Painting the Day Away

My 4 year old has been quietly painting (in just her underpants) at her art table for over an hour now, while the little sis naps this snowy afternoon away.

The sound of fingers in paint...that great simple smell of "kid"paint which reminds us, her parents, of childhood and classrooms...combined with the promise of our favorite authentic Italian pizza drizzled in olive oil for dinner, makes this a perfect lazy Saturday afternoon.

Isn't this wall of landscapes with blue skies lovely? My own collection is coming together slowly, I will share soon, promise!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Carleton Varney Decorated Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel, Masco Cottage

It's been snowing here again for the past two days. And, I'm thinking about summer, again.

Most of my childhood, in mid-June, just about when the lilacs were starting to bloom, we would pack up the family car and head to Mackinac Island, Michigan.

For many, Mackinac Island is synonymous with The Grand Hotel, which is decorated by the interior design legend Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper.

A quick Mackinac primer for those of you not familiar: The only way to the island is via boat or air.

No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island. 

Transportation choices: Horse...
Joe Braun Photography

...Pedaling or walking, as demonstrated by the actress Emma Roberts, photographed on Mackinac for the November issue of Marie Claire by Guy Aroch.

The streets are perfectly picturesque. 

The houses on the island...ya, I've just been dreaming about spending the summer in one of these since 4th grade.  Instead of garages, many have a carriage house and stable in the back. 

The Grand Hotel opened in 1887. It has the world's longest front porch complete with the perfect blue ceiling, a swimming pool named after Esther Williams who shot the 1947 movie "This Time for Keeps" at the hotel and a dress code.  And if you are interested in just taking a peek at the grounds or lobby and aren't a guest, you have to fork over a little cash for the privilege. 

Carleton Varney first began work on the interiors in 1976. His work with the owners, Dan and Amelia Musser also includes four of their personal residences. That's client/designer relationship for the record books!

The guest rooms and public spaces are perfect examples of Mr. Varney's signature use of colors, floral patterns and contrast. 

No two of the guest rooms are alike. 

Entrance to the Grand Ballroom
Joe Braun Photography

A bar with a view...The Cupola Bar 

Just one of the places to dine within the hotel. 

Isn't it all so pretty? 

Friday Love: From the Archives

Photographed by Francois Halard, House and Garden, January 2007

This is an oldie...but a goodie in my opinion. It is of course, actress Chloe Sevigny's New York apartment, decorated with help from David Cafiero. At least it was back in 2007. 

The sofas were great. That mirrored wall, daring for me, yet a perfect solution for a small space.

But what I loved the most was that painting. Oh, how I dream of stumbling upon a painting like that. Or just this one, in particular.  Waaaay out of my league price wise, I'm quite sure, but a gal can dream. 

The article noted it was by P.F. Poole and titled Constance Being Set Adrift.  A young mother, clutching her infant in a row boat, adrift in a vast sea.  Maybe that's why it gets me...the motherly thing and all this craziness in the world. 

Have a peaceful weekend. 

Wednesday's Kitchen

This kitchen looks so perfect and calming this morning. The perfect greige...fresh flowers out. Breakfast all cleaned up.

My life got off to a less than perfect start today. My little one cried from 3 am until 6 am. I almost cried at 7 am when my 4 year old woke me up, ready to get her day started. I managed to throw on a black shirt and just noticed I already have yogurt all over the back left shoulder, go figure. The dog has been out four times and is tracking in mud, courtesy of our temporary spring. is sunny and not terribly cold. The temporary spring isn't a bad thing at all, "smells like summer," as my older girl has been saying. The sun does much for the spirit. And we're going to get out. Perhaps buy some flowers or a new plant to distract mom a little, from life's little distractions.  All is good.  

In Love with Pink...Happy Valentine's Day!

Bold Pink...

Little Girl Pink...
Ruthie Sommers

All Grown Up Pink...
House Beautiful 

Pink Underfoot...

Waking Up to Smell the Roses Pink...

Wouldn't a vase of pink roses bedside be a sweet thing to wake up to on Valentine's Day? 

Designer Crush & Wisconsin Native: Kristen Buckingham

I saw a blurb in the February/March 2011 issue of Elle Decor and was reminded of decorator Kristen Buckingham. She has a store in LA's La Cienega Design Quarter which features her debut line of upholstery, case goods, outdoor furniture and lighting.

I first saw Kristen's work in Elle Decor a few years back, when they featured the Brentwood home she designed for her family. 

Kristen was raised in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, so I'll proudly claim a Wisconsin connection to her.

The stunning living room of her home is familiar to many after the Elle Decor magazine spread and the subsequent coverage.  

Kristen cites that her philosophy is in part influenced by Albert Hadley's "chic suitability." 

I love her style, described by her husband as "traditional and edgy."
I secretly want to be more edgy... I'm taking baby steps.  

Love that she cited that she wanted her own home to feel "human scale," livable and authentic.  

Even her kitchen has the look of a home built in the 1920's with updates, not one from the last decade. Sigh, those floors!  That little alcove back there. 

Anyway....back to her "news"....Kristen's debut line has some beauties...

And can you believe this divine wingback chair is a part of her outdoor line? 
I'll take a pair of each, to start! 

Pretty, Kid-Friendly Dining Room Chairs

I currently have a combo of white slipcovered chairs and Ikea's white Ingolf chair at our dining room table.  The pair of Ikea chairs came into play when I realized my little girls would be wiping their hands (and coloring) on the slipcovers more than even I could keep up with on the washing/bleaching front.  

The look remains classic and clean but still a girl gets to dreaming. Those blue and white bistro style chairs which I love, however, might just have too many crevices! 

I never thought I'd consider a dark brown upholstery like Katie Lee Joel's chairs in her Nate Berkus designed apartment, above, but maybe? And the kids could wipe their hands on the fabric and you... might not know? 

The Novogratz home - featured on Bravo's 9 by Design - had a similar style chair - upholstered in white pleather. Really pretty amazing idea, and with seven kids, they should know! Much more practical than just hoping a dark color "hides" the dirt. 

That table top looks pretty indestructible, too. 

Image via Made by Girl by Jill Slater

For now, I'll keep bleaching and the Magic Eraser is always close by. And in another ten years, maybe we'd be ready for something like this? 

Gwynn Duggan

Who am I kidding? More like twenty years....

Tuesday Blues-day

Image via House Beautiful

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, which by the way, is cold, too cold.  I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about dreamy, beachy blues.

Love the lines of this sofa. The curtains almost blowing lightly in the breeze. The sun shining through those beautiful paned windows in the back room.

I'm there. Padding around barefoot.  My legs are tan. Fresh pedicure.
My girls laughter is floating in from the backyard.

I should make some lemonade for the BBQ tonight.

Hope you are staying warm! 

Friday Love: Ruthie Sommers

Image via Ruthie Sommers  Photo by Grey Crawford

Wish you were here. Spending the weekend poolside. 

Wish I was, too. 

High Gloss Magazine Debut: Wednesday's Kitchen

Photographed by Grey Crawford for High Gloss

Another great new online magazine has launched: High Gloss Magazine.

Loving it, inspiration fills the pages. I've just been reading it over breakfast with my girls.

I loved Tia Zolden's Los Angeles home and that rug in the kitchen has me scheming.  I'm just not sure how practical it would be in my real life.

Regarding her quote on the photo...I don't think anyone would ever doubt my kitchen is lived in!

Careful! Don't trip on that sippy cup!

P.S. Those pendants...they're hot right now, showing up everywhere...the Hicks Pendant by Thomas O'Brien...were just featured on one of my favorite blogs Shelter.