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!
January 9, 2016
I have made this confession before, but I will make it again… My blog suffered the day I discovered Instagram. It occupies every minute I allow it to. I look at it before email, Facebook or any other Ap. or program, I guess you could say I’m addicted. One (of many) favorite pastimes on Instagram is stalking beautiful acrhitecture. Every style from every corner of the earth, every thing I didn’t even know existed is on Instagram, at my fingertips. Just look at these beauties… L.A., man… Nobody does it quite like Los Angeles. This courtyard of apartments is so charming, isn’t it? Probably 1920’s. They had me with the Spanish influences but the symmetry of this one is so great. Looks like every detail is intact. I could live there. Oh, you fancy huh? Well there’s plenty of fancy to be had in Instagram… just look at this stunner. Metal window frames, classic architecture, formal black and white palette… this house could be 1930’s or 1940’s but could just as easily be contemporary. My guess is it’s new built to look old. I love it. I could live here. If I was going to build a home this one would educate the decisions I made. I love that way if feels rural and farmy but still has a clean, crisp modern bend to it. What you can’t see is the back of this beauty, it’s almost all glass. Is that metal siding? love. Giant sliding doors? love. And when those trees mature a bit and create a long allee… perfection! I L.O.V.E. this one too. Chic… that is all. C.H.I.CIf I had to be an urban dweller, this would fine with me… the breeze sole over the upstairs side windows… And, I ‘m pretty sure I like this shot because I love the clean traditional shoe of this structure, I love the clean white siding and all that glass… who wouldn’t want this much connection to their back yard? the interior looks pretty perfect and if that upstairs room is the master?! Hello, I’m in!
January 7, 2016
I’ve never been to Blackberry Farm but these images (all from Instagram) made the decision for me to add it to my “must visit” list. I had never even heard of this beautiful place until today, but just look at it. I’m sure my southern friends will say “hello, where have you been…” I’m just happy to have discovered Blackberry Farm. The decor and care and attention to detail is clearly something they pride themselves on. To see many more beautiful images and to learn more about Blackberry farm visit their website here. Here’s more in their words (taken for their website)…
In 1939, Mrs. Florida Lasier of Chicago snagged her silk stockings on a wild blackberry bramble while exploring the idyllic Smoky Mountain foothills, and the name Blackberry Farm was born. Thirty-nine years later, the Beall family invested their hearts and souls in the same romantic site that has become their family home and lifelong passion. Today, one of America’s most celebrated intimate luxury hotels beckons discerning guests who aspire to escape modern-day frenzy and slip into a Blackberry state of mind. Situated on a pastoral 9,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry will show you the many reasons why it is one of the top rated properties in the world.
Whether you select the intimate charm of an Estate Room, the legendary elegance of a spacious Singing Brook, Farmstead Cottage, Holly Glade Suite or luxurious comforts of a Hill Cottage, Blackberry Farm’s accommodations offer a haven of carefree comfort. From heavenly feather beds adorned with sumptuous linens to plush robes and luxurious amenities, your accommodations reflect a meticulous attention to detail.
Winter Rates available January – March:
Roaring fires, frosty mornings and everything signature Blackberry Farm in between – plus our annual winter rates for rooms and activities. No matter what draws you, there are plenty of reasons to slip away to Blackberry this Winter and enjoy the stillness of the smokies during truly one of the loveliest times of the year.
(Winter rates available from January 1 – March 13, 2016)
Winter Romantic Escape: Spend more time together at Blackberry Farm in an exclusive offer for a complimentary fourth night when you book three weeknights during December-March. You will also receive a split of champagne on arrival, a seasonal welcome amenity, and a rose petal turndown one evening.
Call 800–557-8864 for information and details. *subject to availability
No promotional enticements or fees were paid for this blog by Blackberry Farm or another person or company. This is just me, telling you what I think is chic and what deserves to be celebrated and admired.
December 1, 2014
Ok, back to design and architecture…
I can’t CONTAIN myself, I just love these houses, just enough modern with a mid-century vibe and sustainable… I’m in! Smitten in fact. Can you believe that with a $40,000 budget, Benjamin Garcia Saxe used two 40-foot long shipping containers to create this cozy 1,000 square feet space. The home is located in San Jose, Costa Rica, and proves you don’t need deep pockets to fund a shipping container home project.
The design team at Studio H:T thought a bit outside of the box with this one. Rather than build the entire home from shipping containers, they chose to add 2 storage containers to the outsides of a pre-existing structure. The residence is nestled on a ledge in Nederland, Colorado, and includes roof mounted solar panels, passive cooling, and much more.
Guest houses are typically small anyway, so why not build yours from a recycled shipping container? Designed by the team at Poteet Architects, this modern living space spans 360 square feet, and has everything one would need from a living room and study area, right down to the bathroom and patio.
