Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Neighborhood Beat: Madrona - Update

I wrote about the Madrona neighborhood back in September of 2010 and gushed about the funky charm of its little commercial area.  Since then, there have been some changes and updates - and other news I just want to share!   
A welcome newcomer to 34th Street is Guesthouse, Kate Sehulster's stylish little gem!  Guesthouse carries a mix of vintage and new furniture and accessories, books, fabric, rugs, garden accessories, found objects - a little bit of everything you need for a chic nest!  Look for a very interesting new store opening next to Guesthouse in the near future.

Last fall, I wrote about June restaurant.  Recently, I've had a chance to eat there several times and, I must say, the food is - fabulous! Featuring updated Parisian bistro fare:  steak/frites, French wines and cremant by the glass and an incredibly inventive chef (green apple prawn cocktail, pureed cucumber gazpacho with coriander cream, tempura fiddlehead ferns) - it's all thrillingly delicious!
In personnel news, our friend, Jef Fike (owner of the bygone  - and justly lamented - Cassis Bistro on Capital Hill) is now the catering director at another fave Madrona eatery, St Cloud's.  We have never had anything short of a stellar meal there.  And their catering menu is enormous - can't wait to partner with Jef on an event!

Sadly, another Madrona business I mentioned fondly in September, has departed Madrona.  I'm very sorry to see Decor on 34th go.... 
Make an excursion to this charming neighborhood by the lake for unique shopping and fabulous food!

Thom Filicia book signing

 The professional design organization of which I'm currently president, Northwest Society of Interior Designers, teamed up with Masins Furniture recently for an informal gathering with Thom Filicia, formerly a star of Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy".  Elle Decor magazine described Mr Filicia as "affable" and I can tell you, he is!  What an approachable, friendly fellow!

He willingly signed many copies of his new book, "Thom Filicia STYLE" (in mine: "big kiss!" - I was pretty proud, but then I found out he wrote the same thing in the others..... oh well!).  The book is loaded with photos, humorous anecdotes, and practical decor tips.  Proceeds from its sale go toward breast cancer research and awareness, a subject close to his heart.

 Masins had plenty of Thom's furniture designs and fabrics from Kravet on hand.  Love the Ikat-inspired prints, above.

We seemed to hit it off splendidly - but I think that just might be the way he is........

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Style on a shoestring - Assisted Living apartment

How can one bring style and beauty  - not to mention warmth - to a generic vanilla assisted living apartment in 2 weeks, and include a Tempurpedic memory foam mattress (definitely the priciest component),  for under $4500?   It was a scramble, but we pulled it together by hanging family photos as wall art and sourcing items from Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Ballard Designs, and Altstadt Interiors, a Seattle homewares consignment shop.  
The end result is a cozy and welcoming refuge for a woman who is losing her memories......

..... the reading alcove, before:

....... and after......

..... from this...... this...... 

She appreciates the transformation....and feels comfortable here.  Alzheimer's is a devastating disease and whatever I can do to make it a little easier for my mother is worth it.