Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter on the Coast - 7 Friday Warm Up Cocktails!

Brrrr...  it's crazy windy and rainy here in Northern California.  I am okay with that, at least it's not snow, and it's really not that cold.  Bonus - we might actually come out of this terrible drought that we've had for the past 3 years!

Needless to say, we are hunkered down in our offices watching the rain blow sideways and creating some fun winter warm cocktails this afternoon!  (it is Friday....)

Quick Collection of 7 Winter Warm-Up Cocktails

1. Apple Cider Bourbon Whiskey Cocktail - Simmers in the Crockpot!

Recipe for 1 drink:
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 6 oz. warm apple cider - could simmer on stove or in crockpot. Love this idea; would also think about adding some nutmeg, cloves or cinnamon too!
  • Cinnamon sticks and apple slices for garnish (oh!  Just bought Honey Crisps!)
Pour warm apple cider in pretty glasses, add bourbon and garnish. Super Delish - and EASY

We used our Pewter Crab Tankards, but smaller coffee cup size glasses would be perfect too!  More choices in our Salisbury Glassware Collection 

2. This Looks Scrumptious!  Hot Choc-Colada from blogger - Shugary Sweets! Full Recipe here - let's just say that it's full of yummy spiced rum and hot chocolate..... YUM!

3.  Boozy Almond-Honey Hot Chocolate - Discovered at Coastal Living

Requires amaretto, hot chocolate and cream - what could be better than that!  Click here for full recipe

4. Mulled Wine - Not just for the holidays!  
And since we live so close to California's Wine Country, we might have some bottles of red wine that we could sacrifice to make this delish cocktail!  Only a few ingredients - I would absolutely cut this recipe in half.  Click here for full details!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 bottles of red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • Orange Zest Strips

5.  Vanilla Vodka infused White Hot Chocolate - oh mi!  Full recipe from mixologist Amy Machnak - Here  Looks very simple, but elegant and super yum.

6.  Who says that Tom and Jerry's can only be served during the holidays?  Love them anytime!
For my recipe and more details - check out our blog post  - Silver Bells

7.  Hot Chocolate and Whiskey!  Fun blog post with recipe can be found at - for complete details, click here

Don't forget pretty serving mugs!

Have a great weekend, please stay safe, snug and warm! We're off to the Las Vegas market this weekend to discover new coastal and nautical home decor!  Watch our Instagram feed for details of our adventure. (wish us luck!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Winter Warm Up - Cozy Beach Bedroom Ideas!

I am staring at my mess of a bedroom.. where to start to create a new cozy, romantic Winter retreat?

I love my white iron bed, but that's about it right now.  Yes, I am in a "January" kind of mood and want to completely start over with a new bedroom!  Always makes me feel better, more rested and  and ready for spring.

(see what I mean??? Time to start over!)

Five Ideas to create the bedroom of your dreams -

1. Start over - declutter your space
Not sure about you, but my bedroom space is critical to the rest of my day. When I don't get enough rest, everything else becomes more labor intensive and stressful. When there is too much "stuff" on my nightstand, on our dresser, or on our floor - it just adds to my stress.

Will need a clean slate to start with, then I can start adding back in the elements to make over our room!

Here are some bedrooms that are beautifully minimal -

The view is enough!  Not sure that I would ever leave this room..... image: Cardello Architechts  Might need a little color though....

Think about skipping nightstands and using wall lighting sconces.  Will feel like more space in your bedroom!  Art can be found here - Silver and Navy Coral Prints

2. Anchor your space with a cozy rug

Love this Surya Chevron rug from designer Jill Rosenfeld - fun, turquoise beach bedroom colors with a modern feel. Image from House of Turquoise and Laura U Interior Design

Aqua and Blue Stripes beside the bed - a soft landing space for chilly winter mornings! (don't forget a rug pad)

The blue modern patterned rug is a fabulous back drop to pulling the interesting elements in this nautical room together. Surya Rug can be found here - Mediterranean Blue Wool Rug 

Love the yellow and turquoise combo!  image: Coastal Living

This yellow coral themed rug at the end of the bed creates a perfect space for that gorgeous small bench.   Image source: Huffington Post

3. Think outside the box for bedside lighting
Bedroom lighting doesn't always have be matchy-matchy, or even a table lamp.  

See what I mean? One wall sconce, and one large table lamp - they still "match" with a similar nautical feel and style. 

Why not add cool pendant lighting?  More room for a smaller nightstand, or your favorite family beach photos and books!   (Another beautiful wool rug from Surya!)

Great idea for small space living! Use bookshelves to keep your "stuff" stored and displayed then use pretty beach cottage sconces for your lighting! Image source: Beach Bliss Living 

If your furniture is white or neutral, add dramatic glass lamps to give your room the pop of color and light that it needs!  Blue or Aqua lamps fit perfectly into coastal homes, but don't be afraid to think outside the box with bright orange or coral shades too.

