Since completing our house remodel five years ago, I’ve received numerous inquiries regarding the specific details, manufacturers, colors and brands we used, so I created a series of posts that highlight each part of the house and include the information that you might be interested in. If I’ve left anything out, please feel free to inquire in the comments section below and I will reply there.
To start, I thought it would make sense to take a look at the exterior of the house before:
The biggest flow issue we faced, was the lack of a front door or even any sort of a clear entry to the house. That’s a problem! The glass doors in the center of the house (black square above) opened to a brick floored, 6′ x 6′ interior ‘courtyard’. There were two exterior doors – one on each side wall leading to different parts of the house. This was an issue because visitors would never in a million years know this. They would twirl around in the driveway looking around as if the entrance would eventually reveal itself. So, the kitchen door (where the stairs lead above) by default, became the main entry to the house.
Another big issue – there wasn’t a garage only a one car carport. Notice the driveway on the right. Whether or not to give up that extra parking and turnaround space was a big decision. In the end, we were able to take space from the basement to make a 2-car garage and the new driveway allowed for several cars, so we were able to add fruit trees, landscaping and a stone pathway.
You are probably saying to yourself right about now, ‘What on earth was she thinking buying that ugly thing?’ To be totally honest, it was love at first sight. To me, the house had the right bones – big rooms, not much wasted space, great natural light, but mostly it was because it just felt happy, like it had good ghosts.
So, to make things easier for you, I created a cheat sheet at the bottom of this post with all the specifications, links and details about each item for which I receive the most inquiries.
Hi to you. I am writing from the airplane on my way back home from Washington, DC. It was a last minute trip to help take care of my sweet 94 year-old grandmother. Every time I visit, I am struck with such nostalgia… Mostly the memories are from the year I spent living with them right after college and starting my first ‘real’ job. Coming home each night to my cute grandparents, a home cooked meal and the pink and green bedroom my grandmother had wallpapered for me prior to my arrival, was the icing on the cake for my not-so-worldly twenty-one year-old self. Spending these recent few days with her knowing they may be our last, was so special.
ps -will this rain ever stop?
Several years ago, on one of my pursuits for cast away vintage treasures which often nets zero results, I hit the mother lode. I found four chairs that at first glance looked rather sad and lacking potential. Thankfully I went back, took another look and saw past the chipped orange shellac finish and ugly roses. The wheels began to turn. Below is a photo from that day.
Needless to say, I bought the four chairs. The first step was to remove the finish. I had no idea what the wood underneath would reveal, but if it was good, the plan as to what to do next would start to unfold. The photo below was after the first stripping.
The ugly roses had to go, Another few rounds of sanding revealed the most beautiful natural wood. Despite the strong opinion of the wood refinisher, I opted to not put any finish or paint on them.
The next step was the upholstery. We created a stripe by using charcoal gray and natural linen on the front, and all charcoal on the back. The visual of them facing each other and seeing the back of one and front of another looks really nice.
At the time, I was about to open my first pop-up shop, so I put them in the window. They sold the first day.
With the other two chairs I tried something a little different, but in my opinion, just as beautiful.
I have not had the opportunity to show these beauties off in the last few pop-up shops because they were in the back of my storage unit. I just went through it and am sorting out gems to put on the shop website and what to pass along. When I saw these chairs once again, I was struck with how truly spectacular they are. Please email me directly to inquire.
A contemporary refresh of a living and dining room in a rental house that will transition to a permanent home down the road.
Happy Holidays…. I hope this time of year brings you joy, rest and relaxation, laughter and above all, lots and lots of love.
I've wanted to post this project for some time… Super cute young family in a rental home wanted a completely new look that included timeless pieces they could take with them to a future home (whatever the style may be) yet with a feel that reflected the present.
The sofa and coffee table were the only pieces that stayed. The little side table is blue lacquered grasscloth.
The color scheme of navy blue and white is evident in this geometric wool rug.
The new dining room chairs are covered in Perennials stain resistant fabrics. The painting that hung previously was replaced with four mirrors which fill the space better, adds more light and make the room feel a little bigger.
This bar piece is really fun. It separates the spaces and also provides much needed storage for glassware and table linens.
The table top is weathered black and the trestle base is white.
Thanks for taking a tour with me! I hope you enjoyed it!
The transformation of an unused space to walk-in Pantry in a modern Farmhouse style.
One of the seredipitous occurances during our house design process was ending up with a walk-in pantry aka a Butler’s Pantry. Originally the space was going to be opened up making the TV nook into a full-size family room.
We could not extend beyond the existing footprint of the house or else we would end up in permit HELL, so I decided to re-purpose some unused space – a huge wet bar in the center of the house (a common design element here in Marin County in home’s built in the 50’s). It’s gone and in its place are two spaces that we didn’t have before and are thrilled to have now – a pantry and a powder room. Voila!
