LATE SUMMER HAZE

CONFESSION:  OK, it's pretty obvious by now that I'm a terrible blogger.  I don't post nearly enough --partially because I speak my mind more often on Instagram (follow me @katlawton), and partially because it just takes a lot of energy to write these things.  And let's be honest, Pinterest and IG have made it super easy to share photos, inspiration and thoughts so quickly.  So I guess I drag my feet when it comes to these things, but recognize the value of posting here.  It's pretty eye-opening to hear so many clients referencing thoughts I've shared here in my journal.  I call it a journal rather than a blog, because I don't write often enough to justify calling it an actual blog.  But when I do write, I share things that I've been stewing over in my mind for a while.  Things that have been inspiring me, things that are happening in my life, or things that drive me nuts in the design community.  It's a place where I've found my voice, where I can be the genuine me without all the fake facades social media masks over, and where I can be a little vulnerable. So I guess writing here seems more personal, more fitting, and more real.  So, that's why I call it a journal.

With all that aired out, let's also stop and talk about the title of this post, "Late Summer Haze." Yup, it's October 5th today and I'm still talking about summer???  Ef.  Well that's because I started this post on July 25th and never finished it.  Mmm hmm. There are too many good things here not to share. So who cares, I'm sharing them anyway... fall leaves in my front green yard (thank you honey @Max Leinbach) and all! 

First things first, this artwork collection called "Over In Love" by Caroline Walls is absolutely stunning!  I love the nude pink (my mentor and dear friend, Dixie Stark calls is "Titty Pink" --she's def going to die because I'm telling you that).  It's definitely my summer color right now. Here's a quote from the artist: "I hope these paintings evoke a certain mood around femininity and love in all its forms – the good, the bad, ad the ugly!  Ultimately the sentiment I would like to evoke is one of celebration and empowerment.”  I'm no feminist but I love that! 

First things first, this artwork collection called "Over In Love" by Caroline Walls is absolutely stunning!  I love the nude pink (my mentor and dear friend, Dixie Stark calls is "Titty Pink" --she's def going to die because I'm telling you that).  It's definitely my summer color right now. Here's a quote from the artist: "I hope these paintings evoke a certain mood around femininity and love in all its forms – the good, the bad, ad the ugly!  Ultimately the sentiment I would like to evoke is one of celebration and empowerment.”  I'm no feminist but I love that! 

If you didn't know by now, I'm a complete nut for vintage Murano Italian glass! It's a thing of the past (a good thing) and extremely glamorous. I've always been a lover of the Petal leaf chandelier from the 1970's. 

If you didn't know by now, I'm a complete nut for vintage Murano Italian glass! It's a thing of the past (a good thing) and extremely glamorous. I've always been a lover of the Petal leaf chandelier from the 1970's. 

If I had to pick between herringbone hardwood floors and chevron floors (pictured above), I'd always pick the herringbone.  They're timeless and a little more chameleon as far as aesthetic goes.  At-least that has been my perspective for years, up until I ran across a gorgeous historic condo in the heart of France on AirBNB that had them! Guess they're not so trendy after all. 

If I had to pick between herringbone hardwood floors and chevron floors (pictured above), I'd always pick the herringbone.  They're timeless and a little more chameleon as far as aesthetic goes.  At-least that has been my perspective for years, up until I ran across a gorgeous historic condo in the heart of France on AirBNB that had them! Guess they're not so trendy after all. 

I love simple architecture, especially old ones. Throw some solid landscape in the mix and I'm sold. 

I love simple architecture, especially old ones. Throw some solid landscape in the mix and I'm sold. 

ATTENTION: Calling all clients who love and NEED a little spooled chair in their lives!!!!!!!!!! I mean, come on... this chair is so stink'n lovely. 

ATTENTION: Calling all clients who love and NEED a little spooled chair in their lives!!!!!!!!!! I mean, come on... this chair is so stink'n lovely. 

