Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Living Room, San Francisco Style

Since many followers of my blog keep asking for more photos of our San Francisco home, I decided to get out my big girl camera and do a photo shoot, beginning with the living room which has evolved quite a bit since we moved in last January.

Since everyone loves a great before and after, here is how the living room looked when we bought the house.  
Gold walls, nice cathedral ceiling and parquet floors.

The floors had to be retrofitted with plywood, so a new herringbone floor went over it.
The fireplace hearth was also replaced with soapstone.

The entire room got a coat of white paint.

I also had a chandelier installed in the beamed ceiling, where there wasn't one before.

And here is the room today.
It's a long room with a corner fireplace, so furniture placement has been a challenge.
I solved the issue by placing the seating arrangement on one end of the room...

 ...and keeping the piano and bookshelf on the other side.
The sofa is a gray velvet chesterfield and it took a couple of tries to get it right!



A simple black console sits behind the sofa.
This is the area I'm still in the process of staging.

Perhaps more brass lanterns and some plants?

This room receives a lot of light, but also has views of adjacent homes and apartments I'd rather not see. 
My solution was to plant trees outside on the balcony to camouflage the view. 

Two club chairs sit close to the fireplace. 

An old bamboo table sits for now between the two chairs.  

The chairs are upholstered in suede and are virtually indestructible. 

Oscar can't scratch the leather, but if someone can tell me the solution for white dog hair on velvet and suede, let me know!

The antler trophy over the fireplace is the only thing on the walls so far in this room.


I'm so afraid to put a nail in the new walls!
For now, floral arrangements and books on the coffee table are serving as art.


Family photos and my shell box collection on the piano.

We've been collecting books on San Francisco, so maybe we will find some prints or paintings of San Francisco for the walls.

Many of you have commented that my new look is so different from our previous home.
White walls, less clutter and accessories, bare floors, basically a cleaner look.  
Yes, I miss my old living room and its old world feel, I won't lie.
But this house in San Francisco calls for a cleaner, more contemporary feel.
I am far from contemporary, but compared to where I was before, this is quite a departure.
It has been a challenge, but I've enjoyed it!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Make Your Bed

"The state of your bed is the state of your head."
That is so true.  Don't you find that when your bed is made, you feel better?
I know I do.
I actually like to make the bed and am always looking for new pillows and duvet covers.
It's just another creative outlet, I guess!
This is our current master bedroom in our new house.
It's funny how I've evolved from a patterned bed to an all white bed.


Our master bedroom in Asti with all white linens.

 During the summer, I keep the linens white, but will add a burlap colored linen duvet cover in the fall...


...or mix it up with a paisley duvet in the spring.


 The linens in one of the guest bedrooms in Asti is a mixture of paisley, matelasse and embroidered linen.

 The master bedroom in our old house with its ticking shams and paisley duvet.
Oscar doggie approved!


The same bed decked out in "vintage" Ralph Lauren bedding for winter from several years ago.
I still have that duvet and plaid blanket but wonder if I'll ever use that bedding again.

 I'm still working on the guest bedrooms in our new house and promise to reveal soon.
In the meantime, here is a hint.
Guest bedroom number one...

...and guest bedroom number two.
I can't wait to share!

So remember.
To clear your head, make your bed!

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Outside Entry: Before During and After

 Yesterday, the wrought iron railing was finally installed, bringing the front entry's transformation to a close.  

Here is the original front entry.  
Nice railing, but I hated the stairs--a mix of tile and terrazzo which is typical in the City.
The entry courtyard's concrete was cracked, badly patched and painted.  Ugh!

After jackhammering out the courtyard concrete, I made the decision to go all the way and replace the stairs, unifying it all with brick.

At this point, I had a sick feelingI  "What have I done?"

But I had a vision for the entry which I kept reminding myself about.

Once "Humpty Dumpty" began to be put back together again, I felt more confident that it would all turn out.

The stairs were rebuilt and bricked.

Here the entry, after being rebuilt and newly bricked last November.
What an improvement!
Time to decorate it. 

My vision for the entry included a trickling fountain... 

...surrounded by creeping fig (which is finally starting to adhere to the wall) boxwood, ivy topiaries...

...and glowing lanterns on the stairs. 

So when Gomez Ironworks installed the rail yesterday, I was thrilled to finally see it all come together.

I love the new rail which is more simple than the original.

Looking up to the front door.

 Looking down from the front door.

Looking from the stairs into the courtyard.
The walls will eventually be completely covered in creeping fig.

The glowing lanterns have battery operated lights that go on at dusk.
Yes, I'm taking a risk in the City of having them stolen, but it's such a nice added touch
to the entry.
I'll take my chances.  After all, it's part of the vision!


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