A Timeless Home Studio in London

Traveling is one of my greatest sources of inspiration.  It awakens creative parts of my brain that seem inactive when I'm living by routine.  Back in the Spring I traveled to Europe and had the opportunity to meet London based designer, Cassandra Ellis.    Cassandra runs an interior design company that creates furniture and homewares.  Her pieces are neither minimalist nor traditional, but quiet, simple, and well detailed. 

Cassandra was sweet enough to welcome Gillian Stevens and I into her home to photograph and hear more about her business and approach to design.  For Cassandra, design is about telling a story around people and place and her home studio is a beautiful reflection of those values.  Her designs are timeless and thoughtful and each piece is created to be part of a greater life story.

Enjoy these photos taken by Gillian Stevens.

Not Without Salt Shop Design

It's been a busy couple of months.  We've had guests in town back to back for the last month. I've also been juggling many jobs while trying to get my feet on the ground as an independent designer.  It's definitely not easy to get going, but I am so full of excitement surrounding a special project I am involved with.  One of my long time Seattle idols, Ashley Rodriguez leased a storefront space in Ballard and I am lucky enough to be helping with the design!  I'm sure most of you are familiar, but those of you who may not be - Ashley is a cookbook author, blogger, food photographer, recipe developer, and all around amazing woman.  She even has her own line of products!  Back in June I saw that she was remodeling her storefront space so I jumped on the opportunity to offer my services.  Thankfully she was very open to the idea and I quickly put together a design concept package.  After a few iterations and back and forth we have arrived at final selection of furniture and lighting (see image below).  We are also designing a kitchen (photos coming soon). Stay tuned for more project development! 

Furniture and lighting and accessories from Room and Board, Schoolhouse Electric, Amazon, George and Willy, Loom Goods, and Second Use. 

Furniture and lighting and accessories from Room and Board, Schoolhouse Electric, Amazon, George and Willy, Loom Goods, and Second Use. 

Exterior Elevation Concepts

Exterior Elevation Concepts

Spicy Watermelon Salad

For most the year Seattle feels very temperate, but once August rolls in high temps can overwhelm the city and those of us who prefer jeans and t-shirt weather.  My Mom and Step-Dad are in town visiting and on Tuesday we had a delicious and refreshing lunch at Copal.   The recipe that follows was created with their recipe as the inspiration.  Whether you make it at home or try it at Copal I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Watermelon Salad


1/2 seedless watermelon

3/4 jalapeno, finely chopped

1 jimica root (peeled into thin strips)

1/2 red onion, halved and sliced 

1/2 cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

Chopped fresh mint


1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp champagne vinegar

1/4 cup avocado oil

2 tbsp lime juice


Combine ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a min of 2 hours until watermelon is chilled.  Before serving, whisk together and dress salad.  Top with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Coconut Bacon BLT

When I was in London in May I stayed in Chelsea and ended up discovering the cutest little juice bar and vegan sandwich shop called Juicebaby.  This little shop is filled with all kinds of delicious nut milks, juices, acai bowls, salads, and sandwiches.  For a small shop they have a great selection of vegan and mostly gluten free options.  On my second trip to Juicebaby (yes, I went two times in one week) I decided to try one of their sandwiches.  As I scrolled through the refrigerator I came across a Coconut Bacon BLT.  I ended up trying it and was blown away by how flavorful and crunchy the "bacon" was.  

After coming home to Seattle I was still dreaming about this sandwich, I know exciting life I lead, right?  I checked out a few recipes online and decided to experiment with my own version.

Coconut bacon
Coconut bacon BLT
Coconut bacon BLT

The recipe is so simple and SO incredibly delicious.  I am literally going to be eating these all summer long. This recipe I adapted from Minimalist Baker

Coconut "Bacon" BLT


- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes 

- 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce

- 2 tbsp vegan butter (melted)

- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

- 2 tbsp maple syrup

- 1 tsp paprika

- 1/2 tsp chili powder

- sprinkle of garlic powder for extra flavor

- 2 slices of fresh bread, toasted

- vegan mayo

- crisp romaine lettuce

- heirloom tomato slices 



1.  Preheat over to 325 degrees F

2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.  Spread coconut on baking sheet and coat with melted butter, liquid smoke, soy sauce, paprika, chili powder, and maple syrup.  Mix until flakes are evenly coated. 

