California Road Trippin’

Posted By Jill-LA | Mar 19, 2011 | 5 Comments | Category: Material Girls Projects

{Big Creek Bridge on Highway 1}

This past week I took a road trip up the California Coast through parts of central and northern California.  It was sort of a “big kid’s Spring Break” and part “Thelma & Louise” – but I won’t delve into those stories! Instead, I thought I would share some highlights of the trip with a tour of Hearst Castle and the Winchester House along with a few scenic pictures.

First stop, Hearst Castle located in San Simeon, California.  The estate of famed publisher William Randoph Hearst who inherited 450,000 acres of land from his mother.  In 1919, he hired architect Julia Morgan to design something beyond the “camping accommodations” that had been used on the land and instructed her by saying, “Miss Morgan, we are tired of camping out in the open at the ranch in San Simeon and I would like to build a little something.”  Thus, by 1947 Hearst and Morgan had created an estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways.  The architecture of the house is built in a Mediterranean Revival style and greatly influenced by European and Spanish cathedral styles.

{Photos of the main house on the estate, home of William Randolph Hearst.}

{The front of the guest house on the estate.}

{Fountain on the grounds of the estate.}

{Statues on the grounds of the estate.}

{Stairs leading to one of the many terraces on the property.}

{The estate offers dynamic views of the Pacific Ocean from many of the terraces and rooms of the castle.}

{The interior of the library.  The ceilings in each and every room are amazing!}

{*Interior photos are a little blurry, flash photography is not allowed.}

{Almost each room has it’s own distinct decorative ceiling.}

{This is Hearst’s own private study where he actually worked remotely and edited newspapers and magazines.}

{The formal dining room of the estate, as seen on our tour.}

{The indoor pool of the main house, covered with decorative tiles.}

{I think my favorite part of the entire estate is the main outdoor pool, with the Greek Key tiles.  Our tour guide told us once a year they allow employees along with two of their chosen guests to swim in the pool.  I am looking forward to an invitation!}

{Additional views of the swimming pool.}

{The wall of the pool as seen from below and one of the first things seen upon arriving at the estate.}

After two extensive tours of the property, we cruised along the coast up Highway 1 and stopped for dinner in Big Sur.

{View of the California Coast at dusk from Big Sur.}

The next day, we toured the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Ca.

So, this house is a little weird to say the least.  It was built by Sarah Winchester, an east coast transplant who had been widowed and inherited millions. After her husband’s death she was advised by her physic to move west and build a house that she would never finish to appease the spirits and grant her eternal life.  And so the construction began in 1884 and continued 364 days a year, 7 days a week for 24 hours a day until her death in 1922.  The story is each night she would go into her seance room and the spirits would advise her the plans for the next day and then she would tell her workers what to build.  Mrs. Winchester had no design background whatsoever, and therefore the house is oddly constructed.  Most rooms are built as add ons to rooms, there are doors and staircases leading to nowhere, cabinets that open to reveal no storage, and many many other eccentric things.

{The exterior of the Winchester Mystery House.  Unfortunately, interior photography is prohibted so I only have photographs of the exterior grounds.}

After that strange tour, something more exciting!

This picture probably looks completely out of place but I just had to squeeze it in! Some may recognize the address – it’s Apple Inc Headquarters in Cupertino, CA!! I am a cult Apple fan, so visiting here is like Mecca for me.  Yes, I made the pilgrimage and visited their MotherShip Store.  I came back with a mug.

Pilgramage’s can make one hungry, so after we headed south to Santa Cruz, CA for lunch on the wharf with a view of the boardwalk.

After lunch, we headed into the forest of Santa Cruz to go check out the Mystery Spot.  Unfortunately, it had just closed for the day.

So it will remain a mystery to me for now…

{All photos taken by Jill Seidner Interior Design}

Related Posts with Thumbnails

I recently discovered Pinterest after hearing other bloggers talk about it – and I am loving it! It’s social media and virtual eye candy all rolled into one! In the past, I have blogged about how much I love inspiration and concept boards. I like Pinterest for it’s simple layout and individual pin boards of images. At the moment, I am completely new at it and have yet to really add much. However,  I am looking forward to using it as source for inspiration in addition to featuring inspiration boards of my own.  In the meantime, I have posted a bunch of my own concept boards and look forward to expanding beyond my own work and sharing images and ideas from my blog posts and Material Girls, too!

