Hi hi! Happy Monday. I am so excited to share that I’ve been working with the Jenni Kayne team to bring some inspiration and good vibes your way this week. Kicking things off today witha little Q&A, talking about how we’ve been adjusting to our stay-at-home lifestyle, keeping spirits bright, and how we’re maintaining normalcy around here! I hope you enjoy it…
And ps. get excited because there’s more goodness coming tomorrow. 😉 x
Where did your initial idea for Brunch on Chestnut come from? How has it evolved over the years?
Since I was young, I’ve lived for the empowering feeling that takes over when you’re inspired. It fuels me! I’ve always been a visual person and have had an enormous curiosity and enthusiasm for interiors, fashion, photography, and graphic design.
Growing up, I took over my mom’s magazine collection and would clip inspiring imagery and words and create these giant mood boards on my bedroom door. I was constantly redecorating and moving my room around. Graphic design and photography have always pulled at my heartstrings, too, which I think was the catalyst for my eventual shift to creating digitally.
I knew I wanted to end up in a creative field, but remember feeling torn between my interests, like I had to pick one career or the other. I was back and forth with going into fashion vs. interior design, and had a few online journals at certain points that focused on one subject or the other, trying to feel out which was my calling. That feeling of limitation eventually led blogs in my past to fizzle out.
After moving to San Francisco in 2010, I felt so inspired by my new lifestyle and decided to start fresh and create a space where all of my interests could coexist. It was such a pivotal point in my life; learning to navigate adulthood, taking on my first job as a stylist, decorating an apartment, and cultivating a new life with fresh eyes. There’s so much beauty to be explored in every corner of the human experience and I wanted to document my perspective and interests as they evolved.
(In case you’re wondering!) The name, Brunch on Chestnut (a favorite street in SF), was ideated to emulate a feel-good moment in everyday life–when you’re in your element, treating yourself to the things that light you up. My blog celebrates that sentiment, living each day and moment with intention.
After 5 years of consistency and growth, I ended up leaving my 9-5 job in 2016 to focus on BoC full-time. Since then, my focus has been direction over speed and honing in on my skill set. Like the beginning, my content is very much centered around anything and everything I am excited to make note of and share.
I’ve also been really lucky to have cultivated a community of the most lovely readers who have also helped my corner of the internet evolve. It feels more like a conversation rather than a personal project purely for me. Because of my readers, blogging feels so much more rewarding than ever before.
How would you describe your personal aesthetic?
Thoughtfully curated, effortless, comfortable yet elevated, Californian meets European.
I am hugely influenced by European architecture–charming and unique details that create an enchanting vibe. Nature is another major muse–I love love love plant life, fresh blooms, and greenery throughout our home. Timeless, neutral staples are the foundation for both my apartment and closet. I love to collect things that are visually striking… our space is filled with fun, unique shapes.
My style across the board is also refined–I seek and hold out for what feels special.
How did you approach the transition from on-the-go to stay-at-home? Any tips you care to share?
My transition was really a mental one and getting our home into a routine that uplifts. Our world has been turned upside down, and while I am staying informed, I’m trying to take things day by day and not let the news consume me. I’m focusing on the things I’m grateful for and what matters most to me: family, loved ones, and staying healthy and happy.
It’s essential that we cultivate moments of joy in the smallest details of daily life. I recently put together a hand wash station, which is fully equipped with Aesop ‘Resurrection’ hand soap, Jo Malone London hand lotion, a marble tray, and a new vintage crystal ring dish… creating experiences that feel like a little luxury are making a positive impact on me these days.
I actually wrote a blog post recently sharing some of my daily rituals and tips while working from home!
Walk us through your current home self-care routine. What are your must-dos for cultivating a sense of normalcy?
Self-care, to me, is about creating routines/rituals that charge your battery. Starting my day on a high note is key. My favorite kind of morning entails an early rise to read a few chapters in a book with coffee, taking our dog on a little walk, getting in a 20 minute (virtual pilates) workout, making breakfast, and then opening up my laptop for the day.
We’ve also been reimagining favorite activities in new ways to maintain normalcy in our life (while supporting our local businesses, too). My husband and I usually frequent wine country this time of year, so instead we’ve decided to buy a few nice bottles from our favorite wineries to enjoy on the weekends (I noted a handful of favorites on my wine journal in case you’re interested!). Flowers have been injecting a lot of happiness into our days, too (I’ve been ordering from Matilda’s Bloombox). And planning at-home brunches and date nights with takeout from some of our favorite restaurants.
I’ve been meal prepping more (and learning to preserve food in new ways), lighting candles regularly, listening to my playlists on Spotify, doing face masks, and pouring a nice glass of wine after work. Indulging in things that feel calming, therapeutic, and good for the soul.
Spending more time at home has us itching for a home refresh. What are the easiest ways to update our spaces during this time?
Plants and textiles are the easiest way to breathe new life into a space. I actually just added all new pillows on our couch and it feels like new! I am also obsessed with lamps and creating a warm, cozy ambiance… lighting is such an easy way to transform a vibe.
Where are you seeking inspiration?
I’m turning to music–it elevates the mood in any situation! Books–escapism has been such a treat. I’m immersing myself in home projects and refreshing a few areas around our apartment. I also just signed up for Masterclass and I’m looking forward to picking up new skills in cooking, wine, design, and writing throughout our time spent at home.
What’s your work from home uniform?
I usually gravitate to my favorite jeans/t-shirt. I always opt for casual/effortless during the weekdays. But lately (let’s be real.), cashmere joggers have been quite tempting!
What does living well mean to you? How has living well taken on new meaning over the past month?
Living well means being happy. I’m always striving to boost the mood and vibe and my blog ethos is centered around making daily rituals special. This is even more important right now.
I think this is such a great question for us to all ask ourselves! Think about how we all have these things that make us who we are/tick. This new staying-home era we’re all living through right now is really allowing us to dive deeper into what keeps us going and makes us happy. We should be doing more of whatever that is.
See the full interview here!