Sérendipité Spring Entertaining Must-Haves

 1.  OUTDOOR MARKET UMBRELLA IN RESORT STRIPE COBALT BY FRONTGATE  2. HEALDSBURG NAPKINS (SET OF FOUR) BY SERENA & LILY  3. OCEANA PLATTERS BY ANTHROPOLOGIE  4.  CITRUS BOWLS (SET OF FOUR) BY WILLIAMS SONOMA  5.  CITRUS RUG (GD-GRANT I-O) BY JAIPUR RUG  6. VINTAGE STRING LIGHTS BY BALLARD DESIGNS  7. RIVIERA BAR BY SERENA & LILY  8.  OPEN KITCHEN CARAFE & TUMBLERS BY WILLIAMS SONOMA

 

Nothing pronounces, “spring is here” like warmer weather, progressively longer days, and my Mourning Doves!

All of these things mean the outdoor entertaining season is among us. To add to the spring ambiance in our design office, this past week we have been busy gathering ideas for several lovely clients that want to jazz up their patio for the season. What brings friends and family together more than hosting a gathering?  Why not celebrate your day or weekend dining outdoors with the ones you love?

For me, Spring is a reminder that it is the simple things that make for a joyful life.  There are two Mourning Doves who choose my patio to build their nest every year who remind me of this notion every day. For some it may seem silly, but these two small birds enliven me and remind me to slow down and take time to appreciate nature and enjoy every day to its fullest. Since they returned to my backyard a few weeks ago, I have found myself eating lunch outside every day on my best dishes. I have found myself taking a short lunch break to bask in the sun, and listen to the birds sing.

You all know how much I love to cook and entertain and I believe that every dining experience should be delicious and special. I am excited to get my backyard entertainment ready so I can enjoy the season with my family and friends.

To inspire you we thought we would share a few of Sérendipité’s must-haves to make your outdoor gatherings this spring and summer extra special. Also see below the delicious spicy pineapple coconut cocktail recipe that will impress your guests.

Happy Designing and Happy Spring!

xo,

Sérendipité

Spicy Pineapple Coconut Cocktail

Adding a Little Spice to Your Kitchen!

Adding a Little Spice to Your Kitchen

We are super excited about the new projects we are currently designing.  Being a residential interior design firm, we are lucky to be a part of all sorts of design projects.  We work on everything from one-room styling (or up-dos, as I love to refer to them), remodels - large and small scale, new construction for homeowners and for specification homes for homebuilders.  It is our passion to find unique options for our very special clients, and to really understand what our clients’ needs and desires are based on their lifestyle and budget. 

Excited about some of our recently completed design projects and inspired about the new projects we are currently working on, we want to share one of our favorite kitchen must haves, the Bertazzoni range.  We love Bertazzoni for many reasons. What is not to love? It is Italian and anything Italian is sexy!  The pro series offers exciting colors that really make each kitchen unique and the fun colors really let the client’s personality show.  We also love that our clients love this range not only for the styling and the fun hues, but also for the functionality. 

You may have learned from our past blogs that I aspire to be a chef one day or in my next life. I love to dream of how my kitchen would look if I could have anything I wanted in my culinary fantasy. I would definitely go with the Bertazzoni range. The question is… but what color?

 

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

Gratitude for 2016

Hello 2017! We welcome you and all the plans you have in store for us this new year! 

Before we officially welcome the New Year, we would like to express our gratitude for all the wonderful and inspiring moments from 2016.

The year 2016 blessed us with beautiful clients and so many exciting new design projects. 

One of our most detailed and rewarding projects was a new home, turn key style, in Orchard Hills. We had so much fun designing this home and filling it with beautiful furnishings, custom draperies and pretty details throughout. The result was an ABSOLUTELY gorgeous home for a family that we adore.

In both January and April, we were featured in The Orange County Registers “Kitchen of the Month” with two of our kitchen designs. This was so exciting and really a huge honor to be featured twice, and the write up we received from Kelli Hart Kehler was so gracious. Thank you OC Home!