The first board I put up are images of concept boards I have put together for client projects.

If you have joined or requested an invite to join Pinterest, you can follow me here.

And there’s an app coming, too – looking forward to that!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monkeying Around

Posted By Jill-LA | Feb 15, 2011 | 9 Comments | Category: Kids, Material Girls Projects, Walls

[Loving this monkey wallpaper from 2Modern!]

I am currently working on a nursery project for a client here in Los Angeles, with a modern home furnished in mid century modern designs.  We are incorporating the mid century modern look into the nursery with mixing her current crib and dresser with some new furnishings:

[Concept board for nursery project.]

Both my client and I love this monkey wallpaper as a “feature wall” for behind the crib.  So cute!

The only concern is finding something less permanent and something that wouldn’t need to cover the span of wall behind where the crib is – so decals come to mind!  Thanks to a “twitter tip” yesterday, I was directed to Etsy in search of monkey decals – and there are many to choose from.





The number of options and amount of decals is more than overwhelming – definitely need more time to monkey around to find just the right one, but Etsy is such a great source – and not just for monkeys!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sleepless in Seattle: Well, not exactly in that bed (above). However, I did spend a few days on a whirlwind of a trip to Seattle last week. It was my first visit to the city (for which I left rainy, cold Los Angeles to bright, sunny, crisp Fall air Seattle for) – how ironic is that?

I stayed at the fabulous Alexis Hotel in downtown Seattle, which recently underwent a ten million dollar renovation.  Loved the room I stayed in which featured a small sitting area and a full bath with a rainhead showerhead.  The walls of the bathroom are installed with leather tiles (something I have always wanted to experiment with in a project, but my often times conservative clients aren’t open to it!).  Has anyone ever used leather tiles in a bathroom? I would welcome feedback!

{Detail of the leather tiles installed on the walls of the bathroom at the Alexis Hotel.}

{The well-appointed bathroom at the Alexis Hotel that includes subway tile, leather wall tiles, and Grohe fittings.}

{The sitting area of my hotel room suite which included a sofa, side chair, cubed metal tables, artwork, a gilded mirror, floor lamp, and table lamp – an eclectic mix of contemporary with some traditional elements.}

{Overall view of the room which included a small entry vestibule, sleeping area with canopy bed, and a sitting area – with a wood burning fireplace!}

The hotel also has a really cool bar called The Bookstore with an evening wine reception.

Of course, you can’t visit Seattle without touring Pike Place Market (where we got to know all the guys at the “flying fish” market).

The iconic signage.

Pike Place Market is also home to the original Seattle’s Best Coffee location.  The neighborhood staple is designed diner-esque style complete with a coffee bar that has plaques with the names of their most faithful customers – who’s seats you must not take if they are there!

While in Seattle, I got to visit the Starbucks Headquarters.  If you look closely at the top of the building, you’ll see the mermaid of the infamous Starbucks logo.

Someone I was traveling with described the interiors of the Starbuck’s offices as “a Starbucks store on steriods.” Aptly put!

Barista Boys! Well, not really – just a couple of happy guys donning Seattle’s Best Coffee aprons for a round of cuppings and tastings.  On the left is Roko Belic, a documentary filmmaker with a movie coming out on the subject of happiness.  I’ve seen a few of the trailers and must admit – the subject is inspirational.  (You can see more on his website:  The Happy Movie).  On the right is Piers from PSFK.

And some yummy samples of specialty drinks from Seattle’s Best Coffee.

{All photos by Jill Seidner Interior Design with the exception of The Bookstore Bar from Alexis Hotel website}

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Many may recall this image of a fun and modern nursery that was featured in the late Domino magazine.  I have heard from so many people (bloggers and clients alike) – how much they love it and how great the striped ceiling is.  (So inspirational, that I used it as a concept for a nursery project that I did for a client.)

One thing I often find when designing nurseries for clients is that they want room to grow, for the nursery to transition well once the baby outgrows the crib.  (Thanks to the crib conversions out there – an easy solution!) I thought it was neat to see the same nursery above photographed with the conversion of the bed and full of toddler’s toys – transitioning to a very practical room.

Same room, crib conversion bed, lots of toys!

And an inspiration for a modern nursery concept board I provided for a client.

Look Book featured on The Decorating Diva.

