December 16, 2016
Let’s get one thing straight… I am by no means “ready” for Christmas. I feel like it was Thanksgiving yesterday and now suddenly there are 8 – EIGHT! – shopping days til Christmas. WTF?! Anyway, I’m wrapping garland, lighting trees, hanging wreaths and decking the frapping halls as fast as I can. Thank heaven I have a giant attic filled with years of Christmas hoarding, if there were a trap door I’d just shove it all through, but there isn’t so I’m getting my exercise which is good cause it’s Mac Cheese Season. So this year we went for Laurel Leaf Garland, it’s a nice change from all the pine you see this time of year. No snow yet, and I’m still debating lights on the garland.. yes? or No?
The Front Door area is also still unresolved, Love my wreath, but the bittersweet and the big berries in the wreath are not jiving for me, there’s a disconnect with these elements. I’m thinking fill planters with bright green moss and swap redder berries in the trees. This is what were calling the little tree (it’s 4 or 5 feet) I like to have a home-spun tree in the Library, near the fireplace that holds the ornaments we have collected and have been given over the years, you know the sentimental stuff. My Mom is coming out in just a few days to spend Christmas with us so I’m hold off on decorating this tree until she gets here. I also have a stash of photo albums under the ottoman to reminisce over while we trim the tree.
I’m including this image because the holidays are a time when we most miss those who are no longer with us. It’s a time of deep reflection and can be difficult for some. We lost someone dear to us this year, so we make sure to honor their passing and to tell stories and remember them to keep their memory alive. The season is truly about love, compassion and giving so we think of those we have lost and hold close those still near us and take care of those who need more, or suffer this time of year.
I love a scented candle. Seriously I do… these are my top three right now. Icy Blue Pine by Votivo and Vermont Wood and Wassail by Farm House Pottery… both available locally at Surroundings. All have the freshness of the season without being to powerful, I love these candles, seriously. Speaking of Surroundings, a great stocking stuffer or hostess gift is a cocktail or hand towel and we carry Caspari because they have so many great styles. This is a holiday appropriate gift that has a purpose and fills a need & it also gets used and goes away so you’re not giving clutter or a nic-nack that the receiver might not want to have to keep around. Hey, so is a scented candle… see how I did that. Anyways, don’t be surprised (if I know you) if you get a package of pretty napkins in your stocking.
Last but not least, there’s SANTA. My vintage Santa collection is growing but I have become more particular in recent years because I don’t want duplicates. I find a lot of the rubber faced Santas of the 50’s and 60’s. My heat melts for paper faced Santas with cottony beards and the wooden Santas of Scandinavia are also favorites. No matter what makes you happy this time of year, no matter how or what you celebrate, I hope you have a magical holiday season surrounded by Family, or friends or both. xoxo
November 7, 2016
It’s a classic that never seems to fall out of favor. Blue and White feels appropriate in any season, in any place, and in any room. The above image is a family room I designed for a summer house on the South Coast of MA. The clients were young and I wanted the room to feel sophisticated and classic but relaxed. The wide striped rug from Barrier Island Rugs sets a sporty tone and the ticking stripe on the swivel chair and the Kelly Wearstler pillow fabric all play nicely together. (Upholstery by LEE Industries)
Stark Carpet is a leader when it comes to broadloom and rugs. They have an endless supply of patterns and styles and there is not shortage of blue and white. I’m particularly fond of the ones in my photograph that I’m using for current client. As you can see these patterns go from bedroom to living room to staircase, blue and white can be used to suit any space. (headboard by LEE Industries)
The color story doesn’t have to stop at fabrics and rugs, Front doors, art and accessories are all fair game. Here’s a shot of my front door, a clients house and one of my most favorite pieces of art by Marine Edith Crosta. Her unique miniatures are hand painted and framed in her East London studio. The frames and glass that she uses are antiques so the sizes and characteristics can vary, which I love.
A blue and white palette benefits from an added neutral or a pop of color like red, but that doesn’t mean you have to add another color. That said you can also play with the amount of each color you use to find the loo you want. I love a dark blue room with a crisp white chair rail, like the Private club house I designed for a local Golf Club.
September 18, 2016
“Create your own reality” is a phrase friends and I saw once inscribed on a school or civic building when we were in our early twenties. I think it was in the Sunset district of San Francisco. It became a catch phrase for us, used more in jest at first, but it has become a mantra for me that has guided me in my adult life. Many years ago I decided that I’d like to have a home in Provincetown, it was in fact September 15, 2011 click to see entire post (FIVE YEARS AGO) I set my eyes on this house…
And now it’s mine (ours). It has been for 3 years now. I stalked it, I watched it I asked about it, I found a realtor that knew the owner, we inquired, we offered and we were accepted ( with a little negotiating ). I pinch myself every time I pull in the driveway – not only am I so very happy to have parking in this bustling little town – but I can’t believe my good fortune to have the opportunity to be the caretaker of such a beautiful cottage, in such a great location, in a town I love, only an hour and a half away from home. So here is where we are now… moved in, interiors cute, beachy, relaxed and for the most “done”. But the bathroom is crying for an update. So the last few posts have been about making sensitive choices that will update the bathroom, without it feeling like it doesn’t belong in this tiny, charming little cape house from the 30’s.
