Mid-Century Modern. While I’ve always appreciated the iconic pieces from this period, it was only until recently that my personal aesthetic radically shifted. What is particularly cool about furniture created during this era – and why these pieces have stood the test of time – is that for the most part, they were designed by highly acclaimed architects. Form and function blend together into sexy coolness. A few mid-century pieces in a room can up the hip factor exponentially, however t’s easy to get carried away and look like the set of the Dick Van Dyke show. In other words, Mid- Century Mod-eration is key.
Kilim Rugs. This trend, if you can call it that since these rugs have actually been around for hundreds of years, snuck up on me. I think I’m actually extremely late to the party on this one. Rugs dictate the color direction for a room, so I’ve tended to prefer natural fiber (as in jute, seagrass, sisal, etc) for their textural attributes as well as their neutrality. I’m now a convert. The muted colors of vintage rugs adds a warmth and visual interest that is so pleasing. I’m thinking of starting small with a runner for either the hallway or the kitchen, maybe even for a bathroom. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.
Patterned Tile. Again, I have played it safe by gravitating to all white and when I do deviate, it’s to use solid stone matching the countertop material in kitchens. As far as bathrooms, I have never designed one with anything but white tile. Well… after seeing so many freakin gorgeous examples of patterned tile lately, I am rethinking my non-comital ways and taking a little walk on the wild side.
Wallpaper. This is one trend that stops me in my tracks. I’m either taken aback by the sheer prettiness of a wallpapered room, or it’s sense of whimsy or just in awe that something that looks like something else is actually wallpaper! While I seriously don’t think I could pull the trigger and have wallpaper in my own house (purely a function of having had to manually strip 5 layers of wallpaper from every square inch of our first home), I love the idea of using it for design projects. There are just so many outrageously beautiful wallpapers out there. I could be very happy spending a day or two or five at the Design Center going through them all.
For more examples of these trends and interior inspiration, please visit my Pinterest page here.
Maybe it’s because Lily and I are headed out-of-town for a week of skiing in a few days (I can’t wait!!!), but all I can think about are cabins. Truth be told, I started fantasizing about them this past summer – lake cabins in particular – and the ever-so-slight departure I noticed away from the farmhouse/barn design trend of the past 5+ years. I still firmly believe in the permanence of this style and love it (obviously) but if I were to spot an aesthetic trend in interior design emerging, I would say that ‘cabin chic’ might be next. Just a prediction 🙂
On an administrative note: There are still a few tweaks, additions and modifications to the site in progress, I’m working diligently on fixing them with the help of Luke over the phone from college when he’s available, Our highly skilled and efficient tech department is on it! and you will see improvements made in the days to come. Thank you for your patience.
ps – ski trip photos will be on Instagram!
Notice the double sets of doors. I have been seeing this done quite a bit lately and think it’s just brilliant. It allows for privacy and weather protection when you want, light and openness when you prefer that.
I would love to know more about that counter piece on the left… It looks like it’s a vintage piece of furniture and melds beautifully with the other elements in the room. Sometimes clients are apprehensive about mixing woods. This is a great example of how well it works and is actually better than having all the wood match exactly. It looks like there are five wood components to this space and they’re all different.
What a nice place to read or take a nap.
I really like the gallery wall but what caught my eye is the painted shiplap. Typically we see it in white, and in cabins wood-paneled walls are often kept natural, but painting one in a rich gray to create a focal wall I think compliments all the other wood details in the space beautifully.
I want to be right here! Doesn’t this room draw you in? Especially in a vacation/second home environment where family members and friends are likely to gather, a comfortable seating arrangement to pile into is so inviting.
Stacks of blankets and pillows are decor by themselves.
The cabin essentials kit:
Faux fur blankets – can’t have enough of these lying around. From here.
Hi… I hope your new year is off to a great start! I don't typically make resolutions, but this year I did. My type-A, plan-ahead self is taking a rest. She used to think she could see the future as if she was looking into a crystal ball and be sure of how things would go… But in the case(s) where she was wrong and things didn't go as planned or worse – as she believed they would – her world and all she knew to be real, was rocked. So, this year, she is planning I am just going to see what happens…:)
I've been noticing another design trend emerging lately… blonde or bleached wood is appearing in a big way. I am loving the soft shades from milky gray to pinkish and how beautifully they compliment light colors creating an ethereal effect as well as with dark shades and metals creating a more masculine feel. Here are some images that caught my eye. Enjoy.
A tour of the Henrybuilt showroom in Mill Valley, CA.
Hi loves. I'm writing to you from bed with a whopping cold. I can't remember the last time I felt this bad. Hot water with lemon and honey and lots of rest is my plan for the day. So forgive me – I'm lite on words today…
I'm excited to share with you a modern cabinet resource that is high on style but even more important, is designed smartly and efficiently. Form follows function without any aesthetic compromise. Here is my visit to the Henrybuilt showroom in Mill Valley, CA!
