Men’s Style: New Year’s Eve…

In my younger days, I was never a huge party animal.  I preferred a dinner party to a keg party.  And that hasn’t changed much as I have gotten older but……..

Every once in a while, I feel like dressing up and cutting loose.    Drink one too many.  Dance a little too wild.  Sing at the top of the lungs.  In these situations, a suit and tie won’t cut it.  You need something a bit more bold and daring especially if you are going to welcome the new year in it!  Sometimes a boy just needs to let his hair down and do a heavy dose of ……

Rocking Out Lead

I like to think of this look of what would happen if a young Ebenezer Scrooge opted to go wild for just one night and let out his inner rock star.  This outfit is where Charles Dickens and Iggy Pop collide — definitely a story for the books……





[outfit: pants: burberry // moto vest: macys inc // shirt: karl largerfeld // hat: zara// bow tie: h&m// boots: dsquared]

To see the entire Men’s Style Holiday Edition, visit here, here, here & here.

[photo credit:  aubrie pick//styling: courtney lake]

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Men’s Style: Ode To Canada …

Growing up in the Midwest, I am accustomed to cold weather and snow for the holidays.   It wasn’t Christmas unless I had shoveled the driveway in below freezing weather all the while silently cursing my parents for being too cheap to buy a snow blower.  Bone-chilling cold, corrosive salt stains on my shoes and second-guessing if I had frostbite were the hallmarks of a Lake Family Christmas.  Needless to say when it came time to leave the nest, this birdie flew South ….well West to California.

However, while my feet are firmly planted in California, my head (and my heart) tend to find they drifting over the border to our snowy northern neighbors.  Over the last few years, I have found myself becoming more infatuated with Canada.  Maybe, because many of my design mentors are Canadian and thanks to this great thing called social media have cobbled together a merry band of amazing design oriented friends who support and inspire this little ole’ American.

Looking through my Canadian friends Instagram shots made me a touch nostalgic.  My Canadian friends embrace the cold weather, rather than run from it.  They pull out fashion-forward coats, cute hats and functional but stylish boots. They mix pattern and materials with abandon for a look that is undeniable chic.  For this next installment of Men’s Style: Holiday Edition, I channeled two of the most fashionable Canadians I know, Erica and Jonathan to create a look that I am calling …


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Tush to Cush(ion) …..

Do you ever start to see connections where none previously existed?  No, I am not talking conspiracy theory ….. but being struck by the similarities between disparate things.  For example, I have been on the hunt for a pair of printed pants to wear on vacation.  Odd thing to want for vacation, but I am not necessarily the “normal” kinda guy.  In any case, I have been eyeing a pair of Zara print pants but noticed that they print reminds me of a pair of pillows I currently have in my online shop ……

Ethnic Print

I love making a strong print the focal point of an outfit or a room.  These Tiko Black Pillows would be great on a Belgian linen sofa in flax or soft white.

After noticing that first pairing, I dug a little deeper and found this great pair of geometric capri pants that reminded me of Karoo Pillow…..

Lacy Love

Both patterns remind me of a lace overlay – one being modern and the other more traditional.  But either way, the crisp combo of black and white is the perfect place to drop in a fun color like they did with the model’s mint shoe.  I would use a pair Karoo as part of a bedding scheme.  Mixed in with a long bolster in a pastel color with white bedding, it would be a show stopper!

Ikat Inspiration

Of course, I couldn’t leave out one of my favorite prints, ikat!  I know some may be tired of the print, but honestly, ikat is my paisley or stripe.  It is the perfect way to inject some color and life into a space in a sophisticated yet fun way.  Fortunately, most ikats have a variety of colors in their pattern, so it’s always easy to pull coordinating colors for a design concept.  As I said, I think ikat is a “formal pattern” so I tend to use the Ikat Print Pillow in a masculine but luxe setting — think cerused oak and grey walls.

Funny how searching for pants can lead you down such a weird and awesome road just proving how intertwined fashion and home decor has become!  Okay, have a fantastic weekend and be safe!

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Motivational Mondays: Valentine’s Day “Tablescape”….

Valentines Quote Shot_Horizontal

One of my favorite times of day is that hazy, peaceful moment between awake and slumber. You are zen.  Your mind is calm.  The world is quiet.  It is during those times where I roll over and look at my Partner’s face, so sweet and peaceful as he sleeps, that I am filled with gratitude for having such a special person to share my life with.

This Valentine’s Day I plan on forgoing some elaborate dinner and night out.  With both our schedules, anything that takes us past 9:30pm finds us struggling to stay awake.  So why not make your special person something truly special for the most important meal of the day….breakfast?  So this Valentine’s I plan on making The Partner breakfast  in bed……

Valentines Angle Close

Valentines Day Close Up Plates

Valentines Day Paperwhites

Valentines Day Flatware 2

Valentines Note

It is not quite my usual tablescape, why not mix it up with something I am calling a “bedscape” — perfect for Valentine’s Day.  It’s quick, it’s easy and honestly, who doesn’t think breakfast in bed is the quintessential romantic gesture?

