Written by: Lauren

Today you are all in for a treat … We are “hosting” a new series on our blog (consider this the trial run) filled with tips and tricks for hosting in your home. We tend to think that there are two types of extremes. The person who hates to host and gets scared at even the thought and the person who loves to do it, invites people over all the time, and feels truly complete when guests are over. You (like us) are probably somewhere in the middle. We happen to love to host. This sometimes comes with a little bit of a nervous feeling but nothing that we can’t get over. When we coordinate an event for a client, we go about it in a slightly different way than when entertaining in our own homes. The content of these “Hosting at Home” blog posts is meant to inspire each of you to throw an impromptu BBQ, to pull out dishes you haven’t used in a while, and to find that random accessory that helps create your table for your next meal. None of this is sponsored … It’s from the heart and straight to you from our very own homes. Enjoy!

As you all know, I recently renovated and moved into a new house. A certain friend of mine had been asking to see the house since even before we purchased it, but had still not been able to make their way over. After telling her and her family that they did not need an invitation more times than I could count, I finally decided to make the invitation official. I asked another family of mutual friends to come over as well and turned it into a “party”. That is how this whole Healthy Mex meal plan got started, but really it was just an excuse to get together with good friends. With only a few days left to prepare I made sure to gather all of the ingredients I needed, asked each guest to bring something small to share, and got to cooking. As my guests arrived, I gave them a tour of my new home and treated them to an appetizer of chips, salsas, and homemade guacamole. Here’s a tip … Try to have a little of something for everybody (i.e. mild, medium, and hot varieties for the various taste buds in your group and even something for the kids to nosh on too). 

One of my guests brought all of the ingredients to make awesome “skinny margaritas”. Her recipe was so easy to make, refreshing, and will now be in the rotation for cocktails served in our home. Funny how I didn’t even mention that the theme was Mexican and she came up with margaritas all on her own, but if you are trying to stick to a strict theme, make sure to make that known to your guests. 

I decided to make easy yet healthy items for dinner that most people love. My menu consisted of: chicken fajitas, fish tacos, rice, beans, salad, and all the fixin’s. 

I knew I wanted to set up the dinner buffet style and that I wanted it to feel festive but this sort of organically evolved throughout my setting up process. Like I mentioned, it’s fun to pull out dishes you haven’t used in a while like these glass footed ones and use them in a whole new way. I love how my taco toppings looked when set up this way.

I also whipped up some quesadillas (a staple for kids). One of the moms commented on how she loves going to houses where they have similar aged kids as they understand how to include child friendly items in the menu.


Lastly, be creative! I like to pull items from around my house to make my set up look different each time. For example, I needed a place to display all of the ingredients for my tacos so I put them in this fun basket, and when I saw that cute cactus sitting in a window I knew I had to include it as well. 

When hosting in your home, do what feels most natural to you while trying to push yourself a little each time to think outside the box. Until next time … Happy hosting from Side by Side Design!


By taking one of the looks from our Get Inspired: June boards, we are providing our readers with further information for where to purchase similar items with a range of price points (from super affordable to fancy and one of a kind). 

Written by: Tami

As I mentioned, this month for me is all about getting back on that trail! I love to be out in nature and have prepared a list of items that when added to your home and event decor will make you feel that you are there too. I have also included a link for each item for your convenience in obtaining them. Enjoy!

