I’ve been pulling images and creating some inspo collages for my office, which I want to turn into a reading/ relaxation room.
Since I’m still working on my thesis, I’ve been thinking about keeping a desk in there, but a much smaller desk than the original dark wood monster that was in there before.
Here’s what I’m feeling as of now:
I pulled the photo above from Pinterest and was surprised that I loved it so much because it is not as pared down as the rest of my house. I like that the white keeps it bright and the sideboard at the bottom provides storage.
I liked the sideboard at the top if I decide to go with the look above. I also like the idea of a storage space that can double as a seating area under a window, since I have a big window with a good view. I would probably have a linen cushion made to put on top to make it more cozy and inviting. I like the idea of this “bar table” as a standing desk, and I especially like that the cubbies provide a place to keep my computer and office supplies.
Since it is a “read and relax” room, I definitely want some bookshelves. I have a ton of books! I know the wood shelves are the opposite of white, but I’m in the early stages of inspiration here! I saw these at Room and Board recently and they look great in person. Plus, there is no wall mounting necessary!
Finally, I like the idea of having a couch or chaise in the room to lounge on while reading and relaxing. I pulled these options from West Elm.
I recently read something that said you shouldn’t keep your makeup in the bathroom. In general, I try to keep it under the cabinet, but that got me thinking. Would I use makeup that wasn’t right there when I was getting ready? Would it just sit in my drawers unused until I had to throw it out? I’m already pretty lazy about using all of the stuff I have, but that could be because I have everything in makeup bags under the counter and have to pull it all out when I’m getting ready or else deal with a mess on the counter.
Then I realized a perfect solution: a vanity area/ dressing table where I could sit to get ready, lay out all my stuff, and feel like a 1940s screen goddess when getting ready (okay, maybe the last part is a stretch, but you get the picture!)
So I started collecting inspiration photos on Pinterest, and here’s what I have been dreaming about ever since:
I love the idea of using pieces that aren’t “vanities,” per say. The photo on the left is Ikea’s Malm desk. I love the way Forever Amber kept it clean and simple with the plain lighted mirror and clear chair.
The table in the photo on the top right is called a “vanity desk,” and I love that you fold it up for the mirror so the mirror isn’t always on display. That means you can also use the vanity as a desk (points for double usage!) I also love the Eames-inspired chair. Here’s the whole room from Cara Loren.
The stool in the bottom right is just my style. I pulled the photo from Blog Lovin’. I love the idea that you can mix old an new and still achieve a clean, modern look.
As you can see from the photo above, I’m loving the idea of a “girly” and “glam” vanity space. The pink tufted chair is so inviting (photo pinned via Decor Pad.) I’d be happy with acrylic or glass storage boxes for makeup and certain pieces of jewelry (inspo via Savor Home.)
I love, love, love Dazzle-n-Sparkle’s idea of using a vintage silver treat tray for storage. It plays right into my latest antique silver hoarding collecting obsession.
I like these ideas for a dressing table because they aren’t quite as girly.
The photo on the left (A Merry Mishap) mixes shapes and color for a clean, modern effect. I love it. I love that the table is so small, it looks like they used a console. I’m not bothered by the difference in stool height and table height because I have a super long torso, but this option probably wouldn’t work for a shorter person.
I love the way the blue balances the style of the vanity on the top right. While it wouldn’t work in my home, I had to post because I love the “rehabbed” feel.
The photo on the bottom right is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s a vanity from Pinch Design. I love that it’s modern and feels a bit French. It’s way out of this rehabber’s price range, but I had to include it. Hey, a girl can dream!
I hope you guys enjoyed my inspo collages and are feeling inspired to set up a vanity area of your own!
Have you ever walked into a store and thought, “this is my kinda store.” A store where everything just seems so perfectly laid out that it just speaks to you? A store where you say, “I have to meet the person responsible for this genius!”?
I have. As soon as I walked into Brainworks Home on Pico, I knew it was going to be my favorite shop. It was so perfectly curated; filled with designer pieces mixed with interesting estate finds that just felt right. Think Eames, Plycraft, Wassily, Knoll mixed with estate finds and fun odds and ends… It is the kind of place where you just want to hang out.
I immediately saw countless items to covet, and spent at least an hour wandering through the shop, drooling over art, records, furniture, funky glasses, and vintage wallpapers.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Erin Adams, the owner, and learn about her journey in creating such a lovely space.
