Sunday, August 15, 2010

What a Summer House means to me

I grew up spending summers on Lake Charlevoix in Michigan. I loved everything about being there - catching tadpoles, reading bedraggled Archie comic books, riding bikes to the Dairy Queen. I and a gaggle of cousins (and siblings of course) were so carefree, and without a television, we entertained each other.

That house inspired my design aesthetic. The feeling of summer - casual, comfortable, safe and breezy. Unfortunately we don't go out to Michigan that much anymore. It's an expensive trip by plane, and a lengthy one by car with a 3 year old who hates traveling. Oh that it were closer...

This is the coveted bedroom in Charlevoix... chenille bedspreads and diamond panes. One of my favorite dealers at Brimfield is a great source for pairs of bedspreads.

And of course beadboard everywhere. The ceiling, the walls... in Charlevoix it's just varnished and everything is warm and cozy. Even in the summer we light the fire in this gorgeous fieldstone fireplace and wait for the cuckoo clock to chirp and let us know it's time to do... anything.

This summer we spent 3 weeks in Little Compton, Rhode Island with my in-laws in two different houses. It has a similar feel to that spot in Michigan - big, shingled houses with comfortable wicker and beadboard. And a huge plus - the breathtaking ocean and its salty, sticky breeze. I wish I could live here all year. We stayed in two different houses this year... the one above on Warren's Point and the one below at Round Pond. While the Warren's Point house was gorgeous from the outside and had a beautiful view of the ocean, this sweet Round Pond cottage was at the end of a private lane and was lovingly decorated with all things summer.

So what did I love about the house here?

The driftwood framed nautical map... the Little Compton trophy and sweet vintage wooden boats.

The gorgeous teal painted floors and tongue and groove paneled walls...

Open shelving for ironstone, old and new...

A collection of heart-shaped rocks...

The antique decoupaged dresser and ubiquitous fans (although the ocean breeze means we didn't need them much)...

If you're interested in renting a house in Little Compton, ask for Lisa at Little Compton Real Estate - she's amazing. And hopefully we'll be back next summer for longer!

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Project

I've been so busy with my latest project that I haven't been posting. Not that I was posting much even before that... but I love to be busy and there it is. However I would like to share this home with you and the owners, L and B, have graciously agreed to let me document this gut renovation.

I feel very fortunate that my own architect, Jeff Yates, recommended me for this project. He is the rare architect (and I come from a family of them so I know...) who is completely devoid of a strong ego. He is not only a wonderful designer, with a lovely, flowing sense of space, but he's open to ideas. Anyway, he saw my passion for this work on my own house, my experience from Pottery Barn... and voila! A new chapter in my design career.

This house is a total gut renovation. It's a charming, cottage-y Dutch Colonial with a gambrel roof that was built in the 1920s here in Concord, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, previous owners had a few too many wine coolers in the 80s and built this entryway and family room on the back.

Need I say more?

Stay tuned for gorgeous inspiration photos... even though the house isn't huge we're touching almost every room. Five bathrooms, kitchen, entryways, dining room... it's going to be amazing! We're almost done with demo and framing, so we're kicking into high gear.

And stay tuned for an update to my website... a new career is an excuse for a new look!