Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Showtime!....Curtis Park Home Tour

Spring has sprung in sunny fact I am already having to put netting over our fruit trees before the birds and squirrels steal all the plums, peaches, and apricots just starting to appear. Spring means home tours around these parts, and Curtis Park, the neighborhood I live in,  is gearing up for a great tour this year.

It is a day where vintage cars  from the Capital A's Model A Ford Club drive around this neighborhood bringing back the feeling of when this neighborhood was born back in the early 1900's. Our house was built in 1911, and most of the houses were built between 1910 and 1940. We have a great variety of architectural styles, from Victorian Farmhouse, to Craftsman Bungalow, to Monterrey style, to Tudor style here. We moved here because Tim and I both love the history, the variety, the gardens, but most of all, the neighbors. It is the people that convinced us this was the place for us....there is perhaps one degree of separation here. Everyone knows someone who knows someone else. It has a community spirit that is not easy to find.
Last year's tour with an example of the vintage cars found throughout the neighborhood on tour day. The little green Tudor across the street was our first house in Sacramento!
Photo by Katie Denham
Which brings us to the annual Home Tour! Every year, there are very generous people who allow us all to look through their homes....often times there are recent remodels or decorating changes to see. But most often they are simply community minded souls who want to contribute in any way they can to making this a better place to live. They want to share their lives with us and in doing so, our neighborhood is able to contribute financially to our Community Center, Sierra 2 Center, as well as to our local Elementary School, Bret Harte.

This year, the line up looks great! There are seven homes, a couple of Monterrey style, a few Tudor cottages and an American Foursquare. I will be taking lots of photos on Tour Day and posting more afterwards. There will be food and drink available and picnic tables under the shade trees in the park where you can listen to local bands while enjoying lunch.

You can buy your tickets online HERE!

Hope to see you there!!!

All photos by Rudy Calpo unless otherwise noted

Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Man's Folly : GIVE AWAY

It has long been a dream of mine to have a place to put all of the things I collect. It is a dream, and yet perhaps it is best left a dream. As I get older, I find I just want to get rid of things. They seem to become less pleasing and entail more I dream of picking up and starting over with less....less of my own things, but more in the way of seeing everyone else's. Because every thing worth having contains a story.....and I have always loved a good story. Perhaps that is why I am drawn to countries a bit older than ours. There is more "story" there....and after all, other places are where many of the stories of our own "melting pot" country began.

After that little digression.....I must say I do have great appreciation for those who collect lots of things, and do it well with love, interest and curiosity.
 I grew up in a house with a mother who had that indefinable knack to put things with stories from all eras together, and in the process, creating our own story. Perhaps that is why Furlow Gatewood's story appeals to me so much. Enter the new book, ONE MAN'S FOLLY: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood by Julia Reed, Rizzoli New York, 2014.

Furlow Gatewood is a man who loves good things and loves the hunt. It seems he has always done so. A true sountern gent, Mr. Gatwood has been building enchantingly charming structures on his property located in Americus Georgia for decades. Some of the buildings were already on the property but on death's door until Furlow administered a bit of CPR to bring them back to life, along with the help of the many craftsmen who collaborated with him over the years. Others of the structures began with a window or door that Furlow brought home during his forays into the adventures of antique hunting, often in the company of John Rosselli, legendary antiques dealer,  and/or Bunny Williams, iconic Interior Designer. Speaking of Bunny Williams, she describes her long friendship with Mr. Gatewood in the book's forward, and also in the last chapter of the book.

ONE MAN'S FOLLY is divided into chapters based on each of the buildings....or "follies".... and described with great passion by the author, Julia Reed. She describes her first foray into Furlow's world, even as to finding the address as being "Peacock Alley" which did not show up on her iPhone's GPS. She describes Furlow's background and family as he grew up in Georgia and his move to NYC in his thirties. This is where he met and became partners with John Rosselli.....and where they became lifelong friends. This is also the time where he developed his passion for collecting antiques for the antique shop he and John owned, and for himself. He has been doing so ever since, and at 94 is still going strong back where his story Georgia.

So here are some of my favorite images from the book. They come from all of the outbuildings known as The Barn (the previous carriage house and Furlow's main residence), The Peacock House (which started as a winter plant house with dirt floors, but became a proper house built around a set of French Doors) , The Cuthbert House ( a house scheduled for demolition on a church grounds in Cuthbert, Georgis, and so transported to Furlow's property to be reborn), The Lumpkin House (which was owned by a cousin and moved to Furlow's property from Lumpkin, Georgia, providing ample opportunity to house more of Furlows abundant collections), and then there is a chapter all about other various outbuildings and the beautiful gardens. But one cannot forget a chapter about all of the collections Furlow has amassed over a lifetime of hunting and gathering.