Here are those stunning, old chevron floors that I was talking about! The classical millwork paired with simple furniture and slab face cabinetry is pure perfection.  (Interior by Lieu Dit)

Here are those stunning, old chevron floors that I was talking about! The classical millwork paired with simple furniture and slab face cabinetry is pure perfection.  (Interior by Lieu Dit)

I almost didn't share this vintage Knoll coffee table by Gae Aulenti on here. Why??? Because I wanted to hoard this concept all to myself.  (As if no one else has ever used it before.) Sharing how AMAZING it is on this post will only call attention to it. Talk about coveting!  

I almost didn't share this vintage Knoll coffee table by Gae Aulenti on here. Why??? Because I wanted to hoard this concept all to myself.  (As if no one else has ever used it before.) Sharing how AMAZING it is on this post will only call attention to it. Talk about coveting!  

Everyone needs an old rug in their home, everyone.  Make it a titty pink geometric one while your'e at it. 

Everyone needs an old rug in their home, everyone.  Make it a titty pink geometric one while your'e at it. 

When I'm not shopping vintage lighting, Visual Comfort is my go to line. It's truly a staple in the design world. 

When I'm not shopping vintage lighting, Visual Comfort is my go to line. It's truly a staple in the design world. 

Stop, just stop!  These black and white floral prints by Esther Clark make my heart sing! They're fem, affordable and pretty perfect. 

Stop, just stop!  These black and white floral prints by Esther Clark make my heart sing! They're fem, affordable and pretty perfect. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, simple is always beautiful. i'm obsessed with These ceramic vases by Lilith Rocket.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, simple is always beautiful. i'm obsessed with These ceramic vases by Lilith Rocket.

I'm a jewelry connoisseur. Tourmalated quartz earrings. That's all you need to know. 

I'm a jewelry connoisseur. Tourmalated quartz earrings. That's all you need to know. 

I love simple, contemporary details mixed with classical roots. A slab splash with a mitered stone shelf, are details that make me love what i do.  After all, beauty is found in the details. (designer on this is unknown)

I love simple, contemporary details mixed with classical roots. A slab splash with a mitered stone shelf, are details that make me love what i do.  After all, beauty is found in the details. (designer on this is unknown)

The Beetle Chair has me wanting to place it in every color on every project right now! It was designed by Enrico Fratesi. Google the process sketches sometime... super neat. 

The Beetle Chair has me wanting to place it in every color on every project right now! It was designed by Enrico Fratesi. Google the process sketches sometime... super neat. 

This is a Benson Cobb piece and I love how wispy and simple it is. 

This is a Benson Cobb piece and I love how wispy and simple it is. 

If you know me, then you know I absolutely love vintage camping stuff and server ware. I have a small collection of vintage thermoses, metal flashlights, old canteens, and Russel Wright Steubenville dinnerware collection. On the horizon is a black and white collection of metal splatter ware. Pictured above is not an old set, but a new ceramic set from Urban Outfitters. It's pretty dang cute! 

If you know me, then you know I absolutely love vintage camping stuff and server ware. I have a small collection of vintage thermoses, metal flashlights, old canteens, and Russel Wright Steubenville dinnerware collection. On the horizon is a black and white collection of metal splatter ware. Pictured above is not an old set, but a new ceramic set from Urban Outfitters. It's pretty dang cute! 

You'll rarely find me in a skirt anymore, but a stripe on the other hand... ALWAYS. I have striped bedding, a striped shower curtain, striped tops coming out of my ears, striped dish towels, socks and even my dog's collar has stripes. They're classic, tailored and graphic.  when in doubt, always choose a stripe. 

You'll rarely find me in a skirt anymore, but a stripe on the other hand... ALWAYS. I have striped bedding, a striped shower curtain, striped tops coming out of my ears, striped dish towels, socks and even my dog's collar has stripes. They're classic, tailored and graphic.  when in doubt, always choose a stripe. 

