The Tropics Inc. and Guide to The Easiest Indoor Plants

It’s no secret that I can’t keep a plant alive. It’s not a priority in my life and because of that I just don’t seem to care to remember. But the whole mentality changed when I decided to invest in a tree …

The Tropics My visit to

Thats right, I bought a tree. Not a plant, not a house tree. Like a proper tree that now lives in my living room. No, I can’t show you a picture of it yet because we have to wait til the spread in Domino comes out (september 3rd), but trust me that it is BIG (14′) and beautiful. There was a this big vertical space that I wanted to fill, and I wanted something sculptural. It took me a while to find the perfect tree. I went out to the valley and found some, but none that seemed worth the money. Then a friend told me about The Tropics in Hollywood and I dropped by and got just so excited about the possibilities – so many huge, old, exotic indoor plants ….

The Tropics Business card

They specialize in large, more exotic indoor plants. Not just fiddle leaf figs or money trees, but so many weird indoor plants that I had never seen before and that I didn’t know really existed. I will warn you, these larger trees are not cheap – most of these plants have been growing for a very long time (my tree is 30 years old) so they have to account for the care and maintenance of the plant. They range from $100 – well – $10K. Not for everyone, I know, but if you want to invest in a living sculpture in your house, this is the place to go in LA.

The Tropics Entry Area
The Tropics Inside 1

It’s a pretty inspiring space and they have lots of smaller plants that are more affordable. It’s this jungle of indoor plants that is so inspiring.

The Tropics inside

It’s a family owned/operated business on its second generation. Ryan, the son, was incredibly helpful and even texts me now and again to make sure my tree is doing ok. I wake up in the middle of the night terrified that my tree is going to die and I jump up to water it. The other day I realized that I hadn’t watered it in 3 days (it’s really hot right now, so that’s a lot of days) and I saw 1 leaf kinda shriveled and I freaked out. It’s worth it, though – that tree makes me VERY happy.

The Tropics Outdoor Area

The Tropics Desk

The Tropics Pots Collage

The Tropics with Ryan

Flowers Collage

So with the help/expertise of The Tropics team (thanks, Ryan!) we wrote up a little guide to the easiest to care for indoor plants/trees. You know I love a maiden hair fern but those things die within a week (although they are inexpensive). So we thought it would be a fresh exercise to talk about what plants we could actually keep alive and how to care for them. Here goes:

Flowers Collage Long Care Instructions:

Where to place: These will all thrive in good, bright, filtered light.

How often to water: Water about once every 4-5 days, to once a week, depending on the light. The rule is the more light the plant receives the more evaporation will occur. Also it is very important to water  slightly more frequently during the initial few weeks as it acclimated to its new environment. 

How to water: Water evenly around the topsoil until the water just begins to filter out through the bottom drainage holes. That way the plant thoroughly gets watered through the entire root system.

How much water to use: Use about a half to an entire gallon of water per watering period. It is very important to not let the plant ever dry out – so this might be every 2 days or every 4 days depending on 

Cleaning: The plant should be feather dusted every week or two to keep it clean and free from dust or other bacteria. 

Special extra thanks to Ryan from The Tropics Inc  for helping us with all the information and being so helpful. If any of you have any other tree suggestions leave in the comments. Now I must go and water my tree …

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Introducing Pure Photo – large scale photography

Much like pressed juices and kale, large-scale photography is having a bit of a moment right now (read Victoria’s post about it). It was bound to come back around after the decade of the gallery wall. I’m not dogging a gallery wall, I mean, I have like 5 of them. BUT, there is something to be said for just one massive, striking piece. Often this is dauntingly expensive (both the art and the framing) but in a lot of ways it’s not that much more than a gallery wall (if you are starting fresh, anyway).

I met Ryan Phillips when he and photographer, Mike Kelley, shot The Fig House. He owns a company called Pure Photo which curates beautiful photographers/photography and sells to everyone from large hotels, to individual residential projects. Fine art photography can be kinda tricky for me (strangely I love commercial photography probably because I was trained as a stylist for them) I think because they can go ‘hotel’ really easily, but some of these are so striking and incredible that I’d LOVE to own them.

Here is a roundup of some of my favorites. Picture these all big and huge, folks, because they can print real large.

gallery wall

1. Hampton Dunes | 2. The Ocean | 3. Fairground | 4. Funny Pages | 5. Parkhaus II |6. Yellow Plane | 7. Blue Stone Orvieto Church | 8. Santa Monica Pier | 9. Grasmere Calm | 10. South Beach Ariel | 11. Tokyo

gallery wall

1. Travel 8 | 2. Conservatory | 3. Rush Hour | 4. Farmland | 5. Les Conpines, Meditation | 6. National Museum in Canberra 7. Snow Globe |8. Yellow Dress | 9. Midnight Sun Serenity at Skagafjörður | 10. Element 04 | 11. White Sands – New Mexico

Mike Kelley was the photographer that shot The Fig House and he’s pretty awesome. One of his best/most intense photographs in his portfolio is this photo below:

mike kelley

Basically what he did was photograph a days worth of planes taking off from LAX and rendered them together to create this image. I think its totally striking. The photograph actually went viral and he got a ton of press about it, which you can read about here. His vision was to photograph only planes leaving LAX, going to 6 different continents, ferrying people around the world showing the importance/magic of aviation and what it does to our world.

