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The Blog of Trove Interiors, an interior design firm located in the Seattle-area. Specializing in residential design, our projects utilize classic foundations and modern sensibilities to make design approachable and luxurious for today's families.

Updated: 2018-04-15T03:10:22.858-07:00


Kate's Renovation: The Plans


Client projects have kept me busy, so this post is a bit more delayed than originally planned. I'm playing catch-up trying to get these up-to-speed with what is currently happening at the house. Nights and weekends have kept us busy with tiling both bathrooms upstairs and painting is starting to happen all over. Things are really beginning to take shape and moving in feels like it's just around the corner... despite an overwhelming amount of work that needs to happen between now and then.Also! Our kitchen cabinets are partially installed. As is typical, they could only get so far before the countertops needed to go in, so our kitchen is sitting in limbo until slabs are installed next week. Quickly followed by appliances. But I'm ahead of myself, because before any of this could happen, we had to re-arrange things and create some new spaces.The Basement:If you recall, the basement was virtually a box with a few support walls in places. We've planned ahead for the future by marking off some space that can someday be a 4th bedroom (after it meets all egress requirements for safety (until then, it's open studs)).We've made a mudroom that will act as a wet entrance from our alley and backyard. The mudroom also has a shop space off of it that will be the home base for all of our future projects (the list is long). Also, with a very "vintage" garage, it's the best place for tools and time spent improving. For a future owner with little use for a workshop, it can function as a store room. You'll see that all our systems moved in to the two closets that were already here, but underutilized. We've moved to a tankless hot water heater and an air-handler for our heat pump.At the base of our stairs is still a bathroom, but now there is a small vestibule that leads to the future bedroom and a laundry. The rest of the basement will be devoted to a bonus room with a large finished closet for storage.The Main Floor:We've created some new spaces here, as thankfully, none of the walls were load-bearing in the kitchen and the re-arranging allowed us to expand the kitchen and create a pantry and powder. The circular floorplan was re-inforced as now you travel through a hallway to get to the kitchen, rather than crossing through a breakfast room. While it is a hallway with 5(!) doors, this was originally designated as the "service" section of the house, so it still feels very true to the original intention. We're wallpapering this hallway as well, since it's visible from the entry and kitchen, so while it's very much a public space, it functions on multiple levels and won't feel like you're in a different section of the house.The kitchen now spans 16'-0" in length and with some thought, it was enough to eek out an island rather than a peninnsula. My husband and I both cook a lot and love to entertain, so having a kitchen with as much work surface was very important to us. Seeing it go in last week has us both gobsmacked -- we're walking around thinking we've won the lottery since our last kitchen was decidely a "one-butt" space. We practically had to climb over each other to accomplish anything. The Second Floor:Looking back on the second floor, there was no master bathroom or shower and the closet space was awkward and small. Also, the arrangement left the "4th bedroom" useless. With some re-configuring, we've added another bathroom to the mix, as well as a walk-in closet. The arrangement of our windows, doors and floor joists didn't leave many options for the configuration, but what we've ended up with is ample for a city bathroom. The walk-in shower is 3'-0" x 5'-0" and the bathroom vanity has tons of storage for us, despite one sink. For us, it felt like one sink was a good trade-off for big drawers on a 5'-0" vanity.The other change you'll see is the move to a French door at the top of the stairs. Originally, this door to the deck was through a bedroom. Changing out the short, wide windows to a french door has changed the landing dramatically. It's amazing what a difference it makes to the space and having the deck so acce[...]

Kate's Renovation: The As-Built Plans


For better or for worse, from the first moment we walked in to the house, we knew what we wanted to change. If we had been able to live in the house prior to renovating, maybe we would have come up with alternatives or we would change our mind, but in this case, the nice thing about having an idea immediately is that it gave us the courage to know we could make this floorplan work for us with some changes. The house is a very typical center-hall Colonial. The nature of this style of house makes for easy way-finding and lots of symmetry, which is wonderful. The downside is that making changes to it can be tricky given that everything has its place and a matching partner somewhere else in the house. The floors all have a very similar layout to them and are all generally the same size -- each floor is roughly 1000 square feet. The Basement {As-Built}:Our intention was to basically close the basement door for 2 years and get to it when we'd recovered from the upstairs phase of the renovation.That more or less has happened, but the door has by no means been closed. When we bought the house, we planned to switch out the oil boiler for a gas version and keep the radiant heat and corresponding radiators throughout. With more research, we learned that switching the boiler meant thousands in permitting, upgrades, and labor (the estimate was around $30k), so at that point we began to explore updating the system entirely, especially with so many of the radiators in crazy locations.To do away with the radiators meant a clean basement, free of low-hanging pipes and the addition of a ducted heat pump system that could heat and cool the house more efficiently. Combined with the tankless water heater we installed, it means that the monster boiler and water heater (shown in red here) could move elsewhere and we gained useable space.We also have had to re-wire and re-plumb the entire house (surprise!), so with all these decisions happening, we decided to frame in the rooms we planned on for the future and run the necessary plumbing and wiring to them. The new laundry got drywall so it would be functional for us in the sort-term and we'll finish it more as we get things upstairs crossed off the list. More details on that with the renovation plans.Otherwise, the unfinished basement was more or less an open space, with few walls and a sad excuse for a bathroom (this was the only shower in the house).Main Floor {As-Built}:Walking in the front door, the dining room (with french doors) is to your right and living room to the left. Straight back is a 15-lite door leading to the breakfast room and a two-part powder bath. Typical of this floorplan, it makes a loop to access the kitchen this way, or via the dining room's swing door. While looking for a house, one of the top priorities we had was a main floor powder room. And if it didn't have one, where could we build one? Well, the house definitely had one -- it was massive and yet TINY all at the same time. The second doorway off the breakfast room was partially blocked by the edge of the kitchen counter and the freestanding range. This was a product of the house never having been truly updated to accommodate modern appliances like fridges and stoves. We know this because we tore out the original ice box and coal door that used to make the kitchen more functional. Also in the kitchen was the now-outdated chimney for the boiler. This run began in the basement and ended above the roof (4 stories in total) and it wreaked havoc on every floor's arrangement. In the kitchen and upstairs bedroom, it was plastered over to look more finished, but we lost almost 4 square feet to it on all three floors of living space. My vote was immediately to take it down. We did it in Susie's first house 15 years ago and I was hell-bent on getting rid of it here too. To my husband, it sounded exhausting and miserable, which he was pretty correct in thinking, but thankfully he eventually agreed and with the help of wonderful friends, it was only a weekend of disassembling an[...]

