House Tour | Warm Concrete |

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Via / Photography Nathalie Krag 

Open floor plan, natural light, curved lines, raw materials and pops of color make this home filled with concrete feel warm while maintaining such a contemporary and minimalist feel. I love the oversized sofa and lamp, the chalkboard drawing and those beautiful bright pink flowers. 

Local PDX: For The Love of Books

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So, if you didn't know Portland pretty much has the best book store on the planet. It is one thing that tethers me here to my homeland. I literally can't imagine a world where there is no Powell's books close to my house. Where else do people buy books?! Having always had Powells since I was a knee high to a grasshopper I scoff at chain bookstores. I know not the experience of buying books from a place that isn't a city unto itself and independently owned and operated, a place that is the crowing jewel of a city.

In fact think it might be the number one tourist destination for Portland. Powell's is the city of books after all. There are a few locations, I prefer the smaller one that is close to my house, and by smaller I mean the average size of a barnes and nobel, but without all that superflous stuff they fill their space with. But the one downtown is the big one, the one people come from around the world to visit and it's the one we went to this weekend. It's four stories and, I don't know, like 70,000 sqft. As you can see the bookcases are tall and each giant room is a designated a color to help categorize it: the gold room, the rose room, the pearl room, et al.. The store has its own map and you can spot newbies and tourists as they find a corner to look at it to navigate their way to the next destination. It's magical, it's kind of like something, well, out of a book.

One of our nicest shopping districts was built around Powell's. It used to be this very industrial and forgotten part of town. There were several breweries down there and it smelled pretty terrible. It was the place to find books, scary pop-up nightclubs and lots of parking spaces. Now its neighbors are Jonathan Adler, West Elm, Anthropologie and several high end furniture design shops. This part of town is almost unrecognizable from when I was younger, until I step through the bookstore doors and it's all exactly as it was. It is one of those places that just feels like home. Even if you have never been there, if you love books, Powell's will feel like home.

As a little girl I remember going there (when it was never nearly as crowded as it is now!), it was quiet and I would imagine being locked inside the store and having to live there forever. When I go now, I still get that feeling of being in a place that is almost mythical and fully encompasses the feeling of being cosy and that good kind of feeling of being lost. I single-handedly both credit Powell's for giving me a love of reading and blame them for turning me into such a book hoarder.

Well, I guess this post has turned into a love letter to Powell's, maybe a love letter to Portland in general. Because for me they are one in the same and I just couldn't have one without the other. I ended up getting The Snow Child on this trip. Has anyone read it yet? I am kind of regretting not getting State of Wonder . . . but I might just have to make another trip for it here soon.

Do you have a hands-down favorite spot in your city?

Jonathan Adler

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pardon my absence yesterday I was on a kick of tackling things around the house. The weekend proved to not be long enough for all the things I had started and wanted to finish (I am still working on the finishing part). But the weekend wasn't all work and no fun. On a work-related trip downtown to the "pearl district" to pick up some pillow inserts from west elm, I found myself parked right in front of the Jonathan Adler store. Oh me, oh my! This place makes me want to just set up house right there in the middle of the store, kick everyone out and declare it as mine, all mine. Jonathan Adler designs are so fun but that fun is met with such lovely clean lines and gorgeous materials I find it just fabulous. Sadly everything is way out of my target/west elm/ikea price range and it was all look and don't touch. I did find myself petting one of the blankets for a few minutes until one of the sales clerks came up and told me that I should definitely buy one, that he just did and he loves it. But after I flipped over the tag to see the price in the $500 dollar range my face must have lost all color because after that he directed me to the clearance section. Yeah, still out of my price range. But it was a little bit of heaven just looking around and was one of the highlights of my weekend. I might not have left with anything but I did leave feeling really inspired to keep working on the projects I started around the house. We made a couple stops at some of my favorite portland haunts, hopefully I will get around to sharing at least one more this week.

I rounded up a few of my favorite things from his line (grand total: $7,968). But I have to say these were even more dreamy in person than I could have imagined.

