How to Style a Bar  – FarmHouseUrban Style

How to Style a Bar – FarmHouseUrban Style

Hi to you…The last week has been a whirlwind! The pop-up shop opened on Thursday and I’m happy to say it’ turned out cute as a button. On the flip side, I picked the absolute worst rain storm week in California history #kiddingnotkidding to open. Despite the weather, people have sloshed their way in and scooped up all kinds of goodies which warms my heart beyond words.  More on the pop-up on Instagram and Facebook. And… drumrolll…. the online shop is live!



So this post is about, of all things, how to style a bar! Am I a big drinker you might wonder? No, Am I working on a project with a bar in it? No. So, why on earth am I writing about bar styling? The answer is, because nothing says “Fun Happens Here” quite like walking into a room with a well stocked bar. I also really like the aesthetic of it all. The sparkly bottles and glassware, jars of olives and maraschino cherries, metal accoutrements, swizzle sticks. You get the idea. I even have a Pinterest board on home bars. They just look good. So here you go…

Traditional Stye Home Bar Set-up

This has been a favorite bar photo for a long time, and one that gives me lots of inspiration on styling in general. For one thing, this is an antique credenza vs a bar cart. There is not a square inch left on here which I actually think is the way to go. Par-tay time. There’s a lamp in the back so I can imagine how great the ambient lighting adds to the vibe.

I really like this set-up. Perfect for small spaces and looks to be a shelf piece. Again a creative way to use furniture that you might have lying around and not know what to do with. Short bottles in front, tall in back, and the use of trays, which are essential to taking the bar from looking good to great. Tools and ice bucket must be nearby.

Wood Bar Cart

This bar cart piece is clearly made for its intended purpose. I like the dark accessories, pewter bowl and leather bag. Well edited – probably styled for a photo shoot rather than an actual home, but that’s ok. we can still get inspired.


If you have the space and inclination to create a home bar, here are some fun ideas to get started:


Mid-Century Credenza

The advantage of a piece like this, besides it’s good looks is the hidden storage. There are endless possibilities for great finds like this on here.

Rattan Double Sized Bar Cart

Bartender, make mine a double!  This rattan piece is for that situation when you need a lot of work space. And can you have some serious fun setting it ip. Just enough detail, but not too much. From here.

Dark metal cart on wheels

I was going to use this piece in a recent design project but the dark metal finish version wasn’t available yet. This piece is really versatile as it’s a little more narrow than most, so it can serve as a buffet piece in a small dining room, or even in a bathroom. From here.



Tools are essential in cocktail preparation, but displaying them without looking messy and scattered can be a challenge. Also, since space is typically limited, this cool stand with all the basic tools included would solve both issues beautifully. From here.

Once you have the basics, it can be fun to add interesting pieces to the mix, like this one from here.

More bartender tools from here.


Cut crystal tumbler

I am in love with cut crystal tumblers. They’re old school in the very best way. If a glass can be called sexy, this one has it goin on. Get it here.

While it’s not glassware, these are a must with the glass above – or any cocktail tumbler. Slow melting, and large, one is al you need.


A twist on the traditional martini glass. For all those straight-up cocktails. Plus great for desserts.

Big daddy brandy snifter from here.


Decanter from here.




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Big Exciting News – it’s Pop-Up time!

Big Exciting News – it’s Pop-Up time!

Hello sweet reader, I am thrilled to share with you that another FarmHouseUrban pop-up shop will be opening soon!!! This has been a long time coming, and I truly cannot wait!  The exact dates are Thursday, March 15th to Sunday, April 1st. in the adorable Marin County town of Larkspur! (address will be announced later) I will be posting lots more in the days to come – especially on Instagram so please stay in touch. Expect to be treated to amazing guest vendors displaying their artistry, an incredible assortment of goodies for the home, as always – pillows galore! spectacular vintage pieces and drumroll…. our first foray into fashion!  I will be gradually adding more in the area of women’s accessories & clothing (maybe men’s down the road) to the pop-ups as well as the online shop. Knitwear, leather pieces, jewelry and more beautiful items will be added weekly!!!

As far as the online shop, that too will go live on March 15th. I have been waiting until the pop-up details have been finalized before we go live with the site. The reason being, the collections are made in small batches so when they sell out, they will be out of stock for awhile until more can be made.  Please mark your calendars and pop-on the site or if you’re local, pop-in and say hi!! 




some teasers…

FarmHouseUrban Spring Pop-Up - Linen Napkins

Scrumptious table linens

FarmHouseUrban Spring 2018 Pop-Up

Stoneware teacups and teapot handmade from England

FarmHouseUrban Spring 2018 Pop-Up

Woven leather chair & piles of pillows

FarmHouseUrban Spring 2018 Pop-Up

Museum caliber Native American bull skull. A work of art .


