Guest Picks: Hit the Slopes!

When my husband and I met I was a stranger to ski. Five years later, I find myself looking forward to our annual ski trip each winter. Though, that may simply be because I really like heating up fireside, at a cottage, while drinking gallons of warm cocoa. — Rachel from Raenovate


Ski Lodge Recycled Felt Applique by Alexandra Ferguson – $99

Each ski lodge needs this picture pillow.


Fire Drum 2 – $2,800

Warm up alongside Malm’s fire drum after a very long day on the slopes.

Baron Bob

Inflatable Deer Head – $19.95

I’m in love with this PETA-friendly alternate to that quintessential object of ski lodge decor, the deer head.

Keep Calm Prints

Keep Calm and Ski On, Navy – $64.99

This winter, maintain calm and ski on!


Cable Knit Sweater Mug – $20

Layering up is the secret to keeping yourself warm on the mountain — and your cherry warm at the kitchen.

The Land of Nod

Pink Snowflake Felt Garland – $29

Deck the halls of your ski lodge using this colorful, snowy garland.


Love Hot Water Bottle – GBP 14.95

My favourite way to heat up is using a hot water bottle, especially one full of love.

Jayson Home

Silver Glitter Tree, Large – $46

Frost yourself!

The Container Store

Who wouldn’t like a brown paper package tied up with snow?

Garnet Hill

Slalom Flannel Bedding – $34

There’s nothing quite like climbing into a bed composed with toasty flannel sheets, let alone vintage-inspired skier sheets.


Vintage Ski Coat Rack – GBP 119

Made from a pair of vintage skis, this coat rack is perfect for hanging your winter gear in style.

Cozy Faux

Faux-Fur Cozy Chic – $198

What kind of ski lodge is it if there isn’t a bear skin rug or faux-fur blanket for a few post-slopes romance?


Nordic Napkins – $39

Nothing says Nordic such as a hand-embroidered alpine skier cloth napkin.

Sundance Catalog

Snowflake Hooked Runner – $295

Cold floors at the winter is your worst! Keep your tootsies warm with this picture snowflake runner.


Let It Snow Globe Tea Towel – $15.99

If you are unable to reach the hills this winter, then you could always wind up your own snowy scenery with a snow globe or snow-globe-inspired decor.

Garnet Hill

Skier Dinnerware – $48

I am always starving after a day of skiing, and what better way to chow down than using a thematic set of dinnerware?


Snowflake Stocking Hanger – $48

“And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.”

Ironworks Home

Snow Guage – $44.95

Plant this wrought iron snowflake snow judge in your yard, and perform your own powder report.

Magpie and Rye

Fire Starter Bundle – $16

There’s nothing better than lounging fireside after a day on the slopes. Begin your fire efficiently with Magpie and Rye’s beautifully designed apparel.

Schoolhouse Electric

German Incense Smoker – Forester or Skier – $58

Invite this smoking skier incense burner. Handmade in Germany, the skier houses pine-scented incense that billows from the mouth when lit. It is joyous and functional!

Next: Dreaming of a White Christmas

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How to Identify an Antique Dresser by Its Signature

Early wood furniture crafters, much like other artisans, frequently left their signature, also known as a maker’s mark, on completed furniture pieces. These signatures help buyers and buyers identify and authenticate the piece of furniture. The signature on your antique dresser, along with other clues, can potentially help you learn more about its own history and craftsmanship.

Search Your Dresser

Analyze your antique door to look for a mark, stamp or signature. Typically, early craftsmen put a mark on the bottom, the back or inside a drawer. The location and style of the mark can fluctuate depending on whether the antique furniture piece has been created and built by an independent craftsman or someone who worked for a furniture business. You might be searching for a handmade material signature, a carved or engraved mark or even a custom manufacturing stamp.

Gather Documentation

Thorough detective work regarding the mark, signature or stamp on your dresser will call for a physical examination of the mark along with research and maybe the opinion of an appraiser or antique trader. Collect information regarding the signature that would be helpful to a specialist. Take clear photographs of your dresser as well as the signature — electronic if possible. Start looking for a date if you think the piece might have been crafted, and make notes about the mark, especially if it’s not apparent or completely null. As an example, can it be stamped in ink, a paper label, a metallic plate or a carving?

Consult Ethical Resources

Consult sites such as Antique Marks or even Kovels to look for the maker identified on any marks or signatures you found on your antique dresser. Books such as “A Dictionary of Marks: Metalwork, Furniture, Ceramics: The Investigation Handbook for Antique Collectors” by Margaret Macdonald-Taylor can help you learn more about the signature in your piece. Websites such as Collector’s Weekly and Your Antique Furniture Guide also offer helpful periodic updates.

