Guest Post: Ramekin Restaurant Makeover

While Emily is busy  bonding with Charlie, she allowed me to do a guest post about Ramekin – a restaurant in Los Feliz that Monica Wang and  I worked on. When Chef Jason Park approached us to help design his new restaurant a few months back, he had already started the design process himself. He had picked out chairs, tables, shelves, and even built  his own light fixture and needed us to pick up where he left off.  There were basically 4 things we needed to address: the outside space, the shelves, curtains, and filling up an empty wall inside.

The outside patio seemed to be the biggest challenge. Because the door is set back about 15 feet from the curb we needed come up with a way to make the outdoor space more inviting.

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This certainly does not scream come in and eat our delicious made to order desserts –  but something more along the lines of  leave me alone. please. Our first step was to paint the walls. We decided on Behr’s Intellectual , which added some much needed dimension to the patio and also tied into the indoor space. Next we decided to install a living wall using Woolly Pockets. They come in a variety  of colors and even feature a built in self watering tank. For you those you who do not have a green thumb I highly recommend these!  We chose to go with the Charcoal Grey  Woolly Pockets which matched the walls almost perfectly. We installed six on each wall and headed over to  Sunset Nursery  to  load  up on all kinds of succulents.

 

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We wanted the living walls to have an organic shape so we bought a variety of different sizes and textures.  We didn’t pick particularly large plants as we wanted them to have room to grow over the years.

Neustadt-61 Now onto the inside –  Jason made these really great shelves  out of reclaimed wood and pipes. All we had to do was style them, sounds like a breeze right? Well I learned styling shelves for a restaurant is very different than styling shelves for a home.

So what does one put on restaurant shelves? Old family photos and weird cat figurines your grandma gave you would surely be under appreciated by the general public.

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1. Wire Basket  2. Black Woven Basket  3. White Pitcher

Baskets, ceramics and glassware  is what I came up with.  Simple, universal and my favorite things to shop for.  I wanted to keep to a simple color palette and stuck to mainly  greens, whites and black.  I was able to find almost everything  from West Elm, Lawson Fenning,  and Target. The pottery  I made myself which you can find more of  here.

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4. Neustadt Ceramics 5. Decanter  6. Glass Pitcher  7. Bodega Glassware

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 8. Cloche 9. Pinch Pots 10. Glass Cylinders 

Ramekin’s entire front wall is made up of glass – which I love but the sun beats directly through them in the summer, making it very very hot inside.  We needed to come up with a solution that would still allow natural light to come in  but that didn’t completely  block off the floor to ceiling windows.  Shades can be pretty expensive so we decided to make our own. Monica picked out this great sheer cotton fabric from the garment district downtown and took it to a tailor to get it hemmed. We slipped in some wooden rods on the bottom to keep the curtains pulled taught and viola!

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The last thing we needed to address was this very big and very empty wall.  We wanted a big statement piece on this wall but had a pretty limited budget. We decided to make this string art piece. Because the lamp and wood table (that Jason had custom made ) had organic shapes we wanted a simple design with straight lines. Next to it I hung a custom menu I made for them which is  just roll of paper hooked  to a 2 x 4. They can change it as often as needed to accommodate their seasonal menu.

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If you’re local to Los Angeles I highly suggest stopping by Ramekin to try one of their desserts, they also feature seasonal salads and sandwiches for those who are craving something savory.  All of their desserts are made to order, so if you’re in a rush this may not be the best place to grab a quick coissant and coffee – but if you want the best croissant you’ve ever had this is the place to go. I’d have to say the Strawberry Brick Toast ( pictured below ) is my favorite dish. It’s house-baked Japanese white bread coated in a sweet milk crisp then drizzled with chocolate and served over house made vanilla bean ice cream and topped off with fresh strawberries.  I mean……

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If you’re in the neighborhood definitely stop by Ramekin, your mouth will not be disappointed.  I just started a blog so If you want to see more of what I’m up to you can do so here .

Photos and text by  Tessa Neustadt

My Holiday Party – Watch the video and get the look

Remember yesterday when I walked you through how to throw a super easy practically ‘effortless’ holiday cocktail party? Well, today you are going to get to watch the feature film of said party (and see the tips in action and a sneak peek into The Fig House space).

Easy Breezy Holiday Cocktail Party

Easy Breezy Holiday Party from Shark Pig on Vimeo.

In case you wanted to savor the laughter and debauchery, here are some still photos of the party with some of my favorite people.

