Posts Categorized: Design

collaborations + Design + giveaway / Thursday, 27 Mar 2014


This Saturday, I’m partnering up with one of my favorite brands, U.S for a Pinterest Happy Hour: an afternoon of live pinning featuring my favorite design, décor, and DIY pins! 
Join me on Saturday, March 29th at Noon EST to get in on the pinning action. will also be hosting a giveaway during this time so keep your eyes peeled for the hashtag, #PillowPin2Win for a chance to win a snazzy pillow simply by repining the image! 
For now, head over to U.S on Pinterest, follow them, and keep an eye on their board, Design, Décor, D.I.Y Happy Hour! 

Design + flowers + Pageant of the Masters / Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014

Pageant of the Masters: Pieter Faes

I grew up going to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, California, an annual pageant that recreates the paintings of the masters with live models (as you might recall from Arrested Development). After studying art history and subsequently interning for a few art museums, I find myself constantly relating everything back to the original works of the masters because it’s laid the foundation for what we do today.
One idea that has been germinating for awhile in my mind is to recreate some of these works in real life, and more specifically, works relating to flowers, of course. I’ve teamed up with floral designer Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral and photographer Kate Osborne to recreate one work per month starting with a still life from Pieter Faes. 
First it started with finding the right vessel. Shockingly, it’s tough finding a Greek-inspired urn. I ended up finding an urn-type vessel at a nearby antique market that fit the bill.
Ashley Beyer found the exact flowers from the painting and a couple that were close): lilac, coral charm peonies, white mojelika spray rose, viburnum berry, parrot tulip, daffodils, delphinium, Juliet garden rose. The only one not in season was forget-me-not, so we made do with a blue-ish berry.
And after a some backstreet driving from Kate and me, Ashley worked her magic and created this:
Drumroll please…..
It’s so interesting to dissect a piece of art because you start realizing the license that the artist takes in creating something. For example, the left angle of the table can only be achieved if it’s a severe angle to the viewer or a tiny piece of wood. Additionally, the vase in the painting is lit from the left, but the background is also lit from behind on the right. Faes probably created this lighting to create more drama but is it likely that he had two lighting sources? Who knows. The more I do and study art, the more I realize that art is constant creative decision making and lots of liberty. 
Faes was an 18th century floral painter from Southern Netherlands whose works served as models for sculptor Van Huysum. He was very much inspired by the painters from the golden Dutch baroque era with a moody dark atmosphere contrasted with bright colors.

We’re excited to experiment recreating the works of the masters and can’t wait to show you what’s in store for the rest of the year.

Florals by Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral
Photography by Kate Osborne
Art direction by Brittany Jepsen
Image of painting from here

Design + giveaway + Life / Monday, 17 Mar 2014

Giveaway: Saguaro hotel in Palm Springs

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m super pleased to be doing a giveaway with Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs, California. SQUEALS.

As you might recall, I participated in Meet Make Do with some awesome crafty ladies (see the recaps here and here) and after a twist in our plans, we ended up staying at this colorful getaway. It was all my technicolor dreams brought to life (remember how I matched the bedspread?!?). Some of the comments on my Instagram posts from you read something like: “It’s on my bucket list to stay there” and “I’ve always wanted to stay there.” Well, wait no more because our fine friends at Saguaro (also in Scottsdale, Arizona) are offering 2 nights AND a facial. Dreamy, huh?!

You’ll stay in a room like this:
And tell me this isn’t perfect…the colors used throughout the hotel are based on desert flowers. Is this meant to be or what?! 
And lastly, you’ll go through the entrance like this with a ping pong table waiting for you.

What more could you want?!

Well, turns out their restaurant, Tinto from Chef Garces, is delightful so you’ll definitely want to eat in at some point. We ate there for breakfast and got the french toast and it was killer.

AND, their spa is the only one in the area that offers Intraceuticals Oxygen Treatment (note: the giveaway is only for the facial)

AND, Palm Springs is the BEST for mid-century everything AND sun AND relaxation.


