Sunday, June 27, 2010


    I've been fascinated with these flowers, called Protea or sugarbushes, ever since I saw them on a Travel Channel show about Hawaii.  They are an ancient flower, over 300 million years old, originally from South Africa and grown in places such as Hawaii.  They were last popular in the 1600's with Botanists, but fell out of favor and we haven't seen much of them since. 
    Well, I fell in love with them the minute I saw them.  So much so, that I went to Michael's and purchased the fake version so I could have them in my house year round.  Big deal for me, because I greatly dislike fake flowers (note: always go real, whenever possible).  Little did I know that here in Portland, OR I would find my favorite flower at the local grocery store.  I purchased this amazing bouquet of colorful science fiction and took many photos.  Can you see why?  I want Georgia O'Keeffe to paint them for me.  I want to inspect them close up and marvel at the complexity that is these flowers.  Their astonishing repetition.  Boldness of size and eye catching color.  They lack the delicacy that most flower's possess. They are a hardy lot.  Thanks sugarbushes for brightening my day and inspiring me to be someone different. 


      I'm always dreaming. I like to imagine how things might be made better or different.  I can't help it. It's what makes me uniquely me. I always imagine improvements to interior spaces, exterior spaces, products, even cars.  I wonder what would make it more functional?  How can something be more aesthetically pleasing?  And I do a lot of listening. I listen to what people say. I hear little comments, that they don't even pick up on themselves.  All these things go through my little head and out comes solutions.  Solutions, not laws or decrees for how you "should" live, just solutions.
      Often, in school, I was criticized for not drawing a house the way a house should be drawn, for never coloring inside the lines or for day dreaming in class. Later in high school and college I was criticized for asking questions and for challenging the status quo.  And you know what? Even as an adult I'm criticized for the same things, the specific thing isn't whether I drew a house "the right way", but for changing where a sofa goes in a room. Or suggesting that a closet be moved somewhere unexpected in a room.  Or for asking someone to consider living differently. 
      But I ask you, what would our lives be like if people didn't dream?  Would you have electricity? Would you have indoor plumbing? Would you have the Internet? Would you have your iPhone? No, you wouldn't have these things.  You have them because someone decided to think outside the box. I'm not comparing myself to the genisus' that created amazing things like electricity, I'm just asking you to change where your sofa goes. It's just a sofa.  It's just paint. It's just a nail in the wall.  So you're accustomed to living in it a certain way, OK.  Just give new ideas a chance.  Try something different. You'd be really surprised by the blessings you might encounter. Changing your living space and the way you live everyday can profoundly effect your life.  You just don't know it yet!  I say it's time to give new ideas a chance.  Go bold!  Make a statement! Listen to someone's idea and be open to the surprise!

Monday, June 14, 2010

1960's Living (In case you weren't there)

Welcome to 1962! This weeks selection is from Better Homes and Gardens July 1962.  Don't you just love seeing how people used to live? It makes me lust after vintage style and it makes me realize that while interior design is a rather modern practice, not a whole lot has changed. 

The two pictures above are of a "modern cabin". The architecture is so wonderful, instead of showing you what it looks like finished I wanted you to enjoy the artist's vision- the architectural plans. To see the structure as a whole, spacial layout, stunning roof design and use of symmetry. Often, when you're given the floor plan you can see the reason behind the layout and my favorite part, see what you would do differently.   The other picture gives you a sense of what the space feels like, people, flooring, finishes, furniture and lighting. This is my expertise, the part architects don't like us ruining. Can we blame them?

I love this idea of hanging a stunning tapestry on the wall. It's so eye catching! This dated version of black, white and blue, a very common color scheme in the past few years was done quite successfully in this very tight kitchen nook space. I adore the little bench for two, with two floating black cafe tables.  I can totally see myself sitting there having my morning coffee. The black plant hangers are fun and if you just changed out the plants it could be totally modern. Add some succulents, a modern lined bench and just a blue accent wall  (no shutters) you're all up to date!

The simplicity of this bright white basement brings a smile to my face. Color was used ever so discretely and appropriately to make it fun and not assaulting (as we've seen in some 70's photos). As your eye is drawn up to the ceiling color so it comes right back down to the colors on the bar stools. Speaking of which, I love. I have some black iron and rattan chairs that mimic these and they happen to be my favorite things. 

And I'm ending with this vintage 60's add-on!! (Sorry for the picture quality it was two big pages.)  This is a living room or sun room addition that you could have purchased and had as a sun room in your backyard. I think my favorite thing about it is the fact that no one is actually using the room because it's so nice outside!  However, the furnishings and Eames looking chair is killer. Now I know what those odd ball large pillows are for. So Johnny and Sally could watch TV, while dad gets the chair and mom gets the modern sofa. I see how it works 1962.  Keeping it sexist.
That's cool, we still love you.