Two nights ago my husband's television show You Can Do Better premiered. WHAT. Here is my brief understanding of how this came to be.

When we were young and naive and very very dumb we opened a cafe together. He wrote the wine menu in prose ("This wine is like bumping into your ex-girlfriend, who is blonde, on the sidewalk and realizing that you still love her.") and it caught the attention of Eli Horowitz, editor at McSweeney's at the time, who was doing a reading at said cafe, who asked him to write about wine in general for their website

He wrote about wine, talked about wine on a podcast that I can't find online, and started hating wine.

But people really liked his writing about wine, and soon he had a column at NY Magazine's food blog, Grub St., in which we wrote about drinking culture. A couple other magazines asked for contributions. Someone noticed all this and asked him if he had any book ideas. He did.

He wrote a funny and very smart book called Drinking, A Manual. It was excruciatingly reduced to a gift book called You Suck at Drinking. It came out the spring of 2015. Someone else noticed that and introduced him to a television production company called Red Tail Media in LA. They filmed a sizzle reel, a 5 minute example of what a show might look and sound like hosted by Matthew. It was kind of a You Suck at Everything (not just drinking) comedy advice show. A year went by. Red Tail shopped it around to television networks. Two wanted it. TruTV made a better offer and was a better fit.

In the spring of 2016 all of a sudden Matthew and Red Tail had to make a pilot. They developed the idea, brought on comedian Abbi Crutchfield to cohost, and sold 13 episodes. Matthew moved to LA in late May and has been filming pretty much nonstop since. He hasn't been home all summer so I travel between Oakland and LA A LOT. Sometimes I drive, mostly I fly. 

So, yeah, it premiered on August 23rd. He is still filming and in the thick of it so stopping and enjoying and taking stock of what it all means is not really possible for him right now. I tend to be a very delayed-in-my-understanding-of-things-that-happen-to-me kind of person, so I'm sure I will have deep thoughts in a year or so, but right now I'm kind of speechless. I say, "This is weird!" a lot. 

Our friend Jamie Berger interviewed Matthew about his possible impending D-level fame for his podcast 15 Minutes and I highly recommend it if you are interested in hearing about the process more deeply. Even though I'm married to him I came away with a better understanding of all this after listening. 

This is weird you guys!

Remember my friend Jessica? Her mother has hired me as a consultant on her latest project and future home, a gorgeous flat on Hyde St. in San Francisco. This woman is THE BOMB. She is alive in a way that I am not, at almost half her age. I adore her.

This project is waaaaaaay beyond anything I am currently doing -  budget, scope, size, and style wise. It has allowed me to get into creative crevices I didn't know existed in my brain and is introducing me to parts of the design world that I didn't have entrée into. Needless to say, I am crazy excited.

The apartment is a 1927 3 bed/3 bath that hasn't been touched since the 70's (I think). Of all the rooms the elevator vestibule and reception room make me the swooniest. I mean, I get to design an elevator vestibule you guys.

It'll be a long time before we get to see this place in shape; the renovations will take until January at least. In the meantime, I get to go shopping in LA and NY and suggest all kinds of fun things that very few people would agree to, like this wallpaper

No big deal you guys. Just a totally normal view.

No big deal you guys. Just a totally normal view.

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

BOO YOU GUYS!

Whoa Nelly! This past year has been bonkers. We went to the A-Frame for the summer, had a wedding, my business took off when I got back, and now my husband is filming a television show in LA all summer. WHA?!

One of the more important developments in my life was forming an Accountability Club with 2 of my dearest self-employed friends in which we tell each other all the stuff we should do for our businesses that we can't seem to tell ourselves, like make a f***ing business card already. Getting out of my own head (and the sticky web of doubt and loathing in there) has forced me to work and advocate on my own behalf more in the last 3 months then in the last 3 years. 

So in that spirit, here is my renovated website. And a blog post.  And a new section devoted to my home with pictures taken by the wonderful Esteban Cortez. LET'S DO THIS.

Big thanks to StoryHouse Creative and Wallis Williams Design for making the site so awesome!

 

 

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

Oh hi there friends! I went away for the summer to do this but now I am back and ready to rumble. I'm busy with work, wouldn't you know it, so this blog might look like I've died even though I haven't. I am very much alive. More than ever. SEE?!

Anja Schütz took this photograph and I love it almost as much as I love her!

Anja Schütz took this photograph and I love it almost as much as I love her!

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid

So, I have this client. He's 4 and he's the cutest. There's something about designing for a cute and sweet kid; it turns on some kind of auntie/maternal energy that seeps into my work and gives it an extra shot of meaning. See how cute he is?

Snow? What is this stuff? 

Snow? What is this stuff? 

This is his blankie. It is destroyed with love.

This is his blankie. It is destroyed with love.

Designing for kids is a totally different ballgame (here come the sports metaphors! He loves sports). It drives me nuts when I see designers spend a lot of other people's money on things that a kid will hate in 3-4 years: literal themey stuff like Dinosaurs! Pirates! Princesses!, furniture that can't grow with them (size wise but also in function; multi-use furniture is the way to go), and infantilizing decor (let's be honest, pastel cuddly stuff is for parents, not babies). 

