Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy zoo year

As you know, I normally love Snow & Graham's desktop calendar designs... However I am just not that enticed by their 2012 version since several of the monthly designs don't seem to have that fresh, modern feel of years past. Hence, I set out to find a great Modern Cottage alternative. These mod white paper animals are so much fun - playful but a little edgy at the same time. Each month is free-standing as you can see.

(Made by good morning inc. and available at Paper Source stores. You can also find them here).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas tree perfection

Every year we set out to find a tree that's nice and tall but not too wide. Unfortunately, they don't seem to exist since generally the taller they are, the wider they are at the base. This year however, we found the exception. Our tree caught my eye from across the tree lot. It was leaning against the trailer with a few of its brethren. I loved it immediately. It had a very quirky, Dr. Seuss vibe. It's about 8 feet tall yet only 38" wide at its widest. Hooray! He's mostly uniform but not quite, and instead of one vertical branch at the very top he has two that stick out a bit sideways like antennae. We dressed him up in some mod white ornaments and frosted white globe lights. We find the larger globe lights give him a fun, playful look and overall feel less busy than the tiny bulb strings. So simple, pretty, and festive!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hook hook hooray!

It may seem silly to get excited over something as seemingly insignificant as an ornament hook, but over the years I've taken notice of many different styles, none being quite to my liking. Then I discovered these. Joy! They are sturdy, simple, and have a bit of history (they apparently hail from the 40s). No busy scrolls or beads, just pure function - and in my mind, beauty.  Love when the smallest details match our style. These are just right for the Modern Cottage Christmas tree!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good Gifting: 2011

We ventured out this weekend and there's no doubt the holiday shopping season is in full swing! Like last year, we've put together a fresh list of Modern Cottage gift ideas to help you out with your giving, or even just provide a little inspiration :)

Something celebratory. First up is this mug... I love that these feel festive (hello, it's Santa!) without feeling hokey or tacky. Pure white with soft details and a mod shape make these perfect for a Modern Cottage holiday kitchen. I'd gift a set of four with this amazing hot cocoa mix (note they call it 'drinking chocolate').

2. Something nostalgic. This rustic pillow will surely add character to any space. A conversation piece!

3. Something imaginative. For the little ones on your list, this logging truck is irresistible (even we kind of want to give it a spin).

4. Something cozy. I am coveting this warm and cozy blanket. The color and texture and simple stripe are absolute perfection.

5. Something sculptural. A pleasing combination of metal and high gloss white in this giant pendant light. Why not gift a fixture for the holidays? A gift of home improvement is one of our favorite things :) (Case in point: we finally got around to installing a soap dispenser at our kitchen sink and it's crazy how something so small can bring such joy. Seriously).

6. Something vintage. A little jadite never hurt a Modern Cottage kitchen...the milky-green glass is really beautiful. There are tons of great pieces on Etsy.

Happy shopping! We suggest treating yourself to a gingerbread latte or peppermint mocha now and again to keep your energy up! (Or as I oft prefer: cozy fireplace, hot cocoa and the laptop - gifts delivered to my door! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fun with twill tape

You may recall last year we used chartreuse and green fabric ribbon as part of our holiday decorating theme. This year we toned things down a bit and went with white. We are a bit crazy for white since there are so many wood tones in our house which we've yet to makeover...and we feel the white helps to balance it all and give it more of a Modern Cottage feel. Twill tape (that lovely cotton fabric ribbon) is so clean and utilitarian. We got some in white and some in cream. It almost has a collegiate feel, n'est pas? Also, you can't have enough vintage buckets.... (we might have an addiction).

Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Christmas decor round up

I can't resist checking out all the new holiday decor each year. This year we're loving lots of white for Christmas. Here's a round up of our top picks this season.

Above, adorable handmade deer and pinecone ornaments. Love.

Next, some simple paper letters on string for the mantel or really anywhere that could use some subtle cheer.

A trio of happy white birds for a great price.

