Monday, January 30, 2017

Wreaths Symbolize Welcome And Unity

Nothing says welcome like a festive wreath, and over the years, I've hung many different wreaths on our front door.
Wreaths symbolize welcome and unity with their branches, leaves and flowers forming a perfect ring.

This one was from 2010 which I found in the wine country. 
It gave me the idea to use upholstery webbing to embellish future wreaths.

Like this one for the holidays.

Lately, Ive been all about boxwood wreaths, both for the holidays and year round.
I like this one, hung with upholstery webbing from Houzz.
It's clean and simple.

Here is a preserved boxwood wreath hung with black and white stripe ribbon.
So fresh and perfect for spring.

 Wreaths aren't just for the door though.
Lately, I've been hanging them indoors on mirrors.

For the holidays, I hung this boxwood wreath on the entry mirror with plaid ribbon.
I'll replace the ribbon, but keep the wreath for a few more months.

In Asti, I hung a preserved boxwood wreath on the living room mirror, bringing a touch of green to the room.

Magnolia leaves also make a wonderful wreath, like this one from Lonny.
Traditionally, they are for the holidays, but I like them year round.
They can be embellished with dried hydrangeas and other florals.

I recently found this magnolia wreath in the wine country.
It was time to replace the Christmas wreath!
I think it is timeless, transcending the seasons, don't you?

In Asti, I hung a natural branch wreath on one of the doors.
Since there is no front door, per se, putting a wreath on the dining room door creates a sense of entry.

 It is made from material that can be found on our property.
Moss and branches.
It says "welcome" to our home.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Kitchen Tour

I've been meaning to share my new kitchen with y'all for a long time, but just haven't gotten around to it.  
You've probably seen it in the distance, lurking in the shadows...

So today, I cleaned off the counters, bought some flowers and staged the kitchen for a photoshoot and reveal.

But, let's back up for a little before and after action.
The kitchen during the tiling phase.
I chose white subway tile for the backsplash and took it all the way to the ceiling.

 After the tile was installed, the cabinets were painted onsite.

I chose classic soapstone counters which have held up very well.
They were oiled a year ago, and still look great.

My white porcelain collection looks even better in this black and white kitchen.

In fact, I have found that everything looks good in a black and white kitchen--even plaid or transferware.

 The few pieces of my beloved majolica are right at home too.

 Notice the pot filler over the stove?
I was totally against it, but my contractor insisted that I would love it.
Yea, he was right!

But my favorite part of the kitchen is the refrigerator!
I loved the glass fronted refrigerator in our old house, but couldn't manage to take it with us.
This one is smaller though and perfect for the space.

We live in this room!
Having two club chairs in the kitchen definitely helps keep us cozy.
We have our morning coffee here every day.

Oscar has his little bed right along side!
Just outside the window is the atrium that leads to the roof deck.

I was lucky to be able to squeeze in a small breakfast table.
It's also where we eat our dinner! 

Drapes in a John Robshaw fabric keep the kitchen cozy too.

We inherited the Persian rugs from Mrs. A.
I love how they warm up the space.

 A close up of the sink area.
Since we are in the City, the view isn't so great.
I solved that problem with woven shades and planted rosemary topiaries outside the window.

The drawer and cupboard to the left of the sink is actually the dishwasher.
The other side of the sink houses the garbage in the large pull-out drawer.

Our new kitchen has been such a joy and I can honestly say, if we ever move, I will just have to recreate it all over again in the next house!
After all, how can you go wrong with black and white?

Refrigerator:  Sub-Zero
Stove and microwave:  Wolf
Dishwasher:  Bosche
Wine Cooler:  GE Monogram
Countertops:  Soapstone
Backsplash:  Adko subway tile
Lanterns:  Ballard Designs
Pendant:  Restoration Hardware
Drapery Fabric:  John Robshaw
Woven Blinds:  Presidio Classics
Dining Table:  World Market
Dining Chairs:  Arhaus
Counter Stools:  One Kings Lane
Club Chairs:  Serena and Lily

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Time Flies

A year ago this week, we moved into our home in the City, after a whole year of construction.
It was well worth the wait, but in hindsight, we probably could have waited a few weeks longer.
But, I just needed to be here!

Truth be told, I needed to be here so that I could finish off the design while living in the house.

I made a few mistakes ordering furniture pre-move in, but luckily I was able to correct them.
The dining table was the perfect choice for this room though and was delivered a few days before moving day.

It was so much fun hanging our clothes in the master closet after a year in the rental with no closet space!
Here it is on moving day.
To be staged later.

In March, we finally got our window coverings, so we no longer were living in a fish bowl!

They made such a difference.
The house finally felt like it was coming together.

Slowly, the rest of the furniture arrived.
The sofa from Restoration Hardware came in June.
The coffee table and chairs from Williams-Sonoma Home soon after.

The family room sat empty for a while.

Eventually, it came to me to furnish it with a leather sectional and hang my collection of pastoral oil paintings above.  

With most of the inside coming together, I decided on a whim one day to hang the vintage floral oil paintings in the garage that once lived on our stair wall in the old house.

Which brought me to the idea to just use the same paint that I used on the outside of the house, inside.
Now the paintings really stand out.
It give me such pleasure to see them, even in the garage!

Probably the biggest project though was finishing off the roof deck with plants for privacy.
Martin hoisted every shrub up to the deck with a rope and pulley.

Planting day ended up being one of the rainiest days of the year!

A few weeks later, he hoisted the furniture up.
It was a nail biter!

The finished deck.
Thank you Martin!

I still had a few projects left in me though.
I eventually bit the bullet and ordered wallpaper for the dining room.
It was a little scary to paper this room because it's oval and there are arches without moulding.
The installer was flawless though, and I'm so glad I did it!

The finished dining room!

I also wrapped the guest room in the same paper, in the charcoal stripe.
Finally, the house was done.
No more "projects!"

I don't think a house is ever really "done."
It evolves over time as centerpieces come and go, decorative objects are moved around, shelves are restyled, linens are refreshed, and pillows updated.
That's the fun part--being creative in your living space.

When we sold our old house, I felt like I lost my design muse, but after a year in our new house, I feel like I found my muse again.

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