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kuoh

When did you start taking pictures?

I was the high-school year book photographer, but even in elementary school, I remember blinking my eyes real hard pretending to take pictures with my mind.

Why did you start being a photographer?

All my life, I've wanted to be an artist. I was always very visual, and I loved to draw and create. I got into photography because I loved the immediacy of it, and the ability to capture "reality" and freeze a moment in time and keep it forever.

What are your inspirations?

I find inspiration in every aspect of my life. Which sounds totally cliche. But I've always had a certain "wonder" of the world. At a cocktail party, you might find me in the corner starring at how a particular piece of architectural decor is joined and carved. I also love classical art. I especially love the dutch masters, the renaissance, art nouveau and Greek/Roman figurative works. Additionally, I was hugely inspired by Japanese manga growing up, and I use that aesthetic in framing compositions and story telling.

What do you like to photograph the most and why? people? places? rooms?

This is a tough question because I love each one for different reasons. Like, I could never say which of my children I love the most, because I love them equally for their own specialness. I love photographing people because I love capturing emotions, and because people are just naturally interesting. I love photographing well crafted objects because someone has created something beautiful and is technically demanding. And I love photographing antiques to preserve and share the lost memories that the piece contains. What's most entertaining to me, and I think is a common thread is "light." I just love how light and shadow can create mood and feelings and evoke emotions, and I love working with light - the various technical problems I get to solve.

What is challenging about working at Aldea?

Every client has their own unique challenges. I believe obstacles inspire creativity and innovation. With Aldea, we have to make the floor space work. Luckily, they have incredible staff of stylists who create beautiful settings, and it's up to the photography team to make them look natural and lived in and transform a showroom space into a bedroom or living room. We also have to shoot around their store hours, because it is a retail businesses, they can't really close the store to shoot. Which means very early mornings for the photography team.

What is the best parts of working with Aldea?

The best part is the people. I just love everyone there. Always fun and creative. I love understanding how a small business works and what challenges they go thru in growing and pivoting to meet market demands, and Johanna is an inspiration in how she has grown a thriving business that is fun and creative!

Nursery Catalog Shoot

Thomas Kuoh - Photographer

August 08, 2017 by Deric Carner

Baby and Home Murals

We are proud to have Scott Welsh on our floor as one of our design associates at Aldea Home + Baby. Not only a talented and skilled salesperson but an amazing designer. He designed the mural in the photo and we thought you might like to have a little peak into his inspiration and background.

Scott has been painting since the 5th grade, he began when he attended an art summer camp and learned that art was a way he learned he could define himself. He had an aunt who was an artist and she inspired him to follow his dream of pursuing the arts.

Scott's first mural work was at a kid's museum in a aquarium, he was inspired by that work and is excited to keep exploring murals.

When we asked Scott to work on this piece for us, one of the things that was a challenge was the time restraints that it presented. We are open 10 till 7 almost every day and it is challenging to work on a live floor when people are shopping around you. Scott said one of the best things about doing a "live" work are people's reactions to his work when they saw his progress.

We are working on the next mural for the store, this one will be in the window and will be a treehouse theme.

We are excited to offer this as an option to our new parents and see it as an exciting way to make your space uniquely your own. Create your own fantasy space or we can do it for you!

Please email us at johanna@aldeahome.com if you are interested in pricing.

Meet Scott Welsh, Muralist

July 27, 2017 by Deric Carner


We talked with San Francisco based founder, creative director, and painter Katherine Bragg about her whisical and popular greeting card company Pigeon Whole. Katherine holds a BFA in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design and MFA in Furniture Design from Savannah College of Art and Design.

What were your inspirations for designing your greeting cards? I love hashtags, puns, word play, silly sayings, and pop culture. I think animals are so expressive but they can't communicate the same way people do. I image if these animals could talk, my sentiments would be what they would say.

When did you start designing cards? I discovered I could paint in September of 2013. It took a year for me to try painting my second painting and another year before I did the third. After that I couldn't stop. Since then, I have completed over 50 paintings in the last year.

Is designing cards your primary job? Nope! I have a residential interior design practice in SF called Westwood and Main.

