Monday, April 27, 2009

House Hell

Well, it's Monday night and we are officially in house hell. As I mentioned I have company coming on Wednesday night and we have just gotten the wainscot up earlier today. I've been filling the nail holes and sanding since 1:00 this afternoon. It's 9:48 pm and we are still sanding and caulking. Tomorrow we prime as we won't have time to actually paint.

The dining table is done and in place. Thank god. It only took 1 1/2 weeks.

I'll be back with pictures and a post on Thursday.

Thanks for your patience. Sorry I've been gone so long.

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Aren't these windows incredible? I would love to sit down at this table and have a glass of wine or a fabulous meal with friends. It's so simple and inviting. The chandelier is amazing in that it almost disappears. The rustic table almost feels modern in the space.

I love how the doors in the bathroom almost mirror the windows from the dining room. The clean lines are modern yet not severe and cold. The colors are so muted, sophisticated and relaxing. I wish I had the images of the rest of the house since I like these rooms so much.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crazier than usual....

Sorry for the delay in posting. I should be back in full swing tomorrow or Saturday. I've been crazy busy this week with work meetings and in addition to that I've taken on two major house projects.

My husband decided to add wainscoting to the entire upper floor of our house two days ago. This is no small project - my hallway alone is 19 feet long, not to mention the staircase and entryway. This came about because I asked him to touch-up all the wonderful markings of my two boys before a cocktail party I've hosting next week. You can only imagine how gross the walls are.... So instead of painting he decided that now was the time to take on the project I've been pestering him about for years. Did you catch that I'm having a cocktail party next week.... so we are on a crazy deadline to get this finished.

In addition to this project, last week I decided to strip and stain/lacquer my grandfather's 1950's french white oak dining table. Needless to say, it's taking me longer than I anticipated. I have one more coat of lacquer to go then I will post before, during and after pictures.

Oh and my sister decided we should have a garage sale tomorrow. So I'm running around the house cleaning out every cupboard and storage area. I forgot how much work garage sales entail.

Whew.... it's been crazy here. Thanks for your patience. I will be back tomorrow or Saturday at the latest.

Hope your having a good week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cowhide wallpaper

What do you think of the cowhide wallpaper used in this 6x2 powder room? Is it whimsical and modern or just plain wrong? I love a little touch of animal in the appropriate place but I'm on the fence about this one. For the record, it's not in a mountain home, this is someone's primary home. However, I do love the sink for this small space.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Flamant is one of my favorite stores. Started in Belgium, it has expanded to many countries in Europe. Sadly, it is not in the U.S. yet. I've always dreamed of opening a franchise.

Please excuse the quality of the photos posted below. I was in one of the Paris stores snapping pictures while the salesperson would look the other way. I know, I shouldn't have, but this store makes me do crazy things. While nice, their website doesn't do the store justice.

Flamant calls their style "Bourgeois-Bohemian", a blend of nonconformity and elegance, tradition and cool. The basis is classic furniture in neutral fabrics and clean shapes that can be passed from one generation to the next or moved from room to room. Heaven.

This is how they display their glassware. Everything is so simple yet beautifully styled.

Sorry for the blurry picture. I couldn't believe the color of this commode. It was the most gorgeous muted dark gray. Flamant has the most incredible paint collection I've ever seen. They are rich, muted french colors (I believe they are clay based) that have the best patina. Of course, you can't get it in the U.S. I've had the colors matched but you loose the beauty of them since we don't have the base paint process.

They also sell bathroom fixtures and accessories. Again, the styling in yummy in both these vignettes.

Their bookshelves are always amazing. The mounted sconces elevate the simple bookcase into a chic focal point.

I fell in love with this simple table. I loved how they used a combination of fine silver and glassware with the rustic table and antler chandelier. The styling of everything in this room is perfect.

Another beautiful room. Love how it's masculine but not in the traditional big bubba chair way.

Because the shop also sells fresh flowers and plants, all the tables have beautiful fresh vignettes. Gorgeous.

If your Europe soon, see if there's a Flamant store nearby. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oldie, but goodie...

An oldie (Country Home 2004) but goodie of Thomas O'Brien's weekend house in Bellport, Long Island. This house immediately captivated me and has been in my files ever since. I love it as much today as I did then. Maybe because architecture like this (built in 1833) doesn't exist in Seattle unless it's a reproduction (and usually a bad reproduction at that).

While the architecture could win me over alone, what really made this house memorable was how Thomas O'Brien modernized the spaces with his mix of furnishings and state of the art architectural upgrades. Unlike most people who would opt for pure traditional - O'Brien mixes his own designs with Chinese Chippendale, Colonial Revival and vintage modern pieces. The balance is perfect and beautiful.

