Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Who Are Your Design Mentors?

Lynn von Kersting
 What do Lynn von Kersting, Penelope Bianchi, Charlotte Moss, Bunny Williams, Charles Faudree and Mary Emmerling all have in common?

Penelope Bianchi
 Well, for starters, they have been a major design influence on me, some of them going way back to the early days when I  was young and trying to decorate our home on a tight budget.

Charlotte Moss
Their interiors are classic, colorful and collected.
And they're pretty!

Bunny Williams
Each one has influenced me in a certain way, whether it be their fearless use of color and pattern, or how they live with their collections that they love.
Bunny Williams calls it "an affair with a house."
My affair with our house is ongoing and I'm always looking for inspiration.

Charles Faudree
I remember when I first saw this room in a magazine. 
I love the red check fabric and the mantel with its cockscomb filled urns.
This room just make me happy then and now.  

Mary Emmerling
 I have over time developed my own design style.  I like to call it "romantic style," as Mary Emmerling writes about in her book of the same title.  

Ralph Lauren
And even though I didn't include Ralph Lauren in the above, he has probably been my biggest design mentor of all.

I still have some of these photos, torn out of magazines and stored in my design ideas binder.
Of course, now there's Pinterest for an endless resource of inspiration, but these are a few of my favorite designers, old and new that have been my design mentors through the years.
To see more of what I love and have pinned as inspiration, visit my Pinterest Boards here.

So what about you?
Who has been your design mentor or influenced you?

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Showcase of Homes - Vignette Design

I'm so honored to be a part of the 2013 Summer Showcase of Homes.  It's been a fabulous week of amazing home tours, and at last, it's my turn to share.
So without further ado, welcome to our home!

Our home was built in 1906, the year of the San Francisco Earthquake.  I've been told that it was probably built as a vacation home for a San Francisco family who would have traveled by horse and buggy, 25 miles south on El Camino Real to spend the summer and escape the City fog. 

It's hard to tell what is original and what has been added on to or "improved" throughout the years, but my take is that it was originally a craftsman style home.
The staircase in the entry hall reflects that style.

The walls are apple green highlighting my "Sunday Paintings" collection of roses on the wall.

To the left of the entry hall, you can see the formal dining room.  But first, let me show you the living room to the right of the entry.

Come on in and have a seat.
I recently updated this room with burlap grasscloth on the walls and new upholstery and curtains.

Apple green velvet on the sofa...

...and red and white paisley for the club chairs.
The bookcase got a new coat of black paint too.

That's not the only thing that got a coat of black paint.
So did all the doors and window sashes, just this week!
I'm loving the new dramatic look.
(Reveal coming soon!)

The new curtains are a heavy cream cotton with a red stripe, reminiscent of a French grain sack.

The oil painting of cut roses is from 1907 and was painted by a local artist.
It was the very first piece of art that we bought years ago!

Let's go across the hall to the formal dining room.

The apple green color is carried through to this room too in the form of damask wallpaper.

The curtains are floral linen, repurposed from the living room.

The captain's chairs are slipcovered in Hungarian grain sack material and monogrammed.

 I love mixing patterns!
The dining room is the perfect place to do that too.

Mr. A surprised me with the Welsh Cupboard many years ago for my birthday.  Originally, the inside was painted yellow, but of course I painted it apple green!
It's fun to change out the plates seasonally.

The rustic luxe tablescape is a mix of  burlap and aged candlesticks mixed with a bronze and crystal Victorian urn, an heirloom passed down from Mr. A's mother.

It is my favorite piece and the perfect container for romantic summer hydrangeas, straight from the garden.

Looking to the right of the dining room is my favorite room, the sunroom.

 This room is "command central!"
Since I'm drawn to small, cozy rooms, I spend most of my time in the sunroom when at home.

 This is where I sip coffee in the morning, meditate, read, blog, talk on the phone or pay bills!

 From this room, I can see if I have visitors since three sides are all windows.

 Oscar keeps watch from the sunroom too, letting me know if someone is passing by or if Mr. A is home.

The kitchen connects to the sunroom and is the heart of our home!

It got a facelift last year with new paint on the cabinets, taking them from cream to green.

Although I suck at cooking, two of my grown children are cooks and Mr. A isn't bad either!
Thank God he loves to cook, or I would starve!

Hence, the stove! 

I'm pretty good at keeping the refrigerator stocked though!
The glass front refrigerator isn't for everyone, but for me it's a dream come true.
I love "fridge-scaping" it.

The countertops are honed Calacatta Oro marble, and the backsplash is simple white subway tile.

I love the grain of this marble, it just gets better with age.
However, if you want perfection, this isn't for you.  It stains, it etches and it chips easily.
But I love it!

 The paint finish is distressed, so why not the marble?

 With two dogs and a cat, things are going to get worn anyway!

The family room is connected to the kitchen and features sofas upholstered in heavy oatmeal colored linen.
We don't watch much TV (unless it's baseball), but when we do, this is the only room with a television.

The breakfast area beyond features a built-in banquette with an extra long farm table and wicker chairs.

We can seat the whole family here for Sunday suppers!

The tablescape is another rough luxe mix of French confit and demijohns with a little olive tree thrown in.
A collection of majolica plates above the window and a French tole chandelier complete the look.

Down the hall from the family room is a little guest room...

...a full bathroom,

And the laundry room!
Notice, it has a door to the outside?
So does the bathroom, making it convenient for days by the pool.

Let's go upstairs!

I'm only showing a glimpse of our master bedroom!
It is a room that has evolved over time with both new, antique and hand me down furniture.
Nothing matches, and I like it that way!

The botanicals above the bed are from my grandmother.  The Persian rugs and bedside table are from my mother-in-law.  The wicker trunk and alabaster lamps are antique.
I designed the bed and had it upholstered in green velvet.

The master bathroom has a clawfoot tub, shower and separate vanity area.
The antique bamboo armoire is another one of my favorite pieces.
I found the slipper chair at Goodwill and had it upholstered in that toffee check that we all know and love!

 I love filling the armoire with stacks of  towels!

The vanity area between the two sinks is an example of "organized clutter."
Trust me, it doesn't always look like this!
The triptych mirror is vintage and is a perfect place to hang all my necklaces, a trick I borrowed from designer Mary Emmerling!

The only other upstairs bedroom that I'll let you see is this one, which was our youngest son's room.
All his posters, signed baseballs, fossils and memorabilia were recently put away.
Now it's a guest room for when my mom comes to visit.

 A vintage style bathroom is right down the hall.
It was the very first bathroom I remodeled back in 2001.
The floor is black tile with white rosettes that I designed, thinking I was clever!

There is a little sitting/reading room off the upstairs hallway...

 ...that has a balcony overlooking the front yard.  It is original to the house.
Mr. A and I like to sit up here and watch the world go by, sipping a glass wine.
We've reclaimed it from the teenagers that used to live here!

Our house has seen its fair share of parties over the years, from little league to band parties and even a couple of 50th birthday parties. It has been a wonderful home to raise our children, and it is full of memories.
Although we've lived here for nearly 15 years, we know that eventually we will pass it on to the next family who will create their own memories.
That's the beauty of this old home--we are just a small part of her history!
Thanks for visiting!

Be sure to visit the other five home tours scheduled for today:
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