What is your favorite thing about designing greeting cards? I love the process of painting each design. I know I'm onto something good when I'm painting an idea and it makes me smirk or laugh as it's coming to life.

What is your least favorite thing about designing? I wish I was faster!

What is favorite design and why? ALL THE FEELS. It makes everyone smile.

Why these animals? Sometimes the animal is the inspiration for the card and the sentiment comes second or it's the other way around.

Why the abbreviations? I love hashtags and and trendy phrases which usually include abbreviations.

Creative Profile: Katherine Bragg, Pigeon Whole

June 23, 2017 by Deric Carner

San Francisco designer Cherry Lao sat down with us over coffee and answered a few questions about her Bitsybow clothing line. We are excited to be carrying her fun bibs and onesies.

Bitsbow Bib

What were your inspirations for creating the line?

Bitsybow was a passion project I started with the idea of cute and playful illustration. With my design background combined with my mother's experience making kids clothes, we decided to create Bitsybow. I get inspiration from my surrounding, things I do and places I visit. The first set of graphics was food related. I love food, so I created fun drawings of meatballs, egg and bacon.

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

The most rewarding aspect was seeing our customers excitement when buying Bitsybow for their little ones or as gifts for their friends little ones.

What is the most challenging aspect?

The most difficult aspect was the production. I am a perfectionist and have high expectations, so getting the product exactly the way I wanted is crucial. Despite the challenges I am happy and proud of what we created for our customers.

Why should a customer purchase your products?

Bitsybow was curated and crafted with lots of love and care. We wanted to share our cute and playful designs and spread the smile through comfortable outfits.

Bitsbow onsieBitsbow onsie

Bitsybow Baby Clothing

March 17, 2016 by Admin

We're Having a Baby

We are delighted to announce that Niños store will be merging with Aldea Home at 890 Valencia Street in September. We will focus on curating the best nursery products in the context of a well designed home. We will continue to offer inspiring home, spa and garden accessories. We want every part of your home to be designed with care and filled with love.

We sincerely thank you for the love and support you have shown us throughout the last ten years as we have grown and adapted. Your business means everything to us. As we embark on the new and exciting chapter in our lives, our name will officially change to Aldea Home + Baby.

We welcome your feedback, and hope you will be patient with us as we move things around and redecorate.

Thank you so much and hope to see you soon.

Regards,
Aldea Home + Baby

Aldea Home + Baby

Aldea Home and Baby Stores Merging

August 26, 2015 by admin admin


Creator of artisan rag dolls Jess Brown has recently collaborated with children’s book author Nina Gruener and Photographer Stephanie Rausser on the sweet and visually stunning book Lulu & Pip. Having previously collaborated on the beautiful Kiki & Coco in Paris, Brown, Gruener and Rausser reunite to tell the charming story about a doll and her girl, starring the Pip doll from Brown’s collection.

Jess Brown and Nina Gruener will be at the Aldea Home store for a book reading and signing.
Saturday May 24, 2014
11—4 PM Jess Brown Collection Trunk Show
2:30—4 PM Book reading and signing for Lulu & Pip
with Nina Gruener
Come by for a chance to see the Pip doll in person as well as view entirely new, unique dolls from Brown’s collection.

Jess Brown’s passion for making dolls came from a lifelong love for heirlooms and fine fabrics, leading her to create her first dolls for her daughter fifteen years ago. Brown’s unique and lovingly crafted dolls are all created out of the Jess Brown Design Studio in Petaluma where each doll is dyed, stitched and dressed by hand. Beginning with only a few dolls per month, Brown now makes and ships over 250 dolls per month from the studio. Her beautiful dolls are a modern take on the traditional rag doll, designed to be loved until they fall apart and are resewn, the ‘ultimate comfort doll made out of the ultimate decadent materials.’

Brown’s dolls are not only original in the rich materials she carefully chooses—the pattern of the dolls is also uniquely brilliant. The body of each doll is designed by Jess and reminiscent of an antique French rag doll, featuring long, skinny arms that make the dolls perfect for little girls to stroll with. Brown’s unmistakable signature is present on each doll through the star eyes, heart-shaped mouth and custom details.

