True North:  Seattle Style

True North: Seattle Style

Hello sweet people. I just got back. As always it was a wonderful trip. Mostly a girlfriend lovefest, as I have friendships there that span 15 to 35 years. When I moved to California 10 years ago, I left Seattle without hesitation. Didn’t look back…. except for one thing – those gals. Over the course of the week+, we spent time both one on one and sometimes in groups – memories of our young mommy years made us laugh at the things we took sooo seriously way back when, or reflected for a moment to express sadness or gratitude for the curveballs of life that have affected us all. It’s both a comfort and blessing to have these ladies by my side and me to there’s. That’s my biggest takeaway from the trip – to cherish the special people in your life. 

It’s a one foot in front of the other kind of week. Hope yours is great wherever you are…

xo

s

Despite gracious offers to stay with friends, I always rent a short term vacation place when I’m in Seattle. The alone time, ability to keep my own hours, eat what and when I want, etc is how I recharge. In all the years of spending a chunk of the summer there, I’ve only had one semi-negative experience and that was due to the neighbors below keeping nocturnal hours. Being an incredibly light sleeper, I made a note to self – never to stay in a duplex or similar situation. Ideally, a small cottage close to or in my former neighborhood is where I’m happiest. As long as it’s clean, I really don’t have any other requirements. Well, this year the bar has been raised. Behold.

Ironed sheets – really? Dark chocolate, cheese & crackers, coffee and half and half waiting for me – seriously? I was in total heaven,

Moving on to my favorite dish ALL-STAR… There are favorite dishes and there are Shut The Front Door and put the Do Not Disturb sign out favorites. This is the case with what I’m about to share with you. Welcome to Ba Bar.I discovered this gem a couple of summers ago when the place we rented was around the corner. It’s open for breakfast – think Vietnamese coffee and an almond croissant (it’s Vietnamese thus the French influenced breakfast offerings). We ended up eating there just about every day. Since it’s open until 4AM, it’s great for those Dinner #2 situations or when you are out late and starving and want a great sit-down meal. There are two locations and a third coming soon, but I highly recommend you only go to the Capital Hill one.

Best dish at Ba Bar Seattle

I grew up on Queen Anne Hill, home to many movie and TV show filmings, but also home to one – if not THE – most famous and photographed outlooks in Seattle. I used to ride my bike there with my dog running along many a day growing up. Whole lotta memories came flooding back… whoa. Anyway, on a whim I decided to go back on the night of the full moon. If you’re in Seattle and into views 🙂 check out Kerry Park.

Full moon view from Kerry Park, Seattle

The last place I want to share with you is a newly opened lunch and dinner restaurant and the spot of an absolutely decadent afternoon spent with a girlfriend. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover – or rather – a restaurant by it’s interiors, but I do!!! This place had me at hello. I highly recommend Harry’s Fine Foods.

Harry''s Fine Foods, Seattle

Harry's Fine Foods, Seattle

Harry's Fine Foods, Seattle

Harry's Fine Foods, Seattle

Harry's Fine Foods, Seattle

Harry's Fine Foods, Seattle

This cake was so delicious. I ate most of it we shared it.

*On an administrative note* if you were a subscriber to FarmHouseUrban and no longer receive posts conveniently delivered to your inbox – I’m so sorry! All previous subscribers were lost when we changed blog platforms and seem to be unretrievable. I sincerely hope you will resubscribe! For those new to the blog, thank you! If you like what you see (and if you made it down here, that’s a good sign :)), I would love you to subscribe so you can receive posts as soon as they are published. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Attic Spaces

Attic Spaces

Hi to you from Seattle. It’s the month of my annual summer road trip get-away. Every year, same time, same place and – hopefully I can say this without jinxing myself – the weather is always gorgeous. Seattle is my childhood home town I suppose you could say. Where I spent my ‘formative’ years from ages 9-17.  Where’d that expression come from – the formative years? I did most of my forming in the last five! Anyway, Seattle sure has changed. Software, technology and Amazon have radically altered the socio-economic landscape. There is a new wide-spread prosperity as well as all the trappings that go along with, that was not as prevalent when I was growing up. Seattle used to be a funky, pedestrian, sort of bohemian but also sort of Nordic city. Now it’s hard to put my finger on what Seattle is – what the real personality of this town is. It seems to be more focused on what it is not…

In the next post, I’ll share photos and places that might be of interest to you should you find yourself in the Puget Sound area. In the meantime, feel free to visit me on Insta. 

