COVET // natural wood kitchens

I've been so attracted to natural wood kitchens lately.  In a sea full of painted kitchen cabinets in every color conceivable, a natural wood kitchen feels like such an unexpected and refreshing departure from the norm.  To be clear, I'm not referring to those dated varnished oak cabinets that we remember from the 80s and 90s. What I'm loving are kitchens that showcase the true beauty of unpainted wood and combine traditional with clean-lined aesthetics, infused with a heavy dose of rustic elements for good measure.  

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The swoon worthy kitchen above is such a gorgeous example of natural wood cabinetry and defines that rustic-meets-modern look to a T.  Major kitchen goals to be sure! 

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The warmth of the walnut wood in this kitchen exudes such a cozy vibe, not to mention how perfectly it pairs with the gorgeous stone countertops and farmhouse sink. 

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Interior designer Antonio Martin's kitchen blends classic vintage appeal with a weathered wood island and beautiful white oak cabinetry.  

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This kitchen is a brilliant combination of rustic country and clean-lined modern.  The integrated cabinetry pulls are a fantastic detail on the natural wood cabinets.  

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This beautifully sleek kitchen by Lil Jencrantz Design is made warm and inviting with the use of the mid-tone wood cabinets. 

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Having an element such as this hood in natural wood finish would be a nice way to incorporate the look without fully committing to all wood cabinetry. 

What do you think? Would you consider having a natural wood kitchen instead of traditionally painted cabinetry? 

 

images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

NEWS // rue daily feature

I'm excited to say that my coastal fresh in the midwest project was recently featured on Rue Magazine's blog, Rue Daily. Hop on over to their site to see the feature and read more about how I worked in tandem with Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home, who designed the client's adjacent family room (it's reaaaal good). 

 

 

See all the photos and read the full story here

photography by Sarah Sweeney Co.

COLOR CRUSH // you're making me blush

I've long had a penchant for blush tones, but lately I've been embracing muted pinks more than ever.  Maybe it's the coming of warmer days on the horizon and the budding blossoms popping up all around.  Or maybe it's just the usual marketing push for all things pastel during these early weeks of Spring.  Either way, dusty pink is having a major moment in my book. 

From faded corals, to muddied pinks with a hint of lavender, to the softest of peachy nudes, I'm loving it all.  Here are a few lovelies on my wish list...(aka, gimme all the pink!)

 

1. ashed wall art  // 2. rebecca atwood woven fabric // 3. heather taylor home tea towels // 4. farrow & ball paint - setting plaster  // 5.  susan connor ny taza cushion // 6. takara earrings // 7. cuyana mini tassel bag // 8. pink marble cheese trays

p. s.  I'm looking forward to making the recipe for that beautiful Lillet Rose Spring cocktail pictured above ;)

xoxo - a. s. 

 

All images via Pinterest

COVET // the autumn edit

If you are like me (and like most people), you have a major love for fall. During this time of year with the cooler temperatures and shorter days, it's natural to gravitate towards warmer colors, cozier textures, and creature comforts at home. But before the twinkly lights go up and the garland comes out, we would be remiss if we didn't first embrace the changing of the seasons, the fall colors, and the tradition of the harvest season. So on that note, I've rounded up some images that are currently inspiring me how to decorate my home this fall. I'm thinking nature-inspired, earthy, and a bit of a rustic modern flair...

While we can't go about completely redecorating our homes on a whim every season, small changes like switching out throw pillows and bedding, adding warmer knit throw blankets, and adorning your tabletops or mantle with seasonal florals can make a significant impact to cozy up the vibe in your space.

