Above: Exterior – White Cedar shingles, Door’s in Nantucket Red. Side deck, Home Goods Garden Stool, Restoration Hardware – Malibu Collection.
Since the 70’s its been a law office, a sometimes summer dwelling, a retreat from other major renovations, a spa, a home to more than a few spiders, and seen its fair share of paint and paper. It waited patiently, frankly with far more patience than I myself possess, for its day in the sun.
I would say all the waiting was worth while. The Manse, finally finished, gained a few inches in height, spread her wings a little to make room for a first floor suite of sorts, and a proper foundation – if you are going to build a nest, you really must have a solid foundation. It’s a miracle the old dame lasted as long as she did, sitting so indignantly on the dirt, but 230 years later, she landed in the pages of the Boston Globe Magazine.
Now owned by my youngest Sister, Jo-Jo put the architecture in the hands of my father, and the interior design in my hands – who else. The results are what I refer to as “cozy coastal”. The article provides details of the space, but just a few photos, so here is a bigger glimpse into the results my biggest project to date.
If Renee Erickson’s Italian Eatery, on full display inside one of Amazon’s four story Sphere’s, located on 6th and Lenora in Seattle’s downtown, has got you wondering why this glass slipper, fairy tale of a restaurant has “ghost” in its name – guess no longer. Miss Ellen Willmott was a Victorian Botanist who must have been a bit presumptuous, as she went around planting the thistle like flower around town, and at the private property of folks she thought would benefit from the beauty. Willmott’s Ghost is indeed a pretty plant, and hearty too, which is welcome in seaside locations where sandy soil, and salt air doesn’t favor the delicate.
When I visited, I hadn’t known that Renee was a renowned Chef. She’s got a little empire of a restaurant group under her fin, and its name Sea Creatures is so stinkin’ cute I can’t stand it.
She doesn’t just have her fingers in the pots on her stove, she’s also the author of a delightful cook book – entitled A Boat, a whale & a Walrus. Stop – just stop, I adore the title and her playful approach to our serious world.
But wait, you didn’t think she’d be done with a mere half a dozen restaurants, and a single cook book – the world opens and expands to welcome the joyous talents of those that put them out into the world. She is also a restaurant designer, though I couldn’t figure out exactly what the connections are, they have to be familial. Heliotrope Architects – Price Erickson designed the space in collaboration with Renee, who is partners with Jeremy Price and Chad Dale on the restaurant design front. While I adore food, design is passion, and Renee and her team have talent in spades.
Pink is such a happy color and to see it in a restaurant, tiling the walls of the open kitchen – a place that is expected to take the wear and tear, the heat and toil of this fast paced, tough and tumble environment, speaks volumes to me about strength and beauty.
When I saw Rumor Wilson’s NYC head knocking, dream of an apartment in the Comedy – Isn’t It Romantic, I gasped. It’s beautiful. Like any good romantic comedy, the protagonist has a fabulous apartment, and what screams romance loader than a jewel box from Tiffany? An NYC apartment designed like one – that’s what.
Anything in the family of blue appeals to me. I often think that Tiffany Blue is more green than blue, and that I wouldn’t like it at all if it were in my home, and then I find myself standing in one of their signature stores or starring up at the ceiling in the Fairmont Copley Plaza – their muraled 5th wall’s base color is in the same iconic hue, and becoming quiet, calm, and filled with a sense of wonder. I adore it.
If you have to live in a box – perhaps one that looked like this wouldn’t be at all bad. Perhaps it might even be good. Perhaps it would be a dream come true.
Production Designers seem, from my distant vantage point, have a pretty cool job. While the facade of the building is used for the shots, I am pretty sure they “build the set” in some low rent district warehouse. Wherever Sharon Seymour created Natalie’s Manhattan Pad, she rocked it. There is something about that magical color that sets the tone for the fantasy. The curved sofa in white makes a two fold statement, first, I have room to spare. You aren’t sticking me into a corner or up against a wall, “you bought me” it seems to say, “to show off my luscious lines to their best advantage” – center of the room please. Second, the impracticality of a white sofa speaks to the single life, which ideally is how a romantic comedy begins. Ah, the perfection of a single gal controlling her environment. No durable Sunbrella’s for her.
