Fashion Felicitations: 80s Ralph Lauren

Photographs by Sean Gin


Dear Fashion Diary,

A while ago while snooping through my father’s closet, I found this amazing vintage Ralph Lauren shirt. I fell in love with its crazy 80s plaid pattern and it’s lovely purple undertones (side note: for the past few years everyone has been saying purple is a thing, and I keep waiting for it to be a thing, and it’s never a thing. WHAT IS HAPPENING???). Because this shirt is so crazy I decided to pair it with an awesome New Era hat I bought for Coachella last year (yes I am one of those douchebags who buys stuff to go to Coachella. Actually I buy stuff every time I go to the desert. I hate myself). In real life, the shirt actually looks a lot better open with a white tank underneath. However, I also love it buttoned up like it is here.



Below I’ve outlined how you too can get a similarly graphic/crazy/casual look just by using your eyes, fingers, and the internet. Happy shopping!


1. New Era Palm Frond Hat, $35 from Ebay
2. Graphic Button-Down, $240 from ASOS
3. Needle Narrow Jeans, $215 from Levi’s
4. Chuck Taylor Classics, $50 from Converse

No go enjoy your weekend. And BUY EVERYTHING!



Filed under Style

Throwing a Glamourous Birthday Party with Kitchensurfing

Photographs by Sean Gin


Dear Gorgeous Interior Designer Matthew Lanphier,
You had a birthday recently and you didn’t know what to do about it. Birthdays are fun when you’re little because your mom throws you a huge party and invites all your friends and everyone gets candy. But once you hit your 30s birthdays start to get annoying. You can either get one of your friends to throw you a giant party at their glamour mansion, or you can force your friends to go out to fancy dinner somewhere and then everyone will secretly resent you while pretending they want to pay $250 to have the privilege of singing happy birthday in public, which, coincidentally, you also resent.

A few weeks ago, we ran into each other at the gym and we were going over birthday party plans [because I am *such* a good friend] and I had the genius idea to call Kitchensurfing. I’ve become familiar with Kitchensurfing through working with Homepolish because Kitchensurfing basically does the same thing we do but for personal chefs. Just as Homepolish is revolutionizing the interior design industry by making everything more streamlined and accessible, Kitchensurfing is doing the same thing for the personal chef/private catering industry.


Kitchensurfing‘s Kyly, Matthew, and me.


Being a designer, Matthew naturally has a beautiful home, so we decided to host the event there.


Because most normal people living in urban apartments don’t have 16 chairs lying around, we mixed my 8 dining chairs with Matthew‘s 8 for an eclectic mix. We also mixed up the placemats and napkins so the whole setting felt playful and sophisticated.



At some point in his life, Matthew figured out how to fold a napkin restaurant-style. This is probably the reason I can never stop being friends with him (what if I have a party and I need fancy napkins?).


When setting up for a party, it’s very important to stop and take a minute to pose for a completely natural LOL shot. This will ensure you have happy memories of your party. You’re welcome.


Kitchensurfing really impressed me with the chef they sent. Our chef, Laurent Katgely, specializes in French cuisine. Being that Matthew is a totally insane francophile who is learning to speak French and loves all things French and pines daily to move to Paris, we knew we needed a French chef.


We had a lively group of gay guys (and two lovely ladies) at our party. Just a bunch of designers, models, actors,  entertainment executives, etc. You know, the kind of people who make you feel totally inadequate and scared.



One of our lovely appetizers. Asparagus with truffle sauce and a tomato garnish. It was delicious, as was all the other food.



A few of Matthew‘s Gay sculptures and some of his Gay wine. I don’t know why I think they’re so Gay, I just do.


On top of the incredibly gifted chef, Kitchensurfing also provides servers and assistants to make sure you don’t lift a finger. They pretty much allow you to be the laziest possible human while you enjoy your delicious food.


Our experience with Kitchensurfing  was amazing and I would recommend it highly to anyone who is looking to host a large dinner party and doesn’t want to deal with cooking or wants to provide their guests with a type of food they aren’t adept at cooking (which is, for me, most things). And it’s perfect for something like a birthday, where you don’t want to force your friends to spend a million dollars to eat with you but you also don’t want to pay a huge dinner bill.


