Kinfolk, a guide for small gatherings…

photo by Youngna Park

Kinfolk (so aptly named) is hands down my favorite online magazine thus far. Volume One came out over the summer and I was instantly in love with the concept, photography, and design. Not sure why I didn’t write about this earlier, but perhaps because I was waiting for the printed version to arrive. Yes, Kinfolk is also a quarterly print magazine as well! In this day and age, I have to admit, I still love to hold a book in my hands… be able to flip through my favorite magazine, and not just “swiping” each page with a trackpad. So when the printed copy of Kinfolk arrived on my doorstep the other day, I was most delighted. If you think it’s gorgeous online, wait till you hold one in your hand. The quality of print and design is exceptional. And oddly enough, what I love most is the serene feeling I get as I turn each page. Makes you appreciate life, the beauty of gathering, and spending alone time. Volume One is now available with a limited reprint, so hop on it!


photo by Michael Muller


photo by Michael Graydon


photo by Hilda Grahnat


photo by Lisa Warninger


photo by Andrea Cheng

{ all images from Kinfolk Volume One }


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What I saw in… Hearst Castle.

San Simeon State Park / en route to Hearst Castle

Have you ever been? It definitely wasn’t all that I had expected. Even though I’m a modernist and minimalist at heart, I can certainly appreciate the history and grandness of the Hearst Castle. Just the ride up to the Castle will take your breathe away. Talk about a long-term collaboration, the construction of the Castle was a 28-year project, maybe even more, between the famed San Francisco architect Julia Morgan and William Randolph Hearst. Did you know the architectural style of the Castle was inspired by Hearst’s European travels with his mother when he was a boy? The main house towers were inspired by a Spanish cathedral, guest cottages reminiscent of the Mediterranean, a Roman temple front and columns that anchor the outdoor pool… Can’t even begin to describe the massive European and Mediterranean art and antique collection. It literally covers just about every wall and room (and there are 165 rooms in total!). You have to see it to truly appreciate Hearst’s love of collecting. I was in complete awe.


Casa Grande / the main house


side view of Casa Grande / entrance to wine cellar


Casa del Monte (House of the Mountains) / “House B”


Billiard room / Flemish tapestry from 1500


tiny glimpse of the kitchen / look at that oversized mixer!


Neptune pool / how great is that pattern?


Roman pool / 1″ square mosaic tiles decorated the walls from floor to ceiling

{ all camera phone images by Peggy Wong }


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The Beaded Home

Design is so often in the details that I find myself overlooking the sweetest of artistic touches in the home. It wasn’t until I perused my favorite international sites this morning that I noticed a similar theme popping up: wooden beads. Whether incorporated into the home as a functional cord or decorative planter, I’m loving the trend.

Here’s a look at a few great ideas you can try on your own!:

Above, Annaleena shared her “home necklace DIY” on Emmas Design Blogg, and I can’t wait to try the look myself! I can see it used as a window pull, but also as a sweet surprise hanging on an entryway wall.

In this photo, Riikka created a plant hanger using rope/twine and wooden beads. What a modern take on the vintage macrame technique!

How about this super smart idea? Beads can transform your everyday drawer pulls in a pinch. Above, Bolaget features a black modern design. Below, Tingelings opted for a more homespun look.

And lastly, wooden beads can offer a creative take on wardrobe storage. Don’t you love the below idea from Hommin?

So friends – are you inspired to take on the trend, one bead at a time? Happy crafting!

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Stamps, forever…

image credit: USPS

A few years back I made the mistake of not purchasing more of the Charles + Ray Eames stamps. True story: I went to a dozen of post offices in Los Angeles and the verdict was the same everywhere – they were completely sold out. Couldn’t even order them online. So this time, when the Pioneers of American Industrial Design collection came out, I bought, A LOT. And unlike the Eames ones, these are forever stamps, yes! Featuring twelve of American’s most influential industrial designers, the full sheet also showcases the “Airflow” fan designed by Robert Heller. I have been a collector of Russel Wright’s dinnerware for a very long time, so you can imagine how delighted I was to see his flatware design as one of the stamps. To quote Wright, “Good design is for everyone.”™ – I only wish the United States Postal Service will come out with more design-related stamps. Is anyone out there with me on this one?

image credit: Core77

I remember not wanting to use the last two stamps on the bottom – the Aluminum Group Chair and the Molded Plywood Chair. So no doubt they were my favorites. Yours?

Psst! If you would like to purchase the Charles + Eames stamps, check out the Eames Office!


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Fall colors and textures…

Are you ready for fall? With the thermometer reading at 96ºF in Los Angeles right now, I do look forward to the cooler weather. I’ve always enjoyed the catalogues that TOAST puts out every season. Do you remember the post I did a while back on La Ricarda? So it’s no surprise that I’m loving their latest Autumn ones. One part woodsy, two parts industrial, and three parts rusts – which I have to admit, I find so much beauty in that… it’s hard to choose which one of these images I’m drawn to the most. Aren’t the colors quite spectacular? The texture and patina to these are just naturally beautiful. I usually put a space in between the images on my posts, but this time I feel they should be attached – strung together if you will – to create a continuous flow…

{ photography by Sarah Maingot for TOAST }

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