Designed to be inexpensive and portable, the Port-A-Bach is the exact picture that comes to mind when we think of storage container dwellings. The tiny home was built back in 2007 by the team at Atelierworkshop, and features a double bed alongside 2 fold out bunk beds, providing sleeping quartes for up to 4 people. Unfolding the boxy home provides a nice deck to enjoy to enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer.
Great aren’t they? I’d love a piece of land, with a view to place one of these sustainable, unique and easily built structures. To see these and more like them visit dailynewsdig.com that’s where I got these images and most of the copy.
November 24, 2014
I have had a mid-century house – an Eichler built in 1958 nestled at the foot of rolling golden hills in California – and I currently live in a Colonial Revival – built in 1907 in the Georgian style in a town with more history than I can fathom – and after my adventure today of hiking the dunes on Cape Cod and discovering Mid-century gems cast away and being left to ruin, my heart aches for a clean simple box, unadorned and angular sitting amongst the scrub pines with a view out to sea. Waxing poetic, huh?
Well, I can’t help it… I LOVE ARCHITECTURE. I love design, I can’t turn it off and I certainly can’t own a house in every style I love. So I blog about it. Here’s what I did today… My partner in crime and life and I drove a short distance from our little cottage on the beach and followed a winding little road out to the open seashore of Cape Cod. There in all it’s glory the sandy cliffs play host to a very important modern structure named the Hatch House.The experimental Hatch Cottage was designed by Jack Hall in 1960 for Robert Hatch, an editor of The Nation and his wife Ruth, a painter. The family occupied the cottage until 2008 when ownership reverted to the National Park Service. CCMHT received a lease in 2012 and finished restoration in spring 2013. Since then the cottage has hosted four artist/scholar residencies. All the original furniture and artwork has been re-installed by the Hatch family. It’s hard to describe the setting of the Hatch Cottage, with it’s panoramic view of the bay, perched on the edge of a kettle hole, with a vernal pool below, and it’s untrammeled west facing hillside which takes in the sunset over the water. Because it’s in the National Seashore, surrounding development has been frozen since its construction. The cottage itself is a matrix of cubes. Some are single and some combine to make bigger shared spaces. The cubes are connected by outdoor decks which seem to dematerialise due to the decking being laid on edge; making the whole seem to hover a few feet above the ground. The rooms open and close with shutters of different sizes to regulate temperature, air and sun. There are two rooms with queen sized beds, a bunk room, one bath, a lovely path to a generally un-occupied bay beach and access to many trails through the woods. *This excerpt taken from the Cape Cod Modern Historic Trust website, see more at ccmht.org
After seeing such a beautiful modern structure built in a truly majestic setting I thought the rest of our day would be spent discussing the merits of this incredible structure and how we might someday replicate it – or something close to it – for our very own… But I continued to be surprised after we parked on an unmarked fire road somewhere between Truro and Wellfleet and hiked into a pristine pine and oak forest. The most beautiful fall-infused path opened up to miles of open seashore and the forest revealed its hidden treasures… many abandoned mid-century homes, slowly being reclaimed by the land they were built on.
Now owned by the federal government, these beautiful examples of mid-century architecture are decaying. Still beautiful, only hauntingly so, I could so easily imagine living in any one of the structures we came upon. This sad structure being the first we saw, I will admit it’s heartbreaking but this was the worst of what we saw… many are still habitable and CCMHT has begun to lease and preserve the most important structures. The landscape has grown in since this structure was built to a point where the ocean view is now shrouded by evergreens.
This house still has its wonderful view, ceiling suspended red metal fireplace and a spooky ouija board just inside the expanse of glass that protects the interior from the coastal elements. The living room spans the entire water side of the main living floor with accordion doors in the back that close to create a private bedroom or den. It’s also in pretty bad shape, but it’s not open and exposed to the wind, rain and salt air. Below the main floor (that also had a wall of kitchen in the back left corner) are additional bedrooms, a bonus room and full bath. I was happy this one was locked up tight.
Yeah, this one not so “locked up tight”. The door was wide open and the elements and animals of the forest had certainly made themselves at home here, but you can still see how fabulous living in this structure could be. There were even a few pieces of furniture I would have considered “rescuing” but I’m certain anyone else would have seen my good intentions as “stealing”… So I left those cool little rattan chairs behind for the critters.
Thanks for stopping by & reading!
November 22, 2014
So, a friend and fellow designer John De Bastiani posted an image of this sweet little house on his Facebook page the other day and I immediately recognized the bunkroom picture from a shelter magazine… I have loved and coveted this room for a long time. And now, I glad to know who created this beautiful and respectful tiny house, Jessica Helgerson.