This is technically a card, but it's so beautiful and would look incredible framed with a giant white mat. It's just so winter-wonderland-y!

What graceful creatures... these deer friends would look fresh and modern against a white backdrop (can't resist some white on white :).

What a fun idea for artwork... don't we all love to sing along to the great classic Christmas songs?

We'll be going with lots of white this Christmas, and an overall understated holiday look. We have a few ideas up our sleeves and if we can manage to stay on task, we'll be sure to share them :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A little glimpse

Excited to post about our Modern Cottage nursery design very soon, just waiting on one more piece of the room to be completed ... the custom chair slipcover! My very sweet and talented seamstress auntie took on the task, and it should be completed soon. For now though, here is a peek at a section of the room.  Since it's not a huge space, we converted the original in-swing French doors to these super cool and loads more functional barn-style doors. We also went white with the millwork and ceilings here (the trim and ceilings in the rest of the home will eventually follow - all part of the master plan). Oh, and that tiny door at the lower left is simply for attic access :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's the holiday season...

with the whoop-de-do, and hickory dock, and don't forget...to hang up your sock!

Happy, happy! It's Christmastime, and I can't seem to stop humming this cheery tune written by Irving Berlin in 1942.

Looking forward to sharing some Modern Cottage style decorating ideas and inspiration in the weeks to come. Our lights are up outside and things are starting to feel festive around here. Thinking about breaking out the rest of the decorations and bringing home a tree before the weekend is up. Might be a little ambitious, not sure yet...getting some extra sleep may ultimately prevail :)

(photo credit unknown)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Modern gravy boat

We don't have a gravy boat but I've always wanted one...I think because I adore Thanksgiving and having a piece dedicated to that once-a-year gravy just seems so festive and fancy.  This one from West Elm is a cheerful little guy. In fact I think this whole collection of serveware is great. Clean and modern but with a softness to the lines. Here's to good food and a relaxing long weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!
P.S. I am trying these adorable pumpkin cheesecakes this year.......

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Farewell, October

October went by in the blink of an eye... can hardly believe it will soon be Thanksgiving and then Christmas! Where did the year go? Looking forward to the holidays with our new little man in the mix. I'm already guzzling hot cocoa daily :) Hope you enjoy the next few weeks ... that little bit of peace before the full swing of the holiday season.

(And yes, we found more of our fave white pumpkins this fall)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fresh mail

OK, so I'm a little out of sequence here, but thought I'd share an easy way to achieve a cohesive look and feel for thank you notes and announcements (or really any event that dictates more than one mailing :).

I wanted to find a fresh and simple (read: Modern Cottage) approach to our  new little one's birth announcements and thank you notes. I couldn't find anything ready-made that I liked... I thought monogrammed cards would be cute, but I didn't care for any of the ones I saw - wrong colors and fonts and such. Instead, I simply chose some blank cards and envelopes in the colors of my liking and stamped an initial myself. Since our nursery colors and fabrics are menswear-inspired (charcoal greys, crisp whites, chambray, and textural grey-brown tones) with little hits of green, I chose ink in the color "lettuce" to go atop bright white cards. The envelopes are the perfect cementy-khaki color. The classic monogram stamp on the front looks sweet and simple, just what I was going for.

We also got some white ink to use on the gravel colored envelopes for the birth announcements (still in progress... also homemade!). It's fun and unexpected to see the little stamp on the backside of the envelope.

All of the materials were purchased at Paper Source which I adore. An easy way to get a custom, understated look for almost any occasion!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome, baby.

Things have been a bit busier than usual this month, hence why we haven't posted in a bit. Our latest "project" has been taking up a lot of our time: We welcomed a little one earlier this month and he is just too cute for words. We've been taking some time off to simply stare at him adoringly and of course try and figure out how in the heck we will find time in life to do anything else besides feed, change, and cuddle him! But, we are hopeful that eventually we'll adapt and be able to balance baby-raising and design :) Speaking of which..... over the course of the pregnancy, I couldn't sit still until I had the nursery design all hammered out. In the process, we came across some really amazing finds, some of which we used, some we didn't... but we'll share all of them nonetheless as they are really fantastic. We'll also share the design of our Modern Cottage nursery in time... we think you'll love it.

