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!

xo

 

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The Devil Is In the Detail – San Francisco Decorator Showcase Examined

The Devil Is In the Detail – San Francisco Decorator Showcase Examined

Details from the 2015 San Francisco Decortator Showcase

Well hi there. Finally backI often consider writing another blog in addition to this one – I even have a name picked out – for those times when life gets in the way of blogging. The ups and downs give us character and remind us we are leading full lives I suppose… Even if only to serve as benchmarks to compare the plateaus against. Maybe… Anyway, all is fine, actually great. I've missed you and here….

xo

serena

Speaking of details, thank you to reader M.A. who emailed me a couple of months ago asking about my window trim detail. She kindly followed up recently with a photo of her almost complete kitchen remodel! Beautiful isn't it?! I adore it when you lovelies send me your project photos, so please do show and tell! 

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Second, a reader from Australia emailed me about specifications on my board and batten siding, but I can no longer find the email! My apologies! The comment section on the blog post is the best and fastest way to get a reply from me and often other readers inquire about the same thing. Here is a close-up of my b & b siding and the dimensions.

Battens are 2.5" and boards are 9.5" (the space between the battens).

I toured the 2015 SF Decorator Showcase a couple of weekends ago and took photos of some of the details that caught my eye. And, as we know, it's the details that make all the difference.

Texture, texture, texture! Love the tree stump table base!

I like the idea of using a stool made of a material other than teak in a shower. It offers a way to bring color and/or angles or curves to a small space.

It's hard to see in the photo, but this is beautiful straited high gloss wall application.

 The above and below photos are of the same space.

 I haven't seen colored nail heads used before. I like the merlot color against the charcoal wool fabric.

 Such a fun surprise for a laundry room.

I really liked this space. It was like walking into a black and white photograph. Often rooms in showcase homes can take playful or daring design to an extreme, but I think the blue mannequin in the monochrome room was perfection.

Although it's hard to see in the photo, the millwork is painted the same color and finish as the walls. This is a great affect especially where there is elaborate architectural trim.

 Black marble, dark grout and brass. What's not to love?

Hunter green lacquered walls with cream and natural leather. In this room, that classic combo is anything but traditional. (Above photo and below four photos are the same room).

If there is one common thread throughout the showcase house, I would say it's the color green. I spotted it in almost every room. Personally I haven't done any projects with a green color scheme or green furnishings and I don't know why… Lots of inspiration to be gained from the great use of this color.

This shade of light green – was just sublime. One of my favorite color combinations is purple and pale green. This room reminded me of Laduree in Paris. 

This curtain fabric is so pretty! 

For information on the San Francisco Decorator Showcase, including the designers who created the above rooms, click here.

Happy short week to you!

 

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FarmHouseUrban Update – Powder Room Reveal and my anniversary

FarmHouseUrban Update – Powder Room Reveal and my anniversary

Powder Room renovation in dark gray with brass fixtures

First off – Happy New Year! The first week of the new year has significance for me, because it was during this week 5 years ago that I said to myself, “why shouldn’t I write a blog?” Thank you each and everyone of you for reading, commenting, emailing and showing your support all these years, even when I veer way off topic. As I say every year, I'm humbled and touched beyond words that you find inspiration here. I am bursting at the seams in anticipation for all the wonderousness that this new year will bring and look forward to sharing it all with you. I wish you all a new year filled with heaps of joy, abundant good health, never ending peace and overflowing, heart pounding love!

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As you may remember if you've been following the blog for awhile, the original house did not have a powder room. When I was designing the new space, I took out the existing bar area (which was HUGE by the way) and replaced it with a pantry (click here to see it) on one side and a powder room on the other. Here is how the powder room turned out.

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The vanity is made of soapstone which I don't treat with any oils. I prefer the ashy natural gray to the darker shiny. The base is made of two metal legs. 

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Instead of leaving the edges open, I added this curved piece to finish it on both ends.

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All the other bathrooms have brushed chrome fixtures and white walls. In the powder room I walked on the wild side and went with dark charcoal walls and brass/gold fixtures and accents.

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I found this antique candy dish at an estate sale and think it's the perfect recepticle for these multi-colored soaps.

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This antique French mirror is one of my favorite pieces. It's constructed with fragments dating back to the 17th Century. The flash has distorted the colors a little, but there are touches of gold to the worn wood. 

That's it, hope you liked the tour. Please feel free to add your questions to the comments below!

Have a wonderful week!

 

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Recent Design Project Revealed: Soho Loft in Northern California | Plus a HUGE Thank You!

Recent Design Project Revealed: Soho Loft in Northern California | Plus a HUGE Thank You!

