Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lighting Obsessions

When the electricians came and wired the house, I began obsessing over lighting.
We had a "lighting plan," but still, just walking through the house and pointing to where I want a pendant or a chandelier made the lighting plan come to life.

I've been perusing light fixtures online, staying up way too late, totally obsessed.
One of my favorite lighting sites is Circa Lighting.  Their Atlanta store above makes me want to book a flight!

 There are too many choices, and at the same time, I want more!
For instance, while I love the look above with the maritime inspired pendants, I think two lanterns would also be wonderful.

I love these open and airy pendants from Circa and am leaning towards using this color of metal.
Burnished brass, warm metals or gilded iron.

 This pendant has a glass enclosure and would also be beautiful, but maybe it would work in the living room, hanging from the cathedral ceiling.

Another choice for either the kitchen island or living room is this lantern from Restoration Hardware.


 I keep going back to a more traditional lantern though, like this one from Suzanne Kasler for Circa Lighting.

Shades of Light has a similar pendant.
Although it is for outdoors, it would work over the kitchen island too.

 When I took the dining room chandelier from my old house, I had plans to install it in the new dining room.  But now I'm thinking it's too big and I'm having to work around it's organic look.  
This chandelier is similar but more delicate and has warm brass metal and crystals.

 It I don't go with crystals, this is an option too.
It's wooden, but painted gold.  It would be nice over the breakfast nook.

So to break it down, either I go with my original plan of using my old chandelier in the dining room as pictured above and building my lighting design around it, or I go down an entirely different road and choose fixtures in warm brass or gilded iron with crystals in the dining room and entry. 
Can you see why I'm obsessing?  

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

You Asked For It

 So many have asked for photos of the house and I've resisted because there still isn't much to share in the way of progress.  So since you asked for it, here are they are:

In the atrium, the original spiral staircase was removed.  It was too narrow and illegal, so a new one is being made.  In the meantime, a ladder is the only access to the roof.  I'm definitely not going to climb up!

 This is our master bathroom.  
The plumbers are installing the valves in our walk in shower.
Just last week, the electricians added the cans and all electrical in the house.

This is our master bedroom, looking in to the walk in closet. 
Recently, the opening was made smaller and a pair of French doors will go there with obscure glass.
I'm very excited about the closet and am working with Marty, the cabinet maker to design it.

 The stairway, looking down towards the family room.

 The family room looking towards the wet bar area.
Marty, the cabinet maker is making cabinets that will be black with just a little distressing.
I plan to top it with limestone.  The whole room will be wallpapered in grasscloth!

On the outside, the whole house is getting a coat of new stucco that will be smooth and have sharper edges.  An updated look. 
Sheetrock should be going in next week or the week after.  That will be a game changer!
In the meantime, I'm gathering light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, paint samples, window covering samples and furniture ideas.  There's so much to do that I've taken a little blog break, but promise to resume again!

Mr. A, the Les Méchantes girls and I also took a break this week and headed north to Asti.  
Les Méchantes is doing a pop-up at Healdsburg's H2 Hotel on May 16th and 17th, so if you're in the wine country, stop by and say hi!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy May Day!

This May Day has me dreaming of planting my garden, even though it's way too soon to start digging in the dirt.

 Nevertheless, I'm hanging out with the chickens at the nursery, plotting and scheming up a landscape plan for the City house.
I'm thinking boxwood borders, olive trees and white roses.

 Of all times to be having the worst drought in history!
I want to plant boxwood and I'm afraid they're going to need too much water.
Do I opt to plant them anyway and just take a shower every other day to balance out the watering needs?

The resident kitty could care less about my dilemma!
That's ok.  We'll just wait until fall to landscape and hopefully by then it will start raining.

Wishing you all a Happy May Day!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sweet Serendipity

 Talk about serendipity!
I bought this new magazine while grocery shopping, brought it home and forgot about it.
Then, a few nights later, I sat down with a glass of wine and started to peruse New Classic Style.

 What a surprise to see our home in Asti featured!
Basically, it's the same article that was in Tuscan Style a few years ago, but this time, the photos are bigger and more dramatic.

