COUNTRY MOUSE

The weather has gotten chillier which has only upped the ante on my desire for a cozy spot to hibernate. I’ve always thought if we had the opportunity to buy a little retreat I would want it to be by the water, but lately I’ve been thinking being a country mouse certainly has its own appeal.

This weekend I was browsing Rita Konig’s beautiful new website and was thrilled to find some new-to-me photos of Deborah Needlman’s country house in upstate New York. If my inner country mouse needed any persuading this gorgeous spot all but sealed the deal.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

I think what’s most appealing about the idea of a country house is the opportunity to go in an entirely different design direction than what feels appropriate in our city apartment. I would love to furnish an entire home with antique and flea market finds.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

Of course, I wouldn’t be able to resist adding in some of my favorite textiles here and there. I’m imagining a lot of Colefax & FowlerCarolina Irving, and Kathryn Ireland–linens in subdued hues that are a departure from the saturated colors and patterns I generally gravitate towards.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

With touches of Rita Konig’s signature design insouciance the home is feels inviting rather than stuffy. The patina of antiques add warmth and the unpretentious arrangements of pieces let you know you can sit and stay awhile.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

The brass articulating sconces feel very of the moment even though these photos are years old–I’ve had this bathroom image saved forever and somehow never connected the dots that it was part of Needleman’s country house.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

I just love an inset niche in a shower.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

If we ever buy an older home, painted floors are happening in some capacity–I’ll be saving this photo for reference. The white with wood feels like less of a commitment than some of the other examples I’ve seen over the years.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

I’ve written about Marianna Kennedy’s lamps before and this red one with its purple shade is the perfect foil against the chocolate toile wallpaper.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

It might be counterintuitive, but I find a sloped ceiling in a small room to be the perfect opportunity for wallpaper to create an enveloping cozy space.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

This desk scene is another longtime favorite from my inspiration files. The combination of the black walls, bamboo matchstick blinds, tortoise frame, and French desk with bentwood desk chair is a primer in the art of the mix. If you have to bring your laptop to the country, this is the place to do work.

Deborah Needleman Country House | Rita Konig

Then, when you’re done, why not head out to the cutting garden and do some informal arranging in your soapstone sink? I know, it’s perfect.

Deborah Needleman's Country House| Rita Konig

Set your new arrangement out on the patio and enjoy dinner al fresco!

Anyone else ready to completely forgo city life and become a country mouse? At the very least it’s given me a goal to work towards–especially since we’ve been hearing such great things about the mountains in North Carolina.

We’re hoping to get an Asheville weekend on the books and I’d love your recommendations if you have any!

CHEERS TO 2016

the-pursuit-of-style-CAM-Raleigh

Before we usher in 2016, I wanted to take a moment to remember the highlights of 2015 because it’s felt like a big one for me. I love having these posts as mini time capsules to remind myself of just how far I’ve come–especially when it feels like there’s still so far to go.

In my New Year’s post last year I wrote that 2014 had been “a building year for me; laying the foundation for the goals I hope to bring to fruition over the next year.” I know well enough that the “building” will never be done, but I like to think I laid a solid foundation this year and have undoubtedly made some big changes.

We started off the New Year still coming off the high of our October wedding. After working for others while juggling client work I decided in February it was time to bet on myself. I opened the doors to my own business and was thrilled to have one of my first projects featured on Domaine.

In April I took you behind the scenes of a project from start to finish in the One Room Challenge (which got a nod on the House Beautiful blog!) I attended High Point Market for the first time as a business owner and visited the Traditional Home/Junior League of High Point showhouse (recapped here and here), which is still one of the best I’ve seen. So much talent!

Summer brought family time on Cape Cod, preparations for a client’s backyard soiree, a trip to LA, and geeking out at my design idol’s store. We can’t wait to get back to the West Cost for a wedding this June.

Summer came to a close with some big news–we were moving to Raleigh! We scrambled to find an apartment over Labor Day weekend and by October 1st we were in our new home.

Seven days later we were in South Africa for what I know will be one of the most memorable trips of our lifetime–full recap (finally) to come. The day before our departure, Domino featured a favorite project which was the perfect send off to vacation

After returning from our trip, it was time to acclimate to life in Raleigh. We’ve felt so welcomed and enjoyed showing my family our new city over Thanksgiving. I travelled back to DC monthly for client projects I can’t wait to share, and have been thrilled to take on new clients in Raleigh (my heart explodes for this nursery!)

