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California Boho in 5 Steps

California Boho is a fairly new phrase, applied to some very classic aesthetics.You might ask, what does this word pairing really mean? How does one california-ize their boho?   Of course the concept of bohemia has never been far in people’s minds from California. The ideologies of both words conjure other words- surf, sand, salt-soft. Waves in the ocean, waves in your hair. Waves in the patterns of your textiles. Still, this is not your standard Haight/Ashbury fan fare. We’re talking sleek lines. Were talking sophisticated neutrals dusted with specific, sparkling odes to boho; ethic patterns, layered textures, organic materials, nature inspired pieces. Regular old hippie dippie  style can exist anywhere. The key to California Boho is modernization. Heres how to get to the land of chic: Steer with great restraint away from over doing it with the boho part, take a slight left at minimalism, and straight on till morning through mid century modern.

 

1.A Vibrant, Tribal inspired Rug
A rug is a great first step. You can choose one to compliment the furniture you already have, or if you’re starting from scratch, you can choose whatever you want and design the rest of the room around the rug. Flat weaves are great for  this look, and the Kilim is at the top of the list.

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Red Kilim RugBlack and White Rug, Multi Colored Diamond Rug

 

2.Mid Century Modern
Look for low profile neutrals to offset the bright colors and busy patterns of your boho pieces.

 

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Taylor Chair with Rush Seat, Avery Mini Buffet, Louis Sofa

 

3.Poufs, Pillows, and Boho Accents
Here’s the place to go crazy! Since you have kept it neutral with the larger items, the interchangeable accents can be some what of a free-for-all without compromising  sophistication. You are encouraged to layer patterns and textures, which will give dimension and  warmth.

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Poufs

4.Live Edge
Live edge furniture is a great way to introduce nature inspired themes into your decor, without turning your living room into a summer camp log cabin.  you can keep it simple with a small stump used as a stool or side table, or make a statement with a larger piece.

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Live Edge Bench
, Acacia Console, Live Edge Coffee Table

5.Unique, Antique or One of a Kind Pieces
This step is important for adding  character and authenticity to your space.


unique finds

 

Tile Inlay Cabinet, Blue Trunk, Drum Coffee Table-Out of stock

Other Ideas

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Silver Lantern,Ganesh,   Brass Singing Bowls, Marble Bowls

Spring Cleaning

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You’re ready for spring, I’m ready for spring, the poor, shivering earth is ready for spring. But what about your home? Clearing out the cob webs of winter, especially this winter, may seem overwhelming. Fear not.Choose one task at a time to focus on, and the familiar, joyful, catharsis of spring cleaning will take over. Before you know it your chores will feel more like spiritual cleansing than work. So lets get  it together.Here is what we’re going to do.

 

Outside

1.Repair Walkway
If you have a walkway or driveway leading up to your door, its probably kind of a mess from the ice, snow, and sand. Get to work patching up the cracks or loose bricks. This is also a good reason to go outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

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2.De-Weed
While you’re out there, get out the pruners and  start trimming dead and overgrown branches and shrubs. Pull out weeds, and cover up patchy, weird looking areas with  mulch. If you feel like it, you might as well plant some flowers too.

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3.Spruce up your front door.
If your door is faded, paint or stain it in a vibrant new hue.Polish doorknobs and knockers.Surround your door with hanging or potted plants and buy a new welcome mat.

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Inside

1.Store away Winter Linens. 
You will (fingers crossed) not be needing quilts or heavy blankets much longer. This is an easy first step in the process of getting your home ready for spring. Insects and moths are attracted to body oils, so make sure you wash your winter linens before storing them. Store them in boxes under beds or in vacuum-sealed or zippered bags. You can add sachets of lavender or cedar to keep your linens smelling fresh until you are ready to use them again.

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2.Deep Clean Fibers
Flip or rotate your mattress.Wash curtains and pillows to reduce dust mites and allergins. Shampoo or steam clean carpets and air out rugs on a clothes line.

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3. Buy or unpack Lighter Linens
Now is a good time to change bedding,towels and table cloths, and try out new patterns and colors.You can change the mood, energy and style of a space with textiles alone.

4. Experiment with Color
It can also be fun to fill your space with  colors that remind you of nature, like this green grass carpet, or teak armiore which is perfect for storing all your fresh, spring linens.

