Felicitations From My Father’s Closet: Mad For Madras

Photographs by Sean Gin


Dear Jenna von Oÿ,

I loved your work on Blossom, where you played the plucky sidekick to Mayim Bialik’s beloved character. She grew up to be kind of a weirdo, right? Oh well. Anyway, I’m doing this series where I take outfits I found in my father’s closet and show the world how they can buy new versions of them using nothing but their brains, the internet, and, like, tons of money. Below is an outfit I plopped together to go with a madras shirt with which I am in love. Madras is just classic. I feel like every year all different brands are like “we’re bringing back madras!” And everyone is all “you just did that, like, last year.” But to quote a wise band of musicians, “I don’t care, I love it.”



Now that I’ve forced you to look at me waddling all over the beach in my dad’s clothing, I’d like to tell you how you can get the look yourself. You’re welcome.


Madras Shirt, $70 from Orvis
Slim Fit Jeans, $43 from Levi’s
White Tank Top, $60 from Sunspel
Skate Shoes, $40 from Vans
Socks, $0 from Nowhere

Go buy something. Tell them I sent you.


PS: Sorry I’m so squinty in these photos. It was really REALLY sunny at the beach.


Filed under Style

What’s Going In My Sunny Bedroom?

Photographs by Sean Gin 

Dear You,

Do you ever wonder what my bedroom looks like? Me neither! Because I live in it! Well your wondering can stop because my glamourphotographer Sean took some great pics which I will share with you now.

My bedding is from West Elm. It’s hard to find something that classic and simple, so I love it. The stripe throw is from NineSpace, the lamps are from the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and the giant cactus is from my childhood.


My ex founds these awesome nightstands at Pepe’s Thrift Shop. And then he went away forever. And it was kind of like that PJ Harvey song from Basquiat.

I believe in always keeping a carafe with water in it next to the bed in case you get thirsty. And by “always” I mean “when you are taking a photograph of your bedside table and you want to look fancy.”

My mom made that awesome wave pillow out of fabric she found in a cute little wine country town called Healdsburg. Don’t you just want to hug that pillow? Then punch it? Then hug it and apologize for punching it? But then punch it again just to confuse it even more? I do.



Filed under Decor

My Week in Instagramz

Oh Weeks,
How you doth escape me! I began this week with a crazy-sexy-uncool feverthing that made me lay in bed all day long hallucinating that I was starving to death and then exclaiming at how soft the sheets felt against my starving, quivering feet. And then all the sudden the next day I was totally okay and it was way awesome. I don’t know what it was, probably food poisoning or something random, but it definitely felt like death. But it’s been a while since I’ve been that kind of sick. Like the kind of sick where you’re too weak to move and people call you and you can’t pick up the phone or you’re too weak to even return a text message. Strangely, there was something kind of nice about it. Like there’s something kind of weird about the universe forcing you to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing for a day. It causes you to stop freaking out a little bit. Like at first you’re all “Oh my god I have that presentation for One Kings Lane I need to finish!” and then you’re like “I can’t move my hands, hello ceiling, what’s the meaning of palm trees, do I only like Cards Against Humanity because it’s for stupid people, is someone knocking on the door, oh well…” I guess what I’m saying is that it’s nice to be yanked out of your routine every once in a while. For people like me who thrive on schedules and monotony, it’s good to give your system a little jolt. It frees you up too. Maybe you wont get everything done in time, but maybe you’ll do something unexpected that is 500% more brilliant. At least I hope that’s what happened. Otherwise all that hallucinating was a huge waste of time!


Things are still going great at the beach house. I grabbed these stools from Wisteria and I love them. Now I want to buy them for my own beach house (that doesn’t exist).


I also installed these awesome lamps from One Forty Three.


This is one of the guest rooms at the beach house. Furnishings come from West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel.


My painting DIY was on Refinery29… Did you see? If not check it out. Also, if you’re in the market for a giant seascape painting… Message me!


I toured my new favorite store IN THE WORLD over the weekend and fell in love with this sweater. The store is in the Arts District downtown and it’s called 12345. And yes, that does mean they only carry sizes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. If you live in LA and you haven’t been to this store yet you’re a bad person. Just like I used to be.


My La Habra Heights project has been photographed and ready to go for a while. Excited to share it with you soon!


I found this genius key holder at American Way thrift in Burbank and had to buy it for Kelly Oxford. She plans on moving soon and she’s the only client who I could think of that would get as excited about a stupid unicorn key holder as I did…


I found this cutlery at Poketo and I love it.


This tie comes from the garbagestore of all garbagestores, St Vincent de Paul. Anyone in LA who thrifts has been to this store. And if you ask them about it you’ll hear their war stories. It is absolutely revolting. You need to wash your hands IMMEDIATELY upon leaving or risk infecting everyone with mouth scabies. After the last visit I forced my friends to drive me to nearby Little Tokyo so I could buy some Japanese facial wipes to clean my entire face and body. As for the tie itself, I’m obsessed with it. It’s hand-painted Italian silk. I’m going to have it taken in by SkinnyFatties, a tie alteration company my friend Justin suggested.


I also found these Alessi mugs at St Vincent’s. My glassware/ceramics fetish is in full force. I do love myself some dishes. Which is weird because I haven’t been hosting as many dinner parties lately. Maybe I’m saving up for 2015, the year of the the dinner party. Or maybe I will never use them again. Either way, staring at them perched in my all-white dish collection, gives me a sense of control. Control over everything. Everything, that is, except my rampant homosexual OCD.



Filed under Life

D.I.Why? How To Make A Giant Paint-By-Numbers

Photographs by Sean Gin 

Dear Reader,

Are you curious how I made this giant painting?


And then stuck it in my normal-size bedroom?


Read the full story on Refinery29! More shots of the finished bedroom next week!


Miss the refinery link before? It’s RIGHT HERE!


Filed under Art, Decor

Whatever You Did in Palm Springs Last Weekend Robert Smith & His Friends Did It Better

Dear Robert Smith,

I saw the above image on my friend Jeffery’s Facebook and I just had to see more. Apparently you shot an awesome series of masked portraits in Palm Springs a few weeks back and I’m just loving the results. I’m not going to blabber too much about these images, I think they speak for themselves, but I’m glad you made them. Enjoy!



PS: A mini artist’s statement, from Robert Smith
“My interest in shooting masked portraits began after a weekend marathon of watching the 90′s TV show Twin Peaks. That crazy town is filled with loads of darkness and mystery. The idea of hiding, or holding back a person’s identity appeals to me. You need a new set of cues to interpret what you’re seeing, of who you’re seeing. Nothing is as it seems. I hope each photo writes its own story.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Art

Six Simple Shelf Styling Staples


Dear World,

You know how you get all scared when you look at your shelves and bookcase? Wondering how on earth you are going to be able to fill all those nooks and crannies? I hear you. I recently spent some time with my parents, who just installed the above built-in shelving in their sitting room. I basically went into their house and bossed them around about what should go where and they acted like they liked it but then they threw a huge party after I left to celebrate their freedom, tears of joy streaming down their previously tormented faces. I have styled shelving for many clients, and it can be super challenging. Usually, the challenge is that people do not have enough books or objects to fill the space. Or the objects that they have are gross and ugly. Luckily my parents are hoarders like me so they had tons of stuff to play with. Organizing at my parents’ house helped me come up with a list of what you’ll need to style your bookcase or built-in shelving.

Below is what I think you should ALWAYS have to style your bookcase:


1. Books
Yes, this goes without saying. You should have good books around you at all times. Especially when you’re single and looking for a new boyfriend. Otherwise, how else are you going to drop your books in front of a guy and then you’ll both bend down to get them and bonk heads and then look into each other’s eyes and then fall in love? Duh. But in all seriousness, get some books in your life. Good books. Ones you might actually read. And pretty books. With art in them that you want to ogle. Then someday when book-drop/head-bonk b0yfriend leaves you for some other book-dropper, you will still have your books. And at that point you’ll realize books are better than people. And then you’ll start wearing “Book Banning Burns Me Up!” t-shirts and everyone will know how crazy you are. And then you will be a social pariah and you’ll lose your job and everyone will hate you. Just kidding that could never happen to you. You’re far too pretty.



2. Sculptural Objects
Bookcases are the perfect place to store objects you love to ogle. My mom found these little sculptures in Alaska and my dad found that beaver skull on a bike ride in Northern California. “What if I’m an orphan with no dad to find me skulls?” you ask? Well, you can find your own stuff to put in your bookcase! You should constantly be looking around you for things you can hoard to put on display  for ogling purposes. Thrift stores and flea markets are a good place to start.



3. A Variety of Finishes/Materials
Life gets boring when everything is the same. So you should make sure you are collecting things made of different materials. Wood, glass, ceramic, paper. Anything. The more varied the more interesting your guests will think you are. And the whole point of life is tricking people into thinking you are interesting, right? Variety also helps your eye travel around the bookcase, looking it up and down so many times the bookcase will feel self-conscious.