 The photographs were taken by John Granan and styled by Bonnie Broten.
Seeing them again brought back so many fond memories of their time spent at our home.

 If only our living room looked like this still!

 John's photography is amazing.
I love how he captured the vineyard views through the arbor.


 Bonnie and John made everything look fabulous.  

I still love how Bonnie styled the mudroom.
It looks as if I just came in with clippers in hand and an armful of summer flowers.


It was such sweet serendipity and a surprise seeing our home again in a magazine.
Thank you New Classic Style for the feature!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Furniture Shopping Online

I'm in love with this chest from Horchow.  In many ways, it is my jumping off point and the inspiration for how I want to decorate our new house.
I love the natural wood for its organic aesthetic.  It's unpretentious and yet I would probably hang an ornate gilded mirror over it to meet and greet guests in the entry.
The good news, it's on sale.
The bad news, it could be a little too big for the entry with its 24" depth.
I don't think I care!

Moving to the kitchen, I have a challenge working with a small space that I want to carve out for a small kitchen eat-in area.  
Originally, I was going to put a hutch, plus a round table in this small area, but there just isn't enough room for both.  Then I found this banquette at Ballard Designs which is perfect to place against the wall.  I love that I can customize it with camel check and brass nailheads.
At 48" wide, it's perfect with a round table the same size.  

There are a lot of options for round tables online.
I found this one at Restoration Hardware and like it for its stained black wood--also organic and in the color family that I'm planning for the kitchen and whole house.
Black, white with accents of camel.

Another, less expensive option is this 42" round table from World Market.  
I love the metal studded top, but not the base.  But at $250, I could paint the base black and would save a lot of money!

I already have these burlap unholstered chairs.
Placing just two of them on the other side of the table and hanging a pendent or small chandelier over the table will complete the breakfast area.  I also plan on hanging the six vegetable botanicals I found at the Paris Flea Market on the wall behind the banquette.

For seating at the kitchen island, I'm considering these counter stools from Ballard Designs.  Once again, I like them for their black legs, but more importantly, I love the honey brown leather top and brass nailheads.
They will coordinate nicely with the banquette fabric in the same room.
Now I just have to find two club chairs for the kitchen sitting area in a fabric that will go with it all.

So far, this is as far as I've researched the kitchen occasional chairs because I'm smitten with this chair from Williams-Sonoma!
It will definitely go with the camel check banquette and counter stools.
I don't dare cost it out!
Still looking for alternatives as I have lots of time and I enjoy the hunt!

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Out In The Yard

Guess who was chosen to pop-up at The Yard At Mission Rock, right across from the SF Giant's stadium?
That's right!  Les Méchantes!


You're probably wondering what The Yard At Mission Rock is.
It's a pop-up village featuring shopping, food trucks, a beer garden and just a general gathering spot, put together with repurposed shipping containers.

Les Méchantes will be there for six weeks, selling our own curated collection of SF Made brands, along with our own private label apparel, featuring caftans, capes, jewelry and tee-shirts.


So if you want to find me, you know where to look.
I'll be there seven days a week for next six weeks!
Come hang out at The Yard with us!

You can read more about Les Méchantes and The Yard here, here and here.


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Undermount Bathtubs

Ok, so there's no possibility of a tub in our master bathroom, and as much as I would love one there, I've had to come up with an alternative option for the house.  

 So many of you had strong opinions about a tub in the house, or the lack of one.
I listened to them all and realized that I need to find a place for a tub--both for resale value and to give me a place for a long soak.

The two downstairs guest baths were designed for showers.
One of them would have to change to a shower-over-tub, something I'm not fond of.


I came up with the idea of an undermount tub with a marble surround.
It gives the tub added importance and elegance.
Plus, I love the look--think candles lined up on the ledge!

 This is very close to how the guest bedroom bath will look.  Same basketweave floor, same subway on the wall, minus the black detail.  The marble deck surrounding the tub is a little wide, but you get the idea.

I like the wall mounted faucets for showering, with a side tub filler as an option for bathing.
I'm still trying to decide if a glass door is an option.

I'm really excited about this change.  It's a win win because now I can sneak away for a bath, but also the grandkids can now have a tub too when they visit.  



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