Cozy season is upon us! Even if you live in Southern California, like us, where the weather changes are subtle, there are still many ways to bring fall touches into your home. For seasonal styling, we like to focus on interchangeable and budget-friendly elements that complement the more permanent features of a home. Switching out accessories and making intentional adjustments to decor are simple ways to make your home look and feel special for the season. Check out our team’s top ten tips for practical ways to celebrate autumn.
1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Refresh your front door and porch with tasteful fall items. Real or faux pumpkins, a wreath, seasonal fall potted plants, and outdoor lanterns offer festive style for a warm welcome to you and your guests. Switch out the entry door mat for a fun seasonal greeting and layer it with a plaid or patterned rug.
2. THE TEXTURED TOUCH
Bring on the boucle, fur, wool, leather and flannel! Selecting textured materials is best for fall, they are warmer and softer. Comfortable materials create a welcoming environment encouraging people to come together. Adding a chunky knit throw or introducing pillows with rich tones (maroons, oranges, greens, reds) to coordinate with your existing pillows can add that perfect fall touch. Throw in a plaid to give it the final touch!
3. CANDLES IN THE WIND
Every room can always use more candles and candlelight. We love how softer lighting and candlelight adds warmth to any room. Consider changing out your summer scents to sandalwood or fig. Candles can highlight different areas in your home. Remember, smell is one of our strongest senses so go easy on the scented candles, adding a few unscented will make everyone happy. Placing candles in front of mirrors or glass adds a little glam and romance too.
4. ENSCONCED IN VELVET
Drapery in your home can really make a big difference — this is the perfect chance to bring in more neutral, earthy, or rusty tones, plus extra volume of fabric softens any space. Drapery gives added depth to a room and can help keep your interiors warmer in the cooler seasons. Drapery frames your windows and highlights the view of fallen leaves and autumn colors.
5. FIRE IT UP
As the weather cools we can start using those fireplaces we all love! Nothing speaks of home more than a glowing, warm fire. If your fireplace has a mantel, all the more space to have fun with additional fall accessories.
6. FALL FOLIAGE
Update your greenery and florals for fall. Placing vases around the home with eucalyptus, magnolia leaves, sunflowers, dianthus, sweet asylum, dried flowers and greens, will add life to your space while also bringing nature indoors. Display seasonal fruits and vegetables on the kitchen island to incorporate fall in the kitchen. Our favorites include apples, pomegranates, pears, cranberries, pumpkins, squash, beets, and carrots. Keep it simple and earthy with branches or add color with oranges and leaves.
7. RUSTLING RUGS + RUNNERS
Add more rugs to your home to spice it up. Layering existing rugs with a hide, fur or a neutral color adds dimension and warmth into your home. Woven wool rugs add coziness to the space as well as warmth for your frosty feet! Add a runner, or two, to your hallways, bath or kitchen.
8. MOOD SWINGS
Set the seasonal mood by dimming the interior lights. Changing lighting in a room is a great way to create a softer, cozier tone for the changing seasons.
9. FOREST THROUGH THE TREES
Creating a “grateful” tree for an entry piece or a selection of branches in a tall vase. This is an affordable way to be creative and intentional! Family and guests can write a short note about a funny holiday experience, a special memory, or why they are grateful for the season. It can be lighthearted or inspirational! Read the responses at your next get together.
10. FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
For the holidays specifically, we like to add colored landscape lighting in purples, greens, oranges and reds, greens, blues. You can add colored transparent film over existing garden spotlights or just change out the bulbs.
Additional thoughtful tip… as the holidays get nearer don’t forget to reach out to elderly neighbors to see if they could use a helping hand with decorations, blankets, food or if they just need a friend or a shoulder to lean on.
We channeled some of our favorite characters for this year's annual office costume party. From Hulu to Netflix and many networks in between, there was a lot of binge-worthy entertainment to celebrate.
"Flip" through our Reel on Instagram to see what to watch next!
