Good morning, sunshine! We made it, it’s finally Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend? I’ll be on a last minute hunt for a giant bunny costume so wish me luck… But before I’m off, I wanted to share a beautiful breakfast/dining corner that has inspired me for years, in an attempt to recreate it with some easy finds.

First of all, this room is set in sunny California, which explains that glorious light. Second, the pine pedestal table is a lucky flea-market score and an exact replica is therefore hard to get.

Breakfast

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It’s “Throwback Thursday” here on the blog and I’d love to take the opportunity and revisit a pretty East Hampton cottage designed by Robert Stilin. Stilin is an incredibly talented designer with an eclectic aesthetic that I have long admired. In his interiors, the old and the new blend within the fine line of comfort and cozy living. This house in particular that he decorated for clients David Wine and Michael MacElhenny is as inviting as it is spare.

The cottage is a Shingle style house possessing many architectural charms. With a shingle-covered exterior, tons of hydrangeas, green grass and privet fences – it is for many of us the very definition of perfection.

Cafe Design | Cottage Chic | Pool

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Fall is taking residence here in Illinois and the trees have slowly changed color…rusty reds, yellows and browns, it’s all so beautiful. The cold weather is an invitation to bake and stay warm but we also love strolling and collecting nature bits with our daughter. Observing nature up-close is a privilege for kids like us who’ve spent their entire adult lives in bustling cities. Our stay here in Urbana is only temporary so we’re enjoying it as much as we can.

Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois came to my mind as the perfect example of living with nature’s colors. Literally. A glass box surrounded by trees, nature takes an active part in its decor. The house has been replicated around the Globe and further helped establish Mies van der Rohe as one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. The best part is that it’s now a museum, open to the public (and our next local destination!).

Cafe Design | Farnsworth House 8

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Happy Friday! There’s nothing quite like an awesome interior design “before and after”, don’t you think? This is especially true when the makeover consists of only a few clever changes. New paint, hardware and light fixtures, new window treatments and re-stained floors – that’s all that was needed in this Boston kitchen redesigned by Nina Farmer. No knocking down walls, no tearing out appliances or cabinets, yet the result couldn’t be more astonishing.

Cafe Design | Nina Farmer | After

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… the highs and the lows. Homeowners who at one point or another have gone through a kitchen renovation know that choosing the right countertop material is a major decision. A decision that will affect the entire look, feel and functionality of your kitchen, not to mention your budget!

The good news is that the choices available out there are endless.  From 100% naturally occurring stones like granite and marble, to engineered stones like quartz produced in a variety of colors and finishes, to wood, concrete, steel, even laminates – there is something for any need and budget. So I thought that it would be helpful for you (and fun for me) to start a blog series on countertops and their distinctive pros and cons.

So here goes, marble first. My absolute favorite. One of the most beautiful materials known to mankind, marble is a symbol of classic elegance and luxury. It may come with a higher price tag but it will add a lot of equity to your home. Marble has been used for millennia in all decorative arts. Michelangelo’s David is carved in Carrara marble. Marble is soft enough to be carved yet resilient to cracking and shattering, which makes it the perfect material for statuary. Marble was also loved by the Ancient Romans and Greeks, who used it in masonry and in the construction of temples and official buildings.

Fast forward a few thousand years and marble still fascinates many. In contemporary interior design, it is most used in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as a flooring material in formal interiors.

Cafe Design | Marble 21

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