Sneak Peek: Carter’s Birth Announcements

If you’re a paper addict then this post is for you! I’ve always loved gorgeous paper products. From bespoke notecards to designing my wedding invitation back in the day – I’m always excited to get creative with paper. The obsession only grew when I started thinking about sending out Carter’s birth announcements. I wanted them to be truly special – a keepsake for everyone who received it. That’s why I was thrilled when the interwebs black hole magically led me to graphic designer Carla Fahden and her beautiful site Color Me Carla. I’m pretty sure it was a Pin of her stunning living room that landed me on her blog, but it was Carla’s graphic design work that stopped me dead in my tracks. I immediately knew I needed Carla to create Carter’s announcement.

Just take a look at the final product. Do I even need to explain why?!

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But of course I can’t resist digging into the details for you – because there are so many sweet ones that I think really make Carla’s work stand out from the crowd!

Working with Carla started with the mood board below. Carla immediately understood my style. The muted, but chic color palette? Perfection. Her font selection offered a mix of typefaces with a handwritten feel juxtaposed with some crisp san serif options. Brilliant. And I really wanted to feature a picture of Carter’s little baby feet, because you know, who doesn’t love baby feet!

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Carla really prides herself on create unique personal touches so we started with custom patterns. Carla hand illustrated both the background of the announcement card as well as the envelope liner. I decided to go with a moons, stars and clouds motif after the theme of my Seattle baby shower {thrown by the inimitable Cassandra of coco + kelley}. The soft grays give the sweet illustrations a sophisticated touch. The look felt charming without being overly saccharin.

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For the card itself, we decided to go with a flat cardstock that would have images on both sides. I loved Carla’s idea to use a printed photograph on the card’s front rather than printing directly onto the stock. Carla adhered the black & white image to each card with washi tape. The combination of the luxe moment of the printed photograph combined with the washi tape DIY really elevated the entire suite’s feel. We then printed the image of Carter’s cute baby toes on the back of the card, superimposing the text over the top. The final effect was just perfect.

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Carla also kept what would make the process of sending cards easier for us new harried parents top of mind. She not only pre-printed all of the mailing and return addresses on the envelopes, but she also pre-sealed all the cards! All I had to do was add the stamp {I picked this one} and drop them in the mail. Genius. Carla added another dash of washi tape to connect the outside with what recipients would find within. Swoon. Really no attention to detail was spared and I couldn’t be happier.

And now Carla has launched a full assortment of baby announcement options. They’re so cute it almost makes me want to have another kid to be able to get to pick another gorgeous design. Almost.

From Carla herself: For the past few years I have offered hand-painted wedding stationery to couples around the world. I’ve always loved illustrating and painting and when we had our baby boy last summer I was excited to create custom birth announcements to announce his arrival. Our son’s name is Woody so the announcement featured a forest full of woodland creatures with mix-matched patterns that reflected our own personal style. I included special touches like envelope liners and had the pieces printed on a thick 100% cotton paper stock. The end result was a very special keepsake that our friends and family loved.

Since I’ve designed wedding stationery for so many newlyweds over the past couple years, I thought offering birth announcements would be a great way to work with some of the same clients again. I now offer an array of different birth announcements that mix patterns, fonts and color palettes in a way that feels unique yet timeless. I’ve really enjoyed working with new moms and dads as they go through such an exciting time in their lives!

For more musings about mama-hood CLICK HERE.

For a peek into our nursery and loft design CLICK HERE.

REMODEL UPDATE: This Old Victorian

I realize it’s been a hot second since we provided an update on the remodel of our San Francisco Victorian. That’s because there really hasn’t been much to show or tell for quite a few months now – unless you’re fascinated by plumbing, electrical work or the art of insultation. It’s riveting stuff, let me tell you. If you’ve ever gone through an extensive remodel, I’m sure you can relate. There’s an extended amount of time where it really looks like nothing has happened. But, I’m pleased to report we finally have real progress! There are walls. Rooms are starting to look like actual rooms. Flooring is about to go in. These are major milestones for us. Here are a few sneak peeks!

IMG_1564this taken from our living room looking into what will be our kitchen! We removed two walls to create an open concept space.

IMG_1559 I love the curviture of our staircase. Now I just have to design a banister…

IMG_1557 We’re keeping all the original molding and those killer archways throughout the house.

IMG_1552Looking from the dining room into living room/kitchen. I’m just dreaming of those oak floors being laid. 

Now that all the ugly stuff is done, we’re moving onto the fun – finish work! Think light fixutres, counter tops, cabinet design. I’ve been obsessing about our master bathroom lately. It’s a bit of a holy grail of homeownership after all. We actually took an extra bedroom to create the master suite of my dreams. Here’s what it is going to look like!
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All the dream bath ingredients are here. His & Hers vanities. A little room for the toilet to call home. We’ll enjoy the modern revelation called a linen closet. No more shoving towels and sheets where ever the heck I can find space. We’re also creating a dual-headed shower, with a rain showerhead – what I hope will be my tiny oasis from the rest of the world! My goal is to create a spa-like atmosphere. I want this to be my little respite from the rest the world. These are a few of the inspiration images I pulled onto my moodboard.

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As with most other things in my day-to-day, I’m drawn to a neautral color palette. Natural materials like stones and wood will have a soothing feel. One of the bathroom’s biggest features is going to be the shower. It will be the first thing you see as you walk from the bedroom into the space. At 12″ tall, it’s got to be eye catching. 

