50 Gifts Under $100 for Your Abode …

Recently I have become privy a new behavior among my clients – well specifically among their family and friends.  I am now being asked to suggest gifts they could buy for their loved ones to complete a space.  You see, more times than not, budgets never quite stretch far enough to fully flush out a design with all the bells, whistles, tidbits and little snippets of beauty I would like to see in a space.  While still quite lovely, the rooms are not as beautiful as I envisioned with their final layer of “zhushing”.

It’s a beautiful thing that friends and family are stepping up to the plate.  Rather than buying yet another bottle of wine, they are asking what vase they could buy for the shelf, which throw would work on the sofa or would this pillow work in the bedroom.  It fills my heart with cheer and selfishly fuels my design soul as I get to see my concepts come to a true and fabulous end.

So to help, I curated a great holiday guide in my Joy & Revelry shop that is 50 home decor items for under $100.  Cute, fun, sexy, chic and everything in between, this collection has something for all my clients at various price points.  Here are some of my favorite picks…

Joy & Revelry 2


Even better is that through the weekend (midnight PST December 15) I am giving you 15% off everything in the store.  Use the code REVELINMYJOY at the checkout to receive the discount.

Head over to the store to see all 50 selections and start shopping!

Cheerio America! London Design Festival Here I Come…..

London or Bust

So I am just warning y’all now — if you hear of a stylishly dressed African-American who bummed rushed the Queen Mum for a hug, it was not me.  Everyone knows Pippa Middleton is more my speed!  But seriously, this week I am catching a plane to go across the pond to attend London Design Festival 2013 as a guest of BlogTour London 2013 presented by Modenus …..


However, before I go, I need to say thank you to the generous sponsors of BlogTour London 2013 because without their donations this trip would not be possible……


I am excited to see the innovations the sponsors along with the numerous other vendors in London will be debuting at the Festival and plan reporting back over the course of October all the discoveries I stumble upon.  In the mean time, if you want to live vicariously, be sure to check my Insta.gram feed over the course of the week to get a sneak peek!

Until then mates, cheerio!  (sorry, I couldn’t resist!)…….

Check me out on Pinterest & Twitter for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

CA Home + Design Blog ….

Happy Friday!  Somehow short weeks always throw me off — I feel like I need to “make-up” for the missed work day so these last three days have found me working extra hard on client projects.  However, even in the midst of the crazy, I am excited to officially share that I have joined the CA Home + Design online team as a contributor to their blog, State of Style!

In my first post, I wrote about San Francisco-based interior designer Melanie Coddington’s approach to feminine design……

Coddington Shot

I then switched gears and did a profile on something dear to my heart….my neighborhood! Nestled in what use to be two alleys is a vibrant retail and artist enclave called Temescal Alley – one of my favorite shopping destinations for unique house goods and clothing by local artisans!

Temescal Alley Shot

I am beyond stoked to be contributing to the blog!  Aside from the fact that I love the magazine (and not so secretly harbor aspirations to appear it in one day), I also love that it has a passion for discovering new talent.  The editors have given us wide latitude to showcase and display the best of California and I am excited to introduce a wider audience to the abundance of talent in the East Bay.  So with that said, if you have a house tour, home product, artwork or service you think would be a good fit to profiled, shoot me an email at lifeoutloud (at) gmail.com.

Have a great weekend and take a moment to enjoy the bounty around you…..

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Motivational Mondays: Raise Your Glass…..

Ben Franklin Quote

The perfectly crafted cocktail is a thing of beautiful.  A mix of herbals, liquor, fruits or vegetables and water – it’s a reminder of the end of the work day and the start of relaxation.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy placing bar carts in many of my designs; something just so sophisticated and debonair about them.  The tinkle of ice in a crystal tumbler.  The refraction of  light off amber bottles.  The neat discovery of forgotten spirits.  At the fear of sounding like I need to go to Betty Ford, it’s a bit magical to me so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that fellow designer (and equally snazzy dresser) Scot Meacham Wood shared my love of the bar cart……..

Scot Meacham Wood Design, Rizzoli Shoot

I was even more surprised when I went to see Scot’s design that was part of the Peninsula Volunteer’s Decorator Showcase Home.  His homage to Lily Pulitzer was inspiring but what truly caught my eye was the magnificent yellow bar cart that he had in the space…….

Nicholas Smith_SMW Bar Cart

As I said, I was smitten with the cart (and Scot’s pants too FYI) and quickly inquired where to get the piece.  A few emails later and I am happy to say that not only was I able to connect with the folks who produced the piece, I was able to convince them to be part of my Joy & Revelry store!  I am so excited to be able to have the Shaftesbury Cart as part of my permanent shop…..


But here is the kicker – while I may be selling it, Scot is giving one away!  Yes folks, you have the chance to win the exact cart that Scot used in his Showcase room.  Go over to his blog and read on how to enter.  But on the off chance you don’t win, know that I will have a drink in hand waiting for you to ease your wounds!

So this week I raise a glass to friends and family as we embark on yet another adventure!

[photo credit: bon apetit // nicolas smith]

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.  

Talking Out Loud with Miles 112…..

Talking Out Loud is where I talk to young entrepreneurs and artisans about their careers, the path of how they got there and what lies on the horizon for them.  It’s their thoughts, their words and their journey…….

