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Sonoma Made: Your 2018 guide for Locally made gifts.

Gift Guide

We want to make your shopping experience a breeze this holiday season. For that reason we’ve created this holiday gift guide that features Sonoma County’s most talented makers.

Beer Candles

Due to the fact that guys love beer, we think they’ll love Jackie’s soy wax beer candles. Her candles are always in high demand at the Boho Bungalow, because she uses an edible grade of 100% soy wax and scents them with heavenly aromas.

Handmade Earrings

Sonoma County native, Georgia Dwyer, designs and crafts stunning original jewelry from her Sebastopol studio. For that reason she tops our list of must-have gifts this 2018 Holiday Season.

Soy wax Candles

My dear friend and neighbor, Kristie Sheets, is the founder of the rapidly growing candle company, Local Yokel. She crafts her candles in small batches with meticulous care using the finest ingredients, consequently her  product is a crowd favorite. For that reason we think her candles make the perfect gift for anyone on your list!

Carefully Crafted Jewelry

Julia of Topaz and Pearl creates unique handcrafted jewelry pieces for the modern bohemian. As a result her jewelry makes it easy for even the fashion novice among us to exuded effortless style and pull off that layered look with confidence.

Modern Brass Jewelry

Probably because Amano Studio delivers style, quality and innovation at a price we love, they have become a consistent favorite among our staff and customers.

CBD Salve

Give the gift of health this season with Bonnie’s cannabis salves, bath salts, and drops. Our customers love these products because they treat a long list of ailments which include; sore mussels, arthritis, anxiety and sleeplessness.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Quick Tips For Styling The Perfect Credenza

Hey Guys! I just wanted to share with you some quick tips for styling your Credenza. The tips and tricks that I am going to reveal to you can be applied to any flat surface in your home: buffet, nightstand, dresser, bathroom counter-top, etc.

Clear everything on the surface off your credenza and anything that might be hanging on the wall behind it.

Look around your house for art work and rugs that are in the same general color pallet.

For step three you want to think about what you actually need to have on your credenza. Depending on it’s function you will have different needs. If its located in your entry way you might want to add a dish to catch keys or a pretty bowl to toss the day’s mail in. If its in a bedroom you might need a clock or a jewelry stand. Think about function and then add in the fundamental items that will help keep your life simplified and clutter-free.

This is where the magic happens! You can add in your favorite candles, crystals, brass figurines anything that you love and that fits within the style and color pallet you’ve selected. I like to add the botanical last because they really bring the most to the party. The perfectly placed vase of flowers or macrame pot holder just ties it all together in the end.  You’ll be high-fiving yourself if you’re a dork like me.

The final step is to edit, regroup and put the finishing touches on your vignette.  As a final check list you want to make sure that you’ve incorporated the fundamentals of good design which are:

1. Color is your color pallet soothing to the eye?
2. Pattern adds visual interested, without it, thing will look dull so toss in some pattern.
3. Texture contrasting textures is really important. I’ve tried pulling together a vignette composed of all similar materials and it was so flat and boring. Mix up your textures for visual interest.
4. Shape  as with texture you need to have a variation of shapes. Have you noticed how a square pillow needs a round or rectangle pillow to set it off? The same principles can be applied throughout design. You have to have a variety shapes or it’s gonna to look amateur .
5. Repetition repetition creates a place for the eye to rest. The goal is to create visual interest, but too much visual interest can be overwhelming. Seeing repetition in design is calming and soothing.
6. Balance you’ll be able to tell if your vignette is off balance if it feels like it’s going to tip over in a certain direction. Stand back a squint your eyes. Does it look visually “heavy” on one side and not the other? Balance can also be applied to color. If you’re working with a really strong color you want to carry that color through your design so that one area isn’t over saturated.
7. Bling just like every good outfit looks better with jewelry, your vignette is going to shine when you pop in some sparkly crystals, shiny brass tray, or a mercury glass candle holder.
8. Botanical a vase of flowers or a cute little airplant has such a huge impact on a space. Layer them on thick, you really can’t over do it here.

Want more inspo? Check out this buffet that I styled in a previous post 

 

2 chairs get a Bohohemian Furniture makeover

Back when I first opened my shop in the later part of 2012 I was in a real junk-hungry state. Possible it stemmed from being overly optimistic, like that pathetic chic who still sees potential in her boyfriend even though he’s in jail, again. Or maybe it was an over-confidence in my own skills and commitment, thinking that I could take a cast-aside item and make it valuable again, much as an alchemist takes ordinary medal and transforms it to gold. Regardless of it’s root cause, the end result was a garage full of junk that would’ve been better off had it been left where it was found. If these chairs could talk they would tell you some stories, they spent 4 long and dusty years watching new projects come, old projects get finished and make that coveted transition from garage-junk to admired home decor.  Meanwhile I couldn’t quite wrap my little brain around just what I wanted for them. I could tell that they had real potential as I am nearly certain they’re original Milo Baughman and would just need to be re-covered to reveal the beauty lurking within. After much deliberation I settled on African Mudcloth which is a very bold and trendy look, but I am ecstatic with how they turned out and I gaze upon them with admiration everyday knowing just how far they’ve come in their journey.