Kate's Renovation: Part One


It's been a looong time since we last wrote something here, and I wish I had more than the usual excuses, but I won't bore you with them. If you follow Susie and I on Instagram, you've seen that our daily life is filled with more clients than ever and after our day job ends, Susie goes home to kids who are growing up too fast and now I go home to a baby of my own... a fixer-upper.If you do happen to follow me, you've seen that in 2014 I got married. And in 2015, we turned our attention towards finding a house. My husband and I have always talked about finding a home that would need lots of work. For me, it's always been a dream to rehab a home and work on my own project. For my husband, his desire to spend wisely in real estate dovetailed nicely with his willingness to work hard (probably much harder than he anticipated).. I can't go forward without first giving you a little bit of background in to the Seattle real estate market, because it helps add context to the crazy situation we entered in to when we eventually found our house. Bear with me on this wordy post, I swear I'll get to the photos soon, but without some of this you will think we are even crazier than you're bound to think we already are.After getting the go-ahead from lenders, we found ourselves in one of the craziest booms that Seattle has ever seen, with some of the lowest inventory on record. We attempted to purchase a couple homes, but found ourselves in what's become a typical scenario here: Pre-inspections in order to submit qualified offers (with no contingencies) on one review date. Buyers are usually one of many (in our case 10 other offers was typical) and the winner was always the all cash buyer who had offered much more than asking. It's not uncommon for a house to go for $100,000 over asking right now. As you could imagine, the combination of all those factors gave us a feeling of moderate desperation. On one hand, we loved our apartment. On the other, we were going stir-crazy in 575 (well laid-out and charming) square feet. One day in June, my husband called and simultaneously sent me a link to a home on Craigslist. It turns out that he had been periodically checking the property postings and a home he had seen months earlier had been "re-listed," but this time for much less. Now, it was actually in our wheelhouse. What he'd sent me was a listing for a 1924 Colonial Revival in one of Seattle's best neighborhoods. The listing had 4 photos and little else for information, but we immediately called the seller to set up an appointment. I've probably glossed over the fact that my husband had been checking Craigslist, and I should have been more hesitant, but the fact of the matter is that he has bought and sold so much over Craigslist in the near-decade that we've been together, that it only seemed too fitting. OF COURSE he was checking Craigslist, I should have known he would be. "Listing" PhotoThe listing was unusual, however. The seller requested no real estate agents and the photos of the interior showed a less than well-kept home. When we arrived, it only became more clear that we were dealing with the unusual situation of a young man selling the home of recently-passed parents, one of whom had spent their later years dealing with a hoarding disorder. A bunch of other issues played in to the current state of the house and I'm sure the photos I'm including here can speak for themselves since I'd rather not air their laundry. I actually arrived before Hans and when he walked in and looked at my face, he mistook the expression for disgust -- another waste of time. And well.. disgust may have been present, but it was hidden behind what was actually the crazy look in my eyes that said "I WANT THIS HOUSE." At the end of the day, we had an awesome real estate attorney who helped protect us through the sale, which dragged on for longer than normal and almost fell through a few times. It was not an enjoyable process or one at all similar to what I pictured when thinking ab[...]



Hilarious that our last post was in September and hilarious that we always tell ourselves we'll be better bloggers. I won't kid around, finding time to blog is hard. Everyone says it, but it couldn't be more true.But... I'm in the mood to be a better blogger, better creative person and better business owner. AND, yesterday I pulled my head up out of my little sandy hole and realized that Friday is VALENTINE'S DAY.WHAT?!Wasn't it just Christmas? And before that... wasn't it just Valentine's Day? I won't even act like I was alone in forgetting it... especially since had you seen us at 2:30pm yesterday burning rubber in to the drugstore parking lot to buy last-minute Valentines for Susie's youngest... you'd gather that we haven't given much thought to the holiday.But we're getting in the spirit  by digging through our virtual stacks of images and relishing in some of our favorite rooms that used pink. And then we got even crazier (yes, crazy) and went off topic in to clothes and other beautiful things. I'm a sucker for some of the Valentine's-inspired things in stores too (have you seen the adorable bowls at West Elm?).In all honesty (as if you can't already tell), I'm not much for this holiday, but pinks like these are something I can really get behind...Ending on that good Marchesa note... All the best,Kate[...]

We're Alive.


