Monday, November 16, 2015

Hardwood Floor Color And Blog Issues

Just when I had this post ready to publish about the hardwood floor color, my blog went dark.
It appears my domain name that I purchased from GoDaddy had lapsed because of an expired credit card on file.  They assured me when I renewed my domain name that my blog would be back in an hour or possibly 48 hours.

By Sunday, it was quite evident that my blog was gone.
I tried everything!  Blogger had me stuck in a continuous redirect loop.
I tried to call Blogger, but there is no number, ever for them.  You're on your own.
GoDaddy eventually fixed the problem for me but it meant hours on the phone.
I'm so grateful that one of their tech support spent the extra time to correct the problem.
Otherwise, Vignette Design was gone forever!

So back to the hardwood floor color....
I ended up mixing Minwax Jacobean and Classic Gray for a grayed down brown that captured the look of the floors I am going for.
Unfortunately, the stain appeared streaked on the herringbone portion of the floors because the installer used the wrong rag when applying the stain.  He sanded the herringbone and reapplied the color with a different rag.

However, he applied the color on the border too, giving the borders two coats of stain.  Now the borders looked darker, almost black.  It wasn't right.
At this point, we were just chasing the stain and my contractor and I made the decision to sand it all down and start over.  Even the installer said he wanted to do it as he was unhappy with the way the floors looked.
Today, the floors are all sanded and ready for stain, but instead we will cover them up because otherwise it will stall the painter, the tiler and the stair installer another week.  The stain will go on later.  

Back to the blog....
Facing the reality that Vignette Design was gone, I had to ask myself if it was a sign to stop blogging.
I'm not posting as much as I used to and maybe this was meant to be.  
What bothered me though were all those years I spent, over 1000 posts, almost 6 million visitors--all gone.  This November marked my 6th year of blogging!
So when Vignette Design went back online last night, I was quite relieved, to say the least!
Thank you to all who follow me and thanks to those who reached out in concern.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015



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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Club Chairs In The Kitchen? You Betcha!

I love it when websites allow you to design your own furniture like Serena and Lily does.
Just plug in your fabric choice and you get an accurate idea of what your new furniture will look like.
For the kitchen club chairs, I wanted a fabric that would hold up to a lot of wear, plus dogs.
This is where I will drink coffee in the morning, work on my computer and sip a glass of wine in the evening while Mr A cooks one of his specialty dishes!
The Serena and Lily Spruce Chair is the perfect, compact size.

The pattern is fairly simple!  Black and white stripes in a heavy cotton with brass nailheads.
I can add a textural throw and pillows to jazz these chairs up.

The best part is that they are crazy comfortable!
I know I will not regret ordering these chairs for the kitchen!

PS:  I returned the barstools from Serena and Lily.
Back to square one and to be continued...

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Is For Succulents

A few months ago, I visited the San Francisco urban nursery, Flora Grubb and purchased this form in hopes of creating a succulent "A" for the wall in our new atrium.  
Yea, that was more than a few months ago actually.
In hindsight, I really should have planted the succulents then, as it takes several months for them to root in order to hang on a wall. 

So, I'm a little late!  
Let's get started...
The medium that holds the succulents is kind of a fiber that at first needs to be soaked.

With tweezers, I made holes and inserted the succulents after their roots were trimmed.

Here is the work in progress.
I tried to vary the succulents to keep the arrangement interesting.

My succulent "A!"

It's not quite as nice as this one which was professionally planted by the Flora Grubb crew, but I can fill in with small succulents later.

Hopefully, by the time we move in to the new house, the "A" will be ready to hang!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Tartan In My Closet For The Holidays

Is it tartan season yet?  
November is the perfect time to bring it out of the closet and wear it!
Here are a few tartan pieces that I plan on wearing this season, starting with these GAP pants.
I plan on dressing them up with heals, or dressing them down with a chambray shirt and tennies.

One of my favorite purchases from last season is this Kate Spade Saturday satchel.
It's been hiding in the drawer for too many months.

Just last week, I splurged on these pumps from Coach.
I'm not sure how I'll walk in them, but OMG how gorgeous are they?
Yes, those are studs along the bottom and they are made out of haircalf!

I don't always wear red tartan...
This coat is a subtle plaid of olive and blue, just in at our store, Les Méchantes.
It's by J.O.A. and is the perfect warm coat for fall.

But of all the tartan in my closet, I love this cape the most
It was a gift from my daughter, purchased in Scotland and carried back in her suitcase.
It's the real deal!

Happy Tartan Season!

(I'm joining The Tartan Parade at The Polohouse.)

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Exterior Progress: Paint and Landscape

 This week has been all about landscape--my favorite part of the remodel.
 That's because it is my own design and I get to see my vision come to fruition.

On Monday, 40 white roses, 3 Italian Cypresses, 100 boxwoods and 20 climbing ficus were delivered.
We couldn't plant yet because we had to wait for Tuesday's delivery of 14 olive trees!

 Bright and early on Tuesday morning, literally before sunrise, they arrived!

For the front and side of the house, six Swan Hill multi-branch olive trees were laid out for planting.

 I chose Swan Hill trees because they are non-fruit bearing and disease resistant.
They will be perfect for the San Francisco Marina which gets its share of fog.

 Inside the courtyard, I chose standard Swan Hill trees.  
That means that they grow from a single trunk and can be placed right against the wall.

 As soon as the trees were planted, Martin began planting the boxwood hedge which will border everything.

 What a difference!
Notice the exterior paint is finished too?

 The painters worked non-stop the week before to get it done, knowing the landscape was scheduled to be installed this week.

 The exterior stucco is Benjamin Moore's Chelsea Gray.
The white is a custom match to the new windows and I outlined the interior mullions in black.

 Copper downspouts also were installed prior to planting.
They will patina to a dark copper in a few weeks.

 This morning, I met Martin to finalize the planting.
The three Italian Cypress will punctuate the corner of the house and white Iceberg roses will fill in everywhere else.

 That may seem like a lot of roses, but I feel that to introduce too many different plants in such a small area would create visual chaos.  
Besides, white roses are kind of my signature!

 Finally, the entry is looking like I envisioned.
The copper lights were installed as well, even though they aren't electrified yet.

 The courtyard is looking pretty dramatic with the tall standard trees.
The small plants beneath are "freeway ficus" which eventually will adhere to the wall and create a living green wall behind the trees.  

The trees will eventually be trimmed after they adapt to their new home.
I have plans for a fountain, both in the entry and the courtyard.
It's beginning to look like a home!

This week has been so much fun, not only because I got to play in the dirt, but also have met so many wonderful neighbors who have been so encouraging and complimentary about the remodel.

We can't wait to move in!

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Modern Barstool With A French Twist

The barstools have given me a lot to consider.  I didn't want them to be another fabric that had to coordinate with the kitchen club chairs and drapes, but I wanted to avoid leather too, as there is a fair share of leather already in the house.
The truth is, barstools have always been a challenge because there isn't much to choose from.
I even wrote a post several years ago called "Barstools--The Good, The Bad And the Ugly."
But I digress...
 Last week, I went to Serena and Lily on Sacramento Street to order the two upholstered club chairs for the kitchen and noticed these stools.  At first I dismissed them because they are so modern, but then I had an aha moment!

Looking at the woven abaca pattern, I noticed that these were the colors that I've been working with throughout the house.

Tobacco or camel, black and white.
I followed my gut and placed an order for three, just in time to get the 20% discount!
They arrived in two days and now I'm kind of freaking out as they are such a departure from my typical traditional look.  I do think that they will provide a much needed contemporary vibe and also go with that natural, organic theme that includes grasscloth, a few rattan pieces and woven shades.
They also go great with the upholstered kitchen club chairs which I will share later...
Your thoughts?

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