Make: Painted Wooden Kitchen Utensils

Friday, February 22, 2013

I have been seeing a lot of cute little wooden kitchen utensil sets with painted handles and I almost bought these ones the other day. But then I realized I already had a set of bamboo utensils in my kitchen drawer and some fun paint colors I had yet to try out, so I decided to just diy it. The kitchen is one place I don't feel I need everything to be really matchy-matchy, in fact I kind of like a bit of a modern-kitschy-french farmhouse vibe and I think these fit in with that odd combination. Especially for the price of free to dress them up and the 5 minutes it took me to slap a little paint on them. Now if I could only pair it all up with a smeg refrigerator.  

Happy friday! Any fabulous plans for the weekend? I feel like February is going by so fast and next week is the last week of the month! But that means spring is almost here, and so with that, I just can't complain. xo

House Tour | Chicago Rental |

Thursday, February 21, 2013

As a renter myself when I run across a home that I find to be amazing and then find out that it is a rental I get a little giddy inside. This gorgeous home belongs to Bladon Conner, a furniture maker and designer, who owns Bladon Conner Design Studio in Chicago. As soon as I found this interview and house tour over at  Rue Mag I immediately feel in love the strong masculine feel and clean lines which is so beautifully adorned with all the lovely plants, warm woods and soft hues of green. I loved reading that so much in his home he has either designed himself or refinished second-hand finds. That cute little doggy caught my eye too - I can't believe how still he held for that picture!

Design Trends: Put A Birch On It

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Have you seen the Portlandia episode Put A Bird On It? Well, I am thinking that they need to do an updated version with birch trees - they could keep a few birds too. Since posting about the birch wallpaper that I am kind of in love with and since slightly obsessed over, I feel like I have been seeing birch motifs everywhere. I can't say that I mind though in fact I have a drawing of birch trees that a friend gave me (by request) that I really need to get framed, it is just so lovely. I love the towels by Fine Little Day and those straws need to come to my house. 

PS, if you are wondering, I happen to think that Portlandia is pretty accurate in its portrayal of this little city here in the northwest, maybe a bit exaggerated but not by much depending on what crowds you run with. I honestly don't watch the show that regularly because I feel like I live it every time I leave my house, and maybe I can see my-portlander-self in it a teeny-tiny bit too. 

Favorite Finds | 19 | Urbio

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I am really trying to stay on my "get organized" kick and I have been scanning the web and my magazine collection for some ideas and inspiration. I ran across this modular storage design by Urbio and I just love it. The containers are magnetic and are attached to their own little mount or can be attached to a larger mount, so you can go as large or small as you like. I love the clean and simple design, the ability to organize clutter in a such stylish way and the fact that you can throw in some plant life to add a mixture of elements. I think they would be great for any room in the house: a kids room, an office, the kitchen (a little herb garden perhaps?), next to the bed . . . I think every room in my house could use one of these things, it would be so hard to choose just one place!

Thrifting About

Monday, February 18, 2013

It was true, we did get a 60 degree day on friday and I think it was exactly what was needed. It was a perfect almost-spring day and honestly after be holed up in my house for the last few weeks I think anything much warmer may have been a shock to my system. It was just so lovely to get out with a sweater and light scarf to enjoy the mild day without my head tucked down to hide from the rain (true-blue portlanders never use an umbrella).

I am not much of a rain/cold adventurer and I tend not to visit my local shops much during the winter months, so I took the opportunity of the lovely day to walk up and down a couple of my favorite streets and visit a few local vintage and thrift shops. We have a variety of such shops here that range from the curated, with the best pieces of mid-century furniture, to the shops that are literally disorienting from walking through the mazes of items stacked upon items. I used to be a thrift store junkie in my younger years so I still enjoy meandering through thrift shops and I can't seem to get the fantasy out of my mind of finding an eames chair for $5.00. Unfortunately times have changed and that probably is not going to happen these days. But if I ever strike it rich I am pretty certain I will be considered an eccentric with a vast collection of paint-by-number paintings. I passed up several this weekend, I am afraid I would need to have a very large budget to have the home and the furnishings to house and surround them in a way that wouldn't make my home look like a thrift store itself. I don't know what it is about them but I just find them so charming.