Sending you lots of love wherever you are,

S

What is it about attics that is so captivating? In books and movies, attics are always the location of something dramatic, romantic and ethereal. There’s a dreamy mysteriousness about them. Perhaps because they hold memories, spirits and often a lifetime of treasures. If there’s any truth to the notion that spaces take on the souls of their inhabitants (and I do believe they do), then attics are the heart center. I’ve never lived in a house with a real attic so naturally, that makes them even more intriguing. I once stayed in a a cabin with an attic that had been turned into a sleeping loft for the owners granddaughters. How my younger self would have loved sleeping there…

Attic from Hood River trip

I’ve been pinning images ever since. Here are some I’d like to share with you.

Attic with wallpaper and twin beds

attic bedroom

attic bedroom painted white

gorgeous attic bedroom

bohemian attic space

shabby chic attic bedroom

big attic sleeping room for a family

attic bedroom

 

 

 

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My House Remodel Part One: Exterior Before & After

My House Remodel Part One: Exterior Before & After

Since completing our house remodel five years ago, I’ve received numerous inquiries regarding the specific details, manufacturers, colors and brands we used, so I  created a series of posts that highlight each part of the house and include the information that you might be interested in. If I’ve left anything out, please feel free to inquire in the comments section below and I will reply there.

To start, I thought it would make sense to take a look at the exterior of the house before:

The biggest flow issue we faced, was the lack of a front door or even any sort of a clear entry to the house. That’s a problem! The glass doors in the center of the house (black square above) opened to a brick floored, 6′ x 6′ interior ‘courtyard’. There were two exterior doors – one on each side wall leading to different parts of the house. This was an issue because visitors would never in a million years know this. They would twirl around in the driveway looking around as if the entrance would eventually reveal itself. So, the kitchen door (where the stairs lead above) by default, became the main entry to the house.

Another big issue –  there wasn’t a garage only a one car carport. Notice the driveway on the right. Whether or not to give up that extra parking and turnaround space was a big decision. In the end, we were able to take space from the basement to make a 2-car garage and the new driveway allowed for several cars, so we were able to add fruit trees, landscaping and a stone pathway.

You are probably saying to yourself right about now, ‘What on earth was she thinking buying that ugly thing?’ To be totally honest, it was love at first sight. To me, the house had the right bones – big rooms, not much wasted space, great natural light, but mostly it was because it just felt happy, like it had good ghosts.

So, to make things easier for you, I created a cheat sheet at the bottom of this post with all the specifications, links and details about each item for which I receive the most inquiries.

Here are the afters:

Board & batten modern farmhouse

Modern Farmhouse landscaping

modern farmhouse landscaping

Modern Farmhouse renovation

Exterior Paint Color – Benjamin Moore White Dove

Exterior Door Color – Restoration Hardware – Charcoal

Front Door Hardware – Rocky Mountain

Outdoor Lighting (Sconces) – Restoration Hardware Union Filament Sconce

Outdoor Lighting (Galvanized Straight Arm) – Barnlight Electric

Board & Batten Dimensions – 2.5: x 9.25″

Adirondack Chairs – Custom

Outdoor Pillows – Pottery Barn

Decking Material – Ipe

Fire Pit – Solus

Thanks for all the interest over the years! I hope you find this helpful 🙂

xo

Serena

 

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Fashion Edit: My hi lo favorites

Fashion Edit: My hi lo favorites

Hi. Sigh. This is the last week of high school for Lily. She graduates tomorrow. In a way it’s a bigger deal than when her brother graduated three years ago….It marks a significant change in my mothering life as I’ve known it for the past 22 years. I cried everyday for six months prior to Luke graduating and everyday after that until he left for college. With Lily, I have a different reaction, but not one bit less emotionally charged. Has this happened to you? Different reactions for each child? This time, I’m filled with excitement as I watch her take this leap, the baby that never left my hip, who never stopped crying when she had a babysitter, who still likes to hang out with me…occassionally 🙂 I have exponential admiration, respect and straight up awe for this girl for so many reasons. My little peanut is ready to leave the nest and soar and I will be cheering her on every step of the way. I hope I prepared her enough. 

