What’s in a name?

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sweet.

Seaside locals seem at home – with homes that have names.  I call my condos by their numbers, which makes a lot of sense, since it would be dangerous to become too attached.  Naming things turns them from inanimate to something a whole lot closer to real.

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Home to the Rogers Family.

I love the tiny cottages, their pint size nature having tremendous capacity to hold memories, just as any grand mansion could.  There is something that seems so manageable, and cozy about a little summer home near the beach.

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My favorite!

My recent visit to Seaside Florida had the prettiest array of pastel cottage that lined the shore, and the tightly packed neighborhoods on the other side of the street.  If their colors and the community in which they are situated didn’t make you fall for the place, then the names surely would.  My number one favorite was:  Whipped Cream, number two: Fresh Cream and number three:  Precious….it was too, in its pale pink.  J’adore.

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How great is this name?

It got me thinking about what I might name my little oceanside retreat someday.  These are the names I came up with.  Do weigh in.  I am anxious to hear which you would choose.

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Nothing says vacation like….

Summer Sault

Knot 4 Sail

Sound Idea

Sea Clearly

Sea Sault

Lost + Sound

Small Craft Warning

Downspout

Sweet + Salty

Room with a Vue

Lime Ricky

Tangled up in Vue

Hide + Sea.k

The Dory

The Dingy

Honey Suckle

 

Ode to More than a Piece of Luggage

This weekend I visited NYC to take in Hamilton, listen to some Jazz at the Blue Note, eat some good food, and generally enjoy Manhattan in the not so springy springtime.  My suitcase did not join me for the trip.  Somewhere between the vestibule and the trunk it went its own way – ending our association.

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Kate Spade for Streamline Luggage

I said it was fine, that its just a material thing, not my good health, or the loss of someone you love, or something truly tragic like living in the middle of the country and not being able to smell the salt in the air, and take a dip in the ocean, where truly all your ailments seem to vanish away.  Nothing that catastrophic, and still it’s left me a little melancholy.

Dallas . TX Top at Blue Print Store.  Bottom Left:  Cape Cod, Middle:  Farmhouse Pottery, Woodstock. VT, Right:  Hermes Pop-up . Nashville . TN

My Kate Spade for Steamline Carry-on had been a lot of places with me.  I bought it just after I sold my first home – that was three homes ago, and at least a half dozen rentals.  It had been to Paris three times, to the South of France, to Venice, Croatia, Bosnia, Switzerland, and Costa Rica.  It had been to Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, New York, DC, Illinois, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and probably a few states in between.

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The Club Car. Nantucket . MA

It was my constant Cape Cod companion, and adored Nantucket though it pretended to have no favorite.

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J’adore . Dior . Paris . France – Les Arts Decoratifs

Perhaps it grew tired of never be fully unpacked – not being allowed to breath.  Maybe it had some bad jeu-jeu like this rash that won’t seem to leave me alone.  Maybe I should consider it a ritualistic cleansing?  Do you suppose the same could be true of my adorable little Chanel booties – the ones that could carry me at a fast pace trot through the city with nary a complaint from me or the boot.  And what of my leather pants, and my beloved faux fir Gucci knock off slippers from Target?  What about them?

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Croatia.

That’s enough now – it’s enough.

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Water Taxi to Splendid Hotel . Venice . Italy – my Steamline was right beside me.

I had a beautiful weekend – even if I did have to wear the same clothes the whole time.  Sometimes you’ve just got to call a Spade a Spade – I’ll carry on….wink, wink.  See, I still have my sense of humor.  I never pack it, it should always be readily available.

Happy Sunday.

The Spring RE Market

Also known as Spring Fever.  I set foot outside my cute little South End condo to bright sunshine, birds chirping, a single daffodil poking its head up through the cold dirt, and instead of thinking how lucky am I to live right across from a park, where squirrels frollack and play, young kids are pushed in their strollers by Nanny’s, and puppies bark in excitement over the activity, and the sheer joy of their urban oasis within their city surrounding.

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View from my window.

I should have known I needed to be on my guard.  I should have known that all that happiness, coupled with the smell of fresh chocolate croissants, and the zest of an orange would make me feverish with desire … to sell.  Spring Fever indeed.  If I had a spare moment I might just take it up with the Eight Street District Commission.  How dare they put me in this state.

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Where the most delicious cookies, and cupcakes, and coffee come from.