The impeccable style of Brown’s dolls has garnered attention from major fashion houses including Bottega Veneta, which commissioned her to create life-sized versions of the dolls for their Fashion Week windows around the world. The simple, sophisticated style of the dolls has naturally progressed to Brown’s women’s clothing line, Jess Brown Pieces. The timeless, feminine pieces from this line are inspired by the classic and simple garments of the dolls along with vintage flea market finds, which are then updated and redesigned with a modern aesthetic.


Creative Profile: Jess Brown

May 19, 2014 by Aldea Home

Vanessa Gade’s striking collections are much more than timeless, breathtaking pieces. Her work is thoughtful and thought-provoking with a visual simplicity that opens up to layers of tactile and conceptual complexity the moment you interact with a piece. We love that each piece is created with equal parts precise craftsmanship and intellect, so that even a chain has a symbiotic relationship with its pendant, making an integral, kinetic whole.

Gade happened upon jewelry making by chance while studying to be a historian in college. Having come across the jewelry studio next door to the darkroom she was setting up, Gade began her education in jewelry while studying abroad at an art school in Florence. Upon returning to the States, she paid her dues at a unique artisan jewelry store in San Diego, working her way up to having her own case as the shop jeweler by the time she left.

Come into the Aldea Home store on Sunday, May 3 to view these sculptural pieces in person at the Vanessa Gade Trunk Show.



What made you change course from a life in academia to pursue jewelry making?

I had a hard time with spending my life in a field that was so esoteric, that only a handful of people would really grasp or enjoy. I was really struggling with this at the time and I was also very passionate about jewelry and loved it so much, and finally when I was twenty-five I made the decision that jewelry is what I love and I want to pursue it, and if I do that I want to respect my craft and be properly trained. So I came to the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and graduated through the jeweler program, then launched in September of 2007.

Has metal always been your first love as a medium to work with?
For me, metal is a really incredible medium to work with because a lot of people look at metal and think it’s a very static, structured medium, but you actually have this amazing ability to really craft it. It has a fluidity to it especially when you’re doing things like forging items or just by the direction I take my hammer in, I can move the metal in whichever direction I want to so I can create indents.

Your work has such striking geometry—how did you first get drawn to these shapes, and how do you balance the technical precision of your pieces with the intimate, personal aspects of jewelry?
I think I’ve always tended toward minimalist, modern aesthetics—my mom was a huge mid-century modern furniture fan, so I think growing up around that certainly had an influence. When I was first experimenting with jewelry, I had a whole series of different lines that had all sorts of different elements: some were very dainty and feminine, some were really large stones, so there was a whole wide range.

When I was sitting down to develop the collection that I was going to launch in 2007, I needed to find something that was really distinct. I wanted to work with the circle because it’s a personal symbolic shape that I think has resonance for a lot of people and I also wanted to do something that I hadn’t seen done before. How many reinventions of the circle can you try to come up with that haven’t been seen before? And actually what happened was I used to wear a whole big stack of bangles, so I had my bangles sitting on my bench and I happened to draw a string of chain across my stack of bangles and that was the ‘Aha’ moment, and the ‘Inner Circle #101’ was born that day. I wanted to do something that didn’t compromise the simplicity and form of the shape, but was really striking and unique, so in this way, the chain becomes the design rather than just a carrier for the pendant. The function becomes the form. The whole thing’s kinetic, it’s an integral piece.

It’s really precise for all its fluidity—every shape and hole is deliberate.
Sometimes people ask me ‘Oh, can you move the holes out a little wider,’ or ‘Can I just put the chain in any way,’ and I always think that the most beautiful works of simplicity are the ones where you don’t realize how much goes into them. Each one of these pieces has many iterations and when I finally have one in 3D, it might not hang right. And the challenge is that even when the whole pendant is abstract and asymmetric, the whole thing hangs completely in line. If I move them slightly one way or the other, it would interfere with the way it’s balanced.