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HandKnotted wool carpetWooden Cabinet

Don’t these remind you of a Monet painting?  If you do this right, you should feel inspired to picnic in your living room.

Blue is also found in nature.  Navy and Shibori print are trending this season.Blue and white is a classic combination, seen historically all over the world from China, to Greece.

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Sea Blue Trunk

Speaking of Greece, shades like Greek Blue and Cobalt are also big for 2015.

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Wooden Cabinet, wooden Chair

Another nature inspired route is live edge furniture, like the tables below made from our unique Live Edge collection, found in Thailand by our owner,Kevin McPherson.

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Rosewood Live Edge Dining Table,  Acacia Wood Live Edge Table

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Furniture: Coconut and Mango

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Mango Wood Bookcase, Mid Century Modern

Though there are many reasons for the recent popularity of mango and Palm wood, the most important reason is their sustainability as sources for building material. When it comes to products being “green”, “eco-friendly”, “sustainable”, and made from “responsibly sourced materials”, the lumber trade, and in particular the furniture industry, have been under a microscope. Mango and Coconut trees are a perfect solution to this problem, because they are already grown in high numbers to support the fruit trade, which is not going anywhere.

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Mango trees reach maturity within 15 to 20 years. At this time they stop bearing fruit and are designated to be cut down. In the past, these trees were used as fuel or left to rot. However, these days they are being used for construction, most commonly in the furniture industry.

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Mango wood works well for building framed items that are meant to endure weight, like chairs, because it is a densely grained hardwood with a strong structure. At the same time it is soft compared to other hardwoods, so it is easy to work with and does not require special tools, meaning production is less expensive. Mango wood also does not require much waxing or staining, because it has an unusual , “close knit” grain texture, and a natural pattern. When mango wood is stained or finished, it responds quite well to the processes because the natural patterning is enhanced.

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This wood  varies widely in color, and can range from deep browns, to pinks and even greens. This is due to fungus in the tree, which creates beautiful color patterns but does not harm or compromise the woods structure. However it is common for manufacturers to stain mango wood to resemble oak or teak wood. They can then produce furniture than looks like oak or teak but is less expensive, faster to grow, and sourced responsibly.

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 Above: Mango wood stained in “Vintage Oak” style.

 

Palm trees are one of the most widely used trees on the planet, with each part of the tree used to produce a variety of products. However like mango trees, coconut palm trees are initially intended to produce coconuts, not wood. There comes a point in the tree’s life where it grows too tall for nutrients to reach it’s canopy. Because of this, the tree produces less and less coconuts and it becomes non profitable to keep the tree alive. In addition to producing less, the trunks of the trees become more woody with age, which is bad for coconuts but good for lumber.

 

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In the past, coconut trees that were used for their wood were sold to local businesses that milled them into low-grade lumber. However craftsman and companies in search of sustainable materials (that were also luxurious) discovered that if the Palm wood is milled and finished properly and with more care, the wood is actually fine, with unique grain patterns and a rich, dark, brown color. Once it is cured or dried, palm wood is very hard, more so than many other common woods such as oak. It is commonly used to make flooring and siding.

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Palm wood is being called “ the new bamboo” because it is similar in many ways, but is greener . Palm wood has Forest Stewardship Council approval because it is a by-product of coconut production. Because of this it is harvested on plantations that already exist rather than requiring additional plantations. Unlike bamboo, it is not grown on land where nothing else is grown. Palm wood, palm leaves and coconut shell are also used to create decorative detailing and embellishment on furniture. coconut shell is commonly used for inlay, in place of more traditional materials like glass or bone.

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 Inlay Console TableInlay Cube Stool

 

 

Recipe From Our Kitchen

Mango Coconut Curry Chicken (serves 1-2)

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1. Marinate 2 Chicken breasts  in salt, lemon juice, and olive oil for a minimum of 30 minutes or a max of overnight.

2. Heat up about 1 Tsp. Canola oil in a pan. Keep on Med/High.

3.  Make a “Curry Slurry”. Mix together 4 Tbsp. curry powder and a small amount of water-just enough to make a paste in a bowl.

4. Fry Curry Slurry in the pan you heated up for approximately. 10 minutes.

5. Add 1/2 of a sliced, white onion to the Curry Slurry, and heat for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

6. Add in two thinly sliced chicken breasts.

7. When the chicken has some color but is not cooked all the way, add 1 thumb of finely sliced ginger, 1 diced red pepper, 1 head box choi minced and sliced.