For furnishings such as these, check out both Modern Nursery and Oeuf NYC. I have been using both resources lately for current nursery projects I am working on and espeially love the Oeuf cribs and beds.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

The Decorating Diva featured a great round up of blog posts on the Tigressa Carpet launch that a select group of bloggers had the opportunity to attend.  After meeting all of these fabulous bloggers it was neat to see everyone’s individual report on the two day event – and it was so much fun to meet the faces behind everyone’s unique blogs.  For the full report, check out “The Shaw Floors Blogger Round-Up.

The Decorating Diva

Colour Me Happy

Daily Danny

One Project Closer

Building My Green Life

Charles & Hudson

Traditional Home Blog

To read my blog post, click here.

It was so much fun meeting all these wonderful bloggers!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Aloha Hawaii!

Posted By Jill-LA | May 31, 2010 | 7 Comments | Category: Material Girls Projects

{Photo by Elle G Photography}

Straight from my trip to Atlanta, the next morning I jetted off to Hawaii for a friend’s wedding. The wedding was located on the sand at Waimanalo Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. As  you can see from the image above – absolutely breathtaking!  It was great to get away and spend a few days in Hawaii for the wedding and a much needed vacay too!

The wedding party and guests gather on the beach for Morgan & Tyson’s wedding.

{Photo by Elle G Photography}

My friends Brooke and Morgan (bride) at the luau reception at Paradise Cove.

A picturesque photo I took at sunset from Paradise Cove.

After much research, I ended up booking a stay at the Waikiki Parc Hotel which turned out to be a good choice.  The hotel room and views were amazing, the service was incredible, and the hotel is currently offering some exceptional packages.  It is also the sister property of the famed Halekulani hotel which gave us privileges for that hotel as well.

Guest room at the Waikiki Parc Hotel.

This was the view from my room (from the balcony in the image above).

And one morning I woke up to this! It was actually a full rainbow.

View to street from my balcony, that’s the Halekulani hotel and pool.

In the main entrance of the hotel, there is a Nobu which happens to be one of my favorite places for sushi in LA.  We had brunch every morning in the restaurant which was designed by the Rockwell Group.

We also spent a lot of time at the Halekulani (sister property to our hotel) – which I am in love with!  Hopefully, one day I can come back and stay at this hotel!

The Halekulani even has a suite designed by fashion designer Vera Wang!

The bedroom of the Vera Wang Suite at the Halekulani Hotel.

One of the best features of the Halekulani are the grounds and the pool – right on the oceanfront!

We also had lunch one afternoon at “House Without a Key” – one of the many dining spots at Halekulani.

And dinner the next night on the outside terrace overlooking the ocean at Orchids.

When we weren’t hanging out at the hotel(s) or dining (or shopping!), we did a little sight seeing.  This is a photo I took at Waimea Falls which is located on the North Shore of Oahu.  We took a shuttle up to the falls and then walked back down through the nature gardens.

We also stopped by the Dole Plantation and checked out the gardens, varieties of pineapples, and the koi fish.  Unfortunately, didn’t  do the maze – which I later found out is the world’s largest maze.

On my last night, I met up with a friend & former client for dinner at the Top of Waikiki which is a rotating restaurant with 360 views of the entire city of Honolulu/Waikiki.

Congrats to Morgan & Tyson!

{Photos by Jill Seidner}

Related Posts with Thumbnails

The Material Girls were recently invited to a preview of the latest product launch from Shaw Floors, a new and innovative line of carpet called Tigressa.  As part of the exclusive sneak peek event, I got to experience Tigressa up close and personal – and it lives up to it’s name as being both soft and strong.  Tigressa has a unique fiber shape to create an ultra-soft texture and the advanced yarn engineering produces a pleasant, luxurious touch with superior durability.  Having grown up in the carpet industry, I can attest to this being the softest carpet I have ever felt.  The experience of this event had a very personal impact on me.  I was practically born into the carpet manufacturing industry since my father was president of a division of a local, Southern California based carpet mill called ETC/Westweave Carpet Mills (which later expanded to Western Solutions, and acquired Sunweavers & El Dorado).  The carpet mill is no longer around but through-out my life I was familiar with the “big guys” in the south – that being Shaw.  In fact, some years ago my father along with the former president of ETC Carpet Mills (Paul Reznikoff) had dinner with Bob Shaw in Dalton, Georgia.  To actually have been able to take a trip out and experience the mill in person was really, truly very exciting for me!