Remember earlier when I said I like to vent on here about things that are driving me nuts in the design community? Well this is one of them. Chopped pillows or not? Some designers say they absolutely HATE them, while others swear by them. Such a silly thing to even be of topic, right? Again, it's all about them details. Here are my 2 cents:  It's more luxurious to use a down insert than a standard poly fill (not that down inserts really even cost that much). Have you ever tried chopping a poly fill pillow? Well you can't, because it doesn't stay in place.  I'm a firm believer in a subtle chop. Not like a oh hey, my pillow now has upright Alaskan Malamute dog ears, but like in a Golden Retriever floppy ear kind of way.  They're there but in a more subdue way.  I love dogs, so I use them in my quirky analogies OK?  So if you have down inserts, don't forget to pinch the top and sides in, then flatten the face!  Maybe I should do a video tutorial on this at some point...

Remember earlier when I said I like to vent on here about things that are driving me nuts in the design community? Well this is one of them. Chopped pillows or not? Some designers say they absolutely HATE them, while others swear by them. Such a silly thing to even be of topic, right? Again, it's all about them details. Here are my 2 cents:  It's more luxurious to use a down insert than a standard poly fill (not that down inserts really even cost that much). Have you ever tried chopping a poly fill pillow? Well you can't, because it doesn't stay in place.  I'm a firm believer in a subtle chop. Not like a oh hey, my pillow now has upright Alaskan Malamute dog ears, but like in a Golden Retriever floppy ear kind of way.  They're there but in a more subdue way.  I love dogs, so I use them in my quirky analogies OK?  So if you have down inserts, don't forget to pinch the top and sides in, then flatten the face!  Maybe I should do a video tutorial on this at some point...

My last rant of the day... Periodically, I'll run across a client who says they want a timeless kitchen or bathroom, but they'll say they don't want the typical subway tile. Of course there are a million different design solutions aside for subway tile (take this pitted, more organic handmade subway tile above for example, or pattern play of the shower below), but let's pause for a second and talk about how timeless subway tile really is!   Yes, it's on trend right now, but that's only because classicism is on trend!  AND THANK GOD FOR THAT!   I'm talking, white cabinets, marble this - marble that, white millwork and subway tile. Those are all timeless, classic materials. They will NEVER go out of style, even if that means they're on trend right now. 

My last rant of the day... Periodically, I'll run across a client who says they want a timeless kitchen or bathroom, but they'll say they don't want the typical subway tile. Of course there are a million different design solutions aside for subway tile (take this pitted, more organic handmade subway tile above for example, or pattern play of the shower below), but let's pause for a second and talk about how timeless subway tile really is!   Yes, it's on trend right now, but that's only because classicism is on trend!  AND THANK GOD FOR THAT!   I'm talking, white cabinets, marble this - marble that, white millwork and subway tile. Those are all timeless, classic materials. They will NEVER go out of style, even if that means they're on trend right now. 

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Alright, that's a wrap for now. Back to work I go!

X Kat

FULL BLOOM

Hello there -- It's been too long since I've posted!  So, I'm practicing some discipline tonight and carving the time out to write this. I blame the lack of blog posts partly on my insane schedule, but also on my lack of inspiration. I think the winter blues had a hold of me this year.

It's been a busy season filled with exciting changes and many new opportunities: My business is growing; Max will be opening his new tasting room in May; spring is finally here (thank God); and Max and I will be starting our new lives as husband and wife here real soon --Everything is in FULL BLOOM!  Between very little down time and the hustle & bustle of this busy season, finding rhythm (not balance, cause balance is an impossible juggling act) has been essential in maintaining my sanity.  

With the birds chirping and flowers blooming, I'm beginning to find inspiration everywhere around me. And not just in things, but the people (& pups) I surround myself with too.

