My birthday get-away, from the Columbia Gorge to Luxembourg!

By , October 29, 2010 12:13 pm

I recently celebrated my birthday. It was a wonderful day full of adventure. One of the ways, I get my gardening/nature fix, is to get out into the wilderness of Oregon. What better backyard than our gorgeous state parks! I couldn’t think of a more fantastic venue for my birthday. To further illustrate my endless youthful energy…ha…I thought a bike ride through the Gorge would be the perfect activity!

Our path: The Mosier Twin Tunnel Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. This trail is for everyone – walkers, runners, families and is even handicap accessible!

Yes! There is light at the end of tunnel! Love this shot!

I love how whimsical these pine cone sculptures are! We just stumbled upon them…in the middle of nowhere!

What a gorgeous place for a pit stop…

Images via Double Mountain Brewery

We ended the afternoon gobbling up some fresh wood-fire pizza and washing it down with a couple of  delectable beers at the lovely Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River. I have to mention that hung on the brewery’s walls was some breathtaking photography of Hood River and the surrounding area by Blane Franger…go check out his portfolio here.

So you are probably wondering…okay so when do I jet off to Luxembourg? Well…let’s just say I had a little “stay-cation” from my laptop via my friend’s blog…so much fun…wanna go on a “Vicarious Vacation” too? Check it out here!

All in all, I had a fabulous day and I want to thank all of you who so graciously sent me birthday wishes!

Don’t wait for your birthday, get out in your state parks and play!

Small Kitchen Design by Julie DeJardin

By , October 27, 2010 2:48 pm

Today, I wanted to feature one of my favorite people – Julie DeJardin.  I met Julie when I was working as a designer for Neil Kelly and she was the president for the National Kitchen and Bath Association. She’s an amazing designer, a dear friend and she really knows how to downsize in style!

Julie recently moved into Portland’s beautiful high-rise – The Metropolitan.  She loves her new space, the view and the ease of living in the Pearl District but the kitchen, well that had to change. Renown for her amazing culinary skills and love of entertaining, Julie quickly realized that her kitchen – the heart of her new home – simply wasn’t up to par. With the ease of an artist with a brush, she pulled out her measuring tape, a pad of paper and began re-designing the space.

Check out the before shots…dull and dark.

And after…modern, clean and fresh!

It would have been near impossible to match the wood tone of the current cabinetry, so Julie ingeniously added these stunning high-pressure Italian laminate cabinets in a stormy gray, to provide even more storage.

Julie gets kitchens. I mean she really gets them. And when it came to her own kitchen she knew exactly what to do to meet her needs both functionally and aesthetically.  Check out some of the details…

By being creative with her space she gained a whopping 11.5 linear feet of  base cabinet storage. Now everything is easy to find and easy to reach!

The sparkling back-splash is a combo of polished and brushed metals, interlaced with crystal clear glass. Sourced locally at Pental Granite & Marble.  Gorgeous isn’t it? The snowy white Caesarstone Quartz counter tops provide the perfect contrast to the dark cabinetry.

Think that island is just an island? Think again! Julie added casters to the unit, so it can be moved into different configurations to suit her entertaining needs. It’s a dining table, buffet, bar and workspace! How’s that for multifunctional design?

By removing an existing wall, this elegant bar elongates the kitchen and adds sparkle and flair! Every girl needs a lovely place to whip up her favorite cocktail!

Nothing but the best for Julie’s appliances – a Viking fridge, Miele oven, Wolf cook-top and a Blanco micro-edge sink, all make this kitchen perform like a pro’s. Not to mention that whipping up delicious meals with this view is simply inspiring.

Julie’s artfully designed kitchen shows us, that when executed well, small spaces can truly meet all our needs!

Want more inspiration? Check out some beautiful compact kitchen designs here.  Does your kitchen meet the needs of your lifestyle? What would you change?

Have a fabulous day!

Small space : Big Impact with FLOR tiles

By , October 15, 2010 1:24 pm

Have you heard of FLOR? They are an innovative flooring company that has developed modular flooring solutions that have big impact! Perfect for small spaces, these ingenious carpet tiles will add serious style to your rooms! Check out some of my favorite looks…


Or more traditional…

FLOR’s wide selection of styles and colors has something for everyone.

White carpet under an eating area? Crazy, right? But when a spill happens, these durable little tiles come right up so you can hand wash the stain. Can’t get it out? Order one new tile instead of replacing a whole rug! Love that!

They even have tiles that will work outside…

Super easy to install too! Just snap the tiles together and you are good to go. From wall to wall to a small area rug, you can reconfigure the tiles as your needs change – flooring that can downsize with you! Brilliant!

Check out their great site here and their inspiring blog here.

Happy Friday!

All images via FLOR

Apartment Therapy in a Book

By , October 13, 2010 9:39 am

I’m sure many of you love following the extremely successful and inspirational blog : Apartment Therapy.  Never heard of it?  You must go take a look. It is chock full of fantastic ideas and home tours of some really incredible spaces.

For all those considering downsizing, it is an absolute necessary stop on your internet search. However, not everyone likes to get their information online so….why not check out this new, gorgeous book by Apartment Therapy founder, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan.

Full to the brim with imaginative solutions for small spaces, storage and organization, it may have you looking at your home in a whole new way! Maxwell believes that small spaces or size constraints actually opens up your creativity, forcing you to think outside the box. Since downsizing really involves a re-invention of your lifestyle, I really appreciate his fresh approach and I think you will too.

Want to add it to your library? Click here to buy.

Is there a small space in your own home that is begging for a makeover? Could it be more functional or even multi-functional if you looked at it with a new perspective? Look around you might just get inspired!

Have a fantastic day!

All images via Apartment Therapy

Get your Design fix – online.

By , October 8, 2010 8:52 am

Beginning the process of downsizing, we often look to the interior design world for inspiration and ideas but as more and more design magazines fold, internet or E-magazines are showing up on the radar.

I love curling up with a good design mag and a cup of coffee but the reality is that the technology of the day trumps the costs of running a traditional publication. While good ole’ paper mags are not going extinct immediately, I have tried to relish in what some of these E-mags have to offer.

So…pull up a comfy chair, your laptop or iPad (my favorite), a cup of something warm and peruse the eye candy virtually.

Some of my favorites:

Lonny Magazine has stunning photography, is artfully edited and informative too!

Another new e-mag that has surfaced is Rue. A stylish blend of fashion and design, this one is worth a peek. Check out their premiere issue…here.

For a one stop shop and healthy dose of inspiration check out An invaluable wellspring of ideas and resources, where you can sign up for free and create your own design files. Very handy!

While you mourn the loss of Domino, House & Garden and O at Home, drown your sorrows in the beautiful virtual interfaces of these up and coming online magazines.

Happy Friday!

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