‘Style & Simplicity’ Book Launch Party Plans

20140418-075400.jpg You know I love a party. Plans have now been set for the Style & Simplicity book launch party on May 6th. Tickets are now on sale on our website at WatsonKennedy.com as well as by calling the shop today anytime after we open at 10 o’clock at 206.652.8350.

Here is the skinny. I will be signing and personalizing books all that day, from 10 to 5. There is no need to buy a ticket for that. Complimentary Mariage Frères tea will be served.

At 5 the party begins! This is where a ticket will be needed to join in the festivities. Veuve Clicquot will be poured along with other fanciful libations. Some of our very favorite food vendors will be sampling their wares. It will be a joyous time with much laughter. I so hope you can join in the fun!

For those readers around the globe unable to attend, the book is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble as well as Watson Kennedy. Books bought from my shops or our website will be signed and can be personalized.

I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this finally being here. Thank you all for coming along with me on this book adventure. Actually, make that thanks for coming along with me on this lovely adventure called life. I love having you all along.
Sending much, much love & gratitude,



Decorate Fearlessly! by Susanna Salk

20140417-054005.jpg I have had the great pleasure of meeting the prolific design book author Susanna Salk, and I am happy to report that her eighth book Decorate Fearlessly! is another serious visual winner. Just like all of her other books. She just gets it. Page after page of inspiration. To me a good design book inspires. Even if much of the design is not your style, you should still walk away with your head spinning with new possibilities to incorporate into your own personal style. Susanna’s books do just that. This one in particular is about glorious color. And lots of it! From Todd Oldham to Ashley Hicks to Amanda Nisbet (a Watson Kennedy customer) to Miles Redd–look into their personal spaces filled with tasteful riotous color. Susanna has been so kind to send me signed bookplates, so each copy will be signed. That extra special touch you know we always love. Perfectly timed to go with all this grand color that Spring is offering us.



Flats of Pelargonium aka Scented Geranium

20140416-055944.jpg They have arrived! I am seeing stellar assortments of scented geranium showing up at garden shops and this always thrills me to no end. I have written much about my love of scented geraniums, and I still get a rush of happiness when I see flats of them. They are such happy plants, doing well inside and out. We have them in pots lining the platform for the outdoor shower at WestWard, as well as a huge galvanized tub of them next to the crushed hazelnut lined courtyard by the treehouse. Mister Sive was busy planting away this week-end with all the gems we found at DIG on Sunday. Not only will they be pretty where they are, but they will provide us with clippings all throughout the Summer and Fall that I like to use in flower arrangements and single stem vases. The scented leaves are just little works of art. We also have a few pots in town that I like to use on the dining table. They truly are such versatile plants.






The Beauty of the Fern Dance

The ferns have just gone wild since we were last out on the island. So much so, that they even started springing up through some of the gaps in the stairs. They were all a welcoming committee when we arrived on Saturday eve. At this early stage they are just such gorgeous shades of green. The poetic unfurling of the ferns like a dance of nature. The sea of green such a sight, but when you really start looking closely at each, the true beauty of the fern in released. Such gloriously green detail.






Bountiful Spring



20140414-093046.jpg My Saturday Pike Place Market stroll before I opened the shop at 10 was just a feast for the eyes. Spring is fully underway. The stalls were just brimming with produce and flowers and the colors just knocked my socks off. It has been a long Winter and to be surrounded by such vibrancy just felt so good. The energy and the mood of everyone selling and buying was pretty high, which was a perfect way to begin the week-end on such a positive note. Cheers to bountiful Spring!






The Importance of Artwork

20140413-062202.jpg I titled this post, ‘The Importance of Artwork’ because I think art truly feeds the soul. It makes you think, it transports you, it inspires you–sometimes even at the slightest glance. As promised, I wanted to share with you some of the pieces we had sent from Seattle to New York and now have hanging at Hawthorne. Mainly, because having it there makes the house now feel like our home. Art is truly personal and ultimately should please you. I don’t think artwork needs to have a provenance to be important. If it pleases you, it is important. Our artwork has been collected over the years and has great meaning to us. Not because of financial value, but because of the emotions it stirs in us both. We give each other a piece of artwork each year on our anniversary in January, so each piece has a story and an initial memory associated with it. We also buy artwork when we travel or if we see something in a gallery or at an event that just speaks to the both of us. The above piece was in our bedroom in Seattle and it now sits above the bookcase in our bedroom there. We bought this at a zoo auction at Woodland Park years ago.

20140413-063519.jpg This is also in the same room. It is from a New York artist we met on our first trip together to NYC. We bought a piece from her then, which really is a great story I will share in another post at some point, and this piece we bought several years later at a gallery show. We like the idea of having one there and one in Seattle.

20140413-065024.jpg This was a gift to me on one of our anniversaries. It is of WestWard. We loved the idea of having it there as a reminder of Vashon Island. It is fun looking at it and then looking out the window out into the valley. I am actually sitting in that chair in the piece at this very moment, writing this very post, looking out to the water.

20140413-065609.jpg The bird cage piece on the right is in the downstairs guest bathroom. It was a gift from our friend Cara. We were friends with her mother too, who had it hanging in her guest bathroom. We always loved the piece. It is a lovely memory of her mother and the many fun times the 4 of us shared together. I find art really does that. So many memories can be attached to a certain work of art.