::  get the look  ::

Sources: 1. mud cloth pillow // 2. vintage textile pillows // 3. storage basket // 4. wool blanket // 5. sandalwood candle // 6.  smokebush branch // 7. vintage pottery // 8. nakashima straight back chair // 9. icelandic sheepskin throw

Could your home use some sprucing up before the holidays? Don't hesitate to contact me for decorating, styling and accessorizing services! 

images via : 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

PROJECT REVEAL // coastal fresh in the midwest

I'm excited to share this lovely living room that I just wrapped up. You may be surprised to learn that I designed this room via my e-design service (you can learn more about how that works here). Although e-design is super convenient for both the client and designer, and the process goes relativity quickly, the downside to it is that you rarely ever get to see your design come to fruition in real life.  Since my client happens to live in my hometown of Kansas City, I thought why not combine a visit home with a little styling and photoshoot of this space?! Luckily, my awesome client was totally game and allowed me to come invade her home for a day.  

Just two journal posts back, you can see the concept board for this room, and as you can tell, it really did come together just like the original design plan! My client's inspiration rooms were bright, California classic, with even a bit of coastal influence. I wanted to be careful not to go too far into "beachy" territory, and make sure it was appropriate for her traditional style home in the Midwest. I love how fresh and modern the end result feels. 

My client did such a good job following the furnishing design plan, that all I needed to do was bring in accessories, do a little mantle and coffee table styling, and the room went from good to great. Eventually, a set of triptych artwork will go on the wall behind the sofa, and sconces will be added to the walls to create another layer of beauty and interest in the room. 

Huge thanks to my amazing client for trusting me to design the space and inviting me into her home! If you have a design project near or far, don't hesitate to reach out, I'd love to hear from you! 

- a. s. 

photography by Sarah Sweeney Co.

JOURNAL // legends 2016 + my LA guide

I had a great time attending the Legends design conference at La Cienega Design Quarter in Los Angeles earlier this month. This event gives interior designers and architects the opportunity to attend a variety of informative discussions that are moderated and paneled by the industry's leading professionals. As a bonus, the talks are hosted at noteworthy showrooms and shops throughout the design quarter where inspiration abounds.

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One of the highlights for me was a  keynote discussion titled, "Collected: Living with the Things You Love in a Well Curated Home," which was moderated by Nate Berkus. As someone who loves incorporating vintage pieces and believes in making careful selections for the home, the discussion amongst the incredible designers really resonated with me, and I felt very inspired by their wisdom and candor. Such a great experience!

I traveled with my awesome sister and interior designer, Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home - we had such a fun time checking out West Hollywood and Venice Beach, and packed in as much as we could in the few days we were there. Here are just a few snippets of the trip...

I already can't wait to go back! And for all of you fellow design lovers out there, I complied a mini guide of my very favorite spots we visited during our trip:

++ A.S.D. Guide to Los Angeles ++ 

Stay: Palihotel - Melrose / The Charlie Hotel

Eat/Drink: Palihouse West Hollywood / Fig & OliveMelrose Umbrella Co. / The Butcher's Daughter - Venice / Gjusta - Venice

Shop:  Nickey Kehoe / Hollywood at Home / Nathan Turner Consort Design / Le Labo - West HollywoodCuyana - Venice

See: Lee Stanton Antiques / Natural CuriositiesHarbinger / Lawson Fenning / Cisco Brothers / Cote Jardin Antiques / Rooftop terrace at Restoration Hardware - go to lounge and enjoy the view 

  

- a. s. 

first image used with permission by JL Photographers

all other images by Amanda Steiner - be sure to follow me on instagram if you aren't already! 

COLOR CRUSH // moody blues

 

It’s official.  I’m obsessed.  For the past several months, I’ve been drawn to anything and everything in deep and saturated blue-green hues.  I love complex colors - the ones that you can't really define and that are ever changing with the light and their surroundings. 

 

Farrow & Ball recently introduced Inchyra Blue (directly above, left) and it looks amazing.  I’m excited to try it as I've been dying to get a deep blue-green shade like it into a client’s home.  I’ve been a longtime fan of Farrow & Ball paints, having sold them and used them throughout my own home.  Renowned for their highly-pigmented, clay-based paints which are made in Dorset, England, their colors and wallpapers are often sought after by designers and interior enthusiasts.

Here’s a few other paint options that would be great to consider if you too, like me have fallen hard for this color: 

I'd love to hear if you've used any of these colors and what you think of them! 

