{Home} Home Tour II : Guest Room

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Garden, Home and Party: Guest Room

I promised to share more of our home with you so…walk this way.  I have shared this room before, it was in my post about finally having a blue and white room, thanks to a major remodel my friends Carol and Barry completed a couple of years ago.  During their remodel, they bought a king size bed to replace the queen in their guest room.  The custom blue and white linens were offered and I was like a kid at Christmas with joy.

The walls are painted Brown Tepee, Behr. {they look like there’s more green to them than in person}  My painter talked me into eggshell finish and I’m not thrilled with the glossy look of it.  I understand from a few friends that know more about design trends than me, that eggshell is the preferred finish on walls now.  Share your thoughts on this with me, I’m curious.  Is it just me?  Am I the only person that doesn’t care for eggshell finish?

Garden, Home and Party: Guest room tour

The blue and white toile is so pretty and Carol had a round table covered with a cloth of this fabric, so I was able to upholster the little French chair you’ll see below.  The framed prints are from a family art book which I posted about HERE.

Garden, Home and Party: tour, guest room

I know you will understand when I say almost everything in our home has a story and a memory attached to it.  This little French chair was in the back room of an antique warehouse I used to frequent with my friend Carla, back before I was working 40 hours a week.  It was dusty and the seat was missing, but as Carla pointed out, it had great detailing and because I had a store credit from a return, I bought it.  It’s very sweet and works well in our guest room.  A place for our guests to sit and put their socks on.

Garden, Home and Party: home tour, guest room

The same goes for this nightstand…it came from one of my favorite antique stores in San Clemente, Stanford Court Antiques.  It’s one of those places where there are many different stalls but the owners are very particular and the stalls are staged and very appealing.

Garden, Home and Party: home tour, guest room

This mirror started in our guest bathroom years ago.  When we remodeled the bathroom I decided a mirror in this room could come in handy so we hung it where it can reflect light from the window on the other side of the room and I hung a few of my favorite blue and white transferware plates {which were part of the generous gift of blue and white goodies from Carol and Barry}

Garden, Home and Party: home tour, guest room

On this side of the bed is a repurposed Pottery Barn lamp from Mr. B’s year long job in Northern California.  I always liked the lamp and with a new shade, it works in the room.

Garden, Home and Party: home tour, guest room

This French nightstand  used to have feet that elevated it, don’t hate me, but I had them removed because I like the height better for the bed.  The chair is Ikea, I personalized it for our granddaughter’s visits.

Garden, Home and Party: home tour, guest bedroom

The Beatrix Potter books were well-used during our son’s years of a story before bed nightly.  The Van Gogh print was brought back from the Museé d’ Orsay by our youngest son, Kevin, on his trip to Paris during his spring break his senior year of college.  It’s “Siesta” and seems appropriate for the guest bedroom, right?

Garden, Home and Party: home tour, guest room

I hope you’ve enjoyed Tour II of Bethany House.  I’ll work on another room in the not too distant future.

Enjoy your week and as always, thank you for stopping by, you’re the best.

{Home} Designer Love: Amy Meier Design

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I first discovered Amy Meier’s talents by way of a blog site.  I do not remember which site it was, and it was a few years ago, but I loved the image below and saved it to my files. {the blue columns and the brass lamps were such an unexpected detail, and so pretty} I still love this kitchen and would do something similar if ever the opportunity presented itself. Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Later, I read about another kitchen she renovated from The Lettered Cottage.  I knew I had to follow her work.  She makes a room come to life with her eye for detail. I subscribe to Amy’s blog site and always look forward to new posts filled with helpful ideas and beautiful rooms from her projects, as well as the occasional list of shops where you can find some great antiques.  {Amy designs for homeowners all over the U.S. but lives in the San Diego area, since I’m in Southern California too I can often visit the antique stores she recommends}

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Designs

 I love these chairs and the use of brown and white transferware in this dining alcove.

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Designs

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Designs

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Designs

Her bio from her website sums it up best…

Her work is always fresh, beautiful  creates interiors rooted in tradition, personality and quality. She approaches each project with the goal of capturing her client’s essence and creating timeless spaces.

