The best part of spending time in Asti is being outside, enjoying nature--the "flora and fauna" if you will.
Asti engages all the senses, from the peaceful quiet, to the scent of lavender and roses, or the beauty of the surrounding vineyards and oaks. Wherever you are, there is always something to experience.
There are many places to just sit and enjoy, like the table under the Mulberry tree above...
...or by the poolside.
Perhaps an old iron bench is where you want to sit and reflect.
This grass knoll in front of the house is another place to sit and observe.
At night, we build a big fire and watch for shooting stars!
An occasional deer sighting is always a treat.
Even the pesky turkeys are amusing to watch.
You just never know what creature might turn up here.
After all, it is completely surrounded by wild, untamed land.
I'm always on the look-out for coyotes or mountain lions!
And yes, snakes! This one is a harmless garter snake, but there are rattlesnakes to watch out for too.
There are so many birds! I could sit for hours and just watch them...
...especially at dusk when they perform their dances and swoop down for a drink.
The bees love the lavender!
There is an arbor that runs along the front of the house...
...where a European table grape called Black Monukka happily grow.
They are the sweetest grapes ever!
Olive trees grow happily here too. In the late fall, we pick them and make our own olive oil.
No matter where you look, there is a view.
But my favorite view is looking east...
...toward Rodney Strong's "Wild Oak" vineyard.
It's like one big giant flat screen television! Except for the change of seasons, the scene stays the same. A huge patchwork quilt of cabernet grapes!
It is such a pleasure to be outdoors in Asti.
We usually end up taking our meals al fresco and staying out late, watching the stars and the moon.
We don't do that in town. The light from the city dulls the night sky, not to mention all the sounds from airplanes to sirens.
But in Asti, when the weather is nice, being outside is the point! Especially at night!
Above, is the pool house bedroom. It's a cozy little room, perched atop the pool house and subsequently has some fantastic views.
Downstairs, the bathroom also serves as a changing room for the pool and spa.
A pair of terry robes and spa slippers are at the ready.
There are two en suite bedrooms in the main house.
This one is upholstered in a lively linen stripe, giving it the atmosphere of a circus tent.
The tiny bathroom that services this bedroom packs a lot of punch in the small space.
Right next door is the "master" bedroom, only because it has a king bed and a larger bathroom.
Both bathrooms have black granite countertops and black slate floors.
Walls are a golden Venetian plaster.
Just outside both bedrooms is this odd little room. It could be an office, but I use it as a "reading room." Walls are also upholstered in taupe linen. The leather chair is from the local consignment store too. Faux bamboo table is vintage.
There is a powder room between the kitchen and mudroom.
We consider the bedroom in the guest cottage our master bedroom.
We love waking up here with the views from three French doors.
The bathroom has a walk-in shower and a marble topped vanity from Restoration Hardware.
The shower curtain is made out of terry cloth, and the floors are raw concrete.
The sitting room in the front of the cottage can also serve as a bedroom.
The sofa is a hide-a-bed and came with the house. A brown floral kilim rug ties all the colors together.
A series of framed prints of Tuscany and Umbria hang above the sofa bed.
My favorite nook is in the kitchen!
The room is an octagon, so there are lots of angles to deal with.
The previous owners had a breakfast table here, but I decided this nook would be better enjoyed with two club chairs instead.
The table is an antique wine table which is large enough for the two of us to share dinner.
A pair of grape tole sconces found at the Hillsborough Antique Faire hang above the chairs.
The mudroom as staged for the photo shoot, qualifies as an entry of sort.
The antique settle came from Jimtown in Sonoma County.
Grape botanical prints are flea market finds.
I also framed a vintage feed sack that I found at Round Top.
In the dining room, an open door shows the view towards the olive trees.
A pair of sconces found at an antique store in Healdsburg hang on the wall.
The dining room table, staged for the Tuscan Style photo shoot.
This is where we sit in the winter, sipping a glass of wine and enjoying the warmth of the fire.
I had these chairs upholstered in Ralph Lauren leopard linen with nail heads. The drapes behind are green and cream stripe linen.
Without question though, the best part of Asti is outside.
Stumbled across your blog from another...so enjoyable to visit a California home. Lovely. We lived in California in the 70's when my husband was in graduate school in Berkeley. Such a beautiful time period when we were young traveling all over Northern Cal. We kept a winter home in La Quinta for 16 years, a nice respite from our Boulder Colorado winters where we have lived since 1982. I hope all is safe for your wine country home these days. I have been quite saddened at all the changes and issues in California over the past years. It will always feel like my true home of the heart.
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