All the reasons we love ginger jars-Erin Lane Estate

All the reasons we love ginger jars-Erin Lane Estate

I would have to say a pair of blue and white ginger jars are on the top of my must-haves in my home. Nothing makes a room smile more than a pop of blue and white and some fresh vibrant flowers. It blends so effortlessly with all types of patterns and colors. You may be thinking "But I have no other Asian pieces in my home". Fret no more little one and try a pair. 
Ginger jars historically were used to store and transport spices.
Now they are a design staple.
These antique jars are right at home with French & Gustavian design seen above. A perfect marriage.
You even see fashion inspired by ginger jars and chinoserie on the runway.
Look at this dress! Designed by Roberto Cavalli. What I would do to wear this out on the town. 
Jennifer over the Pink Pagoda creates a beautiful blog on all things blue and white. 
I love how Jennifer at the Pink Pagoda adds ginger jars to her shelf decor. So chic. So timeless. 
Shop our collection of blue and white here.
December 08, 2017 by Erin Bichara
The Matriarch of Chinese Cuisine Cecilia Chiang | The Mandarin Restaurant San Francisco

The Matriarch of Chinese Cuisine Cecilia Chiang | The Mandarin Restaurant San Francisco

Over the weekend I watched a PBS show with the elegant and revered James Beard award winning chef Cecilia Chiang of the most famous Chinese food restaurant in San Francisco history, The Mandarin. Oh and did I mention she was 97? There are so many things that drew me in about her story. Her background, her journey to the United States, and her sheer tenacity and bravery. Ms. Chiang was born near Shanghai to an aristocratic family and lived in a 52 room mansion. During the Japanese occupation she was forced out and escaped with her sister. Eventually settling in Tokyo she made a trip to San Francisco to visit a relative and never left.

Cecilia wanted to introduce non-Chinese Americans to her cuisine as well as improve upon the lackluster decor and ambiance seen in most Chinese food restaurants. She wanted to create a space that was opulent and luxurious with great lighting like the temples in China and palaces she grew up in. 

Menus via Ruth Reichl

Here is her first location. The restaurant was at first unsuccessful and had few patrons. Slowly the restaurant became more popular and began to attract loyal customers. Herb Caen began writing about the restaurant in his column. 

In 1968 Ms. Chiang opened her famed 300 seat Mandarin Restaurant in Ghirardelli Square which required a multimillion dollar investment. She said in the interview on PBS that she designed much of the restaurant and loved McGuire furniture. She would entertain VIP's from Presidents to Rock Stars wearing her fancy gowns. Not only was the place stunning she wanted people to really taste true Chinese food. Later a Beverly Hills location was opened. She sold her restaurant in 1991 and it closed in 2006. I would have loved to visit her restaurant. I bet it was full of beautiful Chinese screens and Chinese art. Such a strong, intelligent, and elegant woman making her mark in this world. Being a chef and female business owner at that time was no easy feat. 

I can't wait to watch her documentary "Soul of a Banquet" by filmmaker Wayne Wang.

XO, Erin 

October 24, 2017 by Erin Bichara
Set of Fourteen Rococo Style Dining Chairs The Marc Benioff Estate

Set of Fourteen Rococo Style Dining Chairs The Marc Benioff Estate

If you live in the Bay Area you definitely know who Marc Benioff is. For those of you who aren't familiar he is an internet entrepreneur, philanthropist, and CEO of Salesforce. We recently acquired a set of fourteen dining chairs from one of his estates. Benioff and his wife Lynne have impeccable taste and I would love to see more of the interiors of their estates.They have estates from Hawaii to San Francisco. There are limited photos of his estates available but I did find this shot of his office from Forbes magazine.
Photo Credit: Christian Peacock for Forbes Magazine. 
He is a rather large man so the dining chairs are custom and quite generous from C. Mariani Antiques in San Francisco. 
Fabulous set of 14 custom-made dining chairs by C. Mariani San Francisco CA. Made in the Italian Rococo taste with grand, generous proportions. Featuring a Classic hand-carved frame with a red and black lacquer finish accented by gilt trim. Each chair has a large serpentine seat and is supported by cabriole legs. Upholstered in a gold silk brocade. Provenance: From the Marc Benioff estate, San Francisco, CA.
Click here for details. 
September 15, 2017 by Erin Bichara
Loving Lately....

