field notes


Wabi-Sabi: Embracing the Art of Imperfection

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Do you ever arrive at Friday and wonder how your week completely dissolved in the blink of an eye? It happens to the best of us because, in this age of digital enlightenment, we live with constant churn; we run from meeting to meeting, pick the kids up from school, hastily make dinner, zonk out and the next day, we start all over again.

Wabi-Sabi Welcome arrived at the shop recently and it’s the perfect antidote to busy. If you’re new to wabi-sabi, the theory is pretty straight-forward, it’s the art of embracing imperfection in every aspect of your life. Basically, it’s all about CHILLING out and living as the author, Julie Pointer Adams puts it a “considered life” and so by doing, “[make] time and space to breathe, slow down, and be specific.” Julie has been entertaining crowds both large and small for years, but she purports entertaining doesn’t have to mean laying down a lavish meal for 15 dinner guests. It can mean preparing tea for a friend or inviting your neighbors over for a potluck and gathering flowers from your yard as your centerpiece.

wabi-sabi, dinner, dining
Wabi-Sabi Welcome (left) and a view of an Italian dinner designed to encourage guests to linger at the table.

As I was researching this piece, I stumbled upon a Holland Lake wedding that local event design guru, Kait Costanti of Bash designed which wholly embraces the wabi-sabi aesthetic. So, I decided to ask her a few questions about this event and get her take on the wabi-sabi way of life. Follow along to find out how she put this philosophy into practice.

1. I loved your recent work at Holland Lake. Tell me a little about this project. It feels like you embraced the WS tradition wholeheartedly. How did that come to pass?

Our Holland lake lodge wedding was a real passion project for the most deserving clients around. They have since become great friends. I’m currently in the process of developing a program that essentially gives a wedding away for free to a deserving couple that truly values a Wabi Sabi approach to weddings. This wedding was phase one of that project and while not all components were given away I still managed to get Florals on board (Wild Blume), Hair/Makeup (Shawny from Shine Bozeman), paper goods (Collette at Bontemps Calligraphy), all design/planning from BASH plus the squash blossom necklace (Mountainside Design). Next year will be the next phase and I can’t wait to see how that evolves.

canoe, wabi-sabi-wedding, lake
The tranquility of a post-nuptial canoe ride embraces the wabi-sabi ideal of slowing down.

2. How do you work this into your client projects?

As a designer, it’s so refreshing and fun when clients truly trust your process and enable you to let your creative juices flow and at the same time, they have faith that you will keep their personal style in mind. I’m of the opinion that less is more when done in an impactful, Wabi Sabi, way. Go big on florals! That said, big doesn’t mean it has to be expensive or big in the literal sense. It could be a minimal approach but the impact is big. Maybe it’s all monochromatic whites but with different textures and variations of white. Or it could be a few vibrantly colored Dahlia’s as big as saucers. Maybe no flowers at all! Whatever feels natural and organic for the event and space is how I like to design.

wooded, wedding, lakeside, wabi-sabi
The water and woods provide the backdrop for this intimate lakeside wedding (left). Foraged rocks create the the aisle and a simple, but dramatic floral arrangement create a focal point at the end of the wooded path.

3. Are you encountering more clients who are seeking a ‘quieter’ celebration of their big day, i.e. drawing from the wabi-sabi ideal?

We tend to draw a more minimal bride that doesn’t want to overshadow the surroundings and isn’t as interested in adding things that don’t make sense. Just because you’re ‘supposed’ to have a guestbook doesn’t mean you have to. I think Wabi Sabi in the bridal sense means authenticity and paying attention to things that matter most while ditching traditions just for tradition’s sense. Montana is such a vast and incredibly picturesque locale, so our clients really want the beauty to shine through from the already existing landscapes.

place setting, palo santo, weaving
Woven favors handmade by the bride accompanied by Palo Santo bundles.

4. How have you incorporated the wabi-sabi mindset in your personal life and your home?

Definitely. I’m a non-clutter type gal. I definitely have certain things that I love to collect and value but I’m not attached to things as much as I am to memories. I try to buy art everywhere I travel to remember the feeling of where I was. Wabi Sabi finds beauty in imperfection and that’s pretty much mantra in all aspects of my life.

Ready to adopt the Wabi-Sabi mindset? Start by grabbing a copy of Julie Pointer Adams gorgeous, Wabi-Sabi Welcome at the shop and be ready to embrace a life filled with thoughtfulness and ease.

Images by Pascal Shirley

2017 Trends: What we Found at NY NOW

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Last week we jetted to the city that never sleeps in search of the the latest on point gifties and accessories at NY NOW. Never heard of NY NOW? It’s one of the largest home, lifestyle and handmade wholesale markets of its kind. Makers from all over the world gather at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC to showcase their wares in hopes of catching the eye of retailers like Architect’s Wife.

After three days of fighting the crowds and pounding the 525,000 square feet of paved halls at the Javits Center, we were pretty enthused about our finds. We tracked down everything from furnishings, textiles, table-top accessories, ceramics and hand blown decanters.

