At First Blush

At First Blush

Blush is my new favorite color

Hi.  I was working on this post when the horrendous situation in Orlando happened… the resounding message that rose from this act of hate is that love is love is love. If I had one super power it would be for every person on the planet to find their soul mate, be together forever in glorious heart pounding love and overcome any and all judgement or adversity. We all deserve that love. There is no other reason we are here. It's our birthright.



After this second spring bloom of the all white roses planted along my entry, one little bush has produced it's second consecutive crop of mostly white flowers with the slighted pink blush color on just a few petals… A sweet unexpected gift from mother nature 🙂



 It has influenced me. Blush is my new black…





Happy summer to you…




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Little Cabin in the Woods

Little Cabin in the Woods

A tour of a vintage decorated cabin in the woods

On the spur of the moment, I decided to get out of dodge and ended up, in of all places, a little cabin in the woods on the banks of a flowing river in Northern Oregon. Let me tell you, my expectations were high. I’ve had a cabin-in-the-woods fantasy for as long as I can remember and this lived up, matter of fact exceeded, every last one. Road trip season is here! Bring it.

Come take a look around with me…

You had me with weathered shingles and white trim.

The cabin is situated on a big, flat sunny patch with a main house next to it.

I wonder if these grape vines covering the front porch are used for wine making?

No appliances but certainly not lacking in charm factor in this light bright happy kitchen.

The fridge is 70 years old!

The color palette is pale green and brick red. It couldn’t be more fitting for this adorable little gem.

The owner, whom I’ve never met, is clearly a collector of vintage pieces. Vintage collecting is a passion that can easily get out of control. I know this first hand. It’s so tempting to go overboard, but what I loved about this cottage is how well edited the decor is. Charm galore. The place had such a positive and relaxing vibe too.

A dark photo I know, but I wanted to include it to show you the claw foot tub nestled in the windowed nook. It was just perfection. The other cool thing the owner did, was to put a vintage wooden toy ironing board on the end of the tub for soaps, candles, etc. So if you see one at your local flea market and you have a claw foot tub….

The attic with these four mismatched antique twin beds could not have been cuter. This space is girl heaven – oh the games of playing house, talking all night, braiding each other’s hair. Like a story book…

The grounds were rustic and simple.

Hi little lady bug!

This is the main house. It looks like the original homestead was a one room log cabin and they built around it.

Big vegetable garden!

I love the farmhouse style of this currently vacant chicken coop.

Check out the leaded glass door.

Behind the main house is this trail down to the river. Falling asleep with the windows open and hearing the rushing water was heavenly.

Also behind the main house were these matching bathtubs. They are plumbed with hot and cold water.

My daily routine…

Taking a much needed break from work, email, phone, tv and my regular routine reminded me how essential it is for maintaining happiness, finding inner peace and boosting creativity.

Here’s to summer, being spontaneous, unplugging and stopping to enjoy the simplest of life’s pleasures.

Happy week to you!



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Barn Lights

Barn Lights

Barn lights and a garden tour

Hi sweet people. I hope your week is off to a wonderful start. A few days ago I received an email from a reader that besides making my day, got me thinking that a post on barn lights is long overdue…

First the email from sweet reader:

"OMG first of all I am obsessed with your house. I cant tell you what an inspiration it is for me. We are in the process of turning our 15 year old cape cod into a modern farmhouse, almost done taking it from yellow to white. Then I stumbled across your website. Whoa, I love it you are so talented. I love the wood porch. I have a real quick question for you. Im ordering the original barn light but am having a hard time figuring out how to find the size options for the straight arm. It on lists G1 and G4 etc and below it only shows "gooseneck" option photos. I noticed the first one you ordered was too long so just trying to figure this out.
Thanks so much for your time
Your newest and biggest fan"

She is referring to barn lights purchased from Barnlight Electric. Barnlight Electric has been my go-to resource for not only exterior barn-style lighting but anything with industrial feel for quite some time. I used it in my house (see photos below) as well as several client projects.

To answer the readers' question, my lights are the smallest shade size 12" and the shortest arm 14". I highly recommend you call Barn Light directly when placing your order! There are so many variables and options and they are SUPER helpful.


I opted for the straight arm vs. the gooseneck becauseI prefer straight lines to curved.



I chose the galvanized metal and I ADORE it.



 Barn Light offers many colors and finishes from matte to high gloss. I ordered all the gray to black options for a client project I was doing in Sonoma. We ended up choosing metallic chrome which was gorgeous against the creamy white exterior color. I wish I had a photo, but the client is away and couldn't snap one in time for me to post!


I used barn style-lights in this client's industrial kitchen. To see the rest of that project click here.


 While I was outside taking pictures…


The garden looked so pretty in the afternoon light. 




Summer is officially here. The boys are back from college, the house is full of chaos, I can't keep the house stocked with food. It's as though locusts have come. I think there's a haiku there somewhere.


Happy weekend!



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FarmHouseUrban House Remodel Update – Landscaping Progress

FarmHouseUrban House Remodel Update – Landscaping Progress

*Note: Technical difficulties prevented this post from being published when it was supposed to so it's a week late!