I thought it would be fun to share this engagement photo of Max and I in downtown Tacoma, taken by my ever-so-talented older sister, Christina Vanvranken. Max inspires me everyday with his work ethic, encouragement and amazing cooking!

I thought it would be fun to share this engagement photo of Max and I in downtown Tacoma, taken by my ever-so-talented older sister, Christina Vanvranken. Max inspires me everyday with his work ethic, encouragement and amazing cooking!

This outfit though! I CANNOT wait to see my Max at the end of the aisle wearing this handsome get-up!!! <3

This outfit though! I CANNOT wait to see my Max at the end of the aisle wearing this handsome get-up!!! <3

Inspiration photo for our floral arrangements for our big day. 

Inspiration photo for our floral arrangements for our big day. 

Locally made, hand-dyed silk ribbon by Midori will wrap my bouquet... this company has inspired me for years!

Locally made, hand-dyed silk ribbon by Midori will wrap my bouquet... this company has inspired me for years!

A trip to the stone yard NEVER fails to get my creativity boiling! This marble slab is from the same block that we tagged for an amazing client in Snohomish. She's seriously the sweetest, is trusting and has impeccable taste.

A trip to the stone yard NEVER fails to get my creativity boiling! This marble slab is from the same block that we tagged for an amazing client in Snohomish. She's seriously the sweetest, is trusting and has impeccable taste.

The Statements showroom in Seattle has these vintage Marcel Breuer chairs tucked around an intimate round table. Love the large ceramic hex floors layered beneath them too.

The Statements showroom in Seattle has these vintage Marcel Breuer chairs tucked around an intimate round table. Love the large ceramic hex floors layered beneath them too.

Sometimes you have to make trips down to IKEA. I unashamedly admit that when I do, I always spy some eye candy! These black rattan chairs are adorable, and if I had a place for them I'd snag them up in a heartbeat!

Sometimes you have to make trips down to IKEA. I unashamedly admit that when I do, I always spy some eye candy! These black rattan chairs are adorable, and if I had a place for them I'd snag them up in a heartbeat!

Ambiente Tile always inspires me. And it's not just because I work with one of my all time favorite reps there (Kim you're the best), but because look at this board by New Ravenna! SO GORG!

Ambiente Tile always inspires me. And it's not just because I work with one of my all time favorite reps there (Kim you're the best), but because look at this board by New Ravenna! SO GORG!

I've included this in on tonight's inspiration post, because it's so true! This is perhaps is the busiest I've been in my life. I not only want to take in these moments because I'll never see or experience them again, but I also want to carve out time to genuinely love the people around me. There's nothing more beautiful and inspiring than the lovely souls I'm surrounded by day in, day out.

I've included this in on tonight's inspiration post, because it's so true! This is perhaps is the busiest I've been in my life. I not only want to take in these moments because I'll never see or experience them again, but I also want to carve out time to genuinely love the people around me. There's nothing more beautiful and inspiring than the lovely souls I'm surrounded by day in, day out.

...like this special guy. 

...like this special guy. 

...and this lovely lady. That's Shawna. We call her "Shosh" or "Auntie Shosh."  She's one of my roomies. But more importantly, she's a dear friend. Oh, and that's Huck's butt. :-P

...and this lovely lady. That's Shawna. We call her "Shosh" or "Auntie Shosh."  She's one of my roomies. But more importantly, she's a dear friend. Oh, and that's Huck's butt. :-P

...and this guy. That's Emerson. He's my brother's second born.  I'm also just realizing I need to put the boys' soccer schedule on my calendar, so I can watch them play. (Also another photo by my sister Christina Vanvranken)

...and this guy. That's Emerson. He's my brother's second born.  I'm also just realizing I need to put the boys' soccer schedule on my calendar, so I can watch them play. (Also another photo by my sister Christina Vanvranken)

See! I'm finding inspiration everywhere around me and man, it feels so good! :)

X Kat

METAL ROOF TALK

Some homes require an accent roofing material to visually break up the texture of the exterior. I can't think of a better building material, than metal roofing. I mean, who doesn't love metal roofing, right!? Yeah it's more costly than your standard comp roof or cedar shake, but I think the charm factor makes it worth while! 

