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 sweet reader, I hope you’ve had a wonderful couple of weeks. My biggest news: I had the house all to myself while Lily and her Dad went to the Bahamas for her Spring Break. It was rainy and cold here in California, which turned out to be the perfect climate to deep dive down some creative rabbit holes. I can count the times on one hand that I’ve been alone in my house for 24 hours or more since becoming a mother. As much as I cherish that role, I also really loved the time to myself. Initially, there was a inner battle – productivity vs hedonism. Ultimately, I found the sweet spot with a little of both 🙂
Over the past several years, I’ve developed a fondness for Spanish style architecture. What I realized as I was collecting images for this post, is that this style has many names – Mediterranean, Hacienda, Italian and probably more, But to be technical, what I’m referring to is called Spanish Revival and has a historical significance as to how and why it became popular in the US, There are also many adaptations to this style of architecture. Around here, I’ve noticed new homes being built with roots in the Spanish Revival style, but often are enormous, watered down versions and lose the charm that the smaller scale homes have. Here are the most distinctive features and what I love about this architectural style:
White Stucco Exterior
4. Large Scale Metal Divided Light Windows
As you can see repeated in many of the above photos, other key features include tile roof, iron work in railings, lighting and furniture, big fireplaces,
Hi. I was working on this post when the horrendous situation in Orlando happened… the resounding message that rose from this act of hate is that love is love is love. If I had one super power it would be for every person on the planet to find their soul mate, be together forever in glorious heart pounding love and overcome any and all judgement or adversity. We all deserve that love. There is no other reason we are here. It's our birthright.
After this second spring bloom of the all white roses planted along my entry, one little bush has produced it's second consecutive crop of mostly white flowers with the slighted pink blush color on just a few petals… A sweet unexpected gift from mother nature 🙂
A girls get-away weekend celebrating a birthday in wine country
Well hi to you… I'm in the midst of a super exhilarating work whirlwind at the moment! As such, I have BIG news that I'm excited to share with you – my dear readers – in the next week or so, so please stay tuned! I hope you had a wonderful weekend… I spent it with a group of girlfriends at this magical place celebrating a birthday among us.
We didn't leave this spot very much…
The birthday girl (right) and me checking out the pool. I'm very fortunate to have been here before, not for an overnight, but spent the day at the pool a couple of times with out of towners who were guests.I think cannon balls might have taken place…No cannon balls took place this time.
On my way home I decided to stop for a snack here. Then I took a little stroll down the street and ended up at a place I have wanted to check out for a long time – Ma(i)sonry in Yountville. Part art gallery, part wine tasting establishment, and now partnering with Restoration Hardware, it is quite a sight to behold! I am still not 100% sure what the partnership exactly entails despite having had it explained to me 3-4 times. But there were lots of phrases used like 'bought our concept' and 'shared experiences' and 'we will continue to own this, but they will own this too' … Anyway, here are some photos I took..
Isn't this little guy cute??
All of the pieces you see in the photos are for sale. If interested, please click here.
On the spur of the moment, I decided to get out of dodge and ended up, in of all places, a little cabin in the woods on the banks of a flowing river in Northern Oregon. Let me tell you, my expectations were high. I’ve had a cabin-in-the-woods fantasy for as long as I can remember and this lived up, matter of fact exceeded, every last one. Road trip season is here! Bring it.
Come take a look around with me…
You had me with weathered shingles and white trim.
The cabin is situated on a big, flat sunny patch with a main house next to it.
I wonder if these grape vines covering the front porch are used for wine making?
No appliances but certainly not lacking in charm factor in this light bright happy kitchen.
The fridge is 70 years old!
The color palette is pale green and brick red. It couldn’t be more fitting for this adorable little gem.
The owner, whom I’ve never met, is clearly a collector of vintage pieces. Vintage collecting is a passion that can easily get out of control. I know this first hand. It’s so tempting to go overboard, but what I loved about this cottage is how well edited the decor is. Charm galore. The place had such a positive and relaxing vibe too.
A dark photo I know, but I wanted to include it to show you the claw foot tub nestled in the windowed nook. It was just perfection. The other cool thing the owner did, was to put a vintage wooden toy ironing board on the end of the tub for soaps, candles, etc. So if you see one at your local flea market and you have a claw foot tub….
The attic with these four mismatched antique twin beds could not have been cuter. This space is girl heaven – oh the games of playing house, talking all night, braiding each other’s hair. Like a story book…
The grounds were rustic and simple.
Hi little lady bug!
This is the main house. It looks like the original homestead was a one room log cabin and they built around it.
Big vegetable garden!
I love the farmhouse style of this currently vacant chicken coop.
Check out the leaded glass door.
Behind the main house is this trail down to the river. Falling asleep with the windows open and hearing the rushing water was heavenly.
Also behind the main house were these matching bathtubs. They are plumbed with hot and cold water.
My daily routine…
Taking a much needed break from work, email, phone, tv and my regular routine reminded me how essential it is for maintaining happiness, finding inner peace and boosting creativity.
Here’s to summer, being spontaneous, unplugging and stopping to enjoy the simplest of life’s pleasures.
Hi sweet people. I hope your week is off to a wonderful start. A few days ago I received an email from a reader that besides making my day, got me thinking that a post on barn lights is long overdue…
First the email from sweet reader:
"OMG first of all I am obsessed with your house. I cant tell you what an inspiration it is for me. We are in the process of turning our 15 year old cape cod into a modern farmhouse, almost done taking it from yellow to white. Then I stumbled across your website. Whoa, I love it you are so talented. I love the wood porch. I have a real quick question for you. Im ordering the original barn light but am having a hard time figuring out how to find the size options for the straight arm. It on lists G1 and G4 etc and below it only shows "gooseneck" option photos. I noticed the first one you ordered was too long so just trying to figure this out. Thanks so much for your time Your newest and biggest fan"
She is referring to barn lights purchased from Barnlight Electric.Barnlight Electric has been my go-to resource for not only exterior barn-style lighting but anything with industrial feel for quite some time. I used it in my house (see photos below) as well as several client projects.
To answer the readers' question, my lights are the smallest shade size 12" and the shortest arm 14". I highly recommend you call Barn Light directly when placing your order! There are so many variables and options and they are SUPER helpful.
I opted for the straight arm vs. the gooseneck becauseI prefer straight lines to curved.
I chose the galvanized metal and I ADORE it.
Barn Light offers many colors and finishes from matte to high gloss. I ordered all the gray to black options for a client project I was doing in Sonoma. We ended up choosing metallic chrome which was gorgeous against the creamy white exterior color. I wish I had a photo, but the client is away and couldn't snap one in time for me to post!
I used barn style-lights in this client's industrial kitchen. To see the rest of that project click here.
While I was outside taking pictures…
The garden looked so pretty in the afternoon light.
Summer is officially here. The boys are back from college, the house is full of chaos, I can't keep the house stocked with food. It's as though locusts have come. I think there's a haiku there somewhere.
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.