Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Big Kitchen Cabinet

 My favorite part of the kitchen in Asti is the large built-in cabinet.
This is what it looked like 9 years ago when we bought the house.
A lot has changed since then!

Here is what it looks like today.
A large clock hangs over the cabinet and a large burlap pendent hangs over the island, replacing a ceiling fan.
Not seen are the kubu wicker barstools that replaced the green ones that came with the house.

I've had a lot of fun staging this cabinet with my white ironstone and glassware.
Looking closer, you will discover that the cabinet is a series of cabinet components sitting next to each other and stacked on top of each other.
It is not real wood, but thermafoil which is vinyl clad over MDF.
Did I mention that it is peeling?


Because remodeling the kitchen is part of the future renovations, I would like to replace the existing cabinet with a better version.
Here are a few ideas from my Pinterest board, "Asti Kitchen."

Finding an antique cabinet like this one, which may have come from a store could prove difficult.

I believe that one could be custom made to look old.
This one is amazing, but I prefer glass doors to keep the dust down.

I haven't ruled out a black cabinet either.

This example gets me every time!
I like how tall it is and how it looks with the terra cotta floor.

While my plan is to replace the big cabinet, another idea would be to move the stove to that location and create an entirely different focal point.
I can't wait to meet with the architect and hear his thoughts at the end of the month.
I'm hoping he has suggestions that I haven't even thought of!

Thank you for all your sweet comments on my Transitioning post.
I really appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.
It's also nice to know that others are going through the same thing!


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Transitioning

I remember my parents saying that life was a series of phases as they were enjoying their "retirement phase."  I didn't think much of it until now.
Now, we are entering that phase.
Retirement.

Retirement!
What does that look like?
Where do we want to live as we transition to a new phase?

We've been spending more and more time in the country, wondering if living there full time is what we want.
Will we be happy there?
Will we miss the hustle and bustle of the City?

After much consideration, we've decided that yes, we would be happy living in the country.
The City will not be missed.  At all.
We tried living in the City and are enjoying it, but it's not sustainable in the long run.

So, we are beginning the transition to retirement and country life.
Our timeline is hopefully 18 months.
The plan is to eventually sell our City home and remodel the house in Asti to accommodate full time living, as opposed to weekends only.

We are excited for chickens and goats.
A garden too!
It's a little scary, but will also be really fun to create a new, different life.
A new phase.
Retirement!

"She understood that the hardest times in life to go through
were when you were transitioning from 
one version of yourself to another."  
~Sarah Addison Allen

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

June in Asti

"What could be more perfect than the lovely month of June."

We've been spending more time in Asti lately, enjoying the season.

All the winter rain has brought such a glorious spring.

So many flowers to enjoy and so many birds to watch.

Stay tuned for more adventures and projects in the wine country this summer.
In the meantime, "Happy June!"



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Monday, May 15, 2017

Inspired By Roses

I owe my love of roses to my mom.
She also loved roses, collecting rose bushes like baseball cards!
Indeed, her rose garden was amazing!

While she preferred red roses, I prefer white, like the Iceberg Rose above.
I have planted these Icebergs in three homes now, in various forms.

I chose the standard version of Icebergs at our previous home's side yard...

...and New Dawn climbers in the back.
I remember how glorious this arbor was with those pale pink roses!


Just like my mom collected rose bushes, I collected rose paintings and featured them on the stairs in our previous home.


They now live in our garage where I appreciate them every time I park the car!
I just can't part with them, nor will I ever.


A few of my favorite paintings found their way inside our new home.
This one is in the laundry room.
The red roses in a basket remind me of my mom.

 When I created this bouquet years ago, I again was inspired by my mom's love of roses.
She often cut from her garden and created bouquets of mixed colored roses.
I remember how she mixed "Double Delight," "Mr. Lincoln," and her favorite, "Tropicana" to name a few in her collection.
Roses inspired her too, and she passed her love of them to me.
Thanks, Mom!

I'm joining A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Airstream Mania

I once wrote a post about restoring vintage Airstreams.
It was number one on my "Design Bucket List," and although I haven't found one yet to restore, I'm constantly looking for one.

