Join design editor Ariane Moore for Hunker Down as she gets to know the creators and designers she's followed for ages.
On the off chance that you've missed out on one of the best design blogs of the past 12 years, we'll clue you in: Meet Victoria Smith, aka the brains behind SF Girl by Bay. Multitalented to say the least, in addition to running her blog, Smith's also a photographer, photo stylist, shop owner, author of See San Francisco: Through the Lens of SFGirlbyBay, and one of the original pinfluencers who helped launch Pinterest.
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While Smith actually moved to Los Angeles in 2015, that hasn't changed her game one bit and we've followed all of her adventures closely. After all, it's pretty easy to fall down a rabbit hole for hours at a time just perusing Smith's gorgeous content which inspires the design masses daily. Always wanting to know more, we recently hunkered down with Smith and her sweet dog Lucy to get a glimpse at what life is really like inside their beautiful Echo Park home.
Hunker: How would you describe your home's style?
Victoria: Pretty eclectic. I like an unexpected mix of vintage and new pieces.
Hunker: Which room in your house is your favorite and why?
Victoria: My living room because it's really calming with wonderful, bright light and a view of the Elysian Park hills.
Hunker: Describe a typical Saturday morning at home.
Victoria: First up is usually an iced coffee I make with Nutpods [non-dairy creamer] — which I'm addicted to the hazelnut flavor — and this Grass Fed Coffee I love. And then I tend to eat a light breakfast outside — usually poached eggs. I love gardening and usually do a bit of that every weekend. If I didn't blog I'd like to be a landscaper. It's so calming.
Hunker: What is the last thing you splurged on for your home and where did you get it?
Victoria: I bought a vintage steel and glass display case from Chairish for my office. It's just beautiful!
Hunker: Is there anything in your home that looks expensive, but was really a bargain find or a DIY project?
Victoria: My floor-to-ceiling bookcase really adds dimension and style to a pretty basic living room floor plan, but I had a handyman build it and it wasn't very expensive in comparison to how much it adds to the room.
Hunker: Do you have anything in your home that has been handed down? Would you mind sharing the story behind it?
Victoria: My mother gave me her antique French farm table. We shared a lot of family meals at that table but she wanted a larger table, so she gave it to me and I had a piece of Caesarstone cut to fit the top of it (to match my kitchen countertops). And now it's my kitchen island, where I love to cook.
Hunker: What book is on your nightstand and/or coffee table right now? What show are you currently binge-watching?
Victoria: I am currently reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat and learning all her amazing cooking techniques. And I'm binge-watching The Romanoffs — a new show from Mad Men's Matthew Weiner.
Hunker: Where do you go for inspiration? Do you have any favorite stores, brands, designers, apps, websites, or magazines?
Victoria: I love shopping at the flea markets in France for my shop Super Marché — just being in Europe inspires me — it's much slower and everywhere you look is charm overload. I love MilK Magazine [and] the app 5 Every Day because it gives you five unusual things to do in L.A. that you might never know about.
Hunker: What are some design dos and don'ts that you live by?
Victoria: I don't really rely on too many rules — my look is much more eclectic with a lot of unique vintage pieces. I don't like a lot of 'cookie cutter catalog' looks, and honestly I am [a] bit over the whole pastel, cactus, leather look. It's just been overdone and a bit predictable for me.
Hunker: What are your must-haves when entertaining guests?
Victoria: Definitely candlelight. Everyone looks nice lit by candles. I always have a light appetizer ready while I'm cooking for guests. And since I live in L.A. and it's usually warm out, we eat alfresco in my outdoor dining space.
Hunker: If you were strapped for cash, what is one home decor item that you would still splurge on?
Victoria: Probably a Serge Mouille lighting fixture. I've been obsessed with them forever, but they're pricey!
Hunker: The holidays are coming up. Do you have any special family traditions?
Victoria: This is going to be a challenging year for [the] holidays. My mother passed away in June, and my father passed away many years ago, so my brother and I are on our own. I'll probably visit him and his wife and two daughters in Scottsdale for Christmas. And Thanksgiving this year is a potluck at my best friend's house with lots of other stragglers and orphans.
Ariane Moore is Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers architecture, design, home decor, and trends for Hunker. She has a B.S. in Interior Architecture and Design and previously worked as an interior designer at award-winning firms in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles.