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).

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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 Amsterdam Modern

We’ve been shooting at some pretty amazing houses for the book lately so I figured it was time to call people out, feature them and thank them. The first one is Ellen, the owner of Amsterdam Modern, a mid-century Dutch import store that I love and have purchased quite a bit from (including my new sofa, yet to be revealed). Her stuff is always beautiful and so interesting, not cheap mind you because they are the real deal (imported, well cared for, original, etc) and just oh so beautiful.

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Those are some of my favorite pieces she has right now. That denim patchwork chaise is beyond words (I know many of you will think its hideous but in the right space I think its AMAZING).

Check out the rest of her inventory here, and yes she ships nationwide … Happy Tuesday y’all. xx

Artisanal Antiquing in Portland

We arrived into beautiful artisanal Portland yesterday, scouted some houses (including one by Jessica Helgerson which is INCREDIBLE) and then naturally had to stop by the Stars antique malls for a cool hour and a half to hoard some beautiful pieces for this week (and life, in general).

Here’s what we scored:

antique finds

Huge pink Moroccan pillows, $85, weird architectural lamp, $75, berry baskets $2, vintage pink tassels ($22  … I mean, I spent $22 dollars on these tassels? … but wait, they will come so in handy for the perfect shot where we just need a tassel to hang on a door knob and boom, we’ll be in business). Ironstone platter $20, weird ruler sculpture, $12, gold paper clip holder $6, weird horoscope book $6.

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Best score of the day is that brass and wood lamp $75, (and yes its coming home with me) little panting $6, wood plates $14, brass tray $20, blue vase 18, teal pottery pitcher $22, blue blanket with fringe, $38.
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Twig basket $8, gray platter $10, petrified wood $28, blue pottery $3, amber vase $18, vintage quilt (but in such pretty condition) $36.
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Black fountain bowl $19, boring wood bowl $22, vintage dominos $8, black candelabra $26, rustic pot $8.

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Teak tray $28, white pottery cylander vase $10, low pottery bowl $12, oil portrait $32, huge jug $48, vintage jump rope, $6, little gold tea kettle $18 (It might have been cheaper, i’m forgetting).

Without knowing exactly what we need we bought things that we just really liked and would keep, or things that we know are photogenic. Like that brass teapot – i don’t drink tea, but on a kitchen island with some pretty mugs and newspaper and you have what we like to call the perfect “lifestyle moment’.  After styling said moment we will then try to build a time machine and go back in time to stop ourselves from ever using that douchey phrase again – even though we will mostly say it again.

The black candelabra is probably the only thing that I don’t really want to own, but one of the houses we are doing has this beautiful church feel with a lot of black and I can see this on their dining table with candles in it next to a beautiful bespoke bowl of artisanal fruit. Plus we haven’t done candlesticks on a dining table yet.

We are going back out shopping today after we scout a couple more houses. The shopping here is VERY good and everything is about 1/3 cheaper than LA, plus there is just so much of it.  Not all of the above were priced right or cheap, but I could see all of them in shots. That huge pottery jug, for instance, it was almost $50 which is a lot, but with a big artisanal branch in it, its kinda perfect for all you need on a dining table. And having a blank dining table is not an option for the book, or in life.  Its a style crime, and you simply can’t be the perp.

Must use the word perp as much as possible, it’s just wonderful.

Speaking of words we are playing a drinking game while we are here where every time we read or hear the word ‘artisanal’ we are taking a shot of, yes, artisanal homebrewed small batch bespoke bourbon.

We are already WASTED and its only 10:05am. Its going to be a very fun week.  (Just joking, folks … we are strictly business up in here).

So which is your favorite? What do you want to hoard? And again, if you know of any new stores in Portland, leave them in the comments, y’all.

To see what we bought last week go HERE. 

We be thriftin’ – our newest finds

When we were shooting the show we would shop with clients in mind but also we would just buy whatever was awesome because we needed so much for styling every week. So every pretty box, vase, vessel, piece of art, sculpture, etc we would hoard. But I’ve had to curb that joy and be more discerning I would end up spending way too much money, hoarding too much and not needing enough of it – it’s just too wasteful … even though it fed the addiction.

Well now that I’m shooting the book and have gone through my inventory I’m back into that mode for the next month and it’s terribly exciting. So last night after we got finished shooting we stopped by a thrift store and CLEANED UP!!! Here’s what we got (some pieces I bought over the weekend, too), with rough prices.