SO, what do you have to do to enter? First, check out the Saguaro Tumblr and Saguaro Facebook site and then…

  1. Follow The House That Lars Built on Instagram and post a picture of a color that inspires you and why. A red apple? A green gecko? A fancy blue skirt? Anything! Tag it with #LarsSaguaroGiveaway As you might be able to tell, Saguaro is all about color so we want to see how you use it! 
  2. Follow Saguaro on Instagram @thesaguarops
  3. “Like” The House That Lars Built on Facebook 
  4. Leave a comment here on the blog telling me that you’ve complete the steps.
The contest ends Friday, March 28th. 
Good luck!
Note: This contest is open to US citizens only. Travel to and from hotel is NOT included. This is only for 2 nights stay and a facial. $500 value.

Last photo by Mary Costa Photography
The rest from my Instagram and Saguaro’s website

Design + Events + Friends of Lars + Life + travel / Friday, 7 Mar 2014

Meet Make Do Part 2

Yesterday I talked about the crafting retreat I attended last week in Palm Springs, Meet Make Do. Today I’m finishing up starting with a change of scenery. See this bright of colorful sunshine above? That there is the Saguaro Hotel. It comes into the story in just a bit. But in the mean time…

You might remember from yesterday that we were staying at a really awesome mid-century house, which was perfect for our needs. We all had our rooms and then a central gathering place to craft not to mention a pool and tons of beauty. Serene. Well, we returned home from dinner the second night and found that our place had been robbed. Eeeeeeek. For reals. The two little casitas in the back of the house had been ransacked. Laptop, money, wallets…gone. Two girls lost a lot of valuable stuff, not to mention a sense of safety and comfort in a new place with new people. Erin of House of Earnest was one of those and you have to read her account of it. I admire her for her amazing perspective while being in such a vulnerable position.

The police came and did their thing and because of a lack of feeling safe in our place, our hosts and our sponsor, Bing, decided that the best solution was to find a hotel to stay for the night. Through the horrible events of the night, the highlight of the situation was trying out something new. Enter Saguaro. I can’t say I was super bummed about our new locale.

Erin mentioned something in her post that was spot on. We no longer had a place to craft and do our thing AND THEN, the elements decided to turn on us and rain the next day so our plans really went out the window. BUT, the change of plans brought us closer together. We ended up spending time together chatting and really getting to know each other. Some of my favorite moments were late night chats with my roommate, Melanie from You Are My Fave and our last night together as a group gathered in Erin’s hotel room eating cheese and pretending as if we were circled at a campfire. I felt 16. I felt bonded. We talked about what it means to be generous and a good person. I can’t imagine a better ending to what could have been a truly negative experience. Have you ever come out of an awful situation feeling reenergized? It’s incredible how those things happen.

Above, the first night we ate delicious food at Workshop Restaurant. And see the name tags? All the cool writing was done by Striped Cat Studio. The next night the ladies had coordinated an amazing taco bar on top of the Ace Hotel
And we were presented with some lovely goodies like these prints from Minted.
I had really been hoping to get my hands into the amazing florals that the girls had brought the play with from Flower Muse, but sadly, because of the change of events we didn’t get to do so. Sad face. How gorgeous are these David Austen roses???

 This is the view of the Saguaro from my room.

 And Kelly matched the walls.

Back in the day I interned for Jonathan Adler and I finally got to visit the hotel he designed, The Parker, which is impeccable. So so gorgeous. I forced Ashley to take a door shot.

Now, how embarrassing was this. I brought my skirt that I found at a vintage shop years ago. I perfectly matched the bedspreads in the hotel rooms. I compare it to the time I showed up to high school on the first day wearing the same thing as my teacher, DJ Tanner style. You know what I’m talking about. I got a lot of compliments from the housekeepers.

I had to get a shot with the B. And that uncomfortable face I’m pulling is a result of rain and wind in my face.

Well, that’s it folks. A lot of really great times combined with some not so stellar moments. But I’d do it again in heartbeat.

