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Where Coffee Meets Creativity

Thursday, October 8, 2020

5 Reasons To Travel In Fall


Experience Fall!



Hello friends! Fall is such a glorious time of the year in the Pacific Northwest. I love the definitive change from summer to fall. Although I don't look forward to the shrinking day length, the vivid autumn colors, the warm days and cool nights, and the lengthening shadows bring me great joy.

Today I am sharing photos from favorite fall trips, and the reasons I prefer post-Labor Day excursions.

 


1. Smaller Crowds. After school resumes, there are many fewer people out and about, especially during the week. Covid notwithstanding, who doesn't love a little extra personal space? The ferries and other means of public transport are less crowded, along with cafes, coffee houses and cute shops.


2. Cooler Temperatures. Need I say more? I love sweaters in the mornings and late afternoons, lighter layers in between.



3. Fall color. The intense hues of fall are lovely. Trees, pumpkins, squash, mums and dahlias decorate the countryside. Day-trips and overnight getaways present an opportunity to surround yourself with autumn splendor.




4. Farmstands. It seems to me that in fall, farmsteads bursting with late harvest produce, spring up everywhere. I love stopping to browse and buy, or just to admire creative displays. On a fall drive, you never know what you might find just around the next bend in the road.


5. Autumn fare. Indulge in a a restaurant experience where fall flavors populate the menu; soups such as pumpkin or acorn squash, a salad topped with hazelnuts, and a decadent dessert such as a pear tart.

Even if you live in the hot climes of Southern California or even the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, there are in-state getaways to more obvious seasonal changes. So, where will you go this fall? Please don't let a pumpkin latte from a neighborhood coffee bar be your only autumn thrill. Pick a place and go. And don't forget to send me a postcard. I'd love to hear from you.

With fondness, ♡ Dana  

Something to look forward to~

My next post will feature a cute fall DIY using photographs and the Waterlogue App.





























 


 


 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Step Inside~ Entryway Reveal

 


Hello friends! I have been working very hard on the space just inside our front door, and because I am forever naming my favorite spaces in our home, I would like to welcome you to Cozy Nook. Cozy Nook measures roughly 6 feet x 7.5 feet, and is flooded with light on sunny days from dawn until dusk.

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and our entryway is obviously the first room friends see when they step inside. So my thinking is, it better be good.


There are many names given to an entry space~ entry hall, entryway, entrance way, foyer, and sometimes mudroom~ and maybe you can think of more. From my experience I've determined that what we call our entryway varies depending upon where we live. For example, when I was growing up in Los Angeles we called it the entry hall, but after I was married and we moved to St. Louis, Missouri, we learned quickly that it was commonly referred to as the 'fo-yer' (by no means the French pronunciation). Here in Northwest Washington it's the entryway or (aptly named) mudroom. What do you call your front door space? 


Cozy Nook is actually a tiny room that was added to the original house by the couple who lived here before us. This couple made many modifications to the original footprint, and everything they did was done poorly and with salvaged, mismatched materials. However, I am glad they added this bit of space, albeit shabbily, because I'm not sure we would have it now, given how much other rehabbing we've been compelled to do. I really do like having this snippet of finished space. It's a happy place.

Truly we bought the house for the view. We were so smitten with the water panorama, the large yard and the reasonable price, that we hardly noticed anything else. And actually in thinking back, many of the structural defects were hidden behind walls and floors so we wouldn't have discovered them anyway, even with the building inspector. We have undone and rebuilt so many unattractive and unsafe elements, that at times we have wondered if we should have just torn the house down and built new.



Our beloved water view.

We have upgraded Cozy Nook in stages, beginning with a tile floor, later new windows, beadboard, and recently a lovely wood front door. The room finally feels finished, although I use the word lightly, because is any room ever actually finished? Larry claims that no room in our house is ever static. How about you? Are you a serial redecorator or do you prefer the do-it-once-and-I'm-done approach to decor?


Today I invested a good bit of time taking photos of Cozy Nook, so this is it, the big reveal! This is my excursion into a very cottage style.



Vintage maple desk makeover.


