A Santa Barbara Artist Studio

When Creative Director, Illustrator and Artist Nic George moved into this 1907 home in Santa Barbara, California about a year ago, he asked his friend designer Gilda Hariri for some help with the decor. The home’s original owners, Edwin and Carolyn Gledhill used the space to establish the first photography studio in Santa Barbara, and Nick wanted to maintain a similar essence, a live/work space that could be used both for creating and entertaining. When designing the space, Gilda kept in mind Nic’s gift for merging life and art. Every room is used for multiple functions – he sleeps by the fireplace, eats in the bedroom and makes art at the dining space. The pair felt a responsibility to the history of the space (Diego Rivera had once been a guest in the home!) and they wanted the furniture to compliment the history of the building so many pieces were antique finds or objects picked up while traveling. The result is a space that feels clean and spare while also somehow artistic and bohemian.  -Amy Thank you Nic and Gilda! And big thank you to Nancy Neil for the lovely photographs.

Image above: This room was originally used as a photography studio and was built in 1907. It is a wonderful bedroom to dream in with soft north facing light. The challenge to find find 15-foot-long curtains was met by utilizing large cotton painters drop cloths. The vintage Africa runner was paired with a single Danish chair.

Image above: Gilda was influenced by a recent stay in Paris with Florence Maeght, of Le Rideau de Paris, whose home was always evolving. Sometimes Gilda would observe Florence moving all of the art, furniture, linens, and antiques around transforming the space into something completely new. Above the doorframe,  is a piece by Robinson Ferreux Maeght (son of Florence), who stayed at the studio. The poster artwork on the wall “The Greatest Story…” is by Nic George.


See more of this Santa Barbara home after the jump!

This post is sponsored by In With the Old by Jennifer Boles – a charming encyclopedia of 100 of the most stylish decorating details.


Image above: Vintage blue Moroccan table, bedside. Gilda traveled to Morocco in 2012 and liked the idea of incorporate this style into the home.

Image above: The curtains are a Shibori commission piece made by Péchemade (Akiko Oi). The antique Swedish box dresser was purchased from Big Daddy’s Antiques in LA. The oil painting of a Vivienne Westwood bathing suit, is by Nic George.

Image above: The library was a hard space to fit in a sofa because of the wonderful tight corner cupboard and canvased staircase to the loft. We didn’t want the library to be the main seating area as it is more of a transitory space to the kitchen and loft space. So we found the most beautiful small victorian bench, which provides a good perch for conversing with the cook.

Image above: The library nook was intended for smaller gatherings, morning thinking sessions over coffee, a place where books can be spread out and referenced while discussing whatever the subject of the day might be.  The zinc table was the perfect piece to take the weight of piles of books, as well as handle canapés, cocktail, and wine spills with an easy clean – it was another Big Daddy’s Antiques find.

Image above: We call that white chair ‘The Kinky Italian.’ It’s a pleather director’s chair from Italy, we found it at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, in Pasadena.


Image above: Antique french farm table with wrought iron base from Big Daddy’s Antiques. The Daanish chairs were found on 1st Dibs , from a Santa Barbara dealer (it was meant to be!). Gilda found the Moroccan cushions on the chairs  in Marrakech. The red rug is a vintage Chimayo saddle rug found on a trip to Santa Fe. Next to it is a Chinese matting/ Sisal rug The vintage Smith-Victor Studio lights from Summerland Collective, in Summerland



Image above: That is a Tizio lamp at drawing board.




Amazing how bright the rooms look with the combination of light walls and floors. Such a beautiful and thoughtful space.


LOVE this. I always dream of having windows like those in the bedroom…


Wonderful!! I love the use of painters drop cloths for curtains and canvas for the stair railing. Brilliant use of simple, easy to get materials. Beautiful space!


I’m trying to find “The Greatest…” Poster online. Where can I buy that?

Louise from thedasherie.com

Absolutely love this place, it looks so warm and welcoming and a great place to create. But one of the photographs of the blue sofa in front of the canvassed-in stairs must be a reversal (not sure of the technical term, but the two photographs seem to be mirror images of each other), which makes it hard to figure out the layout. Which one is the true image?

Nic George

Elizabeth, Alyssa, and Regina, (and others) thank you for your interest in my work. My website is currently under new construction, but I am happy to field any further questions via email: niccygeorgie@gmail.com
You can also follow my Instagram feed if you are interested: @nicgeorge


I am completely in love with all of Big Daddy’s antiques most especially the table with a wooden top and wrought iron frame.


I’m dreaming of coffee in the library with open books feasting my eyes and a moleskine with pen at my elbow. How wonderful!


Beautiful. Loved the blue and white palette. That wrought iron is so unexpected, so stylish…superb light too…that bamboo right outside the window brings the outdoors right in.