Page 1


Creating Homes That Invite Real Living!


Writing Her Own True Story 1

ON THE COVER: At House of Fifty we just love a good overnight success story. You know the kind, one that’s ten years in the making. Singer Kat Edmonson shares her unlikely musical influences and determination to remain true to herself within an industry that tries its best to label its artists. Photo by Alyson Fox.

IN THIS ISSUE: Kat Edmonson is singing her way into a musical of her own. Page 12

A Home for Family, Art and Rock & Roll Page 20

What’s better than a home that welcomes with inspiring style yet remains a place that invites real living? In this issue we celebrate the joy of creating such homes, sharing spaces that accomplish just this along with tips for creating spaces that live well.

Making the Most of the Home You’re In Page 46

Kate Singleton: A New Breed of Art Dealer Page 148




n this issue we are exploring the idea of creating homes that truly encourage everyone to kick back and enjoy the time spent at home. Sure, it’s great to find gorgeous treasures to bring into our homes, but are we keeping an eye on how we really live on a daily basis? It’s an easy trap to fall into, one where we lose focus on the reality of everyday life to become wrapped up in some unrealistic pursuit of the “perfect” home. When my husband and I had the opportunity to purchase our first home, to say I was excited would be an extreme understatement. Growing up our family’s housing was provided as part of my father’s work, and with such an arrangement comes limitations in putting a personal stamp on the dwelling. But now, with an opportunity to buy and participate in the building process, I finally had the freedom to express my personal style preferences through flooring, cabinetry and finishes, and I embraced the process with enthusiasm. So what happened when the house was complete and my family moved in? The hardwood floors were so precious I fearfully

worked at preventing a single ding from occurring. And the kitchen? I could barely bring myself to cook in it, not wanting it to appear less than sparkling new. As for the upgraded Berber carpet, pets were to be no part of our future. I believe I got my wakeup call the day we learned our second child would be a boy. Of course I was thrilled, but I was also terrified, knowing my orderly life was about to be disrupted in a major way. Well, thank goodness for that! Coming to my senses I learned to accept and be comfortable with a “lived in” home, and eventually broke down to happily welcome a pug into our family. And if you know any pugs, you know how they shed! Today our home, while still beautiful and filled with the things we’ve enjoyed collecting and creating over the last several years, is a place that sees a lot of real life. Kids, pets, guests messes and a sofa or two sporting some wear and tear, a real home. Thankfully I know now to appreciate this much more than the showplace I first aimed to create for my family. I hope you’ll enjoy all the stories we’ve assembled here, and we’re excited to announce that with this issue we will begin publishing every other month! It’s a leap of faith to take this step, but we’re excited about this growth and what lies ahead for the future of House of Fifty!

Janell Beals, Founding Editor


HOUSE OF FIFTY July/August 2012







03 Editor’s Letter

18 Read House of Fifty on the Go!

38 The Heart of Design

With this issue HOF is now publishing six times a year!

Enjoy reading HOF on the iPad and other mobile devices.

08 The Team A big thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue.

12 Kat Edmonson: Singing Her Way into a Musical of Her Own A story of determination and enjoy a sample of Kat’s latest album!


Learning to decorate smart with pets in mind.

42 Advanced Décor 20 Welcoming Spaces Interior Designer Cortney Bishop’s home is one that embraces family, art and rock & roll!

Joni Webb shares her approach to creating luxurious yet livable homes.

46 Making the Most of the Home You’re In Smart tips and products to make a house a home, whether you rent or own.







50 Decorate Like a Recessionista

78 Bring the Indoors Outside for a Summer Soiree

92 The Best Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Sandwiches

How to create a stylish home while working within a budget.

Create the most inviting outdoor atmosphere to entertain with a cozy flair.

Nothing says summer like an ice cream sandwich! Here’s our easy step-by-step for making your own.

66 Manor: A Shop of Fine Wares & Curious Finds A mother-daughter team search near and far to fill their shop with unique finds.

90 Festive Entertaining Made Simple

100 HOF’s Favorite Finds for Simple is best! Mix up a pitcher Outdoor Living of Sangria using fresh fruit for your next party.

Products to enhance your outdoor spaces.


122 102

116 124



102 Take A Hike! Enjoy the Outdoors this Summer

116 Apps to Help Plan & Enjoy 122 Fake Bake the Best Road Trip Ever! Beauty Editor Mimi Inman

Make the most of the local terrain with these hiking tips and helpful apps.

Our favorite apps will help plan the trip and guide you to the attractions and necessities along the way.

106 Going On a Road Trip With smart planning today’s version of the iconic road trip can set new standards of fun and adventure!


shares her favorite products for getting a summer glow that looks perfectly natural.

118 Protect Your Assets!

124 British Summer Traditions

During the summer and all year long, don’t forget to protect one of your most precious assets, your skin!

With all eyes on London for the summer Olympics, let us introduce you to a few well-loved British summer pastimes.


138 142



128 Favorite Finds with British Style

138 What We’re Watching, Movies with that Special The English make their mark on British Flair

148 A New Breed of Art Dealer

this fun collection of items that are unmistakably British.

From old classics to new releases, here are our most loved British movies.

Kate Singleton’s passion is championing the work of the artists who have captured her eye.

142 Inspired By Color

160 Stay In Touch!

We all know paint is the easiest way to transform a room, but Kristen Davis has taken it a step further to build her thriving career.

Read House of Fifty on the go and stay connected for the latest inspirations and stories.

130 The Blogs We Love British Edition Two English bloggers share what they are most looking forward to with the arrival of the Summer Olympics.



Janell Beals Founding Editor

Lakeitha Duncan New Features Editor

Mimi Inman Beauty Editor

Shari Miller Art Director

summer issue! Nicole Case Freelance Writer


Courtney Fernan A Thoughtful Place

Valorie Hart The Visual Vamp

Estelle Hayes Pink Moon Daily

Courtney Lake Courtney Out Loud

Kim Myles Kim Myles

Jill Sorensen Live.Like.You

Pauline Wiles The English Organizer

To Everyone Who Contributed to this Issue,


House of Fifty!




we love our sponsors!



Kat Edmonson


Photography by Alyson Fox Interview by Janell Beals At House of Fifty we just love a good overnight success story. You know the kind; ones that are a decade or more in the making! One could certainly describe the journey of singer Kat Edmonson in just this way, as she celebrates the release of her second album ‘Way Down Low.’ During a recent conversation Kat spoke candidly, in the same soft yet captivating voice that fills her songs, sharing her musical influences and her determination to remain true to herself within an industry that tries its best to label its artists.


As long as Kat can remember she knew she had the ability to sing well, with her early exposure to music coming from an unlikely source - musicals. Growing up as an only child raised by a single working mother, she spent quite a bit of time alone and became instantly fascinated with the old musicals her mother began playing to help keep Kat occupied. “Watching these musicals I became totally influenced by Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. Fred Astaire inspired me with his amazing phrasing and presentations. When I sing these are the presentations and phrasing I refer to. Every person I’ve ever really liked as a singer I have tried to inject into my work – it’s a combination of everything I have really loved. More than the women, with their soaring voices (here Kat breaks into a run of high notes to illustrate), I’m inspired by the male voices I listened to from those musicals. But how does one go from a small child mesmerized by music of a bygone era to the talent Kat is today? Wanting to pursue a career in music, but not being quite sure how to break into the industry, at 19 she decided to audition for the second season of American Idol. She admits it was a shot in the dark, but believed she would be successful. “I’m very comfortable in my own skin and confident at auditions so I felt I had the chance to do well.” The reality, however, was a shock to her system. “You don’t see this on TV, but there is an extended series of auditions. As the experience continued and I was sent to Hollywood, I began to feel uncomfortable with the process. I was feeling like a fish out of water.” Kat had been singing and writing since she was nine and found it an eye-opening experience to see how people responded to the work she knew to be true to herself. She was surprised by people’s reactions and to

learn what was valued. She began to understand how this particular process was directed more from the perspective of a reality TV show. It was a search for a desired demographic that would be sellable and entertaining from a programming point of view, rather than a mere hunt for the best talent. Kat was presenting the music of Peggy Lee and Nancy Sinatra, singing ‘Fever’ and ‘These Boots are Made for Walkin’,’ throwback stuff rather than the songs of current pop stars. “They couldn’t classify me.” In fact, ultimately Randy Jackson made the judgment, “You don’t look like a star, dog.” And that was the end of that journey. In retrospect Kat realizes this experience was a gift through which she gained an understanding of what she didn’t want to pursue. And sometimes that is just as important as knowing the direction you want to take! Returning home to Austin she remained committed to exploring who she was as a musician, listening to and playing with jazz ensembles. During this time she met keyboardist Kevin Lovejoy, who she would later collaborate with on her first album. It was a period when she “felt like a sponge,” taking it all in honing her craft.

But how does one go from a small child mesmerized by the music of a bygone era to the talent that Kat is today? 13

Seven determined years after her American Idol experience, Kat released her debut album ‘Take To The Sky’ in 2009, the result of her collaboration with Kevin. The album was made up of “covers,” turning pop songs into jazz pieces with a jazz context and formula. In contrast, for her second album Kat composed many of the songs herself and says it is more of a work of self-discovery. It is a continuation of the process of finding out what her style is, working on honestly phrasing each song as she

hears it in her head. The second album is, in her words, “A little more like me.” A recent review by The New York Times captures the essence of her sound in words. “Ms. Edmonson presents a vision of her art that’s almost steely in it’s resolve, with an equal foothold in jazz, cabaret and vintage pop. Fresh as a spring bouquet, it’s also a purposeful introduction to the songwriter, intuitive about melody and handy with a phrase.”

“Inspiration comes from my personal life, by eating an incredible meal, seeing a beautiful painting or watching a movie.” 14

When asked where she finds inspiration for the songs she has written, Kat shares how it can come from any number of sources. “It’s random. Inspiration comes from my personal life, by eating an incredible meal, seeing a beautiful painting or watching a movie. Any of these experiences can instigate a stream of creativity and inspiration.” Kat knew she was ready to begin work on a new album around March 2010. After completing the song ‘Nobody Knows’ she found herself writing a lot of songs she felt were worthy of an album. It was an incredibly creative period; once she started writing she couldn’t stop! What prompted this onrush of songwriting? Kat shares she was in a relationship that was ending and going through this time of transition led to a lot of creativity. “The title of the album ‘Way Down Low’ comes from the bottom of my heart.“ With an abundance of emerging material, to get her next album produced Kat turned to an unlikely source for funding, a funding platform for creative projects called Kickstarter. She says she was initially uncomfortable with the idea of pursuing funding in this manner. “It had to do with my pride; I wasn’t comfortable asking for money from my fan base.” But at the same time, she was leery of receiving funding from a source that might wish to become involved in the direction of her songwriting and singing. “I was wary of having an investor wanting to come into the studio, possibly pushing me in a direction that wasn’t true to me. I wasn’t comfortable with that - I knew what I wanted to produce.” In the end, she did get her funding through Kickstarter and it ended up being a great experience which resulted in her connecting with her fan base in a way she hadn’t before. It proved to be a good give and take situation in which each learned more about the other,

increasing her communication with her fans. She expected - hoped for - money to fund her album, but she got much more. Another unlikely source of support came from Lyle Lovett, who she had the opportunity to tour with and record two duets, including ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside.’ “I am completely honored that he called me to work with him and am moved every time I think about how he personally called me. I can’t describe what it’s been like to work with him, his work is legendary. I am incredibly grateful for the experience and the time with him. I learned a lot from him, about being an artist, about being true to yourself. Lyle exemplifies this, he is full of integrity.” Kat was writing songs for her new record while working with Lyle and found she was distraught over the songs, concerned with the question of how she could get it all to work together on one album. Lyle sensed she was feeling this way and provided assurance, encouraging her to follow her heart, “It’s you, your voice that connects all the songs.” When listening to Kat speak of Lyle, her high regard and appreciation for all he’s done to support her in the pursuit of her music is clearly evident.

To gauge whether a song is good she measures it with this question, ”Is it true?” If a song is true it finds a way to express an experience honestly. 15

Seeing the time set aside for our conversation passing all too quickly, I revisited the topic of musicals as Kat’s first source of exposure to music, leading to her ongoing love affair with this field. I asked if she has ever considered working on a soundtrack. “Absolutely, yes! I would definitely enjoy working on a soundtrack. The more I pursue music the more I am inspired and fed by the roots of my musical background. When I approach a new song I see it in the context of a scene, a character and an image, so yes, I would love to write for this genre. It would be a full circle experience!” Finally, before it was time to wrap up our talk, I wanted to make sure to fit in one last question: If you didn’t do this, write and sing, what would you do? Kat answered, “I can’t


imagine not doing this. I do it out of necessity. If I couldn’t do this I’d be screwed! I have a great work ethic when it comes to my music, I’m passionate about it. But I didn’t have a terribly good work ethic when it came to all the other work I have done over the last ten years. I’ve never gotten fired, but I could have done a better job. I’ve worked as a nanny, a waitress, a secretary, a hostess, virtually everything and I can’t say I was that good at it. But to answer, if I couldn’t write and sing I would love to act and write.” Perhaps it really comes back to the truth that if you’re doing what you love, you’re just going to work harder at it - and as a result be more successful!

Songs from Way Down Low’ (2012) Lucky What Else Can I Do? Champagne Long Way Home – Duet with Lyle Lovett Nobody Knows

(click here to play)


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Welcoming SPACES 20


Interior design by Cortney Bishop Photography by Andrew Stephen Cebulka Story by Janell Beals


The home of Charleston based Interior Designer Cortney Bishop is a well loved place which embraces all she loves most: family, art and music. A charming Lowcountry home located on Sullivan’s Island, Cortney describes it as a very livable family home that she shares with her husband Baker, son Ryder, daughter Lucy Kohl and their two big dogs. An appreciation for good design is engrained in Cortney as her mother is a retired interior designer. Reflecting back on her childhood home, while very beautiful, she shares how it was a “careful” place to live. “Throughout my childhood I was always so mindful not to mess up a thing in our home; it was more of a showplace than a family environment. Perhaps that is why I’m the complete opposite! Our doors are open to family and friends daily for pool parties and neighborhood play dates. We have two dogs that roam the house and sleep on our couches. We can happily say we play in every square inch of our home, inside and out.” When asked about her perspective on how to create a beautiful home that still welcomes children, pets and families to really live in the spaces, she says, “There has been a huge shift in interior design over the last 12 years. Prior to this, one had to ‘stay in line’ with the architecture of the house, following through with consistency in the décor. Now the focus is to bring into your home what you love and then not be afraid to wear things down! It’s not to say I don’t look at a sofa and think - ‘oh, I’ve got to get around to reupholstering that’ - but I’m happy knowing it has been lived on, jumped on and had wine spilled on it.” Interestingly, a large number of her clients today are couples putting together their first home or young families with children and active lives. Perhaps because of the approach to her own home, people desiring a similar


spirit of livability are seeking out the services of her firm Cortney Bishop Design. Throughout Cortney’s home art plays a prominent role. “My art collection is one of my absolute passions. I began collecting color photography for the vibrancy of color and large scale size you could purchase for a great price when comparing to canvas. I often advise my young clients to start here when considering a focal piece for their home. I love the pieces I have now acquired, from photography to oil to collage. I began gifting my children with art the year they were born. One piece a year for each, on a relative budget of course, but I do my research and choose artists that I believe will appeal to them over the years. One day I think they will really appreciate these gifts.” Drawn to its gorgeous colors, a mid-century painting hanging above a console is the first abstract Cortney purchased after spying it in a vintage shop.



The living room is the first space one enters when coming through the multiple doors leading into the home from the wide front porch, a favorite spot of Cortney’s with its crooked, quirky nature and oversized lanterns glowing in the evening. This space portrays her approach to design perfectly. “It doesn’t bother me to mix styles; it’s a look that is real, lived in, collected over time, a look that doesn’t scream a decorator was here. Getting the scale right is what’s important; if that is right a


wide range of styles can work together beautifully.” Here a large Swedish clock, shag rug and art deco table happily reside side by side. The star of the room is a painting by Don ZanFagna, an artist whose work Cortney has championed that is now enjoying a significant resurgence of interest. This particular abstract hung in his home for over 30 years, and is a wonderful example of his brilliant talent.



In addition to Cortney’s passion for art, she is an admirer of rugs and in particular antique Persian rugs. “I’m a big fan of rugs. When approaching a new design project I select all the rugs for the house first, if the client is inclined to bring them in, ‘throwing down the palette’ and building the rest of the design up from there.” Viewing the rooms of her home it’s apparent she took this approach to heart here as well: in each room a rug sets the direction for the elements which follow. This is most clearly on display in the home office, where the rug dictated the selections for this

vibrant space. From the Rose Tarlow wallpaper in blues, lively patterned drapes in oranges, saturated blue seen on the chairs and even to the accessories; a blue lampshade and the orange box. A photograph of similar hues shakes up the design just a bit, an image by Tierney Gearon. Cortney was drawn to it as the tall figure reminds her of her Greek grandfather in a Mediterranean setting, with the boy reminding her of her son. It pays homage to these two important people in her life, who never had the opportunity to meet.


t hrowing down t he palette AND BUILDING THE REST OF THE DESIGN up from t here.” 27

Like so many families, a great deal of the time at home is spent in the kitchen. This simple galley kitchen resides in a space that was once the back porch of the home. Here Cortney enjoys catching up on the events of the day with her husband while he prepares a meal, with the kids running in and out of the space or sitting at the little orange table working on projects. A still life by Russian painter Mikhail Petrov, in soothing neutral tones, hangs over subtly textured wallpaper above a reclaimed barrel found while scouring for vintage finds. Oval in shape, it fits perfectly along the wall serving as an unexpected trash can, with a wastebasket tucked inside. A gorgeous Turkish Ouskah rug is one of the many highlights in the adjoining dining


room. Ouskah rugs typically feature larger scale patterns with lighter, happier colors than rugs from other regions. With a lower knot count compared to antique Persian rugs, they are a relatively affordable alternative. The unusual pink and asymmetrical pattern seen on this example pops with the wall color. The sculptural and organic light fixture is by artist Serge de Troyer, made of resin it produces an inviting glow. The comfortable chairs are 1972 vintage finds of chrome and soft buttery leather in a mustard hue. All the colors of the room are represented in a painting portraying the Lowcountry by artist Scott Duce. Cortney bought this painting while living in Tennessee after marrying her husband, a reminder of her hope to one day return to this area.


The lower living area leads outside to a pool, a casual environment used by the kids and the entire family on weekends. Beamed ceilings introduce a worn, lived in sense, with musical instruments, toys and art defining the spirit of the space. Music is another love of this family, with the couple actually meeting at a rock concert.


Cortney plays the guitar but claims her husband is the real talent in this department, often strumming with the kids dancing along. Attending live concerts remains a passion for Cortney and Baker and they enjoy sharing their love of music with the children, which is evident when looking through the rooms of the home.

On the far wall is another work by Don ZanFagna, a “letter art” political painting, with an Annie Leibovitz photograph, ‘Hank Williams lll,’ a prized possession in the room. “It is the first piece of color photography I collected, inspired by my husband’s country roots in Tennessee. Baker is a true country boy, a fisherman and hunter with a love of rock and

roll. This photograph encompasses it all. I want to celebrate this with the hope my son will inherit some of these wonderful qualities.


An unexpected space in the home is the Tackle Room. Baker is a professional fly fisherman and, as a thank you for taking the leap of faith to move to the Carolinas from his home state of Tennessee, Cortney had this room created just for him. She began by having the walls lined


with Tennessee Wormy Maple. A wall of lockers were built featuring handles fashioned by a metal smith in the design of fly rods, with a rod holder installed on the opposite wall. The painting above the sink is actually a trophy from a tournament in Key West, by artist Tim Borski. Son Ryder’s room is a hodge-podge of the grandfather’s antiques, with a guitar sitting on an old stump stool carved out of the trunk of a very large tree. Cortney believes it is important to have portraits of the family in a home and, in this photo, Ryder is seen jumping from the bamboo garden into the pool in the backyard. The photo was taken by Andrew Stephen Cebulka, a photographer Cortney admires so much that he took these photos of her home.


A bedroom initially designed for Ryder received a simple update when Cortney’s daughter Lucy Kohl was born. She realized the crewel drapes and pale wall color were perfect for her girl’s room, with just a few changes of bedding and accessories.


An old worn oyster chest in turquoise blue adds one strong pop of color as a nightstand, with the unique headboard one of the many items in the home that have been passed down to Cortney from family members.



“These spaces are t here t o be enjoyed!

A large traditional Plantation Bed inherited from family is balanced in style by the oversized industrial lamps. Rose Tarlow wallpaper lining the walls bring an elegance to the room, creating an intriguing mix when run up against the rough hewn beams on the ceiling. A prominent element in the room is the first piece of artwork the couple purchased together, a large giclée featuring the Tree of Knowledge. Inspired by the joy a welcoming home can bring to a family, Cortney encourages others to embrace interests and passions in their own homes while not being afraid to truly live in the spaces each day. “Don’t be concerned with wearing them down; these spaces are there to be enjoyed!”

Live in your home wit hout t he concern of wearing t hings down.”


The Heart of Design by Kim Myles

Living the Good Life with Style…and Pets!

Our dog Ollie is living the good life. He has a premium dog bed, which incidentally began life as a designer sofa. He watches the world go by while perched on my Grandfather’s armchair, upholstered in ostrich vinyl that can be wiped clean in case of drooling. He alerts us to his bathroom needs by burying his head in the voluminous curtains at the patio door.

Fortunately the panels are made of 100% cotton, making it easy to toss them into the wash to remove any eye goobers. Basically, he lives in a space that’s customized for the facts of his lovely grubby animal traits and, let me tell you, it works. I’ve lived with pets my entire adult life, but I’ve fought the reality of living with animals and their behaviors for the majority of that time. For years I was at war with my husband’s cat Milo, losing my composure on a regular basis. I once spent hours and a small fortune sewing a silk duvet cover. Within minutes of dressing the bed and leaving the room, that darling (who more accurately would have been named ‘Trouble’ after my friend Cindy’s gorgeous kitty), had peed on my side of it, in two separate spots! I believe that when you take in a pet it’s a commitment for life, and that ‘living beings’ always trump ‘inanimate objects.’ But I remember weeping and thinking, “I will never be able to own anything nice, ever again!” We subsequently tried everything to change Milo’s behavior but, short of a personality transplant, the answer was to change how we lived with him.

“My home is now beautiful and harmonious for all who live here, including our pets, and that means everyone is living the good life!” 38


Thanks to Milo, by the time Ollie joined our family I had accepted that fighting the physical facts of a pet is a losing battle, and doing so with a 90 lb dog would bring frustration and tears. Though he’s a sweetheart and properly house-trained, he can’t help his size or his shedding. I still wished to live stylishly while allowing for his physical quirks - so I began to make design choices accordingly. My sofa may double as a dog bed, but it has been custom upholstered in low nap linen that can be wiped and vacuumed in a jiffy. Good thing, because I have a go at it every two days! My turquoise glass vase collection resides on high, open shelving in my kitchen. His happy tail can’t be stopped, and I wouldn’t want it to, but the havoc it wreaks

on anything in its vicinity is best averted! And with the arrival of our newest family member, a sweet little ball of fur named Piggy, hardwood floors and a Roomba are a far easier maintenance choice than wall-to-wall carpet. To get my plush fix, large floor cushions do the job. The bottom line is that throughout the years, my pets have enriched my life in a way that far outpaces the inconvenience of their mess. Once I surrendered to reality, I began to find stylish solutions that were lovely and pet friendly….and I relaxed. Now my home is both beautiful and harmonious for all who live here, and that means that everyone is living the good life!

