Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Our Martha's Vineyard "Home Away From Home"

 One of my life-long dreams has always been to visit Martha's Vineyard.  Everything I've ever read about it told me that I would be in love.
My dream finally came true!
We were fortunate to rent this adorable home on Martha's Vineyard for a week and not only did I fall in love, but I didn't want to leave!

It was recently featured in New England Home, so you can imagine how perfect the home is.
I love the decor, right down to the zebra stenciled hide in the living room.  It looks amazing with white slipcovered furniture and nautical details.

I spent a lot of time in this room, especially in the morning sipping my coffee and watching the sun rise over the harbor.

This vignette from New England Home shows the detail of the delft tiles around the fireplace and blue menswear plaid upholstery on the rattan chairs.  I love the blue hydrangea in this scene.
In fact, I purchased fresh flowers for the house while we stayed here to give the rooms some life.

There is a little breakfast nook between the living room and dining room.
Notice the architectural details.  There is very little drywall in this house--only white painted tongue and groove on the walls and beadboard on the ceilings.

The dining room is papered above the wainscotting in a beautiful blue and white print.
The dining chairs are lacquered navy blue and upholstered in a flax straw like fabric.

This photo from New England Home shows the wallpaper in more detail.
Through the door is the kitchen.

The walls in the kitchen are painted chocolate brown--an interesting choice to highlight the vaulted ceiling and white cabinetry.  Hmmmm, I wonder how navy blue would look instead...

The New England Home photo shows the detail of the backsplash behind the stove.

There are two bedrooms upstairs, including a huge master suite that overlooks the harbor.
Notice the painted ceiling above?

The master bath is beautifully appointed with marble floors and countertop.
I love the grasscloth on the walls.

There is also a bedroom downstairs, with one wall papered in a lavender stripe.
It has double doors that open the the courtyard...

...which also separates the main house from the guesthouse, and is the point of entry to the home.

 The guesthouse has a loft, featuring two twins and a separate bedroom and bath.

It even has its own little kitchen!

 Outside the living room is a wrap around porch that overlooks the harbor.
This home has it all and it was such a pleasure to stay here, pretending that we live here full time.

We pretended that this was our neighborhood...

...and pretended that this was our street as we walked to the main street where all the boutiques and restaurants are.  

We took lots of walks, exploring the island, pretending it was our home and wondering what would the winters be like here.   

We even took a drive to the other side so Mr. A could check out the fishing village. We made plans to come back next year so he could enter the fishing tournament that started just before we left.

But alas, we had to say goodbye.
Hopefully, we will be back and if we are lucky enough to stay in our home away from home on Martha's Vineyard again, I will be thrilled.

To read more about this lovely home, visit New England Home.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

A Visit To Boston Restoration Hardware

One of the highlights of our trip to Boston was discovering the Restoration Hardware Gallery at the Historical Museum of Natural History.  

 It's an amazing building with an amazing history.  RH totally restored the building and created the most gorgeous gallery of rooms, on four levels.

At the San Francisco design center, there is a gorgeous RH, but this one in Boston is just beyond.
Even though I've seen everything on display here, it is just wonderful to see their product in a new light.

Mr. A loved this room most of all!

This was my favorite room!
I love canopy beds, what can I say?

And crystal chandeliers!

Here's the dining table I'm still considering.  Love it piled with succulents.

Downstairs in the basement, I was impressed with their baby and child decor.
And was reminded we are in Red Sox country!
For more information about Boston Restoration Hardware, watch the video below:

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Monday, August 24, 2015

I Really Tried!

The chairs arrived from One King's Lane and I really tried to love them!
What's not to love?  They're upholstered in a camel colored linen, similar to burlap, the legs are limed and they're over 100 years old.  

Here's what they meant by "limed" legs.  The legs look to me like they were just half stripped of their paint.  I would have preferred a solid wood.

The fabric is not a warm color at all.  In fact it looks dead in my house.
Granted, it is beautiful and would work somewhere else, but not with what I'm planning for the new house.  I was hoping for a warmer color. 

I thought about reupholstering just the cushion in leather and stripping the legs, but at the end of the day, it's all about comfort.  
Mr. A tested the chairs for comfort and they failed!
He said he couldn't imagine eating a long, relaxing dinner sitting in this chair!
I guess that's because they're over 100 years old?
Thankfully, OKL will accept returns.
So, back to the drawing board!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

On The Edge

My contractor had a few countertop edge and thickness options mocked up for me to consider.
He especially wanted to know how thick I want my kitchen countertops.  I hadn't given it much thought before.  So I immediately went to Pinterest to research the option of thick countertops.

 This kitchen by Barclay Butera Interiors is close to what my kitchen will look like.  
Black countertops with white cabinets and white subway tile.  I admit, the thick counters look wonderful.

 Another example of an extra thick counter.  It definitely has a more contemporary feel, especially when using this combination of dark material with white cabs.

 I came to the conclusion that extra thick counters look best when using white marble. 
If I were using marble, I would consider this thickness.  It looks substantial and expensive! 

It's something to consider!
However, I feel with black soapstone, I'll keep the normal thickness for the kitchen.
Since I'm also using soapstone in the family room wet bar, I'm compromising and making it extra thick.  The cabinets are black and I'll keep the soapstone gray.

Another decision I need to make is the edge of the vanities.
He sent me this example to consider... well as this one.  Notice the edge is simple but there's a frame around the surface which I'm leaning towards.

Here's another example of that dented surface I love.  
The thickness is a little thin though, but you get the idea.

How about a little fancy corner?
Maybe not.
We took these photos during a research field trip to the design center many months ago.
And now it's time to actually decide.
Trying not to lose my edge here!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Shopping For Dining Room Tables

You wouldn't think a hardware store would be a place to shop for dining room tables, but the Garrett Ace Hardware in Healdsburg actually has some very interesting tables.

At first, I was intrigued by this rustic pine table with curved ends, but it's not extendable and just a little too rustic for me.

I am in love with this round table for the kitchen, but it's too big.
Since that space is small, I can't go over 48 inches, preferably 42 inches.

This table is a classic farm table but I think I want a trestle table for the formal dining room this time.

Restoration Hardware has a black trestle table that looks interesting.  Notice the herringbone floor underneath?
Anyway, it is 84 inches by 42 inches and with extensions, increases to 120 inches.
What do you think of the color?

It also comes in a medium brown finish.

I'm in love with this table, also from RH, but unfortunately it doesn't extend.  If it did, I wouldn't hesitate buying it.  I love the dark finish too.
When not perusing various stores like Ace Hardware, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, I'm looking online.  
I found this amazing trestle table at
It is made from reclaimed wood and measures 86 inches by 39 inches.  There are two extensions, increasing the table to 120 inches long. This is what Arhaus says about this table:

"Each plank of reclaimed wood in our Kensington Table has made a winding journey around the world.  Like well-traveled companions, these tables are characterized by distinctive knots and joint lines.  They display a beautiful variance in grain and color that can't be replicated.  
And within each marking, there exists a whisper of rare history."

I'm just not sure about the width, but I like the fact that it is made from recycled wood and is not from Restoration Hardware!

  I took a chance on these chairs from One King's Lane.  Hopefully they are as good as the description:

"A beautiful set of six French mutton-leg side dining room chairs.  Newly upholstered in nubby linen, similar to burlap, with nailhead trim.  The legs have a great fluid design to them with well executed carving.  The exposed oak of the legs has been bleached and then limed." 

They are antique from 1900-1910 and I'm hoping to find the perfect table to compliment them.
As usual, I have "analysis paralysis" and cannot decide which table.
Your thoughts?

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