Brunch Design Find

Sometimes I spy something great but I  have to be sneaky about taking pictures of it because sometimes it happens while I’m at a brunch with 20 other people and I don’t really know all of them and have to consider that they might think I’m a little odd for taking pictures of the placemats.

But last weekend I saw these really great placemats:

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The loosely woven rope seemed to hold together without glue. I wished I could have picked them up to figure out how they were made, but people don’t seem to do that in restaurants. Bummer. A Google search once I got home revealed that Sur La Table sells something very similar, so perhaps I won’t have to figure out how to make them myself.

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I love the way they add contrast and interest to the table setting while letting the table’s beautiful sheen show through.

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Sometimes the dishes are really interesting too and you have to be extra sneaky about turning them over to see what they are. It turns out that these are from a British company called Dudson. This is their Evolution line – it’s made for restaurants but also seems to be available on Amazon. I loved the texture of the glaze and the lovely shape of the little creamer.

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I thought the shiny red salt and pepper grinders were also a great colorful addition to all the natural tones on the table. A little color makes a big difference.


I’ll be back soon with more Design Finds – I have so much to share!

Drawers, Drawers, Drawers

Hello! Here’s a fun new creation by my friends over at Concepts Created, who built my beautiful dining table. I have always loved apothecary cabinets with all their wonderful little drawers. This one, built of reclaimed wood with dozens of different knobs is so much fun. This was actually built for a shop that sells knobs, but I think it would be an amazing accent piece in a home.

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Photo Credit: The Green Bureau at Black Dog Salvage, Roanoke, VA


Alexandra and Julia

On a recent visit to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, I spent a long time peering into the windows of Julia Child’s kitchen. (Julia’s kitchen has been moved in its entirety to the museum – down to every last measuring spoon. You can’t walk in, but there are lots of windows to look through into Julia’s world.) I was fascinated – not so much by the kitchen, but by my reaction to it. I loved it. But why? If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s clutter. My ideal kitchen has no wall cabinets, nothing on the countertops – it looks clean and sparkly and open. Julia’s kitchen is the opposite – there is stuff everywhere. To her credit, I wouldn’t call it clutter – there are no piles of mail or dirty dishes. It’s actually pretty well organized, but almost every surface is covered with cooking tools. I can’t begin to imagine what’s inside the cabinets – what should be the contents seem to be everywhere. No space is left untouched – there’s even framed artwork hung on the cabinet doors. So when it was so far from anything I could live with, why did I love it so much?  I do love a retro kitchen – was that it? Upon further reflection, I think it might be because it was an honest space – one that reflects Julia. It is who she is, no apologies. When you see a sleek, shiny, empty kitchen in a magazine, what does it tell you about the owner? Not much. Julia’s kitchen tells you everything about her. Bravo, Julia.

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Insta Real Life

I’ve been following Bungalow on Instagram for a while, and I was so excited when I realized they were in Scottsdale and I was going to be there too. A visit was definitely in order. Bungalow is a lovely (and huge!) shop that sells so many beautiful things for the home and even some clothes. They describe their style as “rustic modernism” – I’d describe it as comfy sexy modern farmhouse glam.  Here are a few of the fun things I saw:


Loved this chair! The combination of the thin brass frame and the fluffy sheepskin made this my favorite item. I really, really want it for my bedroom.

There were other great chairs, too – these had great contrasting fabric backs, turning simple into stunning:



This bookshelf was amazing – part sculpture, part storage:


A basket of cow skulls, just to remind you that you’re in the West:


But even so, a Union Jack looks great anywhere:


And more great pillows:



Loved this large leaf…


And these upholstered benches…



Thanks for introducing us, Instagram!

Bungalow,, Instagram: @bungalowaz



I saw a really fun pair of chairs at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. Rather than pay to have a worn out cane seat redone, make your own with belts! A fresh coat of paint and a colorful mix of belts makes for a great accent chair. This would be wonderful in a dressing room, or you could even make a whole dining set – although I’m guessing that would require some thrift shop stops for extra belts! Now I know what do do with all those seatless old chairs I’ve seen at the flea market.

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These chairs made by Was Paper.

Even Better Than the Real Thing

The things that grow in the desert are amazing. But to be honest, the most wonderful thing I saw at the Desert Botanic Garden in Phoenix was these amazing glass “plants” by artist Dale Chihuly, whose work I adore.

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These are a permanent installation at the garden. Unfortunately, I just missed a major Chihuly exhibition there in which his works were scattered throughout the landscape of the park. I was devastated! Google it – the photos are unreal.

Chair-izona Part 2: Midcentury Heaven

If I ever win the lottery, I am headed straight to Red Modern in Phoenix, Arizona to outfit my dream house with some of their amazingly beautiful and pristine vintage Midcentury furniture finds.

They had some rare pieces like this Saarinen Womb Settee and a pair of Wegner Papa Bear Chairs. I’d never had the chance to sit in either of these before, so that was pretty exciting for a chair nerd like me.




Even the sign outside was fabulous:


As was the staircase inside:


I was like a kid in a candy store – there was so much to see!


I’m still dreaming about these orange chairs. They were beautiful from every angle.



Which is better – the back of this chair – or the front?











What catches your eye? I’d love to know – comment or send me a message on the Contact page!

More Arizona Design Finds to come…stay tuned!




Lunch Finds with PIF

I had a lovely lunch this week with my Partner In Finds and spotted some great lighting at the same time!

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The cobalt blue glass looked amazing against the texture of the reclaimed wood and the varying sizes of the pendants gave it a great funky fun vibe. And of course everything looks better with Edison style filament bulbs – these long ones are wonderful.

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After lunch, we stopped by JT Interiors in Potomac, Maryland and PIF picked up this lovely seat for her garden. She has plans to clean it up and give it new life – I’ll keep you posted on what she does to it.



Chair-izona, Part 1

I spotted some great chairs in Arizona!


I love this funky colorful spin on a traditional classic. Fabric choice really does make all the difference. A little paint and new upholstery can turn any chair into a focal point.

Speaking of paint, check out these great green tractor stools I came across!



I’ve always loved tractor seat stools. They’re usually quite comfortable. Painted this happy green color, these were real showstoppers.