Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Modern Cottage picnic

It's been ages since we went on a picnic, but this past Mother's Day, we did just that! It was a gorgeous sunny day and so nice to just relax on a blanket by the lake with some yummy snacks.

It got me wanting to have more picnic afternoons, and these items would be so perfect...

From top: Martha Stewart melamine dishware, waterproof blanket from Etsy, cooler and flatware from Crate and Barrel, and a tasty-looking turkey caprese sandwich recipe also from Martha. Now I just need to hunt down a great beach umbrella!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sun faded beauties

We're all about white here at Modern Cottage ... particularly with flowers. But one of our three prized peonies starts out blooming almost hot pink. I chose it because I wanted an orangey color to contrast the the two white varieties (and didn't realize it would be quite so pink at first). The flowers don't actually go from pink to orange until they are almost ready to fall off the stem. However, I have to say I think these peonies look their best when they're at maximum "bloomage" :) They look relaxed and sun-faded, like they've enjoyed the perfect summer: lazy days at the beach, bare feet in the grass, savory al fresco dinners off the grill... (if flowers could enjoy these things, that is). It's  not really possible of course - A, they're flowers, and B, we've only had a couple days of summery weather so far. But maybe it's the promise they hold for a summer like this to come. I know, I know, I am a bit obsessed with the peonies. I don't talk to them or anything. But they really do make me happy! Plus there's just something extra pleasing about bringing fresh flowers from your own garden indoors to enjoy.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The evolution of the Modern Cottage nursery

So, this is a bit overdue, but I am finally getting around to posting some of our favorite nursery finds.

The path leading to the nursery as it looks now was a little something like this:

"Oooh! Ohh. Ahhh...! Oooooooooh!!" edit * edit * edit * and then more: "Ooh, but this?! Oh definitely... Love! But where would it go? Cute!" edit * edit * edit * and so on. That's right, lots and lots of good stuff out there, but only so much space for it all, and more importantly, there is only so much real esate for smaller items and accessories in Modern Cottage design before we back away and go "Oh - too much. Pare down and keep it simple".

We're thrilled with our final design and feel we edited just right to fit the space and achieve the feeling we were going for. That said, we discovered loads of great nursery items along the way. Here are a few of them.
1. Bird light by Perch (in white, of course). Really wanted to use this but ultimately felt it would be one too many items in there. It's just so cool.

2. Adorable sock dogs (and other animals) by Scooter and Goose on Etsy. So sweet.

3. This growth chart is perfect. Based on a vintage ruler. Cool, right? It's so simple and understated it could go almost anywhere and surely doesn't look like it was plucked from a playroom. Extra points there.

4. This truck pillow plays to our affection for old pick up trucks.

5. Toys in the shapes of oversized utensils - so charming. I'm all about this fork in natural linen.

6. Animal pyramid art!

7. Of course we also love Collette Bream's pillows ...

8. ...and this awesome Eames elephant (both of which we've already drooled over in earlier posts).

If you're planning a new nursery space or looking for some ways to freshen up your kids' rooms, we hope this provides a little Modern Cottage inspiration!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A pop of sunshine

I got a little yellow fix. Just an empty San Marzano tomato can I spray painted, nothing for the husband to have fretted about. So sweet with these flowers, is it not? And when my peonies open up, those babies are so going in there.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mom's day

Look at what our little man got his mama! A lemon cypress, her favorite. Dad is teaching him well :)

This was followed by lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, and then a picnic at the lake that afternoon. It was such a great day and the little guy had a blast. Can't wait to do it again.
Happy Mother's Day to all you mamas!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A little re-do

Awhile back, we plucked a footed silver bowl with a gorgeous blue-green interior from our favorite antiques gallery. It served us well and was right at home in our last house, which was a bit more formal than our current house. It's been living on our salvaged steel coffee table atop an oversized white tray (you can see just a bit of it here) since we moved in. As of late, I swear this bowl seems to tarnish overnight, and I want clean, shiny silver...who has time to polish silver? It also started to feel too delicate and, well, formal. I don't know why it only just occurred to me to re-style the tray - but I suddenly wanted to do something more relaxed and a little bit farmhouse. Rocks instantly popped into my mind...smooth, grey, tonal rocks. So, we as a family stepped out into our yard yesterday afternoon (it was such a beautiful day!) and hand-picked some rocks out of our landscaping. The husband even sweetly washed them off for me outside and set them to dry on the front patio. Then he brought them in and I happily loaded them into a little corrugated galvi tub. I am so pleased with the clean, simple, casual look which feels both beachy and farmhouse. What could be better?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yellow fixation

I don't know what's come over me but I've recently become fixated on yellow. Not pale, subtle yellow - bold, golden yellow. The husband is not sure what to make of it. He is giving me concerned looks. Have you ever felt more cheerful when you wear yellow? I think it's a real thing. So maybe it's stemming from that... a desire for sunshine and all-around good cheer. I think it can make a great pop of bold color in an otherwise clean and simple Modern Cottage. I'm not talking walls of it. Just a few hits. Like these pendant lights from West Elm. Hello! Such a steal on sale. I feel dangerously like stockpiling them for future projects. Speaking of hello ... this hello sign is exceptionally cheery as well.

On Saturday I came across a Winston Churchill quote ... to me it's a great sentiment to live in the moment and appreciate and enjoy what is happening in our lives now. So I (cheerfully) printed it out in sunshine yellow. Then I framed it. I'm not making this up. Here's the proof:
I'm planning to create a fun art grouping in our office and thought he could join in. Ah, but I didn't stop there. Nope, I also picked a can of golden-yellow spray paint. I figured if I could get a little hit of yellow I could work my way out of  Anxious Design Mode (that's when one's brain works overtime designing and re-designing in one's head, with inspiration and ideas jostling around willy-nilly in mass chaos). I have some ideas about where I might use it (husband is worried) and when I figure that out I'll report back. Who knows, it may be a fleeting fixation... but a $5 can of spray paint never hurt anyone. Here's hoping your week is filled with sunshine, too!