Jake is a sports fanatic. Like, he could rival my most rabid Red Sox fans friends on any given day, and that is saying a lot. What I love about his fandom is how un-jock, un-bro it is. He loves to dress up in his team jerseys, changing them out several times in an hour, he watches televised softball games and can discuss the differences in pitching between it and baseball, when we play catch it is with seriousness and purpose, AND he still sucks his thumb while cuddling with his blankie. I wanted to design his room to honor of all of these things without making it look like a literal recreation of a locker room or what have you. However, it couldn't be so subtle that Jake didn't see the sportsyness in his new room as 4 year olds are not known for their comprehension of subtlety and he definitely wanted a sportsy room.

When I met him, Jake's room was fine. It had the basics, a furniture arrangement that made the room feel smaller than it is and no finesse. His parents were hilariously upfront about how much they don't know about setting up a room, something I appreciate in clients more than anything. Knowing what you don't know is the best thing to know. 

We started with the floor plan. The first problem was the bed placement. Having a twin bed in a 10 x 12 room jut out into the middle of the floor obstructed traffic flow and divided the room into two weird spaces that didn't function well, especially for a kid. Adults like to have space on both sides of the bed but kids don't need it, and in fact they like closed-in spaces that feel less exposed (think forts, bunkbeds, etc.)

IMG_7427.jpg

His parents wanted to keep what furniture we could, so we settled on the bed and dresser, storing or donating everything else. We started the project with a purge (always purge before making concrete floor and decor plans so you know what storage you actually need, and because it feels good). We hired painters to paint, ordered things, I hunted for things in thrift stores and flea markets, and over the course of a weekend in which I kicked them out of their house (have I expressed my love for these people enough to you? do you get how much I love this family?) I went about making Jake's room sportstastic.

When I had presented Jake's parents with rug options I was SO GLAD when they both liked this rag rug (it's even better in person). I wanted Jake's room to feel homey and humble and semi-timeless and a rag rug is the perfect way to do that. They are not precious or expensive, hide dirt and stains like nobodies business, have a very long tradition, and this one was perfectly modern with it's hot pink and yellows woven in occasionally. 

They liked the idea of giving him a reading nook and of lockers for copious storage and beyond that they let me do what I wanted, and what I wanted was patent prints of baseball gear. What a great way to be sportsey while being nerdy and sciencey and historyey! Mounting them on foam board ensures that I will not be responsible for any nighttime earthquake catastrophes too. Whew. I also wanted a chair without it's legs (it came with legs which can be added later when he is taller - the idea came to me when I unloaded the delivery and it had detached legs) so that his reading nook felt super cozy and grounded. 

It took two days to pull it all together and I had so much fun doing it it felt silly to call it a job. I'd do it every day if I could. 

As always, please note that I am not a photographer and that at the end of an install it's hard to care about taking good photos, which is unfortunate but all too true. 

That purple pillow is so annoying. It was a placeholder for a set that was late in the mail. It's killing me looking at it.

That purple pillow is so annoying. It was a placeholder for a set that was late in the mail. It's killing me looking at it.

Dear Reading Corner, I would like to take you home and make you mine.

Dear Reading Corner, I would like to take you home and make you mine.

Turning the bed made it more of a daybed, with sitting space for the whole family.

Turning the bed made it more of a daybed, with sitting space for the whole family.

All his pals are in his reading nook.

All his pals are in his reading nook.

I love this Target lamp. The shade is tweed and is so cozy.

I love this Target lamp. The shade is tweed and is so cozy.

I turned his existing toy box on it's side to make a bench/bookcase.

I turned his existing toy box on it's side to make a bench/bookcase.

I made a cork board banner and pinned pictures of Jake's favorite players to it.

I made a cork board banner and pinned pictures of Jake's favorite players to it.

A new mirror helps bounce the light around.

A new mirror helps bounce the light around.

I took a part a vintage baseball glove and made bows out of it.

I took a part a vintage baseball glove and made bows out of it.

To show off his trophies I bought some old ones and spray painted them all white.

To show off his trophies I bought some old ones and spray painted them all white.

I'm seriously considering doing this with all of my furniture. I love being on the ground. Those are his handmade blankies to the left.

I'm seriously considering doing this with all of my furniture. I love being on the ground. Those are his handmade blankies to the left.

I like to use humor in my vignettes.

I like to use humor in my vignettes.

I made a scoreboard coat rack out of an old sign and added cork so he can collect his game tickets over time.

I made a scoreboard coat rack out of an old sign and added cork so he can collect his game tickets over time.

I took off the one ugly handle...

I took off the one ugly handle...

Friday Night Lights forever.

Friday Night Lights forever.

Lockers are great magnet boards too! His helmets fit perfectly and this thing doubled the amount of storage in his room!

Lockers are great magnet boards too! His helmets fit perfectly and this thing doubled the amount of storage in his room!

And made new ones out of the vintage baseball glove!

And made new ones out of the vintage baseball glove!

I included Carlton Fisk on the banner, of course.

I included Carlton Fisk on the banner, of course.

You can always count on Etsy. 

You can always count on Etsy. 

I think he likes it.

I think he likes it.

So there you have it! I'll be working with this family for a long time, room to room, so you'll get to see the whole house and meet the whole family eventually. Go Sox!

 

 

Posted
AuthorSarah Reid