Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Visit to Francis Ford Coppola Winery


On Saturday, we visited the new Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which just opened in July. It was amazing! Coppola had a vision of creating a family resort where people of all ages could enjoy the winery, the restaurant and the pool, as well as games and entertainment. I think he hit the nail on the head with his latest creation.

It isn't entirely finished yet. The pool and cabaña area are still under construction, but the restaurant, bar and movie gallery are open.

How cool are these cabines, complete with showers! They plan to open the pool sometime in October. The European style cabines will be available to rent for the day while lounging by the pool. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

The Movie Gallery showcases Coppola's five Oscars! There is even a Palme d'Or. There is so much memorabilia from The Godfather movies too.

Including The Godfather's original desk and chair!

I was particularly fascinated with the original notes, handwritten by Coppola himself of his ideas for the cast of The Godfather.

Remember the movie Tucker with Jeff Bridges? This is the original automobile from Tucker. What a beaut! There were also props and memorabilia on display from Apocalypse Now and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The merchandise for sale was especially nice. Everything from olive oil to dishes. I picked up some placemats (just what I need!) and a mesh cheese dome.

Of course, the resort is entirely surrounded by vineyards. The view from the upstairs gallery is stunning.

We ate lunch at Rustic, the onsite restaurant with our friends Frank and Nancie. Nancie, who is also a fellow blogger (Mosaic Art Now) has an eye for design too, so we were soaking up all the details that went into this fabulous resort. In the restaurant we were amazed that over 4000 bottles of vintage Italian olive oil cans lined the walls.

Even the menu was a work of art. We kept ours as a memento.
It ended up being such a lovely afternoon with our friends. We felt like we were in Disneyland!

"I've often felt that modern life tends to separate all the ages too much. In the old days, the children lived with the parents and grandparents, and the family unit each gave one another something very valuable. So when we began to develop the idea for this winery, we thought it should be like a resort, basically a wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy the best things in life - food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life." ~ Francis Ford Coppola

For more information on Francis Ford Coppola Winery, visit their website here.
If you do plan a visit, let me know and I'll meet your for a glass of wine! Afterall, it's just about 5 miles down the road!


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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Displaying Family Photographs


There is nothing like having family photographs displayed in your home to give it your own personality. For me, it's comforting having photos of my loved ones around me.

It's also an inexpensive way to decorate. For just a few dollars and a couple of favorite photographs, your nightstand can be a transformed into a personal reflection of your life.
Just remember to have your frames relate to each other and the other objects on your table top.

For instance, always group photographs together with similar frames. Here, the black and white photos complement the sterling and crystal frames on a shelf in my master bathroom.

The three frames on the table in our living room in Asti are all similar. Three pictures of our children with their first fish in rustic frames make a cohesive grouping.

A photo vignette on the wine table in our Asti kitchen.

Domino Magazine
Another idea for displaying family photos is to use the large wall on a stairwell to create a gallery. The key here is to have all the frames relate to each other.

This table top vignette looks fabulous because all the photos are black and white in the same sterling frame. It's also interesting to mix old photos with new ones.

Martha Stewart
This is a cute way to display like photos on a wall. Linking them together with ribbon ties all the photographs together.

A ledge is one of my favorite ideas for displaying photographs. I especially love this room.
The old pine hutch on the wall makes a wonderful display for family photos, or various objects d'art.

Architectural Digest
The piano is another venue for displaying photos, like this piano in John McCain's home. Personally, I think this piano might have just a few too many photos! This would never work in our house! I can only imagine the domino effect when #2 Son Alex decides to play "Phantom of the Opera!"

Our own piano in our living room with a lot less photos!
  • Don't hesitate to mix old photos with new ones.
  • Grouping photos on a wall in the hall or stairwell is a great venue for a family photo gallery.
  • Make sure all your frames relate to one another in groupings.
  • There is also the proverbial refrigerator for a fun collection of candid shots!
How do you display your family photographs?
Do you have a special wall or table?
Or are they displayed throughout your home?

Be sure to check out my photo journal at Mise-en-Scène. I plan to post
a photo a day for 365 days!

Also check out Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday where there are lots
of ideas for tabletop vignettes and displays. I'll be participating too.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

21st Century Taxidermy


As I've mentioned in a previous post, antlers and trophies have always been a part of my decor.
My dad was a hunter, so I'm not squeamish about a deer head in a room. In fact, I think it lends an organic feel if done right. So when I saw this white deer trophy last week at Z Gallerie, I wasn't sure what to think.

