I follow Wende Oates Larsen on Twitter, that’s where I catch her weekly Best of Etsy on Wednesdays, which she also shares on her Mireio Designs Blog (she also blogs at Evidently). It was also from Twitter that I also discovered Mireio, her store where she sells her cottage terrific home decor goodies. I may have even made a purchase from said shop…
Wende usually shares pics of her home on Evidently and earlier this fall I asked her if she would send me some and answer some questions for A Peek Inside: indie home tours. Let’s take a tour together!
1. How would you describe your designing style?
I’d say we’re pretty eclectic. I believe in surrounding yourself with things you love and can use. Very little in my home is solely decorative. We’re a fun mix of vintage, antiques, thrifted, and handmade. Our style has evolved over the years, but I think we’ve struck a good mix of each of us.
Color plays a huge role in our home. The north coast of Oregon has a lot of grey days, and all that color keeps us sane during the rainy months. I have these fantasies of pale walls and even paler furniture, but with a kid and dog and cat and living on the coast of Oregon. . . it’s just that, a fantasy. Although after 4 years of living in lots of yellow, my husband is contemplating a complete reworking of our color scheme. And I keep saying, “Not before we finish the yard!”
2. Where did you get all those gorgeous pre-loved furniture pieces (especially love the deco ones)? Are they family pieces or flea market scores?
A few came into our marriage 19 years ago! The rest we collected through the years. We are fortunate to have lived in a few places with amazing consignment and antique stores. With exception to our couches, none of our furniture is new! It’s either been a vintage piece or something we found in a thrift or consignment store. I’m not sure I’d know how to walk into a real furniture store and shop!
3. Share a favorite treasure(s) and tell us the story behind it.
I have a red tin tray that sits on our ottoman in our living room that I found at a garage sale in Seattle in 1992. At that time, it held an honored spot on the wall of my very Parisian blue kitchen. However, when we moved cross-country in 1997 the movers didn’t pack it. And after weeks of waiting for my things, and then another few weeks of unpacking, I discovered it hadn’t made it in the move. I was so crushed.
Spring forward to 2004. I’m walking in downtown San Anselmo, California, where I was living as a poor graduate student at the time. I just happened to walk past an antique store when something through the doorway caught my attention. Propped up against the counter, deep in the store, was a tray. Turns out, it was my tray!(mine had a distinct flaw that marked it!)
I bought it on the spot! I’m not sure how, years later and 2 states south, but clearly it was meant to find me again. And when I moved to this house 2 years later, the tray came in the car with me.
4. Lovely flowers, are they from your own garden or do you go out to them farmers’ market for them?
I’m blessed to have so many flowers in my yard. And I keep planting more! However, the dahlias are one of the amazing perks to living in this town. In the later summer, early fall you can’t drive more than a few miles without finding a roadside flower stand. I have two stands in my neighborhood! So, while in season, I keep our house filled with bunches of dahlias. They’re absolutely gorgeous and so hard to resist!
5. What’s your favorite room and why?
I’m such a fan of our porch! I had very few “must have” items on my list when we started looking for a home. A porch was at the top of that list. So, you can imagine what I thought when I discovered this house not only had a porch, but a porch with a view. I think I was sold before I ever walked inside the house.
We repainted a few years ago, and the painter wasn’t too convinced about the color choices for the porch. Especially the porch floor, he called it, “tangy”. But you know, I was having my very traditional farmhouse painted a very traditional gray with white trim, I wanted some color!
The “tangy” label stuck. And we have lots of parties and dinners on our tangy porch. The view is breath taking. It never gets old. And it’s the one place in the house where I go “over the board girly.” Loads of flowers, and pretty china, and vintage floral tablecloths-I ‘m always setting the table differently. Both my husband and son play along-sipping tea from dainty china. I think they secretly enjoy my grown-up attempt at playing “tea party!” Especially when scones are involved!
6. Are those homemade scones I spy? Yum…do you have a recipe you can share?
Sure! Scones are such a big part of our life. I’m constantly making them and they’re so easy to do!
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar (we use Truvia!)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt (we omit)
Whisk these ingredients. Then cut in with a pastry knife:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cut in until it is a mix of pea sized and bread crumbs. Whisk together in a separate bowl:
¾ cup of Almond Milk
½ cup of half and half (You can use 1 and ¼ cup of half/half or even heavy whipping cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional
Mix wet ingredients into the dry-just until incorporated. Don’t over mix!
Using a large cookie scoop (or spoon!) drop 3″ balls of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Parchment paper works too! Using the back of the cookie scoop press an indent into the top of each scone. Then press raspberries into the “nest” of each scone.
Sprinkle tops with just a touch of sugar before baking.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.
7. Where does everyone seem to congregate? Is it out on that sweet porch, around the dining room table, in the kitchen? It’s always the kitchen in my house. 😉
I think we all love the porch! We eat as many meals and take as many breaks on it as we can. I once found my, then 9 year old, up at the crack of dawn watching the sunrise over the mighty Columbia from our porch. And we savor those rare warm nights, where we can sit out on and listen to the ship traffic, sip wine, and dream a little. Even in the winter, we find ways of inhabiting this space. It’s the go-to spot for almost every party and where we run amok with holiday decorations!
8. What’s one home decor project that you are particularly proud of?
I adore our bedroom. It’s such a tranquil space and really romantic without being overly feminine. We wanted our bedroom to be a lovely retreat and I think we accomplished that goal. Like the rest of the house, it’s mix of vintage, antiques, and thrifted items. We had a lot of fun treasure hunting together, and Jack is responsible for finding the gorgeous vintage Japanese hutches that act as our bedside tables. The room really reflects both of us and I think my husband enjoys our bedroom just as much as I do. And that’s a very good thing!