The Moms

janette

Janette Crawford

Founder & Stylist for Sun+Dotter & Lovemade CoSan Francisco, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

It is easy to see why Janette Crawford has gained such popularity and notoriety for her taste and style. Upon entering her home, you are quickly devoured by all the beauty, intelligence, and fun in her aesthetics and design. Everything is the perfect pairing of kid friendly and mommy cool. And this is the exact concept and philosophy that Janette has lived by since having her sweet daughter and starting her companies Sun+Dotter and Lovemade. And the best part, the girl has a light-up this room smile & a killer voice, both will melt your heart and welcome you into all her beauty within & around her.

 

I am Janette, a writer & stylist. I grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas, moved to San Francisco, and worked for years in copywriting & online marketing before making a move last year to home and fashion styling. For six years, I wrote a blog about ethical fashion, encouraging people to vote with their dollar & not think of the things they buy as disposable. I started playing guitar when I was 14, and this year I just picked it up again after not playing for most of my adult years.

In San Francisco, I have found a community of friends who have become my family. I get really excited about great views, 20th century history, indigenous textiles, meaningful music & smart design. I have a 2-year-old named Vivian Sunshine, & she’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Last year I created Sun+Dotter, a home and fashion styling service for families.

I love helping new parents maintain their sense of style through the process of having a baby, by helping them define their style & create filters for everything they buy.

Then whether they’re at a big box store or a cool boutique, or just making requests of in-laws, a product can be checked against the filter for whether it’s a fit or not. When everything fits together, there’s a sense of design cohesion throughout the home, from the baby’s room to the living room.

My newest project is an exciting events series for modern families that I just launched with my friend Jeanne Chan, founder of Shop Sweet Things, who has also been featured here on The Moms Project! In September we will be hosting our first one-day workshop for modern moms-to-be, called Lovemade, helping them define a sense of intention about their home & nursery design, fashion, and support networks as the prepare for life with a little one.

I also recently started working for interior design service (items that won’t break the bank!) Homepolish as Head of Expansion in San Francisco. I get so much inspiration from creative forces in the Bay Area, especially in retail!  Book/Shop, Gravel & Gold, Reliquary, General Store, Paxton Gate, Little Paper Planes, Birch, The Perish Trust, and Voyager are some of my favorites. Retail says so much about a place — not only has a curatorial eye brought these beautiful things together, but people are buying them, too! Both supply and demand.

“The physical fact of San Francisco” (thanks, Maya Angelou), and of Northern California as a whole, is an endless inspiration. This city has a new, beautiful view at every turn, and there’s a continuous beauty within just the few hours outside city limits. I want to explore it all!

My flat is a Victorian-Craftsman hybrid, built in the 1920s. The fireplace is an un-opinionated shade of brown, so I knew I needed to freshen it up a bit. Starting with color, I honed in on the teal accents in the tiles and added a fresh shade of pink — a combo that gives a lightness and youthfulness to all the brown.

One of my favorite design tricks is to create a color palette by starting with the existing colors in a space, and then steer it in the direction you want to go. Once I have my existing decor in place, and my palette and style set, I can edit and shop for accents to do that steering.

To make my palette stand out in the shelves around the fireplace, I edited out all reds, yellows and browns (including turning around a number of book jackets), and edited in teal and pink (including going shopping for some key decor pieces). Pieces with a modern lean contrast the classical style of the fireplace.

The antique mall Stuff is my favorite place to find unique “texture” pieces — the things that no one else will ever have, that keep your home from looking straight out of a catalog. To go to a place like that with a specific buying filter makes it so much easier to tackle.

 

A Few of My Favorite Pieces…

 

1. My collection of Danish candlesticks are a perfect example of kid-friendly decor — neither they nor Viv can do much to hurt each other. She often rearranges them or stacks them into towers. From an aesthetic perspective, they bridge the gap between traditional and modern.Beside the candlesticks is a group of three of my favorite things: a hawk feather that Viv and I found in Alamo Square Park (yes, in the middle of SF!), an original collage by Danielle Krysa, and a graphic piece by Alyson Fox that adds a perfect dose of cool. Danielle and Alyson are two amazing artists I’m lucky to call friends. Vintage candlesticks from Stuff, The Other Shop, Etsy and Fab.

 

2. On the mantel, the phases of the moon print is by Frederick Akum from Little Paper Planes, and it’s the piece I used to set the color palette for the entire wall — the teal plays nicely with the fireplace’s accents, and the pink steers it in a more updated direction. On the other side, I created a vignette with some more favorite pieces. The arrow is made of reclaimed wood by local artist duo Vogtsmith. The word “beauty” is from a set of modern kids’ alphabet blocks, and I change out the word every few weeks. The zygote cactus was a favorite plant of my grandma’s.

Adjacent to the fireplace, I have a mid-century bench that serves double-duty as a play surface for Viv, or moved to the dining room as extra
table seating when I have large group dinners. For a lot of the toys I buy, I run them through the filter of, “how would I feel about this laying out in my living room?” These wooden ones are some of both of our favorites. Building blocks and Cubebot by Areaware. Xs from ashape sorter by Janod. Car by Bannor Toys.

Child-Vivian Sunshine Crawford-age 2

 

“Your words will become your
child’s inner voice.”

 

I’m not sure where I first heard that, but it’s become a powerful filter for my everyday with Viv. What kind of girl do I hope for her to become? I choose my words accordingly.

 

Vivian’s Fave Things…

 

1. Yellow Submarine, the book. She loves Mr. Boob.

 

2. Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale (a fashion-inspired retelling in which Karl Lagerfeld is the fairy godfather!), the book.

 

3. Pink lipgloss.

 

4. Bloch black ballet slippers, and a full black and pink ballet outfit.

 

5. Mickey and Minnie Mouse — but rather than leaning into the modern Mickey and Minnie, I’ve bought vintage Golden Books about them on eBay, let her watch the Classic Disney Animations on Netflix instant, and got a vintage-inspired Minnie Mouse doll from The Walt Disney Museum. That way we can both enjoy them!

 

When buying for Viv’s room, I ask myself if it would fit in my living room. When buying for her closet, I ask myself if it’s something I would wear.

Those filters rule out saccharine patterns and colors… even if they’re really cute. People comment all the time that they’d wear her outfit, which I love! And sing your baby cool songs! A few songs that I’ve used as lullabies are Morning Has Broken, Moon River and In My Life. Yellow Submarine is a more playful song that Viv was fast to sing along to. It warms my heart to hear her singing The Beatles.

I have a really simple natural makeup routine that I put on each and every morning, even when I’m just at home for the day… so even more regularly than I did before Viv was born! My newest trick is to fill in my eyebrows. I never used to, but a friend commented that it actually made her look more awake, and now I’m hooked. It adds so much polish.

For style…Timelessness! Maybe it’s from watching too much Nina Garcia on Project Runway, but I think all the time of how “editorial” my outfits are — or, translated for daily life, how they look in photos. I’m not a fan of how graphic tees or athletic wear comes across, and I don’t think they’ll have much appeal when we look back on them in photos 20 years from now. And with iPhones and cute babies, we take photos constantly! So I lean toward classic pieces. I aim to look put together but not overdone, and to complement my body shape. Audrey Hepburn and French women will always inspire me!
 

 Janette, you are a wealth of information. I just bookmarked twenty or so new websites for my own home. Thank you. And for more info on this amazing lady and her wonderful business, check out Sun+Dotter. TMP will also be featuring more on the fabulous ladies below and Lovemade Friday. So tune in for more exciting stuff by this talented lady & co.
 
xo, TMP

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