He took 370 photos, using 75 of them in this one shot. I’m not one that typically loves tech-y kinda photos but I think this is pretty incredible, such a conversation piece and the artistic determination behind the photography is totally inspiring. He was there all day, got a crazy bad sunburn to capture something that he felt passionately about.

Here are some of his other beautiful photographs:

Mike Kelley

When perusing their site I wondered what kind of fine art photography most people I know are most attracted to and I figured I’d do a poll. So my question to you is – if money was no object, which style/type of photography below would you want in your home (think large-scale 4′x 6′ on your wall):

photo gallery

1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6

Click on the number you wan to enter the poll.

Or if you would want one of the ones above that I chose, leave that in the comments. I’m very, very curious … Meanwhile check out Pure Photo and Mike Kelley’s other work here.

Happy monday, folks. My god its going to be a long week. xx

online poll by Opinion Stage

Happy 8 months, Mr. Charles

Its 3am, which probably isn’t the best time to be writing an update about Charlie, but I can’t sleep and thinking about him seems way more fun and healthy right now than thinking about what I actually should be doing. So let’s dish about motherhood, shall we?

IMG_4257

First let’s get the clichés out of the way now:  I never knew a love could be like this. I love him so much I want to squeeze him like a tube of toothpaste during the olympic toothpaste measuring contest. Just so hard. All the time. I’ve never craved and yet rejected responsibility so much. I want him around me all the time, and yet I constantly want just a 5 minute break. I love him so much that I’m still terrified at the potential loss. Daily.

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Lisa’s House: the Office makeover

Ok. When we started the project Lisa’s office was not ideal. Her desk was small. She had no storage. It was just generally less than inspiring to be in. And coming from someone who has worked out of a home office for years, let me tell you that your work life improves if you like going into your office.

This office? Yeah, she didn’t like it at all:

Before_Office2011-08-17_12-01-59_283 copy

It needed color/style/function and it also just needed to feel more important. So the first thing was getting a big pretty desk, a working table, that really commanded the space. Speaking of the space, it was a bit tricky because it was a pass through between the entry and the kitchen so we had to keep the desk on one side of the room, which meant that her back would be to the window. She didn’t want to be up against the window, facing it, so it was tricky but we figured it out. And there was a bathroom in the room that you can’t see, so there was a 3 door challenge.

First we painted the walls and brought in the new big rustic table that would be the desk:

Process_Office

Click on through to see the after …

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Trolling Craigslist… Louisville!

Its been a while since I trolled Craigslist in Louisville. It’s almost like I’ve stopped prioritizing shopping in cities that I have no ability to purchase in. Nay, folks. I’m still here and so is Craig. And Louisville was VERY fruitful this week.

Trolling Craigslist Louisville

I mean, get your phones ready, Louivillians. There is SUCH good stuff here.

Vintage Office chairs and stools

1. Set of Vintage Rolling Desk Chairs $75 On the count to ten after this post is published I’d guarantee you that these are gone. Why? Because these are the trifecta of a good steal. Such a nice shape. A totally lovely color (olive is on its way back, folks) and that price is RIDICULOUS. Congratulations lucky buyer. You done got yourself a STEAL.

2. Awesome Barstools $150 Yes. Weird modernists stools kinda scream 80′s but in the right environment they make such a statement.

sofa blue chairs and peacock chair

3.Mid Century Sofa $475 Not cheap, but sure is pretty. Like The Olsen twins clothing line. I mean, who can afford that stuff? But on them it just looks so lovely.

4. Setf of 4 Retro Chairs $50 YES!!! Cobalt is having a moment (its having a lifetime over here in my world). Grab these. They are wonderful.

5. Bamboo Thonet Style Rocker $25 It’s a Thonet. Its sculptural. Its $25. Yes.

vintage desk and chairs

6. Pair of Bertoia Style Chairs $75 So stupid. Two Bertoiia chairs for $75? Even if you can’t find two more for less than $400 that is still such a steal.

7. Vintage School Desk $35 Cute color, good price.

8. Peacock Chair $50 Great peacock chair. EXCELLENT price.

 

vintage chairs and table

9. Anthro Style Arm Chair $35 In the right environment this chair is fun and retro. Crazy lady cool. Like

10. Mid Century Side Chair $40 Not incredible. But that is a good price for a lovely chair.

11. Sheaf of Wheat Coffee Table $80 It takes a very specific space to pull this off. I’m thinking mid-century southwestern with lots of neutrals , leathers, pottery, etc. It’s a hard one, but for the right person its a good piece.
Deco sofa vintage desk

12. Deco Style Sofa $50 OKEEEEEEEEE maybeeeeeee this was a mistake. When they said ‘deco’ i think we all know that means 80′s which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, right? But unless you are Kelly Wearstler herself, I would skip this. But Kell, doll, grab this and prove us all wrong, won’t you?

13. Industrial Desk $50 Yes. So cute, interesting, masculine, nice scale and at $50? It writes itself.

Sorry, its been a while, but trolling Craigslist is BACK!! Where to next, folks?