When did you first get drawn to architecture, minimalism and geometry?
I guess when I started taking photography in high school. All of my first photographs, even when I was fifteen, I would usually just love anything that was super high contrast. That’s why I love black and white—I love developing in black and white. At certain times of day like late afternoon or early morning, the light has that really crisp quality and things cast these really cool, sharp shadows.

What are your three most treasured pieces of jewelry?
That would have to be a necklace that my dad gave my mom on one of their wedding anniversaries and her wedding ring, a string of pearls that Zach (my partner) gave me that he had bought in India that he was saving to give to someone special, and then the very first piece, the ‘Inner Circle #101’—that piece is just very indicative of what’s become.





Creative Profile: Vanessa Gade Jewelry

April 29, 2014 by Aldea Home



Originally trained as an animator, artist Kersey Barrett-Tormey accidentally fell in love with illustration after taking a comic book art class in college, creating a fifty-page children’s book about a girl whose daydreams show up in the wool of her pet sheep. A self-confessed compulsive daydreamer, the vigorously talented and fiercely imaginative Barrett-Tormey has a gift for storytelling that is at once enviable, effortless, and undeniably evident from the first moments of meeting her. We were lucky enough to get to visit her studio at Goforaloop in San Francisco and chat with her about her creative past and artistic process. Barrett-Tormey’s latest book, Beaver Away: The Story of Boh Going Solo is out now and she’ll be reading it at the Aldea Baby store on April 27 from 1-3PM.

Did you have a particular theme in mind when you were creating Beaver Away?
The story is about the early twenties…it’s kind of a warning about the early twenties. There’s a lot of warning right when you hit puberty, your parents are like ‘This is going to suck,’ or like ‘This is going to be really hard,’ but nobody really tells you that about your early twenties. So, hopefully kids will read this and then when they get older and they graduate college and they’re kind of confused about where they’re going in life, they’ll have this book. I hand-drew all the pictures and I even printed it out in the studio next door. This is a completely handmade book.

Yeah, you can really tell—even the buckets of hair that come off Boh the Beaver have tons of detail. How did you first get into drawing like this?
I’ve always been into it!

You’ve always drawn, since you were a kid.
Yeah, there was never a point where I decided I wasn’t going to draw. I’ve always been drawing. I don’t even remember how old I was when I first started drawing. I think since I was five I decided I was going to be an artist, since kindergarten.

I think it’s so rare for people to know their profession from such a young age, but also to stick with it through their formative years into adult life.
Yeah, I think there’s knowing what you want to be and making sure that you love it even if you aren’t making any money off of it.

Was there any point where you felt like Boh the Beaver, where you were like ‘I can’t do this’?
Yeah, I got tendonitis when I first got out of college. It was horrible. Everything hurt—opening doors hurt, sharpening pencils hurt—everything hurt. Eventually a friend looked at my wrist, which was swollen, and she said ‘You need to go to a doctor.’ And so I go to the doctor and he said, ‘You have tendonitis,’ and I just start crying. And then he was like ‘You’re okay, you’re okay, you can draw more like Ralph Steadman!’ and I was like, ‘Everybody and their mom wants to be Ralph Steadman!’ But he actually had a lot of really good advice.

How long ago was that?
That was right when I got out of college and it actually came back last month. It’s kind of strange to think that drawing has a shelf life, but I also feel like for every bad thing that happens, something good comes out of it. Every time this happens, my style changes. When I first got out of college, I was doing a lot of stuff that was really detailed. And then the tendonitis happened and everything that was really detailed with all the lines that you can’t really see, it all became a lot looser and I started creating all these cool textures instead.



What kind of music were you hearing in your head when you were creating Boh?
I was solely listening to Arlo Guthrie when I was drawing it. My dad’s house was under construction at the time, which was perfect because I was making a book about beavers, and the only thing that could tune out the noise and make me sane was Arlo Guthrie. So that was kind of the mood and the area I was going for, definitely folk and even printing it out on brown paper and using the browns and the greens and the yellows. I didn’t want anything to feel like a machine was part of what they were doing, it’s very much unplugged.

Have you been doing any new forms of art that you’ve been really excited about?
I’ve been really digging painting. I don’t usually dig painting, but now I’m super into it.