4. Lighting
Shelving tends to be dark and brooding, like Joaquin Phoenix. So you need to make sure you add lighting to your bookcase otherwise everyone will get totally depressed when they look at it and it will be all your fault. But don’t worry, all you need to do is add lighting and you’re fine. Glamorous Noguchi lamps are one of my favorite ways to add lighting to shelving because they are a great scale and provide warm, diffused light. Also, because Noguchi was known for his beautiful sculptures, each one is a small sculptural work of art.


5. Photos
Because I’m not a fancy British person wearing a monocle, I like my shelves and bookcases to look a bit more casual. Thus, I like to add unframed photos in front of books. Above is a photo my dad took of his old MG, which he had when I was a baby. I was such a cute baby. And so well-behaved! You know who’s not a cute baby? Uptight British bookcases. They’re all “Do you want a scone?” And you’re like “No they’re so dry!” And they’re like “You must try one they’re simply divine!” And then you try one and it’s SO DRY. Anyway, boring perfect bookshelves are like that dry-ass scone. No one wants that. [Full disclosure, I actually love scones and I plan on opening a scone shop one day called "Scone Thugs-n-Harmony." Really].


6. Art [All Sizes]
It’s nice to break up the busy look of an all-book bookcase with some art. When designing my own shelving, I like to design some larger shelving spaces to accommodate larger art pieces, like the above print. This solves two problems. One, it allows you to stare at your art. Two, it solves the problem of starving artists. Because if you were buying artwork then artists would have money. And if they had money then they wouldn’t have to starve. And you wouldn’t want artists to starve, would  you? I thought not. So put some art in your bookcase!


You can also put art in front of books, which allows you to display some of your smaller artwork and hide some of your uglier, more shameful books (ie the “Twilight” series and all the “Harry Potter” books. I know you have them).


So there you go. The six things you need to make sure your shelves look sexy! Now go out and get them right this minute! Or everyone will judge you. Through the computer. Right now as you read this very sentence.



Filed under Decor

My Week in Instagramz


Dear Diary,

I’ve had a renewed interest in exploring California lately and it’s kind of funny. Funny because it’s making me feel way more dumb than normal. Like I’ll drive to Malibu and be like “Oh wow I totally forgot this was here!” I have this weird thing with California where it feels like home but also whenever I go anywhere lately I’m like “Oh this is so magical” like a maniac and it makes me feel like I just moved here or something. There’s slightly too much wonder. Like I kind of want to slap myself for being so amazed.

Whenever I start to feel stressed/annoyed/like like is pointless, I know a trip to the beach will always make me feel more grounded. Thus, I woke up last Sunday itching to go to Malibu. So I dragged a few of my friends there and we took a hike and went to a place called Paradise Cove Cafe, which is in fact the most amazing place I have ever been in my life. It’s like a Disneyland on the beach. The food is terrible, they serve drinks in ridiculous containers (like pineapples and coconuts), and everyone who is there just wants to pretend they are in the tropics. It’s basically my idea of heaven. Also, any place that uses the word “paradise” in its name is my favorite. Or “coconut.”




There was a weird optical illusion at the CB2 pickup zone in Santa Monica.


I love this Yoshitomo Nara clock I got as a gift years ago. I stare at it every day and it makes me happy.


Homepolish sent me to San Francisco this week. I drove up because I needed my car to visit with family in Sonoma County all weekend. It’s a super boring drive, but it’s gorgeous and filled with golden California hills.


Every time I am on the Bay Bridge, I have this fear that there is going to be some sort of enormous earthquake and I’m going to fall into the ocean and die.


Chrissy Field is my favorite place in San Francisco. It’s so peaceful and relaxing and it allows you to stare at the Golden Gate Bridge and think about the future.



I ran into a dog walker who had a bunch of dogs and insisted on posing them with me, which is most exciting thing that has ever happened in my life.


I also ogled the Golden Gate from Vista point, which was lovely because it was all foggy and beautiful.


I forced my sister’s dog Olive to pose with me for a Valentine’s Day pic. Is it rude that I think she looks a little bit like Julia Roberts in this photo?


This is me and my siblings on my first day of kindergarten. I kind of wish I had that outfit today in my size. Actually, I found a shirt the other day online that I wanted that kind of reminds me of the one I’m wearing…


I had to document this wonderful drawing in the home of a friend-of-a-friend. It’s so simple but so good.



A few more shots of good old San Francisco. I have a special place in my heart for this city because I grew up coming here all the time. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in the United States and I’m always happy to come here.


Follow Hommemakerblog on Instagram.


Filed under Life, Uncategorized