(Organic cotton baby rattle found here).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Birthday swim

Scout turned nine end of July and to celebrate we took him down to the lake for a swim, possibly his favorite pastime e-v-e-r. The beach was packed but fortunately this area off to the side doesn't get much use and makes a perfect "dog" swimming area :) It's nearly impossible to get him out of the water once he's in, and with each toss and retrieval of the bright green tennis ball, he'll stay further and further back in the water - and simply expect us to wade in to collect the ball where he's left it floating sort of near shore. He is a smart one ... keeping just enough distance to ensure we can't quite reach him in order to coerce him out of the water when it's time to go home. The funny thing is, he acts very nonchalant about it. But we know he's always watching us out of the corner of his eye. In this case, after a nice long swim and many, many, tosses of the tennis ball, it took a few cookies to get him out. I think he'd stay in there all day if he could. I love that something so simple absolutely makes his day. Happy Birthday sweet dog.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Under the radar

We've been contemplating new end tables for our living room for a while now, but it's nothing urgent... the narrow white-painted wood ones we have now are mostly functional and fit the space well. They were just more of a quick solution since we already had them on hand -  they weren't purchased specifically for the space. So, we figured when we eventually encountered our new end tables, we'd know they were a match on the spot. More serendipity and less actively searching. (This has worked out well for us in the past).

Recently though this modern and unassuming little guy caught my eye as I paged through the latest CB2 catalog. I am especially intrigued by the clear acrylic casters. Brilliant touch. I also like that there's a lower shelf for magazines and such. It seems with our tables now, beverages and snacks are constantly fighting for real estate on top with the magazines . I also like how little visual space this piece takes up, yet the material and construction still add tons of interest and a generally very cool vibe.

Definitely one to consider....

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Loving this canvas art for over a fireplace or in a living room...a serene setting and great colors, perfect for a Modern Cottage. We've always had a soft spot for farmhouses and the simplicity of this piece does the subject matter justice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Having a moment...

The horse affection continues...Words cannot express how much I love these plates. I wish they were sold individually- I'd get one of each and use them as wall art!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Master Bedroom

Is it really nearly August? Hope you are enjoying the summer so far :) Here is the final post on our latest project... the master bedroom and bath. It's a great master suite with a walk in closet, cozy wall sconces, and a bathroom that turned out beautifully...

It was definitely rough before ... the vanity was in great shape but was a horrible oak with brass knobs. We were glad to recycle it and make it into something much more glamorous! Here's where we started:
Love love love making things pretty!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The kitchen

We had a lot of fun building out the kitchen in our latest project... what we started with definitely left a lot to the imagination. We really wanted to make the kitchen feel like a spacious, grand area while also making it flow with the great room. Though we usually shun curves, in this case, the rounded peninsula was the perfect way to accomplish our goals... it provided a nice eat-in area, extra counter space, and good flow moving into the kitchen (no harsh edges as you entered the space, since it was a bit on the narrow side). We also converted several of the existing upper doors to glass-front doors which also makes the space feel more open while allowing for pretty displays. The existing cabinetry was a knotty alder, but with the help of our stellar painting crew, the knots disappeared and the end result was smooth, crisp, and beautiful - and very Modern Cottage!

Oh, and here's what it looked like when we started:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello, hydrangeas!

Our fabulous hydrangeas are in full swing now (you may recall how they looked a few months ago in this post). They just go more and more crazy each summer! As you can see, they are getting a little up close and personal with our outdoor table, but I am not sure what to do about it just yet...they're so pretty.

And this I couldn't resist... my favorite calendar's July illustration is identical to our happy-go-lucky hydrangeas. Love it.