Consider a specialist

Find an appraiser if you wish to have your dresser officially appraised within an antique. The appraiser can examine the signature and provide you a written present value to the dresser, which can be great for insurance purposes. If you choose to consult an appraiser, then you can usually find a specialist by calling or visiting nearby antique stores for referrals. The appraiser will examine the dresser and its own signature; notice its construction, layout, design, material and patina; see if any components have been replaced or solved because manufacture; and provide an estimate as to its age.

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The Way to Work With a Remodeler

Lifestyles evolve over time, and so do our homes. Infants are born; children grow up and leave the nest; aging parents join the household. And even when a home functions just how it needs to, changing design trends and new materials can render older spaces looking somewhat cluttered and dusty.

That’s where a professional remodeler comes from. Read on to find out what a remodeler can do for you and how to get the maximum out of your own experience.

Michael Robert Construction

What a remodeler does: A remodeler is a contractor with a concentration on creating structural alterations to an existing house or building. He or she implements architectural plans and sometimes provides residential design services. Remodelers also perform a number of the same duties as a general contractor, such as hiring and overseeing subcontractors and sourcing materials. Many states have certification requirements for remodelers.

When to hire a single: If you’re planning a significant change or improvement to your house, hire a remodeling contractor to guarantee the integrity of the design and construction, and also to ensure you will meet current building codes. Remodelers are also well versed in cost estimating, legal problems and other nuts and bolts concerns.

What it will cost: Remodelers’ fees take many distinct forms, and costs vary widely depending on the nature of the work and the materials utilized. Although some may agree to a flat fee, others charge a percentage of their total labor and materials costs (typically 10 to 15 percent, but sometimes as large as 25 percent).

It’s worth noting that, as with many facets of home improvement, you get exactly what you pay for — a remodeler who may charge more but has profound expertise and a sterling reputation is usually worth the excess price. Do not hire according to the lowest estimate alone.

Where to locate one: Read the directory of specialists on or listings from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Check to see if there are remodelers’ trade organizations in your area as well. Another professional you’re working with, such as an interior designer, also may have the ability to give you leads.

Should you detect that one of your neighbours is doing work (remodelers frequently place a sign with their name and emblem in the front yard during construction), inquire if they’d recommend the professional they have hired.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

Have a clear idea of what you want. Maybe you’re looking to double the size and change the footprint of an obsolete kitchen, or perhaps you want to convert your attic into a guest suite. Consider the reach of the project you have in mind and generate a ideabook or cull other design resources for inspiration. Do not worry too much about if every detail is achievable; your remodeler will help you brainstorm alternatives if it isn’t.

Interview the candidates in your short listing. Not just should you confirm that they have experience with the kind of project you’ve got in mind, but you’ll also need to be certain that you’ve got a good rapport and communicate well.

Ask detailed questions about job history, professional instruction and affiliations, licensing requirements and insurance, and get the names of a couple references. If lead paint is an issue in your house, you may also should confirm that the remodeler is lead-safe certified under EPA guidelines.

Visit an in-progress job site. Request to fall by a few of the remodeler’s current job sites. This may give you a sneak peek at what your experience may be like. Is the site clean and well preserved, and does function seem to be progressing in an orderly manner? Look closely at the character of the construction and also the attention to detail as well.

Ventana Construction LLC

Be sure you understand the details of the contract. Once you’ve chosen a pro, examine the contract in detail to be certain you won’t encounter any surprises. Besides basics such as contact information for the remodeler and others who are supervising, license number and insurance information, it should incorporate a start-to-finish schedule, a materials list with price breakdowns, payment terms, alter order specifications, patterns or detailed sketches and provisions for conflict resolution. Do not be shy about asking the remodeler to describe any information you find confusing.

Confirm that areas of the house the undertaking will affect. You might be remodeling a single area, however the temporary disturbance could extend to adjoining spaces. Electric wiring and other behind-the-walls systems may be impacted. Ask the remodeler which rooms the work will touch so that you can prepare accordingly.

John Kraemer & Sons

Do your part to produce the remodeler’s job easier. Clear furniture out from affected rooms, be certain the work team has adequate space to park and transport stuff, and also make provisions to maintain pets and children well out of the way. Give the remodeler an idea of your family’s daily schedule and stick to it as closely as possible to minimize disruptions to the workflow.

Make sure you’re easily reachable even when you’re not as onsite. And should you decide to make a shift along the way, try not to haul out the decision-making procedure, which may throw the schedule significantly off schedule.

