Monday, February 28, 2011

Design Bucket List #5 - Decorate a Cabin in the Woods

Number five on my Design Bucket List is to someday decorate a cabin in the woods.
Or a cabin in the mountains, at the lake or on a river.

My love affair with all things rustic began years ago in Oregon when my friend took me to her grandfather's fishing cabin on the river. It was perfect with its knotty pine interior and deck overlooking the creek. I fell in love with the worn leather sofa, plaid fabrics and antlers. It wasn't tacky at all, but rather accumulated over time, and with great taste.

Since then, I've always dreamed of having a cabin like that. Mr. A also dreams of having a little fishing cabin in Northern California, possibly on the Mattole River.

When my boys were little, I decorated their rooms with lodge pole beds and Indian blankets by Ralph Lauren.
I carried the theme through with vintage artwork of fishing and hunting themes. There was also
the proverbial deer trophies too. So, I got it out of my system!

For a while!
Inspired by this home, decorated by Mimi Maddock McMakin, I've been thinking about rustic cabin decor again.

Whether it is a cabin on the river, lake, mountains or simply in the forest, the decor should embrace the natural elements outside like Ms. McMakin did in this great room.

Nothing says rustic more than a stone fireplace, especially when set next to wood paneled or log walls.
Rustic cabin decor can be very dark and overwhelming with all the wood on the ceilings, walls and wood floors. I like how bright colors like red, plaids and Indian blankets liven up this room.

Another dark room, but I don't mind because it looks so inviting and comfortable with its masculine decor.

The light, neutral sofa fabric, high ceilings and river rock fireplace give this living room a lighter feel.

I love this room with the log walls and ceilings. It is simply decorated with vintage iron beds and white bedspreads. Who wouldn't want to sleep here!?

Who wouldn't want to wake up here!?
Even though I'm not going to be decorating a cabin in the woods any time soon, there are certain elements that I'm still drawn to. Hudson Bay and Indian blankets, kilim and cowhide rugs, leather chairs, wicker, tartan plaid fabrics, antlers and pine cones all say cabin to me.

"Cabin Lite"
This room also says cabin to me, even with the white walls.
Plaid sofa! Wicker! Kilim rug! Indian blanket!
I could live here!

It's hard to choose which I like better. The traditional cabin in the woods with the dark, paneled walls and ceiling, or a lightened up version like above.

How about you?
Do you also fantasize about a little rustic cabin in the woods to fix up?

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Hyacinths To Feed Thy Soul

"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,

and from thy slender store
two loaves to thee alone are left,

sell one, and with the dole,

buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."
~Muslih-uddin Sadi
13th Century Persian Poet

My bulbs bloomed this February in the kitchen window.
Oh, how I love hyacinths!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The San Francisco Restoration Hardware Gallery

Restoration Hardware moved in to San Francisco's design district last September, causing a stir for several reasons. Most stores in the design district are open during the week only. RH is open 7 days a week, and anyone can visit!

In other words, you don't need to be a member of the trade to make a purchase.
"We believe this is a great opportunity to transform the brand. We're not so much a retailer, as a curator," said CEO Gary Friedman.

The beautiful Palladian style building once housed Ed Hardy Antiques. Ed Hardy is a renowned antiques dealer, and the company even hired him as a consultant. Indeed he has gone on buying trips to Europe, I'm sure with his keen eye, finding some of the treasures here.

Upon entering, I was awestruck! The building alone is gorgeous. RH kept the bones, but painted and plastered the walls, including the exterior, once terracotta, now plastered gray.

There are the usual Restoration Hardware products, along with unique one of a kind pieces throughout the store, like handmade pieces by artisans from around the world, original antiques and reproductions.

The middle room was my favorite with this beautiful fireplace.

I fell in love with this bathroom! Imagine bathing here and looking out to the garden beyond.

The back room is dark and masculine with another enclosed garden just outside.

I really enjoyed my visit to to Restoration Hardware's Gallery. The staff was so friendly, and the ambiance and feel of this gorgeous 9500 square foot building put me in a wonderful mood!

Restoration Hardware Gallery at S.F. Design District
188 Henry Adams Street
San Francisco, California

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration: Dramatic Black Decor

House Beautiful
We have all heard the saying, "Every room needs a touch of black!"

