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From the Set: Styling in Portola Valley August 4, 2011

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Collaborating with talented professionals is one the greatest perks here at Lila B. Design.  Recently we contributed interior botanical arrangements for a photoshoot with the talented Lisa Staprans of Staprans Design.  The setting was a private home in Portola Valley and the feel was elegant and exquisitely stated.  We delighted in designing a potagères (herb garden) for the patio, a succulent arrangement for under the glass-topped coffee table and many more interested living objects around the house….

Here is a sneak preview of gorgeous images by San Francisco photographer Matthew Millman.  Stay tuned for more soon!

 

 

Close up photo by Sophie de Lignerolles.

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Homage to the Terrarium July 13, 2011

Posted by lilabdesign in Inspiration, Styling.
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If a room could be a room, filled with small rooms, in each we would place plants.  Here is our homage to the Terrarium, the Wardian Cases of yore!

What is it?

The Terrarium is a closed environment where condensation allows the plant to self water.

But wait… you said Wardian Case!

Indeed!  Delighted to hear you are paying close attention!  A Wardian Case is named for Dr. Bagshaw Ward who is generally accredited with inventing (and subsequently popularizing) small enclosed gardens around 1830 after observing how ferns could flourish while enclosed in his London home although they were struggling outdoors.

I made a terrarium once as a child in science class.  Are these really visually interesting enough to add to my interior?

Absolutely!  Artist and horticulturist Paula Hayes creates terrarium art for galleries and art fairs around the world.  Not long ago she installed a few at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Why do we love it?

While we live in the city we love nature and quite simply we have found no better way to bring the beauty of living landscapes inside.  And, just as Dr. Ward discovered, sometimes there are outdoor fluctuations in temperature or even the presence of pollutants that make growing an enclosed garden inside ideal.

Okay.  I am sold.  What sort of glass container should I build one in?

We suggest checking to see what sort of glass container you already have.  Ask yourself, would I like this terrarium to be flat or tall, as this will influence the type of plants that will feel at home in it.  In addition, the larger the opening in the glass, the easier it will be for it to dry out but easier for you to get your plants in!

I don’t have a large glass container.  Is there anything else I can use?

Absolutely!  Good options include mason jars and old fish bowls.  Or if you’re truly driven: custom hand blown glass … how about that?

So I am at the nursery, how can I choose what to put in my terrarium?

Sophie from Lila B. Design suggests that you consider picking plants that go together, that naturally are comfortable in the same environment.  You might consider choosing plants that do well in wet environments, all succulents, or even air plants. A fun source for carnivorous plants in the Bay Area is California Carnivores and for a whole array of choices under one roof head down to Half Moon Bay Nursery.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Sophie is delighted by dioramas and installations at museums such as San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences.  Alternatively, the next time you are on a hike, notice the details that make up your natural environment.

Oh yeah?  Well what is the most special thing Sophie has added to a terrarium lately?

At the moment Sophie is excited about the interesting touch that adding a dried insect or two can add.  One especially beautiful recent creation featured a luna moth (see photo above).  In addition look for interesting pieces of wood and stones to make a little scene.

Here we’ve added a Preying Mantis we collected from at Paxton Gate. Can you see it?

This sounds easy enough.  Are there any last minute tips?

The death of many a terrarium is instigated by a drought.  Be careful to keep it as moist as your plants desire.  Use a spray gun, small mister, dropper, or if you’ve got a very large terrarium a turkey baster will do the job.

Actually I just changed my mind.  I don’t have any time to build a terrarium… what can I do?!?

Of course we are delighted to help you with all your terrarium needs here at Lila B. Design.  Tell us the feel you would like to create or the plants you would like to feature and we will go to town!

Wow, this is so exciting!  Where can I learn more?  Check out some of our favorites in just made photos by Holly Stewart Photography, or stop by Lila B to chat with us.  While you are here wander up the block and check out her most recent creation at Stable Cafe.  Or… if you are not local we suggest checking out the work of celebrated terrarium artists Tovah Martin and Paula Hayes.

All Photos by Holly Stewart Photography.

In case you couldn’t see our Preying Mantis, here’s a close up.

Lovely Living Garland December 23, 2010

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Decorated with living Paphiopetalum Orchids and Succulents ~ Dried Hydrangea and Cotton Pods this garland will live a long life once the greens fade.

Before we hung it above our client’s fireplace ~ we captured a few photos.

Wrapped in Glass June 4, 2010

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We just read the NY Times article about terrariums  ~ wow, they are IN! If you are itchin’ for just one more idea of what you can do at your home check out the terrarium in the photo above.

Interior design by Gil Mendez ~ glass container by Roost ~ organically filled by Sophie at Lila B. Design with plants from Succulent Gardens.

photo by www.macdonaldphoto.com

Eye on the Bay… and Eye on Us- Adorning Cavallo Point for Channel 5 March 29, 2010

Posted by lilabdesign in Press.
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CBS Channel 5’s television style team at Eye on the Bay recently featured the historic lodge at Cavallo Point for a set of interviews… and we were invited to set the stage.

We took to the assignment with zest, assembling a combination of ranunculus, hellebore’s, freshly blooming western red-bud to inspire and complement conversation.

As floral stylists, we consider the mood that an arrangement will set during an event.  Sometimes we want it to make statement, and other times we want it to inspire others to speak.

Tune in on Channel 5 on Monday May 17th at 7 pm see just how we decided to complement the history and beauty at Cavallo Point with some fun Spring floral arrangements.

On the Tables of Saison: Bountiful-Local February 1, 2010

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If you were to wander to the side of Stable Cafe, just past a shipping container topped with a garden grown by yours truly, you will find Saison.  Saison (French for season) is a reservations-only restaurant that opens its doors on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Saison Floral Centerpiece

 evenings to serve the locally sourced menu of Executive Chef Joshua Skenes with the discerning and cultivated wine pairings of Sommelier Mark Bright. The feel is secret supper club meets informed elegance.  The experience is one of both intimacy and invitation: the tables are small and candle-lit while the kitchen is open and guests can be a part of the culinary magic with wine in hand.

A Feast for your Eyes December 3, 2009

Posted by lilabdesign in Events, Press.
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San Francisco Chronicle
November 29, 2009
Sunday Home & Garden Feature
5 feasts for the eyes
Tabletop inspiration from the talent behind S.F.’s Dining by Design

Designer Gil Mendez collaborates with Murray’s Iron Works, Anthem, and Lila B. to create a San Miquel de Allende inspired dining room.

In featured feast #4, Lila B. creates a ‘fresh take on
traditional centerpieces’ and writer Anh-Minh Le offers it up as an ‘idea to steal’.
{read more}

photos by www.macdonaldphoto.com

Art with Nature’s Oddities and RePurposing with Lila B. November 19, 2009

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San Francisco Chronicle
November 1, 2009 
Chantal Lamers
Sunday Home & Garden Feature
Art from nature’s oddities
Unexpected displays bring rooms to life

 

Baylor Chapman’s San Francisco home isn’t about formal floral centerpieces or huge houseplants. For the sought-after designer, known for sustainable gardens and floral arrangements, home is about personal touches, repurposing materials and using nature’s knickknacks to their utmost potential.

{read more}