Do not wait to listen to problems. Few, if any, remodeling projects reach the finish line without a few bumps and snags along the way. Speak up when a problem arises, while it’s substandard work quality, a communication breakdown or a subcontractor who leaves the site in disarray. That way, you and the remodeler can agree on a plan to solve it as soon as possible, before work proceeds too much — and you’ll feel confident that you’ll be completely satisfied when it is time to make the final payment for the occupation.

More: Find a remodeler near you

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Interior Trim: 8 Must-Know Elements

Welcome to the fantastic world of interior trim. From baseboards to casings, from crown moldings to railings, trim is a style element that adds depth, detail and richness to a room. But it has become so common, so omnipresent, that lots of people don’t give it much consideration. We go to the local lumber store or big-box home centre and buy a few feet of”colonial” or”ranch” moldings and then call it a day. That is a shame, as there are so many profiles, sizes, fabrics and much more.

So let us look at some molding and trim elements and see how they are positioned on a wall and also the way they could enliven a room.

dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA

1. Base. Employed where the walls and flooring come together, the base, or baseboard, conceals any gaps between wall and floor finishes in addition to provides protection to the wall end from shifting feet, jostled furniture, etc.. Traditionally it had been composed of three distinct components: a shoe (the little, curved or beveled bit that transforms from baseboard to floor), the baseboard (the tall, flat piece) and the cap (an ornamental piece that sits atop the baseboard). But foundations are now more frequently than not manufactured from a single bit to get a cleaner and more modern aesthetic.

Incidentally, when I was considerably younger, I moved to architectural school in London and worked for a British construction firm. In addition to learning a new language (we all know a”elevator” is an”elevator” and the first floor is the second floor), I heard that the British term for a baseboard is”skirting.” I like that term, especially as a base and a skirt have.

Hanson Fine Building

2. Chair rail. Moving up the wall from the floor, the next bit of trim after the base is the seat rail. Functionally, this trim item protects the walls finish from any furniture that gets put against the wall. Though most commonly installed around 36 inches from the floor, a chair rail could be set up just about at any given height. The key issue is the way the seat railing divides the wall into horizontal layers and getting those proportions right.

Shirley Meisels

3. Wainscot. While the space between the seat rail and baseboard could be finished as the rest of the wall (painted or wallpapered), many times the place is paneled. The options for the wainscot are numerous, such as easy wood panels, beadboard, raised panels and flat wood paneling. And though the end of the wainscoting may match the wood trim, it does not need to. By way of instance, a painted wood baseboard and wainscot of easy, recessed panels functions well with the stained wood window and door trim.

Clay Squared to Infinity

4. Window casing. The conventional way of casing a window (or door) would be to use different side, top and bottom bits. Since each piece is distinct, the trim can be detailed and articulated. For instance, along the top of the windows there may be a horizontal ring that offers a base for a large, flat ring that retains a shaped crown. This really is a semicustom approach, as each bit may be purchased, or milled, and set up separately, getting you the specific profile and appearance you will want.

The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

Using a pleasant, deep sill to put objects on is an edge to casing a window using distinct pieces. And the flat bit below the stool (shelf), called the apron, may be shaped and sized as you like. The feces can be shallow or deep, depending on what you want to put there and you are overall design.

Veranda Estate Homes & Interiors

5. Door casing. Like window casing, door casing is traditionally set up as separate bits. But unlike any window casing, door casing, for obvious reasons, does not have any bottom stool or apron.

Although not entirely a specified, the door casing stems from the exact same family of trim profiles as the window casing. So where there’s a Craftsman-style window trim, you’d expect to observe a Craftsman-style door trim. Sometimes, especially in a design that is complex, changing scale while retaining the profiles exactly the exact same is a way of identifying door and window trim. By way of instance, a big and tall doorway may deserve a bigger and more robust trim than, say, a little specialty window.

Ben Herzog

You could realize you want to treat the sides and top of a cased opening exactly the same. That means you are going to take the identical profile that is used on the sides, or jambs, and run that around the opening. In this instance, a cased opening is created by using the exact same trim on the sides and on the cover of the door. In a window program, a”photo frame” effect is created by using the exact same profile around (top, bottom and sides).

