Art. Architecture. Play

More than engaging in sophisticated intellectual activity, the aim of the Chairs Game and the Ladders Game is to play and see just how your construction can surprise you by its audacious balance and the strangeness of its forms.

4.10.14-art-architecture-4After a time, some questions about poetic language will undoubtedly arise and, while no one may be able to answer these questions, you will continue to play in an increasingly curious and enjoyable way. Brought to us by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and Pico Pao, a workshop with a long history of craftsmanship that began in 1979 in Lubián, a small Spanish village nestled in the mountains on the border with Portugal, these two games are a staple of mental challenge and bonding play.

4.10.14-art-architecture-2With either game, assemble the pieces to create arrangements that are surprising for their beauty and gravity-defying balance. The chairs or ladders can be piled up, stacked, left scattered on the floor or grouped into random shapes of difficult equilibrium. But whatever you do with them, these games let you play with the most primitive rules, those of a child trying to challenge himself and to dare balance itself by stacking objects using the freest of artistic expression.

4.10.14-art-architecture-3You can play alone or with friends, placing your piece in a way that makes it nearly impossible for others to place theirs without making the castle collapse in the air.

You are limited only by your imagination!

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Life is an Adventure. Start Early

Meet the Spherovelo, a unique push along ride on for 10-24 month olds, even earlier with mum or dad’s help. Made in England, the Spherovelo is the world’s first ride on to accelerate the development of young children by helping them make the connection between their senses (vision, pressure, equilibrium) and their motor system.

4.10.14-spheroveloSome might call it balance but it’s really more about the coordination of our muscles in response to what we see and feel. It manages this by being a ride on that’s unstable on the one hand (so that the child is required to effect some control – like with a bike) but safe on the other; a combination never before achieved.

Winner of both the Red Dot Product Design Award 2013 and the Junior Design Award for Best Toy 2013, the Spherovelo features two play settings – stable with stabilisers on and ready-for-balance when removed so it can grow with your child’s development.

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Outdoor Entertaining

4.09.14-outdoor-entertainingWho loves entertaining outside in Santa Barbara? Since the two are synonymous, we are always looking for new ways to make entertaining easier, more beautiful and, at the same time, more functional. One of Shelley’s newest finds is this Glass Drink Dispenser with turn spout and rattan base. We think it’s the perfect outdoor entertaining accessory this spring and summer for any event!
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Discover the Benefits of Charcoal

Artisans in the Kishu region of Japan have been making Binchotan charcoal for centuries by burning oak branches until they are red hot, then rapidly cooling them. Regarded as the highest-quality charcoal for purifying water, Binchotan charcoal is also known to enhance blood circulation, capture moisture and odors from the air, and stimulate the development of healthy garden soil. You can enjoy all these benefits through our line of Binchotan charcoal products.

4.04.15-charcoal-1The Binchotan charcoal blended into each bristle of the toothbrush stops harmful bacteria from growing within the brush and gives off negative ions that deodorize while reducing bad breath and plaque.

4.04.15-charcoal-2An all-natural sponge made with pure vegetable fibers and ultra-fine Binchotan charcoal powder is perfect for face cleansing. Wet the sponge and use it with or without your cleanser to gently exfoliate your skin and balance its natural pH level.

4.04.15-charcoal-3The ultra-fine powder of Binchotan charcoal blended into the high-performance fibers of the Charcoal Body Scrub Towel absorbs odors as well as removes toxins and excess oil from your skin, leaving you feeling completely refreshed and revitalized.

Experience the benefits of charcoal for yourself or give it as a gift. All of these products are available Upstairs, alongside our other bath products.
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Bush Smarts

Why can’t camping gear be like cheese: locally made, exceptionally high quality and meaningfully unique? The guys at Bush Smarts made it their goal to personally procure, design and build a kit of gear that they think represents everything you need for a wilderness adventure.

4.02.14-photo-13They’ve scoured the globe to find obscure and under-appreciated gear and do whatever they can to make it more approachable for folks just getting into the outdoors, and more functional for seasoned pros.

