I’m sitting at the kitchen table in my cabin, just outside of Merrifield, Minnesota, in the Brainerd Lakes area. It’s about 62 degrees, the sun is out, the birds are singing, my dog is at my foot. The structure is rustic, but the Wi-Fi is better than what I get at home in my loft in St. Paul. There’s a hummingbird at the feeder. The antiques that cover the walls and surfaces aren’t necessarily here to pull together a shabby chic décor as much as because there are so many family members who use this cabin, there is no way to determine who owns what in order to remove anything. We’re one of the fortunate families that shares a property that was built by my great grandparents between all the descendants. My Gramma Ruby’s family splits the summer between the two other siblings’ families. Time is shared, costs are shared, chores are shared, space is shared, décor is shared.
I look around and all I see that is missing is a striped wool blanket. You know, that iconic cream-colored wool blanket with just-darker-than-usual primary color stripes? It’s been a blanket, it’s been turned into a toggle coat, it’s even been made into handbags. But I am interested in the blanket, itself. It looks like fall to me. Or, something to wrap up in on the beach at night as the summer sun goes down and the fire burns brighter. What is it about that look that has stuck in my design craw all these years? It’s both trendy and lasting.
It’s referred to as a Hudson’s Bay wool blanket by Woolrich, a Glacier National Park wool blanket by Pendleton, and a Revival Stripe wool blanket by the Faribault Woolen Mills. I prefer to pay attention to our local company in Faribault and how the company reopened The Mill along the Cannon River after a two-year closure in 2011 and the Revival Stripe was the first release, though the traditional trapper design had been part of the line for decades. What a wonderful choice of design for reentering the market, for a renaissance. And what a wonderful fall daytrip it would be to venture down to Faribault to pick out a flagship Revival Stripe blanket from The Mill Store, itself.
Also in the fiber of my nostalgic being is a wooden boat. Not a rowboat, not even a stunning wooden canoe, but a sleek wooden motorboat. I’m going to try to make it to some of the Antique & Classic Boat Society’s International Boat Show, a full week of curated events that kicks off with some of the world’s most coveted classic boats hitting Lake Minnetonka on September 19 for a preview event. After Minnetonka, boat enthusiasts (I’m going to count myself as an enthusiast) can venture north for the official program, but I will probably try to make it to the competitive boat show held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 26, at the docks of Bar Harbor on Gull Lake. It’s a free event where we can enjoy music, food, and drinks while viewing more than 150 classic boats. For more information go to www.woodsandwater2015.org.
Speaking of water, another idea for a fall home and garden field trip is to go over to Stockholm, Wisconsin, and visit Alan and Steve at Abode. They’ve redone the place and I love strolling through it to see new art and décor resources and pieces. My favorite fall afternoon thing to do is make a trip around Lake Pepin for the colors. Clockwise or counterclockwise, the experience is superb. The last time I made the trek, I got to Stockholm mid-afternoon and checked out the new layout on the main drag with Abode and the General Store flanking a new, enlarged space for the Stockholm Pie Company with expanded seating and menu. It’s a destination, for sure. Then, after getting our fill, we proceeded south to Pepin for an early seating at Harbor View Cafe where I got my usual, the Berkshire Pork Shank, which is so very tangy and fallish. Hearty and filling, the food on the waterfront reminds me of a satellite location of our cabin, with more knotty pine and blue checkered tablecloths.
This Fall Home & Garden Issue with Lav.fash is a timely resource for those who are considering design, building, fashion, and trends. The upcoming Fall Parade of Homes and Remodelers Showcase (p. 48) allows you to walk through what can be thought-provoking and inspirational, or simply entertaining (see also the number of ads in this issue for other home tours). The new store, Habitation Furnishing + Design (p. 42), in St. Louis Park, had me Instagramming and swooning over things for my loft, such as a light fixture made of black top hats. It also had me wondering if anyone would notice if I somehow spirited the updated and lower-profile version of a Murphy bed into my Jeep (that Cabinetbed with the Tempur-Pedic mattress belongs at my place). John Mark and Kyle Lieberman treat us to the fall installment of Lav.fash (p. 22) which includes more Minnesota brands and styles to whet your appetite for Fashion Week Minnesota September 20-26 (read more at www.fashionweekmn.com).
We’ve got a few months before the snow flies. Get out more, see more, experience more. You’ll have plenty of time to spend at home once winter hits, take the time right now to make it as comfortable and appealing as you can, with a heavy dose of nostalgia or not.
With you and with thanks,