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design

6. Picture rail. Continuing our journey up, closer to the top of the wall you’ll come across the picture rail. This trim piece originally served as a support to hang images on, as plaster walls were not the best and may be easily ruined by all those image hooks wrapped into the wall. Of course, with the arrival of inexpensive pictures hooks that is readily nailed into a wall to support pretty much any size image, the image rail has lost its utilitarian function. Now this bit of trim can be used mostly as a decorative element to split the wall into horizontal layers.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

7. Plate rail. Though not always near the top of a wall, the plate rail serves as a platform to exhibit an assortment of objects. The depth of the plate rail may vary from quite shallow, in many instances where a plate has been displayed, to very heavy when large objects must be displayed. A plate rail’s place on the wall (higher up for heavier railings ) will also determine its depth. By way of instance, bigger objects requiring a heftier rail will demand placing the plate rail higher on the wall therefore that it’s out of their way, even though a thin rail for displaying plates may also serve as a seat rail.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Though plate rails and image rails have lost their working function, a cut line at the top of the window and below the ceiling is a powerful design tool. In addition to making a room more interesting and rich, this trim line may be used to set up that a”datum” from that other elements such as soffits could be organized out of, an approach used by architect Sarah Susanka and many different architects quite effectively.

dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA

8. Crown molding. At the very top of the wall, where ceiling and wall come together, is the crown molding. Just like other trim items, the option of size and profile are almost unlimited.

What’s especially nice about crown molding is its ability to soften the transition between ceiling and wall, between vertical and horizontal plans. So instead of have that sudden sharp corner, crown molding allows the eye simplicity into moving from one to another. It’s a kinder, gentler and more elegant solution to your shift.

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Rosette Blocks Show It's Hip to Be Square

Being married to a carpenter, I have the joy of being immersed in a world of architectural trim. My most recent learning experience came in the form of the rosette block.

Wooden rosette blocks are both practical and stylish. They form a decorative corner window and door casings; functionally they remove the need to calculate complicated miters, typically otherwise required where moldings meet in corners.

Wood rosettes have been showcased on window and door casings because the 1800s and were especially popular in Victorian houses. These days they be may used with many trim styles to create a traditional or transitional feel.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

This historic Highland Park, Illinois, residence features original stained trimwork with rosette blocks.

Union Studio, Architecture & Community Design

Rosette blocks helped Union Studio preserve the architectural integrity of the Jamestown, Rhode Island, residence during its renovation and addition.

The Red Jet

Wood rosettes add ornamental detail to the original wood moldings in this Boston apartment.

Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction

Designed by architect David Adler, this historic Princeton, New Jersey, residence features a bevy of architectural details, such as bull’s-eye rosettes.

Flea Market Sunday

Together with rosette blocks, bull’s-eye plinth blocks are utilized at the edge where the baseboard joins the casing of the doors in this Encinitas, California, waterfront home.

Gast Architects

Rosette blocks are quite common in Victorian houses, like this 1898 San Francisco row house.

Union Studio, Architecture & Community Design

This historic New England home is loaded with architectural details, like a coffered ceiling, an integrated buffet and trim with rosette blocks.

Moore Architects, PC

Crown molding and rosette blocks grace the interior of the 1889 Gothic Victorian residence in Arlington, Virginia.

BR215-T Rosette

Rosette blocks made from solid wood are readily available in many sizes.

More: 11 Must-Know Interior Trim Elements

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An Architect's Calling Cards

Hello. I’m an architect.

I often feel misunderstood. I’m usually cast as the aloof, artistic type, standing at the corner of the room, staring out the window at some distance church steeples. I appear to know complicated and important items. I appear cool and collected on the outside, wearing my perfectly tailored black turtleneck sweater at the middle of July. But on the inside? Well, not so much cool and collected. I can be hard to approach. I can be difficult to talk to. And if you do spend time together with me, I can be impossible to understand. I can be esoteric. I can be obtuse. I’m impatient. I have a problem.

So I’ve started giving calling cards out to people at parties, to break the ice. This way, people will know how to talk to me. These cards would be the equivalent to an architect ID tag. If I’ve drifted off to my ideas and I’m unable (or unwilling) to talk for myself, I can just show you my calling card, and then you’ll know I’m severely allergic to small talk.

And we can just skip it and chat about Prague.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Thank gawd for Ikea.

Pllc, Jody Brown Architecture

Unless it is sexy. Then I wear black.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

[Jody shuffles feet uncomfortably.]

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

OK, this one’s not fair, really. Architecture is one of the few professions that I can think of where you are likely to have a broad knowledge of multiple fields. Architecture is part art, science, engineering, sociology, economics, politics, ecology, engineering, psychology and so on. We can not know everything. We all know just a bit about what, by coaching. This is most likely why I’m anxious talking to you. You believe I know what I’m talking about. However, I do not.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Please , never let an architect pick your dining room seats. They’ll be beautiful but uncomfortable and costly.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Mainly because less requires more time.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

I almost couldn’t create this picture. It hurts my head.