Easy Breezy Holiday Cocktail Party

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

It was a small party – just a couple gals, a couple gays and a baby who was trying to eat a miniature apple as only a baby could – failing adorably. And that’s Ginny’s arm, she didn’t make it into the shots but her wrist is really carrying the whole scene.

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

They drank and laughed and swapped hilarious stories about holiday parties past.

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

Easy Breezy Holiday Cocktail Party

And we apparently handed each other food a lot – because its the season of giving so sometimes you just give pass sandwiches back and forth a few times. Thanks to Scott, Orlando, Corbett and Ginny for coming. I had leftover cheese for days. While many of the items I use are vintage, here’s how you, too, can get the look! Friends and baby not included.

Holiday Party Styling Resources: 1. Whiskey Glasses | 2. Gold Cheese Knife Set | 3. Copper Tray | 4. Copper Candle Sticks | 5. Punch Bowl | 6. Gold Votive Holder | 7. Chopping Boards | 8. Small Votive Jar | 9. Copper Mercury Glass Bottleneck | 10. Moscow Mule Mugs | 11. Tongs | 12. Faceted Punch Glasses

This post and video was in partnership with Harmon Kardon because style is silent and weird without good music to listen to. :) And check out the tips on how to throw this party from this post.  Photo Credit: Tessa Neustadt

Video by the lovely gentlemen of Sharkpig (Thanks, Steve!). To watch other videos about beautiful sound with me by Sharkpig click here and here.  And thanks to The Fig House for letting us shoot at their beautiful space (If I do say so myself)

My super easy holiday cocktail party

Despite my current condition (with child) I do love a good cocktail party. You might remember our holiday party last year  but it was quite the 3 day non-effortless set up to say the least. It was a TOTAL blast and my friends loved every second of it or so I made them repeat over and over. But this year with my being too busy to breathe syndrome, and the growing human in my belly I decided to keep it super low maintenance. The thought process was how to do a SUPER cheap and SUPER easy holiday party that still looks high-end. Fool your friends, people. They’ll be drunk within minutes anyway.

I’ve broken it down into four categories.

First up? Style, obviously. The most important of all categories ever.

Style

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

1. Opt for plants instead of flowers. I bought these from the local hardware store (like Lowe’s) instead of going down to the flower market at 5am (like i normally do) or even splurging on flowers from a good florists. They last so much longer (some green thumbs claim that they last even for more than a month but I have yet to positively test this theory). These plants are lavender and other such easy to find plants that ranged from $2 – $10 each. I got them all for under $50. I found these vintage copper and rose-colored canisters and quickly transplanted the plants in them. So much easier than arranging flowers for hours (even though making flower arrangements is one of my favorite things to do in the world).

(Beautiful paintings by Kai Samuels-Davis)

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

2. Throw ornaments around. Nothing says effortless more than literally throwing something on a table. Our color palette was coppers, golds, champagnes, blushes, purples and the blues of the location (The Fig House) so our ornaments are these beautiful soft colors that are quiet and pale. We are very sophisticated and grown up now, aren’t we Emily?
Easy Breezy Holiday Party

3. Opt for simple (and cheap) wax candles over christmas lights. Don’t get me wrong, I love a string of lights, but nothing gives better ambience than candlelight. So we kept it simple and bought these from Ikea and called it a day. (I actually have a whole hoard of these candles so I just went into my closet and pulled them out).

Now for the food. I am a FANTASTIC cook. I can practically cook nothing in no minutes flat!

Food

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

Now you can ‘cook’ food as many people do, especially if you know how to. But I, myself, like to ‘make food’ and basically just buy pretty food and style it for my guests.

I always buy a cheese plate, because that means you are rich and fancy. I choose my cheeses by making sure I have different colors, textures and shapes and in my color palette – as any good fromagerie does.  I add some fruit, spreads and olives to round it out (and again adding more texture, shapes and colors to the spread).

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

But no matter how much cheese and snacky things we have Brian (and other boys I would imagine) won’t think that they’ve eaten unless they have something that resembles a meal – like a sandwich. He could eat 3000 calories worth of meat, cheese, nuts, etc and then complain about not having dinner. But if you give him the same thing in the form of a sandwich he feels satisfied. Its hilarious.

For the sandwich I bought some baguettes, provolone cheese, ham and salted butter. We assembled them (in obvious fashion) and then cut them, channeled our inner Martha and wrapped them in waxed paper and twine. They are easy to grab and snack on, are savory and delicious and satisfy both boys and girls.