This Valentine’s Day, I am celebrating that my dreams are my reality and my reality is pretty darn awesome!

Sources: Candlesticks & Tray : CB2 //Bud Vase: vintage//Flatware: Zara Home//Dinner Plates: HomeGoods//Salad Plates: Wedgewood//Napkins: West Elm//Champagne Flutes: Ross Dress For Less//Love Bird Salt & Pepper Shakers: vintage//Bed Linens: Crate & Barrel//Accent Pillow: Courtney Lake Interiors

[Photography: Photos By Adza //Styling & Art Direction: Courtney Lake]

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Men’s Style: Off To The Office….

I rarely wear dress clothes to work these days.  Let’s be honest, I spend the majority of my time in dank antique and resale shops, dusty job sites or schlepping samples between clients and vendors.  I, like many designers, do not life a glamorous life.  In fact, I would say 75% the the time I have spent as a designer is  pretty mundane – the antithesis of “sexy”.  There are no million dollar deals, just me with my laptop, my RAV 4 and ALOT of fabric swatches and tile samples.

However, just because I play the role of glorified delivery man at times, does it mean I should dress like one.  You never know exactly who will stumble across your path while running errands  or who may be calling asking for an impromptu meeting, so I have appropriated a work style I refer to as “on-the-go chic”.

With this in mind, I used my Army-style jacket as the centerpiece of this work outfit…….


I have never met a skinny tie I didn’t love and I especially loved pairing a tie with what could be a very casual ensemble to elevate it to work-chic appropriate.  This tie from Zara has a subtle checkered pattern that compliments the graphic plaid of the Billy Reid shirt (similar).


Dark-rinsed straight-leg jeans are a staple in my work attire; the dark rinse I find to be more dressy and the slim lines of the straight leg are the perfect foil to the numerous blazers and cardigans I wear on top.  For this outfit, I pulled out my favorite pair of APC jeans and paired it with a pair of camel brogues (similar).  Truth be told, I am in love with these shoes; they are my dressy equivalent of sneaker – all the class of a dress shoe mixed with the supreme comfort of a sneaker.


The Army-style GAP jacket (similar) is the perfect alternative to a blazer or cardigan.  Thick enough to keep me warm on chilly mornings but thin enough to toss in my day bag (aka the “murse”) as the day heats up.  And who cares of it gets dirty as I carry boxes or rub against drywall?  A quick run in the washer and it is as good as new!  This is an outfit I can confidently go from morning to night in and not think twice if it is appropriate.

Tomorrow I show how the jacket goes from work to an evening out on the town.

And I kept my promise of wearing pants……yah for me!

Photography by: Desi Arnaz Hyter

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Current Obsession….. Outerwear

The Bay Area’s Indian Summer is coming to an end.  The mornings are crisp with dew on the grass and a frosty bite to the air.  I make no qualms about loving this time of year if for nothing else but the clothing.  I am a sweater and jacket dude.  I have never found a sweater or leather coat I didn’t love.  I adore putting chunky sweaters with fitted vests, layering turtlenecks under bombers and wearing oversized cardigans over just about anything. 

I am a walking advertisement for all things Autumn so it pains me to look in my closet and realize that I have done little in the way of investment for this season.  True that I have more coats than I can shake a stick at, but there is that almost narcotic high that one gets from buying the “perfect” piece for their wardrobe.  Problem is ….well Poppa is working with a limited budget this time around and my caviar tastes need to rationed down considerably.  So I have set a budget and I can either blow it on one fab item or parcel it out….you know trying to be adult and all.  I have narrowed down my choices to the following…..

I love this leather jacket from All Saints especially the collar.  The leather is washed and distressed, making for the perfect kick around jacket.  I am seeing this as an everyday jacket with a turtleneck, skinny jeans and boots. 

Pros: Moderately priced. Can be worn casually. Can be worn in the rain.

Cons: May not be dressy enough. Trendy collar may become dated quickly.

This sweater coat from Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers is awesome.  Lined in shearling, it is super cozy and warm.  With San Francisco’s unpredictable weather, it is the perfect “go and grab” outerpiece for the season.  I see this dressed up or down with grey flannel trousers, a fitted button down and a pop of color from a belt.

Pros: It can take me into winter due to the shearling.  It is versatile.

Cons: Can’t wear a suit jacket under it. Not rain suitable. Expensive.

This shawl wrap sweater is pure drama thanks to the master Ralph Lauren.  Imagine being wrapped in cashmere every day on your errands.   Luxury at it’s finest in my opinion.  I can see this with jeans and sweater or as styled in the picture for a more formal engagement. 

Pros: Light enough to layer. Cashmere.

Cons: Not suitable for rain.  High drama for day wear. Durability.

It’s red. I love a bold statement and this red coat from Zara totally does it for me.  In your face and proud but in a classic trench cut.  It is a great piece and totally me.

Pros: Great color. Great price point. Classic cut.

Cons: Bold color. May be too trendy. Durability

So which one do you think I should get?  Leave a comment and let me know……

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