Loving Lately....

One of my absolute admire designers right now is Mark Sikes. Have you seen his work? It will stop you dead in your tracks. The way he blends styles is truly inspiring and seems so effortless. He designs for Reese Witherspoon & Nancy Meyers. Two of my favorite Hollywood ladies. 
Photo via : Amy Neusinger
Isn't this just stunning? So feminine with touches of Moroccan, coastal, British Colonial, and simply chic. 
I purchased his book Beautiful and can't get enough of it. I study it.
You can purchase it here
These are a must have for fall. Anything rose gold, right? 
These are from Jack Rogers. SO cute!
Enjoying these last few weekends before the weather changes. Heading to Tahoe this weekend to swim to the rocks and hike the Rubicon trail. Have a wonderful weekend. 
September 08, 2017 by Erin Bichara
Photo by Michael Macor

Look! We're in the San Francisco Chronicle

As many of you know we sell on several different websites. We sell our items here on our own website as well as Etsy, 1st Dibs, and Chairish. We were so excited when asked by Chairish to be featured along side them as the San Francisco chronicle wanted to know what a typical day looks like for a Chairish seller. So naturally I said come on over. You can read the feature here. A big thank you to Chairish, photographer Michael Macor, and the San Francisco Chronicle. 
Fun & Inspiration at the San Francisco Showcase House 2017

Fun & Inspiration at the San Francisco Showcase House 2017

Some of my favorite things to do include exploring, drinking sparkling wine, interior design, and hanging with my girlfriends. On this particular day I got to do all four. Lucky me. If you have never been to a showcase house its a must for your fun list. For years I have been saying I wanted to go.
This year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase features the work of 28 interior and landscape designers in the impressive Mack House, a Classical Revival mansion in the heart of the city’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. It just so happens one of our customers Kari McIntosh from Kari McIntosh Design purchased a desk from us that would grace the office of the showcase house. Needless to say we weren't going to miss this one.

ELE-SF SHOWCASE #1

ELE-SF SHOWCASE #2

Here is it is...Kari's beautiful work "The Balancing Point" featuring our desk and so many gorgeous vintage pieces! So exciting to see where our pieces end up.

You can read the full feature from the San Francisco Showhouse 2017 here and here.

 

June 13, 2017 by Erin Bichara
Outdoor Decorating & Entertaining Essentials

Outdoor Decorating & Entertaining Essentials

I love to have a big Easter egg hunt every year. Its the perfect time to get your home summer ready after all the rains and cold of winter. Nothing makes you hustle like having a house full of people. Time for some touch-up paint, freshening up your flowers and mulch, and cleaning and sprucing the patio furniture.

Here in Northern California we pretty much can dine outdoors 8-9 months out of the year. I want my outdoor spaces to be an extension of my home. I added some of my favorite designers homes for inspiration and some of my favorite picks for outdoor furniture and accessories. Happy sprucing! 

I love how Suzanne Kasler's home in Atlanta features a fireplace as the focal point with a vintage starburst mirror. This gives your outdoor space some personality and refinement. Photo via Architectural Digest by Pieter Estersohn.

This home perched over the ocean on the Greek island of Spetses has such a tranquil feel with the ocean as your color palette. I love the two refectory style tables together with simple metal folding chairs. The table in the background would make a perfect bar set-up or appetizer station. Photo via Architectural Digest by Richard Powers.

Nothing says summer like an outdoor farm table & hanging lanterns. Simple and perfect at the home of M. Night Shyamalan in Philadelphia. Photo via Architectural Digest by Eric Piasecki.