Photographs used to make these graphics are used with permission under creative commons license. Click graphics for links and photo sources.

More by Coffee Using an Architect:
12-Step App for Architecture
A Primer on the Language of Design
Find Your Inner Minimalist
Flash Cards for Architectural Conditions
Find Your Architectural Style
Great Architecture Speaks to Us

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Modern Farmhouse in the Hamptons

As his profile reveals, Jeff Chmielewski is an architect’s son. Growing tired of what he saw because lackluster design in the Bridgehampton community of Long Island, New York, Chmielewski designed and constructed the farmhouse he now shares with his family — all without proper design training. He attributes its success to his decades of exposure to all things , of course, a little bit of assistance from his dad. “I spent drawing and laying out the house,” he states,”faxing my sketches to my dad and getting CAD files back in return.”

Chmielewski is pleased with his home, a farmhouse perched at the peak of a field near Bridgehampton’s Main Street. Built with traditional bones and modern shapes, it is full of things that reflect his discerning taste. “I wished to be quite conscious of the surrounding environment — the Bridgehampton Historical Society is located on the other side of the area that the home sits on. But at precisely the same time, I really like the light and willingness of modern architecture and needed a compromise,” states Chmielewski.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Jeff and Angela Chmielewski and baby Chase
Location: Bridgehampton, New York
Size: 4,800 square feet
That’s Interesting: Chmielewski is writing a novel on home design and building called The 80/20 House.

Chmielewski sited the windows of the primary living spaces on the southern side of the home, allowing plenty of light to heat the space. The passive solar heat made by the southern exposure helps keep the home warm in the chilly winter months. In the summertime, the house stays cool in the shade of trees surrounding the property.

The home is clad in cedar shingles, divided-light windows plus a metal barn roof from homage to Bridgehampton’s potato farming and agrarian roots. Chmielewski picked cable railings to the balconies since they vanish into the shingles when viewed from afar and don’t block the view.

One potted orchid provides the only flora inside the home, which is surrounded by plant. Chmielewski purchased the vintage Scandinavian seat from a brocante shop called Guéridon. “The seat is one of a pair; it does not have any labels or markings, but they’re much like the Falcon Chair from Sigurd Resell,” he states.

Chmielewski retreats to the particular reading corner throughout his downtime. “it is a wonderful place to see a book and revel in the view,” he states. Each window panel includes two separate components; the bottom sections open and allow the breeze to cool the space in the summer months.

Windows: Lincoln Windows

The kitchen’s open floor plan, unadorned windows, and floating cabinets and shelves, in addition to the clean, simple lines of this décor, enlarge the space visually.

“We have guests visit us nearly every weekend,” states Chmielewski. “Our kitchen is open and visible from the dining area, living room and screened porch, therefore no one ever feels left out. From May to November we purchase all of our produce from the regional farmers’ stands.” He and his wife have not ever had a get-together catered. “We all do our own cooking and try to get everyone involved.”

A mirrored wood table using a modern glass top and antique seats occupy the dining room. Chmielewski, a self-professed math geek, made the wood-burning fireplace as a reflection of this gold ratio, widely regarded as the most aesthetically pleasing proportion.

Browse thousands of fireplace designs

“The way the light hits the home through the day, the way the floor plan flows from room to room, and how every room relates to one another — getting these components right will create more of a difference than anything else once you design and construct a home,” states Chmielewski. Wife Angela (previously ) reclines and watches over their baby, Chase, as well as approaches.

Beanbag: Roche Bobois; pumpkin sofa and carpet: Ligne Roset; mounted photograph: Jeff Chmielewski; stools: Eames Walnut Stools

When asked about the crude and clean inside spaces of his home (bedroom and bathroom graphics above), Chmielewski waxes philosophical. “It’s very important to leave unadorned spaces in any new home. We have our whole lives to assemble exquisite things, and you need to leave some areas to add the things you find along the way”

More Tours:
Modern Beach House at the Hamptons
When an Architect Designs for Himself
Bright, Polished Vermont Cabin

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Scandinavian Modern Expanse in Napa

Indra Fortney explains her years in Finland as a love-hate relationship. “The Finnish men and women are extremely kind and well educated, but the weather got to me,” she says. The California native found it hard to survive the long, dark winters that are part and parcel of Scandinavian living. “While I was there we had record lows for snowfall and among the darkest winters in history. We had a nine hours of daylight for the whole month of December this past year.”