The aqua blue accents, throws, vases, trays, give a little punch to the monochromatic palette. I would forgo the portrait of the puppy – as cute as he is, for an abstract of the sea, but that’s just me.
If you spend some time really hunting, most of these items can be found either on sale, or if you are willing to suffer the ramifications of in overflowing in-box – you can sign up for the companies promotional emails to receive 10% – 15% off the purchase price. When you are busy creating your own Hollywood Set of a home, that discount will add up, and dare I say – be worth the aggravation. Happy Hunting.
Future, fate, fortune, doom, that hidden power that floats in the ether controlling your every move, your every breath – those ragged and smooth, gasping or shallow – leaving you a little light headed, does it really exist, or can you gently nudge it in one direction or another?
On the one hand it feels rather reassuring to think that it all doesn’t matter. The worrying, and the striving, the toiling and the task making – if it’s all going to happen as the universe wills it – why not relax? Blessedly I have two hands, and the other one isn’t taking any chances. Just in case, and for all the what ifs – I am in the game, and believe that fortune is made by those that grab it by the pig tails and squeal, and snuffle, get into the mud and sling it out – oink and boink, and decide. That’s right, just decide to put yourself in the path of other like minded survivors – thrivers – the really alivers. Ok, those are really words, but you get the point. It’s for the bold, even if your bold delivered in the form of a new word.
Today though, I prefer to focus on the word “Chief”. Derived from the Latin – where else – it references the highest, most important rank. It denotes power and prominence. For me, I’ve never wanted to be the number one, number one. I’m happy being the number one, number two – not because I don’t have my own ideas, and thoughts about what success looks like, but rather because I blossom in an environment of collaboration, and idea sharing, where together we can share in something that could not have been created as a solo effort. Chief, I bet is a lonely place to be at times.
I am nonetheless, fascinated by the most recent declaration of female power in the form of a Women’s Club that will soon be arriving on the shores of Boston. Unlike The Wing – Chief is not a co-working space, it’s a club, a club with a very specific purpose, to put high ranking women in the path of like power brokers. It’s a place to convene and share, trade secrets – not of their companies variety, but rather of the people, and places, and resources that got them to where they are today, and hopefully through this magical sourcing and resourcing, will propel them to an entirely new elevation in the future.
Founded by, what I can only refer to as two young gals, now that I am sadly struggling with my middle age title. I sometimes reflect on a Harvard Medical School talk I attended where the speaker indicated if we could hang on for another 50 years, he could give us another 100. It happily blew my mind. I plan to live another 50, so it most definitely slides me into the lower quadrant of my existence, and just like that – brilliantly – I have a world of possibility ahead. I digress, which I am wont to do. Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan, formerly of Handy and Casper respectively, were at the VP level of their organizations, and thought to themselves – where’s the support network. How can I break through?
Chief is their answer and I have to tell you, it just might be worth striving for the top spot to gain access to this interior. I love the Millennial Pink of The Wing, and a girl doesn’t limit herself to just a single pair of shoes, does she? Why ever would she limit herself to a single interior. Stay tuned for its arrival. Happy Saturday.
I thought with time I might warm to No. 5. I thought that, but maybe I was wrong. It just doesn’t feel like me. I come in to the plink, plink, plinking of the AC making its way, fat drop, by fat drop into the receptacle that I have placed, less than discretely, under the offending leak, and think, why me? This is a bad way to think. It’s not personal, it’s business. NOT personal…just business, so I got to the business of investigating why my brand new split system would be doing this – not to me. The good news is, through the wonder of YouTube, and people that have a lot of time, and an altruistic spirit, I think I figured out why. Now I just need to fix the offending situation.
