Materials Girl #6; young, girly and likes to party

Welcome to another ‘Material Girls’ post where I play with pretty materials to create fake girls mood boards. As you do. It’s like I’m acting out my styling fantasies on clients that we don’t have. It’s terribly fun, indeed.

This chick, Morgan, is 24 and lives in San Diego. Her parents bought her a condo and gave her a hefty budget to decorate. We all hated her in our twenties, I’m sure. She loves color, pattern and is clearly very feminine but grounds it with wood and leathers. She loves a modern floral (like that Japanese paper), mixed with simple stripes. Not too bold, not too fussy but not exactly a dudes house.

Materials board

1. Vintage metal dish | 2 Teal fabric | 3. Stone | 4. Wood flooring | 5. Chevron wallpaper | 6. White leather | 7. Pink leather | 8. Lush wallpaper | 9. Grey tile | 10. Paint chips | 11. Coral stripe wallpaper | 12. Pink ribbon | 13. Grey leather

Check out other material girls #1, #2, #3, #4,

DIY Basket Pendant in Redbook

One time, 3 months ago, we turned a basket into a pendant lamp, and now its in Redbook magazine. As you know I have a column with Redbook where every issue we experiment with a DIY. We brainstorm a bunch of ideas, do a lot of pinning and pitch them to the editors. They pick the ones they like and we tweak them to make sure that they are as unique as possible.


This DIY is as simple as drilling a hole through the bottom of your basket using a circular drill bit, feeding your light kit through the newly drilled hole, and wrapping it with fabric, rope, or yarn in our case. A pendant-loving monkey could pull this off – otherwise known as me.

Here are the detailed instructions and sources:

Basket: We sourced ours from all over but this one was the winner because we loved the shape and scale of it. Although we found a lot that we loved from Target as well as World Market. You can see some of the other options we had to decide from in the behind the scenes images below. I guess the trick is making sure that the scale, shape and size is right for your space. Also no handles or it gives away the fact that it was meant to be a basket, and nobody wants a laundry basket hanging over their dining table. If you wanted to do two pendants over night stands then they would be smaller, but since this was over a small dining table we wanted something a little larger. Could you do one over a huge dining table? Sure, but it might start to actually get really heavy and look like a huge laundry basket over your dining table. Not necessarily the chicest thing that you’ve ever done. But you could do a collection of smaller baskets that would look awesome.

Light Kit: Ours came from World Market, however these can be sourced from any local hardware store or online. Just make sure you get one with enough cord length so that you can hang your new light from the ceiling without having to use an extension cord to get it to reach to the wall outlet. You can also get one like THIS which you can install to an existing junction box to replace what you currently have.

Yarn: We decided to use yarn instead of fabric or rope because the large-scale yarn was easy to wrap and we loved the color. Fabric could have gotten messy and rope could have gotten bulky. I also love the idea of parachute rope, which is thinner than rope but comes in fun colors. Ours was sourced from our local fabric store and the color changed as the yarn went (it was a gradient of color) which added more texture. Duh.

Redbook Basket Lamp_Final


1. Drill Hole: We drilled our hole in the bottom of the basket using a circular drill bit which can be picked up at your local hardware store. Make sure you get one that is the same size or just slightly larger than the size of the light socket on the light kit. If you get anything too big then the light kit will just slide through and if you get anything too small it won’t fit.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Drill

2. Attach Light Kit to Basket: This is as easy as feeding it through the hole in the basket that you just drilled and then affixing it with the attached plastic washer.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Wire

3. Wrap light kit: Start at the end nearest to your basket and tie the yarn in a knot on the light kit. Wrap around and around and around moving down the wire until you reach the end where you will tie another knot in the yarn.

Redbook Basket Lamp_ Wrap

So those are the pretty, styled’ after’ shots. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it’s a lot messier when we actually do it, test it, prototype it, etc, so naturally I wanted to give you a glance into that fun but at times hectic process.

After the idea was approved and shoot was set up, Brady went out and bought approximately 95 baskets from Pier 1, HomeGoods, Target, Costplus, etc.

Redbook Basket Lamp_4

We narrowed it down to the ones we liked the most, seemed the most functional and would work with the my style as well as the magazine. Then they prototyped the pendant with one that we didn’t like – strangely it was hard to find a ton of stock in the ones we liked and we needed two in order to show the whole DIY.

Redbook Basket Lamp_3

So, I made them sit on a small rug in the basement and play with baskets without food and water for MINUTES!

Meanwhile upstairs we shot three different options of basket pendants for the magazine – styled in one shot. We had our favorite (the middle one, obviously) but I liked the other two and it’s always nice to show options. That photo never ran in the magazine, but isn’t it fun to see the whole set up? Also isn’t it fun to see how much photo shoots destroy your house? And this is nothing …..

