Congratulations, Patricia,  you are the winner of a Stitch And Made travel bag!!   Please email your postal address to debra@cocoonhome.com so we can ship it to you.***

Many thanks to Sadiero of Stitch and Made for contributing to this week’s reader giveaway and to all who entered our contest.

*** The winner has two weeks to claim his/her prize (from 8/22/14) by contacting Cocoon Home Blog via email.  Another entry will be drawn if the winner does not contact us within that time frame.

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Lately I’ve been flooding my Instagram feed with images of the flora surrounding me.  Whether in my garden or while I’m out and about, I find botanical inspiration pretty much everywhere.  It could be in a dahlia color, the texture of a cactus or in the contrast of a particular plant grouping.  Take a look at a few recent favorites of mine and start noticing the flora around YOU.  Nature will reward you.

 

Follow my Instagram feed here for daily Botanical Inspirations. 

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Layered Neutrals: Part 2

August 20, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to visit clients who recently welcomed their second child.  After a brief hiatus from working on their home, I stopped by to stylize their living room with a couple of plants, several patterned pillows and a comfy throw.  Seeing how the space emerged from the virtual room inspiration (below) into real life was quite rewarding.  As life settles down for the growing family more personal touches will be added, but for now they have the foundation for an inviting living area to read, play and watch TV.  Many congratulations SH and JH on your adorable new arrival.

These are the key pieces that make up the room.

1.  EQ3′s Mañana Floor Lamp    2.  Williams and Sonoma Herringbone Flamestitch Rug 3.  West Elm’s Paneled Armoire  4.  Suite NY’s Friday Lounger 5.  Room and Board’s Tyne Round Coffee Table and 6.  the Mota Wedge Sectional from Viesso.

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While in LA recently, I caught up with my friend Sadiero of Stitch And Made.  Ever since I’ve known him (for quite some time now),  he’s had an entrepreneurial spirit, a keen sense of style and the patience and know-how to sew well.  In 2013 he started Stitch And Made, a handcrafted handbag company that specializes in turning repurposed denim, leather jackets and other previously owned materials into fashion custom bags.  A while back he gave me a clutch made from an vintage leather jacket as a gift.   Utilizing industrial-strength zippers, accent colors and his signature clip, he created a sturdy and functional handbag that complements my entire wardrobe.  I’ve since purchased the Small Dopp Gadget Bag for Alex.  It is custom lined with water resistant fabric so it’s perfect for his toiletries and he just loves it.

Take a look at the Stitch And Made bags Alex and I own and find out how you can win one of your very own below:

Sadiero has been kind enough to offer 1 Cocoon Home Blog reader a Stitch And Made Travel Bag that’s perfect for storing cords, chargers and/or beauty products.  Enter to win by doing 2 of the following:

1.  Follow Stitch And Made on Instagram. 

2.  ”Like” Cocoon Home’s Facebook page here (if  you haven’t already).

3.  Leave a comment below on how you would use a Stitch And Made handbag.

Contest ends Wednesday August 20th at midnight EST.  Winner will be announced on Friday August 22nd.  Good luck!!

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At this time last weekend, we were camping in Mendocino at a spot called Russian Gulch.  Together with Alex’s cousin and aunt we explored a small part of northern Cali’s majestic seacoast.  This particular area is made uniquely beautiful by the Frederick W. Panhorst bridge, which frames the shoreline creating a dramatic introduction to a secluded beach.  Once there, our twin boys and Loki (our free spirited dog) ran amok, while Zoe’s sole intent was to build a mini rock and seaweed village.  We did some kayaking around the rocky ledges among the giant seaweed and were rewarded with the most amazing views.  Moments such as these, i.e.:  away from home routines, disconnected from work and technology, are both craved and treasured by us as a family.  Here’s to another weekend of exploration and escape. Hope you all have a great one, too!

Soon I’ll share one of the amazing meals we prepared over the campfire at Russian Gulch.  Seriously, if you want to eat well while roughing it, camp out with us.

Many thanks to VK for sharing one of her most favorite camping spots with this wild bunch!

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When it comes to color, my preferences are most often earthy tones.  I like them best layered with patterns and mixed textures, but as of late I also find nature inspired colors very appealing.  When combined with  leather, metal and modern furnishings the statement that these hues provide is right up my stylist alley.  Here are a few examples of my type of colorful interiors where the application and hue are perfectly suited for each other.  From furnishings, floor to ceiling walls, to trims and ceilings, the refined use of color can make a big impact on your space.  Take a look:

Are you a lover of color?  If so, is it all out there or tamed like mine?

