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a letter from the

what’s inside SUMMER 2015


Hello Olives, We are excited to bring you this issue, bursting at the seams with punchy colors, vibrant patterns, and a robust round-up of the freshest insights from the field. From high wattage monochromatic design to bringing the outside in, this edition exemplifies how Olives are heating things up this summer. Even as temperatures rise, the solstice still ushers in its niceties. A candy-sweet girls bedroom makeover conjures up sugar and spice; a lesson in letter writing schools us on everything nice. Feel the burn for some much needed R & R? Then check our how-to guide on beach fun in the sun. We promised you we would bring the heat, so soak it up! It’s summertime, and oh how the living is easy.

Quintel & Ariene

Kalyn Johnson’s advice on saying “thank you”

A go-to guide on modern summers

Saudah Saleem serves us sweet dreams

Jody’s style scouting travails in LA

Astral Riles with a gilded bedroom makeover

White meets texture and Monet Masters edgy boutique design

Oscar Bravo breaks down his knack for nature

A profile of jewelry designer, Rachel Stewart


contributors CONNECT WITH OUR

QUINTEL GWINN @quingwinn

NIKI MCNEILL @nikimcneill

ARIENE BETHEA @dressmyroom

JODY MCCALLUM @jodyslalife

BESS POOLER @interiorsbybess

GINA JULIAN @thejulianhome

KALYN JOHNSON @effiespaper




CORAL PILLOW Designer Pillow Shop, $198

COLOR ME CORAL Get swept away to where the shores meet coral with these editor’s faves.

OVO TABLE LAMP Lamps Plus. $100

LACQUERED SIDE TABLE Anthropologie, $698 ELSIE WALLPAPER Cotton & Quill


Letterquette PRODUCED BY Kalyn Johnson

Everyone intends to write a thank you note, but we fall into three camps when it comes to realizing that intention – some default to sending an email or text message, some never get further than the intention and some of us do as planned and put pen to paper!

The two most important things about writing a proper thank you note are: (1) writing it; and (2) getting it in the mail! The rest is all in the details ... Here are my top three tips to help you get those thank you notes in the mail: Stylish Stationery. Stylish stationery is a must-have – it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive (and of course I’d love it if you have a stash of effie’s paper for just such an occasion) – but your stationery should be nice enough for your recipient to remember it. Time. Set aside time in your day – schedule it on your calendar or make letter writing an item on your “TO DO” list; 10 minutes is all you need to write a thoughtful and thorough message. People Remember NOT Receiving A Thank You Note. Kate Spade says you should send them within 3 days. If you can make that happen, by all means please do. But, given that we all lead busy lives, if you can get that puppy in the mail within a couple of weeks of the event/receiving the gift/etc. you’re good to go. Honestly, if you wait any longer, you may forget altogether. BUT, however “late” your thank you note may be SEND IT. Yes, you heard me, SEND IT. No one remembers how “late” a thank you note was, but people do remember not receiving a thank you note. Kalyn Johnson Chandler is the owner and creative director of Effie’s Paper :: Stationery & Whatnot, a boutique online paperie selling modern chic stationery for busy professionals, moms and social butterflies. For more letter-writing tips and a peek into her stylish world of stationery, go to THE OLIVE GUIDE 8

“Stylish stationery is a must-have!”

BEACH-NIC Make your summertime sublime with a refreshing mix of old and new. Perrier, anyone? PRODUCED BY Bess Pooler

ENTERTAINING Stick to finger foods that don’t involve sticky sauces. Easy to eat and easy to clean up! • A bright colored blanket makes it easy for friends to spot you in a busy park or on the beach. • Never forget protection! I love Elta MD suncreens and big floppy hats. • Make a few bottles of different flavored waters -use lemon, slices, berries, and cucumbers Your guests will appreciate the refreshing treat. • Put together a playlist with current hits and old favorites When your guests hear one of the songs a few days later they will instantly be transported back to your fabulous day in the sun!