4.02.14-photo-12From the Camp Harmonica, Man Soap and Game Kit to their Tinder and Camp Grill, we’re thrilled to be carrying this super cool line in our men’s department, perfect gifts for your outdoors-loving men!
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Aesthetic Organizing

Ready to Organize?

3.24.14-baskets-2Baskets are ideal for storing anything from fruit and veggies on the countertop to serving as a remote control home base or a stationary kit to storing spools of ribbon for gift wrapping – all without sacrificing style.

3.24.14-baskets-1Our new handmade recycled paper rope baskets are available in six sizes and combine texture, aesthetics and function. Visit us this week at the store for more spring organizing inspiration!

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

A Perfectly Blended Scent

3.24.14-scentWe have a new favorite candle. Tabac Vanille is made of essences of old world tobacco unfolds with creamery vanilla, cocoa and aromatic spices finished with subtle notes of sweet wood.

Pour Homme, supposedly created for men, but we think it’s a dreamy addition to any environment. One of Shelley’s best finds in Paris!
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Form and Function in the Kitchen

3.22.14-blockBeautiful solid beechwood magnetic knife holders, plates and cutting boards have just arrived Upstairs from Italy. The story of the artisan company, Artelegno, is rooted in history.

Founded in 1960 in Premana, a small mountain village located in Lombardy near Como’s lake, Artelegno is deeply connected to the working culture that has characterized this village since ancient Roman times when iron ore mining began in the region’s mountains.

In 2004, Artelegno moved its production to Taceno where it continues to created modern designs with old world craftsmanship.

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

3.12.14-glowCreate charming ambiance at your table with these handcrafted Wire & Glass votives and our long, clean-burning Santa Rosa candles. Available in five designs, they’re also perfect for adding warmth to any small space and they make a great gift, too!
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Boho Beach Home

3.10.14-home-1Upstairs Moroccan rugs, Boilivan frasadas, handcrafted iron accents and more helped create Santa Barbara Magazine editor Gina Tolleson’s boho beach home in the new C CALIFORNIA STYLE Magazine Home Issue. Created with the direction of Amanda Masters Design and Nancy Neil Photography, this is a home spread you won’t want to miss. Pick up your copy and be inspired by Santa Barbara style in a new light this spring.


Thank you to this uniquely talented team for including Upstairs!
Click images to enlarge:
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Prospector Co. – Wares with Purpose

We love our new bath and shave products by Prospector Co. Their superior organic formulas include Shea butter, vitamin E, pomegranate and argan oil.

2.25Prospector Co. is a product line for those who seek purpose and forethought in their skin and shave products. What began with pre-shave, post-shave and no-shave formulas for men has expanded to include wares for women, as well as categories in shaving, personal fragrance and interior scents, body creams and cleansers.

These products are free of unnecessary additives, artificial fragrances or colorings, using quality, naturally-derived ingredients with discerning scent and archival influence.
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502
Click image to enlarge:

Fresh Start

2.18.14-sr-kbEven before the furniture arrives, Karen Bezuidenhout’s art adorns this newly renovated Montecito estate. The owner – a surfer, designer, nature lover and art collector – created an all-inclusive resort oasis for gathering family and friends.

Come visit us Upstairs and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to see more of Karen’s art and other local Santa Barbara artists!
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

A Love Story

2.11.14-vdayup-2Inspired by a truly great love story, the limited edition diptyque Rosa Mundi is named after Rosamund Clifford, otherwise known as mistress to King Henry II of England. The said-to-be-gorgeous woman was known as Rosamund the Fair, or Rose of the World, before being poisoned to death by Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry’s Queen in 1176, who was obviously madly jealous of her. From then on, the devastated King commemorated every anniversary of their meeting by covering her grave in this particular variety of rose.

When lit, the Rosa Mundi candle is soothing, romantic and sparkling with the fragrances of Centifolia and Damask rose. Top notes of blackcurrant and bergamot are tempered by the fruity note of lychee, while geranium, woody white musk, cedar and honey also play a part in the overall seductive scent.
Perfect for Valentine’s Day or otherwise, Rosa Mundi candle is available now at Upstairs.

