Monday, June 17, 2019

Before Pinterest


Before the Internet, before Pinterest, there were only magazines for inspiration.  
I had a subscription to most of them:  House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Country Living, etc.
I would tear out favorite pages and put them in plastic sleeves to save.  I had lots of binders, full of inspiration!  They've all disappeared except one.
It's titled "Romantic Homes" which is where this page came from.  
I still love this garden room with its floral wallpaper and chair.  And that floor!
I think for the most part, this room would still be on trend today, minus the wallpaper.
Not sure who the designer was.  Does anyone remember?

Another page I obsessed over!
A bedroom designed by Betsy Speert with that wonderful paisley duvet and delicious green walls.
Check out the bears on each post of the bed.  It was definitely a time of embellishment.
What still stands today?  Maybe the duvet?

Other than the many floral patterned pillows and red rug, this garden room could still be on trend with the mirrored coffee table and black lacquer chairs.  Woven blinds would replace the cafe curtains.

This room and magazine feature had a great influence on me.  A young couple decorated their home in Ralph Lauren fabrics.  Lots of plaid and florals.  Those fabrics are still around today.  I think I still have a pillow in that floral somewhere.  
Notice the sisal rug.  It was at the beginning of that trend which still is around today.

 Here's another page I've held on to all these years.
The cabinet with stacks of white towels, the faux bamboo desk and slipper chair upholstered in Ralph Lauren's "Charlotte" floral still makes my heart skip a beat.


I remember how much I loved this room with its leopard chairs mixed with florals and green stripe wallpaper.  I loved everything about this room!
That ceiling though!

 A close up of the table shows the green majolica dishes I've been collecting for years.

These pages are just a few examples of what inspired me back in the day.  It took a lot of time to gather and collect when I was a young mother who enjoyed decorating my home on a budget.  

These days, I search Pinterest and Instagram for ideas. 
When not looking online for inspiration, I have my collection of design books.
And I'm happy there are still magazines to tear pages out and pin to my virtual board!

Check out my Pinterest and Instagram to see my projects, as well as what inspires me.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wet Bar Reveal

 The wet bar is done!  Well, almost.  Eventually, we will add glass shelves when the hardware arrives.
But for now, it's as good as done.

 What's nice about this little room, is that while the kitchen is gutted, this is now our mini kitchen.
All of the dishes went into the cupboards, along with the pantry items.
Having running water is a plus!

 The rattan bar cart replaced the desk and now holds the microwave and toaster.

Here is the before photo...

 ...and the during photo.

 The entire room was sanded and painted a glossy finish.  

 Then, a honed black granite counter went in.
I chose a brass sink and faucet in a living finish.

Our contractor built a cabinet for under the sink that looks like it was always there.
Luckily, the area to the right is a perfect size for a wine fridge.
New hardware from RH.

I do love this room that I called "the dish room" when we first moved in.

Then it was the office for a while.  

 
Now it's a Butler's Pantry, holding all my dishes and crystal with a wet bar!
Stay tuned for the glass shelves addition....

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Monday, June 10, 2019

Demo Day!

Demo day was about as exciting as you can imagine!
In preparation for it, I emptied everything from the kitchen and stacked it all in the dining room.

Goodbye kitchen.
Goodbye center island that I've probably walked around a million times!

 Goodbye bathroom...

 Goodbye family room!
Yes, that's a toilet.  Doesn't everyone have a toilet in the family room?

Our contractor, Paul built a wall between the construction zone and our living space.
Right down the middle of the hallway!

 He then sealed off the door between the dining room and kitchen.
The refrigerator will go in front of it for the duration of the construction.

When the demo crew arrived--all eleven of them, it took them just eight hours.
This is looking at the kitchen from the family room.
That wall will come down when we put up a header.

The kitchen during demo.

For now, this is our kitchen.  
We have a microwave, refrigerator and toaster.  
What more does one need?


