Back in January, I was asked, along with four other trendsetters up and down the west coast, to be a part of the Reimagining the Sunset Home project. This involved designing and styling a room {in my case two!} to be viewed by 25,000 people and featured in the September issue of Sunset Magazine. Let’s repeat: Sunset. Magazine!

Completely shocked, rather terrified and ultimately overjoyed, of course, I said yes! By no means do I claim to be an interior designer. In fact, the only design that I’d done to date is in my own home, but this challenge felt like the ultimate stretch of my styling skills. Now, six months later and the major undertaking completed, as promised, I wanted to share more of my design journey with you. And quite the journey it was!

First up: where oh where to begin!


Sunset gave each designer an inspiration room taken directly out of vintage issues of the magazine {they keep copies of all issues of the 100+ year old pub in volumes in an onsite library. I got to see it. It was awesome!} Here was my inspiration room: a 1970’s rumpus room, complete with hammock! And I think my mom’s house still has that same rug, btdubs.

I immediately knew I wanted to modernize the idea of a rumpus room, since nobody has them anymore! I liked the idea of a room that still brought the family together, but with a twist on today’s way of life: No TV, no iPads, no phones. No electronics whatsoever! I wanted to create a space where a family can hang out and play games, read and just “be together.” The idea of an Unplugged Den was born.

Like most people these days, I started my design process off on Pinterest. I created two different boards- one for the Unplugged Den and one for my second assignment, a Home Office {you can see the boards here!}. I began dumping in inspiration images that went with the theme and soon saw a pattern of different elements I wanted to feature in the rooms: games, oversized art, comfort, and a cubby wall!


Since I was also given the task of designing the office {without an inspiration image as home offices didn’t really exist in the ’70’s!}, I wanted the two spaces to feel connected. Keeping with the-family-together-time theme, I decided to design an office where parents could work and children could do homework all at the same time. Again, I wanted things clean and white, with a touch of whimsy and a little dose of glamour {my dream office in the back of my mind and all}.


With a clear direction of where we were going in hand, the hard part came: designing layouts and finding the perfect pieces to fit within them. We hit the streets and searched the internet high and low for items that were reminiscent of those in our inspiration boards and we stumbled across some amazing finds!

No stay tuned, as next week we’ll break down the sources of some of our favorite pieces that made it into the final designs.

image by norman a. plate courtesy of sunset magazine

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  1. Our entire family loved your room, down to our three year old. There was something for everyone in your home office and unplugged den — and it was uniformly chic and cool. Loved it!