8.Saute for 3 minutes, then turn down heat.

9.Stir in 1 can of coconut milk.

10. Top with diced mango and cilantro and serve over rice.

Feng Shui Decorating Steps for Beginners

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Feng Shui translates to “wind and water” which equals health, peace and prosperity in the Chinese philosophy. It is an ancient art form and science which is believed to balance both emotional and physical energy. The goal of Feng Shui within interior design is to balance the positive and negative energies within your space as well as within yourself. This will bring harmony of the senses, tranquility and well-being.

It is a common misconception that Feng Shui decorating means creating a completely “Zen” environment. Decorating with Feng Shui actually means that you are catering your decor to support the best energy for whatever activities are intended to occur in a specific room or area. Following basic Feng Shui principles will help you to achieve a desired energy.

Chi means energy. In order to have good energy or “Seng chi”, the energy needs to flow through the home freely without being blocked. If the energy is stagnant or blocked it is bad, or “Si& Sha Chi”.

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Feng Shui looks at a house as one, complete being. You may have some rooms that have great energy, but other rooms that are out of control, or just confused and stuck. Many people tend to ignore these disaster areas by shutting the door, or they purposefully put things in the messy room when they don’t know what else to do with it, in order to keep the nice rooms clean. These spaces are like when children are told to clean their rooms and instead of actually cleaning they just shove all their belongings under the bed or into a closet. From a Feng Shui perspective, the messy room being ignored is affecting the energy of the entire house, and therefore the energy of the good rooms.

Though the principles of Feng Shui are extensive and complex, there are simple ways beginners can approach living in a more Feng Shui environment. Start by identifying problem areas, and make a plan for your house. Figure out what needs to change, and define the steps necessary for those changes to happen. Then just be persistent.

6 Feng Shui Decorating Steps

Step 1.Clear Clutter

In order to create good chi, you first must get rid of the old energy.If an area of your home has stuck energy, an area of your life will eventually become stuck. Clean out your garage, reorganize your storage areas. You want the goal to always be free-flowing space.

Step 2. Good quality air and light

A clutter free space with tons of natural light and clean air is like the canvas on which you will paint your Feng Shui masterpiece. These basics are necessary and without them, Feng Shui will only go so far.Lighting can also be used to alter the mood of any space. Light is the strongest manifestation of energy and as humans it is our number one nutrient. The harmful effects of fluorescent lighting on human behavior and the deficiency of sunlight or “Malillumination” according to light researcher Dr. John Ott, are widely documented. Lack of quality light can decrease your overall health, ability to learn and effect your behavior. Try to have at least three separate sources of light in every room.

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Step 3. Define your Bagua

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The Bagua is the energy map of your space that determines which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life. Bagua translates to “8 areas” because in ancient times people deemed that there are 8 areas of  life that are important for well being and health. Each area of your home is connected to a specific area of your life. Therefore by changing your home you can change your life.

You can use the bagua as a guide to tell you everything from how to arrange furniture to how to choose colors.

There is the Classical or Traditional Feng Shui school Bagua, and there is the BTB Western school Bagua. It is best to not use both in the same home.

Step 4. Choose Colors

Every color fits into one of the 5 Feng Shui elements.

Fire-Passion and High Energy
Colors-Red, Orange, Purple, Pink, Strong Yellow
Fire is the strongest Feng Shui element in South Bagua of your home. It can also be used in Northeast and Southwest Feng Shui areas.

Earth–Nourishment and Stability
Colors- Light Yellow, Beige/taupe, Earthy/sandy colors
This element is needed to promote inner balance and health, as well as protection of relationships.

Water-Ease and Abundance
Colors-Blue, Black
Water is the ancient symbol for abundance and a Fung Shui cure for wealth. This element brings energy of freshness, purity, and calm.
The north, east and south east bagua areas benefit from a strong water element.

Wood-Vitality and Growth
Colors-Brown, Green
This element is healing and promotes vibrancy, strong growth, as well as abundance. Wood is the main element ion south and southeast Bagua areas.

Metal-Preciseness and Clarity
Colors Gray, White
Metal is the dominant Feng Shui element of west and northwest bagua areas, and the north bagua also benefits. This presence promotes calm, precise, light and focused energy.