- a. s. 

 

All images via Pinterest

 

JOURNAL // a modern + country kitchen

I recently helped a client with a kitchen renovation, and to my delight, she was seeking a modern farmhouse feel, or a style that I often refer to as "modern country."  I'm seeing this look more and more these days, and I must say, it really is one of my favorite styles.  It's classic, not overly formal, often features simple Shaker style cabinets, neutral colors, and a mix of farmhouse industrial and modern elements. With roots in British, Scandinavian, and American country interiors, this style has long been prevalent in Northeastern country homes, yet feels just as good in Midwest and West Coast abodes. 

What I love about a modern + country kitchen, is that besides feeling comfy, homey, and looking like a kitchen that one actually cooks in, there is also a bit of an edge to it. I think the magic lies in the juxtapostion of rustic and chic materials and the "undone" feeling of it. When I see these spaces, I imagine that someone terribly interesting yet down to Earth must live there! 

Below is the look that I put together for my client, along with a few extra embellishments that I couldn't resist adding:

Now,  the only problem is that I wish this were my own kitchen! For more of the modern country vibe, follow along with me on Pinterest and check out the kitchen and modern + country boards, they are full of inspiration. 

 

images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 

MUSINGS // hunt for the perfect table

I've been on a long hunt for a new dining room table, since the vintage pedestal table we currently have is a bit too small for the space. My husband and I moved into our home in Portland almost two years ago, and I've been putting off finding a table that better suits the room for long enough. Lately, I've been searching around for inspiration and options, since for some reason the perfect table seems to be eluding me. Or maybe it's just that I'm terribly picky! 

So far, I've narrowed it down to these options: 

I've been eyeing the farm table by Nickey Kehoe for a while...it is seriously stunning in every way and perfect in scale, but I don't know if I can handle the price. Gulp!

I love the base of the Tretean table by Bobo Intriguing Objects, and the dark finish would add some drama and visual weight to the room. On the other hand, while the length is perfect for me, it may be a bit narrow, and I wonder how the reclaimed rubber top will hold up? 

This streamlined beauty from O&G Studio has a lot of the qualities I'm looking for - simple, classic and unfussy. The fact that it's customizable in size and wood finish, and that it's made in the USA by talented craftspeople, make it even more appealing to me. 

However, I keep going back to the idea of a more rustic version, such as this antique French farmhouse table. One of the nice things about older tables with beautiful patina and wear, is that they immediately add warmth to a room and you won't stress as much about scratches, spills, etcetera.

Alas, decisions can be tough, friends. Wish me luck!  

- a. s. 

images via: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 

ENTERTAIN // lush autumn tablescape

The holidays are just around the corner, and what better way to get ready to host Thanksgiving than to create a beautiful centerpiece for your dining table. This year, I tried something other than the traditional floral arrangement and decided to build a live centerpiece. Not only was this incredibly easy to make, but the plants will last for months and can later be repotted in an outdoor container or the garden.

I went with a dark and moody color palate inspired by the colors of fall and the verdant Pacific Northwest forests.  First, I selected a mix of autumn ferns, dusty miller, chocolate loosestrife, cinnamon curl huerchera, and creamy white pansies at my local nursery.  I planted them compactly in a low decorative bowl and covered the exposed soil with moss. It was a super fun and easy project that makes a big statement and I love how it turned out!

For special occasions, I like to set the table with a mix of elegant and simple or rustic items. Here, I used lovely Frances Palmer dinner bowls, earthy woven chargers, contrast stitch linen napkins, clean lined glassware, and my favorite vintage Laguiole cutting knives. Baby white pumpkins made the table a bit more autumnal, but not required! :) This setting would be perfect for your Thanksgiving table, or a cozy fall meal.   

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Happy entertaining season, friends! 

- a. s. 

Shopping guide: woven chargers // dinner bowls // knives // wine glasses (similar to shown) //  drinking glasses // linen napkins 

JOURNAL // what i covet...

