Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration: Uniquely Chic

We stopped in to say "Hi" to Barbara at her store, Uniquely Chic on Saturday. Am I ever glad we did too.

Barbara could hardly contain herself with excitement. She announced that the one and only Fifi O'Neill is coming to Healdsburg in July, to Uniquely Chic for a book signing!

I said, "Fifi O'Neil, the author of Romantic Prairie Style? Are you kidding me?"
"Yes, that Fifi!" said Barbara.
I'm so excited for Barbara, and so excited to meet Fifi!

A lot has happened since my last visit to Uniquely Chic. Barbara started a blog, just last Friday. It's called Uniquely Chic Floral and Home. Check it out!
And now Fifi O'Neill is coming for a very special book signing!

Her store looks amazing too. Both floral and giftware, it is pure eye candy.
Fifi is going to love Barbara's store.

I love Barbara's store! I love stopping in and perusing her unique giftware. She has such a talent for displaying her merchandise. It is truly inspiring to me.

That being said, my dream is to have a store like this someday!
It was actually Number 8 on my "Design Bucket List." Remember?

It's not going to happen anytime soon though.
In the meantime, I'll continue to be inspired by Barbara and live vicariously through her.
Possibly an online store? Maybe! But I digress....

Mark your calendars for July 13th.
Fifi O'Neill at Uniquely Chic!
I will definitely be there!

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering Steve

36 years ago today, in the wee hours of the morning, our family lost this fine, young man. He was only 24 years old at the time, the same age that my daughter is now. I was only 21.
I looked up to Steve. He was my older cousin who I was very proud of.

Steve accomplished a lot in his short life. At the time of his death, he was certainly already a legend. I am proud of all of his achievements as a runner, but also for his activism and outspokenness.

He was never too busy to call or visit his family, or to sign autographs, especially if it was for a child.
I love what he wrote on this "Norman Rockwell-like" photo:
"Rocky, Thank you for holding my string. Maybe someday, I'll be holding the string for you.
Your Friend Always, Steve Prefontaine"

Steve had lots of string holders! This photo, circa "the 70's" is a snapshot in time, of another era. He is wearing Nike shoes, the first athlete ever to do so.

Although Steve is gone from us, his spirit lives on. Young athletes who were born years after his death, look to him for inspiration. Steve's sister Linda wrote this tribute:

"It is very hard to describe. We are so used to the physical body that so many times we forget what truly is the heart and soul of an individual. It is his spirit. We spend so much time worrying about our appearance, our physical bodies, and yet that’s not what lasts for eternity. It is the spirit that lives forever. You are the perfect example of the power of the spirit. Your body perished in a moment. The world was no longer privileged to watch your artistry. but your spirit survived and continues to thrive, and grow, and you leave your mark on someone, somewhere, every day. Although your body was limited to time and space and boundaries, your spirit knows them not. From the West Coast to the East, from Canada to Mexico, Germany, France, Italy and places afar, you touched the souls of many."
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

An Amazing Anniversary Dinner

Today is our anniversary, but we celebrated last night at The Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg.
Amazing food, amazing restaurant!

We had an amazing bottle of wine that we've been saving. A 25 year old Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

An amazing desert of chocolate and peanut butter torte ended our perfect anniversary evening.
29 years and counting!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Romance Of Kilims

Pottery Barn
Kilims! I'm in love with them right now!

When I was in NYC, I took note of Ralph Lauren's California Romantic room, and how he used them layered everywhere, even draped over the coffee table. I was smitten!

High Gloss Magazine
Lately, I've noticed them a lot in kitchens, like this one designed by Jamie Meares.

I now have a kilim in my kitchen, and I love the new look. It is actually an indoor/outdoor rug from Pottery Barn. Just hose it off if it gets dirty!

House and Home
Kilims look great in traditional rooms, as well as contemporary rooms.

I like how Peter Dunham designed this library/dining room and anchored it with an antique kilim rug. It's the pop of color that this otherwise dark and monochromatic room needed.

Not all kilims are tribal designs. Some are floral, like this brown Bessarabian Kilim in our Asti guest house. Layered over the cement floor, it lends a little romance to the sitting room.

House and Home
Old Kilims make great upholstery for ottomans and cushions....

Ralph Lauren
....as well as great pillows like Ralph used in this rustic outdoor setting.

