Friday, October 17, 2014

Welcome, little green friend

When the little guy accidentally (we'll pretend) knocked over our plant a couple months ago, it was never the same. Dirt spilled all over the carpet and it seems our poor plant was traumatized, even after we tried to put it all back together. It had actually lasted quite a long time, and loved its sunny spot in the upstairs hallway. Really a poor parental decision I suppose to have left it precariously on a low bench in our bedroom but we'd had to move it out of the way for the painters. In any event, we found a lovely new plant - a variety I've never seen before - which has very cool tones of light and medium green, and delicate yet modern shaped leaves (fancy plant name: polypodium aureum). Now, we just have to plant him!

Oh, and you might notice the white subway tile and carrara - YES we finally gave that temporary chalkboard backsplash and black hole of a counter top (it was Uba Tuba granite if you are familiar) the boot! We hope to have some before and afters posted soon :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A hint of Halloween

With the minimalist approach that is such a key part of Modern Cottage design, we have become increasingly selective when it comes to holiday decor. We want our seasonal items to be natural, simple, and fun. This past weekend, the little guy chose this gorgeous grey pumpkin from one of our favorite garden stores. I thought he needed company so I brought a little white one home as well. The long, curvy stems are so great. The bat decals are loads of fun, too. They went up in a few places! I feel we have just the right amount of the Halloween spirit and it all works perfectly within the Modern Cottage style.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Paper store

Oh my goodness, IKEA's new assortment of paper products is adorable, and the prices fantastic, of course. In particular I am loving these basic the simple stripey notepad, above.

And I am always looking for classic card sets useful for any occasion. These ones have stripes and pin dots.

Then there are those times you just want to write your lists down, on paper. At least for list-lovers like me. Crossing things off is much more satisfying.

This one is sized nicely for your bag or car and comes complete with a stretchy band to keep things tidy. Any of these would make a thoughtful gift when paired with my favorite pens from Poppin.

I can't help but include one of the more playful designs. These are great to have on hand for kids' birthday parties. Like I said: adorable.
All go on the list for the next IKEA trip.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fun finds

Here are a few items we are loving lately that won't break the bank - starting with this great clock from Crate & Barrel. Simple, modern face with fresh orangey-red hands...and the best part is the color - a glossy machine grey. At first glace in the catalog, I thought it was chrome and and felt a bit bored, but once I saw it in person and laid my eyes on that grey powdercoat, I was smitten. The perfect replacement for our master bathroom clock (which we took down for paint, and just haven't wanted to put back up because it had started to feel a bit too fancy).

Also - these acrylic block frames are the best. We got the unusual 5x10 size and use it vertically. We loved it so much we ordered a 5x7 as well, and both will live on our new fireplace shelves in the great room (hoping to have before and afters up soon, just waiting on the surround).

And from Urban (can't forget they often have really striking finds) this awesome denim flag. It may go in our little guy's future 'Big Boy' room - we are not 100% certain - but it is really versatile enough to go in many different places.

Just wanted to share!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oregon Coast

It was a busy summer and we realized late we didn't have much time left to get out and do something - "vacation" I think is the term :) So an impromptu trip along the Oregon Coast was our answer. It was beautiful - sunny and crisp, not too hot. Great seafood, quaint fishing towns, and lots and lots of ice cream (little guy is a bit obsessed).

We even made it to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which was seriously one of the coolest and most kid-friendly aquariums I've been to. 

Manzanita was a fun stop with the most delicious locally-made Tillamook ice cream chock full of fresh strawberries. Always a bonus to find a combination espresso-slash-ice cream cafe and they had a great one here. The beach was absolutely gorgeous and we admired many shingled, coastal homes.

It's been a beautiful summer, and while we are not looking forward to the onset of grey skies and perpetual drizzle, we are looking forward to fall time, our favorite season. The transition of summer to fall in the Pacific Northwest is positively magical.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Front gate

What can I say... it's summer and the days are packed. I wish there were a few extra hours. Well, there's that and the fact that we're doing some interior painting, FINALLY. Very exciting, really. Little by little we're transforming this house with a Modern Cottage soul into a true Modern Cottage - that means out with the remaining finishes and colors that are dark, dark, dark, and in with the white, white, white. Hoping to have progress photos soon.

And now to a project that is already complete: we knew for a while we'd need a gate at our front walkway - our little guy is FAST. But, we wanted something that wouldn't feel bulky or imposing. And of course, we wanted it built Modern Cottage style. The man for the job was Tim (who also took care of those oversized drain holes at our upper deck). He sweats the details just like we do, and is very patient in working to achieve our always specific vision (yes, we admit we're particular - but at least we know what we want! :)

We used 3" x 3" galvanized mesh and framed it into cedar. We chose galvanized hardware, too. We figured we'd leave the gate open all the time, and just close it when the little guy was playing out front. But seeing it finished, we love it so much it stays closed all the time. It's easy to open from the stairs (we certainly didn't want to shut out our neighbors or the UPS man) and we just use a little clasp from the hardware store to "lock" it when needed since that slows down our guy long enough that we can catch up to him.

It's simple and modern and ties in perfectly with the other galvanized accents (chairs, pots, entry hardware). And little guy can safely enjoy an impromptu run through the sprinklers on a hot, sunny day. (Please don't mind all the clover.. we have not been keeping up on our Hendrikus since time is so scarce, but I still refuse to use any pesticides! We'll hopefully get a handle on it again soon ;)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Well, hello.

It seems like our peonies jumped out overnight. Don't they look happy?

It's crazy to think how long we've had them now (since we took them from our last house's garden...and had originally planted them about seven years ago). It reminds me of the house plant Husband and I bought at Lowe's back when we were in college... and we STILL have it in our living room. If that plant were a person, IT would be headed off to college at this point.

Yesterday little guy and I ventured out with some clippers to pluck a few blooms for inside, when a giant spider crawled out from between some petals and stared at us. So, I decided it wasn't terribly urgent. Maybe Husband will do the honors (including the insect-check) before we bring them in. They sure smell good, though.
And yes, the hoses do frequently still get left strewn across the walkway by Husband. Good thing they are so pretty.