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This thrift store isn’t cheap, it’s actually kinda over priced. But it’s still cheaper than new pieces and mostly more unique.

wicker vase $15, painting (that is actually from ShopClass that I purchased over the weekend, it was $90 but I LOVE it), black/brass horn $10, woven placemat $8, wood pedestal $16, basket trio $4, the camera bag was actually a gift from my best friend.

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Large paper mache camel $50  - this came in VERY handy today where we happened to need a large whimsical global object – as you do. so WHAM, we had it.

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Footed pedestal thing (from ShopClass), tray $12, pot $3, roll of hand-dyed fabric $60 – from the flea market and its about 12 yards, wooden bowl $10, green napkins $8, basket $15, little wicker basket $2.

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Little pottery tray $7, white and blue stripe bowl $15, brass lamp $30, little vase $5, tall white vase $18, huge blue vase $40, vintage blue/gray/striped patchworked fabric is from the flea market and was $110, same dude/dealer as my new pink runner. Expensive, i know, but they come sooo in handy as a tapestry on the wall, tablecloth, throw or rug in a shot. So when its pretty, i just buy right now.

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White lamp $40 (overpriced, but such a good unique shape), wood vessel $12, ceramic pitcher $18 (way too much, but again it came in handy today), wood/brass boxed $5, pottery vessel $18 (overpriced), little ceramic bud vase $7, hand colored photograph of ship, $15.

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Brass lamp $40 (we got them down from $60), painting $160 (total splurge from Shopclass but I love it and i’ll keep it after), 3 bowls $6 each, little blue vase $12, white vessel $8, weird wooden hammer $5.

So there you have it. My hoarding for you blog reading pleasure. We shot these with our iphone on set yesterday while we were shooting the book. Double timing it over here. And the only way that we can afford to purchase so much for the book is knowing that we are gonna have a massive garage sale at the end. Get prepared, folks. I’ll keep you updated on the deets.

So which is your favorite? Which one do you wish that you had scored?

A day in the life – shopping the flea market

Do you remember when you were a little kid and you asked yourself if you could actually ever get sick of eating McDonalds chicken nuggets and even when you REALLY thought hard about it the answer was always ‘no’?  (Cut to me at 25 years old and in a nugget battle with someone else who also thought they wouldn’t get sick of chicken nuggets. Guess how many nuggets I maxed out on? You’ll be so disappointed; only 22. I thought for sure I could eat near 40 of them, but no, just 22!!!).

Anyway, I feel that way about going to the flea market – that I could go every single day and not get sick of it.

So, since I’m such an addict we figured it would be fun to show you what our flea market days look like as they are full of anticipation, exhilaration, avoiding starvation, freezing in the morning, sweating in the afternoon, joy and regret. Its exhausting in the happiest of ways.

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6am. We set the alarm for what seems to be an ungodly hour, I normally preset my coffee so I have a cup of jo awaiting me and then get out of the comforts of bed. I debate taking a xanax so I can control my excitement and then I remember that I don’t have any xanax. The anticipation can be palpable, I know, but one must get control of oneself lest we become an embarrassment.

Before I leave, I pack my bag with all the flea market essentials. Going unprepared will risk dehydration, starvation, sunburns and the inability to actually buy anything … which would basically be the end of my life.

Here are the essentials:

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A tote bag Duh. Where else are you going to put your loot?

Water (and lots of it). You can buy water there, but its expensive. Although these days there are normally vendors that will sell in their actual booths (not the concession stands). But still, bring your own.

Pen and Paper  This is mainly because as you purchase you will need to write down the booth number if you don’t want to carry it around. Most vendors will let you do this. If you are at a small flea market then you might be fine, but if its a decent size market at all you MUST get the number of the booth and write it down. If you are going to listen to me one time in your life it should be right now. WRITE THE BOOTH NUMBER DOWN. You think  you’ll remember but you won’t. Every aisle starts to look the same, the booths change as people shop so they don’t even look the same later on in the day and your brain is fried from the sun (and getting up at 6am) so you aren’t on point. I have spent hours looking for things i’ve already purchased and one time gave up altogether only to find the same piece the following month where I had to convince the vendor that I was the one that bought it. Anyway, ask their number and write it down.

Cash/Checkbook The ATMs have huge lines and are either $5 or $8, and most vendors give you better deal with cash. A lot of vendors take checks and more of them are moving towards accepting credit cards (the square) but for now cash is still the best way to go.

