Retro Inspired Camping

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, Inspiration

Last week, two big stories caught my attention: 1) There will be a new Girl Scout Cookie this year & 2) A new Wes Anderson film will be coming soon. I couldn’t help but think of my own camp outs as a Girl Scout after watching the movie trailer, and if I could do it all again with the retro-style we all love about Wes Anderson, it would go a little something like this:



FLW in the PNW


Frank Lloyd Wright is quite possibly one of the most famous architects of all time. He’s best known for building homes in the Midwest and on the East Coast (and his winter home in Arizona, blogged about back in February 2010), and I assumed that is where all of his buildings are. I was shocked to learn that there are two Wright homes in the Seattle area- AND they are both currently for sale!

The Tracy House on Puget Sound:

And as much as I love the water, this cozy little place in the woods is my favorite of the two:

Notice the furniture that was designed to go with the homes- I especially love the long benches.

So if you have over a million dollars budgeted out for your next home, you can own a Frank Lloyd Wright.

Listings found at which is a great place to geek out on mid-century and modern houses on the market.


Cover Inspiration


This Elle Decor cover from March 2007 still feels so fresh and interesting:

So I looked around to see what I could put together for a similar vibe and a more reasonable price point:

Tapestry ($183), Embroidered Pillow ($15), Ikat Pillow ($36 for 2), Sofa ($2,199)

For anyone out there that is feeling stumped about putting together an area of your home, try browsing the covers of shelter magazines. Most are available online, or you can check out a bunch from the library. Once you find a look you like, spend an hour or two browsing the interwebs to find similar pieces from the major retailers, Etsy, and E Bay. You can even break it into small chunks of time and just search for a particular item. If time is on your side, check out your local thrift shops. It is possible to take the expensive looks featured in magazines and translate them to a regular-person budget, you just need a specific focus and some time to looks.


Eichler Homes


Add this to the list of reasons to move to California: Eichler homes. Joseph Eichler was a real estate developer who built modern, affordable homes in sub-divisions in northern and southern California from 1950 to his death in 1974. In addition to placing a value on the aesthetics of a reasonably priced home, Mr. Eichler did not discriminate and would sell his homes to anyone (which was not standard practice at the time). Mr. Eichler hired respected architects to develop the plans, which can explain why these homes have aged so well.


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Winter Wonderland: Molbak’s


In the Seattle area, we get a lot of rain. You probably knew that already, it’s a big part of the city’s reputation. Enter Molbak’s Garden & Home, a nursery that features a gigantic greenhouse that allows shoppers to browse the plant selection protected from the elements. They put out a beautiful Christmas display every year, so when my friends and I were looking for a place to meet for a coffee date, my friend Kari suggested Molbak’s to help us get into a Christmas mood.

The highlight of their Christmas display is the living poinsettia tree, but just walking around the place will give you some Christmas decorating inspiration. Those of you in the Seattle area should check out Molbak’s the next time you want to get out of the house but stay out of the rain. They also have a little cafe and coffee stand, which makes it a great place for hanging out with friends.

Photos: Gretchen Lilly

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Gift Guide, Part 3

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Gifts, Inspiration, shopping

Are You Being Served? Gift Guide

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Gifts, Inspiration, shopping

We all have our guilty pleasures, and one of mine is the British TV Comedy Are You Being Served? The premise is simple: on the first floor of the London department store Grace Brothers the ladies’ undergarments and gents’ ready-made suits departments share a space, and the employees in those departments manage to get in to different situations every week. The show is a bit silly, and I’ve yet to meet a British person that didn’t roll their eyes when I confessed my love of the show. But what can I say, I’ve been watching re-runs of this show for the past fifteen years on PBS and it’s like comfort food!

Hands down, the best part of the show is the distinctive theme song, where the lift operator sings out all of the departments on each floor to a groovy 70s bass line. Which leads us to the gift guide I’ve put together based on the theme song. There are three floors at Grace Brothers, so I’ve rounded up three days worth of ideas. Enjoy day one (the ground floor)!

Perfume, Stationary, Bag, Wig, Garland*, Braiser, Pie of the Month Club

*In the UK Habidashery is thread, buttons, and ribbons, but I just couldn’t get excited about sewing supplies!


Orange You Glad

840 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Color, Inspiration, Orange

Thanksgiving seems to represent not just the time of year we stop and say thanks, but also the last hurrah of fall. The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season in the States, and with it, color schemes of green and red, blue and white. Orange is a color that is usually thought of as wacky or silly, but is totally natural and appropriate in the fall. So, before we move into winter, one last look at orange:

Credits (clockwise from top left): Kevin Sharkey, Bo Bedre, Domino (via beachbungalow8), This is Naive


Tweed Ride

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, Inspiration

The Dandies and Quaintrelles fall Tweed Ride was this weekend, and I’ve been pouring over their Flickr album to soak up all of the goodness. Basically, folks show up on their bikes wearing creative tweed ensembles and ride around DC. I’d love to take part in this some day, or the Seersucker Social in the summer, which I blogged about here.

While there is a strong vintage vibe going on at the event, tweed is still a big part of today’s fashion. I’ve rounded up a few items:

Clockwise from top left: Lands End Canvas Men’s Hat; Talbots Jacket; J Crew Skirt; LL Bean Signature Jacket.

Etsy finds, clockwise from top left: Men’s Blazer from Newton Street Vintage; 1950s Hat from Old Faithful Vintage; A-line Skirt from Wild Love Vintage; Cape and Shorts set from SL Vintage.

Tweed Ride Photo Credits: Katy Kincade, Loulein83, smridevan, Loulein83


Downtown Riverside

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Inspiration, Travel

Mabel took us to downtown Riverside to check out the Mission Inn on our last day of the trip. I wasn’t expecting such an amazing experience; there is so much history in this hotel, and I felt like I was wandering around a European museum. Our trip was also exciting because Mabel just kept opening doors and going past the signs that read “Hotel Guests Only”. If there was a door, she tried to open it! I know I wouldn’t have done that on my own, but we saw so many cool things because of her- thanks Mabel!

The reception area; stained glass detail in a banquet room.

The previously mentioned banquet room (love the ceiling!); stained glass window in the Presidential Lounge.

The center courtyard; Mabel trying to open a door.

What’s that? Only an effin chapel at a hotel!

Our reward for sneaking up to the third floor: awesome vistas.

The next block over from the hotel is the downtown Riverside library, which Mabel accurately predicted I would like.

The zig-zags on that staircase made my heart skip a beat.

I’m guessing Riverside isn’t in the top ten of tourist destinations in California, but I was really happy to walk around the downtown, and I’d love to stay at the Mission Inn some day.