20140413-070228.jpg This is a family piece from a place in Austria that we travelled to and has great meaning to us.

20140413-070434.jpg This was a gift from family that was taken on their trip to Ireland. Our brother-in-law is a professional photographer and he took this image when they were there for a family excursion.

20140413-070840.jpg The lower still-life you might remember as I have written about it before. It was just the most thoughtful gift from a couple who are customers of the shops and have become friends. He is an extraordinary artist and it made for one very special 50th birthday gift. The above I recently found on One Kings Lane. These are above the green Parsons desk in the guest room.

20140413-071331.jpg Art can really be in so many forms. The antlers, the ‘H’ and the ficus tree all speak of art to me in different forms.


20140413-071646.jpg The top work above of Lake Union by an old friend Alfred Harris. We have collected many of his works over the years. Again, we love having a bit of a reminder of Seattle when we are at Hawthorne. Both are home. The piece under that by Wayne Pate, whose original work we sell at Watson Kennedy. I have coveted this piece since we first got it in. So when the shipping company came to pick up a few things at the shop, it somehow made its way into the crate. The below a black & white photograph where the artist shot straight up into the trees creating a unique perspective.

20140413-072232.jpg Many of the above we have great history with. The works become like old friends. Artwork should please the people who live with it. So often I think fear of what other people are going to think of something you like stops people from buying a piece of artwork they love. Oh my stars, I think just the opposite. Buy what you love. It will tell part of your story. I adore seeing the artwork of friends. It tells me a bit about who they are.



SAVE the DATE May 6th ‘Style & Simplicity’ Book Party

20140412-065059.jpg Tuesday May 6th is the release date of my book. Just right around the corner, really. I have so loved that all of you have been along for this very sweet chapter & journey with me. I will be signing books throughout the day at the Fine Home shop on First and Spring Street. Signed copies will also be available at my shop in the Market too. We are finalizing plans this week for the party to be held that evening beginning at 5 o’clock. I just wanted to get everyone the date so if you would like to attend you have it on your calendar. I will do a full post on the specifics next week and how to sign up and reserve a spot for the party, as space is limited given the amount of room at the First Avenue shop. Twill all be lovely–so excited that the time is almost here! I hope you can join in sometime throughout the day. Details to follow…



Zazzle Stamps

20140411-065742.jpg I always like sharing with you cool ‘things’ I find out about or experience. While Zazzle stamps are by no means a new thing, I showed several folks these personalized stamps I had made and none of them had ever heard of the service. Hence this post. Our beloved friend Whitney was a huge fan of the service and I never see a personalized stamp and not think of her. Zazzle stamps rock! You just go to the website, Zazzle.com, download the image you want on your stamp, and boom, done. Within a week I had the stamps sitting on my desk. Oops, failed to mention–yes, you do have to pay for them too. They are a tad more than a normal forever stamp, but having the stamps personalized just bumps up the special factor when you mail something out. The possibilities are somewhat endless. Photos of a newborn baby, a table setting when you host a dinner, an old photo when you are hosting a party with a group of longtime pals–my mind starts racing with possibilities. So often I think what stops people from writing more hand-written notes is lack of stationery and stamps readily accessible. Having some fun Zazzle personalized stamps at the ready helps solve one of those problems.

Happy Friday to you all!
From sunny Seattle,



More Kale Love

20140410-042727.jpg Our grocery store in town has been selling these huge boxes of amazing kale for close to nothing. It is a bit of a task to eat it all it is so plentiful. That is when roasting a big pan of kale for kale chips is called into action. Really the simplest damn thing to do, and the result really brings out the sweetness of the kale. I like to serve these on top of mashed potatoes or alongside a piece of fish. Eating it right out of the bowl for a snack works too. Have oven heated to 400 degrees. Pile up a roasting pan with as much kale as it will hold. Liberally sprinkle extra virgin olive oil and sea salt over all. Where would I be without EVOO and sea salt? Put pan into the oven. Check every 5 minutes, moving all around with a spoon each time. You will be amazed at how much it all cooks down. 20 minutes generally, but stay with it as they can get overdone incredibly quickly. Less if you want it more green and steamed, a tad more if you want them crispier. Taste along the way to check for desired doneness. When done to your liking, take out and get kale off the pan asap to stop the cooking. So simple. Incredibly tasty.




Glassybaby ‘Style & Simplicity’ Gorgeously Green Sets at Watson Kennedy

20140409-061546.jpg I am beyond thrilled to announce that glassybaby has so graciously put together and named a set of green glassybaby ‘Style & Simplicity’ in honor of my upcoming book. Over the moon really. You all know of my love of glassybaby and the love of the philanthropic giving the company is known for. They actually just recently passed the 2 million dollar giving mark to help those in need. Pretty amazing. 10% from the sale of this set will be donated to the Cancer Patient Assistance Fund at Swedish Cancer Institute, in true fabulous glassybaby fashion. In memory of my father, Kennedy Watson. The sets will be sold on my book tour signings, at the Watson Kennedy shops & website, as well as at the book signing I do at the Madrona glassybaby on Wednesday the 7th of May. The set is beautifully boxed for gift giving, in 2 very lovely & special shades of gorgeous green.