“Amy has designed homes in climates and cultures as distinct as Boston, Scottsdale, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta and San Diego. After forging her career at Parsons School of Design, she opened the doors of Amy Meier Design in 2009 and quickly garnered recognition from numerous national publications including House Beautiful, Luxe Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, New England Home and Ranch & Coast.”

Here are some of my favorite rooms designed by Amy.  Visit her web site and blog to read more about this talented designer.

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

 

Happy Wednesday, I hope you have enjoyed Amy Meier’s designs as much as I do.

Garden, Home and Party: Amy Meier Design

 

 

 

{Garden, Home and Party} Happy Easter – welcome spring

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I sure hope my friends that have experienced the coldest winter in recent memory, are finally catching a glimpse of spring.

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

I’m hosting Easter this year for our west coast family members and I thought I’d share some of the inspiration and ideas I’m using for our celebration.

I’m finalizing the menu (the ham has been a staple to the meal for some weeks, but I have flip flopped on the sides).  Here are a few of the items that I’ll fix.  Sweet Sarah will prefer the fingerling potatoes I’m preparing (much healthier), but I know a couple of family members that will enjoy scalloped potatoes.  My office gives Honey Baked gift cards to each of us at Christmas.  Honey Baked stores, which are plentiful in California, not so much elsewhere in the U.S., are known for their honey glazed hams.  It will make my day of food prep pretty easy to have the ham cooked and ready.  I think I’ll prepare some deviled eggs, a slaw salad that Sarah introduced me to, a few appetizers, cookies for dessert and that should be plenty.

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

Table setting is the icing on the cake for me.  I look for any excuse to create a pretty table.  Here are some ideas I’m contemplating compliments of the creative bloggers I visit regularly. {Thank you!}  I like the idea of potted bulbs (preferably in bloom) and nests with eggs.  Trader Joe’s has been carrying daffodils, hyacinths and tulips in little pots.  The place mats are really cool and I believe they’re paper.  I may not be able to find these but I have a collection of Royal Doulton Beatrix Potter rabbits that I can scatter among the nests and flower pots.

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Easter

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

The happy faces on these pansies make simple eggs look festive.

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

If it’s a pretty day we’ll sit outside for appetizers so I’ll create an Easter basket similar to what I did last year.  I used an assortment of color-pack sized flowers and they lasted for most of the early part of summer before fading.

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

I’ve ordered these tags from Everyday Occasions and will bake Jenny Steffens Hobick’s cookies with buttery icing.  Recipe HERE.  I’ll plate some and send each person home with a cookie or two wrapped like this.  Jenny’s blog is filled with great recipes and ideas for setting the table.  She provides detailed instructions for each recipe, and the best part?  She has an online store filled with fun items for home and entertaining.

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

 I hope my cookies turn out as well as Jenny’s.  Aren’t the baby chicks cute?

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

So tell me, what are you doing this Easter?

Garden, Home and Party: Easter 2014

 

{GHP} We’re having another baby!

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If that heading didn’t make you look then I don’t know what would.   :-)

Those of you who read my posts may know we have 2 adult sons, both are married to wonderful women…we really lucked out.

A little over 3 years ago we were blessed with our first grand baby, a sweetie-pie named Olivia.  Olivia lives with her parents in Austin, Texas. Her California grandparents (Mr. B and me) visit as much as we can and they come this way at least twice a year, sometimes more.  We love Austin and as a plane-ride destination to see your granddaughter, it’s the best.

Garden, Home and Party: kids rooms

{Livi now sleeps in a big girl bed (twin) and has Pottery Barn linens in her favorite color}

Our youngest son married in December 2012 and they have just announced that we can expect the arrival of our second grand baby sometime in late October of this year. We’re over the moon with joy!

This got me thinking about nursery design in this day and age, and kid-friendly rooms in general.  I thought I’d share Pinterest images I’ve discovered, as well as a few blog and retail sites whose images I was able to gather, for some great examples of bedrooms for children of all ages.

It should not  surprise anyone  that the newest generation of parents have some pretty amazing ideas for their children’s bedrooms.  Gad, I wouldn’t mind having one or two of these rooms to daydream in myself.

Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have revolutionized the options for the nursery.  Sarah, our daughter-in-law/mother to be, selected this crib for Baby B.  The bed was “inspired by a French antique”.