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Friday, April 19, 2019

Converting From Wood to Gas Fireplace


As much as I love a real fire with burning wood, I also recognize the health risks of breathing smoke.
Here in California, we've had a lot of devastating fires that have created a health hazard, so not contributing to the pollution is the right thing to do.  That's why I converted our 1924 wood burning fireplace to gas logs.

The process involved bringing gas to the fireplace, which meant cutting a hole in the wall.
The company that installed the gas logs arrived after the gas was installed and coated our old chimney so we wouldn't burn the house down!  

I'm so happy that we did this!
Not only does it look realistic, it gives off a good amount of warmth.
Keep in mind, this is not an insert, but logs that give a realistic burning fire.
Once the logs were installed, we were free to enjoy the ambiance of a fire.

Gas logs by Real Fyre

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Friday, March 15, 2019

The Master Bedroom--Our Little Sanctuary

The master bedroom looked gorgeous in the real estate photos.  And it also looked good staged for sale, but once the furniture was removed, I realized that I wanted to replace the carpet before we moved in.

Under the carpet there was only subfloor.  No hardwood at all because this room was added on at some point.
So I decided to carpet all the bedrooms in wall to wall seagrass and layer wool area rugs over them.
I'm so glad I did!


After the seagrass was installed, I wrapped the room in Madagascar grasscloth creating a warm and cozy feel.


Here is the bedroom with all the artwork hung, furnished and window coverings installed.


I chose a tortoise bamboo shade for window above the bed.  I love how it coordinates with the grasscloth.



A collection of fern prints bring a feeling of tranquility.

 My pine sofa table found a new home in the bedroom.
It anchors the television and holds my collection of turquoise, clutches and belts displayed in glass cases.


A charcoal velvet chaise is the perfect spot to sit and read or watch tv.


I hung a series of botanical specimens mounted on black linen next to the chaise.


California Closets turned the dingy little closet into an efficient closet with room to spare.
It isn't as glamorous as our City closet, but that's ok.


What I love most about our bedroom is the French doors that open to the deck.
They were replaced with energy efficient doors that open out, instead of in.
I hung white linen draperies on either side for privacy and light control.

With Phase 1 finished, we're gearing up for the larger construction of Phase 2.
This room will be a retreat from all of that chaos.
Our little sanctuary!

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Dish Room

Just off the dining room is a little room that has many purposes.  An office.  A butler's pantry.  Dish storage.   It was probably a breakfast room in its previous life. 

At some point, cupboards were built for storage.  I think the previous homeowner entertained a lot and probably had lots of dishes just like me.
I call this room "The Dish Room!"

I found the perfect desk to fit between two of the dish cupboards.

I had visions of sitting here designing the remodel and perhaps creating a future tablescape.
In reality, Mr. A uses this desk more than I do, but that's another story....

Opposite the desk is a mirrored alcove that is temporarily housing my collection of colored glassware.  It needs updating as some of the glass shelves are cracked.
The counter is fake wood formica.
Notice I hung a chandelier and replaced the shutters with woven shades.

This little alcove could be a wet bar with a wine refrigerator below.
I'm envisioning a marble counter with a little brass bar sink.  I like the mirror and will replace it with new mirror or possibly antique mirror.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have some major inspiration.
I love this integrated marble bar sink.
The mirror on the backsplash is the look I'm going for, especially with the glass shelves.
What makes this special is the French bistro shelving.


I found the shelving brackets but they're quite expensive.
But it's the look that will set this wet bar apart.

 If I opt out of the brass hardware, the mirror and glass shelves will still work.
I like how the black counter looks with a brass sink.


How gorgeous is this sink?


Can you see it?
The wine cooler will go under the counter to the right.
The sink will be on the left side of the counter.
I'll either pick Calacatta Oro marble or soapstone, depending on whether I can find a remnent.

This room wears many hats.  It's the "Dish Room, aka butler's pantry.   And it's an office.  
With the addition of the bar sink, it could double as a wet bar and even a flower arranging station.
Not to mention, it could be a temporary kitchenette while our kitchen is being remodeled.
Who knew 100 square feet could have so many possibilities!
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