Over the past year, most of my work focus has been spent on some very exciting interior design projects. I haven’t mentioned much about work for awhile, so here is a little update…

After three wonderful years, I closed my storefront and design studio over the summer and moved my studio into the lower level of my house. It is awesome! I can’t wait to show you photos of how it turned out! One of the reasons I decided to do this is because many of my projects are long term and in wine country, so I was not in the office enough to justify the rent. Another reason is because I still sell beautiful, rustic chic items for the home on my online shop – www.shopFarmHouseUrban.com. All kinds of exciting fun new products, ideas and inspiration are coming to you in the New Year through the shop site so stay tuned!

This past week I had a photo shoot of a large project I just finished. My favorite and the best interiors photographer in the Bay Area did the shoot. Thank you Sean Dagen! I am so excited to show you how it turned out below!

But first some background. The 4,000+ sq. foot house was purchased last Spring by a recently divorced dad of three young boys. Masculine space to put it mildly. When I started on the project, demolition to the interior had just started and there was no architect. With a total of 15 spaces (4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, kitchen, family room, dining, living, office, laundry and sitting room) this was a huge project. All cabinetry, fireplaces, bathrooms and kitchen were down to the studs and needed every detail to be designed, specified and construction overseen. I am most proud of this project because it challenged me to go deeper into an area of design that I love, but haven't done to this level before. The majority of the scope was about cabinetry, built-ins and architectural details and less about furnishings.

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Cabinets are shaker style with modern pulls on both uppers and lowers. White walls, and cabinetry are contrasted with dark lighting fixtures and my favorite industrial barstools. A huge island serves many purposes from dining table to entertainment station.

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In the living room, built-in cabinets and alcoves flank the fireplace which is made of concrete. The street signs are custom and include all the places the client has lived as well as significant places in his life. Wood panelling was placed on focal walls throughout the house. In here, the tv is hidden behind flush doors.

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A perfectly worn leather sofa that belonged to the client was the starting point for the living room. A distressed denim and burlap wingback chair by Ralph Lauren Home added a bit of color. 

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The dining room has panelling on two walls and a small wet bar and wine refrigerator. A cluster of beeswax pillar candles when lit will add a dramatic visual affect.

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The table and bench are from the Big Sur Collection from Crate and Barrel. The Parson's style table is a slam dunk in any room and even makes a great desk. I threw the sheepskin over the bench instead of a cushion and to soften all the right angles. Tolix chairs are fantastic anywhere. The centerpiece is a resin bowl made by a local artist. 

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There are two kids' bathrooms that are identical for the most part. All the same materials were used – white penny tile and oversized 6"x18" subway tile are from Ann Sacks. The trough sink is a great way to fit two kids into one bathroom without taking up the vanity space that two seperate sinks would. Fixtures are from the Kohler Purist collection. The cabinet is custom.

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I gave the three boys a short questionnaire to not only get a feel for how best to furnish their rooms, but also to have them feel a part of the design process. One of them had a strong desire to have a loft bed. This was really fun to design! I took out the existing closet which went the span of the room and had folding doors. I replaced it with two seperate closet and dresser configurations on each side of a nook-style bed. The ceiling is fairly low, so having a true loft bed was tricky. The big drawer below holds a trundle bed on casters for sleepovers.

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The Master bedroom is simple – built-in bed and cantalievered nightstands, Tolomeo reading lights (the best reading light in my opinion!) a bench made from reclaimed wood found on Etsy and a cool leather chair.

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Between the Master Bathroom and closet, there was a small closet with folding doors. Since the walk-in closet is enormous, this space seemed unnecessary so I took it out and made this little cozy spot. Again, Tolomeo reading lights in sconce version.

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 The space I love the most is the Master Bathroom. It's also the one that took the longest to design. We looked at every gray stone and tile on the planet before selecting these gorgeous 12" x 24" porcelain tiles from Walker Zanger. The vanity is about 9' long and is made out of reclaimed Hemlock. Leather pulls are made from an old belt belonging to the client.

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The big, deep tub is so beautiful and adds a crisp, modern contrast to the warm wood vanity.

Well, that's it! There are many rooms we didn't take photos of, due to time limitations. It took over 8 hours to shoot the above photos.

If you have questions about products or materials, I am happy to answer them, but ask that you do it by leaving a comment rather than emailing me. More than likely, others will have the same question and I'm much faster at responding that way too!

Another exciting thing happened last week! A kitchen and family room that I designed awhile ago was featured in Better Homes & Gardens – Kitchen + Bath Ideas Magazine which hit the news stands last Tuesday!!! Thank you KBI!!! The photos turned out great and I will share them with you here on the blog in a few weeks when the magazine is no longer on the shelves. In the meantime, the magazine is really worth getting! LOTS of awesome photos and filled with inspiration on storage!

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Hope you have a fantastic week!

 

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Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse and my birthday weekend.

Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse and my birthday weekend.

I'm short on words today, but wanted to show you photos from my birthday weekend a few weeks ago which I spent in wine country. It was perfect in every way.