Garden, Home and Party: kids rooms

{rhbabyandchild.com}

The youth bed conversion is so pretty.  I could see using this as a piece of furniture in another part of the house once baby has outgrown the bed.

Garden, Home and Party: kids rooms

{RH Belle Upholstered Crib}

 The possibilities are endless where nurseries/kid’s rooms are concerned and most of us seasoned [read: older] moms know, babies, all over the world have slept in less stylish digs and thrived.  Still, as someone who dwells on feathering the nest, including each and every room of our home, it’s fun to dream of how we would design a baby’s/child’s room in this 21st century.

Garden, Home and Party: kids rooms

{unknown source}

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

{RH}

Garden, Home and Party: kids rooms

{Elle Decor ~ photograph by Pieter Estersohn}

From the opulence above, to the reality below…

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

{tumblr}

…children really only need space to dream and feel comfortable and secure in.  As a mom, I can say the years from birth to college years pass by in the blink of an eye.  The needs change too, so sometimes it pays to decorate with an eye to the not too distant future to avoid need for costly renovations.

This is a room that, except for the wagon of toys and the trundle bed, any guest would be delighted to slumber in. It’s also pretty unisex, no striking pink or blue touches.

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

Same with the room below.  Although I’d think this might be a boys room, what do you think?

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's Rooms

{source}

I love the wallpaper and roman shade in this room.  Furnished with a larger bed, or a desk this space could serve any purpose in the family home. I could see it as a guest room, TV room and/or study.  For now it’s a great kids room!

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

{Elle Deocr ~ Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna}

A cowboy themed room is fun, but you can see that it wouldn’t take too much to convert it to a college age person’s bedroom, right?  At least one of our son’s would have loved this and probably would want to keep the carpet with it’s cowboy and Indian images through the college years!  Why not?!

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's room

 {unknown}

The nice thing about a tepee is you can store it and no one would realize this was a little boy’s room.

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's Rooms

I love built-in beds.  Especially with a built-in book case.  Would I enjoy making these beds, probably not.  This is why we’d train the children to make their own bed at a very early age. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

{Catalano Architects}

Whoa.  How many will this room sleep?

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

I really like the idea of a window seat bed…this could easily transition to a room for any age person.

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

{Peter Dunham}

Just last a couple of weeks ago Belclaire House wrote about this fantastic Brunschwig & Fils wallpaper, “Battle of Valmy”.  I love it and could almost put it in a room in our house.  I think even a girl would like the horses, soldiers and flags, don’t you?

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

The nautical themed room (below) might be my favorite.  Having boys, I tend to gravitate to something like this.

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's Rooms

 

Garden, Home and Party: Kid's rooms

As I was proofing this post, I realized that nearly all of the images are geared to a boys room.  I confess, I think that is my default.  Raising two boys does that to me.  So, to be fair, and because we have absolutely loved having a girl baby in the family, here are a few amazing rooms for girls only.

Garden, Home and Party: kid's rooms

{Restoration Hardware ~ above & below}

Garden, Home and Party: kid's rooms

Pink toile, I love this room.  I realize not very little girl will be thrilled with it, but it’s pretty all the same.

Garden, Home and Party: kid's rooms

{source inactive blog site}

Are there any little ones in your life?  How do you decorate their rooms?

 

{Garden, Home and Party} Celebrating Spring with Roger’s Gardens

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Roger’s Gardens in Newport Beach, California is a favorite stop any time of the year.  To say it’s a unique and special nursery might be an understatement.  I was recently invited to their Spring Celebration (along with hundreds of others) and their interpretation of the best of SPRING did not disappoint.  I visit the nursery regularly [HERE and HERE] for the inspiration and creativity it supplies.  Roger’s is like the Disneyland of nurseries.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring with Rogers

During my visit I used my iPhone to capture some of the beauty of the flower arrangements and the grounds…no one does spring better, well except Mother Nature!  There are also some photographs saved from Roger’s Gardens site*This is not a paid write up.  Pictures really don’t do this nursery the justice it deserves.  A visit is a delight for the senses.

