Subtle Ways to Refresh A Family Room, Before and After

My client, Susan, wanted to freshen up their well used (by two teen-agers, a husband and a dog) family room.  Can't touch the husband's chair and the sectional and coffee table were just purchased last year.

The balloon curtains were feeling dated (just needed to come down) and the rooster art was too small.  Hmm...and a new lamp would help.
Susan had the wooden framed chair recently recovered in the denim indigo ikat, so I took my color cue from that.
And After...
We purchased a new Wool Braylin Greek Key Rug.  It's reasonably priced for a wool rug.  We also added a round tray on the coffee table...this surface gets used a lot...so no breakable "styling" here.

A few New Decorative Vases update things.
We had three new pillows made from 
Ralph Lauren Rimba Ikat fabric.
Here you can see how nicely the rug works with the chair…we also added a garden stool...it's nice to have a place to put a drink.
I really need better shots!  Because one of the biggest changes was painting the walls.  We went from yellow to a softer cream...
Benjamin Moore's Bone White.

Perhaps I will get some better shots when I go back to finish this...

Look at this great action shot of Chief playing basketball
with Tommy and his pals!
What a vertical!  
Can you see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background?
Tommy and his friends have returned to Florida for school.
My depression will set in once I get the house clean.


Relaxed Weekend in Napa Valley

Before we got the keys to the guest house in Napa Valley, Debbie and I did a little perusing of cute stores, such as, Vintage Home in St. Helena.

 Our friends in the hotel business rented a charming farmhouse for us to stay smack in the middle of thriving vineyards.  As the six of us (three couples) all live in the city, and were missing barbecuing and dining alfresco...a weekend here was a great treat!
 We quickly set the table with flowers from the garden in mismatched glasses.
The view from the table.  That's the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Looks fun.
Almost harvest time

For dinner...
Jen made Grilled Figs Stuffed with 
Blue Cheese and Wrapped in Prosciutto
Then we had
Heirloom Tomatoes with a Balsamic Vinaigrette 
Grandma Winnie's Potato Salad (made the day before)
Grilled Prime Steaks 
and for dessert...Grilled Pineapple and Ice Cream
So, we got our grilling in!

Afterwards, we played bocci ball on our own court.

The next morning we walked to Bouchon Bakery for breakfast.
On the lower right is a what I ordered...a fresh, strawberry almond croissant.

Then we headed over for a wonderful tasting at Markham Vineyardsone of the oldest continuing running vineyards in California.  Kevin, our guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
You really get an appreciation for the painstaking care, physical labor, science and passion involved in creating wine for our enjoyment.
I want to try this while it's still summer...

On Saturday night, we had a delicious dinner at Michael Chiarello's Bottega Restaurant.  These Copper Tumblers were used as our water goblets.
I think I should buy his Bottega cookbook for my husband.

Like we hadn't eaten enough...on Sunday we went to brunch
at Farmstead Restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch.
Here is the amazing Cheddar Biscuits Recipe.  
They are served warm with honey butter.
The industrial farmhouse interior is fun 
but we sat outside in glorious weather.
I want to go back to Napa Valley!