xo

s

When I’m asked where I purchased a piece of clothing or where I shop, most people are surprised when I say I buy the majority of my clothes online. Sure it’s safer and  more fun to try things on in person, go with a friend, etc. But online shopping is not only getting more convenient with accurate sizing guides, and free shipping and returns, but the fun factor has been and continues to be upped with inspiring editorials, amazing packaging and speedy delivery. I have a few go-to’s when I’m in need of something or just want to satisfy that itch. The two on the top of my list currently are both extremely fashion forward, but at opposite ends of the price point range. Here they are with my picks for the season:

  1. Zara – This is my happy place. They have so much fun with fashion, t’s infectious. The inventory is vast and is constantly changing (as I was putting this post together, they kept adding more things, which made me keep changing my picks) and the prices are very reasonable. This is where I shop when I want to try out a trend but don’t want to make a big commitment.

1. Dress 2. Sandals 3. Bag

1. Jacket 2. Jumper 3. Shoes

1. Top 2. Skirt 3. Shoes

 2. Matches Fashion – I’ve been a fan of this British online shop for years, so when they recently started offering free shipping and easy returns, I was a goner. There is one thing, however that makes MatchesFashion standout as the BEST shopping experience ever…. Their packaging. It’s unlike anything I have every seen. Marbled paper covered boxes with a magnetic closure. Inside, each item is meticulously wrapped in layers of tissue paper and sealed with a beautiful sticker. Even the invoice is enclosed in a matching envelope.

1.Dress 2. Shoes 3. Bag

1. Jacket 2. Jumper 3. Shoes

1. Shoes 2. Top 3. Skirt

 

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The Summer of Love

The Summer of Love

Hello sweet reader. For those in the US, I hope this past Memorial Day weekend slash kick-off to summer slash official start to white-jeans-season was wonderful. Mine was super fun and productive. I washed the outdoor furniture and got new pillows. Then I ordered a badminton set and wait for it…. a corn hole game! (why is there not a better name?) It’s potentially my last summer with both kids in the house so instead of getting the inflatable pool and bubble blowing kits of so many summers gone by, I found some more age appropriate summer games that will (hopefully) keep them and their friends hanging out here as much as possible. The highlight of the weekend, however – attending Bottlerock – an outdoor music festival in Napa.:))

xo

s

 

 

 

Another fun thing I did this past week was to attend the “Summer of Love” exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. It’s an homage to the historic social phenomenon that happened in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood 50 years ago when approximately 100,000 people (aka hippies) converged in this part of the city and basically camped out for the summer. As someone who is approximately this age, and was raised in an extremely flowerchild-like household, I was super stoked for the exhibit and to take in all the fashion, music, art and groovy vibes, man. Ya dig? Ok, I’ll stop.

As I’ve said here before, if there’s one era that I relate to fashion-wise, it’s the late 60’s, early 70’s. While trends come and go, I stay pretty true to the same look – bohemian prepster. So, as I share photos from the exhibit that caught my eye, I will add a few other images from this time period that inspire me. I hope they do for you as well.

Vintage band posters from The Fillmore

There is an entire room with these posters from the floor to the ceiling. The style of typeface, colors and use of negative space creates a sense of movement. Supposedly, you can only read them if you’re on LSD. The legendary music venue – The Fillmore – gives a poster to all concert goers dating back to it’s first days. The creators of these posters from The Fillmore and other SF venues are these guys:

The “big Five” San Francisco poster artists Lto R Alton Kelly, Victor moscosso, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse.

I would wear either of the two outfits above today.

I think my Mom had the dress on the right. Or maybe it was the same pattern as the wallpaper in our kitchen… Yes, we did have rust colored paisley wallpaper in our kitchen.

George Harrison and Patti Hansen

This is George Harrison and Patti Hansen. The shoes,,,,

The detail of the hand stitching on these patchwork jeans is amazing – not extremely intricate but, delicate, whimsical and artistic.

This unbelievable work of art is a crocheted wedding dress.

This photo from a 1960’s Vogue would also make an incredible wedding dress,

For information about the Summer of Love exhibit click here.

For more of my boho inspirations click here.

For more of my fashion inspirations click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post. It was fun to put together… here’s to a summer of love!

 

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