Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Yikes Stripes!

 You know when you get an idea in your head and just can't shake it?  Like wallpapering a room?
Well, I always secretly wished I could wallpaper our dining room, but felt that because of the archways, I couldn't.

 So I contacted my installer for advise.  
Can this room be papered? 
Will the stripe grasscloth paper I'm obsessed with work, or look weird?
How will you go around the arches without moulding?
He assured me it would look amazing.

 So I ordered the paper from Philip Jeffries, a raffia maize colored stripe.

 As it was being installed around the room--and I mean "around" the room because it is an oval shape, I was doing the happy dance!   
The arches weren't a big deal after all.  
My installer knows what he's doing!

 It's almost like it was always there!

 I love white walls, don't get me wrong, but the dining room has been a challenge.
With oval walls, I cannot hang any art whatsoever.  The most I can do is lean a mirror at the end of the room!  The wallpaper makes those challenges go away.  
It's like it is the art.

The room was finished just in time for us to host a small dinner party.
The stripe inspired me to dig out my majolica pitchers for a centerpiece of white hydrangeas.

You know, when we moved, I put all those plaid, floral and patterned plates in storage.
But somehow they found their way back to my dining table!

Stenciled burlap placemats under wicker chargers.
Ralph Lauren plaid plates with my special majolica salad plates.
Bone handled flatware from Restoration Hardware.
Napkins from April Cornell.

This is my first "tablescape" in this house.  
It looks like I'm a little rusty, since I forgot the glasses!

I posted a photo of the dining room on Instagram a few days ago and got a lot of comments.
One of my favorite comments was from fellow blog friend, Joni Webb:
"You make me laugh because you really have a particular style - and you try to change it up - but you came back to it here - and it looks fabulous!!!"
Thanks Joni!

Stay tuned for yet another room I just had to wallpaper!
I promise this is it!
White walls!  Yea, right...

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Friday, July 15, 2016

A Romantic Garden In All Its Glory

  Recently, I took a trip to France to visit this exquisite garden--without getting on a plane!
My friend's garden is so romantic and glorious that I seriously felt I was somewhere in France.

Let me take you on a tour, beginning with a stroll through this gravel path allee which takes us to the backyard.

But wait...just to the left of the path is this secret fountain.
One of many surprises in this garden.

The back yard has a lovely pool and spa.
Boxwood is everywhere, both planted and in urns, lending a formal feel.

At the rear of the yard is a darling guest house with a secret garden room and potting shed to the left, through the cypresses.

Inside the circular secret room is a lovely fountain.
One could just sit here and enjoy the solitude.

 The patio with the guesthouse in the distance.

The back of the house.  I believe it is French Normandy style. 

Here is a view of the garden from the upper balcony.

The front of the house is almost hidden with all the trees leafed out.
The turret stands out though.

A closer look at the entrance to the house with the Boston Ivy covered turret.
There are hydrangeas, roses and crepe myrtle trees all in various shades of pink.

Since moving to the City, I have missed having a garden to putter in, to just sit and watch the birds and enjoy the solitude.
That's why I jumped at the chance to photograph my friend's garden.
I truly felt such a sense of calm here and that I had indeed had a little visit to France!

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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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