Hotel San Jose

Whenever I travel, I seek out the small, independent, boutique hotels with lots of personality and style....like Hotel San Jose in Austin, Texas. 

This cool locale came into existence in 1936 as an ultramodern motor court before it was transformed into the 40 room bungalow-style hotel it is today. Owner and entrepreneur, Liz Lambert had the vision (she also owns the scrumptiously good Hotel Saint Cecilia, El Cosmico and Hotel Havana). 

Liz enlisted the very talented sustainable design firm, Lake/Flato in San Antonio to help bring her incredible vision to life. Concrete floors, minimalist decor and locally made furniture all help create a cool, Texan vibe. 

These fab chairs I quickly recognized, from artist Jamey Garza of Garza Marfa. 

Besides fun pluses like hippie blankets, kimono bathrobes and Malin + Goetz products in the rooms, all dogs are more than welcome at the hotel. Gotta love that...

And then there's the popular local joint, Jo's, located in the hotel parking lot, where you can find good coffee, beer, tacos and more. It's all a part of the many reasons why boutique hotels are worth every penny. Next time you're headed to Austin, check out the Hotel San Jose, here.

 

Photos: Hotel San Jose     Content: Sweet Peach


Petrified Design

Rocking chairs are easy to love, but perhaps some have a higher love factor than others. Like this one...whose wood derives from a used wine barrel in Central Texas. The curvature of the barrel is carried through in this design, brilliantly crafted by Tyson Pendergrass and Gable Bostic of Petrified Design in the Austin/Hill Country region of Texas. 

If you follow Sweet Peach, you may have noticed that I have a weakness for anything wood and metal. These expertly constructed tables certainly make me a little weak in the knees. Tyson sheds light on he and Gable's aesthetic, "We design furniture with a story and a purpose and love that what we design we haven't seen before. Our furniture can work in the modern city loft or the rustic mountain cabin." 

Residing in the hill country, Tyson adds, "Our designs and construction have a natural Southern feel while keeping clean, modern lines." This bench is a great example of this as he and Gable repurposed this wood from an old Texas ranch and with a keen attention to detail, handcrafted a really stunning piece. I want, I want...

This East Polk Low Lounger stays true to its name as one who reclines here should plan to stay awhile. Think of a sunset, a beer, maybe a second low lounger close by for a friend...life is made better with guys like Tyson and Gable around.  

 

Photos: Petrified Design   Content: Sweet Peach  

Linda Ketelhut

Austin, Texas Artist, Linda Ketelhut has a knack for graphic design. As she puts it, "I love bold lines and colors." I'm especially drawn to the modern yet cozy look and feel of this one she calls Sprout 4. Linda explains the importance of color in her work, "For me, color creates a mood. It affects what I think or how I feel when I look at something. I love to use it to create balance in a piece, but also to surprise!" 

I like how you can get lost in her art....especially the aptly named zig zag, or the modern topiary. As Linda explains on her site, "From a young age, I loved space- how it made me feel, the use of it, its colors and angles. I was always looking for new ways to change the space around me that reflected my mood." 

She adds, "Combining my love for color and details with the use of pattern, I create tiny 'homes' for my illustrations to live within. Whether I'm wrapping an illustration in words or filling the page with bright color, I try to merge art with mood with space." 

Linda offers this fun and lively Flower Pop illustration in either a print or notecards.

As she recently moved from NYC to Austin, Linda revels in the bright, sunny days she finds at her new home, as well as the plethora of new textures she's discovered in Texas' rich flora and fauna. She adds, "I feel with a slower pace lifestyle, I'm taking the time to see the layers in life again and I'm incorporating some of those into my work." The above works, Avalanche and Seismic are part of her mother nature series. I like that Linda continues to be inspired. That can only mean good news for the rest of us...

  

Content: Sweet Peach 

 

Switch Modern

This iconic, mid century chair is my new true love. It's officially on my wish list and can be found at the fabulous shop, Switch Modern in Atlanta, Georgia. It's a classic, molded plywood armchair created by Norman Cherner in 1958. You can get this one for a cool $1,209...

Switch Modern is a mix of furniture and accessories, from large and small, simple to extravagant. As owner Doug Henderson explains, "Our price points vary from a $15 vase to a $16,000 light." Most of their lines are European with a focus on Italian designers including Poliform, Flexform, Paolo Piva and Minotti. 

The most striking feature when you enter Switch Modern are the array of gorgeous pendant lights. They carry ten different lines- from the readily available commercial lights to the more unique and handcrafted, like this stunning 'Poppy Light' to the left, made of handmade paper by artist, Kenneth Cobonpue.

Much of the design at Switch Modern makes you smile as each item seems to be its very own conversation piece. As Doug explains, "We're the source in the Southeast for clean, contemporary and original design." 

The family team at ibride in France created these whimsical trays that feature animals in regal settings. Switch is the only company in the US that imports them and as Doug says, "They can work in the very traditional home to the sleek, contemporary home." Well priced, starting from $84, the trays can either be hung as art or be used for their functional purpose. I love the duck who seems to be ready for another cocktail...

Switch carries a bevy of Alessi products including gorgeous silver and ceramics. I really love the espresso cups via The New English. The incredible flies design is by artist, Monica Tsang, who just so happens to have a wonderful blog you must visit. 

Much of the larger pieces at Switch are just drool worthy. I want this Orcus Secretary Desk more than I've wanted a lot of things in life. Made of walnut, with a frame of chrome-plated steel tubing that includes hidden drawers and ingenious cut outs for power cords, this beauty can be yours for just $7,805... 

We have Doug Henderson and Roy Otwell to thank for Switch Modern. Doug, to the left, used to work on the tech side of banking while Roy was a dentist. Ten years ago they ditched the day job for the design job. They both have a strong business background and enjoy being based in the South. As Doug explains, "The South is historically rich in every way- in literature, in cooking...and the South has always historically been tied to Europe such as Savannah and New Orleans." The best part about Switch Modern is that no matter where you live, you can access Doug and Roy's well curated shop as all their goods are also sold online. Thanks guys...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

Geometric Goodness

These delightfully pleasing and one of a kind works of art come from husband and wife team, John and Janet LeGrand of Peckerwood, Alabama. After deciding they wanted to create a cost effective handmade product to sell on line, Janet was inspired to create something with stripes that also had a clean, modern look. John suggested accomplishing this with wood, to which Janet replied, "that's awesome." I'd have to say their final result is exactly that. This Complementary Set of Three would look lovely in my someday office.

Their art best complements a design aesthetic that is minimal, modern or rustic. Much of their wood is found at the local sawmill, often in piles of 'waste wood' that are full of pine and white oak. They also utilize some heart pine timbers that John's dad acquired, a type of wood once commonly seen in the flooring of Southern homes. Peruse their shop to pick your favorite and learn more about their process here.

To diversify their look, John and Janet created these very cool giclee prints accented with clip art. Click for the Cow or Seven. So uniquely, perfectly lovely. I want one of everything... 

 

Photos: Paint Square   Content: Sweet Peach