House Beautiful

A Nod to Mountain Chic



I’ve been spending more & more time in the mountains this year – taking on a few projects in Colorado, and also splitting time between San Diego & Crested Butte.  Of the 12 projects I’m working on right now, only *one* of them is in San Diego – the rest are spread across the US, which means the aesthetic I bring to each home always has to be a little bit malleable and take a few cues from its surroundings… I’m not saying I’d ever go all vacation rental and pop a cheesy sign in the kitchen in Ohio that says “Farm Fresh Eggs, This Way!” or put a heart-shaped bed that vibrates in my Vegas project or use dining chairs made with skis in a Denver dining room.  But it is only natural that ya give a little hat tip to what’s around… or at least give it a nod. Ye know – the kind of nod the elusive hot guy in high school used to give you when he passed you in the hall that was SO subtle yet full of charisma that your stomach probably still flips when you think about it, 20-some odd years later.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH


ANYHOOSIT.  Every time I walk into a store, or cyberstalk the local designers in Colorado (yeah, I said it), I feel like it’s more of a head bang than a nod… Antler chandeliers galore (hey… they’re not all bad buuuuuuut still), all wood EVERYTHING, that way-overplayed industrial metal piping for legs on all furniture pieces and “ELK CROSSING” signs, etc etc.  I actually had a local designer who heard I was a visiting designer tell me with a scowl on her face the other day that she “hated it when young girls who have great taste waltz into town and pretend to be designers“… and then she lifted her leg and peed on the town of Crested Butte… okay just kidding on the last part.  But I just wanted to give her a hug and invite her over for coffee and be like, “oh sugar put the gloves down! I’m not the Fox Books to your Shop Around the Corner – there’s enough biz for all of us, always,” but instead I just smiled and pulled a T-Swift and let it roll on off my shoulders.  Moving along – this imposter of a floozy (that’s yours truly) has been stockpiling images I love that (I think) give a subtle Jake Ryan-esque nod to the Mountain vibe:

{antique shop counter as an island}


{mini shades up the ante on the antler chandelier)


{love this cozy nook in the same house}


{reclaimed nightstands with rusty copper pulls}


{pretty please come to my living room and never leave}


{loveliest exterior inspo I ever did see}


{this one’s a pretty palette too}


{that marble farmhouse sink makes me weak at the knees}


{flank my front door whydontcha}


{love how cozy the exposed brick is… and the X-door detail}


{I’ve been sweating this antique French nightstand‘s nuts for about a year now.  Maybe I should do something about that.}


{Current favorite tile for a kitchen backsplash… updated, subtly iridescent and not even a little bit boring}


{Here she is installed.  From Clé tile.}


{Ralph, bring on the plaid}


{I put this in a kitchen mock-up years ago.  I love it still.}


{Look at how the backsplash becomes a wee ledge}


{favorite side table ever.  for any climate, anywhere.  adjustable height.}


{exposed brick for the win}


{one of my favorite kitchens ever.  totally translates to the cozy rustic mountains.}


{live edge is about 10 seconds from being overplayed, but I love this application}


{antique msrocccan rugs}


{favorite dining table in the galaxy}


{those uppers… I’m dangerously close to wanting to do them in my own kitchen.}


{what I would do in a heartbeat is that outdoor shower}


{DYING to paint any room that color.  Like my dining room.}


{on that note.. benjamin moore’s salamander is an amazing color}


{while we’re at it, I might wanna hang this bad boy in there too}


{this room is cozy… love the lamps, love the ceilings}


{be still my heart}






{small but mighty kitchen}


{legit obsessed with this limestone lamp}


{THESE CHAIRS….} midcentury-sirocco-lounge-chairs-mountain-decor-covet-living

{I can make this, right?}


{julianne hough’s bedroom… so lucious & so cozy. it’s in so cal, but it translates.}


{you better believe I’ve just commissioned a new version of this table from my favorite trusty carpenter, Chris}


{be still my heart… down a long hallway? I can’t take it.}


{you’ve seen me post this stair runner before – and it’s in a beach house – but I feel like the mountain vibe is sometimes a lateral move from the beach vibe… there’s a common denominator of comfort and of using materials with feel worn-in}


{more of the kitchen from the 1st pic… love the slate floors, the bistro chandelier, the ceilings, the fur on the chairs}



{the stone, the doors, the lanterns, the palette – it’s perfection}


{needs a duvet for that comforter, but like the layers and LOVE the sconce}


{from gregorius pine0… love how substantial these are}


{love this island that looks like it was repurposed, or handmade out back}


{I’d give Gus’ first born for this thing. Ok that’s a lie but isn’t it rad?}


{posted these awhile ago in a beach house post… they translate}


{perfect finish, perfect texture on the shade}


{mercury glass + rough hewn beams = heaven on the ceiling}


{more exposed brick}


{I could linger table side for hours in these dining chairs… on casters to boot}


{perfectly imperfect}


{love how the ornate chandelier and casually dressy roman offsets the rusticity of this kitchen}


