Grove House: French Display Cabinet

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Transitional spaces between rooms can be tricky to furnish. Often times the furniture needs to serve dual purpose and have the ability to suit the aesthetics of both connecting rooms. I have such a space between our kitchen and dining area and found this French Display Cabinet from Kathy Kuo Home fit perfectly. I love that it will allow me a space to serve drinks, desserts, or appetizers during parties and also have fun with seasonal vignettes and decor.

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 The shelves are adjustable making it easy to accommodate large platters, soup tureens or wine and champagne bottles when entertaining. It also came with iron hooks to place on the rails but I haven’t found a use for them yet. Maybe for a tea towel when serving drinks or as mug hooks? Who knows, they might come in handy sometime.

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One of my favorite things about the piece are all the small drawers below. I’ve got them loaded up with votive candles, matches, napkins, serving utensils, wine openers, etc., etc.

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For now I added pieces I had on hand and a few from a recent antiquing trip to Santa Barbara that had an autumnal feel to them….vintage copper mugs, ironstone, an antique French painting. And I mixed in a bit of the colored glass I have in other areas of the kitchen to tie them together. I’m looking forward to adding fresh evergreens and holiday elements for Christmas!

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I baked an apple tart yesterday for this post and still have enough pastry dough to make another one. I’m thinking it should definitely include pecans since we were gifted a giant bag…just in time for Thanksgiving. Off to search for a recipe! Or maybe you have a favorite?

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Sources: French Display CabinetKathy Kuo Home, Recycled Glass Tumblers,  Washed Linen Napkins, Similar Marble & Wood Cake Stand (the one I bought from Anthropologie is sold out) and Marble Candle Holder. All other items are vintage or antique finds…my favorite way to shop!

Between posts you can find me on Instagram sharing highlights of daily life.

Amsterdam Shopping: A Prop Stylist’s Guide

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 The shopping in Amsterdam is just so good. There are small independent boutiques dotting nearly every street. I tried to pop in as many as I could. With their creative window displays and merchandise spilling out onto the sidewalk continually luring me inside, it was an easy task. My favorite place was de Weldaad. Their selection of antiques, home furnishings, accessories, and textiles were so beautifully curated. I loved the gentle wash of soft muted color tones and worn wood surfaces displayed throughout the store. It was such a relaxing environment to browse.
I seriously wanted all the things.
They’re also conveniently located a couple doors down from Winkle. I’m just sayin’.

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Raw Materials was another great shop for home decor and furnishings. Worth a stop if you’re in the neighborhood. You’ll find plenty of inspiration and probably a few treasures to take home. I loved their chunky knit blankets, unique glassware, and walls filled with black and white botanical framed art. They ship to the US which is always a plus when you’re traveling light.
Side note: I’m thinking about making a pendant like the one below for the alcove in my master bath. They were about 650 euros so I passed on buying one. Hence the possible diy in my future. They seem simple enough to make. (Famous first words of every diy project). I’ll keep you posted.

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Before arriving in Amsterdam I had heard good things about Anna + Nina. They carry quite a bit of jewelry and clothing with a fresh mix of home accessories…think candles, art, mirrors, pottery and ceramics. The shop has an upbeat youthful vibe that I really enjoyed.

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The glowing pierced metal pendant lights at Zenza were mesmerizing. They had them hanging all over the shop in a variety of metals – gold, silver, copper – every one just beautiful! I bought some pretty wooden spoons, tiny basil soaps nestled in bamboo dishes, and a few other trinkets here.

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Dille & Kamille was a lot of fun to wander through. It reminds me a bit of a cross between Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel. There were lots of kitchen elements and a cute garden section. They have a coffee bar and tea atelier in the back of the store with a large selection of both to choose from. I like to bring home tea from my travels, especially proprietary blends.

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 I also wanted to mention a few great places to pick up a fresh groceries, a quick cappuccino or bite to eat while strolling the area…or maybe just to stock up on decadent chocolate bars to bring home. My two favorites were Statch and Marqt both with multiple locations throughout the city.

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 Marqt was sort of similar to our Whole Foods but on a smaller scale. Here we picked up delicious alpine yogurt, fresh fruit, croissants and the most beautiful hard candies (as souvenirs because they were too pretty to eat!). Definitely the place to buy groceries or snacks for your rental apartment or hotel room – or for treats to bring with you on your long flight home.