Full Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Kitchensurfing provided their services at a discount in exchange for an honest review. I truly recommend the service for anyone looking for a personal chef or event catering. 


Filed under Life, Style

Homepolishing for Fashiontoast

Photographs by Tessa Neustadt, Courtesy Homepolish


Dear Fashion Ladies,

Do you read Fashiontoast? It’s the beautiful fashion diary of Rumi Neely. Do you know who Rumi Neely is? She’s the cute girl that’s so cute it will make you want to scream and tear out your eyeballs and cry blood until you die. Homepolish recently hooked me up with Rumi to redesign her living room and dining room to reflect her elegant, minimal style. Here’s me excusing her beauty while we looked at magazines together:




For the dining room, we started with a large-scale French country-inspired table from AllModern (who sponsored the project). They also provided the lovely rug, chair, bench, and chandelier. Rumi likes to choose her colors wisely. She’s really a minimalist in that sense. So instead of bringing in a ton of color I decided to bring in texture. One thing that surprised me about her is how into animal skins she was. I mean, the girl has fur all over the place. I imagine that she spends her weekends murdering animals just so she can luxuriate in their skin every day. As beautiful and demure as she is, I can tell she’s secretly a warrior princess. The furs were great because it helped me bring in texture and natural color. To finish off the space I added my favorite go-to that’s guaranteed to add life to a space: plants.


This gorgeous vintage textile, glamourously framed in a simple lucite frame was exactly Rumi’s style. It’s from St. Frank. They have a huge collection of amazing, one-of-a-kind textile pieces and I want all of them. Just a really beautiful way of bringing pattern and color into a room whilst also bringing in an object that has a tremendous amount of history.



Rumi already had those beautiful moss brass candlesticks. I love them with all of myself and would die for them if it came to that.


The plants and planters come from Mickey Hargitay Plants in West Hollywood, where I go once every 25 seconds. I spent $175 on that beautiful fiddle leaf fig and about $80 on the succulent arrangement.

Sources: Chairs, Rug, Chandelier.



Here’s another picture of Rumi being obnoxiously gorgeous. We bonded over the fact that we were both from Northern California and have hippie names. She’s such a sweet girl and I had so much fun staring at her whilst breathing heavily, sweating. I mean working with her. Awkward silence.

We kept the color palette in the bedroom minimal, just like the rest of the house. I used one of my favorite go-to colors for the walls, Benjamin Moore’s Half Moon Crest. It’s a beautiful grey that is just warm enough but not so warm that it starts to look beige and gross. Sidenote: I might be starting to like beige. Is that weird? I have hated it for my whole life, but it’s starting to grow on me when used correctly (like in some warm, Mediterranean adobe home). Anyway, it’s kind of blasphemy that I don’t hate it anymore but I’m dealing with it so please, no judgements.


Most of the bedroom was sponsored by AllModern, where we got the bed, bedding, and bedside lamps. The pillow comes from Ninespace (have you checked them out? I love them). And the side tables are from, GASP, Target.



Sources: BeddingLampsPillows.

The photograph in a simple white frame is by Matin Zad, who is an incredibly talented young photographer winning ALL THE ACCOLADES right now. The piece is available from Tappan Collective and I highly recommend you buy one. I have the same one hanging in my bedroom and looking at it every day makes me so happy. It went perfectly with the theme of the rest of Rumi’s house. Clean, simple, minimal. I’m so relaxed I’m going to take a nap now. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!


If you’d like a space as calming and lovely as Rumi’s please contact Homepolish and set up a consult with me or one of our ridiculously talented designers. It’s likely that we are in your city and we’d love to help you with your space. HURRY!

Special thanks to AllModern, St. Frank Textiles, and Tappan Collective for the beautiful things found in this home makeover.