I must be strong.  I must stick to my plan and not succumb to the enticements of the brokers that reach out with letters of entreaty.  They have a single gal, a mother-to-be, an estranged family member returning home to make amends:  you fill in the blank.  Inventory is at historic lows.  They need properties, and they know just who to target.

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Bird bath.

Truth be told, in between these letters and my innocent foray out the door and into work the other day something else happened.  I saw I property, just down the end of my street, not so different from mine.  Technically a little bit bigger, maybe a window or two more than mine, but otherwise the stats were a strong comp.  Well – when I say that property sold for $1.1 million dollars (I’m writing this while thinking about Mike Myers as Austin Powers), I nearly spit my wine out, and who would do that?  It’s just disrespectful.

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ah, springtime.

And then this happened.  I began to run numbers, in my head on paper.  What if this – then that.  How about X, then Y.  I love if – then scenarios, even if I am not mathematician, it feels like what a really smart mathematician would do, right?  Well I had myself out of that condo, into The Girard, in search of a Cape cottage, halfway gutted by July, and for sale in the fall.  I have a vivid imagination.

I am a real estate addict.  Knowing it, and saying it out loud, doesn’t seem to curb the urge to scream SELL from the top of my lungs.  Thank goodness I have friends who let reason reign.  I do believe they have my best interest at heart.  The next time I set foot out my front door and the birds are chirping and the sun is shining and the happier laugher of children fills the air, I am committed to saying – how lucky am I.  I think I’ll stay a while.

Nod to the Nautical: Cape Cod in almost summer.

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View from the Marshside . 28 Bridge Street . East Dennis . 

It takes a long time to warm up here on Old Cape Cod.  There really is no spring, but as we await the arrival of the Easter Bunny the sun is shining, and I continue my quest to outfit my sister’s nest.  Wheee.

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Waving the Lauren Flag – “naught” bad.

Of course with the entire gang here, my plans for getting things accomplished have been turned on end.  I’ll have to work double time in the final weekend to get it all done.  My stomach drops as I think about the unthinkable – that it will never be done in time for the shoot.  It will be what it is, when the 28th rolls around, and God willing it will be enough.

 

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Schumacher.  Old Cape Cod.

I stumbled across a new store on 6A in Brewster, and as its name:  Nautique suggests, its chock a block full of nautical furnishings, fabrics, curiosities, custom signage for your home, and screen doors too.  I spend hours pouring through the fabrics, because while I love nautical, I don’t love being knocked over the head by it.  A nod here and there is enough to remind me of where I am.  I’m no Ralph Lauren after all.  Anyone that can reinvent themselves going from Lipshitz to Lauren, and creating a dynasty, can without argument do nautical to the nines.

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Stove with scallop motif.  Stunning.

How I admire his style.  At Nautique he is well represented among other designers.  This sailboat fabric from Schumacher really pulled at my heartstrings.  It feels like its from the 50’s and even though I said no to the overt, I found myself dreaming of this design as a roman or a wonderful sofa or bed pillow.  The wood stove with the scallop motif was to die for and I am trying to figure out if we can incorporate one into The Manse and at what cost – oh everything can be done if one has money….

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Mark your territory with a custom sign.

 

Snare the Chair

It’s time to fish or  cut bate, but LORDie – there is nothing worse than sitting in an uncomfortable chair.  So I am in the uncomfortable position of making a decision without first taking a seat.

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Noir Penelope Chair $1260.

I’ve looked at structured chairs, upholstered chairs, slipcovered, wood framed, rattan – with cushions and without, and I feel no closer to my decision.  But before this post is through, decide is exactly what I must do, or we will be shooting a space with nary a chair in site.  A tough sell for a living you, you could agree.

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Selma Justina Blakeney Eden Occasional Chair $675.

On the one hand I really want a chair I can sink into and read a book, cozy in the corner, side table to hold my tea, standing lamp to shine a light on the page (yes, I still read a book with paper pages – though I have a Kindle too).

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Candelabra Home Loom Club Chair – Platinum $825.

The other hand is waving wildly in the air, awaiting the opportunity to say – NO – go architectural, go sculptural – make  statement – do it for the photo.  How very impractical.  How very shortsighted.  It comes down to “cool” or “comfy”.

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Noir Gigi Chair $828.

Can you guess which one I went with?

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Serafi Accent Chair Gray Linen $999.