Here’s the budget breakdown;
Chairs $25 each Vintage
Mudcloth Urban Outfitters 3 panels at $69 each
Upholstery cost $150 for each chair

Before photo of Milo Baughman mid-century teak chairs

Invaluable life lessons from 3 of the industries top designers

I’ve had a pretty amazing August, in which I flew across the country to meet some of the industries top designers. These design Mavens all have dynamic careers in which they employ a variety of their talents. I can’t wait to share with you what I learned, so read along as I unveil valuable insight garnered from these talented designers/authors/bloggers and TV personalities.

Justin Blakeney and Faith Parker at Las Vegas Market
Justin Blakeney and Faith Parker at Las Vegas Market

Justina Blakeney author of The New Bohemians, is one of my all-time design idols. She not only authors one of the best blogs out there, The Jungalow, she also has her own custom lines of wallpapers and rugs and she just launched an entire line of furniture and home decor items called Selamat. I could go on… but I wont because all the sudden I feel incredibly lazy and unaccomplished.  (insert weeping emoji here)

While attending the Las Vegas Market earlier this month I got a chance to see Justina Blakeney host a panel of design experts. Mainly they discussed design trends, but that wasn’t the big take away for me. I found the fact that of the six design panelists, only one of them went to design school. Which answers a very important question, just how do you become a  famous blogger or designer?  The general consensus from the experts panel was….Umm basically you just put yourself out there and give it everything you’ve got. There is no formal university degrees in blogging (is there? I am pretty certain there isn’t… but I could be wrong) there may be universities that offer degrees in interior design but some of the top designer and Instagram influencers didn’t get to where they are via those routes. They got there by hustling hard and getting better everyday (of course a large dose of natural talent never hurt either, just saying)

Photo Credit stylebyEmilyHenderson.com

Faith Parker with Emily Henderson

If you don’t know who Emily Henderson is, then you shouldn’t even be reading this blog right now. Obviously you have no interest in design or you would know this extremely popular author, designer, and HGTV Design Star winner and host of Secrets of a Stylist.

So if you know Emily, then you know she came prepared, she had notes, slides and volumes of content. Here’s what I gleamed from her presentation on blogging, at HGTV’s Bloggers Block Party.

My Girl EM HEN believes that getting started is the biggest step. She stressed the importance of putting yourself out there. In the beginning aspiring blogger like myself, should focus on producing content. It might not be gold, or even good, but it’s a starting point and it will give you something to build upon. The idea is that you will naturally improve as you continue on your path, which makes it crucial to be consistently publishing content.

She continued to say how important it is to find your authentic voice. “Universal and unique” were words she used to urge us blossoming bloggers to find a balance between appealing to everybody and not appealing to anybody. She stressed not to be “too weird, but rather compelling”.

She continued to advise us to own what we know, and be transparent about what we don’t know. Basically she was saying don’t be a phony, everybody hates a phony. There’s nothing wrong with taking on tasks that are out of your comfort zone, but be careful not to over sell yourself, know what your limitations are and be as forthcoming about your experience as you are about your inexperience.

Retro Living room designed by Meg Caswell Photo from HGTV.com

Meg Caswell with Faith Parker

Meg Caswell

If you follow my Instagram account than you already know just how desperately I wanted to win the NyNow design challenge which would include breakfast with the Meg Caswell. Thanks to everyone who voted,  I was selected as one of the 25 finalist.

So what does Meg have to teach us?

Her story is inspiring because she has truly combined hard work and intention to get where she is today. She believes in the law of attraction and actually credits the secret for helping her to achieve her career as a HGTV design star and television host.

Looking back on my decision to don bright yellow clogs, I am feeling that perhaps they were prophetic and symbolic of the Yellow Brick Road. As Dorothy and her friends find the attributes they were lacking, my bright yellow clogs lead me to find just the advise I was seeking. To summarize, Justina and her design panel showed me that, what’s more important than a fancy-pants design degree, is talent, drive and an initiative, Em Hen was the kick in the buns to get started with a healthy reminder to always be authentic, while Meg taught me to work really hard, but also not to forget to trust the Universe, and remember to ask it for what you want.

 

To paint or not To paint

I purchased this gorgeous dining set on craigslist for a song and while functionally it was a fit for my space, stylistically it wasn’t working.  The idea of painted furniture amongst the design community seems to be a polarizing topic.  After fighting the urge to paint the credenza for years, I finally surrendered to my desires and out came the paint brush. I suppose I broke a few unspoken rules regarding the custodial responsibilities of antique ownership but I couldn’t be happier with the results. Secretly it delights the rebel within.

Details: I made my own chalk paint by mixing plaster of paris, water and Benjamin Moore’s paint color Geranium. I then used Olde Masters crystal clear paste wax to seal and protect the finish.