Starring Wendy as Queen Elizabeth
Starring Greg as King George III
The Great British Bake Off
Starring Mary as a Contestant
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Starring Rachel as Mrs. Maisel
Starring Kate as Dwight
The Handmaid's Tale
Starring Rylee + Megan
Starring Jillian as Cruella de Vil
The Queen's Gambit
Starring Kim as Beth Harmon
Starring Mike as Ted Lasso
Starring Annie as Blair Waldorf
Emily in Paris
Starring Samantha as Emily
Starring Tanya as Eleven
Game of Thrones
Starring Alanna as Khalessi
Starring Lea as Damian
Starring Payton as Joe Exotic
*Cue the ending credits*
We hope you enjoyed a fun and safe Halloween!! Let the countdown to next year begin!
Costumes of Blackband Halloweens Past
The Newport Beach chapter of National Charity League hosted their annual Holiday Boutique this past weekend and it was a huge success! We loved seeing so many familiar faces shopping and it was great to meet so many new ones! Wendy Blackband and the team of NCL women who coordinated the event want to extend a huge thank you to the small businesses and local community that came out to support, even in the rare rain storm. Shout out to OC SPACE for the awesome, rain-protected venue for the event!
If you weren't able to make it to the Holiday Boutique on Saturday, you've still got an opportunity to shop these special vendors!! Listed below are shopping codes to use at the specified websites for 20% of your purchase to benefit NCL Newport charities such as Second Step - a safe haven for families in our community that have been affected by domestic abuse.
ONLINE SHOPPING CODES
These codes are valid November 8 - 14, 2020 unless otherwise noted. With these codes, 20% of your purchases will go back to the Newport chapter of National Charity League to benefit its local charities. A few of these vendors have offered additional discounts to you on top of their NCL donation. So there's never been a better time to start crossing off that gift list... Happy Shopping!!
CASON COUTURE - use NCLNEWPORT for Free Shipping
CRESENT MOON YOGA - use NCL2020
GLITTER FOR BREAKFAST - use LOVENCL
JOY DRAVECKY JEWELRY - use NCL2020 for 30% discount
MEDDOCK INTERIORS - use NCL2020
NAKED GRANDMA PEPPER JAM - use NCLHOLIDAY
ROCK GODDESS JEWELRY - use ROCKG1120
SIMPLY STRAWS - use NCL HOLIDAY for 15% discount through December 31st
SOCIAL BUTTERYFLY DESIGNS - use NCLNPB20
STATEMENT HOME - use NCL2020 for Free Shipping
STUDIO SUZAN - use NCLDAY
THE STRAP LAB - use NCL2020
Lots of plans were canceled, changed or postponed this year... Halloween at Blackband Design was not one of them! We had another great team costume party at the office and found some extra fun to celebrate in this crazy year of 2020. Check out our characters in action on IGTV and have a very happy Halloween!!
WENDY: FLAMENCO DANCER
CANCELED PLANS: FAMILY VACATION IN SPAIN
"SPAIN TRIP WAS CANCELED, SANGRIA WAS NOT"
GREG: DOCTOR B
CANCELED PLANS: NON-ESSENTIAL DOCTOR VISITS
"WASH YOUR HANDS, KEEP SIX FEET APART, WEAR A MASK"
MARY: RAIDER NATION FAN
CANCELED PLANS: NFL STADIUM EXPERIENCE
"CAN I GET A HAIL MARY?"
ASHLEY P: VACATIONER
CANCELED PLANS: TROPICAL VACATION
"VACATION IS ALL I EVER WANTED"
RACHEL: DISNEY ANNUAL PASS HOLDER
CANCELED PLANS: DISNEYLAND
"TOO MANY BLACKOUTS"
KATE: CORONA BRIDE
CANCELED PLANS: ORIGINAL WEDDING PLANS
"LOVE IS NOT CANCELED"
KENDALL: QUARANTINE BEAUTY QUEEN
CANCELED PLANS: HAIR SALON APPOINTMENTS
"FROM CUTE TO QUARANTINE"
MEGAN: OLYMPIC SWIMMER
CANCELED PLANS: SUMMER OLYMPICS 2020
"...JUST KEEP SWIMMING..."
