Today we have a very special project to share with all of you. Not too long ago, a good friend of ours decided to surprise his wife by furnishing their new home while she was away. He had really fantastic ideas as to how it should all look, but knew just who to call for a little guidance in making the final decisions. 

This couple lives their life day to day to the fullest and appreciates everything that comes their way. The overall look of their home really sums up this concept and shows that they don’t always take life so seriously. We love their retro urban style and were excited to bring that to life in their home. The whimsical touches that were added in gives the space a bit of color and some fun, unexpected details. 

The large, empty wall in the main living area really needed a cool detail to fill the space. We helped select this Mona Lisa face decal from Dali Decals in a gray finish to create the statement we were looking for.
Classic pieces, such as the Eames chair and this over-sized trunk (which made for a unique detail when used as a coffee table) provide a retro feel to the room. We love the sentimental nod this trunk gives to a piece he grew up with. 
The large sectional was purchased from HD Buttercup and the size couldn’t be more perfect. The clean lines, over-sized comfort it provides, and the fabric and color were just right. We selected these orange velvet pillows from CB2 to add a pop of color and the “Oh” pillow (also from CB2) provided that whimsical touch we were going for.
The industrial dining table and chairs (they already owned) went perfectly with this rustic sideboard. We love the small details that were added in such as the the industrial lanterns, the gray linen place mats, this perfect table centerpiece, and the family photos propped up against the wall. As this can be a very dark space, interesting retro-style lights were added and also give a fun touch.

We are in love with this silver trunk. It is the perfect detail to finish the room and ties everything together with its orange interior.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the amazing architecture of the home. Its floor to ceiling windows, wood-paneled ceiling, and brick fireplace creates the perfect backdrop for their retro urban style. 

The couple also wanted to do something interesting and unique in their master bedroom and turned to us for our expertise as there were a couple of tricky details that needed to be paid attention to. Lauren came up with the idea of this cool, stacked headboard. It was low enough to not interfere with the wall sconce and created a perfect background for their bright and funky nightstands and bedding. She selected a fine linen in two shades of gray and our father, Jackie (of Jackie Bitton Fine Woodworking) created the headboard to fit the space perfectly.

The other pieces in the room were purchased for their simplicity so as not to take away from the main focal point in the room, and they do just that. We really can’t believe how perfect their home turned out and so fitting with their personalities and design aesthetic. All of the small details really create that whimsical feel in their undeniably retro urban home.
We love so many different styles and enjoy creating spaces that show off the residents’ personalities and design aesthetics. For more information on our design services email us at or leave a comment below.

The past two weeks, Tami was in Israel with a group of her students participating in an Israeli Partnership program with a school in Tel Aviv. This means that each sixth grader was partnered up with an Israeli sixth grader for the entire two weeks and even became their house guest, spending each night at their homes. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn about Israeli culture, taste traditional foods, and see many historical spots.

While in Israel, Tami gave her students an assignment. A blog was created for parents and the rest of the school to keep track of what was going on with the sixth graders on their travels. They were each assigned two days that they would be responsible for taking pictures and documenting their experiences. As Tami prepared her students to complete this task, she was surprised to find that most of them had never read a blog and had many misconceptions as to what they should include. After a short workshop where Tami taught her students how to blog they truly became old pros. Here are a handful of posts written by her sixth graders, proving that a blog is a great way to inspire others interested in travel:

We landed at about 1:30 pm. We quickly went through customs and “after flight” security. We met up with our Israeli friends at a ramp. They held up signs and called our names. Hugs were passed around as we walked down to the bus. The 15 minute bus ride was pleasant. Our rented Israeli phones were passed out by our teachers. When we got to the school we got to meet some of our Israeli partners’ friends. All of the girls headed over to my host’s house to hang out, including some of her friends. We had an amazing time. After about an hour at my host’s house her friends walked home and the delegation walked back to school. After we all met up we walked down to a local Israeli restaurant. We enjoyed falafel and fresh chicken. After that we all went home. A few of us were restless so we went down the road to the beach, we had an excellent time. So far, Israel is amazing.
Written by a 6th grade student

On Tuesday we all went to the school and their principle gave us a tour of the school. After the tour we had recess and all of the boys played soccer. After recess we learned about the Israeli flag with the first graders. When school ended, all the boys swent to Jaffa and we played tag in a big area of grass. We then went to a walkway with a 2 foot wall above the ocean. The waves kept crashing against the wall and water would spray on us. At one point, a giant wave came and all of us ran back other then two boys  who ducked behind the wall thinking that the water would miss them. A giant explosion of water flew over the wall and missed the other boys. When the water came crashing down it soaked the two boys to the bone. Luckily it was warm out so they dried soon. After that, we went to the car and all went home.
Written by a 6th grade student

