Pet (cat) Friendly Design Tips

Pet Friendly Design Tips As many of you know I’m a cat and dog person. Before we got cats our only reservation was that they are kinda a lot of responsibility as you have to, you know, make sure they are cared for while you travel, come home at night to feed them, etc. This actually hasn’t proven to be too annoying because you love them enough that it doesn’t matter. But what has been annoying is the damage that they’ve done to our furniture and the mess they create in the house … and I’m not even a neat freak. They puke everywhere, spill their cat food, if we aren’t on top of the litter it wreaks up the whole house, Bearcat has a sneezing issue which we see damage from all over the house (and it is REALLY hard to clean up), etc. Obviously our love of the goes far beyond smells and stains, but it’s still kinda a bummer. So when I partnered up with Arm and Hammer Clump and Seal litter to redo the cattery I figured I’d pull together some tips for y’all as well. This is mainly for the cat owners out there, but there are some good just general tips for dogs (and kids actually). Here goes.

Consider your upholstery fabrics:

You may have noticed that I use velvet A LOT. Do you think I just really love it? Sure, but it’s also because we cat owners can’t have linen furniture. It’s a fact i’ve accepted years ago. Cats, in particular, like to claw, so skip anything with an open weave like linen. As an alternative, ultra suede, leather (although they’ve ruined one leather armed chair that they can sit on) and velvet are harder for cats to get their claws into; and commercial-grade fabrics, nylon, and polyester repel stains more easily.

Cat Fabrics

I redid our new sofa in white sunbrella (don’t worry, you’ll get a whole post on that later) and so far it has held up, but if you are nervous then get velvet or ultrasuede. Ultrasuede isn’t my most favorite fabric in the world but it is indestructible and so pet (and kid) friendly. If you are going down that route and you have a choice get the ultrasuede that has the least amount texture or modeling. One of the things I hate about it is that it leaves your exact butt mark when you stand up and the texture can be strangely busy. But when you have pets, and cats in particular, they will most likely do this to linen or anything that is woven:

Cat Upholstery

So annoying. So get yourself velvet, performance velvet (this is kinda a combo of velvet and ultrasuede and it looks pretty good and most big box stores have it as an option these days), Sunbrella or leather. Vinyl certainly works too, but pretty hard to incorporate well into a room (although I did it here and it looked good).

Streamline pet accessories:

I’m not saying get OCD about matching your cat toys to your color palette but I’m also not saying that it’s a bad idea. You want to minimize their attention and make them look more streamlined so they aren’t really noticed. There are actually some pretty awesome options out there these days. Like so:

Cat Accessories

Leaning Console Scratch Post | Cube Scratch Post

You know i’m in to wicker so these things actually work really well in my house.

Master the unattractive and smelly litter box:

Its totally normal and yet TOTALLY CRAZY to keep a box of poop in our homes at all times. Most litter boxes aren’t something we want to display prominently in our homes – but you do have some options out there. We turned the tiny hall closet in our house into their litter box room so thank god we don’t have to look at it, but if you don’t have that option, look for something a little more attractive, or a litter boxes that double as furniture (good for small spaces but if you have a big house then just get one that is simple and white or wood).

ModernLitterBox

Modern Litter Box 2

MidCentry Modern Litter Box | ModCat LitterBox | Modern Brown Litter Box

Probably the least awesome things about cats (I hate to be so negative about these furry little cuddly animals) is the litter box smell. Well I can now say that if we change the box once a week we actually don’t have this problem anymore due to Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal. When they first approached me about the cattery redo I didn’t really care about the litter to be honest – I just wanted to makeover an animal shelter. But then when we bought the litter to make sure that it was, you know, indeed good and we were very happy to report that it works and it really destroys the smell. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal, I never predicted I’d gush about cat litter so much but yes, it works.  It guarantees a seven-day odor-free home. Since the litter easily clumps together, it also minimizes litter dust, so it doesn’t get all over your house. There is still some dust, but so much less mess.

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Click through to read the rest of the tips and see the video.  (more…)

Introducing Judson Studios Stained Glass

Stained glass is kale (the vegetable a la 2014) – when its good its surprisingly delicious, but otherwise it’s not really my deal/style. It gets a bad rap because it’s often associated with churches, religious art or by the beach kitschy stuff. But in theory it’s just pretty glass colors that let light through – and ain’t nothing wrong with that.