JILLIAN: RODEO QUEEN
CANCELED PLANS: RODEO
"THIS AIN'T MY FIRST RODEO AND I SURE HOPE IT AIN'T MY LAST"
KIM: FLIGHT ATTENDANT
CANCELED PLANS: FLIGHTS
"PLEASE KEEP YOUR SEATBELTS FASTENED, IT'S BEEN A BUMPY YEAR"
NICOLE: COACHELLA ENTHUSIAST
CANCELED PLANS: COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL
ASHLEY T: COSTA RICA TOURISTA
CANCELED PLANS: COSTA RICA VACATION
TRACY: MET GALA SOCIALITE
CANCELED PLANS: RED CARPET APPEARANCES
"LIGHTS, CAMERA, ZOOM"
SIERRA: MLB STADIUM VENDOR
CANCELED PLANS: MLB STADIUM EXPERIENCE
"SAFE AT HOME... BASE"
CANCELED PLANS: ZOO DAY
"LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEERS, OH MY"
EMMY: THE BACHELORETTE
CANCELED PLANS: THE BACHELORETTE, SEASON 16
"THE MOST DRAMATIC SEASON YET"
RACHELLE: CORE POWER YOGA INSTRUCTOR
CANCELED PLANS: YOGA STUDIO CLASSES
"NAMA-STAY AT HOME"
CANCELED PLANS: GRADUATION CEREMONIES
"NOT A LOT OF POMP IN THIS CIRCUMSTANCE"
MICHAEL: CONCERT GOING COWBOY
CANCELED PLANS: STAGECOACH MUSIC FESTIVAL
Thanks for following along! We hope you have a happy and safe Halloween and find joy to celebrate everyday!
There's a new neighborhood coming to Newport Beach
and we are so excited to be in the mix of it all!
THE ISLE AT MARINER SHORES
The Isle at Mariner Shores is a new development of 36 townhomes thoughtfully designed to reflect the laidback yet luxurious lifestyle that locals love in Newport Beach. Internationally accredited and locally established real estate development team Intracorp invited us along to bring our custom home experience to the interiors of their coastal farmhouses. These brand new homes will be hitting the market in Spring 2021 and we're taking you with us (virtually) every step of the way!
LOTS TO LOVE FOR THIS LOCATION
Located where Eastside Costa Mesa's 17th Street meets Newport Beach, this sweet spot enjoys the balance between a vibrant social life and the ease of relaxation. Scenic strolls through Back Bay, bike rides to the beach, retail therapy at local boutiques and menus full of unique and healthy dining experiences will keep homeowners' calendars full of all their favorite things.
COASTAL FARMHOUSE CURB APPEAL
This community will boast the best of Newport Beach neighborhoods with clean, coastal siding, bright whites contrasting rich hues and stone that adds the layer of warmth to make a house feel like home.
INTERIOR DESIGN DIRECTION
With a custom home approach, we're bringing our Blackband twist to The Isle's coastal farmhouse architecture. Every once in a while, we branch out of the personal custom home clients (which we love so much) and our team gets to be a part of developing spaces for multiple families and individuals to enjoy. These townhomes will incorporate popular elements known to the neighborhood along with unexpected touches that make it your own. There's no doubt these homes will be full of style – just like you!
Tap through our "mariner shores" story highlights on Instagram for a preview of the three unique styles we've dreamt up for the models.
The build has begun! In the last month, the foundation was poured and the framing has been going up for the first set of buildings. We love seeing the physical progress of our projects taking shape... the countdown to Spring 2021 is on!
YOUR NEW HOME
Join The Isle's INTEREST LIST to be the first to know about all the Mariner Shores updates for timing, sales, pricing and more!
In honor of Mother's Day this weekend, we're spotlighting the moms (and dog/cat/goat-moms) on our team! Learn a little bit more about these leading ladies, their family traditions and the love they share with their kids. We also rounded up some advice they have to share for finding balance in the working-mom lifestyle and special ways you can celebrate the moms in your life this Mother's Day!
Mom to: Cooper (15) + Piper (14)
Favorite tradition with your kids: Watching my son play video games, my daughter TikTok and doing laundry... Not!!! Not!!! Not!!! Definitely Balboa Island Yacht Club, a summer beach program that has been around for almost 100 years (I participated as a child somewhere between now and then). A beach club run by kids for kids. My kids started when they were 4 and I have watched as they were helped and encouraged by the older kids. Now, Cooper is Vice Commodore and my daughter, Piper, is Rear Commodore and they are the ones helping and leading the young ones. The circle of life, it’s a beautiful thing!