As many on the West Coast know, California (and Napa, specifically) is a great spot to be both human and avocado. For the most part, Fortney now loves the Mediterranean weather that Wine Country dwellers appreciate: clean days and sleepless nights, using a relatively short rainy season in the winter.

“I do miss my customers [in Finland],” Fortney says. “From the end of the time there, I had cultivated a thriving architectural and design photography business.”

Inspire Your Own Life Style

Fortney enjoys the Ikat cloth she had custom made for the throw cushions. “Ikat fabrics are stitched on narrow looms,” she says. “It is a labor-intensive procedure. I favor handwoven Ikat fabric because it is free of the chemical additives and pressures of power-loom production, and they’re vastly different in feel and appearance from machine-made fabrics.”

Coffee table: Habitat (Sweden); floor lamp: CB2; armchairs: Classic flea market with initial faux leather upholstery; Buddha statue: Via Diva

Inspire Your Own Life Style

Inspire Your Own Life Style

Fortney’s house showcases original artwork from friends and family, and a few she made herself, such as the artwork above the table. “The photos are a triptych of my girlfriend, Anna, that volunteered to be my own version,” she explains. “I was going to get a vintage’70s Vogue [style].”

Rug: Vegetable-dyed Afghan rug from the Alameda flea market; table: Ikea; white leather chairs: imported from Finland

Inspire Your Own Life Style

Fortney enjoys the fireplace that is contemporary. “No plug, no gasoline socket,” she says. “It only burns with cans of gel. You pop open a can and light the flame.”

Art: Angela Willetts; fireplace: AllModern

Inspire Your Own Life Style

Fortney identifies the layout roots of the guest toilet as clearly Finnish. “This bathroom has the simple, clean appearance that is widespread in Finland,” she explains. “I included touches that give it a more earthy texture: pottery, baskets and an oil painting.” The oil-on-wood art piece is a smaller version of a larger fish painting by Angela Tirrell, awarded to Fortney as a housewarming present for the villa in Greece. The fish, together with a few other bits, today call Napa house.

Sink: Vessel sink by Decolav; artwork: Angela Tirrell

Inspire Your Own Life Style

The buttery cream paint colour was Fortney’s method of infusing the space with a little New England feel. “I do not mind throwing a New England reference into a contemporary, loftlike inside,” she says. “My attention was to maintain a spacious feel, a place where the two art and furnishings can breathe.”

Inspire Your Own Life Style

The master bedroom is still pristine, with a slipcover headboard and a George Nelson pendant on order. But”this article has led to a purchase of a big, beautiful new painting in our bedroom,” says Fortney. The abstract can also be by Angela Tirrell. “I asked her to deliver something over for the photo shoot,” Fortney recalls,”and decided that I couldn’t live without it” The prayer seat against the wall has been obtained from among Fortney’s trips to Nepal.

Inspire Your Own Life Style

The top shelf at Fortney’s home office, from where she asserts her blog, shows a portrait in oil that artist Caitlynn Booth did ; it was part of a larger exhibit of portraits. “The fan is circa 1940s, and the lamp is now, from Target,” says Fortney. The top, bottom-up shade is constructed from the exact same natural woven cloth as the living room colors.

Bamboo shades: Woven Woods Plus

Inspire Your Own Life Style

Fortney, found here with her husband, loves to entertain and says that their favourite spot to hang out at home is with no doubt their built-in bar. “I am always throwing a celebration,” she says. “The previous one was a Mad Men cocktail party. The open floor plan we’ve generated is the ideal arena for small or large groups of individuals.”

Inspire Your Own Life Style

The pair had a steel framework made out of a very long leg section that has been bolted into the wall. “Among my 200-pound employees stood on the bar — that is how powerful it really is,” she says. Fortney’s stepdad, who was able to design race cars for Lotus, came up with the pub layout; lacquer automobile paint was used for the bar end.

Clean, Colorful and Collected at Denmark
Guest Picks: 20 Scandinavian Finds
Regional Modern: Northern California Architecture

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Guest Groups: Chalet Getaway

This month I am embracing winter, dreaming of a romantic escape to a little chalet in the snow-topped mountains — one with a Nordic-inspired inside in wood-warmed white and black tones. Simply add a crackling fire, a hot toddy and snow falling softly out for the ideal winter retreat.
— Lori from automatism


Log Pile Cushion by Roddy & Ginger – $40

Add a magical touch of woodland prettiness using the Log Pile pillow out of Roddy & Ginger. It would be ideal in a comfy chair by the fireside.