For anyone who loves a good story, there are page after page of visual fairytale adventures captured at every turn.  There are Peacocks and secret gardens, fabrics from around the globe but never too precious for dogs and cats to feel right at home, gingerbread trim and hydrangeas spilling out from enormous terra cotta pots lining the lane, walking sticks and pagodas, fountains and boxwood topiary. One might never see such splendor that shouts so loudly of "home". Fortunately, we now have this book, this lovely book to inspire us all to make our own little wonderland in whatever way that might be.

So....on to the "good stuff".......


And for one of you it would be so very easy a thing to do! For, you see, in the tradition of acquisition, I am lucky to have found myself with an extra copy.....thanks to the kindness of the wonderful folks at Rizzoli. And I am saving it for one of you. For what good is collecting beautiful stuff if not to share it? is what you must do:

1) Click on the "comment" link at the bottom of this post and leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts about ONE MAN'S FOLLY .
2) Make sure I can contact you by including an email address, or make sure your username has a link to a contact email.
3) The Cut Off date to enter is April 26th 2014 ,  at 5:00PM PST. (Tim's birthday! Presents for him, presents for you!) I will announce the winner the next day,April 27th, life permitting!


Stunning images by photographers extraordinaire: Rodney Collins and Paul Costello

Monday, March 17, 2014

Green Certified

 A perfect day for being green. Here are just a few favorite things that make me green with envy! No particular particular rhyme or reason....other than inspiration and beauty.

For more green inspiration and to find out more about these images, hop on over to my Pinterest Page HERE!

Wishing you all a very
St. Paddy's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

What To Do This Weekend: Block Butcher Bar

Last weekend, Tim and I were on a bike tour of some of the LEED certified buildings around the midtown area of Sacramento. It is always fun to be out and about on a sunny day taking a closer look at Sactown. Without the tour, we would not have come upon Block Butcher Bar quite so soon. Located in the MARRS building on 20th Street, it has a pretty small storefront......but the place is deep. Square footage-wise, but also in its commitment to the best of locally produced charcuterie.

Brought to you by the owners of neighboring brat and beer destination, LowBrau, Block Butcher Bar is "......darker, sexier, even dangerous to a certain extent" says proprietor Michael Hargis. It does have a moody vibe....and  for me, the atmosphere does play a major role when I go out to eat. I like well designed spaces to go along with my well designed food! HERE is an excellent article to give you the flavor of the food and drink from Sactown Magazine. But I am here to give you a peek into the space itself.......

The building itself used to be a warehouse that was transformed into the MARRS building (Midtown Art Retail Restaurant Scene) by developer Mike Heller and friends. It is now a destination spot for midtown life and activity. Block Butcher Bar is the newest of the cool spots to be found in this neck of the woods. The building has maintained the concrete floors throughout and Block has taken full advantage here while adding their own take on industrial deconstructed cool.

The owners brought in Steve Tiller of Reclamation Art and Furniture to create all of the custom furniture from the smooth as silk walnut and steel banquet seating, to the live edge communal table to the swivel bar stools. In my humble opinion, the artisans and designers of restaurants in general do not get quite the slaps on the back they deserve. My hat's off to them!

They added the raw lath to the walls, and a steel framed enclosure for the exhibition space .....

You can see more of the live edge walnut at the bar front....and a concrete bar top....

And one of my favorite accents....the meat hook light fixtures... Perhaps that is the danger Michael was referring too? (Or it could be the fine collection dark spirits behind the bar!.....aka whiskey!)

Any way you slice it, Block Butcher Bar offers up an impressive meal for the senses. Aesthetically top notch, and my mouth is just as pleased!

Hop on over to the Block Butcher Bar facebook page for the latest.....and if you need a little take-out, the front deli counter can fix you right up.....

Now go eat.....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Coolest: Jay Jeffers

Photo by Matthew Millman
Make way for Mr. Cool: Mr. Jay Jeffers is one of the top dogs in the Interior Design "Best of Show" arena, and he has just come out with his first book: Jay Jeffers: Collected Cool by Jay Jeffers with Alisa Carroll; Rizzoli New York, 2014. Available this month!