Step 5. Choose items

Define specific items that will add to the  Chi of your home. Feng Shui holds to the belief that energy is improved when living things are present. An easy way to achieve this is by incorporating plants, bonsai trees, flowers, fish and of course pets. A fountain is a great way to add water, a symbol of abundance. Selecting natural materials such as wood, stone and metals is another way to stick to the organic nature of Feng Shui.

Some examples of classic Feng Shui items are:
Fountains, Mirrors, Lucky Bamboo as a health cure, Images or statues of Buddha for harmony and spiritual growth.

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Step 6.Positioning

Understand how and where to position your decorating items and furniture to create the best energy for the space. Focus on the big picture, but also be able to zoom in on each specific area.Match elements to your map, or Bagua. If you want to put a fountain in your home, which is a water element, you need to put it in the Bagua areas that benefit from water, such as North, East and Southeast areas of your home.

Fun Fact: Elephants are part of Feng Shui!

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The elephant is associated with Buddha and Ganesh, who is an Indian deity. The elephant symbolizes Power, wisdom, strength, protection of the home, fertility and good luck and because of this elephants are often used in Feng Shui. Here are some of the areas an elephant symbol can be useful in.

Protection– To prevent the loss of Chi from the home, place an elephant facing outward.

Bringing Good luck– Place an elephant facing inwards, to draw good luck and blessings into the home.

Love and Fidelity– Place a pair of elephants in the bedroom to promote love within a relationship.

Fertility-Place an elephant beside the bed, or one elephant on each side of the bed.

Mother and Child-Place a statue of a mother and baby elephant in your living area or children’s room to strengthen the bond with your children.

Work- Place an elephant near the front door to attract power and protect the office from bad energy.

Management– Place an elephant on your work desk facing out. This represents caution, poise and strong leadership.

Good thing we have so many elephants around here!

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Backyard Nirvana: Personalizing Your Outdoor Space

So, its officially time to be outside. What are you going to be doing while you’re out there? Gardening? Yoga? Hanging out with your dog? Hosting the most beautiful, ridiculous garden party of all time with perfect, vegan hors d’oeuvres, hanging lanterns and a live string quartet? How about lounging? I think it’s safe to say that everyones outdoor summer priority is relaxing in the sun, or the shade with a cold drink, a good book or just the pleasent buzzing of your own thoughts.

Where are all of these activities going to take place? Designing a personalized, outdoor haven is a really fun way to be creative while getting that Vitamin D. Whether you have a patio or front porch that just needs some sprucing up or you are looking to renovate your entire backyard, we have ideas for you. We’ve collected some inspiring outdoor displays and come up with our favorite pieces at Mohr & McPherson to fit each look.

Inspiration

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 It’s hard to go wrong with Mid Century Modern. When you blend these classic silhouettes with unexpected materials such as our patio chair below, the look becomes modern and edgy, while still rooted in classic appeal.

Our Version

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Iron Round Coffee Table, Patio Chair,Stone GaneshIron Tray Table


Inspiration

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This look conjurs thoughts of exotic birds, and you can almost hear them singing as you sip iced green tea. Teak wood is an excellent material for outdoor furniture because it has a high resistance to the elements but also has a sleek appearance. Add bursts of color and delicate, decorative detail to lighten up an arrangement of dark furniture.

Our Version 

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 lotus_frame

Teak Bench made from Camel CartMetal Basket LampIron and Teak Bench, Iron Chair, Lotus Plate, Folding Screen


Inspiration

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Everything Zen around here. This look promotes total tranquility, and a blissful escape from daily life. Key elements to include are Buddhas, lots of greenery, honey toned wood and twinkling lights.


Our Version

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Inspiration

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This look is based in simplicity. To add exotic or modern elements to a cottage vibe, look for geometric shapes in light colors like this amazing coffee table below. Blend statement pieces with rustic materials such as wicker and unfinished wood.

Our Version

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 wicker_lantern_frame

Dining ChairCoffee TableSteel & Glass Lantern, Antique Elm Door, Rattan 2 Seat Chair

Inspiration 

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If you get excited about lots of candles, lace, and delicate, shabby chic furniture, this romantic setting is for you. You can make this style Mohr & McPherson by adding eastern pieces, which can actually enhance the ethereal nature of this scene. Think delicate iron and whimsical shapes.

Our Version

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Dining Chair, Candle Stand, Iron DaybedIndian CarvingBanyan Vine Sculpture