Trio of Chalkboard Tablets from Peg and Awl – $60

This is a brilliant item to have available at a chalet or cottage — a pair of chalk tablets. They’re ideal for jotting down boardgame scores, ideas for a poem or even a visiting friend’s recipe for granola. No more scrounging for scraps of newspaper.


2012 Calendar Anek Kitchen Art Print by Anek – $32

If you find yourself losing track of those days as you’re relaxing at your chalet retreat, this fairly art print calendar by Anek will not only keep you on schedule, but also add charm to your kitchen.

Dutch by Design

Karlsson Frosted Wall Clock – GBP 32.50

Add just a little winter style whilst checking out how long the wine was mulling with this elegant wall clock. I really like the bright blue palms against the warm face.

Finnish Design Shop

Alvar Aalto 406 Armchair, Black Linen | Finnish Design Shop – EUR 1,090

A contemporary classic, the 406 Armchair by Alvar Aalto would look fantastic in just a small chalet with a fluffy sheepskin draped over the back for additional warmth. I really like this version, together with the comparison of the black linen webbing against the pale wood.


MId Century Modern Birdhouse by Nathan Danials

I really like the fresh modern shape of this handmade birdhouse — the lovely cedar wood reminds me of conventional Scandinavian saunas, although the matte black painted roof provides an elegant contrast to the warmth of the wood. Only looking at this pretty home is as pleasurable as observing its feathered tenants!

Graham and Green

Orla Kiely Grey Sugar Bowl – GBP 17

This fairly sugar bowl featuring the traditional gray Linear Stem print by Orla Kiely would seem equally as great holding sweets as it would holding jewellery. I really like the comparison of this graphic ceramic bowl with the lid of exotic Freijo wood also.


TWIGGY Modern Coat Hook by StudioLiscious – $32

Sturdy enough to hang the bulkiest down-filled coat , the design of this elegantly simple Twiggy hook comes in the twig perches that StudioLiscious makes for their line of birdhouses and feeders. I really like the feel of this birch plywood base — so fairly.

Snowden Flood

Kew Gardens Scented Candle – GBP 19.50

Add a little love to your cozy cottage with this candle, which will fill the room with a wintry fresh scent of spruce, Scot’s pine and fir trees. You will also admire the warm glow through the pretty pine branch pattern on the glass holder.

Haus Interior

Black / White Rug – $651

This strikingly graphic, hand-printed rug in Haus Interior would look fantastic on a wood floor whilst adding a bit of warmth .


Place of Teak Canisters by Valerie’s Vintage Home – $48

Keep your tea, cookies and crispbreads tucked away in style in this lovely trio of solid teak mid-century canisters. They’re ideal for a tiny kitchen, in which good-looking storage is essential.

Black Sheep White Light

Icelandic Sheepskin Rug – CAD 159

No chalet would be complete without a sheepskin rug to help keep you warm on cold winter nights. This one from Black Sheep White Light conforms to stringent EU environmental directives. It is a terrific way to add texture and warmth to a minimalist cottage.


Lamp CAMP, White – EUR 165

An elegant contemporary take on the camping lantern, the Camp Light is the perfect way to make a warm ambiance in your space. I am able to see this collection on the dining table, casting a soft pool of light over an evening game of Scrabble.

Haus Interior

Alpaca Wool Throw – $167

When the snow begins falling out in earnest, remain snug and warm beneath this lovely, soft wool toss in an elegant black and white test. Add a crackling fire and a good book, and you’re all set.


Vintage Danish Teak Salad Bowl by Bel Modo – $19

The simple lines of this vintage teak salad bowl would seem equally as great holding popcorn, pretzels or balls of yarn.


Danish Modern Vintage Lounge Chair by Rhan – $405

Make an impression in your small chalet with this stunning vintage Danish lounge chair. Gently restored (repainted its first black), it merely needs is a seat cushion to be ready for long evenings lounging with firm.


Modernist Teak Salt & Pepper Shakers by Vintage Modern and More – $15

This charming set of 1970s cherry pepper and salt shakers is sufficient to keep out on the dining room table when there’s no meal being served. I really like them.

Finnish Design Shop

Baby Rocket Stool – EUR 183

I just love the great silhouette of this charming Baby Rocket Stool from Eero Aarnio — it is like sculpture you are able to sit . But besides being handy additional seating, it might be equally as useful as a side table or bedside table.


White Birch Wall Art from Urban+Forest – $100

Add a reference to the forests out of your window with this intriguing white birch wall art, created from reclaimed white birch from Maine. I really like the way that it’s both organic and contemporary.

