A couple of weeks ago I went to Maui for a last minute, long-weekend getaway. We were away for four days, just long enough to slow the pace down and truly relax. When I was growing up, my family, like so many other Seattle families, went to Maui for vacation every year. We stayed in old Maui – Kaanapali or Kapalua usually. The shops and restaurants of Lahaina became so familiar over the years, it seemed nothing ever changed. I loved it all. After I graduated high school and friends were jetting off to Europe, I opted to go to Maui. I left the day after graduation and came back the week before college started. I could write a book on the experience of being seventeen (and on the extreme naive end of the worldliness spectrum) and being completely on my own financially (and otherwise), while on a tropical island in the Pacific. When my plane landed late that night and I was greeted by my Maui friends that I met a few months prior, with whom I would be living for the next three months, I was informed that they had been evicted that morning and we didn’t have a place to live…. And there were no cell phones as it was 1984. Needless to say, I learned a lot about life, survival, being resourceful and what and absolute blast it is to not have a plan.
I had only been to the Wailea part of Maui a couple of times since my summer of ’84. But Wailea didn’t feel like the Maui of my memories, so I guess I lost my desire for Hawai’i over the years. I assumed it all had changed. How wrong I was. Coming back to the places we used to go – six nomads, one car and a lot of surfboards – brought me back to that summer and my love has been reignited. So, I’ve been having Maui dreams and as such, I’ve been fantasizing about what my ideal Polynesian island home would look like…
I’m referring to my current fashion obsession – polka dots. If you, like me, tend to be pattern averse, think of this as a baby step. Kind of like wearing stripes, but dots.
This dress stopped me in my tracks recently with its playful yet chic style. Plus, I could picture Amal Clooney wearing it. It also struck me as insanely versatile, even though it’s a pattern (and polka dots no less!) which seems completely counter intuitive to versatility. Pondering the outfit possibilities as I stood there, I pictured wearing this in the cooler months with knee-high, pointed-toe black suede boots and if I was really going for it, an emerald green handbag and/or leather gloves. In the summertime, with a strappy sandal and presto! it’s daytime appropriate.
Let’s do this together. Baby steps. Before we know it, we’ll be tossing in floral accessories and contrasting colored shoes like nobody’s biznasss. As always some inspo….
If there is a season to try this out, it’s now – spring/summer. Why? Because it’s time to have some fun, it’s been a long AF winter. Here are some of my top picks.
Hello sweet reader! The blog is back! I pressed the pause button for the past several months to devote my full attention towards the opening of our first brick & mortar FarmHouseUrban Home Store! We opened in September and while there have definitely been a few ‘learning curve moments’ the entire experience has been an absolute joy. In addition, our online store is up and running and packed with beautiful pieces to enhance your homes. The link is at the bottom of the post…
Owning a retail store was never in my plan AT ALL! Go figure how the universe is still working in your favor even when you are not “manifesting”?! But, now that it’s here and where I spend most of my time, I could not imagine a more ideal scenario. Since I was the first occupant of the space, the store was a blank canvas – literally white walls and a concrete floor. Things like what kinds of display pieces would be best, what to sell, and how to merchandise were new concepts. Different from designing interiors, but equally fun. Everyday we move things around and mix it up.
The store is in Mill Valley, CA – a hop, skip and a jump over the Golden Gate Bridge – about 15 mins north of San Francisco. Visit us!
Our new website is also live and where you will find many of the pieces above. We will be continuously updating the online shop with new products, so please check in regularly. Find us at www.shopfarmhouseurban.com. We ship!
It’s nice to be back to connecting with you here. I’ve so missed you…
Hello sweet reader. We are so close to opening the best of the best FarmHouseUrban Pop-Up Shop to date! T minus 2 days! I sound like a broken record, but I’m sincerely in awe of the gorgeous collection of home furnishings and apparel we have for you!
March 15 – March 31
10:30-5:30 daily (closed Tuesdays)
550 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur CA
My goal when I decided to relaunch the shop was to only carry pieces that could stand alone and be exquisite in their design all by themselves. Price point not a factor – just purely about the quality, craftsmanship, material and design. My number one guiding principal in all areas of life from creating a wardrobe with pieces that inspire and offer endless outfit options, to designing functional and timeless interior spaces – compile a mixture of hi and lo price points, but all beautiful on their own. To be more specific – the basics – the pieces that will stand the test of time, are worth investing in, For example, a handbag that you only wear occasionally but is so classic and well made that it will look chic and hip for decades. The same is true for things in the home…. Investing in pieces that when your eyes land on them you are lifted by their beauty, and when your hand touches them, you feel joy and comfort. There is no maker that represents this more than the one I am about to introduce…
Without further adieu, here is Sefte.
I am so blessed to call this beautiful woman (on the left) my friend. Her sister lives on the other coast 🙂 One matching half of this amazing twin sister created company. These heavenly pieces will be in the shop as well as on the shop site beginning Thursday, March 15th.
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.
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.