Another particularly unforgettable time in 2016 was when we participated in the Orange County Philharmonic House of Design at The Strand in Dana Point. We learned so much, made new friends and participated in a lovely foundation that gives back to our local community.

We were grateful to be a final nominee for the HGTV contest “Fresh Faces of Design”. What a huge honor to be one of five finalists on a national level. The talent we were up against was incredible and we were delighted to be included with these gifted designers.

 HGTV's Fresh Faces of Design Contest Photo

 HGTV's Fresh Faces of Design Contest Photo

Above all, we are so thankful for the journey and how loyal and trusting our clients are, without you we would not be living our design dreams and all our creativity would just be a pretty vision somewhere inside our heads.

Good bye 2016, you have been beautiful!

Happy Designing & Happy New Year!

xo,

Sérendipité

photo credits Kate Von Tickner, Reza Allah-Bakhshi & Melissa Brandman

Think Gold!

Inspired by all of the gold medals the USA is binging home in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, we have been dreaming of GOLD!

Gold is the color of success, triumph and evokes a feeling of abundance, prosperity, value and luxury. It is said that gold is linked to masculine energy and the power of the sun. Gold is the color of the winner as first place medals are always in gold and throughout the world this vibrant color has long been associated with royalty. The psychology of color is fascinating to me, what they subconsciously represent, how they make us feel and how an entire room can shift based on color and scale.

Wishing you a fun and inspiring weekend!

GO team USA!

xo,

Sérendipité

Beaded

Whether it’s soft and feminine, a bright pop of color, or has rustic charm, beaded chandeliers add a fun element and conversation piece to a dining room, nursery or foyer – as a matter of fact, they add a fun element to just about any room!

They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles.  They come in many types of material as well, like glass sea beads, turquoise stone, wood or woven coco beads. They can be large scale and dramatic, or small a petite like a gleaming jewel. 

I recently installed a gorgeous, white, ceiling mounted, beaded chandelier (courtesy of my favorite lighting store, Linden Rose & Co.) in our office.  And boy is it a real show stopper!

Speaking of beads, one of my favorite finishing touches to a well accessorized home is a strand of beads. I first fell in love with these beads many years ago frequenting the Pasadena Flea Market. My favorite varieties are glass sea beads. They come in an array of beautiful colors, and the beads have a wonderful rough, weathered texture like a piece of sea glass that has tumbled through the ocean waves for years.  Adding unexpected and organic elements from nature to your home tell a story because they are all unique and you will rarely see two -alike.

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

Braided

braid

This summer we can’t help but to fall in love with braids of all kinds. When it comes to fashion, braids are so hot right now, literally! They make for the perfect summer up-do and they add so much style and sass to a simple pair of sandals or a summer dress.


Believe it or not, just as braids are fashionable for the hair, they are the perfect embellishment for your home, too! We are loving this trend and seeing it everywhere when it comes to interior design. We are seeing braided details in mosaic tile and stonework, hand knotted and braided area rugs, fabric and one of my favorite details, trimmings.

Adding a little braided accent or twist somewhere in the home is a little detail that has a huge impact and adds so much style to each space, pillow or even a leading edge on a drapery.

Don’t be afraid to add a little “twist” to your home.

Happy Designing!
xo,
Sérendipité

We've Got the Blues

Being that Orange County is located on the coast, designing with blue never goes out of style! Deep, rich blues evoke a sense of calm and remind us of the soothing ocean. It is a maritime color and often associated with the sea. Adding a blue accent in your home can be as simple as paint!  We incorporate blue into many of our designs and some of our favorite places to incorporate blue paint are on front doors, cabinets (kitchen & bathroom alike) & walls! Our all-time favorite shades of blue that we go back to time and time again are: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy; Farrow & Ball Stiffkey Blue & Farrow & Ball Railings.

We hope the photos below inspire you to get your paint brush out this weekend!