Filed under Decor, Style

D.I.Why? Making an Ugly Coffee Table Into A Simple Work Of Art

Beautiful Photographs by Sean Gin. Ugly Photographs by Orlando Soria.

coffeetable6Dear Old Coffee Table I Got from Emily Years Ago,

You taught me a lot of things. Firstly, you taught me that it’s important to take care of things or they’ll turn into garbage. I remember the day years ago when Emily and I looked at each other and were like “What are we going to do with this piece of garbage?” This once-beautiful royal blue lacquer coffee table got scratched after we moved it around in our storage for two years. Which reminds me, I HATE LACQUER. Yes it looks amazing for a little while. But if you just so much as set your teacup down the wrong way, it scratches immediately and you have to get it re-lacquered and it’s totally annoying and expensive and terrible. Emily was going to donate this piece to Goodwill, so I took it home KNOWING I would think of something to do with it. Fast forward two years and it’s still sitting in my parking space outside, waiting to be loved. I really couldn’t think of anything to do to it. But then one day I was daydreaming, thinking about how much I love Christo, and I remembered his early work where he used to wrap furniture in canvas and other materials. Those pieces looked like this:


I’d love to make a sofa like that someday, all wrapped and organic and crazy. But I wanted something simpler for my coffee table, so decided to try and make it look like a giant canvas, wrapped in raw fabric that’s meant to be painted on. Like this:


This is the table I started with:


I know. Gag me with a spoon. But good bones for a new, canvas-covered coffee table. Below I’ll tell you how I transformed my table.

Firstly, Here’s What You’ll need:
1. Ugly Old Coffee Table That Literally Makes You Want To Scream
2. Raw Canvas (I got mine for $6/yard at Blick)
3. Scissors
4. Staple Gun
5. Iron

Before you get started, it might be helpful to revisit my How To Strech A Canvas Tutorial, many of the same rules apply here if you cover your table in canvas.


Step 1: Cover both ends of the coffee table by stapling canvas onto the table. Don’t worry about the staples, you’ll be concealing them later. Just like you concealed your true opinion of your best friend’s new French Bulldog, which is scary and looks like a gremlin.


Make sure to pull the canvas very taught so it won’t be gross and wrinkly. Like my face is after a weekend of heavy drinking in the sun.


Step 2: Drape canvas over the top to determine width (you will be folding it under so the seam is not exposed).


Step 3: Tape your creased canvas into place. This will help keep everything in place while you staple the folded over canvas to the bottom of the table’s legs. Make sure you are pulling everything tight while you do this. Whatever you do, don’t relax. You should be as tense and wound-up as possible while you stretch this canvas over your coffee table to ensure that you pull it hard enough. Keep in mind that if you mess this up your life until now has been useless and there really is no reason to continue living.

Step 4: Using an iron on a high steam setting, iron out all wrinkles and creases in the canvas. This will also help tighten the canvas as it shrinks a bit when exposed to moisture.


Step 5: Make sure to use lots of trays and coasters. Raw canvas is highly sensitive and cannot be cleaned. I plan to eventually paint on mine so I’m not too worried about stains. If you are an out-of-control messy barbarian, you can either choose a more stain resistant fabric or choose something darker that wont show all the wine stains that result from staying home alone every weekend to watch “Maid in Manhattan” whilst wearing Garfield pajamas.


The whole project cost me about $25 (all I had to buy was the canvas) so I’m pretty pleased with my practically-free new coffee table. It’s a scientific fact that people with nice coffee tables are 90% more likely to run into handsome men on the street who are carrying big stacks of books. It’s also known that people with nice coffee tables will themselves be carrying large stacks of books and when they run into aforementioned handsome men carrying books, they will both simultaneously drop their books and then the books will get mixed up and then they will fall in love as they try to figure out which books belong to which person. Thus, it’s very important to have a coffee table that you can be proud of.




So, there you go. I transformed a coffee table from despicable to delectable within minutes, for mere pennies. Now, go forth and do it yourself! Hurry!



Filed under Decor

Gray’s Gardens

 Photography by Nicole Lamotte, Courtesy One Kings Lane


Dear Gray Malin,

I’m pretty jealous of your outdoor space. The glamorous, enormous back yard you have behind your West Hollywood home is green and lush and inviting. I want to go to like 500 gardenparties there. Designing this outdoor space in conjunction with One Kings Lane was a dream because I basically had the best outdoor stuff at my fingertips.


