friday finds.
by victoria comment


white fireplace and mantel with ceramic vase collection. / sfgirlbybay

i can’t believe that as i write this, Thanksgiving is just a week away. where did another year go? and whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or lucky enough to be a guest this year, i thought this week’s friday finds should perhaps provide you with a few helpful holiday suggestions. we’ll be around next week until Wednesday and then we’ll be off celebrating, too. cheers to that!

xo, victoria

  1. first up, it always helps to get your home houseguest-ready in baby steps rather than tackling it all at once. this weekend, perhaps it’s time to spruce up the fireplace mantel and give it a little love. i’m not one for a lot of traditional holiday decor — just some candles and greenery go a long way.
  2. i really love the idea of creating a cheese plate extraordinaire like this beauty from stylist pearl jones. it doesn’t have to stay this way, but creating a beautiful sculptural piece with artisanal cheeses and fall fruits can almost double as a centerpiece. get creative with it.
  3. if you’re doing a floral centerpiece, it doesn’t have to get expensive, and keeping it simple can be both elegant and stunning. these single stem poppies in various re-purposed glass jars and vases looks so pretty and let’s your delicious food do all the talking.
  4. or should you find yourself with some time on your hands, decide to get a little exotic with your floral centerpiece this year with a trip to the local flower mart or florist (or even trader joe’s) for a few of your favorite branches and then blend them together. or, if you’re heading out, a pretty vase and florals make a thoughtful hostess gift, too.
  5. depending on where you live, it might be warm enough to eat outdoors (hello, Californians!) i love this lighting installation hung from a gorgeous old tree, but you can bring the outdoor lights inside, too and string them across your dining room for a lovely and festive lighting effect.
  6. heading home for the holidays? got an extended family that doesn’t always get along? may i suggest reading a david sedaris novel before arriving? you can go home again, but his collection of comical personal essays will help ease the pain and awkward moments of families that don’t always see eye to eye, whether it’s politics or other current affairs. no family says dysfunctional as loudly as his does, so it might help to laugh it off.
  7. and be sure to get your bar cart ready! nothing smoothes things over like a signature holiday cocktail. you might like to check my cocktail pinboard for recipe ideas, or spend this weekend practicing and creating your own!
  8. when all else fails, escape. there are so many dreamy cabins available to rent on airbnb these days, so why not get away from it all and start your own holiday tradition? at least every other year if you can get away with it!

minimalist modern cheeseplate. / sfgirlbybay

wild poppies in single stem vases on rustic wood dining table. / sfgirlbybay

exotic floral arrangement in modern ceramic vase. / sfgirlbybay

string lights hanging from large tree branch over outdoor dining table. / sfgirlbybay

david sedaris' novel dress your family in corduroy and denim. / sfgirlbybay

vintage wood bar cart against dark green wall. / sfgirlbybay

a-frame cabin in the woods. / sfgirlbybay

wear this there: the manufactory at ROW DTLA.
by victoria comment


industrial exterior of the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

i popped into the manufactory at ROW DTLA and silly me, i realized i’d never shared this yummy eatery on wear this there as of yet. so pardon my faux pas, but this over-achiever of a place in los angeles beautifully designed by san francisco-based studio bba, is not only a bakery (the bread is to die for), cafe & coffee shop, a pizzeria, an italian supper club, it’s a marketplace too, with all kinds of gourmet fixings and kitchen accouterment i have a hard time leaving without. born of the san francisco dynasty, tartine (and now in Berkeley, too) the manufactory is delicious in every way. we’re headed there in casual, but chic black jeans and leather jacket, a flouncy top, the coolest boots and a beanie for extra street cred — the ROW is very industrial, after all — taking shape in old L.A. warehouses. while trying one of everything on the menu, you might like to brush up on bill bryson’s latest book, The Body: A Guide for Occupants — a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body. As addictive as it is comprehensive, this is a must-read owner’s manual for everybody.

modern dining room inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

modern black and white outfit inspired by the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

wear this there: cos COTTON TOP WITH PLEATED HEM; cos ZIP-UP LEATHER JACKET; Nicole Saldana Carol Boot in Beige; Jane Doe Sunglasses in Warm Sand; Acne Studios Peele Beanie in Black; true botanicals CALM Pure Radiance Oil; read this there The Body: A Guide for Occupants by bill bryson; givenchy black nail polish; madewell Jungle Cat Trouser Socks; clare v. sylvie tote bag; Stelen Skylar Metal Bracelet; cos SLIM LEG JEANS.

