Ooh, my favorite!

December 3, 2013, 10:44 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Green, Home


So far I’ve mentioned my adoration for the sensible and clean decor of a Scandinavian Christmas, but now I’m going in the complete opposite direction and adopting a different ideal into our first Christmas at the Treehouse. We have decided to BAN ALL GIFT WRAPPING and go with the Japanese art of the furoshiki, which uses cloth as a wrap for packages (and lots more). I just can’t bear to see all of that garbage at the end of gifts so this new tradition is going to be a pretty badass solution.

Andrew found these tenugui cloths at Best Made and ordered them to use as all-purpose towels in the kitchen and around the house, but before they get too well-loved I’ll be trying my hand at different styles of furoshiki wrapping from this guide here. And once the holidays are done it’ll be great to see these working around the kitchen.

Tenugui cloths | $6

November 14, 2013, 10:36 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home


Even though my brass geometric wreath isn’t up yet, I have been admiring it every day from its box; trying to be patient while I wait for an “appropriate” time to get a tree and nestle this nicely next to it. I found it here at HRUSKAA, the most lovely little Etsy shop that makes all kinds of geometric sculptures called Himmeli (from the Swedish word himmel meaning sky or heaven). Traditionally they were made with straw and were hung in celebration of the Winter Solstice, but Melissa has created her versions with brass, copper, or white or black plastic straw.

The wreath is beyond lovely and seeing it makes me so happy. And while I got it specifically for our Christmas canon, there’s no reason himmeli’s can’t stay up year-round! This is precisely why I have been eyeing a hanging mobile. So if you’re looking to add some cheer to a little nook at home think about adding one of these beauties. Oh, and what an impressive Christmas gift it would make. Visit the shop for much more.

HRUSKAA (Her-oo-shh-ka)


Some fun new toys
November 12, 2013, 10:28 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Clean, Drinks, Green, Health

Processed with VSCOcamAs much as I love a fun and sexy ice cube, I of course, can taste the funkiness from the silicone trays. Luckily Andrew found this vintage-style ice cube tray which has been updated with food grade stainless steel (instead of aluminum) and makes yummy ice without any leeched tastes.

Processed with VSCOcamAnd while I’ve never been a straw fanatic, I am very much in love with these  glass straws. So much fun for sodas and cocktails at home, and easily cleaned in the dishwasher.

Christmas Canon
November 11, 2013, 10:07 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home


I’ve been shy about hunting for Christmas decorations for the past couple weeks, but from what I can tell I’m not actually as freakishly ahead as I’d thought. While they’re not going up for a few more weeks, I suddenly became really, super excited when I realized that I finally have the chance to create new traditions and collect special decorations with Andrew in our cozy little home. When I think back to Christmas as a kid, I remember more about our trees, ornaments, and Christmas village than I do about the gifts we received. I’m probably weird for that, but it explains why I’m so excited to create our first Christmas in the Tree House.

Last holiday season I shared some Swedish Christmas inspiration and these Pizzelle lanterns, and finally after a year of thinking about them I  pulled the trigger and they are now a part of our Christmas canon. Even more beautiful than I thought, they’re made of heavy-weight, ivory paper and have beautiful and intricate cuts and shapes. I can’t wait to get them into the windows, but for now I’m admiring them from the floor.

Pizzelle Paper Lanterns | $42-$55

Stay tuned for more on my other favorite, the geometric brass wreath. (So mean, I know.)


A SMEG in my future?
October 28, 2013, 10:50 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home


Andrew and I live in the greatest little, big house. It’s a classic Victorian style home built in 1908, and over the years it has been turned into a flat on the main floor, and two apartments on the top floor. We have the coziest little nook upstairs, but the other small studio in the front is in desperate need of some love. Thus, we are starting the big project of renovating. The hardwood floors need replacing, the kitchen needs relocating, and the original french doors need restoring! I’m excited to have a small space to play with since we’ll be renting it out fully furnished, but before I get too crazy with that part, right now there is a slight possibility that I will be able to use one of these sexy bitches in the new and improved kitchen!

We are going to make the former living room into the kitchen and dining area which will be a much better layout overall. (And everyone knows all the good stuff happens in and around the kitchen.) It might be a tight fit for the fridge but with some creative planning I’m hoping to make it work. I mean, what better way to offset a neutral kitchen than with a bright and beautiful SMEG? The 50’s style lines, the range of colors, and the A++ energy rating kept me up last night, for real. So, without trying to jinx myself, what color is my favorite?

SMEG USA | Also newly available through West Elm


(c) Nordic Leaves (My fave!)



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A thing for lamps
October 22, 2013, 10:09 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

Charlton Table Lamp

I sort of have a thing for lamps. And by thing I should probably say fascination/obsession/fetish. I’d forgotten how weird I can be about proper interior lighting until my mom reminded me that even as a kid I’d create different lighting schemes for different activities in the living room and even in the kitchen. Strange, I know. But in my defense proper lighting at home has so much influence over your mood, especially here in the gloomy Pacific Northwest. A room that’s too dark can be depressing and cause you to feel sluggish, but with the addition of properly placed lights your room can have a cozy glow that will ease you into a relaxing evening and night.

Until now I’ve been collecting vintage lamps which definitely gave me more bang for the buck, but suddenly I am at the point where a real modern touch would be nice. These Charlton table lamps by Aerin Lauder are precisely the look I’ve been dreaming of: simple, delicate and yet sturdy, interesting.

Also available as a floor lamp or wall sconce which are equally sexy. See the whole collection here at Circa.

