California Vacation, Coastal Design Inspiration

My family and I are just back from summer vacation in California ... so much design inspiration!

On the beach at Half Moon Bay: a little snapshot of organic coastal inspiration


Until last week, our kids had never seen the West Coast. Earlier this year, my husband and I decided this summer was the time to change that, so we planned a vacation out west. Our itinerary? Fly in to San Francisco, spend a whirlwind 24 hours in the big city, then rent an Escape Camper Van and slowly make our way down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. A family-friendly mix of modern luxuries and rustic van life ... and design inspiration, galore. Below are a few pictures and highlights from the trip, sources of inspiration for future paintings, textile and wallpaper designs, and a few of our favorite places and travel tips if you’re headed out west. Enjoy! Happy last few days of summer. Xo, Kate

Design Inspiration Source#1: (aka our favorite hotels) The W in San Francisco and Farmer's Daughter boutique hotel in LA ... these hotels do not disappoint!

Above: The pool at The Farmers Daughter Hotel in Los Angeles ... the backdrop of impatients makes this cozy space.


Above: the ethereal entryway at the W in San Francisco


Design Inspiration #2: Public Art & Design, macro and micro — art and design is everywhere in San Francisco, from large scale murals in alleyways...

Above: my family, enjoying San Francisco by foot



... to artfully designed bike racks, doorways and more:

Read all about this cool city neighborhood project and its designer here

Design Inspiration Source #3: Architecture, everywhere. Whether it was the detail in a downtown building in San Francisco, or the Hansel-and-Gretel style cottages in Carmel, west coast architecture did not disappoint.

Love all of the lines and patterns in this modern metal scaffolding that went on for blocks in downtown San Francisco

A sampling of the beautifully detailed, one of a kind, handcrafted Hansel-and-Gretel styled cottages in Carmel.


Downtown architectural details: the beautiful Hearst Building entryway (above); dolphins, waves and seashells (below).


Design Inspiration Source #4: The Beaches (of course!), coastal vegetation and (our personal favorite) the gorgeous, dry and yet overflowing with colors Point Lobos Natural Reserve:




Above: a snapshot taken on the beach at San Simeon. Its waves reminded me of our New Wave Order design from our Coastal Collection (below)



West Coast Family Vacation Favorites: Best neighborhood to walk around in and get a feel for local San Francisco life: around Union Street ... and if you're hungry, you must stop at The Italian Homemade Company. This place served up THE freshest pasta and best meatball Bolognese I have ever tasted.

Favorite California State Park: Point Lobos Natural Reserve (also pictured above). Its bubbling tidal pools, meandering trails and overall scenery are tough to beat.

Above: The kids taking in the view at Point Lobos Natural Reserve


Favorite California Campsite: Morro Bay. (I know people love California's Redwoods, but the giant Eucalyptus trees in this park with their cinnamon and silver trunks are stunning ... not to mention the view and easy access to kayaking nearby).

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Kayaking at Morro Bay. (You can rent kayaks just a stone's throw from the campsite. We took ours out to a little stretch of sand just before the big Morro Rock, walked around - not a soul in sight! - and kayaked back, alongside a sea otter here and there ... a sweet memory). Favorite Source of Organic Textile Goodness: Raoul Textiles

Favorite Design Boutique: hands down, the Martyn Lawrence Bullard showroom in La Cienega Design Quarter. Not only did they have the best modern mix of art, furniture, textiles and home decor, but their staff was the most welcoming in all of their neighborhood.

The Martyn Lawrence Bullard showroom on Melsrose Ave in LA


On the plane ride home, I discovered their recently designed kitchen made the cover of House Beautiful. (No wonder I loved them so much!).


Best Brunch Place in LA: The Ivy (Watch for celebrity sightings here!).

Above: Early morning at the Ivy ... so much color, pattern and pillow goodness!


Worth the Drive in LA: Griffith Park (Even on a hazy day in LA, the view did not disappoint):


Happy Summer 2018!

Hello and goodbye, Summer Vacation! My son taking in the view at San Simeon State Park in California.

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