Most rewarding part of motherhood: Every phase of childhood brings new endearing memories. My husband, Greg and I always say “Oh, this is the best phase” just to be eclipsed by the next phase. The reality is every phase of motherhood has been pretty awesome. Everyone says, “wait for the teenage years.” Well, they're here and it’s incredible to watch our kids grow into young adults through the choices they make, the things they say and the friends they surround themselves with.
Best advice passed down from your mother: Well heeded advice in our current climate… My mother always tells me to stay enthusiastic (even when it’s not so easy). I tell my kids that it’s easy to be a good person when things are great. The real test of character is how one handles themselves in the challenging times.
A “mother’s must-have” in your home: Botanical Fragrances oil and a peaceful bedroom... together these are my sanctuary.
What your kids love about you (surprise!): "I love how she will always be there for me and how she can put up with me and how she is always loving." - Cooper // "My mom is very caring, kind and encourages us to be the best human we can be. She is super supportive and is an amazing leader. I'm so thankful to have her as my mom and she is a great person to look up to." - Piper
Mom to: Charlotte (13) + Harper (7)
Favorite tradition with your kids: Sunday morning coffee. The girls make it and make themselves hot cocoa and toast and bring it into our bedroom in the morning.
Most rewarding part of motherhood: Watching my kids have the “lightbulb” moments, seeing them make connections, being proud of themselves, then teaching someone else.
A "mother's must-have" in your home: A large hat, a cool cool beverage and a lounge spot in a sunny yard.
What your kids love about you (surprise!): "She has patience, she always figures out a problem. She is young at heart and willing to try new things. I admire her work ethic and follow through." - Charlotte // "She is so kind and nice. She is so cool. I'm thankful to have her, and I don't say it enough but I LOVE HER!" - Harper // Bonus note from your husband: "The most dedicated, tender and loving mom to my girls. She takes the time even when time is short. Everyone has one but she is my favorite." - Daniel
Mom to: Dutch (12) + Valentina (9)
Favorite tradition with your kids: Family Vacations
Most rewarding part of motherhood: Watching their personalities grow into who they will become.
Best advice passed down from your mother: Tell them you love them every day especially the days that they may have broken the rules and you have to reprimand them.
A “mother’s must-have” in your home: Fashion is a close to second to my love of home design so having a closet filled with fun, eclectic things makes me very happy!
What your kids love about you (surprise!): "I enjoy your kindness, respect how hard you work and love your sense of humor." - Dutch // "I love your style, you are joyful and you care about others." - Valentina
Momma-to-be: Baby T coming June 2020
A tradition you hope to start with your family: Sunday Beach Days!!
A trait you hope your baby inherits from you or your husband: I hope she inherits my husband's good cooking skills.
Best advice passed down from your mother: Take time for yourself, be grateful for what you have, there is a solution to every problem, this too shall pass.
A “mother’s must-have” in your home: A comfy rocking chair with a footrest - it’s all about the footrest.
How your husband knows you'll make a great mother (surprise!): "She has the heart of a lioness. Fierce yet affectionate, she is selfless and genuine." - Justin
SHOUT OUT TO THE MOMS OF FUR BABIES, TOO
KENDALL + HONEY
EMMY + ROSIE
MEGAN + DUDE
RYLEE + KIKI
SIERRA + THOR
RACHEL + IGGY
ASH P + HURLEY
MARY + ZOE
KATE + RHETT
ASHLEY T + KITTY
Favorite thing about raising a fur-child: These mommas agree that their pets' excitement to see them, their unconditional love and their sweet, sweet snuggles are the highlights of fur-child motherhood.
TOP TIPS FOR FINDING PEACE IN THE WORKING MOM JUGGLE
Let go of the "mom guilt." There's not one right way to mother (or do anything for that matter), so freeing yourself from the expectations and comparisons of others can take a big weight off your shoulders and allow you to focus on the task at hand.
