Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013: Sailing

If you've made it through a summer with me on instagram, you've learned that it means one thing to me: boating. While being in a city that relies on bridges because of so much water can be a drag sometimes (tolls, crippling back-ups with no alternate pass) it also means that I rarely go a single day without crossing some sort of body of water and it usually lends itself to amazing views that do a soul good. We all grew up boating and in the summer after work, when it finally gets nice, my buddies and I meet at the dock and take off for dinner or an evening spent on the water.

In addition, I have a dad who lives for his sailboat. And as a bonus, he's raised me sailing and helped me slowly learn the craft and although I'm still too nervous to captain, I make a trusty deckhand. After finally retiring a month ago, he's setting out for a bucket-list trip to circumnavigate Vancouver Island on our 38' Erickson. He'll be gone for a month, but we're taking turns meeting him on different legs of the trip and it's no coincidence that I picked the most beautiful part: sailing to Desolation Sound with warm waters and epic fjords.

Packing for a sailboat is not too far over the line of packing for camping. I say that because you have to be prepared for big swings in temperature and layers are a must, plus you're not exactly retiring to the Ritz every night (it's a little "Night John Boy" if you know what I mean). It's not unusual to have the sun shining, but be freezing cold because if the wind isn't blowing... you're not having a good sail. And when you're not sailing, you're stuffing your gob with cheese and wine... my kind of outdoor activity.

This year, I'm investing in (1) a new fleece that I can tool around in on the boat and off that's cozier than cozy. (2) new boat shoes with an updated shape that doesn't cover the top of my foot as much. (3) I've got to upgrade my swimsuit to something that can alternate between straps and strapless, because at this age showing up to a friend's wedding with swim team-style suit lines isn't so friendly... or chic (4) My old aviators are coming along, but next year I really need to upgrade to polarized lenses, which weren't an option at the time. (5) T-shirts. T-shirts. T-shirts. (6) Give me a nice long inseam on a short. I'm tired of shorts that aren't comfortable... might just go up a size too, I want 'em comfy. (7) For a number of reasons, I'm investing in a kindle paperwhite for reading. I'll miss the actual books, but I'm finally caving in -- actually reading is more important than the feel if that's what it comes down to. (8) The perfect sneaker since 1917 and it's a staple for vacations on and off land.

I also thought I'd throw in some photos from some of our family trips last summer. These are from close to home locations and weekends to various islands nearby:

Someone snuck a shot of me and I'm being brave and putting it up.

Susie's kiddos coming back from crabbing -- I think we finally caught one crab after a couple tries... not one of our more fruitful trips.
Hoping your summer is filled with fun things to get excited for -- planning is half the fun I'm told.

All the best,

If you're interested in creating a home you love, please contact us at or

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Serena & Lily's Hampton Store

After seeing some sneak peak images of the new Serena & Lily store in the Hamptons on our various feeds yesterday, it makes me extremely jealous that we aren't able to go visit and also don't have stores like this in our area. Look at the beauty:

Photo via Heather Clawson @ Habitually Chic

Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic was invited to the opening and has many more photos to share. As does Traditional Home's Tori Mellott on instagram:

Photo via @torimellott

We strongly suggest you check out these two ladies' photos from the store -- envy inducing.

All the best,

If you would like help creating a home you love or are interested in purchasing to-the-trade items, please contact us at

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Beach Lover's Nursery


A few months ago we began working on a nursery for a friend of mine due in July with a baby girl. What I know to be true of my friend is that the woman manages to take more tropical vacations than anyone I know. She is a warm-vacation worshiper and is happiest when she's not at her desk (obviously) and instead on a beach in Hawaii or somehow swinging invites to the Ixtapa Food and Wine Fest two years in a row (I mean, come on...). So when I showed her this fabric out of a big stack, I realized I could have just brought the one and not bothered with the rest. It was 1) not pink, 2) tropical in its style and 3) versatile enough to grow with their daughter. 