While on the hunt for new shop goods, we were keenly aware of some emerging trends. Below is our roundup of market finds and trends that stood out on our whirlwind buying trip.

design trends

1. Greens! (Thank you 2017 Pantone Color of the Year) This green velvet Roxy Chair only lasted a few weeks on our showroom floor.

2. Fringe is back! We found it on the ends of pillows, throws, and curtains, just to name a few. One of our favorite incantations of this trend was in the work of Neem Living, founder Louesa Roebuck. Her soft cotton throws and fringed wool pillows will be your go to snuggle pieces this Fall.

3. Texture. In this intensely virtual world we live in, people are craving more tactile pieces for their homes. We discovered Stinson Studio, a father and son shop in Ontario who sources burl wood for their pieces and embodies this aesthetic.

4. Navy is the new black. On point: The Fatty Sectional by Eilersen is rich in color and style.

5. Artisanal rather than DIY. We noticed a return to glass blowing, handmade porcelain and ceramics, and woodworking by skilled craftsman. With that in mind, we honed in on the work of Nate Cotterman, an LA based master glass artisan. He uses traditional Venetian glass blowing techniques to create innovative bar ware, lighting and home décor that are strikingly beautiful. Keep an eye out for his patented whiskey glasses (pictured), decanters, and vases.

6. Raw White (chalky and bone white). The concept of a return to a more natural, organic look.

7. Intense Jewel Tones like bright blues, green, fuchsia, purple, etc. Our Saba Amelie arm chair in blue velvet is the definition of this trend.

8. Handwoven baskets. Using traditional methods to knit and crochet their woven goods together this Italian company, Neo, puts a modern spin on their product by using neoprene to craft these gorgeous baskets. Can’t wait for our collection to arrive here in Bozeman!

9. Hygge lifestyle. (pronounced: hoo-gah) Hygge is not a tangible thing, but rather a concept. It’s that cozy feeling you get when you curl up with your favorite throw and read a book or sip hot tea and watch snow fall. Stay tuned for Hygge Games and lifestyle items at Architect’s Wife!

10. Metallic furnishings and accents. You don’t need to wait for our market shipment to arrive. We have four of these forged bronze chairs in stock and ready for you to take home!

Stay tuned for the arrival of these goodies and more in the shop! Fret not, they will arrive in ample time for the holidays, so keep your eyes peeled on our Insta or Facebook feeds for more details on their landing date. Then make sure to stop by our downtown furniture shop to see them for yourself!

AW will be CLOSED Monday, September 4th for the LABOR DAY HOLIDAY
AND, we’ll be CLOSED one more time next week while we celebrate our talented TEAM for employee appreciation day, Friday, September 8th.

In Their Own Words: Layla and Anna Tell Us What Makes Their Dad Special

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Father’s Day is Sunday and in honor of all the Dads, Stepdads and Father figures in this great big world, we sat down with Anna and Layla Eby to talk about their dad, Alex. Alex is a teacher here in Bozeman and a guy that the Architect’s Wife has a great deal of respect for. When you hang out with Alex and his girls the love he has for them is on full display. He’s the fun dad who makes an effort to keep his daughters laughing and remind them not to take life too seriously. Read on to find out what makes this guy so special in his daughter’s eyes and find out how parenting teens is challenging him to prepare his girls for independence.

Anna (left), Alex(middle), and Layla (right).
Anna (left), Alex(middle), and Layla (right).

Layla, age 12:

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad?
I love going Morel hunting with my dad because it is around his birthday and it is a fun present to give him.

What do you love most about your dad?
I love my dad’s sense of humor. I like it because he makes everyday things that aren’t normally funny, funny.

What is the dorkiest things he’s ever done?
He kisses me in public and yells to people he doesn’t know.

If you could give your dad an award what would it be?
He gets the weirdest weirdo ever award. If you don’t believe me ask his students.

What is your dad’s favorite band/musician?
He loves Bob Marley.

From Anna, age 15:

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad?
My favorite thing to do with my dad is to travel. He is so adventurous and spontaneous and we can always find something fun to do.

What do you love most about your dad?
He loves to make people laugh, and no matter what the occasion, he has the perfect costume to wear, whether it’s a funny ski costume or his christmas reindeer suit. He’s also super playful and is never shy.

What is the dorkiest things he’s ever done?
He has this really awful all natural sunscreen that makes his face look super oily and greasy and he will cover his whole face with it. Sometimes he even puts it on his lips if it’s super sunny and it makes his lips look green. Once he did that and also tied a bandana around his head [so he looked] like a pilgrim girl, I guess that was pretty dorky. He also is a math teacher for 6th graders, so that, by itself, is pretty dorky too.

If you could give your dad an award what would it be?

Best party thrower. My dad throws a pretty good party, with lots of drinks, games, and funny costumes. He goes all out. He’s also pretty talkative, so he could win an award for that. He’s definitely an extrovert.

What is your dad’s favorite band/musician?

He likes all sorts of music, it really depends on his mood, the time of day etc. In the mornings he likes to play Bob Marley and Ray Lamontagne. For parties he loves 80’s dance music. He also has a record player so we have some old Jazz albums that we sometimes play at dinner, and other albums on vinyl.