I feel like we should just get that on the table, because once again, we've gone dark. Somehow, you blink your eyes and months have gone by. I don't think we're proud of that, but the nice thing about blogging is the ability to come back and catch up.Maybe it goes without saying, but Susie and I are coming off of one of the crazier summers that we've ever had. In addition to balancing family and friends, our business had a great summer. I think we both feel very tired as we roll in to fall -- in fact the last couple days have been very dreary and we're feeling like without the kick in the pants of the sun, we both are needing some big cups of coffee to get by.I think the best way to get through summer is with photos, since after all, this job is visual. Demolition at one of our projects began in the middle of June. There is much more to be told about this project, but needless to say, it kept us busy. Which led to lots of cocktails... in this case homemade basil gimlets from an episode of Barefoot Contessa that I managed to catch. AND a basil plant that I managed to keep alive all summer. Best $3.99 ever.  Countertop installation in a bathroom we reconfigured and started from scratch on.  This particular stone was amazing. A small amount of crystals in the marble kept it feeling young and playful.  One of our finished bathrooms -- this one was for a little boy complete with a custom shagreen bench for bathtime and a shower curtain that feels more like draperies than the usual fix.   Breakfast table in the process of being styled. These chairs were vintage and so incredible. They make for the perfect chair to sit at for long casual meals with friends.  One of our favorite chandeliers ever before it came to its "forever home" in our client's entry. This one was a real miracle to pull off since the normal lead time is 14 weeks. Needless to say, we breathed a big sigh of relief when it was installed safely -- agate doesn't take kindly to rough treatment.  We doubled as shipping and receiving as box after box came through our door. We spent so much time breaking down boxes in order to make room for new items. Our nightly routine consisted of jobsite visits and and pouring a glass of wine as we ripped apart boxes and sorted deliveries. This art is serving as inspiration for one of our projects as we work on the main floor of a Seattle craftsman home. Strong greens and neutrals will make an appearance.  Laying down the beginnings of this laundry room floor. The end product has amazing drying racks that pull-out from the lower cupboards and pull-out laundry baskets. This is a laundry room to envy and we're pretty proud of it.   Soup to nuts, this one was a total reno. We'll post before pictures sometime, but it started as something completely different -- let's just say that marble herringbone floors were not in this house a few weeks before. This photo was snapped mid-install. One of our client's favorite spots. And really, we'd be lying if we said we haven't enjoyed a margarita on these sofas. One of our projects on the day we took possession. Such a beautiful property that has since gotten some much needed attention to the front entry and approach. ... A reference photo for us as we worked to bring this room to reality. One of our most favorite wallpapers EVER and the rest of the powder is even better. Antique mirror, Waterworks and bone top it off.  I pinch myself when we get to work with clients on their dishware. I could have just keeled over with excitement while selecting this pattern.  Coming along. This has got to be one of our favorite designs for an island leg. A small fillet detail wraps the island with such delicacy. Do you recognize this one? It's still in progress because we were still moving our clients in and the barstools are temporary while the factory in Paris enjoys their August vacation. What ca[...]

Summer Vacation 2013: Sailing


If you've made it through a summer with me on instagram, you've learned that it means one thing to me: boating. While being in a city that relies on bridges because of so much water can be a drag sometimes (tolls, crippling back-ups with no alternate pass) it also means that I rarely go a single day without crossing some sort of body of water and it usually lends itself to amazing views that do a soul good. We all grew up boating and in the summer after work, when it finally gets nice, my buddies and I meet at the dock and take off for dinner or an evening spent on the water.In addition, I have a dad who lives for his sailboat. And as a bonus, he's raised me sailing and helped me slowly learn the craft and although I'm still too nervous to captain, I make a trusty deckhand. After finally retiring a month ago, he's setting out for a bucket-list trip to circumnavigate Vancouver Island on our 38' Erickson. He'll be gone for a month, but we're taking turns meeting him on different legs of the trip and it's no coincidence that I picked the most beautiful part: sailing to Desolation Sound with warm waters and epic fjords. Packing for a sailboat is not too far over the line of packing for camping. I say that because you have to be prepared for big swings in temperature and layers are a must, plus you're not exactly retiring to the Ritz every night (it's a little "Night John Boy" if you know what I mean). It's not unusual to have the sun shining, but be freezing cold because if the wind isn't blowing... you're not having a good sail. And when you're not sailing, you're stuffing your gob with cheese and wine... my kind of outdoor activity.This year, I'm investing in (1) a new fleece that I can tool around in on the boat and off that's cozier than cozy. (2) new boat shoes with an updated shape that doesn't cover the top of my foot as much. (3) I've got to upgrade my swimsuit to something that can alternate between straps and strapless, because at this age showing up to a friend's wedding with swim team-style suit lines isn't so friendly... or chic (4) My old aviators are coming along, but next year I really need to upgrade to polarized lenses, which weren't an option at the time. (5) T-shirts. T-shirts. T-shirts. (6) Give me a nice long inseam on a short. I'm tired of shorts that aren't comfortable... might just go up a size too, I want 'em comfy. (7) For a number of reasons, I'm investing in a kindle paperwhite for reading. I'll miss the actual books, but I'm finally caving in -- actually reading is more important than the feel if that's what it comes down to. (8) The perfect sneaker since 1917 and it's a staple for vacations on and off land.I also thought I'd throw in some photos from some of our family trips last summer. These are from close to home locations and weekends to various islands nearby: Someone snuck a shot of me and I'm being brave and putting it up.Susie's kiddos coming back from crabbing -- I think we finally caught one crab after a couple tries... not one of our more fruitful trips. Hoping your summer is filled with fun things to get excited for -- planning is half the fun I'm told.All the best,KateIf you're interested in creating a home you love, please contact us at or[...]