The room below is part of Roger’s gift gallery.  For this special event all of the flowers you see are real.  It was stunning to enter this building and take in masses of hydrangea, tulips, ranunculus, and roses, to name but a few of the many fabulous spring blooms on hand.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrate Spring w Rogers

This blue and white planter caught my eye, filled with white hellebore, I would have loved to take it home with me.  Unfortunately, it was out of my budget.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring with Rogers

There were nests and cut branches everywhere, including on top of each of the display cabinets in the gallery.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Everywhere you looked, including this orb, sported live flowers.  Even the chain holding the orb to the ceiling was wrapped in ivy.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

There were inviting tablescapes loaded with inspiring ideas for your next spring luncheon.  Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to gather a bouquet like this using flowers from your yard?

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

The fragrance of pink jasmine and other blossoming plants gave your senses the expected scents of an ideal spring day.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Rogers Gardens

We then moved to the floral studio.  This part of the nursery presents (and sells) floral arrangements of all kinds.  I confess, I’ve purchased a few of these beauties, sometimes as gifts and a couple of times as a gift to ME! :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Isn’t this charming?  Roger’s finds decorative items that often look antique, even though they’re not. These cute bunnies were metal and quite heavy.

White hydrangea, ranunculas, lisianthus, roses, white stock, and dusty miller are but a few of the flowers filling this footed vase.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

This arrangement caught my eye, that’s right, that is lettuce growing in the basket filled with seed for growing carrots and beautiful spring flowers.  What a great hostess gift this would be.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

The sweet peas were so fragrant, they were selling them in bunches…I wanted the entire crate.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

The grounds are displayed with antique props (often for sale) and many pre-planted planters are for sale.  I’m sure you can see why visits to Roger’s are as much for a shot of inspiration, as they are for actual purchases.

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

Garden, Home and Party: Celebrating Spring w Roger's Gardens

I hope you enjoyed the tour!  If you are ever in the area, email me, I’ll be happy to take a tour of this fabulous nursery with you.

♥ Karen

 

{Garden} It’s official…rose’s first spring bloom wins!

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Most of us are in agreement that there’s nothing quite as showy as the first blooms of spring, right?  The roses in particular seem to stand out in my little garden.  Spring, whenever she decides to arrive, never ceases to astonish me.

How quickly it can look like this one winter day…

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

and seemingly overnight, the garden announces Spring’s arrival…{full disclosure: the two pictures of our formal garden are from my files, but you get the idea}

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

The wooden fence shares space with a ‘Sally Holmes’ climbing rose; the quadrant to the right (rear) of the sun dial has a ‘Guy de Maupassant ®’, a Romantica rose bred by Alain Meilland (France, 1995); in front of that is another Romantica,  Eden Rose®.  I have an Eden climber as well and they both perform well in my garden and seem relatively pest free.  {I know pests vary from region to region but we had a huge problem with a particular caterpillar that caused pin holes in each leaf.}

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

‘Sally Holmes’

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

‘Guy de Maupassant’

Left of the sundial in back is a new Romantica by the name of ‘bolero’, a white multi-petaled  beauty that was only planted last spring.  I like to give newly planted roses 3 seasons before they get their first report card.  In front is St. Patrick, a hybrid tea rose that has been in since I first planted the garden many years ago.

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

St. Patrick

One of the most beautiful romantic roses ever created is the Meilland rose; Pierre De Ronsard also known as Eden rose. It belongs to a class of roses known as Romanticas. Fully double roses with a romantic old fashioned look. It is the French Rose company’s response to the popularity of the English Austin Roses. Modern roses with an old fashioned look. Many of the Romanticas are Hybrid Teas to the core, but not Eden Rose, that is more like climber —Niels Plougmann, Roses in Gardens blog

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

‘Eden Rose’

Eden Climber™ is one of my favorites, I cannot believe how well it, and the shrub version in the formal garden, performs.  Eden was a little shy this past weekend while I was taking pictures.  She’s not in full bloom yet, but I wanted  you to see the color of Eden (above).

Because my yard has very few sunny locations, ideal for rose growing, I’ve filled in sun/shade areas with Iceberg roses.  Here in California there are a few rose snobs that consider the Iceberg too common for the serious gardener…to this I say, “nonsense”.  It’s a foolproof shrub rose that gives consistent snowy-white blooms from March through October (sometimes even longer) and it demands nothing other than fertilizer and water. For new readers, I live in Southern California, Zone 9, we barely have seasons.  It’s a mixed blessing.  I long for chilly mornings with the burst of fall colors in October and wish for  a smattering of snow in the winter.  That’s the “downside” of living in a mild climate—another post for another time.

