Friday, September 30, 2016

Design Crush: Mark Sikes

 "Beautiful"
All American Decorating and Timeless Style, Mark Sikes' new design book arrived last week on my doorstep.
I've been waiting awhile for this book, and it did not disappoint.
Unlike a lot of design books, every single page is wonderful eye candy!

 Mark Sikes is the king of blue and white!  The first part of the book is all blue and white decor.
The inside of the jacket features a collection blue and white porcelain, which just so happens to be my latest obsession and potential new collection!

I can't help notice that almost every room in this book has at least one piece or two of blue and white porcelain.  I love how he used it in this kitchen with terracotta and a very veined statuary marble.

 Looking through this book, I realize how much of an influence Mark Sikes has had on my design choices, like the paisley above.

I chose a similar paisley drape for my kitchen, although a John Robshaw print, you can see the similarities!

 His love of rattan...

 ...and wicker is also a love of mine!

 Just look at this photo!
That wicker lamp!
The table top vignette!
The fabric of the tableskirt!

And can we talk about this lamp?
This seriously makes my heart flutter!

My favorite lamp just so happens to be my treasured sea shell lamp.
It lives front and center on the entryway chest. 
Seeing the lampshade though in the book makes me want to replace the rafia one that came with my own lamp.  Those little seashells dangling are just too cute! 

But I digress.
I think Mark Sikes is an incredibly talented designer.
He almost reminds me of Ralph Lauren, back in the day.

 This bathroom is a study in two colors that I love.
Black and caramel.

 I think this bedroom was my inspiration for my own bedroom.
I chose white linen drapes for the windows, but it's the overall aesthetic that snuck in to my design conscience.

This book is a treasure!
So much to take in, so much to learn.
So many ideas!
The photo above will be emblazoned on my brain for a home in the future.
Imagine, a little nook carved out in your home surrounded by books!
I guess you can say that Mark Sikes is my newest design crush!
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Inspired By Blue And White Porcelain

For years, I've veered away from blue in my home.  For some reason I had a problem with it.
Sure, there were exceptions.  Like when I went through my denim phase and had denim duvet covers for the boy's beds.  Or when I painted my son's room cobalt blue because it matched the rug I inherited from my mother-in-law.
But lately, I've come to appreciate blue, especially blue and white in a new way.
It seems everywhere I look, I see blue and white porcelain grouped together and it looks awesome, like this example from Veranda.


This grouping, featured in Traditional Home is fabulous!
It seems to me that pulling this off, means not one, but many vases together.


At a time, when I should be downsizing, starting a new collection is the last thing I should be doing!
Also, to pull this look off, you need some fairly large pieces to group together.
Williams-Sonoma has a lovely collection to choose from, like the vases above.


So does Ballard Designs.  They are also more affordable.
I love the large ginger jar on the left, towards the back.
Maybe the thing to do is cherry pick my favorites from various retail sources.


Frontgate has a collection of blue and white, but I'm not a fan of dragons or fu dogs.
I'm leaning more towards blue delft or a paisley design.


Blue and white porcelain looks wonderful paired with a beach vibe.
Believe it or not, the vases above are from Pier 1 Imports!

I love blue and white together on a mantel with branches...

...or flowers from the garden.

While in Santa Barbara last month, I visited Rooms and Garden and couldn't help notice how much blue and white porcelain they had displayed.
I fell in love with the lamps on this console, not just because they are blue and white...


...but the shades were fantastic too, with their little sea shells!


I liked this little vignette at Rooms and Gardens because of the rafia lamp shade and how just two blue and white pieces, plus the little plant works with the painting on a bedside table.


The beauty of blue and white pottery is that it works well with just about everything.
I'm loving the California flag in contrast to the porcelain, yet again from Rooms and Gardens.

I love Toby Fairley's vignette above.

Mark Sikes' collection is beautifully paired with sea shells, fronds and seagrass.
Perfection!


So before I start another collection, I'll be studying how to perfectly pull it off, and more importantly, where to display it.
It would look fabulous behind the sofa on the console like the photo above.
The dining room table or the chest in the foyer would be nice too.
I don't know, do I really need to start another collection?

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Autumn...The Year's Last, Loveliest Smile

To celebrate the first day of Autumn, I'm reaching back in the archives to 2013.
I was still doing tablescapes then, and my inspiration was to carve out a pumpkin and use it as a centerpiece.

I loved mixing patterns, and still do.
Funny, everything is still packed up and in storage!

I think it's time to unpack all my dishes and get creative.
This is my tablelscape muse!

"Autumn...
The year's last, loveliest smile!"
~William Cullent Bryant

Happy Fall Y'all!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Buh-bye Summer

 Where did the summer go?  This morning, I realized that it is gone.
As I look out at the fog on the valley floor, I can smell fall--its crisp and clean scent hinting at the change in weather and season.

We all remember this time from our childhood.
The end of lazy summer days, and the excitement of back to school.
"What did you do this summer?" the teacher asks...
And so we wrote our first essay of the year.


What I Did This Summer
This summer I went on a California road trip, but more importantly, I got to spend a lot of time between Seattle and Taos, visiting family.
In Seattle, we celebrated birthdays with a traditional barbeque of hamburgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob and potato salad!


Followed by dancing on the patio with the grandchildren, their friends and all the in-laws!


I enjoyed seeing all my grown children together for the first time in a long time.
It was wonderful!


In Taos, I visited the Pueblo, the oldest pueblo in the US--over 1000 years old!


I shopped at the local boutiques, like this one, "Wanderer" which just happens to be my daughter's store.


I went to a barn dance and saw Michael Hearne and Michael Martin Murphy.

 I saw beautiful sunsets and amazing lightning storms in Taos...


...and back home, I saw the Harvest Moon rise over the mountains.

Summer, 2016 was a summer to remember.
A summer spent visiting family, appreciating the little things, like sunsets and moonrises, taking time to travel locally and enjoy our beautiful state as well.

What did you do this summer?
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hanging Out In Ojai

 Ojai has been on my bucket list for a very long time.  
So when our daughter announced she was doing a pop-up at a local hotel in Ojai, we hit the road and met her there.

We discovered every store, including this one, Summer Camp which was located at an old gas station and filled with items both new and vintage.

Ashley was looking for inspiration here and we found it.
We were calling it "shop envy!"

More "shop envy" down the road at Cattywampus Crafts where crafters and makers can find everything they're looking for, including classes in knitting, sewing and dying fabrics.

Their art of display is wonderful!

Lots of yarn!

I felt like I was in a time warp.
Back to the 70's when macrame was huge.

I couldn't resist this handmade soap!

My favorite shop though was In The Field, a lifestyle boutique with a bohemian vibe.

I loved their displays too of both clothing and housewares.

I fell head over heals for a vintage California map here, but it was way to big to take home and shipping wasn't an option.

 Fig Curated Living is a curated collection of local and free trade gifts for home and garden.

Let's not forget, Ojai is an agricultural community, so a feed and seed store is going to be the best!
Just off the main street, we discovered Wachter Hay and Grain.  They bill themselves as chicken headquarters!

 
But they also have gifts and home furnishings!

All that shopping made us hungry so we ventured to Farmer and the Cook, a grocery store that also offers Mexican food and smoothies.
It just so happens to be down the street from Bart's Books!

 For dinner, we ended up here twice!
How can you go wrong with outside seating for the dog and live music every night!

It was a fantastic trip and not once did we hear a complaint from this little guy!
Oscar proved to be a great traveller which earned him the right to go on the next road trip with us!

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