Happy Designing & Happy Weekend!!

xo,

Sérendipité

Roof Top Living

roof top

Just imagine dining alfresco at the end of a hard day’s work on a rooftop with an ocean view. We are smitten with this gorgeous rooftop patio and front yard patio we recently designed in Newport Beach! We have been engaged in designing many outdoor spaces this year and it is so much fun. I find myself getting lost in spaces like this. It truly is a blessing to be working with clients that have gorgeous homes and trust us to design spectacular spaces for them to retreat.

roof top design
succulent branch
roof top patio
roof top
patio
patio design

The patio furnishings are a blend of Henry Hall Designs from San Francisco and Royal Botania. The Eco Smart fire places are from Brown Jordan and the custom made outdoor area rugs are from our friends at Stark.

Enjoy the view!

xo,

Sérendipité

 

to view photos of the interior of this beautiful home visit our Houzz page

Photography by Melissa Brandman

Orange is the New Black

Orange Bertazzoni

Ask and you shall receive! I have been patiently waiting for the perfect client for whom I can design their kitchen around the Ferrari orange Bertazzoi. Well, my wish was granted!  We are in love with this darling range by Bertazzoni! 

This client, who lives in Seal Beach, has been very patient as well waiting for her custom and dreamy kitchen. Because this home was built in 1970 and therefore has lower ceilings, it was important to keep the space bright and open. With the dark stained cabinetry we achieved this lightness by keeping the countertops and flooring light and creamy. A beautiful family of five requires the heart of the home, the kitchen, to be a functional and a well-planned space.

kitchen remodel
Bertazzoni
olive oil
dining room

Moving into the guest bath/powder room my dear client wanted to have a beautiful yet again, practical space for the guests to marvel in yet also be kid friendly. We just love this powder.  It is simple, yet classic and certainly not stuffy.

powder bath renovation
walker zanger tile
powder bath

The hardwood inspired porcelain floor from our friends at Ann Sacks is a fabulous, functional and very smart solution for a busy home. Plus, it is Ann Sacks so of course it is special.

Enjoy this fresh renovation, we sure did.

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

 

See more photos of this project on our Houzz page

Photography by Melissa Brandman

Chairs for Charity 2016 - English High Tea Inspired

Last year we participated in a wonderful charity event called Chairs for Charity, which benefits the renovation of the Orange County Ronald McDonald House. We had a lovely experience and fun designing our Cinderella inspired chair. We enjoyed it so much, we decided to participate again this year!

This year I was inspired by a flea market treasure I picked up at the Pasadena Flea Market a while back, a vintage chaise lounge. I believe this unique chaise was made somewhere in Europe in the early 1900’s.  Being that I LOVE London and enjoy a hot cup of afternoon tea, I was inspired for my concept - a charming chaise lounge where I can imagine myself curled up sipping on hot tea or a hot toddy depending on my current mood.

Did you know there is a difference between High Tea and Afternoon Tea? Afternoon Tea is a British tradition that is really a treat in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. I would assume in the U.S. we would call this a snack. High Tea is a more filling experience with hot foods at dinner time or after dinner as an aperitif.

Taking the concept one step further, I decided to focus on the later, creating a chic chaise lounge I would imagine someone drinking a cocktail on in a swanky London restaurant or bar. My inspiration: a black and white tuxedo. I am especially excited about my concept this go around, because in many past charity events, it has been noted that my designs tend to lean toward the feminine side. Well, this year I decided to switch it up and I think you will be pleasantly surprised by my design!

We are so excited about this event, and we hope you can join us on Tuesday May 10th.

 (more info and to buy tickets)

 

English “Hot Toddy” Recipe

(Recipe borrowed from Epicurious)

 

 YIELD

Makes 1 drink

INGREDIENTS

1 oz. (2 tablespoons) bourbon

1 tablespoon mild honey

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup boiling-hot water

PREPARATION

Put bourbon, honey, and lemon juice in a 6-ounce mug. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.

 

Enjoy your English Hot Toddy!

