The talent and beauty of designer Mark D. Sikes’ work never cease to amaze me. Some of my favorite images in his recently released book Beautiful, All-American Decorating and Timeless Style (a New York Times bestseller) are photographs of a one-bedroom Montecito cottage. His talents are now proven all over the spectrum of different architectural styles and color palettes, from old world mansions and Spanish Colonial style homes to smaller, humbler size abodes like this one. I adore his entire work, yet this particular one stood out for me like no other. It is my love of small homes that makes this project especially interesting to me.

Sikes creates a serene beach cottage with a calming palette of blues and whites- his signature color mix- but carefully blends in drama with abstract prints and furniture chosen for both comfort and beauty. Designing is harder to do when space is an issue and I loved seeing his take on a small home.

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Let me start by first saying this, the February issue of House Beautiful is incredible! Cover to cover, with each image and story told, House Beautiful has delivered a truly gorgeous, insightful material. So if you haven’t gotten yours in the mail, please go out there and buy a copy asap. This is one issue you’ll want to hold on to. It’s that good! The magazine’s February theme is Before & Afters (and during) – which by themselves are some of the most gratifying design stories we could ask for. It might just inspire your next home makeover!

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Starting with the cover, a mid-reno shot of Eddie Ross’ dining room (yes, you read that right! A mid-reno shot can be cover-worthy!) The former executive editor of Better Homes & Gardens and author of Modern Mix shares a stunning image of his dining room at Edgewood Hall, the historic home in Wayne, Pennsylvania he’s renovating with his partner Jaithan. Can’t wait to see it all finished! Following up – everything you need to know when considering a bathroom overhaul, and of course several before and after projects: Amanda Lindroth, Shon Parker and Nina Farmer are just a few of my favorite designers in this month’s issue.

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The fashion legacy of singer, actress and songwriter Jane Birkin is undeniable. Over the last several decades, her bohemian, effortlessly cool style has influenced women everywhere. She has changed and shaped the way people dress and her influence is still as powerful as ever. As proof, not a day goes by that her signature feminine look does not grace my screen on any number of my social media followings.

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On cold days like today, there’s not much to do but bundle up by the fire with a good book and a hot cup of chocolate! And dream of warmer days or just enjoy the snow, if you’re lucky enough to have any…

There are few things I enjoy more in the cold season than a cozy seat by the fire. A part of me wishes the cold away, a part of me enjoys the slower pace. We get to spend more time indoors, my daughter and I cuddle each night while we read our favorite bedtime stories. Somehow it’s easier to be still.

For those of you living nowhere near the tropics, I’m sending much needed thoughts of warmth with some of my favorite fireplace décor. Let’s enjoy Winter for what it is and dream of Spring for what it could be!

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Amanda Brooks

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Today’s home tour is a beautiful Southampton beach cottage that brings Sweden to a Yankee beach! David Netto collaborated on the project with designer Will Meyer, to create a cozy, shingle covered cottage that looks traditional on the outside and modern Scandinavian on the inside. Known for his fine eye of marrying handmade, traditional design with the energy and youthfulness of modern elements, David Netto created a most surprising retreat for a newlywed couple. Beautiful views, comfort and romance are the key characteristics of this stunning beach house.

 

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