By Rachel Freeman

Before & After: Amber Interiors

If you don’t already know about fabulous Los Angeles designer Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors, you should. You probably pinned rooms she designed or saw one of her rugs or pillows from her Shoppe by Amber Interiors in a product roundup. Amber has a comfortable west coast style with an eastern influence in color and pattern. She reminds me a lot of Jamie Meares of Furbish Studio and i suwannee in Raleigh, North Carolina, which make sense because they are friends. Amber’s designs are bright and refreshing, and she is, no doubt, an up-and-coming designer to watch.

To give you a little taste of how she can transform a space, check out these before and afters:




You can read her blog post and see more photos of the project here.

Which designers are you loving these days?


City of Angels

Well, folks, I am living in Los Angeles, the City of Angels! The first ten days we were in Playa Del Rey, and my thoughts were, “This city is dirty and brown. I’m not so sure about this.” I came to learn that while living in North Carolina for six years I became a forest person instead of a beach person. Crazy! A Florida native (born and raised!), I never thought the ocean would lose its first place position to a bunch of trees, but, it happened, and I didn’t even realize it until the greenery was gone. (Insert music clip here: “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”) All in all, I love water (and clean air!) in all of its forms. I am a water sign after all.

We quickly realized LA beach living wasn’t for us, so we ventured to Los Feliz (north east LA in “the hills”) and quickly realized this hip neighborhood was for us! Trees. Trees. Trees! Griffith Park is practically in our backyard, which has miles of trails for running and biking. We found a perfect corner apartment, have a beautiful view of the mountains, and are within walking distance to shops and restaurants. We. Are. Blessed.

Our apartment is coming along. We started with the essentials: a bed and plants. We literally have more plants than furniture. Lemon and olive trees, a tomato plant, basil, a few air-filtering plants, and several succulents. Here are a few shots to share with you on the apartments progress:

LA is growing on me. I feel I am here for a reason, and I am loving how things are unfolding. The next big feat after finding a place to live is finding a place to work. I have a couple exciting things churning, and I will keep you updated!

What are your thoughts on the City of Angels? Love it or hate it? Any must-see places you know about?


4 Best iPhone Apps for Instagram

With Instagram’s limited filters, junior varsity photo editing functions, and square photo orientation, you need a little help when curating a design-savvy Instagram feed. Am I right?! I often use outside apps to edit my photos before posting them to Instagram. Here are the 4 Best iPhone Apps for Instagram. Do you use any of these? What others do you love?


1. Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch allows you to create a photo collage using multiple photos. There are many layout options, and you can upgrade to access even more layout and border options. The app also allows you to determine the space between the photos.

2. PicFlow

PicFlow is basically a slideshow of a selection of photos. The above slideshow is from my road-trip across the country. When used more creatively, you can use it to make short, stop-motion or time-lapse films. For instance, I used it with a boy I nannied to make a stop-motion Godzilla film.


3. Squaready

I often don’t want to crop my photo into a square (Instagram’s only option), because I’ll lose some of the image, so I use the Squaready App. It allows me to keep the horizontal or vertical photo orientation by creating white space around the image to stay within the square perimeters.


4. Studio Design

The Studio Design App is probably the most intricate and complex design app out there. It feels like there are no limits to what it can do. It’s Photoshop on your phone! You can create new designs and add layers of text, graphics, patterns, textures, and more, or you can remix an existing design, add your own photo, and edit as you see fit. It is free, but I doubt for much longer, so get it NOW!

Happy Instagramming!