Out & About

Inspired by Tiled Staircases

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Hello all – how was your weekend? It was go go go for us and we got a lot done but  still managed to squeeze in a few hours of lounging-around-the-house time, soaking up the bliss that exists in these last few weeks of summer before it’s back to school and all things fall. 

Last week we traveled back from Southern California on a family vacay, stopping in Santa Barbara for two days and if ever there was a beautiful place to be, Santa Barbara is surely it! It’s a cool coastal scene with a youthful vibe because of the University. SB has the best of everything: great eats, fab shopping, a gorgeous Pacific Ocean view, a mellow hip atmosphere, and stunning architecture around every bend, much of it inspired by the missions of California.

Matt’s favorite architectural style is Mission Revival, he loves the iconic combination of pale stucco, a tile roof, iron fixtures, and porticos, so our long and lingering drive around town was equally as thrilling to my DIY/design eye and it was to his appraisal expertise.

We talk about building that “forever home” someday when the kids are grown, nothing too big, just a sweet and small Mediterranean style villa in Sonoma on a few acres, one where he can putter around on a tractor tending to the orchard and vineyard and I can spend my hours in the garden. I’ve always dreamed of a tiled staircase (it ranks high on our list with a sunroom) and I was so inspired by the many versions I saw while walking around Santa Barbara.

tiled staircase in santa barbara

 

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Scenic Monterey & Big Sur

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Every few years Matt and I road trip up and down the California coast, stopping in to visit our favorite cities that welcome visitors with amazing views and great cafes. We’ve toured all over inland California from Lake Tahoe to Palm Springs but there’s something really special about taking a week to drive the highway that runs along the Pacific coast to stop and stay in some beautiful oceanfront towns.

Last week we spent time in Monterey and Big Sur with charming Carmel-by-the-Sea nestled in between. The three are worth a weekend visit to any traveler visiting California (see scenes from Carmel here). Spanish inspired architecture covered with bougainvillea, fuchsia, and coastal botanicals thrive in the sunshine and sea air and there is always plenty to see, eat, and do.

iron grill

flowering fuschia

 

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