When I first got my hands on the Fig House project I immediately wanted to do some stained glass. As a designer it’s always such a fun challenge to take an art form that is typically considered not terribly modern and see how it can be used in a way that is totally fresh and conversation worthy. As soon as I had muttered the words ‘stained glass’ Steve, the owner of Fig, told me that one of his best friends was/is a stained glass artist at Judson Studios – a stained glass studio not even a mile from The Fig House. Lucky us, indeed. So I went for a visit that day and was BLOWN away by how awesome the studio was.

Stained glass

Stained Glass


stained glass

It’s a 100-year-old building that has been in the Judson Studio family for generations. It is old, beautiful and totally inspiring. It makes me want to quit my job, go back to school, learn some skills and apply for a job here.

Stained glass

They have antique glass that is pretty much priceless and totally unsourceable now (unless you buy from Austria).

stained glass

I mean the space itself is just so weird in a good way .. look at those windows up there!!!!

stained glass

stained glass

stained glass

It’s been through five generations of Judson’s and stuff like that really tickles my sentimental bone. The artists make everything in-house and their skills are insane. It’s such a long, laborious, artistic, skilled, beautiful process.

stained glass

They have rows and rows of sheets of antique glass that they pull from, plus these little swatch cards of glass in front of windows that we designed from. The whole place is just visually inspiring. Above is the artist welding our ‘came’ together (and yeah… you know we used brass came which they thought was crazy, but of course it’s just incredibly beautiful).

Stained glass

They have walls and walls of colors to choose from – its like an instragrammers/bloggers dream space.

stained glass

stained glass

That room up there has all the antique glass that is one of a kind and just so incredibly beautiful.

Typically they do a lot of religious stained glass work – they do churches all over the world, and it’s totally impressive but yeah, just not really right for a residential project. But the thing about stained glass is that it’s just pretty colored glass, that can be in any color, any pattern, any shape – so why is it normally relegated to just religious or commercial projects?  You see it all the time in more mission style homes, too, but normally not in the colors that I would have chosen.

Stained glass

What is going on here above you ask? Well, here’s the deal – for churches or any more figural work where there are people involved they actually pose in the shapes of the people, then take a photo then draw/paint on glass … the whole process is insane. So yes, you can actually have a stained glass portrait of yourself.

Typically the clients they have ask for stained glass art like s0 …

Stained glass

But naturally we shook it up.

stained glass

But what was so exciting when I worked with them is the endless options – I worked directly with Tim Carey (who is incredibly talented and fun to work with) and we designed The Fig House windows which is still the most beautiful element of the space.

Stained Glass

That handsome man up there, Tim, is our artist and he is AMAZING. He looks very serious there, but he was so easy to work with, had so many creative ideas and was just so passionate about our project.

I know that many of you might have seen The Fig House stained glass and I will be doing a post about the whole process (we took the after photos yesterday) but for now here is a sneak peek:

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Here’s my challenge for y’all – rethink stained glass. I tried to make it appropriate for our house and it just didn’t feel right and I wasn’t ready for the investment, but if I build a house or buy an older house you know I’ll be getting Judson to custom make some stained glass for me. I mean, just think about it as a room divider in a loft … ridiculous.

 

Photo Credit: Tessa Neustadt

 

DIY Tree Slab Side Table in Redbook

Welcome to another Team Red DIY. We all know that hairpin legs are having a moment – well they’ve been having a moment for a while but because they are so popular its now really easy for us to make ourselves. I mean this DIY is really just about finding the resources (we give them to you at the end) and drilling in 6 screws. A baby sloth could do it (another thing that is having ‘a moment’). Its a thing.

Redbook August DIY Slab Side Table

But what would a perfect looking DIY be without some chaotic behind the scenes? So here’s how this column works. Every month we send Redbook 5-7 DIY ideas. They take it to their Editor in Chief and 2 of them get approved to move on. Then we hone in on those two, making sure that they are in fact easy and affordable. We source them, order them, find a location for the shoot, make one to make sure it works, buy enough to shoot two (one in progress for the step by step and one that is the ‘hero’). And then David Tsay, Scott and my team style and shoot thing thing.

In this case it was these hairpin legs wood slab tables. Brady and Ginny sourced the legs online and the slabs from the flower market.

stumps

 

redbook bts

In this case we shot it in our studio. On one side of the room we have this perfectly set up shot and on the other its just total chaos. We haven’t started designing the studio yet, well we have but the quotes we’ve gotten for what we want to do are like 7K so thats on the back burner for now. But its convenient to shoot there because it has a good blank wall, decent light and we have access to my hoarding collection of props.

