Monday, October 29, 2012

Rough Luxe Dining #1

The first post in a Series… 

Raw Imperfection…Old Beams, Salvaged Wood, Recycled Limestone, Brick or Stone…..Little or no Color…Lot’s of texture…

 

Portfolio

 

 

hanging lanterns

 

dining - bottles centerpiece

 

rough lixe

 

Verdigris Vie: The New Villa

 

 

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casual yet elegant

 

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all image sources found here http://pinterest.com/chattersley/dining-rooms/

 

What defines Rough Luxe for you?  Which image most appeals to you, and why? Do you prefer texture over color?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In My Little Town….

I grew up in a small town with a big heart.  I believe we had an idyllic life. We played kickball in front of our house, and hide and seek until dark.  We crafted may baskets for the elderly.  My dad taught every kid in the neighborhood to water ski. We skied and swam all summer long.  We ice skated on the pond in winter.  The whole town came to the football  basketball, and baseball games. There was an older lady in our neighborhood named Opal.  She played cards with us on rainy days.  It didn’t matter what time of day it was…if we knocked we were welcomed in for a game of 31.  And there was Clara. .. Clara was an amazing cook and gardener.  She always greeted us at the door with cake or cookies, or the bounty from her huge garden.  She was also the neighborhood watch dog.  When my older sister or her friend Cheryl would return from a date Clara  instinctively turned on her porch light and begin sweeping .  I am not sure if she colluded with our parents or if she was just “inquisitive”.
The other night while waiting for my husband to arrive for dinner I visited Facebook and stopped in my tracks.  A friend from high school had posted these beautiful pictures.  All pictures but the first are the view I remember from my dad’s boathouse.  His home was torn down and replaced by two McMansions a few years back when he sold his house and moved to Texas. His side of the lake has changed a lot,  but across the lake it still remains as I remember it…
 
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“I grew up in a small town,  in a place where your whole world revolved around friends, family, school,  church, and sports”.
Kenny Chesney

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It was very much like Norman Rockwell: small town America. We walked to school or rode our bikes, …, skated on the pond.
Dorothy Hamill




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A small town is a place where there's no place to go where you shouldn't.” Burt Bacharach


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“To read the papers and to listen to the news... one would think the country is in terrible trouble. You do not get that impression when you travel the back roads and the small towns.  They do care about their country and wish it well.”  Charles Kuralt


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“In my little town…I grew up believing…God keeps his eye on us all…Simon and Garfunkel

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all images courtesy of dave bramlage

 

I grew up in a little town called Monticello in Indiana.  I moved to California shortly after college and have lived here ever since.  I love California and hope to never  leave but there is something magical about growing up in a small town in the Midwest. The people are kinder and more grounded. Everyone looks out for everyone else. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the same had I stayed. 

 

When my children were young I tried to take them back every year to experience small town life in the Midwest. They loved it and I think they are better people for having experienced it. I try to go back for my high school reunions because I enjoy reconnecting with those people that helped and supported me while growing up.

In my little town…the leaves are beginning to turn…

 

Thanks Dave for the beautiful photos.


Did you grow up in a small town…if not do you wish you had?  Do you read Tongue In Cheek?   If not gohere….http://willows95988.typepad.com/tongue_cheek/  Corey now lives in France but grew up in a very small town in California…if you don’t read her blog you should it is wonderful. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lake House Patio Update and Summers End Party

 

We have an Indian summer here on the Central Coast that lasts through October and sometimes into November.  At the lake the says still warm up to the mid 80’s but the nights are quite cool.  It is our favorite time there.  The crowds are gone, the vineyards begin to look like fall, and the weather is great.  We finished the patio project just in time to enjoy.

 

Before

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After

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Here is the after showcasing the  fountain that we copied from Katie Denham of Katiedid blogspot  (you can follow her tutorial here http://katie-d-i-d.blogspot.com/2010/05/making-lemonade.html).  The coffee table was made by our wonderful friend, and craftsman extraordinaire Jim  Isn’t it great?

 

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Before

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At the lake fences have to be “see through” which as you know normally translates into “ugly”Steve and Colin came up with the idea of using redwood posts (that will age to gray) and rebar (yep you heard me) which will eventually rust. 

 

They also added a low stucco fence that can be used for extra seating and serve as a retaining wall for the small “garden”.  The lake is filled (an understatement) with deer and in the late summer they will eat anything even those plants that are supposedly deer proof.  We planted the hill with grasses, lavender, rosemary and catmint (nepeta).  I was hoping that the morning glory vine would eventually cover the fence.  Unfortunately they like that as well.  I planted herbs in the old cart.  I have a large herb garden at home and sorely missed my supply of fresh herbs.

 

After

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We added an old pair of shutters from Capitol Salvage, World Market Kooboo chairs, and another of Jim’s wonderful creations.

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 Creeping fig will soon cover the large blank wall.