Serena & Lily's Hampton Store


After seeing some sneak peak images of the new Serena & Lily store in the Hamptons on our various feeds yesterday, it makes me extremely jealous that we aren't able to go visit and also don't have stores like this in our area. Look at the beauty:

Photo via Heather Clawson @ Habitually Chic

Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic was invited to the opening and has many more photos to share. As does Traditional Home's Tori Mellott on instagram:

Photo via @torimellott

We strongly suggest you check out these two ladies' photos from the store -- envy inducing.

All the best,

If you would like help creating a home you love or are interested in purchasing to-the-trade items, please contact us at

A Beach Lover's Nursery


                                   A few months ago we began working on a nursery for a friend of mine due in July with a baby girl. What I know to be true of my friend is that the woman manages to take more tropical vacations than anyone I know. She is a warm-vacation worshiper and is happiest when she's not at her desk (obviously) and instead on a beach in Hawaii or somehow swinging invites to the Ixtapa Food and Wine Fest two years in a row (I mean, come on...). So when I showed her this fabric out of a big stack, I realized I could have just brought the one and not bothered with the rest. It was 1) not pink, 2) tropical in its style and 3) versatile enough to grow with their daughter. My friends were tasked with picking out their favorite crib and dresser for this teensy room given some parameters for size. Same goes for a chair that they both found comfortable given that both she and her husband are on the tall side and wanted to be able to rest their head for those late nights and early mornings. The white slipcover is still-to-come due to a backorder issue, but the chair from the Land of Nod is a winner for it's swivel-rocker feature. We also decided to have a crib skirt made in the 11th hour so it's a few weeks out and in a coordinating green.For us, this room was an exercise in working with color in a soothing way. Color and nurseries are a given for lots of people, but my friends didn't want anything to "baby" and given how neutral Susie and I tend to be, this was a fun step outside our comfort zone.Pre- Slipcover!We found these original corals and we worked with the artist to find the right shade of lavender based on the wall color so that it was in the same tones, but stronger. They are all signed and I know for some people, my friends included, having something original from an artist is important, rather than something off of a shelf at a big box store. And just because they are custom and original, it doesn't mean they were expensive!Replacing the light fixture was a big change to the room (in addition to the crown that we added). The ceilings are low, but when we started working on the room, my friend said she wanted two things with no wiggle room: a chandelier of some sort and something interesting for the ceiling or a wall. This Morovian Star fixture did both. It's fun and special like a traditional chandelier would be, but it has muss less drop and allowed us to do something special while not sacrificing heads to bumps and bruises.And, since doing a wallpaper on the ceiling was slightly out of reach, the fixture creates light patterns on the ceiling (which we did paint at 200% strength of the wall color for subtle variation).My favorite Target lamp gives extra light to the room in addition to having two three way bulbs -- genius for wanting only 40 watts if the baby is sleeping or as much as 200 if you were trying to land a plane. Floor lamps combined with a corner chair are an absolute must. As soon as the lamp goes in, it completes the vignette and gives the spot purpose.Love this little metal and wood table too. Perfect spot to rest your bottle/mug while camped out.Also, a note on drapes: If there is ONE thing that makes a room, it's adding drapes to your budget. Even for a nursery when there is so much to buy, they make the biggest  difference. As soon as they went up, the room immediately felt special and bigger. We added a tape to the leading edge to give them some interest and sophistication (plus play up the green), but there are multiple ways to accomplish drapes via workrooms and sewing shops and I'm so thankful that my friends trusted us with their home and budget. All the best,KateIf you would like help creating a home you love or are interested in purchasing to-the trade items, please contact us at[...]

Vaunte & Trad Home's Tori Mellot


I can't remember how I started following Vaunte on instagram. It was one of those rabbit holes of the internet when you realize you're 4 steps from where you started and don't ask me how I got there. But since following them, I've signed up for their emails, which is saying something since I have unsubscribed from nearly every other service that joined the fad of littering my inbox with "Shop NOW" flash sales multiple times a day.Vaunte seems a little different though. It's like being invited in to someone's closet and the "someone" is always one of good taste or if not your taste, it's really interesting to see what they wore and what they're putting up for sale at amazing prices.  It's Decades of the internet and without the boring anonymous client numbers. Snooze.Case in point: Tori Mellot, Senior Design and Market Editor of Traditional Home (and formerly Domino)'s items went on sale this weekend and I can tell you a few things about her: Typically a size 2/4 and the girl loves a mini dress (her clothes would look like a t-shirt on me). Also a good label lover. In addition to my not-so-astute observations, they give a great profile to accompany the sale with an awesome questionnaire -- she has some great answers.I have to pull out some highlights to this questionnaire because her honesty makes me laugh:Jeans: I think jeans are over-priced. I get all my jeans at Zara and they are awesome! Plus I wear white jeans so often in the summer that they are threadbare by August. Why would I want to spend $300 on a pair of jeans that I'm going to have to pitch at the end of the season? That's stupid, duh, so I go to Zara and I get jeans that make my ass look good and my legs look long. As an aside, I also should note that this is the same gal talking about jeans who chose a Birken over a car because that's the price comparison we're talking about, so take it for what you will. We all spend money in our own way, so no judgement from me.Movie: Sixteen Candles all the way. I'm still waiting for Jake Ryan to show up at my house in a candy-apple red Porsche.I had to throw this in because that movie is referenced all the time between Susie and I. Despite our generation gap, Sixteen Candles is a common language for us. In high school, all I had to do to describe my crush to her was compare him to Jake Ryan. He. Is. My. Jake Ryan. And an a-ha moment was had.Best Compliment: To give: That I'm funny or skinny. To Give: That someone is beautiful or skinny. That's some honesty right there... But who doesn't love when a friend tells you you look skinny?Christian Louboutin, currently $175Alaia, currently $155Cynthia Rowley, currently $135Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, currently $125I love it when fashion and interiors collide. To me, they are a seamless integration of design and for now, I'm highly enjoying Here's to a good Monday,Kate[...]