For Tuesday Inspiration, I'm exploring black as the focal point, not just an accent color.
Typically used for front doors, black has made its way into homes, creating dramatic, sexy rooms like above, designed by Brandon Barre.

Just like that little black dress in your closet, black has always been in style.
The inglenook above is even more dramatic painted black. This is truly one of my favorite rooms!

"Without black, no color has any depth....

Tommy Smythe
"But if you mix black with everything, suddenly there's shadow...

"no not just shadow, but fullness....

"You've got to be willing to mix black into your palette, if you want to create something that's real."
A great quote from of all people, Amy Grant! I don't think I could have said it better!

Wow! Miles Redd painted his New York City apartment high gloss black. Talk about drama!

Designer Kerrie Kelly wallpapered her den bathroom with black grass cloth.

This bathroom is amazing with the washed black front on the bathtub.
I like how it adds a little rustic to the sleek tile and marble.

One of my favorite decorating ideas for a huge, expansive wall, is to frame out a portion of it and paint it black. Add art in the middle, and voila, the wall is more manageable and dramatic too.

I'm not sure if the walls are truly black here.
It isn't easy finding true black, because usually there is a lot of blue in black paint.

I know this because it took three tries to get it right when I painted my kitchen island.
I used Benjamin Moore paint, and selected colors off the color wheel like "Nightfall" and "Graphite."
But in the end, it was simply stock black paint that did the trick!

I used the same paint on the family room mantel, previously yellowed pine.

I'll admit that black has been on my mind lately, ever since #1 daughter retiled her bathroom floor in this wonderful black marble hexagon tile. I'm planning on using the same tile when I redo my downstairs bathroom.

We all know black goes with everything. It especially makes colors like pink or orange zing, as opposed to browns and earthy colors.

I like it with hot pink!

I like it with turquoise!

I like it with white!

Do you believe every room needs a touch of it?
Are you brave enough to paint an entire wall or room black?

Think about what Renoir said: "I've been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black."

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Monday, February 21, 2011

A Visit to Yankee Girl Antiques in Marin

Welcome to Yankee Girl Antiques!
Located in San Anselmo, California, it is one of my favorite antique stores to visit.
Why? Because it isn't a "junk store" or a "museum."

In other words, the merchandise is quality, and well priced.
Upon entering, I always have to just stop and take it all in. Everywhere you look, it's pure eye candy! There are 8 dealers here, all very cohesive in what they sell, so you get the feeling it's a one person store, not a collective.

If you're looking for a selection of items you collect, this is the place.

A selection of globes. I love the canisters! There is a huge selection of yellow ware... well as Majolica and English Ironstone.

When I'm ready to start that collection of ironstone, this is where I'll come.
I would have started with that wonderful soup tureen.

More tureens!

What a beautiful vignette! I saw lots of old "Sunday Paintings" like above...

...and this one too.

There is a selection of good quality furniture, including European pine, American walnut, vintage wicker, authentic painted pieces and faux bamboo.
Isn't that bed exquisite?

It goes with this armoire that I would have bought! I've seen similar faux bamboo armoires or cabinets like this for well over $3000. This one sold for $1200, causing me even more remorse for the "one that got away!"

A nice three piece vintage wicker set, upholstered in grain sacks. I thought this was well priced at $1500. Perfect for a front porch.

One of the many nice lamps on display.

This pretty pair of crystal boudoir lamps looks amazing in this tabletop vignette.

I always gravitate to the alabaster lamps!

I left behind these roosters, telling myself the next poultry I add to my collection had better be alive!

A wonderful old birdcage.
Eventually, Mr. A had to "reel me in," as I could have stayed here for hours!

Here is my one purchase from Yankee Girl. A wicker nightstand. Very reasonably priced, probably because it's not in great shape, it is perfect for the pool house bedroom.
Actually, that's why we went to Yankee Girl in the first place. We were on the hunt for a nightstand. Mission accomplished!

A visit to Yankee Girl Antiques is well worth your while. Located just 14 miles north of San Francisco in quaint San Anselmo, it is also one of many antique stores there. Be sure to visit their website here. And if you do find yourself on the antique hunt in Marin and Sonoma County, Martha Stewart wrote an article which includes Yankee Girl here.

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