It didn’t feel right to complete this piece without some input from Alex, so I asked him how parenting has changed for him over the years, especially now that he is the father of two teenage girls.

One of the greatest emotions associated with this stage of fatherhood comes from watching my children do things their own way. Early on, I was focused on showing them my way, the right way. I have changed as they have matured. It is a challenge, but when I’m able to relax and appreciate their style, their perspective, their strengths and weaknesses, then I’m filled with pride and wonder and reassurance. I guess that the trick is letting a situation or an opportunity play out. I have to bite my tongue. But isn’t this what we want as parents? We want our children to turn into humans that can think and choose and initiate and persevere, without us.

Alex watches his daughter's raucous rendition Chopsticks on the family piano nudging them to go faster with each round. From left to right: Alex, Woody the dog, Anna, and Layla.
Alex watches his daughters raucous rendition Chopsticks on the family piano nudging them to go faster with each round. From left to right: Alex, Woody the dog, Anna, and Layla.

With that, we wish all the good men out there who have a special place in our hearts a Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for supporting us and cheering us on and preparing us for this world which can feel pretty uncertain at times.

FTF is Back and Better Than Ever!

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It’s hard to believe that we are kicking of our 3rd season of Food Truck Friday with the Bozeman community, but it’s happening folks! You’ll find your favorites in the lot: Grille 406, Mo’Bowls, Tumbleweeds, Oba Acai, and we are really excited to introduce Sauce! to the FTF faithful! So, in celebration of Food Truck Friday III we’re dedicating this next couple of blog posts to the trucks of FTF. First up Sauce! and Oba.

Meet Sauce!
sauce food truck

When & How did you get started in the Food Truck Biz?

In may 2016 Sauce opened. After culinary school and a number of years working as a chef, I knew I wanted to have my own business, but not necessarily a brick and mortar restaurant. In late 2015, everything seemed to come together and the time was right to buy the truck and start Sauce!

What’s your favorite dish that you serve?

Our Bahn Mi Sandwich. It’s also a customer favorite!

food truck friday, bahn mi
Sauce’s signature sandwich: the Bahn Mi.

What’s your favorite thing about being in the Food Truck Biz?

The food truck and catering business is so dynamic that it always keeps me on my toes. We love being able to provide great local food to a variety of clientele, from global street food served from the truck to coursed out farm to table meals for special events. Gallatin Valley has so many incredible producers which allows us to source our ingredients locally and change our menus based on what is in season and freshest. Also, we have the best staff in the business (though we are probably biased) and are fortunate to be part of a great community of mobile vendors in Bozeman.

Where’s your regular perch?

We move around Bozeman and the surrounding area. That’s the beauty of being on wheels! This year we have ramped up the catering side of the business and will be doing a lot of private events like weddings and corporate parties. We will never abandon the food truck side though and you can find us at festivals like Red Ants Pants Music Festival and the Montana Folk Festival, weekly events like Mobile Mondays at The Emerson, Music on Main, and of course Food Truck Fridays.

Sauce's taco offerings range from carnitas to shrimp.
Sauce’s taco offerings range from carnitas to shrimp.

Do you have a favorite event/venue?

Music on Main

Where did your truck come from?

The truck is an old laundry delivery truck from Livingston that was converted to a food truck by the previous owner. It was formally the Amok truck in Bozeman

Last three Google Searches.

Bozeman weather, Bridger Bowl live cams, Yellowstone River fly fishing report

What’s on your playlist.

LCD Sound System, Talking Heads, and Paul Simon

Meet Oba!

food cart

When & How did you get started in the Food Cart biz?

The cart was opened Late April Early May after a trip home to Brazil.

Why smoothie bowls?

Because its a piece of home (Brazil) here in our new home

Tell me a little about Acai and Pitaya?

Acai and Pitaya are some of the worlds best super fruits. Allowing many health benefits with a fun and funky way of eating.

smoothie bowl
The Acai smoothie bowl.

You have a new store front. Where is it located?

Yes we do! We just opened our store next to Kohls. We feature smoothie bowls as well as our favorite Brazilian dishes and more!

What does a acai/pitaya bowl consist of?

We serve Acai and Pitaya Bowls which are both served with granola, your fruit of your choice, and the topped with any other dry topping of your choice.

What’s your favorite thing about being in the Food Cart Biz?

Our Customers, Downtown is such a lively place with tons of friendly people and customers.

Do you have a favorite event/venue? (besides the Architect’s Wife of course 🙂 )
pitaya bowl
The Pitaya bowl.

Farmers Market

There are four owners & I hear there’s an interesting story about how you met. Can you tell me about that?

Basically two love stories with two different couples that started in Brazil then came to Bozeman. We met each other (the other couple) downtown due to our similar language (Portuguese) being spoken. And the rest is history as they say.

Food Truck Friday happens today in the parking lot of Architect’s Wife. Join us for lunch and delicious treats from 11:30 – 2:00 along with Tumbleweed’s, Mo’Bowls, Grille 406, Oba and introducing Sauce!.