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA93108 (805) 565 1502

Love Is In The Air

2.11.14-vdayup-1Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? Come see us Upstairs. We have plenty of ideas!
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA93108 (805) 565 1502

Vallarta Lanterns

2.04.14-vallarta-lanternsCheck out our Vallarta Lanterns featured in the current issue of Flutter Magazine. Made of handblown glass, these lanterns have great character. They can be used indoor or outdoors with candle, or they can be easily wired for electricity.
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro RoD, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Artist Donna Ayscough

Introducing new original art Upstairs by Santa Barbara local Donna Asycough.

1.27.14-donna-1Color is the main theme in most of her works, while she prefers to sketch in black and white when she’s away from her studio. This technique allows the subject matter to be developed on location in an unobtrusive sketchbook. Back in her studio, she is then not confined by the subject’s actual colors.

Working mostly with acrylic on wood, Donna’s work is influenced by her travels and by the time she spent learning her craft in Europe as part of her formal art education. She has been compelled to draw since childhood.

1.27.14-donna-2As Donna is a highly-recognized and distinctive part of the Santa Barbara art scene, we are honored to include Donna as an Upstairs artist.

Upstair, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502


1.27.14-paris-2Shelley’s arrived in Paris and is filled with excitement about the abundance of beautiful and creative things she’s finding in all categories!

As she hunts for treasures, stay tuned for our new arrivals and follow our Pinterest board Voyager to see our latest Paris inspiration pins.

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502


Gifts for Film Lovers

In the spirit of awards season and our own Santa Barbara International Film Festival next week, Upstairs presents two cinematic books to delight.

First, an offer you can’t refuse – The Godfather Family Album – behind the scenes of Coppola’s masterpiece.

“It’s dangerous to be an honest man.”
—Michael Corleone, Godfather III

1.27.14-godfatherAs special photographer on the sets and locations of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy, Steve Schapiro had the remarkable experience of witnessing legendary actors giving some of their most memorable performances.

Schapiro immortalized Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Diane Keaton in photos that have since become iconic images, instantly recognizable and endlessly imitated. Gathered together in this book are Schapiro’s finest photographs from all three Godfather films, lovingly reproduced from the original negatives.

With contextual essays and interviews covering the trilogy in its entirety, this book contains over 400 color and black & white images.

Schapiro’s images take us behind the scenes of this epic and inimitable cinematic saga, revealing the director’s working process, capturing the moods and personalities involved, and providing insight into the making of movie history.

1.27.14-movie-iconAnd, TASCHEN’s 365 Day-By-Day movie series…
Make everyday a showpiece with this reusable calendar featuring a seminal movie image and related quote for each new date.

Rediscover tantalizing scenes and terrific starlets; perfect villains and stunning sets; as well as that reassuring feeling of turning a page to mark the new day. You’ll also learn the birthdays of cinema’s greatest stars, so you can celebrate the dates on which the silver screen got that much brighter.

For the filmophile in all of us!
Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Moroccan Rugs

1.14.14-moroccan-rugs-1When it comes to Moroccan rugs, Upstairs buyer Shelley Koury ensures we only have the best.  Because of her longstanding relationship with her supplier, who brings the rugs directly from Morocco, Shelley is able to handpick each rug herself and sell them at highly competitive prices.


These all-wool rugs are handwoven by the women of the Beni Ourain tribe in the middle of the Atlas mountains of Morocco. Each rug is uniquely designed by its weaver, using natural dark and white wool. They are long and narrow, designed to fit the mud-brick rooms of the mountain Berber people. The shaggy wool provides warmth on cold winter nights.


Our rugs are approximately 20 years old and were originally made for the weaver’s family, not for the tourist trade. Each has been cleaned and repaired where necessary. These older rugs are now becoming scarce and will become collector’s items.
Visit us Upstairs to see our current Moroccan rug findings!

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 565 1502

Baby Love

1.04.14-photo-1-9Follow us on Pinterest for baby and kidlet inspiration! Browse our decor ideas, plus updates on new toys and clothing available Upstairs on our Littles board.

Upstairs, 516 San Ysidro Road, Montecito CA 93108 (805) 5651502