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

Iceberg rose

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

A couple of years ago I helped design our youngest son and his sweet wife’s front yard.  We placed an espaliered apple tree on the front of their house.  It has performed so well, but being a cheapskate on my own yard, I thought I’d give espaliering a try with this humble ‘rosa banks’.  It’s done very well, but there will be NO apples.  :-) I may have to break down and buy an apple in the near future.

This picture (below) doesn’t do the apple tree justice, but it really has performed well and even had some apple blossoms early this year.

Garden, Home and Party: Spring roses

White Lady Banks, rosa banks

White Lady Banks, rosa banks

A close-up of Lady Banks…

Garden, Home and Party: Spring RosesThe final two roses I’d like to share are the reliable Cecile Brunner, probably one of the oldest roses in my yard.  We have cut him to within 6 feet off the ground for painters to paint the patio posts, and each time he returns with new canes and more blooms than the year before.

 

Garden Home and Party: Spring Roses

Cecil Brunner -don’t mind the hose that I failed to roll up before taking the picture and notice the leaves on the picture below, that is the pest that used to be on nearly every leaf of most of my roses!

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses~ and ~

the Burgandy Iceberg, which like it’s white cousin, blooms from early March until late October.

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

Burgandy Iceberg Rose

Do you have roses in your garden?  Do you have a favorite variety, I’d love to hear from you.

Garden, Home and Party: Spring Roses

{Home} Be careful what you wish for…refinishing wood floors

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As a homeowner, I have always kept a ‘to do’ list of projects that require attention. About the time you feel like you’ve got everything in order, something will pop up that needs to be repaired or replaced.  I know you know this if you’re a homeowner.

Garden, Home and Party: Wood floor refinishing

On that list, for the past few years, refinishing our wood floors has been right at the top.  The wood floors are in every room of the house except the bedrooms. Fortunately, our house is small.

A week before Thanksgiving we noticed that the floors in the kitchen, going out to the side yard, were buckling slightly.  Long story short, we discovered our ice maker had developed a pin hole in the line running to the ice maker. Who knows how long it had been spewing this tiny spray of water?!

With “the holidays” around the corner we got our bids and told Cooper Floors we’d be ready to start the renovation by mid-January.  I’m thrilled with the result, and thanks to our sweet friend’s, Gretchen and Stu, we were able to stay with them the 4 days during the work of sanding, staining and sealing, making the experience pretty painless {thank you, Gretchen and Stu}.

The kitchen floors had to be replaced but our floor guy made sure it was interwoven with the existing floors so the new wood, compared to the old wood, isn’t noticeable.  All of the floors were sanded down to bare wood and stained and sealed in the end, giving us essentially new floors everywhere.

Garden, Home and Party: Wood floors refinished

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared pictures of our house so I thought I’d share the kitchen, where just a couple of months ago, there was chaos and construction, at least where the floors are concerned.

{I hope to get pictures of each room to share with you this year.  It requires some planning to dress each room for a photo op.  This may take more time than one might imagine}

As you can see, our kitchen is fairly compact but it works well for us.  We remodeled it 10 years ago…I still can’t believe it’s been that long.

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

Essentially a galley kitchen, it’s easy to maneuver when cooking.  It is a one-man kitchen, extra bodies tend to bump into one another.

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

My nod to spring (below).  I collect bird’s nests once the owners vacate the premises (when I can find them).  The quail eggs are real but store bought.  The Halcyon Days enamel egg is the first Easter egg I bought when I began collecting these boxes…that year Mr. B and I had gone up in a hot air balloon…this egg will be a reminder of that fabulous adventure.

Garden, Home and Party: wood florrs 2014

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

The nest in my antique French scale is not real, but the little wren keeping watch over the eggs was hand carved by my dear friend’s dad {Linda (Bainbridge Island) and Gretchen (Irvine)}  Linda and Gretchen are sisters and they have adopted me as a sister, which is special since I’m an only child.  :-)

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

Confession:  Since our kitchen is short on counter top space I’m hoping that somewhere down the line I can get the new Nespresso Vertuoline, which would streamline our coffee counter.  We’re big fans of coffee…so we have a drip coffee maker and a Breville espresso maker.  The Nespresso Vertuoline does both all in the compact confines of a beautiful machine.  I only wish this was a paid advertisement for Nespresso!