To piggyback onto yesterday's blog post "The Real Deal," I wanted to talk also about the different kinds of metal roofing: copper roofing versus steel coated (colored) roofing, and why some might cringe over the use of a steel coated product and why I don't necessarily agree with that. 

I'm a sucker for copper roofing because well, it's the real deal!  It's the OG of metal roofs and it tips it's hat to the past. The purist in me loves that! You can't beat the lustrous, matte finish that is acquired over time -it's absolutely gorgeous. However, the biggest reluctancy folks have with using it, is cost. 

With that being said, I actually think steel coated metal roofing (or even a zinc material at that) is a wonderful compromise for metal roofing. There's an array of different manufacturers who offer many color options, including a soft bronze that emmulates aged copper. But perhaps the best compromise here, is the cost. You save typically over half the cost than you would if you used a true copper roofing material; And we all know that building a home is expensive. So if you're looking for ways to save, then I think substituting your copper roofing for a steel coated product, is an excellent way to do so.

Based off of yesterday's post "The Real Deal," you're probably reading this and thinking this contradicts everything I said in that blog post. But the difference here is that you're not substituting copper roofing for a different type of material like a composition roof, you're substituting it for another metal. So the integrity of the material and the design has not been effected. And hey, you're saving a ton of money! :) 

X Kat

A lovely example by Hyrum McKay Bates Design, revealing that the use of steel coated roofing is as equally charming as copper roofing and more cost effective

A lovely example by Hyrum McKay Bates Design, revealing that the use of steel coated roofing is as equally charming as copper roofing and more cost effective

Another example of steel coated roofing. It's possible that this also could be a zinc product

Another example of steel coated roofing. It's possible that this also could be a zinc product

 A gorgeous example of copper roofing

 A gorgeous example of copper roofing

Steel coated roofing

Steel coated roofing

A modern farmhouse with steel coated roofing

A modern farmhouse with steel coated roofing

THE REAL DEAL

 

One of my biggest pet peeves are materials that try and replicate something else. For example, solid surface, quartz countertops that are manufactured to resemble marble. While I understand the durability factor that comes along with a manmade countertop, it's lacking authenticity. Authentic materials are materials found in their natural, organic state; they're unaltered in form. When we use materials that are replicating something else, it's typically because it's a cost savings and the material has been engineered to perform in a more durable fashion. But when we use a more durable material, we miss out on the opportunity for patina, character, and most importantly, luxury. Because to me, luxury is found in the use of authentic materials. 

I don't mean to knock materials like solid surfaces, because there's definitely a need for them in the marketplace. If a client really needed the performance of a solid surface countertop, I would only recommend one that's more pure in color --like a solid gray or white. That way, it doesn't feel like it's a replica, rather it feel like it's own original material. 

X Kat

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my followers, friends and family!  This year, I'm overwhelmed by all of the things I'm thankful for.  I'm thankful for sweet mister, church family, my pups, the new design business, my family, my lovely roommates, friends, God's faithfulness, and my new home. 

I come from a large family; I'm one of four and I'm the last born. My siblings all have multiple kiddos and as an auntie, I'm so thankful to have them all in close proximity. As most people feel, family is really important to me. It's one of the reasons why I'm so happy to have the new home, as I now live closer to family. My Dad recently moved down to Florida to be close to his immediate family and I miss having him near, especially here at the holidays. 

