Well howdy dreamers. What can I tell you? For one thing, I just ate way too much chocolate — even for me. It’s my one actuallyI have a huge problem and probably need an anon but admitting it is the first step, right? guilty pleasure so its all good. Other than that juicy tidbit, life has been in a blissful holding pattern for the past few weeks. Oh – here’s something – I stepped back into doing residential interior design for a project I couldn’t refuse… It’s in Cabo. On the beach. I know – check myself. I got to fly down to Mexico and stay at the property for a night. I dressed the part. I conjured a female Pablo Escobar-ish look which was way out of place among the college Spring Breakers and honeymooner couples on the plane. It also could have been that I was the only one traveling solo to Mexico. Or the tube of floorplans sticking out of my purse.
For most of my life I have had style icons. Women who I think epitomize an effortless, classic and timeless style while staying current and slightly edgy. I have several – see them here, but my numero uno, all-time favorite is Ali MacGraw.
She wore a beanie to the Academy Awards – no words.
Photo by REX USA (94679c) ALI MacGRAW – 1971
My favorite of her former beaus is Steve McQueen, so I started pinning photos of him too. What a couple.
So, I was beyond excited to receive the book “McQueen’s Motorcycles – Racing and Riding with the King of Cool” by Matt Stone from the publisher. Cool personified. If you have a motorcycle lover in your life, this book would make an excellent gift.
Hello loves. Besides the crazy weather we all have experienced this week, it’s been relatively quiet around here, which is nice. I’ve been on an organizing and purging spree. I cleaned out my garage (partly) then my closet and ended up with three huge bags of clothes to take to the consignment store, which are now in the garage :). It always feels so good to de-clutter. The highlight at the end of the week – an absolutely fantastic weekend spent in Carmel Valley at this heavenly place.
I find that layering is the way to go when it comes to cold weather and in-between-season temperature fluctuations. Even though I live in California, I’m pretty much always cold and when I go someplace really cold I look like the Michelin Tire guy because my parkas are all so huge and bulky. Enter my Seattle friend Elizabeth Roberts… I’m so excited to share this with you all… who has designed the most fun and stylish jackets! Elizabeth very generously sent me the stunner below which I absolutely LOVE! I’m playing around with styling it from the perfect apres yoga outerwear (this morning) to a casual girls night out (tonight). In the meantime, here are photos of the jacket from Elizabeth’s incredible lookbook. She has also graciously offered my readers 20% off of any product with the Promo Code: SERENA20.
Hello loves and happy new week to you! I’m thrilled to report that Lily and I survived our ski adventure! Yes, completely injury free! After just one lesson, Lily was up and skiing, which is excellent because she has just made her decision to attend the University of Denver in the fall, so skiing will probably be a big part of her future. Tahoe experienced record amounts of snow this year even before the gigantic storm that took place while we were there. Fortunately we were still able to ski everyday except for one, when the lifts were closed due to high winds. These are from the day after the storm…
Have a wonderful week!
So, how do you feel about flats? I recently had a conversation at the gym with a woman around my same age (very late forties/early fifties) who told me she thought flats made women look matronly and aged us beyond our years. As I listened to her share her perspective, I reflected to myself that not only had I never thought that, but I actually think flats can be very flattering (no pun intended). I try to steer away from absolutes regarding fashion (or anything else for that matter), but I really don’t buy into to the school of thought that dictates that a woman should dress according to her age, or that age should factor into our clothing decisions. The way we take care of ourselves, our genetic composition, body type, lifestyle and other factors all affect our clothing decisions and what does or does not look appropriate.
When I got home I looked at the shoes in my closet and realized I actually had not worn flats (other than sandals, sneakers and boots) for some time. Why was that? Because the flats I have – mostly ballerina’s, while timeless and classic, just don’t inspire me. So I went on a little online retail excursion and discovered that there are some fabulous new styles -in particular: pointy toe and strappy – both of which I find extremely flattering AND dare I say it – sexy.
Incidentally, I think that all of the above looks can be worn by women my age. If the skirt length feels to short, a slightly longer silhouette would work or adding tights. The ripped jeans can be replaced with non-ripped (personally I don’t wear ripped jeans because they always rip more and then the shape gets distorted). Anyway, after trolling around my favorite online shops, I narrowed down my favorites to these (the pair I chose are the last photo).
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.
