Studio tour: Nancy Liu Chin

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Name: Nancy Liu Chin
Location: San Francisco
Company: Nancy Liu Chin Designs

What is your aesthetic?

Great questions.  Modern. American. Classic.  And Pretty.  I am to be the Ralph Lauren of Weddings!

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic?

It’s a 2 story commercial workspace with a bottom workroom that has high ceiling.  My office is on the top floor.

Our studio is very simply designed using all light blonde wood.  Everything is very clean, tailored, and simple.  Colors of cream, tan, brown are the dominant.  Every year I change the accent color.  It’s been a light/sky blue for a while now.  Magazine boxes in happy green.  Kolo boxes in dark chocolate.  Pillows in suede mocha brown.  We show off our portfolio using a slideshow presentation on our Sony 42 inch color tv screen.  Everything is clean.  On one wall we have some shelves and 3 large oversized floral images framed in thick White wooden frames.  That’s my studio.

If you are wondering, our space in Potrero Hill, our logo, station products reflect my casual, fun. unpretentious personality.

Favorite part of your studio?

My desk!  I combined two simple rectangular desks together so they are back to back.  It creates a really nice work space.  Also, when my assistant is working, we love chatting face to face. Love it.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I love to shop and window shop.  I often get inspiration from walking around Hayes valley with their ecletic, urban mix of shops and eateries.
Going to restaurants and hotels is a huge source of inspiration as I often design for large spaces.  I love the decor at hotels like St. Regis, Clift, and Solage in Calistoga.   There are so many wonderful restaurants in the world.  A few in SF that sparkle my imagination include Michael Minna’s restaurant in the Westin St. Francis. The beautiful new Out the Door in Fillmore is lovely and urban.  There’s a Supperclub in SF and the decor is very provocative.  That’s appealing to my senses.

Believe it or not, movies and pop culture gives me inspiration.  The Twilight mania is just one example of how pop culture/movies inspires.  Though I haven’t done a “vamp/goth” wedding, it does inspire me.

This sounds so crazy but I love food, candy, pastries.  Going into Miette’s candy shop is eye candy for the senses.  I love how food is displayed like at Bi Rite.  And when you see a plate of food from Cyrus, it’s art.  How can I not be inspired by these things.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without?

IPHONE – so that I can twitter, fb, and read emails while I wait for my ice tea.

EXCEL – to help me with large buys

Crowning Glory – for flowers

Manila Folders – they keep me organized
Fandeck – it is a deck of cards that shows almost all the flowers from a to z.  It’s my secret tool when brides can’t figure out what flowers they like.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to?

We are getting new computers next year…at least I hope.  We are currently trying to phase out of pc’s.

Anything else we should know?

I think that’s a whole lot!

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[images from Nancy Liu Chin Designs]

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Real wedding: Stephanie + Trev p.2

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More from Steph + Trev’s wedding…its all about the cool details!

It would be considered a sin as a graphic designer not to do my own invitations.  I created all of the paper accessories for our wedding, with major help from my friends and family with the assembly.

We created a save the date that embraced the Bavarian spirit of Leavenworth by taking a photo of ourselves in rented authentic Bavarian costumes that really showed off Trevor’s sexy long legs.  haha!

For the invitation I did a simple illustration of two people in Bavarian attire holding hands with the mountains in the background.

Our programs, which doubled as fans were cut outs of either Trev’s or my face on one side and program information on the other.  These led to many great photo ops, including a group shot of everyone at the wedding holding them up to their faces after the ceremony.

Trevor being a sexy bald man wanted to name our tables after bald celebrities, so I created table signs and escort cards that had coordinating bald heads on them. Don’t worry I didn’t forget that Britney Spears was once a bald celeb. 🙂

For the long road trip home Trev and I made our guests cds to take with them.

A few of my other favorite wedding details were our roadside story and our rubber chicken boutonnière. Instead of spending money on traditional flower boutonnières which I new the guys wouldn’t appreciate we bought miniature rubber chickens and glued them to pins.  It was way more fun and the yellow went great with the ladies’ accessories.

My grandparents house is about 5 miles in on a windy country road with no cell service, so we came up with a way for people to know that they hadn’t gone too far and that they were almost there, a roadside story.  Trev and I bought about 20 pieces of poster board and wrote out a nursery rhyme style story of how we met and fell in love.  The signs were perfectly spaced and lead guests right to the ceremony.  Here is what they said,

This is a story that begins at age 10,
Boy falls for girl. Girl “just wants 2 b friends.”
Boy builds a go cart, she thinks it’s cheesy
However in reality it was off the heezy (for sheezy)
The girl moves on with her life, The boy does the same…
but in the back of their minds…
is the rear section of their brains.
Then their Jr year of high school…
he decided to ask her out…
she obliged with plenty of (crossed out with no next to it) doubt
Their relationship progressed through high times and low…
nearly six years had passed…
and they were ready to give it a go!
The dude got down on one knee…
and pulled out a ring…
which brings you here today…
to Steph & Trev’s wedding.