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

 

Closet Spring Cleaning

This weekend I finally took my own advice. The same advice that I give to my clients before they start a big renovation, “purge and make room for abundance,” I always tell them.  This weekend I decided it was time to make room for abundance and let go of the stuff that is weighing me down, so I spring cleaned my closet and GOT ORGANIZED! 

I started my journey at The Container Store, one of my favorite hangouts, and debated on how I wanted to approach my “spring clean”.  After much deliberation with myself, I honed in on these super cool hangers called Huggable Hangers.  The Container Store is having a big spring clean sale so the only Huggable Hangers color options available were navy blue (perfect for George) and fuchsia (not my first color choice, but being on a mission I settled on fuchsia).  

The next step was the actual purge; I emptied my closet as if I was getting a new carpet, or even better a new closet system.  I used my three pile rule; pile one - I love this item, it makes me happy and I can’t live without it. Pile two - I like this item but it is not my favorite.  Pile three, this item represents a negative feeling or I have not used or worn it in 1 year (minus holiday or special occasion items).

I dusted my closet head to toe in preparation for my new hangers and storage ideas.  I must share, it pretty much took all weekend including a few breaks to walk my puppy, a trip to The Good Will to make a donation, and lastly, back to The Container Store because I needed more Huggable Hangers, finding a few more organizational treats for my new closet while there.

I am sure I will sleep well tonight!

Enjoy my big reveal, I am so excited about the end result.

Happy Designing!

Xo,

Sérendipité 

Twigs & Feathers

twig napkin holder

My newest obsession is twigs and feathers. I cannot get enough of them.  In design, most of my inspiration, like many, comes from nature.  I draw inspiration from the natural elements that surround me and I just love the feeling of spring.  Smitten by all of the flowers in bloom, I cherish the aroma of honey suckle, citrus blooming and the sounds of the morning dove. These sounds, smells and visual beauty inspires me to bring the outdoors into my designs and fun décor. It is so fun to get into the spring spirit by decorating with nature.  My newest obsession - twigs with blooms and unique feathers!

Loving these ideas from Pinterest that are inspiring a fresh, spring-y feeling indoors.

hanging twig center piece
pink feathers
twig center piece

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

California Dreaming

blue coral prints

Who said design was all about the indoors?!  Especially when you live in beautiful, sunny, southern California. 

This is a sneak peek at one of our latest and very inspiring backyard renovations.  This stunning makeover (from start to finish) was more than a year in the making. Luckily the space was finished just in time for the onset of Spring!

This backyard renovation is complete with an outdoor, covered living area, a barbeque and undercounted refrigerator, a beautiful full size concrete-top dining table, custom concrete benches and lounging platforms with comfortable padded cushions, a gorgeous pool with a lighted water feature, and one of my favorite parts of all, a fire pit to roast s’mores.  This backyard overhaul was accompanied by a room addition behind the garage for the client’s teenage daughters to hang out and entertain friends.  This lounging “teen room” has its own bathroom and kitchenette, but the most special part of this room (in my opinion) are the La Cantina doors that open up with views of the pool, making the entire room feel like part of the outdoors.

We hope todays blog will get you in the mindset of Spring and encourage you to spend a little more time outdoors this weekend!

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

The Strand at Headlands Dana Point - the site of the Orange County Philharmonic House 2016

The Strand at Headlands Dana Point - the site of the Orange County Philharmonic House 2016

At Sérendipité we are always open to new challenges, experiences and opportunities.  We have always wanted to be a part of the Philharmonic home, and this year the opportunity presented itself and we pounced on it.

We are so grateful and humbled by the opportunity to be designing the office in this beautiful home.  Our inspiration for the design of this room came from a successful and oh-so talented photographer friend. We designed a space that our friend and amazing, talented wedding photographer could potentially meet prospective Brides and Grooms to be. 

