Archive for January, 2017

Design Update

Before we leave our beloved Hillsborough home, I have big hopes of blogging about each room, what we did do and what we were planning to do and how it looked when we moved in here.

But for now, some design on our new home which is an authentic spanish style home built out of adobe.  Imagine a California Mission (on a smaller scale, of course).   The home has a real deal breakfast room right off the kitchen (photos will come when we move in).  Off of the breakfast room is a formal dining room where I plan to entertain people.  Whereas, the breakfast room is meant for every day family eating, arts and crafts, cups of tea, blogging and generally the hub and bub of every day.  In fact, it will probably become the heart of the home but more strictly for us five than for guests.

There is a bar in the breakfast room (because clearly vodka for breakfast) and the bar cabinets are painted a fabulous green.  So I’ve worked to pick up that green in these two potential breakfast room designs…

Scheme A:

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My idea is this fabulous farmhouse table that I found on Chairish and then poppy serena and lily chairs, the Anna Spiro wallpaper in blue and white, a tole lantern and finally Schumacher’s Citrus garden as the roman shades to tie all of the colors together.  The green grass at the base of the trees in the fabric is the exact green of the bar cabinets.

Citrus Garden was my jumping off point and I love how it looks in this kitchen…

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So fresh, fun and lively.

I would likely forgo the wallpaper altogether but for now it stays as we play with options.  Here is the paper in a bedroom Anna Spiro designed…

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Scheme B:

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Scheme B is very different that Scheme A in color and overall mood but I have to say that I like them both equally at this point.  I’m waiting until we live in the space to actually pull any trigger.  The farmhouse table has been purchased but the buck stops there until we move in.

In this scenario that beautiful Raphael wallpaper by Sandberg would be the jumping off point, if it is the correct green – need to see sample in person.  That chandelier is a vintage vine chandelier that we already own that has brown ikat shades.  I love how the shades pair with the paper.  And then navy Serena and Lily chairs with the farmhouse table.  I would then either do cream roman shades or no window treatments at all.

This paper has been a favorite for quite a while so I know it’s one I’d be happy to see every day.  Here it is in a dining room so you get an idea, photo by Amy Bartlam…

Amy Bartlam Photography

As my mom has pointed out, it is an elegant home so I need to treat it as such.  I’ve felt the need to temper my use of color a bit, while staying true to my style.  I keep coming back to the “It’s Complicated” set because nobody can ever beat a Nancy Myer’s movie.

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I have loads of time before making any real decisions so for now I play design on my computer.

January 24, 2017 at 5:00 AM 2 comments

Back Home Again

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I have remained quiet about a major move coming up in our lives because in so many ways it has felt too good to be true.  However, the movers are called, the title company meeting is set, and our kids now know what’s happening so I think it’s time to let the cat out of the bag.

We are moving to my childhood home.  It’s an incredibly special home; not only did I grow up there but my mom did as well.  Her parents purchased the home when she was only eight years old.  When my mom was 32 years old, her parents died suddenly in a plane crash.  As the oldest child, she inherited the home.  I was born three years later.

It’s amazing to think that Josie, Grace and Rowan will be the fourth generation in my family living in the home, especially in California where multi-generational homes are few and far between.

The home itself is a peaceful oasis and an ideal place to grow up.

I’m confident that in no time Graham will pick a large oak tree to construct a treehouse for the kids.  We had one growing up that my dad built for us.  Sadly, the oak that held our childhood treehouse became sick and was cut down last year.  It felt a bit devastating to see just the stump of the tree that provided so many memories.  But in a way, it’s perfect timing because that allows the opportunity for us to find our own tree for our own family and thereby making the home ours. Perhaps it was a gift from one son-in-law who took over the house to the next.

Over Thanksgiving, my mom’s brother told Graham and I how when my parents moved into the home, my dad was adamant to make changes in order to create a home that was truly his and my mom’s, not my grandparents.  In writing this, I can see the stump of the oak as a symbolic passing from my childhood to my children’s.  They get to pick their own tree, find their own special places and create their own memories independent of mine.  And so often, we live life through the eyes of our children.

While some things from my childhood will go, others will always remain to keep the stories and traditions that are vital to me, the house and my family history alive.

Last weekend, Graham and his mom pruned the roses in the rose garden out in the rain.  And while that is a memory they will cherish, it reminded me of my dad who put so much care and energy into those roses.  On Sundays when the family worked in the yard, he would take us kids around the roses and teach us how to care for them in a meticulous and delicate way.  They were clearly his babies.  He would also share with us, how much my mom’s dad loved the roses.  It was a tidbit of information about grandparents (whom I never knew) that I held onto.  It’s beautiful to think of Graham picking up the shears not only in honor of my father but my grandfather as well.

Thinking of roses brings to mind our wedding day which was held at home; the tables and my bouquet were all filled to the absolute brim with austin roses.  The home was in some of the best shape of its life as my parents carefully worked with our landscape designer, scrutinizing every last flower.

Graham and I had an epic first dance on our wedding day, if I do say so myself, to INXS “Never Tear Us Apart.”  We boogied as free as can be on the badminton court.  The very spot that I used to go lay my shivering body against after a dip in the cold pool growing up, as the court would heat up dramatically by the sun.  The very spot my mom and her siblings would challenge each other to game after game.  And the very spot where our girls love to drive their bikes round and round.

My personal family’s memories will be made there as the others will begin to fade for me but what’s so beautiful is the entanglement of all of them.  If these walls could talk, the stories they would tell. And with any luck, Graham and I will proudly pass the house down to the next generation when the time comes for a new chapter.

I am forever thankful to my mom, a hero of mine, and to my brothers, who I will always look up to, for giving us the opportunity to live in this house.  We will honor the home’s past but also forge our own path to make it new to us.  And I will continue to document the stories, when the need to write overcomes me, here on this little, intentionally tiny, corner of the internet.  Thank you for reading!

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January 17, 2017 at 5:45 AM 7 comments

Tablescapes of 2016

I have a confession, as I write this, our Christmas tree is still up.  It’s not as if we can’t let go of Christmas, it is very much as if we can’t get our acts together.  I swear it’s coming down today.  Shouldn’t there be an ap to do the work for me?

Point being, since the tree is still up, I felt I could do a look back at the tablescapes of last year and it not seem terribly late.

2016’s blogging resolution was for me to do a tablescape a month.  Three weeks after I made that resolution, I found out I was pregnant with Rowan.  And he was completely worth every broken resolution because he is the cutest, sweetest love bug.

I did not pull off twelve tablescapes but I did pull off five. Here they are.

Ode to our new arts and crafts table with an all paper tablescape

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All girl cousins Easter tablescape

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One Room Challenge Reveal 

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Bora Bora Bridal Bash 

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East Coast New Year’s dinner 

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It’s hard to tell but the tablecloth was sequined.

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And one week into 2017, I did my first tablescape.  Hoping to pull off more tables this year but I’m not holding myself to any numbers this time around.

Rainy Night Family Dinner Boredom Stuck Inside Tablescape

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January 9, 2017 at 5:30 AM 3 comments


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