Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Let There Be Light

When most of the chandeliers and sconces were installed last week, I got a big thrill.
They've been boxed up for far too long, so seeing them all lit up is a big deal.
Especially in the master closet where a small crystal chandelier and seven brass picture lights from Pottery Barn illuminate my favorite room in the house!

Also from Pottery Barn, a crystal chandelier for the master bedroom.

In the living room, I had the electrician wire the cathedral ceiling for a chandelier.
I chose this large, airy French style light from Wisteria.
It's the perfect size.

Also in the living room and dining room, there are these sconces, eight altogether from Aiden Grey.
I topped them with a burlap shade to give them more ooomph.

For 15 months, this chandelier has been packed away.
I insisted on taking it from the old house.
Unfortunately, it's too big for the new dining room.  
Ugh, I planned my whole house around this chandelier!
Not really, but kind of....

Downstairs, in the family room, I found these sconces from Rejuvenation.
Notice the grasscloth?  More on that later...

There's a weird hallway downstairs that I'm planning on turning in to a office
Instead of cans, I installed these hanging pendents from Restoration Hardware.

They tie in with the family room sconces and add warm light to this awkward space.

Last, but not least, I found these nautical brass lights for the atrium.  
They're from Pottery Barn and they resemble a ship's porthole.

I love them, even though they don't exactly match the outside lights around the front and side of the house.

Things are moving along quite fast now.   We should be moved in by mid January.
We better be, because I gave my 30 day notice!  

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

A New Look For An Old Door

One of the few things I have opted not to replace is the front door.
Not because I love it!
In fact, I don't like it at all.  It's cheap and so is the hardware. Plus, it's not even the original, which would have been wonderful.  No, the previous owner who "flipped" our house, decided to replace it with a new door.
I wish I had a better photo.  It is probably mahogany, with a rippled glass window.
To make it worse, there's an iron inset between the glass!  Ugh!

Much to my painter's dismay, I asked him to paint the door black.  Really shiny, marine paint-grade black!

I found this entry set to replace the old, cheap one.  It's bronze and will look nice against the black door.

I plan on hanging a woven wood blind on the inside of the door, which will not only give more privacy, but also I won't have to see that funky glass and iron work!

Outside, I'll hang this wreath that I just ordered from OKL.
A nice doormat and I think the first impression will be a good one.
Who knows, down the road, I may find a better door, but for now, I think I can disguise this old one!
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Goals

Are you as surprised as I am that it's December already?  My mind says it's October still!
I woke up this morning with a little panic because this month is going to be huge.
Yes, it's Christmas, but also the remodel is coming to a close and I'm hoping that we can be celebrating Christmas Day in our new home.
So, here are my December Goals:

Robert the Painter painting the beams and walls BM Soft Chamois
First:  Finish painting the interior of the house.  It begins today and should be finished in two weeks.
That puts us at December 15th.

The master shower doors will be framed in marble.
Second:  Finish off the marble installation.  We have it installed here and there, but not everywhere.
The master bath still doesn't have a countertop!
Forget the other bathrooms.  They are just tiled--no marble.
The powder room faucet from California Faucets.
Third:  Plumbing.  Let's get the toilets, faucets and showers hooked up please before we move in!
There's no way I'm using that nasty porta-potty in the yard!

The living room chandelier from Wisteria.
Fourth:  Lighting and electricity.  I can't wait to see the chandeliers, pendents and sconces installed.  They're boxed up and I don't even remember what they look like--or even where they are!

36" Subzero glass front refrigerator!
Fifth:  The appliances can be delivered anytime after the painting.  
I would love to see them sooner, than later.  Especially, this refrigerator!

Sixth:  Begin moving boxes and small furniture and keep schlepping until it's done, even if it takes all night!
Call a mover for the large items and schedule delivery of all the ordered furniture and rugs that are sitting on a truck in limbo, waiting.

Is it possible?  Can it be done?
It's hard enough to get contractors to show up in San Francisco, let alone at Christmas time!
Fingers crossed....
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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Estate On The Boulevard

 There's a new store in town!
We were driving through Cloverdale last week when I noticed what looked like a fun antique store.
I told Mr. A to hang a u-turn right away.