Garden, Home and Party: wood floor 2014

I must say, the best thing in my kitchen is the Viking Stove. I honestly didn’t realize there was any difference between one stove or another until we bought this hard- working lovely.

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

The black piece at the end of the kitchen is our pantry.  The woman who helped with the design of our kitchen recommended creating a pantry that looked like a piece of furniture.

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014

Here’s a close up of the floors, our large dog has broken them in getting up to chase something outside…we need to buy her some booties.

Garden, Home and Party: wood floors 2014Do you have any major projects on your list for this year?   I hope to take pictures of some of the other rooms in our home and share them with you this year.

{Home} Rustic, the new elegance?

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Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

I have zeroed in on my personal style preferences where home design is concerned.  Still, I can be stopped in my tracks when I spot a room, or the details therein,  that I love.  Recently, I stumbled across a series of rustic images on Pinterest.  I had fun searching out additional images for this post.

rus•tic  adjective  1. of or relating to the countryside; rural.  2. constructed or made in a plain and simple fashion, in particular.  synonyms: plain, simple, homely, unsophisticated

This cabin might be an example of crossing the line between rustic and primitive…

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

{via}

This one?  Maybe, but I sure love the setting.  You know how I love tree houses.

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

{via}

There is something so striking about a lot of what would be called RUSTIC style.  Sometimes there’s a fine line between rustic and primitive and maybe I’m not so enamored of the primitive side of design, but plain and simple can often lure me in. More often than not, I find rustic furniture and small architectural details left in a rustic state a look I could not only live with, but be quite content.

There’s a rustic look to the wood on the walls in this space.  The simplicity of the table and chairs, the bell jar lighting and the open-air feel are inviting.

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

{via}

Talk about kicking ‘it’ up a notch with the rustic look…I love this metal(?) vintage door used for the closet.  There’s got to be an interesting story behind this selection.

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

{unknown}

I can imagine a wooden tub in a cabin or second home somewhere…a back to nature getaway.

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

{pinterest}

True confession, the image below, while it has a chippy armoire, the only truly rustic piece is the coffee table.  I love the fireplace and charcoal gray velvet sofa so I had to include this room.

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic{pinterest}

This tub might be more comfortable, the sides have been adorned with reclaimed wood but the tub is a either porcelain over cast iron or acrylic-like.

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

{via}

The floors are very rustic in the bedroom below, too rustic?

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic

{pinterest}

Garden, Home and Party: Rustic{pinterest}

Thoughts?  Am I taking the year’s personal goal of “simplicity” too far?  

~Spring is only two days away!~

{Garden} Arbor Day, for the love of trees

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Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day

 {I realize I’ve been on a bit of a flora and fauna kick of late…I get this way when spring is upon us, I’m antsy for Spring’s arrival, how about you?.}  

It’s Arbor Day {week} in California, March 7-12.  Does it seem odd to anyone besides me that Arbor Day {week} is held on different days, depending on the state you reside in?

Bottom line, I’m a huge fan of trees, always have been.  I grew up living on a 4 lane street lined with Maple trees.  It would have been ideal had it been a 2 lane road but I do recall loving the trees and the seasonal change to the landscape they brought.

When my landscape partner and I started our Blooming Borders business some years ago, we found ourselves waging battle (always subtle and subdued) with our clients to keep the trees they had.  More than once we lost the fight and we were sad to supervise the removal of old Sycamore or Alder trees—taken out to allow more light into the yard or to avoid the “messy leaf cleanup” in autumn. Many in our community keep their trees trimmed to roof height to comply with the community Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). This rule usually stems from view issues of one kind or another.

Our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter recently moved into a home in Austin that enjoys a tree-house feel thanks to the many trees on their lot…

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

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Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014~Austin, Texas~

*Note: these pictures were taken in the heat of summer just after the kids bought the home.  The seller had decided to skip watering the yard while the house was listed…really?!  Fortunately, the yard is so much prettier now that the kids have done some yard clean-up, and Austin has had some beneficial rain this past winter.

