I’m so excited to unveil the branding my studio Branch did for photographer Kristin Cofer. A dear friend of mine, Kristin was one of my very first clients back in the day and it’s been inspiring to watch her body of work grow. This branding system was especially fun because we created a lot of variations that can be switched up as she continues to evolve (she’s now doing film, too!). Click through to see the full project!
After spending three and a half weeks in various parts of California, I am now back home. Home in Portland, settling back into my office chair, juggling many, many projects and freezing my ass off. Ha! For my first week away, I was working in Palm Springs and then moved onto West Hollywood. Following that, all last week was spent in Venice (and I loved every second of it).
If you’re interested, all three places I stayed in on this trip were booked through Airbnb — I’m a fan of staying in places that have a little more charm and personality, not to mention cool locations that don’t feel too corporate. Plus, depending on the amount of people you have with you, going the Airbnb route can be substantially more affordable than a hotel. In Palm Springs, there was a larger group of us so we stayed here (the photo above was shot in front of this house!). Then, in West Hollywood, I stayed here. And finally, in Venice, I stayed here. I highly recommend all three — let me know if you have questions about any of them in the comments!
Though I’d been to Venice a number of times, it was always for a quick afternoon of exploring the shops lining Abbot Kinney or an entertaining stroll along the boardwalk but I never really got to stay long enough and let my surroundings sink in. This time, I had seven days to do that and really fell in love with the place. I’m not big on driving and I LOVE the beach so the small-ish neighborhood feel coupled with the beach being just a five minute walk away was my dream scenario.
I don’t know why I hadn’t been told sooner about the Venice Canals! What a hidden treasure! On my second to last day in Venice, Joey mentioned them offhandedly in a conversation — we immediately walked over the next morning and it was honestly one of the most beautiful spots I’d ever seen. There’s a wide mix of house styles, bridges and skinny little sidewalks lined with colorful boats surrounding the canals and it’s pure magic. I’ll be sharing more photos soon!
I had a lot of fun window shopping in Venice — I don’t recall the name of this store on Abbot Kinney but the displays were really unique.
The oversized floral rug in our all-white Venice loft was ridiculously awesome.
I loved all the greenery cascading up the buildings in Venice.
There are some majorly lush, overgrown sidewalks in the city. We walked down this one every single morning — I wish I had something similar in my neighborhood. So beautiful.
As soon as I got home, I laid out all my California treasures. Whenever I travel, I like to pick up business cards, postcards, treats and photo booth strips to remind me of that time. A few things included above: an empty macaron box from Bottega Louie, a business card from Chateau Marmont (no name needed), a hangtag from Kelly Wearstler, a postcard from the Ace and a photo strip from Le Labo (they have a free photo booth in the back of their store).
Traveling and changing up my surroundings always reminds me to notice the little details and to find contentment in the everyday. A coffee from a new place, a small bunch of flowers, a photo strip with a friend, a cool business card, a piece of street art, or even just talking a detour from the way you normally walk can make all the difference. It’s good to be back home, unpacked and ready to get back to work but in the back of my mind, I’m still California dreamin.’
Have a beautiful, energizing and inspiring weekend, everyone.
Top photo: Made U Look.
• The internet is big on capitalizing on our thirst for nostalgia.
• It often takes until your 30s for big professional breakthroughs to happen.
• The 5 biggest freelance headaches and how to solve them!
• Are your color choices making or breaking your website?
• These Phillip Lim totes are…totes amaze.
• DIY your very own copper coffee table!
• Learn to be more observant.
• 10 awesome white wines that ring in at under 20 bucks!
• These citrus shortbread cookies sound delicious.
• This 4 year old’s mother makes her paper dresses and they just keep getting more extravagant!
• Here’s how to photograph in low light.
• 5 creative ways to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.
Photo: Elvis Presley archives.
Recently opened in Downtown LA, the Ace Hotel was at the top of my places to visit. I’d spied the round brass tabletops and checkerboard floors across the Instagram accounts of my LA friends and wanted to see it for myself.
Tucked inside the historic United Artists building which was built in 1927, the space still features much of its original trimmings and details. If you don’t have plans to stay at the Ace, at the very least stop in for a meal like we did. And if you do, climb the staircase to get a better view of the restaurant below — it felt so cinematic as I looked down on Gala sitting at our quaint little table.
The Ace always has the best design details and I appreciate how they customize them for every one of their properties.
