Takeaway Tuesday: Versatile Dining Space

April 15th, 2014

I was admiring the design work of Terra Cotta Properties recently and stumbled across some spaces in their portfolio that are really wonderful. One favorite is this versatile dining space and I loved everything about it, then I remembered I started a “takeaway” series last year and for unknown reasons (I forgot?) I stopped those weekly features, so let’s revive it again!

Dining rooms come in all styles from dark and dramatic to bold and colorful to light and bright. I prefer the latter since it allows you to easily change up your table setting and accents without serious redecorating. And don’t we all love a great seasonal tablescape! A neutral palette won’t compete for attention with a colorful table setting.

Homes with larger square footage have the benefit of two separate dining spaces that are formal and casual, but so many smaller homes don’t, or people with formal dining spaces are smartly converting them into home offices or dine in libraries. Function is key!

The best thing about dining spaces is their purpose: to gather with family and friends around good eats, it’s not about fancy shmancy decor. Mixing casual and formal elements in a single dining area makes for a versatile space that works for both elegant brunches and lazy suppers. Bonus points if it functions as a place for homework, school projects or working on a laptop. Which is why this dining space is so great, it can do all of that.

Here are five takeaways from this very versatile dining room!

takeaway tuesday versatile dining space

In the image above, the space looks fresh for spring and summer, but in autumn, can you see pumpkins scattered on the console and table? And during the holidays evergreens, bulbs, and winter berries? Perfect!

Read the rest of the “takeaway” posts here, more coming soon.

Image via Terra Cotta Properties

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Day Trip: St. Helena

April 14th, 2014

We had such an amazing time in St. Helena with our inlaws last weekend we went again on Saturday to dine and shop! The spring weather has been spectacular with gorgeous blue skies so we couldn’t resist. I always take my camera along to capture the sights …

st helena day trip

St. Helena is a little town nestled between Calistoga to the north and Rutherford to the south in the heart of the Napa Valley and it makes for a fabulous day trip for anyone visiting the region.

napa valley map

map from here 

One thing a lot of tourists do is catch the Wine Train in Napa that takes you all the way up to St. Helena and back. We rode the sunset dinner train years ago with friends which was so fun but if you catch the lunch train during the day you will get the benefit of amazing vineyard scenery during daylight hours.

napa valley wine train

If you’re driving or biking along the main road into St. Helena your head will turn nonstop from left to right to take in all the sights. The landscape is covered with hillside vineyards and peppered with wineries, inns, and shops with idyllic grounds where you can stop to taste olive oil, cheese, and of course wine!

st helena winery

 

long meadow ranch tastings

           winery st helena

 

inn in st helena

It’s impossible to squeeze it all into one day but it’s worth visiting just to savor the sights and flavors.    

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