{those faded green chaises from Patrick Dempsey’s Malibu beach house = to die}


{I need these nightstands}


{tiled hood and chesterfield sofa on point}


{I’d change out the pendants, but love the woven barstools and shades of greige}


{steel & glass upper doors – sigh}


{brownstone upholstery kills it every time}
{urban electric is another company that can do no wrong… those pendants are killer}




{#fave – from country floors… more imperfect than its Walker Zanger cousin, which I love}


{Side table that stands on its own like a boss}


{Baddest wet bar I ever did see – complete with Paul Bunyan-esque pulls}


{the metal + glass lantern gets a modern update when it’s done in a round shape}


Last but not least… if I had my druthers and had to design a kitchen in the mountains – or anywhere, for that matter – this is what I’d do… favorite Ann Morris antiques pendants, gold hood, exposed brick backsplash (or that stunning Cle tile one at the beginning of the post), steel + glass uppers, grey/green lowers (this is Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe, which looks more grey in real life), antique shop counter as an island, brass bridge faucet, and a leathered white macaubus countertop.  BOOM.


Actually I lie like a rug – one more thing… a good friend of mine and her family JYEST moved to the mountains last week, and I’m about to help a sister out and help her get her new (and STUNNING) mountain pad outfitted… so stay tuned for updates on that project!  Congrats, Nik!

Happy Saturday!


Steph's Scanned Signature

NOTE: Image credits all available via this Pinboard.


Bachelor Nick, Week 1: Parting the Red Sea (of dresses)


Whaaaatt’s up Bachelor people?!?  Sorry bout hibernating during Jojo’s season and falling off the Bach blogging map… truth be told (gulp), I don’t always watch the show anymore and scarcely have time to blog about it when I do, but I DO miss spitballing with you guys for sport (!), so I’ll do my best this season to tune in on Mondays and then sling some funnies around on Tuesday mornings.  Sound good? (Link to previous posts HERE)

First of all… let’s talk about Nick.  Since I’m all about redemption and seventeenth chances and all, I’m gonna pull for the kid this year.  He has grown on me.  Two years ago (circa Andi’s season), the mere sight of those freshly-chewed-on-rocks toofs creeping out from under that cocky smirk + his toddler antics ALMOST made me chuck a Tory Burch ballet flat through the TV.  Instead, I’d take out my aggression on the blog by giving him doppelgängers like these:


Sorry bud.  However, I think he does seem to have grown up and shed a few immature, unsavory layers, and what SEEMS to remain is a more raw, genuine version of the guy.  Perhaps that’s what happens when you’re humbled by heartbreak and humiliation on national television 3x in a row – you get stripped down to what’s closer to your core.  Whatever the case, I’m on board.  Now.. before we tee off with candid observations from last night’s premiere, I gotta bust Nick’s fruit basket for a quick sec, just for fun:

1. We get it dude.  You’ve been workin out – and kudos to you, cuz the bod looks SOLID.  I know for a fact that a few of my girlfriends are stewing in their soiled drawers over his new washboards. But a word to the wise: a hot bod still NEVER MAKES IT OK TO WEAR CAP SLEEVE TEES FROM GAP KIDS. Like, ever.


2. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years: he still blasts the left side of his weave every morning with his blowdryer.  It looks like a helicopter lands there about 2x/day.  I can’t figure it out.


3. “The funny thing about Nick is that he comes across as this GIANT tool bag” = one of the funnier things Sean Lowe has ever said. He’s also kind of hilarious on insta if you follow him.  


4. I spy 2 pairs of loins aflame over at Table 12 in the background.  


Also, I forgot about Farmer Panty Dropper’s funny dolphin laugh.  What’s he doing these days besides plowing soybeans & corn & prob every chick in Iowa – anybody know?  


5. Rachel is my MVP of the night.  Kudos to ABC for casting a contestant over the age of 12 this season.  And a smart, confident (yet most importantly, humble) one at that.  


Also, props on the wingbacks GF.  She’s got good taste. 


On a superficial note, I’m SORT OF dying to part her hair anywhere besides right down the middle. But I also wanna be besties with her, and that’s the sort of solid besties do ya.


6. Vanessa -the Francophile / Special Needs Teacher is also a solid chick.  I can see her going the distance.


6.5. The Nail lady aka Vanessa Minillo is a stunner.  And doesn’t *seem* like she’ll turn out to be a crazy slut bag, but people, the season is young and ya never can tell.  


