Last year was a whirlwind with moving twice, buying a house, then unexpectedly taking on a second job for the fall to help out Sarah Flint while she looked for a new social media manager. It was…a lot. And now that things have calmed down a bit I’m looking forward to prioritizing this blog again and playing catch up with travels and topics I’ve been wanting to share!
As many of us are taking down our holiday decor and looking around at our homes with fresh eyes I wanted to share a few favorite resources for sprucing up your home for the new year. These photos are from the living room of our first house in New Hampshire and I wanted to publish these photos as a way to chronicle the evolution of our homes and personal style over time. (You can see our past living rooms from San Francisco Part One, San Francisco Part Two, Gramercy Park (my favorite!!) and this same home when we first moved in here.) But back to my favorite sources for custom furniture and decor….
Whenever I post a photo that includes this blue and white striped ottoman I get a slew of questions so here is the scoop – it’s custom. However you can get one of your own even without a trade account! It can be tricky to find the right sized ottoman for your space, so custom is a wonderful way to get just the right piece for your home. Finding a local workroom can take a bit of trial and error so even as we’ve moved from coast to coast I always go back to the same California workroom – LivenUp Design – because they just do the most beautiful work!
For my ottoman I customized this silhouette with performance fabric, brass nail heads, and dark walnut legs with brass casters. Stripes are notoriously unforgiving, as it’s so easy to notice if they aren’t cut straight – however LivenUp did a flawless job. The stripe is a performance fabric by Perennials, and is fade, stain, and mold resistant. While Perennials is usually only available to the trade, there’s a secret source where anyone can purchase yardage – here! I recommend using performance fabrics on heavily-used upholstery (especially if you have kids or dogs) to keep your furniture looking as fresh as possible for as long as possible. I would say that when you send over measurements, the final item might be a little more or less than your requested dimensions, so if you need something to be an exact size (like fitting a banquette or bench to an alcove) be very specific about your needs!
Parsons tables have been popular for decades given their pared down silhouettes that work with almost any decor style. I had this pair of nesting tables custom made by LivenUp Design to compliment the low slung arms of my white chairs. I love using nesting tables as a way to keep an extra table on hand for larger gatherings without taking up a large footprint when it’s not needed. They offer grasscloth tables in a range of styles then you just need to specify the desired dimensions and pick your grasscloth color! (They’ll ship grasscloth samples for you to choose from.) The one thing to note is grasscloth can be quite delicate, so we always use a coaster when setting down drinks and many grasscloths fade easily, so it’s best to keep grasscloth out of direct sunlight.
NB: If you’re a renter I wouldn’t normally recommend laying out the extra expense to commission custom furniture for a transitory space, but we thought we would be in this house for the long run so I foolishly took the plunge. Thankfully, we knew we wanted to live in a historic colonial home, so the living room in our current home has very similar dimensions to the one pictured here and all of these pieces were able to find a place in our new home!
Every time I look at my bespoke pink marbled lamps they make me so happy. They were created by Hwang Bishop, after the founder, Felicia, kindly invited me to design my own pair of lamps. I love that with Hwang Bishop you can customize every last detail: the silhouette, glaze color, base finish – even the electrical cord color to perfectly suit your home. I chose the Leila style base done in a marbleized lobster glaze – we both loved the finished product so much she ended up offering the configuration as a product on her site! Not only does she turn around orders in just 6-8 weeks, my lamps arrived earlier than expected – so impressive! Hwang Bishop is one of New England’s best kept secrets and I’m dying to visit Felicia’s studio in Rhode Island to finally meet her in person and see the creation of these works of art up close!
I have been sewing my own custom pillows ever since elementary school, and even had a small business sewing custom cushions for my mom throughout college (who had her own interior design firm at the time) so I have always loved how just the right pillow can transform a space. A few years ago I discovered Stuck on Hue’s beautiful pillow shop and purchased a pair of these for my living room. Since then I’ve gotten to know Stuck on Hue’s founder Holly, and had the privilege to consult on the rebrand of her business last spring, and let me tell you the quality of her work just can’t be beat! Now that we’re getting a little more organized at the new house I’m looking forward to working with her to create pillows for our new rooms!
There you have it! Three fabulous workrooms for custom furniture, lamps and pillows. I hope you love them as much as I do!