This year, I'm hosting Thanksgiving and this is first! I've never been much of a cook (until recently... I blame Max, my sweet mister, as I love cooking with him) but I love having the ones I adore over at the house. In my family, we rotate hosting locations for Thanksgiving and do a potluck-style meal. My mom's family from Oregon usually comes up and the house feels complete with all of the kids running wild. My ma has always been such a lovely decorator; at holidays she always decorates so creatively and for dinners, the table is always so beautiful. I think each one of us kids have been influenced by her lovely style. Today, I'm excited to treat everyone to a table adorned with intimant candles, warm brass flatware, fresh floral and neutral shades of linen tones.  I hope everyone enjoys our quality time together in the new home.

Here are some photos of the table details. I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends too! Happy, happy Thanksgiving!  X Kat

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THE COLLECTED HOME

I think every home can afford the use of at-least one antique. Even if you're someone who is a diehard modernist, I encourage you to make a purchase of something old; even if it's a 1960's modern accessory of sort. A piece of furniture or accessory from another era tells a story, and everyone loves a good story. It also makes a home feel collected, interesting and it brings an element of charm. Piece by piece, and purchase by purchase, a home is curated and collected. And a collected home, just feels so dang good! 

I think every home can afford the use of at-least one antique. Even if you're someone who is a diehard modernist, I encourage you to make a purchase of something old; even if it's a 1960's modern accessory of sort. A piece of furniture or accessory from another era tells a story, and everyone loves a good story. It also makes a home feel collected, interesting and it brings an element of charm. Piece by piece, and purchase by purchase, a home is curated and collected. And a collected home, just feels so dang good! 

INVISIBLE KITCHEN

THE INVISIBLE KITCHEN

I love a good blend of the simple and the ornate. This kitchen by Blakes London is a solid example of that! But what I love even more, is the use of full-depth, full-height cabinetry and a paneled-out module system, to create this invisible kitchen concept. Obviously things like exposed sinks and faucets will reveal that you're standing in a kitchen, but I think the overall approach is quite clever and super fresh! 

I love a good blend of the simple and the ornate. This kitchen by Blakes London is a solid example of that! But what I love even more, is the use of full-depth, full-height cabinetry and a paneled-out module system, to create this invisible kitchen concept. Obviously things like exposed sinks and faucets will reveal that you're standing in a kitchen, but I think the overall approach is quite clever and super fresh! 

SIMPLE ELEGANCE

SIMPLE ELEGANCE

I'm incredibly inspired by this kitchen, designed by Betsy Brown. It's handsome yet elegant, and so casually livable. Often times in a kitchen, the hood is the focal point that's cladded in some sort of outstanding material. But here while still a focal point, the hood is quiet and addressed with a simple, matte stucco finish. The marble countertops are classic in form, but have been fabricated in a contemporary fashion by extending to the floor. The painted cabinets are handsome in color, perfectly offsetting the antique round table and modern klismos chairs by Donghia. I also love the tone-on-tone paint for this space, because it's a lovely backdrop for the dark windows. 

I'm incredibly inspired by this kitchen, designed by Betsy Brown. It's handsome yet elegant, and so casually livable. Often times in a kitchen, the hood is the focal point that's cladded in some sort of outstanding material. But here while still a focal point, the hood is quiet and addressed with a simple, matte stucco finish. The marble countertops are classic in form, but have been fabricated in a contemporary fashion by extending to the floor. The painted cabinets are handsome in color, perfectly offsetting the antique round table and modern klismos chairs by Donghia. I also love the tone-on-tone paint for this space, because it's a lovely backdrop for the dark windows. 

CLASSIC PATTERN PLAY

CLASSIC PATTERN PLAY

I love this mulberry paper that comes in 24"x36" sheets that's from of all places, Paper Source! It reminds me of the lining that was used at the inside of classic, antique books. It's handsome in color, combining pale blue gray, metallic gold, charcoal and black. I plan to install this as wallpaper in my personal powder room, to bring some drama to the space. The floors are classically laid of Carrara marble in a solider brick / herringbone pattern. I'm combining two different pattern scales and creating a lovely melody of classic pattern play. I can't wait to share with you all, the end result! Stay tuned.