recently, resident sfgirlbybay photographer cindy loughridge stopped into the beautiful san francisco tea room, song tea & ceramics for a visit with peter luong, tea merchant, taster and buyer. with over a decade of field experience with traditional Chinese tea and tea ware, in March 2013, peter embarked for Taiwan and China to compile a collection of tea and ceramics of exceptional quality and character. Two months later, he returned stateside and began building a space to house that collection, and in October 2013, song tea & ceramics opened its tasting room san francisco’s lower pacific heights.
It’s a beautiful, considered space to taste and learn about tea. peter’s intention is to capture the depth and substance of tea culture, from discussions about taste, character and brewing to the myriad experiences that make his work so interesting: from travel notes to the occasional rare tea or ceramic discovery. if you’re in san francisco, do stop in for some tea, and peruse their lovely ceramic collections, including works from local designers like nathiya prathnadi. you can also follow along on instagram at @hellosongtea, as well as keep up to date on facebook.
Tuesday – Saturday
11am to 6pm
Sunday – Monday
Closed. Drinking tea.
• photography by cindy loughridge for sfgirlbybay.
i’ve recently started a new pinboard on pinterest entitled furniture finds, and it seemed like a no brainer that i should share it with you. if you’ve followed along on the blog for a while now, you know i love a combination of high and low, old and new, and super modern versus very vintage. a mix always makes for a much more interesting collection, don’t you think? with that in mind, here’s a few of my latest furniture finds.
5. west elm’s hairpin dining chair.
6. jonathan adler arden tufted sofa.
7. via doorsixteen, ikea’s new DALSHULT/SLÄHULT table coming soon.
one of the things i’m noticing as i hunt for my dream house, is how freakin’ badly some of them are staged for resale. i mean, there is just no forethought or taste happening here — or rather lots and lots of the lack thereof. i’m not sure why the Swedish have this down, but they do and from what i can see, we are hopelessly failing at staging homes for sale here in the states. yes, the odd house here and there is really great — like this one, but i’d say a good 85% have absolutely no staging at all, looks like a hoarder lives there, or somebody’s done a really poor job of creating an atmosphere that might remotely help you imagine buying their house. a lot of people have trouble looking past the debris and visualizing how they could possible make an utter wreck a home, so staging can go a long way when marketing your home. here’s some homes that went on the market on bo laget, and you can see, with an attention to detail and some cozy touches, how they’ve made it relatively simple to envision home sweet home.
• all photos courtesy of bolaget.
well if this wasn’t a jolly good assignment. the lovely folks at Farrow & Ball invited me to contribute to their city palettes — where they are traveling the country, tapping into design lovers in various cities to curate a palette of Farrow & Ball paint colors and wallpapers that speak to the design aesthetic of our own hometowns. if you weren’t aware before you’ll want to be — Farrow & Ball is the bespoke paint and wallpaper company from the UK, known for their curated palette of 132 paint colors and a collection of stunning wallpaper patterns that blend British tradition with a modern whimsy.
it was such fun to create my san francisco city palette! i used some of my favorite snapshots of iconic san francisco landmarks and paired them with paints and wallpaper prints from Farrow & Ball that i felt created a color palette that best reflects the city’s culture and design aesthetic. from the flower conservatory in golden gate park (up top) to chinatown, to the golden gate bridge (of course!) and finally to a few of my favorite victorians in the haight, this was such an inspiring, creative process to partake in. i think you should try it! for more on my city palette check out the farrow & ball blog, The Chromologist for my guest feature coming soon.
alrighty, we’re working our way from the outside in on my dream house. last week i shared with you exterior looks i really love, and this week i’m onto what i’d love the backyard to look like. this is rather subjective, of course, because you just never know what kind of landscape you’re going to land on or the architectural style of the house, but in a perfect world (and optimistically, that’s the world i’m choosing to live in) my backyard will have a deck area — preferably with a view — and a nice grassy spot for lucy to lounge about, too. sustainable and low maintenance would be ideal.
the thing is, i think the garden decor should compliment the home and its exterior as much as you would plan the inside of your home, and therefore, there’s several types of landscaping and patio/deck ideas i like. from very minimalist for a mid-century modern, to a kind of loose and carefree french countryside look more suitable to say the spanish architecture echo park and silver lake have to offer. but either would be a spot i’d hope to entertain with al fresco dinner parties on those warm L.A. nights. all of these ideas are a work in progress, just like my hunt for a home, but any one of these spaces has something lovely to dream about.
simple white outdoor spaces, via Ruben Ortiz photography; and cote maison.
a mid-century modern dream backyard with flagstone and bertoia chairs, via the design files (above and below).
a lot of the houses in the hills i’ve been looking at are terraced, so this is a nice idea for sectioning off cosy spots, via el mueble.
an outdoor shower? oh yes please. there’s nothing like it, especially after a hot day at the beach, via and the style files.
and a hammock? of course, via casa vogue.