There was even a moose head! I think these could be fun in a contemporary room, on a dark wall, adding a touch of whimsy. Are we calling it "urban rustic?"

Then, I remembered seeing these replicas of roe deer in Ballard Designs, designed by Suzanne Kasler. Ok, so now I see that this is a 21st century twist on an old theme. After all, not everybody is comfortable with the real deal, especially if raised in an urban environment.

I'll admit, they do look fabulous in this room with an all white theme. They totally compliment the white ironstone and fabric.

Then, today I received the Restoration Hardware catalog in the mail, and guess what?
They have jumped on the taxidermy bandwagon too!

Their antlers look real. I like that. I also like that they are made out of resin, which is much more humane, that's for sure!

I'm quite fooled by this moose antler trophy. It looks so real.

Also in the mail today, was the new Pottery Barn catalog featuring their fall decor.
Yep, they have faux antlers too!

Their "tablescape" with faux antlers and pumpkins is lovely.

I like how designer Carolyne Roehm set this table with antler candleholders, mimicking the antlers on the wall.
I'm also realizing that for me, I do prefer my antlers to at least look real.

This is a bathroom in Bunny Williams' home. Notice her roe deer antlers. You can bet they are real! Not only are they real, but they are probably a hundred years old.

Phoebe Howard designed this room with brown transferware and roe deer antlers giving it an organic, textured look.

In my own home, I used antique roe deer antlers on either side of the mirror in the living room. I have been collecting these for years. It was great to actually have the right amount to make the arrangement complete.

I inherited these old botanicals from my Grandma Carrie. It only seemed right to top them off with an old antler!

I found this old antler which was hung on plywood and trimmed with upholstery nails at a thrift shop. It was just quirky enough in it's handmade design, that I thought it would be fun over the bed in our guest room.

I saw this Black Forest deer trophy at the Round Top Antique Show in Texas.
I was so impressed with the hand carving of the plaque, and also the price!
Way too expensive, but I can see why. It is a one of a kind piece.


Eventually, I found this reproduction Black Forest deer trophy at Bellacor. Don't you think it kind of looks like the Round Top trophy?

It is all resin which is great because I hung it outside over the fireplace in the pool house. I don't have to worry about the weather damaging it. It was also a great price!


Bellacor also sells this three piece set of roe deer antlers. They are so real looking, no one would be able to tell the difference. One of these could sell for over $200 plus if they are authentic, so the three are quite a bargain at $68.95!
For information on Bellacor's faux antlers, click here.

So, in closing, a real deer trophy like this one is just a little too much for some people.

That's ok, because on the other end of the spectrum is this really fake faux deer trophy! Maybe a more comfortable choice for some.
Rustic, yet contemporary in it's urban take on an old theme.
21st century taxidermy!

What are your thoughts on decorating with antlers?
How do you feel about the white "trophies" from Z Gallerie and Ballard Designs?
Do you like Restoration Hardware's realistic "trophies?"
Do you think antlers are the latest decorating fad? Or like me, do you agree they have been around forever and always will be?

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

If The Lampshade Fits


I'm always on the hunt for cool lampshades like this one. I found it at an antique show. It is handmade and one of a kind.

This lampshade is made from a vintage grain sack. It was made by the same artisan as the one above.

I found this lamp and shade at a little boutique in Healdsburg. I've since put this shade on a large vintage alabaster lamp. They seem to compliment each other better.

My latest find at the flea market. Couldn't resist this one. It also casts a wonderful glow when the light is on. I put an amber bulb in this lamp, which makes it even more romantic.

This beautiful linen shade was a resale shop find! You just never know where you might find a treasure.

I found this treasure on Ebay! It is enormous and hangs over the kitchen island.
You can read about how we installed it here.

This handmade toile shade is on a floor lamp in the living room. Talk about romantic glow!

A fun leopard shade. There are four little paper shades on my sconces over the fireplace, adding just a touch of whimsy to the serious crystal fixtures.

This black shade is the only shade that works on this vintage one of a kind tramp art lamp. I have tried other shades, but black seems to compliment the lamp the best.

One of my favorite shades on my dining room hutch was a real bargain. A Target find, believe it or not!

Which brings me to my newest and most expensive "lampshade," costing me well over $100, thank you Dr. Sutter!
I think it is just a little too unusual and quirky for my taste, but proving that if the lampshade fits, then wear it!

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