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.
Recent updates to my house and missing David Bowie.
Hi sweet people. I wrote this post about a month ago, right before I thought I lost all of my photos and was having computer issues. Other than omitting the part about the bad weather we were experiencing at the time, and where I riffied on about how I've made yoga and meditation a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby, I didn't change anything…
The passing of David Bowie this week hit me hard. His music was the soundtrack to my youth as I'm sure the same is true for many. I was with my Dad when he got the news that John Lennon had been shot. He sat down, covered his eyes with his hand and began to sob. At the time, I felt so awkward. An Ivy League graduate, college football linebacker and Korean War Veteran crying over the death of a musician… I get it now.
To the Thin White Duke…thank you.
Speaking of changes, I've been making some around the house lately. What do you think?
I went back and forth – modern or traditional for the dining room light fixture. As you can see, I finally decided on a traditional chandelier. The chairs and table are all modern, so to balance them out I decided a chandelier would be perfect. A mix of both old and new is what I strive for. I love how sparkly it is at night too.
I bought this early American table at an estate sale a few years ago thinking I would sell it. I don't know why I fell so hard for it, but I absolutely love it and cannot part with it. It bounced around the house in different spots, usually to fill a temporary hole, but I think it found a permanent place under this Hiro Yokose painting.
I wanted a table for next to this acrylic chair from the 70's that I found on Ebay (for $100!) but it had to be simple yet substantial. I opted for a petrified wood stump from here.
See that french daybed in the back? I've had that piece for awhile and am not sure what to do with it. I moved it to the above location around Christmastime when I needed to make room for the tree. I'd like to remake the mattress more like this and make big fat bolsters in a contrasting color like dark + light gray or brown + natural linen. I'm still deciding…. We'll see.
So now there's this big open space at the top of the entryway stairs and between the living and dining rooms where the daybed was… A round table would work, but it's not that practical and I don't want a formal feel. So, I'm thinking of a small 'conversational cluster'. I'm considering moving the coffee table from the living room (above) and adding 4 modern chairs. Ideas?
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!
My wine country Inn project revealed and a special offer to readers.
For awhile now I’ve been working on a hotel project in Healdsburg; a quaint small town in the heart of Northern California’s wine country. It’s been a fairly slow moving process as the owners have several properties – other inns, wineries, etc. that all need attention at the same time. That being said, I go at their pace and tremendously enjoy watching the progress made even in baby steps. I have wanted to get you acquainted for some time. So, at long last, here is a place that is near and dear to me: The Grape Leaf Inn.
The first item on the renovation list was painting the exterior.
The next area we focused on was public spaces. We reconfigured the furnishings in these rooms to create a new reception area and dining room(s).
I had a custom table made for communal dining. The adjacent dining room also has custom tables of two. The tables are all the same length so if there is a large event, the tables could be lined up to create one long table for 28 guests.
The modern variation of a windsor chair blends the traditional architecture and old fashioned charm of the original inn with a clean and current feel. They are from here.
The next phase included two brand new suites. A completely blank canvas which served as our design springboard for the rest of the 10 suites. The nightstand on the right side of the bed arrived broken. A new, matching one has since arrived.
An outdoor shower in this suite… 🙂
A private courtyard too.
There were additional tweaks made to each room after these photos were taken, as more accessories arrived, etc.
I will continue to show photos periodically of the progress. In the meantime, Grape Leaf Inn has generously offered FarmHouseUrban readers a special rate of 25% off! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-395-0929 and mention “FarmHouseUrban special rate” and you will get your discount!
The inn is located about two blocks from the center square in downtown Healdsburg. The surrounding area is breathtakingly beautiful wine country!
For more information about Grape Leaf Inn, click here.
A few details revealed from a recent furniture installation of a Northern California new modern home.
Last week the furnishings were delivered for a project I've been working on for several months. All the big items have been held at a receiver until most of the pieces were ready and construction was complete. I love install day, but at the same time, there are always a few butterflies. This project has been one of my all time favorites to work on for many reasons. For one, my adorable sweet clients were so fun and trusting it made my job a pleasure. I would literally show them a piece and they would respond with "We LOVE it!" I didn't have to show them a million things, they knew that what I presented had been thought out, compared against many other possibilities, and was what I felt was the best choice. In the end, I couldn't be happier with how this project turned out. And I think they feel the same 🙂
In the days before an install, I shop for smaller pieces – the cream on the top that makes everything look and feel finished. I took some photos from one of my stops…
Several car loads later, I am ready to meet the delivery truck and start arranging furniture and style bookshelves, tables and countertops!
Family heirloom chairs, refreshed with high gloss white paint, beautiful stain resistant Galbraith & Paul fabric and polished chrome nail heads. A completely new modern look – perfect for this young family.
Remember these brushed brass pulls I mentioned here? They look fantastic against the creamy pale gray Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray cabinets.
They look equally gorgeous against the darker gray island which is painted in one of my favorite grays – Ben Moore Galveston (my bathroom vanities and Gwyneth's kitchen cabinets are painted this color).
The countertops on the perimeter cabinets is soapstone and on the island it's Caeserstone Frosty Carrina. The Morrocan style tile is from here.
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Only 3.5 more days til the weekend!!!
Hi sweet readers. I hope this first week of August finds you soaking up the sunshine, going barefoot whenever possible and enjoying the last of our beautiful late sunsets… We have one month to go, and I, for one plan to make it the most of it!
I was in Cape Cod for a few days… Is there nothing more quintessentially summer than East Coast beach towns?
Here are just a few snaps.
Spotting this color burst was like that feeling you got when you were a kid and you opened a box of crayons for the first time.
I was intrigued by the simple design of the front of this building and the modern take on a traditional Cape Cod structure. The barn door covering the glass doors in particular. Since it's the office of an architect, I naturally had to check out her work…omg…
I heart nooks! What a yummy spot to curl up in for a nap or with a good book.
The above 6 photos are from the portfolio of architect Jill Neibauer. For more info and images click here.
This house is in Provincetown and while I was taking these two photos, a local explained to me that there were five fire stations built like this around town. They have all been sold and converted to homes. I saw a few more as we were leaving, but this one with the fire truck space converted to a porch was my fav.
This post could also be called 'Hydrangeas and Blue Doors' but that's kind of boring.
I wish I had taken pictures of the lobster rolls we shared at The Canteen. There are two varieties – cold with mayo and celery and hot with warm butter on toasted bread an inch thick. Best. Sandwich. Ever. Or as they say there 'Evah'. Here are some from their website.
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.