Food/snacks There are some flea markets in the country that have delicious food trucks – The Rose Bowl/Long beach/Pasadena City College and Santa Monica trucks fail at this so hard. It’s a captive audience and they will charge you $4 for a taco or $12 for a disgusting unhealthy burrito.

So do yourself a favor and bring some snacks. We brought NatureBox snacks because they have a huge variety and they are delicious. Speaking of NatureBox, they made this post possible so we wanted to give a big thank you to them and for the GIVEAWAY that they are giving to all of you! (All the details for the giveaway you can find in bold towards the bottom of the post.)

Phone Duh. You will lose each other and need a phone. It happens to us every time. Either that or wear a bouquet of helium balloons on your head.

Tape Measurer – Especially if you are looking for furniture, obviously.

Vitamins. UH, ok I don’t actually eat these but Jen Gotch (ban.do founder – who is also a flea market pro) recommends bringing B-12 so that you can get a burst of energy when you need one.

Sunglasses - to shield thine eyes from the powerful rays of the sun.

Rose facial Spray. A total luxury and definitely not an essential but freshens you up when you are feeling icky.

Now off to the flea market.

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Ironically The Rose Bowl it’s more expensive the earlier you come so the price drops from $20 to $15 at 7am. There have been times when I’ve gotten there at 6:50 and there is a line of 7 o’clockers waiting for the clock to strike so they can get in, but I’ve purchased the $20 ticket because I have such FOMO (fear of missing out) that I couldn’t wait that 10 minutes. In this case there was 5 of us so there was no way we were going to waste $25, but man I hated waiting in that line.

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7am  After we buy the tickets we are off, fighting through the crowds, feeling panicked with glee and anticipation,  The Little Mermaids ‘Look at This Stuff’ on repeat in my head ….

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7:05 – Break the seal. That first purchase is really hard to make for some reason. It’s a mental commitment that’s like, ‘Ok body and bank account, we are actually doing this now’ because you have to carry it the rest of the day. But the best pieces are always gobbled up in the first few hours.

flea market shopping

The first purchase in this case was this awesome wood and string hanging pendant below for $120. Probably too much but I really loved it and since it can swag it can go so many different places.  Also as a general rule I normally go around one time really fast and look for large pieces but if I don’t need any then I skip that and go slowly per each booth.

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7:07  Lament wearing such a short dress without a spray tan. NEVER AGAIN. In fact because of these pics I got a spray tan yesterday and I now look Jamaican AND I LOVE IT.  Thank god ‘nude’ and ‘baby pink’ are in … my leg color is totally trending.

7:20 – Laugh uproariously whilst caressing this beautiful mid-century bed.  That bed was awesome but strangely the headboard didn’t fit that beautiful frame so it was a pass.

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8:10 Find a sofa that makes you feel miniature. It’s very important to feel as small as possible at all times. Also I plan on buying a Hummer limo very soon to fulfill such dreams.

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9:20 Ask Jen (ban.do founder) if this disco ball (including the motor/spotlight) is worth $40. Jen (a world renown disco ball expert) says no with confidence and we move along. Also I now regret not buying this lot of die. Quick question: if Rachel Zoe were to see these would she say ‘I die?’

dice and disco

9:45  Famished and in need of a pick me up we munch on seriously delicious snacks from NatureBox. YES, they are sponsoring this content (how else can we have a photographer to just follow us around and take pics of us laughing?) but prior to this post I ate like 12 of their snack bags because they are so delicious and healthy.

Here’s their deal: it’s a subscription based delivery service of healthy snacks. You can choose what snacks are included in your box, every time, so you can discover and try new healthy snacks each month. Their products are made from wholesome ingredients and are Nutritionist-approved. They abide by strict quality standards: No High Fructose Corn Syrup, No Partially Hydrogenated Oils, No Trans Fats, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Artificial Flavors, No Artificial Colors.

One of my favorites? The dried fuji apples. I’ve eaten three bags now.

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It’s seriously good stuff and I’m going to subscribe to it because I’ve gotten used to having it around the office and I love it. Is it all fat-free and sugar-free? No, because that stuff is BS. What I love is knowing that I’m not getting GMOs or garbage chemicals.

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10:10  Back to shopping. I stumbled upon a brass Platner side table and got it for $45. SUCH A SCORE.

