Hi to you. I am writing from the airplane on my way back home from Washington, DC. It was a last minute trip to help take care of my sweet 94 year-old grandmother. Every time I visit, I am struck with such nostalgia… Mostly the memories are from the year I spent living with them right after college and starting my first ‘real’ job. Coming home each night to my cute grandparents, a home cooked meal and the pink and green bedroom my grandmother had wallpapered for me prior to my arrival, was the icing on the cake for my not-so-worldly twenty-one year-old self. Spending these recent few days with her knowing they may be our last, was so special.
ps -will this rain ever stop?
Several years ago, on one of my pursuits for cast away vintage treasures which often nets zero results, I hit the mother lode. I found four chairs that at first glance looked rather sad and lacking potential. Thankfully I went back, took another look and saw past the chipped orange shellac finish and ugly roses. The wheels began to turn. Below is a photo from that day.
Needless to say, I bought the four chairs. The first step was to remove the finish. I had no idea what the wood underneath would reveal, but if it was good, the plan as to what to do next would start to unfold. The photo below was after the first stripping.
The ugly roses had to go, Another few rounds of sanding revealed the most beautiful natural wood. Despite the strong opinion of the wood refinisher, I opted to not put any finish or paint on them.
The next step was the upholstery. We created a stripe by using charcoal gray and natural linen on the front, and all charcoal on the back. The visual of them facing each other and seeing the back of one and front of another looks really nice.
At the time, I was about to open my first pop-up shop, so I put them in the window. They sold the first day.
With the other two chairs I tried something a little different, but in my opinion, just as beautiful.
I have not had the opportunity to show these beauties off in the last few pop-up shops because they were in the back of my storage unit. I just went through it and am sorting out gems to put on the shop website and what to pass along. When I saw these chairs once again, I was struck with how truly spectacular they are. Please email me directly to inquire.
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!
Recent updates to my house and missing David Bowie.
Hi sweet people. I wrote this post about a month ago, right before I thought I lost all of my photos and was having computer issues. Other than omitting the part about the bad weather we were experiencing at the time, and where I riffied on about how I've made yoga and meditation a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby, I didn't change anything…
The passing of David Bowie this week hit me hard. His music was the soundtrack to my youth as I'm sure the same is true for many. I was with my Dad when he got the news that John Lennon had been shot. He sat down, covered his eyes with his hand and began to sob. At the time, I felt so awkward. An Ivy League graduate, college football linebacker and Korean War Veteran crying over the death of a musician… I get it now.
To the Thin White Duke…thank you.
Speaking of changes, I've been making some around the house lately. What do you think?
I went back and forth – modern or traditional for the dining room light fixture. As you can see, I finally decided on a traditional chandelier. The chairs and table are all modern, so to balance them out I decided a chandelier would be perfect. A mix of both old and new is what I strive for. I love how sparkly it is at night too.
I bought this early American table at an estate sale a few years ago thinking I would sell it. I don't know why I fell so hard for it, but I absolutely love it and cannot part with it. It bounced around the house in different spots, usually to fill a temporary hole, but I think it found a permanent place under this Hiro Yokose painting.
I wanted a table for next to this acrylic chair from the 70's that I found on Ebay (for $100!) but it had to be simple yet substantial. I opted for a petrified wood stump from here.
See that french daybed in the back? I've had that piece for awhile and am not sure what to do with it. I moved it to the above location around Christmastime when I needed to make room for the tree. I'd like to remake the mattress more like this and make big fat bolsters in a contrasting color like dark + light gray or brown + natural linen. I'm still deciding…. We'll see.
So now there's this big open space at the top of the entryway stairs and between the living and dining rooms where the daybed was… A round table would work, but it's not that practical and I don't want a formal feel. So, I'm thinking of a small 'conversational cluster'. I'm considering moving the coffee table from the living room (above) and adding 4 modern chairs. Ideas?
Details and photos from our pop-up shop in Mill Valley, CA.
Holy Moly what a week. I will go into detail about the pop-up in just a minute, but had to first share with you the highlight of my birthday which was this past weekend… We had just been seated at Bix in San Francisco (such a festive spot!) for dinner on Friday night and guess who walked in? My son Luke who completely surprised me by flying home from college in Washington, DC! It was a total sob fest. Well, only me, but at least they were happy tears!
And now for some photos from the pop-up last week… All of this new merchandise will be on the shop website by next week! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email me.We sold out of all the pillows and featherbeds, but more are coming in new color ways and fabrics soon!
Gorgeous vintage dresses from France.
I got these saw horses from Ikea and just used plywood boards for the tops. I love Ikea.
Instead of putting price tags on every piece, I used some muslin I had and wrote the prices on the fabric with a Sharpie. I nailed the muslin pieces to the plywood with industrial tacks.