Deciding what kind of door or whether to have a door at all took some time. At one point I considered painted double doors, as well as a sliding barn door but decided against both because I thought they would be hard to open if hands are full of groceries, platters, etc.
My grandparents had a swinging door that separated their kitchen and dining room in their home and I remembered how easy it was to push it open with an armload. My contractors located the hardware and then came what it should look like. I went with stained Alder because it was less pricey than Walnut and a farmhouse-style plank + X.
Open shelving is really important in a pantry, so everything is easily accessible.
When I had a party a few weeks ago, I set up a cocktail bar in the pantry. I decided to leave the cocktail ingredients out, because I love the festive look, especially with the holiday season here. For last minute get-togethers, all I need to do is put out a bowl of lemon and lime wedges and a bucket of ice. All the ingredients are here for guests to help themselves.
Every time I have a party that has more guests than the previous, I buy more stemless wine glasses to match the new total. I get my glasses here.
The countertop is Calacutta marble and is the remnant from the kitchen. Double serendipity!
The tall cabinet is for mops, brooms and cleaning supplies.
I found this ceiling mount Industrial Light Fixture here.
Small spaces are so intriguing aren't they? Here are a few pantry's that I adore.
It looks like the cabinetry above is stained a bluish gray. The collection of pewter is a stunning combination.
I love this pantry because it looks like one could create something like this themselves using shelving from Ikea or The Container Store. The adjustible shelves are really handy for pantry's.
Ahhh. I just love this sweet space. What a treat to have a nice bright window!
I love pantry spaces so much, I created a Pinterest board! Click here to see them.
The title of this post refers to my Powder Room – I know! I ran out of time! I'm headed to NYC to spend Thanksgiving with Luke, to be inspired and to come back with a fresh, new perspective. I will show the Powder Room photos in the next post!
In the meantime, HAPPYTHANKSGIVING to you and THANKYOU for reading FarmHouseUrban for almost 4 years!
Well hi beauties. I have much to share with you. For starters, Luke graduated from high school last week. I held it together (for the most part) during the ceremony, but before and after…yikes, I should own stock in Kleenex.
My second big news – and i will be sparse with the details for dramatic effect. For the past 3+ months, I have been working on the most exciting interior design projects EVER!
Last but not least, there has been progress in my own house (what is that expression about the cobbler and his own shoes?) Several new pieces of furniture, little details here and there, and the landscaping has finally begun!
The area we are starting with is the back yard. The kitchen and family room look out to this space, so it made sense to start there. It will also be the most used since there are doors that open right out to this outdoor space.
This picture was taken from the kitchen door looking to the left.
This is looking from the kitchen steps to what will be a dining and barbeque area. The framing of the concrete retaining wall leveled out the slope, creating a large flat space.
The opening in the wall will lead down to the driveway. There will be be stone steps and decomposed granite along the path part.
Here is the finished wall after they applied stucco. I went with a light gray color. Originally I had planned to have a slate cap go along the top, but the stucco looks really clean and they did such a fantastic job, I decided against it. Love it when the project scope gets reduced! On the ground is pea gravel in a sand color.
There will be plants and trees in the bed behind and an modern arbor that goes from side to side of the wall covering the table area. My old table is there for the time being.
The started framing the cement pavers that go along the side of the house to the back driveway. To the right will be grass and a bed for plants and flowers.
Here are some before and afters. The concrete wall was constructed in the fall, hence the pumpkins 🙂 A series of landscapers later, we are now, finally, underway.
This is the house back in the day.
Mid-way through house renovation.
Taken a few days ago. The dirt mound between the two walls will have olive trees along the bottom wall and a few apple trees at the top closer to the upper patio area.
This week they are working on the irrigation system, so no pretty pictures. I will keep you posted as the rest of the job continues.
Have a wonderful weekend and Happy first day of summer on Saturday!
It's been awhile since I've posted anything regarding the house, so here are some updates…
The nook off of the kitchen is finished! This little space that used to be a wasted enclosed porch has become my new favorite spot! To see the 'before' as well as nooks that inspired this one, click here. The custom sectional is slipcovered in indigo Belgian linen…
The coffee table is a vintage find and the rug is from Ikea.
The glass cylinder lamp can be purchased on the shop website – click here.
The pillows are custom. I had an extra pillow made in each pattern, but then decided I didn't need them, so they are going to be on the shop website shortly!!! If you are interested, please email me asap (22" sq $300 for the floral, $350 for the striped)!
The striped pillows have this pattern on the front, and straight stripes on the back.
Hi, and welcome! I’m so glad you landed here and I hope you find this to be a place you visit often.
I started this blog in 2008 as a way to chronicle the remodeling of our nondescript Northern California house into our dream home. While that did happen, so did a lot of other things - life and all the messy, glorious, complicated, wonderful things that go with it. As such, in early 2017 I decided to change the focus from the house itself to the life that happens inside.
My wish is that this blog provides beautiful inspiration, creative ideas, connections to other like-minded folks, as well as stylish products for your home, to wear and to give.