Giddy with excitement!! :)

Yesterday, I was down in Soquel sourcing for a project when I got this text from a client


I was giddy with excitement when she sent me this! (waiting in the wings, still to be installed :)) 

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I LOOOOOVE how this sofa has turned out!  We custom designed it for this wonderful family’s California-casual-meets-eclectic family room.   Gorgeous lines, a smooth, buttery leather (durable too), and the workmanship is on point.

Here’s a few pictures of the silhouette. Don’t miss the subtle slope arm - a beauty. And the aged wood finish

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I was able to source out a leather that is first of -  GORGEOUS. A beautiful color and grain. And secondly, very durable and meant for high-traffic spaces like this busy family room.  And it was well-priced!  Leathers can get insanely expensive so I’m truly glad to have found this one & add it to my design arsenal.

Better pictures once it's installed, but I had to share a quick glimpse with ya’ll.  So exciting! And an awesome way to go into my birthday weekend :)

Small but mighty

While perusing inspo for a project, I came across this small but mighty bathroom on Pinterest (designed by AB Chao). We are going a different (serene) direction with our project, but I was really inspired to recreate this! Especially because it might actually be an easier one to execute. It would be great for a small bathroom because it creates lotsa drama with relatively fewer elements! A standout hero wallpaper like this one can do the the trick when you want to make a bold statement but without busting your budget.

Here’s the inspo -

And here’s how to get a similar look - finds from Wayfair, Ebay, Etsy and more..

  1. Black tropical wallpaper - found on Wayfair (at $1.34/sqft, it’s big style on a small budget)

  2. Love these sconces and how they’d play off the wallpaper

  3. A vintage french mirror - found on Ebay (there’s lots of them on Ebay -search for “vintage french mirror” or “provincial french mirror” ). I’d go with an antique brass or giltwood, instead of the black

  4. A simple white pedestal sink

  5. Chrome cross-bar faucet

  6. Towel ring

  7. Monogrammed hand towels for a personal touch

  8. Seagrass / natural fiber storage baskets

And that’s about it. When in doubt, keep it focussed and simple, but with a dose of drama :)

The Extraordinary Work of Carpenter & MacNeille

I came across the work of Boston-based architecture & interior design firm Carpenter & Macneille through an Instagram post a couple days ago. And am I glad I did!  They have an extraordinary body of work that's super duper inspiring. 

It all started with the most serene, award-worthy master bath I’ve laid eyes on, popping up in my Insta feed. She had me at hello.  The most perfect trim and panel work on earth. I went down the rabbit hole of exploring their projects further and I’ve learned a thing or two from simply dissecting images of their work.

Have a look -

Who else wants to lie in this bath like forever?   The paint on the trim is Farrow & Ball’s ParmaGray. It’s actually a cool blue, but let’s not digress into the ever fascinating topic of paint color names! :))


Beautiful millwork on the upper deck & the french doors below.

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This porch is literal perfection.

A beautiful blend of materials and colors. A warm wood floor, white columns, an antique bench, urns and that statement black door - I love it down to the last detail (don’t miss the door knocker!). Crisp yet casual. Very New England chic.

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The entry to the same house. And extension of the warmth into the house.

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A bright, neutral kitchen - I like the paint color on the island and around the fireplace - a subtle contrast to the white walls and cabinetry.


The closet that leads to the stunning bath in that first picture

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And here we have it! (this image is closer to the actual color of the paint). Dream bathroom.

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Another beautiful bathroom - all white, with polished nickel finishes.

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Love the wall tile in the shower (marble?)

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The countertop in this kitchen has beautiful edging - (it’s a triple-pencil edge if you’re wondering!) - a great detail. Substitute marble with a marble-like quartz and it would still look beautiful.

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A very dramatic entry.

Wainscotting up to the ceiling, a bold serpentine mirror, and a peppering of blue rugs & upholstery - pretty darn perfect.


A warm and colorful bathroom with that custom backsplash. .


I’m sure I’ll be coming back many times over to their portfolio. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!

Time to refresh! Rejuvenating our bathroom

New year. New mood. New hues. 


I'm in the mood to freshen things up right now (as I'm sure many of you are too) and I started off with a bathroom refresh this past weekend!  It felt so good to clean up, toss out old/unused things, and give it a whole new look & feel altogether. Look wise, I wanted to take the blue hues that were in there - out, and replace it with something that felt...CRISP.  

I’d purchased this gorgeous giclee print by Clare Elsaesser at the end of last year. It's beautiful & moody, and I felt it would set the perfect tone in the bathroom. I wanted to give it an antique gold frame and after hunting in antique stores for the right match, and having no luck there, I found these guys online. And boy, am I glad I did!  I LOVE my scooped antique frame ($75). I had a local framer add plexi, a mat and backing (for $70), and voila! I’m thrilled with the way it shaped up. It became the jumping off point for the rest of look.

I also love the monogrammed shower curtain (L for Lakadawala - our last name). You can't tell from the pictures, but the border and scripted 'L' are embroidered - giving it a deep, rich finish.