Redbook Basket Lamp_1

It was basically David Tsay photographing the whole scenario, while his assistants and Brady strung them all up on C-stands against my white wall and then lit it all professional like. Scott is helping obsess about the details and David is looking at the image on the screen. I was helping but also on my computer probably writing a blog post. Also I had been up since 1:45 that morning doing a media event for a bunch of morning talk shows. But since I had my hair and makeup done they asked me to pop into a shot and I did. They would never allow me to be seen without hair and makeup on camera for fear that my albino skin would potentially blind all assistants, and then who would be there to hang the pendants on C stands? No one. We would have to call in back up assistants, and make sure they bring goggles or some sort of safety glasses.

Redbook Basket Lamp_5

Anyway, it was time to shoot the final pendant. For a while I did have that table and chairs there, which i loved functionally (I could sit and work, drink coffee in the best light of the day while Charlie rolled around on the floor on a blanket with toys). But I got rid of it because visually it just looked so cluttered. And no, there normally isn’t a random pendant hanging over that table. Ah, the magic of a photo shoot.

Redbook Basket Lamp_2

This was for the September issue and it needed to feel like fall so we (Scott) brought in these warmer tones of amber with pretty autumn pears. But Redbook wanted it to be even a bit warmer even, so they amped up the fall.


Spot the difference? The warmer toned one is what they ran, but the whiter one was what we shot. I love seeing the difference

The after shots are photographed by always amazing David Tsay, and styling was done by none other than Scott Horne.

You can check out our other DIY projects we did for Redbook by clicking through these links: Side Table Ikea HackDIY Towel Ladder Embossed Velvet Heart PillowOffice Wall Pockets, DIY Tree Slab Table.

Trolling Craigslist… Raleigh/Durham!


Trolling Craigslist Raleigh Durham We are back from a long weekend camping and while it is my 35th birthday (monday) I’ve put off celebrating it because we just spent 4 days with 16 of our best friends in the woods, so we are a little partied out, if you know what I mean. So I’m eating General Tsao’s chicken take out and about to watch the finale of The Killing. But first, I must Craigslist …

Raleigh/Durham (its sister cities, right?), you did not disappoint. Lets get into it.

raleigh bamboo bed and sectional

1. $150 Eames Style Side Chair Ok, this guy in not a steal, and probably should be 1/2 that price, but at the perfect home office desk it would be so cute. The shock of red off a simple white desk would be VERY adorable.

2. $60 Bamboo Twin Bedframe Yes. Awesome. So cute. You could paint it virtually ANY color and it could be cute. Navy or forest green for a more masculine/sophisticated look (boy or girl) or bright yellow, hot pink, coral, blush, AHHH!!! In the right room it could really be any color (except anything that resembles wood/bamboo colors – don’t paint a natural tone on something natural or it looks like you are trying to fool someone). Obviously leaving it as is could work in a more vintage California, southwest-y look. Just as long as it’s not too shiny.

3. $100 Mid Century Sectional I hesitate to even include this because it can work in soooo few houses, but I love a curved sectional so much. They are so communal and conversational, but not good for lounging or cuddling (as there is no ‘cuddle corner’ as we call it). This bad boy probably needs at least 20 yards to cover and I think it would range $1500 – $2500 to reupholster. Again, i know that range is huge, but it really depends on your city, the market and how high-end you want to go. Read my ‘Everything you need to know about upholstering furniture’ and that might help.

raleigh vintage chairs

4. $250 Wingback Chair Your shape is good, your price is a bit high. I normally try to get my chairs around $500 – because that is around the price of a new club chair. But if they are really special (i think this chair is pretty special but not spectacular) then I don’t mind spending more. So this guy will be probably 4 yards of fabric and $300 to reupholster. If the fabric is cheap then it could be ok, but otherwise that could get kinda expensive. Also you have to figure in the cost of pickup/delivery unless you have a big car :)

5.  $25 Vintage Club Chair Now there is a cheap chair. And hideous. But in a pretty cream linen it could be lovely. You can make it more modern by taking off the skirt and putting on new legs (possibly mid-century style legs) OR leave the skirt for a more traditional look. Either way it wouldn’t be too expensive.

6. $150/e Pair of Vintage Tufted Chairs Yes. Cute. Recover them in a simple linen – any color would really be pretty – pink, mint, navy, emerald, coral, silvery-blue. Of course i’m not the biggest fan of muddy tones, but they could be pretty in a brown linen if that’s your thing.

raleigh durham cl ceramic lamp

7. $80 Ceramic Lamp Base Yes. That’s awesome. I would buy that 10 times over. It’s just so simple, but unique – my absolute favorite combo.

8. $80 Retro Side Chair ABSOLUTELY. It’s such a good corner chair – something that just perfectly engages a corner, has a really pretty simple shape, and yes can be sat in but lets face it, its more of a ‘looking at’ chair than a ‘sitting in’ chair.