I’m excited to share with you, my sweet readers, a new professional venture I embarked upon almost one year ago… I’ve taken a slight departure from my residential and hospitality interior design focus to develop and execute creative direction for several start-up and interior + lifestyle brands. I fell into the first position by happy accident (well, there really are no accidents as everything happens for a reason – I am a firm believer in that!) and one position led to the next and so on. The FarmHouseUrban brand, however is still ever present! I temporarily turned off access to my online store www.shopfarmhouseurban.com, but it will be back in the New Year and better than ever along with other exciting happenings!
I was recently approached by the exquisite home furnishings company – Europe 2 You to partner on a project for the launch of their new e-commerce site – EtuHome. For those not familiar, Europe 2 You is a wholesale-only maker of gorgeous vintage inspired products for the home. EtuHome is the new retail branch of their company – making their products accessible to absolutely everyone!
For this project I was sent several of EtuHome‘s top-selling pieces and my assignment was to style them in my personal aesthetic. Here’s what I came up with:
I pulled some things from around the house – linens, ceramic pitchers, vintage hotel silver, galvanized containers, votives and a box of acorns I just got from here, Then I went to the fridge and took out all the fruits and veggies that were still good! Last, I cut some stems from the garden.
The piece above is the Spanish Olive Tray which comes in three sizes. I adore this piece! Part cutting board, part serving piece, it adds a unique twist to both. As such, there are endless ways to use it. The most practical and easy – leaning on your kitchen backsplash! I have been noticing the trend of using individual-size wood pieces as serving trays, so that was my inspiration and styled mine as a coffee tray.
Next is the Bordeaux Bistro Tray which measures 20″ in diameter. The galvanized edge is 4″ high. Many of us have upholstered ottomans which are risky to set beverages on. This tray is the answer! It provides a stylish receptacle for stacking your magazines or weekly newspapers too.
Above and below is the Bianca Cake Stand (short). I used the sepia filter just because 🙂 but below is the unfiltered version. I have a cake stand collection, but none are made of wood, so this is a fun addition. Now thinking of what kind of cake to make for it…. any ideas?
The below two photos show the versatile Baguette Board. I tried to style the pieces in ways that offer an alternative to the suggested use. I played around with this piece more than any of the others and found so many places that it just looked great – including across my bathtub holding soap and a sponge. I wouldn’t suggest that it be used that way if water was in the tub as it might damage the integrity of the wood and finish. That said, when not in use or set on a table or counter holding just about anything – it will look amazing!
The next three photos are of the Bordeaux Wine Barrel Lazy Susan. This is a fun piece and frankly a must-have if you’ve got a large round or square table. It should come with a warning to parents of teenagers and their friends who wouldn’t stop spinning it young children – not to put breakables or spillables on it in their presence.
Last but certainly not least, is the Balon Cloche. This piece is truly stunning – even on its own. Trimmed in tin, the shape and size sets it apart from anything else I’ve seen.
There are many many more gorgeous pieces on EtuHome’s online shop. I highly encourage you to pop over for a browse – you won’t be disappointed!
Highlights from the new book, “The Perfect Bath” by Waterworks Co-Founder, Barbara Sallick
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to my lackluster bathroom vanity and how to make it pretty while keeping it free of clutter. Do you share this quandary? As I've said many times, when I need inspiration, or just want to free fall into a creative flow Pinterest is where I go. So, for the past couple of weeks I've been saving beautifully styled bathroom imageshere and here. Just a few…
As luck – or serendipity – would have it, as I was pouring over bathroom images, a gorgeous design book on bathrooms arrived in the mail from the publisher! The book isn't just 'A' book about bathrooms. It's written by The Bathroom Goddess herself – Barbara Sallick, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Design for Waterworks. Let me preface my fussing and fawning by saying that I would never promote anything that I haven't personally experienced and/or seen and that I didn't adore. I adore this book. It is chock full of images all of which are absolutely breathtaking. The chapters are organized in such a way that if you are using it to help you design, you can plunge right in to those tips and resources. If eye candy and a little lift with your afternoon tea, is more your speed, you can have that too.
The space we call home is a reflection of who we are. Each of us deserves to live in an environment that nurtures and provides comfort and peace. Creating a home and a life you love starts with surrounding yourself with things and people that make you happy. It’s not about fancy things or being perfect, it’s about appreciating the beauty that is accessible to us all. This blog is my journal for celebrating the all the beautiful things that inspire me. I hope you will visit often and will be inspired too!