cooked together in the kitchen. From those meetings over dinner and long walks we began working on a home that represented both of us. It would be simple, with clean modern lines and warm rustic touches. In other words, home.