Of course the year wasn’t without its lows, losing my grandmother in October chief among them, and on a much lesser note, losing most of our security deposit on our old place thanks to a leaky fiddle leaf fig tree planter (so ridiculous I can only laugh!)

Overall, 2015 felt like the year things finally started to fall into place–especially when I remember this post from just a few years ago. I have big dreams for 2016 and wish you all health, happiness, and prosperity!

FOR THE RELUCTANT RESOLUTION MAKER

New Years 2016

Nightshirt | Cookbook | Water Bottle | Planner

Despite my best intentions the gift guides I had planned on sharing just didn’t get past my secret Pinterest boards this year. This is probably for the best because the internet might have exploded if ‘publish’ had been hit on one more gift guide in 2015.

Lest those secret Pinterest boards die in vain, there were a few gems worth revisiting that I realized were all too perfect for the resolution writing season. My personal favorite for the reluctant resolutioner (or pun enthusiast which I unabashedly am!): this shop. So many funnies – can they make this one for men?

If health goals are on your list this year, the I Hate Kale Cookbook sounds like a winner. I’m gearing up for another Whole 30 and plan to pick up a copy. Drinking more water is also perpetually on my list of goals, and after losing my BKR at the pool this summer it’s time for a replacement.

Not so fun fact: if there are multiple color options available of anything I will inevitably spend 20 minutes trying to decide on the perfect one. I’m thinking Mer looks hydrating. Lastly, there’s nothing as satisfying to me as a brand new planner. I might be a dinosaur, but I’ll always go with hard copy over digital.

 Are you writing resolutions for 2016?

BITS & PIECES

Lindsay Speace Interior Design | Holiday Cards

Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if after all these years weeks you’d like to meet… Okay, enough Adele (but can there ever be enough Adele? Evidently not.)
Happy holiday week!

Can you believe Christmas is just four days away? I’m in disbelief. Thankfully my last year self remembered that I feel this way every year and set a calendar alert for Halloween reminding me to start thinking about gifts.

Smartest thing I’ve ever done. Instead of coming up with a cute idea December 1st and having zero time to execute, I was able to order some fun custom pieces like the matchbooks I sent with my favorite candle as a little thank you to clients this year.

Safe travels this week and if you’re battling crowds at the mall for those last minute gifts may the force be with you! 😉

#HOUSEGOALS

Let’s finish the week strong with some serious, undeniably envy inducing #housegoals. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve clicked through the Vogue slideshow of Caroline Sieber and Fritz von Westenholz’s London home. I’ll also cop to buying not one, but two hard copies for posterity.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

Where to begin – obviously with the custom colored Zuber wallpaper in the living room. I actually saw a photo of this room years ago floating around Pinterest and tracked it down to Caroline Sieber’s Insta (so worth following) so to say I was excited to see the entire home would be a massive understatement.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

I laughed out loud on my first scroll through of the feature when I saw this photo because it is exactly the beaming with contentment face I’d be making in this room.

The fab feathered skirt is just the icing on the cake, but come on, would you expect anything less from the stylist responsible for taking Emma Watson from Hermione to ingenue?

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

Other areas of note: the library-cum-dining room with its lacquered blue shelves and the most perfect use of Braquenié’s tree of life fabric as a Roman shade that I can promise you I will “borrow” at some point in the future.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

And Caroline’s dressing room – I’m dying to know what shade of pink that is and also loving the Madeline Castaing fabric (one of my design idols!) on the shade.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

The kitchen which opens out into the garden is straight out of a Nancy Meyer’s set. The floor to ceiling cabinetry–“stocked with porcelain by Herend” Vogue notes 😉 –coolie shade pendants (perhaps another nod to Castaing who loved a coolie shade), and rush seat chairs (these are kind of similar, but the lines are not quite as graceful) at the breakfast table are personal favorites.

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

I have to admit, at first I thought I hated the master bath, which is modeled after the Duke of Windsor’s in Paris, but strangely it’s growing on me. You have to admire someone who dares to be different, and Carrara and subway tile this is not!

I’ll end on a quote from Caroline that resonated with me: “I had a very strong idea of what I wanted, and I wasn’t that worried about making mistakes, because this is for us, you know? So we went for crazy colors and lots of patterns.”

In decorating, ‘you do you’ is kind of the ultimate motto.