Mostly, I wanted to recognize that 5 years ago to the day almost, I had a dream. Today I’m sitting on the sofa, writing this blog and throughly aware of the gift it is in my life. I love this house. I want to do right by it. I’m going to keep processing materials and ideas in my mind and maybe on the ol blog til I have a bathroom worthy of showing off. Until then… Check out my posts Summer (house) May 19, 2014 and SeaSide Chic – I think so anyway August 3, 2014 for previous posts featuring other shots of the house. Cheers!
September 11, 2016
I want to do something unusual in my bathroom remodel and I love the look that brass fixtures give a room but I worry that in my marine environment that the brass won’t stay pretty for long. I don’t need it to stay perfect forever but that’s not the only reason I’m afraid to use it on this project. You see, it might come off as a bit to glammy for the house. In fact I’m pretty sure I’ll have to save that look for a different project. I need something a bit more subdued, rustic but modern. The obvious choice is black.
To me black fixtures in a bathroom give a Scandinavian vibe. It’s european for sure but there is a modernity that says Danish modern and mid-century to me. I also like the 20’s 30’s aesthetic black and white give, again it’s modern… but modern with a twist. I’ve never in my 25 plus year career spec’d black fixtures for a bathroom, if you can believe that. So, I have no idea how it will hold up. or if it will look bad in a year. or if upkeep is hard… but i think I’m ready to experiment with my own bathroom, before I tell a client they ought to go for it.
I’m going to go with Dorn Bracht for my faucet and shower sets. There are many brands that offer black as a finish, but I love the X handles of the Tara series and the clean smile neck of the faucet. Pop back in a few days… I’ll share some inspiration images with you so you can see the look I’m going for.
September 9, 2016
Penny Round Tiles have been around for more than a century but they feel more mid-century than they do turn of the century. They certainly have a fresh look for todays Bathrooms, Kitchens, Foyers and Mud Rooms. Originally sold in face-mounted paper sheets and set into a sand-and-cement mortar that also served as the grout, easy-to-clean unglazed porcelain circles debuted in bathrooms and kitchens in the early 1900s.
Regarded as a great no-slip surface, penny tile is now available in ceramic ( now mesh-mounted or joined with glue dots for easy installation) porcelain (fired multiple times for better durability in high traffic areas) and natural stone. Make a splash with penny rounds as back-splashes, shower walls, and fireplace surrounds.
Obviously, these little beauties are pretty transformable and suit looks from modern to traditional. I think they are a nice counter point to large slabs of natural stone and the scale of their movement, and they soften square and rectangular tiles with their happy round edges. I’m leaning toward using them on the floor in a bathroom remodel I’m planning. What do you think? …a penny for your thoughts.
March 27, 2016
Easter for me is a time for Bunnies, Chicks, Eggs, Easter Baskets and of course Egg Decorating… However you choose to spend the day, I hope you and your loved ones are together, sharing food, prayer, or your Easter Baskets. I chose to spend the morning peeping some eggs and this year I thought why not try the natural approach to coloring. I decided to try coffee, turmeric, chili powder, and spinach (because I really wanted green).
The colors are subtle, some more successful than others, and some didn’t really work at all. The big surprise is that I like the coffee the best! Turmeric worked well too, but chili powder and spinach were a bust… so I broke out the food coloring. I was carful to not over dye the eggs, because I wanted a soft natural palette this year. I’m not sure where this technique of wrapping the egg with mesh or a piece of nylon stocking came from (or I’d give credit) but I think it’s a great way to add visual interest, while keeping it natural. Here are the results. I’m pleased with how they turned out, there were one or two I’m not showing you but for the most part the method is easy, and produces good results. I love the flower , I used hellebore because it’s really the only thing blooming in my yard right now. I foraged some bamboo leaves, some evergreens and a small fernlike plant that I’m pretty sure is a weed… but a pretty leaved weed. Hey, on March 26th in the garden you can afford to be too picky. Note: choose soft non-woody plant materials and avoid thin spindly plants, they don’t work well. I added vinegar to both the traditional dyes and my “spice dyes” , i have to be honest I don’t really know what is does, but we did it when I was a kid, and you add it to PAAS so I added it. Good luck if you’re dying eggs today.
March 26, 2016
Ok first things first… the above image is the beautiful, thoughtful interiors at the Old Homestead in Provincetown Ma. I’ve not yet had the pleasure of seeing the interiors first hand, but I intend to correct that in the very near future. As you can see the eye on this project is/was impeccable. Serious inspiration for a small kitchen/bathroom project in my near future. If you intend to visit Provincetown, check out the Old Homestead. one word Chic! Don’t make me list the things I love: Shiplap, appliances, stools, rafters, lights….
I’m in the market for a new kitchen and bathroom, and these images are my inspiration. A great way to get your head around the look you want for a new space is to pull images of rooms you like. The pictures don’t have to be exactly what you think you want, or the same configuration you have to design, they are meant to borrow ideas from, to fine tune your likes and hobble together your own style by picking and choosing elements that speak to you. Clearly, I like a goose neck faucet with a “Chicago style” above counter valve. These images also suggest I’m headed to a slab backsplash (swoon) and white cabinets with inset doors. There many other details to iron out, but thats a good start.
Nice doors! and, shot doesn’t love a footed vanity?
This Floor is to die for!
I’m not sure this sink is for me, but theres a lot here I like.
That sink again… it’s still a no, I need a counter top.
Its not the first time, and I promise it won’t be the last time I blog about white kitchens and bathrooms… whats not to like?!? But, I will leave it there for now. Happy decorating!