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Black Eiffel: Exploring Lifestyle and Design

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h1I continue to crave authenticity and genuine content. I think it really shines through when you find it.

Rachel Jones, Black Eiffel

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When you're looking for a fresh perspective on interior design with some kid-friendly travel and living sprinkled in, head over to Black Eiffel by Rachel Jones. A lush bit of eye candy from a well-traveled, music-obsessed graphic designer, Rachel's site draws inspiration from a wildly diverse set of influences. Her excellent taste and unfettered enthusiasm for the big wide world is wholly energizing.

As one of the top parenting voices on the SAY 100 (she and her husband are raising – and traveling with - 2 young girls in Northern California), we caught up with Rachel to find out where she gets her best inspiration for posts, what she learned at Alt Design, and her favorite lifestyle finds right now.

The name of your site Black Eiffel – it's intriguing. Where does it come from? As my husband and I were brainstorming for a name when I started my blog we came up with a variety of options. At the time I desperately wanted to go to Paris and have always been enchanted by France and the French way of living so I landed on Black Eiffel. The idea of the name is also sort of a play on words to have your 'eyes full' of inspiring things.

You've got a great eye for finding the beautiful in everyday things. What's your secret? Where do you go (or what do you do) for inspiration and to keep your energy high? Thank you. I don't know if I necessarily have a secret, but I really do love to research. I always have. Having a design background and a insatiable craving for well-designed things doesn't hurt either. My blog started out as a gathering place for all the things I found inspiring, and it is funny to look back and see that I was a content collector even before I took it online. I have sketchbooks full of lists of links and websites, clippings of magazines, etc. from about ten or more years ago and it is fun to go back and thumb through them. I will often find an artist, band, or creative person I like, and then go check out their most recent work. Also every once in a while I will get lost in an online rabbit hole and land on something that I haven't seen before that really resonates with me and share it.

If I really am not feeling it, I will take a break, get off the computer and go out into nature or somewhere new, play with my kids and that usually reorganizes my focus. I also have been enjoying cooking new recipes so I will do that too and that helps mix it up.

You went to the Alt Design Summit this year – what were some of the most interesting things you saw, heard or learned? Any surprises? This was my third year going to Alt, and what I noticed especially this year was a whole generation or new emerging type of bloggers. Many older bloggers may have started their blogs on a whim sharing ideas or projects not expecting to receive traffic, or to turn it into a business. Some of the newer bloggers I've encountered are very business- and tech-savvy (not that older ones are not) coming online with a well-crafted blog name, market research, and more.

It is a new age of blogging with more video, original and personally driven content. Design or interior bloggers in the past may who may have had a niche in one area are continually branching out to include personal style fashions posts, food content, and more. With so many different blogs and sites out there such as Pinterest, bloggers have to push themselves to be different, and really be more creative. They are so many talented and interesting people out there, more of them are online than ever before and I love seeing the swirl of interesting content online grow. I continue to crave authenticity and genuine content. I think it really shines through when you find it.

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You cover design, music, food, travel – what are some of your favorite things in each of these areas right now?

Design - I love what Amanda Jane Jones and Erin Jang are doing, they are some of my favorites.

Music - I am using Spotify like crazy now and it has opened a whole new way of discovering interesting music.

Food - A few weeks ago I came across the Jenny Rosenstrach (don't know why it took me so long) but I really connect with her writing and work on Dinner: A Love Story. I just ordered and pre-ordered both of her books. I also recently met some great talent at the San Francisco Kinfolk brunch - including the amazing and knowledgeable women behind Turntable Kitchen, Yummy Supper, and Ciao Samin. I can't wait to delve into their archives.

Travel - Loving Peggy Wong's travel photos, and also Wayfare magazine. I also am inspired by my recent trip to the Northwest. My husband and I are currently dreaming of taking a trip to Spain and Italy.

What other design and lifestyle blogs are your soulmates in style?

Kate from Wit & Delight

Sarah from Note to Self

Sally from Sally J Shim

Suann from SimpleSong

What's something your readers would be surprised to learn about you? I am slightly scared of heights in certain circumstances, yet nothing compares to the dark windy night my husband and I hiked the stairs of the Eiffel tower. I was terrified and practically shaking as the wind ripped-roared all around us through the open exposed staircase. I was fine when we reached the top, but I guess that is kind of ironic factoring in the name of my blog and all.

Follow Rachel on Twitter @blackeiffel.

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