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hello from amsterdam! so, i have a BIG list of things we have done so far here (so much to do!) so i will be blogging about all of that soon. but i wanted to show you guys this apartment first…






i am laying on the couch in switzerland, in a little town called , looking out at lake geneva and the beautiful mountains. after 7 days of moving all around france…





DIY Toilet Paper Holder

i am VERY excited about this one. one night and i were hanging around her house eating thai food, as usual, and we concepted this idea to upgrade your toilet paper holders in a stylish way. these are something everybody has in their homes, and they are very rarely given second thought when it comes to design. but why not? it’s so simple and can make a bathroom look that much cooler!

so we decided to make a little project out of it. we thought of hotels that we loved and designed TP holders based on their aesthetic. because we’re weird like that. but i truly love how this came out! i need to change the holder in my bathroom immediately. now, let’s get to the project and how you can make your own…

the is mid-century desert modern

Desert Modern Toilet Paper Holder
DIY Desert Modern Toilet Paper Holder


• drawer pull (ours are from anthropologie , , , and . i also love .)

• half inch tube or pipe cut to six inches in length, you can use brass or copper pipe, we love clear acrylic tubes because you can slip any kind of colored paper or fabric inside like you see here. plexi tubes can be found online

• 24 inches of leather cord, rope, twine or ribbon, whichever suits your fancy

DIY Toilet Paper Holder
DIY Toilet Paper Holder

how to:

• make loops at either end of your cord that are large enough to fit around the drawer pull easily.

• drill a hole in your wall that is just slightly smaller than the hardware on the back of the drawer pull and twist the pull into the wall to create a knob.

if my dreams come true one day and i can design a hotel, it would be scandinavian inspired with no shortage of color…

Scandinavian Inspired Toilet Paper Holder
DIY Toilet Paper Holder
DIY Toilet Paper Holder

• feed the cord through the pipe and hang both loops on the knob.

the beach was understated luxury in a relaxed natural environment

Tulum Hotel Toilet Paper Holder DIY
DIY Toilet Paper Holder
DIY Toilet Paper Holder

• to replace your TP simply pull one loop off the knob and feed the cord through the TP roll. it’s as easy as that!

classic sophistication and contemporary chic

Contemporary Chic Toilet Paper Holder DIY
DIY Toilet Paper Holder

which style is your favorite? hopefully your mind is spinning with what materials you are going to use to make your own at home!

DIY Toilet Paper Holder

photos by:
art direction by: bri emery, designlovefest
props by:



my big trip is less than 2 weeks away! so much to prepare for, my head is spinning. one of the main things i needed to get done was to  out while i was away. i’ve never actually done this before, however i know a few friends that and rent out their apartment a few days a month to make some extra cash. since i will be gone for 6 weeks, i knew that paying all of my LA rent on top of my accommodations abroad wasn’t going be reasonable at all…

so i listed my silver lake apartment . (see how much you can make on your place ) it took a while for someone who was serious and interested in renting it for a longer period of time, but last week a couple from paris inquired about booking for a whole month. we exchanged messages and i decided they were a good fit (ps. it’s ) i gave them a good deal since it’s easier to manage less people coming in and out of my home. on you can list your price but then send specific people special offers, which is a feature i really like. another great feature is that you can see their renting/hosting history and read reviews about them. that makes the whole process feel safer. (and  is a huge !)


now that my place is booked i have to get my place READY. i’ve stayed in all over the world (some of my faves here, here and here), so i have picked up a few of my favorite hosting tricks. little things that made me feel that much more welcome. here’s my prep list!

1. directions and the key: first things first, they are gonna need the key to your place and to know how to get there. i’ve been in both situations where the host has met me in person, or just left the key for me. it’s always a little nicer to meet your host so you can ask questions and get a feel for where you will be staying. i like when the host provides a message beforehand about the best way to get from the airport to their home, because sometimes there are cheaper/better options you like to know about. (like the ) it just shows you’re treating them how you would treat a friend if they were visiting!

2. a nice welcome: it’s always sweet when you arrive to your apartment after a long day of traveling and your host has a bottle of wine or beers in the fridge waiting for you. a simple gesture, but goes a long way. i remember many times enjoying a bottle of wine with my travel companion and feeling very at home. pick up some fresh flowers and a candle if you are feeling hostess with the mostess.

3. the essentials: all the best apartments i have stayed in had all the essentials, and they were easy to find. extra towels, sheets, shampoo & conditioner, soap, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent. i usually order all of my household products on (, it comes so quick and all in one box!) so this time i just stocked up on extra for my guests.

