February 22, 2010

ModEats: Mid-Century Goes Country?

Question: What do you get when you mix mid-century modern with down-home country comforts?

Answer: TART - a fabulous restaurant in Los Angeles serving up food with a Southern flare in an environment to satisfy the design-happy.

Located on Fairfax, TART is directly across the street from The Farmer's Market at The Grove. Although The Grove offers many food options...it is totally worth it to walk across the street and experience this dining treasure.

The dining room can only be described as fabulous modern meets country kitchen. The pendant lamps, leather barstools and bright teal walls scream mid-century while the lace-lined cupboards, wooden chairs and sweetly displayed teacups remind you of apple pie and simpler times.

While the food was great and kept my tummy happy, I was busy gawking at the decor and the amazing patio. The center of the patio features an oversized collection of succulents while lines of clear bulbs criss-cross overhead, making it feel more like an outdoor room than a patio. We were snuggled in a corner booth on the patio with the best view in the house!

I wish I had taken pictures, the following online photos don't do it justice or show its finest features...

The restaurant is actually part of the Farmer's Daughter Hotel, which is an equally cool place and totally worth checking out!

So, next time you're in LA, check out TART. Follow the link to see their menu...because...after all, it IS a place to eat. :)

Just as a sidenote...I'm happy to report that they only serve grass-fed beef, free range chicken and organic greens! They're also well-known for their yummy breakfast. The service could be a little speedier, but in a place like this, who cares!


February 16, 2010

Inspiration :: Bar Stools

A reader commented on my last entry saying that she needed some inspiration finding colorful bar stools to complement her all-white kitchen. Let's see what we can find:

We'll start off by aiming high...

These Erik Buch bar stools are classically Danish...
While these Onda barstools are classically Design Within Reach...

Or, you can head over to Modernica to build your own!

But for those of us on a budget, we will dream big and purchase logically. These great orange stools were found at a secondhand store...

Stalk Craigslist for great deals, like these Bertoia Stools (whose seat pads can be interchanged and brightened up)...

And lastly, search the Pennysaver weekly for local estate/garage sales and keep an eye out for up-and-coming websites like This is Not Ikea that offer unique, vintage finds.

Good luck, Jen! :)

February 12, 2010

The "I Hate" Series...Part I

Here begins an occasional installment I'd like to call the “I Hate…” Series. Because there are too many monstrosities out there being passed off as “design” that just bug me to no end!

First off…

I Hate…Contemporary Kitchens!

Living in Orange County, I have seen more Tuscan, contemporary kitchens than I can stomach. If I see one more cookie-cutter kitchen with granite countertops, I may just die of granite overload! For example:

Yuck. You've basically just seen a picture of every kitchen in the city where I reside.

In the 50's, kitchens started becoming the hub of the house. We all know that eating fosters community...where we eat is where we gather! So, this begs the question…why would you want your kitchen to be generic, cold or void of feeling?

Does that look like a place you'd want to recline with friends? I mean, it's pretty...but, c'mon...

Kitchens are part of a home...they should be inviting and have character! If you live in an old house, don't gut the kitchen and replace it with contemporary nonsense...let some character remain (or at least rebuild it with character!) Whether old or new, kitchens can be completely stylish but still be warm, inviting and unique!

And don't be afraid of color! Color adds warmth and personality...

Even brand new, modern kitchens can have character...but they need to look LIVED in! I'll admit, I do think this one is pretty...

So...when you are thinking about your dream kitchen, imagine yourself there...holding a hot cup of tea and talking with a good friend. It might even be possible that the kitchen of your dreams is already under your nose, in your own home! Maybe it just needs a little refresher!

Until next time, when it comes to design...don't be concerned about keeping up with the Jones's...be yourself, be unique...and don't fall for the granite countertops. :)

P.S. If you have any great kitchen pictures to share, please do! We would love to see them!

P.P.S. I apologize if I am offending anyone, I'm sure your granite countertops are lovely. :)