cookbooks for sale in the manufactory at ROW DTLA's marketplace. / sfgirlbybay

industrial modern interior of the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

modern bakery inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

restaurant with wine wall inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

industrial modern restaurant inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

packaged goods for sale at marketplace inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

modern marketplace inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

modern bakery selling pastries inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

industrial modern interior of the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring modern interior of the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

cheese and charcuterie shop inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

kitchen goods for sale inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

home goods for sale inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

goods for sale inside the manufactory at ROW DTLA. / sfgirlbybay

handmade preserves for sale from tartine bakery. / sfgirlbybay

industrial modern exterior of the manufactory at row dtla. / sfgirlbybay

• photography by jakob layman and victoria smith.

instagram worthy: @atelier.ellis.
by victoria comment


atelier ellis handcrafted paint samples. / sfgirlbybay

i just recently stumbled upon this inspiring instagram worthy account out of london and i think you’re going to like it. meet @atelier.ellis an independent hand-crafted company that makes things that are simple, useful and beautiful for your home — deeply pigmented paint colors, handmade furniture, and textiles that help us create homes that are the perfect backdrop to how we wish to live. atelier ellis is everything you’d want a company to be, and i find their aesthetic both soothing, dramatic and ultimately truly authentic. and i love the creative way in which they share their color palettes. all their beautiful paint colors are hand-mixed in London and their bespoke furniture is hand-made in their workshops in Sussex. have a look around@atelier.ellis — i think you’ll find them as brilliant as i do.

pink velvet sofa and blue linen ottoman. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring interior with mix of handmade and vintage furniture via atelier ellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

bohemian modern bedroom with pink wall paint via atelier ellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

atelier ellis paint samples in pastel color palette. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring interiors and paint colors via @atelierellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring interior with pale green wall paint by atelier ellis in london. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring interior and gray wall paint by atelier ellis in london. / sfgirlbybay

small framed portrait painting and vintage black cabinet and chair via @atelierellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

black cabinet filled with vintage ceramics in rustic modern home via @atelierellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

vintage home furnishings in rustic modern space photographed by @atelierellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

black wall paint in bedroom with white linen bedding and rustic wood bench via @atelierellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

bedroom with vintage headboard and painted wood bedside table with white task lamp. / sfgirlbybay

handcrafted paint samples by atelier ellis in london. / sfgirlbybay

pink velvet sofa designed by atelier ellis in london. / sfgirlbybay

vintage modern interior photographed by @atelierellis on instagram. / sfgirlbybay

• photography courtesy of @atelier.ellis.

pinterest practices for pros.
by victoria comment


pink pinterest board pins. / sfgirlbybay

as you may have seen last week on instagram, i made a visit to the pinterest offices for a little ‘tune-up’ shall we say on my account. it was rather eye-opening to say the least, especially when i realized i had not been using pinterest to its full potential for many many years (I’ve been on the platform since the beginning in 2010!). i do very well on the platform and it’s actually the number one driver of traffic to my blog (for instance 7,000 views per day from pinterest, versus 300 from Facebook), but to think that i could have been doing far better was a wake-up call, and as one of the original pinners, i’d like to share what i learned with you. also, i don’t know about you, but while other social platforms have gotten super political, or violating our privacy, or simply messing with the algorithms, i’m really just so happy to hop on pinterest and find joy and inspiration, and never a political ad.

pinterest practices for pros blog series. / sfgirlbybay

so, if you’ve been looking to improve your following on pinterest, or support a business, or just want to have a better experience searching for the kind of content you’d like to see, i’m going be doing some creative consulting with pinterest on what it can do to improve (more on that soon) and i’d like to let you in on what i learned in an on-going blog series of tips i’ll call pinterest practices for pros. i don’t want to overwhelm you, so i’m going start with the main priority in using pinterest — the all-important description.

pinterest descriptions:
• First off, what you may not know is that you may not have been describing your content to the best of your ability. a great Pinterest strategy is about frequency, quality, and SEO (search engine optimization). The better you get at this, the more your pins will be seen, and the more your following has the opportunity for growth. For good SEO on pinterest you’ll want to focus on doing the following:

• prioritize writing 1-2 human-readable sentences that describe your content or idea with great, search-friendly keywords. Think about how you search on Pinterest and what keywords you would use to find what you’re looking for.

