A Final Tour of our Vinalhaven Cottage


If you missed it last week, I announced that our Maine cottage is under contract. The pandemic made us reevaluate our plans, both near and distant, and Max and I decided it was time to simplify. 

It is completely bittersweet. We look back on our past summer on-island  with gratitude for our cottage and the Vinalhaven community that was a safe haven during the pandemic. We are forever grateful for neighbors that felt like family, for local buisnesses that found ways to pivot and catered to our tiny island community, and for everyone that continued the local tradition of waving to one another when you drove by. At a time when it was easy to feel isolated, we never felt alone. We were able to fully revel in a quieter-than-most summer season. Vinalhaven boasts so many hidden gems; walking trails, swimming holes, and kayaking opportunities, that we often had all to ourselves. We felt extremely privilged to have Max’s work approve remote work and allow for the ability to hunker down on an island in Maine.

This spring, we waded through life decisions that lead us to crave simplifying. With that, we decided to list our sweet cottage. It quickly went under contract and we couldn’t be happier for the buyer to be able to enjoy all that Vinalhaven has to offer. Stoney Lonesome has always been fondly known throughout the island community and it has been so sweet to share it with you all here. 

During our time in the cottage, we tried our best to continue the work that was done previously and highlight the charm that is Stoney Lonesome. We gave it a fresh coat of paint, hung gutters, upgraded appliances (but kept the kitchen intact, something that was quite a debate here and one I am so glad we didn’t change!), and enjoyed furnishing it. Some of our only social interactions were picking up vintage finds from the mainland. Each excursion made the object feel all the more special, as it was an opportunity to connect with others, if only from a distance.   

One small change that made a big difference in the overall aesethic of the space was reimagining the inherited IKEA Karlstad sofa. I worked with Bemz, a company based in Europe that makes made-to-order custom covers for IKEA furniture. I was impressed by the entire process; I love their selection of linens and velvet fabrics. For this space, I wanted to keep the sofa neutral so went with the Rosendal Unbleached Linen cover and also ordered the Absolute White Simply Linen cover, which I can easily swap in when I want a more crisp look. And, the covers are machine washable so it was perfect for a seaonal home since all linens need a good refresh after being closed up for the winter. 

While Bemz gifted me these products, I am already considering an Ikea sofa in our next space and investing in covers myself, as I was so impressed with their quality. I like the lines and scale of Ikea’s FÄRLÖV sofa and Bemz offers a wide variety of cotton, linen, conscious recycled fabric, corduroy, and velvet options in this style. It’s such a great way to rework a space, to be more bold with the upholstery choice, and to know that it can be easily switched up, without having to invest in a whole new sofa. For someone like me who is a total commitment-phobe, I think it’s a great alternative to pricey designer sofas. 

I am excited to share our next space with you all, but until then, here is a full tour of our Vinalhaven cottage, as it was photographed to go on the market. 

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Real Estate Floodgate

The Real Tour from our Realtor


Honestly, it’s the most practical thing you’ve come up with so far” was Max’s response when he saw the listing in Maine that would become our first home. 

If you missed it, I shared a tour of the space earlier this week showing the beginning stages of home ownership. Naturally, a few of you picked up on the fact that when I photographed the house we had already made a number of changes. Inquiring minds reached out asking if I would share ‘before’ images and while I hadn’t planned on including the realtor’s photos, I decided why not. 

Here is our cottage, as it was photographed, prior to Max and I moving in (and before we painted a few things). 

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Real Estate Floodgate

The Maine Event: A Tour of Our Cozy Cottage on Vinalhaven Island


Max and I bought a house 3,000 miles away from where we are living. The commute is wildly impractical but if you know me that shouldn’t surprise you. Were we planning to invest? Not really. Had I been looking? Obsessively.

For months, Max was on the receiving end of a deluge of real estate listings. Their location ranged from central California to coastal New England. I was far down the black-hole-that-is-Zillow when I found it. A cedar clad Maine cottage on Vinalhaven Island. Unbeknownst to me, Max’s grandmother, Ernestine Carver, was raised on Vinalhaven. When we found out the seller was the last remaining Carver on island, it felt like kismet.  Read More

Design Outline / Oh Hey, Monterey

Things I am Pining Over: Our Dining Room Plans


When Max and I moved to Carmel Valley, we made the conscious decision to make do with what we had. Maybe it was the hours spent binging Marie Kondo or the amount of trips it took to drop off our Goodwill donations, but the last thing we wanted to do was accumulate more stuff. With any move, not everything transfers. Much to our disappointment, the massive oak dining table we had in Woodside was too large for our new home. 

At first, we stubbornly went without a dining table, eating meals over our white sofa. Similar to wearing white on your period, why would anyone tempt fate like that? It was obvious this was not going to cut it for the long term. So, we came up with two options. We needed to either find a new dining table, or dye our upholstery a shade of turmeric or cabernet sauvignon.

Thankfully, Vermont Farm Table agreed to partner with me and save our white sofa from the peril that is a homemade TV dinner.  Read More

Oh Hey, Monterey

Oh, Hey Monterey: We Moved!


News flash!

It’s been a little over two months since Max and I moved into our new home in Carmel Valley, CA, and if you’ve been following along on Instagram, it’s been a big change. 

We got wind that our landlord was selling our A-frame back in November. While he offered it to us before it hit the market, the $3.5 million dollar price tag was a bit above our ‘starter home’ budget. 

So, Max and I began another rental search in the *Greater* Bay Area. But, looking for a house with outdoor space meant we had to widen our perimeter if we were going to find anything. Read More

Date Night Oversight / Good Day, SF Bay

No Signs Point to Bolinas (And Other Reasons to Visit)


All signs No signs point to Bolinas, thanks to the salty residents who regularly take them down. But don’t let that deter you from visiting this seaboard retreat. Despite being just 30 miles north of San Francisco, this little hamlet has managed to preserve its old hippie charm and stay mostly unscathed by the surrounding urban lifestyle. Bolinas is one of California’s best (un)kept secrets; complete with roadside farm stands, an honor-system bookstore, sleepy surf, and a coastline littered with beach shacks.  

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Claim to Fame A-Frame

The A-Frame’s Outdoor Living Space


It’s part-two of our outdoor reveal! This deck was made for entertaining. After Max and I moved in, we quickly got to work pulling up weeds and planting a mostly native and drought-tolerant garden. A week or so later, we found ourselves back in the weeds, pulling up bolted arugula and the stumps of basil plants the critters couldn’t resist. While we grappled with the garden, the decor came together quickly and painlessly. No green thumbs needed!

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