"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Dream House: Sandcastle

I have spent countless, happy hours watching my kids build castles in the sand. When I happened upon this fairytale home by the sea in Sunset Beach, California it captured my imagination.

I like to think that the romantic who built such a structure was making childhood promises come true.

For some reason, the home on the sand reminds me of a quote by Henry David Thoreau:

"Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air (or sand?). They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
  In the year ahead, I hope we all strive to fulfill our deepest, most personal and perhaps, fantastic wishes. If that means a beach-front home that looks like a sand castle, so be it.

For 2012, I wish you strong foundations for your dreams, and the courage to make them come true.

 All the best.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home Style: California Kitchen Renovation

California photographer, Vangie Ogg, understands the magic of natural light and says it's a favorite feature in the newly remodeled kitchen of her 1948 home.

Working closely with designer Sybil Jane Barrido, Ogg and her family maintained the kitchen's original square footage, while adding an island and improving functionality and layout. 

The unique, teal-colored light fixture was the first item purchased and became the inspiration for the design of the entire space.

Prior to renovation, the Ogg's purchased the Danish modern-inspired chairs from Calligaris. The tablecloth is Issac Mizrahi from Target.

Sleek, open shelving allows for easy access and happy bursts of color.
A built-in wine rack awaits!

 Sintra Quartz Wall Deco Matte ceramic tile creates an elegant look for walls and back-splash. The countertops are Technistone in Gobi Grey Antique finish.

Photography for this post is courtesy of Vangie Ogg. To see the "before" photo as well as additional imagery and resources, check out Ogg's work and blog at VangieOgg.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deck The Halls: Holiday Lights

Walking in a winter wonderland means something different in Southern California. Holiday lights set the stage (in some cases literally) for magical nights that sparkle.
"Going Griswold"
For some, more is more.
A Hollywood themed film set starring Santa is set up on the front lawn! Action!
Lights blaze on waterfront homes along the canals in Naples, CA.

Encore!(Note the figure on the ladder -it's a mannequin posed to look like he is about to fall off the front of the house). Wide open front doors display decoration both inside and out! Now that's spirit!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Shops: Blue Windows

Blue Windows, a charming little shop in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach has that unique ability to present shoppers with things they didn't know they needed. It's the quality that makes shopping so much fun - and gives one the sense they've stumbled upon a treasure.

Owner, Heather Duncan has a knack for interpreting current trends for her stylish, California-casual neighborhood in a way that makes sense. Great ideas abound.

 Actually, as of today you only have six....

Jingle all the way!
Spice up the holidays!

I know this blog focuses on the home, but I would be remiss in not telling you about the wonderful jewelry you can find here! In a word, love! Happy hunting!

Visit Blue Windows online, or in their shop: 5276 East 2nd Street, Long Beach, CA. 562-434-7195.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

At Home with Holiday Cards

Typewriter reinvented! Cool yule, old school!
Ric-rac zig-zags across a window, mini clothespins hold cards!
With the everyday occurance of email, receiving holiday cards via snail mail is more charming and welcome than ever. They are beautiful reminders of friendship, family and happy times together. The question is, where to put them? I like to display them as part of my holiday decorating.
A wooden box finds new purpose as card catchall.
Tuck cards into a shutter. A little tape. Very merry!

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