7. The (air quotes, pronounced in slow-mo) “nur-sing stu-dent” aka the girl who I’m pretty sure just dressed up as a nurse for Halloween should ask her homegirl Vanessa Manillo to hook her up with a mani.  


And a set of new extensions.  Signed, I’ll be driving the bus to hockeysticks aka h*ll if anyone needs me. But for real, she’s straight off the Funny Farm.

8. I spy a villain.


Slash, who over the age of 7 still has a “Nanny” at their beck & call to bring them Scooby snacks??


I would describe myself as a very serious business woman” = I spit out my coffee this morning when she said that.  Daddy letting you update your FB status from his leather office chair does not a CEO make. Also, I don’t know any woman who allegedly runs a multi-million dollar company yet still lives at home.  But don’t listen to me – listen to Fortune magazine – who noted that they couldn’t even figure out what it was she actually does, except that she did seem to be an aspiring model.


9. If Corinne is a CEO, then I’m next in line to be Queen and Jersey Girl is a Dolphin.  I don’t remember everything from my ‘Boycott Tuna / Save the Dolphins” stint as an aspiring marine biologist in the 4th grade, but I CAN promise you that dolphins don’t have gills.  That said – bahfhdahhaha – how could you not love her?  What a loon.


I about died when she started swimming in the pool and making dolphin calls for him.


Also, this. She and I should probably be friends.


10. I also thought the ‘Runner-Up’ reference / entrance was cute.  She’s adorable, and doesn’t seem like a whack job.


11. The back of Melania Trump’s dress was gorgeous.


12. HOW DOES HE NOT REMEMBER SOMEONE WHO’S GARAGE HE PARKED HIS CAR IN??  I would’ve turned around and been like, imma get back in this limo cyyyyyaaaaaaa and flown the bird out the window.


Maybe it was outta context; who knows.  I can’t tell if it just took him a stitch to remember her, or if someone (e.g. a producer) tipped him off.  In any case: a) She’s a cute girl – I’ll be interested to see how that pans out //  b) I felt like she was trying to air out her top set of chompers, cuz I scarcely saw a lip covering those bad boys – even when she was talking, and that takes talent… Ace Ventura caliber talent.


c) Can’t figure out why he has a chip on his shoulder about her not tracking him down and calling him after they took a spin in the sheets at Jade & Tanner’s wedding?  “Jade had my number – you could’ve asked for it” = uhhh, door swings both ways, Count Chocula.  Ever heard of the chase?  

13. Introducing the Cruise Ship Singers on Ice collection – available at your local David’s Bridal. 

THE BACHELOR - Episode 2101 - What do a dolphin-loving woman, a successful businesswoman who runs her parents multi-million -dollar flooring empire;, a bachelorette, who is hiding a big secret about her past involving Nick, and a no-nonsense Southern belle, who has Nick in her cross-hairs for a big country wedding, all have in common? They all have their sights set on making the Bachelor, Nick Viall, their future husband when the much-anticipated 21th edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelor," premieres, MONDAY, JANUARY 2 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (Rick Rowell/ABC via Getty Images) RAVEN, NICK VIALL

14. The chick who was like, “OMG I’m not gonna get picked and it’s because I wore red and ALL THE OTHER GIRLS WORE RED so I blended in” is right up there with the “he didn’t love me because I didn’t have as good a body as so-and-so” kind of crazy talk that makes me want to ram my head through a wall.  Please see #18 below.


15. What’s with all the waterworks on night 1??  Suck it up, campers!  There’s no crying in baseball and there’s DEF no reason to cry on night 1 because he’s not talking to you when you have been hiding under the dining room table too scared to talk to him.  Slash, maybe the poor girls are just emotional and hangry, cuz did you see the rose ceremony was at daylight??  I guarantee ABC supplied them with a fountain of champagne and 3 carrot sticks to split between all 30 of ’em for dinner.

16. The dolphin shark is an ever-so-slight Jade Roper doppelgänger.


17. Dear Bachelor Set Decorators: Ikat is over. Has been for ages. Let’s move on.


18. Last and (I thought) the most poignant moment of the show was Lauren’s exit.  Because although she was understandably bummed, instead of following in the footsteps of so many cast-offs before her and pulling an: “OHMYGODWHYAMINOTGOODENOUGH, NO ONE LOVES ME AND I’M GOING TO LET NOT BEING GIVEN A ROSE SLAUGHTER MY SELF-ESTEEM FOR LIFE,” she was like, ‘…you know what, he seems super genuine, but I just think I haven’t met the right one… I can tell you this – I know my worth and need to start finding guys who recognize that – I’m a great gf and someday I’ll be a great wife.”  Amen.  It was the smartest couple of sentences I’ve ever heard anyone on the show utter.


That’s all I got!


Steph's Scanned Signature