“Our cat Milo would have been better named ‘Trouble,’ but I have to admit… he’s helped teach me how to live stylishly with pets!”



Advanced Décor

Designing Luxurious Yet Livable Homes

By Valorie Hart Joni Webb is the owner of Houston based Webb Designs and the author of the legendary blog Cote de Texas, where she dishes out in-depth information on the topic of interior design. Her signature style embodies creating beautifully luxurious yet livable homes. Here are a few of her tips for creating homes that stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life. Valorie: You do beautiful high-end looking interior design, Joni. How do you make the rooms you design livable? Joni: I’ve done real high-end designs for clients who have requested it, but my true style is casual chic or casual elegant. I like to use slipcovers and seagrass with velvet pillows, gilded mirrors, antique furniture, books, shells and candles. That’s really how I like to do my rooms and, since they are casual, they are instantly livable. I also like to use curtains as they warm up a room, making them more inviting. Also important are all the rules that add to the function, and therefore livability, of the room. These include placing a table next to each chair or sofa for drinks and magazines, and coffee tables low enough to see the TV over them.


Q. What are your top choices for rugs and drapes that not only look picture perfect, but can also take the everyday abuse of family life? A. Always seagrass, which is so much better than sisal. Always. Or if the client dislikes seagrass I will suggest a flat, patterned carpet in two colors, like a lattice or a fleur de lis. If a client refuses and wants a plain carpet, I’m lost. There is nothing - nothing - I dislike more! For curtains I love to use silk, mostly taffetas and a matte taffeta if possible. If not silk then linen and I love linen in a small pinstripe. I have this in my house and I could use it on every job if allowed. Q. Where do you like to shop? A. For furniture, I rarely buy new. I like to use vintage gateleg tables that I buy on eBay. They’re cheap and they weigh a ton if they are from the 1930’s or 40’s. I get them and stain them really dark. For coffee tables I like tea tables, if they aren’t too high obscuring the view of the TV, and I also like an old dining table with the legs cut down. When needing to purchase new furniture I shop mostly at Halo Styles, wholesale. I also like Artesia and Noir Furniture for new pieces, and Aidan Gray - the best lamps are to be found there, plus they have great chairs and chandeliers. Q. How can one have a realistic and comfortable lifestyle when decorating with antiques? A. Begin with reproduction chairs, their scale fit people of this century better than antique chairs. I don’t buy antique sofas, unless it’s a settee or a daybed. However, daybeds can be tricky to make comfortable enough to watch TV. So instead I prefer decorating with one big antique piece in the room, such as an armoire, console or large wine table rather than seating. These large antiques make the room look and feel more grounded. Q. What is the biggest mistake to avoid when choosing accessories and furnishings? A. Scale, absolutely. Things need to fit in the room in terms of scale, even when it comes to fabrics. What might look good on small samples can look terrible when on a large piece, so considering scale is key. Q. Can pale colors and silk fabrics work for a family home? What about kids, pets, and husbands? A. Sure, if you use slipcovers. I can’t imagine a family with kids and pets not having slipcovers. I know you like washable faux white leather Valorie, and that’s another alternative to slipcovers that’s great. I’ve yet to use the white leather, but one day I hope to!

...large antiques make the room look and feel more grounded. 43

Can pale colors and silk fabrics work for a family home? Sure, if you use slipcovers! 44

Q. What can one do to minimize upkeep and the time required to keep a room picture perfect - but not of the museum variety! A. Put your magazines in a basket, and keep toys in a basket that has a top on it. Always a top, otherwise you are still looking at the toys. If your room is casual to begin with, it won’t risk looking like a museum. To maintain rooms so they require less upkeep you have to edit constantly, taking unneeded things away. That’s my issue, I rarely do that! I’ve gotten better lately, but I still need to do a session of massive editing. Q. How do you instill an appreciation into your family members for the beautiful things you decorate with and invest in, yet not become a total neurotic about it? A. My family does appreciate our house; it’s something that simply has become ingrained over the years, to value a comfortable setting and the enjoyment it brings. My husband is clutter prone, he collects things: fossils, minerals, jewels, crystals and watches to name a few. He is collecting knives right now, and they were taking over my desk in the bedroom. I was losing my sanity, so I bought him some baskets to store the knives in and keep in a closet. To avoid becoming neurotic, pick your battles wisely. Q. How can the home decorator on a tight budget achieve the Joni Webb look? A. It’s so simple! Go to IKEA and get the slipcovered white sofa for less than $500. Buy a seagrass rug from anywhere online, like Pottery Barn, and make a few dark, plain velvet pillows for the sofa. You might also buy the IKEA matching chair, and consider the dark gray slipcover instead of the white. Buy baskets and wicker Kooboo chairs from World Market or online. Get a lantern designed for the outside or buy an inexpensive candle lantern and have it made into an electric fixture to hang. Add shells and some old books. Find a gilded sunburst mirror at Wisteria, Ballards or even HomeGoods. Hang white linen drapes and buy some textured blinds from Pier 1. That’s it! For under $2,000 you can have a stylish and livable room.

Advanced Décor is a monthly column by Valorie Hart asking seasoned decorators and designers graced with life experience to share their insight.


Making the Most of the Home You’re In By Courtney Lake


Interior Design by Dayka Robinson

Is the dream of homeownership undergoing a change? Young couples are no longer rushing out to buy their first homes as a top priority. And in turn, their parents often find themselves downsizing to ensure economic solvency on the dusk of retirement. A stagnant housing market across the country is forcing many to hunker down and make the most out of the home they are currently in and has caused many to reassess the idea of homeownership as the preferred housing option. As more and more people find themselves in long-term rental situations, the question begs to be asked, what can be done to shift American’s perception that rentals are a temporary situation until something better comes along? The first question to consider is what makes a house a home. What are those special

qualities that make a space feel familiar, inviting and cozy? What elevates environments from being merely institutional dwellings into the spaces we remember so fondly and have such strong emotional bonds with? Countless books, articles and television segments have been dedicated to this topic, but the answer is simple – what makes a house a home is you. You have the power to encapsulate every feeling you want to convey within a space, even if you don’t own and can’t make major changes to the physical structure. Creating a home begins with being true to your tastes and surrounding yourself with things you love that make the rooms livable and enjoyable. Here are some tips and products to help turn an apartment from a place you merely rent into the place you call home.

Double Duty

If space is tight have furniture and accessories work double duty to squeeze out maximum efficiency in your space, like the desk which also functions as a nightstand.

Plan Your Spaces & Pick Your Battles

Focus on the things you can control! Outfit your home with items that are both special and functional, as opposed to fixating on architectural details you can’t change.

Look Beyond Paint

Don’t let the fear of repainting when your lease is up stop you from introducing decorative wall treatments. DIY ideas for dressing walls are bountiful; just look to your favorite blogs for inspiration and consider the many new products on the market designed specifically for these situations.

Invest Wisely

If your budget allows, invest in one or two showstoppers that you can take with you. Changing out a basic light fixture with an attention-getting design can transform a room.

Tactile Textiles

Incorporate texture, color and pattern at every turn, wrapping yourself in a blanket of domestic coziness! Gorgeous pillows, warm wool throws, drapery panels at windows and rugs layered over existing carpet all create warmth.


House of Fifty’s Favorite Finds For Rentals Tempaper

Just what we’ve all be waiting for! Selfadhesive, repositionable and removable wallpaper in a range of standout designs.


Cover less than gorgeous flooring and fill oddly shaped rooms with carpet tiles, available in an endless array of styles and colors.


Change out blah lighting with fabulous finds to take rooms to a new level of chic. And if you move, simply take them along to your next home.


Bring in texture, color, pattern and layers of warmth with fabrics! On drapery panels, pillows, bedding and headboards, fabric has the power to transform a space! Lining cabinetry drawers in kitchens &

Chic Shelf Paper


baths with a pretty pattern distracts the eye from any cabinetry shortcomings.

Jazzy Hardware

Bring personalized style to existing cabinetry by changing out the hardware, a smart update which can deliver a big punch!

Window Films by Emma Jeffs

Have less than breathtaking views from a room? Simply apply one of the many window film designs which block the view while allowing light to filter through.

Eazy Wallz

You may not be free to hang pictures with wild abandon, leaving endless holes in the wall, but don’t fret! Large removable wall murals bring “make a statement” style to an entire wall.

Mibo Tile Tattoos

Wall Decals

Dress the walls of bedrooms, nurseries, kitchens and bathrooms with the fun decals from Urbanwalls.

Make the most of existing tile with a tattoo! Available with a white or clear background, choose a style that fits your fancy and update a kitchen or bath in minutes. 49




Photograph by Tanya Malott

By Jill Sorensen

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Money can’t buy taste.” Nothing could be more true, with some of the best interiors coming about when you are short on funds and forced to think outside the box. The recessionista, a person who remains stylish during times of economic hardship through resourcefulness and creative thinking, knows that it’s all about the mix. Here are nine tips to get you decorating like a smart recessionista.

1. SHOP YOUR OWN HOME There is a great place to go, a place you know well, where the price is always right. You guessed it, your own home! Before you do anything else, take a walk through your space to see what you can use in a better way, in a different spot or in another room. That worn desk you’ve got squeezed behind the door in the living room might look smashing repainted orange and moved to your bedroom. Or the mirror that looks too small in the living room might look larger with a stronger presence in your foyer. And make sure to clear out the clutter, in it could be hiding a real gem or two!


{after} 51

2. REUSE, RECYCLE & REINVENT IN DRASTIC WAYS Before you discard, sell or give anything away, first see if you can reinvent it. That boring brown lamp in the living room, how would it look covered in a layer of glossy yellow spray paint? That stained couch that you couldn’t even sell on Craigslist, how would it look in a new fabric? Old mirrors or fire screens? Colorize them! Use your creativity to think outside the box, imagining things in completely new ways.


• Paint a Mirror a Wild Color • Add Modern Fabric to an Old Chair • Reimagine Your Pieces in Wildly Different Ways

3. THEIR TRASH CAN BE YOUR TREASURE When you have exhausted the resources in your own home, head out to Goodwill, Salvation Army or other thrift stores selling used furniture. It’s the most affordable treasure hunt you will ever go on. Someone else’s trash can truly be your treasure, and vintage furniture is often built much better than new, typically more expensive items.


4. MIX HIGH, LOW AND VINTAGE Whatever you do, don’t go out and buy everything cheap and new to try to save money. You will end up wasting your money on items that won’t last and you’ll only get a look that will let you down. Always mix high, low and vintage. Every room needs one or two good pieces, a few vintage items, and afterwards you can add in HomeGoods or IKEA finds. You’ll have a look that inspires and lasts for years.

Photograph by Greg Powers

5. GET A LOT OF BANG FOR YOUR BUCK To be a true recessionista you’ll need some designer fabric. If you can’t find a remnant, don’t hesitate to invest in one to two yards of an amazing fabric. Select small pieces to reupholster such as side chairs. Now that’s money well spent, it will make your entire room look more expensive.



Photograph by Tanya Malott

6. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE POWER OF PAINT Can’t afford that new sofa or dining room table? There is no better inexpensive makeover than a new wall color. A dreary room can instantly become your favorite. The only costly thing about paint is hiring someone to do the work so, as an alternative, invite some friends over and have a painting party!

Photograph by Geoffrey Hodgdon

7. USE WALLPAPER TO MAXIMUM EFFECT Wallpaper is extremely chic, but it can also be expensive. To use it like a recessionista select the smallest space with the most visibility in your home to cover, a small hallway or a single wall. You’ll need only a couple rolls of the good stuff. Another approach is to simply hang a piece of remnant wallpaper in a fantastic large frame.



Photograph by Tanya Malott

8. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS A true recessionista knows it’s all about the details. Even if your home is now filled with IKEA, it’s time to add that special chic touch to your pieces. Turn a “Plain Jane” dresser into a star with some paint and clever O’verlays, add a standout color to walls, reupholster a vintage find, or make inexpensive drapes a standout by sewing on grosgrain ribbon in a graphic pattern.

9. DECORATING IS NOT A RACE! And finally remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will your home be, so relax! Your home does not need to be finished today. If you rush and try to get everything done in a week or a month, you’ll make costly mistakes. Leave some empty spaces for the special treasures you have yet to find. Let your home evolve over time: enjoy the process of creating your uniquely special home while beginning your own recessionista makeover!

Photography by Geoffrey Hodgdon



The Pink Pagoda Fine Art Prints Blue and White Porcelain


bohemian romance


Art, Prints & Related Products with a Romantic Bohemian Flair


Stacking Elephant Pagoda

Fire Hydrant Bookends

To Discover a Unique Collection of Accessories

Shop “The Well-Dressed Home” 62

Fleur De Lis Knobs




MANOR Fine Wares and Curious Finds 66

Photography by Jake M. Richardson Story by Janell Beals


Liz Warren and Liza Brennan are the gracious mother and daughter team behind Manor, a shop that I can only describe as a delightful treasure trove of unique finds. The pair share a belief that homes are best when they are well lived in and seek out pieces for their shop that have a patina which will become even more beautiful over time. This philosophy is best represented by a quote on an old needlepoint Liz has hanging in her home, “Houses should be lived in. Dogs should be on sofas.� The shop is located in the popular shopping district on 23rd Avenue in Portland, Oregon, situated in a spacious building with high ceilings and light pouring in from all directions through numerous floor to ceiling windows. It’s a space that invites the visitor to linger and browse the eclectic mix of housewares, furnishings and collectables. They also recently opened an online store to capitalize


on the fact that, in addition to their local clientele, a significant portion of visitors to the shop are tourists who have expressed an interest in being able to browse the latest discoveries from afar. The catalyst to go into business together was to fill a void they recognized in the local market. Upon completing her studies in interior design, Liza began working for local designers to obtain practical hands-on experience. During this time she kept hearing from the design community how there was a lack of resources to find those uniquely special pieces to add the final touches to a project. Having a shared love of frequent and far off travels, Liz and Liza decided to attend a few markets and keep their eye out for special finds during various trips. Perhaps they would uncover enough goods that would inspire them to take the leap of faith to open a store.

Write on an oversized globe with chalk!


During these trips the pair ended up discovering an abundance of products and sources that fit the vision they had for the “Manor look.” As a result, they couldn’t wait to get started on making their idea for a shop come to life and be able to begin sharing their treasures. Exactly what is the Manor look and how do they know when a product is right for their customers? “We shop by one simple philosophy, everything that comes through our doors we have handpicked and would put in our own homes.” There is a significant focus on sourcing pieces of furniture, lighting and accessories that are durable and timeless. For example, they share how people are often afraid of the linen sofas they are such big fans of. But since linen is woven from one of the longest threads it wears beautifully over time, becoming a great fabric choice for this


foundation piece of a room. They also stand behind a set of criteria for what they ultimately select to bring into the shop. First, they must both truly love the item. And then if they love it, the product must be durable and well made. They have found plenty of things they would like to purchase but have had to pass on, due to issues with care and quality. Finally, they ask if they would have it in their own homes. This is the fail safe measure, “If it doesn’t sell we’d love to bring it home ourselves!” When asked what aspect of the business they derive the most satisfaction from Liza says, “I love the hunt, finding new and exciting goods for the store. It may be a new line of linens, paper goods or funky vintage pieces. I get excited and already have in mind certain clients who are going to be excited about them as well. I think getting to

know our customers and seeing them get passionate about design makes it all worthwhile for me.” And what has been the biggest challenge? Liz sums it up in a way that really speaks to the state of the world in general, “The world is huge and hard to thoroughly source, yet at the same time it is becoming so homogenized that it is harder to discover the unique.“ Wanting to know more about how the mother-daughter relationship works, Liz shares

how they have always been close and have a lot of fun together, but firmly states it works because her daughter Liza is the real boss! At the same time, the venture has become a true family affair. At any given moment there can be nieces, cousins or an aunt on staff working in the shop or behind the scenes. Liza shares her grandmother has been known to step foot in the door to lend a hand as well, not wanting to miss out on the fun!

“The world is huge and hard to thoroughly source, yet at the same time it is becoming so homogenized that it is harder to discover the unique.“ 71

A pair of worn and rusty horse heads flanking an entrance would be a standout element in a home embracing the unique! 72

Manor’s Tips for Creating Spaces that Welcome with Comfort 1. Avoid being too structured or rigid when approaching a room or whole house design. Choose items that speak to you and bring joy, as opposed to items that fit a certain style category or follow the latest trend.

2. Take advantage of the different senses, bringing in scents you enjoy and fabrics that feel wonderful to the touch. Also pay attention to the lighting, which can impact how a space is enjoyed. Add lamps to bring in extra warmth and put overhead lighting on dimmers.

3. Use a range of textures from smooth to rustic through rugs, fabrics, leather and the wood surfaces. Layered surfaces in a variety of finishes bring richness to a design.

4. Select durable items that stand up to wear and grow more beautiful with a layer of patina through use. Nothing is less welcoming than the sense a room can’t be used and lived in.

5. Aim to have a nice mix of old and new. And please, don’t go to a furniture store and buy the matching furniture set!

Manor’s Favorite Products for the Home 1. A good sofa is a great foundation piece; I love the Charleston sofa from Cisco Brothers. It has classic styling that is versatile and is very comfortable to dive into!

2. Flooring makes a huge statement in a room and can be one of the more expensive design decisions. It can also dictate how you and others will treat a space. If you put down white carpet most people will automatically be more cautious. I prefer hardwoods with a hand knotted wool rug, which adds depth and grounding to a room. A Mamluk in teal from Tibet Carpet or a tomato hued Tepsi from Asia Minor are among our favorites.

3. Books! Even in an age of e-readers nothing can replace how being surrounded by books

makes you feel. In my dream world I would buy a copy of each book that comes through the shop doors! My current favorite is American Modern by Thomas O’Brien.

4. Most people gather around food, so make the kitchen or dining room a great place to

hang out. A nice way to accomplish this is with a large table, such as a 60” round table with a reclaimed wood top or a sawhorse zinc table.

5. Lighting! From chandeliers to sconces and table lamps. They simply make a room. And What are the Latest Trends?

The new trend is to not follow trends! Mix and match old with the new and repurpose!



It should come as no surprise that Liza also runs an interior design business, with the help of design assistant Shannon Riordan. Many of their clients decide to work with Manor after visiting or becoming familiar with the shop and its look and product mix. It all feels very personal, they come in and are drawn to the entire look and want help in bringing the same qualities to their homes. Often a working relationship starts when someone needs help with a job as simple as accessorizing. Larger projects usually follow these first tentative steps of working with a designer, which may include guidance in pulling together bookshelves or a single room. Through those experiences a client often gains a sense of comfort to take on larger scale projects with a designer. “One of the best parts of the work for me is being able to help out on all sorts of projects, not just the full scale design jobs. Often projects have a hard time making it to that finished layering stage. In my opinion this is the stage that really turns your project into a home.” And when asked to share her take on what makes a design project successful Liza adds, “I believe that a design should feel comfortable, approachable and reflect a sense of the people living there. I never want to walk into a project and know at first glance which designer worked on it. We put great importance on learning how our clients live in the spaces, what they are drawn to and what makes them feel most at home. There is no point in designing a room without a TV if that is what the client wants to do in the room. I feel when we work on a project it is a very collaborative experience. I feel successful when I have helped resolve someone’s design issues or helped them see the potential of their spaces!”

Final Tips: Liz: Keep bedrooms free of clutter! Liza: Buy good solid basics. A quality sofa in

the right scale with classic lines will last forever. It can always be recovered.

Liz: Select items which are in scale to the

place they reside, if things are in scale a room can be updated with changing out the accessories.

Liza: If you really love a piece it will always work in your home!


In a living room update by Manor, Charleston sofas by Cisco Brothers in Brevard Marine Blue linen, a BoBo Intriguing Objects chandelier, blue stone coffee table and latte colored garden stools invite conversations or time spent enjoying a great book.


A spacious eat-in area was a key component of a full kitchen remodel. The Valor fireplace and reclaimed teak & metal chairs set around a harvest table welcome a crowd. A pair of antique mustard oil ewers introduces the perfect touch of color.


Bring the Indoors Outside for a Summer Soiree!


By Courtney Fernan Photography by Meghan Owens

Summer marks that special time of year when more hours are spent outdoors, enjoying sunkissed days and warm starlit nights. To fully embrace the relaxed spirit of this season, why not bring the comforts of your home outside the next time you entertain. It’s an affordable way to create a unique atmosphere with the most welcoming style. By shopping your own

home it’s simple to create an outdoor oasis for a wide range of events, from celebrating a special anniversary or birthday to hosting a neighborhood get-together. The comfortable touches invite everyone to feel at home and encourage all to savor a long evening of fun in the fresh summer air.

Create a Comfortable Scene

With the party hosted just steps from the inside of your home, how convenient it becomes to simply shop the house for comfortable seating options, tables to serve from and dine at, pieces for guests to rest their drinks on and even your favorite linens. Gather items with a similar color palette but don’t be afraid to mix textures and patterns. Use to your

advantage the power a few plush pillows, throws and comfortable seating has to create a wonderful atmosphere, inviting relaxation and time spent reconnecting with friends and family. Whether the party is set in your backyard, on a porch or in the front of the home, allow the natural landscape to create a beautiful backdrop for the occasion.


Light Up The Scene Adding a special touch through unexpected lighting can be simple. Pull a lamp or two from your home to set on a beverage table or hang a fun chandelier from a tree for the night. Filling several mason jars with tea lights is an easy way to add a soft glow to the evening. Set on tables for dining or strung up with twine in trees, they’ll bring a casual vintage spirit to your outdoor party.


Accessorize With What You Have It’s time to appreciate all those pretty lanterns, ceramic bowls and trays collected over the years. Use these accessorizes to add a little “jewelry” to the night - splashes of color and decorative flourishes go a long way towards enhancing the setting. 81

Set Up a Drink Station The key to throwing any party is the ability to stay relaxed and engaged as the host. Plan to entertain in a way that allows much of the preparation to be done well beforehand and set up stations that let your guests serve themselves. Consider mixing a signature cocktail in pitchers and set out plenty of


everyday drink or wine glasses that you already have on hand. Don’t worry about providing the proper glassware for each drink, use one type of glass or an eclectic mix. Your guests will feel special knowing you thought ahead to have cocktails and a variety of drinks ready for them to enjoy.


Mix Outdoor Furniture with Indoor Décor The fantastic part about bringing your indoors outside is that you don’t need to invest in any new seasonal outdoor items. Use throw pillows from your sofa and grab a mirror from your hallway. Welcome guests with a chalkboard sign that is borrowed from the playroom. Think outside the box and use what you already own and love. A sofa table can become a

bar from which to serve drinks, covered with a table runner. Set a wicker storage basket topped with a tray alongside an outdoor bench, made extra inviting with pillows. One of the best parts of throwing an outdoor party is eliminating the need to worry about the inside of your home. It needn’t be picture perfect or spotless!