Wednesday was a very fun day, we did so many things. To start off we went to the Herodian Tunnel. The Herodian Tunnel was where we walked in a long tunnel built by the ancient Israelis. This tunnel was used to route the water into Israel. When we walked in the tunnel there was a lot of water. At the very beginning of the tunnel there was so much water it almost reached some of our waists! Near the middle the water wasn’t so high, it was about the same height as our knees. It was so much fun! One of the boys started this creepy booing sound that scared the girls. All of us had a great time and it was so fun!
The next activity we went to was the kotel. The kotel was amazing. It is a huge wall that many people were at. When we got there we split up and had a meeting point. The girls have their section, which isn’t very big, and the boys have their section which was very big. We took our notes and all the other students from our school’s notes and put them in the wall. We made our own private prayers at the wall and met back at the meeting place then had lunch.
After the kotel we did a really awesome activity. We rode a camel! The camel was so cool, it was huge! It’s legs were so complicated. There were knees that were in the back of his leg, and when he sat down it was really weird. The owner made a really weird noise like “chchchchch” it sounded as though he was clearing his throat. That was how he made the camel sit. I was the first to go! I swung my leg over it like a horse and seated myself. Then, it was a rocket. I shot up and I screamed. We went around on the ground and and got back to the place I got on. The ride felt really weird, every step the camel took you rocked forward and felt like you were going to fall off. When we got back “chchchchch” then the camel sat down and I got off. After me everyone else got a chance to ride. It was so amazing everyone loved it.
We then went to our hostel which is like a little hotel. After we checked in we went to the kotel again and got letters from our parents. Everything was so amazing and so fun. I give a very big thanks to our tour guide and to our security guard. I also give a great thanks to our bus driver / DJ, “Be Cool”.
Written by a 6th grade student
Today was a day full of adventure and sadness. Our day started out when we went on a tour around the 5,000 year old seaport, Jaffa, and the oldest neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Neve Tzedek. As we were getting on our minibus to depart for Jaffa, we were surprised by hearing that six fifth graders were coming along with us. We were each assigned one of them as a partner and we all had a good time. In Jaffa, we bought Talitot and Kippot for our Bat/Bar Mitvahs! When we returned to the school, we went to our Israeli partners houses and got ready for a Yom Hazikaron Memorial Ceremony at their school. The students at the school led the ceremony and it was beautiful. When the siren sounded, everyone automatically stood up, looked at the ground, didn’t move, and were silent for the whole minute. It was an amazing experience, and even though we didn’t understand most of the ceremony because it was in Hebrew, we felt the sadness and we felt sympathy for those who have lost anyone from a loved one to a friend who passed away fighting for their country or even just from being hurt by other people.
Written by a 6th grade student

Today was filled to the rim with a mixture of emotions. The day began with a movie about terrorism and the Israeli army rescuing a bunch of Jews. The whole movie was based on a real event that happened in 1976. After the movie, we went back to our Israeli friend’s houses and got ready for Independence Day. All of us got huge cans of shaving cream and prepared for our shaving cream “battle”. After we were soaked and all sticky, we ended our battle and headed to Kikar Rabin, the town square, to hang out, run around, watch performances, see amazing firework shows, and to just have a good time that would provide wonderful memories that we would never forget.
Written by a 6th grade student
Tami is so proud of her students for putting into words the amazing experiences and life changing adventures that they recently went through. We hope that you have enjoyed this small taste of Tami and her sixth grader’s blog through Israel, and that it will inspire you to visit these amazing sites. In your future travels, leave your journal and pen at home and join us in the 21st century … create your own blog of memories to inspire others as well.