I was recently introduced to the furniture line Miles 112 and it’s owner and creative director, Benjamin Hall.  I was immediately smitten with his work – the lines are beautiful, the materials luxe and it feels how custom furniture should…..as if it was designed just for you and only you.  It is this attention to detail that found me inviting him to create a capsule collection for my Joy & Revelry store.  The three piece collection distills what Benjamin does best —- beautiful quality pieces for the modern home.

I sat down with Benjamin and we talked about his career path, his inspirations and what he thinks is the greatest compliment someone could give him……

Benjamin Headshot

Why opening up a furniture store?  There are so many different types of stores to open, so what did you see that was “missing” from the home goods landscape?

It wasn’t a calculated decision. I was personally developing pieces that inspired me to imagine. I have a tendency to want to rethink things we already take for granted. This is my mentality and it’s pointless to explore if you don’t share your journey and discoveries. That’s why my shop exists.

Can you share a little about your background?  Did you always know you wanted to be an artisan?

I grew up loving to draw and helping my dad with carpentry projects. It wasn’t until I went to college for architecture that I found a concrete application of those two passions.

Your designs have a fluidity and balance to them?  What inspired the 3 pieces that are currently featured in the pop-up store?

It’s difficult to say there is a divine inspiration that the three share, but I can say that these three items all share my interest in steel. The planters are about repurposing a commodity item. The two chairs are about sitting in a frame that acts like a spring with or around our body.

 Noonan Chair When creating a new furniture piece which comes first, the design or the material?

 This is tough because my mind is subconsciously hardwired to the properties of all sorts of materials, so when I put pencil to paper I usually already know what the material is internally. My biggest problem is when I play the game of switching materials. This typically sends me back to the drawing board for a whole new design.

In your opinion, what makes a “”good chair”?

 This is difficult because, like architecture, the needs or comfort change as you get older. I used to love big puffy chairs that I would sink into, but then I got older and realized that I had very poor posture, partly due to how I was sitting in chairs. Then, I developed back problems when building. With those needs in mind, I developed the chair “Modesto,” which has a low-to-the-ground slung cowhide with a simple steel frame. At first look, you might not even know it is a chair, but oddly enough this chair has done wonders for my back. That being said, a good chair is a chair you like to be in.

Lean Container Your job is something that many consider a hobby, so it begs to ask what do you do for fun? 

 It’s true, designing and building furniture is a hobby, passion, and a dream. My day job is applying these attributes to architecture, but when I step away from design altogether to have fun, it’s to do outdoorsy things.

If money was no object, is there a furniture piece that you would go out and buy for yourself?

I have always been a big fan of the work of Poul Kjaerholm. I find his work way ahead of the times and much more rich than the Eames, especially when you look closely at the details.

Skin and Bones Chair

At one time, furniture was bought, as something you know would be passed down from generation to generation.  You are creating heirloom quality pieces that I see future generations coveting, so with that said, what do you think could be the greatest compliment someone could say about your pieces in 50 years?

That’s really kind to hear. I’d would be honored if my work was coveted. I suppose the greatest compliment would not be a verbal one, but instead a visual one. Most of my work is made from natural materials that, when used often, leave a patina. The quality of the patina is a direct story of how much the piece is loved.

A big thank you to Benjamin for sharing his insight and thoughts.  As I said, I am excited to be working with Benjamin on this capsule collection and hope you enjoy it to!  To see more pics of the pieces, visit my Joy & Revelry store.

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. 

Motivational Monday: Entertaining …..


Entertaining guests is one of my favorite things.  I love touring folks around San Francisco and wine country, cooking fancy meals and having the opportunity to open the “good wine”.  Guests mean I can splurge on cut flowers, spruce up the guest room and indulge myself a day or two to rediscover the area I call home.  I wholeheartedly believe that being a good host is part of paying it forward with friends and family.

Well for three days…… On the fourth day, you get cold cereal in the morning, directions to the airport and a bus pass.  I say this in jest, but I do believe that there is an art to being a good host and I share my tips and recommendations in my June column for SheKnows.com where I discuss how to prep your home for the inevitable summer visitor…..

Special thanks to Kelley L. Moore for allowing us to shoot in her beautiful San Francisco home and my partner in crime Adza for capturing the images.  Writing this month’s column got my itching to spruce up my guest room but alas I think I need to turn my attention to the master bedroom.  So many designs and so little time and money…..

So this week, I ask that you be gracious and kind to those who visit you whether it be at home or work.  Once a stranger but your actions may soon make them your friend!  Have a great week!!!

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.  

Joy & Revelry White Box Challenge……

What happens when you give three of the most awesome ladies of the blog world access to one fantastic gold coral vase?  Simply put…magic!  I asked Cassie of Hi Sugarplum, Courtney of A Thoughtful Place and Erika of BluLabel Bungalow to participate in a “White Box Challenge” for my Joy & Revelry store.  They had no idea what I was going to send them when they agreed to the task.  What they received was one of my favorite accessories from my store, the gold coral vase .  Here is a short video talking about why I love this piece so much…….

Each of the ladies tackled styling the vase in their own unique way……

Cassie_JRVASEHi Sugarplum


A Thoughtful Place


BlueLabel Bungalow

Check out each of their vignettes and learn what they think of the vase.  I am just so excited to see how amazing the piece looks in three different spaces!   I am now itching to get one of my own and style it for the house!

Alrighty — I am off to finish an install and hopefully have a relaxing weekend!  I wish each of you the same!

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness…