My experience of camping consists of making my dad drag a tent into the woods right behind our house and sleep in it with my brother and I. We’d try to make a fire with a bit of trepidation that Smokey the Bear might find us a give us quite a scolding. Armed with snacks from Mom and a sense of adventure, we’d be happy in that little tent until we would realize that there wasn’t a TV in there and that we were missing a new episode of Full House.
Needless to say, I’m not the queen of roughing it, but I do really love being outside, hiking and all things nature related (minus spiders and rabid possums). So if I were to go camping again, I think I’d much rather experience it at one of these places! Luxury camping sites are all the rage, as featured in this month’s Sunset Magazine. Starting off with The Resort at Paws Up in Montana. Here your tent is decked out in designer furnishings and oil paintings, wine is served on arrival and you can order a s’mores kit to be delivered right to your tent flaps. There are spa tents in “Spa City” to ease sore muscles after a day of hiking, horseback riding and kayaking. Gourmet dining options are abound in the main buildings, as well as “dining adventures” where you are cooked delightful meals outside by a fire. Oh, and did I mention the private bath house next to your tent with heated slate floors and a steam shower? My mom has NO reason not to camp now! However, this “glamping” (their term for “glamour-camping”) experience does not come cheap. Tents start at $595 a night, but do include three meals a day for two. A five star experience right under the stars!
Much cheaper, but still far more luxurious than a Coleman tent from Sears, is El Capitan Canyon outside Santa Barbara, CA. Tents start at $145 a night and are still quite a sight to see with four poster beds and down comforters to replace any moldy sleeping bags. You can order food to be delivered to your private fire pit and there are still bathhouses nearby to take the edge of the whole camping experience.
Check out this AMAZEBALLS tent that Kelley Moore designed for Seattle Magazine. I friggin’ love it! I am hoping to someday take a trip to this famously glam camping retreat in Montana, but until then I am adoring Kelley’s version on a budget (Ikea, Target, vintage finds…) It also serves as great inspiration for an indoor room.
And check back here tomorrow for our latest installment of Runway->Room->Tabletop!
Pop on over to the fabulous Tobi Fairley’s blog today to read my guest post on camping fashion! She’s off doing a design summer camp (genius) and asked a bevy of bloggers to fill in and I was honored to participate! A sneak peek…
$225 - 25park.com
More Elizabeth and James tops »
$295 - bloomingdales.com
More Chan Luu bracelets »
$12 - sephora.com
$28 - barneys.com
I am delighted to report the event last night for the Room to Dream Foundation was a success! Not without some MAJOR hurdles, near breakdowns, sweat, tears, yelling and extreme nausea. Murphy’s Law seems to apply pretty consistently to my life, and yesterday’s set up was NO exception! Before I get to the gritty details of the room itself and the installation process, here are pictures of my installation! I was given a pre-adolescent boy (which I found out is roughly 7-8 years old, I had to Google that, which shows how much I know about kids) who has a chronic illness. I immediately thought about the fact that doing something like camping might not be a possibility for such a child, and so I wanted them to get the feeling of sleeping under the stars in the wilderness within their own room. So my theme became “Happy Camper”. We were given a $1,000 budget and a few weeks to get this all pulled together. I stuck to my budget pretty tightly, minus a few borrowed things, so I think my room really reflects what how far $1,000 can go in changing a child’s environment:
Upon arrival for set up I was nervous as hell. The three other designers designing rooms for the event are all veterans of the industry with decades more experience than me and people I respect in the design community. I loved my concept but worried about the execution. And worried I should have been, as we attempted to apply the birch tree wall decals and found out that whatever the vignette walls were made of would not allow them to transfer. Cue MASSIVE PANIC ATTACK. Andrew (who took the whole day off work to help me set up and was a ROCK STAR) worked for two hours to slowly apply them in some random way and it was so difficult we did not have time to apply the small branches. C’est la vie, I like the way they look without them anyways…. Crisis number 1 down. My amazing, generous and super talented window treatment lady Paula from PMK Designs donated her time to make the tent bed canopy, window treatment and pillow and they came out EXACTLY as I imagined. She is a genius. Not to mention she donated her whole afternoon to helping me get set up AND talking me down off a few ledges. The guys from VDA Productions were such fantastic help and figured out a way to hang the tent canopy itself since our original way wouldn’t work (of course)! Once all this was figured out I was feeling pretty good… and then we tried to assemble the bed. The headboard and foot board did not match up with the rails and couldn’t be put together. This was at 3 pm and I had to leave to get dressed at 4. I lost my shit, sorry, but there is no other way to put it. In swooped Andrew and the VDA guys to the rescue, who used a bazillion L brackets and screws to make this thing stand up and hold the mattress while I was practically rocking back in forth in the corner like Rainman.Glad no one tried to sit on it at the party. Disaster.
In the end, it all came together- the universe took care of me yet again. :) Here is the breakdown of the items I used to create this look on a budget:
*Wall decals from Etsy seller walldecor
*Unfinished birdhouses from Michaels, which I painted
*Zig Zag fabric from Premier Prints ($7.99 a yard! AMAZING stuff!)
*Star fabric and orange canvas fabric from Fabric.com
*Denim comforter and sham from Columbia (on Zappos.com)
*Plaid sheets from PB Teen
*Side tables by IKEA
*Unfinished pine dresser painted with chalkboard paint with ceramic knobs from Lowes
*Lamps from Homegoods (ribbon trim aplied with glue gun)
*Log pillow from Etsy seller My Imaginary Boyfriend (how cute is it?)
*Silhouette artwork by me- putting my B.A. in Studio Art to work!
*Large rug from West Elm, sheepskin from IKEA
*Cardboard deerhead from Cardboard Safari (love this site!)
*Vintage frame from eBay painted with white lacquer
*Lucite trunk on loan from my gorgeous pal Audra of Looc (I want to steal it, but I won’t)
THE OTHER ROOMS:
Pre-adolescent girl’s room by Duffy Design Group (my former boss!)
Teenage Boys room by Terrat Elms
Teenage Girls room by ASID
I can;t wait to put my ideas into the real room this spring! This foundation does amazing work and the event was so much fun. A huge thanks to Alex and Stefan at RTD for their hard work, inspiration and tireless efforts on behalf of these families.
P.S. And, as a side note to single Boston ladies- there were a BEVY of handsome young fellas there- be sure to put this event on your calendars next year! :)