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

…the Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin value the historic trees on the grounds of this lovely hotel located in Austin’s South Congress District…

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

I have kept all of the trees on our postage sized lot and they provide shade in the summer and a pleasant back drop for our suburban tract house…

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

My favorite communities have an abundance of trees.  Palos Verdes, California, parts of Marin County, California, Bainbridge Island, Washington and my own community here in Irvine, all seem more inviting and lovely for their abundance of mature trees.

There is a park across the street from our home and the mature trees there break up the monotony of house after cookie-cutter house, not to mention the birthday parties, soccer practices, and sand lot playground they shade.

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

About a mile down the road is a community park that offers a stream and plenty of trees.  There’s even a Nature Center offering programs on the local flora and fauna.

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Aside from the aesthetic, trees benefit a community by cleansing the air, even pollutants are partially controlled by trees.  In one study of an urban park, tree cover was found to remove 48 lbs of particulates, 9 lbs of nitrogen dioxide, 6 lbs of sulfur dioxide and 1/2 lb. carbon monoxide.

Mostly, I just love the beauty trees provide around a house.  To make my point on this Arbor Day {week}, here are a few lovely examples…

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

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Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014{via}

Garden, Home and Party: for the love of trees

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor DayIn California our official tree is the Redwood…

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

Happy Arbor Day, or week.  I hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy the trees in your neck of the woods.

Garden, Home and Party: Arbor Day 2014

{Home} The magic of flowers and Ikebana

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Garden, Home and Party: Ikebana

Flowers are a welcome mood and room brightener and maybe never as coveted as on these last few days/weeks(?!) of winter.  I am always on the lookout for new ideas and inspiration for a display of flowers, whether they are store bought or home grown or a combination thereof.  Bouquets (below) with unexpected elements are such a nice surprise.

Garden, Home and Party: Ikebana{source}

Flowers – they transport us, romance us, amaze us. They make us smile and swoon. Who could live without them?

—Charlotte Moss, designer

Garden, Home and Party: ikebana

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So I was excited to receive an invitation from Tuttle Publishing to read their new book, Japanese Ikebana for Every Season by Rie Imai and Yuji Ueno, and asked to post my thoughts.

Garden, Home and Party: Ikebana

I really enjoyed this book as my recollection of ikebana was of a far different style than the arrangements shared herein.  The classic ikebana arrangement should look natural, something I lean towards where flower arrangements are concerned.  But I used to think of ikebana arrangements as stark and possibly a little too modern for my tastes.  Clearly, this doesn’t have to be the case, for this pair of talented artists (the authors) have introduced a new view of ikebana.

Garden, Home and Party: ikebana

Garden, Home and Party; ikebana

Author Rie Imai is an accomplished “lifestyle coordinator” in Japan, with a focus on interior design and flowers.  During her time in the United State Ms. Imai completed floral design course work at   Parsons New School for Design, New York and at City College in San Francisco.  She has traveled extensively and has mastered blending the cultural aesthetics of modern and traditional, as well as Eastern and Western influences into her floral designs.

Garden, Home and Party: Ikebana

Garden, Home and Party: ikebana

Garden, Home and Party: ikebana

Her co-author, Yuji Ueno, is an independent floral artist.  The book’s introduction to Mr. Ueno says it best, “…Yuji has created a style not linked to any recognized Japanese ikebana school…he has found the freedom to chart his own course.”  He has a personal website where you will find further inspiration.

In addition to some spectacular examples of the new ikebana, the book offers detailed words and illustrations on water absorption, cutting  and maintenance techniques; there are helpful tips on stabilizing, shaping and trimming which can assure your success as you embark on creating your own flower arrangements.

Garden, Home and Party: ikebana

There are great ideas for each season, using items from the yard as well as what you can buy.  As with any floral arrangement, it’s the unexpected that catches my eye and presents a need to study exactly what has been included.

Garden, Home and Party: ikebana

The photography for the book was done by Noboru Murata, one of Japan’s most accomplished photographers.  

Garden, Home and Party: ikebana

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The book will be a welcome reference to anyone who enjoys flowers in the home, and who doesn’t?

{Thanks to Tuttle Publishing for contacting me and providing me with Japanese Ikebana for Every Season}

Spring officially arrives on March 20th.  Happy Spring, just a little early!

 

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