Entries from May 29th, 2014

home progress: patio, DIY built-in seating

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioThroughout our renovation we basically gave up complete use of the backyard to the construction crew, piles of garbage, and building supplies etc. Now that things are wrapping up, we are beyond excited to finally be able to use the backyard that we moved from a new modern townhouse into a small fixer upper house to get! I am equally ecstatic that Rupe and I finished another one of our lingering DIY projects, these built-in benches.

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioPreviously this corner of the yard was basically a dumping ground for old plants and old furniture, it was sorrily neglected, but now it’s another full living area (girl likes an outdoor room)! Rupe and I both already took naps on that corner bench (basically immediately after completion, DIYing is exhausting ;)) and I can’t wait to have some people over to properly christen the new space. Clearly the pups appreciate all our handy work too.

patio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studiopatio-crackerpatio lounge, DIY built-in benches // smitten studioThere is a good amount of space back there so I wanted to create a few different conversation areas. The benches we made create a natural lounge area and I tucked a coffee table and some floor cushions around each of them. I also added a small cocktail/dining area in the far corner where we have been having our morning coffee together. The cement floor was in rough shape so I added a large outdoor rug to cover it up but also to tie the space all together.

See the before, the DIY steps, and all of the sources after the jump…


new series! Creative’s Dish: julie lee

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioI am so excited to share the first of a new series I have been working on for Smitten Studio called Creative’s Dish. I’ve found that a love for food runs deep in my creative community and as a major foodie myself (but NOT quite a cook), I wanted to find a way to incorporate the epicure side of me into the blog while also highlighting some amazing creatives (and also hopefully learning a few tricks in the kitchen along the way). So, I’ve asked a few inspiring people to share one of their go-to recipes for me to try and replicate while they also dish about what they are currently up to.

First up is of gorgeous food collage fame. Aka, . I had the pleasure of having Julie come over to my house for this one, luckily she took it easy on me and crafted up this really simple (and tasty) beautiful meal, Zucchini Pasta with Mint-Pea Pesto. Hope you enjoy!

is a self-taught photographer, food stylist, and editor based in Los Angeles. Her food collage photography series is inspired by the beauty of nature and local, farm-to-table eating. Her photography was recently featured in the Flowers for the Moon group show at The Standard and named 100 Best of 2013 by Saveur magazine. If you don’t already , I HIGHLY suggest you do. Her collages are incredible.

SS: what made you chose this recipe?

JL: “Zucchini and peas are at their peak season right now. I love this dish because it’s delicious, easy, and suitable for many diets (gluten-free, vegetarian, low-carb, etc.). You can even make it vegan by subbing nutritional yeast for the Parmesan.”

SS: most prized kitchen utensil?

JL: “My Shun knives. I love all my fancy gadgets, but at the end of the day a really sharp knife is all you need.”

SS: Name three things that we may not know about you.

JL: ” 1. I play fantasy football. (I’m the only girl in my league.) 2. I love playing Scrabble so much that I sometimes play against myself. 3. I love to get lost in the woods. Backpacking is the best.”

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioSS: Guilty pleasure?

JL: “Binge watching Scandal.”

SS: Sweet or Savory?

JL: “Ugh Both! Especially the combination of the two. I’m an eating machine.”

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioSS: What are three blogs you can’t stop reading?

JL: “Besides Smitten Studio, , , and ”

I had so much fun turning the camera around on  and shooting her while she schooled me on ! Get the full recipe after the jump and let me know what you think! …


from the weekend: patio project & a little shopping

Happy Memorial Day! We are on our way to Michigan today and CAN’T WAIT for a week at the cabin. Before we left, we finished up our patio project (a full post to come!) and did a little shopping around Venice. I could live in . Hope you are having a nice long weekend.

Images by me via Instagram (I’m )

A Sunny Afternoon – new basket!

Happy Memorial Day weekend guys! I hope you will be BBQing and Picnicking to your hearts content. I released a  over on  today! It has the same outer basket but is wearing a new outfit, aka a green & white gingham lining. It’s just a little glimpse into all sorts of new goods to come this summer. Enjoy the long weekend. x

Picnic Basket, Napkins, and Serving Board by

Images by Shescorts Sherman Samuel

house update: DIY built-in shelving

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioWe did it! We finished one of the gazillion projects on our hands right now and I am so happy to share our finished built-ins. We started the project a couple weeks back and just put on the final coat of paint this weekend.

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioDIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioThe paint was hardly dry before I dove into the garage and started digging out some of our favorite tchotchkes and books that I haven’t seen in ages (8 months of living through renovations and we are finally starting to un-pack some boxes and settle in). It took us (my dad, Rupe, and I) two LONG full days to build 98% of it, and then another day to finish trimming out the front of each shelf and to paint.

This project isn’t the easiest of DIY’s but if you know your way around a miter saw and a router it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds (just takes a lot of elbow grease). We also utilized Ikea kitchen cabinets for the base of our built-ins which made it a heck of a lot easier. The thing about built-ins are that of course they are unique to each room so I will outline the steps we took and hope you guys can take something away from it.

All the details and product sources for as much as I can remember after the jump!



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