Erin was always a fan of art, and started out as a mural painter. Educated at Otis Art Institute at Parsons, she got her start in the industry as an intern for a well known mural painter in 1985, then became partners with him. As a painter, she worked in Vegas, painting at Ceasar’s Palace, MGM Grand, and the Luxor. She has done faux finishing, decorative painting, and gold leafing. Interior design goes hand in hand with art, and she said her love of history has influenced her design (her dad was a history teacher, so she grew up talking about history around the dinner table… how cool!)
Here’s what she had to say when we talked:
RR: What is the biggest difference between working as a designer and working as a mural artist?
Interior design is like a friendship relationship. With mural painting, you go in, do the job and you’re done. You can come back the next day and leave it there.
RR: What was your first rehab project?
EA: A dining room set that my brother gave me that he didn’t want. I did a faux finish, and put some seat cushions on it. It was 1984, and I did tortoise shell. It was all about bright colors and crazy patterns.
RR: Is there anything specific you look for when searching for items?
EA: I make sure it speaks to me. Most items kind of find me. For example, I found a really cool glass, and brought it in. Someone in the shop said we already had one. Someone came in and asked if we’d bought the cups at a sale—we hadn’t, but we went and got them. Stuff seems to want to be together.
RR: Where do you get most of your inventory?
EA: It really finds me. I get stuff everywhere—garage sales, auctions, swap meets, pickers come by the store, estate sales, antique sales, and sometimes I get items from the design mart. My sources naturally change on their own.
RR: What are your favorite finds?
EA: I love finding fine art. It’s like a treasure hunt.
Also, things I can’t immediately identify—they keep me interested the longest. It changes all the time… you get into something, then you figure it out and move on to something else. Right now, I am obsessed with researching an Egyptian cat I found. (You know I gasped when she said this, given my obsession with Egyptian Revival pieces!)
RR: What is the most rewarding part of running Brainworks?
EA: When people connect with something on an emotional level and these things become “new” family heirlooms. It reminds them of their mom or an item their dad kept on their shelf. When those connections are made, you can tell, you can see it in their eyes and that is the most rewarding. It’s just like art, sometimes you do just have to have art in your life. This stuff is like art to me. I also like improving the neighborhood—it is rewarding.
RR: What is the most difficult part of having the store?
EA: Finding the balance between collecting and selling stuff. Also, the area is progressing, so sometimes you still get an occasional homeless person that wanders in. Since the area is changing, you have to improve the area without pushing people out.
RR: What is your dream item?
EA: My dream item will be fine art… because I went to art school and studied history, and my dad was a history teacher. It’s like a treasure hunt, but I think it will definitely be fine art. I’ll find it.
RR: Any tips for someone embarking on their first rehab or design project?
EA: Always make a plan and draw out the space. Never say “I’m just going to go for it.” Read about it, do your research. Research materials you may not be familiar with. Having a plan can help keep you from abandoning your project, or even ruining your project.
EA on “can’t live without it items”: A lot of shoppers have the “I have to see if it speaks to me” mentality. They’ll look at it, they’ll get excited, then they’ll leave. They’ll see if they think about it until they have to come back. (RR: I know this is what I do!)
Here are some items I just couldn’t stop thinking about:
I had such a great time interviewing Erin and learned so much. Stop by Brainworks Home at
5364 w Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019 .
They are open Wed- Sat 11-6 pm. Have lunch, explore the area, and find your new favorite store!
I’ve been thinking about refreshing my dining area but haven’t been able to bite the bullet because I just love my current table and chairs.
Thing is, my current stuff doesn’t fit the space. I live in an apartment that was built in the fifties and my table is very contemporary. It’s rectangular and the space looks like it was made for a round table.
Because of some silly mint green tile in the kitchen with a light green strip, I painted a wall in the kitchen lime green and the attached dining area hot pink. (“Hey, maybe with all the bright colors, people won’t notice the puke-y tile,” I thought.)
So, long story long, the wall colors aren’t gonna change but I think I’m finally ready to part ways with my old table and make way for some new energy in my space.
Here’s what I’m thinkin’:
Now for the details…
And, Voila! I’ve got an awesome space that pays homage to my apartment’s mid-century roots while staying up to date and a little funky!
Not really a rehab project, but I can’t get this tub off my mind!
I’ve always been a sucker for a clawfoot tub. I’ve loved soaking in bubbles while drinking bubbly with a ton of candles lighting up the room (okay, or just soaking anytime!)
The point is that taking baths just feels luxe, and this design takes the experience to another level. This bathroom is the stuff dreams are made of, and I love the tulip table. Just imagine soaking in the warm bath on a chilly day. Cheers!