I recently had the very cool opportunity to participate in Coveted Home's "What They Covet" series on their journal. Every month, Coveted Home invites a guest blogger, designer, or tastemaker to share a room that they find inspiring and curate a selection of goods that embodies the style and mood of the room. Sounds like fun, right?! (Read more on Coveted Home below)

I chose the sunroom of a 1920s Portland Tudor, designed by the ever talented Jessica Helgerson and her team. Head over to Coveted Home's journal to see how this inspires me and check out my style round up for the room! And while you are here, feast your eyes on this drop dead gorgeous home...

So good, right? 

- a. s. 

 

More about Coveted Home:  Coveted Home is a home furnishings + lifestyle shop located in Kansas City, Missouri. They are seriously nailing it these days with their awesome selection of goods and stellar design work. Lucky for us, they have an online store chocked full of goodies, and ship anywhere. It also happens to be owned and operated by my sister and designer, Jaclyn Joslin! I began my career in interior design working alongside Jaclyn at her first store, Urban Dwellings Design back in 2008. A few years later, we underwent a rebranding and a new location, and through this evolution, I became the Creative Director of buying and merchandising for Coveted Home. I owe much of my design experience and knowledge to the years I spent working in this atmosphere, and so it is without reservation that I shamelessly plug them :) For a daily dose of design awesomeness, follow them on instagram, facebook, and pinterest! You'll thank me later. 

 

 images via Lonny &  Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

photography by Lincoln Barbour

JOURNAL // now offering e-design!

I'm excited to announce that I've created an e-design program so that I can offer design services for smaller scale projects, and to clients that don't live in the Portland area. This is a truly affordable option to receive a custom room plan and designer recommendations. 

                                                   example of an e-design story board

Keep in mind that there are many benefits of working directly with an interior designer, and not every project can be done through e-design. For example, interior designers are able to guide you through the often overwhelming process of furnishing, decorating, remodeling, or building a home. We offer very personalized service, access to trade only products, custom furniture and finish options, custom window treatments, project management, and much more.

However, many people fall into the category of not wanting or needing full service interior design. Maybe they only need help decorating a room through furniture, accessories, and color - or they have an idea of what they want, but they don't know how to pull it all together. This is where e-design comes in! The ideal candidate for e-design is someone who enjoys a collaborative process, and is able to implement the design plan on their own. 

Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to learn more about the process and rates or if you want to get started! 

- a. s. 

AUTUMN // happy fall + a recipe

Fall could very well be my favorite season of the year. The nip in the air, the softer light and fading colors, and the inevitable changing of the seasons somehow brings a nostalgic comfort that's hard to explain. The cooler weather draws people indoors for more intimate gatherings, cozy evenings at home, and savory recipes. 

Today, I'm sharing a delicious recipe for Chanterelle Mushroom & Pear Bruschetta. Golden chanterelles grow wild here in the Pacific Northwest, and many people go mushroom hunting this time of year for these beautiful delicacies. However, if chanterelles are not available where you live, button or portabello could easily be substituted. My good friend recently made this appetizer with chanterelles that she found earlier that day. It was such a treat!

Chanterelle & Pear Bruschetta with Leeks and Goat Cheese

ingredients:

4 cups thinly sliced chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned & dried

2 thinly sliced leeks, white parts only

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 ripe pear thinly sliced - bosque or d'anjou

1 small package of plain goat cheese

1 cup chopped italian flat leaf parsley

1 sprig of thyme (optional)

1 crusty baguette

2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons butter (or ghee) 

salt & pepper

To prepare:  Slice the baguette in 1/2 inch slices and place on a baking sheet, then set aside. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Sautee the leeks for 2-3 minutes with the olive oil and butter on medium heat, then add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften. Season generously with salt and pepper, then add the white wine and thyme and let simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring frequently. Add the pear slices for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm. 

Toast the sliced baguette in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until golden. In the meantime, crumble the goat cheese and chop the parsley. Once the baguette slices are ready, assemble the bruschetta by topping with the mushroom-pear mixture and a sprinke of goat cheese and parsley. Enjoy!

Recipe by Leah Cox