Hi to you! Happy Week-After-Halloween-Fully-Into-Fall-Now! One of the things I miss most about my kids' younger years is how big o'deal Halloween is. We don't get any trick or treaters at our house, so now that I don't have ones of my own, I really feel like I'm missing the best part — the candy! (kidding!). I may have to adopt…It has been a very busy few weeks both at work (note to self: post more about our projects!) as well as personal. It was my birthday last week and am still basking in the glow of numerous celebrations with those I love. Could there be any better present? One of the highlights of the last couple of weeks was running the Healdsburg Half Marathon with my friend Cindy. It was absolutely stunning. Winding wine country roads, mostly flat and lots of participants made it really fun. Join me next year?



The cement work is wrapping up on landscaping Phase I. As an urban dweller for most of my life, I have a blind spot when it comes to knowing what to do with anything relating to outside, so PLEASE let me know if you have a great idea, suggestion, advice, want to go to the stone place together, etc. 


These are taken from my kitchen door. Eventually there will be stone pavers with a low wall around it. 



The working plan is to put a table along the back with an arbor above for stringing lights and for privacy. To the right will be a barbeque.



There will be stone steps leading up to the upper barbeque patio. We are thinking of a mini olive grove for the are between the two walls.





This is the firepit off of the lower level and front of the house. 



 Now that I have my tech glitch worked out, I will post more photos! Powder room is done, window treatments are in, some new rugs and furniture to show you too!

Sending good wishes to you for a stellar weekend!



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Garden Inspiration

Garden Inspiration

Hi! How was your week? Mine was pretty mellow. My daughter Lily and I had the house to ourselves while she was home for Spring Break. I alternated days working and spending quality time with her, trying not to feel guilty about the one I wasn't doing. The plight of the working mom! Does that ever happen to anyone else? Lots of stuff going on right now, so the next several weeks are going to be really crazy! If posts are more sporadic than usual, that's why. 

The house is steadily coming along, and moving back in is now days away! Most of the progress made this past week is in mid-completion, so I'm going to wait to post photos until everything is finished. The appliances were delivered, but need to be hooked up by the plumber and electrician so they are sticking out from the cabinets and still have plastic on them, the staircase railing is in, but not painted, the roof is on in half of the places it's going. You get the picture.

When it comes to plant knowledge and designing garden spaces, I have to rely on an expert . We hired a landscape architect to help navigate things, which has been really informative and sooo nice to be on the receiving end of the design process! As with interiors, collecting images that resonate, really helps. 






The above five photos I took a few years ago while we were on vacation here. The gardens are spectacular and left a huge impression on me.

Garden steps
Not sure what the source of the above image is, so if it's your garden (or photo) let me know so I can give credit.  I love gravel paths and stone steps with plants that grow over the edges.

Garden - Vickie Archer French Essance

photo source – French Essence blog

I also love stone steps that lead to intimate, small spaces.

Garden Stairs - Fench Kissed Blog

photo source – French Kissed blog

Garden - arch and gravel path - houseandhome

photo source – House and Home

Garden steps - amy adams

Garden Design – Amy Adams

There are 23 species of Hydrangea that grow in the US. I would like one of each please.

Hydrangea path - alex smith garden design

Garden Design – Alex Smith

Hydrangea stacy bass

Garden Design – Stacy Bass

Lacey hydrangeas

As I started writing this, I realized how many more elements there are to gardens and how fun they are to conceptualize. As the design plan starts to take shape, I'll break down the posts with more specific inspiration images and show the places they will go.

I started a Pinterest board for garden ideas. If you'd like to take a look, click here.

Monday, Monday! Hope you have a fantastic day!


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Cool stuff I’m digging.

Cool stuff I’m digging.

I keep promising that I will blog more often and here it is over a week since my last post…  I'm actually currently on a little vay-kay, the kind that's non-stop rather than relaxing, so that's my excuse.  I get back home on Wed, so I'll update on the latest news then.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share some things I've recently discovered that make me happy. Maybe they will do the same for you!

1. Did you know that the talented crew at Remodelista have started a new blog – Gardenista??? For the landscaped challenged like me, this is a God send! 


2. Nike app for iPhone. Map your runs, track your progress! 

Nike app

3. No. 6 clogs.  My most fashinable girlfriend has been telling me about these shoes for months. I finally got this peep-toe pair below and LOVE them! So comfortable and the perfect mid-heel.  Incidentally, I have never received more shoe compliments! Someone even took my picture the other day (sadly, no, it was not The Sartorialist, but I will keep hoping). 

No.64. Fran's Salted Caramels. I am a severe chocoholic, but have recently decided I needed to cut back (is there an anon for that?) Now, when I do give myself a treat of chocolate it has to be the best most intense chocolate experience possible. While I have known and loved the Seattle based Fran's for years, I only recently discovered the lightly salted dark chocolate caramels. They are the perfect quick fix to my chocolate cravings and they ship in two days.

Fran's chocolate

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 


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