Featured Home :: Puglia, Italy

Monday, April 28, 2014

It's one of my not-so-secret dreams to live abroad and take on a historical renovation project to restore an old property. A farmhouse in the countryside of France or Italy would be ideal. So when I saw this home in Puglia, I fell in love. It was a renovation project taken on by its architect owner who wanted the space to maintain its cultural and historical integrity while creating a modern refuge for his young family. I especially love the rustic elements that have been maintained throughout the home, and the statement furniture pieces that add unexpected pops of color.

Yes, I could live here. 

Featured in Milk Magazine. Photos by Alexandra Meurant

Featured :: Institute of Domestic Technology

Sunday, April 20, 2014

We're deviating a little from our usual topic of home tours but I promise that it's worth it! Last weekend, I spent the day at the Institute of Domestic Technology where the staff was kind enough to let me observe and photograph their Foodcrafting 101 class. It's one of several hands-on classes, workshops and events the Institute hosts throughout the year to not only educate participants about food staples but to inspire at-home adoption and application. I first read about IDT in a past issue of Martha Stewart Living, and knew I had to make my way there, especially when I found out that its headquarters was more or less in my backyard in Altadena, CA.

IDT was founded by Joseph Shuldiner as he envisioned a place to share the "lost art" of food basics that seemed missing in today's culinary landscape. These topics range from cheesemaking, pickling, jam making, coffee roasting, fermenting, etc., and are just a few of the courses offered by IDT. Joseph is supported by a great group of knowledgeable and accomplished craftsmen - chefs, restauranteurs, cookbook authors, cheesemakers, etc. - that serve as faculty for the Institute.

Foodcrafting 101 was a day-long class that focused on four main areas: jam making, breadmaking, cheesemaking and DIY mustard. Each section was led by a different instructor who walked participants through a basic recipe, and showed techniques to recreate the processes at home. Even as an observer, I had such a great time and learned so much about how easy it is to create these basic pantry staples -- it's definitely made me think twice about buying them at the store!

The majority of Institute classes take place at the Zane Grey Estate which has an amazing history unto itself, and also still serves as a private residence. 


Students cutting and prepping fresh strawberries for jam making.





The Estate is also home to Mariposa Creamery, a micro-dairy with a small herd of goats.

The beautiful entryway of the Estate.

The Estate also features a solar-powered Airstream that's available for farmstays via AirBnb!




I hope to go back and take some courses (tofu making, anyone?) Many thanks to Daniel and everyone at IDT for allowing me to visit. For more information about and all upcoming courses and events, visit the website.

Rethink :: Portait Paintings

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A recent T Magazine article touts the prevail of personal style and tastes over trends in interior design, and it made me realize that this is the common thread that runs through our home tours. We've certainly seen trends in our home tours, but each application is varied and suited to the specific space and personality of our subjects.

It's also another reason that I love shooting these home tours. It's opened my eyes to new ideas and new ways of looking at space, color, design and creativity, even beginning with the first home tour we featured. I developed a new appreciation for portrait paintings after seeing them at Casey's, and now have an affinity for them after seeing these:

From top to bottom. 1. via Marie Claire Maison 2. via Savvy Home 3. via Alice Gao 4. via Ethnic Cottage

We Love :: Sofas

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A great sofa can serve two important functions: 1) they serve as the visual anchor and focal point of a room; and 2) it's the best invitation for your guests to sit down, relax and make themselves feel comfortable in your home. I loved Wasima's sofa (complete with her pineapple pillows!) and wanted to share a few great finds for inspiration.


1. Gus Modern Thatcher Sofa via Design Public. A great modern, clean shape with a diamond-quilt detail that makes it unique.

2. Genova Sofa via HD Buttercup. Velvet sofas - there's an innate sense of cozy and comfort in it, and a bright one like this could add a pop of color to a room.

3. Reese Sofa via Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. A great, classic shape with lean lines that can easily be incorporated into any room and decor style.

4. Livingston Sofa via West Elm. There are so many elements I love about this couch - the wingback shape, button tufting, contrast piping. Adds a lot of style while still being clean and modern.

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