Jay Jeffers has been one of my long time favorites, and many others seem to agree. He has been on Elle Decor's A-list for the last three years running. Jay seems to think of every little thing, from the Grosgrain tape color under the nail heads on an upholstered chair to the wood beaded detail on a lampshade, to the custom fireplace screen with colorful agate slices that creates another opportunity for art placement. As Jay says, it is all in the layering. Hence the name of the book: "Collected Cool". For a place to be truly COOL, Jay understands the necessity for collecting....for adding a bit here and a tad there that will create character in a home. 

Jay Jeffer's does it up in his well cultivated shop in San Francisco: Cavalier
I do like a design book that takes me through a whole house. I like to see how the spaces relate to each other in style, color, feel. I like to read "the story". And this book does not disappoint! The book is organized into chapters....or sections really. In the first section, Jay talks about how good design is "all in the mix"...those unexpected combinations that brings an energy to a space. "Like the perfect guest list, the mix needs to be planned using internal logic - a correspondence in scale, shape, color - that ensures a harmonious whole." Well said!

I think I left my bag in the foyer....let me go get it. I just love this space: the back lit mirror, sepia photograph, the left and right armed chairs, petrified wood table....and yes, there is my bag ( if only!)
The next section is titled "Bold Bespoke", Here Jay focuses on projects where custom design, from the furniture, to the finishes, to the art and accessories, forms a whirlwind of uniquely crafted one-of-a-kind treasures. Jay is one of those lucky designers who has ample opportunity to work with clients who want those one-of-a-kind heirlooms, and we get to see it all from entry to exit...

Tile on the stairs? No, just the custom designed carpet from the wonderful mind of Jay Jeffers.
The next section is all about glamour...the sophistication and seduction. It is about projects that revel in the use of luxurious fabrics and lustrous finishes. Well lit, with just the right sparkle and just the right comfort.....cashmere, silk velvet, polished marble, crystal and get the idea. 

Lovely palette of coral and sky blue...looks like Spring! Photo by Cesar Rubio
Perhaps my favorite section is the last...."Casual Chic". Perhaps because my lifestyle is a bit on the casual side.....and "casual" says to me that one might be on vacation.....and that sounds pretty good. And while I have much admiration for formality and glamour and quite enjoy it on special occasions.....on a daily basis there is a comfort in casual living. But who says "casual" means boring? Jay Jeffers makes sure it is anything but! Chic is the word here. 

Jay is great at color, but also a master of the tone on tone room.
Another noteworthy part of the book is the forward by New York designer Jamie Drake ( he renovated Gracie Mansion doncha know!), also a favorite! And it seems Jamie and Jay are equally admiring of each other ever since they met in 2007 when Jay designed a room for the House & Garden Hampton's Showhouse ( I miss the days of House & Garden!!!) 

I have included just a few of my favorite spaces you can find in the book....but there are 252 pages really you should just go and order the book. So many wonderful ideas, so little time. It is always a joy to sit down and flip through the pages of a book like this. Take a look at a little more of what you will find......

Red chairs in a Nook will get you up and running in the morning! Such a fun space. Photo by Joe Fletcher
Jay's own home in San Francisco....I see those great chairs again! Just love the combination of things in this space. Photo by Joe Fletcher
The limestone fireplace surround, the vintage leather chairs, the pinstripe wallpaper and a red egg.....that's all I need. Well, maybe not all...
Jay's home in St. Helena. Casual Cool.

A couple of dreamy bedrooms....Jay never forgets a wall or a ceiling! Birds on the walls and a lavender ceiling in the first, and wood panels and a turquoise ceiling in the second.
All and all, this book is as beautiful as the interiors it represents. The book is filled with an enormous number of full page gorgeous photos.....and after all, that is what we crave in a design book, is it not? Beautiful cover, but I always do take a look at how the book itself is bound and if it is also up to snuff. Yes sir it is. It is bound in a beautiful coral colored coated fabric with the\bright silver letters COLLECTED COOL on the front. So it is pretty awesome inside and out....just like Jay.......

Photo by Matthew Millman
Just so you know.... Jay is also the creator of a fabulous shop in San Francisco by the name of Cavalier. If you find yourself in the area, you really should stop in for a little shopping therapy. I was lucky to stop in right when it first opened in 2012 and caught some of the genius for a blog post about Cavalier HERE

Photos by Matthew Millman unless otherwise noted.