9.  $45 Set of  Cane Back  Dining Chairs WONDERFUL. Put that set around a Saarinen table (or the CB2 or Ikea knock offs) and call it a day. These chairs want to be mixed with modern and not traditional (unless the traditional table you have is just simply GORGEOUS). So I’d go for cruising them around a simple modern table (all Scandy style) and BOOM, that is a cheap set of chairs.

raleigh kilim green chair and folding chairs

10. $50 Vintage Chair Whats up cutie? For the right vintage vibe you wouldn’t even need to recover it. That color is cute and that diamond tufting excites me.

11. $195 Kilim Rug Its good, but not amazing. I’m not going to have Brian take pictures of it while I’m not around so I can see it and stay updated on how its growing and whether or not it seemed happy. But its pretty good for $195.

12. $80 Vintage Folding Chairs Ok this might have been a bit of a mistake.  But once sprayed and recovered they could be pretty darn cute.

raleigh chrome rocking chair luite

13.  $150 Lucite Side Table See it in person. Make sure it’s not too scratched, etc. But I’m kinda into this little piece of glam.

14.  $100 Vintage Rocker I like how squared off this rocker is. It needs a paint job, so I’d suggest offering $60, but its cute.

15.  $150 Brass Sofa Frame This looks like chrome to me, but the frame is still pretty amazing. To get cushions made it could cost around $500 (fabric not included). That ain’t bad, folks.

Happy Tuesday, folks. And where should I troll next?

*Durham illustration found here

Phone it in Friday – Happy Labor Day Weekend

My brain and body are catching up from the insanity of the week, and we are leaving tomorrow/today for a camping trip with our best friends for four days. Normally this trip is kinda crazy (we rent out a 70′s boys scout camp) but this year i’m just psyched for 3 days without wifi and with my boys and best friends.

This week was so fun with the studio being done and a launch of a new partnership with TinyPrints which is very exciting. A lot to tell you, but since its the last week in August, i’m just going to phone it in and post this photo.


You’re welcome. That is Charlie Henderson. Not sure if you’ve heard about him – otherwise known as my favorite thing on this planet. He’s sitting on my new chair from The Citizenry, with toes and skin tone from ‘The Starke’s’ (my family/maiden name), the poor kid. Brian brought him to the little event we had this week, which made me intensely happy. He had just come from a business meeting, obviously.

Its 11:30pm and he just woke up for the second time, wailing in pain due to teething (the cutest, little white nubs I ever did see). I rocked his crying little body back to sleep which is all at once sad,  priceless, exhausting and satisfying. Whoever thought that you would actually opt to be the one that soothes a crying baby? Not me. And i’m sure if it happened often I wouldn’t volunteer, but because it doesn’t happen too often (knock on wood) and because I was so absent this week I just needed some more rocking and lullabye time.

Anyway…. Sorry for the lack of posting and for the ‘phone it in’ post. Happy last week of Summer, folks. May your labor day be full of whatever you want it to be.

Oh and I turn 35 on monday. So theres that …. :) I mean … I started this blog when I was 30. Thats weird.

QUICK UPDATE: studio craziness

Yes. I’m alive. No, my lack of posting isn’t going to become a habit. We are just pretty much pulling all nighters between finishing some projects and finishing the book so the blog suffers. The blog is so innocent in all of this. In fact the blog is what actually is responsible for all of this and yet its the first to suffer. Dear blog, I still love you.

Anyway, you may have seen some pretty images on instagram of the studio design (that has to be camera ready by 3pm tomorrow).

They looked like this:

cobalt blue bench

Hygge and West wallpaper – flea market rehab bench. It’s so fun to look at I squeal like Charlie does every time he grabs Bearcat’s fur in total delight.


Paint chips are going on a wall. Hopefully it looks like a random artist studio installation and not a weird DIY craft wall.

pretty drapes

Curtains are up and looking super romantic. These could go so bad (A-la the lovemaking scene in The Room) or they could go so pretty. In this case, friends, it’s so pretty. Thank you Karley for sewing them! (Fabric from The Fabric Store on La Brea – more on everything later).


We put up a whole wall of the portfolio, which is strangely satisfying to see (more on that later, but it has to do with Tiny Prints and check out their Metal Wall Prints when you have a second).  And that delicious paint color? Coral Echo by Dutch Boy.

But really, 6 hours ago it actually still looked like this:


We left tonight at midnight. THANK YOU GINNY, BRADY who stayed til the end, and Robbie and Karley who stayed til 9pm. Such troopers. I’ll be at the flower market at 6am tomorrow. Why? Because i’m insisting on doing the flowers like a weirdo. Nay, idiot. I mean, of course right now I’d die to have literally anyone else be in charge of another decision, but we’ll pull it off.  Anyway, this isn’t for your pity – I love late install nights and going early to the flower market, I just feel bad for being absent so I feel the need to over-explain ‘why’. Hopefully the reveal will be worth it!

Anyway, sorry, for the lack of programming. We’ll be back sooooooooonnnnnn. As soon as we figure out how to combine these 20 different wallpapers in one 1200 square foot space.