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

The rest of the food was just a combination or macaroons (pretty and delicious – I had my first macaroon the other day and was blown away at how such a boring/simple looking cookie could be so utterly delicious), beet chips (healthy and in our color palette) and miniature apples so that my guests can hold them in their hands and feel like giants.  Easy Breezy Holiday Party

Drink

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

- Opt for punch instead of artisanal cocktails. As a current non-drinker I still provide guests with the options of drinking – one must stay popular when one is pregnant. Much like an injured olympic athlete watching the big game from the sidelines I feel both happiness at even being part of the sport and regret for not being able to properly play and bring my team home.  2 more weeks, folks … although we all know it will never be the same …

Anyway. Regardless of whether there is adult libations at your cocktail party I’ve found that a VERY easy way to prepare the drinks is one big punch – a la 1970′s style. We used the very simple recipe of one bottle of vodka, one bottle of soda/seltzer, one bottle of Pom and threw in some ice and orange slices. Boom. So easy.

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

People claimed it was delicious – but definitely taste it to make sure that its to your liking – you might want more vodka or Pom.

Music

Easy Breezy Holiday Party

No cocktail party is complete (especially around the holidays) without a proper playlist. Brian normally takes this over because he’s so gosh darn good at it – almost TOO good, where you want to take a break from dancing and sit down but you can’t because every song is better than the last.

Wireless is obviously key so that you can control the music from anywhere in the room and not have to leave your phone connected to the speaker or on a dock – which is just so 2009. Here we used the Harmon Kardon Onyx, which sounds amazing. I didn’t know much about this brand before the partnership, but of course every man in my life did because its kinda the most venerable speaker company. Very good sound, friends.

I asked my DJ friend Michael (the man, the fingers, the EARS behind every fun dance party in LA via Flashdance fame) to recommend good holiday playlists and he of course has made one before and sent me the link to share with you HERE and he also highly recommended (for a more commercial vibe with some classics) the John Waters Christmas mix HERE.

There you have it – a super easy, relatively inexpensive cocktail party for the holidays or any time of year.

And in case you were like, ‘oh i wish you had done a video of the party’ then you are in luck because tomorrow I’ll show you the video (produced by Sharkpig, of course) and photos of the party people as well as a ‘get the look’ board in case you want to …. you know … get the look.

Now go party, folks.

This post was in partnership with Harmon Kardon but all designs, words, thoughts and photos are mine. Thanks for supporting the partners that make these posts actually a reality. 

Thank you Tessa Neustadt for all of these beautiful photos, and Scott Horne for your undying love and devotion to all things style (and for helping me out on this shoot).

Cup of Jo Makeover | The Master Bedroom

By now you’ve most likely seen Joanna’s (Cup of Jo’sLiving/Dining room and Nursery and today we are finishing it off with the master bedroom. One of the things I love about this makeover is the fact that as renters they really didn’t spend money on anything that they can’t take with them when they move next. We didn’t paint, wallpaper, mount TV’s do any built-ins, etc. Not that anything is wrong with that at all and for those of you in New York (or San Fran/London/Tokyo) who may rent for years then go ahead and make those modifications because if they make you happy then you should do it (pretty much my mantra in all of life). But this goes to show that you don’t have to do major things to your space to make it feel like a home. With bright white walls and a lot of light, we really just had to add personality and color through furniture and accessories.

So here was their master bedroom when they moved in:

Cup of Jo Master Bed
Obviously was just a blank box, but they had a lot of great things to work from (see their former bedroom by Jenny Komenda). When we decided to do this partnership it was really just the living/dining room. But since I was going all the way to New York and I know the stores there so well I figured that we may as well style the master bedroom and nursery to make it more worth our while and have more fun. Mainly it’s because I’m addicted to shopping and styling so why stop at just one room when I could do 3?

We didn’t spend too much time or money, but just made some simple changes that would make it feel pulled together in the new space.

And here she is:
Cup of Jo Bedroom

Jenny (Little Green Notebook) had made Joanna this headboard which is totally impressive. You can see the whole tutorial here. I could seriously never do this – I’m way more of a ‘shop for months until you find a vintage one to recover’ kinda girl, but Jenny turns random things from every day stores into gold.  Joanna, Alex and I all still loved it so there was no need to replace it. The night stands were cute, too. But we did add those awesome reading sconces, art, bedding and accessories.