I also stopped by a favorite little french bistro of mine for crepes which I had been avoiding since going gluten-free, afraid of the disappointment of no longer being able to eat there, but I was happy to find that they offer gluten-free crepes. So crepes for lunch it was! Portland is definitely the city to be in for any and all dietary needs. I ended the weekend by watching the last episode of Downton Abbey, that went so fast! How was your weekend?

House Tour | Lost & Found |

Friday, February 15, 2013

Last night while I was looking through the sneak peek archives over at design sponge, I found this bright and cheery little cottage that belongs to Rebekah Carey Mcnall, of A & B Creative. It's suppose to reach 60 this weekend and I can just feel spring on the horizon. This little place feels like it pulsates with a spring vibe of walking around the neighborhood stealing peeks into open doors and hitting up estate sales. I immediately spied that vintage fireplace insert in the last photo. I have one too - I get made fun of a lot for loving it as much as I do, though mine happens to be in storage at the moment. But I love that she found a place for hers right under a bedside table. Clever. I am fairly certain I couldn't pull of this look quite so well but I would definitely have fun visiting and looking at all her vintage treasures (and i wouldn't mind owning a few of them either!).

And, in case any of you are wondering, yes, I finally pulled the trigger and bought my new camera yesterday. Hopefully it will get her soon and I can show it off next week. Hope you all have a great weekend and get some good weather too. I am crossing my fingers that we will indeed get that 60 degree day they keep talking about.

V-Day Goodies

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In case you are running behind like me, I have rounded up a few last minute Valentine d.i.y's. I am more of a Christmas girl myself and I kind of go crazy with the holiday crafts around that time of year so I tend to still be on break from crafting goodness when v-day rolls around, but these cute thangs are making me wish I would have broke out the glitter and glue. My favorite here, however, are those ceramic "paper" plates. How romantic and sweet would a little luncheon with those be? In fact I would be happy to just go on a date by myself with those plates and some desserts, they are so pretty! 

Do you have any valentines plans?  I have never been a person that gets excited over Valentines day but that doesn't stop me from looking forward to unabashedly eating chocolate. I am also hoping to finally, finally press the check out button for my new camera. Truth be told I am still torn and I have officially gone to the dark side of internet research and have been stuck in total and complete information overload for the last couple weeks. Though I think valentines day seems like a good day to make my long-term commitment with the newest love of my life.

Hope your day is a sweet one!

Good Intentions

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

print for purchase by yumalum

Back around the new year I had really great intentions for starting the 365 project. I was quite excited about it in fact. Excited to get back to that place where I am strapped to my camera and I wonder how everything would look through its lens, but alas, I am calling a fail. Now before anyone tells me to not feel like a failure, don't worry, I don't. I am always failing in most of my first attempts at everything I try. I like to look at more as trial runs. I also mentioned back during the new year that I don't much like new years resolutions, well that is why. If you "fail" at a resolution it feels so final, like you have to wait all through the year to try again. On top of that I am in such a fog after the holidays I usually have no idea what I need/want to do to for the new year, my only goal on January first is usually to get my holiday decorations put away and stop eating so many cookies. 

I have every intention of trying the 365 again well before the new-new year rolls 'round but with the week spent on my sofa with the flu I missed days and days of photographs and truth be told by about day three of the project my heart just wasn't in it anymore. But now I know what to expect so next time I can call it a success. I have hope anyway. Right now I am thinking that my heart is more aimed at committing to the 40 bags in 40 days challenge, this is where you get rid of 40 bags of stuff in 40 days (I have at least half that many bags packed in my closet ready to go). That I can do and I need to do and I am actually really, really excited to put that plan in action. Have any of your new years intentions taken a new direction or a nose-dive? 

House Tour | Parisian Apartment |

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Oui, oui, non? How breathtaking is this apartment? When I think of Paris apartments I think of something really elegant with painstakingly hand-carved crown moldings, ornate fireplaces, large windows, tall ceilings and herringbone parquet floors. This beautiful apartment by designers Gilles and Boissier has everything my mind has ever imagined about a perfect Paris apartment, yet, it has gone above and beyond my imagination by adding other elements I so love as well. It has such a beautiful gallery feel to it with a touch of rustic warmth and all that texture, amazing!
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