Blogging is a luxury for me these days. I am recovering from a cold and my little one has been home with me, sick as well…  This rarely happens with our busy schedules so we took full advantage of our time together. We baked, we planned for our Halloween costumes, read spooky stories, and had a lovely time watching (and re-watching) The Secret Life of Pets. It’s our new favorite feel-good movie! Have you seen it?

Turning on the news is painful… our thoughts and prayers go out to those that have lost everything during the aggressive Northern California fires, to the brave men and women that have been risking their lives trying to contain the fires. The amount of destruction in the beautiful Napa Valley is heartbreaking. Hundreds of homes, wineries and hotels are nothing but ashes… Please reach out and help in any way that you can!

The Sonoma home of textile designer Susan Snyder is in the middle of wine country and came to my mind these days…The images of how the home once stood is a countrepoint to the horror of what it is now. I can’t help but feel grateful and guilty  at the same time for having the comforts of our home, a warm and  familiar shelter at a time when so many have lost so much. But if anything, together we become stronger and with support all that is lost will be rebuilt. Lives are most precious, everything else can be replaced.

Cafe Design | Susan Snyder 0

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I’m down with a cold but wanted to check in and wish you all a pleasant holiday weekend! I’m sure we all need the downtime! Also, I can’t help showing you a gorgeous find in case you’re not on Instagram… I came across this lovely kitchen from a few years ago and realized I still love it down to the last detail. Every six months to a year I go through my inspiration files and trim the ones I no longer find, well… inspiring. It’s always interesting to look at those that stand the test of time! After all, that’s the meaning of good design.


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More than a sequence of beautiful rooms, a home is a testament of how we live and enjoy our world. The Welsh country house of designer Penny Morrison and her husband, art dealer Guy Morrison, is such a testament. Known for her love of color and exotic patterns, Penny Morrison has created the new traditional English manor house – comfortable, elegant yet so much fun!Cafe Design | Penny Morrison | Exterior

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Most fashion and interior trends come and go. The majority of new ‘’it’’ elements are temporary and vanish faster than many of us can catch on. There are a few however that become classic staples – pieces that one would wear or decorate with just as easily five years from now. One such interior trend that caught our attention was (and still is!) the zebra hide. It has been overused and abused by many, debated upon, loved or hated but one thing is for sure, it stirs up strong reactions! My husband and I don’t disagree on many things, but zebra hides (any natural hides, really) are one of those things (and the reason why we still don’t have one in our home!). I find that most people either adore it or completely hate it. Which team are you?

Cafe Design | Zebra Hide 6

Wendy Labrum 

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Well, if there was a recurring theme for me this week, this is it. I’ve been on the hunt for painted pieces that look great, not DIY-ed but beautifully classic. I’m inspired by the Swedish farmhouse style of pale blues and grays and went down the rabbit hole in search of some great pieces available out there. Of course, there’s something for every price point, from Joss and Main to antiques. 1stdibs and Chairish have a great selection of Gustavian style dressers, bureaus and armoires, but even retailers have furnishings in a painted finish that would lend great cottage style to any space. My favorite retail finds were at Ballard Designs, with a large variety of dressers and colors to choose from.

With painted furniture, I prefer a slightly distressed look, not shabby but time-worn.  Something like this:

Cafe Design | Dressers

Sarah Bartholomew

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