Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Eye Of The Day

 We promised ourselves that this summer we would fit in a road trip. 
 So last week, we packed our bags, grabbed the dog and headed south down highway 101 on an adventure. 
On our way, we happened to pull over in Carpenteria, only to discover Eye of the Day, which just so happened to be on my bucket list!

 I discovered this store online several years ago and had forgotten about it.
Eye of the Day carries beautiful, authentic pottery from Anduze, France which I've been in love with forever.
There are green Anduze pots (my favorite)...

 There are yellow Anduze pots...

And white, mottled Anduze pots, along with blue ones and various other colors.

 They have the best selection of terracotta from Italy... 

and France too.

I've been searching for a fountain like this forever.
Of course, they had many to choose from.
Not today though!

We ended up with a pair of green pots which I plan to plant with olive trees and place by the pool in Asti.  They are huge and totally filled the back of our truck as we were not about to pay for shipping!

 I highly recommend this store!  The owner, Brent was so patient with us as we obsessed over our pots and was determined to make them fit in the car!  
As we were leaving, I noticed the sign outside the door:
"August is like the Sunday of summer."
It felt that way as we headed further south, looking forward to more of our road trip and more discoveries before summer's end.
Stay tuned to find out where our journey took us and follow along on my Instagram too...

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello August!

 Have you also noticed how fast summer goes by, yet winter drags on forever?
This summer seems to be doing that.  I can't believe it's August already!

I've decided to spend as much time in Asti the month of August, and enjoy summer in all its glory in the country.
Even if the temperature climbs to 100 degrees!

After all, summer in San Francisco is like winter!
Mark Twain once said "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

So, Oscar and I will head north tomorrow for the week with son Alex and granddog Lupo.
We plan to do lots of reading, gardening, hiking and swimming.

Hello August!

Hello Asti!

Looking forward to tomatoes right off the vine, still warm from the sun.

 Swimming and sunbathing.

 Reading my book, "Barkskins by Annie Prouix.

Watching the sunrise.

Watching the sunset.

And watching the moon rise over the Mayacamas.

So if you want to find me in August, I'll be right here!

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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...

Follow me on Instagram here.
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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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