Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday's Mindful Home #3

"Make your home as attractive and comfortable as possible and then get on with living. There's more to life than decorating."
--Albert Hadley

Great advise from one of my favorite designers, reminding us to go outside and smell the roses, spend the day with the ones we love. That's exactly what I intend to do today.

Have a wonderful Sunday!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tuscan Style Magazine

I am so excited to share our big news!
Our home in the wine country has been chosen for Tuscan Style magazine!
I can't believe I just said that! But, yes, the photo shoot is scheduled for early September, and I am so thrilled!

I'm looking forward to finally meeting in person, Bonnie Broten, Regional Editor for Meredith Publications who will be styling our home, as well as John Granen, who will be the photographer.

I have a feeling this might have been the photo that "sealed the deal!"

It all started back in January when I wrote about a book my daughter gave me for Christmas here. The book is called "New Cottage Style." I fell in love with a house in the book and even took a couple of pictures of the photos in the book. Well, guess what? It was Bonnie Broten's house!

She had been "stalking" my blog for a while (her words!), so it was quite a shock for her to see her home featured! She called me and we became instant friends! As a scout, she was very interested in our home in Asti, so I sent a few photos....The rest, as they say, is history!

So, now that we know the photo shoot is a sure thing, we are trying to get everything spruced up.
Flowers are being planted and weeds are getting whacked.

Windows are being washed and just last weekend, the crushed granite path was refreshed.

Since Asti is two hours away, we are relying heavily on this man. All I can say is, thank God for Ventura, who makes everything happen and is super excited too for us. I don't know what I would do without him! He has such great ideas and I trust him explicitly.

I just bought the newest issue of Tuscan Home, and as I look through, I still can't believe our house is going to be featured! Are you kidding? Two years ago, I never would have thought that this would happen.

I look forward to sharing the details of the photo shoot with you all....

I'm joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Cheese Platter Giveaway!

"Simple. Classic. Undeniably gorgeous...Bold black lettering across the front depicts the obvious for this round ceramic cheese platter."

That's the product description for this 14 inch cheese platter from Joanne Hudson Basics that I'm giving away to one lucky winner! The reason? I just reached 1000 followers! This is my thank you to all who faithfully read and follow Vignette Design, because this blog wouldn't exist without all of you!

So, how to win this gorgeous piece?

*Leave a comment. It's that simple.
(Of course I would love it if you follow Vignette Design publicly through Google Friends Connect if you haven't already done so, but it isn't necessary to enter this giveaway.)

*If you are feeling ambitious, post this contest to your social media site, such as Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Follow me on Twitter or "Like" me on Facebook, for even more chances to win.

*Leave an extra comment to let me know what you did additionally.

This giveaway is open to anyone in the continental U.S.
Make sure I have your contact information, especially if you comment anonymously.
The winner will be picked with the random number generator and announced August 1st.

Good Luck!
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration: Bar Stools--The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Picking bar stools as the subject for Tuesday's Inspiration is kind of a joke, since I have found very few bar stools that are stylish or inspirational. This cane bar stool from Ballard Design though is an exception to the rule. It is not only stylish, but the seat can be easily reupholstered in your own fabric, giving it a custom look.

Ballard also has this bar stool, which can also be customized.

Buckingham Interiors
Here it is customized in a fun turquoise fabric. I'm loving this chair! The nail heads and the COM option make this chair a winner. With one exception: I am not a fan of the swivel!

It just seems to me that bar stools should be like regular chairs that don't turn! I love these leather chairs, but I suspect they swivel!

The swivel bar stool reminds me of this chair growing up! We had something very similar, and my brother and I were always spinning around and hitting the counter.

I think the swivel idea is a carry over from vintage mid-century design, when bar stools were relegated to the basement or family room bar. Let's take a look at some bar stools from the past.

A pair of bar stools from the 40's. Not bad, not bad...

Ah, there is nothing like avocado green naugahyde!

Can someone say "Meet George Jetson?"

At least these classics from the 50's don't swivel!

And my personal favorite....!
Have you had enough?

Restoration Hardware
Let's take a look at my favorite picks from a few retail sources.
This retro chair from Restoration Hardware has a fabulous industrial chic look.
Can't you see it in a NYC loft?

A classic metal stool, reminiscent of a science lab. For some reason, I don't mind that these swivel!

Another classic, this metal industrial stool is from Pottery Barn.

Southern Accents
Industrial style stools looking great in a traditional kitchen.

I prefer a traditional bar stool though, like this caned back stool from Restoration Hardware.

Or this classic, traditional chair, also from Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware
This chair is very popular right now.

This French style chair from Pottery Barn has been around a while.

Country Living
I like how it can be gussied up with a simple, pleated slipcover.

Southern Living
Another slipcover option, these chairs are adorable!

Southern Living
Really fancy slipcovered bar stools. Maybe a little too much for my taste...

House Beautiful
Loveseat bar stools? I'm not so sure...

I saw this plaid upholstered chair at ABC Carpet and Home in NYC recently.
What a beauty!

Then, there was this unique stool that I saw in Santa Fe. I like how it is simple, yet stylish with the barley twist legs. The upholstery webbing is a great idea, and one that can be copied easily.

Restoration Hardware
Sometimes, the simpler, the better.
A simple stool, upholstered in burlap. Perfect for a natural, rustic look.

Noir Furniture
Simone from Antique Style sent me a link for this chair, which is similar to the black version I almost bought at Big Daddy's Antiques. Love the burlap seat!

Another natural approach: kubu wicker from Restoration Hardware.

Pottery Barn has this wicker option.

Or these seagrass stools, which I love.
They remind me of our bar stools in Asti.

We found them at the Alameda Antiques Faire, from Big Daddy! They are a thin woven kubu wicker and they replaced the green stools that came with the house.

There is nothing wrong with these chairs, but I love the wicker ones better for that rustic look that goes well in the wine country.

I think bar stool design has come a long way since I was a kid, and even a long way in the last ten years. Companies like Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Wisteria and Ballard Designs are paying attention to customer demands.
It is about time!

Stay tuned this week for a special giveaway, an exciting announcement and a reveal...

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Monday, July 25, 2011


It looks like we now have a cat.
I've been in denial about this fact for a while, but since we have a litter box, a bag o' cat food and numerous toys around the house, I'm forced to accept that my daughter's cat, Butter now lives here. I even bought her a little collar with bells to wear!

I'm smitten! How could a person who doesn't particularly care for cats fall in love with one?

You see, Butter isn't your ordinary cat. She is a cat who acts like a dog!
And since I'm a dog lover, her little dog-like personality has captured my heart.

I'm not the only one who is smitten! Alex is trying to figure out how he can take her back to school with him in the fall!

Even Dexter doesn't mind her! And he hates cats!

So what does she do that is different from the ordinary, aloof, independent cat?
First of all, she comes when I call her. And she is super affectionate. Almost too much so.
She has a habit of touching my face with her paw when I hold her. So cute!

She has a unique way of drinking. First, she dips her paw in the milk.

Then, she licks the milk off her paw. How cute is that?

Butter ended up here because her mom, Ashley decided to move to New Mexico, a place hostile to little kitties. So for now, she is here where she is safe. And loved!


Butter is joining "Baby Kitty's" birthday par-tay at Confessions of a Plate Addict.

O.M.G. I've become one of those crazy cat ladies!

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