Monday, February 28, 2011

Instant summer

I find this photograph at once energizing and peaceful...and maybe even a tiny bit nostalgic (like I just have this feeling there's a tire swing nearby :) It makes me long for summer! The beauty in this vibrantly-hued old boat and the way the sun looks spotty and faceted in the trees in the background.... love it.

(Available from cleverthursday on Etsy).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good vintage

If we don't get out hunting for vintage treasures for long periods of time, I start to feel a bit of withdrawal... this was the case over the last week or so. So on Monday, President's Day, we took the first half of the day off to visit one of our favorite antique galleries in Seattle. We hadn't been in several months, and honestly the last time we were there, nothing grabbed our attention which was strange and disappointing. This trip however, there were probably 50 pieces that called out to us as we strolled the aisles. Alas, only two came home with us (thanks to our Modern Cottage mantra- Always Be Editing :) Anyhoo, thought you'd like to see some of the items that wooed us.

First up is a lovely graphic sign, black with a slight yellow-y twinge which makes it irresistible! And below, a nice wide-mouth Canadian jar with a glass-top lid.

 How sweet is this old alarm clock from France? It still works!
 OK, so this isn't really something we'd consider buying, but it did amuse the husband :)
 A collection of perfectly-imperfect little French sap buckets...
 We adore the unusual shape of these metal letters.
 There were two of these French florist's zincs ... oh, the possibilities! The dealer suggested converting them to sconces which would be amazing.
Love the twisty metal detail on the corners of this wire in/out basket.
These lamps! Oh, how I wanted to bring them home... but the price for the pair was quite steep.
This little metal stool in white boasted good form and function (it's adjustable!).
Overall it was a successful journey! Definitely enough to satisfy my treasure hunting impulses ... at least for the time being :) We'll reveal which pieces made the cut in a future post!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Graphic paper makeover

We at Modern Cottage love old books. When I was young, I read Nancy Drew religiously, and I still remember the day my mom brought me home a first edition of The Secret of the Old Clock she had found at a garage sale in a tiny town called Mackay, Idaho where we were vacationing at my grandparents' summer home. She excitedly instructed me to turn to a certain page to see Nancy's car referred to as a "roadster" :) I still have that old book - along with a few other early edition Nancy Drews. Typically old books in their dust-jacket-less state are just perfect in a Modern Cottage. However, in some cases, it's much more fun to dress them up in some graphic paper.
These books - the Mildred series - were given to me by my grandmother and were originally published in the late 1800s. Because they have quite a bit of detail that wasn't really playing well with our Modern Cottage style, I decided to modernize them a bit with punchy chartreuse and white printed paper. It was quite easy to do since the books had their original dust jackets which I used as a guide. I also managed to get the titles printed on the spine of the covers after some trial and error.


Now these special books are stars in our black display cabinet. A perfect way to add some zest to your decor! And the best part is, there are so many fabulous printed papers out there, you can easily change it up if the mood strikes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Knob love

Is it ok to squeal with glee upon the discovery of a glass cabinet knob that is not globe-shaped or crystal-y, but simple and mushroom-shaped? Because I did.

Monday, February 14, 2011

W + M

In Modern Cottage design there is an underlying element of authenticity that brings life and meaning to a collection of rooms to make a house a home. It may be a reflection of the people, relationships, or experiences that make everything truly worthwhile, or simply never fail to put a smile on your face, or which make you feel gratitude and peace. Appreciating and celebrating these influences,  including the incredible personalities of those family members who came before us - their impact on us, and their legacy - provides a sense of history, family and place which makes a house a home.

This Valentine's Day we express our profound gratitude and admiration for my grandparents, Wayne and Millie. Reading a recently discovered letter between the two from 1949 (and these hilarious clippings my grandma had sentimentally saved from their high school paper) reminds us that while times change, true love is a constant.
However you choose to bring authenticity into your Modern Cottage (maybe in a simple photo collection or other special memorabilia) you will undoubtedly bring soul and spirit into your home.
(I love the first clipping, "Hold your breath! Anything can happen." Turns out that was a lifetime together resulting in five kids, fifteen grand kids, and (so far) fifteen great-grand kids. Thanks, W + M for starting the family tree off right :) We miss you a ton.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Weathered wood

Weathered wood is one of the great components of Modern Cottage design - ideally weathered to a soft silvery grey or even a greyish brown, it adds warmth and texture as well as a rustic flavor which really honors the cottage aesthetic and casual/comfortable style that goes along with it. Weathered wood furniture and accents pieces can often be found inexpensively at antique shops. Sometimes it is an unusual piece and half the fun is cooking up a creative way to repurpose it for modern living! The key to incorporating this material into a Modern Cottage space is to go for pieces that are clean-lined and very simple in their shape and construction. Above, a versatile bench-slash-coffee table and and an old bulb crate we used as wall art. Below, a pair of rickety old folding chairs (major score by the husband more than ten years ago); a bin to catch desktop items; our fabulous driftwood sphere.


P.S. the wooden bin was a score from the holiday clearance section of World Market a few years ago - though we had to look past the terrible sparkly pinecones and plastic greenery that were stapled to the front. Once we determined they would be easy to remove with the help of some pliers, we took it home (and promptly back to it's pure and simple state :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ready to recharge

Feeling a bit short on sleep this week. Wondering if we could magically transport ourselves to Santorini Greece...just long enough for a snooze in those smooth white sheets with the ocean air coming in. And maybe a lounge in the sun. And a delicious breakfast in that breezy dining room with perfectly-hued blue trim. Looks beyond blissful, doesn't it?

(images via Mr & Mrs Smith)