Monday, February 22, 2010


I've been gone awhile.

It all started with a week of kids valentines parties that took more work than most design projects. Remember how fun valentine's day was when you were a kid? Making your mailbox and filling out your valentines. The good old days....

Then on the 13th I left for mid-winter break with the family where I was going to relax, read, snowshoe, eat and drink wine. My husband couldn't come at the last minute so I went with the kids by myself. Not the most relaxing way to spend a week.

My dad's cabin in Oregon doesn't get AT&T cell services so I'm disconnected from the world as I know it. I think my iphone was in shock. Really, I have a problem...

Then, I get one of the worst colds I've had in years. Seriously, I'm coughing up a lung and my eyes water all day. Needless to say, I've had it for almost a week and I still don't have a voice.

So, I apologize for disappearing. I hope to be back to my normal blogging self soon with some design inspiration for the rest of you addicts!

I know I'm in need of some inspiration right now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What would your space say about you?

I think I almost ran my cart into an unsuspecting customer at the grocery store when I saw the new cover of the March Elle Decor. It knocked my socks off. Of course it's the work of Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle.

I love the juxtaposition of the dark walls with the modern art and eclectic, french furniture. This room is young and hip, yet so comfortable and inviting. I'd love to retire to this room to catch up on T.V. viewing.

I love the whole vibe of the whole house. It's so personal and looks like it was decorated over multiple years - not 20 months. I loved that the owner, the executive producer of the Oprah show, wanted a very personal space. She didn't want a house that looked like a showroom or a designers signature look. She wanted a space that was one part Babe Paley, one part Ralph Lauren and one part Twiggy. Now that's a woman I'd like to meet.

She turned her guest bedroom into a basketball court for her two boys. What a great idea if you have the space and the money. I made the mistake of showing this to my oldest son and he is determined to turn our guest bedroom into a basketball court as well. I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

I also loved their approach to the boy's bedroom. It's not overly designed and the space is usable and cool for a teenager. They can customize it any way they want so the room grows with them as their likes & dislikes change. Now, a wall of cork will be happening in my sons room. It's the least I can do since I can't do the basketball court.

Amazing closet door in the master bedroom. Dreamy. I could almost cry.

The dreamy closet. I could hide from my kids in here. Unfortunately, knowing them, I wouldn't be able to get them out of my closet. I think they would convert it into their bedroom. They love beautiful spaces.

The office space is another example of great design. A custom desk with space for two computers and separate drawers. Not over the top but beautiful and functional. The vintage Chippendale chairs and burlap covered bulletin board are a great contrast to the stainless steel counter top.

Elegant master bath. Again, so timeless. The paneled marble floor based on their stay at Claridge's in London adds a modern touch and reminds them of their travels.

Master bedroom. Classic and serene. The vintage chandelier is the star of the room .

Living room. This is the room that is the epitome of the blended styles that the owner wanted. I think Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle nailed it.

Dining Room. Definitely Ms. Paley walls, with RL table and Twiggy chairs.

Clean, modern kitchen. Great usable space. Love the modern table and chairs paired with the built in nook. A great place for families to connect. And in this digital age - we could all use a space like this.

So, while the cover of Elle Decor stopped me in my tracks - the rest of the house made an impression on me. I love that the owner could have had anything she wanted based on her position, and she wanted a personal and eclectic space that reminded her of family and her travels.
Isn't that what your house should say about you.
What do you want your space to say about you? What personalities would you design your house around? I'll have to think about that one as I think mine would change on a daily basis.
Today I'd be on part Suzanne Kasler, one part Kelly Wearstler, and one part ????

Sunday, February 7, 2010


If you've been reading me for awhile, you know I have an obsession with grass cloth. I can't seem to get enough of it. I think it evokes the summers I spent in Laguna Beach while also blending my love of traditional east coast architecture. It can transform any space with it's casual texture yet dramatic flair. It gives the room a warmth that regular wall coverings or paint can't.

I love how this house uses it in the main living room as well as the master bedroom. It helps highlight the beautiful woodwork and windows, while also making the space feel more intimate.

Photos courtesy of Traditional Home
Without it the house could look like another builder spec. The new craftsman development house that's cropped up all over Seattle. Decorated with pottery barn and mission furniture, and the traditional beige, yellow or red painted walls. Thank goodness this house didn't meet that fate.

There's a grass cloth color for everyone. Shimmery blue, silver, chocolate, light purple, dark purple, red, apple green, damask print, stripes...the list could go on and on.
While I love fun colors for spaces like dining rooms or powder rooms, I'm partial to the neutral colors for large open rooms.
I've finally convinced my husband to let me cover our bedroom in grass cloth. Now for the hallways, dining room and living room.
Wish me luck.

Weekend Score

I can't believe I found vintage 1950's Chippendale chairs on craigslist. Sometimes the pain of the search is worth it.

They need new fabric and a new paint job as it's a dull matte finish, but otherwise they are perfect. Now, will I be able to give them up to a client or do I need to keep them myself? The never ending challenge for a decorator.

Time to rent that storage unit.

Hope you had a good weekend.

picture from craigslist posting

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blackberry Farm

I've been reading articles on Blackberry Farm ( for the last couple years. It's always piqued my interest by pulling on my Oregon grown heartstrings. But, now I need to go.

It's situated on 4,200 acres 25 miles outside Knoxville, Tennessee. It's a working farm with livestock, gardens, orchards, even an on-site creamery where cheeses, jams and pickles are made. You can take part in the farm activities or just sample the results in their outstanding restaurant. I love the concept of taking a vacation on a working farm. Learning about the connection between the food on your table and the land. It's something we take for granted by just walking into our huge mega food stores. Buying and eating locally makes so much sense.

What better place to experience this connection than at a luxury resort. After you get dirty in the garden you can go to the spa. Not into taking part in the farm activities, Blackberry Farm also has you covered with the usual resort activities like golf, tennis, hiking, swimming and lawn games. What more of a sporting vacation - they offer fly fishing, horseback riding and clay shooting as well. Sounds like they offer a little bit of something for everyone.

Seriously, this wine cellar makes me want to hop a plane right now. ( I digress as usual)

While the scenery is breathtaking and the activities endless, what really caught my eye was one of the charming bedrooms. This is what I call a relaxing hotel room. For once, it doesn't look like a standard hotel room. Gorgeous four poster black bed, crisp white bedding, chocolate pudding walls, sea grass rug, linen drapes and fun graphic printed pillows and throws. I'd take this over the sleek, now so overdone, W decor any day.

A day of picking berries, sampling wine, making cheese or just going for a hike. Followed by a glass of wine with fabulous locally grown food and then a night of uninterrupted sleep in this fluffy bed. I can't think of a better day.
Thank you Blackberry Farm for putting a casual spin on luxury. I think I'm in hotel heaven.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I'm dying over this Loring Cocktail table by Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair. While I love her style and her furniture collection , this little piece just speaks to me. It's the perfect transitional piece for a living room, study or family room. The lightness of the base makes it so versatile. The patina of the gold leaf makes it special without shouting for attention.

Now, if only they offered it in silver leaf. I'd be one happy girl.
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