Happy Accidents and How My Pantry and Powder Room Came to Be

Happy Accidents and How My Pantry and Powder Room Came to Be

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.

Pewter butlers pantry -evadesigns

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, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and THANK YOU for reading FarmHouseUrban for almost 4 years!


FarmHouseUrban – Update – The Landscaping is Finished!

FarmHouseUrban – Update – The Landscaping is Finished!

It's finally done! Let me show you around… 

Looking out from the kitchen doors to the gravel patio. We may add a barbeque later to the corner closest to the door. It's been stubbed with a gas and electric line, so it will be easy to add.

The arbor is made of redwood and is chunky and simple.

The walls throughout the landscape have been stucco'd with a light gray stain. I'm hoping that in a few months, the new plants will cover up our neighbor's fence.

Oh look! It's a rare sighting! A teenager eating a blowl of cherries while she keeps her mom company and critiques her picture taking skills. 

This is looking at the kitchen doors from the table. The ipe deck matches the other decks throughout the house.

 I am most excited to have a lawn. Grass is a rare commodity here in California. You don't get to have much because water consumption is a huge issue. So, despite the fact that the property is 20,000 sq. feet, this is all the grass we have. That said, it is just perfect for us. It is a simple but highly pleasurable thing to walk barefoot in grass.

Cement pavers lead to the back driveway.

There is a path that leads from the gravel eating area down to the lower part of the property and main driveway. I love the way the path turned out. We used stones and natural colored pea gravel. Since it's not meant to be a main entrance, we wanted to keep it pretty informal.

The sloped area on each side of the path is home to a few fruit bearing trees, so it's referred to as "the orchard". There are limes, lemons and meyer lemons.

Two black mission fig trees.

Two Fuji apple trees and one Gala apple tree.

And five Frantoia olive trees. My friend Victoria recommended them. She has a farm in Sonoma and makes her own small batch olive oil as well as olive oil infused lotions and soaps. 

Moving down to the front porch, there are big rectangular cement pavers leading from the driveway to the porch and front door. This cute little garden space will look more filled in soon when the plants get a little bigger.


I love hydrangeas and we have a few varieties scattered around. I would like to add more every year.

Roses are another favorite flower. Here is a little pale pink bud. It will be nice when it opens as there are no other buds left on any of the roses since someone accidentally left the gate open and the deer had a party.


I can't remember if I've shown this space earlier. It was finished last year, but since it is used so much, it's worth showing again. The fire pit and adirondacks are a regular hangout.

 Happy Monday to you!

FarmHouseUrban – Update – Landscaping

FarmHouseUrban – Update – Landscaping

Well hi beautiesI 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.

  Concrete wall framing

The opening in the wall will lead down to the driveway. There will be be stone steps and decomposed granite along the path part.

Concrete wall


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.  

Gravel w table

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.


Pouring concrete

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.

Before - steps

This is the house back in the day.

  House before- driveway

House before- garage

 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.

Garage wall - during

After - garage wall


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!

FarmHouseUrban – Update – Furnished Nook

FarmHouseUrban – Update – Furnished Nook

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…  IMG_5763

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.




Thanks for stopping byHave a wonderful day!


FarmHouseUrban House Remodel Update – Landscaping Progress

FarmHouseUrban House Remodel Update – Landscaping Progress

*Note: Technical difficulties prevented this post from being published when it was supposed to so it's a week late!

Hi to you! Happy Week-After-Halloween-Fully-Into-Fall-Now! One of the things I miss most about my kids' younger years is how big o'deal Halloween is. We don't get any trick or treaters at our house, so now that I don't have ones of my own, I really feel like I'm missing the best part — the candy! (kidding!). I may have to adopt…It has been a very busy few weeks both at work (note to self: post more about our projects!) as well as personal. It was my birthday last week and am still basking in the glow of numerous celebrations with those I love. Could there be any better present? One of the highlights of the last couple of weeks was running the Healdsburg Half Marathon with my friend Cindy. It was absolutely stunning. Winding wine country roads, mostly flat and lots of participants made it really fun. Join me next year?



The cement work is wrapping up on landscaping Phase I. As an urban dweller for most of my life, I have a blind spot when it comes to knowing what to do with anything relating to outside, so PLEASE let me know if you have a great idea, suggestion, advice, want to go to the stone place together, etc. 


These are taken from my kitchen door. Eventually there will be stone pavers with a low wall around it. 



The working plan is to put a table along the back with an arbor above for stringing lights and for privacy. To the right will be a barbeque.



There will be stone steps leading up to the upper barbeque patio. We are thinking of a mini olive grove for the are between the two walls.





This is the firepit off of the lower level and front of the house. 



 Now that I have my tech glitch worked out, I will post more photos! Powder room is done, window treatments are in, some new rugs and furniture to show you too!

Sending good wishes to you for a stellar weekend!


Bedroom Inspiration

Bedroom Inspiration

Hi and happy Monday! I don't know what it is about the transition from summer to fall, but no matter how prepared I think I am, it always comes on like a speeding train. In addition to buckling up for school, sports and extra curricular activities, my son, Luke will be graduating from high school this year, so we are in the throes of the college application process too. Those of you who have already been there can attest, there is a bittersweet note to this senior year. Yes, it's very rewarding to watch your child take the leap, but it's also really hard to think about all the 'lasts', since as mother's, so much of what we hold onto are all of the 'first's'… Being of the overly sentimental variety, I have to catch myself from going overboard. "It's the last time you will be home for the first full moon of September!!!" or "You must give me a hug goodbye every morning before you leave for school!" And because he has reached that stage where he's ready to leave the nest, he humors his mom and obliges… Most of the time.

So, where am I in the decorating process you ask? Right now I'm deciding on furniture for my bedroom and have been perusing my file of inspiration photos. 

BedroomMy master bedroom has windows on each side of the bed, so many of the photos I've collected have that configuration too.
Aqua bedroom

Symmetry is very appealing visually. I prefer it when lamps match and bedside tables are switched up. 


I love the prints in the room above and how they all work together without competing.

Bedroom + firepace

I adore everything about the room above. 

Erin Martin Bedroom

Erin Martin designed this warm and inviting room.
Plaid bedroom - Badgley Mischka - Elle Decor

The antique bed with crisp white sheets and plaid wool blanket is heavenly.

Pitched ceiling bedroom

Jennifer-Aniston-master-bedroom via hookedonhouses
Jennifer Anniston's bedroom via Hooked on Houses

Master Bed - Arch Digest Howard Backen
Howard Backen via Architectural Digest

David Easton - Veranda

I have always loved four poster beds. 


Rustic 4 poster bed - susanne kasler

Will wickThis room was designed by Will Wyck for the San Francsisco Decorator's Showcase several years ago. It was even more spectacular in real life…

Hope your week is wonderful!

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