My desk is directly opposite the front door. I have the most incredible east facing view, which beckons me to sit and enjoy the sunrise over the water with my morning coffee. (The blind is almost always up or open; only closed now for the photos.) This is a very special place to collect my thoughts, plan my day, and count my many blessings. I recently painted and distressed an old desk that I found at a local thrift store. I am by no means great at painting furniture but am surprisingly pleased with my efforts this time. The desk fits perfectly here. Its dimensions are just right and the new white paint brightens the room even on the gloomiest day.

The desk chair is used not only by me but by Larry. He can sit to slip his shoes on or off. Since our return from Japan in December, we are both working hard at not wearing our shoes in the house. We noticed how clean we were able to keep our lodgings, simply by removing our shoes, and we are working diligently at making this our new custom. Goodness, old habits die hard.




Today I put a final coat of white on this Pottery Barn wood frame, and I wondered,  is there is a law against redoing something PB? Of course I say this in jest, but painting it felt almost sacrilegious.

In the frame is a photo I took in Kyoto, Japan. I converted it to watercolor and enlarged it to fit. I will tell you about the process in more detail in a future post.




Another travel picture converted to watercolor.




This wall is to the left of my desk. Larry helped me mount vintage doorknobs on the chair rail, and above the chair rail we hung a photo ledge that we made. I am an avid photographer, and most of the art in our home is my travel photography. I think I have done a tasteful job of displaying my work, although here is a fine line between refined use of photography and a cluttered look, and I have to keep myself in check given that I especially enjoy designing creative ways to display snapshots.


On the wall to the right of my desk hangs a Seattle icon and the other large window.










Hopefully the above photo, taken from the living room, will further orient you to the layout of Cozy Nook.

My goal was to give this space, which for many years was just a walk-through to the living room, a chance to be a room in its own right. I really do appreciate it now, especially because it's both pretty and practical. I am pleased with the feel of the room, which despite the cottage-white, is warm and rustic coastal, as opposed to "beachy".  


I think the only thing lacking is a natural fiber rug, but I am having a very hard time finding something that the front door doesn't get stuck on when we open it. Sisal, coir, whatever~ Do you think IKEA would be a good place to look? Where have you been the most successful buying a good looking rug with a moderate price tag? I would value your suggestions.

It was fun sharing Cozy Nook with you, and I hope you enjoyed the tour. Stop by again soon.


Warmly,


Dana


















Thrifting~ The Thrill Of The Hunt



I haven't always been the intrepid thrifter I am today. Until I started dating Larry in 1979, I had never been to a second-hand store of any kind. Shopping pre-owned was not part of my family's culture. 

Try to picture this~ When I met Larry I was 24 and he was 40; a handsome, longterm bachelor, flying for one of the world's premier international airlines, and living in a cool condo three blocks from the sand in Manhattan Beach, California. 


On one of our first dates Larry invited me to go shopping for some new shirts. New shirts. I immediately assumed oxford cloth, button down, monogrammed cuff. One in every color, right? Imagine my shock when Larry's haberdasher of choice was a Salvation Army thrift store. I kid you not. If I hadn't been so head-over-heels for Larry, I'm certain that would have been our last date.


Over the years we've both changed; we've met in the middle. Sometimes we buy new, but often we buy items with history and make them over.


Larry introduced me to his family and his family's trove of treasured heirlooms simultaneously, and I was smitten. He helped me see the intrinsic charm of vintage pieces, and he kindled in me the thrill of the hunt. He and his family modeled resourcefulness and self-reliance; traits that I have grown into along my life path.

When I was a thirty something, people often asked me why I loved antiques. I most often replied, "because I married one". That seemed like a fun and clever thing to say back then. Now that I'm officially Medicare age, I don't think that's so funny.


I love vintage shopping. I love to surround myself with interesting finds. That is why I have no other description for Remnant style than remnant style; leftovers, diamonds in the rusteclecticism with a live edge. In our home we constantly work toward smooth mesh of our varied tastes, and the best way I know to label our look is, "rustic coastal cottage". 


Thank you for being here today. My goal is that we would pursue pretty together; that you would find within my home, my life, my decor, (which I describe as "real life"), elements that resonate with you.

Let's create life together!


With fondness,


Dana 

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