Before & After, Studio Surface Project - Modern Mediterranean

We still can't believe the transformation of our Studio Surface client's kitchen.  This is just part of a full blown home remodel that we completed late last year.   We took this home from a confused, early 90's Mediterranean (read southern California Tuscan) to a stylish, modern, Mediterranean.  We and our clients are thrilled with the results and so are excited to share.

Crazy right?  We love the difference.  What started as a drab, uninviting kitchen, truly became a fresh, modern, beautiful space.  You can see some more behind the scenes pics on our Instagram.  Just look for us @StudioSurface.

And I think I just have to also say that it is so ridiculous that this is the first blog post in um almost two years.
Look y'all.  I had a baby. Business has been crazy (thank you Jesus) and well the blog here got put on the back burner for a long time. I don't think I really understood or knew what I wanted to do with it and frankly didn't want to deal.   But, after some serious contemplation, I decided that I really need/want to rev this thing back up and share with those of you who still check in here and there, what's going on in these parts.  We, (I and my talented crew) have completed some great projects and have some new fun ones in progress. All which we will start talking about here. 2014 has started with a bang and so far we are enjoying the crazy ride. So, for the three or four of you out there still hanging around...... thanks for stopping back by and we'll make it worth your while this time, promise.


a baby shower

A couple of weekends ago my friends and family showered me with so much love and fun.  I really wish you all could have been there to celebrate along with us.  I am so grateful and still in amazement at the wonderful support that I have.  Little one will be here in just a few short weeks and I can still barely process that  I am pregnant let alone wrap my mind around the fact that I am about to be a mom!  It is truly mind boggling.  This is my last week that I am spending on client projects and so I am looking forward to some nesting and resting to prepare (prepare? is that possible?) for the big day.

Thanks to Bianca for the amazing decor at the shower (one of my 4 lovely hostesses) and Alexis and Bethany for the beautiful pics!

Pics: 1 & 8 by Bethany. 2-7 by Alexis.


Eye Catching Statement Pieces - A Guest Post

Thanks Mari for hanging out with us today!

Hi, it's Mari, a writer from Arcadian Lighting, a site that specializes in really quality lighting and offers lots of home d├ęcor ideas. I'm excited to be visiting as a guest blogger here at Studio Surface today. The topic at hand for this post is eye-catching pieces that can be used to make a style statement from the front door to the kitchen island. Statement pieces include furniture of course, but they can also be lighting fixtures, rugs and even fresh flowers. Here are eight rooms with statement pieces we love—some traditional choices and a few unexpected ideas to consider. Please enjoy!
This stately space is filled with pieces that could on their own make a design statement, but the standout piece here is the massive Foucault's Orb Crystal Chandelier from Restoration Hardware.
Wide stripes in chocolate and cream turn sleek banquette seating into a truly eye-catching statement piece. I love this beautiful color combination.
Flanked by coppery pendant lights, this stylish bed makes a design statement in a contemporary space. I love the organic flowing curve of wood in the platform of the bed.
The lovely movement of color creates a work of art on this bathroom wall—an organic statement piece in natural stone.
La Cornue range as statement piece might be unexpected but make a design statement it does. The metals from which this stove is crafted will only be enhanced with use and age.
Velvet sofas often become statement pieces in rooms they occupy. This deeply tufted charcoal gray sofa is at once glamorous, sumptuous and inviting.
The lovely Swirl by Paul Smith illustrates how a contemporary area rug can instantly become a statement piece. It's simple and easy—choose the rug, get it home (that may be the hardest part) and roll it out—immediate design gratification. I love the creative hanging light fixture.
Need a temporary eye-catching statement piece to welcome guests in the foyer? Consider a massive display of fresh flowers. This informal arrangement has a charming organic feel. Wouldn't it also make a wonderful statement on the work island in a large kitchen? Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 Did you enjoy our post? Check out more awesome lighting fixtures and lamps at Arcadian Lighting!


a new love

I have one valentine and one on the way and I can't believe how much I already love this little guy.  It's mind blowing to think how much bigger my heart is going to grow once I see his little face for the first time.  I can't wait.


a little space

The time has come to start thinking about the little one's room.  Lots of changes are happening in these parts and one of the biggest ones is making room for baby.  I want a room that he (yes we are having a boy!) will enjoy as a wee one and that will also grow with him.  I can't handle "baby-ish" or  theme-y nurseries.  That's just not my style.  But I want it to be a happy ,fun and colorful space for him.  It's been a bit challenging to wrap my head around the design and color palette since I'm a big neutral kind of girl.  So, here's what I'm thinking.  I'm going to keep the walls a soft ivory and add color through the artwork and miniature baby things around the room.  Patterns with grass green, pops of yellow, and bits of red and aqua will liven it up for baby and look great against the warm wood furniture.  We already have the Thonet rocker and the walnut dressers we have are similar to those above (my pics of our dressers are crap).  So we have some great pieces to start with.  I love the crib but not the price so Jake is going to build one inspired by the Oeuf one shown.  I will keep you posted on the progress of that piece and what he comes up with.  So, we will see how this l'il scheme goes down over the next few months.  I'm pretty excited to get to work on it!

rocker (similar here), pillow, tall dresser, low dresser/changing table, mobile, crib, basket, art, lamp, striped rug


A color obliteration

What?!  Kids are creating this amazing art installation "The Obliteration Room" developed by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama for the Queensland Art Gallery.  Starting as a blank room painted nearly all white, it grows and changes daily under the hands of little visitors charged with applying colorful stickers in the shape of dots....