Refined casual at a Brazilian retreat. There's a perfect little shady nook in the back for a piece of art. Photo via Architectural Digest by Richard Sherman.

Nothing makes more a statement than some antique urns flanking your driveway or entry.  

Shop the look with all my favorite picks below:

French Cast Iron Garden Urns

 

Pair of Rattan Emmanuel Peacock Chairs

I love flanking the ends of an outdoor dining table with Peacock chairs.

 

Gilt Metal Faux Bamboo Gazebo with Pagoda Roof

French Wrought Iron Garden Patio Dining Table

Set of Four French Iron Bistro Dining Chairs

Jocko The Lawn Jockey 

Pair of Russell Woodard Spun Fiberglass Plant Stands

McGuire Bamboo and Marble Bistro Tables

French Rattan Lidded Harvest Basket with Handles

These baskets make the best planters. 

French Round Travertine and Iron Bistro Table

There's something about having a meal on a stone table. Chill some rose', invite some friends over, and share some laughs. What more do you need?

Shop all of our outdoor pieces here.

 

May 18, 2017 by Erin Bichara
Out and About in West Hollywood

Out and About in West Hollywood

Last week was Spring Break for my middle-schooler so we decided to take a last minute road trip down to Hollywood. We happen to love West Hollywood and always stay at the fabulous Andaz hotel on Sunset Blvd. I just love the modern LA vibe of this hotel. We love the views, the breakfast, and the location of this spot. 
They also have an amazing roof-top pool.
I feel so fortunate to live in California. I can drive to all these gorgeous places within 5 hours and never step foot in an airport. 
One of my favorite things to do in a new city is to walk around the neighborhoods. We've never enjoyed the touristy sites in LA so I like to visit a new area each time and check out all the locals favorite spots. Being on foot provides such an great perspective into a neighborhood that you just can't get from a car. 
Love the architecture in West Hollywood. 
I have to say the highlight of this trip was my introduction to the LA Farmer's Market. If you have never been this is a spot you won't want to miss. 
The Original Los Angeles farmers market was established in 1934 when a dozen farmers parked their trucks in an open field to sell produce. Now its home to more than 100 merchants that sell the best food, drinks, and everything tasty. Not to mention its right next door to all the fabulous shops at The Grove
You won't want to miss the Los Angeles County Museum of Art featuring artwork covering the expanse of art history and the globe. I got to see a favorite of mine by Franz Kline.
I loved the Japanese Art building.
The Japanese graphic art display was so colorful and fun to look at.
And of course I ended my afternoon with a glass of Rose' back at the Farmer's Market.
It may have only been to LA but I cherish any moment of travel with my boy making new memories. I'd love to hear your favorite LA spots! 
April 12, 2017 by Erin Bichara
The Allure of Burl Wood

The Allure of Burl Wood

You've seen them. The lovely grain of those Milo Baughman burl consoles and dining tables. Those pieces that make you swoon. Did you ever wonder where all that burl came from?

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Did you know that burl is actually a tree growth or a sign that a tree is under some form of stress? These burls are prized pieces of wood because they are so rare. There has even been a rise in burl poaching at National Parks across the United States.

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Most burl growths occur near coast redwoods at the base of the tree. The wood itself is extremely hard to work with as its very dense and chips and shatters unpredictably.

Burl growth

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Burls are removed, sliced into veneers and highly sought after by furniture makers, auto makers, and artists.

Not to be confused with bird's eye maple.

February 14, 2017 by Erin Bichara
Pantone's Color of 2017 | Greenery

Pantone's Color of 2017 | Greenery

Its always fun to see what Pantone reveals as its color of the year. For 2017 they unveiled "Greenery". I love how designer Christian Siriano styled this entry for Elle Decor photographed by Alec Hemer. He just embraces color in this room and does it so effortlessly. Its so playful with the pop art and hints of bamboo. Of course velvet never goes out of style.

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January 10, 2017 by Erin Bichara
Tags: Design 101