Thursday, March 25, 2010

Curb appeal

Spring has come a little late this year to the Central Coast due to the much needed rains

                               Poppy field near my home

My garden is a bit neglected this year as I have focused most of my attention on the completion of Villa Cantina.  That said a stroll around my garden did reveal these beauties popping up in spite of my neglect

How do you take a new structure that looks like this.... an area filled with these little fellows

and give it curb appeal? 

My home garden is an established garden of more than twenty years. 

It is filled with mature or sometimes overgrown plants like this

The herbacious borders are sometimes overflowing

The pathways lead to mature trees....

and Secret Places....

photo courtesy of Peggy Holt Photography


It has both form and structure thanks to a couple garden weddings and years of work!

I am thankful that I don't have another massive garden to attend to but the gardener in me wants to have a little bit of green....

I think these would be nice on the upper balcony...

photo courtesy of gardening express UK

Little Ollie times two at the Front Door?

photo courtesy of PCHG Daily Dirt

I am loving these pots from Hometown Nursery in Paso

Monday, March 22, 2010

Master Bedroom Palette

Usually when I begin a project I like to start with an inspiration piece, a beautiful antique, a work of art, or even an interesting object. I have been admiring this console table from Dovetail Furniture since the project began but it was too large to use behind the sofa. It just fit in front of the massive window in the master suite.
Since the budget at Villa Cantina is a main concern my inspiration for the master suite is a fabric that I found on Ebay. I think it is lovely and it was a bargain! It is Homeopath by P Kaufmann


Series prints particularly old ones make a nice statement without breaking the bank. I purchased these from my friend Tess at Hint of History.

You can buy similar ones from Tess here:

I am waiting for the arrival of this beautiful chest from Dovetail Furniture

I found this headboard at West Elm on sale. It is no longer on the website but you might still be able to find it in one of the stores. I think the wood needs a whitewash to tone it down and then it will be perfect.

I was thinking of using these great lamps from Ballard Designs

Look how beautiful they look here I love that Joni used some of the owners own pieces, some really wonderful things and an economical find from Ballard. A really good designer can combine fine things with simple ones for a great result.

I also love these big old urns from Pottery Barn (my Villa Cantina staple), I found them on sale for much less at the Palo Alto store. Those of you who know me realize that I have a hard time with purchased lamps. I prefer using found objects. Too often the shade isn't right a pet peeve of mine.

I am also loving these new chairs from Pottery Barn. I think they would look great flanking the fireplace. I love the shade of the wicker and the size as space is at a premium.

These tables are on order from Halo Styles (thanks Joni for the tip)

That just about wraps it up except for a few decicions....Mirrors I love... from Wisteria

You can purchase them all here:

More mirrors from Dovetail

Or what about these from Restoration Hardware

You can purchase them here:

Which would you choose?

For my weekend project I am tackling those darn cabinets...wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kitchen Progress & Tasty Eats

The wineries on the Westside (Paso/Templeton) have the winning combination of great wine and remarkable scenery. Until recently the only option was to drive all the way back to Paso or Templeton for lunch or worse yet drink too much wine and starve. Fast forward to the opening of Farmstand 46.

We heard nothing but rave reviews. This past weekend we took a slight detour from our weekly trip to Home Depot and sampled it ourselves. It has been compared to "Oakville Grocery" or the "Jimtown Store". Farmstand 46 has created their own version and taken it up a notch. They serve amazing sandwiches,soups and salads everyday. Lauren sampled "The Goat" and I "The Cruiser",two of the best sandwiches we have ever eaten. Check out their mouth watering menu here:

photo courtesy of food gps

They serve wood fired pizzas and whatever is fresh and local on the barbecue on weekends. On weekdays locals, or visitors who have had a lazy day of wine tasting, can drop off a pot and pick it up later filled with whatever delicious entree they prepared for that evening.

photo courtesy of food gps

If that isn't enough to entice you,the Four Vines Tasting Room adjoins it. Check out their website here:

you can order your lunch, and taste a little more wine while you are waiting. How bad is that? For more information go to, or for recent articles that sum it up much better than I.

On to the progress portion of this post....

This fabulous clock is now hanging on the wall above the bar. You can buy it here

Love it with these stools that are now flanking the bar from Wisteria

The tumbled marble backsplash is finished and looks lovely behind the range.

Notice the orange/brown cabinetry peeking out along the sides. This weekend my project is to transform them to this:

If it works I will post pictures next week. If not back to the drawing board..

It is an improvement, is it not?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Our assistant is growing weary...

The counter top dilemma has nearly drawn to a close and our loyal assistant has grown tired of the process.

The kitchen is looking better with the concrete counters nearly finished. This is what the beauties looked like when we purchased Villa Cantina...

The "boys"and their "assistant" installed the tumbled marble back splash last weekend. It will be grouted this weekend. I love the rusticity of the backsplash and the concrete counter.

The only problem is the cabinetry still has that "home depot" look. I can't repaint or replace so I am thinking I might give them the same treatment as the cabinets flanking the fireplace, a little ebony briwax on the cabinets and hardware. In the meantime I am dreaming of more interesting endeavors. What do you think about these finds? I am pondering this for above the stairway. You can find it at good old Pottery Barn.

Or what about this from one of my favorite sellers on Ebay, Capitol Salvage

On the other wall I want to hang these great canoe paddles from Crawfords Antiques in Soquel

With either this from Ebay

Or the Pruvost Plaque from Ballard Designs

I think this piece has a great look. I have tried to encourage a couple clients to use it but it has not yet found a home. I think I will consult my assistant about this once she has finished with her canine clients