Hooray for Earth Day! To get everyone in the spirit, our Craft Club hostess for this month’s meeting decided it would be fun to do a potting project and we loved the idea. As always, the girls did not disappoint; coming prepared with snacks, supplies, and fantastic inspiration. Here are a few of our Pinterest finds that helped get us started:

In keeping with the theme, the menu consisted of a fresh kale, pine nut, and Craisin salad, delicious vegan sandwiches, hummus and veggies, and a tasty guacamole dip. 
We are not surprised that the girls found ways to turn ordinary objects into beautifully decorated planters using materials such as; Mod Podge, ribbon, scrapbook paper, and even aluminum foil. 
These finished products will help to make each girl’s home beautiful and add a touch of greenery to their space.
Lauren’s little succulent plant (seen on our previous post: A 50th Birthday Party) had outgrown its tiny glass container. She decided to keep the shape the same and got a larger glass container, which she decorated with an aluminum foil and Mod Podge geometric pattern.  
Another Craft Club member also used Mod Podge to secure these fun scrapbook paper prints to her terracotta pots. She painted the top rims of her containers and tied them with beautiful ribbon, which coordinated nicely with the color scheme of her home. 
This ordinary mason jar was decorated with burlap, ribbon, and other fun details. It would make a nice vase for fresh flowers.  
To tie in with our planting theme, we thought it would be sweet to give the host a fresh bouquet of flowers to brighten her home (and let’s face it, what girl doesn’t like to get flowers?) We had a great time as always crafting, eating, and catching up with friends, and can’t wait for next month to do it all again. We hope we have inspired some of you to do your own Earth Day potting project and to keep crafting!



At least once a week we make it a point to cook dinner together. This is a way for us to spend time with each other while creating new meals to keep us (and Lauren’s husband) happy. While we feel like it is easy to continue perfecting our favorite recipes (like this or this), we love to try new things. In fact, one of our favorite things to do is to come up with a meal on the fly based on ingredients we have lying around the refrigerator.

For this delicious dinner, we decided to stop by our local Whole Foods and get some fresh brussels sprouts. They were a nice addition to the rest of the ingredients already found in the fridge. 
We roasted the brussels sprouts with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

Chicken breasts were marinated with whatever we had on hand: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. We added sliced grape tomatoes and fresh parsley that were leftover from previous meals and were sure to not last much longer. 

As Tami has been in Israel for the past two weeks, we have missed each other and these special times we get together to do even the most routine of things (like cooking dinner). We look forward to reuniting in a few days and Tami sharing the experiences of her trip over a nice home cooked meal that we will create Side by Side.


We were thrilled when the ladies from Arcadian Home blog contacted us about creating a guest blog, as we are always interested to see what inspires others. The post that they have provided shares a fresh look at Interior Design while visiting a classic color palette, and who doesn’t love black and white? So without further ado, we introduce to you our guest blogger for this month, Joanna of Arcadian Home blog.

Written by: Joanna
Hi, everyone! It’s Joanna from Arcadian Home blog, a fabulous place to find lots of interior design inspiration for lovely decorative accessories and a myriad of wonderful light fixtures from stunning chandeliers to sparkling Mini Pendant Lights. I’m so happy to be guest posting here at Side by Side Design.
Tami and Lauren have this great series going, called Get Inspired. Hoping to inspire your black and white design dreams, I’ve pulled together eight images of indoor spaces and outdoor rooms dressed up in this crisp color palette. Enjoy!
Black and white stripes help create exciting outdoor spaces and this canopied design is one of the best. It’s a comfortable solitary retreat and a wonderful place for entertaining.
This spacious foyer is beautiful with black and white flooring, tall tropical greenery and that Modern Pendant Light, an updated take on the ever popular hanging lantern.
This feminine dining room with dainty botanical wallpaper and striped rug is picture perfect dressed in black and white.
Dining rooms around the globe have been made more beautiful with the addition of French bistro chairs, but I believe this black and white design just might be the prettiest one I’ve seen. The contemporary rectangular chandelier is a lovely light choice for this space.
From Ralph Lauren, this home office is black and white perfection. Pure white ceiling and woodwork is quite stunning with matte black walls. Deep eggplant velvet on the armchair seat is a delightful touch.
Could any black and white space be more appealing than this waterside deck? Crisp white chaise cushions with black piping, black and white toss pillows and striped throws—a simply perfect place for lounging.
A dark wall provides a beautiful backdrop for this white dining table and chairs. Over-sized Modern Pendant Lights with drum shades in white with black trim look beautiful above the table.
And lastly, a black and white living room complete with ornate fireplace is brought outdoors. It looks comfortable and quite amazing! 
What do you think of these inspiring spaces? Leave us your comments below and come by our website for more Home Decor, lighting and interior inspiration! 
Readers, if any of you would like to be our next guest blogger, we would love to include your projects or inspiration in our blog. You can contact us by posting a comment below or emailing us at