Lake-Side Sleeping

Somerset Bay Northshore Bed

There are some other great items in the Somerset Bay line.  Here's another one of their beds which I've used in the past:

Somerset Bay Catalina Poster

Here's a photo of the same bed in one of my client's houses:

I also like this Somerset Bay coffee table:

Somerset Bay Catskill Coffee Table

And finally, the Bald Head Console Table would be very charming in a funky cabin, don't you think?

Somerset Bay Bald Head Console Table

All Somerset Bay furnishings can be custom ordered through Dragonfly Designs.  For information call (530) 583-6076 or email

Some Cute Stuff

My friend Pam Wilson has a gorgeous house and a real knack for decorating. If you know Tahoe City, you may have met her. She was the original owner of Tippy Canoe. Anyway, I snapped these photos of a couple of pieces in her downstairs basement. A couple of pieces like this will make any cabin sing!
This is such a charming piece from Genessee Rivers Trading Co.  Leave it to Pam to style it perfectly with a Black Forest carved squirrel made into a lamp and a charming log cabin model. 
The piece below is one of my favorites.  I was with her when she bought it at the Round Top Texas Antique Fair.
It's an old wing chair that has been reupholstered in navy flannel woolen with vintage college insignias covering the entire chair.  I just love it.  It's so welcoming and camp.  Again, the perfect cabin chair.
Here's a picture of the basement I think is so charming, with its old Pickwick pine walls and Maine Cottage rattan furniture. 
Pam is staging weddings and parties these days with her sister Jan. Their company is California Vintage Rentals, . They both have the same knack for whimsy and charm.  Jan worked for years searching out antiques and vintage cabin pieces for Camps and Cottages, a wonderful resource for camp style in Southern California.  Here are a few photos of parties they've been staging:
Their style is rustic, simple and whimsical. 
This is just so lovely!
Like everything they do, this place setting, above, is perfectly rustic and perfectly stylish.
Pam and Jan have assembled collections of all kinds of vintage objects and furnishings that would make any event, unique and chic.  They have a large collection of antique hickory, old camp blankets, unusual serving pieces and charming vintage items. 
I'm hoping to use them someday for weddings for my girls.  Fingers crossed!!

Tile, Tile, Tile Part 3

This past summer I had the opportunity to work on an absolutely charming little 40's lake front cabin.  The client and I had so much fun creating all kinds of adorable details throughout the cabin, but the real icing on the cake is the tile in the bathroom and kitchen.

All the tile in these two rooms is from Pratt and Larson and it is hand molded and hand painted.

First the bathroom:

Since the cabin is located at the lake we decided on an underwater scene below and an above ground scene above.

We chose water colors for the lower section on the walls and the decos all feature swimming fish, turtles and frogs.  At the very bottom there are aquatic plants (sorry the photo doesn't show these very well).

Below, a detail of the charming pine trim and picwick pine ceilings we installed throughout this cabin.

Above, you see the water line freeze with the pebble border detail and a delightful soap dish above the vanity.

There are a series of towel hooks featuring woodland creatures.

Above, the toilet paper holder.

Birds and bees fly around the sky area.  The window molding features a flower and bee trim piece.  

And now the kitchen:

Since this is Tahoe, we selected bears as our theme.  We also added a bee hives series and lots of flying bees.  

The bee hive is trimmed with twig shaped tiles.  Right above the counter top you can just make out a series of small pine-cone decos.  Above the bears is a border of mountain animals in green and yellow 2 x 2's.  Trimming out the front of the granite counter-top on the apron is the same bee and flower trim tile used to surround the window in the bathroom. 

The appliances are new retro style in an effort to fit in with the 1940's age of the cabin.

Below, a detail of the kitchen windows shows the beautiful detail on all the border theme pieces.  

Painted Willow

A lot of mountain cabin owners enjoy bent willow furniture.  I see it in many of the cabins I'm in and out of.  We used to have a big old dusty truck that would drive around Lake Tahoe, all summer long, packed to the high heavens with every form of willow furnishings imaginable.  It would pull to the side of the road and folks would buy the stuff right off the truck.
I think willow furniture can be very charming, especially when the cushions are comfortable and carefully attended to, such as in the chaise below:
Chaise from Willows at Home

But I like it even more when willow furniture is painted a bright color like this adorable red willow settee:
Aren't the vine and leaf details on the front boards of the settee winning?  There's something so lovely about the rustic furnishings, flooring and wood trim in this room contrasting with the finished details of the wallpaper, trimmed out curtains and bench cushions and toss pillows.  I love this rustic vs. refined cabin look.

Nothing like a can of red paint in the perfect shade!

Wow--Mimi London Rustic Furniture!

Not everybody has the budget for this, but lucky you if you do!  Mimi London's line of modern rustic mountain furniture is a flat-out knock-out.  The scale is large (perfect for today's mountain great-rooms).  The materials are both plush and rustic.  The lines and colors are sophisticated, contemporary and yet manage to be natural and rugged, too. 