With more than 15 years of experience designing residential and commercial interiors Jessica creates interiors that are typically clean and uncluttered. Adept at many styles, she is happy to be guided by her clients’ individual needs and tastes as any good decorator is. Jessica likes to start by considering what the best design for the client might be while considering the best design for the building or space. Her goal is to ensure that the fundamental design and the materials are classic, long lasting, and appropriate to the building and its period. She likes to layer on fresh, contemporary elements—such as lighting, furniture, and art—that feel just right for the clients and for the moment. I’m a fan, and if I wasn’t a control freak.. I’d hire her to do my next house. Just look at this tiny house she designed!
This little house is where Jessica and her family have been living for the last several years. It sits on a five-acre property on Sauvie Island, an agricultural island on the Columbia River 15 minutes north of Portland.
The house is an interesting experiment in reduction and reuse not only because it is only 540 square feet or because it was remodeled using nearly exclusively reclaimed materials, but because the building itself is now being recycled for the fourth time. It was first built in the early 1940s as part of Vanport Village; a quickly erected development built to house shipyard workers. When Vanport Village flooded in 1948 this particular little house was floated down the river to Sauvie Island, where it became the goose-check station. Years later it was remodeled to become a rental house.
When Jessica and Yianni bought the property in late 2008, they decided to remodel it without adding to the existing footprint. Their first step was to redesign the interior for maximum space efficiency. A ‘great room’ houses the kitchen, dining room and living room with large, comfortable, built in sofas that double as twin beds for guests. Drawers under the sofas hold children’s toys and a wall of shelves houses books and more. The ceiling was opened up in the main space, but the bathroom and bedroom have lower ceilings to accommodate the parent’s sleeping loft above, accessible by a walnut ladder. The children’s room has two bunk beds as well as a full bed for guests. A pull-out closet makes maximum use of the narrow space near the bunk beds.
New high-efficiency windows come right down to the sofas and offer a fun way for kids and cats to enter and exit the house. The walls were insulated, then faced in reclaimed wood siding, most of which was found on site in one of the barns. The
new floors are local Oregon white oak, and the dining table was made from locally salvaged walnut. The range is a vintage Craigslist find, and the tub was a salvaged from a friend’s demolition site. A wood-burning stove easily and efficiently heats the small house.
As part of the remodel, the worn out roof was replaced with a green roof, planted with moss and ferns gathered along the Columbia River Gorge. The green roof offers insulation as well as a playful visual counterpoint to the traditional white cottage.
Despite its size, the house is welcoming and comfortable and nearly every weekend it is full of family and friends coming from Portland to enjoy a day in the countryside. In addition to living in a small footprint, Yianni and Jessica have been working towards food self-sufficiency. Their first year on the property they built a 1200-square-foot green house, planted vegetable gardens, rows of berries, and fruit trees. They are also raising chickens for meat and eggs, keeping bees, and making cheese from the milk of a neighbor’s goats and cows.
*Much of this text was taken directly from Jessica’s website, with the intention of “getting it right” and sending the intended “message” out of respect for Jessica, her brand and her work.
I’m all about paying respect, honoring craft and celebrating others in my field. Please click on the web address above to see Jessica’s full website.
October 28, 2014
I confess to being an instagram junkie. (Many) Self portraits, puppy pictures, food photographs and vacation snapshots are all constant occurrences for me. I admit it has stolen me away from my own blog and It’s in large part because Instagram is the perfect platform for someone visually minded that has perhaps a shorter attention span than typical (like me). Pick any topic and you can find it there… Fitness, fashion, food or the Arts of course, theater, dance, design and yes, plenty of architecture. I am no some one that should suffer from house envy, but I can’t help myself… just look at these beauties…
Maybe formal is more your thing? it’s there too (on Instagram). The Gerogian influences on this colonial charmer sure charm me. It strikes me as odd that there isn’t more symmetry to this house if is indeed turn of the century. Georgian style dictates symmetry so perhaps this house was devided at some point, altered by fire or maybe just maybe it isn’t as old as we might think. Either way it’s a handsome house, you can’t go wrong with a white house.
This last house is one of my favorites in Provincetown. The lead image is the front, don’t you love the trellis over the bump-outs? they disguise the wings of the house, keeping it looking like a tall, narrow antique. the wings allow for views and modern amenities. and the texture of the trellis is interesting I think. Oh, and the water front property doesn’t suck either. This house is beautifully maintained, that makes any house (even yours) more attractive. where you lack in architectural detail or grandeur you can make up for by keeping the paint, trim shutters and yard in ship shape!
Here are a few others that I’m going to leave untrimmed… love them all…could keep going but I won’t…