We began our design by selecting this wonderful outdoor sectional from One Kings Lane (where all the furnishings came from). Like most type-A LA Gays, Gray and his husband Jeff have 500 million friends and like the have them over all the time at parties that are so perfectly composed that it makes you want to scream and tear out all your hair. Being so obsessed with hosting, they wanted as much seating as possible. Which is why all the glamorous upholstered outdoor seating we found was just what the doctor ordered.


Gray designed this gorgeous series of surfboards and I want ALL of them. The plant is from Mickey Hartigay’s Plants, where Gray and I went crazy and bought everything.


I’m a huge fan of these large outdoor rugs. Since the deck is long, we created two distinct seating areas using the rugs to corral the furniture. We kept the color palette pretty monochromatic. Since we both love navy it wasn’t difficult to figure out what color to choose.


These succulents make me want to drown myself. So that I can come back as a succulent. So that my life will actually be worth something.

So Gray, if you’re reading this, I’m coming over right now to luxuriate in your back yard. Forever.



Filed under Decor

Styling Emily’s New Dining Room



Dear Diary,

I had some fun styling with Emily at her new house the other day. Check out what we did with her dining room. Using awesome art from Tappan Collective, vintage accessories, and some cool lamps, we transformed the dining console from grotesque to gorgeous. Happy Monday!

Click here for full story!



PS: Click here for a chance to win the beautiful Molly Berman photo we used in Emily’s dining room.

Leave a comment

Filed under Decor

Homepolish & One Kings Lane Give Gray Malin a Home Makeover

Photos by Nicole Lamotte, Courtesy One Kings Lane


Dear Reader,

By now, you’ve probably heard of Gray Malin (pictured above with his hubz Jeff and my scaryface), the brilliant photographer who took these gorgeous photographs:





As you can see, these photos are right up my alley. We both love Miami colors, tropical locations, and the coastal aesthetic. You can check out the rest of his beautiful portfolio online.

Homepolish hooked me up with the opportunity to design Gray’s home, starting with the living room and outdoor spaces. In collaboration with One Kings Lane (who sponsored the project and donated their lovely home furnishings), we created a preppy space with the color and sophistication Gray and his husband Jeff wanted (Sidenote: they are the cutest couple in the world. I ogled their wedding book and literally wanted to die because it was so sweet).


We selected this elegant sofa because Gray wanted something that was both comfortable and sophisticated. Quick tip: if you’re looking for a comfy sofa make sure you seek one out with lots of down in the cushions. This will mean you will have to reshape the cushions every day but will make it way softer and more inviting. The sofa we chose is called the Dunsmuir (all products in this post are sourced from One Kings Lane).


The crazy gorgeous Geometric Étagères were a game-changer and immediately made the space look more beautiful, the ceilings higher. I styled them using Gray’s collection of family photos, art, and objects, and trays and accessories from One Kings Lane.


I love that dog portrait, kinda wanted to steal it.


One of the challenges of this project was keeping it colorful while not making it look like a rainbow exploded all over the house. Gray loves color. I love color. But his main goal was a sophisticated, grown up space so I had to keep the color intentional and well-curated. Luckily, these beautiful nightstands served as the perfect console tables flanking the bay window AND they echoed the gorgeous colors in Gray’s Swimmer Photo Series, which we placed above (Sidenote: decorating for an artist is the BEST because you don’t have to worry about finding art, which is normally totally annoying and hard and no one wants to spend any money on it).


I’d by lying if I said these chairs weren’t my favorite part of this project. I am a huge Milo Baughman fan, so these Baughman-inspired pieces speak directly to my tender, needy heart. I love how modern and out-of-control chic these are (I totally want them for my own home).


See??? I told you those chairs were the best thing in the world! Also, those roman shades. I had them custom made for Gray by The Shade Shoppe and they are so lux that I just want to tear them down and wear them as a tuxedo to a royal wedding.

You can check out a detailed behind-the-scenes story about the makeover on Gray’s Blog. Also, check out these links:

To get design services: Homepolish

To source the items seen at Gray’s House: One Kings Lane Gray Malin Homepolish Sale

To see more of Gray’s beautiful work: Gray Malin




Filed under Decor