The outside of the house. Do you think anyone would notice if my moving van showed up?

My favorite room. I drool over the coffee table. So sleek yet classic. For someone who loves symmetry, this table was love at first sight.

Classic and unassuming. Love the high bathtub with subway tile, and European shower head. A nice twist on a traditional tub.

Not crazy about the desk, as it's very shabby chic (granted it was 2004), but the bookcases are marvelous and the chairs add a sense of whimsy to the space.

Gorgeous entry. Love the high gloss white floors and how they take the "traditional" out of the expected traditional foyer.

Love it. Thanks Thomas!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Easter in the Northwest is always an interesting proposition.   It's usually raining non-stop. Today it's been raining all day.  My kids did their easter egg hunt in the pouring...and I mean pouring rain.   I had on a 0 degree down parka and rubber wellies and I was soaked to the bone. My sister said I was dressed for winter in Alaska, not Seattle in the Spring.  But then again, Spring in Seattle means the occasional beautiful day to make you think you've finally made it through the winter and then the rain begins again and lasts until the 4th of July.

My little sister "Smidge" is the baker of the family.  I've always told her that she should be a pastry chef as it so natural for her.  She can just whip up the most incredible restaurant worthy dessert on a whim.  Well, she's in Spain right now, so the task of dessert fell to me.   Now,  I can make chocolate chip cookies (following the Tollhouse recipe), cakes ( from a box) and fruit crips... but that's about all.   For today's celebration I made the cake (from a box), but made the frosting from stratch... which was a huge event in my house.  My oldest son asked me what I was doing and had the most surprised look on his face when he saw that I didn't open a tub of frosting.   He insisted on decorating the cake.  You can see that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. You'll notice that he didn't use any black or green jelly beans!  

So this one's for you "Smidge"!  Sorry it's not as pretty as what you would have done.  

Happy Easter! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On Spring Break..... If you could call it that.....

Well, I'm in a house in the woods of Oregon for Spring Break with my family and my sisters family. There's 7 boys (including my husband) and my sister and myself. We have been overrun by testosterone and needless to say it hasn't been very relaxing. We've been referee's for most of the vacation, unless they are outside throwing snowballs at each other. Which isn't often enough.

Today the cousins leave for home. We are going to stay for an extra day and try and enjoy the surrounding nature and quiet. We'll see if it's more relaxing with just a 7 year old and 4 year old.......

I will be back to posting on Friday. Hope you are having a more relaxing week than me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Modern Traditional

I fell in love with this house the moment I saw it in Canadian House & Home. The house was built as the grand prize in the 2008 Lifestyles Lottery for Cancer Research. It's a new home that has all the conveniences for a family, yet the character of an older home. It was designed by Linda Reeves, Erin Feasby and Trish Johnson. It's grand yet casual and comfortable. It has a European old world feel with layered rooms based in neutrals, incredible french doors, moldings and high ceilings. This home is classic and timeless. I wish I could move in.

The back of the house is perfect. The patio is limestone and cultured stone. Instead of shingles, they used vertical siding combined with cultured stone to make it a more contemporary tudor. Of course, I love the boxwoods and hydrangeas. Heaven.

The front of the house is fabulous. Again, the vertical siding combined with the stone and shingles makes it traditional but modern. The structured landscaping creates a grand entrance with a European feel. I love the symmetry of the trees on each side of the front door.

The library had me at hello. The ceiling is 18 feet high. The windows are incredible. I love the combination of the chocolate and blue - it's fresh, warm and inviting. I also like how they repeated the floral drapery fabric for the pillows. The tall coffee table is genius - so versatile.

Main floor powder room adds to the contemporary flair of the house. Wallpaper is Bilbrough & Co.
Classic master bath. Clean modern shape tub and marble floors. Very peaceful.

Warm neutral living room. Beautiful detailing on the drapes. Great symmetry with the tables, lamps and chairs.

Main entryway. The banister is custom-made in gunmetal gray iron and brass, antiqued to look like old bronze. These are the details that make this new house so wonderful and classic.

This is the great room off the kitchen. It's a huge space (28 ft by 41 ft) but still incredibly cozy for a family. I love the symmetry of the sofas flanking the fireplace, and the graphic zebra pillows. The TV almost looks like a piece of art.

Just a glimpse of the kitchen. The hood over the range is spectacular. It adds a great bronze warmth to the neutral cream kitchen and ties into the bronzed entry staircase. This kitchen has a 14 foot long kitchen table. Incredible for a family!

I hope you enjoy this house as much as I do.
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