Charlton Table Lamp

October 16, 2013, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Home, Nostalgia

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These cozy, gloomy autumn mornings are perfect for rearranging and hibernation prep, and out of these last few days came my new favorite little nook. For some reason I hadn’t been feeling very creative or inspired, so I was excited when I finally channeled some kung fu and got things settled.

I reworked our new PS cabinet into more of an office/key drop area in an attempt to be more organized. I liked it before with my heart bowls, but it wasn’t as functional as it needed to be, especially since it sits just inside the front door. The white tray used to house remotes and notes on the coffee table, but since we use the table so often we kept having to move the tray to another spot, and then back again when we were done. Finally I decided to give it a new, permanent home here and it’s perfect for pens and paper. And at the base of our note board it makes lots of sense. I like hiding keys and other weirdness in the little brass box–the things you use regularly but maybe shouldn’t be left out all the time. You know what’s in there? Nail clippers. Like, four pair because Andrew has some weird thing with nail clippers.

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And I think my very favorite part of this new nook is a home for two of my most treasured pieces. I got these tiny little guys on a fourth grade class trip to New Mexico! These are ceramic pieces from the Acoma Pueblo outside of Albequerque and until now they’ve been scattered in random and obscure places. Seeing them everyday brings back happy memories of New Mexico, soppapillas with honey, and the trip home when Scott Wilson bought me a beaded bracelet and had Eddie Gleason give it to me but I was so shy and embarrassed that I hid it away. So yeah…find your old, favorite tchotchkes and get them out of hiding. It will make you happy.

The London Plane
September 23, 2013, 12:16 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Food, My favorite things, Restaurants, Seattle


It’s hard to believe that as much as I’ve shared snapshots of pieces of meals at my very favorite restaurant(s) that I’ve never actually dedicated one piece to explain my deep and resounding love for the beautiful spaces and food that come from Matt Dillon’s Sitka and Spruce, The Corson Building, Bar Sajor, and now The London Plane, which is the first installment of a bigger collaboration between Matt and Katherine Anderson of Marigold & Mint. It’s a beautiful spot, the kind you head to for a laid back meal with a good book and a glass or three of wine. Then you end up leaving with a new cookbook, fresh flowers, and two bottles of bubbly.



It seems that not a day goes by that we’re not asked for our favorite Seattle restaurants; me down at the restaurant with mostly tourists and business travelers, and Andrew because of his work and because his taste and eye for food is remarkable. We have the same answers time and time again, but now people have started to qualify the question with “ok, but besides a Matt Dillon restaurant.” The problem is that his spaces take up our top five and there’s no getting around it.


In this perverse time of misguided food worship and foodie culture there are only a small number of places that serve artful food.  (I had my worst meal of the year last week at one of the city’s biggest restaurant empires. No surprise there, but the hype around it was ridiculous.) I can’t see food as a trend, or as “fashionable,” I see the culture of food as the story of an ingredient, the elegance of a thoughtful composition, an experience in flavor and taste.

Fundamentally Matt’s food is everything I enjoy about the culture of food: simple and classic, yet concepts that are complex and artful. Experiencing food through his lens and connection with the Pacific Northwest (and its seasons), and now this gorgeous new space with Katherine, is truly one of my favorite pieces of Seattle. (And, oh, the things I would do for one of those chairs.)

The London Plane | 322 Occidental Ave. S | Seattle, WA 98104 | 206.624.1374

(Right across from Bar Sajor)


Dinuba water containers
September 17, 2013, 11:17 am
Filed under: Art and Design


Way back in February we were in need of a water station for our little love party, and beyond that we were also looking for a nice-looking and easy way to store filtered drinking water; since we use an under the counter water filtration system the separate water spout can be a little slow. After ruling out anything plasticy we found this guy and have been using it happily since the party. Dinuba water containers are made of food grade 18/10 stainless steel with a nice sturdy spigot and screw-top lid.

We have the 5 Liter and leave it on the countertop but it’s small enough to fit in the fridge if you’ve got the room (we don’t, of course). And you can always put more than just water in it…I’ve heard talk of booze. If you’re over your Brita pitcher this guy is a great alternative.

Dinuba 5, 15, and 25 Liter containers | $99-$179

Ikea PS cabinet
September 3, 2013, 10:06 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home


The feeling of fall, in spite of yesterday’s sticky hot weather, has me preparing to hibernate. In addition to a flurry of farmer’s markets, canning, and curing I’ve been trying to get the house organized and cozy for the snuggly weather ahead; and let’s be honest here…I’m still sort of unpacking from my move in MAY! So, yeah, as I’m continuing to unearth hidden boxes and attempt to add to my Goodwill pile it was pretty clear that we were in desperate need for some additional storage space.

After hunting for a while I came across Ikea’s PS cabinet ($99). I’m totally late to the game but the cabinet was the perfect industrial touch we needed with all the wood in the house. It is now happily nestled in our little hallway and opens into the living room. (The line of tape on the floor is for our dart board tournaments!)


Aside from the Expedit shelf this is one of Ikea’s most popular items, and even though that’s not one of my favorite things to hear, I figured the cabinet’s simple and minimal design was like a blank canvas to play with so it wouldn’t matter too much that it’s everywhere. And you know, even after all this time I still like seeing how people customize their Expedits.


It’s become a little office area with our corkboard of notes and projects, and I think I was most excited about getting our pile of magazines off the floor and into a stand. It was one of those things that was driving me nuts…but there they sat. No more though. Now they are tidy and easily accessible. (And that’s my Gretchen Kelly Studio original 2-minute sketch, remember?)


And hooray for somewhere to hide THINGS! There’s lots of room left after storing some of my glassware, but I have a feeling I’ll manage to fill it very soon. Even half way filled it’s nice and sturdy, and for 99 bucks, come on!

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