Traditional Home magazine – with the help of a bevvy of talented designers – transformed the guest cottage located on the grounds of Cardinale Winery into one of the most impressive showhouses I've seen.  It was our first stop.

The view from the driveway.


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I liked this rock wall, so I took a photo to keep on file for future landscaping inspiration.


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The foyer designed by Kathy Geissler.


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I loved the rug, especially with the Fortuny pillows and antique bench.


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The library was designed by Cathleen Gouveia – a veteran of Bay Area showhouses. Her rooms never disappoint. She puts so much thought into the details.


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The walls are venetian plaster.


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The living room was designed by Sunrise Home of San Rafael.


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Great lessons to be learned in styling bookshelves.


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A close-up of these linen and nail head uphostered pieces.
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The dining room was designed by Joe Lucas.


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My absolute favorite room was the kitchen, designed by Barbara Colvin. Check this out.


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I really liked the gray cabinets + bronze hardware. Bronze and brass are a huge trend in kitchen and bath fixtures these days. 


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I ususally don't gravitate to bright neon colors, but these stools in lime green worked beautifully with the gray. I may be a convert.


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The paint colors she used…I think from Pratt & Lambert.


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Here is the adjascent family room, also designed by Barbara Colvin.


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The table was an existing piece belonging to the homeowner. The armchairs are by Lee Industries.


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French doors in the family room lead you to the patio and this view.  They were pouring wines from Cardinale, so we took a moment to sit and savour them and the scenery.


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The bench cushion and big pillow fabric is by Martin Lawrence Bullard. 


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The lower level lounge was designed by Elizabeth Cameron and Kathleen Pfaff.


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Cool piece of art – I think it's an actual grape vine.


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My other favorite room was the Master Bedroom designed by Melanie Turner.


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I didn't get a shot of the bed! Darn! It was so pretty.


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Melanie turner patio via roughluxe

The guest suite was designed by Melanie Coddington.


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This is a close-up of the wallpaper in the bathroom. It's so pretty.


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The showhouse was not big, but the rooms were cohesive and worked together. 

Here are a few random photos from our weekend…

We went to a fruit and wreath farm on Saturday morning.


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Hi there little bee.


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Later we went wine tasting. The most beautiful was Bella (the wines were good too!)


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Inside the cave.


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This is a ceiling mounted art piece.


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Driving to Geyserville for lunch.


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The driveway into Trefethen Vineyard. Gorgeous!


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After our visit to the Traditional Home Showhouse, we were smitten with Cardinale Vineyards and scheduled a private tasting on Sunday. Here is what was served. The wines were outstanding (with prices to match).


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Last but not least, the spectacular Carneros Inn.


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It was an amazing weekend. The birthday festivities continue… Girlfriends arriving from Seattle this weekend for some SF fun!

Wishing you a fun filled weekend too!

 

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Recent Design Project: Coastal Farmhouse ‘before and after’

Recent Design Project: Coastal Farmhouse ‘before and after’

Recently I completed a small, sweet project I've been meaning to show you. I met my client when she came into the shop a few months ago. She and her husband have three young children and just bought their first home which overlooks the water in Belvedere, CA .  She likes the farmhouse style, but wanted to weave in a coastal vibe since the home has water views from almost every room. 

before's


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The scope of the project was to furnish the living room and solve what to do with the off-center fireplace wall.


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after's


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We wanted to make the shiny black granite disappear and at the same time make the fireplace and tv not feel so off-center.

The wall color is Restoration Hardware's Charcoal.  The beam is an old, reclaimed piece that my wood working guru had buried in a pile behind his shop. It was sanded and sealed to perfection (just luck that it ended up being a close match to the coffee table).

Here are more photos…

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The home doesn't have a mud room or coat closet. With three kids, things were piling up around the front door. As a temporary fix, the homeonwner used a coat rack for hanging items, but there was no place for shoes and other miscellaneous outerwear.


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I had a custom bench made based on the size of three vintage-style wire baskets my client purchased at the shop. One for each child. 


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Hooks mounted on wood planks replaced the coat rack.

Below is the other side of the entry.

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after


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The homeowner found this great industrial piece (I forget where, but Carrie if you are reading this maybe you can put the source in the comments?) We thought this trio of mirrors (sold individually) makes a much more interesting vignette than just one.

More photos…


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The living room was a blank canvas. It's the room you see first upon walking into the house. We started with the striped wool dhurrie rug and pulled the colors from there.

A new sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams replaced the old one (very similar, but new one is less modern), a Belgian style coffee table and a few new accessories finished off the space.

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The chairs were purchased previously, but the home owner was not fond of the contemporary lines, so we added vintage grain sack pillows and matching throws to soften the modern style.


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We're still filling in a few blanks, like this corner…


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Everything is new in this space. We're considering different chair options that can serve double duty for extra living room seating for parties, and we'll move the zinc accessoires to a new spot.

I hope you like the tour of this coastal farmhouse!

 

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