 

NYC Studio Design Challenge Part II

I threw together quickly the options for a 402 sf, NYC studio on Monday, but I would like to add a few more thoughts to it.  I do like a rug to make a space cozy, and I know they can be expensive.  I am not opposed to buying large Sicil carpets and throwing a small Oriental, Oushak, or matte sized natural fiber rug underneath.  It allows your style to shine through and highlights a special jewel of a piece atop a disparate material.  Wool, cotton, silk, or some combo of the same will do nicely.

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Bringing personality to a space.

I also don’t like to worry about stepping on my iPhone is my everything, even though I wish sometimes it was not.  I use it for my alarm clock as many do, and I need it nearby – so a bedside table is the natural thing to get for the solving of this issue.  Having said that – there is no room for side tables in 402 SF.  A shelf overhead will have to suffice.  I would do one of two things.  I would use a wonderful and inexpensive acrylic box that can be mounted to the wall, and decorative and useful items alike can sit on display.

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Acrylic Shelves keep the space clean and simple.

That’s the easy solution.  If you are feeling a little more ambitious, get a handy man to create a surround for the bed.  Tuck the headboard between two planks – at least a foot in width.  Create a shelving system above, affix some pretty fabric to hide the shelves et voila – you have yourself some invaluable storage.

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This is a brilliant design that creates closets on either side of the bed, while hiding shelving above, and building in shelves that serve as a bedside table.  Love. Love .

Metallic strips to hang knives from the wall in the kitchen are tremendously useful.  I am not a fan of displaying pots, pans, plates and the like – particularly in city apartments, when try as you might, dust and dirt seeps in from the streets.  Clutter is the other reason.  I’d rather it be hidden away, but that’s a personal choice.

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Schmidt Brothers . Acacia Magnetic Bar.

A final must have if the apartment were for me – a pretty bookshelf or etagere.

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PB Teen Etagere – why should teens have all the fun? $475.

Happy designing.

NYC Design Studio Challenge

Just 402 SF, but it’s NYC.  Small spaces are exciting to me.  They offer a rare opportunity to get super creative, resourceful, and find ways in which to use single pieces for multiple purposes.

Here is Option No. 1 – $2805.38

Top Left:  CB2 . Flat Iron Apartment Sofa 60″ $799.  Bottom Left:  Ballard Design Color Block Linen Pillows $39.  Right:  Zara Golden Sphere Side Table $199.

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CB2 . Astoria Wardrobe $899.

In small spaces it helps to have a calming palette, but not everyone wants a space without a pop of color.  If you go neutral with big pieces you have more flexibility to make inexpensive changes by changing out pillows, accessories, and inexpensive art.

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CB2 . Peekaboo Coffee Table.  $279.

The use of acrylic in small spaces is brilliant as it allows you to see through the room, creating the illusion of grandeur.

 

Left:  Queen Headboard from The Inside in linen.  $499.  Right Top:  Zara Linen Curtain $49.50

I would propose hanging the curtain by a traxx.com ceiling mounted rod, and hanging a piece of artwork on the dining room side of the curtain – also from the ceiling.  This gives great separation of space.  Etsy has wonderful artwork at very reasonable prices.  It’s a go to resource.

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Zara . Floral Print Pillow Covers . Inserts separate . $17.90

Throw these on a bed with white cotton sheets and you have a happy pop of color.

Left:  Target Sconce Light $37.99 .  Right:  Urban Outfitters Pink Velvet Dining Chair $99.

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PB Apartment . Mission Modular $249.

Option 2 – $6343.98

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Happi Nest by Verellen to the Trade.

Dealers can be found by visiting Verellen.  These are wonderful pieces and should be considered heirloom – you will have them for life if you take care of them.  I recommend use of either the chairs or the sofa, which is apartment style available in 70″.

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Etsy . Midcenturysacremento . Console $1098.98

Storage is key to a happy life in small spaces.  In cabinets, under the beds, stashed under sofa’s – use it.

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The Inside . Cocktail Chair in Emerald Climbing Back. $649.

The Inside is a wonderful site.  Very reasonable prices, hip design, and design collaborations, all made in the USA and ships direct to your home – no middle man.  Think 2 – 3 weeks.  Hello!

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The Inside . Hex Ottoman. $349.

I would recommend getting two of these hex ottomans.  They work well as a coffee table or side tables.

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Urban Outfitters . Marie Woven Windsor Platform Bed. $898.