Be present where you are. A lot of that "mom guilt" or anxiety comes from worrying about what you're not doing. Concentrate your attention to what you are doing and understand that even super-moms cannot be in two places at once. You'll likely be more productive with your "all-in" attitude and end up with more time or energy to enjoy those other things on your mind.
Talk it out. Communicating with your family, boss and coworkers about expectations for the many responsibilities you manage keeps everyone on the same page. So much stress lives in our minds and just needs to be let out!
Stick to a schedule. Not every part of your life needs to be regimented, but planning out events, tasks, deadlines and expectations ahead of time can help keep everyone on track. Having a work schedule and a family schedule can help ease your mind as to what is happening with your loved ones while you're hard at work and vice-versa.
Plan out meals. A hungry human is rarely a happy human so planning out meals ahead of time can cut the cravings before the tempers kick in (and we're not just talking about the kids... we're all guilty of being a little "hangry" at times). Preparing meals a few days at a time can eliminate some of the prep time each night, stocking up on groceries over the weekend (with a list!) can alleviate the stress of missing an ingredient half way through cooking and delegating chef responsibilities around the family can build new skills and memories.
Be proud of who you are. Celebrate the big and little wins in life and be proud of the hard-working, human-raising, trailblazing, self-sacrificing, forward-thinking leader that you are.
IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO MAKE YOUR MOM'S MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL
BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS: If you didn't get an order placed in time for Sunday delivery, surprise mom with a Bouqs monthly subscription to spread the love all year long. If you're able to celebrate with mom in person, these tips for making a stunning arrangement with grocery store flowers are sure to make her day.
A SWEET OR SAVORY TREAT: Start her day off special with homemade breakfast in bed that you can all enjoy. These restaurant-worthy recipes are sure to hit the spot and you might gain brownie points for making them yourself!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOMS!!
Have anything to add? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
Books and home design go hand-in-hand in our world so we are thrilled to bring you a round-up of book-heavy spaces that inspire us! Wendy comes from a long line of readers and artists so it's in her blood to appreciate those beautifully bound pages that have filled the homes in her family. Her mom's library in Malibu (pictured above) is one of Wendy's favorite places to be -- layered with books of all genres, art of many mediums, travel treasures from around the world and photos of loved ones through the generations. It's overflowing with inspiration and curiosity in its perfectly imperfect array.
Home libraries packed with books and cherished memories shine with sophistication, intelligence and creativity that pull us in. We can't help but wonder about all the stories that make up the collection, and in turn, make up the life story of those who live in it. These spaces (and books in general) are what keep our visions for design growing and ever evolving with the material we consume.
If knowledge is indeed power then you won't be surprised that these inspiring home libraries below belong to some very talented and successful creatives that we're happy to introduce you to.
A SPECIAL SNEAK PEEK
THE BLACKBAND FAMILY'S MASTER SUITE BOOK NOOK
A first glance into Greg and Wendy Blackband's newly remodeled Balboa Island, CA home.
Books are treasured in Wendy's home. This collection of travel books and classic novels is thoughtfully organized in a way that brings her joy and many nostalgic memories. Wendy remembers how her great grandmother would read by candlelight to her great grandfather over a box of chocolates. That is why her grandmother, mom, aunties and Wendy have such a fondness for reading and chocolates... always chocolates!
We can't wait to complete this styling with more of Wendy's collected treasures and Blackband favorites. Professional photos to come, post-quarantine...
Do you have a dreamy library in your home or dream of growing a collection like these above? We would love to hear your home library stories in the comments below!
We’re in week three of working from home (along with the rest of the world) and we are happy to report we’ve found many positives in these new “office” dynamics. There are of course some challenges that have come with this new territory, but we’ve rounded up ways we’re adjusting to them and focusing on the good! Read on for our team’s tried and true tips for a happy home and productive work environment.
COOKING, BAKING + EATING IN
Greg and Wendy are loving the extra time together as a family preparing and enjoying meals with their busy teens, Cooper and Piper. At the beginning of quarantine, they listed all the groceries they had in the house and created a menu for the next two weeks using those ingredients. The result: minimal trips to the store, maximum creativity in the kitchen – our minimal // maximum approach in action!