It was well worth the stop as it is much more than an antique collective.

In other words, not a thrift store but almost a home goods store.

I recognized a couple of dealers, like Cathleen Alyce who once had a shop just outside of  Healdsburg.
I even blogged about her years ago here!

I recognized her booth.  She still finds vintage pieces and then refinishes or paints to refurbish and recycle.

I love seeing stores like this popping up in Cloverdale.

Cloverdale is undergoing a transformation as new businesses open in the heart of downtown.
A young couple just opened a garden nursery, there are cute boutiques, a cool coffee shop and soon the Trading Post Market and Bakery will open, where my son will be baking bread for the community.

Cloverdale reminds me of Healdsburg 20 years ago before it became trendy!
(You can read more about Cloverdale and its local businesses in a recent 7 x 7 article, here.)

Wishing the "4 chicks from the sticks" much success with their store, Estate on the Boulevard!

* * *

On December 4th and 5th, there will be an open market, kicking off the holiday season.
The Cloverdale Winter Market, located in the parking lot of the new restaurant and bakery, The Trading Post will host several wineries and vendors selling jewelry, ceramics and gift items.  There will be live music and food too!
I'm happy that Les M├ęchantes will also be a vendor!
We will have a booth, selling our curated collection of clothing, accessories and gifts.
Stop by and say hi!

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Hardwood Floor Color And Blog Issues

Just when I had this post ready to publish about the hardwood floor color, my blog went dark.
It appears my domain name that I purchased from GoDaddy had lapsed because of an expired credit card on file.  They assured me when I renewed my domain name that my blog would be back in an hour or possibly 48 hours.

By Sunday, it was quite evident that my blog was gone.
I tried everything!  Blogger had me stuck in a continuous redirect loop.
I tried to call Blogger, but there is no number, ever for them.  You're on your own.
GoDaddy eventually fixed the problem for me but it meant hours on the phone.
I'm so grateful that one of their tech support spent the extra time to correct the problem.
Otherwise, Vignette Design was gone forever!

So back to the hardwood floor color....
I ended up mixing Minwax Jacobean and Classic Gray for a grayed down brown that captured the look of the floors I am going for.
Unfortunately, the stain appeared streaked on the herringbone portion of the floors because the installer used the wrong rag when applying the stain.  He sanded the herringbone and reapplied the color with a different rag.

However, he applied the color on the border too, giving the borders two coats of stain.  Now the borders looked darker, almost black.  It wasn't right.
At this point, we were just chasing the stain and my contractor and I made the decision to sand it all down and start over.  Even the installer said he wanted to do it as he was unhappy with the way the floors looked.
Today, the floors are all sanded and ready for stain, but instead we will cover them up because otherwise it will stall the painter, the tiler and the stair installer another week.  The stain will go on later.  

Back to the blog....
Facing the reality that Vignette Design was gone, I had to ask myself if it was a sign to stop blogging.
I'm not posting as much as I used to and maybe this was meant to be.  
What bothered me though were all those years I spent, over 1000 posts, almost 6 million visitors--all gone.  This November marked my 6th year of blogging!
So when Vignette Design went back online last night, I was quite relieved, to say the least!
Thank you to all who follow me and thanks to those who reached out in concern.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015



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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Club Chairs In The Kitchen? You Betcha!

I love it when websites allow you to design your own furniture like Serena and Lily does.
Just plug in your fabric choice and you get an accurate idea of what your new furniture will look like.
For the kitchen club chairs, I wanted a fabric that would hold up to a lot of wear, plus dogs.
This is where I will drink coffee in the morning, work on my computer and sip a glass of wine in the evening while Mr A cooks one of his specialty dishes!
The Serena and Lily Spruce Chair is the perfect, compact size.

The pattern is fairly simple!  Black and white stripes in a heavy cotton with brass nailheads.
I can add a textural throw and pillows to jazz these chairs up.

The best part is that they are crazy comfortable!
I know I will not regret ordering these chairs for the kitchen!

