I bear in mind once I obtained again to the U.S. after residing in Italy for seven years, and folks typically requested me “how my journey was.” I by no means found out easy methods to sum up seven years of my life in a fast, conversational approach, so, I normally simply ended up responding, “nice!”. Properly, scripting this weblog submit about my new guide, “Jungalow, Embellish Wild”, feels type of like that. I’ve been engaged on this guide for about three years, however in some methods, it looks like I’ve been engaged on it my complete life. And summing up the guide, or my emotions round it, in a number of quick paragraphs, gained’t be straightforward, however I’ll do my greatest.
Once I launched into the mission to create the “Jungalow” guide, I knew that coloration, sample, vegetation, and classic had been going to be an enormous a part of it. I imply, anybody who has seen any of my work might wager on that. However as I started to really write the guide, so many tales poured out of me–tales from my childhood rising up in Berkeley, my household, my relationship with coloration, my id, touring, residing in different international locations, my roots–and that’s once I realized that this guide was going to be a extra private guide. In so some ways, Jungalow is a mirrored image of who I’m, how I used to be raised, the locations I’ve been, and the individuals I’ve met alongside the best way. And, with the intention to inform the story of Jungalow, I’ve to additionally share tales myself, why I’m the best way that I’m — why I’m so captivated with vegetation and the place that keenness grew from, why I like patterns and the way I first realized to create them. It was in fascinated about the “why’s” that this guide got here to be.
The private tales are the glue that holds this guide collectively. However what I hope readers will even glean from this guide, is easy methods to faucet into your personal tales to create a house that lights you up and helps your goals. How one can pinpoint colours that transfer you so that you could be encompass your self with them. How one can practice your eye to seek out the sweetness within the little moments, in order that then you possibly can amplify them in your personal dwelling. How one can add life to your property — with vegetation, pure supplies, and by blurring the separation between the outside and indoors. How one can take a cue out of your roots and your travels to create a significant dwelling, one which helps you’re feeling extra related with who you’re and who you need to develop into.
Huge matters, I do know. And my intention was to do all of this whereas additionally transporting you into a visible wonderland filled with inspiration from inside the house and outdoors the house–and embrace suggestions, actions and concepts that can assist you get your inventive juices flowing and transfer you to select up a paintbrush, or get outdoors into nature and forage for coloration and sample inspiration.
Penning this guide has been a weak expertise. It’s exhausting to know lately how a lot of myself to place on the market, how a lot to maintain for myself, however it’s my deepest hope that in placing myself ‘on the market,’ my story will enable you join together with your story. That sharing how I see the world, and my “why’s” will enable you to look at your ‘why’s” and enable you to really feel empowered to create a house that you just love.
And now for the thanks’s…
And as with all initiatives, I didn’t do that alone. This imaginative and prescient was delivered to life with the assistance of so many extremely proficient individuals. I co-wrote this guide with my husband, Jason. Jason is such a transparent and deep thinker and has such a magical approach with, not simply phrases, but in addition ideas. Once I maintain the completed guide in my arms I’ll at all times take into consideration the lengthy nights we shared in our casita, after Ida went to sleep, discussing coloration principle and biophilic design. I’m so pleased with him and of us for the phrases on this guide.
The following shout-out is for Dabito, my expensive buddy and long-time collaborator who shot The New Bohemians books and in addition shot this guide. However saying “shot” the guide doesn’t actually do him justice as a result of working with Dabito, I don’t simply get an unimaginable photographer, however I additionally get to work with a world-class designer and stylist, and a trusted sounding board for all issues visible, and a buddy who I get to share tons and many laughs with.
Sara Rose, who leads Partnerships at Jungalow additionally wants a really particular shout-out. Moreover serving to to arrange, model and venture handle dozens of photoshoots for this, Sara was the primary to learn the chapters as they got here out and provides invaluable suggestions alongside the best way. To not point out coming it at crunch time, with a new child at dwelling, throughout a pandemic, to assist with issues just like the glossary when my eyes had been crossing and I really feel like I used to be shedding my thoughts. Thanks Sara <3
The assistance from the remainder of my crew at Jungalow was additionally invaluable (Piper! Kelly! Kiki! Kim!) helped to convey the guide to life with numerous hours serving to with photoshoots and packaging, and the newer members of the crew (Jasmine! Tara! Danielle! Natalie!) who stepped in to help with guide advertising and marketing and promotion and common help–all whereas carrying their common workloads, and taking up lots of my obligations within the enterprise once I wanted to step away to work on the guide. Thanks all a lot, I couldn’t have carried out this with out you.
To the oldsters at Abrams, my writer: Shawna, my editor, gave the guide a particular shine–and inspired me so as to add extra captions, dig into the textual content extra, tease out nice concepts (and edit out the not-so-great-ones), and the guide is so a lot better for it. Deb, the artwork director and Heesang, the designer on the guide introduced A VIBE to the guide design. I wished this guide to really feel each timeless and quirky, fashionable and playful, exuberant and clear, and one way or the other they managed to ship on all of my visions. Additionally, shout out to Gabby at Abrams PR for diving in to unfold the phrase in regards to the guide and serving to to make the launch each enjoyable and seamless.
The pic on the quilt was produced by my rug companions at Loloi Rugs, and it’s such an honor to have the ability to showcase our work on the quilt of the guide, and contained in the guide as nicely, and I’m so grateful for our partnership with Loloi.
My literary agent, Kate Woodrow, believed on this guide from the get-go and has been on this journey with me each step of the best way ensuring, not solely the result was lovely, however the course of too. Thanks, Kate! And to my licensing agent, Kim, who’s at all times there to help, irrespective of how tangentially associated the venture is to licensing (LOL) Thanks perpetually!
Sophia, Hayley, and Jessy from LaRue PR juggled an unimaginable quantity of labor on the lead as much as this launch — and assist to land some very dreamy press placements for this. For those who’ve been “seeing the guide all over the place” Sophia, Hayley, and Jessy are the magic-makers on that entrance.
To Bubbie and Popop, (AKA Ronnie and Charles (Chalos) Blakeney, I’ve to thank for nurturing my creativity, for taking us on journeys world wide once we had been youngsters, to creating me imagine in myself, and for being very a lot the guts of this guide — particularly the Magic In The Combine Chapter. And to my different dad and mom (my In-laws) Mary and Jim and Papa Denny and Brenda, thanks for the entire fixed help and all of the babysitting with out which this guide would have most likely come out in 2026. 😛 I like you guys.
To my pals who’ve posted in regards to the guide and shared the love in your blogs, IG’s and past, I like y’all and thanks a lot.
Lastly, I need to thanks – the Jungalow group, for exhibiting up for me. This guide is for you–it was solely together with your assist that I used to be in a position to persuade a significant writer that wild design has mass attraction, it was solely together with your assist that I’ve been in a position to develop Jungalow into the drive that it’s as we speak. I’m so grateful for you.
Photographs by Sara Toufali for Jungalow