Interior Items

1. KSP Basics Porcelain Utensil Holder / White – Kitchen Stuff Plus – on sale for $12.99

2. OXO 10-Piece Pop Container Set – Crate & Barrel – on sale for $99.99

3. Reclaimed Wood + Lacquer Buffet – West Elm – $1,399

4. Sunstruck 66 x 36 Oval Freestanding Bath with Bask Heated Surface and Fluted Shroud – Kohler – $4,333.45

5. Faux Fiddle-Leaf Fig Plant – Cost Plus World Market – $129.99

Event Items

1. Happy Hiker Fit or Flowy Hiking Tank – Etsy (ThisIsMyYearGear) – $18

2. Farmersville Classic Buffalo Tablecloth – Wayfair – on sale for $41.99

3. Organic Dinner Plate – West Elm – $72 for a set of 4

4. Brown Kraft Paper Roll / 15 Ft – Etsy (GiveItPretty) – $7.25

5. Ball Regular Mouth Pint 16 Oz Glass Mason Jars with Lids – Target – on sale for $7.82 for a set of 12

Whether on or off the trail, this June be one with nature! I know I will be out hiking but maybe you prefer the comfort of your own home. Either way … Have a great weekend from Side by Side Design!


Written by: Tami

It’s so rare that I get to write these interior posts, but this is one that I have been waiting to share for a while and I am extremely proud of the work that I did. Of course, it goes without saying that Lauren was with me every step of the way in designing my daughter Joie’s nursery which is mostly made up of my two favorite colors … black and white! It’s a little bit sweet and a little bit spunky just like my little girl’s personality and has an overall Los Angeles vibe as her parents were both Cali kids. I am also proud to announce that Joie turned three months this past weekend and moved into her own room (and out of ours). What a special time to finally share these finished photos and to tell about all of the carefully selected details we put into Joie’s nursery.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I agree! It also took a village to put together all of the pieces to this gorgeous room. Phil and I selected all of our favorites and put them on myregistry.com with the hope that our friends and family would contribute to making this room beautiful. We cannot thank so many of them enough for all of the fabulous gifts! The first thing I picked out when designing this room was the Sloan Acrylic Crib from Pottery Barn Kids. I am completely obsessed with its simplicity yet it has unique flair. If you know me well, you know I always want to do something slightly untraditional and “different”. These “Joie” letters were purchased on Etsy and hand painted gold foil by yours truly. 

Other details we added to finish off Joie’s beautiful bed were a black and white blanket and tassel bedskirt (also from Pottery Barn Kids), a little pop of pink X’s and O’s on her sheets (from Crate & Kids), and an adorable stuffed swan. We can watch our sweet girl while she sleeps from the comfort of our room from our Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor. What a dream!

Joie will love playing with all of her fun stuffed animals (including this flamingo from her mom’s “Let’s Flamingle” Baby Shower), but the real stand out detail in this room are these hand painted palm trees … Bet you can’t guess who’s work this is! Angel, of course. Our faux painter is seriously so talented!

I couldn’t resist sharing this picture as well … So many gorgeous shots of this space!

This bookcase is completely custom and was made with love by Joie’s “Saba” (grandpa). I know you have heard us mention his work before. I selected brass hardware to give it a very special and modern look. I love how it turned out! 

This bookcase was designed to house toys and other keepsakes (not just books), and I love that it has the option of showcasing items while keeping others behind closed doors. Some of our favorites are the metallic train that Joie’s cousins love to play with when they come over and all of her classic books … Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar just to name a few!

Those Newborn Photos we took with Erica Leigh Photography came in handy when filling the many gold frames around Joie’s room. I love this family photo most! I am also completely obsessed with this lamp and lamp shade combo. We color blocked it just right adding in one more soft pop of blush into this space. 

Adding this rug to the room changed everything! I love me a geometric, black and white pattern!

A rocking chair in a nursery is a must, and this one is extremely cozy as I rock my little girl to sleep each night. Besides her longer than long lashes and dark brown hair, one thing I was excited to pass on to my sweet Joie was this framed and signed drawing of The Little Mermaid by talented Disney artist, Glen Keane. 

Each item on these floating shelves was hand selected to give the room more LA inspired flair. I specifically love this Jellycat flamingo!


Although it is mostly unused right now, I know we will be very happy to have a bathroom attached to Joie’s room real soon. As these two rooms are connected, it was very important to us to add in a few details that coordinated nicely with her bedroom.