is in the details

Interior designer and mother of three, Saudah Saleem of Saudah Saleem Interiors, has proven that a well-designed room doesn’t have to start with a big budget. All you need is a thorough understanding of color, a honed eye for spotting deals and a dash of ingenuity to pull it all together. This bedroom she designed for her two darlings is proof that design and love are in the details -- and we’ve got the scoop! INTERVIEW BY Ariene Bethea Q: Tell us about this fun and happy space and what inspired it. A: This shared bedroom belongs to two young ladies ages 13 and 7. Due to their age difference, their interests vary greatly. One is still in the playful princess stage, while the other is entering the boy band, preteen stage.  Q: You pointed out the difference in age, so how did you come up with a cohesive design that both would like? A: In order to create a cohesive look that both girls could enjoy and appreciate, I created the room around the one thing they both love - art.  Jasirah is really into fashion design, mixing colors and patterns while Sajayah enjoys painting, working with clay and most arts and crafts activities.  Hence the idea for the inclusion of the gallery wall and diverse assortment of framed art throughout the space. Q: The Olive Guide appreciates the use of ethnic and cultural pieces in spaces. What pieces were you mindful to incorporate and why?

PHOTOS BY Saudah Saleem A: I also used African American silhouettes/cameos (near the beds), vintage fashion and travel prints, inspirational quotes and lots of bright colors and pattern to incorporate a sense of who we are as a family as well as who they are as individuals. The selections remind the girls of where we come from and the endless possibilities that exist with regard to where they can go in life if they work hard and pursue their passions. Q: As an interior designer, you have access to almost anything in any color. Were there any DIY or second hand pieces used to pull the room together? A: Yes! I used Duck tape to enhance the focal point mirrors above the bed. I painted and added beads to the chandelier, customized the roman shades with ribbon trim, painted the armoire I scored on Craigslist for $50, customized the IKEA dressers (white with overlays), spray painted the curtain rods and rings gold, and created the tone on tone monogram art above each dresser.  


PROJECT Easy 5-Step Custom Chandelier The custom chandelier featured in Saudah’s daughter’s bedroom makes a sophisticated yet whimsical statement in the space and is an easy weekend DIY project. The original chandelier had a nickel finish with small green glass beads (see photo). The key to pulling off this “look for less” is finding a fixture with great shape, appropriate scale, and a foundation that you can build upon by adding color and a little sheen. This DIY does not require building a frame or stringing your own beads, it simply requires a little time and vision.

SUPPLIES NEEDED Small Detail Brush Spray Paint Acrylic Gloss Paint Painter’s Tape Drop Cloth


Step 1: Tape off the electrical wires and bulb sockets with painter’s tape. Step 2: Spray paint the fixture frame until the original frame longer visible (approximately 3 coats).

Saudah Saleem Saudah Saleem Interiors Baltimore, MD

color is no

Step 3: Lay out each strand of beads on a drop cloth. Once the beads are laid out on the drop cloth, apply two coats of spray paint on each side of the strands. Using two coats ensures maximum coverage and a high quality finish. Make sure to allow at least a few hours in between each coat to dry thoroughly. Step 4: For a designer touch, once the beads are completely dry, add an additional layer of interest by hand painting the larger beads (on the bottom of the fixture) with an accent color. Step 5: Assembled the fixture and attached the updated strands.



EDITOR’S PICKS Mid Century Green Abstract ETSY

VINTAGE ABSTRACT OIL PAINTINGS Moody, graphic, expressive -these art pieces resonate the soul of the 1960s era. Perfect for adding drama to any wall!

Up by Jerry Walter 1ST DIBS

Green Leaf in DPH Silver by Robert Lawson LIVE AUCTIONEERS

King & Queen by Claude Bentley ONE KINGS LANE THE OLIVE GUIDE 18

Moloney Abstract Expressionist CHAIRISH



My LA Story

BY Jody McCallum

After being away from Los Angeles for five years, I’m overjoyed to be back! Not to mention...that I am extremely happy about no longer having to deal with East Coast winters. Think of all the outdoor flea markets (hello Rose Bowl) and outdoor estate sales I can hit up year-round! Ooh, the thought of it makes me smile--so big! I’m feeling a renewed appreciation for the many different kinds of design styles LA has to offer. You can find it all here…beachy, laid-back lux, stunning vintage or Art Deco. Looking for the perfect chandelier for your Spanish Mediterranean bungalow? Have you been searching for a major vintage accessory piece to place atop your Mid Century Modern credenza? Maybe the thrill of ‘“the find” at your local flea market is what gets your design juices flowing? There’s no shortage of inspiration and amazing décor options to outfit your home no matter your budget. Below are a few of my favorites.