Skirted Tables In Action


I've been slowly assembling my own house lately and with that comes scavenging for any photos that serve as useful inspiration. One of the things I love about my house is that it is small. And naturally the thing that also gives me the greatest frustration is that I'm fighting the limitations of space -- especially when it's my natural inclination to fill it up with STUFF. Isn't that what lovers of furniture and fabric need to do? I've been slowly assembling the sitting area of my little space and with getting closer to being "done" with that, I've been able to tackle the dining area bit by bit. Last weekend, I began sewing the fabric for what will be a skirted table with eventually, multiple options of dress. To fill you in on what I'm working with, my "dining" are and living room are one combined space, and truthfully, I'm being ambitious with cramming a dining table in. SO. Our solution? A skirted table that functions more as a place to set up my computer if I'm working from home or stack some books like a library table. Chairs around it all the time is just too much for the room, so those have a life in other places when not occupied... For now, I've started with a light brown and white ticking stripe. It's neutral while still bringing in some pattern and let's face it, the price was right. I needed seven yards and when I'm done I'll add some frogs like  the photo above (but farther down) so that it has a tailored look. I'm not into ruffles and folds for my own home, although it can be beuatiful. When I've got that skirt fully crossed off my list, I'm moving on to a cream linen (stain treated) that will get a Greek Key border. I love the option of changing out the two and I love how different they are.In the process of narrowing down my options though, I'm always considering skirts like these:This one is so simple, I love it. And it was the inspiration for how I'd like to use the table in more ways than just a place to host friends.And a note about the actual table: Being hard to please, I took to my dad's woodshop and made it. I've made a few furniture pieces by now when I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for. Or when what I'm looking for is WAY out of my price range. For this table, I didn't want a standard round with leaves as my oval because I needed the gentle curve and immediate curve of an ellipse (to maximize space), rather than the straight sides that come with the former option. I also wanted the legs in very specific places so they didn't interfere with seating 6 people. While I'm not crazy about maple veneered plywood, it makes a great base for the table:It's never a quick process when you're working on you own house -- all the options and lack of time, but slowly I'm getting things together. First dinner party is looming and sitting in front of these windows with a view to Lake Union is really wonderful now that it's sunny.All the best,KateIf you would like help creating a home you love or are interested in purchasing to-the-trade items, contact us at*These photos and credits are available via my Pinterest. [...]

Design Crush: Architect Bill Ingram


When I received my May issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles last week I was struck by architect Bill Ingram's loft in Atlanta.   It's such an elegant shell but extremely livable, which seems to be his trademark style.   Based out of Birmingham, I just can't get enough of his designs.  The living room is split into a sitting area and library.  The dining area is beyond fabulous.  He turned an extra bedroom into a TV/sitting room.  I'd live in this room.  And I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing this house, but it's one of my favorites and is an example of how you don't have to live large to live well:One of his lake houses --  It was published by Southern Accents Magazine in 2009 but it's still a classic: The man really does know how to create some comfortable kitchens:Last but not least, some of my favorite exteriors:   I've always loved this Rosemary Beach house.  Who wouldn't want to drive up to this little darling?Amazing carriage house.Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a great week ahead.   Susie[...]

Couldn't Resist...


It's a disgusting day outside again, but in here it's bright and cheery with pretty colors and flowers. Even Tilly needs a pop of color.

Have a good weekend!


A Well Planned Guest Room


I'm still on my guest room kick. Having pulled together some of my favorites the other day, I thought it would be worth thinking about what it really is that goes in to a well thought-out guest room. I know that designers fall in to a class of people who are thought of as hard to please, and yes, maybe that's true. But really, design is about intention and attention (intention because everything should have a reason for being the way that it is & attention because life is lived in the details), so with those two things in mind we aren't such a hard group to channel.For instance, we think about the way a room is used by those within it. In a living room, where will you put your glass? How far to the nearest outlet? I recently stayed in two hotel rooms with no outlets near the bed or outlets that were blocked by nightstands (what!?!). Explain to me how that works for travelers living and breathing by their cell phones?So let's break it down.A great looking bed frame: This is more for you than for your guests -- you deserve to have a room that looks great when you walk by and guests appreciate a finished space. It should be the focal point and always positioned directly across from the door (whenever possible) so it's the first thing you see. A well-made bed: With so many great options for sheets on the market, a great set is within reach. PB, Restoration, and West Elm are all great resources. Also, extra blankets nearby for people who run cold and a fan for people who run hot (and also need some white noise). Good lamps and nightstands: In this case, the nighstands function as dressers. Living out of a suitcase is sometimes unavoidable, but providing a way to make it more bearable is always appreciated. Being able to pull clothes out of a drawer makes you feel less frazzled and makes re-packing so much easier. A bench or chair: A place to put your shoes on is such a necessity. Full disclosure, I'm neurotic and hate sitting on a bed in street clothes, but I've surveyed people in the right company and found out I'm not alone... And this one here is an incredible price. Beside the bed: Flowers are a special touch and don't need to be fancy, but nothing makes a room that is ordinarily empty feel fresh and welcoming. It's also inevitable that when waking up in the morning at a good friend's house a hangover of some size is usually a problem... Water beside the bed in a carafe with a glass is always appreciated (as is a handy bottle of Tylenol). Also, something to read (even if it's your cast-offs it's probably new to them). I prefer magazines with great articles versus a book for short, but interesting, reading. Vanity Fair, Food & Wine and Details are all great and cover your bases. All the best,KateThese items are available through Trove Interiors -- For more information, contact us for help creating a beautiful home. [...]