4.  Place in oven and bake 5 minutes. Mix, place back in oven and let flakes bake for an additional 8 minutes.

5.  Once flakes have cooked for close to 13 minutes turn oven to broil and bake for an additional minute until flakes are light brown and crispy. 

6.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. 

7.  Assemble sandwich with your favorite toasted bread, vegan mayo, crisp lettuce and a slice of vine ripened heirloom tomato.  Top with coconut bacon" and some freshly ground pepper. 

Design and Digest Travels

Writing from my Airbnb in Paris I fondly reflect on my time in Copenhagen.  I was there just two weeks ago and have since traveled to Lisbon, Porto, and now Paris.  What a whirlwind adventure it has been.  I am feeling the travel exhaustion set in so I am giving myself time on this cloudy morning to reflect on the experiences I have had thus far. 

The initial interest that sparked this trip was a desire to study the intersection of food and design within various cities while using the plate, the kitchen, and the building as a lens to view and document those experiences.  For those of you who don’t know my background is architecture, but my passion for design does not stop there.  While designing buildings and interiors is an incredible process I have found I also love the creativity and more immediate reward that comes with cooking, hence my instagram account “Design and Digest.”  To me, designing a plate can be thought of in a similar way to how we design a room or building.  What is the program (i.e. the meal, number of people to serve) what are the aesthetics of the plate, how does it appeal to all five senses, how do the materials or ingredients come together to create a dish.  How does the meal and experience of eating at a table provide nourishment while also telling a story around a place and moment in time, etc.   I ask this main question - How does food and/or food culture shape cities (both literally and figuratively) and how does the city, place, or region shape the way we eat? In addition, I also ask what is the future of food and design at a local and global scale and how do they inform each other? 

I will elaborate on all of this in more detail later, and will be sharing info on each city, but for now enjoy a few favorite travel snapshots from the trip.  

Vakst  Restaurant, Copenhagen 

Vakst Restaurant, Copenhagen 

The Round Tower , Copenhagen 

The Round Tower, Copenhagen 

Lisbon as seen from Portos do Sol

Lisbon as seen from Portos do Sol

Arco das Verdades, Porto

Arco das Verdades, Porto



Danish Kitchen Products

I have only been in Copenhagen for two days and I am already compiling lists of favorite kitchen products. The Stelton french press shown below is one I have seen in multiple stores.  In the states you can purchase through Design Within Reach.  While walking through the Danish department store Illums Bolighus I came across the K.H. Wurtz ceramics line, which I later learned is used in some of Copenhagen's top restaurants including Geranium, Noma, and Amass.   I also love the spherical shape of the Alfi jug and the matte terra cotta color is gorgeous.  

Stelton Em Press Coffee Maker  designed by Erik Magnussen (image from Stelton)

Stelton Em Press Coffee Maker designed by Erik Magnussen (image from Stelton)

Alfi Kugel Vacuum Jug  (image from Illums Bolighus)

Alfi Kugel Vacuum Jug (image from Illums Bolighus)

Copenhagen Abode

I really lucked out finding a great airbnb in Copenhagen.  This charming abode is located in the Christianshavn neighborhood, just a four minute walk from the metro and only 7 stops from the airport.  With white walls, and lots of windows this apartment is bright and airy.  The host, Julie was kind enough to leave food, tea, and coffee for me to enjoy making me feel right at home.         

Copenhagen airbnb
Copenhagen airbnb
Copenhagen airbnb

Gather Seattle - The Little London Plane

On January 8th I hosted my first official Gather Seattle event.  The focus for the workshop was setting goals and intentions to kickstart the new year.  We heard from three inspiring women in the food and design community: Colleen Kerr, Tiffany Bowie, and Moorea Seal.

photo by Christina Hicks and Ryan Patterson

photo by Christina Hicks and Ryan Patterson

photo by Christina Hicks and Ryan Patterson

photo by Christina Hicks and Ryan Patterson

photo by Christina Hicks and Ryan Patterson

photo by Christina Hicks and Ryan Patterson

For additional photos visit Gather Seattle