Friday, April 22, 2011

Decorating Vintage Farm Style: Swanton Berry Farm

We took a day off this week and headed over to the coast. Now that we live in the Gold Rush foothills, we don't make it to the ocean as often as we once did. It's so relaxing to drive Highway 1 between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. I find just letting my eyes stare out at the limitless open space of the Pacific ocean unties knots in my neck and helps me to breath deeply.

One of our favorite haunts along this phenomenal stretch of highway is Swanton Berry Farm. I first found this little farm stand on a fluke over 10 years ago. I saw an old vintage truck and a giant strawberry and yanked my wheel to the right. I've watched the stand transform from very basic & yummy to charming & yummy.

This trip I thought I'd capture it on film. As I was snapping away I realized what perfect vintage decorating inspiration this was. I saw the white painted wood beams, the blue tables and the vintage style help yourself store and my heart sang! There is no cashier-just a box with cash in it to make change out of. What a pleasant reminder of the goodness of human nature.

The shelving unit that hold the fruits, truffles, pies, breads & other goodies is so adorable. When people walk in they gravitate towards this area. It shows me how natural wood is such a strong back drop for bright color-a good tip for decorating my house. The warmth the wood brings just feels so cozy. This display hearkens back to the old General Store look, which I adore.

While I was happily hunting for the best shot, my three children were enjoying their treats. We bought blackberry shortcake, strawberry shortcake and a basket of strawberries. The baby ate the whole basket of berries. I've never seen her so completely involved and just over the moon with joy.

Swanton Farm has done a great job of capturing the traffic that drives quickly by on Highway 1. When I took these photos there were at least 3 dozen people in the store, all buying. I know it wasn't just the good food because it was never this busy before they decorated. Adding the vintage theme just warmed up the space and caused people to linger. Old wooden games caused families to play together.

I politely asked if I could peek inside the kitchen where all these amazing goodies were made. They are so nice! I loved how the hand painted pot rack carried the colors in from the main room. This would be a great way to top off a kitchen island.

Back in the main room, they'd used an old kitchen hutch to display their jams. They painted it a muted red. An antique stove sat next to the hutch holding utensils & farm fresh flowers.

I looked up into the rafters and discovered a fabulous decorating idea! Some clever soul had taken vintage 1930's & 40's tablecloths, mounted them on a board and displayed them in the rafters. It carried the colors upward in a clever and unique way. Wouldn't these look great hanging on a wall?


This farm has done a fantastic job decorating with vintage items, vintage colors and showcasing the vintage building they have. Instead of just being a stand, it's now a hang out. Vintage couches for lounging line one end with brilliant blue picnic tables for eating in the middle. A bright table with a vintage fabric print on the top is used to hold scales and other necessities.

Before we left I snagged 3 jams. I can't wait to try them-if I can hide them from the rest of my family. Thank you Swanton Farms for being organic long before it was trendy, for providing housing and top notch benefits to your employees, for making such wonderful food and for having a wonderful farm stand that we can't wait to spend another afternoon at.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! So many great ideas...I will have to look through these pics again and again as there is so much to take in! Your kids are adorable!

    Megan aka GeneralWhimsy2

  2. Wow!!!! I love every bit of this place! The tablecloth up in the rafters is brilliant!

  3. What great marketing! Love the old cash register.
    Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you for sharing - your photos and perspective are beautiful! I can almost smell the wood and berries and hear the baby smacking her lips happily!

  5. A great example of "new vintage." Love how they incorporated thier pieces in a fresh and colorful way! Excellent photos too! Thanks for showing us!!

  6. Charmth & warmth ;) plus delicious goodies. I love finding places like this. Some of the farm stands in upstate NY have gotten a bit "mega" for my taste (pun intended).