• Remember this: You have 500 characters per Pin description. here’s an example of a sample pin with description and hashtags (just below).

pinterest best practices example. / sfgirlbybay

aqua blue pinboard on pinterest by victoria smith. / sfgirlbybay

don’t do what I was doing and name your boards or content with something you might find clever or fun if no one can find it. For example, I had a board called Aqualand (just above) which I just thought to be so fun — but seriously, when you’re searching for aqua blue or pale blue or turquoise inspiration would you ever on earth search for Aqualand? I doubt it. I’ve renamed it simply Aqua Blue, which is an easy to find board.

• Then, you can add up to 20 hashtags to reiterate keywords, capture other keywords you might’ve missed, or of course hashtag brand sponsors or #sponsored if applicable. hashtags describe the image to the best of your ability, so for instance: #vintage #black #eameschair #chair #diningchair — anything you’d think of to search to find the image if you were on the hunt.

pro tip:
• If you get stuck on what good keywords are, just plug in something like “socks” or “guest room” into Pinterest search and see what the top related terms are. to see some Good examples within the ‘home category’, for instance, check out Hunker or Remodelista’s content — they do a great job that i plan on emulating.

sample board title tutorial for pinterest. / sfgirlbybay

Board titles:
• Special characters such as | * ~ etc. will “break” the search-friendliness of your board titles, so don’t use any special characters to describe your boards. i was doing that and it made them rather difficult to search.

• Also, consider search-friendly keywords in the titles themselves, ie: Jewelry — i was using ‘Baubles’ which again, may be witty and fun if you think like me, but people rarely search for ‘baubles’ when searching for jewelry, right?

okay, that’s it for this lesson! if you have any questions of comments please let me know and i’ll do my best to guide you! cheers, and here’s to pinning!

pinterest board with pins of inspiring home decor and interiors. / sfgirlbybay

pinboard filled with inspiring book cover images. / sfgirlbybay

black and white pins on a pinterest pinboard. / sfgirlbybay

new wave of surf style.
by victoria comment


minimalist modern surf vibes. / sfgirlbybay

i can’t help myself — i just really love surf culture, i grew up with it and i find after moving to laguna that i’ve embraced it even more and brought lots of these beach vibes into my new home. but i try to think that it’s not the kitschy, colorful surf look you might come to expect from say, a 1950’s Gidget movie, but a more modern, new wave of surf style. there’s a little more sophistication to it, a blend of natural elements like palm fronds, slick black surfboards and bamboo. it still feels retro, but maybe just more grownup. here’s a look at what’s inspiring me right now — clean lines, vintage modern furnishings all pulled together with a fresh, but eclectic beach shack style. if you like this look, i highly suggest Nina Freudenberger’s book Surf Shack to help you get it.

whitewashed interior with vaulted ceilings and minimalist furnishings. / sfgirlbybay

vintage portrait painting and record player on modern cabinet. / sfgirlbybay

bohemian modern bedroom with wallpaper. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring modern interiors with beach vibes. / sfgirlbybay

rustic wood surfboard as wall decor. / sfgirlbybay

black and white interior with black marble surfboard as wall decor. / sfgirlbybay

whitewashed sophisticated beachy interior. / sfgirlbybay

modern interior with vaulted ceilings. / sfgirlbybay

outdoor open air fireplace. / sfgirlbybay

modern eclectic beachy living room decor. / sfgirlbybay

stacks of dried sea coral. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring decor and interiors with beachy, surf vibe. / sfgirlbybay

exposed beamed ceiling in rustic surf shack. / sfgirlbybay

modern bedroom with chic beachy decor. / sfgirlbybay

modern desk area and shelves with beachy decor. / sfgirlbybay

• photography credits in order of appearance: in bed store; @kawa_heart_studio; nicole valentine; melissa kaseman photography; @_numeroventi_; santa monica proper hotel; west out east lounge chairs; i.d.f.c.; kendra alexandra; vestiariusium; the brick house; the design chaser; remodelista; @skyn.therapy; studio cd design; remodelista; the maryn; planete deco; @nataliewalton; home beautiful australia; Surf Shack book by Nina Freudenberger; Rodolphe Parente sculpture via milk decoration; @kawa_heart_studio; scrawny story; uncrate; @kumichan329; sabon home; billabong; remodelista; leanne ford interiors; plante deco; @evokethespirit; surfrider hotel via blissful blog; malibu surfrider hotel via blissful blog; colin king; surfrider hotel via blissful blog; @bestow_co.