Journey to Otavalo

So you know how the law of logic  say you can have something fast and cheap while sacrificing quality, or amazing quality and great speed, but you’re going to have to pay big bucks, or high quality, at a great price, but it will take an eternity. Well that may be sound logic everywhere else in the world, but it doesn’t apply to buses in Latin America, anyone who has been bounced around on a bumpy road on a hot stinking bus with a rooster in their lap can attest to the fact that you get CHEAP and nothing else.  

My last adventure on a Latin American bus was my trip from Quito to Otavalo. I was on a mission to bring back some beautiful hand crafted artisanal goods. I opted to take the bus because a taxi would have cut deeply into my profit margins. One of the scenes that was most memorable was when police boarded the bus. Dressed in costumes and holding a ventriloquist dummy, what amazed me most was how polite and friendly they were. Check out the video below, and notice the rooster  that crows at the 10 second mark.

When I finally arrived in Otavalo it was everything my little heart had hoped it would be. There was row after row of stalls overflowing with alpaca scarfs, beautiful handwoven alpaca blankets, hand crafted dream catchers, purses wallets, you name it. Basically a shop owners dream come true. I walked around taking it all in, making mental notes, asking questions and talking with the artisans. Before getting down to the negotiations I made sure to sit down to lunch and reflect on the items that I wanted to take home. Sadly I was limited by what I could physically carry back on the bus. 

Magical Tidying Tips

Probably because I bought the book, my social media news feed has been blowing up with posts about the “Life Changing Magic of of Tidying up” , have you noticed how often you’re marketed products that you have already purchased? It’s like “hey dumb-ass I already bought that, so you can save your money and try to sell me something new”, am I right?

Anyways, after reading on Apartment Therapy how life changing and miraculous  these tidying tips were, I downloaded a copy of the book and got to work. Because, let’s be honest, I am in a hopeless pursuit to be, thinner, richer,  and tidier.

The premises of the book is that you basically throw away everything that doesn’t “spark joy”. So basically after completing the first step of her 5 step series I am probably going to be walking around in the same two outfits that I have left. I feel like “spark joy” is a pretty high standard to live up to. How many socks do you own that actually spark joy? I am far from a hoarder and make frequent donation runs to the thrift store, but with this new criterion for evaluating whether  an item stays in my life or leaves it forever, I was rampant with the disposal process.

You get the sense very quickly that the author has a major case of OCD. At one point in the book she references her nightly routine which entails completely emptying her hand bag, and then placing her hand bag into its very own appointed bag, if that’s not OCD folks, I mean come on, she’s got a purse for her purse!

Regardless of her mental state, the general take away from the book is this; don’t hold onto a bunch of crap that you don’t use, treat your belongings with respect, find a place for everything and put things back where they belong.

Now if she could just help me evict the homeless tweaker that apparentlylives in my car, that would be real progress.

Another Reason to Love Brass

Brass has been making a steady comeback in the home fashion industry over the past few years. It’s safe to say that it’s pretty mainstream at this point, and for good reason, place a brass swan on a bookshelf for instant glam, add new brass hardware to quickly update cabinetry, or install a new brass chandelier for a fresh new look.
But wait there’s more…. brass is the  also the new look in jewelry, a trend I couldn’t be more thrilled about. As someone living with an extreme sensitivity to metal I often forego wearing jewelry altogether rather than endure the painful swelling and rash that often follows wearing cheap metals that contain nickle. I recently discovered, after reading this blog post, that brass is a hypoallergenic material.  Prior to this discovery I thought that investing in expensive 14k or above was my only option when it came to jewelry. This recent discovery has changed my life! I can buy trendy jewelry that I love without spending a fortune. As a result the Boho Bungalow is all stocked up with some really cute  and fun brass pieces, check them out here

Two Years of Awesome!

Two years have rocketed by since Vintage By Design first opened. Like a proud mama, I glean so much joy reminiscing over photos from the past. I’ve put together a collection of some of my favorite moments. Enjoy

I love how this little vignette came together.

Rosewood and leather ’nuff said.

Classic mid-century Credenza. These never seem to stay in the shop for long.

These mid-century wood frames chairs were Bee-You-Te-Full.

Good Ol’ Moby-This pretty little Brass whale didn’t spend too much time at the shop before it was scooped up and taken to it’s new home.

Before and After

Few things excite me more than a really great furniture rehab. Similar to alchemy, the thought of taking an essentially worthless item and giving it value, life and beauty is such an a thrilling concept. So here are a few B&A’s that I have been working on. The side table below just needed a little Boho Chalk Paint and some love to make it amazing!

Before chalk paint

After chalk paint

With just a 1/2 yard of fabric, this mid-century-modern foot stool has been transformed into something I am eager  to rest my toes on.

Before footstool

Footstool covered with a new Guatemalan

This mid-century office chair was lacking in style. With just over a yard of fabric, some spray paint and a staple gun. Voila, fun and fabulous!

Before photo of mid century office chair

After photo of mid century office chair

I hope you find some inspiration in these transformations! Don’t forget to stop by and see me at Vintage By Design in Occidental.We love visitors! Thanks for reading,

Faith P