Friday, June 27, 2008

watson kennedy

Image from

I had some time to kill in Seattle yesterday, and so went to my favorite store in the city: Watson Kennedy Fine Living on First Ave. It is nothing short of beautiful, tangible, and inspiring. So many wonderful delights for the eyes and senses, that I almost get overwhelmed. French candles and lotions, rustic antiques and flashcards, elegant apothecary jars and pretty colored glassware.

The owner, Ted Kennedy Watson's, flair for display is enviable, and encourages the impulse to purchase the entire contents of a vignette, so you can recreate it on your entry table at home. Each time I am in this store, I am transfixed by the French music and study each display of fine goods from top to bottom, mesmerized by the creative and layered simplicity.

Coincidentally, while on vacation in Door County, WI last week, I picked up a tattered copy of Country Living's September 2007 issue from the communal magazine stack at the laundry mat. There he was, Ted Kennedy Watson, and a feature on his home in Seattle. I had forgotten about this profile, and I devoured the article. I had to curtail my instinct to snatch the issue and stash it in my neatly folded pile of clean clothes. Plus, I thought that maybe I had saved the issue, since I subscribe to the magazine. Back at home, no such luck. How could I have discarded such a valuable and delicious nugget of design inspiration? I was most likely in a "binge cleaning" mode, and threw it in the recycling pile without even glancing inside. Good thing I can order the back issue on Country Living's website.

I was able to briefly relive the article on, while awaiting the arrival of my own copy. Here are some images (photos by John Granen) from the Country Living, September 2007 profile:

Watson Kennedy actually has three locations: one near Pike Place Market, a second on First Avenue, and a third in Bellevue. Visit their site for further info on each store. Take the time to pop in someday. You will leave with a sense of renewed creativity to apply in some small, but meaningful way at home.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

bainbridge rotary sale

Do not forget to go this weekend to the Bainbridge Island Rotary rummage sale! On Friday night (the 27th)from 4pm-7pm, you can preview rummage sale items on site at Woodward Middle School, as well as take part in the Silent Auction. At 7pm, the live auction begins, and runs until 9pm. Admission for this event is $1, which also enters you in a raffle to win $500 in groceries from the local favorite, Town and Country Market.

Personally, I would rather not know what is for sale, so that come Saturday morning, I won't be disappointed when something I had my heart set on gets sold from underneath me. In the past, I have always arrived mid-day and snatched up the leftovers from the morning craze at real bargain prices. At that point, the volunteers just want the stuff sold!

This year however, I intend on arriving before the sale opens at 8am, just to see the mad dashes for sweet deals, and hopefully get in on a few myself. Sales like these make people do funny things. FYI, the furniture, big appliances, and other large items are outside, scattered throughout the parking lot. Accessories, clothing, small appliances, toys, books and art work are in classrooms inside the school. There is also food available to purchase in the cafeteria. Just so you know, there is no cost for admission, and the sale runs until 2pm Saturday afternoon.

Go to the BI Rotary's website for all of the details, including information regarding driving directions, as well as parking and park and ride locations. Good luck, and see you at the sale!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

painted wood floors

Before my husband and I moved into our house two years ago, we took on our first home improvement project: refinishing the hardwood floors. It was a doozie. Of course, being new to the romantic idea of renovating, we did not yet understand that there was truth in the old adage: "It will always take more time and more money than you plan for." In three days, we (along with our gung-ho friend Matt) accomplished amazing results. We learned about how involved the process of refinishing floors is, and came to understand the value of having someone else do it for you.

Here is a before and after of our cozy bedroom floors:

During those three days we sanded and refinished four rooms on our house: three small bedrooms and the living room. As the kitchen's hardwood floor is hidden under at least three layers of linoleum and vinyl tile (some containing asbestos),we figured we would just have to save that project for another time.

The dining room however, presented a question. The previous owners had seemingly done a good job in refinishing the oak flooring and staining it a dark brown. It looked okay. At the time, we didn't think we could or necessarily should have spent the extra time to strip the floor and start over. Well, everything seems crystal clear in retrospect... It was not too long after we had everything in the house, that we realized the dining room floor had never been sealed with polyurethane. Over the last two years the finish has begun to flake off, wear down, and as it is not sealed, stains stick to it and don't wash off. I guess we should have taken the sander to it and restored the floor just as we did the other rooms.

Its too late now. Bringing in an industrial sander would be a huge project, as we would need to remove all of the furnishings at the back end of the house. I remember all to well how long it took to rid the entire house of sawdust. So here is my thought... paint it.

My mom always had painted wood floors in the upstairs of our house. My sister's bedroom floor was even pink at one point. If we decide to paint the dining room floor, I think it could be accomplished in one weekend. At this point, I am not sure if we will actually do it, as Chris still needs some convincing. Here are a few photos I found inspiring on

What do you think about painting hardwood floors? Should I do it to my dining room? Tell me your ideas!

Monday, June 23, 2008

decorating in small doses

Interiors by Leslie Klotz. Photo by Laura Resen.

If you have a chance, you NEED to get yourself a copy of July's House Beautiful. Several very gorgeous, but small homes are featured, some great treasures are highlighted, and you'll find tons of fantastic advice on decorating small living spaces. Here are some of the highlights, from fabulous designers:

"People think that they need to use small furniture and light colors to make a small room look big, but that's not at all the case. Dark colors and just a few pieces of large-scale furniture, with the appropriate lighting and accessories, can give a room a larger, more luxurious feel." Mona Hajj.

"Gather a fabulous, motley collection of mirrors- antique, new, vintage, French, Italian. Starting with one large mirror in the center, arrange a grouping on one wall. It's the one instance where more is more." Stephen Shubel.

"Go ahead, use a massive four-poster bed in a tiny bedroom. As long as there's room for an end table, it actually makes the room look bigger." Marshall Watson.

Get more small space decorating ideas by clicking here.

Some of the featured accessories I loved:

These indigo dyed pillows by John Robshaw.

CB2's handy and modern Formosa tray table.

There is so much more, you should just go out and get the issue. This is the type of issue, with so much wonderful content, I have to save it in its entirety.

Living room design by Ken Fulk. Photo by Victoria Pearson.