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HA!!!!!! Kidding. Only in my dreams. Unfortunately it was $600 which is expensive for the flea market but not expensive for a BRASS PLATNER TABLE. I know it’s too much to spend but I actually do think it would have made my life better and now I potentially might never be the same knowing that exists without me.

Other things we witnessed: A large-scale poodle painting, a dope palm springs poster and porcelain toothbrush and toothpaste (which I purchased and I have NO idea why).

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10:45 Try on vintage glasses and pose.  Oh so wacky.

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Hey, Yoko Oh-no-you-didn’t!!!! I love me some dead stock vintage glasses.

Sometimes you need to put on glasses that make your eyes too close together and then stare. Hard.

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And sometimes you need to pretend to drink your feelings. I had so many feelings that day so I had a very big teal drink.

Other times you get sad that you don’t look as pretty as Jen does in an instagram while she wears Tom Selleck pins. (Have you Sellecked lately? Its a thing).

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11:00  Find a miniature adorable vase that is shaped like a woman’s body and you get excited because a. it’s a miniature and b. it’s a body part and apparently I buy a lot of body parts these days. Body parts are the new brass animals.

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She’s missing a nipple and I’m considering taking it to my porcelain dude to have her fixed. Not.

12:10 Snack on more NatureBox except this time we needed some sweets – so we went for the salted caramel pretzel pops and the yogurt dipped pretzels.

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We love the dark chocolate nom noms and the peanut butter nom noms but you can find all their delicious snacks HERE.

12:30 Start all the pickups from the various booths that we left purchases at and schlep to car. This is kinda the worst part of the day. The pickups this time took an hour because we couldn’t find some of them because we didn’t listen to my own advise and forgot to write a booth down. UGH. But after we all split up we found the stuff and off to the car we went.

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1pm. Stage a photo showing off all of your goods.  And we had so many goods, y’all. Maybe it’s because I’m decorating my house right now, maybe it’s because we had a crew with us so we definitely couldn’t leave empty-handed. Regardless we cleaned up.

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Lots of fun loot, friends. Some steals, some not and some regrets – but all in a days work at the flea market. It was ‘RAD’ to say the least (and yes we got those for Ban.do for $15  a pop!).

So here’s what we came home with:

flea market finds

Pretty big bowl ($20), leather and brass elephant piggy bank ($65), tall vessel ($20), beautiful portrait ($100), footed bowl ($5), blue/brass kaleidoscope ($5), wood bowl ($2).

flea market finds

Brass sink, which is such a hoard by the way, $60, pair of framed original drawings $15, hand decanter, $7, and sconce $80.

flea market purchases

And then that hanging pendant for $120 and the huge, BEAUTIFUL, sisal for $275. Yes, I spent a decent amount of money, but with the book being shot now and us just needing a ton of props I can write everything off and have a big sale when we are done shooting the book.

So back to the important stuff, NatureBox, the reason we were able to pull together such a post -

  • Each bag is full size, and has 3-5 servings of that snack within it.

  • Monthly box always ships free in continental US.

And of course we are doing a NatureBox Giveaway: 2 lucky winners will each win a free 6-month subscription to NatureBox (the Deluxe Snacker subscription). Winners enter the giveaway by clicking the tracking link below to browse what snacks NatureBox has to offer, and then comment below on my post what snack they’d like to try. Make sure to leave your email so else we won’t be able to contact you. 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER NatureBox

nature box fabric

In case you don’t win, NatureBox is going to give all my readers 50% off your first box, just click here to go to their site and get the discount.  Here’s what you get: 50% off first box of any size (only $9.95). 

(valid only on 1st month’s box. new customers only. not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers) using code EMILYH

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Thanks NatureBox for making this post happen. Thanks Christina and Jen for snapping the photos and Brady for working at 6am on a Sunday. Thank god we all like working together because that is a big ask for a weekend call time.

Now go check out the NatureBox site and come back and comment which is your favorite in order to enter the giveaway. 

If you want help deciding your favorite you can copy mine, which are here:

Naturebox

Whole wheat blueberry figgy bars | Coffee kettle popcorn | Lemon meringue waffles | Big island pineapple | Sour cream and onion almonds | Fuji apples

Now go there pick out your favorite and come back to enter!!!

*This post was brought to you in partnership with NatureBox but all ideas/words/opinions are my own.

*All photos (except the product photos) by Christina Winkelmann