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Elements Cover Image with Boat Photo and Sarahliz's Name


Hello again friends! As you can see, our SLD newsletter is back, new and improved! One of the talented designers in our office, Fatma, has given the layout a fresh set of eyes, and while it's still evolving, we're excited about the current updates.

On the interior design front, we have lots of exciting news to report this summer.  Our project in Montana is nearing completion, with custom bunk beds and a built-in media cabinet going into production this month, and furniture getting installed at the end of October.  The furniture for our San Mateo/Hillsborough project should be installed before end of year as well, with an exciting photoshoot to follow. We're gaining momentum on our mid-century remodel in the Saratoga Hills, we have (2) new projects in the Lake Tahoe area, and (2) new remodels in Los Gatos. We are talking to several different parties about potential restaurant design work both locally and across the Pacific, and I'm currently in discussion with my younger brother about the possibility of buying a boutique motel in a small mountain town in Northern California.  (That's right I said "motel.") And that's not even the half of it!  Stay tuned.

You may have noticed that we missed sending out our newsletter this past spring. Unfortunately, a perfect storm of heartbreaking events transpired that made writing a newsletter feel like a low priority. At the end of February my sweet mother passed away at the all-too-young age of 77 from complications related to her hard-fought battle with Lewy Body Disease. That same month I lost a dear friend from college, and a few weeks after that I lost another close friend whose home I designed in Palo Alto. Unlike my mom, neither of my friends had the privilege of knowing that their time on earth was coming to an end.

My friends were larger-than-life characters, always emanating love, cracking wise jokes, and caring for others before thinking of themselves. James was a national team Rugby player, former college football star, and father of 3 little girls. Colette was a former college teammate, career woman, and mother of 2 little boys. Each was a captain of fun and adventure in their own right. 

My mom on the other hand, was a gentle soul, an artist at heart, born and raised on the shores of Oahu just after WWII. She spent her childhood catching frogs, surfing, and taking caring of animals. One Sunday morning in early childhood she and her best friend built a rickety makeshift raft and decided to float all the way to the Mokalua Islands and back, paddling by hand. They were gone for over 8 hours and not a single parent came looking for them. My dad, a soft-spoken optimistic English major from Texas with Native American bloodlines, was the love of her life. They were married a few months shy of 50 years, and they lived in the same home for almost as long. I'm not sure why, but I didn't completely realize until my mom passed, just how much my mom WAS the air that my dad breathed.

Mokalua Islands, Oahu, 1981

In honor of my mom, my brothers and I took our families on a sailing adventure of our own last month. With kids in tow, we boarded my brother's gorgeous 108 ft. long schooner, designed and restored by the talented captain himself out of Rockland, Maine. (featured on the cover of Travel and Leisure Magazine last month.) We sailed for 4 days and 4 nights through wind, fog, rain, and sun.  We ate and drank, and played board games and Yahtzee.  We stared for hours at the water passing by. We visited a quaint village on a remote island in a torrential downpour, played chess in the bookstore while waiting out the storm, and gobbled up lobster purchased earlier that day from a passing lobster boat. I appreciated our togetherness every day, as did my 11-year-old who couldn't believe her good fortune when I actually played games with her ALL day long. The trip felt like a fitting tribute, and we were fortunate to be able to grieve together, in our own ways.

I started this newsletter primarily to share work-related updates with a growing network of individuals, clients, vendors, and friends interested in interior design and the evolution of my business in general. At the time, we had a lot of work that was nowhere near complete, and I thought it might be interesting to share elements of those projects at the early stages of design. It was also the beginning of the pandemic, and I thought writing some sort of letter might help connect us all a little more deeply. But there is another reason I started this newsletter.

While my mom's true essence never really left her until the end, her ability to formulate words and sentences left her long ago. For years before her death, I lost the ability to connect with her verbally. As I was going through cancer treatment and divorce and watching disease ravage her body, there was a lot I would have liked to have discussed with her.  I would have given anything for one last perspective, one last conversation, one last letter from her.

I write this newsletter as much for my two young girls as I do for you all. While they are not at all interested in reading it yet, perhaps one day it will make them smile. Perhaps one day they will discover some of the work I was so proud to be doing, and the business I was so proud to be running. Perhaps it will give them a new perspective on their mom, remind them of our adventures together, frame a few fleeting moments in time, and help them to better understand the context of their own childhood. Hopefully they'll also see it as my love letter to them and to life in general. It's not nearly enough, I realize, but in light of recent events, it feels like an appropriate start.   

Happy summer everyone, enjoy our Work In Progress and we will see you again in the fall.
xo SL

This month we share with you design developments for a small but luxurious home in the Silverado Resort community in Napa.  Our clients, Manhattan Beach residents by day, are building a home away from home in a style I would call "wine country modern." Architectural details include lightly whitewashed vertical cedar siding, dark bronze windows with large grids, vertically-paneled wood doors, and a zinc-colored roof.
Roman and Williams Nantucket Pendant

Ilve Stove in Blue from Italy

The home will be infused with warm details like wood ceilings, large beams, and unique accents like a blue Italian Ilve stove, Roman and Williams fabric pendants, fluted cabinetry, and herringbone floors. 

The tone will feel fresh but classy, textured but soft, neutral but rich.  We can't wait to share more photos as construction progresses.
Image Concept Board #1: cabinet, tile, wallpaper, faucet, lighting
Fluted cabinet fronts, floral wallpaper, textured marble tile and Waterworks faucets create a layered, timeless look

Rendering of Primary Bedroom
SketchUp rendering shows view to pool from Primary Bedroom with a combination of drapery panels, electronic shades, large beams, caned lounge chairs and a statement pendant above seating area

Concept Board #2 - Bedroom Imagery
Primary Bedroom concepts include iron bed with upholstered headboard, sculptural lighting, textured lamp shades, neutral but patterned rug, and tailored custom pillows set against the modern backdrop of vaulted ceilings and solid wood interior doors

Thank you for reading! See you next time.

Copyright © 2022, Sarahliz Lawson, Inc., All rights reserved.

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Sarahliz Lawson Design · 14573 Big Basin Way Ste B · Saratoga, CA 95070-6800 · USA

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