How did we arrive at this concept? Back in late January when we just learned of the opportunity to participate in this show home, I was touring the Las Vegas Market (LVMKT) and the Philharmonic House was on my mind along with the swirling ideas I have for current clients. I was greeted with these amazing, metal, organic, wall sculptures of flowers in rose gold, soft gold and pewter.  Displayed in a perfect arrangement on a wall in one of my favorite showrooms, I was stopped in my tracks and smitten with this delight.  In that a-ha moment, I spoke to myself (with my inner voice of course), here is your inspiration girlfriend! And just like that, as everything else in my travels so far was another serendipitous moment, the rest just fell into place. 

We are super excited to be a part of the Philharmonic House of Design, 2016.  I do not want to spoil the big reveal, so you must visit our office at the Philharmonic House.  The Grand opening is May 19, 2016.

For more information on the Philharmonic House of Design 2016 and how to purchase tickets follow this link

We look forward to seeing you!

Happy Designing!

Xo,

Sérendipité

Master Sanctuary Before & After

I recently had the opportunity to work with a lovely couple and family on a design project.  The busy family originally called me for help with a complete renovation of the first floor of their home and master bedroom. Renovations are exciting and fun but sometimes they can also be overwhelming.  Because of this, I suggested that the couple kick-start their renovation by starting solely in their master bedroom (which I often refer to as the “Master Sanctuary”). 

I just love suggesting this to clients who have a big renovation ahead, because a restful and beautiful Master Sanctuary is so important.  It is even more important when a main living area in a home is being renovated.  A peaceful Master Sanctuary gives a coupe a place to retreat and relax without any chaos.  Starting with and completing the design of a smaller room, like a Master Sanctuary, before the start of a bigger renovation feels amazing and fulfilling!  It’s one room that can be checked off the list of a bigger design plan scheme! 

This project was so fun to design and implement.  We hope you enjoy the before and after photos!

Happy Designing!

Xo,

Sérendipité

Master Bedroom - before photo

Master Bedroom - before photo

Master Sanctuary - final reveal! 

Master Sanctuary - final reveal! 

Master Sanctuary - final reveal (reading nook)

Master Sanctuary - final reveal (reading nook)

Trending at LVMKT

gold and white desk

Just back from the Las Vegas market (LVMKT) and I am totally inspired, maybe a bit overwhelmed with all the beautiful furnishings, accessories and lighting I have been able to view in 1.5 days.

It is always exciting to see what is new, and what is trending. I have so many catalogs and a beautiful library back at the studio but seeing it all in person, is a whole other story. The gorgeous vignettes and displays this show were AMAZING! The energy was humming, I must say it was a perfect experience.

I could not help but notice more than ever, desks are trending! Maybe all the new home offices because so many people work from home it seems. I was pleasantly surprised and smitten with gorgeous desks I was able to see in person. Does anyone need their home office designed?!? I'm ready for you!

Stanley desk
Stanley desk

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

Designing From the Ground Up

Being that I am third generation in the flooring industry, I have an inherent love for flooring in all mediums. When arriving at a design direction and after I have selected my palette and lead concept, I start my design process with the flooring selection, in most cases.

Ann Sacks flooring

Although my go-to style is classic and timeless and with my builder mindset mentality also practical, I do love a zippy floor design in a special place in a home or space. I typically do not go hog wild and do a racy design in a large area (baby steps). However, I do love adding that special “wow” moment in a master bath, small kitchen or powder bath.  We have gathered some fun room inspirations to get your creative juices flowing.

I love the amazing details from my friends at Ann Sacks and Walker Zanger, their creative teams are so talented and always inspire my designs.  You can see some of their lovely tile designs below.

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

images via Pinterest, Ann Sacks and Walker Zanger

Bringing the Outdoors In

teal front door

Being that so much of our work right now consists of new construction, we are often given the opportunity to collaborate with architects and contractors on the exterior of the home on many of our projects.

This is a huge blessing because a well thought out home that is cohesive from the exterior to the interior is an interior designer’s dream project to be a part of. 