My friends were tasked with picking out their favorite crib and dresser for this teensy room given some parameters for size. Same goes for a chair that they both found comfortable given that both she and her husband are on the tall side and wanted to be able to rest their head for those late nights and early mornings. The white slipcover is still-to-come due to a backorder issue, but the chair from the Land of Nod is a winner for it's swivel-rocker feature. We also decided to have a crib skirt made in the 11th hour so it's a few weeks out and in a coordinating green.

For us, this room was an exercise in working with color in a soothing way. Color and nurseries are a given for lots of people, but my friends didn't want anything to "baby" and given how neutral Susie and I tend to be, this was a fun step outside our comfort zone.

Pre- Slipcover!
We found these original corals and we worked with the artist to find the right shade of lavender based on the wall color so that it was in the same tones, but stronger. They are all signed and I know for some people, my friends included, having something original from an artist is important, rather than something off of a shelf at a big box store. And just because they are custom and original, it doesn't mean they were expensive!

Replacing the light fixture was a big change to the room (in addition to the crown that we added). The ceilings are low, but when we started working on the room, my friend said she wanted two things with no wiggle room: a chandelier of some sort and something interesting for the ceiling or a wall. This Morovian Star fixture did both. It's fun and special like a traditional chandelier would be, but it has muss less drop and allowed us to do something special while not sacrificing heads to bumps and bruises.

And, since doing a wallpaper on the ceiling was slightly out of reach, the fixture creates light patterns on the ceiling (which we did paint at 200% strength of the wall color for subtle variation).

My favorite Target lamp gives extra light to the room in addition to having two three way bulbs -- genius for wanting only 40 watts if the baby is sleeping or as much as 200 if you were trying to land a plane. Floor lamps combined with a corner chair are an absolute must. As soon as the lamp goes in, it completes the vignette and gives the spot purpose.

Love this little metal and wood table too. Perfect spot to rest your bottle/mug while camped out.

Also, a note on drapes: If there is ONE thing that makes a room, it's adding drapes to your budget. Even for a nursery when there is so much to buy, they make the biggest  difference. As soon as they went up, the room immediately felt special and bigger. We added a tape to the leading edge to give them some interest and sophistication (plus play up the green), but there are multiple ways to accomplish drapes via workrooms and sewing shops and I'm so thankful that my friends trusted us with their home and budget. 

All the best,

If you would like help creating a home you love or are interested in purchasing to-the trade items, please contact us at

Monday, May 13, 2013

Vaunte & Trad Home's Tori Mellot

I can't remember how I started following Vaunte on instagram. It was one of those rabbit holes of the internet when you realize you're 4 steps from where you started and don't ask me how I got there. But since following them, I've signed up for their emails, which is saying something since I have unsubscribed from nearly every other service that joined the fad of littering my inbox with "Shop NOW" flash sales multiple times a day.

Vaunte seems a little different though. It's like being invited in to someone's closet and the "someone" is always one of good taste or if not your taste, it's really interesting to see what they wore and what they're putting up for sale at amazing prices.  It's Decades of the internet and without the boring anonymous client numbers. Snooze.

Case in point: Tori Mellot, Senior Design and Market Editor of Traditional Home (and formerly Domino)'s items went on sale this weekend and I can tell you a few things about her: Typically a size 2/4 and the girl loves a mini dress (her clothes would look like a t-shirt on me). Also a good label lover. In addition to my not-so-astute observations, they give a great profile to accompany the sale with an awesome questionnaire -- she has some great answers.

I have to pull out some highlights to this questionnaire because her honesty makes me laugh:

Jeans: I think jeans are over-priced. I get all my jeans at Zara and they are awesome! Plus I wear white jeans so often in the summer that they are threadbare by August. Why would I want to spend $300 on a pair of jeans that I'm going to have to pitch at the end of the season? That's stupid, duh, so I go to Zara and I get jeans that make my ass look good and my legs look long. 

As an aside, I also should note that this is the same gal talking about jeans who chose a Birken over a car because that's the price comparison we're talking about, so take it for what you will. We all spend money in our own way, so no judgement from me.