Can you see the pencil illustrations on the wall behind me? They’re scattered throughout the entire space and hilariously random. Magic Johnson, then a cluster of palm trees followed by Michael Jackson. Definitely a conversation starter!
The entrance to the restaurant is pretty grand. If you don’t have time to stay for breakfast, grab a coffee and pastry on the go!
My friends and I ordered a variety of things and honestly? It was all good (and I should know because I snuck bites of nearly everything). The food at the Ace tends to be more along the lines of comfort with a few gourmet twists thrown in. Here’s the all day menu though they have a dinner menu as well.
Of course, no stop at the Ace is complete without checking out their merchandise. This location had a tightly curated gift shop with a lot of LA-specific goodies. I especially loved their canvas totes.
What I love about the Ace is their attention to detail. They’re not afraid to draw on the quirky and unexpected, like this stenciled hotel directory. Delicious food, great service and unparalleled ambience make the Ace Downtown LA a must-see.
Location: Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles.
All photos: Shauna Haider.
Normally, when I’m traveling, I’m lucky if I have a few days in one place. It’s usually go-go-go. So, spending an entire week in Venice has given me a chance to really explore the city, from the boardwalk to the canals to the coffee shops.
The creative atmosphere full of vibrant colors and street art has left me feeling very energized and inspired. It felt fitting to post these photos from the weekend as I say goodbye today.
While I’m not normally drawn to 50s silhouettes, my friend Mary Bee surprised me with this dress a few days ago and I can’t get enough of the comfortable, easy fit that seamlessly transitions from day to night (with a change of accessories and shoes).
And with that, it’s time to sign off and zip up my suitcase. This has been a really fun, eye-opening adventure and I have much more to share very soon!
I’ve been on a working vacation in LA for the last two weeks, taking in as much of the sights and sounds as I can. While I’ve visited LA many times in the past, my stays were never for very long and I barely ever made it outside of Hollywood. This has been a nice change of pace.
Joey, Rocky and I spent last week in West Hollywood but this week, we’ve been taking it easy in Venice. I really love it on this side of town — I keep mentioning to Joey that it reminds me a lot of S.E. Portland, just with a whole lot more palm trees…well, that and a beach close by!
We’ve been staying in a place that normally belongs to an architect and to say that I’ve fallen in love with it is the understatement of the century. It’s what I dream of for an office space for Branch and it’s given me a lot of ideas of what to look for when the time is right.
Intelligentsia isn’t too far away and I have long been an admirer of their branding.
For me, one of the coolest parts about being in Southern California is taking in all the different trees, plants and flowers — it’s such a departure from what we have in Portland (where we barely have palm trees — though Joey’s attempted to plant two in our back yard!)
Calling this place home for the week has me feeling really inspired to step it up with our house. We have a long ways to go…but seeing how other people put their spaces together makes me realize that it’s those bold, simple touches that make a big difference.
Big hats forever. Need I say more? I scored this at H&M right before I left for my trip and it’s served me well.
This is where I’ve been spending my days working. That table has my heart.
I absolutely love the acrylic sign for All Things Fabulous.
My LA dinner spot of choice has been Lemonade. Served cafeteria-style with plenty of healthy options (and of course, amazing lemonade — blood orange has been my top pick so far), I’ve been there with a few different friends…and hope to make it in for one last fix before it’s time to leave.
More (future) office inspiration: this rug.
We’ve been taking long walks all around Venice every chance we get — I’m feeling a bit spoiled this week with having the beach so close.
Have a great weekend, friends. I’m trying my best to soak up the last few days before re-entering reality…
• 10 steps to redesigning a brand identity.
• I love these DIY shelves. Super simple and practical.
• Here’s a beautiful and practical guide for house plants.
• 5 ways to fail gracefully.
• Lookbook Cookbook is full of stylish ladies posing with a killer selection of vegan recipes. Need I say more?
• 8 simple tips to edit your own blog.
• Roger Angell talks about what life is like at age 93.
• Hilariously outdated advice from Seventeen Magazine in 1967.
• Good things come to those who work hard.
• Homemade Nutella crepes? Yes, please!
• 50 free Photoshop actions that will help you create tons of different effects.
• How to blow dry your hair like a stylist, for real.
• What’s your model name?
• Print 101: Here are some of the different mediums.
Photo: Bjork by Ian Jennings.