Relaxing Guest Rooms


We've been traveling a lot lately, whether for work or various weekend trips thanks to out-of-town weddings (welcome to the 2013 wedding gauntlet). That's meant a lot of time in hotels and the spare rooms of friends and family. I think there was only one weekend of March that I was home? Needless to say, the state of things there is at a standstill despite my need to start some decorating projects.Being gone got me thinking about what a guest room should feel like. They're often times the rooms that don't get much attention in a home. Maybe it's where the old bed frame goes when someone finally upgrades or the cast-off furniture that has really needed to go, but still seems to be hanging around. I've started to think that a goal for me is to someday have a wonderful guest room -- one that feels as relaxing for a friend as a stay in a hotel.Phoebe Howard has always been one of my favorite designers when it comes to soothing bedrooms. She just does such a good job at it. These are some of my favorites in a little homage to the guest room a la Ms. Howard.All photos via PhoebeHoward.netAll the best,Kate[...]

Beach Project


We are kicking off an exciting project on the Oregon Coast in our favorite enclave of Gearheart/Cannon Beach.   Kind of gets me in the mood for some serious coastal style. There's something about the Oregon Coast that just puts my soul at ease.  In fact, it's the first place I would buy a vacation home should the opportunity present itself.  I love the weather (even if it's rainy too much of the time) and the quaintness of the towns.  Plus, there's nothing like a bonfire and BBQ on the beach with friends.    Can't wait to road trip and hit my favorite antique stores and Pop's soda shop for some treats.  Too bad I'm leaving the kids at home!Here are some of my favorite coastal inspirations to get the creative juices flowing. Source: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Kristen on PinterestAnd you can't mention coastal without including the ever popular "Something's Gotta Give" House.  No matter how many times I've seen it, I'll always get sucked in.  Not sure if it's the story line or the house.  But I know I never get tired of it. Source: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Karen on PinterestSource: via Tracey on PinterestSource: via Melinda on PinterestKate and I are heading to the Coast to check it out.  I love my job.[...]

Swinging the Chandeliers


Well, not exactly swinging from chandeliers, more like tangled in them... Susie and I have been juggling projects in various stages of completion over the last few weeks, but there has been one constant: lighting. In every house, it's been the topic of conversation, and for good reason. Lighting is SO important! It is the loudest statement you can make and the tone it sets has to be intentional. And let's face it, there is some great lighting out there and then for every amazing piece, there are 100 ugly-as-sin options. I decided to pull together some of the things we've been showing clients lately because they're too pretty to keep to ourselves. This first board has fixtures that we originally pulled for island pendants. There are a couple in there that were intended for over a banquette, but our thought is that the two are generally interchangeable.   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.Personally, I am in love with Currey & Co.'s Axel Orb Chandelier (1) with it's steel, wood and gold (perfect combo in my opinion). Another fixture that I would love to use is Oly's Muriel (5) with cast resin 'bubbles.' It's probably not as timeless as some of the others, but in the right house, it would be so pretty over a table. Lastly, another favorite that we think is so amazing because of it's weight and contrast is Oly's Cooper (7) with it's hand-hammered copper inside and shiny black exterior. If you think it feels too bold, remember what Windsor Smith did in the kitchen that now belongs to Gwyneth Paltrow? That kitchen was feminine with the right amount of depth courtesy of that strong black pendant.'ve also been working on some lantern options for a couple clients in their entries and hallways. There are so many great options out there that aren't included in this mix -- too many to pick favorites. My favorite is from Vaughan (3) and while I show it in iron here, it's also available in brass and it is to die for. And it's no surprise that most anything Urban Electric is off the charts (1,2,5).  Thanks for checking in!-KateIf you're interested in any of these to-the-trade items, contact[...]