Cup of Jo Bedroom

Joanna wanted it to feel again bright, clean and airy. It’s a small bedroom and she wanted to be able to work in there as well, so everything was kept pretty minimal and simple – instead of doing a gallery wall we did one big piece (from Sharon Montrose). Instead of adding a ton of pattern on the bed we kept with her awesome Scandinavian pillow (which Jenny made and I really want) and added one more pattern with the Dwell Studio pillows and some pretty linen nude euros. My goodness how I love writing ‘Nude Euros’.

The bedding works together because they share the same color palette, the patterns are different enough that you can really see them (watch this video for how to mix patterns) and the colors and patterns echo each other making it look quite intentional without being too matchy.

Cup of Jo Bedroom

The sconces allowed for more space on the night stands (and these aren’t hard-wired sconces so they were super easy to install and remove when they move). If we had done lamps that would have been great, but then where would they put their collection of water glasses and books? As someone who hoards water glasses at night – 4 -5 at least, I need a big surface area to house said collection, so I could relate.

These sconces however are just really good directional light. You still need some fabric shade/softer light in the room for ambience. These are great for reading but less so for just night-time hanging out. I’ve learned this the hard way – I LOVE me some metal shade lamps, but you must have soft fabric shades in order tot get that soft light that we all want to be around especially when its dark at 6pm. The metal shades spot light things but don’t really light up a whole room. So you have to mix, friends.

Cup of Jo Bedroom

On the other side of the room we took the desk that she already had (that we love) and paired it with our extra dining chair which made it feel more updated and modern. We needed a chair that can scoot in under the desk all the way, so armless was the way to go – plus we needed a place to store than 4th chair from the dining room.
Cup of Jo Bedroom

On the desk with styled it out with some pretty garden roses, a pretty tray from Katy Skelton (you know how i love trays) and a gorgeous lamp from Serena and Lily.
Cup of Jo bedroom

Cup of Jo Bedroom

Alright folks. So, if you like this and want to get this look I’ve gone ahead and pretty much the designed the room for you (same with the living/dining and nursery). I created a whole board on Keep with all the products. So Keep is basically a place to collect your favorite things to actually buy. Its much like Pinterest, except Pinterest is for inspiration and pretty shots of rooms, but it’s not for things for purchase necessarily. Keep makes it really easy for you to collect everything you want to buy (I’m doing it for al my gift guides and Christmas/holiday shopping, too) and they link directly to the site that you buy it from. For Joanna’s project I put almost everything on Keep so you can just click HERE to see all of the items in her home in one place.

And yes you can use it for etsy, ebay and one of a kind things (although like Pinterest, people follow you so if its one of a kind and a total steal then I suggest simply purchasing it before someone else does.). One of the best things about it is who you follow. I’m good at home stuff, I truly am, but I’m always behind on fashion and I find that Pinterest shows so many awesome outfits and Sartorialist style pics, but I need product recommendations that I can actually purchase and wear. So if you follow the right people you can actually buy what they recommend immediately. And I have and do and its a problem. It’s like a shopping IV straight to my vein; really streamlining my addiction.

Back to the bedroom. Here are all the resources (or ones that are similar) to what we used in Joannas bedroom:

Cup of Jo Master Bed

Resources: 1 Buffalo print | 2 Desk chair | 3 Pantone mug | 4 Vases | 5 Crab letter opener | 6 Headboard | 7 Long floral pillow | 8 Sconces | 9 Floral bedding  | 10 White bedding 11 White vase

Cup of Jo Master Bed Resources: 12 Brass circle lamp | 13 Acrylic tray | 14 Desk | 15 Pillow | 16 Brass deer | 17 Rug

So that’s the end of Joanna’s makeover. The whole entire thing was so rewarding because all of these factors were there: awesome family that was soooo great to work with, great taste and style, decent budget, well -lit apartment, open to ideas, and most importantly adorable babies for me to hold, squeeze, and pretend are mine.

emily and anton

This is pretty much all I did all week while people were doing this:

bed styling

I’m just kidding. I was helping (thank you again Sam, Will and Alex!!!), and by helping I mean watching Anton smile:

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I mean….that smirk, that face, those cheeks!!!!!!! …. THREE more weeks, folks and I get that. Well, not him specifically – hopefully a version of him that is younger, and looks like Brian Henderson but maybe with some curly blonde hair but just as cute. Is it inappropriate to pray that ones’ child has a blonde curly mess on top of their head? I’ll love him no matter what but love him more if he’s blonde.

