Friday, September 28, 2012

Nature's Colorful Gifts

My friend Jeanne wrote a charming blog post last week about dahlias. She thinks that dahlias are like the sunset of summer and the sunrise of fall. I love that thought! I also love the dahlia garden at Volunteer Park in Seattle. So I took my camera and captured some of the amazing and unique dahlia blooms to share with you. Won't you join me for a little walk through the dahlias? If you look closely at the picture above you will see that it is called "Sunset"... and also notice the bee hard at work!

The colors of nature are such a gift! Isn't every bloom just beautiful and unique? Do you have a favorite?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Welcome Fall!

I'm not one to decorate my home seasonally, although I do admire people who do it tastefully. But I do love to change the wreath on my front door when the season changes. It's a great (and easy) way to welcome the new season and guests to our home. So to ring in the first day of fall on Saturday, Sofia and I made a monogram leaf wreath and also one for my mom for her birthday. It is a really fun and easy DIY project that I enjoy every time I walk through my front door. Follow these easy steps to welcome fall into your home too.

Paper mache letter (from a craft store like Jo-ann's)
Brown acrylic craft paint
Paint brush
Silk leaves in a variety of colors and sizes - or real leaves are even better if you have them
Glue gun

1. Start by painting the letter.

"H" is for Hermes for my mom.

"A" is for Anderson (and Amy too!).

2. Select your leaves, keeping in mind a variety of sizes and colors.

3. Arrange the leaves on the letter and secure them in place with a hot glue gun.

Half-way there...

4. Attach a coordinating ribbon and, voila, it's ready to hang on your door. We delivered the "H" to my mom to help her welcome fall into her home.


And little Miss Sofia was pretty darn excited to put the "A" on our front door.

I hope you all are enjoying the changes that fall brings and welcoming it with open arms! From my home to yours, welcome fall!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Amazing Women No. 7: Lara Anderson


Lara Anderson
wife, mother, shop owner, interior designer, artist, inventor (wow!)
Olympia, WA

I am beyond excited to feature Lara Lathrop Anderson in my Amazing Women series. It has been a long time coming - we have been friends since first grade. Lara is one of the most creative and stylish people I know. And she is one of my oldest and dearest friends! Although we share the same last name, we aren't blood related (we both married great Swedish guys!), but we are like sisters! I am so lucky to have her in my life and I'm excited for you to learn more about her thoughts on design, color and life!  
Lara has always been up on the latest fashion and interior design trends, usually spotting them well before they become mainstream. As a child, she would go to her friends’ homes and rearrange the furniture in their bedrooms, hang things on the walls and happily create what she thought were beautiful spaces. This lead her to study interior design and eventually open a home decor and furnishings shop. For the last five years, together with her mom, she has been running Red Door Interiors, in Olympia, Washington (our hometown); designing and building a gorgeous home; and raising two young boys. Earlier this year, she launched a very cool, first-of-its-kind interchangeable lampshade system that you can read about below.
Q. What color and design trends are you seeing for fall, and which ones are you most excited about?
A. I am loving the use of grays with vibrant colors like plum and yellow. Generally I think of gray as a cool color but when you combine it with a color that puts off heat, it’s like “wow!” You can feel the energy that vibrates from the combination. Regarding general home décor trends, I am seeing eclectic mixing of old and new pieces. This is nothing new to me, this is how I feel comfortable in my own home with quirky inherited pieces that I blend with highly polished metals or wood that offer texture and a sculptural quality. We all live eclectically naturally but putting it all together successfully can be difficult. Trust your gut on this. You can see more fall trends Lara is excited about on her website.
Q. What is your favorite color combination for fall and why? Does it change with the seasons or do you have a go-to favorite(s)?
A. Like I mentioned before I am loving cool grays with warm plums and yellows. This color combo warms me up like a cozy blanket does. I absolutely believe that we are drawn to different color combinations seasonally. I naturally gravitate toward greens but during the fall and winter months I feel a need to add warm colors to my surroundings. I revisit my Spring and Summer “bold and energizing” colors when it is warmer outside.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration for design?
A. Everywhere, truly, I can be on a walk outside, thumbing through a current fashion or home décor publication, or watching a movie when I find inspiration. My brain is wired in a way to take note and the next thing I know I find it in my creations at Red Door or what I present to a client.
Q. Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?
A. I love quotes so picking one is difficult but relating to interior design I would have to go with:
“Whoever said that pleasure wasn’t functional?” - Charles Eames
“A house is a machine for living.” - Le Corbusier
 The "Whimsy" RD Shady collection incorporates Lara's favorite colors for fall.
Q. Why did you invent RD Shady? (RD Shadies are the first-of-its-kind interchangeable lampshade system that Lara and her mom invented. You can see her talking about this ingenious invention here.)
A. While owning our home décor gift store, Red Door Interiors, we were always coming across fabulous vintage lamps at estate sales. All these treasures needed were an updated lamp shade. Finding attractive lampshades was both difficult and expensive. The light bulb came on, as they say, and I wondered “What if lampshades could be interchangeable in fabulous designer fabrics and voila, RD Shady was born!

Q. What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
A. My time ... my schedule is invaluable. I can take time off for the family at a moment’s notice, I love that freedom.
Q. Do you have anything else to add about design, art, fashion, color, life?
A. Just to speak to my passion of creating beautiful spaces for people. I truly believe that our surroundings affect us positively or negatively and I want to promote the idea of keeping your surroundings, aka your home, beautiful and organized. In doing so, you can actually make yourself feel better and people will want to join you in your personally fabulous space.

Lara is running a fun "Design an RD Shady Room" contest on Pinterest through this Saturday, September 15. It's fun and easy and promises to get your creative juices flowing! Check out the details here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Something Blue

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary! I love milestone celebrations and today feels like a pretty significant one! It brings back so many wonderful memories of planning our wedding and our wedding day, on the shores of our favorite place on earth, Lake Tahoe. It's fun to take a walk down memory lane and to share a few pictures with you.

I apologize for the poor picture quality - we were married before digital photography was widely used and I don't have digital versions of these pictures. I do, however, have an old-school photo album that these pictures are from! Enjoy.

One of my favorite things about planning any kind of event is, not surprisingly, choosing the color palette. My wedding colors were hydrangea blue and light chartreuse green. We also had "something blue" covered with the stunning blue color of Lake Tahoe and the sapphires in my wedding band.
I also love choosing printed invitations. We had ours letterpressed on an old press in Olympia and then I watercolored the hydrangea petals blue and the leaves green. I also hand calligraphed all of the envelopes. It was a labor of love, for sure!
For "something old," I wore my mom's 1960's Jackie O-inspired wedding dress!
And "something borrowed" was my matron-of-honor Megan's veil. I am still close with all of my attendants and it warms my heart that they are still in my life and were part of our special day.

Here we are this year, 15 years later! Our wedding site is in the background. So fun to revisit this beautiful place!

I'm looking forward to many more milestone celebrations with my best friend and the love of my life, Geoffrey Kyle Anderson!