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And a couple other shops of note:

Six and Sons – Loved this concept store with handmade leather goods, vintage and new wares.
Shop de Ville – Colorful, fun, friendly place with quirky gifts and unique toys. A happy shop!
Droog Amsterdam – Well curated mix of beautiful books, ceramics and decor.
Restored – Design shop with handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories and apothecary.
Sukha Amsterdam – Probably my second favorite! Fabulous, clever displays, gorgeous pottery, linens, sweaters & scarves! Again, all the things.

I hope you find my list useful the next time you find yourself in Amsterdam. As a professional prop stylist (with a black belt in shopping) it was my favorite city for this type of “activity” on our entire trip to Europe. I loved the simple Scandinavian design influences I noticed in many of the stores and the selection of products I’ve yet to see here in the US. Maybe someone will start importing. Anyone? I’ll be your first customer!

Between posts you can find me on Instagram sharing highlights of daily life.

Amsterdam Travel Guide

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This year has been filled with a generous amount of travel…both business and pleasure. The later of course being the most fulfilling and memorable. This year also marked our 15th wedding anniversary and to celebrate we decided to take an extensive trip to Europe together. Our journey included traveling to Amsterdam, Venice, Florence, Rome and several cities within the region of Tuscany. To say there was a vast amount of planning for this trip would be an understatement. But fortunately all those little details made for a very smooth holiday and incredible experiences we will both never forget.

We began our adventure with a flight from LAX to Stockholm then on to the first city on our agenda…Amsterdam! And let me just cut to the chase here…we both LOVED Amsterdam!

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We stayed in an area known as The Nine Streets located in the heart of the city’s canal district. It was a beautiful section of the city filled with quaint boutiques, coffee shops and charming restaurants. It felt like a small neighborhood and we enjoyed being able to walk to dinner and the market for our daily breakfast yogurt. Our first meal after getting settled was a Nutella crepe stuffed with strawberries, a ham and gruyere cheese panini and an authentic Belgian waffle.

Choosing to stay at Hotel IX made our visit incredibly special. The well appointed rooms were so beautifully decorated with simple, yet sumptuous, white bedding and a dramatic black and white photo mural of a street scene right outside their front door. And those wood beams!

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 The large room had a nice seating area, a free mini bar and Nespresso machine and a great bathroom with a walk-in shower. Usually I’ve found in Europe, hotel rooms and apartment rentals are tiny with even tinier bathrooms. So having such a generous, light filled space was a welcome surprise. One memorable item of note about this hotel (that you won’t read on their website or in reviews) are the soft church bells you hear ringing every hour. It’s like a daily reminder to savor the moment. Wish there were more of them here in the US. I find them soothing.

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Some of the scenes along the canals were the epitome of what I thought Amsterdam would look like. Large trees lining each side, crooked row houses covered in vines, fresh flower stands, old boat houses and bicycles whizzing by nearly every minute. You can rent bikes to explore on your own or with a guide at Yellow Bike and Scooter Rent Amsterdam.

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One evening we took the free ferry from the Central Station to the north side of Amsterdam to have dinner at Pllek – a restaurant made out of recycled shipping containers! Inside you can sit by the fireplace and gaze out their enormous floor to ceiling windows with views of the water. It’s the perfect date night. They have an amazing menu of sustainably caught seafood and fresh local produce and everything we had was delicious. Oh, and you can see their giant disco ball here!

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Some of our other favorite cafes and coffee shops were:

Cafe Bern – For authentic Swiss fondue and local atmosphere. Definitely not touristy.
Cafe de Pels – Nice little place to sit by the window,  have coffee and watch the world go by.
Paper Planes – Great spot for brunch, regardless of their somewhat odd FB page.
Pluk Amsterdam – Healthy juices, smoothies and fresh salads, beautiful shop as well.
Lot Sixty One – They take coffee seriously…the perfect place for a cappuccino and croissant.
Gartine – Absolutely loved this place. The food, decor, staff…even the dishes. Highly recommend!
Winkel – Famous apple pie. Or is it cake? You be the judge….either way it was delicious!

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There are so many great places to eat in Amsterdam. We didn’t have a single bad meal. It’s easy to get carried away with trying to hit all the “best” places but I also like to go off the beaten path and just stop when hunger strikes. The Man even ate some sort of crispy egg roll/chicken curry thing from a vending machine at Febo and liked it. Apparently they’re a huge hit with the locals.