Make it Playful The most memorable parties are those that see everyone lingering well beyond the meal into the twilight hours as the stars come out. Providing activities for guests to engage in and enjoy will have people feeling as if they are kicking back in your living room. Setting out a


variety of games to try a hand at adds a fun dimension to any gathering. Whether it’s a game of backgammon or a friendly game of cards, your guests will feel inclined to play well into the night.


Invite Everyone to Pitch In A potluck dinner is a fantastic way to simplify the party planning and invite guests to participate in the event. Make it easy for people to know what to bring by setting a menu and asking each person to bring a


specific dish. This keeps the menu cohesive and ensures a delicious and well thought-out meal that won’t require extensive cooking and food preparation for hours on the day of the party.

Cozy Up As the Sun Goes Down A basket of blankets set out so guests can cozy up as the sun goes down is a great way to ensure the long summer night is enjoyed to its fullest. And isn’t this what the season is about? If it gets extra cool and you have a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, light a toasty fire. Summer is the time of year when you can break the rules and let your imagination run free. Savor the time spent with friends and family. Consider bringing your indoors outside the next time you invite guests over to celebrate that special occasion or when you just want to have a few people over for a memorable evening.

“Summer is about enjoying each moment to the fullest!” 87

Simple DIY Projects for Your Next Outdoor Party

Tea Lights in Hanging Mason Jars: Inexpensive mason jars filled with tea lights can be hung from branches with just a little twine. Be sure to have a long lighter handy in order to reach the candle inside.

Personalized Chalkboard Chargers: Grab any chargers you no longer use and give them a quick coat of chalkboard spray paint. Used indoors or out, they serve as a fun conversation piece at the table.


“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

Charles Bowden


Festive Entertaining Made Simple


Sangria is the perfect summer beverage to mix up in a large pitcher when entertaining a crowd. With so many delicious variations possible, simply select your favorite fruits and a crisp wine, mix together, chill and set out for guests to serve themselves.

White Wine Sangria

Ingredients: 2 bottles crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Riesling ½ cup sugar or to taste 3 oranges sliced 1 lemon sliced 1 lime sliced ½ pint fresh raspberries fresh mint sprigs for garnish 1 liter sparkling water ice - optional Directions: Pour wine into a pitcher and squeeze the juice from the fruit slices into the wine. Toss fruit slices into the wine, add sugar to taste and stir. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and let the mixture sit for at least 1 hour. The sangria will sweeten with time, so the longer it sits, the better. Add sparkling water just before serving. Tip: If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled wine and simply serve over ice. Alternative fruits: sliced strawberries, peaches, mangos, cantaloupe, pineapple or any favorite sweet fruit. Serves approximately 12

Enjoy a glass wit h friends!


The Best Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

Sandwiches by Estelle Hayes

Nothing says summer like an ice cream sandwich, preferably gobbled down poolside while wrapped in a damp towel under the hot sun! The classic combination of chewy cookie and cold ice cream is the ultimate backyard treat and this homemade version is irresistible! The flavor combinations are endless, chocolate chip cookie with mint ice cream


or soft sugar cookie with lemon sorbet are my family’s favorites. But I’m partial to these traditional oatmeal cookies paired with rich homemade vanilla bean ice cream. And rolled in toasted almond pieces or mini chocolate chips, get ready for an extra bit of delish.

Turn the pages for two tried and true recipes along with a stepby-step “how- to� for creating a batch of the most delectable oldfashioned ice cream sandwiches this summer! 93

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups rolled oats 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Ingredients: 2 large eggs 3/4 cup sugar 2 cups heavy or whipping cream 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 vanilla bean (split down the length of the pod with contents scraped out with a spoon)

Directions: Combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl beat the butter, sugar and molasses using a mixer on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add in the flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Directions: Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue to whisk for about 1 minute until completely blended. Pour in the cream, milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and whisk to blend. Freeze following the directions of your ice cream machine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Form the dough into 12 balls, about 2 tablespoonfuls each, and arrange 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten with the back of a fork and bake until the cookies are golden, approximately 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to racks to cool completely. Makes 6 ice cream cookies.



Ice Cream Sandwich “Construction” Set out the cooled cookies, bowls of toppings (toasted nuts, mini chocolate chips or other favorite sprinkles), a bowl of ice cream and an ice cream scoop along with plastic wrap. Keep in mind you’ll be working quickly as the ice cream begins to melt!


Step 1:


Scoop a heaping serving of ice cream onto the base cookie.

Step 2: Sandwich the ice cream with the top cookie.


Step 3: Roll the ice cream sandwich sides in the bowls of toppings until all exposed ice cream is generously covered.


Step 4: Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least one hour.

“Serve and enjoy at your next summer event!� 99


Favorite Finds for Outdoor Living

Find shade under the Black & White Striped Umbrella from Sunbrella.


Gather ‘round the table with Shattuck Metal & Wood Bistro Chairs.

What is better than outdoor living, especially when done with style in your own backyard. Set up “camp,” light a fire and invite friends over for an afternoon or evening of fun!



Light up a patio with the Tole Tent Lantern.

Colorful flowers in Isadora Planters will brighten the scene.

Roast treats & stay cozy after the sun goes down with the Miso Modern Fire Pit.

Pop some kernels with the Campfire Popcorn Popper by Great Northern.

Toss in a few Sunbrella Regatta Set out drinks and pull up chairs to the Stripe Pillows for comfort. Shattuck Metal & Wood Bistro Table. Keep the plants thriving with a Red Watering Can from Crate & Barrel.

Add a cozy layer to the outdoor setting with a Classic Home Natural Fibers Rug.

Roast up the treats with Roasting Forks from Coleman.


Take a Hike!

Enjoy the Outdoors this Summer

With the arrival of summer it is the perfect time to unplug and get outside. Summers are glorious here in Oregon. Dry, warm and rarely above 90 degrees, perfect for day hiking. It may be that living in Oregon gives those of us who reside here a greater appreciation for summer, since it rains the other nine months of the year. We don’t want to miss a single day of summer sitting inside! People making the Northwest home are also blessed to live within an hour or two of mountain peaks, the coast


by Nicole Case

and numerous national parks, all of which provide well maintained trails for the novice to the experienced hiker. Regardless of where you live, hiking is a wonderful way to spend a summer day with your family or friends and has many benefits. It’s inexpensive; hiking is free with the exception of the cost of a little gas to get you to the trail head. It’s healthy; you’ll enjoy a great cardiovascular workout while reducing any stress you might be feeling about work or

other situations. It’s also very simple; hiking is an extension of walking. If you can walk, you can hike! An equally importantly component of hiking, particularly for working parents like me, is how the time spent getting to the trail and enjoying the hike presents an opportunity for quality time with others. If those hiking

partners happen to be your children, this is a great way to spend meaningful time with them without the interruptions of a typical day spent at home. And who knows, it may just lead you and your family to a lifelong love affair with nature. So unplug, unwind and go for a hike.

Before Heading Out: Smart Planning & Preparation is the Key to an Enjoyable Experience 1. Understand Your Limits Are you or anyone in your party new to hiking? If so, choose the trail you’ll be hiking wisely. Look for an easy trail with a goal or reward along the way: a waterfall, spectacular view or a mountain lake. As you hike more

often, you can increase the difficulty and distance of the trails to be tackled. With frequent outings you’ll be amazed at how quickly your stamina can improve.

2. Do Your Research Researching various hikes in your area has never been easier. Hiking resources are plentiful on the internet and there are several apps designed specifically for the hiker. (See list of resources on following pages.) Most of the hiking guides mark trails by

difficulty and show the elevation gain and total distance. These guides will also indicate the months of the year a trail is open and provide information on their condition, an important tool to ensure trails are safe for hiking after a long winter.

3. Schedule Some Training If the planned hike is a more strenuous one or you’re setting your sights on a more advanced and longer trail, preparing your lungs and muscles is a smart idea. Take walks in your neighborhood or climb the elliptical at your athletic club. There is no better way, however, to prepare for a strenuous hike than hiking itself. If a difficult hike is in your plans, a month

or two before the event plan to take a day hike once a week, gradually increasing the elevation gain. Carry the gear and supplies you plan on taking for the big hike to become accustomed to the weight, allowing yourself to handle this equipment with more ease and confidence.


4. Bring the Proper Gear A good pair of shoes is a must and an extra pair of socks will probably come in handy. Athletic shoes will do if the trail is not too rocky or steep, but a good pair of hiking boots is better. Also a pack is a must, whether fanny or back, that can hold your food, water and

supplies. Bringing along a hat is a smart idea, as well as a light jacket. Safety gear should include a flashlight, compass, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, first aid kit and a whistle for emergencies.

5. Pack Food & Supplies Water is the most important supply for the outing as hiking builds up a thirst! Depending on the length of the planned hike, one or two quarts are a good idea. Children may balk at the weight - a quart of water weighs two pounds - but an average person needs at least three quarts of water a day. Also, try to drink plenty of water the day before the hike to be sufficiently hydrated.

Food to keep your energy level up is also a must. Try packing trail mix or protein bars. Apples and bananas taste heavenly during a break on the trail. Even a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich tastes like a gourmet meal during a strenuous hike! Be sure to leave extra water and food in your car for when you return.

6. Last Minute Preparations Pack your gear the night before and recheck it before you leave. Also go online to check on the conditions of the trail you have selected and take into consideration the

weather on day of the hike. Both will help you pack the right gear, ensuring everyone enjoys a great day on the trails!

Hiking Resources:

For General Advice on Hiking Visit: To Search for Trails in Your Area Visit:


To Shop for Gear Visit:

Let Technology Help You Enjoy the Outdoors!


Featuring over five million square miles of trail maps in the US and Hawaii, all of which are zoomable, download the maps you’ll need to use for real-time elevation and travel stats.


If you simply want a way to track your hikes, then download this app to log all your hikes, building an online hiking journal. There is not too much to this app, but it’s simple and it works!

This free app will help you locate nearby hiking spots with reviews, photos and trail information such as distance, elevation, route type and whether or not dogs are allowed!

MotionX GPS

One of the most popular GPS apps featuring all the maps and navigational instruments needed for outdoor activities. Track and share your location while keeping a log of it all on maps.

Park Maps

Interested in learning what National Parks are near you or need help finding the trail head in a park and other attractions? This app provides official Park Service maps of any national park in the US.


Point de Vue

If you like to hike in higher terrains, then Point de Vue is for you! This app provides information about the mountains around you and those in other regions of the world, with elevation and other key stats.


Be safe! An important app featuring clear, well- illustrated instructions for a range of medical emergencies from minor cuts to broken arms and pet injuries as well.



Know where you are at all times to avoid getting lost! An orienteering compass is a compass which “sits” on a map, a handy tool to keep you on the right track. No internet connection required.

Survival Guide

Another smart app to have, this one with essential tips for survival in the wilderness. Learn how to build a camp or shelter, find and purify water, which wild fruits are edible and how to treat bites and stings.

Now take a hike!


Going On a

Road Trip

‘Woody in Emerald Retro‘


Photography by Stefanie Poteet Story by Janell Beals

The iconic summer vacation is without a doubt the old-fashioned family road trip. With a little planning, today’s take on this classic can set a new standard of fun and adventure. Whether exploring off the beaten path attractions, discovering well known spots for the first time or revisiting favorite destinations, this form of travel is the best way to experience, up close and personal, the character of a region.

