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Archive for September, 2010

I’ve seen a lot of amber glass apothecary jars and bottles lately in stores, on blogs, and most recently as a centerpiece on our neighbors’ dining room table. Restoration Hardware even sells a set of amber glass pharmacy bottles for bathroom storage. Our neighbors’ dining table vases, however, started as Brew Dr. brand kombucha bottles. To no surprise, Brew Dr. is actually a Portland, OR based company!

Photo courtesy of (my awesome neighbor) Kevin Ward

¬†Ever since I found out about this kombucha¬†I’ve been drinking and saving the bottles for my collection. Not sure what exactly I’m going to do with them yet, but some ideas I had besides just as vases were hand or dish soap dispensers, oil & vinegar bottles, or room scent diffusers. I suppose I could just go buy some bottles instead, but the kombucha is delicious (and supposedly healthy?) and it’s kind of fun to clean them up and re-use them. Go to Brew Dr. Kombucha’s website to see where it is sold near you.

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We surveyed our new house a few days ago, taking notes on room measurements and the paint colors we’d like to use. One feature we’re excited about is a bar along a big window in the kitchen looking into the back yard. I’m envisioning sitting along that bar, looking out at our small back yard with a mug of fresh hot coffee and my laptop. Problem is, we have no bar stools, and so begins our search for bar stools along with a larger dining table! I know my posts have been a little furniture-heavy lately, but since we’re moving, I can’t help it!

As I combed the internet looking for something a bit more unique than the IKEAfied West Elmed everyday furniture, I came across the Ohio based company of AT-95 American Furnishings. Inspired by their Mid-West roots of blue collar machinists, factory workers, and farmers, AT-95 creates furniture that looks like something their hard working ancestors may have used at a factory. Simple, chunky, and sturdy, these “industrial chic” pieces of art would look perfect in any modern loft or country farmhouse.

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Next week marks the end of two years that Chris and I have lived on the 19th floor of the Ardea tower in the South Waterfront district of downtown Portland. It also marks two years that we have lived together! We’ve both survived so far so that must be a good sign right? Although we have enjoyed our river and downtown views, the access to public transit, concierge service, and friendly neighbors, both of us are excited to come back down to earth and into a house. Gone will be the floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views, but those will be replaced with a porch swing and a small back yard to grow our own vegetables. Join us in saying goodbye to the high-life as we reflect on our home in the sky. Although our next home in the Irvington neighborhood of NE Portland is still not the rolling hills of Dundee, it’s at least one step closer!

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As a follow up to my earlier post on Farmhouse Tables, I’ve thought a lot about the perfect chair to compliment. I’m one who favors a mix of styles. Modern with traditional, rustic with contemporary, cheap with expensive, the combination of these creates a textured, more interesting space that looks like it has been cultivated over time. So, to compliment the rustic, clean lines of the farmhouse tables, I chose the Marais (or Tolix) chair.

Designed in the 1930’s by Xavier Pauchard, the Marais chair (also called the Tolix chair) was a classic among French cafe life. Reproductions of the original are now sold at Design Within Reach and Pottery Barn.

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During our trip to Spokane over Labor Day weekend we visited a few antique stores to see what we could find. We weren’t looking for anything in particular, but without much else to do besides eating, drinking, visiting family, and then eating some more, antique store browsing seemed like something fun. The strip of antique stores we visited were on Main Street in an area that had recently been “revitalized” with old-fashioned street lamps and improved sidewalks. Although it appeared to be desolate, this small street outside of downtown Spokane had several antique stores housed in old buildings that gave the appearance of a pioneer western town. We left Main Street with nothing more than a vintage Stanley thermos (similar to one a reader sent in earlier) but had a lot of fun looking through the treasures of times past.

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One of the challenges we’re facing when we move out of our condo at the end of the month is that our small four person dining table will seem lost in the massive dining room at our new home. The home we’re moving to is a 100 year old craftsman style bungalow. It packs in the historical charm with built-ins and period details. While weighing the options, we’ve decided a chunky farmhouse style table would go well to balance both our modern tendencies and the traditional architecture. Since the antique farmhouse table I really want is out of our price range, here’s some of the more conventionally available reproductions (some of which are still out of our price range but are nice to look at anyway). I have my favorite, which do you like best?

Pottery Barn – Hyde Dining Table

Crate & Barrel – Basque Dining Table

Crate & Barrel – Pacifica Dining Table

Restoration Hardware – Gun Barrel Dining Table

Restoration Hardware – Farmhouse Dining Table

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in any sort of regular school routine. However, this coming week, I’ll be hitting the books again in pursuit of an MBA degree. Graduate school at night on top of working full-time, moving, setting up the Dundee General Store, and trying to maintain some sort of social life, will significantly decrease my available free time. In the end, I think it will all be worth it. Plus, I tend to succeed more under pressure and stress. It’s sick, I know…

Whether you’re a parent sending your kid(s) back to school, or if you, like me, are going back to school yourself, here’s a roundup of some educational essentials for Fall semester.

Take lecture notes in a Moleskine notebook from Powell’s Books

Protect your laptop with an iWooly for MacBook Pro from The Good Flock

Brighten up your desk with multi-colored three-ring binders from Russel+Hazel

Control your clutter with storage baskets from Restoration Hardware

Carry those heavy textbooks in this tote bag from Filson

For late study nights, a Bodum travel French Press mug from Sur la Table

Something I could have used in yesterday’s freak downpour, Hunter Boots from Zappos.com

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