I’M KIDDING. Besides, you can always dye their hair, right? A little bit of bleach on ones head never hurt nobody. (don’t make me say i’m kidding, again … but just in case the sarcasm isn’t translating … I’m kidding).

So what did you think of the Cup of Jo makeover? Any questions unanswered? Any resources unlinked? Any general burning desires you want to tell me about?

All photos taken by the very talented Ryan Liebe with so much help from Samantha Gluck. Sam you were amazing and everyone should hire you.  Also thanks to Alexandra Keating and Will Saks who helped us out in New York and had such great energy, opinions and work ethic. I sooo appreciate you guys. xx

This post was in partnership with Keep.com but all words and designs were mine. 

Cup of Jo Makeover | The Nursery

On to part two of Joanna’s makeover. This time, it involves very small human beings, namely Toby and Anton, who presumably do VERY cute things in here, namely playing house, cars, and restaurant with miniature fake food and other such hilarity. This is the 10th kids room I’ve done this year and I don’t think its possible to get sick of them. They are just so fun to design – perhaps because I’m really immature.

So here it was when they moved in – all empty but with good bones.

Cup of Jo Nursery

Six weeks later, we turned it into this:

cup of jo nursery

The two boys share this room – Toby in the bed and Anton in the crib. And since this is kinda their guest room too they decided to keep the double bed for guests. So this room needs to serve as their bedroom and their playroom. Again Joanna wanted to keep it light and bright and since they are renting it didn’t make sense to wallpaper the walls. Sure, we could have painted but why when we knew we were about to bring in so much color with the toys and accessories.

Cup of Jo Nursery

Jenny made this headboard for their last place which was totally cute and they kept the very adorable dresser as well. We decked out the bed in cute Dwell Studio bedding and topped it off with that adorable Happy Habitat soft knitted pillow.

Cup of Jo Nursery

Above the bed we framed these amazing vintage British solder paper dolls from John Derian. You can’t fully understand how awesome they are from a distance, but they are all handmade and cut out. We mounted them on watercolor paper (which is a go-to for me if I want thick pretty paper without spending a fortune on matting). The frames are from A.I. Friedman for like $10 each – which made it a pretty inexpensive installation. We love how they are all different, but in a clean, simple grid which keeps it from feeling too chaotic. Its quiet, but totally unique.

british-soldier-art

 

Cup of Jo Nursery

Hanging plane in the window from ABC Carpet and Home and the handmade fabric sailboat from Tamar Mogendorf - who’s work I can’t get enough of.

Cup of Jo Nursery

Adorable toys (from Land of Nod) on that soft Serena and Lily flokati …. Which i’m definitely eyeing for my nursery and to generally just wrap my body in this winter.
Cup of Jo Nursery

Joanna ordered the Oeuf crib (and bunting) which I totally love – the shape and style is playful, weird and totally cute.

Cup of Jo Nursery

cup of jo nursery

And what nursery is complete without a Sharon Montrose photograph? None. Bunny? Monkey? Rooster? Donkey? Lion? Kitten? I want so many!

But maybe i’ll just take this guy:

Cup of Jo Nursery

Clearly Toby is enjoying his new room. Maybe he can invite us over again and tell us some more weird stories. He’s one of those kids that you just want to listen to because he’s bound to say something weird and interesting. (Motorized roller shades from Decorview, again).

Cup of Jo Nursery

Here are all the shopping resources for the nursery, below.  I used ‘Keep’ to collect all the images and items together so then when we purchased we only had to go to one site/source.

Go get your nursery on, folks.

Cup of Jo Nursery

Resources: 1 Blue pouf | 2 Vintage lamp base | 3 Sharon Montrose Baby deer print | 4 Oeuff Stuffed Eiffel Tower | 5 Stripe pillow | 6 Galaxy duvet covers | 7 Wooden camera toy | 8 Bookshelf | 9 Floor lamp | 10 White and silver pillow | 11 Giraffe toy | 12 Red piano | 13 Striped duvet

Cup of Jo Nursery

Resources: 13 Sailboat mobile | 14 Wooden tigers | 15 Crib sheets | 16 Striped blanket | 17 Crib | 18 Toy drum | 19 Wooden radio toy | 20 Changing station | 21 Serena and Lily Flokati rug | 22 Happy Habitat Star pillow | 23 Plant pot 254Leather hippo | 25 Dinosaur backpack

All photographs shot by the VERY lovely and talented Ryan Liebe, styled by me. Once again, thank you so much Sam, Alex and Will for all your help on this project – I might have died without you, your hard work and your really good imput. xx