PS:  I returned the barstools from Serena and Lily.
Back to square one and to be continued...

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Is For Succulents

A few months ago, I visited the San Francisco urban nursery, Flora Grubb and purchased this form in hopes of creating a succulent "A" for the wall in our new atrium.  
Yea, that was more than a few months ago actually.
In hindsight, I really should have planted the succulents then, as it takes several months for them to root in order to hang on a wall. 

So, I'm a little late!  
Let's get started...
The medium that holds the succulents is kind of a fiber that at first needs to be soaked.

With tweezers, I made holes and inserted the succulents after their roots were trimmed.

Here is the work in progress.
I tried to vary the succulents to keep the arrangement interesting.

My succulent "A!"

It's not quite as nice as this one which was professionally planted by the Flora Grubb crew, but I can fill in with small succulents later.

Hopefully, by the time we move in to the new house, the "A" will be ready to hang!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Tartan In My Closet For The Holidays

Is it tartan season yet?  
November is the perfect time to bring it out of the closet and wear it!
Here are a few tartan pieces that I plan on wearing this season, starting with these GAP pants.
I plan on dressing them up with heals, or dressing them down with a chambray shirt and tennies.

One of my favorite purchases from last season is this Kate Spade Saturday satchel.
It's been hiding in the drawer for too many months.

Just last week, I splurged on these pumps from Coach.
I'm not sure how I'll walk in them, but OMG how gorgeous are they?
Yes, those are studs along the bottom and they are made out of haircalf!

I don't always wear red tartan...
This coat is a subtle plaid of olive and blue, just in at our store, Les M├ęchantes.
It's by J.O.A. and is the perfect warm coat for fall.

But of all the tartan in my closet, I love this cape the most
It was a gift from my daughter, purchased in Scotland and carried back in her suitcase.
It's the real deal!

Happy Tartan Season!

(I'm joining The Tartan Parade at The Polohouse.)

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Exterior Progress: Paint and Landscape

 This week has been all about landscape--my favorite part of the remodel.
 That's because it is my own design and I get to see my vision come to fruition.

On Monday, 40 white roses, 3 Italian Cypresses, 100 boxwoods and 20 climbing ficus were delivered.
We couldn't plant yet because we had to wait for Tuesday's delivery of 14 olive trees!

 Bright and early on Tuesday morning, literally before sunrise, they arrived!

For the front and side of the house, six Swan Hill multi-branch olive trees were laid out for planting.

 I chose Swan Hill trees because they are non-fruit bearing and disease resistant.
They will be perfect for the San Francisco Marina which gets its share of fog.

 Inside the courtyard, I chose standard Swan Hill trees.  
That means that they grow from a single trunk and can be placed right against the wall.

 As soon as the trees were planted, Martin began planting the boxwood hedge which will border everything.

 What a difference!
Notice the exterior paint is finished too?

 The painters worked non-stop the week before to get it done, knowing the landscape was scheduled to be installed this week.

 The exterior stucco is Benjamin Moore's Chelsea Gray.
The white is a custom match to the new windows and I outlined the interior mullions in black.

 Copper downspouts also were installed prior to planting.
They will patina to a dark copper in a few weeks.

 This morning, I met Martin to finalize the planting.
The three Italian Cypress will punctuate the corner of the house and white Iceberg roses will fill in everywhere else.

 That may seem like a lot of roses, but I feel that to introduce too many different plants in such a small area would create visual chaos.  
Besides, white roses are kind of my signature!

 Finally, the entry is looking like I envisioned.
The copper lights were installed as well, even though they aren't electrified yet.

 The courtyard is looking pretty dramatic with the tall standard trees.
The small plants beneath are "freeway ficus" which eventually will adhere to the wall and create a living green wall behind the trees.  

The trees will eventually be trimmed after they adapt to their new home.
I have plans for a fountain, both in the entry and the courtyard.
It's beginning to look like a home!

This week has been so much fun, not only because I got to play in the dirt, but also have met so many wonderful neighbors who have been so encouraging and complimentary about the remodel.

We can't wait to move in!

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