We love mixing colors, materials and textures on the façade of a home, making it unique and rich. Among some of our favorite materials are white batten board, stone, reclaimed wood, brick, and metal.  We also appreciate a colorfully painted front door!

We also love to bring the outdoors in. Integrating one or more of the materials used on the exterior of the home to the interior is important in making a home feel unified.

This is one of our latest new build projects in Newport Beach.  We incorporated the used brick from the exterior of the home on the backsplash in the kitchen, the back of a built-in in the family room and an accent wall in the dining room.

 

Does your home or a home in your neighborhood have great texture and curb appeal?  Send us a picture.  We would love for you to share with us!

Happy Designing!

xo,

Sérendipité

Every Heirloom Tells a Story

bone lamp

I was so inspired today on my first design meeting of the new year! I had the honor of meeting a lovely, well-travelled, art collector and aficionado of worldly textiles. I immediately felt an amazing connection to this beautiful soul as she opened the larger-than-life wooden, double front door to her charming home in Newport Beach, built in 1968. My assistant and I were invited to her home to look at the possibility of renovating the kitchen. The kitchen has breathtaking views overlooking the Back Bay and also has the original Thermador oven from - again 1968. I loved soaking in every detail of her beautiful art and curated baskets that looked as if each one had its own story to tell. I was immediately inspired because this gal had great, well-travelled style! It was apparent that her art work was not acquired overnight. Each piece was thoughtfully collected from around the globe and kindly displayed with love and affection.

My new art friend asked me if it was possible to work with the art she had in the renovation, as many of the pieces in her home were very special to her. I smiled and I was jubilated inside because using our client’s heirlooms, art, and treasures is so important in creating a space that reflects their personality and style and is what inspires me to design. Taking what some people might consider old and re-purposing it or introducing a modern twist to what the client has carefully curated warms my heart. I whole whole-heartedly believe that everything we possess should represent something positive, happy, inspiring and meaningful.

She also shared her love and appreciation of native garments from Mexico and South America. She had them displayed in several different ways; framed in a collection hanging on the wall and pillows on her sofa. In my opinion, the most remarkable way she displayed these stunning garments was as upholstery. She had a local friend quilt these native shirts, dresses and skirts into beautiful upholstery which covered two small sitting chairs in her living room. They consisted of every color in the rainbow and were the focal point of the room.

The project above was completed three years ago for my dear client (and friend) who has a beautifully acquired eclectic and well-traveled style. She has an eye and appreciation for the unique. Notice the peach colored lumbar pillows on the swivel chairs are made from vintage Chinese wedding blankets found at the flea market. 

Boy, was she specking my language! One of my favorite things to do is to go flea marketing, purchase an old, ugly chair (with great bone structure) and totally refurbish it with luxurious, fabulous fabrics. I have seven (yes, I have a chair fetish) chairs in my home that were once hideous and are now gorgeous. 

This also brought back a fond memory of when one of my dearest clients, now my friend Melissa, and I took a trip to the flea market in Pasadena. We both fell in love with these unique textiles we ran across called Bouyei blankets (wedding blankets) from the Bouyei region of China. We purchased these fabulous heirloom textiles and made them into delicious pillows. That was a fun trip and yes, I did purchase a vintage chair that day as well. 

Embrace the treasures in your home and make art of them, it tells a story about you!

Happy Designing & Happy New Year!

xo,

Sérendipité

 

 

An Intimate New Year's Eve 2015

sparkle feathers

What are your New Year’s Eve plans?!

Although a night out on the town is always fun on a special night like NYE, for some reason this year I am craving a simple, Chez-moi night. I imagine entertaining an intimate group of family and friends, making delicious appetizers, lovely libations and of course dressing up!

When dreaming up the perfect New Year's Eve for 2015 my romantic side cannot help but think of the final scene from one of my favorite movies "The Holiday".  I just love this scene where the entire family is dancing, laughing, hugging and thoroughly enjoying the night and each other’s company.

We hope your New Year’s Eve is as magical as this scene! 

Happy New Year’s! 

xo,

Sérendipité