1. Where Will You Go & What Will You Do? Get out a map and start dreaming. Is there a place you’ve always wanted to see? Based on the number of days set aside for the trip, make sure to be realistic about the distance you can cover while allowing plenty of time to fully enjoy the attractions. As a general rule, 300 miles a day is the most you should aim to conquer if you have younger children. However, if they tend to fall asleep the minute the car pulls out of the driveway, then a longer distance can probably be handled. If you’re heading out as a couple then go ahead and tackle more, but set reasonable expectations to ensure an enjoyable trip. Plan frequent stops to stretch and take time to explore any unexpected sites you encounter. Once a destination has been selected, begin researching what lies along the route and begin to plan an itinerary. How much time will be spent driving, sightseeing or simply hanging out by the pool? What are your

‘When I Grow Up’

special interests and are there opportunities to explore them along the way? What type of accommodations will you enjoy and where will you find your meals? Are there any attractions that you’ll need to purchase tickets for in advance? Make certain to secure these prior to hitting the road. Last year our family’s road trip took us to San Francisco, with a visit to Alcatraz our son’s top request. We arrived in the city only to discover tickets sell out weeks in advance. Our only hope was to arrive at the pier at the crack of dawn and stand in line with the hopes of securing a few of the tickets set aside each day for people like us. Luckily, by late morning we had tickets in hand and were boarding a ferry to the island. It proved to be the highlight of the entire trip for our son. Lesson learned: plan ahead if popular attractions are on your agenda!



2 . How Will You Spend the Hours Driving? While the idea of getting a history lesson may not be high on the kid’s wish list for the trip, knowing the facts and stories of the region to be traveled through will enrich the experience tremendously. What is the history of a town and are there any famous historical figures from the area? What are the regions resources and what caused the land formations seen in the passing scenery? Take the time to do a little research before leaving home to create “living history lessons” on the road. Pay attention to where you’re passing through and point out any facts learned while researching the trip. For on the go assistance with discovering what a current location has to offer, check out the apps Best Road Trip Ever and Roadside America. Other apps that will help avoid the dreaded “are we there yet?” syndrome are

the License Plate Travel Game and Audible, an app which has an extensive library of audible books. (See a comprehensive list of helpful travel apps in the following article.) The time spent driving can also provide an opportunity to really talk with one another. Our daily lives often find us so busy with activities and responsibilities that time for a decent chat often gets lost in the business of the day. Take time to catch up on each other’s interests and lives! Share your favorite new music, sports trivia, goals, and revisit favorite family stories. Selecting a souvenir or two is also an important part of any vacation, even when it’s a simple trinket. It’s a good idea to set a budget before setting out, particularly with kids, and search for items that appeal to your aesthetic while capturing the spirit of the trip!

3. Get Packing! Nothing takes the fun out of a road trip faster than not being prepared with essentials and the extras to add to the enjoyment. Top on the list is to make sure you start off with enough snacks and drinks to keep everyone content. Take along a good cooler and stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and other favorite healthy snacks to ensure nutrition doesn’t take a nose dive on the road. For comfort, bring along a pillow and comfortable, weather appropriate clothing and shoes. What activities do you have planned? Make certain to pack needed


apparel and gear for the outings and activities you’ll be participating in. Swimsuits if pools will be part of the fun and hiking shoes if you’ll be getting out into the terrain. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are essential to protect everyone from the glaring sun and a first aid kit is a must. With electronic devices today’s staple during a road trip, don’t forget the chargers. If children are part of the group, have each pack a backpack of favorite activities, books, small toys and drawing materials.

‘The Sky is My Shore’

4. Fill Up the Tank & Start The Engine… Prior to departure, make sure your vehicle is reliable and ready for the miles ahead. Check the tires, coolant and engine oil and make

‘Don’t Call Me Yellow’

certain car essentials such as a spare tire, jack, wrench, jumper cables and a flashlight are packed in the trunk. With plans in place and an itinerary set, head out with a mindset of discovering new places and trying new things. Embrace activities you typically wouldn’t experience in your daily routine. Try restaurants serving foods you don’t usually eat and make a point of speaking with the locals to get a sense of the community. If your schedule at home is hectic, avoid vacationing at the same pace and leave room open in the day for a bit of serendipity.




A Road Trip Leads One Photographer to Her Passion Photographer Stefanie Poteet has more than a passing liking for the vintage aesthetic, old signs and brilliant color. Interestingly, it was during an encounter on a road trip that she first discovered the subject matter which has become the passion behind her work. During a cross-country drive in the summer of 2009, Stefanie came across the Supai Motel in Seligman, Arizona. As she stepped out of the truck, put the motel sign in her viewfinder, she fell instantly in love. Stefanie now credits the Supai Motel with sparking a photographic passion that she will pursue for the rest of her life.

“Vintage neon signs speak to me, it’s like they call my name through their worn personality. I love old neon, large light bulbs, crazy arrows and signs with drama and flair. I look at a sign and see history, art, hours of hard work and American individualism. These signs, like the classic cars I have loved since I was a child with their detail, chrome and low growl made when idling - are slowly disappearing. As a photographer I hope to capture as many of these signs as possible before they are gone for good.”

“In addition to vintage signs, I love classic muscle cars! The detail, the chrome and the low growl they make when idling. The perfect vehicle for a road trip.” ‘Vette’


‘The Blue Spruce’

‘And I’m a Peacock’

“Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era.” 112

“My weekend road trip destinations have become places with great neon and my maps are dotted with liquor stores, motels, abandoned lots, bowling alleys and diners. I seek out the places most people miss and relish in the hidden gems that I never expected to find. It’s my own version of a treasure hunt, and the Supai Motel sign is the first jewel I laid eyes on. Sometimes the signs come to you, crossing your path in the course of daily life. But most of the time you have to go find them, just like any other photograph you might ever want to take. Sometimes the beauty of photography is the exploration. It’s all part of the fun.”



‘Road Runner, Road Runner’


‘My Motel is My Castle’

‘At the Summit’

Road Trip Resources: Road Trip USA:

This site provides 11 complete road trip routes on classic blacktop two lane highways and features colorful maps.

Planning Fun Road Trips:

This informational website provides general road trip knowledge including many useful articles on trip planning, road trip cost calculator, food tips, games and songs.

Five Top Road Trips in the UK: Choose from an afternoon spin from London to Briton or a drive through the Scottish Highlands, what could be better than a road trip with British style?

Australian Road Trips:

While most planning websites focus on travel in the US and Canada, Australia is an exciting destination for road trips. This site offers 17 road trip ideas


Apps to Help Plan & Enjoy TripIt conveniently organizes all your travel plans in one place. Simply forward confirmation emails to have an itinerary automatically built that can be accessed anytime.

iExit tells you exactly what awaits at the next exit and the exits to follow! Hungry for lunch, looking for a rest stop or a place to grab some snacks? This app will lead you there.

Roadside America finds quirky and amusing sites along your route, with information about the attraction and maps to ensure you don’t get lost.

Yelp is your friend when arriving in a new city you know nothing about. Read user recommendations for places to eat, what to see, where to stay and more, all with helpful reviews.

Best Road Trip Ever shares hand-picked offbeat attractions that make taking the back roads a lot more fun. Includes photos, videos and stories featuring the various sites.

Gas Buddy helps to locate the cheapest place to fill your tank, important stuff when on a long road trip or for everyday use!

Fuel Finder is another app designed to identify lowest prices when it’s time to refuel. Smart when prices can vary as much as twenty cents within a few blocks.


Where uses your location to provide suggestions in these categories: Eat, Drink, Play, Guides, Best Bets and Local Info, such as nearest ATMs and gas stations. Waze enables drivers to share and receive real-time traffic updates and step-by-step navigation to avoid problems ahead. Great for road trips as well as daily commuting!

Trapster works through a community of users that submit speed traps and road hazards along the way, alerting users in the area…but remember to drive safely!

the Best Road Trip Ever! Priceline Hotel & Car Negotiator helps find the best rental car and hotel deals, when planning your trip or when looking for accommodations while on the road to that night’s destination.

Camp & Tent locates campgrounds that accept tents for those who prefer to spend the night camping and enjoying the evening alongside a campfire.

Wi-Fi Finder does just what its name says, showing a map of available free and pay Wi-Fi near your current location to stay connected.

Anti-Sleep Pilot is a good investment if you’ll be doing any extended driving along your trip. It calculates fatigue levels and recommends breaks.

Best Parking displays the cheapest and most convenient parking options based on your location for over 40 major cities in the US and Canada.

Audible lets you or the kids catch up on the reading list for hours of entertainment during long stretches of driving. Browse over 100,000 titles as well as listen to stand up comedy, radio shows and podcasts.

License Plate Travel Game updates this classic favorite road trip pastime. The app logs plates spied and keeps score, one point for plates already found and two for new plates.

Repair Pal provides a list of mechanics and estimates the cost of repair after you input your vehicle information and suspected problem, should your trip take a wrong turn. AAA provides a range of helpful travel apps for members that include trip planning, hotel and gas locators as well as discounts and roadside assistance.

Trip Journal documents and tracks trip highlights, photos, videos and comments about the experience, to share with others and archive for later viewing.




During the bright summer months - and all year long don’t forget to protect one of your most precious assets, your skin. 118

Shade Your Face with the Tropicana Sun Hat from Coolibar

THROW ON A SUN HAT: Style & Function

Hat Attack Sun Hat by Raffia with Metallic Mesh Ribbon

Floppy Hat in a Lovely Shade of Blue by August Hat

FOR SKIN: Sunscreens for Body & Face

Clinique SPF 50 Body Cream for All-Over Sun Protection. Guards against UVA & UVB rays & is gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 55 Cream for Face. Offers intense complexion defense against UVA & UVB rays.

Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 30. Works immediately to block out UVA, UVB & infrared rays while fighting blemishes. 119

FOR EYES: Sunglasses with UV 400 Protection

Prescription Eyewear Protection by Polaroid

‘Grace’ Sunglasses in Lavender by Angel

‘Craze’ Aviator Sunglasses by Angel Elizabeth and James ‘Zelzah’ Sunglasses

KW ‘Comet’ Sunglasses


Diane von Furstenberg ‘Cat’s Eye’ Sunglasses

FOR LIPS: Balms to Nourish & Shield

Shiseido SPF 36 Sun Protection Lip Treatment. A highly hydrating balm with UVA & UVB defense.

Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15. With vitamins A, C & E providing protection from free radicals & UV rays.

Healthy Lip Screen SPF 30 from Lavanila Laboratories. Soothing oils, natural titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for ultimate lip care.


To protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging apply a broadspectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection, SPF 15 or higher. UVA rays affect under layers of the skin leading to premature aging, while UVB rays pose a risk to the top layers of the skin leading to sunburns.


UVB rays can also damage the eyes, leading to cataracts, so wear sunglasses with a sun protection rating of at least UV 400.


Lips are also susceptible to burning through sun exposure, with the risk of developing skin cancer. To protect always wear a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply often!

Now enjoy some fun in the

SUN! 121

Perfectly Sun-Kissed, The FakeBake Way! by Mimi Inman

Summer is here and if you’re like me and have pale skin, you’d love to sport a bronzed glow! But to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking, it’s vital to protect your skin from the harmful rays that produce those golden tans. That’s why I’m such a fan of FakeBake, my current must-have line of products that provide a “sun-kissed” look without the damaging side effects of the sun.

Step 1: FakeBake Exfoliating Wipes

Are you concerned about dark patches and streaking when it comes to using self-tanning products? The key to even and natural looking coverage is exfoliation, and that’s why FakeBake Exfoliating Wipes are one of the best products this line offers. For perfect coverage, simply rub a wipe over your entire body prior to applying the tanning lotion, taking particular care to address elbows and knees, areas that can cause issues with their rougher patches of skin.


Step 2: FakeBake Original Lotion

The Original Self-Tan Lotion is my personal favorite of all the FakeBake products. Its moisturizing formula leaves skin wonderfully soft and is great for arms, legs and the entire body. Applied at night with the supplied gloves, you can’t mess this up! The lotion has a built-in color guide, a temporary darker color that allows you to see exactly where you’re applying the color to avoid pale patches, dark spots or streaking. Shower off in the morning to reveal a great natural looking tan that doesn’t get darker over time.