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If you are asking why don’t I style these myself its because life is just a little too crazy. That morning i had woken up at 1:30am (yes, you read that right) to do 27 tv interviews in a row. I got done around 9am and headed back home to the shoot. So obviously I couldn’t have bought flowers at 6am like you have to or you know, been functional at all. I just kinda art direct – but Scott and I have been friends and working together for so long that I’m never worried.

We choose the color palette (and run it past RedBook) and then Scott and I collaborate to get the rest of the props. You may notice that pink sofa that we just sold to Ban.do here – its just so photographable. And the rug below was an ‘option’ that we gave RedBook (I believe its from CostPlus World Market).

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This is David being all, ‘hey pay attention’ and me clearly RUSHING from behind the desk to come approve the shot.

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So you may notice that the rug that we used above didn’t make it in the final version. What did was my persian rug runner from upstairs that you may have seen in these instagrams:

persian rug

Except we used it upside down, because we CRAZY like that. The color was too intense right side up and it took too much away from the table. Upside down it just looked like a flatwoven kilim.

hairpin legs

So there you have it. You might know that i’m not Orange’s number one fan, but I think this color combo is sooo cute and fresh. These legs also come in white, green, blue and pretty much every color. Here are all the resources:

Sofa: Vintage, covered in light pink from the fabric district.

Wood Slabs: We sourced a couple of our options from the flower district, but they are also available online through Save-On-Crafts.

Table Legs: we sourced quite a few for this project and were 100% pleased with all of them but in the end the orange ones made the cut. Both Hairpin Legs for Less, and Hairpin Legs.com really pulled out all the stops to help us with these legs and a big thank you goes out to them for being so accommodating and getting them sent through to us! Their legs are fabulous, customizable and rage from about $12-$40 a leg. The orange ones we used were 18″ in height, and cost about $35 per leg because we went with the powder coated finish.

Rug: Vintage from the flea market

Pillows: Target

Art: Jamie Derringer

The gorgeous after shots are photographed by David Tsay, and styling was done by Scott Horne.

You can check out our other DIY projects we did for Redbook by clicking through these links: Side Table Ikea Hack, DIY Towel Ladder , Embossed Velvet Heart Pillow, Office Wall Pockets,

I am Alive…. My computer is not

Well folks, my computer saw its last living day earlier this week and has now gone up to computer heaven for its final resting place. Earlier this week there was a little incident where coffee met computer, and the results were not as good as last season’s “The Bachelor Tells All” show. So, with that said I have been completely without a computer which has left me without a way to update the blog and bring you some new posts. I PROMISE that come Monday I will find a way (come hell or high water) to bring you some new content. It is helpful when Brady lets you steal his computer to give you guys an update, so lets hope by Monday my computer is either fixed or Brady or Ginny will let me steal their computers again and take all coffee from my hands.

I have personally written a letter to apple requesting that from now on they make all computers 100% waterproof (my fingers are still crossed) so that this does not happen to every coffee drinking, computer using person out there.

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I know it doesn’t look like much in the pictures but those dark watery looking spots have killed my dreams and my hard drive.

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This folks is what a fried hard drive looks like. Apparently there is not suppose to be a dark black circle around my hard drive. Go figure.

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I will now be keeping my coffee and my computer in two separate rooms.

Its a total bummer but I here’s what I have been up to “sans” computer this last week.

emily book plants

 

emily book styling

 

emily charlie playing

 

valley thrifting

Delicious Circus Inspired Food

Not sure if you guys ever heard of our Sip ‘n See (kidding … I think that every person that ever looked at the internet has seen it) but I realized that I never shared the recipes to the circus themed food by RoomForty. And while this isn’t a food blog, these things were delicious (and quite impressive) so keeping them a secret is just rude.

Room Forty Churro and Corndog

RoomForty is the catering company behind The Fig House and they do high concept, high end, delicious food with a gastro bent. I told them I wanted some circus inspired food and Steve and Libry came back with some modern recipes for churros, candied apples, truffle popcorn, corndog lollipops and my personal favorite meatball barbells – going along with our strongman theme.

Room Forty Tablescape Finishing Touches

Their chef, Libry, is a bad ass who has an insane talent for turning a concept for a food on its head. Also he is a bad ass because he has lots of tattoos and therefore I’m supposed to be terrified of him, as my parents instructed me when I was a child, but i’m not because he’s a very nice man.

Room Forty Popcorn Kitchen

Click through to get the recipes and see shots of food in my mouth …

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