Finnish Design Shop

Nordic Wool Thermo Cup – EUR 29.90

Give your apres ski treat of hot chocolate a comfy look by viewing it in the playful Nordic Wool Thermo Cup, with a layout inspired by the designs from Nordic knits.

Get the Look: Modern Rustic

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Classic and Elegant at Chicago

Mason Phelps is a passionate real-estate seeker. When he came across that single-family home during his daily real-estate check five decades ago, it was not the ideal time to proceed — but it was an ideal residence. After a couple of days of persuasion, he persuaded his wife Abby to consent to an early transition.

The home was brand new building, so they could choose a number of the inside information and, working together with work with designer Janet Shiff, make it their own. Abby says,”We try to find classic elegance that’s also quite comfortable and inviting.”

at a Glance
Who lives here:
Mason and Abby Phelps
Location: Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
Size: Two-story, single-family home with basement, 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths
Interior designer: Janet Shiff of Blutter Shiff Design

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Mason and Abby decorated the family room space that appears onto a wood-burning fireplace and opens up to a rear porch. Floor to ceiling windows stream a wealth of natural light into the room and an adjoining kitchen. A picture window behind the couch, looks onto an ivy wall.

Homes in Chicago can be tight, but the couple has taken good advantage of the environment by adding extra lighting to the exterior of the home to highlight the ivy-trimmed wall. Memories of the journeys decorate the walls, such as photos from a artist in London and also a map of Napa Valley.

Sectional: Natuzzi
Chair and carpet: Crate & Barrel

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The couple worked with designer Janet Shiff to formalize their dining and living area spaces, merging their style with their designer’s touch.

Dining Room Table: Sun Furniture Design
Dining Room Chairs: Holly Hunt at Edelman Leather
Draperies: Custom design by Blutter Shiff Design Associates
Light Fixture: Dennis & Leen

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Mason and Abby stuck to a neutral palette, and also the dark pillows along with also the arms of the seat pull the wealthy black marble in by the fireplace. The painting above the fireplace creates a focal point and also adds to the rich contrast. The dual layer and gap in the textures in the draperies adds thickness to the space, while allowing for natural lighting to peer .

Couch & Chairs: Donghia Inc..
Rug: Stark
Draperies: Custom design by Blutter Shiff Desgin Associates
Drapery Fabric: Solid – Kravet, Sheer – Roger Arlington

Cynthia Lynn Photography

On the other side of the living space, Shiff pulled in the darkened hardwood flooring using a credenza by Interior Crafts Inc.. Framed wedding photos along with a traditional Tiffany crystal bowl sit atop the credenza, and a painting out of their journeys in Bolivia adorns the wall.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Buffet dining table: Nancy Corzine

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Throughout the dining area you put in the kitchen and living space, the location where the bunch is most at home:”It’s where we spend 90 percent of the time.” Classic elements furnish the kitchenfrom your granite countertops to the stone backsplash. There is an extra table contrary to the kitchen for informal dining and additional table space when entertaining.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

All the appliances in the kitchen are Wolf stainless steel from warm cherry wood cabinets. Maintaining with conventional elements, the couple decided a multicolored natural stone to your kitchen walls. Lighting above the island and recessed lighting above the cabinets warms the space.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The media room only beneath the family room is outfitted with a poker table, arcade-style baseball match along with a dartboard which makes for easy entertaining. The majority of the sports memorabilia”we picked up while at charity auctions as impulse buys,” Abby says.

Chair: Crate & Barrel
Poker Table: Great Escape

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The couple’s master bedroom in the second floor sticks together with the house’s neutral palette, with complementary warm browns and cherry reds. Dark brown drapes pull in the timber flooring, and also a light coloured rug balances the black finishes. A traditional sleigh bed and chaise sofa mirror each other, along with a dresser and matching end tables.

Bed: Thomasville
Chaise Sofa and carpet: Crate & Barrel

Cynthia Lynn Photography

The master bathroom boasts a double shower with a large bathtub. The exterior ivy wall from the family room continues upwards to the second floor, making a fantastic addition to the opinion just outside the bathroom. Being on the second floor, the mirrored picture window opens up to more light than the floor beneath. The ivy is attached to a complete brick wall, so privacy is never an issue. His-and-her sinks remainder on all sides of the space for maximum space, contrary to the bathtub and shower. Traditional stone tile was selected for the bath, with slightly darkened accents trimming the wall.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

A skylight above the island lights the cupboard custom built by Closet Outfitters.

Cynthia Lynn Photography

Modern Bucktown Beauty
A Soothing Retreat in the Heart of Chicago

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