Step 3: FakeBake Airbrush For the décolletage, upper back and face, I’m a big fan of FakeBake Airbrush. It’s very easy to use, looks natural and also doesn’t streak. Simply twist your hair up in a knot after showering and give the face and upper body a quick spray, holding the can approximately 12 inches away. Wait about five minutes for the spray to dry and then get dressed and head out with your gorgeous glow!

“My only word of caution, don’t over apply! A little bit will do for a look that is beautiful and natural looking.” 123

British Summer Traditions By Pauline Wiles

In just a couple short weeks, all eyes will turn to London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympics. Nearly a million people from around the world will be arriving in London to support an estimated 17,000 athletes from over 200 countries, who will compete in 302 events as they go for the gold. Meaning sport will be top of mind for many of us watching from near or far. However, there is so much more to summer in Britain than world-class athletics. Take inspiration from these more gentle English pursuits, to bring some British flavor to your own summertime activities. 124

Day at the Seaside Did you know that there is not a single location in Britain more than 70 miles from the sea? As such, a day – or longer - at the seaside has been a British summer tradition since Victorian times, when the health benefits of sea, sand and (hopefully) sun first became fashionable. Once the first railways were built, the coast came within affordable reach for families of all income levels. The Victorians invented wheeled bathing “machines” to preserve the modesty of bathers as they entered the sea. By the 1920’s these had given way to beach huts, which are still a favorite part of the British coastal landscape today. Other traditional ingredients of a seaside day out include building sandcastles, bingo and donkey rides along the sand. Chances are you live more than 70 miles from salt water, but consider including a round of bingo and traditional English fare to bring a bit of the British seaside to your next summer outing.

What to Eat: Fish & Chips!

What to Drink: Tea, from a Thermos Flask, While Huddling Out of the Wind

To Visit: Everyone in Britain has their own idea of the perfect beach, but for the full-on seaside experience consider Bournemouth in Dorset or Cromer in Norfolk. If you prefer unspoiled beauty, try Woolacombe in Devon or Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk. My own vote goes to Southwold in Suffolk, which is a charming town with postcard pretty views. A miniscule beach hut here can cost an eye-watering £60,000. That’s nearly $100,000!

A Row of Traditional British Beach Huts at Southwold


The Chelsea Flower Show It’s been a hundred years since the first horticultural show was held on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. Home to the famous red-coated Chelsea Military Pensioners, the Royal Hospital is a haven for British soldiers who are unfit for duty, due to injury or old age. Once a year, it welcomes garden lovers from far and wide to a showcase of the latest and greatest growing ideas. Today, the flower show is a social event just as

much as a horticultural festival, with celebrities and royalty guaranteed to be in attendance. Last year, visitors to the show glimpsed faces as diverse as Queen Elizabeth, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jimmy Choo. Whether or not your own garden is worthy of royal inspection, you can add a touch of floral beauty to your own life with the British favorite finds when turning the page.

What to Eat: Strawberries & Scones

What to Drink: Pimm’s

To Visit:


The show runs each year in May, with the first two days restricted to members of the Royal Horticultural Society. If planning a future visit, a ticket must be purchased in advance. For further information visit

The Village Fête

The British summer fête is one of our quirkier participants to triumph, rain or shine. Expect to traditions, and the key entertainment find coconut shies, morris dancing, cakes and components have seen few changes for jams for sale, a tug-of-war or game of croquet hundreds of years. Usually found in smaller and, of course, vegetable judging. village communities, where rivalries over who Some communities seize the start of spring to grew the largest marrow or baked the tastiest celebrate with a May Fair, which may include cake can dwarf national politics, the summer dancing around a traditional striped May Pole. fête is an eclectic but much loved gathering. Others wait for the brief summer months of Key to its allure is the uncertainty of the June, July and August. weather, and the dogged determination of

What to Eat: Homemade Cakes & Sausage Rolls

What to Drink: Warm Beer or Elderflower Cordial

To Visit: Few traditional English fêtes have mastered the art of spreading the word via online media. However, those with a web presence include Nunney, Richmond upon Thames, Dunchurch, Tewin and Silchester. 127

Favorite Finds with British Style!

Bring a Touch of Iconic British Style into Your Home through Pillows From Naked Design

English Pretty & Most Feminine From Boden Stay Dry in Colorful Fashion From Cath Kidston

Mind the Gap with London Sole Pirouette Ballet Flats in Red & Blue


Weather the Elements with a Fabric Windbreak From Not On The High Street

Plant Essentials in the Royal Rose Zip Wallet From Cath Kidston


Be Properly Prompt Queen Clock from Well Dressed Home


White Jasmine & Mint: Capturing the Scent of an English Garden From Jo Malone

Fun Wet Day Footwear Wellies From Joules

Houndstooth Throw for Yourself or a Beloved Pet, By Mutts & Hounds Woven in Yorkshire



British Edition


London Calling!

With the Summer Olympics landing in London, we’ve caught up with two stylish English bloggers who are sharing a bit of their uniquely British charm and thoughts about living in the host city.

Sarah from

Margarita from



A Handmade “Bucket Bag” in Sarah’s Modern Country Garden

“I Love Modern Country Fashion!”


Sarah’s Beginners Guide to Painting Furniture HOF: Sarah, please share what you enjoy most about writing your blog Modern Country Style and, in particular, what do you appreciate about being a British blogger?

“I love the freedom that blogging gives to share my passion for Modern Country - whether that’s designing our home and garden, styling lovely outfits or creating crafty gorgeousness. I’m incredibly proud to represent English style to the blogging world, as well as being able to showcase some of my favorite British artisans on my blog.”

HOF: What are you most looking forward to with the Olympics being hosted in London? “The Olympics this year will be such a special time for us as a family. I positively relish in the community spirit that always arises in England on occasions like this - bunting and street parties hold a special place in my heart. We’re expecting our fifth baby this summer, so it will be a very eventful year all round!”


A Modern Country Kitchen Makeover


HOF: Margarita, what prompted you to begin writing your blog chocolate creative, and what is it about being a British blogger that you enjoy the most?

“I am a homeware designer and started blogging back in 2008 to help market my business chocolate creative. Blogging has given me the opportunity to meet some great people; other bloggers, designers, journalists, customers and friends. I love to be able to connect with so many like-minded people and enjoy sharing my inspiration and interests, while promoting other people’s work I appreciate.”

HOF: How is hosting the Olympics changing London and what are you most excited to take in during the event?

“The Olympics are already transforming the city, especially the East area of it. A much needed regeneration project has been going on to allocate the games and leave a legacy for the future of this area and the entire city. A lot of British designers have come up with products related to the games, which is fun to see. For the English, this will be a joint celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, so there is a lot of memorabilia and homeware being designed for these occasions. I can’t wait to visit the Olympic sites, the architecture promises to be amazing. And simply the buzz around the city is very special, so I am very much looking forward to the games! London will never be the same again.”

“Simply the buzz around the city is very special...London will never be the same again!” 136

Margarita Lorenzo is the designer behind chocolate creative, the handmade textiles and homeware brand based in South London.


What We’re Watching

Movies with that Special British Flair


“ Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” Alfred Hitchcock

With so many options for catching the latest movie or a forgotten gem, from theaters to the iPad and everything in between, don’t miss out on the enjoyment of a great movie! ‘39 Steps’ – 1935 This classic British thriller, one of Hitchcock’s first international successes, is full of twists and turns that hint of an exceptional future in film. In this tale a Londoner is mistakenly accused of murder and must find a way to clear his name. With Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

‘Two for the Road’ – 1967 While not set in London, the opening scenes are in England - so this longtime favorite makes the list! During a road trip to the French Riviera, a series of flashbacks explore a couple’s restless marriage of ten years, helping them determine what their future holds. Gorgeous scenery, “hip” 1960’s fashion, a timeless story and stellar cast makes this film a standout. With Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, Directed by Stanley Donen

‘Chariots of Fire’ – 1981 A must on this list, not only as a British film but one that tells an Olympian story. Based on a true story, this Oscar-winning drama unfolds as two very different men compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Scotsman Eric Liddell desires to succeed as a testament to his Christian faith, while Harold Abrahams is a Jewish Englishman who desperately seeks acceptance. With Ian Charleson and Ben Cross, Directed by Hugh Hudson

‘A Room With a View’ – 1985 A delightful movie based on a novel by E.M. Forster. Set in the Edwardian era, this is a story of a young woman’s struggle between following what’s expected of her or her heart, captured within a story that pokes fun at the British class system of the day. With Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott and Daniel Day-Lewis, Directed by James Ivory


‘My Left Foot’ - 1989 This movie tells the true story of Irishman Christy Brown, paralyzed from birth with cerebral palsy. Misdiagnosed as mentally disabled for the first ten years of his life, through determination and the support of his mother, a different future is realized in which he becomes a well-known author and painter. This powerful tale is not always pretty, but tells a great story of human determination and courage. With Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh O’Connor and Brenda Fricker, Directed by Jim Sheridan

‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ - 1994 This is one very funny movie which manages to remain festive and elegant at the same time – a winning combination! A colorful ensemble of characters delivering a steady stream of witty dialog is the best part of this acclaimed British comedy. At the center of the tale is an intermittent romance between an Englishman and an America woman, who have a habit of running into one another at weddings. With Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell, Directed by Mike Newell

‘The English Patient’ – 1996 An adaptation of a Michael Ondaatje book, this is a story of a Hungarian count critically injured at the end of the war. Through flashbacks the tale of his doomed love affair with an Englishwoman, set in prewar Northern Africa, unfolds. It is a movie that captivates with its complex story and stunning cinematography. The movie won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. With Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth, Juliette Binoche and Willem Defoe, Written and Directed by Anthony Minghella


‘Sliding Doors’ – 1998 Do you believe that the outcome of one small event could set your life in two completely different directions? An Intriguing scenario to consider while watching a London career woman’s future play out in parallel universes. A romantic comedy-drama with a “road not taken” premise in which a series of events play out in significantly different directions, based on the act of catching or missing a train. With Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah and Jeanne Tripplehorn, Written and Directed by Peter Howitt

‘An Education’ – 2009 A coming of age tale set in 1960’s London. This captivating movie provides a glimpse into the life of Jenny, a suburban teen who has reached a pivotal phase of a young woman’s life. At 16 and in a terrible hurry to grow up, she ignores the cautionary tales of the characters filling the pages of her favorite literary novels. As the story unfolds you are taken in, along with Jenny, not clearly seeing the truth until it is nearly too late. An outstanding film! With Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, Directed by Lone Scherfig

‘The King’s Speech’ - 2010 The telling of this true story holds one’s attention with its dramatic tension and wry humor introduced through the odd pairing of the stories two main characters; Prince Albert, who suffers from a debilitating speech impediment, and Lionel Logue, a speech therapist. By refusing to bow down to expected norms of how royalty must be treated, help comes from an unlikely source to the man who becomes King. With Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush, Directed by Tom Hooper

For additional gems with that British Flair see: 100 Favorite British Films 141




By Lakeitha Duncan

We all know that the easiest way to transform a room or piece of furniture is with paint. But Kristen Davis has taken it a step further; paint has changed her life. Her decorative painting business, Kristen F. Davis Designs, is flourishing. A growing roster of clients are hiring her to bring customized style to their homes and furniture pieces, while her popular blog has become a go-to resource for design

inspiration. Her most recent accomplishment promises to bring even more attention to her talents, becoming the spokesperson for the MyColor Inspired by Pantone paint line, available at Lowe’s. In this issue of House of Fifty, we explore how Kristen’s hard work and dedication to her passion for paint is paying off!

