Tuesday, May 28, 2013

...what is on your BEACH BLANKET?

I hope you all had a nice extended weekend....Memorial Day typically marks the beginning of Summer and if you happened to be in San Francisco yesterday like I was, well that may have been a bit hard to imagine as the RAIN (wth?!) was coming down....it was a chilly and gloomy Monday....perhaps more suitable for what Memorial Day really represents?

Being the warm weather and sun lovin' girl I am from Southern California I spent some of the day yesterday indoors away from the chill and rounded up a few favorites I would sport on my beach blanket in a hot minute - how about you?  What are your beach essentials?

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1. pom-pom beach umbrella - so chic + festive!
2. jonathan alder oversized beach towel
3. rectangular sunnies and needle point glass case from Trina Turk  (PS...glass case comes in "Palm Springs" as well....I'll take one of each!)
4. the "waterhog" mini-longboard by Channel Islands/Al Merrick is the perfect board for "once in awhile" surfers like me....and you can order it "ecoboard"....sustainable surfing!.
5. a silk kaftan is SO not practical, I know....but I couldn't resist the sunset colors in this one by Emilio Pucci.
6. bow embellished bandeau swimsuit by Miu Miu 
7. practical design by Coleman - this cooler rolls, has cup holders, can be used for an extra seat and can hold bottles upright.....!
8. seeing as footwear tends to take a beating at the beach, these Old Navy flip flops are both colorful + fun and at $5 a pair you won't have a meltdown if they get thrashed!
9. foldable beach chair from Target - bonus, it's rust resistant! 

 warm weather calls for reggae (heck, any weather calls for reggae) and this has always been a standard at my beach growing up (Mesa Lane):

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

....OLD VINE heaven for mother's day weekend....!

My mom is one special lady.  Often when I fantasize about winning the lottery the VERY first thought that comes to my mind of what I would do.....well, that is easy.  I would buy my sweet momma a single level beautiful ranch home in Santa Ynez with gardens for days, horses, a painting studio, a potter's wheel and kiln, gym, wine cellar, a housekeeper at her service...without a hesitation that is the first thing that comes to mind.  I seriously day dream about all the different ways and things I could do and provide for my mom to give her all these simple and creative outlets she loves.....one day. Right?  In the meantime, I do what I can and seek out fun things for her and I to do together that are meaningful to both of us, create memories, are educational and inspirational - you get the drift, yes?!

So when Turley Wine Cellars sent me an email months ago about the "Historical Vineyard Society's 3rd Annual Vineyard Tour and Dinner" - I was pumped.  Perfect.  My mom, wine, girl's weekend, Mother's Day Weekend...score! And she was IN.  Did you think she wouldn't be?!

We had no idea what to expect when we arrived to Seghesio Family Winery in Healdsburg, CA, for the tour. There were three air conditioned vans and we were separated quickly into groups.....shuttled onto said vans and off we went to start the tour which would tour four vineyards that farmed and kept "historical vines" - in short = gnarly, old Zinfandel (for the most part of this particular tour) vines that are still producing fruit (and, hence, um...wine).

Our first stop was at Henderlong Ranch - Nalle Winery:

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Planted in 1927 and to this day is dry-farmed.  I could get into the nitty-gritty of what this all means, but you would be better off visiting this dude's blog - Richard Jennings - he was on our tour and is a wine wizard.

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momma taking a little sniff of grape fruit blossoms 

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the adorable Doug and Lee Nalle

Next stop was Whitton Ranch Old Patch - Ridge Vineyards:

These vines were planted in the 1880's......?!  Majority Zin (60%), with Carignane (25%) and lesser amounts of Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Mataro, Syrah, Grenache, Palmino and others.

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a big juicy old, Sryah (I think....?!)

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And then came a fav for me, Turley Wine Cellars "101 Vineyard" - aptly named for it's stone's throw location from highway 101.  It was teense and precious and just hearing Tegan speak about the age and spiritual memory of the vines was enough for my mom to want to run up and hug the guy.  But Tegan hit the nail on its head with connecting emotion to the vine and grape and how one might relate to it....more to come on that later...

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everyone has their own way of doing things......Tegan said they like their leaves to have a "doppler" effect on the fruit....so that a small bird can come in (like a nest), do a little swirl and fly out.  See?  Wine tugs at your heart strings.