Down the stairs I go, to the cooler environs of my subterranean bedroom, which feels a little like a boat – not quite damp, but not quite dry either. There’s still water down there, and so the ceiling will be opened up next week to find the source of the weeping, and see if I can console it into a happier state.
Which leads me to something that will make me happy – I think. I really admire a good closet. It has the power to keep me on time in the morning, to keep me organized, and remind me of the abundance that surrounds me. It’s a little bit harder to feel that way as you dig through a box to locate a sundress, and you use the dryer to store your work out clothes because there is no dresser to stow them in. One must make due after all.
Left: Urban Green Furniture – Amazon. Middle: Benjamin Moore’s Airway.
I had designed a beautiful pair of amours to augment, what can only be considered, limited storage. Sadly all the glorious things I intended them to do, convert to beautiful bookshelves, a credenza, split apart, or put together, they really would have been fantastic. Some day. Those would have been a piece that could have lasted you a lifetime, even in a lifetime where taste and styles transform, and we’ve been programmed to believe that new is better.
Left: BM . Frozen Canal. Middle: Bee Hive Knobs. Right: Caning by the Yard.
After having looked in my wallet and discovering that there wasn’t enough in there to pay for my vision, I went back to the drawing board. Erik Reuda Design Lab didn’t even make me feel bad about it. When I proposed finding a simple armoire that we could retrofit with the doors that I realllllly wanted, they said yes! My simple wooden amoires arrived at their shop earlier this week and now I need to pick the paint color. They will built me doors, incorporating the caning which is so on trend and I have been lusting after, into the fronts, and spray the piece for me. I need to select hardware too, but the paint is holding up production, and I suspect making No. 5 think I am not committed to it. Once I move in properly, I suspect all will be right with the world again.
I always wanted a proper dressing room. I fantasize of having a beautifully large bedroom, flanked on either side by large walk-in closets, which lead into an inner sanctuary. A boudoir I guess. My butler would bring me a martini while I soak in my bath. My imaginary husband wouldn’t be allowed in this space. It would be all mine, and in turn, he would have his own, which naturally, I would have no interest in entering. I think the reasons are obvious and I not elaborate. As Michelle Obama says – “When they go low, we go high”. So let’s keep this in the realm of the beautiful.
In this southern challenge, we have a bath inside the master suite, which while it is in lovely shape, it isn’t quite roomy enough to support the necessities of female living. Hair and make-up must be straightened, braided, blown out, applied, curled and otherwise made salon quality, and that simply cannot happen in cramped quarters. I could almost hear those grand old dame’s of the bath tiles whimpering at the thought of being thrown out with the trash. How undignified. I wouldn’t think of it. They don’t make tile, tubs, and vanities like that anymore, and with a little paint that en suite is going to be glamorous all over again.
That of course doesn’t solve the issue of a place to primp. Just across the corridor is a small, but suitable walk-in closet. It’s not quaint or charming – yet anyway, but it will be when we are done with it. It has a window, which I consider to be a huge bonus when it comes to closets. Natural light, such a wonderful surprise.
I did consider a California Closet, and that certainly is still an option, but I thought I would try something a little different here. The Ballard Design closet components are transitional in design style – I like that for this stately old Georgian Home. The pieces offer great flexibility, and the little nook within the closet is the perfect place for a dressing table. Again – you could have a custom vanity with drawers built for the space, but at considerable expense. I’ve selected a mini-desk that will snuggle in nicely, while still allowing a tower column with a mirrored glass door. What’s a walk-in closet after all if you can’t confirm you look fabulous before exiting.
I’ve provided several desk options, and of course will recommend mirrors for above the desk, a pendant light – every closet needs a bauble for onlookers to gawk over. Maybe a little throw rug for the sheer luxury of walking barefoot across. Oh, I do think I visualize the lady of the house being very happy in this space.