Mr. A and I dream about touring the country after retirement, pulling our Airstream behind us.
I've been seeing a lot more Airstreams on the road lately--people doing exactly what we dream of.

In the meantime, we could stay in one of the new and trendy Airstream hotels that have been cropping up everywhere.
We discovered Caravan Outpost last summer on a trip to Ojai.

Caravan Outpost finds vintage Airstreams and restores them, giving each one its own look and feel.
So far, they have eleven trailers!
This one is called "Perla."

 This one is called "Audrey."

Isn't she cute inside?
I love the ticking upholstery mixed with the tribal blanket.

Another Airstream hotel, Autocamp is closer to home in Guerneville.

Autocamp is nestled amongst the redwoods and close the the Russian River, featuring all new, luxuriously decked out Airstreams.

Imagine waking up here!
Can you tell I'm obsessed?

What is it about these iconic trailers that makes me all giddy?
Is it their sleek and shiny exterior?

Or is it the possibility of what the interior could look like?
Be it Pinterest, Instagram or sites that feature Airstreams, I'm always looking for ideas for their interiors.
There is so much that you can do with them, but I'm particularly fond of a rustic interior like the one above.

One of my favorites is this interior by Ralph Lauren.

Reba McIntire's rustic 1988 Airstream is a heart stopper!

I follow Tin Can Homestead on Instagram--about a couple who restored an Airstream and live in it with their two dogs in Seattle.
Their style is rustic, yet clean and organized.
Notice how they took out the built ins and created their own floorplan.

Recently, we met our new neighbors down the road and up on Pine Mountain in Cloverdale.
They have created a compound of vintage Airstreams for their personal retreat.


They found this one already gutted and paneled in pine.
They hauled it all the way from Seattle and parked it on their property to be used as the "dining car."
A couple of army cots take care of extra guests.


I was hyperventilating when I saw the inside with antique leather Swedish chairs.


Their guest trailer is totally different inside and has a modern, contemporary vibe.

After visiting our neighbors, Mr. A and I were even more inspired.
He even suggested we create a similar caravan of Airstreams on our property for guests.
Not so fast I told him.  We haven't even found one yet, let alone gutted and remodeled it!
I know it will happen someday--down the road.
No pun intended!

Looking for more Airstream inspiration?
Instagram:
Airstream Dreams
Airstream Classics
Mavis The Airstream
Tin Can Homestead
Mountain Modern Airstream

Facebook:
Airstream Tours
Airstream Classifieds
Airstream Addicts

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

A New Purpose For The Wet Bar

 Sometimes I ask myself, why I kept the wet bar in the family room when we did the remodel.
Was it because there was one there already?
It seemed logical at the time.  But we've never used the dishwasher and the refrigerator is nice, but not necessary.  

I've always had difficulty staging this space.  
A bar is set up, along with glassware, but it just doesn't work.
My friend asked a question that got me to thinking:
"What if you used this space as a flower arranging and potting space?"

She suggested that I put the bar in the bookshelf on the opposite side of the room.
She also suggested that she come over and do it for me!
All I had to do was gather everything together...

 ...Like the concrete urns outside.
Bring them inside, fill them with orchids and flank them on either side of the sink.
Why didn't I think of that?

 She brought baskets to organize the drawers with tools, moss and gardening supplies.


 Then she started to organize and stage the zinc shelves.

Vases, planters and books were added.

Luckily, I had quite a few books on gardening and flower arranging. 

The more she added, the more the space took on a whole new purpose.

Now when I bring home flowers from the grocery store, or even the flower mart, I can just bring them straight in from the garage to this room.  Everything is at the ready to make my arrangements and centerpieces.
But what about the bar?

It's now across the room in the bookshelf!

I actually like it better!

I found little lamps from Restoration Hardware Baby that are perfect to illuminate the bottles and glassware.
 It's so romantic with them on at night.

Aged brass trays from Pottery Barn are perfect for holding the glassware and carafes and fit perfectly on the narrow shelves.

I'm loving the change in the family room!
A big thanks to my friend, organizer and stager extraordinaire.

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