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.
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…
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:
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.
Use large and tall items. Pretty self explanatory.
In addition to framed photos, art can be used as a backdrop, leaned up against the back or hung on the bookcase frame.
Framed family photos shouldn’t be lined up in a row. Scatter them around or have them made into one large piece.
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?”.
More bookshelf and interior styling inspo, on my Pinterest page here.
I get questions about this topic more than any other, with the exception of the exterior material specifications. If there is any doubt in the expression “The devil is in the details” this window trim proves it. I had so many mock-ups made until the proportions felt right. It can seem like an insignificant detail not worth spending a ton of time on – a half inch here, there, but trust me, small details that are in multiple places pack a wallop of a punch in rounding things out. When we were under construction (5 years ago) there was little information to go on with regard to window trim for a modern yet traditional home. If you are starting from scratch or adding trim to windows that don’t have any, I hope this helps!
The horizontal piece at the top is 4.5″ W x 1.25″ D.
The vertical part on each side that goes to the sill is 3.5″ W x .75″ D.
The horizontal piece extends beyond the vertical piece by .5″ on each side.
Kitchen Cabinets & Island
The cabinets are hand painted (vs sprayed) in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. This is one of the best neutral all-around slam dunk colors in that has a creamy beigeness to it with a touch of gray. Perfect modern farmhouse color for walls, trim, cabinetry and exterior. The island is painted in Benjamin Moore Silhouette.
The countertop material is honed Calcutta Gold marble. The reveal on the perimeter counter is 1.5″
The countertop on the island has a 3″ reveal.
As I’ve mentioned before here, this took for-EVER to get right. At first, there was a ‘fuzzy’ look to the boards and the batten (narrow vertical pieces) had really sharp corners that I wasn’t crazy about. I believe the material used was some sort of composite, but I don’t know the exact name. Here are the dimensions: Exterior paint color is Benjamin Moore White Dove.
Battens are 2.5″ W and the space between them (boards) is 9.25″. The battens extend outward by .75″
If I’ve left anything out, or you have more specific questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments! for more info and details on the renovation, click here. Also, I will do detailed posts on each area of the house in the weeks to come, but wanted to create one post for the most asked about details.
Hello to you. It’s been a busy week with work projects as well as loading new products onto my shop site!!! Yes! Finally! Please stay tuned! The collection of home furnishings, accessories, vintage pieces and clothing is really exciting and I think you will love it.
Thankful for a nice, calm week and hope, wherever you are, you have that too.
Some posts are harder to write than others. This is one….so rather than say much, I think I will just share with you, photos of the most beautiful weekend ever.
An after breakfast walk on the way to the beach and we found this amazing place for freshly caught and packaged fish. They ship too.
I didn’t photoshop the other people out of this picture. We really had the beach all to ourselves.
He wanted no part of his friends. So bugged.
Base camp for the weekend while we explored the nearby beaches and towns.
If cabins in the woods are your idea of romantic, this is your place.
This is the hot tub, which we had all to ourselves. Thank goodness, because we didn’t bring bathing suits.
The owners of the property have whimsical – and sometimes sort of odd – statues and signs throughout the woods that surround the cabins. This one was so sweet, I had to take a photo!
Absolutely no filters on any of these photos.
We popped into this place to take a look around since it’s considered to be one of the top 10 golf courses in the world, and ended up staying for lunch and massages.
This guy followed us as we walked through the golf course with one of our french fries he took from our lunch.
For info on the romantic cabin in the woods, click here.
For info on the super fancy golf resort, click here.
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.
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.
Well, at long last, I’m back. I didn’t intend to be away (from the blog) this long,… To back up chronologically, I took each of my kids to their colleges. First, Luke who asked me to help him spruce up the townhouse he’s rented for the past two years with a few fraternity brothers. I was extremely flattered by being asked, as it marked the first time one of my kids acknowledged that my repertoire went beyond making mac n cheese or what colors go together when sorting laundry. We take our glories wherever we can 🙂 After a week cleaning his place (wish they sold hazmat suits at the hardware store!) and crushing it with some incredible Craigslist furniture finds, I left him and DC feeling a sense of pride that exceeded well past any other design project I’d done prior.
Upon arriving home, I had a week to get Lily ready for her first year at University of Denver. If there ever is a time when the differences between the X and Y chromosomes are apparent (I know, I’m generalizing) it’s getting ready for college. Lily shipped nine enormous boxes of stuff plus the bag she took on the plane. I think it was a duffel bag, but it was the size and shape of an adult rhinoceros. Not to mention the 6 months in planning her room decor, which included Pinterest boards, numerous trips to Ikea, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Urban Outfitter. I spent almost a week in Denver getting her settled, and just exploring the town. All is going well, I’m happy to say.
When I came home and sat down to start thinking about what to post, there were a series of political and environmental catastrophes that, just left me with a feeling that whatever I could possibly say would feel trite or lacking empathy for the millions who were experiencing such utter anguish. So, now I’m back. I’ve missed you.
My summer in review: The halcyon days.
The above five photos are from a July 4th dinner party in St. Helena. The light, the setting among the grape vines, the mix of people and the incredible food made for a great night.
Along a dirt road, that blackberry had my name on it.
I don’t remember where this was actually, but I thought the daisies poking through the white picket fence were so pretty.
Running along the shores of Lake Washington in Seattle during my annual summer visit. This exact spot was where took my very first long run in high school. It’s still my favorite and my best.
Records are to Seattle what bacon is to eggs. They belong together. Growing up with Tower Records and all the smaller record shops along ‘The Ave’ in the 80’s that gradually disappeared, it was a welcome sight to walk into this Capitol Hill record shop.
A special day at the beach.
When the first peaches appear at the grocery store in early summer, I do an internal happy dance. There is no better breakfast than a perfectly ripe peach and summer berries. On to apples and pears!
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.