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Gray, January and Groutfits

Gray, January and Groutfits

Well hi. I haven’t posted in some time, because for one I have had every kind of technology situation arise all at once. Thankfully, I now have a TWO person IT department!  Besides that, life peacefully continues to find it’s way to a new normal. I’m enjoying the experience of sustained quiet and stillness now that the kids are back at school. At the same time, starting new routines, switching up my daily travel patterns and stepping outside my comfort zone from time to time. It’s all part of embracing change rather than resisting it. There are some miraculous things that happen when that ever so slight tweak in thinking happens. I truly believe that.



So, it’s January. Suffice it to say, it’s probably gray outside most of the time where you are as it is here in Northern California. After the holidays there’s this stretch of waiting for spring yet we still have months to go. The Gray Period. I’m working on a big interior design project that is mostly gray, black and cream. I’m in heaven with the color palette, so I thought I’d share some images that influence and inspire me. In addition, my daughter taught me a new word for my typical winter day attire – A Groutfit. It means when your outfit is predominantly gray. So, I’m also sharing some Groutfit inspirations too :))

Happy winter my loves.

soft gray bedroom colors

charcoal gray bedroom

gray chalk paint palette

Grey winter outfit

Gray linen bedding

Charcoal on gray linen fabric

Gray sweater and ripped jeans

Shades of gray linen fabric

Metal letter B


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Work Spaces & My Home Office

Work Spaces & My Home Office

Hi and happy new year! As of this past Monday it will be my ninth year blogging… Hard to believe it’s been that long. The connection with you all is the best part, and that I now look at things differently – in a good way. I study things more closely, fully appreciate beauty in all its forms, and perhaps have become more comfortable as a writer too. My grammar, sadly, has not improved at all – lol. Anyway, thank you for reading and for the love and support all of these years. I’m humbled and touched beyond words.



A few years ago, I claimed an otherwise unusable space in my house as my office. Unusable because it’s narrow and long and has doors on both facing walls, making the configuring of furniture very difficult  This turned out to be one heck of a happy accident (and I will tell you why in just a minute). What I discovered about work spaces and desk orientation has changed my thinking about how impactful furniture placement can be. Lest you think I’m about to go all feng shui on you, fret not! I know zero about it, although I do believe there is definitely something to it.

farmhouse urban home office

farmhouse urban home office

Having worked from home for most of my adult life, I have at times had to carve space out of some of the most obscure places including a windowless, cinder block walled room in the unfinished basement in our first Seattle house, I’ve tried all kinds of configurations.So, here’s my big life-changing serendipitous take-away… Putting your desk in the center of a room, instead of against a wall will make you more productive! Yep, it will. I  know this is not always an option, I merely want to plant the seed of inspiration…

Narrow home office with desk in center

Mid-century modern home office

Home office with desk angled

Craft room using Ikea cabinets and shelving

Home office with desk in center of room

Home office with brass accents and dark walls

How to orient a desk in a narrow home office

Two sided work space in home office

mid-century home office

For more home office inspo click here.



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Styling bookshelves 101

Styling bookshelves 101

Hi beautiful reader. How are you doing during this time of year? It can be hard and it can be wonderful, sometimes concurrently, right? Just be mindful to keep centered and take good care of your self (see last post if you need some help getting started). I am knee deep in a couple of interiors projects with install deadlines the first week of Jan. The other work related project, and I know I’ve been talking about it for awhile so bear with me because it’s really coming together in such a big beautiful way is… the online shop is almost ready!!! I am beyond excited to share these home decor and fashion collections with you, so please, follow along or subscribe so the minute the shop goes live, you will be of the first to know!!!

The kids are home for the holidays, which I LOVE. That said, I have found it helpful when they and their friends abscond back from college, that a few military practices come in really super handy. One that I like a lot is “One is none. Two is one.” This basically means that if I have only one of something, say for example, peanut butter, it’s as if I am already out of peanut butter the same day. So, always have like 2+ peanut butters so you don’t run out. Another favorite is “Time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted.” I really like that one. It’s particularly helpful when, weirdly, your chargers all disappear and everyone ‘swears’ they have no idea where they went. I’ve also found that writing checklists of what you mean by “clean” alleviates gray areas and makes for fewer conflicts.

Happy Holidays!

On my way to a holiday dinner party of girlfriends Top from 2 years ago from here, Black jeans from here. and ankle boots from here.



