Monday, January 31, 2011

Doggie dishes

A key element of Modern Cottage design is combining function and beauty...even when it comes to things like laundry hampers. Or dog dishes. Scout has eaten out of elevated stainless bowls since he was about a year old, as seen in the background here:

The stainless bowls have held up great, but the stand has unfortunately rusted a bit...watered-down slobber is an elusive adversary (and nooks and crannies + hungry dog just aren't a good combo). So we set about to identify some stylish alternatives...starting with these glossy white "Hi Rise" bowls ... kind of interesting, do you agree?

This next one also features removable stainless bowls (critical criterion for ease in heavy-duty scrubbing). Love that they show the scale with three charming (if a bit confused-looking) pups.

And this one is for the super-cool mod dog... The stand's plastic so should clean up nicely.

You may notice we've chosen styles that are a bit more about function and clean lines than those that go towards the decorative or novel side . That's because big dogs tend to be messy. And caked on drool-slash-slobber can be hard to scrub off. So while we love the lead-in image - full of coastal cottage goodness - we do worry how they'd look after a few meals.  No matter; it seems that although they were once available on Orvis, they aren't anymore. But if you must know, you can find similar ones on Etsy here and here :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Etsy addiction

I can't seem to keep away from Etsy. There's just too much great stuff! It used to be that we'd happily venture out to a huge local arts and crafts fair held over three days each summer, and on the occasion we missed it because we were out of town, I'd feel a twinge of disappointment. but with Etsy, the "fair" goes year round, 24 hours a day! Plus I can search through all the various types of wares with the click of a mouse which is so much more efficient than walking for miles past booth after booth. I'll still go to the local fair, but until then, I just can't resist checking out fabulous one of a kind creations anytime the mood strikes.

At the moment, I'm really enamoured with this photography by Irene Suchocki. Her prints have a hint of whimsy and magic built into them which make them almost mesmerizing.

These pillows made from old trench coats are hilarious. And actually quite masculine/utilitarian for a pillow, which makes them totally unique and unexpected.

I am also in love with this teeny tiny woolly penguin. Sweetest! This one is my fave but sadly it sold mere seconds after I discovered it (Although, what would I do with a teeny tiny woolly penguin?). Still, it's remained safely in my 'Favorites' ever since. Not to worry, there are lots of other little friends in this shop who are also very sweet. (The mafia penguin family for one makes me smile).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chalkboard backsplash

As we've mentioned, we have lots of plans for an interior redesign of our current home. So many inspired ideas in fact it is quite dizzying at times! While we're accustomed to completing redesign and remodel projects in one fell swoop, in this case we're taking our time and, for now, focusing on small things here and there. Take the kitchen for example: the master plan includes new counters, backsplash, and painting out the cabinets. However there were some things I we simply couldn't live with until then. Like the backsplash...

Who knew they still made such lovely 1980's-esque hunter green 6x6 matte ceramic tile? I say, if you've managed to get your hands on it for installation in a 2007-built home, why not really set it off with giant grout joints, in, I don't know, maybe a dull whitish-gray color? Yes? Excellent! So our dilemma was this: How to do away with this dismal backsplash without spending (wasting) money on a new tile one given that it would sooner than later be ripped out when it comes time for the new counters and such? Our solution: chalkboard. You've probably seen this before in traditional black, but we created a custom color chalk paint using this easy recipe from Martha Stewart. I'll  be the first to admit, it's not as practical as tile, but for a temporary solution that looks really pretty and is lots of fun (note the Mojito recipe we used for quickly mixing multiple pitchers during our holiday party) it's great - and even better, it cost less than $50 start to finish.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blanket love

I am remembering now why this time of year we long so desperately for a tropical escape: cold, cold weather and persistent grey skies. I know it won't belong before my patience runs out and I start grumbling about being cold all the time. On nights like these, I say cozy up in front of the fire and drape yourself in a toasty blanket. I am particularly loving this one from James Perse. Crazy expensive for a blanket, but great style inspiration.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winning style

How great is this cottage in Venice, Calif.? I am quite fond of the palette as it has a touch of Seahawks pride what with its vibrant chartreuse exterior. (I feel the Hawks deserve a mention after the amazing UPSET Saturday against the REIGNING SUPER BOWL CHAMPS, the Saints, in their first playoff game). If you didn't see the game, then you must at least watch this. It's ok to mix design with football, right? Our guys play with so much heart, I couldn't resist. Have a great week!

p.s. This house reminds me of the ones in Park City.

(Images from Tierra Sol Y Mar and Debra Prinzing).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ace Hotel

I recently came across the Ace Hotel website ... I had no idea they've had a 28-room hotel in Seattle for the past twelve years in the gritty/trendy Belltown neighborhood, and just opened their fourth hotel in New York this year. It was a random discovery but the site was so appealing and interesting I decided to check out the rooms and immediately fell in love with the clean, minimalist decor of the rooms in their Seattle location. What do you think? I'm loving the old wooly army blankets...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season :) Best wishes for a fresh, new, spectacular year in 2011! What will you do in the new year? (Taking in some beautiful scenery like the view from this bluff overlooking the San Juans is sure to be good for the soul).