Ooh, my favorite!


Rearranging
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.



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

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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!)

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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.

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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?)

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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!



Amy Sia Cushions
August 21, 2013, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

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I’ve been keeping an eye out for some throw pillows for my little daybed in the living room that’s cozily nestled in the bay window. It’s my favorite spot for sipping tea in the morning or bubbly in the evening. Since I’ve managed to seriously chickify the house I figured the easiest way to tone things down would be to replace my rainbow array of pillows with some inexpensive neutral colors.

These are neither of those things.

Amy Sia throw pillows |  ~$110 with insert (converted from GBP)



antique baby
July 17, 2013, 11:26 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

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Meet our antique baby! Our favorite part of the house: (1) because it was an incredibly lucky find, (2) because it’s so very us, and (3) because it’s often the only area that’s presentable. In searching for antique brackets for a custom shelving project we stumbled across this piece and decided to scrap the shelving and go with this instead. How could we not? It just so happened to fit this little nook PERFECTLY.

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She’s oooooold, but so sturdy and perfectly-imperfect with distresses and dings that give her character and charm.

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And remember when I was worried Andrew’s very masculine-man house would be more dominant than my very feminine-chickness? Well, I was so wrong because shit got really girlie up in here. Poor Andrew.

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Even his red and blue Catherineholm bowls have been overrun by me.

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Interestingly enough though, this little window is so Andrew and it is my very favorite corner. It has me working on a new mission to neutralize this area a bit.

(Maybe a black lotus bowl would help!)

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I often feel like a hack sharing pieces of the house when one could easily turn around and see a sea of vitamin bottles, phone chargers, and stacks of paper. But I appreciate these little vignettes, and in the midst the chaos of our hectic life and my inability to put things away, it makes me happy.



Kantha Quilts
July 15, 2013, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

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one / twothree / four

I suddenly realized I have a thing for blankets. This is in addition to my thing for pillows. Poor Andrew has to compete for bed space with a fortress of about seven pillows that I have carefully placed so that no matter which way I’m facing, there’s a pillow waiting. What can I say, I like to cocoon. When I looked around the house the other day I noticed that on the couch in the living room and in the Hobbit Hole (our name for our movie room), there is a pillow and blanket on each. It made me cozy and I started longing for the cooler fall weather so I could snuggle up. But then I noticed that if anyone were to come visit that I’d probably have to hide the blankets because they’re looking a bit dingy and worn. Ok, in all honesty there’s a white one that’s not even in the realm of grey right now.

Meanwhile, I have been feeding my fascination with the Australian design aesthetic. I love their use of color and have found that their online boutiques  are filled with the greatest treasures. It’s often so different than anything we can find stateside, so it’s been a great source of inspiration. On an innocent browse from the down under boutique Fenton & Fenton I came across these handmade Indian quilts which would in no way need to be hidden. In fact, I’d probably turn one of these into my new Linus blanket and wear it around as a shawl. I don’t know why people don’t splurge on blankets, but since we don’t these would make for one killer gift.



The Marlborough Seattle
May 8, 2013, 10:47 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home, Seattle

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After two years the lease at my little apartment is finally up, and of course, I waited a bit too long to start moving and cleaning. I got my butt kicked by the move last week, but still managed to find the time to get a little nostalgic. My small studio at The Marlborough in Seattle’s First Hill Neighborhood was my very favorite home to date (aside from my new home with Andrew!), and it held so many special meanings as it was my home when I returned from San Francisco and was my safe haven during the craziness of restaurant opening and adjusting to a new life.

After living in SF I knew I had to live somewhere with history and charm, and while there are many places in Seattle that would qualify, it’s also disappointing to see so many new, bland, and cheap apartments popping up all over the city. The Marlborough was originally built in 1928, but was just reopening after an extensive remodel/restoration, and even though it was the first apartment I saw (except for an awful condo in Beacon Hill that smelled like cats had lived and died there), I instantly knew it was so very me.

There was the large living room and bedroom…

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…a cozy little kitchen and dining nook…

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…original glass doornobs and crown moulding…

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…the separate DRESSING ROOM with french doors (in addition to a walk-in closet!)…

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(there was no way I was turning it into an office)

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…and killer subway and honeycomb tiles in the bathroom.

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Once well-loved by me, this sweet little home is available now. If, by chance, you’re on the hunt for a bachelorette pad you may want to check it out.

The Marlborough | 122o Boren Avenue | Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.682.8800

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[image via VintageSeattle.org]

 



Accessories
April 29, 2013, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Clean, Compassion, Green, Health, Home, Organic

accessories

Apologies for the delay with this final installment of my eco-friendly Earth Week favorites. (The neighbor we were stealing wi-fi from suddenly protected his network. The bastard.)  So here it is, a list of some socially conscious accessories and toys. Some of these are first steps in making an effort at a greener life, but I always look and hope for the next iterations just around the corner.

1.  Beeswax candles  Burning 100% beeswax candles are the best way to add a pure, natural fragrance to a room while also cleaning and purifying the air. Burning beeswax emits negative ions that get rid of odors and toxins (like dusts, molds, pollens, and viruses!) by attracting and destroying positively charged particles. Conventional candles and air fresheners are filled with chemicals, just read the label. While these candles are more expensive than others, they burn longer and much cleaner and have the most beautiful natural fragrance. Definitely worth the investment. We get ours from a local nunnery that makes them all by hand, but they are also available at Brookfarm General store.

2.  Baggu Bags  Always a favorite around here, I love the bright colors and heavy-lifting capacity of these guys. I love that Seattle has banned plastic bags and now charges for paper, so if saving paper wasn’t incentive enough, now there’s a toll to consider. They used to have great mesh produce bags that I still use and love. Since they’re no longer available try something like these.

3.  Powerstrip  Most of our electronics (TVs, laptops, phone chargers continue to pull power even when they’re not in use or powered on. It’s called Phantom Load, and the power leached is HUGE, so much so that when people switch to using a powerstrip they notice huge savings monthly. Simply plug all of your electronics into a single powerstrip and flip the switch to completely power off the flow of electricity.

Eco- Tip: Instead of buying new, try picking up a used one at Goodwill.

4.  Preserve toothbrush  These guys are made of recycled yogurt cups, and once you’re done you can send them back to Preserve to be recycled into plastic lumber for picnic tables and park benches. I’d prefer to move away from plastics completely, but at least these guys are doing something other than sending it to landfills. Send your brush back with the pre-addressed packaging, or save them up and drop them off at your nearest Whole Foods. They’ll send them back for you.

5.  Coyuchi Organic cotton linens  Again, moving away from conventional cotton is better for the environment and for you. Since we use our sheets and bath linens everyday it’s worth investing in some nice organic cotton. We love our Coyuchi’s, and I especially love stealing Andrew’s big bath blanket towels. They are often on sale at One King’s Lane, or check them out at Coyuchi site.

6.  Toyota Prius C  Until last fall I had been driving my first car (a ’98 Honda Civic) for the past 15 years! It’s not that I don’t lust after a sexy sports car, it was just that I am conscious of every mile I drive, and every tank I fill. With some nudging from mom and dad I started looking for a new car and as much as I fantasized about a badass Audi coupe there really was only one car that was truly me, and that was the new Prius C…a slightly sportier version of the classic Prius. Since I’m smaller I like that there are fewer blindspots in this body style. Perfect for scooting around town.  I love my little car, and more importantly I love my gas mileage!




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