I found the perfect white and gold shower curtain at Target, filled this beautiful basket (which Joie’s grandma brought to the hospital when she was born) with washcloths, put up a keepsake from my baby shower wishing my baby to “stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet in the middle”, and found a place to hang her Aden and Anais hooded towel. 

Joie’s Saba made not one, but two gorgeous pieces of furniture for her to continue to use as she grows up. This custom dresser houses all of Joie’s clothes and signature headbands and has the perfect drawer right in the middle for diapers and wipes. 

Phil and I had a hard time selecting just four photos from all of our favorites from our family photo shoot, but we love how they look in their floating gold frames. 

Another black and white detail was added to Joie’s dresser to turn it into a changing table. I completed this space with a white wicker basket filled with many necessities and my favorite touch … Two acrylic and gold dispensers from Target filled with hand sanitizer and lotion. What else do a mom and dad need when changing a diaper?


Here’s one last shot of this gorgeously designed space! Even though it was designed before she was born, it fits our Joie’s personality perfectly! She has been such a blessing to us and to our home and three months later, we seriously cannot imagine our lives without her in it! Thank you again to all of our family and friends for all of the love, support, and items you have gifted to this beautiful room … and to Lauren. I would never design a space without your expertise! Sweet dreams baby Joie … Enjoy your finished LA inspired room! 

Are you looking to design a nursery or kid’s room of your own? Contact us at info@sbsdesignla.com to get started with your free consultation. 

I did also want to mention that this post was not sponsored in any way. I love all of the items selected for Joie’s room and wanted to let you know where they were all from in case you are looking to use any of these products in your own home.


We are so excited to once again share our monthly inspiration with all of you! Each month, we look forward to getting the chance to sit down and really think about what’s inspiring us, make predictions for the month ahead, and reflect on the past month. As usual, we have each selected a photo that represents our overall inspiration and have paired it with two interior shots and two events that coordinate with its color scheme and overall concept. In addition, we have provided you with our designer tips to keep you on trend for the month ahead. 

Tami’s inspired: For me, this month is all about getting back on the trail (literally and figuratively). Summer is upon us, so naturally I want to get my summer body a bit in check while staying realistic (I did have a baby three months ago after all). I will push through my nerves in order to join a bunch of new moms on my favorite hike and look forward to meeting others in the same place as me in my upcoming Mommy and Me class. Can’t wait for this all to begin! 

What’s my designer tip this month? Be inspired by nature! Bring the outdoors in by using natural materials in your home. A wood paneled wall is the perfect backdrop for your bathtub, and I am sure many organic ingredients are used in the meals prepared in this adorable kitchen. Set up a picnic-esque dinner in your outdoor area with fresh summer florals. Don’t forget to recycle! These gifts are wrapped with love and can be created with spare grocery bags and a bit of black paint. 

Lauren’s inspired: What’s inspiring me this month? This girl! My sweet Ava is graduating from preschool in just one short week and turns five at the end of the month. People are always saying “the days go by slow but the years go by fast” … I don’t know about this, but it seems to all be going fast these days. As proud as I am to watch her grow, I am also a bit nostalgic this month. I want to hold on to my baby as long as I possibly can. I have a lot to do to prepare for her upcoming birthday party, graduation, and everything else we have going on and hope that this month doesn’t just fly by. 

What’s my designer tip this month? Let them be little! You know that look in a kid’s eye when they see bubbles in the sky? Give them that feeling of excitement in something they can enjoy every day like a chair swing in the middle of their room. Fresh pink walls with bright orange headboards sure do look happy and so does this huge watercolor bouquet of balloons. It may not be everyday that you get to eat perfect French macaroons decorated like sprinkled donuts and tangerines, but when you do savor each and every bite. 

Here at Side by Side Design, we look forward to an exciting month full of well planned out blog posts (Check us out each week on Wednesdays and Fridays!). We plan to showcase some really awesome interiors, a fun themed 5th birthday party, a celebration of all the fathers in our lives, and more! Don’t forget to check out our next Get Inspired post on July 6th for all new looks and inspiration!