4. food: you definitely don’t have to give your guests food. but spending just a little extra at the grocery store definitely makes an impact. i’ll be stocking my fridge with just a few treats: eggs, bread, fruit. coffee for the morning. some condiments. sparkling water. again, you don’t have to do this, but it sure is nice when someone does it for you!

5. clean up / remove valuables: i’m the first to admit that having a person you don’t know living in your space can be a little daunting. (again, the individual reviews calm my nerves about it) but to be extra safe, it’s a good idea to remove your valuables. passport, jewelry etc. i’ll be getting a couple of boxes and storing my extra special things in my friend’s garage. it’s also a good idea to de-clutter your space before a guest arrives. this makes the essentials easy to find and makes the experience a little more like a hotel. i’ve stayed in places where the host had way more stuff in their place than in the photos and i wasn’t really a fan of that. lastly, you want to make your space as clean as possible for your guests arrival! i look at this as a time to do some spring cleaning myself and get rid of things i don’t need in all those junk drawers.

6. the handbook: there should always be a guide for your guests on how to navigate your home. what’s the wifi password, how to use the air conditioning or laundry, what’s parking like, where the breaker box is etc. also, your guests probably don’t know your neighborhood, so help them out a little. what’s your favorite local places to eat? what’s the best coffee spot? favorite date place? some good tourist activities? give them a little rundown! (like THIS)

7. prepare your home: i usually rip the batteries out of the smoke alarms once they start beeping like crazy and get too lazy to replace them. now is a good time to do that (and i should do it anyway) think of those things like extra lightbulbs or a first aid kit just in case.

as for setting up , it’s pretty easy. just add the description of your home (stylish 2 bedroom silver lake apartment) and your neighborhood, what your place offers (wifi, air, laundry etc), add some photos of your space (the better photos you have, the more likely it will book. airbnb will send a photographer to you if you are interested!) add a cleaning fee for when your guest leaves, and lastly update the pricing and availability. that’s it. took me about 15 minutes to set it all up. see my listing .

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 11.00.08 AM

want to try out airbnb?

and learn more about and even see how much you could make for your place !

(photo source and . this post was sponsored by , all opinions are my own. photos by designlovefest)



this is one of those shoots brought to you out of pure inspiration. i got together with two of my friends, floral designer  (remember this?!) and photographer , to bring to life these gorgeous california inspired still life shots. all three of us are wildly inspired by florals, fruits and this wonderful state, so this is a post dedicated to all of those things. hope you enjoy! here’s amy…

california florals | designlovefest + amy merrick + chantal anderson

As a floral designer and art freak, it’s hard to not feel the pull of classic 17th century dutch master still life paintings as a source of rock solid inspiration. Since I’ve been traveling all through California, I noticed the very same sense of natural bounty that my favorite dutch painters captured also reflected in my beloved Hollywood farmers market, local flower stalls and shell shops. I couldn’t help but pay homage to the painterly still lives of the past by putting through a the rose colored glasses of a Southern California sunset.

california florals | designlovefest + amy merrick + chantal anderson
california florals | designlovefest + amy merrick + chantal anderson

California produce is my ultimate kryptonite as a snowbird New Yorker. Pink lemons, enormous artichokes, blood oranges, papayas, dates- a stop at the year round farmer’s market always astounds me that the most beautiful, delicious things on earth are available for purchase for just a few dollars. I love the idea of setting a big tablescape in your house of produce that celebrates the season. Look for heirloom varieties with variegated or unusual colors.

california florals | designlovefest + amy merrick + chantal anderson

We can’t talk about the natural beauty of California without mentioning her greatest asset of all- 840 glorious miles of Pacific coastline. The ocean is California’s fairy godmother, granting her pink glows every sunset and the best beach towns in America. I have fallen so hard shell collecting as of late, both huddled over tide pools and all out splurges at local shell shops.


It’s hard to imagine that each of these little treasures was once a home, so bring that inspiration back to your place by using shells in a modern way. The dutch masters loved painting shells, so collect a variety and see how well they pair with ocean inspired graphic plants- palms, proteas and papyrus grass.


Flowers run through California like blood in the veins, the year round growing season is impossible to argue with! I created a painterly arrangement full of California’s best- ranunculus, succulent flowers, geranium leaves, kumquats and fritillaria. Spikey wild cucumbers were foraged from a hillside fence in Mt. Washington along with fan palms and bougainvillea.

Using a footed compote vase (like this I designed in collaboration with West Elm) really amps up the old world drama, but using bright colors and a wild, asymmetrical shape keeps the whole effect throughly modern.

florals by:  – see our last collab here!
photos by: model:
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