Kathryn Ireland used kilims as runners in this outdoor loggia.
I think this looks absolutely amazing!

I love it so much that I ordered the large version of my new PB indoor/outdoor kilim that is in my kitchen for the pool house loggia in Asti. It arrived yesterday, so stay tuned.

Wishing everyone a fabulous holiday weekend!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Family Room Sources and a Reality Check

I've received a few emails and comments asking where I bought my family room furniture.
The sofa and loveseat came from Crate and Barrel. This is the stock version, available for immediate delivery.

My inspiration for this style was from this photo in House Beautiful of a house in Napa.
I like the one, long bench seat cushion and the fluffy back cushions. Even the ticking stripe was a consideration.

So when we visited the Crate and Barrel showroom floor, and I saw the floor model, I asked if it could be customized to my specifications. No problem, they said.

I found the 100% linen and had it shipped to the manufacturer. I also changed the nailheads from silver to dark bronze. Then we waited four months for delivery!

I ordered the seagrass rug from Home Decorator's catalog.
The wool kilim is a Pottery Barn rug that I found on Ebay.

The wicker trunk is from Williams-Sonoma Home, last year.

The pine sofa table is from Sonoma Country Pine.
The table top accessories, lamps and cement container from One Kings Lane.

This is how I want my family room to look all the time.
Neat and tidy, pillows fluffed, fresh flowers on the table. Photo shoot worthy.
But no. With my son home from college for a month, and other grown kids visiting and spending the night, it does not look like this!

Reality Check!
This is what my sofa looked like this morning! I give up!
I should have ordered the biggest sectional I could find, and upholstered in teflon!

The reality is that life is messy. Kids and dogs are messy.
I'm reminded of my favorite quote by Albert Hadley:
"Make your home as attractive and comfortable as possible and then get on with living. There's more to life than decorating."

Sometimes "the home within us" isn't in sync with the home we live in!
Is your home photo-shoot worthy at all times?

I'm joining Kim from Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays.
My reality check family room is sure to wow everyone, I'm sure!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

How To Feed 300 High School Seniors

Just when I thought my volunteer days at the high school were over, my daughter's company, Tourshi Catering was asked to provide the food for the 300 graduating seniors of Burlingame High School for their brunch. Of course my kitchen was commandeered!

All day today, we made 300 yogurt and fruit parfaits, 450 wraps, 20 gallons of pasta salad, 15 gallons of cole slaw, bagels and various flavored cream cheeses. Root beer floats will also be served!
Luckily, a lot of moms will be available to serve the food. I remember doing the same when all four of my kids graduated from BHS!

With the refrigerator and freezer packed full, I came up with a solution for keeping the rest cold.

My claw foot bathtub!

The other bathtub too! As well as several plastic tubs in the garage of pasta salad packed with ice. It all gets delivered at 8:30 AM tomorrow!
Needless to say, I'm exhausted! Which is why Tuesday Inspiration just might not happen this Tuesday!

Congratulations to the Burlingame High School class of 2011!

I'm joining Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just Like Heaven

Yesterday, May 21st came and went without The Rapture. Still, we took no chances and headed north to Asti.

We figured that if the world was going to end, then this is where we wanted to be.

It has been a long time since we were here.
When we arrived yesterday, the sun was casting that warm afternoon glow on everything. As we walked around, taking inventory of the roses and lavender, we looked at each other and said....

"Rapture or no rapture, we're in heaven anyway!"

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Family Room Reveal: New Sofa and Loveseat

The new family room sofa and loveseat finally arrived! Maybe now my family will stop complaining about not having enough places to sit in here!

It was such a big decision: a sectional or a sofa and loveseat. My family pushed hard for a sectional, but I just couldn't do it!

As you can see, I've wrapped a paisley throw on the sofa seat, to protect it from the dog and number 2 son, home for the summer from college.

It's is a new look, with the neutral linen...

...instead of the strong colors I had in here before.
The red sofa found a new home in the sunroom.

Here is the room before replacing the rug with a seagrass rug.

The new seagrass rug. Still experimenting with decorative pillows and throws!

Last night, the Kilim rug I found on Ebay arrived. I'm not sure about the colors, but I do like the layered, tribal look.

The family room this morning, after playing around with more pillows.

Maybe an animal hide rug would be better? Whatever I decide, I'm enjoying the process of updating the family room. My family is very happy with the arrangement too!

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