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[images from Jenny Jimenez]

Jenny Jimenez is a member of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings

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Real wedding: Stephanie + Trev p.1

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When I saw this wedding a few weeks ago on Jenny Jiminez’s site, I just thought it was so happy and fun, and HAD to show it here on Brooklyn Bride.  I think a wedding is 10 times better when it has a sense of humor…I”ll let Steph tell you all about the great details and day overall…

Trev and I met when we were 10 years old.  My grandma and I were going for a walk in the neighborhood, when I saw him playing on a slip n’ slide.  It was “like” at first sight.  Days later he asked me if I would pick blackberries with him, and I declined claiming that I just wanted to be friends.  We grew up together and were kid version of boyfriend and girlfriend many times (each time ending with an awkward instant messenger chat.)  We started dating again for the last time in high school and 6 years later… he asked me to  marry him!  A little over a year after that, we were married!

We decided that we would get married in a little Bavarian town called Leavenworth about 100 miles east of Seattle where we live.  When I was 3 my grandparents bought a little vacation house there and growing up I spent almost every weekend there.  My grandparents now live in Leavenworth full time and their home was the perfect location for our wedding.

Our wedding was the most amazing week long celebration that started and ended with a leisurely inner tube float down the local river with about 20 of our family and friends.  I have never felt more loved.

Planning a destination at home wedding is no easy task, which is why I hired Michelle Engvall to help me sort out all of the details and organize everything on the day of.  Michelle was fantastic and I can’t imagine her not being a part of our wedding.  Trev and I adore her.

Our photographer Jenny Jimenez was the first person I hired.  As soon as I came accross her blog I new she was “the one.”  Jenny is such a fun, genuine, energetic person and it shows in her photos.  She is unbelievable!

The caterers, Ravenous Catering, served up a pre-ceremony cocktail hour of bite size hour d’oevres and signature drinks (raspberry lemon aid, sprite, and vodka in a mason jar), after the long drive guests were happy to have food and drinks waiting for them.  After the ceremony they arranged a delicious assortment of heavy appetizers such as bacon wrapped dates, sesame prawn skewers, and BBQ Baby Back ribs.  We also had Ravenous Catering bake our wedding cake and cup cakes.  Trev and I are both lover’s of the box funfetti cake, and when we asked them to make a small cake for us and cup cakes for the rest of the guests they looked at us like we were a little crazy.  Some time during the reception the head caterer pulled me aside and told me that she had doubted me on the funfetti cakes, but couldn’t believe how delicious they were and how much our guests loved them.  Needless to say they were completely gone the next day.  Another big hit with the guests was our late night hot dog surprise!  Hot dogs are by far my favorite food, and there was no way I was gunna have a wedding without them. Ravenous cooked the beer soaked dogs in their traeger and mmm… they were perfect!

Salmon Dave, Leavenworth’s local classic rock cover band skipped their family reunion to do our wedding.  They were awesome guys that totally rocked.  In fact at the end of the night after they played their last song, all of our friends and family started chanting “Salmon Dave,” and they were convinced into giving us an encore!  They also did something very special for us, they performed a song with my Papa Jim.  He sang and they backed him up.  Papa Jim also sang me down the aisle with “Love me tender” originally by Elvis Presley.

The Tent was rented from Dynamic Tents, white chairs came from Nancy’s Party Rentals, linens from BBJ Linen, portable restrooms (which were a big hit came from Royal Restrooms, Beer from Cashmere Brewery, Hair and Make up for me and the gals by Liz White, vintage milk glasses, mason jars, cake stands, votives, ribbon that we hung in the trees, and shepherds hooks came from Bella Rugosa.

My dress was actually the shell of a strappy Dessy bridesmaids dress (la belle elaines) that I brought to a seamstress Trish Jens.  She completely reconstructed the dress into my vision… adding the halter strap, adjusting the neckline, adding a bow/wrap, and a petticoat.  I found the most amazing corset at Zovo Lingerie.  The corset peeked out of the neckline of my dress, so Trish found matching lace to peek out of the hemline!  Trish also made my birdcage veil.  My pink shoes were Stuart Weitzman.

[more next!]

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[images from Jenny Jimenez]

Jenny Jimenez is a member of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings

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Blossom & Branch

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Who knew such loveliness was coming from the Brooklyn Navy Yards?  Check out the rest of Blossom & Branch‘s work on their newly revamped website…

And don’t forget, for those of you doing the card swap, cards need to be mailed by Tuesday, Dec. 15.  If you haven’t included a recipe with your card, you can email me with it and I’ll be putting together a pdf to send to all participants with the recipes!

[images from Blossom & Branch]

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Free download from Inspired Bride

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Maddy from Inspired Bride just sent me the loveliest gift…in honor of her upcoming 1 year blogaversary, she’s sending out some custom postcard files to bloggers for the holidays.  Since this time of year is all about sharing, feel free to download the file and send it out to your own friends!  Thanks Maddy, and congrats on 1 year!

Brooklyn Bride download

[image from Inspired Bride]

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