Our bathroom feels much more calm, grounded and inviting and I love it.  Here’s a few pictures and sources (please excuse the yellow hue - pictures taken on my phone)


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It's about to get real in this next pic. Under the sink storage baskets for all those not so pretty (but essential!) cleaning supplies. I bought these seagrass baskets (first spotted at my sister’s) at The Container Store. Highly recommend! Bought a couple more for other areas of the house.


And here’s the look -

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monogrammed embroidered shower curtains / antique gold frame / art - Clare Elsaesser / flowers - peonies / spa candle (similar) / striped napkin / waste basket (similar - this basket with rope handles is suuuuuper cute. I found mine at Home Goods) / seagrass storage baskets / metal lanterns (similar)

Holiday Gift Guides 2018

I’m a little over a week into my annual holiday - first in Mumbai and now in Dubai - and it’s been beautiful, warm & exploratory so far.  Mumbai & Dubai winters are like summers in the Bay - less pumpkin spice latte, more sugarcane juice, which I don’t mind at all! :) I’ve been sharing my travels & finds on socials and it’s been fun reading everyone’s comments and questions along the way!

Christmas came early here in Dubai this week.  It was pure joy meeting my niece & nephews after ages, and getting THE BEST hugs! Watching them tear up that wrapping and get excited about their gifts was an absolute high point

Coming to today's post! Even though I’m 8000 miles away, I wanted to partake in the holiday spirit closer to home, and share some fun gift ideas with ya as you shop for the holidays! Picks from some of my favorite shops. Gifts for the home, her, him & the kids. 3 gift guides in seasonal hues.

I enjoyed putting these together & I hope they prove useful to you (and hopefully introduce you to something new :)) as you shop for everyone on your list. Enjoy!

Wrapped my gifts in plaid wrapping paper (local shop) & blue ribbon (my mom’s closet)!

Wrapped my gifts in plaid wrapping paper (local shop) & blue ribbon (my mom’s closet)!


Blissed Out In Black & White

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  1. Plaid pajamas - cozy & stylish - for your sister or BFF. Love the pink hearts on the collar.

  2. Nothing spells luxury like Dyptique candles - for the hostess with the mostest!

  3. Jonathan Adler Muse - this gold interior votive is a stellar pick for the home

  4. Askinosie small batch dark chocolate - a great gift for the dark chocolate lover. These come recommended!

  5. Antelope gold brass sculpture - a little piece of luxury for a modern home

  6. For the adventurous woman - this monogrammed satchel by Tuckernuck - love, love, love.

  7. Steve Madden leopard mules - a comfy and stylish gift for mom!

  8. Monogrammed leather money clip - great quality for a great price

  9. Faux holiday cedar wreath - bound to be used more than once!

  10. Gold wheat picture frame - obsessed! Add a great picture & gift away.

  11. The prettiest hand-embroidered Chinese pottery napkins - classic style for someone who loves to entertain

Bold Hues

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  1. A fun-in-the-sun Moroccan heart tote - a great holiday gift, perfect for a future tropical holiday

  2. Monogrammed candy striped catchall - adorbs!

  3. Voluspa Gardenia Colonia room spray - whiffs of delight

  4. Sculptural earring by We Dream In Color - for the cool girl (she’s bound to love it)

  5. This printed scarf is STUNNING. A beautiful blend of colors, such great style.

  6. Cheeky kitchen towel - for the baker

  7. I adoooooore this pillow. That’s some stunning embroidery! And love is a mood for every season.

  8. Super sleek French steak knives - gor-jus!! .

  9. Coral sculpture - coastal chic and a graceful gift for the home

Seasonal Strokes

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  1. Hi-Bye mustard gloves - suuuuuuuuper cute teenager gift

  2. Wood carved mermaid necklace by Meri-Meri (Meri Meri makes great stuff for kids - I’m a fan!) Bought this for my niece and she loved it.

  3. Who says you can’t gift yourself something for the holidays. This camel coat by Madewell is such a classic. I recently bought a pair of Madewell jeans and found their quality to be exceptional.

  4. Love this classy tech roll up by Mark & Graham. Soft supple leather, in many seasonal colors. Monogram it! A great gift for a man on the go.

  5. I came across this Oscar de la Renta necklace on sale at Nordstrom Rack- it’s a statement piece and at a good price (for designer wear). Glam-girl gifting

  6. Funboy giant pool floats. The oversized swan is gorge! I bought my nephews the rainbow because they prefer lounging to sitting. Funboy has a variety of shapes to choose from - kids would LOVE these!

  7. Seasonal style with this window pane scarf.

  8. A rosemary topiary for the kitchen - for someone who likes pots and plants (or who loves to cook!)

  9. This super fun Print-Making kit by Kid Made Modern. Both my niece and 5-year old nephew were HOOKED. She made an abstract art piece and he a scenery. We were at it for a good 2 hours and I was surprised at how patiently they went through all the steps with me. They were really INTO it. Highly recommend!

  10. For an older child who enjoys reading, this would make for a great gift. Jane Austen’s classics, in pretty clothbound covers. Great reads AND beautiful to look at.

    Anything on this list you absolutely love? Drop me a line in the comments!