Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Designers Sarah Shetter and Alison Palevsky of Santa Monica- based Shetter Palevsky Design.

SPI was started in 2004 by designers Sarah Shetter and Alison Palevsky. Their firm was started and is based on the idea that modernism can be successfully combined with comfort and livability. Their clean spaces are filled with furnishings that complement with soft and hard lines. From a house in Cabo to an apartment in LA, their fresh well-edited rooms are often white, letting the furnishings and accessories be the star.

They both went to University of Southern California, and their design aesthetic mixes the California lifestyle with both ancient and modern traditions. Alison studied at UCLA's interior design/architecture program, while Sarah holds a Master of Science degree in interior design from the Pratt Institute in New York, making them a perfectly matched design duo.
Together, they oversee all phases of a design project, including demolition/remodel plans, color choices, custom furnishings and light fixtures, and art selection and installation. There is a wonderful aspect to design duos, they get to bounce ideas off one another and bring their varied strengths to the table.

Casa Tortuga, built in 1994, has dramatic one-hundred-and-eighty-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, a view that takes in Cabo's famed stone arches marking the confluence of the Sea of Cortez. SPI made the additions to the white stucco, labyrinth style house feel as if they were originally there. Wood and stucco work together to create a total escape.

An outdoor bar and BBQ as well as a stone fire pit make for entertaining California style. SPI designed large concrete planters to blend with the style of the house, while the landscape architect chose native plants to fill the planters and disguise any unwanted views.

The cool open air dining room for casual entertaining.

A relaxing bedroom with platform bed and built in nightstands.

A rustic looking staircase leads to the master suite and bath.

A casual sitting area with glass doors takes advantage of the views.

A glass enclosed shower make the master bath an escape.

A spectacular home, Tortuga, overlooking the ocean in Cabo San Lucas. This house is their piece de resistance--- it is such a luxurious escape and I was curious about their design process. They shared, "In the summer before we started the project, we took a three week boat trip around Greece and Turkey. We stopped at many of the islands and were incredibly inspired by the crisp white buildings and the bright blue ocean. We found that the same colors worked when we got to Mexico, so we used many of the photos from the trip on our concept boards for Casa Tortuga. There is definitely a Grecian feeling about the house.

We wanted to use local vendors and workshops, and not import everything from Los Angeles. We went on a shopping trip to Guadalajara where we found many of the pieces. Antigua de Mexico is a great store in Guadalajara where we found many pieces from the lounge chairs to the lighting. We also trekked through many stone yards in Cabo, and met with local craftsmen in order to create the custom bath tub in the Master Bath and all of the custom sinks in the bathroom.

The Lucite Sconce that hangs in all of the bathrooms was created by SPI and the base is filled with shells and sand from the nearby beach- we loved the idea of bringing the outdoors inside. The sconce then became the inspiration for the Lucite Hurricane which is one of the accessories in our furniture line. The Tortuga dining table and the Spanish Settee were also designed for this project and are now part of SPI line.

We felt very lucky to be working with such talented craftsman and artisans in Mexico. Every day, we were amazed and impressed with their knowledge of the materials and how to best use them, particularly the stone workers. Unfortunately, we finished up the project during the summer months and the heat was intense. We often found ourselves having our afternoon meetings in the swimming pool as we attempted to cool down!"

A city living room with lots of seating options and a cozy hearth at the corner.

A New York living room with sophisticated ebony floors, dark furniture and cool white walls.

A dining room with gleaming circular pendant lights and striking high backed dining chairs.

A neutral library highlighted by dark woods.


They began a furniture line to fit the needs of their clients and bring what they like to a broader market. All of the pieces are manufactured locally in Los Angeles by vendors that they have been collaborating with since the beginning. They have been working on the pieces for 6 years, and are now carried at Mecox Gardens.

The Blanco Coffee Table adds sleek and modern lines and has a white CeasarStone top and polished nickel frame.

The Beckett Glider from their new SPI Baby line is a trad piece with tufting. It swivels and glides, better for baby.

Their Happy Hamper acts as a changing table, hamper and dresser. It is constructed of solid wood and upholstered in vinyl-laminated fabric for easy cleaning.

The lacquer Beckett Dresser for a child's room comes in blue, green, yellow, black, white, and red, and is also from their SPI Baby line, giving baby some mid-century style.

The Plaza Ottoman has clean lines and an x-base, making for extra seating in an arrangement.

The Moroccan- inspired Palmerai Coffee Table of Walnut has secret storage and a great shape.

Constructed of salvaged black walnut wood, The Live Edge Dining Table is environmentally consciousness high design.

The girls also write for the Huffington Post so check it out and get their party planning advice!


Anonymous said...

LOVE their style!!! Thanks for sharing. These girls are totally adorable.

Anonymous said...

I love the pix. The house in Mexico is one of a kind. And the NY apt. look very stylish. I think I would be able to live between them both with ease. I better start looking for a G5...MCan said...

Love this!! Their style is fantastic!

simplygrove said...

They are soooo incredibly talented!!!

annie said...

Nice to see their work. They are great!