I have a soft spot for vintage finds. Each piece I buy, I actually want to keep for myself. This macrame throw is so cool… It sold the first day. I’m still pining for it.
This is an antique grape pickers bucket. At one time, there were leather straps so it could be worn on the pickers’ back. It’s beautiful aged patina is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I like them hung on the wall with branches or long stemmy flower arrangements.
The piece above is an outdoor beverage trough. I have one and love it. The board is removable, but is a great accessory for bar accoutrements. For the pop-up, I had a party one night and used it for pre-mixed cocktails which I put in these fun bottles that I got at Ikea.
The featherbeds were my best seller. I ordered the three above for the shop, and sold an additional five. They are cot size, so when I spotted this WWII cot a few weeks ago, I knew it would be the perfect way to display the featherbeds. I had the canvas replaced so it’s now sturdy and clean but has the naturally weathered distressed wooden stand.
Another picture of the featherbeds (above). They roll up and tie and come with a beautiful linen duffle bag with shoulder straps. Perfect way to take them to the beach, a picnic or camping!
Coordinating lumbar and throw pillows. All sold out for now.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to get out of dodge and ended up, in of all places, a little cabin in the woods on the banks of a flowing river in Northern Oregon. Let me tell you, my expectations were high. I’ve had a cabin-in-the-woods fantasy for as long as I can remember and this lived up, matter of fact exceeded, every last one. Road trip season is here! Bring it.
Come take a look around with me…
You had me with weathered shingles and white trim.
The cabin is situated on a big, flat sunny patch with a main house next to it.
I wonder if these grape vines covering the front porch are used for wine making?
No appliances but certainly not lacking in charm factor in this light bright happy kitchen.
The fridge is 70 years old!
The color palette is pale green and brick red. It couldn’t be more fitting for this adorable little gem.
The owner, whom I’ve never met, is clearly a collector of vintage pieces. Vintage collecting is a passion that can easily get out of control. I know this first hand. It’s so tempting to go overboard, but what I loved about this cottage is how well edited the decor is. Charm galore. The place had such a positive and relaxing vibe too.
A dark photo I know, but I wanted to include it to show you the claw foot tub nestled in the windowed nook. It was just perfection. The other cool thing the owner did, was to put a vintage wooden toy ironing board on the end of the tub for soaps, candles, etc. So if you see one at your local flea market and you have a claw foot tub….
The attic with these four mismatched antique twin beds could not have been cuter. This space is girl heaven – oh the games of playing house, talking all night, braiding each other’s hair. Like a story book…
The grounds were rustic and simple.
Hi little lady bug!
This is the main house. It looks like the original homestead was a one room log cabin and they built around it.
Big vegetable garden!
I love the farmhouse style of this currently vacant chicken coop.
Check out the leaded glass door.
Behind the main house is this trail down to the river. Falling asleep with the windows open and hearing the rushing water was heavenly.
Also behind the main house were these matching bathtubs. They are plumbed with hot and cold water.
My daily routine…
Taking a much needed break from work, email, phone, tv and my regular routine reminded me how essential it is for maintaining happiness, finding inner peace and boosting creativity.
Here’s to summer, being spontaneous, unplugging and stopping to enjoy the simplest of life’s pleasures.
Powder Room renovation in dark gray with brass fixtures
First off – Happy New Year! The first week of the new year has significance for me, because it was during this week 5 years ago that I said to myself, “why shouldn’t I write a blog?” Thank you each and everyone of you for reading, commenting, emailing and showing your support all these years, even when I veer way off topic. As I say every year, I'm humbled and touched beyond words that you find inspiration here. I am bursting at the seams in anticipation for all the wonderousness that this new year will bring and look forward to sharing it all with you. I wish you all a new year filled with heaps of joy, abundant good health, never ending peace and overflowing, heart pounding love!
As you may remember if you've been following the blog for awhile, the original house did not have a powder room. When I was designing the new space, I took out the existing bar area (which was HUGE by the way) and replaced it with a pantry (click here to see it) on one side and a powder room on the other. Here is how the powder room turned out.
The vanity is made of soapstone which I don't treat with any oils. I prefer the ashy natural gray to the darker shiny. The base is made of two metal legs.
Instead of leaving the edges open, I added this curved piece to finish it on both ends.
All the other bathrooms have brushed chrome fixtures and white walls. In the powder room I walked on the wild side and went with dark charcoal walls and brass/gold fixtures and accents.
I found this antique candy dish at an estate sale and think it's the perfect recepticle for these multi-colored soaps.
This antique French mirror is one of my favorite pieces. It's constructed with fragments dating back to the 17th Century. The flash has distorted the colors a little, but there are touches of gold to the worn wood.
That's it, hope you liked the tour. Please feel free to add your questions to the comments below!
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!