Thank you to so many people for making it happen. Especially Chelsea from Lovely Indeed, Kelly from Studio DIY, Brittni from Paper & Stitch and BING who is the best. Also a big thank you to West Elm for providing a lot of the styling pieces we were going to use (doh!). Jordan Brantley for all the branding and all the others who I mentioned yesterday and above. Can we do round 2 please???

photography by Mary Costa Photography with some snapped from my iphone and one from @lovelyindeed

Crafts + Design + Friends of Lars + Life + Party + travel / Thursday, 6 Mar 2014

Meet Make Do Part 1

This, my friends, is how life should be:
Palm Springs pool with palm trees
Am I right? Sun, pool, oversized blow up swan. Bliss.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen a lot of pictures about the most magical retreat I attended last week called Meet Make Do sponsored by Bing.  It was a craft bloggers getaway organized by three wonderful ladies: Brittni of Paper and Stitch, Kelly of Studio DIY, and Chelsea of Lovely Indeed. They’ve been planning it for months and months and by some mystical power I made it onto their invite list. And I’m sure glad I did! 
The whole premise was for craft bloggers to come together to just make stuff. It’s thanks to the kind folks of Bing, particularly Katie and Natalie, who made it possible. Guys, I have to say that Bing is THE BOMB. They brought us a whole bunch of Surfaces for us to use as we researched our projects and I have to say that having been familiar with it for a bit now, I find the features super helpful. There’s even a travel feature that provides great info for on the go so you better believe we used it for all things Palm Springs.
As a kid my family would go to Palm Springs for a little vacation (which now I find a bit odd to travel to the desert when you live at the beach, but whatever). BUT, I didn’t know that Palm Springs was cool. We would only go to a resort and swam in the pool the whole time. I had NO idea that there were amazing houses and shops and an amazing mid-century vibe. I’ve been puzzled over the years why anyone goes there on holiday. And now I know. This place is the unreal, bizarre even. Beautiful, perfectly preserved houses and the most phenomenal shops. If only I had oodles of money to spend…
So, I arrived to this
…and I thought, “really?” 
And then I saw the house
Palm Springs mid century home with yellow door
and I was all, “Yup,” I really do.
And then I saw the crafting closet filled with all sorts of goodies that are way cooler than anything I have
closet for crafts
and then this fabric happened to me:
fabric sorting
Like Project Runway, we had a limited amount of time to create something so my anxiety levels were HIGH! I learned that I am a thinker. I dwell on things. Usually I don’t even create unless I have a really stellar idea. But here I just kind of dilly dallied (and ate and chatted) until I realized that here I am in this beautiful place with an amazing photographer, the wonderful Mary Costa,  who WANTS to shoot my projects. Then it was time to get down to business. I went through the fabrics from the brand new Fabric Store in LA, which I would be at ALL the time if I lived in LA (speaking of…why don’t I???) and Melanie from You are my Fave got down with the crepe paper from Shop Sweet Lulu.
crafting with You are my fave
Jenn Elliott of Scout blog got her craft on making a beautiful tablescape with Ashley of Sugar and Cloth. She even stitched some napkins. Erin of House of Earnest got down with the Surface to research her lovely projects.
Palm Springs crafting retreat
I mean, look at the details: huge beach balls, bright colors, SUN! I’m dreaming about it as I type while looking at the grey Utah skies.
meet make do
I was off sugar for two months and sadly it coincided with this trip so I didn’t get to try the cups of cookie dough from Edoughable. Saliva drops.
cups of cookie dough
And, we got a fabulous Swag bag full of all these goodies. I mean…look at it all! Wonderful items from Almond Milk LA, Coveted Things, Etta & Billie, Fat Eye Design, Fletcher and Fox, Landis Carey, Lovely Pigeon, M. Greenwood Jams (delish!!!), Michelle Dwight Designs, Mr. and Mrs. P, Oh So Pretty, Seoul Little, Striped Cat Studio, Twedle Dee Designs, We Love Citrus, Wind and Willow Home, World Reclaimed
And the group of ladies. Now, it’s rare to bring together a bunch of crafting ladies who are so kind and generous and overall good people. I went in knowing most of them only as an admirer, but I came away feeling like I had gained genuine friends. That’s rare, right? 
craft bloggers in Palm Springs
pool in Palm Springs with blow up swan

And I’ll leave you on this image…because again, this is how life should be. More tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it but find out the reason why we suddenly had to get up and leave this paradise. Dum dum DUM!

all of this wonderful photography is by the stellar Mary Costa, who I wish I could bottle up and take with me wherever I go.