This is not IKEA (TINI Furniture)

I have been following this gem of a shop on Instagram @thisisnotikea, for quite a while, even before I decided to move back to LA. It’s got something for everyone and its also very affordable. I loved the friendly helpful staff. The shop is large and has several nooks and crannies. So, be sure to take your time looking around at all the unique retro and vintage pieces. If you are looking for furniture and accessories from wall art to kitsch, industrial to art deco and everything in between, TINI is definitely worth checking out! THE OLIVE GUIDE 21

TINI Furniture

Nickey Kehoe / NK Shop

This shop is my happy place. Walking in is like a breath of fresh air every time. It’s well known and curated by the design duo of Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe. I’ve been a fan of their interiors for years. They combine found and made objects, with a California cool aesthetic that I really get excited about. The shop feels very comfortable yet special and worldly. They have great products for the home, garden and patio. I’m very much about excess and layering, but Nickey Kehoe is so simple and modern. Every piece of furniture, and even the lighting, feels timeless. They carry their own line of private label goods, as well as a great selection of vintage. Stop in, if you need a gift for that person who has everything. I found an awesome bracelet and feather headdress that I will be going back for!


Nickey Keyhoe / NK Shop

A+R I pride myself on being a lover of food and design. Lover of all things made and designed well. That is why I love this boutique. A+R (one of my all time favorite shopping districts in LA) is where you go to find inspired modern designs for home and every day life. The clean lines of the items they sell make the shop a joy to peruse. They also carry unique jewelry (I want that gold tooth pendant!), modern lighting, and household products made by designers from around the world. This place is for the gadget-loving guru in all of us. If you are looking for intriguing one of a kind, well made designs, beautiful, useful household gifts for your next housewarming invite, or gifts for yourself that cannot be found anywhere else, make sure you start here first! The staff is wonderful. They also have good price ranges, whether you want to spend a little or a lot.




The stars aligned when TOG’s creative director caught up with Chicago-based starlet, Astral Riles. She walked us through her gold-plated bedroom makeover, showing us the divine in design.


INTERVIEW BY Quintel Gwinn

PHOTOS BY Astral Riles


Tell me a little bit about you and what led you to start your own business. I am a creative soul and I love working with my hands. I probably have about ten different hobbies, including crafting, refurbishing furniture, collecting and reselling vintage mid-century modern furniture, and I’m currently trying to learn how to weave tapestries and wall hangings. All of my creative or “artsy” endeavors have been self-taught, including my interior decorating skills. I was not always into decorating though. I didn’t have a strong interest until about ten years ago. But, after purchasing my first home in 2008, the burning desire started to come out. I was watching HGTV non-stop and started renovating the entire house. Initially, I was constantly redecorating my home over and over again until eventually, my friends and famiy kept pushing me to start my own business. I officially started by business in 2011. I only do it part-time right now, but the plan one day is to take it full-time. So cool! Many designers have similar stories about their beginnings in design. Okay, let’s chat about this space. What effect were you going for when you selected this wall color? I chose to paint the wall black because I wanted the space to be dramatic, sexy, chic...and different. Plus, everybody was telling me that black would not look right in a bedroom and I love to prove people wrong. So that was the extra push I needed to proceed with my original idea. The large-scale gold motif is gorgeous! How did you pull that off? The large gold ribbons on the accent wall are stencils. I ordered the stencil from Royal Design Studio, then taped the stencil to the wall and used a small sponge roller and Martha Stewart Gold Metallic Glaze. I didn’t measure for placement or anything like that. I just kind of eye-balled the placement and randomly chose the pattern.


Sweet deal. Black walls, gold you have got to tell me -- what’s the story behind the pink ottomans? The original ideas was to have black, white and gold be the base colors with pops of bright yellow and hot pink as the accent colors. I wanted to use poufs or ottomans for the seating area because they could be multifunctional and be used as seating or as a table to eat on. I actually found these ottomans at Target for $40 each.