First, a little aside… Janet Hall the showroom manager is an old friend of mine from my Seattle days. Our daughters went to the same teeny tiny preschool in our old neighborhood when they were 2. Janet also is one of the founders of the uber popular blog Remodelista. She is a connoisseur of great design, so I couldn't wait for her to show me around!
The showroom is in a former mechanic's garage.
All the drawers have magnetic adjustable dividers thus are adaptable to any combination of utensils.
Notice the brass pulls and how the drawer fronts are constructed to fit them perfectly. They are solid brass and made at the factory in Seattle. All hardware for Henrybuilt cabinets is made by them. Snacks not included.
Janet explained to me that Henrybuilt kitchens are a 'system' rather than just cabinets. Everything is designed around it's purpose and specialized to the owner's exact preferences.
A 1/2" countertop reveal. I spot a trend happening… Cutting boards are designed to fit snuggly on countertops and slide easily to accommodate tasks.
The attention to detail and quality of the workmanship is exceptional.
There are several finish options as well as materials to select from. You can also mix and match. I always gravitate to kitchens with a contrasting island color.
Above is a closet system. The top slides to reveal the upper drawer. The scoops are for spare change, cuff links, etc.
There are many more products and features that Henrybuilt offers. If you are considering custom cabinets and like a sleek modern look, I encourage you to explore their website. Click here.
Brass hardware and fixtures for kitchens and bathrooms
Several years ago when I first noticed brass hardware appearing in 'fashion forward' kitchens and bathrooms, I had no idea that it would become as mainstream as it has. It's often paired with gray cabinets which are a lovely compliment.
I'm currently working on a design project for an adorable young family. The project scope includes a remodel of the entire first floor – kitchen, family room, dining room, powder room and laundry as well as new furnishings, lighting, accessories, etc. I'm really excited about how it's shaping up! Here is a sneak peek at some of the kitchen selections so far…
Moroccan style crackle finish tile in creamy white for the backsplash.
Gray shaker cabinetry. We're actually using two colors – one for the perimeter wall cabinets and another for the island. There will be two different countertop materials as well. SO pretty!
A modern pull-down faucet in brushed brass.
Aren't these the most GORGEOUS brushed brass pulls?!
We use Pinterest quite a bit to swap ideas and created an online binder of what we have selected. If you are interested in following the board, click here.
Speaking of Pinterest, which I now can't imagine life without, the most pinned photo I have ever taken or had pinned from my blog is this one… There is one string that has over 2,000 repins. And lo and behold, it just happens to be brass hardware and gray cabinets! I took it over 2 years ago on my birthday weekend in wine country.
While I was sourcing kitchen faucets for my clients, I came across a few that I love, but passed on for this job. I bookmarked them for future reference. I hope I get to use them in other projects soon! In case you are on the hunt too, here they are.
Awhile ago I posted about a project I was working on for clients who wanted to completely renovate their kitchen as well as redecorate the attached family room space. The client's style preference is contemporary with a little 'glam'. I enjoyed the challenge of stepping outside my personal aesthetic and tapping into what they really wanted.
Here are photos of the kitchen 'before'.
Here are the kitchen 'afters'.
The island is painted in Benjamin Moore's Fusion.
In the family room, the biggest task was figuring out what to do with the fireplace surround, since it's the focal point. It goes up to the pitched ceiling and needed some dimension. The client did not want a rustic look, so no stone or reclaimed wood. Ultimately, the rug inspired a similar geometric pattern that was applied with 1" x 1" trim to the sheetrock.
Here are the family room 'before's'.
The raised geometric pattern being applied to the fireplace wall.
The colors for the furnishings were gray and violet. Some paint options we were considering…
We had the windows enlarged and framed all windows in both the family room and kitchen in a simple trim detail. That made a huge difference!
Here are the family room 'afters'.
The Parson's tables (one on each side of fireplace) are from Bungalow 5 and are lacquered grasscloth in white. The x-benches are from Ballard Design, with fabric we provided. They turned out great didn't they? So easy to work with them, I was really happy with the customer service. I had an actual name who knew the status of the order at all times. Would highly recommend them.
A couple of months ago I was interviewed for Luxe magazine – Pacific Northwest edition, asking me for my favorite places in Seattle. Here's the article along with a hilarious cartoon of me!
Hi, and welcome! I’m so glad you landed here and I hope you find this to be a place you visit often.
I started this blog in 2008 as a way to chronicle the remodeling of our nondescript Northern California house into our dream home. While that did happen, so did a lot of other things - life and all the messy, glorious, complicated, wonderful things that go with it. As such, in early 2017 I decided to change the focus from the house itself to the life that happens inside.
My wish is that this blog provides beautiful inspiration, creative ideas, connections to other like-minded folks, as well as stylish products for your home, to wear and to give.