Being a new mom comes with a lot of beautiful little moments—eye-opening firsts, heart-warming bedtimes, and many, many snuggles. It also means there are more than a few days when just getting out of the house feels like a foreign experience and a serious luxury. Sarah Sherman Samuel, the L.A. blogger behind Smitten Studio, knows a thing or two about beautifying a busy life. So we asked the wife, mother, creative director, designer, and consummate picnic hostess to share her essentials for a low-key Saturday afternoon with the fam, and her simple instructions do not disappoint.
Lonny: Tell us about your home.
Sarah Sherman Samuel: We live in a small two-bedroom bungalow in Los Angeles that we recently renovated from top to bottom—adding rooms, tearing down walls, gutting and expanding the kitchen. When we first moved in everything was cramped and yellow. The floors were yellowed oak, the walls and ceilings where yellow, and even the exterior was painted yellow. It has taken us over a year but we are slowly making the space our own.
L: How would you describe your home decor style?
SSS: It's bright and modern, relaxed but edited, and always has a mix of vintage and new pieces. I like natural materials, mixing patterns and textures, and introducing just a touch of glam here or there with gold and copper accents. One of my new favorite pieces is this leather Acapulco chair from The Citizenry because it brings all those design elements together.
My icons are Kelly Wearstler and Dorothy Draper. Not because their styles are similar to mine—they're not—but because they do the maximal look SO well, it is impossible not to be inspired by their work. And of course, modern masters like Charles and Ray Eames.
L: What's your favorite area of your home?
SSS: My favorite space ended up being the nook with the hanging chair. It faces the large windows at the front of the house and I love rocking my five-month-old son Archer there before a nap. He settles into the swing with me and we have a quiet moment sitting and looking out the window.
L: Tell us about your perfect Saturday afternoon at home. What are you doing? Who are you with? Wearing? Eating/drinking? Reading? Listening to?
SSS: An ideal Saturday is spent hanging out in my pjs and robe, at least until midday. Currently I'm loving loungewear from Lunya. It’s perfect for just relaxing and spending downtime around the house with Archer and my husband, Rupert. Our favorite thing to do is pack a picnic and either take it to the park or just enjoy it in our backyard. With a new baby, full days can pass before I realize I haven't left the house. But I always try to spend at least some time outside, either in the backyard or on long walks around the neighborhood.
L: What are your essentials for a picnic lunch?
SSS: All I need are these 5 B's: blanket, basket, cheese board, backyard, and little buddy. Ok, the husband is nice to have too.
L Any favorite picnic recipes?
SSS: My favorite thing to include is a fully stocked cheese board. Picnics are the perfect excuse to slow down and linger over lunch, and a cheese board is meant to be nibbled and grazed on over time. I’m sharing how to make a perfectly balanced board over on Smitten Studio.
L: Any other tips for taking a more thoughtful approach to the everyday?
SSS: As a new mother, seeing everything for the first time through a baby’s eyes almost forces you to be more thoughtful and appreciate even the most mundane parts of your day. Although, it also seems to accelerate time even more than usual, so I’ve been finding it important to slow things down and make time for simple pleasures. I try to take that picnic with my husband (instead of eating standing up in the kitchen before rushing off to the next task), make lunch dates with friends, or relish in an extra long bedtime routine with my little guy.
Want to live a little more beautifully, like Sarah? You can elevate your everyday with $500 for chic and cozy essentials from The Citizenry and Lunya. Enter to win a $250 gift card to each right here.