When I saw them I knew it was meant to be! They were the perfect pop of color that I needed and they were just the right price. That pink looks hot up against that sexy black! Do you have a favorite chain store for finding wellpriced pieces? I have tons of favorite spots like Home Goods and Target. But - believe it or not - Hobby Lobby has some great home decor finds! Lately, they have been my go-to store because they always have sales and great coupons. Sometimes, it’s a one-stop shop for me. I can get everything including artificial flowers, fabrics, and arts and crafting supplies for my DIY projects, as well as small furniture pieces, accent pieces, wall art, cabinet pulls/knobs, wall clocks, and other stuff. Hobby Lobby is awesome. For those of us who want to embrace bold design choices, how do you make an impact without taking it too far? I always tell people to not be afraid of color. You have a choice to implement the bold color on the walls with neutral furniture or to go bold with your furniture and keep the walls neutral. In regards to wall color though if you are scared, you could try painting only one wall as an accent. Or try painting just the lower half of the wall in a bold color. Be sensible about your choices though. And keep in mind that it’s way cheaper to change a paint color than to change your furniture. So, if you have a stong yearning for animal prints, maybe try wall paper or curtains instead of buying a custom zebra print sofa that you may hate in five months!

Astral Riles Astral Riles Design Chicago, IL


Boutique Chic INTERVIEW BY Quintel Gwinn

PHOTOS BY Monet Masters

The Atlanta-based interior designer, Monet Masters chalks out her texturized take on monochromatic boutique design. Here we explore taking white wattage to the max.

For starters, tell me a little about your journey to becoming a designer. I was born in California, lived for a while in Texas, but moved to Atlanta to pursue Interior Design at SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design). While there, I was sitting in class one day reflecting on how I loved things like organizing the books on shelves, the placemats on my dining table, and color coordinating the clothes in my closet, and things like that. Surely this wasn’t interior design but I was fascinated by how I could visualize and feel the difference due to addressing those minor details. After graduating from SCAD I worked in the corporate world for two years before deciding to pursue my own dreams and not someone else’s. I now work more than ever before, except it’s for me and my passion. Did you have an immediate and clear vision of how you would design this current space? The concept for this space came to me immediately, and was client-focused based on parameters set in the initial tour of the space. I tend to do very well in prohibiting circumstances, such as having a space that lacks square footage or a limited budget. In these circumstances, the design concept unfolded as I solved the puzzle. That is how the concept for the Atlanta’s Swank Blue pop up shop was created.

Small spaces are challenging. How did you work out the furnishing arrangement? In this case not much furniture was needed. Initially, I thought I wanted to go with two balloon chairs in front of the focal wall -- fabulous, right? Although they would have looked great I was more concerned with my client, the experience of the visitors and the complete function of the space. For this reason, I chose a sofa to accommodate more guests. My advice would be focus on the function and add embellishment while keeping in the mind the scale of the items you’re selecting for the room. That sofa could have easily been overbearing, so I selected its size accordingly. Also, instead of using lots of little items, I selected a few purposeful pieces to offer a feel of completeness. What piece was worth splurging on? Too many pieces to choose from! The focal wall was the #1 splurge. But besides that, the crystal floor lamp and glass coffee table with the chrome base were high ticket items. I absolutely loved both pieces and how they worked in the space.


The feature wall is dope. How did you come up with that idea? The concept came from an instant visual that came to mind after concluding the initial client meeting. When I’m conducting a consultation I’m very quiet and focused on asking the right questions to get as much information from my clients as possible. After explaining the style, mood, and inspiration she had for putting together a pop up shop, the focal wall is what came to mind. For those who don’t possess the talent of creating all white spaces, what’s your recipe? Texture, texture, and more texture! When looking at a monochromatic room there is still hierarchy and differences. In reference to this fairly small space I focused on creating lots of texture through the focal wall, floor-to-ceiling drapery and mannequins all standing different heights. I like to create stories within spaces, too. I have an analytical approach which often lends me to be very conceptual. It makes creating spaces like this fulfilling. What is the most fun for you in the design process? My absolute favorite moment of the entire design process besides the big reveal would be 3D rendering. When I am in Google SketchUp I am able to explore so many creative ideas on the spot. 3D modeling allows me to gain the clients’ trust even more because they are able to see how things are going to look after tearing down that wall or what it will look like before investing lots of money into a project.