Rooms: Some Favorites From Kate


First things first, I feel like I should take a moment to introduce myself. After such a great introduction from Susie, I feel as though she's set out big shoes for me to fill, but the beauty of a sister is they have the ability to build you up one moment and then quickly tell you you're "looking tired" the next! So I won't let it go to my head and I hope to be of some value when I post here.For those of you who might recognize my writing style and have been reading blogs for a long time, I kept up a blog for a few years way back when called "snobertson." You'll see in my instagrams that I still use the handle, although I've only recently owned up to it. Blogging fell by the wayside for a few years, but I really enjoyed the process and other people's blogs are a staple of my morning routine. I'd be lost without them. And background on the name: it's a (hopefully?) good-hearted nickname acquired from years of opinions. I never seem to be without one, but thankfully am slowly learning when to keep my mouth shut!I thought a good way to get to know me would be to share a few of my favorite things and rooms. Obviously, Susie and I have a similar aesthetic or we would never get anywhere, but we don't always think and act as one, so here is my take on a few favorite rooms:Source: via Kate on PinterestMe, at my most formal, would look like this room from Phoebe Howard. I love her rooms. But something Susie and I talk about all the time is how to re-interpret the South for our area. We lack the history that makes rooms like this feel charming and lots of the homes we work on are close to the water or within sight of it and demand a more laid-back approach. We've made a compromise with life in order to achieve this look by making rooms like this "Secret-Safe" -- it might cost more to put an indoor-outdoor fabric on the sofa, but guaranteed it will be the difference between using the room or letting it become a mausoleum.Source: via Kate on PinterestWhich leads me this room by Victoria Hagan. It's a big exhale in the form of a room. I will be the first one to tell you that I am not the biggest fan of the style this region adopted from who-knows-where of "Northwest Contemporary." While I love modern design, I don't love how brutal it can become and DARK. We already live in a cloudy spot! This home embodies what I wished we'd picked up from our east coast sisters. It's light and bright and charming and it's perfectly suited for being around the water, which so many of us are.Source: via Kate on PinterestOn the other side of the coin, I love me a pattern. I don't love pattern and color for pattern and color's sake, however. I love it when it's unexpected and when it ties everything together. I like mixing it and I'm often accused of considering certain patterns to be "neutrals," which I know isn't the case. But so help me if the right animal print doesn't go with everything. And I'm not talking Gorga-Jersey-fuzzy leopard. This Betsy Burnham room accomplishes a pattern on a sofa in the best possible way.Source: via Kate on PinterestI know this room (scratch that, whole house) is on everyone's list, but that's because it's so damn good. This is what I wish I saw more of when people wanted to keep things natural and rustic. The tight color palette and streamlined furniture all works so well together. And a nod to those who remember the rest of the house,  add the great room with the beamed ceilings to my list.Source: via Kate on PinterestSource: via Kate on PinterestA hug[...]

A Big Announcement & Change


Hello and belated Happy New Year. I hope everyone's year is off to a good start.  I have finally resurfaced from the holidays and feel like I'm back on a regular schedule. As regular as my schedule can be with two kids and a busy design business, that is.

I haven't been one to share too much personal information on the blog, but a new year calls for a new approach. Over the past couple years I have struggled to find a balance in my career and in my home life. My passion for my job can be all-consuming and at times my family is left wondering if and where their dinner is that evening. I've also been known to be the mom that is running late at pick-up as I'm trying to squeeze as much into each hour of the day as possible. I have to set the alarm on my iPhone or they probably wouldn't be picked up at all (I can admit it). Needless to say, I've had many times where I thought I needed to choose between continuing with my career or focus on my family, as I didn't feel like I was excelling at either. But it really wasn't a choice I could make as I love working and I'm a better mom for it (besides my tardiness and late dinners). I also struggled with working by myself as I'm an extrovert.  I was tired of spending 8-12 hours a day by myself. Not to mention the amount of work that goes into running a business. Something had to give.

Since starting the business, I've had the pleasure to have my sister occasionally work with me part-time while she was in Interior Design school when she wasn't doing internships or working elsewhere. She is 14 years my junior, so she knows acronyms and technical information like how to build a website that a child of the 80's doesn't know, which has come in very handy. She started working with me on a couple of jobs this Fall while she was looking for a permanent job in commercial design. During those months of spending 10-plus hours a day together on-site or trapped in a car driving from client to client, she decided that she wanted to continue working with me to grow Trove Interiors versus pursuing commercial design (despite some tempting offers). I was shocked BUT thrilled. She is the ying to my yang. A perfect complement. She brings the combination of  business experience (she was an accomplished advertising Account Manager prior to going back to school and general over-achiever) with an amazing eye for design. Also, being so much younger she keeps my finger on the pulse of what's current and trending. Not to mention she is one of the hardest working people I've had the pleasure of working with over the last 20+ years.

I am thrilled to announce that Kate is now an official partner in Trove Interiors. She is not just my sister but one of my best friends. I can't imagine my life and business without her. I'm so excited for what this next chapter offers for both of us personally and professionally.

2013 is going to be great!

Join me in welcoming Kate to the business.

Wrapping Things (and Presents) Up!


2012 is winding down, but it doesn't feel like things have slowed as I get ready to take a break for the Christmas and New Year's holidays. I've mentioned how crazy that stretch of 6 days are before, but it basically consists of Christmas Eve at my house, Christmas day at my parents, another Christmas with my Husband's family who lives out of town and yet another when my dad comes in to town. Then throw in my sister's and my twin nephews' birthdays (who turn 18 this year -- I'm getting very old somehow...) and the week is not a vacation in the most traditional sense.As I sign off and wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, here is what has been going on since my last post:Upholstery approvals -- this one is in an awesome heavy weave indoor/outdoor fabric (but you'd never know it was tough from the looks of it up close) Building houses and enjoying the views during meetings. Taking a few minutes to enjoy some lit Glassy Babies on my desk, even if proper votives weren't handy.  Dogs walking on my coffee table looking for food scraps (someone please give me some sanity).  Chair score! Set of 4 waiting for a new color and new seat.  Kicking off projects...Wrapping gifts for the holidays... I got the clients done, but my family, not so much...Dropped off these pillows to a client yesterday, just in time for Christmas.Flower arranging, then taking a pic in a moving car, in the dark (Hydrangeas, garden roses, green berries).Fabric arrivals for a very special wing chair in a master bedroom. He gets leather, she gets turquoise prettiness.  Fabrics in play for a living room. Not sure who's made the team yet. Genius! Silver walnuts! Stealing this for next year. Spraying an antique faux bamboo dresser. Hands are speckled black and hair has an interesting texture...Hoping to settle in for a long winter's nap next week. Best wishes to all and peace on earth, please. xo. [...]