For the two day event, myself along with other attendees, got to stay at the beautiful Barnsley Gardens Resort just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

The first day began with an evening cocktail hour and dinner introducing us to the new product line where we got to see the many colors and textures of Tigressa carpet.

The preview and dinner event was held at the Ruins located at the Barnsley Gardens Resort.

Attendees experiencing Tigressa up close and personal.

Group photo of the attendees which included fellow bloggers, writers, the flooring industry, and Shaw Carpet Mills.  (I am about the 3rd row back, on the far left, in black.)

Over dinner I got the opportunity to sit next to celebrity guest speaker Amy Devers (of  TLC’s hit show Trading Spaces) who was a fantastic and engaging speaker. Amy enlightened us on her personal stories with carpet (such as loving carpet in the bathroom – yes, that’s correct – the impracticality of carpet in the bathroom, something I would never recommend to my own clients but Amy loves the feel and I can relate since I grew up with carpet everywhere – including the bathroom – that’s the life of having a dad in the carpet business, wall to wall carpet in each and every room!)

{the next day…}

We headed to Dalton, GA to visit the facilities of Shaw Carpet Mills which included an overview of the carpet manufacturing process and the technical aspects of carpet. (I will have much more to report on this in upcoming posts.)

It was such a great expereince to meet up with other bloggers and I enjoyed getting to know everyone!

We got the opportunity to visit the design studios of Shaw and create design boards ourselves.

Donning goggles, we toured the manufacturing facilities, which included the tufting machines and the yarn dying process. Even though I had seen this many times before, Shaw certainly has some advancements when it comes to their manufacturing process and carpet quality.

Sporting (personalized!) lab coats we toured the technical facilities of Shaw where all the product testing is done.

The afternoon finished with one last look at the Tigressa line of carpet and it’s availability to the market brought to us by Flooring America and Carpet One.

As part of the promotion, proceeds from Tigressa Carpet purchases will benefit the “Save The Tigers” fund.  For all Tigressá sales made between May 16 and August 20, 2010, they’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to the National Fish and Wildlife Federation’s Save the Tiger Fund (STF). STF sponsors effective efforts to stop the killing of wild tigers, enabling them to recover and flourish, and empowers local people to live in balance with natural resources, providing tangible benefits to them whenever possible.

Thanks to Empower MediaMarketing for putting together such a fabulous event! They kept to a great schedule and every last detail was flawless!

{Photos by Jill Seidner}

Related Posts with Thumbnails

If you haven’t visited The Decorating Diva site – it’s well worth checking out! Full of great inspiration, features on fabulous designers, and a series called “Style Maker Look Book” which are contributions by designers and bloggers alike of themed room creations.  They are so fun to see and very inspiring!  Today, a modern nursery project that I did was included in the popular series.  Be sure to have a look and check out all the many other “Look Books” featured!

Modern Nursery Look Book

Related Posts with Thumbnails

A Visit to NYC

Posted By Jill-LA | Mar 01, 2010 | 1 Comment | Category: Material Girls Projects

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me.  I had been away from home for two weeks.  First, I spent ten days house sitting on Balboa Island in Newport Beach and then straight from there I flew to NYC last Monday, where I spent the past week.  Haven’t quite been able to keep up with blogging as much lately.  Prior to leaving I was busy preparing to leave – prioritizing work that needed to be done, organizing for the time spent away, never mind packing for the beach and the wintry east coast all in one.  Now, just happy to be home but much to catch up on!  I am sure many of you know what it’s like!

Unfortunately, I do not have much to report on design wise from my trip to NYC.  I did share a few highlights last year, but this year I really decided to take a break from design and just enjoy the trip which included mostly walking around and really seeing the city.  Of course, everywhere you look is a monument of some type of architecture – whether a museum, a skyscraper, a bridge, or an installation in the park.

So with my iPhone in hand, I took picture after picture…

Just arriving in the city on Monday evening, took this picture from the taxi.

Monday night dinner at Ed’s Chowder House

Central Park

Brunch at Jean-Georges at 1 Central Park West

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

Central Park

The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park

Alice in Wonderland

Belvedere Castle

View from Belvedere Castle

Central Park

Museum of Natural History

Museum of Natural History

Upper West Side

Lincoln Center

Radio City Music Hall

Times Square

View from dinner at Porter House New York, in the Time Warner Center

{all photos by me…and the iPhone}

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Related Posts with Thumbnails