Mary is giving her collection of pretty cookbooks some love and trying out new recipes for her family. The Mexican Chicken Soup has become a household staple and the Trapani Pesto is a fresh alternative to jarred pasta sauce – both from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street cookbook.
The sizzling sounds of homemade soup on the stove are keeping Sierra humming through her workday and looking forward to a savory dinner (and hot and ready lunch leftovers). We’re more of a use-what-you’ve-got, no-recipe type, but we swear by everything Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest whips up so we recommend browsing her soup archives if you’re in need of inspiration!
Ashley T. is enjoying the company of Miss Mittens the cat in her home office set up. There’s no fear of making a mistake on CAD when the cat is watching over her every move!
Megan has happily swapped a morning commute to the office for extra fetch time with Dude the Doodle. He just doesn’t quite understand what she is doing on the computer all day when he is clearly so ready to keep playing!
Ziggy found a home just in time to keep foster mom Emmy in good quarantined company! Emmy rescued this cute pup from Los Angeles Harbor Animal Shelter and there are so many more to adopt if you’re in need of a buddy in these socially distant times. Check out OC resources here.
Nicole is always stocked up with Essential Oils for every occasion that keep her feeling her best! Check out her tips and tricks for how you can make homemade cleaning products with your oils – a perfect (and natural) alternative to the sold out store options!
Katie discovered a simple, feel good recipe inspired by Starbucks’ secret menu drink, the ”medicine ball” (hot tea with steamed lemonade). Her #stayhome version is packed with immunity-boosting power of Emergen-C to #stayhealthy. All you need: 1 pack of Emergen-C (raspberry is her favorite), juice from half a lemon, a spoonful of honey and a mugful of hot water.
Romantic reads in the sunshine are keeping Kendall happy at home. She’s currently flipping the pages of love story Sweet Salt Air and just finished Robyn Carr’s Virgin River Series – the book behind the new series you’ve probably seen on Netflix.
FRESH AIR + FRESH FRUITS
Kim brews her coffee to-go for a quiet walk though the neighborhood before she starts her day of work. Maintaining a routine and getting outside (alone and protected) are keys to keeping her productivity flowing.
Rylee’s go-to afternoon snack is a fresh clementine that she enjoys in the sunshine on her balcony. Some Vitamin D with a side of Vitamin C!
Tracy is finding home to be a productive place to work and loves hearing her family’s voices nearby. Nature walks together have been a great time for them to release some energy and connect with each other.
WINING (NOT WHINING)
Wineries may be closed but that didn’t stop Jill + her fiancé from a little weekend “getaway.” She made an “at home wine tour” guide around their home to sample bottles from different regions in each room. We saved her brilliant idea to Pinterest!
Ashley P. looks forward to her post-work happy hours with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Does it count as drinking alone if we’re on Zoom?
There may be some baby whines from Rachel’s sweet new niece Charley Ann but we’re sure not complaining about having this cute face to awe over. Welcome to this crazy, wonderful world baby girl!
What’s keeping you sane in this quarantined life we’re all living?
Let us know if you give any of these a try!
If there's one thing we've learned as a business in this global pandemic it's the importance of being flexible in our workflows and design process. Our new MINIMAL-MAXIMUM approach focuses our efforts on what we CAN do to keep ourselves and our community safe and what we CAN do to keep our projects moving along for our patiently eager clients.
‣ minimal site visits // maximum effort to keep projects moving forward
‣ minimal onsite contact // maximum project decisions
‣ minimal concern for convenience // maximum concern for safety
‣ minimal time together // maximum trust from afar
‣ minimal in-person meetings // maximum virtual communication
‣ minimal vendor visits // maximum support + connection online
LIFE AT HOME
‣ minimal time out of the house // maximum time with family
‣ minimal concern for fashion // maximum concern for practicality
‣ minimal trips to the grocery store // maximum creativity with what we have
We’re going the extra steps, taking the extra time and thinking outside the box to continue supporting our team, our clients, our families and our projects' progress in a safe environment. We can't thank you enough for your continued support in sharing the love for beautiful interiors (which we're all appreciating more than ever these days)!
In a global effort to focus on what we CAN do, what are you minimizing and maximizing in your life or business?
Let us know in the comments below and let's spread the encouragement of finding the light in this unfamiliar situation.