How Does Someone Prepare for Oprah once said she doesn’t believe in luck, instead luck is preparation meeting opportunity. But how exactly does one prepare for opportunity? For Kristen, it began with getting an education that focused on her interest in drawing, and she made sure to fit in classes on interior design. Despite graduating at a time when the job market was taking a nose dive, she was persistent in her search and found a


position with a faux painting company. After gaining solid work experience it was time for the next step, trying her hand at pursuing this line of work on her own. This didn’t mean things just immediately fell into place, for the next year and a half she also worked as a nanny part-time to ensure a consistent income.

“I had a couple painting jobs lined up to do solo, which made the transition easier. As I continued to get more jobs I also continued to nanny, but eventually it seemed right to take the step to work the business full-time and start a blog. The rest is history!” Painting Your Own Going against the grain is hard; people have a preconceived notion when they think of decorative painting. The first words that may come to mind are artsy, or dare I say crafty. For this reason, it was important to Kristen that her work represents her personal style. By


setting out to create a more sophisticated look in decorative painting, designs that she would enjoy looking at in her own home, she has clearly set herself apart from the tissue paper and Venetian plaster era of decorative finishes.

“I worked hard to acquire clients that appreciate the same style as me, and I love the jobs that I get today! “ 143


Hard Work Truly Does Kristen’s big break came when her blog was discovered by a woman who just happened to be married to the President of Synta, the company that owns the MyColor Inspired by Pantone paint line. Through this connection Kristen was commissioned to paint pieces for the company to use at trade shows, as well as the pieces showcased in the brochures at Lowe’s. Despite a tight deadline to complete the project, Kristen’s willingness to jump in and work hard opened doors. “After Synta was introduced to my work, I was hired to paint pieces for their brochures. Looking back now it’s kind of funny to me. Because the deadline was so tight I remember working in their warehouse day and night to

Pay Off

complete the projects, during the blizzard that hit that January. I drove in crazy icy conditions when I probably shouldn’t have. I ended up getting pretty sick afterwards, but in retrospect the effort was worth it; they came back a year later and offered me a contract to be their sole spokesperson for the line!” In this role Kristen is responsible for creating the pieces for upcoming marketing campaigns and is involved in the photo shoots. She also writes a weekly blog post for MyColor Inspired by Pantone, coming up with the featured projects and ideas for these posts. In the near future, she is looking forward to making trade show appearances where she’ll promote and demonstrate the paint line.

DIY at the MyColor Blog: Painted Ikat Plate Project


Kristen’s Tips for Turning a into a



When Starting a Business: Be diligent and work very hard. I have done plenty of work for free in hopes that it would provide a good opportunity or be great for my portfolio. Some jobs will take you far and some jobs will be a “bust.” But it’s the learning, hands-on experience that everyone needs. Keep your paperwork and make sure to charge what you should be charging. Above all, I think it’s hard, hard, hard work that gets results. Utilizing Your Blog to Grow Your Business: It’s hard to maintain a blog and work all day running your own business. I generally arrive at my client’s homes to begin work at 10 a.m., which allows time in the morning to write posts and respond to emails before heading out the door. Just make sure to tend to your blog, posting more than once a week. If you want your blog to help with your business, you need to treat it well, putting time and effort into it! Synta found me through my blog, so I can definitely say that maintaining a daily blog showcasing your best work can go a long way. I’ve never advertised and rely solely on my blog for business. These days, with the power of search engines like Google, you can really go a long way with just a blog. Pursuing Sponsorship: If you love a product, talk about it! As for my sponsorship, it fell into my hands because the company had hired me to do actual work for them. But if someone wanted to look into getting this type of work, talk a lot about the products you love on your blog and other sites, linking to their website. Be vocal about how great the product is. Obviously being a spokesperson has been a great opportunity for my business. I get my name out there as a painting professional in a major national hardware store! I believe I’ve had these opportunities because I’ve given a lot of energy to my painting work. Everything from daily blogging, responding to reader’s questions and comments, to learning as much as I can (and I’m still learning) about paint application and products. All of this and some good fortune. Follow Your Passion: Identifying what you love and putting in hard work is the ticket! Find your niche and concentrate hard on it. This was advice I got from a fellow artist and I took it to heart. Don’t get bogged down with self-doubt. Concentrate on the positive and move forward. It’s not easy to run your own business and work with clients every day, but if you have the passion you can do it!

“Identifying what you love and hard work is the ticket! “ 146




KATE SINGLETON’S PASSION IS PROMOTING THE WORK OF EMERGING ARTISTS When Kate Singleton is asked to define her work, the titles of Art Dealer and Digital Curator come to mind. The first is familiar while the other is not, which is simply in keeping with the new and emerging venues for promoting and selling art utilizing technology. As the owner of the online art gallery Buy Some Damn Art and the voice behind the blog Art Hound, Kate is committed to these new channels that are challenging and perhaps even disrupting long standing norms of how art is discovered, featured and sold. But from change comes progress and Kate is excited about the opportunities these shifts present for her business and the artists whose work she champions. Kate first found a liking for art history in high school, an interest which continued through college. Despite this, it was not a field she pursued as family did not view it as the smartest direction to take for a future career. And so corporate jobs awaited her following college, in Boston and later NYC, where she gained solid business experience. On the side, however, she followed her growing interest in discovering new artists and acquiring artwork, gradually learning to identify what she was drawn to as a viewer. Uncovering artists doing great work, those typically not being showcased through mainstream galleries, was the group she found most inspiring. This work and exploration proved to be the foundation for her current

ventures. Over time Kate began to grasp that this interest could become something more. After being laid off in 2009, while considering her options for future employment, Kate’s husband suggested she start a blog. Though she had never considered this before, she launched Art Hound as a way to explore her interest in art further and the possibilities of what might be if she took a different path with her career. Kate spent nearly two years growing Art Hound, a blog through which she shares “under the radar” art discoveries. During this time she also explored various business concepts centered on art that could become a revenue maker. This was a crucial element in allowing her to continue this course with her career; to find a venture that would bring as much enjoyment as Art Hound, yet produce an income. After several years working in the corporate arena she shares she felt “drunk on her freedom” and didn’t want to give it up! This preparation, thought and planning led to the launch of the online art gallery Buy Some Damn Art in November 2011. On this site a show featuring the work of one artist is launched every Tuesday, showcasing six original works of art for sale in the relatively affordable price range of $200 to $500, along with a short Q&A session with the artist. Kate understands how important it is to people considering buying art online to get a sense of who the person is behind the art.

“ People want to feel a connection with not just the art but the artist, to understand who the person is behind the work.” 149

The process of selecting an artist to feature in a show includes revisiting the work of artists Kate knows, as well as seeking out new talent. One of the criteria is to present work she believes will resonate with, and on occasion challenge, the audience - pushing people past their comfort zone. Kate works closely with each artist planning their show, with the majority of the pieces created specifically for the event on Buy Some Damn Art. Who Kate chooses to feature is not based on how cool or famous the artist might be, but is based on being drawn to their work while

identifying value and future potential in the art. Kate has opted to promote original works as opposed to prints, which she believes have oversaturated the market. A lot of artists sell prints themselves or through print shops and, while she is appreciative of that process, she doesn’t see a lot of progress beyond that for artists to get their work found and sold. The reality is most art galleries sponsor artists whose works sell in the thousands. What is the opportunity between the two for emerging artists?



‘Trophy Child’

‘The Yellow House’ One of the artists whose work Kate has featured is Kate Pugsley. “I think one of the aspects of Kate’s work that appeals most to me is that I am totally in love with the colors she uses. They are the perfect combination of happy and calm. The colors, the gray greens, dark blues, mustard yellows, are grounding. There are a fair amount of neutrals that are soothing but are combined with saturated colors, the coral and mustards. This results in

imagery that is lively and calm at the same time. I’m a huge fan of folk art, and there is an element of that in Kate’s work. For example, most of the figures have rosy cheeks. It’s a style of art that is much more playful than traditional realist art. It’s more about the artist letting themselves tap into their subconscious, or dreams and thoughts they may have had as a child.”

“These are scenes or an image a child might visualize when having a book read to them.” Kate Singleton 151

“There is also a tinge of loneliness and sadness, but if you had a painting that looked like these without this sense of depth it could seem trite. Her works are saying something a bit heavier, deeper and meaningful about

life. Perhaps being separated from something. Young children can experience happiness, loneliness and sad times; there is a profoundness about it. Kate captures a little pocket of time that is sweet and also sad.”



‘Heartless’ Kate Pugsley, who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration shares, “I’m an oil painter and illustrator living in Chicago. My work explores the indescribable mystery behind our complex relationships with nature, our bodies

and objects. I draw inspiration from undersea environments, the past (recent and distant), science, childhood emotion, sensory recollection and association. I am inspired by coincidences and the moments when people are simply nice to each other.”



‘Cape May House’



‘Harrisville Grey’ Another artist whose work Kate Singleton is drawn to is Carrie Bobo. “Carrie’s paintings have the stark beauty and tense stillness that immediately brings Edward Hopper to mind. The artist’s deep love of architecture really comes through in her work, especially in pieces like ‘Harrisville Grey’ which feature houses with neoclassical proportions and startling colors. Truthfully most of us are fascinated by other people and want to know where they live and how. House art, a favorite genre of mine, is really a portrait of sorts, and Carrie teases us by leaving only the vaguest impression of what lies inside.”

Carrie, who has degrees in both architecture and painting says, “These works are about paint, the psychology of color, an intimate relationship with surface, thin layers of paint that sit atop a cool ground that is neither water nor sky. The paintings are an expression of enlightened joy, a joy in settling, in quietude, a quietude of clarity. Art speaks in metaphors. Mine are written in the language I know best, the language of doors and windows, bricks and mortar. These paintings are an exploration of facade, both built and constructed, and the degrees of access allowed to shelter our soul.”



’But How Could I Know You Would Return?’ “Beth Kennedy is another talented artist from the Gold Coast in Australia. My own personal take on her work is how stunning the colors are and how she creates contemplative scenes. Looking at ‘But How Could I Know You Would Return?’ it is very interesting to see what the artist focuses on and what she doesn’t. What are the specific details highlighted with the


other elements becoming abstract, even atmospheric? The woman is portrayed but she can’t be seen well in the context of the room. She is being swallowed by the room; she is seen but is practically not there. A talented artist can accomplish these really complicated tasks on paper and, when it happens, it is magic.”

‘All These Years’ Having done her studies at the Australian National University located in Canberra, now living in Brisbane, Beth shares her own perspective on her work. “I am a painter not of appearances but of presence; I want the viewer to experience the atmosphere of my painted fictions, as color and pattern

wash over and around the women that inhabit my paintings, telling their tales of love and loss. I aim to create works with a quiet and enigmatic beauty. Each painting is the result of a sustained process of transcription: from staged photograph to watercolor and finally to paint on canvas.”


‘Apple Green’


‘This Time She Won’t Understand’

HOW TO IDENTIFY GOOD ART Is it a gut reaction or is there more to identifying talented artists and quality works of art? Kate says it has a lot to do with intuition, but one that is based on the experience of viewing countless pieces of art. For example, how does a particular piece stand up to other works in comparison? The more you look at, the more innate it becomes to identify what you react to. “When people have a lack of experience or exposure to art they tend to be drawn to the wrong thing. They are drawn to art in which

they recognize something, an element that is familiar. But after time with it, if the piece is purchased, it is liked less and less. Good art, as a broad term, tends to be appreciated more over time.” Kate suggests if someone is interested in beginning to acquire artwork, start by simply looking at a lot of art. Some people are gifted and able to distinguish what they like without this type of exposure. Most, however, need to begin to train their eye and preferences with exposure to a lot of art.


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House of Fifty July/August 2012  

House of Fifty magazine July/August 2012 issue

House of Fifty July/August 2012  

House of Fifty magazine July/August 2012 issue