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Required Reading: Design By Nature by Erica Tanov

My freshman year of college, I was in New York on a family trip and walked into an Erica Tanov store on Elizabeth Street. I was completely taken. Everything about the store and its contents spoke to me. I soon found out Erica was from Berkeley and within a month, I was working at her store in San Francisco. I consider my time working for Erica as a huge part of my education in life. Every woman who worked there taught me something about how to live life – how to live in the present, how to notice things around you. I will always treasure this time in my life.

No surprise that when I received her book Design By Nature, I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty and goodness of the book. It displays her thoughtful design aesthetic and is a great read as well. I treasure having a book with so many photographs of her own home. This is my goal as a designer. To create a home that is lived in, comfortable, and also beautiful.

Design By Nature is broken into five chapters based upon natural elements such as wood, water, dirt, weeds, and decay. Erica is known for her love of textiles and displays this in her design work. But she also loves picking up tattered treasures at flea markets and these are prevalent in her design as well. She used exquisite Chinese silk curtains in the Marin store that were decayed yet beautiful.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Erica’s stunning book, run to your local bookstore or you can buy one here. Congratulations Erica – this is a book that will remain on my bookshelf for years.

You can pick up your own copy here.


Photography by Ngoc Minh Ngo for Erica Tanov


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