Corner Coffee Shop

Today I had a meeting to discuss staging a home in a new housing development. I’ve done a handful of projects already for this client as well as other members of his family. As I walked up the stairs towards his office, I slowly realized that a couple years ago I designed the office space for his father who owns the building. I had completely forgotten! On the bright side, the office really came together well, looked cohesive and the client’s father waxed poetic about how much he loves the colors and comprehensive theme. On the down side, I realized I am historically terrible with remembering to take “after” photos of my projects. Once a project is off my plate, I’m onto the next thing!

Another casualty of this mentality is the coffee shop I designed a YEAR ago. So, although the final-final staging still needs to be done, here’s a look at how it all came together.


This little coffee shop is tucked into a corner of our church just inside the front doors. It serves as a casual meeting place, an entry point for people who might be nervous about coming to church for the first time and simply another way for people to build community within a large church. It’s a rather small space with strange angles. Plus it needs to be cleared easily when the space primarily acts as a thoroughfare. So my first thought was stacking Tolix Chairs. They were a must!

tolix fieldI really wanted to create a minimal, Scandinavian style vibe with the color scheme and furnishings. European style chairs and bistro tables were the jumping off point. And I went with two shades of grey for the walls. The lighter color reads pretty light on screen, but it’s definitely grey in person.


IMG_3475I kept the lighting unobtrusive with a mix of glass shaded and industrial vibed brushed aluminum pendants. Another big impact was staining the double doors a rich walnut color. Previously they were a honey colored oak. Personally, I say blech to that. Another must on my list was to incorporate a live edge maple slab for the ordering counter.


That was one of the highlights of this project — picking out the slab. There’s a woodworking outfit just a hop, skip and jump away from my house in my favorite little quirky town of Edison, WA called Smith and Vallee. I will definitely be back for future projects!

We rounded things out with custom designed, coffee inspired artwork by my husband, Scott.


Not shown (or photographed yet) are custom designed industrial shelves that incorporate the scraps from the live edge slab. Nothing went to waste! I promise I’ll follow up with that because it really does finish things off.┬áThis was one of the most rewarding projects because not only did we land on budget, but the people I worked with are good friends of mine and I get to see it every week at church.

Coffee shop w posters

So here’s hoping that I can turn over a new leaf and consider a project finished when the final “after” photos have been taken! I’ve got more projects to show you. In fact, I’m in the middle of one right now that will show some pretty dramatic changes. Wish me luck!


Tablescape 101

When it comes to design, I struggle with detail. Large furniture choices and placement — no problem. Knick knack, display shelves, tablescapes — forget it. I like things a bit more sparse I guess. But over one’s life, one collects a fair amount of items that either have sentimental meaning or add a splash of personality here and there. For us, we have so many windows in our house that a solid wall to hang artwork is nearly nonexistent. We have a buffet and an antique burled wood table in the dining room and living room that have been assigned tables cape duty.
Shells and rocks collected by my guys are every-changing in their display.
There’s really no rhyme or reason to the things on this buffet!
Every once in awhile, I am seized by an overwhelming need to bring home something quirky from a flea market or junk show. Last year at Farm Chicks, I brought home this little gem that I named Lachlan in honor of my neighboring vendor that I bought him from.
There was just something about this ratty little guy that I found compelling.
It was almost like he was SO bad he was cool. My mom doesn’t agree.

Now as much as I try to be deliberate about the things displayed here, it is admittedly haphazard and always changing. But this morning as I was working on the computer right next to the buffet I noticed something. It was something I didn’t put there.

Can’t robots and dinosaurs just get along?
I wonder who’s winning.
It might be a pretty close match.

I think the reason these guys prompted me to write this post is that I know there are only a few more years of sweet surprises like this left. As much as my house is a constant swirling disaster left in the wake of busy, messy boys . . . every once in awhile I take pause and appreciated this time in my life. I am loving this age of my guys so much — much, much more than I ever thought I would.

Now, just wait and see. I’ll snap out of my happy stupor as soon as I get a call from a frustrated teacher or protective parent or trail of mud winding its way through the house. But for now while the house is quiet and I have the luxury of time to myself, I am grateful for little reminders on a tabletop.