For more color inspirations follow my “For Color Inspiration” Pinboard here.  For color consultations and advice please contact me at debra@cocoonhome.com

Images:  1./2./3./4./5./6./7./8./9.

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DIY: A Sea Catcher

August 12, 2014

While camping in Mendocino over the past weekend (more on that adventure later), we collected driftwood and dried seaweed to add to our seaside mementos.  The foraged shore finds found themselves in box where I recently threw in some vintage buttons, chandelier crystals and a mix of feathers.  Together they all looked so pretty that the kids and I decided to make something with them, and voila, the “Sea Catcher” was born.  Using twine, leather cording, a little glue and my drill we simply arranged the collection and attached a few of our other favorites.  Take a look:

This Sea Catcher was made of Maine driftwood, dried Mendocino seaweed, vintage buttons and glass crystals from a chandelier we used to own.  All remind us of beautiful places and happy times.  Can’t wait to see how our next one comes together…

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Mid-Morning Dance Party

August 8, 2014

Realizing that when September comes along, we’ll all be busy with school and work again, I’ve decided to take an untethered approach to summer’s end.  With no real routine in place, we find ourselves enjoying JUST being home.  There are, of course, the occasional outings to Lake Anza for a swim, spontaneous gatherings with friends and our legendary mid-morning dance parties.   Given the time and the opportunity to find something to do on their own, our kids have been pulling out their board games, matchbox cars, old books and  even building blocks.  There’s often a request for screen time but we’ve been comprising on when and just how much.  My relaxed attitude toward it seems to have lessened its focus.

Within the next few weeks we’ll be receiving lots of guests and even hosting a wedding party!  Things will pick up around here and we’ll have plenty of dance partners to go around.  I guess we’ll have to take the dancing outdoors when our dining room table arrives…

How are you spending the remainder of  this summer?  

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Each time we visit our dear friend Vera (of Vera Abud Interiors) and her family, I’m not only excited to catch up with them, but also to be around her creative energy.  She happens to be one who is too modest about her multiple talents that reflect a beautiful, sophisticated elegance and an amazing discerning eye.  While our children and husbands do their thing (mostly play soccer and drink beer–in that order) we talk design.  Sharing our work, the inspirations that fuel it and even the struggles that come with it, we often chat late into the evening.  Our visits are always inspiring but sadly brief, since they usually take place in transit during our summer travels.  With the hope of extending their visual gratification, I attempt to capture Vera’s aesthetic with my camera.  Last year I shared her home office with you, this time we decided that her recently renovated master bath would be the focus of my camera lens.  This latest project, very true to her style, is a visual extension of the rest of the house and blends classic appeal and vintage accents with modern comfort.  Take a look at her work and see Vera’s list of favorite places to shop below:

In pursuit of her laid back luxury signature style, Vera’s favorite places to shop are: Bungalow (Westport CT), Terrain, Anthropologie, and Lillian August.  Her online sources are One Kings Lane and Second Shout Out.

Vera, thank you so much for sharing your work with my CHD blog readers and many, many thanks for yet another amazing visit!

 

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Over the weekend I played around with the pillow shams I bought in Cambridge at my favorite rug shop last month.  Using inserts I already owned, I stuffed the kilim covers and placed them on our age old Ikea sectional (to be replaced someday).  Our prior pillow collection was a mix of kilim, cotton and shag in light natural tones, but I’m really liking the way the deep pink hues look with the dark brown sofa and the brick wall.  The plan is to get a few more to balance out the large seating area and to purchase art for the brick wall.  Take a look at our renewed sofa.

I love mixing things up every once and while around the house.  The kids take notice and the space suddenly feels revived.  Here’s a few more ideas to freshen up your space with little or no money spent.

1.  Remove curtains or replace them with a patterned fabric that is appropriate for the season.

2. If space allows, re-arrange your furniture.  

3. Add plants or repot the ones you have in coordinating containers for focal interest. 

4.  Give your sofa or chair a new look by draping a throw on it. 

5.  Rehang your art or find wall space for pieces you haven’t hung yet.

6.  Rearrange your coffee table accessories; add books and magazines that you may not have read in while.  Keep books open to a page you find inspiring. 

7. Let your kids change things around for a day.  You’ll either be completely mortified or pleasantly intrigued by how they see the space.  It’s only for a day!

If you recently made some changes around your house, I would love to hear about them.

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