Back in time for holiday decor...


Radio silence for the last few weeks has been due to this crazy season. It's no surprise I'm sure to hear that this is the busy time in the industry for designers. Everyone comes back from summer rearing to go and there is, of course, the natural push to get things installed before the holidays as much as possible. And if it's not possible, how do we make your home special while you wait?We've been busy with project installs and orders, but in the meantime there is the tug of two boys on my sleeve to get my own house in gear for Christmas. The lights are up outside thanks to my determined husband, but the Christmas tree went on rain delay last week, so we're anxiously awaiting the next opportunity to get out there and bicker over which tree is "perfect" enough. And since I've talked about my lack of enthusiasm for Halloween, I am proud to tell you that I happily partake in Christmas decor.Last night, my family got together at my parents' for a birthday dinner and clipped the bailing off their tree. While my tree is limited to 8 feet, their's comes in at awe-inducing 11.5 feet and seeing it pop its Spanx (it's a fitting analogy, don't you think?) got me in the mood for Christmas.And before I jump in to inspiring Christmas decor, I have to share two links to soups that have warmed me up lately after weekends in the rain while my kid plays hours and hours of Lacrosse. Both are SO easy and delish, and from Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook (haven't made a bad recipe yet from it and it's all very "whole" food cooking): French Onion-Style White Bean Soup & Broccoli-Cheddar (or Stilton) Soup.Source: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on PinterestSource: via Trove Interiors on Pinterest[...]

Hot Out of the Kiln!


It doesn't have the same ring as "hot off the press" but it's just as newsworthy to me! Our fabulous tile installers emailed me a photo of my tile shipment today and it's just too good! I'll be stopping in this week to see it in person and approve the shipment, but here's the teaser: The picture is, admittedly, not so great, but knowing what this will look like installed is good enough for me. This raised arabesque pattern comes in a rainbow of colors and can even be mixed with stone, see exhibit A:Gorgeous -- the marble is flat, the ceramic is subtly raised.Or as we chose for this project, a glass crackle that puddles on the outside edges and creates oodles of depth and dimension for just a hint of color. Exhibit B:Not my colorYes,  my color.AND I'm so excited for this tile to live next to its grasscloth neighbor -- I think they'll be quite happy together:Exhibit: Awww Yee-Ahhh!Set to be installed next week. In the meantime, I'm tracking powder room wallpaper shipments and wrangling floor re-finishers. [...]

About As Festive As I Get


 My two boys have started to show signs of resentment concerning my lack of Halloween decorations. I can't help it, I've never been a fan of the holiday. Where I will compromise is on "Fall" decorations. I found these two images on Pinterest today that will serve as inspiration for our compromise. They would love fake cobwebs and ghosts hanging in my trees. I would not. I figure they can add it to the list of therapy items to attribute to being raised by a designer.

 I also recently introduced color into my Christmas decorations, so I figure that's a win for them right there!

Working. And More Working!


Serious progress is happening at the house I mentioned in an earlier post. So much has been happening that it's kind of crazy here, but I have managed to get a few photos. I'm pretty bad about keeping the blog up to date on my projects, but I'm considering this to be an early New Year's resolution (before you laugh people, we are staring down the barrel of NOVEMBER).If you follow the me on instagram (@troveinteriors), you might have seen a picture of one of my boards before we went in to a huge presentation last week. This was just one of multiple rooms: The custom entry bench is built and awaiting inset drawers. Such a great use of space for this little niche and the drawers will hold shoes, hats, gloves & what-have-yous:All the new marble was installed last week which was huge. HUGE. Our trades really busted it to get in the counters and fireplaces. Literally, our amazing partners picked up the stone, we met them there to template at the yard(!), they drove it to their shop and 24 hours later we were installing. Unheard of. Did I mention this was a tight timeline, oh yeah, I did.  This surround was cut from the same portion of stone so the veining is continuous and stays true to the slabs natural pattern. And it has the prettiest creme color with a subtle"leathered" texture:Also working on a little girls bedroom. These are two of the schemes that I quickly snapped a picture of on the floor:Scouting at the Seattle Design Center I found these amazing faux bamboo chairs with leopard seats. They are perfect as-is and the bamboo is thicker than I usually see on this style of chairs making them a little heartier and unique. Love them:No judgement as I'm sharing work-in-progress photos of the living room fireplace. We were dealing with an existing box and hearth sizes so we have some more work to do on the finishing touches to make everything come together perfectly. But from design drawing to reality, here we go:Lastly, remember the pass-through? The cabinet box is in and the millwork is completed. The kitchen side needs more explaining, but I'll share that when we get things painted. As my contractor said "Sure took a lot of detail work, but it sure looks nice." Gotta love a guy who thinks about the small stuff with us:That's all for now, keep on keepin' on is the motto around here.[...]

Work in Progress


We've opened up the wall on the Queen Anne house and it sure is dramatic. My client had one request when we started: she wanted to be able to see what has happening in the combined dining/living when she was in the kitchen, and well, this sure accomplishes it. As you can see, you always get a surprise when you open up a wall and if you look closely, boom, plumbing from the upstairs. This has been re-routed and the lovely chandelier has been moved and taken down (and not a moment too soon).

We are prepping for a new upper that will help fill this space. The goal is to make the pass-through look as high-end as possible, so we've spent many hours planning this one out. 

As evidenced by the piles on my desk of drawings and fabric. Fixtures will be here this week and we're templating the marble just in time.