What started this painting phase?
I…think the tendonitis.

Oh, because there’s less pressure involved?
Yeah, painting on wood (pieces of found wood) and collage. One thing I would like to get back into is animation. I went to school for animation and eventually I would like to build up that animation studio.

To see more of Kersey Barrett-Tormey’s work
http://kerseybarrett-tormey.com/

Creative Profile: Kersey Barrett-Tormey

April 20, 2014 by Aldea Home

American-born, German-Indian Laurence Srinivasan is the designer of iconic Bay Area-inspired pieces such as the model-sized Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Tower, and Oakland Cranes. After moving to San Francisco, Srinivasan found that the bay lent itself as a recurring theme to projects from his rich collaboration with local artists and makers through TechShop SF, to his current projects involving the Bay Area model series featured at the SFMOMA (including the Sutro Tower, Oakland Cranes, and Golden Gate Bridge).

Srinivasan’s background was a natural progression into his latest projects: subsequent to graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Srinivasan worked for various architecture firms before landing in Brooklyn as a furniture maker. The intersecting progeny of these two worlds, architecture and furniture, emerged organically in the form of Studio for Metropolitan Craft when Srinivasan moved to San Francisco. The Studio’s work begins by using architectural models as a springboard to make tabletop sculpture, furniture, and architecture, a process that Srinivasan thoroughly enjoys exploring and repeating in order to perfect and finalize products.

Check out photos of some of his Bay Area-inspired work below (available at the Aldea Home store):


Painted in international orange, Srinivasan's strikingly art deco rendition of the Golden Gate Bridge is finished before lasercutting, then etched and scored to render the details in the wood.



This 1"=50' model of Sutro Tower is a delightful DIY kit complete with graphic instructions that help you bring some of the San Francisco skyline into your home.



We see and wonder about these creatures lining our commute every day, and now we can build them in 4 simple steps with the Oakland Crane Wood Kit.

Creative Profile: Laurence Srinivasan

December 26, 2013 by Aldea Home

We're so excited to bring you an interview with the creator of one of our favorite independent home lines today, Annabel Inganni of Wolfum. Her collections season after season have brought pop and vibrancy into our lives, and we feel pretty lucky to have gotten a chance to chat with her.

Where are you from originally and how did the local culture shape you as a designer/maker?
I am originally from Boston, MA, where I grew up in a large family and my mother entertained a lot. My love for tabletop items, cloth napkins in particular, came from her. I moved to Los Angeles 16 years ago and I feel my designs represent a perfect combination of East and West Coast. I love to take traditional, somewhat antiquated home items and give them a twist with contemporary patterns and unique color combinations.

What initially inspired to make your product?
I was originally interested in doing a line of table linens, but that quickly grew into what Wolfum is today. Being married to a woodworker, I am lucky to have the outlet to create many types of home goods products.

What is your favorite step in the creation of your product?
I simply love the textile design process—the research, drawing, mixing patterns, playing with color tests. I end up with so many options that I find it hard to choose the ones to put into the line! Once I see the print come alive on the product, it is pure joy and I cannot wait to get the entire line together.

What hobbies inspire your designs/products?
Since I am a mom to an almost 3-year-old, I am constantly searching for children's items that have that heirloom quality. I adore scouring flea markets and thrift stores for print inspiration or that odd find that could inspire the entire collection.

What is your favorite color?
Saffron yellow, definitely.

What is your favorite shape and why?
I’m pretty much into angular lines, clean edges. Although, my mind changes often...who knows, maybe for spring it will be all about the oval…

What is your favorite texture this season?
I was very inspired by needlepoint and quilting, techniques such as trapunto for the graphic direction in my holiday collection. I love the nubby texture of yarn and thread—it feels very cozy, yet precise.

What did you see of interest today?
A flock of wild parrots flying through the sky, which has finally turned a pale grey. It was a quintessential autumn day in Los Angeles.

What is your motto?
‘Inspiration comes of working’ -Charles Baudelaire

Creative Profile: Annabel Inganni of Wolfum

October 19, 2013 by Aldea Home