Monet Masters Masters of Design Atlanta, GA THE OLIVE GUIDE 36

Second Nature INTERVIEW BY Quintel Gwinn

PHOTOS BY Oscar Bravo

Oscar Bravo sets the record straight on the art of incorporating nature into modern design. We are enjoying the view of this verdant dining room transformation. Tell me about you -- your background and what has shaped and molded you as a designer. I have always had a passion for design. I actually studied fashion design at FIDM in Los Angeles. I now wish I would have taken interior design instead, but I was 19 years old at the time -- I thought I was going to be the next Oscar De La Renta! Little did I know that my real passion was to help people love their home. My goal as a designer is to be attainable. I want to help people enjoy their surroundings by creating beautiful, welcoming spaces in their home, at an affordable price. Having a nice home should not require breaking the bank. Wow, that’s so interesting. How would you describe your personal style? My style is definitely eclectic. I love mixing eras and styles. I buy what I love and tie it all together with color. I think decorating this way gives a room real personality. I can definitely see this in your space. The wall color in this room is beautiful! What made you select it? Thank you. This is the first home I’ve owned, so when deciding on paint color I knew I didn’t want white or beige. I wanted a color that was warm, but somewhat earthy. This color (Behr, Desert Moss) didn’t read as “one color” to me, and I liked that about it. It’s a warm greenish-gold-yellow. In the late afternoon, it looks greener, and at night the wall color looks like a beautiful THE OLIVE GUIDE 38

gold tone -- especially when lit in candlelight. During the day you see more of the yellow. I’m a Sagittarius, and I need a lot of change in my surroundings, so it works for me! I love that your dining room doesn’t feel stuffy and crowded. What guided you when arranging this space? I don’t like stuffy! I love inviting and casual spaces where anyone would feel welcomed. I actually switched my home’s layout and use my living space as my dining space. Ha! I’ve always wanted a dining room with a fireplace and that opens up to a patio, so I swapped the living area and dining area and got exactly what I wanted. Why not?! It’s so fun having long dinners with the fireplace on and a nice breeze coming through the patio doors. I also see lots of natural textures and finishes. Tell me more about your inspiration. I am very inspired by the colors and textures in nature. Bringing part of the outdoors inside really refreshes a space, especially when there are a lot of new pieces of furniture in a room. Something as simple as some branches in a vase or a bowl filled with stones can add interesting texture to a room -- and they’re free!

Free...yes! A nice touch. What’s the story behind those cool botanical prints? They look vintage. I found these vintage images on a website and downloaded and printed them myself. The best part is that they were, again, free! I’m telling you, decorating a home does not have to be expensive! Unless you want it to be -- I’m ok with that too. You chose a neutral palette, but made it feel energetic. What’s your secret? Contrast. To give a neutral space some “oomph”, turn up the contrast. Add a bright white vase to a neutral room, and it pops. Or add a graphic, black-and-white piece of art to room with a soft color scheme, and you get some energy and contrast in the space while still keeping the background “quiet”. I see! What a lovely space for hosting quests. Do you have any concrete rules when it comes to entertaining? At times, a guest needs to feel like you’re not there. Give your guests some time and space to enjoy themselves, be alone, and unwind as if they were at home. Also, have lots of snacks and toilet paper handy.

Oscar Bravo Oscar Bravo Home Chula Vista, CA



CREATIVE CRUSH Rachel Stewart Influenced by the music and art of the 1970’s and 80’s, this local up-and-coming artist from Raleigh, NC is making a name for herself with her bold, graphic and symbolic jewelry designs. Niki talks it up with Rachel on her inspiration behind her swanky jewelry line. Q: Tell us how making jewelry expanded into prints, bags, and mugs? A: There are many online services that allow you to design a variety of items without the hassle and cost of actually manufacturing them yourself, you don’t make the profit you normally would but it’s a great way to experiment. It allows you to see your ideas come to life easily while expanding your brand. Q: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be? A: Assertive


PHOTOS BY Rachel Stewart

Q: Explain the meaning behind some of the symbols in your designs? A: Well some of my best selling pieces are based on traditional Akan symbols that are usually used on Adinkra cloth and other decorative items produced in Ghana. The Dwennimmen symbol means humility and strength, another symbol I use is called Gye Nyame which means “supremacy of God”. Q: How did you get started in jewelry making? A: I started a lifestyle blog shortly after I lost my job. It was growing in popularity, so I decided to use it to sell the earring I made online to my followers. I sold my first pair of peacock earrings and it took off from there. Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your art/jewelry/styling? A: It varies from music, to pop culture to my favorite style era the 1970’s!



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The Olive Guide Summer 2015  

We promised we would bring you the heat, so soak it up -- it's summertime!

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