Bookshelf styling is an art unto itself. I find it to be one of the hardest things to do in the entire realm of interior design. Anyone else struggle with this too? Finding the right balance of stuff without it looking cluttered can be be challenging.

I’ve got a buit-in bookshelf that has been in need of attention…

FarmHouseUrban bookshelf styling

FarmHouseUrban white pitcher collection

FarmHouseUrban ceramic vase collection

FarmHouseUrban buddha + books

I decided to educate myself on how to improve it and have consolidated the findings to this list and added a few of my own two cents:

  1. Start with books. Duh! While this might seem obvious, it’s worth reiterating. I prefer hardcover books rather than paperback for the shelves I’m working on, but not opposed to displaying paperback. I’m contemplating taking the paper jackets off too…Books can and should be oriented horizontally and vertically to create visual interest. I’ve noticed on Pinterest and some popular home remodeling shows that faux books are used quite often for their color or size. I would suggest using real books over faux.Bookshelf Styling ideasBookshelf styling ideas
  2. Use large and tall items. Pretty self explanatory.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  3. In addition to framed photos, art can be used as a backdrop, leaned up against the back or hung on the bookcase frame.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  4. Framed family photos shouldn’t be lined up in a row. Scatter them around or have them made into one large piece. bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas
  5. Lay out things that you love from around the house on a table or the floor near the shelves you’re working on- boxes, vases, bowls, baskets, objects of art and start moving things around. I read a good tip to not use anything smaller than an apple when styling bookshelves. Even if you only get a few shelves ‘just right’ you will now be thinking of your bookshelf when you are out and about and see something cool and wonder, “where would I put this?”.bookshelf styling ideasbookshelf styling ideas

More bookshelf and interior styling inspo, on my Pinterest page here.



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Wildfires and a new furniture resource that will make you feel better about, well, a lot.

Wildfires and a new furniture resource that will make you feel better about, well, a lot.

Dear sweet reader. It has been a devastating week here in Northern California. We have lost much of our beautiful, bountiful wine country to a wildfire that appeared virtually overnight and has already become the worst fire in California history. I don’t think the national news depicts even remotely the enormity of what we have lost and the fires are still not fully contained. Wildfire is not an accurate description, as it implies the location as being forests, or wooded remote areas. This is not the case! Thousands of homes are lost in family neighborhoods, perhaps just like yours. Many wineries have burned to the ground, entire vineyards are gone. A total of 300 square miles are currently on fire with the death toll at 40 and expected to rise as there are 200+ people unaccounted for. Where I live – about 40 miles from one of the largest and most destructive fires, the schools are closed because the smoke is so thick, ashes falling from the sky like snow flurries. We have been warned to stay inside due to highly unhealthy air quality.  So, what to do and how to help? Naturally, the Red Cross is the best way to ensure funds get to the highest in need expeditiously, but you can also do something else… DRINK NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WINE! Raise a glass to the fires being put out soon and drink some more after that! If you’re looking for gift ideas – California wine. Double down. 



So, I was putting a post together about a recent road trip I took along the California and Oregon coast (coming in next post) when I received an email from the home furnishings company Arhaus. It was my first introduction to this company, which is surprising because their collection is absolutely stunning! But even better, they are completely committed to the environment, wellness and giving back. This is not typical for the furniture industry as there are so many toxic materials used and shoddy manufacturing practices, especially with big box retailers. I was absolutely astonished to find out they use 100% organic materials for many of their pieces! AND they are partnering with the American Forest Foundation to plant 25,000 trees – one for each purchase during their sale. Given what has happened this week to not only my area, but the hurricanes that have devastated so many homes, and wildlife, I felt it timely to share this resource with you now.  To read about their philanthropy click here.

As a sidenote, I always like to mention before I promote something, that every word you read on this blog is written by me, and all products I recommend I would purchase myself. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity and goodness and will only offer you products that are reflective of that.

I created the following two moodboards, because I couldn’t help myself. The collections are so inspiring, I just got carried away!  I hope you like them too.

Modern Farmhouse Living Room

Modern Farmhouse Living Room Furniture Plan

  1. Sofa    |   2. Coffee Table   |   3. Fab Chair   |   4. Pillow   |   5. Stump Table   |    6.  Basket   |   7.  Lamp


Modern Farmhouse Dining Room

Modern Farmhouse Dining Room Furniture Plan

1. Table  |   2. Chair   |   3. Bench  |  4. Buffet   |   5.  Art   |  6.  Candle Holder  |  7.  Lighting



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