i used to do these posts all the time, and i really enjoyed them because they got my creative juices flowing — so i have no idea why i stopped (insert brain fade here). i spy with my little eye — did you ever play this game on family road trips? something your parents dreamed up to keep you occupied while they concentrated on the highway? i loved it as a kid, and i still do. i like finding images that create a theme around something i love, and a kind of ‘tumblr-esque’ visual mood board here on the blog. so i’m going to start i spy up again if that’s okay with you. sometimes, quite unintentionally, i seem to pin images with a similar or complimentary color palette and i seem to have done that lately — with shades of deep navy blue, honey-colored wood and pops of bright orange or copper, some colors i really love paired together. for whatever reason, they evoke the feeling for me of warm evenings in southern california — long, lazy nights outside in the backyard with the smell of orange blossoms in the air. ready? let’s spy some California nights.
these lovely spaces both belong to Benjamin Sormonte and Elisa Marshall, the creative couple behind maman, one of manhattan’s newest and most stylish eateries. recently featured on lonny as photographed by one of my favorite photographers, by Nicole Franzen — this is mixed collection of images of their bakery and café, and the couple’s sixth-floor loft in Tribeca. both spaces share a collection of diy’d furniture and vintage french country finds gathered upon their arrival in new york where they started their home from scratch, after their many travels abroad — from their ‘chance meeting’ in montreal, to toronto, london and ibiza, and finally landing in new york where they’ve settled in — at least for the time being. it’s a great story — from how they met, to their creation of maman, and you can read the whole story here, on lonny.
Top to bottom, left to right:
- A wonderfully woodsy spot for all your r&r needs
- Black and nude, a timeless pairing you can count on
- Salivating over the colors in this snapshot
- This peaceful indoor/outdoor seating area mix
- Soft pink makes for a serene sleeping space
i adore these kinds of love stories. or, perhaps you’d just call it a success story, but either way it’s a good one. holly mcdell and her partner mat pond moved to san francisco seven years ago, rather spontaneously. they were sitting in a bar one Sunday night in Sydney, and Mat said he felt like a change. holly replied “Here’s a cocktail napkin. Write down your three top cities if you could live anywhere. I’ll do the same. If we have any in common we’ll move there.” holly wrote down New York, Brasilia and San Francisco. Mat wrote Paris, Buenos Aires & San Francisco. Two days later they both quit their jobs, and three weeks later moved to san francisco, not knowing a single person! Seven years later they are still here with two young daughters, and a brand new business — the the epicurean trader that just opened in bernal heights. i drove by the other day and their shop looked so sweet i had to stop and pop in. what i discovered was my kind of shop — small batch artisan food and drink — everything from lovely cheeses and charcuterie, handcrafted chocolates, to spices, tea and honey.
holly’s a native of Auckland, New Zealand with a background is as an interior architect and graphic designer. and Mat is from the Hunter Valley just out of Sydney, Australia who worked as Global Director of Retail Franchise for Levi Strauss. Both are avid foodies and saw there was a real gap in the market for smaller artisan brands that have wonderful products, but lack the capital and brand recognition to ever make it into a larger markets and grocery stores. the two spent a year researching the best small batch products and makers in the country and now the epicurean trader is a curated selection of what they believe are the best few products in each category. mat and holly chose products for their incredible flavors and fusions, beautiful packaging and interesting stories. their goal is to be a brand ambassador for these smaller brands, sharing their stories and bringing many of them to San Francisco for the first time. great story, right? if you’re in the bay area hope you’ll stop into the epicurean trader, say hello and welcome mat and holly to the neighborhood.
the home that i bid on last week (and lost — boo hoo) had the most beautiful kitchen. sleek Carrara marble countertops and backsplash — and deep, almost-navy gray cabinetry. it was stunning. i could have cooked in there a whole lot! chop onions ’til i’m sobbing? no problem! alas, it is not to be, but it’s definitely got me considering that kind of makeover should the home i finally find need a renovation, and it’s entirely likely it will. a lot of the places i’m looking at are fixers, with ahem — atrocious looking kitchens. but thankfully, there’s plenty of inspiration out there on the interwebs these days — so i’m keeping track of my dream kitchens on pinterest, and in my imagination — here’s a few dreamy ones.