Project Reveal: Nylas

Nylas was a particularly fun project, because designing an office space deviates from our usual design work (which is typically residential and restaurants). Right off the bat they started out with a great concept. Many of the employees are avid rock climbers and are inspired by the grand scale of National Parks. We chose finishes and a color palette that emulates the beauty of the natural world and the colors you see while rock climbing. 

Location: 695 Minna St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The lighting installation in the event space is to inpsired by the glow of a starry sky you only see when outside the city lights.

The mural in the kitchen is layered with rock climbing ropes that link the architecture of the “mountains”.

The kitchen was meant to feel communal and a place to gather their team. The low tables and stools feel more like a picnic table or a dining hall than a corportate lunch spot. 

The fireplace adds a natural warmth to the space and the brick walls gave us great bones to work off of. 

The communal spaces for the team needed to be collaborative in function and comfortable in form. We used rich leathers mixed with lots of textural patterns and a dark color palette to add a cozy cabin feeling.


Current Mood



What We Are Eating

It's not exactly a newcomer to San Francisco, but CALA has been consistently my favorite restaurant in the city since it opened over a year ago. 

What We Are Shopping

I've been coveting these green Dr. Martens for the longest time. It might be time to pull the trigger, as combat boots are showing up all over NYFW.

What We Listen To

It Ain't Me - Single

Kygo & Selena Gomez


What Inspires Us

This month the HCD team went to the Pace Gallery in Palo Alto to see an installation by Tara Donovan. While I have seen her installations before, it is always so refreshing to be reminded how simple unassuming objects can transform into incredible works of art. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

What We Are Wearing

Textured tops, big sleeves, pleated skirts, what more could a girl ask for?

What We Are Designing With

Below are some items that we are currently designing and styling with. Black and green have been in my intuitive picks lately. I love caning and mixing in natural materials to a space. This Kitchen is an insanely inspiring design by liljencrantz design


Our Favorite Showrooms In LA

We were recently in Los Angeles for DWELL on design and spent and entire day running across town in hunt of all the best showrooms in LA. Here is our round up of fabulous places you must visit ASAP that carry both vintage and new lines of incredible furniture, lighting and home goods. 

Galerie Half 

How To Do Timeless Tiki

Palm fronds, banana leaves, and other tropical prints seem to be having a moment right now. Add on top of that San Francisco's serious tiki culture (think Smuggler's Cove, Tonga Room, Trad’r Sam’s, Leo's Oyster Bar & Palm House) and you get lots of clients asking for their very own tiki room. Something we've been focusing on is how do we make this trend timeless for our clients. We've gathered up a few tips on how we think you can make this trend last for years to come. 

1. Vintage teak

Vintage pieces will add a retro appeal, while the tone of the wood will remind you of the rain forest. 

2. Wallpaper

Don't get too cartoony, also removable is also great option. Also You don't always have to go so literal. You can create the same feel with shapes and using tropical/jungle tones

3. Botanicals

Don't hesitate to bring in lots of plants and flowers to the space. Keep things fresh and lively and mix and match different green tones. 

4. Large scale prints

If wallpaper is too much of a commitment a large scale print will add create similar drama.

5. Keep it light

Don't let the space too dark, keep it bright and airy

6. Opt for a lighter weight rattan

The slim lines will keep the furniture looking more modern and less clunky

7. Upholstery

Chose smaller pieces you can easily swap out and update when you tire of a bold pattern. Think throw pillows ottomans and cushions not full couches. 

Tiki Room.jpg

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How to know if you need an Architect vs. Designer...and other trade savvy tips!

Many clients ask me this question:  how do I know whether I need an architect or a designer?  There really is no concrete answer; each project needs to be evaluated individually.  Here are some things that may help you understand the process and help you make a decision.

1. If your project involves brand new construction, or if you are completely demolishing your house or business, you are going to need an architect. Some architects have  design teams and some prefer to work with outside or third party designers.  In my opinion, interior designers and architects often think about space a little differently and if you can afford to have both, it is best to have more heads creating design solutions for you. 

2. If you are moving a few walls and updating items in your house you can most likely go with either. Most designers have the capacity to draw plans and have contractors pull permits for you. If you are remodeling a kitchen or bath, you will want to find a designer with a strong background in kitchen and bath design, or someone who has a team capable of design build and construction management. You may also need an architect depending on the complexity of your project.. The choice is yours;  it should be based on who you feel listens to you, and someone you feel you could work well with.

3. If you simply want to paint, add furniture, rework layouts and get your space looking photograph worthy, an interior designer is your best bet and obviously no architect is needed. That being said, align yourself with a firm who you feel really understands your needs and dreams. 

A few design tips to think about: 

- Custom isn't always more expensive than store bought  

- Take time to explore your style and what you like or dislike. This is the easiest way to get what you are really looking for. 

- Try not to get burned out! Remind yourself why you started this process and keep your mantra positive. It is very easy to get lost at the end of a project! 

- Be open minded. Many clients who are open to new and different ideas end up with designs they are happier with. 

- Take risks. This is the one I feel allows designs to really develop into incredible spaces! 


5 Easy ways to get started on the bathroom remodel of your dreams!

1. Decide what to keep - Which items in the bathroom you currently own really have to go and which can stay? For example, if you can keep the floors and the shower/tub in tact it could end up saving you a lot of money. Can you keep the location of everything just as is or do you need to move it around? This is the difference between what we call replacement in kind or full gut remodel. If you keep all your plumbing fixtures in their original location this could potentially save a lot on overall cost. 

2. Create a Mood board of all the items you like and see how they work together. Include anything you are keeping on the board like floor tile, shower head, vanity etc because it will visually allow you to see how each element relates to one another! Snap a picture and you can print them all out and glue them to a board or use photoshop or indesign to create a digital version. 

3. Dream big then cut back - This is another strategy I think is helpful to clients when trying to determine cost vs. value of certain items. The best thing to do is start really high level with your dream fixtures and finishes and then cut back to fit your actual budget. This will allow you to compare things with real numbers and context and you can make better decisions once you see the overall number. 

4. Create a budget - Put together a really simple spreadsheet that outlines how much you want to spend and work backwards. Some plumbing fixtures have multiple components so you will want to do the necessary research to figure out which ones need rough in valves etc.

5.  Review and Edit - I always tell my clients to sit with the mood boards I create for them for a few days or weeks to see if anything stands out that they start to dislike. Hang a copy of it up somewhere you look often and keep referring back to it until you absolutely love everything on it and can't live without the whole package! 

Here are some Mood board examples that might inspire you to get started!!!

powderroom bathroom remodel moodboard
Spanish bathroom remodel

How Interior Designers are using Ceramics!

My love and obsession for ceramic arts has and always will be an influence on the way I design and a huge part of my life. I am enamored by the truth and beauty ceramic sculptures embody. Taking raw earth materials and transforming them into dimensional shapes that create emotional reactions is the purist form of art I can think of. 

I am so inspired and in love with the sculptures, tiles, objects and accessories people today are creating and how we can use them in interior design. I feel that they resonate with clients because of their beauty and simplicity and they truly align with what I think is important in designing spaces.  To have something handmade or one of a kind in your home creates an honest appreciation for your space and can be so humbling to look at everyday. 

                              Cement Ceramics by Twocan Shop

                             Cement Ceramics by Twocan Shop

                                        Handmade Fireclay Tile

                                       Handmade Fireclay Tile