To create something modern, but also timeless, I headed to Fireclay Tile – an amazing San Francisco-based tile maker. Working with their in-house design team, we decided to do a play on the classic subway tile look. To take a modern approach, the shower will feature an oversized version their Edge tile line. The tile is crisp and clean with sharp edges. I love the color Feldspar – it’s just a touch warmer than white and looks gorgeous in a matte finish. You can see the sketch of the final tile design below.

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I am so excited to see that oversized subway pattern stretching 12″ tall! We’re also tucking in a teak bench and a hidden products storage cubbie behind the wall. I know California is in a drought but it’s going to be really hard to not spend hours in that shower!

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links: white towels, fouta towels, waffle towels, jute basket, petrified wood stool

bathroom-accessories

link: toilet paper holder, towel hanger, toothbrush, candle, container, toilet brush

When it comes to accessories this is where I want to warm up the space with super cozy towels, woven baskets and a natural stump stool. Modern towel racks in black will add a touch of trendiness. 

There’s still quite a bit I’m debating. I haven’t nailed down a paint color. I’m also hunting for great bathroom mirrors (any hot tips?!) and have yet to fall in love with a wall sconce. But all in all, it’s coming together! I can actually envision getting ready in this room everyday. 

The countdown is on!

Designer Files: {A Pure and Poetic Parisian Apartment}

This monochromatic Parisian apartment brings new meaning to the idea that your home should be your oasis. Decked in various shades of the same custom gray hue dubbed “craie,” is gorgeously soothing, sophisticated and full of fluidity and detail. This balance of making a modern space look cozy and inviting has been on the top of our must-master list for a long time. So when we got the chance to pick the designer, Guillaume Alan’s brain about transforming this apartment into a work of art – poetry even – we jumped on it. There are some great pointers in our interview, so get ready to take notes!

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About The Space 

For this particular project, it was really a meeting between the uniqueness and perfection of the homeowners and of the place and me, both trying to reach excellence while sharing a common passion for Asia. Two apartments were joined together and we did a complete renovation of the space to follow the light and sun during the day. Everything has been designed with a calm and relaxing [mood in mind] according to the owners’ needs.

Purity is a way of life. I think this is exactly what this project embodies. This space can be summed up in three words: luxurious, calm and poetic. It has a feeling of great simplicity and absolute purity. It’s austere yet there is no coldness, as we know how to add softness with a discreet range of tones and monochromatic shades. The architecture, as well as the decor, gives birth to a calm, pure space where luxury and rigor coexist without being ostentatious.

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His Favorite Element

I think [my favorite piece is] the Tamon ensemble. It’s a long dining table that has a monastic and very pure aspect about it and you can see that from several points of view. I was inspired by calligraphy drawings, so we started from a calligraphy piece – drawings with a fine brush that are very gentle and convey movement – and actually incorporated it by cutting it into the material. The result was that we managed to give this specific piece a nobility that is both vibrant and sophisticated though the use of the calligraphy, through the proportions of the table and through the mat satin finish. 

On Monochromatic Decor

The tone in the whole space is a very light grey, we call “craie”, our very own bespoke color, which is represented in the entire apartment on different materials and textures (walls, ash wood, corian, silk curtains, wool, pattern fabric in wool and silk, linen rugs). It gives a very harmonious feeling to the space and a certain depth as each surface captures the light differently.

For example, the way the very “crunchy” curtains in silk capture the light creates a beautiful contrast in texture with the very modern Corian material of the dining table. The silk curtains are totally bespoke, handmade by a parisian seamstress who follows the same rules as Haute Couture manufacturing.

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Design Advice 

Remember 5 words:

Timeless: I am very attached to the tradition of French classicism, but I am trying to rewrite it using pure lines. When I launched my first collection, it was 18th century architecture and furniture with a 21st century style. I choose this aesthetic because I know it will never go out of style, it’s timeless.

Serenity: In a very quick world and when lives are very busy, it is so important to have havens of peace that are calming and pure. Think soft monochrome color palettes and degraded shades.

Elegance: This is fundamental to a beautiful home or apartment. I use it in all aspects of the design process: in lighting, in materials, in shapes, in colors. When decorating your home, always have elegance as your main focus.

Precision: Although in many ways simplicity is very hard to achieve, precise simplicity is what makes a stunning interior. Perfect and simple lines executed with precision. Incorporating hard-to-find pieces and working hand in hand with the most advanced craftsmen to select the wood and perfect finishes all tie back to a passion of precision.

Poetry: Just because forms are pure and structured and austere, doesn’t mean a space has to feel cold. It’s always about balance, alchemy. Try to bring softness and poetry in to arouse emotions. I think this is this stamp of our work and interiors.

So what do you think?? So good, right?! We’re literally keeping bits of Guillaume’s interview in plain view as daily decorating reminders. The idea that elegance should be a main focus in design really resonated with us. Personal style evolves and after going through more room facelifts that one wants to admit, I’ve noticed that the pieces that I keep all have a special and timeless quality to them. And while it can be really difficult to execute, curating with the precision Guillaume talks about is something we all could be more aware of when choosing a new piece for a space. It sure would save a lot of money over the years and help to create the oasis we’re all looking to come home to!

images c/o Guillaume Alan