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I filled an old galvanized trough with succulents 

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Then we had a little party to celebrate the (almost) completion of our patio project.  We had a group of friends down and wanted to be able to wine taste and enjoy their company so I wanted to keep the menu as simple as possible with nearly everything prepared in advance.

Sundried Tomato Pesto on Toasts

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

http://www.closetcooking.com/2010/08/sun-dried-tomato-pesto.html

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

Crockpot Pork Sliders

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pork/balsamic-honey-pulled-pork-sliders/

 

Crockpot Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

With Rick Bayless’ Simple Slaw

http://themeathouseblog.com/tag/rick-bayless/

 

Fresh Corn Salad

 

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/fresh-corn-salad-recipe/index.html

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon salad

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/watermelon-heirloom-tomato-feta-salad-10000001981778/

For Dessert

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

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http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/peanut-butter-cookie-ice-cream-sandwiches-10000001094843/index.html

 

Here are a few cooking notes should you try any of the above recipes. When I make the sundried tomato pesto I do not use a recipe and I do not use the oil filled ones.  I reconstitute the dry ones , use some of the juice & add basil, pine nuts, parmesan to taste   I always make a huge pile of it because it keeps for at least a week in the fridge and  leftovers are great on pasta.  I love to cook but I DO NOT BAKE.  Everyone raved about the ice cream sandwiches if I can make them anyone can trust me I absolutely hate baking.  I have done a million reincarnations of the watermelon salad sometimes I add tomatoes, sometimes not.  The key is lots of mint, kalamata olives, feta, red onion, and lots of lime zest . I usually do a dry rub on the pork, cook it in the crock pot in advance and then the day of add some sort of bbq sauce even a good bottled one works fine. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse Tour

 

The Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse is located on the Cardinale Estate at the Cardinale Winery.  The Jackson family (of Kendall Jackson fame) purchased the estate in the early 1990’s.  The house was renovated in the late 1990’s and transformed into a retreat for the late Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke.

I travelled up to Napa with two friends a stylist and an artist. I am going to cover an overall perspective of the rooms that we all found particularly interesting and then I will focus on what each person (myself excepted) found particularly interesting.

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I am very interested in landscape design. I was particularly enamored of the Entry Courtyard Design by Todd Cole and Tim O’Shea of Strata Landscape Architecture.  I love the way they incorporated the elements of the structure into the landscape design. The crushed rock base echoed the colors in the stone and the combination of the mixed grasses softened the hard scapes. 

 

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patio vignette by Melanie Turner

The Foyer, Gallery Hall, and Powder Room were designed by  Kathy Geisler Best of KGB Design of San Francisco.  We all agreed the foyer was particularly interesting.  We loved the mix of the industrial table, wonderful artwork and found objects.

 

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Another favorite was the library by Cathleen Gouveia of Cathleen Gouveia Design.  Cathleen says her design was” inspired by the materiality of the wine making process.”

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The uber talented Melanie Turner of Melanie Turner Interiors in Atlanta  designed the lovely Master Bedroom.

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The bedding (poorly photographed by me) was particularly stunning.

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This vignette particularly captivated all three of us.  We loved the mix of elements and the ingenious display of the artwork. 

 

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The kitchen and family room were decorated by local Napa Designer Barbara Colvin. I adore her work and we were not disappointed. These two rooms were knockouts.  We loved the fresh combination of the grays and yellows and the bringing of the outside in.  We could have wandered around in these two rooms for days.  No element was left to chance.

 

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The cozy living room was designed by Sunrise Home of San Rafael.  We loved the gorgeous bookcases from Hickory Chair and the charming way they were styled.

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The Dining Room was designed by nationally renowned designers Joe Lucas & Parish Chilcoat of Lucas Studio in Los Angeles. 

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I thought it would be fun for you readers to see the house from the stylist’s and the artist’s perspective. We all took pictures of different things.  The Stylist focused on the details

The Stylist’s Photos

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The artist of course focused on the varied art forms (the classical and abstract) and vignettes that she could turn into still lifes

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Interestingly enough we all three agreed that the kitchen and family room were a unanimous favorite.  The artist also loved the master bedroom area for it’s simplicity in color, fabrics, and decoration and the relaxed atmosphere created.

The artist loved the variation in the art, the mix  of styles, and the element of surprise in every room.

The stylist loved the clever use of accessories and the use of unusual vessels holding everyday items.

What do you think? Is there a particular room or vignette that catches your eye?  If so for what reason?

. If you live in Northern California or along the Central Coast I would highly recommend that you attend.  The tours will continue until November 11th and proceeds benefit the Napa Valley Film Festival.  The docents are extremely well informed, you can sample the wonderful Cardinale Sauvignon Blanc, and there isn’t a prettier place on earth than Napa this time of year. 

For more information or to buy tickets go to traditionalhome.com/napashowhouse

You can also combine a tour and tasting with your showhouse experience.

 

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