House Beautiful

Designer Spotlight: INDIGO + OCHRE

Daddy always says, ‘An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure’.” Remember that line from Steel Magnolias?  Yeah.  I mention it because I have always thought the same to be true about design.  I can’t really rap with houses that feel like museums, or places that are all stuffy and overdecorated… where I can’t touch (or spill) anything.  I’m not advocating that every home be equipped with bean bag furniture and be the sort of place where you can throw peanut shells on the carpet… I’m just sayin’, there’s a happy balance: that glorious tweener place where a room looks like eye candy but feels like your favorite pair of buttery-soft, perfectly worn-in jeans.  And it takes some serious skill to achieve.  Two of our design heroes are AMAZING at that mash-up: Nate Turner & Kishani Perera… Hence the reason we’re they’re #1 fans.

And speaking of fan clubs…  I’m a newfound member of the INDIGO + OCHRE fan club. Since I pin like it’s my job, I do see a lot of spaces I like, but rarely any I LOVE. And I’m tellin’ you what – I just stumbled on a few rooms by this Brooklyn based design firm that made my jaw drop…  but after I was done ogling, I wanted to pour myself a cup of coffee and move right on in, because these spaces are just as cozy as they are stunning.  They feel soulful.  Let’s start with the biggest jaw dropper of them all, shall we?

Let’s be honest.  If that powder room was a dude, it’d be a panty dropper.  And if I die and come back as a powder room, I’m comin’ back as this one.  It’s PERFECTION… the ornate carved/distressed mirror… the exposed brass plumbing… the gooseneck faucet mounted on the side of the sink which I have *never* seen done in a powder room but love… the flippity flopping tile… and the recess in the WALL for the SOAP, which might be my favorite part of the whole room.  I can’t take it.  Ok, this is super fun, let’s move on:

This bedroom kills me.  Mostly because when I look at it, I feel at home.  Or, like I’m at my family’s mountain house.  I feel like I can hear people downstairs playing cards and laughing.  Like there’s a breeze blowing through that open window, and like I might just wanna curl up in that bed, read a book and take a nap.

Same jam.  Just feels like home.  Is somebody making biscuits and gravy for breakfast?  Cuz that’d be great.

This one totally is not my style, but when I look at it, I imagine that people who are 10x smarter than I will ever be live here.  Brilliant, worldly New Yorkers.  Academic-folk with salt-and-pepper hair and nubby cardigans and black-rimmed glasses, à la Claire Underwood.  I bet the smell of library books is wafting through this place.

I would give up Velveeta AND frosted sugar cookies for one entire year if it meant I got to cook in this kitchen.

Those sweet shelves…  that COUNTERTOP.

Does anybody else see how massive that farmhouse sink is??  Nomnomnomnom.

Converting an antique piece of furniture into a vanity, avec marble counters + brass fixtures = lovely.

Another cozy bedroom, another sofa at the foot of the bed (always a great move), and that barely-there airy color on the walls…  Le sigh.  Are you guys pickin’ up what I’m putting down??  It’s easy to make a space look over decorated.  But it takes a lot of talent and a lot of soul to design homes that are beautiful but don’t feel decorated…  that evoke such a sense of comfort, nostalgia and warmth…  and that – well – feel like home.


*All images via INDIGO + OCHRE

Can We Talk About The Weekend.

Seriously, let’s all hear it for living 2 hours from your best friend.  No more of this nonsense of seeing each other every few months, oh helllllll naw.  We’re on each other like white on rice now; if our little hearts desire bestie/margarita/shopping time, our little hearts get all of the above.  And that’s exactly what happened this weekend:

Some snapshots of our 24 hours together in San Diego:

Clockwise from top left: Pigment, a delightfully curated shop in North Park | Succulents galore | Messy braid for a lazy Sunday | Heaven in the form of Steph’s bed | Our margarita connoisseur, Ivan, at Casa Machado | Terrariums hanging from the ceiling | Margs | This book was very fitting for one half of us | An adorable family we happened upon, creating terrariums (!)

And all this aside… all this giggling and debauchery and laziness and all that aside, this weekend marked a sort of shift in my other co-blogger half, one I think only those who’ve been around her these past few months would pick up on.  Instead of clouds and tears, there was sunshine and a lot, a LOT of laughter.  Optimism about her new job, about her new surroundings, about life.  I know it’s baby steps, but I was proud of her.  Sooo very proud and happy for her.

After about an hour of being with her, a scene from one of my favorite movies popped into my head.  For those of you who’ve never seen it, Swingers is a movie about an actor who moves to LA to make it big – and then gets unceremoniously dumped by his longterm girlfriend.   After watching him struuuugggggle to surface throughout the whole movie and figure out a way to get out there and be happy, he finally meets a girl out one night.  Her name is Lorraine.  His ex’s name is Michelle:

I love this scene for showing that exact moment when the future suddenly presents itself and one decides to embrace it.

Here’s to new beginnings :)