Movie: Sixteen Candles all the way. I'm still waiting for Jake Ryan to show up at my house in a candy-apple red Porsche.

I had to throw this in because that movie is referenced all the time between Susie and I. Despite our generation gap, Sixteen Candles is a common language for us. In high school, all I had to do to describe my crush to her was compare him to Jake Ryan. He. Is. My. Jake Ryan. And an a-ha moment was had.

Best Compliment: To give: That I'm funny or skinny. To Give: That someone is beautiful or skinny. 

That's some honesty right there... But who doesn't love when a friend tells you you look skinny?

Christian Louboutin, currently $175

Alaia, currently $155

Cynthia Rowley, currently $135

Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, currently $125

I love it when fashion and interiors collide. To me, they are a seamless integration of design and for now, I'm highly enjoying

Here's to a good Monday,


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Skirted Tables In Action

I've been slowly assembling my own house lately and with that comes scavenging for any photos that serve as useful inspiration. One of the things I love about my house is that it is small. And naturally the thing that also gives me the greatest frustration is that I'm fighting the limitations of space -- especially when it's my natural inclination to fill it up with STUFF. Isn't that what lovers of furniture and fabric need to do? 

I've been slowly assembling the sitting area of my little space and with getting closer to being "done" with that, I've been able to tackle the dining area bit by bit. Last weekend, I began sewing the fabric for what will be a skirted table with eventually, multiple options of dress. 

To fill you in on what I'm working with, my "dining" are and living room are one combined space, and truthfully, I'm being ambitious with cramming a dining table in. SO. Our solution? A skirted table that functions more as a place to set up my computer if I'm working from home or stack some books like a library table. Chairs around it all the time is just too much for the room, so those have a life in other places when not occupied... 

For now, I've started with a light brown and white ticking stripe. It's neutral while still bringing in some pattern and let's face it, the price was right. I needed seven yards and when I'm done I'll add some frogs like  the photo above (but farther down) so that it has a tailored look. I'm not into ruffles and folds for my own home, although it can be beuatiful. 

When I've got that skirt fully crossed off my list, I'm moving on to a cream linen (stain treated) that will get a Greek Key border. I love the option of changing out the two and I love how different they are.

In the process of narrowing down my options though, I'm always considering skirts like these:

This one is so simple, I love it. And it was the inspiration for how I'd like to use the table in more ways than just a place to host friends.

And a note about the actual table: Being hard to please, I took to my dad's woodshop and made it. I've made a few furniture pieces by now when I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for. Or when what I'm looking for is WAY out of my price range. For this table, I didn't want a standard round with leaves as my oval because I needed the gentle curve and immediate curve of an ellipse (to maximize space), rather than the straight sides that come with the former option. I also wanted the legs in very specific places so they didn't interfere with seating 6 people. While I'm not crazy about maple veneered plywood, it makes a great base for the table:

It's never a quick process when you're working on you own house -- all the options and lack of time, but slowly I'm getting things together. First dinner party is looming and sitting in front of these windows with a view to Lake Union is really wonderful now that it's sunny.

All the best,


If you would like help creating a home you love or are interested in purchasing to-the-trade items, contact us at

*These photos and credits are available via my Pinterest

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Design Crush: Architect Bill Ingram

When I received my May issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles last week I was struck by architect Bill Ingram's loft in Atlanta.   It's such an elegant shell but extremely livable, which seems to be his trademark style.   Based out of Birmingham, I just can't get enough of his designs.  

The living room is split into a sitting area and library.  

The dining area is beyond fabulous.  
He turned an extra bedroom into a TV/sitting room.  I'd live in this room.  
And I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing this house, but it's one of my favorites and is an example of how you don't have to live large to live well:

One of his lake houses --  It was published by Southern Accents Magazine in 2009 but it's still a classic: 

The man really does know how to create some comfortable kitchens:

Last but not least, some of my favorite exteriors:   

I've always loved this Rosemary Beach house.  
Who wouldn't want to drive up to this little darling?

Amazing carriage house.

Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a great week ahead.   

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...