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Our last stop was at Chianti Station - Seghesio Family Winery where we ventured away from Zinfandels and laid our eyes on beautiful field blends of Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Malvasia and Trebbiano.  Ned Neumiller (5th generation winemaker spoke eloquently to the nature of the workers who harvest and tend these grapes and I was very happy to hear about how they hire their workers and not only provide for them with above regulated wages, but also provide housing, safety training, etc.  The path of the grape is one that travels through many hands and when those hands are treated with respect and care, such is the grape.  In my opinion.

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We ended our tour back at Seghesio for a sit down, insanely YUMMY dinner and were finally able to taste all these delicious wines we looked and learned about throughout the tour.  They did a fantastic job with dinner and we had an amazing time at our table meeting and talking to new friends.

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and for the record I was NOT the last one at the table:

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I had such a special time with my mom....I feel so lucky to share this passion of wine tasting with her.  I have had an interest in wine since my early days in the restaurant industry.  I wasn't born with an extraordinary palette - it is something I am constantly trying to educate and train.  There are many parallels to wine and design as I am coming to find out during some of my reflective moments during adventures and tastings like these.  Both are subjective to the user...there are highs and lows - both in price and quality.  There are bargains.  There are limited editions.  Some carry a memory and history that can't be replicated.  Both have a beginning, a peak, and a decline.....steady at times, but a decline. Neither is eternal.  They both give pleasure, a sense of satisfaction, elated happiness....heck, sometimes regret, right?!

I never want to stop learning....never want to stop being inspired.....thanks to weekends like these, it's impossible!

Wines from the weekend that you need to run out and buy:

Bedrock Vineyards
Ridge Vineyards
Turley Wine Cellars
Henderlong Ranch - Nalle Winery

all images by janel holiday interior design 

Soundtrack is my one of my fav Dean Martin's songs....cheers!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

....DESIGNER DEETS at this year's SF SHOWCASE HOUSE....!

This year's San Francisco Decorator's Showcase was of course held once again in a major home in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco...an affluent area known for period homes that were built (mostly) around the 1870s with additions and further development after the 1906 earthquake.  A lot of the homes feature rather awkward interiors with narrow stairways and smaller rooms that don't have your typical floor plans, ceilings and straightforward walls...all this adding challenge to the designers that take on a room to showcase their talents and style.

I walked through with my fellow interior designer friend, Rebecca Loewke, after a yummy catch-up lunch session and have the following favorite details from the house to share with you...!

One room getting a lot of press this year is Catherine Kwong's Living Room - with it's rock chic + glamourous details, it isn't hard to see why:

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pretty drapery leading edge detail

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studded doors

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pierced brass sconces

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i thought these chairs in Heather Hilliard's Dining Room had an interesting shape

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this sculpture is porcelain...!

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detail of the porcelain sculpture above

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brick linen fabric lining over a open sheer - loved this detail in Z Dimensions Interior Design's Master Sitting Room

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custom horn light fixture from Coup D'Etat in Z Dimensions Interior Design's Master Sitting Room

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Dornbracht's Tara fittings are one of my favorites....seeing them in a matte black finish in the bathroom designed by Siol Studios was great....not to mention that live wall!

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super proud of my fellow designer, Jaimie Belew, for her accompishments in turning a small closet into an artist's nook!

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the "Maker's Mark Retreat" by Kelly Holha for Jeffers Design Group featured rich texture, metallic details in the lighting and furniture and was one of my favorite spaces....

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fab fixture!

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brass detailing...so good.

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super fun art in the "Danger Zone" space designed by Martha Angus.

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lots of pops of color and pattern in the "Writer's Retreat" by Kriste Michelini Interiors

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In the "Atelier" designed by Antonio Martins Interior Design there was a place for everything....every inch of the space had tasteful design sense and skill applied to it with my favorite feature being the custom lacquered drawers housing antique tools...

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Kelley Flynn of Kelley Flynn Interior Design's Water Closet was a tricky + small space that she managed to give a huge personality to.  The pleated fabric was an amazing feature and the result was a very chic little water closet!

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Dogfork always makes the most amazing light fixtures and the one they did for "Soaking Bath" designed by Willem Racke Studio was no exception! 

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i am obsessed with this light fixture by Boyd Lighting used in the "Powder Room" by Chambers + Chambers...!

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Living Green Design always hits it out of the park with their gardens and live installations.  The live vertical wall of conifers, maples, mosses and fern created the most beautiful blanket of pattern and texture - stunning.

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all photos by Janel Holiday Interior Design