Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Reading Room Reveal


This tiny room has been an office since we moved here in 1999. It had a huge desk, file cabinet and the only computer in the house, a giant monolith of a computer. It was where our kids did their homework.

Times have changed. Most people now have laptops and don't need a designated office anymore. Also, things have changed in our home too. Everyone grew up and went off to college!

I decided to reclaim the space as a reading room. For such a small space, it was a huge undertaking.

The ceiling was cracked like an eggshell. I wanted to panel the ceiling with v-groove rustic redwood boards like the original 1906 ceiling in my sunroom. But that would be very expensive.

My painter, Bob came up with the idea of using MDF and ripping them into boards. He cut a groove on either side and then put them up randomly.

Once painted, it is impossible to tell the difference between the real deal and this MDF ceiling.
Here, he is painting all the woodwork in the room. Notice the balcony outside the door.

He painted the room my tried and true "Granfield Pumpkin" by Benjamin Moore.

I took this picture of the balcony the other morning. It has never really been used or staged. It has a wonderful view of the front yard and flowering plum trees across the street.

Here it is tonight at dusk. I already had this outdoor rug and the fanback chairs were brought in from the backyard. A plant and candle on a tray, and voila!

I am claiming this space for myself! This could be my new "blogspot" on warm days...

Looking through the door, into the new reading room.

We bought this chair today at the consignment center. All linen, $89! I couldn't believe it! However, it is a little big for the room. I will make it work though, because it is incredibly comfortable.

Ahhh! A place to sit and read. My favorite thing to do!

This pine bookcase was already in the room.
Right now it is filled with fishing books and high school text books. That will change though!

The chandelier was originally in the hallway and rehung in here. We retrofitted it with a pull chain as there is no switch in the room.

The room is still a work in progress. I have to hang art, rearrange the books and tomorrow pick up the mate to this chair. At $89 each, I couldn't pass it up. So, it will be a reading room for two now!

I was so surprised when I got home tonight to learn that I received an award
from Kim at Savvy Southern Style !
I am so honored! Kim is new to the blogosphere and I have recently discovered her. We have similar tastes and I look forward to seeing what she posts. She has asked that I describe 7 things about myself. Hmmm, I'm going to have to think about that and get back to you in a few days!
Thank you Kim!

* * * * * * * *

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.
Be sure to visit her and see all the other participants and their projects.

I'm also linking up to It's So Very Cheri for It's So Very Creative Monday. There you will find more creative projects and transformations for inspiration.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Home Libraries



I believe one can never have too many books! But where to put them if you don't have a library in your home?
Eventually your bookshelves will overflow and decisions must be made to give away or donate your books--only to make room for new ones!


Someday, I would love to have a library in my home. A whole room dedicated to just books and reading like the room above.

Or like this room of floor to ceiling bookshelves.

Or this room. It speaks to me because of the alabaster lamp, the oil paintings, comfy reading chair and of course, books.
Three above photos from Country Living

This library is a bit grand and over the top, but I can dream can't I?

This is the large library bookshelf in our living room with some of my vintage and classic books. It's used more as a display piece instead of a functional library piece.


We have this built in book shelf in the family room also.

But wouldn't it be wonderful to have a room just lined with books? Even a dining room could multi-task as a library. . .

. . .Like this one.

Or this one that also multi-tasks as a wine cellar!

Or this one!
Maybe in my next house I will have a library or even a dining room/library.

In the meantime, I'm working on a tiny room upstairs; reappointing it from an office to a "reading room." It isn't quite finished yet, and it isn't technically a library. But it will be a room dedicated to reading - for one person! Stay tuned for more on this later.....
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Amethyst Tablescape for February


"The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear."

Since amethyst is the birthstone for those born in February, I decided to create a table setting using my purple transferware.

The photo above features the plate on a silverplate charger, a gift from my sister-in-law Mary.
Notice the farm utensils around the edge of the plate and the scene of a woodcutter and his family.

I found some bone handled knives and forks on Ebay last week. They compliment the ecru placemats and napkins nicely.

These chairs were just reupholstered with burlap coffee bean bags! Heavier and softer than regular burlap.

What could be better for a February tablescape than irises!

A close-up of the plates. They are the same pattern as my Rural Scenes plates except these are purple, and called "Pastoral Davenport" This is the plate with the woodcutter scene.

The soup bowl has a pastoral farm scene.

I remembered my purple majolica chargers and added them to the layers.

I'm afraid I never get tired of these amethyst wine hocks and water glasses!






China: Pastoral Davenport by R. J. Wilkinson
Purple chargers: Bordella Pinheiro
Silverplate chargers: Godinger
Amethyst water glasses: Fostoria
Amethyst wine hocks, ecru cutwork placemats,
napkins, cutlery, etc. from my own collection.

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Be sure to visit her and see more tablescapes.
I'm also linking up to Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday. Check out her blog to see all the other participants.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Color Purple


"The even-tempered amethyst, said to prevent drunkenness, also helps keep those born in February on an even keel. It brings peace of mind and drives away enflamed passions and worries."

Since February is coming to a close, I decided to focus on the color purple for this week. The color I think of when I think of February.
Above, is the lovely vignette of amethyst glass that my friend Diana and I created a few weeks ago on her mantle.

Diana has beautiful amethyst colored glass and perfume bottles. I especially love the one above.


This one has a little jeweled top.

Speaking of jewels, I found these images of an amethyst necklace and ring that I would love!

How beautiful is this!

If it's true that wearing amethyst keeps one on an even keel and brings peace of mind, then I would love to wear this necklace or the beautiful ring below!

Come visit me on Thursday to see my "Amethyst Tablescape!"

I'm joining Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday.


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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tent Living - A Unique Wine Country Retreat


Our neighbors, Gerry and Glen in the wine country have plans to build a home on their 160 acres of land. In the meantime though, they live in tents! This is their vacation retreat, where they have created a beautiful compound consisting of three tents and an outdoor kitchen.

We met Gerry and Glen at another neighbor's annual luncheon, and I was intrigued by their story. The guys drive the 8 hours nearly every weekend from their home in Los Angeles to this upper Sonoma County magical retreat! Metropolitan Home even featured this couple in their July 2009 issue.

This is their living room tent decorated with an old 70's stove and matching sofa upholstered in outdoor fabric. The stove is in front of a large window so they can sit and be warmed while watching nature outside.

The outdoor kitchen under the California Oaks. The refrigerator and stove are powered by propane, electricity is solar generated. A leaf blower works well for clean up! What began as a temporary housing, now is their passion. They even planted 1200 olive trees on the property! They plan to keep the compound for guests when their permanent home is constructed in 2011.

This is their view overlooking their pond stocked with Koi.
All four photos above from July 2009 issue of Metropolitan Home.

These tent cabins are made by Sweetwater Bungalows in Truckee, California. They have been around for over ten years. Their cabins are used as guest houses, art studios, resorts; Yosemite National Park even uses them for camping guests.

Here are a few more photos from Sweetwater Bungalows:





How much fun would it be to decorate one of these tent cabins?! I have plans to someday have three of these on our wine country property for guests. I can just see them lined up with a gravel path connecting them all. Each one would have a different theme. The "Out of Africa" theme, the "Fisherman" theme and the "Shabby Chic" theme!

The images above from El Capitan Canyon Resort, near Santa Barbara featuring Sweetwater Bungalow tent cabins. Read about it here.
Read more about Gerry and Glen's tent compound in Metropolitan Home here.
Sweetwater Bungalows has a beautiful website here.

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