What started as a blank canvas has quickly become "obliterated" with color and shape.  
The interactive exhibit runs until March 2012.

Seen in Time Magazine.

1. 2. 3. 4


Yeah, we've been a bit busy....

I know, I know.  It's been 3 months!  Things have been crazy around these parts and all good stuff I must say.  Projects have been keeping us on our toes and have been rolling in at a fast and steady pace which is amazing.  
BUT, most importantly and definitely way more exciting is that......

I'm having a wee one in May! 
Jake and I are thrilled to be expecting our first baby next Spring and it has been glorious to enjoy this time with family and friends and share our excitement and happiness with them.  And so I wanted to also share it with you.   I will probably post little tidbits about baby Salz-Smith here and there like the fact that we find out tomorrow if it is a boy or girl!!!  And perhaps other baby things that I just can't keep to myself.  

So now that I have my energy back and have found a good pace, I made a promise to myself to post more regularly and share what's going on design-wise with maybe a little baby thrown in too.

I hope everyone is doing well!  I have truly missed participating in blog land and visiting with my fiends here.  Talk soon, I promise!! P.S. how funny is this photo?  A bit ornery but I like it.  : )

image via Pinterest


faces of wood - a guest post

You all know I love wood.  :) 

And I love using it in interiors in all kinds of ways, from furniture to finishes.  It adds warmth and texture and even color.  In my opinion, it is THE perfect neutral and addition to all spaces.  
Thanks to Susi from Design Shuffle who is sharing her thoughts on the many stylish characteristics of wood...

Hi, everyone, I’m Susi and I write as a guest blogger for Design Shuffle, a fabulous social media site that promotes interior designers and their work from around the world. My writing focuses on things I'm passionate about: interior design, decorating ideas, home furnishings, gardening, travel and art. I get to look at gorgeous things all day and write about them. I'm a very lucky girl! I am excited to be invited to write for Studio Surface. Thanks for having me visit, Michelle. When Michelle gave me the topic Many Faces of Wood it made me think of that old movie, The Three Faces of Eve, about multiple personalities. Definitely seems appropriate for wood, doesn't it? Pattern and texture can vary so incredibly when it comes to wood depending on type, cut and finish. I hope you enjoy and are inspired by the many faces of wood. ~ Susi

Curbly via
Plywood has incredible pattern to it. Sanded and polished, it makes a smooth floor that is a mix of patterns perfect for a contemporary or modern space.

Nicety via
This vintage inspired living room features turned, bent, veneered and paneled woods. Each has its own unique characteristics. Pattern and texture can relate to the wood itself or the form it takes.

You Have Been Here Sometime via
A Japanese style bathroom demonstrates the natural warmth of wood. Clean lines and a lack of decorative elements keep the focus on the wood covered surfaces.

Apartment Therapy via
Wood grain is a gorgeous pattern of swirls, arcs, circles and lines. This black and white wood floor highlights the pattern of wood grain with a smooth, high polished surface. This is one of those kitchen design ideas that immediately grabs attention and holds it.

Homes via
Rough, reclaimed barnwood gives this bathroom rustic charm. The patina of age brings out the pattern of the wood grain.

Hit Decors via
Wood walls can take many forms but we've never seen one made of timber ends. Love the collage of circles and the roughness of the bark. Incredible.

Nicety via
Painted wood stumps used as small tables retain their natural feeling. The tree's rings create a concentric pattern on the tops while cracks and bumps add texture to the sides.

Pinterest via
A headboard made from reclaimed and repurposed grey painted wood has a driftwood feeling to it. Limed wood has a grey, white washed look that highlights the grain. A truly intriguing bedroom design

This content is provided by Design Shuffle, where you can find and share talented interior designs from from New York interior designers, Los Angeles interior designers, and more, check out the latest at Design Shuffle.


Fans that..

There's no A.C in these here parts.  Living next to the coast, this is pretty normal.  So to keep things from burning up, fans are a must.  But ugly fans?  Well they're just not cool. And yes.  I have been guilty of the "ugly box fan in the window" scene but things have to change.  These modern contenders would do nicely.  They look good, they blend in, and beat the heat in style.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 


In My Kitchen with A Diary of Lovely

The lovely Helena from one of my favorite reads, A Diary of Lovely, had me over today for her fun series In My Kitchen.  Please stop by and say hi.  I am talking about my favorite eats, a kitchen I designed, and an amazing cobbler recipe for Summer.  Go check it out!


cheat sheet

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about investing in not only a better, more professional grade camera but taking an amateur photography class so I can actually make good use out of said expensive camera.  It would be great to take amazing photos of my project installs, day to day musings, and inspiration for this here blog.  I'm not saying I'll ever even come close to a professional, I admire the true experts out there and my expertise lies elsewhere, but you know what I mean.  For the time being I can use this pretty cheat sheet to take a stab at taking better pics....   

image by Miguel Yatco, Living in the Stills.  You can purchase the print at Zazzle.

Found on pulse via my modern met


I vote pod for office

I love having my office at home but have been dreaming of building a modern shed/studio in the back yard one day.  And then I saw this.  This changes everything!  Darn you Archipod!  This sweet round thing would be perfect for my design studio and would fit right in a modern Californian yard.  Prefabricated, fully insulated, roomy and stylish, this hip garden office is right up my alley.  Then I saw the price.  It's a bit astronomical but I can dream right?  One thing is for sure, it has inspired me to design-build a less expensive version for my future outdoor design studio.  Now that would be one heck of a DIY to share with you all.  :)

spotted on uncrate via pulse.