One of the trip highlights for me was visiting the Anne Frank House. I read her diary several times as a young girl and it had such an impact on me. I believe it was the first time I ever understood the devastation and atrocities humans can inflict on innocent people. Being able to walk through their secret hiding place, climb the same stairs, see the rooms they lived in and her original hand written diary was an extremely moving experience.

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There are some wonderful museums, parks and palaces all worth a visit:

Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House, Vondelpark, Rijksmuseum, and the Royal Palace just to name a few. You could spend days going through them…if not weeks. We even popped into the little Amsterdam Tulip Museum to see what was inside.

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 I really love traveling in the fall. The weather is generally mild, the summer crowds are gone, and there is a more relaxed pace to things. We would get up early and walk the canals just as the city was starting to stir. We could hear children laughing on their way to school, watch deliveries being made to local businesses and see beautiful Dutch people of all ages riding their bikes on the way to work. Aside from panoramic views and mind boggling architecture, this is my favorite aspect of traveling. To see how other people live. It’s fascinating to witness and hopefully we’ll be able take some of their daily lifestyle habits (bicycle commuting) and adapt them into our own life.

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 In my next post I’ll share all my favorite shops! Amsterdam has so many great little boutiques filled with amazing lighting, original home decor, and other beautiful interior furnishings.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam?
Would love for you to share your favorite places in the comments!

The Academy – A Creative and Editorial Styling Event

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 Over the years, there have been countless times I’ve been asked for advice about my career. Depending on where the person was on their own path, the questions would range from photography advice, blogging and brand image topics, to how I got started styling, and what it takes to work with magazines and major brands. I’ve realized there are so many creative people wanting to pursue their passion and learn to refine and improve their own body of work. I also noticed there weren’t many offerings of teaching others creative and editorial styling. Most were geared towards the wedding or floral industry and not specifically on professional styling.
So after a year of contemplating the idea of helping others learn the art of styling, I’ve created   The Academy – A Creative and Editorial Styling Event.

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The first week long event will take place next spring in Dordogne, France. I’ve reserved a small private 15th century chateau exclusively for our group May 14-21, 2016. Taking time away from our daily tasks and environments will allow for relaxation, inspiration and creativity to overflow. I’ve designed an amazing curriculum to share with you including intensive lectures and hands-on styling sessions and have included fabulous excursions to antique brocantes, 11th century villages, picnics, and authentic French open air markets. In essence, I can’t wait to share with you all my favorite things about France while we explore and learn the theories and best practices of creative and editorial styling.

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You can learn more about the itinerary I created and additional details about the event by reading The Academy Brochure.
If you would like to reserve a limited space to attend, please visit The Academy by Heather Bullard to fill out a Reservation Form and make a deposit.

For more information or questions, feel free to get in touch! theacademy@heatherbullard.com

Update: We are Sold Out for spring 2016.
Please email if you would like to be added to the waitlist.

Styling Work: California Farmhouse

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I’m just going to put this out there…farmhouses have been and always will be my favorite locations to style. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dilapidated 100 year old home with creeky floors and vines growing out of the walls or a complete renovation that’s been updated with modern conveniences – I love them all. This one I styled for Country Living is no exception. It was small with tons of windows, nestled in California wine country with a homeowner who adored simplicity. She enlisted the talents of designer Laurie Furber of Elsie Green to accomplish the task of renovating and decorating the home. And I think they struck the perfect balance of antique and new furnishings with a result that is warm and welcoming.
For the dining table I created an early morning breakfast scene with casual fare and a pile of mis-matched pillows on the banquette. It ended up being my favorite shot with that gorgeous light streaming through the window panes.

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They tucked an old French work bench into a small niche in the living room making it the perfect bar area. The black and white photos throughout the home were original to the area and included a few of the property in it’s former farmhouse glory.
The kitchen was open and bright with large beams and library lights centered over the island. Here I added in natural elements, reworked the shelves and kept the styling fresh.

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I’m sure everyone loves my shenanigans on set (wink, wink) especially when it involves grabbing the tallest ladder we can find and several of us trying to cut a large tree branch for my vision….
Mission accomplished (without injury) and it definitely added so much life to the entry shot.

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I styled the outdoor table with a laid back barbecue gathering just as the sun was setting. This was in fact, our final shot. Too bad there weren’t any grilled burgers for those buns…we could have had a wrap party right there. You can see more images and read about the details behind this amazing farmhouse at Country Living.
Photos – David Tsay | Styling – Heather Bullard

Between posts you can find me on Instagram sharing highlights of daily life.