This beautiful chair is stream-lined in shape but heavy, solid and large in scale. I love the mohair seat cushions.  By the way, this chair is very comfortable!

Mimi's Favorite Bar Stool  This may be the best looking mountain bar stool I know of!

This coffee table is the epidemy of modern mountain style.  Sooooo gorgeous but rugged enough to work in the most rustic of mountain lodges. 

Mimi London's pieces work beautifully in rustic environments but are also  stunning in clean contemporary spaces.

Logan Night or Side Table.  Love this!

Cozy meets today's version of mountain Arts and Crafts.  I love that they upholstered this whole sofa in sheep skin.

Don't you just love the contrast of the natural wood slabs with the polished and blackened steel?  I do.

I can just picture Franklin Roosevelt sitting in this chair on a fabulous lodge porch wearing linen slacks, a Panama hat,and, of course, smoking a cigarette.

Locker Room

My husband and I are members at the Squaw Valley Locker Room which we think is not only a convenience but a necessary luxury.  We keep our skis, boots and poles in our locker and it is only a few feet from the Locker Room door to shuffle on over to the Funitel.  Having a locker means we avoid clumping around in uncomfortable boots through a large icy parking lot carrying heavy skis (and skis are heavier these days!)
Lately though, I've seen another version of luxury ski lockers.  These are in private houses.  It makes perfect sense to put ski lockers into a mudroom off the garage entrance.  And, if you've got the space, why not give each family member their own locker?

The locker room in this beautiful house is kitted out with reclaimed lumber and limestone floors.  It's nice to have the built-in bench to sit down and change one's shoes, don't you think?

The grills with drip pans below make perfect sense for stowing snowy winter boots.

Take a closer look at the detailing inside each cubby.  The upper shelf is a safe place to store goggles, gloves and smaller items easily lost.  Hooks on all three walls make it easy to hang coats and sweaters.
This family stores their skis in the garage, but it would be just as easy to have included a taller locker for ski equipment, as in the house below:

I love the way each locker is a different color.  Great rustic bench, too.

Above, these charming hand-painted lockers were installed into the back hallway in a house I worked on some years ago.  There are four of them, two on either side of the hall.
And, below, storage lockers in a tiny lakefront cottage I am currently working on:

And, below a close up of the painted detail:

Tile, Tile, Tile Part 2

This is the second installment in a series chronicling my summer tile adventures.

The photos below are from a brand-new Arts and Crafts style house. It's such a charming little house and as the project progresses I'm really falling in love with all the custom woodwork and one-of-a-kind detailing that is going into it.

I have to say that this is the most enjoyment I have ever seen a client get from tile.  This client collected authentic Arts and Craft decos as well as modern reproductions from many sources.  They are tucked into the tile and flooring throughout the house.  She had a wonderful time tracking down each and every deco tile. After all, the fun is in the hunt, right?

Let's start with the fireplace. This was the first tile we purchased and it set the tone for the house.  We found this tile in an antique mall in Sonoma County.  The 4 x 4 Monterey Pottery tile as well as the decos are all original Arts and Crafts tiles that had never been used before.  We were so excited to find the whole cache that we scooped it right up, though we knew we would be a little shy of the total needed for the fireplace. 

We solved the quantity problem by topping the hearth off in brand new 2 x 2's that we had custom made in colors to match the older tile. 

There is a lot of woodwork in this house and the floor will be wood, too.  I'm really glad we added this colorful fireplace because I find that in houses with wood walls and floors, color tends to disappear making it easy to end up with dark, bland rooms.  As the antiqued wood floors and antique Arts and Crafts furnishings go in (primarily dark stained wood and leather), this tile will tone down and become one of the few color pops in the room. 

By the way, the other bit of color planned for the room will be curtains in this fabulous large-scale Mulberry Flying Ducks fabric.

Isn't it beautiful!  You can buy it here, and it comes with matching wallpaper, here.

Although many authentic antique Arts and Crafts furnishings and fittings will be used in the house, the client did not wish to sacrifice modern function and practicality, so the house is becoming what we like to call an "updated mountain version of Arts and Crafts".  This is especially true in the kitchen where we used modern appliances and granite counter-tops which can easily be wiped clean.

The photo above shows the kitchen tile above the cook-top.  Unfortunately, I don't have a finished photo with the tile grouted.  Here, we mixed modern and old.  The ginko tiles are current but are made from old patterns.  We mixed them with slate, Pratt and Larson 4 x 4's in an Arts and Crafts glaze and a fabulous Art and Craft inspired mosaic from Syzygy Tileworks.

In the master bathroom, we used custom Syzgy tile again in an Arts and Crafts inspired deco panel. 

There is a gorgeous copper sunflower tile featured in the center of this.  The strip of glass up the right side of the back shower wall is also trimmed with Syzygy mosaics.  Here is a close up of the deco panel:

And below, the vanity back splash has just been installed:

Finally, here is a photo of one of the guest baths:

And a detail of one of the flower decos:

This house isn't finished yet.  We are still busy tracking down just the right antique Arts and Crafts furnishings.  Someday when it is finished I'll be sure to publish more photos.