4. You can never have enough beach pillows - feel free to pile them on!
Use pillows to create texture, color and pops of fun to change with your mood or the season. Get creative; check your closet, or think about even switching throw pillows that are currently in your living room.

 image source: Beach Bliss Living
 So many blues!  Love the mix of textures, and blue patterned shades that designer Kim Armstrong has created in this HGTV bedroom.

Gotta love pretty bolster pillows! image source: House of Turquoise and Hurlbutt Designs

5. The Finishing Touch? Layers of Throws
Add throw blankets for cozy warmth, texture and to add the extra touch of romance in your beach bedroom retreat. This is my favorite trick to making our bedroom feel snug and welcoming! An easy change for seasons; lighten up for summer or use chunky knits for winter.

Aqua Knits! image source - StudioM

Neutral and calming, the striped throw adds just the right finishing touch.

Relaxing with a traditional feel.  Love the bed!

Love the idea of a Herringbone knit pattern to bring a sense of "coastal modern"!  

Use a throw to pull all of the other colors in your room together - a great finish! 
Image source: House Beautiful

Flirty and fun! 

Wish me luck!

For more beach bedroom inspiration - try our Pinterest Board too! Creating a Beach Bedroom Retreat

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Top Coastal Decorating Books for 2016

I treasure the quiet of January, and love the extra time for reflection for what the coming year might bring.  What decorating trends are on the horizon for 2016? What colors is Pantone highlighting? What worked in our store last year? What did not work? What new coastal home products are we sourcing for this spring? Or for summer? 

Step One - Dive into a new stack of Decorating Inspiration!

Here are my top recommendations for beginning the journey to discover beach house decorating that will work for your home.  Everything from adding a few new touches of the coast, to completely redoing a room to create that perfect style that complements your lifestyle.

Beach House Happy by Antonia Van Der Meer

Opening this book by Antonia Van Der Meer is like greeting a long lost friend, and you are instantly transported to life beside the sea. Time for lazy beach walking, shell gathering, day dreaming and no shoes  - just my speed!

The book is chock full of gorgeous dreamy beach home pictures from around the world (many have been featured in Coastal Living Magazine) encouraging you to linger among the pages, Maybe even plan your next vacation escape? 

 I love her passage in the Slow Living Chapter:

"I discovered a uniform belief that a house by the shore should be a refuge, a place to remove ourselves from the stresses of daily life. This is where we go to relax and , as much as possible these days, to unplug. " 

 I could not agree more! 

I confess.... I want to be Ted Kennedy Watson when I grow up.  His store on 1st Avenue is my go-to every time we get a chance to wander around downtown Seattle.  Ted is a renowned lifestyle retailer and blogger, and if I ever open another brick and mortar store (that is a HUGE if) I will go visit his Kennedy-Watson store for inspiration!

Here are a few pics I snapped on one of our trips through his store...  Love the nautical charts displayed in a vintage clam basket!

He just instinctively knows how to put a look together, and in his beautifully photographed lifestyle book, he show the rest of us how to do it!  Every letter, A to Z,  leads to ideas that anyone can use to enhance their home with items they already have.Everything from how to display a burgeoning special collection to adding special touches for a dinner party -

Love the letter "X"!  "My Dad always signed cards to my mom with XOX"....

I grabbed my signed copy at Ted's store in Seattle, but you can also buy a copy from my friends at Liberty Bay Books. Click here for details.

Sand Castles - Interiors Inspired by the Coast

I loved this book so much that we actually curated a whole new "Beachcomber"  look this past fall to emulate the ideas that Tim Neve expounds in his wonderfully photographed coastal Australia decorating book.

 He is so right on trend with his advice about coastal decorating, "There's a true difference between tropical and nautical, bohemian style and beach style" - This is the same philosophy that we have created at our store,  and his book does a fabulous job of laying out ideas to embrace the different looks for each genre of beach house decorating as it is divided up into four distinctive Foundations of Styles: Beachcomber, Seafarer, Islander, Bohemian and Endless Summer.

(Check our Coastal Style Categories for inspiration too!)

It's a wonderful book to dive into - if only for the simple pleasure of enjoying the tour around the coastal areas of Australia.  Every time I peek inside,I discover something new!

Eating Up the West Coast - Sunset Magazine
The best road trips, restaurants, and recipes from California to Washington

Not necessarily decorating, but a wonderful book that is part travel, part restaurant review and part cook book gathered from the travels of author Brigit Binns.  Such a fun experience to follow along with Brigit, on her journeys up and down our coast - inspires me every time to try a new side road or a new restaurant.

Currently, we are cooking our way through the recipes in the Washington Section.  We've recreated the Cedar-Planked Wild Salmon with Beurre Blanc (yum!) and I even devoured the Baked Oysters made from the recipe from the "Oyster Bar" on Chuckanut Drive.  They were so good that I made them from my mom and dad at Christmas too!

 For complete recipe and instructions - check my blog post from September - Vermouth Baked Oysters

Would love to hear from you - do you have a new favorite beach home decorating book to recommend? We are always looking for new travel and cook books too!

Relax and Live at the Beach Every Day of the Year!

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